Thomas Cragoe and the Anti-Vaccine Movement in Kea in the 19th Century

Today we all know too well the problems that have been caused by Covid-19 but other generations have suffered from similar problems. At the end of the First World War millions died from ‘Spanish flu’ for which no vaccine existed. In many parts of the world over many generations one of the most feared illnesses was smallpox which killed many and disfigured many, but by the end of the 18th century a country doctor working in Gloucestershire, Edward Jenner, had developed a vaccine that was effective against smallpox. During the 19th century a debate raged about whether to make the vaccination of children against smallpox compulsory, and in 1853 the government made the vaccination of children compulsory with fines for those who did not get their children vaccinated, and in 1867 the fining regime was made more stringent. Compulsory vaccination is a very emotive topic today as it was then, and an anti-vaccine movement sprang up. In the south-west of England one of the leading figures in the anti-vaccine movement was Thomas Cragoe of Kea.

Thomas was an intriguing fellow. The Cragoe family farmed several farms in Kea and Thomas was born at Trevaster farm, just north of Porth Kea, in 1840. By 1861 the family had moved to Penhellick farm in St Clements parish. In 1863 Thomas, aged only 23, was elected as the Rate Collector for St Clement parish, an important post as much of Truro was part of St Clement parish and his election was clearly contentious. It is likely he emigrated to America landing in Pennsylvania in 1867. What he did there is not known but in 1871 he got married in Cork, Ireland and he and his wife took on the tenancy of Woodbury, a fine house with a few acres on the banks of the Truro river. From some source he had achieved a degree of wealth as he now styled himself a ‘Gentleman’ and he never seems to have worked again. He had also acquired an education, was well travelled, had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and he delighted in writing FRGS after his name. He lectured on many subjects and had an especial interest in geography which he derived from his travels abroad. Not having to work, he had much time on his hands and became involved in many controversies ranging from the drainage system in Truro to Home Rule for Ireland, and most especially his campaign against the compulsory vaccination of children against smallpox. He was a great writer of letters both to the local newspapers and to national ones. His brother Albertus, who continued to farm at Penhellick, was also involved in the campaign, and the death of Albertus’ four-year old son from smallpox did not divert them from their campaign. One of the main points of their argument was that it would be much more effective to improve people’s standard of living than to vaccinate them. Thomas died aged 52 in 1892 and is buried at Old Kea. It was not until 1907 that parents escaped penalties for the non-vaccination of their children.

In the article below I look at their campaign and at the life of Thomas Cragoe. Sadly, no photograph or painting of Thomas has survived.

The scourge of smallpox

The last naturally occurring case of smallpox was in 1977 and in 1980 the World Health Organisation certified the global eradication of the disease. The risk of death after contracting the disease was about 30%, with higher rates among babies. Those who survived had extensive scarring of their skin, and some were left blind. The initial symptoms included fever and vomiting, this was followed by the formation of ulcers in the mouth and a skin rash. The rash turned into fluid-filled blisters with a dent in the centre. The blisters then scabbed over and fell off, leaving scars. The disease was spread between people or via contaminated objects.

A method had grown up over several centuries of trying to combat smallpox and reduce its impact through inoculation, often referred to as variolation. The theory was that through inoculation an individual could be given a milder form of smallpox, and this would have increased their chances of surviving smallpox and given the individual lifelong immunity. The procedure generally carried out involved inserting or rubbing powdered smallpox scabs or fluid taken from pustules into scratches made in the skin. It was hoped the patient would then develop a less severe form of the disease and in between two to four weeks the symptoms would subside, the patient would have recovered and gained immunity. There were problems with variolation: administering it required a level of skill and attention which some physicians lacked, immunity from further infections was not as  great as claimed, and it was a great risk to others as the incidence of cases of smallpox passed on to others from recently variolated patients began to increase. From the 1760s, a number of individuals, notably Edward Jenner, became interested in the use of material from cowpox, an animal infection, to protect against smallpox. In 1796, Jenner published evidence that cowpox protected against smallpox and that it was safer than variolation. The use of variolation began to decline as the smallpox vaccine became widely used and its benefits appreciated. The term vaccination is derived from the Latin word for cow, vacca.

