A RARE and previously unknown manuscript copy of the history of Polperro is set to be presented to the local museum later this month.

The manuscript was written by Jonathan Couch in 1867 – it is a large bound volume written in Couch’s copperplate handwriting amounting to nearly 34,000 words.

Jonathan Couch was a surgeon and naturalist who lived in Polperro. He had written the book three years before his death in 1870.

It was said that the manuscript was acquired 150 years after it was written at a sale of a private library of Cornish books last year and had belonged to Mevagissey born Frank Brewer.

A spokesperson said from the Polperro Family History Society said: “[It] is almost certainly an early draft of the History of Polperro that was eventually published in 1871 by his son, Thomas Quiller Couch.”

“The two versions differ markedly however. Couch’s original draft includes chapters on the storms of 1817 and 1824, the harbours and piers, fishery, trade and religious history, much of which does not appear in the final published edition.

The volume was first presented to the Polperro Museum by Jeremy Rowett Johns, the author of several books on Polperro history including a biography of Jonathan Couch, Doctor By Nature, published in 2010 by the Polperro Heritage Press.

The Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing will be officially presented with the manuscript on April 19 during an annual gathering of the Polperro Family History Society.