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earliest PertoH to t|)e j^vtsmt dCime, 




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'H18TOBT OF Detoh;' 'HtsTOBT OF Devoxport;* 'Tavistock Parish Rcoords • 


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THE first edition of this work, issued in 1872, was the 
first published history of Plymouth. Having for some 
time been out of print, a new issue has been called for ; and 
in the course of preparation that new issue has become 
essentially a new work. Partly as the result of the 
appearance of a complete history of the old town; partly 
in consequence of continued research ; and partly owing to 
fortunate accidents which have brought to light sources of 
information lost for centuries, the materials for the history 
of Plymouth are far bulkier and more trustworthy now 
than they were twenty years ago. Moreover, the Archives 
of the Corporation, which are and must remain the most 
important of our authorities, have been systematically 
examined and arranged, and are more easily accessible. 
^ Hence floods of light have been thrown upon some of the 

^ most obscure points of local history, correcting many errors 

^ due to imperfect information, and filling in the details of 

^^ many a picture hitherto sketched in faintest outline. 
. For nearly a quarter of a century the author has been 

engaged in the elucidation of the local record. The subject 
^ ^ has been continuously before him. And whether from 

'^ the Municipal Archives; from the State Papers of various 

classes ; from deeds and other documents in private hands ; 
or from works of reference tested by material facts; he 
has been constantly adding to his historical data. 

The result is given in the present volume, mainly re- 
written, twice the size of its predecessor. It would have 

A 2 


been more easy to have made it much larger: but there is 
such a thing as historical proportion ; and to enlarge upon 
topics of minor importance simply because more information 
is available concerning them, or because they seem to bulk 
more largely in a nearer view, would be out of place in 
dealing with a civic life of centuries. 

Wherever possible the statements made are based upon 
original and contemporary documents; and Local Records 
are the authority for three-fourths of the following pages. 
Many an error in assertion or inference would have been 
avoided could these Eecords have been examined fully and 
accurately half a century ago ; and their recent accessibility 
has made correction a plain duty. 

As a rule, proper names are spelt as in the authorities 
cited; and a little repetition has been found desirable to 
maintain historic connection in different sections of the 

With few exceptions the numerous additional illustrations 
are reproductions of original drawings by the author's son, 
Mr. R Hansford Worth, c.E., prepared specially for this 

Where such a multiplicity of details is dealt with 
absolute accuracy is imattainable ; but it is hoped that 
present errors will be both few and unimportant; and that 
the main points in the history of Plymouth may at length 
be regarded as resting on secure foundations. 

Christmas, 1890, 



List of Illubtbationb 



DoMSSDAT : The Suttonb 

BisiNO Fame and Fobtunes . 

The Datb of Qood Queen Bess 


The Pltmouth Ck)MPANT 

The Sieqe 



Deyelopment, 1650-1890 

Paruamentabt Bepbebentation 




Local Qoyebnment 














Chabitt and Philanthropy . 

Trade, Cohherce, and Manufacture . 

The Town : Its Growth and Buildings 



The Borough Water Works . 

Literature, Science, and Art 


List of Subscribers 








Guildhall and St. Andrew Tower . FrotUx 


Flint Nodule, Cattedown Cave 


Patoolithic Plymouthians— Cattedown Cave 


Deer-horn Pick, Keyham . 


Stillman Street Kistvaen . 


British Coins 



Figure of Mercury, Hooe . 


Plan of Burial-place, Stonehouse 


Section of „ 


Plymouth, temp. Henry VIII. 


„ ' „ Elizabeth 


Statue of Sir Francis Drake 


• Trve Mapp ' of Plymouth at the Siege 


Victualling Office 


Winstanley's Eddystone Lighthouse . 




Smeaton's „ „ 




Seal of Sutton . 


Original Seal of Plymouth . 


Original Mayor's Seal 


Adapted Arms of Plymouth 


Correct Arms of Plymouth 

. 198 

Sparke*s Gateway at Friary 


Friary Court in 1830 

. 229 

• Resurrection ' Carving 

. 231 




*Pi78ten House,* The . ... 23? 

St. Katharine Chapel .... 

. 233 

Old Building on Mewstone .... 

. . 236 

Ghanoel, Charles Church . 

. 244 

Entrance of the Orphans Aid 

. 273 

Seal of Orphans Aid . 

. 277 

Hospital of Poor's Portion . 

. 289 

Seal of Poor's Portion 

. 291 

Semi-Korman Arch 

. 297 

Church Allej and Almshouse, 1860 . 

. 302 

Entrance of Catharine Lane from Bedford Street, 1637 

. 305 

Gateway of Jory's Almshouses 

. 307 

Lanyon's Exchange 

. 330 

Stonehouse Bridge and Feny House, 1774 

. 337 

Old Custom House, Parade 

. 348 

A Comer of Sutton Pool . 

. 347 

Plymouth China Marks 

. 364 

* Rose and Crown,' Old Town Street . 

. 366 

Plan of Plymouth in 1762 . 

. 369 

Old House, Kotte Street . 

. 371 

St. Andrew Street 

. .376 

Turk's Head .... 

. 377 

Palace Court .... 

. 378 

Pins Lane .... 

. 379 

Royal Hotels Theatre, and Clock Tower 

. 386 

Entrance to Church Alley from Whimple Street, 1800 

. 390 

Jacobean Guildhall .... 

. 392 

Guildhall, Southern Block 

. 396 


. 403 

Gateway of Castle, 1887 

. 406 

Bear's Head 

. 413 

Hoe Gate 

. 418 

Old Town Gate . 

. 419 

Batten Tower . 

. 421 

Citadel Gate 

. 422 

Old Town Conduit 

. 450 




The ghost of ages dim.— JETotcrt^ 

LIKE the history of most nations, but unlike that of 
most towns, the history of Plymouth begins in the 
r^on of myth and legend. There is no certain record of 
its existence much before the Norman Conquest; but 
tradition, in connection with its most prominent physical 
feature, the Hoe, would carry us back to extremely remote 

Brutus the Trojan. 

To Geoflfrey of Monmouth, least trustworthy of the old 
chroniclers, we owe the story of the settlement of Britain 
by Brute or Brutus, the Trojan, somewhere about 1200 B.c. 
Brutus and his companions are said to have landed at 
Totnes, then included in the kingdom of Cornwall ; and to 
have found the country so pleasant that, despite its giant 
dwellers, they determined to make it their abode. One day, 
when Brutus and his friends were holding a festival to the 
gods, they were attacked by the giants in forca After a 
terrible struggle the Trojans got the upper hand, and killed 
all their assailants except the leader, Goemagot, who was 
preserved for a combat with Corinaeus, one of the chiefs of 
the Trojan party. Goemagot was * twelve cubits high, and 
of such strength that with one stroke he pulled up an oak 
a3 it had b^n a hazel wand.' Nevertheless Corinaeus, 
'holding it a diversion to encounter giants,' met him 
manfully. Goemagot broke three of his opponent's ribs, 
and this so enraged Corinseus, that, taking the giant upon his 



shoulders, he ran with him to the shore, and 'getting upon 
the top of a high rock, hurled down the savage monster into 
the sea, where, falling on the sides of craggy rocks, he was 
torn to pieces, and coloured the waves with his blood.' This 
high rock was the Hoe, thence called Lam-Goemagot or 
*Goemagot's Leap.' There is, however, a version that the 
struggle took place at Dover. 

Drayton quaintly rhymes the l^end in his Polyctbion : 

Then, fomging tins lie, long promised them before, 
Amongst the ragged Cleeues those monstroos Giants songht : 
Who (of their (teadful kind) f appaU the Troians, brought 
Great Goamagog, an Cake that by the roots could teare : 

So mightie were (that time) the men who lined there : 
But, for the vse of Armes he did not vnderstand, 
^xoept some rock or tree, that comming next to hand 
Hee raz'd out of the earth to execute his rage) 
Hee challenge makes for strength, and offereth there hu gage. 
Which Corin taketh vp, to answer by and by, 
Ypon this sonne of Earth his vtmost power to try. 

All doubtful to which part the victorie would goe, 
ypon that loftieplace at PUnmouth, call'd the Hoe^ 
Tnose mightie Wrastlers met ; with many an irefull looke 
Who threatned, as the one hold of the other tooke : 
BuL grapled, glowing fire shines in their sparkling eyes. 
And, wMlst at length of arme one from the other lyes, 
Their lusty sinewes swell like cables, as they striue : 
Their feet such trampling make, as though they forc't to dtiue 
A thunder out of earth ; which staggered with the weight : 
Thus, eithers vtmost force vrg'd to the greatest height 
Whilst one vpon his hip the other seekes to lift, 
And th' adverse (by a tume^ doth from his cunning shift, 
Their short-fetcht troubled breath a hollow noise doth make. 
Like bellowes of a Forge. Then Corin vp doth take 
The Giant twixt the grayns ; and voyding of his hould 
(Before his combrous feet he well recouer could) 
Pitcht head-long from the hill ; as when a man doth throw 
An Axtree, that with sleight deliured from the toe 
Bootes vp the yeelding earth : so that his violent fall, 
Strooke Neptune with such strength, as shouldred him withall ; 
That where the monstrous wanes like Mountaines late did stand, 
They leap't out of the place, and left tiie bared sand 
To gaze vpon wide heauen : so great a blowe it gaue. 
For which, the conquering Brute, on Oorineus braue 
This home of land bestow'd, and markt it with his name ; 
Of Corin, Cornwall call'd, to his immortall £une.^ 

And so Spencer in the Faerie Qtieene : 

That well can witness yet unto this dav 
The Western Hogh, besprinkled with the gore 
Of mighty Ooemot, 

^ The two gigantic figures in the Guildhall of the city of London, 
popularly called Gog and Magog, really present Corinnus and Goomagot 


Few in the present day will contend for the truth of this 
story. Once it was a cardinal point of historical belief, and 
strengthened by arguments which somewhat remind us of 
the citation of the bricks laid by Jack Cade's father in the 
chimney of Smith's house, for proof of Cade's royal descent, 

Carew,^ who nevertheless had his doubts about the whole 
business, backs up the claims of Plymouth as the scene of 
this *wrastling pull' against Dover. The statements that 
Brutus landed at Totnes in Cornwall, and that Cornwall 
was the province bestowed upon Corinaeus, he holds to imply 
that ' this wrastling was likely to have chaunced ther sooner 
than elsewhere.' He considers also that the great activity 
of Devon and Comishmen in the faculty of wrestling seems 
* to derive them a speciall pedigree from that grand wrastler 
CoriruBus.' He adds — and here we first light upon fact in 
connection with the story — 'Moreover upon the Hawe at 
PlymrrunUh, there is cut out in the ground the pourtrayture 
of two men, the one bigger, the other lesser, with clubbes in 
their hands (whom they terme Gog Magog), and (as I have 
learned) it is renewed by order of the Townesmen when 
cause requireth, which should inferre the same to be a 
monument of some moment.' The Corporation records 
confirm this, containing entries referring to the re-cutting 
and renewal of these figures as early as 1494. The eflBgies 
were incised in the turf, after the fashion of the famous 
White Horse in Berkshire, whose 'scouring' Tom Brown 

Westcote (1630), also mentions their existence. 'Here 
[the Hoe] the townsmen pass their time of leisure in 
walking, bowling, and other pleasant pastimes, in the side 
whereof is cut the portraiture of two men of the largest 
volume, yet the one surpassing the other every way ; these 
they name to be Corinaeus and Grogmagog ; intimating the 
wrestling to be here between these two champions ; and the 
steep rocky cliff affording aptitude for such a cast.'* 

This interesting memorial of antiquity was destroyed 
when the Citadel was erected, about the year 1671. 

It is not easy to define the exact connection between 
the figures and the story; but whether they sprung out 
of the legend or the legend out of them, they are un- 
doubtedly traceable to remote antiquity. Inasmuch, however, 
as Greoffrey himself makes no allusion to them, it must be 
assumed, either that he did not know of their existence, 
or that they did not then exist. The latter being the more 

• Survey of Cornwall, 2. • View of Devon, 888. 

B 2 


reasonable supposition, it may with some confidence be 
concluded that they were first cut soon' after Geoflft-ey's 
Chronicle became current; unless, as is possible, they had 
a different origin, and were associated with the wrestling 
story in later days. The name given to the giant — Goemagot 
— ^is conclusive testimony that the legend, as we have it, 
is not so old as the introduction of Christianity into tliis 
country; or — ^if the story were indeed taken by Geoffrey 
from Armorican manuscripts — ^into Brittany. There is just 
one morsel of evidence which possibly connects the legend 
with very early times. Geoffrey states that the place 
whence the giant was precipitated was called Lam-Goemagot 
= 'Goemagot's Leap.' Now Lambhay Hill* is the traditional 
scene of the occurrence, and lam in old Cornish being 'leap,' 
Lamhay might mean the * leap-field' or close.^ So too an 
ancient name of the Hoe (Saxon = Aom, a * hill*; hcah, ' high ') 
was Wynrigg, and Wynrigg might be derived from the 
Saxon winnan, to * struggle,* and hric, ' ridge ' 

Of course neither Lamhay nor Wynrigg compel belief in 
the legend, even if thus interpreted correctly, any more than 
the Devil's 'gaps' and 'leaps,' so common in mountainous 
districts, are still supposed to have anything to do with 
that personage. But the coincidence is curious; and were 
it safe to raise any superstructure upon such very slight 
foundations, we might venture on the following suggestion : 
— That the legend in the first place did refer to something 
that occurred at or near the Hoe; that it was carried to 
Brittany; that in Brittany, under the mingled influences 
of half-understood classical history and of religious sentiment 
working through the monastic mind, it developed into the 
full-blown myth of Brutus the Trojan; and that when it 
returned to England, and was made known under the 
auspices of Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Plymouthians per- 
petuated the memory of what they undoubtedly believed to 
be sterling fact, by cutting the figures of the two champions 
on the greensward. This however is purely hypothetical, 
and is put forward simply as an effort to arrive at whatever 
kernel of truth there may be in the first event recorded 
in connection with Plymouth. Moreover, it assimies that 
Geofirey's authority was Armorican, whereas it is perfectly 
clear that he mainly depended on the Welsh Bruts. 

* An ancient chart in the British Museum places the 'Lammj' on the 
extreme south-eastern point of the Hoe, at Fishers Nose. 

^ The Rev. W. Beal derived Lamhay from 'Lamh,' the hand or arm, 
in memorial of the reputed strength of Corinaeus. 


The Chronide of Geoffrey cannot be accepted as sober 
history ; but he certainly did not invent the story of Brutus, 
and it may be one of the few grains of wheat to be winnowed 
from his huge pile of chaff. * Stripped of the dress in which 
it was decked out by Geoffrey, improving on his predecessors ; 
deprived of its false lustre of classicism; cleared from the 
religious associations of a later day — the myth of Brutus 
the Trojan loses personality, but becomes the traditionary 
record of the earliest invasion of this land by an historic 
people, who, in their assumed superiority, dubbed the less 
cultivated possessors of the soil whose rights they invaded, 
"giants," and extirpated them as speedily as they knew 

The local bearing of another allusion in Gteoffrey's 
Chronicle, has been lost by the absurd identification of 
* Hamo's Port,' either by Gteoffirey or by his mediaeval editor, 
with Southampton, after 'a crafty Boman named Hfuno/ 
But Hamo's Port is clearly the estuary of the Tamar — the 
modem ' Hamoaze.' Made by Geoflrey ' the fitting centre of 
some of the most stirring scenes in the traditional national 
life, the Hamoaze best suits the reference.' The statement 
that Maximian, the senator, when invited by Caradoc, Duke 
of Cornwall, to be king of Britain, lands at Hamo's Port, 
leads to the inference that it was on Cornish territory. So 
the Armoricans sent to the help of Arthur, land at Hamo's 
Port ; and it is from Hamo's Port that Arthur sets sail on his 
expedition against the Eomans — a fabulous story indeed, but 
still helping to indicate the commodiousncss and importance 
of the harbour intended. The port of Plymouth was well 
known to the Armorican Britons as the Hamoaze, in the 
troublous times that followed the departure of the Komans ; 
and it may well have been that the independence retained 
by the Dunmonii (otherwise Danmonii, Donmonii, Damnonii, 
and Dumnonii) during the Koman occupation placed them 
in a position of leadership. 

When we turn from legend to history we find the earliest 
reference to the locality in Ptolemy's citation of the Tamar 
river. There is no allusion to Plymouth or its site before the 
Norman Conquest, though the Saxon monastery of Plympton 
is mentioned in a deed circa 904. By this Eadward of Wessex 
(Eadward the Elder, son of -Alfred the Great) granted to 
Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, and the convent at that place, 
three properties: Wellington (Somerset), consisting of six 
manors ; Buckland (West), and lidiard (Bishops), consisting 
together of twelve manors — by way of exchange for the 


monastery, ' which in the Saxon tongue is called Plymentun ' 
(Plympton), to be held on either side by the grantee and his 
successors in perpetuity. 

Prehistoric Thnes. 

But we are not dependent upon record to show that from 
very remote antiquity the shores of Plymouth Sound have 
been the seat of human occupation; and that long before 
Plymouth itself was founded there were settlements of 
importance in the neighbourhood. The discovery in 1887, 
of remains of human beings in a cave at Cattedown, in 
association with the bones of rhinoceros, lion, hyena, and 
other extinct British mammalia with ashes of their fires. 

Flint Noduls, Cattvdown Cavx. 

and a rudely-chipped flint nodule, carries back the residence 
of man on the site of Plymouth itself to palaeolithic times.® 
Mr. F. Brent, F.S.A., has found on Staddon and Maker 
Heights 'many specimens of flint, consisting of almost all 
the varieties of the smaller implements, with a number of 
unwrought pebbles, and many fragments or pieces.'^ Flakes 
and cores have been yielded by the Hoe, with a beautifully- 
shaped arrow head, discovered by Mr. Brent. A large and 

« Trans. Plym, Insi. x. 10-38. ^ Trans. Dev. Assoc, xvii. 72. 



finely-polished chert axe, now in the Museum of the 
Plymouth Institution, was unearthed at Houndiscombe in 
1887. The head of a deer-horn pick was found in the mud 
in excavating for the Key ham Docks.® 

D&EB-RORN Pick, Kktha^ 

Belonging to the Stone Age also, but now associated witli 
relics of later date, are the remains of a very extensive 
kitchen midden on the isthmus at Mount Batten. Marine 
shells, chiefly of the littoral type, are the most prominent 
feature — the limpet and periwinkle predominating. But 
there is evidence of a wider range of diet in the presence of 
bones of fish, long-fronted ox, deer, pig, and dog. Fragments 
of nide pottery, and portions of funeral urns, have likewise 
been found. 

