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"I've lost all faith in this world of ours and my legacy. We both know Francis isn't the man you are. Regard to him for me, and our family, and our good name."
—Charles's to Ross Poldark

Charles William Poldark, Esquire JP (1719[1] - 1787[2]) was the Master of Trenwith until his death. He was the nephew of Agatha Poldark and the father of Francis and Verity Poldark.


Early life

Charles William Poldark was born in 1719, the second child of Claude and Matilda Poldark (née Peter). In 1748, Claude died and Charles became head of the Poldark family. He inherited Trenwith and Wheal Grambler.[1]

He later married Verity Michell and had five children, Verity (b. 1758), Francis (b. 1760), Charles, Claude and Robert Poldark. Verity and Francis survived childhood. In 1773, Charles became a widow.[1]

He grew to be disappointed in his son because he thought Francis lacked the will and drive to carry on the family name and success. He had long hoped he would learn to be like his nephew, Ross Poldark. He was very close to his daughter, who he treated like a servant and expected to care for him. Verity was a spinster, and Charles would tease her about it.[3]

1783 - 1785

In March 1783, Joshua Poldark was dying and he called for Charles to go to Nampara. He told Charles he was worried he wouldn't see Ross get home. Joshua soon died. Ross had fought in the Revolutionary War and was eventually thought to be dead.[4]

In October 1783, Charles was delighted at the engagement of his son to Elizabeth Chynoweth, even though she and Ross used to be love. He held a dinner in celebration of their impending wedding at Trenwith. He was shocked when Ross returned home during the dinner and he was worried it would ruin the engagement, and cause Francis to lose further confidence.[3]

He brought the wedding forward to secure the engagement, and tried to bribe Ross in the hope he would leave Cornwall. Charles was concerned about Ross and wanted to encourage him to make good choices and begin a new life. Charles later attended Francis and Elizabeth's wedding and held a reception that Trenwith. He was worried about Francis when Agatha gave a reading vaguely saying Ross would rise and Francis would fall, because it was fair in love and war.[3]

Charles goes to speak to Ross and tells him he was sorry he had a better deal in life than Joshua, but he will pay for Ross to go elsewhere and begin a new life. Ross told Charles he would consider doing that should plans for Nampara fail. He later accepted the bribe and was going to leave, but Francis was upset at Charles until he pointed out that Francis could lose Elizabeth if he stayed.[3]

Ross later decided to stay in Nampara[3], and gave Charles the bribe back.[5]

In 1784, Verity fell in love with a captain of the navy, Andrew Blamey, he was unhappy with the match. He knew of Blamey's troubled past, and he and Francis tried to persuade Verity not to pursue him, which caused Blamey to leave Cornwall.[6] Charles became a grandfather when Francis and Elizabeth had a son, Geoffrey Charles Poldark.[7]


When Charles became unwell, he confided in Ross that he was worried Francis would lead the family, their land and their mines to ruin. He made Ross promise to keep keep an eye on things, believing he had the talent to uphold the family name. He passed away shortly after, in 1787.[8]

Notes and sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 See this image
  2. 2.0 2.1 In Ross Poldark, Book 3, Charles died in September 1787. Winston Graham mistakenly put a death date of 1786 in the Poldark family tree.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Poldark, Series 1, Episode 1
  4. Ross Poldark, Prologue
  5. Poldark, Series 1, Episode 2
  6. Poldark, Series 1, Episode 2
  7. Poldark, Series 1, Episode 3
  8. Poldark, Series 1, Episode 4