Rural hostility to vaccination

Although the use of vaccination among the middle and upper classes increased in the early years of the 19th century it became evident that folk inoculation was still being performed in rural areas, particularly in south-west England. People became wary of inoculation as many cases of smallpox were spread by people who had recently been variolated and remained infectious for a few weeks even if they themselves were not suffering badly with smallpox. A movement grew up, particularly among the middle classes, to prohibit inoculation. In 1840 Parliament passed the Vaccination Act which expressly prohibited inoculation, and provoked controversy in outlawing one of the methods of combatting smallpox that had once been widely accepted. Some described the Vaccination Act 1840 as ‘the first incursion of the state, in the name of public health, into traditional liberties’ [R Wolfe and L Sharpe, ‘Anti-Vaccinationists Past and Present BMJ vol 325].

The 1840 Act did little to halt inoculation among lower class or rural communities. In Cornwall inoculation remained popular and on 12 August 1853 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported on the situation in St Agnes which had been plagued by smallpox and the Registrar of St Agnes lamented ‘I fear that inoculation lingers here yet; vaccination is objected to’. In 1853 the first amendment to the Vaccination Act was introduced; vaccination was now compulsory and would be freely available through public vaccination stations if parents could not afford to have their children vaccinated by a medical practitioner. Yet people were still prepared to pay for their children to be inoculated rather than to be freely vaccinated. On 9 June 1838 William Reid wrote in the Western Times explaining why inoculation remained widespread:  ‘In a part of the country where the education of the common people is generally committed to the care of cobblers and old women, where ancient prejudices are deeply rooted, where the belief in witchcraft and in many antediluvian superstitions is by no means entirely exploded – is it all to be wondered at that the population should continue to reject the discovery of the illustrious Jenner, and to resist the general adoption of vaccination?’

Although the Royal Cornwall Gazette and Cornish Telegraph contain many detailed reports of parents being prosecuted for failing to have their children vaccinated, in the thirteen years that passed until the Vaccination Act was amended to make vaccination compulsory, the vast majority of cases were brought against the lower classes of the county, the working families of the mining, fishing, and agricultural industries and the paupers. In truth the Poor Law Guardians, who were responsible for prosecuting case, were unable to prosecute all the very large number of parents whose children went unvaccinated. Very few middle-class citizens were prosecuted.

In 1867 a new Act was passed. It attempted to put pressure on parents by enabling them to be prosecuted on multiple occasions for failing to have the same child vaccinated and by greatly increasing the level of penalty imposed to a maximum of 20 shillings. Prior to this amendment much of the blame for the low vaccination rates had been placed on ignorant mothers but the threat of multiple prosecution led to a new wave of anti-vaccinationists, conscientious fathers, who often seemed keen to fulfil the role of vaccine martyrs.

Vaccine martyrs

The figureheads of the ant-vaccination movement in Cornwall were Thomas Adolphus Cragoe, of Woodbury, and later of Sunset, in Kea and his younger brother Albertus Martin Cragoe who farmed at Penhellick in St Clement. Both were wealthy and subscribed to an anti-vaccination society that would pay their legal defensive costs and fines. It was also unusual that Albertus Cragoe throughout the 1880s (and until 1892) was a member of the Truro Board of Guardians which was prosecuting them. In December 1880 both were charged with not vaccinating two of their children. Neither denied that they had broken the law but considered themselves conscientious objectors. Both were given small fines and ordered to have their children vaccinated, and heavier fines were promised if they refused this order.

The Cragoes believed that the key to curing smallpox was to be found in improving sanitation rather than in vaccination. Both were active members of the Liberal Party and at a meeting in Redruth in April 1884 were reported as saying in a speech that people ‘wanted the dark slums and blind alleys of their towns to be cleared up and their people supplied with better water, better bread and with the means of living together in a more cleanly way’(The Cornishman, 3 April 1884).  Both brothers were disillusioned with the policy of the Liberal Party which had supported the 1867 Act and the prosecutions under it. The Cragoes were positioning themselves as protectors of the poor.

