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Basset
Basset
376

But, once settled in the county, they have steadfastly remained there, at Tehidy, near Camborne, up to the present time; and the bones of many generations of Bassets lie in Illogan church. They intermarried with Trenouth, Trengove, Trelawny, Marrys, Enys, Carveth, Godolphin, Prideaux, Grenville, Pendarves, Rashleigh, and others, many of which families are now extinct, and their blood is thus intermingled with that of most of the prominent Cornish fnmilies. Amongst the early Cornish Bassets may be cited Sir Ralph, who was summoned from Cornwall to attend, with other knights, Edward I in the Welsh wars at Worcester in 1277, and it was probably he or one of his sons who obtained from Edward III a patent for certain markets and fairs for the neighbouring town of Redruth, He also procured a license to embattle his manor house of Tehidy in the year 1330–1 (Rot. Pat. 4 Ed. III, mem. 10), and Leland mentions it as 'a castelet or pile of Bassets.' The name of a William Basset appears in the time of Edward II (1324) amongst the 'nomina hominorum ad arma in com. Cornubiæ' (Carew), and another Basset of the same name held a military fee at Tehidy and Trevalga in 3rd Henry IV. During the reigns of the 6th, 7th, and 8th Henries the Bassets were frequently sheriffs of Cornwall; and during the reign of Edward IV, according to William of Worcester, a Sir John Basset held the castle, the ruins of which still stand, on the summit of Carn Brea, not far from Tehidy. Their 'right goodly lordship,' as Leland calls it, extended over the parishes of Illogan, Redruth, and Camborne, the advowsons of which pertained to the manor of Tehidy, and the livings were occasaionally held by some member of the family; but their wealth has in later times been mainly derived from the enormous mineral riches of this part of Cornwall, albeit they likewise had considerable property in the north-eastern part of the county. The names of the earlier Bassets are little known in history, save that in the time of Henry VII a John Basset, then sheriff of Cornwall, found his posse commitatus too weak to suppress 'the Flammock rebellion.' About the middle of the sixteenth century the Bassets seem to have divided into two branches, one becoming a Cornish and the other a Devon family, the latter of which became extinct at the close of the last century; but the Cornish branch was continued by George Basset, M.P., whose son married a Godolphin, and whose mother was a Grenville of Stow. Amongst their descendants were the two most distinguished members of the Basset family, viz. Sir Francis, vice-admiral and sheriff of Cornwall [q. v.] in the time of Charles I and another Sir Francis first Baron de Dunstanville [q. v.] in the time of George III. The little port of Portreath was formerly named after this family Basset's cove The Bassets were staunch royalists during the civil wars and held St Michael's Mount till 1660 when it was acquired from them by the St. Aubyns. A most amusing account of Francis Basset (under the pseudonym of Bassanio), grandfather of the first Baron de Dunstanville, and a sketch of Tehidy life 150 years ago, will be found in Mrs. Delany's 'Autobiography.' vol i. passim, and vol. iii p 431

The present representative of the family is Gustavus Lambart Basset, Esq., of Tehidy (late lieutenant of the 72nd Highlanders).

[Notices of the Basset family will be found in Playfair's British Family Antiquity (1809), ii. 430, and a very full pedigree in Vivian's Annotated Visitations of Cornwall in course of publication. See also in Mrs. Delany, iii. 450, iv. 300., v. 359.]

W. H. T.


BASSET, ALAN (d. 1232–3), baron, was a younger son of Thomas Basset of Hedendon, Oxfordshire [see Basset, Thomas]. In favour alike with Richard I and with John, he received from the former the lordships of Woking and Mapledurwell, and from the latter those of Wycombe and Berewick. With his brothers Gilbert and Thomas he accompanied John to Northampton, when the king of Scots did his homage (22 Nov. 1200), which he tested (Rog. Hov. i. 142), and continued throughout John's reign in close attendance on the court, accompanying the king to Ireland in 1210 (Rot. de Præst.) and to Runnymede (15 June 1215), his name, with that of his brother Thomas, appearing in Magna Carta among those of the king's counsellors. At the accession of Henry III he was one of the witnesses to his re-issue of the charter (11 Nov. 1216), and on the royalist reaction his loyalty was rewarded by his being occasionally employed in the Curia Regis and sent to France on a political mission in 1219–20. He also acted as sheriff of Rutland from 1217 to 1229. Dying in 1232–3 (Fin. 17 H. III, m. 10) he left three sons: Gilbert, his heir [q. v.]; Fulk, afterwards bishop of London [q. v.]; and Philip, afterwards justiciary of England [q. v.]

[Dugdale's Baronage, i. 383; Foss's Judges of England (1848), ii. 216.]

J. H. R.

BASSET, Sir FRANCIS (d. 1645) sheriff and vice-admiral of Cornwall, was recorder of St. Ives, and presented to that borough, in 1640, a loving-cup, bearing the following inscription:—