Cornish Saints and Sinners: The Battle of St. Breage

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The Legend of the Battle of St. Breage, Cornwall
by J. Henry Harris

B A T T L E  O F
S T. B R E A G E

Saints V Piskies

The saints and piskies had a battle-royal at St. Breage. A three-line whip was sent over to Ireland and, as soon as it was known that there was a little fighting to do and a cracked skull almost certain for the glory of God, the saints sent up a shout, straightened their blackthorn staffs and came across the water in whole battalions. The cause was popular. St. Patrick had driven the snakes into the sea, so why not the saints drive the piskies out of Cornwall? Hooroo! Paddy's blood was up and he was spoiling for a bit of fun. The saints had the best of the fight, but so much blood was spilt on both sides that the sand was turned to stone. There is no other such stone in the district, and St. Breage had a block carved into a cross, and set up as a memorial which may be seen to this day. It now has a hole through it though, made by the Giant Golons who wore it on his watch-chain until the date of his conversion.

When anything has to be accounted for in this land, put it down to the saints or the piskies, or Old Artful, and you're sure to be right. Nothing ever took place in the ordinary course of things in Cornwall.

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Edited from "Cornish Saints & Sinners" (1906)  (T) 302.234.8904    (F) 302.234.9154    Copyright 2000, LLC