More direct illustrations of early interment have been 
yielded by Plymouth itself. Mr. Henry WooUcombe recorded 
the discovery in 1815, near the old turnpike gate between 
Stonehouse and Plymouth, which stood at the comer of 
Phoenix Street, of a kistvaen. It was of an early type — 
six slabs of stone forming a chamber three feet six inches 
long, two feet two inches wide, and two feet three inches 
deep ; and it contained some fragments of bones, and a rude 
urn of baked clay holding a quantity of ashes. 

Mr. F. Brent in 1881® described a kistvaen containing an 
urn, found beneath an old house in Stillman Street. The 
kist was very peculiar — eighteen inches deep, two feet wide, 
and three feet long, excavated in the rock, lined with slabs 
of dimstone, and roofed gable fashion with two other stones, 
the ends being closed in. The urn was of black ware, finer 

* Trang, Dev. A$$oc. xviL 78. * Trtms, Dev. Aatoe, ziii. 99. 



than ordinary British, and contained ashes. Shells were 
scattered through the adjacent soil — mostly oyster, peri- 
winkle, cockle, and mussel 

Stillmak Street Kistvaek. 

Stadio Ihientia, 

Eelics of the Bronze Age are so numerous and important 
as to indicate the presence of a comparatively large and 
active population, eventually attaining the highest stage of 
British pre-Eoman civilisation. 

In 1868 a hoard of bronze weapons — sixteen celts, a 
chisel, three daggers, and a spear head — was discovered 
near Pomphlett. 

In 1884 three implements of similar character — two 
palstaves and a socketed celt — were found at Torr Lane, 
Weston Peverel, on the line of the ancient British road to 
the passage of the Tamar at Saltash. 

But the local remains of the Bronze Age to which chief 
importance attaches were disinterred on the eastern shores 
of Plymouth Soimd, in the angle next the Cattewater. In 
March, 1832, a quarryman found in a crevice of the rock 
at Mount Batten, five gold and eight silver coins, which 
Col. Hamilton Smith, F.R.S., pronounced to be British of 
the earliest type. Since then similar coins have been found 
near the same spot ; and the date may be regarded as fixed 
by Mr, J. Evans, F.RS., who has conclusively shown that 
there was a British coinage at least 150 years B.C. Some of 



these coins were placed in the Museum of the Plymouth 
Institution, but long since passed into private hands. 

No feature however in the early archaeology of Plymouth 
has such interest as the Bronze Age Cemetery, opened in 
1864, between Fort Stamford- and Mount Batten, and 
investigated and described by Mr. C. Spence Bate, f.r.s.^ 
Here, on the slope facing Cattewater, a number of graves 
were found, which con- 
tained numerous articles 
in bronze, earthenware, 
glass, a few of iron; and 
particularly a couple of 
bronze mirrors. These, 
with other matters 
thence, are now in the 
Museum of the Ply- 
mouth Institution ; and 
in character and orna- 
ment are all but unique. 

In most localities 
such remains,continuing 
from the Bronze into the 
Iron Age, would suggest 
a post-Boman origin. 
The earlier culture of 
the West of England 
renders that conclusion 
here unnecessary. Some- 
what similar graves mirror, Stamford. 

were found in 1833 at Trelan, St. Keveme, one of which 
contained a bronze mirror of kindred type; and all the 
characters are Keltic, not Eoman. These relics are really 
the latest and most perfect developments of the vanishing 
Age of Bronze. Instead of being Romano-British, they 
are the final types of an older pre-Roman civilization — 
though not necessarily of supreme antiquity, nor free from 
foreign influence. 

* Arch<eologia, xl. 600-10. 


The existence of a great cemetery is conclusive proof of 
the presence or contiguity of a large population ; and these 
graves were naturally thought to afford a clue to the site 
of Ptolemy's Tamara. The solution of the problem was nearer 
at hand. The Stadio Duentia of the Anonymous Choro- 
grapher of Savenna, twelfth on his list of British civitcUes 
et castra, is simply an inflected form of Staddon (t.e. Stad-io 
Diuji-tiA). The ancient community must have survived in 
some form until after the Saxon occupation, though lost 
so long that, but for opening up the Cemetery, this identi- 
fication, in the absence of material relics of the Kavennat'a 
city, would have seemed idla 

The Roman Period. 

History is silent on the presence of the Bomans in the 
chief harbour of the West Not many years since there 
was no more evidence for their visits, than for the hypothesis 
of Fhcenician trade in the waters of the Tamar and the 
Plym. Mr. J. C. Bellamy, indeed, recorded that the remains 
of a Boman galley had been found in excavating in 
Newnham Park' but with no proof of identification (another 
account — more reasonably — calls the vessel a canoe); and 
it was commonly believed that the Romans had something 
to do with the old Ridge Road, whence Ridgeway takes its 
name — ^that ancient British track of which Mr. R J. Xing 
wrote : — 

The Ridge Road ran from Totnos to the Tamar, and so onward 
into ComwalL It was for many centuries the main line of road 
eastward from Plymouth, and in how many stirring events and 
* passages' must it not have borne its part Roman spears and 
hehnets have glittered there in the sun. Fierce Saxons and 
fiercer Danes; the destrier of the Norman knight, and the 
Benedictine abbot's ambling mule, alike have passed along it. 
There rode the captive King of France with the Black Prince at 
his side, when after Poictiers he landed at Plymouth, and 
proceeded thence to London, feasted by all the great towns in his 
way. There the Princess Katharine of Arragon looked for the 
first time on English fields and orchards as she passed onward to 
meet her chequered destiny. There King Charles has ridden both 
triumphant and despairing, and there fled Hhe most wome and 
weak, pitiful creature in the world,' the poor Queen Henrietta, 
after the troops of Essex had all but prevented her escape from 
Exeter. The spurs of Fairfax and his bands, the plumes of 

* Nat. Hid, Sauih Dewm, 116. 


Hopton and his Cavaliers, alike have jingled and fluttered there. 
What hopes and what fears — what changes and chances — has not 
that forgotten road-line witnessed. The cloud shadows that 
sweep along it, or the lights stealing through the boughs that 
overhang it^ are scarcely more varied or more countless.' 

Until 1888 — ^setting aside this more than doubtful galley 
— the only distinct traces of the Bomans in the neighbour- 
hood, were the casual occurrence of a few coins; and of 
some fragments of pottery, found while the Stamford 
Cemetery was explored, and identified as Boman by Mr. A. 
W. Franks, F.R.S. The coins had been mainly found adjacent 
to the ancient shore line ; they sufficed to shew presence and 
intercourse, but in themselves could not fairly be held to 
indicate occupation. 

They included examples (single unless others are specified) 
of Alexander Severus, found at Mount Batten and 
Cattedown ; Antoninus Pius, Mount Batten and Cattedown ; 
Carus, Millbay; Constantine, Mannamead, Prospect Street, 
Prince Bock; Constans, Mount Batten; Domitian, Mount 
Batten, Battery Hill; Faustina, Hoe; Hadrian (two) 
Cattedown ; Magnentius, Millbay ; Nero, Mount Batten, 
Prospect Street; Probus, Devonport Park; Trajan Decius, 
Mount Batten ; Vespasian, Mount Batten ; Victorinus, 
Staddon; three undetermined, Prospect Street; two ditto, 
Plympton ; several, no particulars, Millbay and Prince Bock, 
and some at Torr. A silver denarius of Hadrian is also said 
to have been found in Gteorge Street. 

In April, 1888, however, a Boman bronze was dug up in a 
garden at Hooe, Plymstock — a figure of Mercury — god of 
merchandise and patron of merchants. It is two and one- 
eighth inches in height, and one and a quarter inches in 
extreme breadth over the extensions of the hands; and 
the thickest part of the body just a quarter of an inch, 
light for its size, it weighs precisely two-thirds of an ounce. 
The right foot has been long lost, but with that exception 
it is perfect. The modelling is somewhat rude, yet, so far 
as the attitude goes, vigorous, and not without merit. The 
left arm slopes outwards and downwards, the hand holding 
the emblematic purse. The right arm is extended outwar£ 
and upwards, with the hand raised, and the fingers as in 

The left wing on the cap is much larger than the right. 

* Dartmoor and iU Borden, z. zi. Bat the references to King John of 
France and Queen Henrietta are not historical. 


The right leg is straight, the left bent as in motion, and 
the feet-wings are fixed on the outer sides of the calves, 
immediately above the ankles. The figure is for the most 
part thickly patinated Some of the mould-marks are 
visible, but it appears to have been carefully trimmed after 
it was cast. There is full reason to believe that this figure 
was one of the gods of a Boman merchant; and the little 
landlocked harlx>ur of Hooe at once suggests itself as 
admirably adapted for a trading post 


Fjoubk or XocvBT, Hooi. 

In 1888, also, there came to light, through the energy and 
investigations of Mr. Stenteford of Hooe, certain facts 
attending the destruction in 1882 of an ancient burial-place 
in Newport Street, Stonehouse. While excavating for the 
erection of four cottages, there was found on the southern 
shore of Stonehouse Creek, between the ancient limestone 
clifif and the water, less than six feet above high- tide level, 
essentially on the beach, an area brokenly paved with pebbles 
(at least fifty feet square), with a pavement of slate slabs 
bounding it on the north. In one corner of this area was a 
group of little tombs of brick and stone, arranged in rows. 
Upon this pebble pavement, and covering these tombs, there 
lay, under ordinary made ground, a heap of ashes containing 
an enormous quantity of infra-human bones, and the ususd 
broken pottery and other constituents of a later refuse 
heap, some of the contents of which dated themselves the 
early part of the seventeenth century. 



The tombs were built of thin tile bricks, and covered with 
slate slabs. They averaged four feet to four feet six inches 
in length ; two to two and a half feet in height ; were two 
and a half feet in width; and ran lengthwise north and 
south. Fourteen or fifteen in all were found, grouped in one 
corner of the area, after the following plan : 

Plan or Bdrial-plaob, Stonshousb. 

A section of the ground excavated, which had long been 
used as a garden, gave these details. 

BicmoH or Bukul-plaoe, Stoneboubb. 



The fax^t that the tombs ran north and south is not 
unusual in Soman interments, while wholly at variance with 
Christian practice. Another important point is that thej 
were mere kistvaens, not big enough for interment by 
ordinary inhumation ; and showing in their construction an 
approach to Koman characteristics. The evidence is thus 
against Christian interment; while the structural detail 
of the tombs forbids an earlier date than that of Roman 
intercoursa In the unavoidable absence of personal 
investigation, it would be unwise to give positive judgment ; 
but there is nothing to militate against the possibility of 
having here the remains of a late Koman ustrinum. These 
ustrinae were simply places where bodies were burnt and 
interred They were not large, averaging about 300 feet in 
compass, and the Stonehouse area certainly exceeded 200. 
If this were a Soman burial-place, it gives the first distinct 
evidence of Soman residence in the Three Towns' area, and 
supplies a clue to the very remarkable distinctive name of 
Stonehouse, the occurrence of which, so early as Domtsday, 
shows that the spot must have had an edifice far in advance 
of neighbouring manors. The remains of a Soman dwelling 
would supply an adequate interpretation.^ 

Saxon Settlement. 

Plymouth does not find place in any contemporary Saxon 
record ; and beyond the Plympton deed already cited, there 
is no defiuite Saxon reference to the locality. We have 
indeed an incidental proof of the insignificance of any 
settlement that may have then existed, in the statement of 
the Saxon Chronicle, that in 997 the Danes sailed up the 
Tamar, assailing Lydford, and burning the minster at 
Tavistock. Had there been opportunity for special ravage 
on the way it would hardly fail to have been recorded. The 
only associated historical fact of the Saxon period is the 
defeat of the Danes in 851 at Wicganbeorga If we 
identify this place with Wembury, the ' Viking's earthwork ' 
seems fairly acceptable as a rendering of the name in 
its original form, and thus affords additional witness to 
the event. But Okenbury and Wickaborough are also 

Where information is so scanty we gladly welcome light 
from any quarter, however faint the rays; and somewhat 
may be gleaned from the evidence afforded in place-names, 

* See farther the chapter on ' The Town.' 


and surviving customs, of the conditions of the earlier 
Saxon settlements. 

The names of all the rivers in the district, and of many 
of the smaller streams, are Keltic : and the fact that they 
have been handed down proves lengthened intercourse 
between Kelt and Saxon, and continued intercourse from 
Keltic times. But the names of local manors (and manors 
were at first merely the homesteads or clearings of the 
individual or the family) are nearly all Saxon. Either, 
then, the population in Keltic times was very small, the 
country comparatively unsettled, or most of the Keltic sites 
must have been abandoned and their names and memory 
lost. The latter hypothesis cannot be accepted to the 
extent required to explain the disappearance of so many 
traces of a numerous Keltic race. 

We conclude therefore that it was not until Saxon times 
the locality commenced to assume a fully settled aspect; 
and that the majority of the tuns, havis, leys, stocks, and 
worthys are of direct Saxon origin and date. Making the 
fullest allowance for the substitution of new names for old, 
the district, at the Norman Conquest, must thus have been 
far more populous than in Keltic days. And a fact to be 
specially borne in mind is the great preponderance of names 
of a peaceful class — the simple enclosure of the 'tun' 
largely predominates, and the more defensible 'stocks' are 
few and far between. Probably the * stocks ' represent the 
earlier settlements, when the need of defence was greater, 
and thus afford some clue to the sites where the Saxon first 
planted himself. The distribution of the places so named 
somewhat favours this idea ; and it may be that Plymstock 
became the Saxon continuant of the ancient and important 
pre-historic, thence Keltic, settlement on the eastern shores 
of the Sound. 

No comer of Devon yields so many distinct general Saxon 
place-names ; and the traces of Norse influence if few are 
unmistakeable, as in the familiar ness, and the less frequent 
hangr ( = ' mound.') All points to a wide immigration from 
many sources. 

Vestiges of the old Teutonic tenure of the ' mark ' favour 
also the inference that this South- West Devon was the scene 
of active Saxon colonization from the sea, long before the 
county passed into Saxon hands. These vestiges were first 
noted in the examination of a number of deeds belonging to 
the Plymouth Ck>rporation. Beferences were found to fields 
'lying in landscore' and to 'landscore land,' and further 


enquiiy shewed that these landscores were portions of 
undivided fielda Some such properties retain^ a mixed 
and complicated ownership to very recent days.* 

There is thus evidence of the occupation by man of 
the shores of Plymouth Sound, so far back as the days of 
the cave-dwellers; and fair presumptive proof that this 
occupation has been continuous to the present day. 

* One of the most interesting references is in a lesse of 1604, by which 
George Whyte grants Nicholas Dymond *all those his parts p'plies k 

rrcons (to weete) the third pte of one peice or pcell of land . . . scitnate 
lyinge in Lansoowre wthin a dose there called the Thissell pke on 
the westr syde . . . And also fyve pte of some other third pte of the 
same peice or poell of Lansoowre land.' What was known in Plymouth 
by the name of landscore was a strip of nnenclosed land ; and a tenement 
which lay in landsoore consisted of a series of these nnenclosed scores or 
shares. Such tenements are traceable in ereiy quarter of the borongh. 
One which was enclosed in the latter part of the seventeenth oentuiy 
went by the name of 'Roper^s piece.' Of a landsoore by the Laira the 
dimensions are given. It oonststed of IM yards of land at 86 feet the 



The Kiog sent his men over all England into every shire, and caused to 
be ascertained, what or how much each man had who was a holder of land 
iD England, in land or in cattle, and how much money it might be worth. 
So very narrowly he caused it to be traced out, that there was not oue 
single hide, nor one yard of land, nor even — it is shame to tell, though 
it seemed to him no shame to do — an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine was left 
that waa not set down in his writ — Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 

The Domesday Record. 

IN opening Domesday Book we for the first time feel, in 
relation to Plymouth, that we tread upon firm historical 
ground. There is, indeed, a statement by Risdon/ that, in 
the life of St. Indractus, Plymouth is named Tamarworth; 
but this rests upon no sound authority, and in any event has 
little significance. Tamarworth may fairly be interpreted 
the 'island of the Tamar' — island being one of the usual 
renderings of many-meaninged ' worth ' ; and in such a case 
would by no means imply the existence of a town of that 
name. Moreover, had there been such a settlement, how 
can we account for its total disappearance at the Norman 
Conquest ? 

Plymouth appears in Domesday under the name of 
Svdtone = Sutton ; belonging to the Conqueror in succession 
to the Confessor; and appendant with Macretone (Maker), 
and Tanbretone (Kings Tamerton) to the manor of 
Walchentone (Walkhampton), the original head of the 
hundred long known as Roborough.* 

The translation of the Exchequer entry runs : — 

The king holds Svdtone. In the time of king Edward it 
paid geld for one virgate of land. There is land for six ploughs. 
In demesne is half a plough with one serf, and there are four 

' Chorographieal Deacripium of Devon, 201. 

* The other Svtone given in the Devon Domeeday, has nothing to do 
with Plymouth. 



villeins and two bordars, with five ploughs. There are two acres 
of meadow and twenty acres of pasture. It renders twenty 
shillings by weight. 

The Exeter Book supplies the additional facts that the 
king had half a viigate and half a plough in demesne; 
the villeins half a virgate with their five ploughs ; and that 
there were fifteen sheep. 

Since the area here given is 742 acres only, it is clear that 
Svdtone did not comprise the whole of modem Plymouth — 
even when every allowance is made for land reclaimed from 
the sea on the borders of Sutton Pool, and in the inner 
reach of Millbay, long known as Surpool, which extended 
along the Plymouth section of Union Street eastwards, and 
to the rising ground beyond King Street northwards. The 
remainder of the municipal area must be sought chiefly in the 
two manors of lisistone (Lipson) and Leuricestone. Lisistone 
had belonged to Godwin, but had passed to the Count of 
Mortain, half-brother of the Conqueror, and was held under 
him by the most important Norman * tenant ' in the district, 
Eeginald of Valletort. It had gelded for half a hide, but 
contained three plough lands, one virgate of pasture, an acre 
of meadow, and six acres of coppice. The enumerated 
population was one serf, three villeins, and four bordars, who 
had one plough team. The live stock totalled five head of 
cattle, twenty-eight sheep, and thirty goats ; and the value 
had fallen from twenty shillings a year to ten shillings. 

Leuricestone had belonged to Saulf, but had passed to the 
great Norman baron, Judhel or Joel of Totnes. It had 
gelded for one viigate, consisted of two plough lands, with 
three acres of meadow and eight acres of wood; had an 
enumerated population of one serf and two villeins ; no live 
stock beyond two plough teams ; and remained of the same 
value in 1086 as in 1066 — ten shillings a year. 

If we add the 487 acres of lisistone and the 251 of 
Leuricestone to the 742 of Sutton, the total of 1480 comes 
very near to the 1394 acres of the municipal borough. It 
may be suggested that as there are two lipsons — Higher and 
Lower — ^Leuricestone has merged in the one and Lisistone in 
the other; but part of Lipson is not within the corporate 
limits ; nor is part of the ancient Sutton. And in any case 
Sutton alone is not of suflScient area for the modem town. 