Albert Cragoe drew attention to the death of a six-month old child, William Barkla, which had occurred in St Agnes in 1880. The boy’s parents were convinced that vaccination had caused his death. Adverse reaction to the arm-to-arm vaccination method was well documented. The procedure involved making several deep cuts to a child’s arm and with almost no knowledge of germ theory, children were dangerously exposed to infection through the open wounds. ‘Even the vaccine matter could cause infection, given that it had passed through the bloodstream of countless children, picking up any number of infectious materials along the way’. (Ella Stewart-Peters: From ‘Ignorant Mothers’ to ‘Conscientious Fathers’: Cornwall and the Vaccination Act, 1840-1907  ) Many children undoubtedly suffered from septicaemia, and it was very probably that which caused the death of William Barkla in St Agnes – ‘a deprived and impoverished part of the Truro district where children were often living in a filthy condition’. (Ella Stewart-Peters)

In January 1881 the Cragoes had organized a lecture to be delivered in the Truro Concert Hall by Amos Booth from Leicester, one of the ‘martyrs’ of the cause who had been jailed due to his repeated failure to have his children vaccinated. Yet the Royal Cornwall Gazette of 21 January 1881 reported that less than fifty people had gathered to hear him, though supporters pointed out there had been a heavy snowfall. The Cragoes failed in their attempt to form a local Truro branch of the Anti-Vaccination League, though one was formed in Penryn in 1902. Albertus Cragoe attempted to organize a petition to Parliament but gained only sixty four signatures.

 In February 1881 both Cragoes were in court charged with not carrying out the vaccinations the courts had ordered in December 1880. Albertus was fined 40s [£2] and Thomas 20s [£1], the maximum sums permitted. Thomas again took to the press to defend his stance. During 1881 the Cragoes appeared in court on several occasions, in total Albertus being fined £6 and Thomas £3, not including costs. The public was not always supportive and in September 1881 a reader wrote to the Royal Cornwall Gazette stating ‘It appears clear to my mind that the Messrs Cragoe wish to be made martyrs of, and would like the magistrates to commit them to prison for violating the law concerning vaccination’. Yet the magistrates fought shy of allowing them their martyrdom. In fact for two years there were no more prosecution and the public debate fell silent.

Tragically, on 12th December 1884 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported the first outbreak of smallpox in the Truro district for thirteen years, and the first victim was William, the four year old son of Albertus Cragoe. It was thought he may have contracted the infection from a relative visiting from London. William had contracted confluent smallpox, the most extreme form which would have led to a long drawn out and especially painful death. Rumours about the extent of the outbreak at Albertus’ farm dominated discussion among the local authorities. It remained unclear whether he had had the rest of his children vaccinated. Albertus was also widely blamed for a secondary infection of smallpox among the residents of St Mary’s workhouse in Pydar Street, Truro.

His nephew’s death and the criticism his brother drew ‘only served to make Thomas more steadfast and aggressive in his anti-vaccinationist ideals. The letters sent by Thomas to various newspapers after December 1884 are simultaneously both increasingly defensive of his family’s stance and more aggressive towards his opponents, with Thomas making derogatory attacks towards anyone who disagreed with him’. (Ella Stewart-Peters) His approach brought about a report in the British Medical Journal of 9 May 1885 entitled ‘Death of an Anti-Vaccinator from Small-Pox’. Although Thomas Cragoe was not mentioned by name it was clearly an attack aimed at him, yet he was still alive. ‘We hear from Truro that small-pox has just cut short the career of one of the most energetic opponents of vaccination in the West of England. Death is a heavy price to pay for consistency in one’s opinions, and we cannot help recalling the wisdom shown by the brother of the deceased gentleman a few months ago, when the death by small-pox of his unvaccinated son converted him to a belief in the efficacy of vaccination, and induced him to have the prophylactic operation immediately performed on the remaining members of his family. The logic of facts is always more forcible than that of abstract argument’.

He was particularly angry that the British Medical Journal had mocked his sincerely held beliefs and used his death as a publicity stunt. He launched a counter-attack in the London based Pall Mall Gazette.

Despite his painful loss Albertus continued to write to the Cornish press and argue that vaccinated individuals suffered more from smallpox than unvaccinated counterparts. Thomas renewed his campaign and in February 1885 was again in court charged with a failure to vaccinate his by now three children. He was served with three vaccination orders, but having failed to comply, was back in court a month later and was fined 20s [£1] per case. In March 1885 he was again in court and was fined a further 10s per case plus £1 10s costs. The loss of his middle daughter, Isabel, from diphtheria in November 1885 did not slow his attacks.

