PENRYN, a market town and port, and municipal and contributary parliamentary borough of Cornwall, England, 2 m. N.W. of Falmouth, on a branch of the Great Western railway. Pop. (1901), 3190. It lies at the head of the estuary of the Penryn River, which opens from the main estuary of the Fal at Falmouth. Granite, which is extensively quarried in the neighbourhood, is dressed and polished at Penryn, and there are also chemical and bone manure works, engineering, iron and gunpowder works, timber-yards, brewing, tanning and paper-making. The harbour dries at low tide, but at high tide has from 9 to 125 ft. of water. Area, 291 acres.
Penryn owed its development to the fostering care of the bishops of Exeter within whose demesne lands it stood. These lands appear in Domesday Book under the name of Trelivel. In 1230 Bishop Briwere granted to his burgesses of Penryn that they should hold their burgages freely at a yearly rent of I2d. by the acre for all service. Bishop Walter de Stapeldon secured a market on Thursdays and a fair at the Feast of St Thomas. The return to the bishop in 1307 was 7, 135. 2jd. from the borough and 26, 73. sd. from the forum. In 1311 Bishop Stapeldon procured a three days' fair at the Feast of St Vitalis. Philip and Mary gave the parliamentary franchise to the burgesses in 1553. James I. granted and renewed the charter of incorporation, providing a mayor, eleven aldermen and twelve councillors, markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and fairs on the 1st of May, the 7th of July and the 21st of December. The charter having been surrendered, James II. by a new charter inter alia confined the parliamentary franchise to members of the corporation. This proviso however was soon disregarded, the franchise being freely exercised by all the inhabitants paying scot and lot. An attempt to deprive the borough of its members, owing to corrupt practices, was defeated by the House of Lords in 1827. The act of 1832 extended the franchise to Falmouth in spite of the rivalry existing between the two boroughs, which one of the sitting members asserted was so great that no Penryn man was ever known to marry a Falmouth woman. In 1885 the united borough was deprived of one of its members. The corporation of Penryn was remodelled in 1835, the aldermen being reduced to four. Its foreign trade, which dates from the 14th century, is considerable. The extra-parochial collegiate church of Glasney, founded by Bishop Bronescombe in 1265, had a revenue at the time of its suppression under the act of 1 545 of 2 2 1 , 1 8s. 4d.
See Victoria County History, Cornwall; T. C. Peter, Glasney Collegiate Church.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)