In 1776, William Bodinar, who had learnt Cornish from fishermen, wrote a letter in Cornish which was probably the last prose in the language.
However, the last verse was the Cranken Rhyme, written in the late 19th century by John Davey of Boswednack.
Joseph Loth viewed Cornish and Breton as being two dialects of the same language, claiming that "Middle Cornish is without doubt closer to Breton as a whole than the modern Breton dialect of Quiberon is to that of Saint-Pol-de-Léon." Cornish evolved from the Common Brittonic spoken throughout Britain south of the Firth of Forth during the British Iron Age and Roman period.
As a result of westward Anglo-Saxon expansion, the Britons of the southwest were separated from those in modern-day Wales and Cumbria.
In his Survey of Cornwall, published in 1602, Richard Carew writes: [M]ost of the inhabitants can speak no word of Cornish, but very few are ignorant of the English; and yet some so affect their own, as to a stranger they will not speak it; for if meeting them by chance, you inquire the way, or any such matter, your answer shall be, ' The Late Cornish period from 1578 to about 1800 has fewer sources of information on the language but they are more varied in nature.