Thomas’ argument was increasingly that smallpox barely existed in Britain before inoculation was introduced, that vaccination continued to spread it and make it more virulent than it was when naturally occurring. Or in the words of his brother Albertus ‘If there were no vaccination, there would be no smallpox’. (Ella Stewart-Peters)  ‘Thomas attacked the ideas of Louis Pasteur and his ongoing experiments regarding the nature of germ theory, particularly critiquing the extent of his animal experimentation in order to develop a potential vaccine for rabies’. (Ella Stewart-Peters) In March 1885 he had attended an anti-vaccine demonstration in Leicester where an effigy of Edward Jenner, the inventor of vaccination, had been hanged and then decapitated. 

Thomas Adolphus Cragoe and the Cragoe Family

Thomas Adolphus Cragoe in the 1880s, together with his brother Albertus Martin, emerged as the figureheads in Cornwall of the movement to prevent the compulsory vaccination of children against smallpox. Thomas was a man of strong opinions, a prolific writer of letters on many matters to Cornish newspapers, a contributor to the Journals of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, a lecturer to learned societies, a self-proclaimed ‘Gentleman’ and, as he made clear in all his correspondence, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. We have only a few glimpses of Thomas before he emerged fully-formed as the campaigner and letter writer of the 1880s, and much remains unknown about where he was educated, his travels abroad, or where he met his Irish wife.

The Cragoe, or Crago, family had been farmers in St Clement parish since the 17th century and the first Cragoe births were recorded in Kea in the 1740s. A century later, in the 1841 Census, William and Thomasine Cragoe farmed Trevaster, Philip and Ann farmed Churchtown (now Old Kea) and William and Mary farmed Carlyon, all in Kea. Thomas was born at Trevaster farm in about 1840 and died at Sunset, now Lambe Creek House, in March 1892.

In November 1834 William Cragoe married Thomasine Magor in the church at Landrake with St Erney in east Cornwall. Though she was described as a ‘spinster of this parish’ she had been baptised at Kenwyn in 1806 and the Magors were also an important local farming family, and in Kea in 1841 John and Prudence farmed Trethowell as well as owning both Trethowell and Trevaster.

When William married in 1834 he was described as a ‘yeoman of Kea’ and in 1841 the Census recorded him farming at Trevaster with his wife and three children – Grace 5, Alfred 3 and Thomas 1. In 1851 the family was still at Trevaster but with two more children, Mary Emma and Albertus. Interestingly, Grace was recorded as Grace Magor, presumably in tribute to her Magor grandparents. By the 1861 Census the family, including Thomas now aged 21, had moved to Penhellick farm in St Clement parish and the family now included Thomas Crago, 80, a retired farmer, and his wife, Grace, 87. Thomas is listed as the uncle of William and Grace as his aunt, and when Grace died in 1863 she was described as ‘the beloved wife of Thomas Cragoe Esq, late of Trevaster’ (Royal Cornwall Gazette 16 January 1863). As Grace and Thomas had no children William had taken over Trevaster from his uncle when the latter sold up in 1836.

In October 1863 Thomas Crago, although only 23, was elected by the Board of Guardians of Truro Poor Law Union as the Rate Collector for St Clement parish, the parish in which he lived. This was a responsible position, even more so because as much of Truro was in St Clement parish it was a large parish and the previous holder of the position had absconded. There were eight candidates for the post, and the Royal Cornwall Gazette commented on 30 October 1863  ‘All the candidates are resident in Truro, and they produced excellent testimonials; those in favour of Mr Treleaven being particularly noticeable, being signed by a large number of the principal inhabitants of Truro, and speaking moreover to an extended experience in money matter’. The overseers of the parish of St Clement then called a ‘vestry meeting’ [the vestry was the governing body of the parish] and by this time only five candidates remained in the field. Originally three candidates gained more votes than Thomas Cragoe but by some extraordinary manoeuvrings Cragoe eventually achieved a majority of the votes to achieve the appointment, and provided sureties from his father and his uncle, Philip Cragoe of Kea. The newspaper commented ‘In point of experience and business qualifications, Mr Edward Treleaven, was undoubtedly the most fitting person., He was, however, defeated by Mr Crago, whose strong recommendation by the vicar of St Clements, no doubt did him good service. Mr Crago is the son of Mr Wm. Crago, farmer of Penhellick, and is 23 years of age…It is noticeable that the Guardians again passed over the candidate chosen by St Clement’s vestry’. It is clear that Cragoe’s appointment to this valuable post was controversial. The collector was paid £40 per annum. (Minutes of Board of Guardians, volume 2, pages 310-312 28 Oct 1863 Kresen Kernow PUTRU/2/82)   

In 1867 a Thomas Cragoe, aged 27 and a farmer is recorded as crossing to the USA on the migrant ship Tonawanda and landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In later years one of the standard talks he gave was ‘Virginia, or the Old Dominion’ [Virginia was the first enduring English colony in North America, first chartered in 1606] (Royal Cornwall Gazette 24 February 1872) and this may have been based on his experience there. Then in 1871 in Cork, Ireland he married Annie (or Anne) Margaret Sleeman; he was then about 31 and, if her age is given correctly in later Census reports, Annie was then about 17.