The Domesday manors bordering Plymouth were Stone- 
house (Stanehvs) on the west, which had passed from 
Alwyn the Saxon to Robert the Bastard; Stoches on the 


north, which still retains in its distinctive suffix as Stoke 
Daiuerel, the name of its Norman lord, Eobert of Albemarle, 
who had succeeded the Saxon Brismar ; the two little manors 
of Modlei (Mutley) on the north-east, held by Judhel in 
succession to the Saxons Grodwin and Alwyn; Contone 
(Compton Gifford) on the east, which had passed from Osulf 
to Judhel; and finally on the south-east a comer of 
Bocheland, another possession of Judhel, which still 
preserves in its distinctive prefix, as Egg Buckland, the 
memory of its dispossessed Saxon owner, Heche. 

We can fix the position of Sutton with some precision. 
The southern boundary was the Sound, the northern the 
inlet now known as Stonehouse Creek and Deadlake ; but of 
old time in its upper waters, from Pennycomequick down- 
wards, as Stoke Damarel Fleet West and east the line is 
not so clear. There are fair grounds for believing that the 
Stonehouse of Domesday did not comprise the portion of the 
township north of the line of High Street; and that the 
bulk of the land now occupied by the Royal Naval Hospital 
formed part of the old manor of Sutton. The Charter of 
Incorporation expressly excludes a parcel of the hamlet of 
Sutton Vawter or Valletort ; and there are deeds in existence 
which mention 'The Vawters' as being in the neighbour- 
hood of what is now Noplace. 

On the east the bounds are yet more uncertain. Sutton 
extended to Sutton Pool ; but there is nothing to shew that 
it went beyond. The position of lisistone is fairly indicated 
by the modem lipson; but Leuricestone in lost to our 
nomenclatura There is just this suggestion to be made. It 
may have included the Cattcdown district. The first syllable 
unquestionably gives us the Lar of Lary (now Laira) and 
the remainder hints the old name of Cattedown; namely, 

And there was a distinct manor between the modem 
Lipson and Sutton so late as the middle of the seventeenth 
century, associated with Lipson, and in its name of Lulyetts 
Fee quaintly if faintly recalling the long-lost Leuricestone. 
Among the muniments of the Plymouth Corporation is a 
book recording the courts leet and courts baron of John 
Giffard and Alice Giffard, his widow, for the manor of 

* Gattewater in the Act-Charter U 'the Catte [cp. Cattegat] to Hinffstone' ; 
and in a sixteenth-centurj map the soathemmost angle of Cattedown ia 
Hiogston Point, a name continuing into the aeventeenth oenturj. Hingatone, 
as elMwhere, possibly indicates the former existence of a hanging stone or 
cromlech. (Cp. Stonehengo.) 


• Uletts ffee als Lulytts Sparke als Luletts fifee/ with a parcell 
of the manor of Lypston or Lipson. The first court recorded 
was held 16th July, 1st James I. (1603), and the last 13th 
Charles L (1638). Uletts Fee certainly reached from 
Bilbury Street to North Hill, and so far east by Briton 
Side as the Whitefriars. The Headlands, otherwise described 
as a close by the Maudlyn, was part of the manor; so 
was Hampton Shute or close (*als Gilwell parke'), on part 
of which Charles Church stands; and so was a certain 
unnamed close in the occupation of Thomazine Gibbons 
(Gibbons Fields), and which, as the rent paid to the lord 
averaged 3s. 6d. an acre, may be taken as about four acres 
in extent. Probably the manor had been to a certain extent 
dismembered; for besides Bilbury Street and East Cross 
Street there is mention of a tenement in Looe Street. 
Moreover the list of free tenants in 1603 reaches a total 
of thirty-six, all but three of whom are entered as heirs 
of former tenants, wliile in subsequent years they do not 
muster a fourth of that number. In the same year there 
are recorded six conventionary and customary tenants for 
Uletts Fee, and six conventionary tenants for Lipson. 

Domesday thus gives no colour to the idea that Plymouth 
existed as a town, in the modem sense, before the Conquest. 
The total enumerated population of the three manors is 
but eighteen. It also disposes of tlie pretence accepted by 
Leland in his statement— * The chirch and much of the 
ground whereon Sutton now caullid Plimmouth was builded 
was longing to one of the Prebendes titulo S. Petri and 
Pauli of Plympton, a collegiate chirch, alias Capdla libera 
dni. Regis, before the Conquest.'* 

Donusday is utterly silent touching any such holding of 
the Saxon college. Leland does not quote his authority; 
but we may fairly assign it to the Priory. Monkish legends, 
however, are not always to be trusted ; and monkish forgeries 
of title deeds are not unknown. 

Nor can we turn to Domesday for confirmation of the 
finding of a jury empanelled by the Sheriflf of Devon in 
1318, who declared, as we shall see more at length hereafter, 
that before the foundation of the town of Sutton there 
was a place within its limits where the King's Courts were 
held and tolls levied on fish offered for sale. This must 
have been subsequent to the Great Survey ; unless the germ 
of the story is the existence of the ordinary manorial 

* Itinerary, liL 43. 


It would greatly help the elucidation of the earlier 
history of Plymouth, if we could ac<50unt for the name 
Sutton = ' South town.' What more important place lay 
immediately to the northward? Many suggestions have 
been made — the legendary Tamarworth, the mythical Tamara, 
among the number. The most feasible hypothesis assigns 
the reference to Stoke, shown by its name to have been a 
defenced ' strength,' and possessing at the time of the Survey 
the unusually large enumerated population of twenty-five 
— the virtual head of the immediate district. The occurrence 
of the allied relative name Weston, at Weston Peveril, 
strengthens this view. 

The Valletorts. 

The Valletorts were the first to stimulate the fortunes of 
Plymouth. Henry I. gave the manor of Sutton, with those 
of Maker and Kings Tamerton, to Beginald of Yalletort ; and 
either Beginald or his successors made it a place of residence. 
This is set forth in a grant by Ealph of Valletort, who 
mentions a way to Surpole by the corner of his garden of 
Sutton, * anglo gardini mei de SiUhtona.* The actual site is 
indicated in a couple of deeds among the muniments of the 
Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, dated 1370 and 1373. In the 
first of these James Vautort, lord of Sutton, releases in fee 
to Stephen Dumford, ' Vautordispark atte Pole,'* at the west 
part of Churcherhull, the way from Sutton to Stonhous lying 
north, the meadow of William Cole south, and the land of 
Thomas Cok called Romisbery west. By the second deed 
John Vyncent and John Holcomb grant the same land to 
Stephen and his wife Cecilia, the boundaries being the same, 
with the important addition that the highway to Soure- 
polemylle lay to the east. This enables us to fix the site 
with absolute precision. Churcherhull is Church Hill — ^the 
hill on which stands St. Andrew Church. The highway to 
Stonehouse ran fairly along the line of what is now Bedford 
Street, Frankfort Street, King Street (a little north to avoid 
the edge of Surpool) to Fore Street, Stonehouse, where it 
turned sharply south to the ferry at Cremill (now Devil's) 
Point — ^then, as long after, the chief thoroughfare from this 
part into Cornwall Romisbery indicates the existence of 
an old earthwork, probably near the end of the Western Hoe ; 
William Cole's meadow lay on the northern slope of the Hoe 
adjacent. The highway to Sourepolemylle — Millbay — is 

* The Tariationa in the spelling of proper names follow the documents 


either that mentioned in various old deeds as running from 
Sutton Pool thither, or a branch thereto fcrom the Old 
Town. The garden and park of the Valletorts thus lay in 
the angle of the two roads; and the residence would be 
nearly adjacent to the church. 

Here, by the side of the mansion of its Yalletort lords, 
the germ of ancient Plymouth, for centuries distinctively 
known as Old Town, was planted and grew. The day came 
when Sutton Prior beat it in the race ; but the village of the 
Valletorts was the real beginning of Plymouth town; and 
its superior antiquity was visible at Leland's visit, when he 
found it 'sore decayed.* *01d Town' has been fussily 
modernised into ' Old Town Street'; but the memory of the 
original site is happily preserved. 

In process of time the original Sutton gave place to three 
— Sutton Valletort, Vaward, or Vautier ; Sutton Prior ; and 
Sutton Raf or lialf. Sutton Vautier lay on the north; 
Sutton Prior on the south, forming tlie * middle and heart * of 
the growing town ; Sutton Eaf, later given as Radcliff, on the 
east. Sutton Vautier was the original from which Sutton 
Prior, and probably Sutton Baf, had been severed, though the 
evidence on the latter head is not so clear as could be wished. 
Sutton Prior became a distinct manor by the grants of the 
Valletorts to the Priory of Plympton, The severance of 
Sutton Ralf must have been a matter of family arrangement. 
It is significant of the varying development of the three 
that in 1440 we find them described as the Ioktr of Sutton 
Prior, the harrdet of Sutton Vawtier, and the tithing of 
Sutton Eaf. 

The grant of Sutton to the Valletorts was made within 
fifty years of the compilation of Domesday, since Henry I. 
died in 1135. Eeginald of Valletort in 1086 had his chief 
manor at Trematon, whence he exercised rights over the 
waters of the Tamar ; and among his estates was the Cornish 
Macreton, or Maker, which, with Trematon and many 
others, he held under the Count of Mortain. He had a son 
called Roger, who was father to a second Reginald, and a 
second Roger was living in 1195. Whetlier the grant of 
Sutton was made to the son or the grandson of the first 
Reginald is uncertain; for both Roger and Reginald are 
given as the name of the grantee. But other family 
interests had been created in Sutton by the middle of the 
twelfth century. In a deed, circa 1150, we find Philip of 
Valletort holding lands here, and the names of the first 
Plymouthians on record are given as witnesses — Roger de 


Hetehenda, Gilbert cycharista, William pistore, John 
Boscher, Eeginald de veifer. 

The earliest grant to Plympton Priory now traceable was 
by Eeginald of VaUetort, of all his fishing rights, whether 
in Tamar or in Lynher, with the waters belonging thereto — 
* concurrentiims tradibus' — save and except the pool 'sub 
aula de halton! The copy of this grant in the Black Book 
of the Corporation of Plymouth is undated;* but it was 
probably made not long after the manor passed into the 
hands of the Valletort family. 

Still greater benevolence was shown by Balph of Valletort, 
son and heir of Eeginald, who granted to God and the 
church of St. Peter and St. Paul of Plympton and the 
canons there, in perpetual alms for the welfare of his soul 
and the souls of his ancestors and successors, a convenient 
place next Surepole, with right to erect a mill and mill dam, 
and all the mill toll of his manor of Sutton, with a suitable 
way thereto — that was to say, by the comer of his garden 
of Sutton, as anciently they were accustomed to go to the 
fishery of the canons at Surepole {'piscarium canonicorum 
de Surepola *), 

It is important to notice that by this grant the Priory 
received distinct manorial rights, in connection with the 
miUs at Millbay (whence that inlet took its modem name, 
Surpool being reserved for its inner reach) which thereafter 
were appendant to the manor of Sutton Prior. The 
reference to the length of time during which the canons had 
held their fishery would appear to place the grant of 
Eeginald early in his ownership; for although there is an 
undated grant by John or Joel of Stanhust (Stonehouse) to 
the canons of free fishery 'per totam terram meam' Surpool, 
as an inlet from Millbay, has always been treated as part of 
the Duchy rights under the honour of Trematon which the 
Valletorts held. John or Joel of Stanhust, who may have 
been a grandson of the Eeginald of Domesday, in granting 
the canons free fishery throughout his lands, attached a 
condition about the division of the fish: 'qd si BatUli 
nosiri pprij asdiuvire sibi obtenuerunt in piscando in terra 
meo per equalis porous captura piscum inter nos dividati* 
One other Valletort grant to the Priory is recorded — that by 
Walter of Valletort of the island of St. Nicholas (cum 
cuniculvs) with the rabbits thereon.'^ 

* All tbe Valletort grants here cited are set forth in the Black Book of the 
^ An ancient error in copying this record made it read ' com caniculua.' 


Possibly there were others, but the final result was this 
— that while in the reign of Henry I. the entire manor of 
Sutton belonged to the Valletorts, in the reign of Edward I. 
(1281) the 'ville of Sutton' was held by the Prior, who 
claiuied to have held it in the preceding reign. We shall 
see in the chapter on Municipal Governuient that the manor 
of Sutton Prior passed to the Corporation. 

The descent of Sutton Yautier and of Sutton Baf is 
undefined. The history of the Valletorts has yet to be 
written; but Browne Willis was wrong in asserting that 
the Valletort estates escheated to the Crown on the death 
of Roger of Valletort in 1290; and there is no definite 
corroboration of the tradition preserved by Leland, that 
the greater part of their lands had been confiscated ' for a 
murther done by one of them.' 

From the Inquisitions Post Mortem, and from the 
muniments of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, enough can be 
gathered to show that the family continued to the reign of 
Henry VII I. ; dealing with property at Sutton long after their 
assumed extinction. Bichard Vautort is mentioned as lord 
of Maker, one of the manors granted to his ancestor with 
Sutton, so late as 1426 ; and John Vautort leases lands in 
South Millbrook in 1433. 

The Nomina Villarum of 1314 mentions only the 'Burgus 
de Sutton' as belonging to the Prior, and 'Sutton Banff' 
as the property of John de Dalecurta ( = Valletort). Sutton 
Vautier is not named. Only three years later we find the 
Prior claiming to be lord of two parts of Sutton, and two 
Valletorts, both named John, of Clyst and of Modeton 
(Moditonham) respectively, acting as joint-lords of the other 

It is a fair assumption, therefore, that Sutton Vautier had 
then ceased to be Valletort property. There is no suggestion 
beyond the statement that the Prior held two-thirds of the 
town that it belonged to the Priory ; but had it done so, and 
continued an ecclesiastical possession, it must have gone with 
Sutton Prior to the Corporation at the Incorporation of 
1439-40. There is better reason to believe that it had passed 
to the Courtenays,® in the fact that Baldwin of the Isle, the 
last Bed vers Earl of Devon, obtained a market grant for 
Sutton in 1257 (42 Henry III.) with certain manorial 
powers; and that Courtenay rights were saved under the 
charter of Henry VI. 

After this uncertain interval we find Sutton Vautier in the 
^ Leland's statement may Biiggest the explanation why. 


Nereys family; while about the middle of the fourteenth 
century it was sold to William Cole. On his death it 
remained for some years in the hands of feoffees; the 
Specotts subsequently becoming the owners. In the thirty- 
fourth year of Henry VIII. Sir Hugh Pollard sold it to 
William Hawkins, father of the celebrated Admiral, for 
1,000 marks. 

In 1637 it was purchased by the Corporation of John 
Hawkins, his descendant, as is shown by the following entry 
in the Receivers* Accounts : 

Itm for a prsent given Mr. Risdon to pcure out of his 
hands such writinges as concerned Vauter's Fee, lately 
bought by the Towns of M' John Hawkyns, and a 
man and two horses two Joumyes to fetch the sayd 
writeinges . . . . . v" iiy» 

When and why the Corporation parted with the manor 
there is no trace ; but it is said that in the reign of James IL 
it had become the property of Edward Spoure, of whom it 
was purchased by Thomas Bewes. It has remained in the 
Bewes family ever since. As a manor it has long been 
extinct, and of late years most of the land has been sold in 
lots for building purposes. 

Sutton Raf yields somewhat better history. The 
distinctive title is the name of the first Valletort lord under 
whom it came into separate existence; and it appears to 
have been included among the properties transferred by 
James Vautort, lord of Sutton, to Stephen Dumford, circa 
1370. As the manor of Radclyffe it came with the heiress 
of the Durnfords to the Edgcumbes, in the reign of Henry 
VII. The position is practically shown by the mention of 
Little Saltram as one of the tenements. Down to within the 
present century the reputed manor of Sutton Pill ( = Pool), 
including portions, if not the whole of Cattedown, appeared 
in part to continue the succession. No manorial rights have 
now been exercised in Plymouth, however, for many years, 
beyond those of the Duchy of Cornwall in foreshore and 
fundus ; and those of the Corporation in the market 



Some achieve greatneas. — SKakapere, 

THE general history of Plymouth may be divided into 
three sections : (a) Prehistoric and Legendary, extending 
down to the compilation of Domesday; (6) Uncertain and 
Fragmentary, dating from Domesday down to the incorpora- 
tion of the existing borough by Act of Parliament in 1439 ; 
and (c) Consecutive, from 1439 onward to the present time. 
Of the second section, which covers 350 years, we know less 
than of the history of any town in England of equal 
importance, over so long a period. There is but one single 
contemporary document among the Corporation archives 
within its range, though there are copies of others, and must 
once have been many. Probably the bulk perished when 
the * towne's evydence ' was destroyed by fire in the assault 
of the Western Rebels in 1548. And yet during these three 
centuries and a half Plymouth grew from a mere fishing 
hamlet to a port so famous that it took a principal part in 
the wars of the Edwards against France; that it was the 
rendezvous of a fleet of 325 ships in 1287; that it stood 
third on the list of contributories to the Calais fleet in 1346 ; 
and that in 1377 the poll tax returns assign it a taxable 
inhabitancy of 4,837, and thus give it the rank of the fourth 
town in the kingdom — London, York, and Bristol, alone 
taking precedence.^ 

The Priory of Plympton^ 

The old couplet applied with variations to so many places 
in the kingdom, and locally running : 

Plympton was a borongh town 
When Plymouth was a vuzzy down, 

^ The chief anthorities for this chapter are State Papers in the Record 
Office, and the Municipal Archives. 


is true so far as the relative antiquity of the two places 
is concerned, although Plymouth had ceased to be a ' vuzzy 
down' when Plympton was chartered by Baldwin of 
Eedvers in 1241. Plympton at the time of the Conquest 
had long been the head of the district; although we have 
no mention of it, any more than of Sutton, in the record of 
the defeat of the Danes at Wembuiy. 

The importance of Plympton in early days centered in the 
monastery, which, as we have seen, finds documentary notice 
in the opening years of the tenth century. We have no 
certain knowledge of its origin, but Domesday speaks of its 
members as canons, and notes incidentally in connection 
with Robert Bastard that it was dedicated to St. Peter; 
while the Exeter book states that the ecclesiastical land 
there belonged to St. Peter of Plintona. There was a very 
old tradition that the house was founded by King Eadgar, 
and this was regarded as established in an early suit between 
the Crown and the later Augustinian Priory. According to 
the deed already cited, the community must have been in 
existence long before Eadgar's time. It consisted of five 
members — a dean and four prebendaries, and no doubt 
Plympton was one of the prebends. 

Cause has already been shown for discarding Leland's 
further assertion, that another of the prebends was that 
of Peter and Paul at Sutton. 

