During her lifetime Dorothy would likely have heard of Captain Stephen Hutchens.
Baptised in St Pol de Leon (then known as St Paul) in 1668, he joined the Navy in Plymouth in 1688, aged 20. England was at war with France and in 1704 Hutchens was appointed Captain of the Scarborough; tasked with escorting merchant ships to England and the Caribbean. In 1708 he became Captain to a bigger ship, the Portland.
Returning to Jamaica after an escorting journey in January 1709, Hutchens captured a French ship and received a £6,000 reward. In April 1709 the Portland was sent to patrol the Gulf of Mexico and Hutchens and his crew single-handedly captured two French ships. This resulted in a reward of £18,000.
However, in August of that year Captain Hutchens fell ill and died, not enjoying the fortune and reputation he had amassed. Nevertheless, he had bequeathed £100 to Paul Church and £600 to provide for six poor men and six poor women of the parish, resulting in Hutchens’ House which continues supporting people today.
The church commemorates Captain Hutchens with a plaque in both English and Cornish.