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.
Photo: Lt: 1902
Photo: Rt: page 1,
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
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
Sir William Robert Williams
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
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:
Vendors (trustees & legal owners)
Henry Grant Madan Conybeare
Justice of the Peace
Bixby Garnham Luard
Jacob Luard Pattisson
James Jollie Pattisson
Charles Augustus Vansittart Conybeare
Florence Annie Conybeare
Suffragette & wife of CAVC
|Charles Rule Williams
|| 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
When Zimapan was sold, the £170 would have gone for the benefit of Charles and
This transcription of the original 1902 Conveyance has been annotated in the
left margin by the author.
1. Ian K. Nelson,
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,
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.