Whenever begun, the Saxon house came to an end in 
1121, being dissolved by Bishop Warelwast (who founded 
the college at Boseham, in Sussex, in substitution), and re- 
placed by what afterwards became the famous Augustinian 
Priory of the Blessed Mary and Saints Peter and Paul. 
Leland states that the old house fell because the canons 
would not 'leave their concubines'; in other words, would 
not give up their wives; but this story smacks of later 

Within a very few years of the new foimdation, the first 
Valletort grant to the Priory was made ; and the connection 
began which was to continue some three centuries. The 
brethren soon felt their power, for when John of Valletort, 
about the middle of the twelfth century, claimed to present 
to the benefice of Sutton, the Prior successfully established 
his right This seems to have been their only quarrel 
with the Valletorts. 

The Priors continued lords of Sutton Prior imtil the 
Act of Parliament Incorporation in 1439, and under their 
government the community flourished. The Crown, however, 


questioned their claim to certain privil^es and immunities, 
and at length, under an Exchequer writ, issued in the 
year 1313, a jury was summoned to determine the points 
in difference. By their decision the Prior, in consideration 
of a fee farm rent, was con6rmed in the exercise of various 
powers — ^particularly those of granting leases of houses as 
lord of the fee; having a view of frankpledge; an assize 
of bread and beer; a ducking-stool and pillory; and the 
right of fishery of the waters from the entrance of Catte- 
water to the head of the Plym. In the reign of Edward 
the Third, John of Eltham, as Earl of Cornwall, claimed 
the fishery of the waters as ancient demesne. This claim 
occasioned new disputes ; but on the declaration of a special 
jury that the privileges enjoyed by the Prior and his tenants 
were bestowed by a charter of Henry the Third, the decision 
mfiule in the time of Edward the Second was again confirmed. 
After the earldom was erected into a duchy, and conferred 
upon the Black Prince, there was another inquisition anent 
Sutton Pool. The Prior claimed a share successfully; and 
although the Pool proper remained until 1890 part of the 
Duchy estate, the Corporation, as representatives of the 
Priory, are the proprietors of certain quays. 

The monks of Plympton appear to have been fidly alive to 
the value of their property at Sutton, and to have neglected 
no opportunity of developing its resources. Leland re- 
marks: *A1 such as hath by continuance sins the Tyme 
of Henry the Second builded houses in Sutton Prior, now 
the greatest part of Plymouth, take Licence of the Priorie 
of Plympton as of their chief Lord.' From other sources 
we learn that by giving privileges, and by granting leases 
at small fines, successive Priors did all they could to 
encourage people to take up their residence in the growing 

There was a ferry in the water of Plimmouth, between 
Sutton and 'hole' (Hooe) so far back as 1281, worked by 
a barge belonging to John Beaupre, the toU being a half- 
penny for horse or man. 

Plymouth under the Edwards. 

Sutton, or, as it had already come to be called, Plymouth, 
began to make its mark in the history of England six 
hundred years ago ; and the capabilities of its magnificent 
harbour soon brought it into prominence. The first impor- 
tant historical fact connected with the town is the assembly 


in 1287 of a large fleet of ships — 325 in number, under 
the command of the Earl of Lancaster, brother of Edward 
L, which sailed for Guienne. A few year^later Plymouth 
had attained such importance as to be called upon to 
send deputies to Parliament. Since, according to Leland, 
it was in the reign of Heniy II. 'a mene thing as an 
Inhabitation of Fischars/ it must therefore have made very 
rapid progress. 

There are a few traces left of the stages by which the 
port became known ; such for example as the brief note 
in the Annals of Tewkesbury that in 1230 the body of 
Gilbert of Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford, who died 
at Penhros, in Brittany, was landed at Plummue. 

In 1348 the Sheriff of Devon was directed to assemble 
thirty bowmen at Plummouth to conduct Johanna, the 
King's daughter, to Gascony. This was in February. Forty 
ships had been ordered to be pressed for the same purpose 
in the previous December, and a further order to press 
was made in March. In March, 1354, proclamation was 
made that all ships, from London even unto Plimmouth, 
were to assemble at the latter port to transport the Prince 
of Wales and his followers to Gascony. In July, 1362, 
orders were given to gather ships at Plymouth to convey 
the Prince of Aquitaine and Wales to support the King's 
right in Aquitaine ; while in the month of Aupjust, Eobert 
Monk and others were ordered to repair to Plymouth to 
assist in passing over the King's * beloved son, John, Duke 
of Burgundy, to Brittany.'* 

How many times Plymouth was attacked by the French 
and Bretons is uncertain — the Black Book of the Corporation 
says that it was burnt by them three times — in 1377, 1400, 
and 1403, but the first recorded descent was in 1339, in 
retaliation for the advance of the claims of Edward III. 
to the French throne. The French then did very consider- 
able damage, destroying great part of the town ; but were 
eventually repulsed by the men of Devon imder their EarL 
A few years passed and the gallant seamen of Pl3rmouth 
had their revenga To the siege of Calais in 1346 Plymouth 
sent 26 ships, manned by 603 men;^ Millbrook 1, with 
12 men; Hooe 2, with 24; and Yealm 2, with 47. In 

' Seyenl writa to the bailiffs and other officials are cited in the chapter 
on Early Municipal History. 

* Fowey sent tne ffieatest number of any port in the kingdom, 47, with 
770 men. Yarmoutn came next; and Dartmouth next, with 81 ships 
and 757 men. London only sent 25 vessels; Bristol 22 ships and 608 


1350 the French again returned to the charge, after ha\ing 
burnt Teigumouth, but according to Stow^ found the place 
8o well defended that they were only able to destroy ' some 
faniis and fair places ' in the neighbourhood.* 

Edward the Black Prince made Plymouth the head-quarters 
of his operations against France. He landed in the port in 
1348, and honoured the Prior with his presence at dinner. 
In 1355 it became the rendezvous of the English fleet 
'Heere [says Carew] the never inough commended black 
Prince, attended by the Earles of Warwick, Suffolk, Saridmry, 
and Oxford, the Lord Chandos and others, committed himself 
to the sea, with a navy of 300. bottoms for landing and 
maintayning his fathers right in France; and hither after 
his glorious battell at Poictiers he returned, with the captiue 
French King and his nobles.' Other accounts make the 
Prince land at Sandwich. Yet Izaacke* repeats the story 
thus : * Prince Edward brought over into England John, the 
French King, and sundry of his Noblemen, all as Prisoners, 
who landed at Flymovih, and from thence came to this 
City [Exeter], where they were honourably received, and so 
conveyed to London.* 

The Black Prince was detained at Plymouth before he set 
sail upon this expedition forty days by contrary winds. A 
highly interesting document at Mount Edgcumbe, contains a 
record of the first acts done by him as Duke of ComwalL 
Many of these are noted to have been done at Plympton 
Priory or at Plymouth, during the forty days of detention. 
There then existed an officer called the havener, acting for 
the Duchy; and the Duchy rights and dues were by no 
means of an unremunerative character. Thus early, therefore, 
the commerce of Plymouth was of some importance. A 
couple of amusing entries relate to the ferries. One is a 
grant to a follower of the Prince of the ferry at Asche 
(Saltash), in consideration of his services and his disfigure- 
ment by the loss of an eye in battle. The other is the 
complaint of the master of a foreign trader — a Hamburgher 
— that his boat had been taken for the use of the ferry at 
Cremill, while the Cremill boat had been taken for Saltash, 
whilst the Saltash boat was under repair ; and his grievance 
appears to have been, not so much that the boat was taken, 
as that he had not received the tolls during its usa The 

* Anndh, 

* Perhaps this was the occasion when West Stonehonse, a hamlet at Mount 
Edgcttmbe, was destroyed. Carew says the mius were to be seen in his time. 

' AnliquUies of Exeter, 54. 


same document contains the record of a grant by the Prince 
to certain ' poor brothers ' at Plymouth. 

A subsequent entry by Izaacke records in 1371 : * Edward 
the Black Prince returns sick JErom France with the Princess 
his Zady, and Richard their son (who was afterwards King 
of England by the name of Richard the Second), and 
arrived at PlymatUhJ And this was undoubtedly so. 

Plymouth received important privileges from Eichard II. 
In 1384 it was named as one of the places at which 
passports to depart the realm might be had. In 1389, it 
was ordered that with the exception of known merchants 
and soldiers, and others going to Ireland, no persons should 
without license depart the realm elsewhere than at Dover or 
Plymouth. These two ports, moreover, were named as the 
only legal places of transit for pilgrims to cross the Channel 

Descents and Reprisals, 

In the opening years of the fifteenth century Plymouth 
was attacked on sundry occasions by the French and Bretons, 
and much damage done. But the accounts are confused 
and contradictory. An attempt to tire the town in 1399 
is said to have been repulsed, with a loss of 500 men, by 
the inhabitants. And then it is stated that in the following 
year a French fleet, imder James of Bourbon, Count de la 
Marche, put into Pl3rmouth on its way to Wales, and 
destroyed a considerable portion of the town, but that a 
gale wrecked some of his largest ships, while the rest escaped 
with difiBculty. 

This is, however, an inaccurate version of an event set 
forth in detail in Wylie's Henry IV. It was in 1403 that 
Bourbon came over with his brothers Louis, Count of Ven- 
d6me, and John, Lord of Clarency. They chased seven 
trading vessels, which tried to make Plymouth in vain, and 
were abandoned, the crews escaping. * The people crowded 
into the town in wild alarm,' and the Plymouth folk, by 
doubling the price of provisions for outsiders, drove them 
out again, but did nothing else. The attack was made on 
the afternoon of Lammas-day, August 10, when large bodies 
of Bretons, under the Sieur du Chastel, Lord of Chateau 
Neuf, near St. Malo, landed about a mile from the town, 
which they entered at the 'bak haf/ and burned and 
plundered at will until ten the next morning. Upwards 
of 600 houses were burnt at the spot thence called Briton 
Side (now part of Exeter Street), but the castle and the 


higher parts of the town (Old Town) held out; and many 
of Chastel's men were killed or mutilated, while others 
were captured. 

Keprisals quickly followed. Sir William Wilford, 'born 
nigh Plymouth, a valiant and successful seaman,* with a fleet 
drawn from Plymouth, Dartmouth, and Bristol . . . *took 
forty ships on the coast of the Britaiiis, and burnt as many 
at Penarch, repaying the Monsieurs in their own coin.' 

The presence of the Dartmouth contingent so incensed 
Du Chastel, that he in turn retaliated by a descent upon 
that town in 1404, but found unexpected resistance. The 
townsfolk and the country people joined their forces, and 

* the women like Amazons, by hurling of flints and pebbles, 
and such -like artillery, did greatly advance their husbands' 
and kinsfolks* victory/ Du Chastel and many others were 
slain; but three lords and twenty knights of note were 
saved, as many more might have been had not ignorance 
of the language confounded the cries alike of indignation 
and pity. The King gave the captors much 'golden coyn' 
for their captives. Thus Speed. 

The destruction of 600 houses in this descent of the 
Bretons helps us to accept the statement of the Subsidy 
Roll touching the populousness of the town in 1377. It 
shows further that the townsmen had good ground for the 
plea in their petition for incorporation, that they had been 

* nyghtly and dayly spoyled/ 

Not that they themselves were by any means blameless. 
We find, in January, 1403, one Henry Don, of Plymouth, 
summoned to appear before the Privy Council to answer 
a charge of piracy. Was this the Henry Don whom Owen 
Glendower called upon to join him ? 

However some steps had been taken for local as well as 
national defence. An undated paper in the Eecord OfiBce 
of about this period sets forth a list of ships and barges 
in ports in the South and West of England under the 
Admiralty: — Otymouth, 1 barge; Exon, 2; Teignmouth, 
2 ; Brixton (Brixham), 2 ; Dartmouth, 7 ships and barges ; 
Portlhmouth, 7 ships and barges (not Portsmouth, which 
is only down for one barge); Yealm, 1 barge; Pl3rmouth, 
10 ships and barges ; Salt«ish, 2 barges ; Looe, 1 ; Fowey, 
probably a barge ; Lostwithiel, 2 ships and barges ; Falmouth, 
2 ships and barges; Padstow, 1 barge; Barnstaple, 6 ships 
and barges. 

In 1442 it was decided to have upon the sea continually 
eight ships from Candlemas to Martinmas, one with another 


150 men each. Every ship was to have a barge and 
balynger attending her. At Plymouth was to be procured a 
barge called the Mangdeke in the water of Saltash ; and at 
Saltash itself a barge called the Sltcffge barge. Dartmouth 
had to furnish two ships. 

Harly Commerce. 

The proceedings and ordinances of the Privy Council 
during the fifteenth century contain numerous references to 
Plymouth, which supply some indication of its importance 
at that period. Thus we find Henry Beaufort, Bishop of 
Lincoln, with the Earls of Somerset and Worcester, who had 
been sent to escort the second wife of Henry IV., Joan of 
Navarre, to England, writing from Plymouth in December, 
1402, to say that they hfiul been driven back from the coast 
of Brittany by stress of weather. Subsequently we find the 
same bishop, then on his way to the Holy Land, writing 
from Bruges to the Bishop of Durham, as Lord Chancellor, 
concerning a grievance of the burgomaster and echevins of 
that city. Certain goods belonging to them had been seized 
on board a Genoese carrack at Plymouth, and Beaufort asks 
that these might be restored, remarking that if they were 
not, ten times their value would be taken. 

The port at this time was frequented by vessels of all 
maritime nations, and of some that were hardly considered 
maritime until a much later period. Thus we have in 1417 
a memorandum to speak to the king about the release of a 
Prussian ship lying there. 

Under 1419 there is a most amusing entry. The King 
has learnt that Thomas ap Eeece, and other merchants 
of Bristol, have 'taken to the port of Plymouth certain 
carracks and other vessels charged with good merchandise of 
Janevois (Genoese) and others our enemies'; and having a 
fancy for certain of the goods he asks that they may be sold 
to him, promising that he will most faithfully pay. 

In 1423 the Mayor of Plymouth, in conjunction with the 
Mayors of London, Bristol, Hull, Lynn, and Yarmouth, is 
ordered to proclaim to all persons who may wish to buy 
certain great ships, that they are for sale at Southampton. 

The date of this entry, being sixteen years antecedent to 
the Act of Parliament Incorporation of the town, is one 
proof among others that there existed a Corporation of some 
kind before that period. 

In 1433 we find the 'customers and comptrollers' of 



Plymouth and other ports ordered to appear at Westminster 
with their accounts. The subsidies on wool were then 3s. a 
ton, and 12d. in the pound. Customers and comptrollers 
were not the only representatives of royalty at Plymouth 
during this period Henry VI. appointed John Hampton, 
Esquire, water bailifif of Plymouth in 1434 ; the office, with 
the rangership of the forest of Kingare, being valued at £5 

Entries which shew the prominence of the port in 
national affairs at length become almost of yearly occurrence. 
In 1451 'moustres' for Lord Lisle's expedition to Guienne 
were directed to be made either at Plymouth or Dartmouth. 
March 28th, 1452, it was ordered that as many ships as 
possible from Plymouth and other ports should rendezvous 
at Sandwich before the last day of the ensuing February, 
which may be regarded as ample notice ; and yet in 1453 the 
King, intending to despatch a ' great and notable armee ' to 
France finds himself constrained to write to the ' mayors and 
customers* of Dartmouth, Plymouth, and Fowey, 'preying 
heretely that by all the weyes and menes possable unto you, 
ye on our behalve sture, moeve, trete, and enduce all the 
oweners and maisters of the shippes and vessailles that 
belonge unto youre porte to be ready to go.' 

York and Lancaster. 

In the Wars of the Hoses Plymouth leant somewhat to the 
Lancastrian side. It was either at Plymouth or at Dart- 
mouth (authorities differ) that the Earl of Warwick, with 
the Duke of Clarence and the Earls of Pembroke and Oxford, 
landed in 1470 ; and commenced the revolt which caused the 
temporary restoration of Henry VL Proclaiming Henry at 
Plymouth, they proceeded to London, and caused Edwaid to 
fly into Burgundy within eleven days after Warwick had set 
foot in England. And the claims of Plymouth have been 
set up against Weymouth, as the port where Maigaret of 
Anjou landed in the following year with her son Edward, 
and the French auxiliaries annihilated at Tewkesbury. 

In later years Lancastrian feeling was no doubt stimulated 
by the adherence of the town's most powerful neighbour, Sir 
Richard Edgcumbe, to that side, though for the time the 
Yorkists bore the sway. 

Carew heard the inhabitants of Cawsand report ' that the 
Earle of Richmond (afterwards Henry the seuenth), while 
hee houered vpon the coast, here [Cawsand] by stealth 


refreshed himselfe ; but being aduertised of streight watch, 
kept for his surprising at PlynunUhf he richly rewarded his 
hoste, hyed speedily a shipboord, and escaped happily to a 
better fortune.' The substantial accuracy of this statement 
is borne out by a royal proclamation directed against Henry 
in 1483, which sets forth that 'the said Henry callying 
hymself Erie of Eichemond, and Jasper, callying h3rmself 
Erie of Pembroke, and their adherents, beying Elnemyes to 
oure said Soveraigne Lord, came falsely and traiterously with 
a greate Navye and Armye of Straungiers' to Pljrmouth, 
'and there falsly and traiterously to have arrived and 
destroied our said Soveraigne Lord's most roiall p'sonne, his 
true subgetts, and this his Beame.' 

Towards the end of the year 1497 the Warbeckian 
insurrection excited much commotion in the West. Ply- 
mouth does not appear to have been much concerned, 
although * Robert Warweke of Plymouth, yeoman,' subse- 
quently figures in a proclamation as one of the rebels. He 
was a man of some means, having lands in Plymouth and 
Exeter worth £5 16s. yearly. Warbeck landed at Whitsand 
Bay, near the Land's End, not at Whitsand Bay, near 
Plymouth, as from the identity of name has sometimes 
wrongly been inferred. 

There are a few entries concerning this matter in the 
Receiver's Accounts of the Corporation for 1496-7. 

