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Polperro Family History

The CLEMENTS family of Polperro

John Clements, born in Polperro in 1768, the son of John and Susannah Clements of Talland, was a pupil of Zephaniah Job during the 1770s while Job was earning a living as a schoolmaster soon after his arrival in Polperro.


The young John Clements' exercise book, dated 12th December 1775, has survived and the arithmetical sums in it (like the one reproduced below: What shall 72 ankers of Rum Each 10 Gallons Cost at 4s..9¾ per Gallon) reflect the principal manner of trade in Polperro at that time - namely smuggling.

John Clements married Jane Quiller, eldest daughter of the notorious Polperro smuggler and privateer John Quiller, in August 1791 and the birth of the couple's first child, again named John, on the 5th February 1793 is recorded by his father in the back of his school book.

In later years, Clements also used the back of the little book to keep accounts for the schooner Polperro which he commanded in 1805 while shipping grain from Looe for Zephaniah Job to buyers in other parts of Britain.

There is ample evidence that John Clements was one of the Polperro smuggling fraternity during the 1790s, and on one occasion in 1795 his vessel was seized by the Revenue cutter Spider and its cargo of contraband confiscated.

John and Jane Clements had six children, including two daughters, Jane and Esther, who both married into local Polperro families.

See also The Smugglers' Banker - click here.

 Further details of the Clements family of Polperro can be obtained from Jeremy Rowett Johns:

E-mail: jeremy.johns@polperro.org

Further information on the family would also be welcomed.

Jeremy Rowett Johns, Polperro Heritage Museum © 2002

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