They probably moved to Woodbury in 1871 as on 11th November 1871 the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported that ‘One evening last week, Mr Thomas Adolphus Cragoe, whilst proceeding in a boat from Truro to his marine residence at Woodbury, narrowly escaped drowning off Poltisco. The boat, which contained furniture, came into collision with the Effort steamer, and sank. Mr Cragoe managed to lay hold of the stern of the steamer, and was quickly drawn on board, whilst the boatman, Buckingham, was picked up half-drowned, by a boat sent off from the quay by Capt. Woolcock, who witnessed the accident.


Woodbury, from an early 20th century postcard (Private Collection)

Malpas lies around the bend.




A front view of Henry Martyn’s home, “Woodbury” at Woodbury Point on the River Fal. Note this is spelled as “Woodberry” on the original glass plate negative. Henry Martyn (18th February 1981-16th October 1812) was an Anglican priest and missionary to the peoples of India and Persia. Born in Truro, Cornwall, he was educated at Truro Grammar School and St John’s College, Cambridge. He became a chaplain for the British East India Company. He translated the whole of the New Testament into Urdu, Persian and Judaeo-Persic. He also translated the Psalms into Persian and the Book of Common Prayer into Urdu. Photographer: Arthur Philp.

Woodbury circa 1900 From the Collection of the RIC TRURI: KEAgv 6

At the time of the 1871 Census, twenty-two people in four households were recorded as living at Woodbury. Woodbury had been a very fine house but was now much neglected with Eleanor Scoble running part of it as a cider house. By the Census of 1881 only six people now lived at Woodbury, all part of the Cragoe household – and in that Census he is recorded as a ‘Gentleman’ and his wife as a ‘Gentlewoman’. Woodbury was renamed ‘Woodbury Villa’. In December 1876 a son was born, Alfred Spencer Cragoe, and in February 1880 a daughter Isabel but she died in November 1885 of diptheria. Their last child, Lucy Fortescue Cragoe, was born in January 1884.

In the 1870s Thomas Cragoe was regularly mentioned in the Royal Cornwall Gazette giving lectures: to the Young Men’s Christian Association in February 1872 about Virginia, in June 1878 to the annual meeting of the Royal Institution of Cornwall about the flowering shrub Kalmia, in November 1878 to the Plymouth Institution on ‘English Literature from the Elizabethan to the Victorian Era’, in November 1879 again to the Plymouth Institution on ‘Pastures in the South West’, in February 1880 to the Redruth Literary Institute about the dignity of labour.


An illustration showing Malpas on the left and the ferryman’s cottage in the centre. Woodbury lies round the bend to the right. Taken from The River Fal and Falmouth Harbour Illustrated (Private Collection)




In 1876 he produced what became a well-regarded book which eventually ran to several editions, The River Fal and Falmouth Harbour Illustrated. He was much taken with the situation of Woodbury and wrote several articles about the area in the Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, most notably The Foreshores of the Fal in JRIC Volume VIII 1883-1885. Though he clearly loved Woodbury, and had done much to restore it to its former glory, it was leased from Tregothnan Estate and in 1886 he bought the freehold of the adjacent property Sunset, where his mother Thomasine already lived.



Lambe Creek House 2013 (Source Author), but formerly known as Sunset


How Thomas Cragoe was seen by contemporaries

Thomas Cragoe was a highly opinionated man and as well as writing regularly to the Cornish newspapers he corresponded with the Western Daily Mercury, the South West Daily News, the Gravesend Reporter, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner and the Pall Mall Gazette. The bulk of his letter writing, especially to the more distant newspapers, concerned vaccination but he held strong opinions on many subjects. Among other subjects his letters to the Royal Cornwall Gazette covered were Home Rule in Ireland, April 1886, the dependence on imports of foodstuff from overseas, April 1891, and in both 1888 and 1889 the drainage system in Truro where he advocated the drainage system used in Heidelberg, Germany. In September 1891 he wrote a letter attacking the appointment of the new Bishop ‘The diocese will, doubtless, be highly pleased at finally receiving a Bishop with so many sterling virtues and accomplishments, but from what has gone the round of the Press, it is difficult to reconcile Dr Gott’s attitude with the extensive charity and tolerance, which are the best attributes of a true divine’. (Cornubian and Redruth Times, 11 September 1891).

