1893 text

Sir Peter Killigrew, Knight, of Arwenack, Cornwall, was known as “Peter the Post,” from the alacrity with which he despatched “like wild fire” all the messages and other commissions entrusted to him in the King’s cause. His son Peter, who succeeded his uncle as second baronet in 1665, was M.P. for Camelford in 1660.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

4 Annotations

First Reading

Roger Miller  •  Link

Cornwall was strongly Royalist.

Falmouth Parish Church is dedicated to King Charles the Martyr. There's some background to Killigrew's involvement here: http://homepages.tesco.net/~k.was…

Norah Carlin  •  Link

Sir Peter Killigrew's role as messsenger between King and Parliament in 1645, 1647 and most importantly during the Newport negotiations of 1648, is mentioned in the titles of the following pamphlets in the Thomason Tracts: E.314[6], E.314[26] and E393[24].

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sir Peter Killigrew MP's (1593 - 1668) Parliamentary bio:

He was born circa 1593, the 4th son of John Killigrew of Arwennack, Falmouth, Cornwall, by Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Monck of Potheridge, Merton, Devon. I.E. He is Gen. Monck's cousin

He married in 1625, Mary, da. of Thomas Lucas of Colchester, Essex, and they had a son and a daughter. I.E. He is related to the Duchess of Newcastle

His ancestors held manorial property in Cornwall under Henry III, and first represented a Cornish borough in 1553

Peter, like many of his family, made his career at Court. He acted as diplomatic courier during Prince Charles’ visit to Spain in 1623, for which
King Charles I knighted him in 1625

In 1633 Sir Peter Killigrew inherited Arwennack from his brother, but it had been reduced by litigation and extravagance to £800 p.a., so he accepted employment from Parliament as a messenger during the Civil Wars.
He was rewarded by the Rump with the grant of a market at Smithwick on Carrick Roads, Falmouth, where he continued the development begun by his father

Killigrew held local office under the Protectorate, and his cousin George Monck secured his return to Richard Cromwell’s Parliament for a Scottish constituency, and his appointment as governor of Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, on the return of the secluded Members

Killigrew was twice involved in double returns for Helston, Cornwall in 1660; Lord Wharton marked him as a friend, but he was never allowed to sit, despite favorable recommendations from the elections committee

Sir Peter Killigrew MP delivered to Charles II a letter of thanks from Gen. Monck for the Declaration of Breda and expressions of loyalty from the fleet.

In September 1660, Sir Peter Killigrew MP surrendered Pendennis Castle to Richard Arundell in exchange for a pension of £300.

Successful at Helston in the general election of 1661, Killigrew was again listed by Wharton as a friend.

An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, Sir Peter Killigrew MP was appointed to only 10 committees.

Listed as a court dependant in 1664, Killigrew obtained a charter for Smithwick under the name of Falmouth, and arranged for the transfer of the very profitable customs house from Penryn.

Killigrew raised money to build and endow a church dedicated to King Charles the Martyr, and promoted a bill to make it parochial.

On 1 Dec. 1664 Sir Peter Killigrew Snr. MP was ordered to attend the committee of privileges on a charge of ‘affronting and assaulting Sir Richard Everard’, but no report was made.

Appropriately enough for so indefatigable a traveler, Sir Peter Killigrew MP died at Exeter on the road to London. It was reported on 5 Aug. 1668 that his body was to be returned to Falmouth for burial in the church that he had founded.

His son, Peter Jr., also became a Member of Parliament.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

When I said the Killigrews were everywhere, perhaps I should have directed you to the last paragraph of this story, and the physical evidence of Charles II's liaisons during the Interregnum:

What "Black Betty's" relationship was to Sir Peter, I do not know. Cousin - sister - aunt???

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • May