William Mylleton

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William Meliton (Myliton), Governor of St Michael's Mount, Cornwall

Also Known As: "William /Mylation/", "William /Milliton/", "William /Militon/", "William /Myllyton/", "William /Myllayton/", "William /Meliton/", "William /Milton/"
Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: Pengarick Castle, Breage, Cornwall
Death: June 01, 1571 (56)
Cornwall, England (poison?)
Immediate Family:

Son of John Job Myllyton, High Sheriff of Cornwall and Captain of St Michael's Mount and Avice Meliton
Husband of Honor Meliton (Godolphin)
Father of Avice Parker; Elizabeth Milliton; Phillipa Myliton; Grace Meliton; Anne Meliton and 4 others
Brother of Agnes Myliton; Job Myliton; Margaret Carey; Elizabeth Bevill; Elenor Myliton and 1 other

Occupation: Sheriff of Cornwall
Managed by: William Robert Buchanan
Last Updated:

About William Mylleton

Pengersick Castle is listed in the Castellarium Anglicanum as an extant castle as follows:

Square 'pele-tower', attached to a modern house, but built for attachment to an original one. Basement looped for guns. Very early 16th century.

Sabine Baring-Gould, "A Book of the West" 1899, p 289:

"Near Germoe, but nearer the sea is a very fine remnant of a castle, Pengersick. It was erected in the time of Henry VIII by a man named Millaton, probably of Millaton in Bridestow, Devon [ There is a Milleton House in Bridestow, picture is linked is in the gallery. John's will showed that he owned 3 manors in Devon, one of which cane on Google Earth not far from Bridestow] He had committed murder, and to escape justice he fled his native country and hid himself in the dip of land facing the sea at Pengersick, where he constructed at tower amply protected with means of defence. The basement is furnished with loops for firing upon anyone approaching, and above the door is a shoot for melted lead. The entire building is beautifully constructed.

Here Millaton remained in concealment until he died, never leaving his tower for more than a brief stroll. The land had not been purchased in his own name, but in that of his son Job. Job was made govenor of Saint Michael's Mount and his son, William, was made sheriff of Cornwall in 1565 and married Honor Godolphin, daughter of Sir Willi Godolphin.

According to local legend, William Millaton lived a cat and dog live with his wife Honor. They hated each other with a deadly hate and at length each severally resolved that this incompatible union must end.

William Millaton said to his wife, "Honor, we have lived in wretchedness too long. Let us resolve in a reconciliation, forget the past, and begin a new life."

"Most certainly do I agree," said she

"And," continued William, "as a pledge of our reunion, let us have a feast tonight."

So a banquet was spread in Pengersick Castle for theem twain and none others.

And when they had well eaten, William said, "Let us drink to our reunion."

"I will drink if you will drink," said she.

Then he drained his glass, and after that, she drained hers.

With a bitter laugh she said, "William,you have but three minutes to live. Your cup was poisoned."

"And you," he retorted, "have but five, for yours was poisoned also."

"It is well," said Honor; "I am content. I shall have two minutes in which to triumph over your dead carcass, and spurn it with my foot."

On the Death of this William, the estate passed his six sisters, who married into the families of Erisey, Lanyon, Trefusis, Arundel, Bonython, and Abbot of Heartland."

 " Around 1535, William Milliton married Honor Godolphin and the marriage  celebrations included the refurbishment of Pengersick House.   After William the only son of the marriage was lost at sea, the property was divided between his 7  sisters. None of them had enough of the property to preserve it as a home and  the estate fell into disuse. Over the following hundred years a significant   part of the estate came under the control of the Godolphins.
  Pengersick has a reputation for black magic, sorcery and wickedness - perhaps   the rumours spread by wreckers and smugglers to discourage visitors. "


"MILLYTON William late of Pengirsick, esq


Wicked Men

John Milliton, was a wicked man, who claimed to be an alchemist and to practice in the black arts in the castle tower.

The first John Milliton was succeeded by his son, also called John: he became involved with William Godolphin and an unnamed neighbour in the mysterious looting of the King of Portugal's ship the St. Anthony, which was wrecked at Gunwalloe in 1526, the rich cargo disappeared without any ttrace.

The matter was the subject of a Royal Commission?s investigation; despite this the cargo was never seen again.

This place is now sometimes called Dollar Cove ,and just occasionally a gold coin can still be found when the tide and the wind are right.

John Milliton managed to {restore} his name and in 1548 he became High Sheriff of Cornwall. At the time of; the Reformation, after the execution of Sir Humphrey Arundel for his part in the Prayerbook rebellion of 1549, Milliton became the Captain of St. Michael's Mount.


The alliance between the Millitons and the Godolphins was cemented by the marriage of William's daughter, Honor, to John?s son and heir. Much refurbishment of Pengersick appears to have taken place in celebration the event.

It is said that the two loathed each other. Marriage for the gentry of that time was a dynastic affair, love rarely came into it.

John died in 1549 but his family continued to prosper. William succeeded his father as Captain of the Mount. The Muster Roll for 1569 indicates that he must have taken precedence over Francis Godolphin from the list of contributions which the size of his property caused him to furnish.

One gelding with his furniture for a light horseman, corslet, pike, haquebut, morion, long bow and sheaf of arrows.

However, material success did not lead to long term security. William, the; only son of William and Honor was lost at sea in 1571. His father died almost immediately afterwards. The property was divided between the surviving daughters and with none of them having sufficient of the property to preserve it as a home, it fell into disuse and was dissipated amongst their successors, finally reverting to the Godolphins.

It seems that Honor lived on into the next century and married William Harris of Hayne in Breage Church on 15th December 1571. He succeeded; William Milliton as Governor of the Mount. (St Micheals Mount)"


"Devon. Delivered into court 3 Nov by Richard Calmady, gent.

Inquisition taken at Exeter Castle, 4 Oct 13 Eliz [1571], before Robert Carye, esq., John Eveleigh, esq., after the death of William Myllyton, esq.

, oath of William Harris, John Wray, John Crocker, John Dynham, esquires, John Cruse, John Norrye, John Heale of Heale, John Elford, William Battishill, Roger Tolsloe, gentlemen, Peter Ebbiswourthie, John Newcombe, sen., William Nobell, John Quicke,

Hugh Wikes, and Simon Hole: 

Who say that William Myllyton was seised of the advowson of the vicarage of St Hilary, co. Cornwall, held of the Queen's manor of Est Grenewich, in socage, by fealty:

- 2 messuages of lands (1) in Rosagan and Treuals,

roseagen and trerules) Cornwall, held of the Queen's manor of Helston in Keryer, Kerrier in the duchy of Cornwall, by fealty 3s 4d rent, in socage; worth by the year, clear, 10s.:


7 messuages in Treglistan Wartha, Treglistan Woolas, Treglistan Meadowe, Bondower, Nansevall Leytre, Cornwall, held of the manor of Luddisvan, by fealty, in socage; worth £2:

- one messuage in Carverie, Cornwall, held of John Stawell, esq.,the manor of Lamskeye, by 1d rent, worth , 20s

.John Myllyton, father of said William was seised of the manor of Pengirsicke, Cornwall,

Also the said John held the manors of Mewe, Walkehampton Knolle, Devon,

The said John made his will, dated at Pengersicke, 27 Nov 3 Edw VI [1549], and bequeathed to his son William Mylliton esq., and Honor his wife, all his goods lands, and made them his executors.

He died at Pengarsicke 1 Nov (3) 4 Edw VI [1550] (3).

  Honor yet holds the premises.

Pengarsicke, held of Joan Antron, widow:-

Trewoervas Veor,John Stawell, esq.,:-

Rynsye (Rinsey) now held of Martin Trewynnard, esq.,

Drenycke of the lords of the manor of Luddisvan:-

Mulvera, Chyenryves,; Enys Wartha, Enys Woolas, held of St Abyn esq.,   worth  26s 8d.:- 
  Marshasyowe Trenthno of the same:- St Just held of the Earl  Routlande, of his manor of Alwarton.