Perhaps tolerance was not one of Thomas Cragoe’s attributes. On 30th October 1890 the editor of the Royal Cornwall Gazette, the newspaper which was the recipient of the majority of Thomas Cragoe’s letters, felt the need to add a note at the end of one of his letters: [If our readers will refer to the note which recalled this letter forth, they will see that Mr Cragoe is very clever at misinterpreting and inputing to his opponents views they do not hold. – ED.]

Yet Thomas Cragoe did see good in people, especially the working man, and had often lectured on the dignity of labour. On 15th January 1891 he wrote a very long letter to the Royal Cornwall Gazette in which he extolled the virtues of John Hunt, a labourer who had worked for his parents at Penhellick farm, and who had recently died.

Thomas Cragoe died at Sunset on 6  March 1892 aged 52 after being unwell for several days. His grave lies with his parents, immediately to the west of the tower at Old Kea. On 17 March 1892, The Cornish Telegraph wrote ‘he was a man of considerable ability, and was a frequent contributor to the columns of the Press. Vaccination was his favourite theme, and by Mr Cragoe’s death the anti-vaccination movement has lost a very able and active supporter. Mr Cragoe made several valuable contributions to the Journal and the discussions of the Royal Institute of Cornwall; and a year or two ago he wrote a very concise guide to the River Fal, which has proved a very entertaining companion to many tourists’.

On 19 May 1892 the Royal Cornwall Gazette wrote ‘Poor Mr Thomas Cragoe, had he lived, would have rejoiced over the recently published report of the Royal Commission on Vaccination as one point gained. Mr Cragoe fairly had anti-vaccination on the brain, and could hardly write a letter on any other subject whatever without in some way adverting to it. He has no successor in these parts, but the work if we may judge from this report, goes on. The Commissioners recommend that repeated penalties should no longer be inflicted for the refusal to have a child vaccinated…’. [In 1896 the Royal Commission on Vaccination reported after seven years examining the issue. Its overwhelming conclusion was to support the effectiveness of vaccination as a means of preventing smallpox and reducing its impact on those who contracted it. It did recognise the problems associated with the spread of germs to those receiving vaccinations and suggested measures to reduce any contagion. It also saw that the prosecution of those who objected to vaccination on grounds of conscience was not successful. It believed that the problem would soon disappear once the public came to realize the benefits of vaccination. This had been the experience in Scotland where virtually no opposition to vaccination existed.]

Also, in 1892 Albertus Cragoe retired from the Truro Board of Guardians and, together with his wife, moved first to Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, then Southsea in Hampshire and finally to London where he died in 1904, aged 59. For twelve years following his brother’s death, Albertus continued to correspond almost exclusively within the Cornish press on the topic of vaccination, and his ideas around the Vaccination Act and the imposition of compulsory vaccination upon the people of England and Wales grew ever more conspiratorial. Thomas Cragoe’s widow continued to live at Sunset until 1898 when it was sold. Thomas’ son Spencer Cragoe spent some time travelling around the USA in the 1890s and like his late father became a regular contributor to the Royal Cornwall Gazette, but his articles were usually about horticulture rather than vaccination.

  Cragoe Grave at Old Kea  (Source Author)


The grave has on its south face the names of ‘William Cragoe 1802-1877,  Thomasine Magor His Wife 1805-1890, Alfred Their Son 1838-1859’ together with the word ‘Hope’.

On the north face, as seen in the right-hand photo, ‘Isabel Cragoe 1880-1885, Thomas A Cragoe of Sunset 1840-1892’ together with the word ‘Love’. On the east face ‘John Cragoe 1783-1805, Thomas Cragoe 1781-1814, Grace Magor His Wife 1774-1863’ together with the word ‘Faith’. The memorial also has the stonemason’s name ‘J Martin of Baldhu’.

Originally a fine stone ball lay on top of the memorial but vandals destroyed this many years ago.


Nigel Baker January 2022

Comments are closed.