Item p* to aman y* was send vnto Exetr when the Captyn 

was at Exet^ to Spy tydyngs . , . y' vj* 

Item dely v'yd vnto viij me y* wer send by y* mayer to 

my lord of devonshyr in Comewalle to defende pkyn viij* ii^^ 

They were dressed in 'Grene Jaketts,' which cost 8d. 
the yard. It is curious to note 'defend' used here in the 
sense of oppose, which has continued to the present day 
in France. [So in 1598 money raised to defend the town 
against Sir Ferdinando Gorges is said to be to 'defend 

Landing of Katharine of Arragon* 

On the 2nd of October, 1501, amidst the heartiest 
demonstrations of popular rejoicing, Katherine of Arragon, 
landed at Plymouth Barbican on her way to wed Pnnce 
Arthur. 'Had she been the Saviour of the world,' wrote 
the Licentiate Alcares, she could not have had a more 
enthusiastic welcome. The voyage had been boisterous and 
uncomfortable, for the ship was laden with plate and jewels, 

D 2 


and crowded with the members of her household. Inmiediately 
ou landing she went to church in procession to return thanks 
for her preservation. She was lodged in the 'goodly house 
towards the Haven' of a rich merchant named Paynter, 
which has been traditionally identified with the fine old 
building of Palace Court, pulled down to give place to the 
Palace Court Board Schools. Hither flocked, during her stay, 
all the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood, to pay her 
homage, and look upon the veil which covered her features, 
and which her duenna, Donna Elvira Manuel, persistently 
kept down. That this did not damp the loyal enthusiasm of 
the Corporation, the amount of their expenditure shows : 

Itm p* to Bichard Gewe for vj oxen the wich Wer 

psented to my lady prynces . . vj" vj' viij** 

Itm p^ to Gelan Mellow Bocher for zx shepe the wich wer 

psented to my lady princes . . xxxi^* iig^ 

Itm p** to Willm Chapyn for iiy shepe that wer psented 

to my lady princs . . . viij' viy** 

Itm p* for g hogeshedds of Gaston Wyne wich was 

psented to my lady princs . . . xl* 

Itm p*^ to Mr. Yogge for a hogshed of clarett wyne 

psented to my lady princs . . xvj» viij* 

Itm p^ for a pipe of meskedell psented to my lady 

pryncs . . . . xlvj' viij* 

Itm delyu''yd to my lady pryncs ys amner [almoner] to 

wryte oure supplicacion yn Spaynysch and in latyn 

and to be owre aalucyt' . . . . x' 

Itm a Reward to the pryncs ys mylstrells ... ^' 

Itm to the Erie ys mylstrells of Spayne . • . xx^ 

Itm to the pryncs ys |j fotemen at his deptyng . • ij' 

From Plymouth Katherine rode to London by way of 
Exeter, being met by Lord Willoughby de Broke, Steward of 
the Household, and curiously enough High Steward also of 
Plymouth. Izaacke's note concerning her entertainment 
in the ever-faithful city is too amusing to be omitted: — 
' In the month of October ^ the Lady Kath^ne Prince Arthur's 
Spovse arrived at Plymouth, unto whom forthwith resorted 
the Gentry of the Country, and conducted her hither, and 
lodged her in the Dean's House, and had such entertainment 
as did belong to so honourable a Personage; whilst she 
remained here the Weather proved stormy, and the Weather- 
cock on St. Marys Steeple, kept such a noise, that the Princess 
could not sleep, which occasioned the taking down of the 
said cock, which was erected again on her departure, and 
shortly thereafter the whole Steeple was taken down.' 


The Western Bebellim. 

Some local references to the Western Bebellion for the 
restoration of Catholicism will fittingly bring this chapter to 
a close. There is a note by Carew that during this rising St 
Nicholas Island 'yeelded a safe protection to diuers dutyful 
subiects, who there shrowded themselves/ and it is clear 
from the statements in the local records that the attack 
on Plymouth was serious. 

The entry in the Black Book (1548-9) runs : 

In this yere was a greatte insurrecyon throughoatte all the 
Royahne of England and esspecially in the Counties of Devon 
and Cornwall in w^'^ tyme the Cytee of Excestie and the CasteU 
of Plymothe were valyently defended and kept from the Rebelles 
vntyll the comyng of the Lord Russel . • . then was our stepeU 
burnt w^ all the townes evydence in the same by Rebelles. 

Plymouth followed up its defence by pursuing the 
attacking force into Cornwall. 

The following items in the Receiver's Accounts are clear 
and grim enough. There is no clue to the identity of the 
unlucky traitor : 

Itm delyured to henry blase for hym & his companye 

the vi^^ of Aprell when they Rode w* Sir Richard 

Eggecombe into Comewall agaynst the RebeUs there xxvj* vi^^ 
Itm paid for a dowsen of bowestryngs for them . v^ 

Itm pd for a dowsen of faggots & a quart of rede for 

doyng thexecucyon vpon the Trayto' of Comewall viy* 
Itm for tymbre for the gallowes • . • x\j^ 

Itm for makyng the gallowes & for workynge at the howe ziiij^ 
Itm paid to John Wylstrem for doyng execucyon vpon 

the Traytr . . . . . vj' 

Itm to lands man for leadyng the horse when the traytr 

was drawen to execucon . ... ii^^ 

Itm for y pooles to putt the hede & qrt' of the said 

trayto' vpon & for y Crampys of leron for to staye 

the pole vpon the gyldhall . . . . x^ 

Itm pd for the dyn of the vndershyryff of Comewall 

beyng here when the trayter was putto execucyon . v* 

Itm paid to John Mathewe for Caryng a quart*^ of the 

trayto' to Tavystoke . ... xy* 

Itm paid to Wyllm Byckford for wyne at the Recey vyng 

of the Traytr of Comewall . ... xvi* 

We also find that some of the town guns were taken to the 
Maudlyn (North Hill), to repel the as^iiling force. 


The brave old men of Deronshlre I 

'TtB worth a world to stand 
As Devon's sons on Devon soil, 

Thongh infants of the band, 
And tell old England to her face, 

If she is great in fame, 
T was stont old heart of Devon oak 

That made her gloriooa name I — Capem. 

IT was the PlTinouth of the days of Elizabeth, Drayton 
had in mind when he sang — 

Upon the BritLsh coast, what ship yet ever came 

That not of Plymouth heares ? where those brave Navies lie, 

From Canons' thundering throats that all the world defie ? 

In the latter half of the sixteenth century Devonshire was 
the foremost county in England ; and Plymouth its foremost 
town. Even the old Edwardian fame was eclipsed. 
Elizabeth called the men of Devonshire her right hand, and 
so far carried her liking for matters Devonian, that one of 
the earliest passports of Ealegh to her favour was the fact 
that he talked the broadest dialect of the shire, and never 
abandoned it for the aflfected speech current at court. 

Contemporary writings abound with references to the note 
of Elizabethan Plymouth. Camden says : ' The town is not 
very large, but it's name and reputation is very great among 
all nations ; and this, not so much for the convenience of the 
harbour as for the valour and worth of the Inhabitants/ ^ 

Pole remarks : ' Plymouth from a small town is now one 
of the greatest' * 

Carew soars far above the level of his quaint, shrewd, 
gossiping style, in sounding its praises: 'Here, [says he] 
mostly, haue the troops of aduenturers, made their Bendez vous 
for attempting new discoueries or inhabitances : as, Thx). 

^ Britannia (Gibson's ed.), i. 84. * ColUcHoru. 


Stvkdeigh for Florida, Sir Humfrey GfUhert for Newfound-land, 
Sir Rich. OreynuiU for Virginia, Sir Martyn Frobiaher, and 
Master Dauies, for the North-west Passage, Sir Walter 
Raleigh for Guiana, &c. Here Count Mongomery made forth, 
with a more commendable meaning, then able meanes, or wel- 
speeding effect for relieving the hard-besieged, and sore- 
distressed Rochellers. Here, Sir Fi*a. Drake first extended 
the point of that liquid line wherewith (as an emulator of 
the Sunnes glorie) he encompassed the world. Here, Master 
Candish began to second him with a like heroicall spirit, and 
fortunate successe. Here, Don Antonio, King of Portugall,' 
the Earles of Cumberland, Essex, and Nottingham, the Lord 
Warden of the Stanneries [Ral^h], Sir lohn Norrice, Sir 
lohn Hawkins (and who elsewhere, and not here ?) haue euer 
accustomed to cut sayle, in carrying defiance against the 
imaginarie new Monarch [the King of Spain] ; and heere to 
cast anker, vpon their retume with spoyle and honour. I 
omit the infinite swarme of single ships, and pettie fleetes, 
dayly heere manned out to the same eflfect. And here, in 
eightie eight, the foreremembred Lord Admirall expected and 
set forth, against that heauen-threatening Armado, which, to 
bee tainted with the shamefuUer disgrace, and to blaze our 
renoume with the brighter lustre, termed itself Inuincible.' 

Westcote, when another half-century had passed, declared, 
' Whatever show it makes in description, it is far larger in 
fame, and known to the farthest and the most remote parts 
of the world. ... In a word, I think it second to no town 
in England for worth every way ; yea, it is so esteemed of 
our neighbours the Comishmen, that they would by few very 
slender reasons claim it from us as their own.' 

Adventure and Discovery. 

Plymouth attained this position by no accidental, no 
sudden means. From the beginning of the century her 
seamen had borne their part in the new work of Western 
adventure and discovery. One at least, Martin Cockrem, 
sailed with Sebastian Cabot, the discoverer in 1497, with 
his father, of the mainland of America, and in after years 
the explorer of the Eiver Plate, whither Cockrem accom- 

* Izaacke's note on the arrival of Don Antonio at Plymouth in 1584 runs : 
' In the month of September^ Don ArdhmUo Ring of Portugal, being driven out 
of his own Countrey by Philip King of Spain, arrived at PlymauU^ and upon 
Si. MichaeVs Dav came to this Ci^ [Exeter], who with his retinue (during 
their abode here) were lodged in this Mayor's house [John Davy], and by him 
very liberally entertained. 


panied him. And when another Plymouth worthy, old 
William Hawkins (in the words of Hakluyt, 'a man for 
his wisdome, value, experience, and skill in sea causes, 
much esteemed and valued of K Henry the 8,') became 
the pioneer of English adventure in the South Seas, and 
sailed in 1530 in the PatU of Plymouth, on one of his three 
famous voyages to Brazil, Cockrem went also, and was left 
in pledge with the natives for the safety of one of the 
' savage kings,' whom Hawkins brought back with him to 
England. Unhappily the poor BrazUian died ere he could 
return; but the natives believed in the good faith of the 
English people, seeing that Hawkins had ' behaved wisely ' 
towards them, and restored Cockrem — the first Englishman 
who ever dwelt in South America — to his friends. Cockrem 
outlived his old captain, and was living still, the patriarch of 
Plymouth seamen, the last link between the old times and 
the new, long after his old captain's son. Sir John, had 
proved a worthy inheritor of his father's skill and daring. 

Advanced by such means, it is no exaggeration to say that, 
during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Plymouth was the 
foremost port in England. The history of the relations of 
Elizabeth with Spain, and the general history of the town 
during her reign, are so connected that the one includes the 
other. If any person desired to see her English worthies, 
Plymouth was the likeliest place to seek them. All were in 
some fashion associated with the old town. These were days 
when men were indiflTerent whether they fought upon land or 
water; when the fact that a man was a good general was 
considered the best of all reasons why he should be a good 
admiral likewise. ' Per mare, per terrain* was the motto of 
Elizabeth's * true-bom Englishmen,' and familiar and dear to 
them was Plymouth — ^with its narrow streets, its dwarfish 
quays, its broad waters, and its glorious Hoa 

The roll of Plymouth's naval heroes begins with the name 
of 'Wyllm Hawkyns,' thus set down fifth on the oldest 
extant list of Plymouth freeman. He was son of John 
Hawkins,* of Tavistock, and Joan, daughter of William 
Amadas, of Tavistock or Launceston. His wife was Joan, 
daughter of Roger Trelawny. His eldest son was another 
WiUiam Hawkins ; his second Sir John Hawkins, the most 
renowned of Plymouth worthies. These Hawkinses were a 
remarkable race. ' Gentlemen ' as Prince * quaintly phrases, 

^ The occnrrenoe of the name in a rent roll of 1491 appears to show a 
connection with Plymoath before TaTistock. 
• Worthies of Devon, 


'of worshipful extrax^tion for several descents/ they were 
made more worshipful by their deeds. For three generations 
in succession they were the master spirits of Plymouth in its 
most illustrious days — its leading merchants, its bravest 
sailors, serving oft and well in the civic chair and the 
Commons House of Parliament. For three generations they 
were in the van of English seamanship, founders of England's 
commerce in South and West and 'Esist, stout in fight, of 
quenchless spirit in adventure — a family of merchant 
statesmen and heroes to whom our coimtry affords no 

The early voyages of Sir John Hawkins were to the 
Canary Isles. In October, 1562, he made his first expedition 
in search of negroes to sell in Hispaniola, and his second 
in October, 1564. While preparing for a voyage in 1567, 
at which time he was admural of the port, an amusing 
incident occurred, which has foimd record in the pages 
of Froude. As the tale is told by his son. Sir Richard, 
Hawkins simply meant to teach politeness. A Spanish 
vessel entered Plymouth waters without lowering her flag 
or striking her topsails, and Hawkins gently reminded her 
captain of his want of courtesy by sending a T^annon ball 
crashing through his galleon's sides. The other side of the 
story may seem more to the purpose. The ship had entered 
Cattewater with a number of Low -Country prisoners on 
board. Hawkins 'imagined' she came with bad intentions, 
fired upon her, and in the subsequent tumult the prisoners 
got free. Another ship was boanied and prisoners released, 
and a third driven away and lost. Of course the Spanish 
ambassador complained; equally of course Elizabeth asked 
Hawkins what he meant by such proceedings ; and Hawkins 
in turn was mightily astonished she should be displeased 
at the protection of the honour of her realm. 

If we are to believe all that the Spanish ambassadors 
had to say of Plymouth in the early part of the reign of 
Elizabeth, the port certainly had a very doubtful character. 
That Hawkins fired upon the Spaniard was a small matter. 
For nearly a century later even English vessels entering 
Cattewater were fired at from the fort if they did not 
salute ; but in 1631 this was forbidden, on the plea that the 
ships themselves were floating forts of the king. 

William Hawkins, John's brother, had a vessel under 
the commission of the Prince of Conde, one of a fleet of 
Huguenot craft which made Plymouth their head-quarters, 
and scoured the Channel in search of Catholic ships. It 


must be noted too that the Hawkinses bad a private 
grievance against France, since in 1556 the Peter of Plymouth, 
belonging to them, had been taken by the French before 
war was proclaimed. The ships captured by the Huguenot 
cruisers were carried into Plymouth, and the spoil divided. 
Flemish ships frequently met a like fate. In 1569, a French 
ship commanded by M. de Bordela, plundered two hulks 
in the sight of the whole town. Flemish ships were treated 
as Spanish; but neither French nor English cruisers were 
particular. So Francesco Diaz, captain of a Spanish treasure- 
ship, found when he visited Plymouth in 1568. William 
Hawkins was mayor, and chief purchaser of the spoil as 
it was brought in. He searched the Spanish and Flemish 
vessels in the port, seized sixty-four chests of silver which 
Diaz had, and placed them in the Guildhall — of course for 
safety. All that the Spanish ambassador could do was to 
protest, and that right, at least, was never denied him. 

Sir John's voyage of 1567 was the 'most important ex- 
pedition that had ever been made by the English nation 
beyond the coasts of Europe. ... It was the first occasion 
on which English keels furrowed that hitherto unknown 
sea, the Bay of Mexico.' 

Of this voyage, the turning-point in Hawkins's career, 
we have a brief narrative from his own pen. He left 
Plymouth, October 2nd, 1567, with a fleet of six ships — 
the JesiiA of Luheck, Mynion^ William and John, Judith, 
Angd, and Swallow, The Jesus and the Mynion were 'the 
Queenes Maiesties,' the other four were Hawkins's private 
venture; and the JudUh is memorable from the fact that 
she was commanded by Francis Draka 

The expedition ended in disaster. Treacherously assailed 
in the port of San Juan de UUoa, Hawkins lost all his 
vessels save the Mynion and the Judith, and brought back 
but a hundred of his men. When his brother William 
heard of the disaster he begged Elizabeth to allow him 
to make reprisals on his own account; and when John 
returned it may fairly be said that Plymouth declared war 
against Spain. Hawkins and Drake thereafter never missed 
a chance of making good their losses. The treachery of 
San Juan de Ulloa was the moving cause of the series of 
harassments which culminated in the destruction of the 
Armada. For every English life then lost, for every pound 
of English treasure then taken, Spain paid a hundred and 
and a thousandfold. John Hawkins led the way with one 
of the boldest acts of Machiavellian statesmanship on record. 


The plaint, blunt sailor set his wits against those of King 
Philip and all his Court, and bent them to his will like 
puppets. With the full knowledge of Burghley, he pretended 
treachery; obtained the release of his captured seamen; 
pardon and titles for himself ; and what was of more account, 
a large sum of money, which was immediately laid out in 
works of defence. 

In 1573 Hawkins was chosen by the Queen 'as the fittest 
I)erson in her dominions to manage her naval affairs'; and 
for twenty-one years he ' toiled terribly ' as Treasurer of the 
Queen's Marine Causes and Comptroller of the Navy. It 
was he who prepared the Boyal fleet which set forth against 
the Armada. Faithful in the least, as well as in the greatest, 
' when the moment of trial came he sent her ships to sea in 
such a condition — hull, rigging, spars, and running rope — 
that they had no match in the world,'* The royal vessels 
that sailed out of Plymouth Sound to beat the Armada 
were perfectly equipped to the minutest detail, though 
Hawkins bitterly felt the straits to which he had been 
put. Sir John died in November, 1595, whilst employed in 
the joint expedition with Drake to the West Indies, which 
cost England the lives of both these great captaina His 
sickness began upon the news of the taking of one of the 
vessels, called the Francis; and Drake's, as we shall see, was 
caused in a similar manner. 

Sir John Hawkins's elder brother William, the patriarch of 
the port, was Mayor of the Armada year ; and in February 
preceding the attempted invasion directed the preparations 
at Plymouth, where several great ships were made ready 
for sea. The work was * very chargeable, being carried on by 
torchlights and cressets in the midst of a gale of wind.' 

Next to Sir John, however, the most prominent member of 
the Hawkins family was his son Sir Richard, the ' complete 
seaman,* who in 1593 sailed from Plymouth with five ships 
on his memorable expedition to the South Seas, which, after 
his rediscovery of the Falkland Isles — ^Hawkins's Maiden 
Lavd^ ended in his capture by the Spaniards. From various 
causes the fleet was reduced to the single vessel, the Dainty, 
which he himself commanded. Manned by seventy-five men 
only, she was assailed by eight Spanish vessels with crews of 
1300. Nevertheless this worthy son of a worthy sire kept 
up the fight three days, and did not surrender until he had 
himself been wounded six times, and then upon good terms, 
which the Spaniards broke by sending their prisoners to 
* Fbouds, Bittory of England. 


Spain. Hawkins remained in captivitj several years, beinj 
ironed when he attempted to escape, and is one of sevei 
Englishmen wrongly credited with being the hero of the 

Would you know a Spanish lady, 
How she wooed an Englishman. 

Sir John in terse nervous English i)enned an account of 
his disastrous voyage to San Juan de UUoa; and we are 
indebted to Sir Richard's Narrative of his Voyage to the 
SotUh Seas for a few graphic descriptive touches of the 
manners and customs of Plymouth sailors in the olden time. 
Before he could start on this expedition he and his friends 
the justices had to spend two days in hunting up his 
crew in lodgings, taverns, and other houses. When he 
left, the most part of the inhabitants 'were gathered 
together upon the Howe to show their grateful corres- 
pondency to the loue and zeal which I, my Father, and 
Predecessors, have ever borne to that place as to our naturall 
and mother Towne; and first with my noyse of Trumpets, 
after with my waytes, and then with my other Musicke, 
and lastly with the Artillery of my Shippes, I made the 
best signification I could of a kinde farewell This they 
answered with the waytes of the Towne, and the Ordinance 
on the shore, and with shouting of voyces: which with 
the fayre evening and silence of the night were heard a 
great distance off.' 

