Nicholas Boson - Kernewek Speaker

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Few Cornishmen of the 17th century took the trouble to study their dying native language, but Nicholas Boson of Newlyn was probably the most important of these.

Nicholas was the grandson of a merchant and son of a gentleman. His family are known to have been established in Newlyn as early as 1584, when there are records of land being purchased by the Bosons. Nicholas married well and is known to have lived in a mansion house. This student of the Cornish language also had links with another prominent Cornish scholar of the day - Richard Angwin of St Just.

Around 1690, Boson warned that if nothing were done for the Cornish language it would completely decay and soon cease to exist. He said it was still spoken around parts of the west of Cornwall. In fact he was correct and in 1777, Dolly Pentreath, of nearby Mousehole, died taking the Cornish Language with her.

In the 20th century revival of Cornish, the writings of Nicholas Boson have formed the basis of new studies of the language.