The Zimapanners







The 1902 Indenture 
  The Conybeares—Rule Williams 
The Conybeares sell Zimapan
On 21 July 1902, Charles Augustus Vansittart Conybeare and his wife Florence Annie Conybeare (formerly Strauss), as beneficial owners of the 'Tregullow Offices', aka Zimapan, instructed the legal owners-cum-trustees of the property (the vendors), Henry Grant Madan Conybeare and Isaac Seligman, to sell the land and house on behalf of the Conybeares.1

This would also have involved requesting its tenant, a prominent member of the William's mining family, who Conybeare would have known and met, to vacate the property. 
       Front of 1902 Indenture1st page 1902 Indenture
Photo: Lt: 1902 Indenture, outer cover        Photo: Rt: page 1, 1902 Indenture 

The Tenant

Tregullow baronet rented Zimapan

According to the 1902 Conveyance, the tenant in question was Sir William Robert Williams. The property that he was occupying and renting from the MP Charles Conybeare, is described as follows:

Image: Extract from 1902 Conveyance

A "dwellinghouse and offices commonly called, or known as, the Tregullow Offices, situate near Tregullow in the parish of Gwennap in the County of Cornwall, being part of the Manor of St Day, lately in the occupation of Sir William Robert Williams, Baronet, but then the tenant of the Vendors...".2 
Sir William Robert Williams was the 3rd Baronet of Tregullow, and this conveyance clearly indicates that he was renting the 'Tregullow Offices' from Charles Conybeare3, most probably between ±1891-1902. The property was used as a mine office for the firm Williams & Sons.4 
Sir William was the great grandson of John Williams 3rd, the man who built and first lived in Scorrier House. Sir William, who had to vacate the property in mid-1902 because the Conybeares decided to sell the property, returned to his primary residence in Somerset where died shortly afterwards on 16 May 1903, just 43 years old.
Map of the Manor of St Day
The property was "part of PP5 in St Day Manor Map and No. 176 on the government ordnance map of the said Parish and contained about one rood and one perch of land more or less".5

The Interested Parties

The 1902 conveyance refers to four sets of interested parties:
1st Part 
Vendors (trustees & legal owners)
Henry Grant Madan Conybeare
Justice of the Peace
Isaac Seligman
Merchant banker
2nd Part 
Mortgagees (investors)
Bixby Garnham Luard
Jacob Luard Pattisson
Civil servant
James Jollie Pattisson
3rd Part 
Beneficial owners 
Charles Augustus Vansittart Conybeare
Florence Annie Conybeare
Suffragette & wife of CAVC
4th Part 
Charles Rule Williams  Mining engineer
Purchase price

The Purchaser
Mining engineer 
The purchaser was Charles Rule Williams, a Cornish mining engineer7, who was born in Gwennap in 1849.
Mother was a Rule
He was not related to the famous Williams family of Scorrier but his mother was a Rule.
Emigrated to Mexico
Charles Williams emigrated to Mexico during the 1870s when Cornish mining was in decline, and returned years later to Scorrier to purchase the 'Tregullow Offices' and rename them Zimapan Villa, after a small mining town in central Mexico of the same name.8


The Moneylenders
For details on these investors, click one of the following biographies:

The Beneficial Owners
For details on Charles Conybeare and his suffragette wife Florence, click a link:

Charles A.V. Conybeare: 'The Miners' Friend'
Florence Annie Conybeare: The woman from Bleak House

The Mineral Reservation

The 1902 Indenture contains a clause that entitles the owner of this mineral reservation to access the property and to recover, remove and transport any minerals found under Zimapan. That person is not the same person as the purchaser of Zimapan.

Mineral rights
These mineral rights, conferred under the mineral reservation, would effectively entitle the owner or owners of those rights to do whatever they liked with any minerals that may lie under the land belonging to Zimapan, and would be the property of the owner or owners of the mineral rights.

Reservation repeated
The 1902 conveyance contains a mineral reservation which is repeated in subsequent transfers of the property. The reservation effectively excludes the transfer of any valuable underground mineral rights to future purchasers of Zimapan.

"Under English land law, it is customary to repeat the descriptions, restrictions and reservations in subsequent conveyances". All the early conveyances contained exactly the same mineral rights. Consequently, the mineral rights contained in the 1902 conveyance probably repeated a similar reservation in an earlier conveyance, and "therefore it is not possible to establish who [ed. now] owns those mineral rights.9

Owners of mineral rights
As the Trustees of the Lords of the Manor of St Day have registered all the subsoil of roads (see dispute about Zimapan's Lay-by), it seems quite likely that they also registered the subsoil of the grounds on which Zimapan lies, especially given as there is a disused access to an old mine shaft on the property known as Trenane's Shaft (see Mining Plan of 1997)

Proceeds of Sale
Loan still outstanding
It is clear from the wording of the 1902 Indenture, that the proceeds of the sale were not used to offset part of the principal sum originally borrowed and still owed by Charles Conybeare (£3,000), as that amount still remained outstanding on the whole of the lands, tenements and hereditaments that Charles Conybeare had mortgaged in 1891.
However, all interest due on the principal sum borrowed had been paid to the mortgagees up to the date of this 1902 Indenture, for which the three surviving mortgagees had acknowledged receipt.10
When Zimapan was sold, the £170 would have gone for the benefit of Charles and Florence Conybeare.

Annotated Transcription
This transcription of the original 1902 Conveyance has been annotated in the left margin by the author.


1. Ian K. Nelson, 2009.
2. Extract from the 1902 Indenture.
3. The Indenture indicates that Conybeare must have rented the 'Tregullow Offices' to Sir William, because it describes the premises as having been "lately in the occupation of Sir WRW".
4. The Book of St Day, Joseph Mills & Paul Annear, 2003.
5. Abstract of 1930 Conveyance recited in the Abstract of Title of Mrs Daisy May Aberdeen to the freehold properly known as Zimapan, 1944
6. In 1902, £170 would have the same spending power as £9,700.20 today (2009), TNA, 2009.
7. Marriage certificate, 7 Dec 1872.
8. The connection confirmed in The Cornish in Latin America, Dr Sharron P. Schwartz, 1999, PhD database no. 2344.
9. Ian K. Nelson, 2009.
10. See the 1902 Indenture.
11.The signature of Charles Rule Williams is not on this particular indenture. Ian K. Nelson believes that CRW's signature will be on a copy of this conveyance that would have been handed to CRW on the day of sale.