A third William Hawkins, son of William the Armada 
Mayor, and cousin of Sir Bichard, did yeoman service for 
England in the East. As his grandfather established English 
trade with the South Seas, and his uncle pioneered the way 
into the Bay of Mexico, so he laid the foundation of our 
Indian empir& Sailing in 1607 to the East Indies in 
command of the Hector, in the third East India Company's 
voyage, in company with Capt. Keeling, in the Dragon, he 
established a trading house or factory at Surat, and went on 
to Agra as ambassador, attended by one Englishman — 
Nicholas TJfflett — and a boy. Here he won favour with the 
Great Mogul, the Emperor Jehangir, and at his desire 
married the daughter of 'Mabarique Sha,' a Christian 

Then we have Drake, a Plymouthian by adoption, though 
not like the Hawkinses by birth, whom Camden calls ' with- 
out dispute the greatest captain of the age;' and who is 
unquestionably the central figure of the sea life of these 
times. A kinsman of Hawkins, he was associated with 


him in several daring enterprises. There were many giants 
in these days, but Drake with his bullet head, his dogged 
determination, his unflinching pluck, was held the typical 
Englishman of the age. Beloved at home, he was terrible 
abroad ; and many a legend obtained ready credence among 
the Spaniards — and for that matter the English also — 
concerning his magical powers/^ 

Camden says of Drake that he, ' first, to repair the losses 
he had suffered from the Spaniards, . . . did as it were block up 
the Bay of Mexico for two years together, with continual 
defeats; and travelled over the Straits of Darien; whence 
having descry'd the SotUh-Sea, ... it made such impression on 
his mind, that like Themistodes inflam'd with the trophies 
of Miltiades, he thought he should be wanting to himself, 
his country, and his own glory, if he did not complete the 

Drake was brought to the sea under Hawkins; and 
accompanied him on the vojag^ of 1567, which ended so 
disastrously, Drake losing all he had. His first separate 
expedition against his natural enemies the Spaniards was in 
1572, in May of which year he set out, with the Fascha of 
70 tons, and the Swan of 25, commanded by his brother 
John, the joint crews numbering 73 men, on his memorable 
expedition to Nombre de-Dios. He returned on Sunday, the 
9th of August, in the following year. The inhabitants were 
engaged in worship at St. Andrew Church; but when the 
news of Drake's arrival reached them, straightway the 
congregation swarmed out to the Hoe to welcome their hero 

Four years later Drake started on his famous voyage of 
circumnavigation. His little fleet consisted of the Fdican 
(afterwards the Golden Hind) 120 tons, Ulizabeth 80, Simn 50, 
Marygold 30, and Christopher 15 ; the crews mustering 164 
men, all told.® He sailed on the 15th of November, 1577, 
giving out that he was proceeding on a voyage to Alexandria; 
but was compelled to put back, and did not take his final 

^ ThiiB it ia said that he brought the leat into Plymoath by pronoancing 
certain ma^cal words over a Dartmoor spring, which caused it to follow the 
heels of his horse back to the town. Tnere are likewise traditions that he 
made firs ships to destroy the Armada, by throwing chips of wood into the 
water; and that to prevent his wife's marrying in his absence, thinking 
him dead, he fired a cannon ball through the world which came up 
between her and her intended at the altar. 

* One of the meet notable features of the English maritime expeditions of 
those days is the sraallness of the ressels. Hawkins, Drake, and their 
fellows go voysf^es of discoveiy to the other hemisphere, and nght battles 
too, in craft which a modem trawler would despise. 


departure until the 13th of December following. Nearly 
three years elapsed before he returned. Disaster and 
disaffection had broken up the little fleet, but he persevered, 
and on the 26th of September, 1680, brought the Pelican 
safely back to Plymouth again; the first English captain 
and the first English ship that had ploughed a furrow round 
the world. Great was the rejoicing. Plymouth turned out, 
headed by the Mayor and Corporation, to greet the dauntless 
sailor ; the bells of St Andrew rang merry i)eals the livelong 
day ; and from fax and near Devonshire men flocked to the 
town to welcome and honour their brave brother. The 
Pelican was crammed with treasure. Drake was allowed by 
the Queen an opportunity of helping himself; after which 
there remained on board, besides gold and plate, twenty tons 
of silver. 

The thenceforward historic bark was taken round to 
Deptford, and on the following April Drake had the honour 
of entertaining the Queen on board; when she, with that 
rare appreciation of merit which she possessed, conferred 
upon him the highest honour in her power to bestow, that of 
knighthood. The Queen knew the value of these expeditions 
as well as any one in her dominions. It was her custom to 
make much of her seamen. Thus when Frobisher left the 
Thames on one of his expeditions, she bade him farewell, 
' shaking her hand at us out of the window.' 

In 1585, Drake with a fleet of twenty-five sail, made 
another expedition to the West Indiea His next exploit, 
performed in 1587, was what he jocularly called ' singeing 
the King of Spain's beard.' With his fleet he so ravaged 
the coast of Spain as to delay the sailing of the Armada for 
a year. In the accoimt of this voyage the English are said 
to have satisfied themselves that the ' carracks were no such 
bugs, but they might be taken,' and that four ships ' made 
no account of twenty gallies.' 

In August, 1595, Drake and Hawkins sailed together 
from the port to which they were never to return, with 
a fleet of twenty-seven vessels. Two months after Hawkins 
died (ie., January, 1596) Drake died also, chagrin at the 
failure of an attack upon Panama producing his illness. 
* He used some speeches a little before his death, rising and 
apparelling himself.' 

Drake was a man of such activities, that when at home he 
could not remain idle. He became Mayor of Plymouth, and 
like Hawkins represented the town in Parliament. Moreover 
he was a capable man of business. The esteem in which he 


was held by his contemporaxies, and especiallj by fellow 
West-Ck)untrymen, seems to have been unbounded. Witness 
the lines inscribed beneath his portrait in the Plymouth 

Sir Drake whom well the world's end knew, 

Which thou didst compasse rounde, 
And whom both poles of Heaven ons saw. 

Which North and South doe bound : 
The Starrs above will make thee knowne, 

If men here silent were ; 
The Sunn himself cannot foigett 
His fellow Traveller! 

Qreat Drake, whose shippe about the worlde's wide waste 

In three vears did a golden girdle cast. 

Who with fresh streams refresht this Towne that first, 

Thoush kist with waters, yet did pine for thirst 

Who both a Pilote and a Magistrate 

Steered in his tume the Shippe of Plymouthe's state ; 

This little table shewes his race whose worth 

The worlde's wide table hardly can sett forth. 

Prince describes Drake as low in stature, but set and 
strong grown, a very reUgious man toward God and His 
houses generally, sparing churches wherever he came, chaste 
in his life, just in his dealings, true to his word. 

Only second to Drake and Hawkins as a seaman was 
Balegh, the finished courtier, statesman, philosopher, and 
soldier, the very epitome of the spirit of the age, fated to be 
led away to the death to which the pedant tyrant James 
had doomed him, from the town which he had so often 
visited, and rarely without advantage to his country and 
credit to himself. Then GrenviUe the undaunted, the Bayard 
of his country and generation; the brothers Gilbert, with 
their manly piety and grand projects ; Candish, the daring 
circumnavigator, who seems to have had local connections, 
from the frequent occurrence of this unusual form of the 
name in the South Hams in the sixteenth century; the 
unfortimate Oxenham, a Plymouth freeman, who made the 
marvellous overland march from Nombre de Dios to Panama, 
but lost both life and treasure by the wrangling of his 
company; 'loveable John Davis'; Frobisher, who ended his 
adventurous life at Plymouth in 1594, and part of whose 
remains were buried in St. Andrew Church; Fenner; and 
many another man of mark in these stirring times — all 
knew and loved Plymouth. 

Such were the leaders, but we go deeper stilL Hosts 
of unrecorded heroes made up the maritime population 



of the western ports in these days, and heartily followed 
where the others led. A Drake, a Hawkins, a Gilbert, a 
Grenville, never looked in vain to Plymouth, or Dartmouth, 
or Bideford, for a crew. The twin spirit — love of adventure, 
hatred of the Spaniard — ^pervaded the whole community. 

There is a statement that Philip of Spain, husband of 
Mary, once landed at Plymouth, and was entertained by 
the Corporation at a cost of £300. But the records are 
silent on this, and their silence is conclusive. In all 
likelihood the tradition originated in an incident recorded 
under 1505-6. 

Itm p** to the purcevant for bryngyng of the kyngs lett' 

when the Kyng of Castell luided here . • • U* 

This would presumably be Philip the Fair, who married 
Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and who, after 
the death of the latter, succeeded in right of his wifa 
Probably he put in on his way from the Netherlands to 

The Defeat of the Armada. 

Passing by for the time the records of discovery and 
settlement in the far West, we come to the defeat of tlie 
Armada, the most memorable event associated with the 
history of Plymouth. Every one is familiar with Macaulay's 
ringing fragment. Plymouth strikes the keynote. 

It was about the glorious close of a warm summer's day, 
There came a galtant merchant ship full sail to Plymouth Bay ; 
Her crew had seen Castile's black neet, beyond Aurigny's Isle, 
At earliest twilight on the wave lie heaving many a mile. 
At sunrise she escaped their van, by Qod's especial ^race, 
And the tall Pinta till the noon had held her close m chase. 
Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall ; 
The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgcumbe's lofty hall ; 
Many a lisht fishing bark put out to pry along the coast ; 
And with loose rein and bloody spur rode inlcmd many a post 
With his white hair unbonnetted the stout old sheriff comes : 
Behind him march the halberdiers, before him soimd the drums. 
His yeomen round the market cross make clear an ample space, 
For there behoves him to set up the standard of her Qrace. 
And merrily the trumpets sound, and gaily dance the bells, 
As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells. 
Look I how the lion of the sea lifts up ms ancient crown, 
And underneath his deadly paw turns the gay lilies down. 
So glared he when at Azincour in wrath he turned to bay, 
And crushed and torn beneath his feet the princely hunters lay ; 
So stalked he when he turned to flight on tnat famed Picard field 
Bohemia's plume, Genoa's bow, and Caesar's eagle shield. 


The Armada consisted of 129 ships, most of them of great 
size (the total tonnage being 60,000 tons), carrying 3165 
guns, and manned by 32,000 soldiers, sailors, and volunteers. 
A return by Sir John Hawkins, preserved among the Harleian 
MSS. in the British Museum, places the total number of the 
English fleet, including victuallers, at 190 ships, of 31,985 
tons, and manned by 15,272 men. Of these the vessels of 
'Her Majesty* numbered 34, of 12,190 tons, manned by 6,225 
men. The largest ship was of 1100 tons, and was commanded 
by Frobisher. Hawkins had the Victory, of 800 tons ; Drake 
the Revenge, of 500. The Plymouth contingent was seven 
ships and a fly-boat. Hawkins writes that the charge *of 
the army prepared against the Spaniard from the beginning 
of November, 1587, to the last of September, 1588, above 
the charges borne by the port townes throughout the realme, 
the victual excepted,' was £35,100.* 

The English fleet was under the command of Lord Howard 
of Effingham as admiral, with Drake and Hawkins as vice 
and rear admirals, whilst all the famous seamen of the time 
held commands ; and there they lay in Cattewater, ' a paltry 
squadron enough in modern eyes, the largest of them not 
equal in size to a six and thirty gun frigate,'^ waiting the 
approach of the most stupendous force then known. The 
news that the Armada was off the coast was brought about 
four o'clock on the afternoon of the 19th July, but the fleet 
itself did not appear in sight of Plymouth until noon of the 
following day. The English had almost given up expecting 
the Spaniards, and consequently were somewhat unready. 

Tradition has recorded that tidings of the approach of 
the enemy came to the captains whilst they were playing 
bowls on the Hoe. In language that makes the actors in 
the great drama live and move before us Canon Kingsley, 
though drawing largely on imagination for some of his 
portraiture, has described the scene : 

In the little terrace bowling green behind the Pelican Inn, on 
the afternoon of the 19th of July, chatting in groups or 
lounging on the sea wall, which commanded a view of the Sound 
and of the shipping far below, were gathered almost every notable 
man of the Plymouth fleet, the whole posse comilcUua of 
England's forgotten worthies. .... See those five talking 

' Oat of 10,000 'able men' in Devon 6200 were armed and 8660 trained ; 
out of 7766 ' able men ' in Cornwall 8600 were armed and 1500 trained. 

^ There was a dock in Sntton Pool on the aite of what is now Smart's 
Qnay ; and tiiere is a record that the Roebuck, one of these vessels, was 
taken there subsequently to be * amended.' 


earnestly in the centre of a ring, whom every one longs to 
overhear, and yet is too respectful to approach close. The soft 
long eyes and pointed chin you recognise already; they are 
Walter Ralegh'& The fair young man in the flame-coloured 
doublet, whose arm is round Kalegh's neck, is Lord Sheffield; 
opposite them stands by the side of Sir Richard Grenville, a man 
as stately even as he. Lord Sheffield's uncle, the Lord Charles 
Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral of England ; next to 
him is his son-in-law, Sir Robert Southwell, captain of the 
Elizabeth Jonas: but who is that short, sturdy, plainly dressed 
man, who stands with legs a little apart, and hands behind his 
back, looking up with keen grey eyes into the face of each 
speaker 1 His cap is in his hand, so you can see the bullet head 
of crisp brown hair and the wrinkled forehead, as well as the 
high cheek bones, the short square face, the broad temples, the 
thick lips, which are yet firm as granite. A coarse plebeian stamp 
of man : yet the whole figure and attitude are that of boundless 
determination, self-possession, energy ; and when at last he speaks 
a few blunt words, aU eyes are turned respectfully upon him; 
for his name is Francis Drake. A burly grizzled elder, in greasy 
searstained garments, contrasting oddly with the huge gold chain 
about his neck, waddles up, as if he had been bom, and had lived 
ever since, in a gale of wind at sea. The upper part of his sharp 
dogged visage seems of brick -red leather, the lower of badger's 
fur ; and as he claps Drake on the back, and with a broad Devon 
twang shouts, 'Be you a coming to drink your wine, Francis 
Drake, or be you not 1 — saving your presence, my lord,* the Lord 
High Admiral only laughs and bids Drake go and drink his wine ; 
for John Hawkins, admiral of the port, is the patriarch of 
Plymouth seamen if Drake be their hero, and says and does 
pretty much what he likes in any company on earth; not to 
mention that toKla/s prospect of an Armi^eddon fight has shaken 
him altogether out of his usual crabbed reserve, and made him 
overflow with loquacious good humour even to his rival Drake. 
So they push through the crowd, wherein is many another man 
whom one would gladly have spoken with face to face on earth. 
Martin Frobisher and John Davis are sitting on that bench, 
smoking tobacco from long silver pipes ; and by them are Fenton 
and Withrington, who have both tried to follow Drake's path 
round the world, and failed, though by no fault of their own. 
The man who pledges them better luck next time is George 
Fenner, known to the 'seven Portugals,' Leicester's pet, and 
captain of the galleon which Elizabeth bought of him. That 
short prim man in the huge yellow rufi', with sharp chin, minute 
imperial, and self-satisfied smile, is Richard Hawkins, the 
'complete seaman,' Admiral John's hereafter famous and hapless 
son. The elder who is talking with him is his good uncle 
William, whose monument stiH stands, or should stand, in 


Deptford Church ; for Admiral John set it up there but one year 
after this time, and on it recorded how he was * a worshipper of 
the true religion, an especial benefactor of poor sailors, a most just 
arbitrator in most difficult causes, and of a singular faith, piety, 
and prudence/ That and the fact that he got creditably through 
some sharp work at Porto Rico is all I know of William 
Hawkins ; but if you or I, reader, can have as much, or half as 
much, said of us when we have to follow him, we shall have no 
reason to complain. There is John Drake, Sir Francis's brother, 
ancestor of the present stock of Drakes ; and there is George his 
nephew, a man not over wise, who has been round the world with 
Amyas ; and there is Amyas himself, talking to one who answers 
him with fierce curt sentences — Captain Barker, of BristoL 

And so our Devonshire prose epic goes on to recount how 
the news of the approach of the Armada was brought hj 
Captain Fleming, and how it was received by Drake and 
Hawkins, and the rest. The game of bowls was played out 
the Spaniards notwithstanding, and tradition has assigned to 
Drake the pithy sentence, * There is time enough to play the 
game out first, and thrash the Spaniards afterwards/ 

The circumstances under which the Armada was destroyed 
belong to the general history of the country, and need not 
be recited here. To one point, however, reference must be 
made. The only man of note among the English who fell, 
one Captain Cocke, or Cock, Fuller's ' cock of the game,' was 
a native of Plymouth. He was a volunteer, had fitted out a 
ship on his own account, and having taken a Spanish vessel 
died in the moment of victory. 

In commemoration of the defeat of the Armada, it wbb 
the custom for the bells of St. Andrew to ring a merry peal 
annually on the Saturday night preceding the 25th of July. 
On the Sunday the Corporation used to walk to church in 
state. For more than two hundred years the anniversary 
was thus celebrated in Plymouth. It was reserved for the 
nineteenth century to put an end to this interesting 

On the other hand there has been recent compensation in 
the erection of a fine statue of Sir Francis Drake on the 
Hoe ; and the provision of a memorial in connection with a 
celebration of the tercentenary of the Armada The statue, 
a noble figure in bronze by Boehm, a replica of that given 
by the Duke of Bedford to Tavistock, was erected by 
subscription, and inaugurated in the presence of an immense 
gathering (February 14th, 1884) by Lady Fuller Drake, 
wife of Sir Francis Fuller Drake, a representative in the 



female line of Drake's brother Thomas. The features are 

The foundation stone of the Armada Memorial was laid 
on July 19th, 1888, by the Mayor, Mr. H. J. Waring, that 

day being taken as the 
^ anniversary of the first 
sighting of the Armada 
from the Hoe, which did 
not occur, however, as 
already noted, until the 
20th. Excursion trains 
were run and enormous 
crowds were present at 
the ceremony, and the 
occasion was made a 
public holiday, with a 
banquet in the Guildhall. 
The Memorial was in- 
augurated by the Duke of 
Edinburgh October 21st, 
1890, with full civic pomp 
and imposing naval and 
military demonstration 
and ceremonial. 

Mr. W. H. K Wright 
was the originator and 
energetic secretary of 
both movements. 

