15th C Vennards

Richard Vennard  Gent.( late 1500 to at least 1614)

He was clearly an interesting character.

A Lawyer; He lived at Lincoln’s Inn, London

A Poet:  He wrote “The Right Way to Heaven” Printed in London by Thomas Este 1601

A Playwrite: He supposedly wrote “ England’s Joy”, a melodramatic pagent of the principal events in the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First ( 1533 to 1603) which was performed in “dumb shew” with accompanying  monologue. The play ended with the death and ascent to heaven of the Queen.The play was very popular in 1603. See Poems

An Actor ; He performed at the Swan Theatre in England’s Joy

(Collectanea Anglo-poetica pages 323 to 332)

A Rascal; Described by John Manningham  in his Diary as “ the grand cony- catcher with golden spurs and a brazen face” a man “ with some metal in him”. He had an adventurous career among the theatres and about the court, more than once he was imprisoned in London and as Fenner tells died in the Wood Street Counter owing to the keepers neglect. "Vennard was universally regarded as am imposter, and dubbed England’s Joy from the fact of his having advertised the production of a play with that title in 1602." (1603?? J.V) “and when he had gotten most of the money into his hands he would have shown them a clean pair of heels, but he was not so nimble as to get up on horseback but that he was fain to forsake that course and betake himself to the water, where he was persued and taken, and brought before the lord Chief Justice, who would make nothing of it but a jest and merriment, and bound him over in five pounds to appear at the sessions.(1602)"

(The Counter’s Commonwealth page 520 )

Captain Vennard ( From London Circa 1580 )

He commanded a vessel as part of the London Fleet that set out from Plymouth, in 1587, under the command of Sir Francis Drake to attack the Spanish fleet at Cadiz .The fleet of 24 ships burnt, sunk or carried away 100 enemy ships at Cadiz.

Note: In the 14th C King Philip of Spain wanted to invade England, capture the Protestant Queen Elizabeth and deliver her to the Pope in the hope she would be put to the Inquisition. This plan did not go down too well with the English . J.V.

(Life,voyages and exploits of Sir Francis Drake)

A link to a family tree with Vennard's in it. We would love to hear from the researcher!!!!

Lowe Family


South West England Vennards

Church records show Vennards in Devon before 1580 and there are two family trees from this area Family 15 and 16.


FAMILY TREE NUMBER: # 15.... Family Chart 15

NAMES(S): John Vennard (and Elizabeth Husband )
BIRTH YEAR: c. 1763
OCCUPATION: Tin / Copper Miner, Cornwall, England
Cheryl Vinnard Cardiff, Wales, Richard Sandve USA ,Joy Hey, Devon.

Note: This is the Vennard Family that has Iva Durham Vennard, after whom Vennard College, Iowa, U.S.A is named.


John Vennard married Elizabeth Husband in the parish of Cuby with Tregony, Cornwall, England in 1763. They had six Vennard children in the parish; Thomas 1784, William 1787 George 1791, John 1797, Mary 1801, Elizabeth 1806. The whole family worked as labourers in the local Tin and Copper mines.

Son William 1787 married Martha Danniel and had 5 children.

Son George (Husband ) Vennard 1791 married Martha's sister Peggy and had 9 children, his sons became stone masons and labourers and it was his grandson Thomas 1864 ( son of Thomas (1826) who married Iva Durham in 1902. An account of her life can be found at this link. http://www.pawcreek.org/articles/testimonials/IdaVennardTheDedicatedEducator.htm

Son John (1797 ) became a miner in Tywardreath near St Blazey and married Mary Easterbrook in 1826. This is where his family name changed from Vennard at his birth and marriage to Viniard on his death, with his 9 children being Vinard and finally Vinnard.

Note: Stephen Vinnard has his own web site on the Vinnard Family.www.vinnard.co.uk

John and Mary resided in the village of Lostwithel and the whole family was recorded in the 1841/1851 censuses as being copper mine labourers. The 9 children were William 1827, John Henry 1829, Jane 1830, Mary Anne 1831, James 1833 , Joseph 1835, George 1837, Elizabeth 1838, and Thomas 1842 .

Several of John and Mary's children emigrated, Jane (1830) and her husband Stephen Goldworthy and child John Henry sailed for Adelaide Australia in January 1854. William (1827), Mary Anne (1831) and Eliza Jane (1838) followed later that year.

James (1833) and his wife Mary White and four children left Cornwall for the USA . There is a book "A Vinnard's History " by Waynce Carollyn Sandve, which details the families life as settlers.

George ( 1837 ) remained in England and had a total of 16 children, 5 with Mary Jane Vine Jasper , though only 2 survived, and 11 after Mary's death in 1873, with his second wife Ellen Oliver, though only 6 survived. The family lived in Gunnislake and worked in the copper mines of the Tamar Valley. Early in the 1900's the copper mines were exhausted and closed and the family moved to Aberbargoed, Wales to find work in the booming coal mines.

This family also has reports of a French Huguenot origin possibly in the Ardeche region.

FAMILY TREE NUMBER: # 16.... Family Chart 16

This tree most probably connects with Family 15 above although no link has yet been made.

NAMES(S): John Venerd
BIRTH YEAR: c. 1810
OCCUPATION: Lead / Copper Miner, Cornwall, England
John Vennard, England...... tarajon@btinternet.com


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