Lord-Lieutenant presents Trelawny Plate Award 2024

Posted in Honours & Awards by Jenni Hosen on 7th July 2024

Edward Richardson, the Farming Advisor to Farm Cornwall has received the Trelawny Plate Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Cornwall, especially to the farming community at its heart.

The Trelawny Plate Award is awarded every two years to the person judged by a senior and representative panel “to have contributed most to the spirit of Cornwall”.

The plate itself originally belonged to Bishop Trelawny who was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1688.  The three hundred year old pewter dinner plate has been donated by the Bishop’s descendant Sir John Trelawny and is kept in the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. The recipient of the award receives a replica plate created by the St Justin company from Penzance. 

Farm Cornwall – originally the Penwith Farming Forum – was established in 2001 after a group of people involved in agriculture recognised that, with the increasing pressure on farming, both locally and nationally, an advisory service, free at source, was needed. When Edward Richardson was appointed in 2009, it was becoming obvious that the growing social issues affecting society, were also creating similar problems within the farming community. The family farm, once the backbone of agriculture nationally, was coming under increased pressure, agriculturally, financially and socially. Edward’s background and experience made him the obvious choice to meet the profound and complex challenges ahead.

Since then, Edward Richardson has worked tirelessly to help farming families who have found themselves in difficulty with the dramatic changes to the agricultural landscape. His work, up and down the County, helps farmers resolve their farming issues while also helping them and their families struggling with their mental health, financial problems, planning for the next generation and much else. Without Edward’s assuring presence, things would be much worse for many of these family farms.

After the announcement of the Award, Edward said: “I am deeply honoured to receive this award, I have enjoyed every minute of the work Farm Cornwall does. Outside of my own family it has been the most rewarding role I have ever undertaken”.

The Plate was presented to Edward Richardson at a special Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration at Pelynt Church on Thursday 4th July 2024Around 200 guests attended the service, representing all walks of Cornish life, and farming in particular. A Citation about the work of the recipient was read out by Jeffrey Thomas, representing the farming community….  “With over 600 farms currently on his books, we can only imagine the number of people whose lives he has touched. The number who faced what seemed insoluble problems, suddenly find that following the visits from Edward, there are always ways forward and there is a future for them and their family.”

Making the presentation was Colonel Sir Edward Bolitho, Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall, who said: “Farming is a vital part of the Cornish economy and way of life; it’s also a really tough profession.  I have seen what Edward Richardson has achieved  and know that it is truly life-changing and life-saving work.  He hugely deserves the award of the Trelawny Plate.”

Present at the service were Sir John Trelawny Bt, 14th Baronet, and his family. Sir John said: “Yet another superb recipient, Edward Richardson is a stalwart in the Farming Community – a community found right at the heart of the Cornish way of life.”

As part of the celebration, the Pelynt Male Voice Choir, known as “Trelawny’s Men”, lead the congregation in Robert Stephen Hawker’s The Song of the Western Men – Cornwall’s unofficial national anthem and more fondly referred to simply as Trelawny.

Jonathan Trelawny was born in the parish of Pelynt in 1650 and ordained in 1673. He was one of seven bishops charged with high treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London for refusing to implement King James II’s Declaration of Indulgence granting religious tolerance to Catholics.  Bishop Trelawny was held for three weeks, then tried and acquitted. He died in 1721 and was interred in the family vault at Pelynt Church.

Related Posts