John Myllyton also held 2/3 and 1/3 of 2 messuages, in Trebowlans and 2/3 and 1/3 of 1 messuage, in Burlowena or St Hilary:-

Trebolans held of Francis Godolphyn, esq., of the manor of Godolphen; worth 12s.

Burlowena or St Hillarie held of John Trevylian, esq., of his manor of Peran Uthno, by fealty & rent of a red rose, in socage; worth, 10s:-

also 2/3 of 2 messuages, in Boswene Tredawa, Cornwall, held of John Levelis, esq., of his manor of Castellhornecke; worth 16 shillings /2."

William the son died at sea in early 1571 his father died almost immediately afterwards. The property was divided between the surviving daughters.

"Next heirs were the sisters of William Milliton the son.

  Avis Eresye, widow, aged 34; 
  Elizabeth wife of Thomas Trevuwith, aged 32 ( b about 1539) married three   times. 
  Grace wife of Nicholas Tregodicke aged 31;
  Anne wife of William Abbot, esq., of Hartland Abbey,aged 26; 
  Eleanor wife of John Bonython, aged 24;
  Philippa wife of John Lanyon, aged 23; 
  Mary wife of William Penhelacke, aged 22."
   Socage= a feudal tenure indicating a service   provided distinct from  military tenure or villeinage.
   Messuage = a dwelling with adjacent building   with curtilage for the use of the household.

   Curtilage =  a piece of   ground  belonging to the  dwelling.

'Full text of "The Bonython family of Maine" http://www.archive.org/stream/bonythonfamilyof00bank/bonythonfamilyof00bank_djvu.txt http://www.archive.org/details/bonythonfamilyof00bank http://www.archive.org/stream/bonythonfamilyof00bank#page/2/mode/1up Pedigree. 1. RALPH1 BONYTHON, of Bonython, Cornwall, paid a subsidy in the parish of Cury, 15 Henry VIII. He married twice, probably, (1) Elizabeth Downe, and (2) Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Erissey [Inq. Post. Mort. (James Erissey), 35 Hen. VIII. 62; comp. Coles Esch. Harl. Mss., No. 757, p. 38] and had issue: 2. RICHARD2 BONYTHON (Ralph1), also paid subsidy as above at the same time, but died the next year (1535), as his wife Jane, daughter and heir of John Durant of Pensinans, Cornwall, was a widow 16 Henry VIII., at Bodmin, where she was taxed. He had issue: '3. JOHN3 BONYTHON (Richard,2 Ralph1), paid a subsidy in the parish of Curry, 1559; he married Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of Job Myllayton of Pengerswick Castle, St. Breock, Kirrier ; Governor of St. Michael's Mount. [Lake, Parochial History of Cornwall, i. 134, 137.] The Myllaytons became possessed of Pengerswick Castle, temp. Henry VIII., and Job Myllayton was made governor of St. Michaels in 1547 in place of Humphrey Arundell of Helland, who was executed for treason. Issue : 4. i. RESKYMER, son and heir. 5. ii. RICHARD, the emigrant to Maine. iii. EDMOND. iv. WILLIAM. v. JOHN, Captain of Pendennis Castle. vi. ELIZABETH, m. Henry Pomeroy, Mayor of Tregony, 15 April, 1600. vii. ANNE, m. Walter Roscarrock, 15 Oct. 1606. 4. RESKYMER4 BONYTHON (John,3 Richard,2 Ralph1), was High Sheriff of Cornwall, 17 James I. [Tonkin, History of Cornwall, I. 287], and died 6 April, 1627 [lnq. Post Mort. 17 Chas. I. (pt. i.) No. 73] ; married Loveday, daughter of William Kendall of Lostwithiel [Carew, Survey of Cornwall (1602), p. 109], by whom he had issue : . . . 5. RICHARD4 BONYTHON (John,3 Richard,2 Ralph1), was baptized at St. Columb Major, 3 April, 1580, the second son of John3 Bonython of Bonython. It is possible that he is the Richard Bonython who was Comptroller of the Stannaries of Cornwall and Devonshire, 1603 and 1604, and keeper of the Gaol at Lostwithiel in 1603 [Calender of State Papers, Domestic]. He came to Saco in 1631, bringing with him, as a copartner of Thomas Lewis, a patent, dated 12 February, 1629-30, for a large tract of land four miles by eight upon the East side of the Saco River, of which livery of seizen was given 28 June, 1631, following. His associate had " already been at the charge to transport himself and others to take a view of New England for the bettering his experience in the advancing a plantation," as is recited in the grant. I suppose that his emigration to this almost unknown land may be explained by recalling that he was not in the line of succession to the family seat and honors, his brother Reskymar having in 1620 a son and grandson to inherit the property. I judge also that he had been a soldier in some of the French wars, perhaps serving with Sir Ferdinando Gorges, from whom he imbibed some of the enthusiasm of " that grave knight" respecting the New England. This seems to be confirmed by his universal title of " Captain Bonython," as well as by a letter from Richard Vines to John Winthrop, 25 January, 1640, in which he says : "It seems the governor [Dudley] makes a question that Sir Ferdinando Gorges was not in the Ffrench wars in his tyme. Capt. Bonython intreats me to write a word or two thereof,"* and then he proceeds to detail the facts as stated by him. This martial career secured to him an authoritative position among the early settlers, and he was undoubtedly a local magistrate under the " combination " government of Richard Vines, before the arrival in 1635 of Deputy Governor William Gorges. When this new executive officer arrived, he organized his first court 25 March, 1635-6, at the house of Captain Richard Bonython, who was then appointed one of the Provincial Commissioners, and in 1640, under the first charter, he was appointed one of the Councillors to Deputy Governor Thomas Gorges. We have no means of estimating his character except through negative testimony, and it is a legitimate inference that he must have been a man of ability and honor to have retained the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens for so many years. The court records are free from any charges impugning his moral,

  • 4 Mas.". Hist. Coll. vii. Wintlirop Papers.

http://www.archive.org/stream/bonythonfamilyof00bank#page/5/mode/1up social or political character, and to this is added the positive evidence that as a judge he spared not his own son from the utmost rigors of the law. One scrap of exemporaneous history affords us a sidelight into his character. Rev. Thomas Jenner, the Puritan minister at Saco [1640-6], writing to Governor Winthrop, says: "Mr Vines & the captaine [Richard Bonython] both have timely expressed themselves to be utterly against church-way, saying their patent doth prohibit the same." Parson Jenner's "church-way " did not suit loyal Captain Richard or Deputy Governor Vines, for the latter says : " I like Mr. Jenner his life and conversacion and also his preaching, if he would lett the Church of England alone ; that doth much trouble me to hear our mother church questioned for her impurity upon every occasion."* Richard Bonython served as Councillor through 1645, and died about 1650. [Folsom, Saco and Biddeford, 113] By wife, whose name I judge to be Lucretia, he had issue : _____________________ http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p2440.htm#i73339 'John Bonython 'M, b. circa 1536 Father Richard Bonython b. c 1517, d. 1535 Mother Jane Durant b. c 1518 ' John Bonython was born circa 1536 at of Curry, Cornwall, England. He married Eleanor Myllayton, daughter of Job Myllayton, on 21 June 1562 at Breage, Cornwall, England. 'Family Eleanor Myllayton b. c 1540 Child ◦Jane Bonython+ b. c 1587

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William Mylleton's Timeline

Pengarick Castle, Breage, Cornwall
Age 22
Age 24
December 1540
Age 25
Breage, Cornwall, , England
Age 25
Age 30
Age 30
Kerrier, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Age 34
Age 35