Another memorial of 
these stirring days is the 
fine historical picture by 
Seymour Lucas of *The 
Game of Bowls'; itself 
in Australia, but familiar 
by its frequent reproductions. The bowling story rests wholly 
on tradition, though old tradition ; and while there is no 
reason to doubt the event itself, there is strong ground for 
believing that the Bowling Green, while near the Hoe, could 
not have been upon it. 

Fleming, who reported the advent of the Armada, seems to 
have been subsequently employed in the port. In 1591 the 
Dolphin of Plymouth, commanded by one of that name, 
carried despatches to Howard at the Azores, at a cost of 
£200 12s. He impressed a pinnace laden for Eochelle, and 
in twenty-four hours unladed and fitted her out. 

Status of Sir Francis Drakk. 


PlymoiUh the Elizabethan Bendezvaus. 

During the whole of Elizabeth's reign Plymouth continued 
the rendezvous of the various expeditions sent out against 
the Spaniard. It had been the resort of the ships of the 
Eoyal Navy throughout the century. A list of 1513 contains 
the names of the Trinity of Plymouth, of 50 tons and 183 
men ; and the Jamys of Saltash, 80 tons and 122 men, John 
Cornwallis captain. The Mary Holway^ the property of 
William Holway of Plymouth, serving against the French 
in 1564, was no doubt one of these semi-piratical ventures 
which made Plymouth so hated abroad. 

The next important event to the defeat of the Armada 
was the sailing of the expedition under Drake and Norris, 
to place Don Antonio on the throne of Portugal Don 
Antonio is said to have visited Mount Edgcimibe in 1580, 
but the records there only refer to the visit of Diego 
Botelho, his 'Councillor of State and Chancellor of the 
Exchequer.' As a result. Piers Edgcimibe — described in the 
papers as ' Caualeiro Execom ' — fitted out a squadron of ten 
ships in 1582, under letters of marque from Antonio, the 
fate of which is unknown. Antonio, we are told, again 
visited Plymouth in 1583 and 1584. The Corporation 
books do not mention him ; but £4 is charged in 1581 for 
entertaining Botelho; so that if Antonio also had visited 
Plymouth some record might have been expected. 

The expedition of Drake and Norris did considerable 
damage to the enemy, but could not take Lisbon. Half of 
the 20,000 volunteers who manned it perished by sickness, 
famine, fatigue, or the sword. 

Then in June, 1595, was despatched the memorable 
expedition against Cadiz, of which Howard and Essex were 
the chief commanders. So many knights were made at 
Cadiz that the plentiful crop gave rise to the stanza— 

A gentleman of Wales, a knight of Cales, 

And a laird of the North countree ; 
But a veoman of Kent with hia yearly rent, 

Gould buy them out all three. 

The last of the knights of Cales, Sir Eobert Dudley, was 
knighted in the streets of Plymouth, as the Lords-General 
'came from the sermon«' And we find from the Town 
Eecords that Captain Parker had 'a shippe y* serued the 
towne in the Cales action.' 
These Becords contain frequent references under the head 


of expenditure to the great men and events of these days. 
Thus we may cite : 

1570-71 Itm payd for a bote & men to cary the procla- 
mation abord the prince of Orenge is shippes • • iij" 

As already seen, Plymouth was a great resort for Con- 
tinental Protestant privateers ; and there are many allusions 
to the visits of those of the Huguenots, or, as they are often 
called, * Eochellers,' and the Dunkirkers. This proclamation 
was the order of Elizabeth prohibiting the supply of the 
Dutch patriots with meat, bread, or beer. 

1582-3 Itm p^ for wyne gewen to the prmce of Cundie 

[Conde] . . . . . v" x^ 

Itm p^ to the drume' to call the prince of Cimdies company 

aborde . . ... xviij* 

Itm p** for the hire of a bote w^ was sente to Cawson the 

xxviy*** of Auguste to knowe what the shippe was there ij* 

Itm p** for victualls for the Bote w**** was sente over into 

Brittaine for the discoverie of the Spaunishe Fleete xxv» i'^ob 

1586-7 Itm p** to certaine Laborers working at the diche 
sente thither when the Brut [bruit = rumour] was of y® 
Spanniards . . . . viij" xi* 

The entries in the Armada year are not so numerous as 
might be looked for, and no doubt there was a separate 
accoimt which has not been preserved ; as with some other 
matters. We find : 

Itm p^ to Bobte Scarlette for goinge oute to discover the 

Spaynish Fleet . . . . . vj* 

Itm p** to John Gibbons and Henry Woode for watching at 
Rame hedd iiij daies when the Spaynyerds were vppon 
the Coaste . . . . . x» 

Itm p** to Philipp Boyes in Consideracofi of certayne Treasure 

Trove . . . ... xx^» 

Beyond this we have only some which refer to the ship 
and pinnace found for the fleet by the town and district, 
towards which Sir John Hawkins gave £20, while letters 
were written to the justices touching ' monie w^h we should 
receue for fetting out of a shipp against the Spaniards.' 

Itm paied to George Sterling for riding to Mr. Champnon 
[Champemowne] of Modberie w*** Sir Fraunces Drake 
his Ire for staieng of the monies w^h hath ben gathered 
of Armenton hendred for fitting out of the Shippe . xviij* 

Itm to John Jope bestowed upon the shipp and the 

Pynnace that Srved vnder the Lo : admirall . . iiij^ 


1588-9 Itm paied to Edward Hill for rowing up to Howe 
to adu^'tise the Lo : Chamberlen of the Spaniard that 
Cam into Bigberie Baie . . . . ij* 

1589-90 Itm pd for Charges of Spanyardes brought in by 
the Eawe Bucke & Gallion dudeley for theire dyett & 
sendinge theym & for theire guyde . . . xxiiij' 

This last entry does not seem to agree with a statement 
that a number of Spanish prisoners were kept at Plymouth 
a year and a half, until ransomed. 

There are numerous ' items ' of feasting and entertainments 
of various kinds to * Sir Eichard Grayneville/ Sir Humphry 
Gilbert, the Earl of Bedford, Sir Walter Ealegh, 'my lord 
admirall,' and others ; while gifts were made and salutes 
fired, e,g. : 

Itm p* to Mr. Ric Hawkins for a Silver Cuppe w^ was 

geiven to the Lo Warden . ... xij^ 

Itm p** for iiij" of powder spente at the cominge in of S"^ 

Fraunces Drake . . . . iiij^ vj* 

Itm p** for 4 pounde of powder to shoutte of the pieces in 

the Church yarde . . ... iiij* 

Itm p** for 18 pound of powder that charged the 4 pieces 
of ordyn^ce in the Castell at the landinge of Earle of 
Essex • . . ... xviij" 

Some of the humours of the times are indicated in the 
current phrase, ' a Plymouth cloak,* for a cudgeL 

The Beverse of the Picture. 

All this gives us the heroic side of Elizabethan Plymouth. 
But there was a reverse to the picture. The town was ill 
fortified; and the inhabitants had to see to their own 
defence. Until the fort was built on the 'hawclifts' — the 
old bulwarks being ' methodized into a fortification regular ' 
in 1591-2 — there was really nothing in the shape of a 
military garrison. When the Queen contributed, moreover, 
she exercised authority in the appointment of a captain of 
' the fort and island,' and these officials were not always on 
the best of terms with ' the Mayor and his brethren.' The 
town lay so open to the enemy (though Sir Francis Drake 
and the Mayor drew the long bow a little when they told 
Elizabeth in 1590 that it was ' not defended by any fort or 
rampier'); it was the natural object of so much Spanish 
animosity; and the almost constant absence of so many of 
its stoutest sons at sea so weakened its personal means of 
defence ; — that, when its ' captains ' were away, there ruled a 


chronic state of alarm, by no means unreasonable. In 1586 
it was found needful to fine the inhabitants who did not do 
their duty or provide efficient substitutes for the day or 
night watch ; and in the following year exceedingly stringent 
measures were taken. The Corporation ordered that all who, 
on any attack being offered by the enemy, should absent 
themselves or any way withdraw themselves out of the town, 
against their duty and allegiance, should forfeit all their 
goods and chattels within the liberty, be utterly dis- 
franchised, never restored, and never allowed again to dwell 

Plymouth folk indeed were not all heroes, even in Armada 
days ; and rumour had full sway in the concluding years of 
the sixteenth century. Spies were thought to be everywhere. 
In July, 1591, Weston wrote to Francis Bacon that ten 
seminary priests and Jesuits had been landed in a creek 
near Plymouth by a London merchant, who had received £60. 
In February, 1693, John Sparke wrote the Privy Council 
that many of the inhabitants were leaving, because they 
had heard the Spaniards intended to bum the town in the 

Naturally this alarm was held to be justified in July, 1595, 
by the petty invasion at Mousehole, which resulted in the 
Spaniards occupying Penzance, and in help being sought 
from Plymouth, where Drake and Hawkins then lay with 
their fleet bound to the West Indies. By the time the 
English vessels had reached the Lizard the four Spanish 
galleys were clear away. 

In the following March fears were again aroused by the 
daring of a Spanish pinnace with 25 men, which came 
into Cawsand Bay, landed some of the crew, and set on 
fire five houses and two boata A force arriving the fire 
was quenched, and at the discharge of the first musket the 
invaders fled, leaving behind them a 'bridge barrel,* which 
was sent to London. We trace the effects on the minds of 
the Plymothians in the following entries of expenditure for 
this year : 

Itm to John Drummer for waminge all the Inhabitaunts to 

be in aredynes w*h their armor . . . vj* 

Afterwards they were ordered to ' muster on the hawa' 

Itm p^ him [Edwards] for calling w% his bell all saylors 

before the presse master . ... iij* 

Itm p** for erectinge of the barracathes and for other Chargs 

layed out aboute the same . . clxxy"* vj* ij* 


Some of the * barracathes ' were put up at Batten by Sir 
K. Champernowne. 

In 1597 hearsay became circumstantial. Traitors at 
Plymouth had sold it to the Spaniards for £50,000. Eight 
thousand men were to be disembarked from long boats to 
the westward of Plymouth at peep-of-day, and a diversion 
to be effected at Falmouth. Hence pinnaces were frequently 
sent out to ' spy tidings.' 

In the spring of 1599 a Spanish squadron captured vessels 
in Plymouth Sound itself — fishing boats, and a small craft 
belonging to Edward Cock. Whether any of the prisoners 
then made entered the Spanish service is not stated ; but one 
Thomas GriflSn, of Plymouth, had done so a little earlier. 

On the 25th of June, 1599, came a terrible scare. Edward 
Doddington, captain of the fort in the absence of Sir Ferdi- 
nando Gorges, sent off an express to London (which got there 
on the 27 th) that the Spaniards had come. He endorsed his 
letter, * For her Majesty's special use ; haste post haste for 
life; haste haste, post haste for life.' That night three 
companies of the townsfolk kept under arms on the Hoe, 
one in the town; and Doddington complained that they 
would not go into the fort. The Mayor retorted that they 
knew better. If they had gone into the fort they would 
not have been allowed out ; they were not going to abandon 
the defence of their houses and property; and the best of 
them would leave the town if it were sought to put them 
under military command in any such way. The ' Spaniards ' 
turned out to be a fleet of friendly Flemings ! But this was 
only one alarm of many ; and gates and barricades were again 
put up at the cost of the inhabitants, who were then greatly 
encouraged by the presence of 4000 men and some horse, 
commanded by the Earl of Bath. The Black Book quaintly 
notes that these remained ' about three weeks and were well 
lodged and entertayned to the great comforte and encourage- 
ment of the Towne and country, who yf itt pleased God 
that the enemye shoulde come were then readie and willinge 
to fighte.' 

The appearance of a strange fleet in July, 1601, aroused 
fresh fears; and this time it was one Captain Gilbert who 
complained that the Mayor and burgesses would not obey 
his orders. They put themselves in arms without his 
directions, and 'would not go into the fort.' They would 
defend the town voluntarily, but in their own way. ' What- 
ever I bid to be done, they will do nothing till they have 
called a council I ' 


Twenty-two chests of bulls and pardons were burnt this 
year, but it is not said whence they cama 

Itm p^ for calling in the Popes pdons and for making a fier 

to bum them . . . . . v* 

We glean many interesting glimpses of the manners and 
customs of seafaring Englishmen in these days. Sailors 
have ever been less amenable to strict discipline than 
soldiers; and three hundred years ago they were just as 
fond of bolting from their vessels and going ' on the spree ' 
as since. 

In one case we find 2s. 6d. paid for ' hue and crie made 
after S' Fraunces Drake's musitions.' Sometimes the reins 
of discipline were held with a very tight hand While the 
expedition to Cadiz was in preparation two offenders were 
executed at the local Tyburn, which has been the scene of 
many such events — ^"a little without the toune, in a very 
fayre pleasant greene called the Ho' — one for mutiny, the 
other for running away from his colours. William Meade 
and Mychell Fenton were executed there in May, 1596. A 
Dutchman who killed a comrade imder the influence of 
drink was tied to the dead body and thrown overboard; 
and a lieutenant was, 'by sound of drunmie, disgraced 
in all the streets.' 

Plymouth Expeditions under ike Tudors. 

This chapter may fittingly be concluded with a list of the 
chief voyages from Plymouth under the Tudors. 

1628 (1). First voyage of William Hawkins the elder to the South 

Soas, in the Paul of Plymouth. 
1530. Second voyage of William Hawkins the elder. 
1532. Third voyage of William Hawkins the elder. 
1562 (October). First voyage of John Hawkins to the West 

Indies, in the Solomon^ 120 tons; Swallow, 100; JoruUf 

40 — the crews numbering 100 men. 
1564. Thomas Stukeley sailed on his pretended voyage to Florida. 
1564. John Hawkins sailed, 18th October, on his second Guinea 

and West Indian voyage, with the Jents of Lubeek, 700 

tons; Solomon^ 140; Tiger, 50; Simllow, 30. 

1566. Third West Indian voyage of Sir John Hawkins, of which 

no detailed record exists. 

1567. Fourth voyage of Sir John Hawkins to the West Indies, 

sailing, October 2nd, with the Jesus of Lubeck, Mynion, 
William and John, Judith, Angel, and Swallow, Ended 
in the disaster of San Juan de UUoa. 


1572. Sir Francis Drake sailed on hb expedition of war against 
the King of Spain, with the Pascha of 70 tons, and the 
Stoan of 25, manned by 73 men. He took Nombre de 
Dios, and first saw the Pacific. 

1575. John Ozenham made his last famous voyage in a vessel of 
140 tons and 70 men. He left his ship aground in the 
Bay of Mexico, covered with boughs, crossed the 
isthmus of Darien, built a pinnace, and was the first 
Englishman who sailed on the Pacific Being taken, he 
was executed at Lima. 

1577. Drake's famous voyage of circumnavigation. He sailed 
first, November 15th, with 5 ships and 164 men; but, 
driven back by a storm, did not make his final departure 
until December 13th. Thomas Drake, his brother, went 
with him; also John Drake. Returned September 
26th, 1580. Vessels— Pelican or Qolden Hind, 120 
tons ; Elizabeth^ 80 ; 8wan^ 50 ; Marigold^ 30 ; 
Christopher, 15. 

1580 (t). William Hawkins the younger, brother of Sir John, 
sailed to the West Indies, taking with him his nephew 

1583. Sir Humphry Gilbert sailed from 'Causet Bay neere vnto 
Plimmouth' on his second voyage to Newfoundland — 
in which he took possession of that country, and from 
which he did not return. 

1585. Sir Bichard Grenville sailed, April 9th, with the Tyger, 
Boebucke, Lyon, Elizabeth, Dorothie, and two small 
pinnaces, containing Balegh's earliest Virginian colony, 
the first practical attempt of the English to colonize 
North America. Settlement planted by Balph Lane. 

1585. September 14tL Sir Francis Drake sailed on the voyage 

in which he took San lago, San Domingo, Carthagena, 
and San Augustine, in Florida. He had a fleet of 25 
sail, with 2,300 soldiers and sailors, of whom 750 were 
lost on the voyage, chiefly by disease. Frobisher was 
vice-admiral, Thomas Drake captain of the Thomas, 
Bichard Hawkins of the galiot Duck, 

1586. Thomas Candish, or Cavendish, sailed on his voyage of 

circumnavigation July 2l8t, 1586, with the Desire, 120 
tons; Content, 60; Hugh, galiot, 40. Beturned to 
Plymouth, September 9th, 1588. William Stevens, 
gunner, of Plymouth, was killed in a fight at Quintero. 

1587. Balegh's second Virginian colony, under John White, 

sailed May 8th, in three vessels. 

1587. Drake sailed, with twelve ships, on the 3rd of April to 

'* singe the king of Spain's beard." 

1588. The E^lish fleet under Howard, Drake, and Hawkins, 

sailed July 21st^ to meet the Armada. 


1589. John Chudley sailed August 5th to the South Seas. 

1589. Sir Francis Drake and Sir J. Norns sailed April 18th, 'to 

restore the king of Portugal' 

1590. Sir Richard Hawkins granted commission to attack the 

Spaniards on the South Seas. 
1590. John White sailed March 20th with five vessels, with 

supplies for Ralegh's Yiiginian colony. 
1590. Sir John Hawkins and Frobisher sailed with fourteen ships 

against the Spaniards. 

1590. Commission issued to Richard Grenville, Piers Edgcumbe, 

Arthur Basset^ John Fitz, Edmund Tremayne, W. 
Humphreys, Alexander Arundel, Thomas Digges, 
Mortimer Dare, Dominick Chester, and others, to fit out 
and equip a fleet for the discovery of land in the 
Antarctic Sea, the special object of their search being 
an approach to the dominions of the 'Great Cam of 

1591. Candish sailed against the Spaniards August 26th, with 

three ships and three barks. 
1593. Sir Richard Hawkins sailed with five ships to the South 

Seas, where he was taken prisoner. 
1595. Sir Walter Ralegh sailed from Plymouth for Guiana 

February 6tL He had Captain Whiddon with him, 

and ' Butshead Gorges.' 
1595. The expedition to Cadiz of Howard and the Earl of Essex. 

1595. Drake and Hawkins went on their last voyage to the 

Indies, with six Queen's ships and twenty-one others, 
manned by 2,500 men and boys. They finally sailed 
from 'Causon Bay' on Friday, August 29tL As they 
left, the Hope struck the Eddystone, but soon cleared. 

1596. 'Master William Parker of Plimmouth, gentleman,' fitted 

out the Prudence, 120 tons, and the Adventure, 25, at 
his own charges. Sailed in November, and sacked 
Campeachy with 100 men on the following Easter even. 
1601. Captain William Parker sailed (November) with the 
Prudence, 100 tons (130 men) ; Pearl, 60 tons (60 men); 
and a pinnace of 20 tons (18 men). The Pearl was 
commanded by Captain Robert Rawlins. The pinnace 
was lost with all but three men. In this expedition 
Porto Bello was taken. 


