Polperro Family History
The FORWARD family of Polperro
The Forward family in Polperro can be traced back to an entry in the Talland baptism register for Jonathan Forehead, son of Thomas and Fridayswed Forehead, on 15th March 1747. By the time of Jonathan's marriage to Elizabeth Batten in 1775, the surname had changed to Forward.
Jonathan and Elizabeth's five sons all joined the fight to stamp out the smuggling trade that had profited so many other Polperro families during the 18th century, several serving aboard Revenue cutters patrolling the Channel off the Cornish coast. One of them, Thomas (born 1787) married Mary Stap, the daughter of the Customs officer in charge of the preventive boat stationed in Polperro in January 1801 in an attempt by the Board of Customs in London to put a stop to the smuggling trade that flourished there.
Another of Thomas Forward's brothers, Samuel (1790-1870) joined the coastguard service that earlier generations of Polperro seamen had learned to fear. His family later moved to Grimsby where he served aboard the Revenue cruiser Lapwing. Samuel's elder brothers, John and Richard, both served aboard the Revenue cruiser Harpy based at Plymouth during the 1820s.
(Right, a Revenue cruiser in pursuit of a smuggling lugger)
Further information on the family would also be welcomed.
Jeremy Rowett Johns, Polperro Heritage Museum © 2003