When West Castick first came into the ownership of the Luskeys may be lost in the mists of time. We know that in 1703 Richard Luskey bought Calstock Wood from John Jackman of St Cleer. We also know that the Luskey family had been in the area for at least a century before that. There are burials at St Torney’s and even older wills in the Cornwall County Archive that show Luskey family members in the parish around 1600. Three of the burials have surviving gravestones.
Gravestones in St Torney’s Churchyard of (L-R) William Luskey 1699 - 1776, John Luskey 1737 - 1816 and John Luskey 1780 - 1867
Note: "Calstock" on these gravestones refers to an earlier name of "Castick" in this parish of North Hill and not Calstock on the River Tamar.
click on the images for a larger image
An extensive Luskey family tree can be seen as a pdf here.
The Luskey family feature in the narrative “A Stranger In The Village”.
The infamous local dispute of 1758 regarding the use of Twelve Men’s Moor was caused by the overgrazing of the common land on the moor by Richard Luskey (1669-1776) of North Calstock. The conflict was referred to Parliament for resolution.
West Castick had previously been known as North Calstock but the name changed slowly over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. West Castick was in the possession of the Luskey family until it was sold in 1890. The family name came to an end in the parish with the death of John Luskey in 1867. John’s widow moved away and his half brother, Richard, was living at nearby Knighton in Lewannick. West Castick remained in Luskey possession and was rented by Richard Luskey to tenant farmers; this provided an income for the trust fund from which John Luskey’s widow derived an income.
It was during the period of the tenancy, before the sale of West Castick in 1890, that Wheal Luskey was operational. This was a speculative mine on the banks of the River Lynher due west of Trebartha Village at West Castick.
John Luskey (1780-1867)
John Luskey was baptised in St Torney’s in 1780. He married Joanna Venner of Luffincott in Devon and they lived for many years at West Castick Farm. He also farmed at Westaway in Trewithy. Joanna died in 1862 when she was 78 and John was 82; they had no children. John remarried in Plymouth four years later. His bride was Jane Anne Hicks from Lanteglos-by-Fowey who was just 22 years old and his nephew’s wife’s cousin. Shortly before the marriage William Grylls Adams of Badharlick in Egloskerry wrote to his sister Grace, saying
“Mr Luskey of Castick who is 86 is to be married to Miss Hicks, a rather a gay young lady, just 22 years of age".
Whether this marriage was one of financial convenience for the family or had a more romantic element has not been recounted but it was newsworthy. John died in December 1867 and is buried alongside his first wife in St Torney’s. Jane remarried in 1869 in Fowey and moved to London and the Home Counties. She died in 1893 in Essex.
An advertisement for the sale of timber just before John Luskey’s death can be seen here.