Have over the waters to Florida, 

Farewell, good London , now ; 
Throogh long delays, on lands and seas, 

I 'm brouent, I can't tell how, 
In Plymouth town, in a threadbare gown, 

And money never a deal. 
Hey trixi trim I go trizi trim ! 

And will not a wallet do well. — Old Ballad, 

Wild was the day; the wintry sea 

Moaned sadly on New England's strand, 

When first the thoughtful and the free ; 
Our fathers ; trod the desert land. — Bryant, 

CONSPICXIOXIS in the annals of English colonization in 
North America is the name of the ' Plymouth Company.' 
Yet there is no portion of our local history about which 
information is more fragmentary. Plymouth herself yields 
but one single trace in her records of the existence and 
operations of this once notable organization, which undertook 
and partially accomplished the settlement of New England ; 
and for some of the leading facts of its career we most 
cross the Atlantic.^ 

There was a time when Bristol seemed destined to lead 
the van of Western adventure. Thence John and Sebastian 
Cabot sailed on the famous voyage in which they discovered 
the American mainland, nearly a year before Columbus. 
Sebastian Cabot in subsequent expeditions explored the 
coast of North America; several years later he visited 
Brazil Other voyages must have been made to the West, 
probably from Bristol, which under the patent of Henry VII. 
had a monopoly of the trade with the discoveries of the 

^ The materials for this chanter are mainly drawn from the contemporary 
narratiTes of voyages in Hailuyt and elsewhere, Captain John Smith's 
writings, Prince's New England Annals, and the Transactions of the Maine 
and Massachusetts Historical Societies. 


Cabots. North American Indians were exhibited in London 
for a show as early as 1502, and within the first decade of 
the sixteenth century the foundations of the Newfoundland 
fishing trade were laid. Yet when Sebastian Cabot entered 
the Spanish service, Bristol, notwithstanding its mercantile 
status and reputation, ceased to take an active interest in 
the work of discovery. Then Devonshire and Plymouth 
came to the front. 

Two Englishmen, 'somewhat learned in cosmographie,' 
sailed with Sebastian Cabot in the Spanish expedition which 
made the discovery of the river Plate, and it is a natural 
conclusion that information thus obtained led to the first 
systematic English trading expeditions to the Brazils, the 
voyages of William Hawkins, in the Paul of Plymouth, in 
the years 1528 (?), 1530, and 1532. 

For nearly a century from the date of these Brazilian 
voyages the work of Western and Southern discovery and 
settlement was carried on almost wholly by Devonshire men, 
sailing from Devonshire ports; while from the waters of 
Plymouth Sound more expeditions set forth than from all 
the other harbours in the kingdom put together. 

Early American Cohnids. 

The French were the first nation who definitely attempted 
to colonise North America. Cartier's description of the St. 
Lawrence, discovered by him in 1534, led to an unsuccessful 
effort to plant a colony near what is now Quebec, by 
Francis de la Boque, or Eoche, Lord of Roberval, in 1542. 
The French did effect a settlement on the coast of what is 
now called Carolina, but was then known under the general 
name of Florida, by John Eibaidt, as early as 1562. But 
all came to grief, Eibault and his company being massacred 
on a subsequent voyage by the Spaniards. The failure of 
a colony imder Bene Laudonniere, in 1565, brings into 
honourable prominence the name of Hawkins. When the 
Frenchmen were in great distress John Hawkins, with a 
fleet of four vessels, put in to water, and ' being moued with 
pitie,' gave them wine, provisions, shoes, and other necessaries. 
He offered to take them back to France, but it was arranged 
that he should sell them a ship, which he did at their own 
valuation — 700 crowns — ^receiving guns and powder. M. 
Laudonniere notes : * We receiued as many courtesies of the 
GreneraU as it was possible to receiue of any man lining.' 
The Frenchmen went back a month after Hawkins's visit. 


In 1568 the massacre of Eibault was avenged by Dominic 
de Grourges, who destroyed the Spanish settlement and 
returned to France. And here the French attempts in 
Florida came to an end. 

Dartmouth was the first Devonshire port to send forth a 
colonising expedition. Sir Humphry Gilbert wrote a dis- 
course to prove a passage by the North- West to Cathay and 
the East Indies, and obtained a patent from Elizabeth, 
empowering him to discover and settle in North America 
any savage lands. His first voyage (1579) was unsuccessful 
In his second (1583), he took possession of Newfoundland, 
which had long been a fishing station for various nations, 
but was drowned before he could turn this formality to any 
practical account. His brother Adrian next solicited a 
patent for the search and discovery of the North-West 
Passage. All the traffic of his new discoveries was to be 
conducted either at London, Dartmouth, or Plymouth, where 
the Queen's tenth was to be paid. 

Plymouth became the headquarters of Ealegh's efforts to 
colonise Virginia, or, as it was for a short time called, after 
its intending founder, Baleana. His patent was granted 
March 25th, 1584 ; and his first expedition left the Thames 
in the April following, under Captcdns Philip Amadas and 
Arthur Barlowe. Virginia was then formally and feudally 
taken possession of for him. Next GrenviUe sailed from 
Plymouth, April 9th, 1585, with the Tj/ger, BoebtuJce, Lyon, 
Miaabeth, Dorothie, and two small pinnaces, his biggest ship 
being 140 tons. A settlement was planted by Balph Lane, 
and of the 107 who took part therein several by their names 
were evidently from the West-Country. This first practical 
effort by the English to colonise North America was, however, 
of short duration. It continued only from August 17th, 
1585, to June 18th, 1586, when Drake, cruising on the coast, 
gave the colonists a ship to return home in. Balegh had in 
the meantime sent out a vessel for their relief, and Grenville, 
visiting the deserted settlement of Boanoke shortly after 
they had left, landed fifteen men there. 

Another attempt was made in the following year (1587). 
Balegh again sent out a well-appointed party, under John 
White as governor, and twelve assistants. The expedition 
sailed from Plymouth May 8th, and consisted of three ships. 
On arrival at Boanoke only the bones of one of the fifteen 
were found. This second colony consisted of ninety-one men, 
seventeen women, and nine children; and the chief point 
connected with it is, that on the 18th August, at the ' City of 



Ealegh/ there was bom Virginia Dare, whose parents were 
Ananias Dare and Eleanor, (kughter of Governor White, the 
first American-bom child of l^glish descent. This effort 
was likewise doomed to failure. White, who had come home 
for supplies, sailed from Plymouth March 20th, 1590, with 
three ships and two shallops, and when he reached the 
infant settlement found it destroyed. 

All present hopes of settling Virginia were then abandoned. 
Balegh had done his best. His individual efforts cost him 
£40,000. He formed a company under his patent, which 
was no more fortunate than himself, but which became the 
germ of the more notable Plymouth and London Companiea 
Five times he searched for the missing colonists, whom 
Indian tradition asserted to have been adopted in their 
distress into the Hatteras trib& The last search was made 
by Bartholomew Gilbert, who sailed from Plymouth in May, 
1603, and, with four of his men, was killed by the Indians 
of Chesapeake Bay. 

To Captain Bartholomew Gosnold belongs the honour of 
the next colonising expedition. In March, 1602, he sailed 
from Falmouth with thirty-two persons, coasted along the 
shores of New England, chscovered Cape Cod, and built a 
fort on Elizabeth Island, near Martha's Vineyard, returning 
to Plymouth (or Exmouth) in the following July, as the 
men who had gone out to settle refused to stay. 

There was thus no English settlement on the North 
American coast when, in November, 1603, Henri Quatre 
granted the charter of Acadie, now Nova Scotia, to the 
Huguenot du Mont, who, with Champlin and others, planted 
a colony in 1604 at the mouth of the St. CroLx. This was 
the first permanent European settlement in North America. 
Thence the French extended their plantations in various 
directions. Dislodged from St. Croix in 1613 by the 
English, they held tenaciously to their claims, and eventually 
the English occupied the country as far east as the Kennebec, 
the French as far west as the Penobscot, the intervening 
territory being considered debateable. 

Meanwhile English adventurers had been by no means 
daimted. Captain Greorge Weymouth, in 1605, coasting 
New England, discovered the St. George's River, and the 
Penobscot — *the most excellent and beneficyall riuer of 
Sachadehoc.' He brought back with him to Plymouth five 
natives of Pemaquid, three of whom, Manida, Shetwarroes, 
and Tisquantum, he gave to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, governor 
of Plymouth Fort, who henceforward became one of the 


most energetic promoters of North American adventure and 
settlement. This voyage was the immediate occasion of the 
formation of the Plymouth Company, and the direct result 
of eflTorts made to follow up Ealegh's patent, which had 
passed into various hands. 

FormatioTi of the Plymouth Company, 

In April, 1606, James I. granted two charters for the 
colonization of the North American coast, between Canada 
and Florida, then known by the general name of Virginia ; 
Chief Justice Popham being the moving spirit of the 
scheme. South Virginia, between the 34th and the 38th 
degrees north latitude, was assigned to the London Company. 
North Virginia, between the 41st and 45th degrees, to the 
Western, or Plymouth Company. Each association had an 
equal right in the intermediate district, but their colonies 
were not to be planted within 100 miles of each other. 

The Plymouth Company was composed of adventurers 
not only of Plymouth, but of Bristol and Exeter. Its 
earliest promoters were Thomas Hanham, Ealegh Gilbert, 
William Parker, aiid George Popham. Sir John Popham 
and Sir Ferdinando Gorges were also much concerned, and 
in the same year (1606) sent out the jRichard, from Plymouth, 
under Captain Henry Challons. He was, however, taken 
by the Spaniards, who still claimed the exclusive right of 
navigation in American waters. Another vessel, sent from 
Bristol to second Challons, under Thomas Hanham and 
Martin Prinn, reached the coast safely, but not finding 
Challons there, returned. 

The first expedition to settle New England under the 
auspices of the Plymouth Company set forth in 1607. 
Loiti Chief Justice Popham fitted out two vessels, which 
sailed from Plymouth on the last day of May. Of this 
expedition Captain George Popham was president; Captain 
Balegh Gilbert, admiral; Captain Edward Harlow, master 
of the ordnance; Captain Bobert Davis, sergeant-major; 
Captain Elis Best, marshal ; Mr. Seaman, secret^ ; Captain 
James Davis, captain of the fort; and Mr. Gome Carew, 
chief searcher — ^these being members of the Council Two 
of the natives brought home by Weymouth were taken as 
interpreters. The colonists came to land August 11, and 
planted themselves at the mouth of the Kennebec The 
winter was so cold, and their provision so small, that all the 
company were sent back but forty-five. Then George 

r 2 


Popham died; and learning by the ships sent out with 
supplies that the Chief Justice was dead, and also Sir John 
Gilbert, whose lands the adventurers were to possess, and 
thus 'finding nothing but extreme extremities,' all the rest 
returned in 1608. The colonists erected a fort called St. 
George, which stood on or near the site of the present 
United States fortification, named, in memory of the first 
active head of the Plymouth Company, Fort Popham, The 
225th anniversary of the landing was commemorated in 
1862 by placing a memorial stone in its walls. 

The only written record of the existence of the Plymouth 
Company among the Plymouth Archives is a letter, dated 
February 17, 1608, from the London Company to the Mayor 
and Commonalty. The London Company say that they 
had heard of the ill success of the attempt of the Plymouth 
Company to plant a colony ; that they on the contrary had 
been successful in their venture; that in the month of 
March they intended to send a large supply of 800 men 
under the Lord de la Warre [Delaware] ; and that, ' nothing 
doubting that the one ill success hath quenched your 
affections from so hopeful and goodly an action,' they still 
hoped and desired that the Corporation should participate 
in this new venture by individual investment for the fitting 
out of a ship to join the new expedition. The shares were 
£25 each, and all who were disposed to invest that sum 
would come in on equal terms. The Earl of Pembroke, as 
Warden of the Stannaries, had been asked to help in 
providing one hundred labouring men. 

The ardour of the Plymouth Company had indeed been 
quenched. As an association it ceased for the time to do 
anything beyond warning off foreign interlopers. Sir Ferdi- 
nando Gorges, it is true, had other views. He says, *I 
became an owner of a ship myself, fit for that employment, 
and under cover of fishing and trade, I got a master and 
company for her, to which I sent Vines and others, my own 
servants, with their provisions for trade and discovery, 
appointing them to leave the ship and the ship's company 
to follow their business in the usual place.' 

The London Company meantime founded Jamestown, and 
some of their trade was carried on by way of Plymouth. 
Hence the western port became associated with the romantic 
history of Pocahontas (* the nonpareil of Virginia,' daughter 
of Powhattan), who saved the life of Captain John Smith, 
and ever proved the firmest friend of the white man. ' The 
Lady Sebecca/ as she was afterwards known, landed at 


Plymouth with her husband, John Eolfe, June 12, 1616. 
She died at Gravesend, when about to return to her native 
country, and her little child, Thomas Eolfe, was left at 
Plymouth with Sir Lewis [Judas] Stukely. At Plymouth, 
too, landed the envoy, Vetamatomakkin, whom crafty old 
Powhattan sent over to reckon the strength of the English. 
When he landed the innocent savage got a large stick, 
intending to cut thereon a notch for every Englishman he 
saw, ' but/ as the chronicler naively notes, ' he was quickly 
weary of that task.* 

Captain John Smith. 

For some years after this no attempt was made at settle- 
ment; though vessels continued to be sent to the New 
England coast for fishing and trading purposes, and there 
were expeditions to discover mines of gold and copper. 
Fish and fur, however, were the main objects of traflBc, 
and these proved very profitable to merchants of London, 
Plymouth, the Isle of Wight, and elsewhere. The chief 
undertakers in the business at this date were Sir F. Popham 
and Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Nor did the course of trade 
run smooth. The French were also in the field; and the 
first expedition to New England in which Capt. John Smith 
took part, in 1614, was marred by the conduct of one 
Thomas Hunt, master of the second of the two ships of 
which the little fleet consisted. Left behind by Smith to 
fit with dry fish for Spain, he ' betrayed four and twenty of 
those poor savages aboard his ship, and most dishonestly and 
inhumanly for their kind usage of me and all our men, 
carried them with him to Maligo, and there for a little 
private gain sold those silly savages for rials of eight; but 
this wild act kept him ever after from any more employment 
to those parts/ 

According to Smith, when he returned to Plymouth from 
this voyage, the patent of the Plymouth Company was 
virtually dead. He gave, however, such an account of the 
resources of the district, which he was the first to name New 
England, that he stirred the patentees to new life, and they 
promised to fit out an expedition for a fresh plantation, and 
put it in his charge. Meanwhile he went to London, and 
thence, in consequence of his report, the London Company 
sent out a fishing fleet of four vessels, under one Michael 
Couper, master of Smith's vessel. When Smith came back 
to Plymouth, however, he found nothing done. 

Not long before Smith's return from New England, a bark 


had sailed from Plymouth to discover a gold mine, which 
Epenow, an Indian brought home by Captain Harlow, had 
reported to exist. The object of the crafty red man was, 
however, to get home. Exhibited as a giant, and resenting 
his treatment, he contrived this fable of the gold mine to 
secure his return. Thus the expedition was a failure, and 
this being learnt while Smith was in London, the West- 
Country folk were too much discouraged to make any of the 
preparations promised. 

But Smith was not so easily daunted He had taken much 
pains to get the Londoners and the Plymouth men to join 
together, because the ' Londoners have most money, and the 
Western men are more proper for fishing.' Besides, it was 
'near as much trouble but much more danger, to sail from 
London to Plymouth, than from Plymouth to New England !' 
so that, half the voyage would be saved by making Plymouth 
the head-quarters. Both parties were too desirous to be 
'lords of the fishing' for this end to be accomplished. 
Nevertheless Smith brought down with him from London 
'two hundred pounds in cash for adventure, and six 
gentlemen well furnished,' and Sir Ferdinando Gorges 
persuaded Dr. Sutcliffe, Dean of Exeter, and several Western 
merchants, 'to entertain this plantation.' Arrangements 
were made that Smith should settle in New England with 
sixteen companions ; and in 1615 he set sail in a vessel of 
two hundred tons, with a consort of fifty, to make a second 
effort to plant a colony in the territory of the Plymouth 
Company. lU-fortune still dogged his e£forta A violent 
storm so shattered his ship that he had to put back (bis 
* vice-admiral,' not knowing of this disaster, proceeding on 
the voyage), and it was not until the 24th of June that he 
could again sail, this time in a small bark of sixty tons only, 
with but thirty men. Once more disiuster. He was taken 
by French pirates or privateers of Eochelle ; and though his 
vessel and crew after a while returned safely to Plymouth, 
he was kept captive by the Frenchmen, partly in consequence 
of the mutiny of some of his men, until he could make his 
escape to Rochelle, and thence to Plymouth, where he 'laid by 
the heels' such 'chieftains of this mutiny' as could be found. 

Thus ended abortively the second attempt to settle New 
England. The efforts made were not, however, wholly 
thrown away. The four ships sent from London under 
Couper, and Smith's vice-admiral, made good voyages. More 
were sent in the following year, and this led, as in the case 
of Newfoundland, to the establishment of small trading 


posts of a temporary character. There is reason to believe 
that the first trading outposts, as distinct from settlements, 
on the coast of New England were those formed by 
Plymouth merchcmts. The regular traders were accustomed 
to frequent the same harbours ; and Sir Francis Popham had 
for years occupied one near the islcmd of Monhegan. The 
Trelawnys of Plymouth, too, must have been actively engaged 
in the trade, even at this early date. 

Smith still persevered. On his return from France he 
raised £100 in London, and finding Plymouth ill-prepared 
for another expedition at the moment, he spent the summer 
of 1616 in visiting Bristol, Exeter, Barnstaple, Bodmin, 
Penryn, Fowey, Millbrook, Saltash, Dartmouth, Absom, and 
Totnes, and ' the most of the gentry in Cornwall and Devon- 
shire,* trying to enlist support for further efforts. Another 
expedition was then projected, and the Plymouth Company 
agreed that Smith should be Admiral of New England during 
life, and that the profits should be equally di\dded between 
the patentees and Smith and his associates. Again well-laid 
plans came to nothing, and Smith remarks of the Company : 
* I am not the first they have deceived.' 

We need not wonder that Smith had little love for the 
Plymouth Company. ' No man,' said he, * will go from hence 
to have less freedom there than here . . . and it is too well 
known there have been so many undertakers of patents, and 
such sharing of them, as hath bred no less discouragement 
than wonder to hear such great promises and so little 
performance ; in the interim you see the French and Dutch 
already frequent it, and God forbid they in Virginia, or any 
of his majesty's subjects, should not have as free liberty as 

Smith in his day was probably England's most energetic 
and earnest advocate of colonization. He did his utmost, 
by tongue and pen, to stir up his countrymen. Even the 
'ever-living actions' of the Portuguese and Spaniards 'will 
testify with them our idleness and ingratitude to all posteri- 
ties, and the neglect of our duties in our piety and religiou. 
We owe our God, our king, and country, and want of charity 
to those poor savages, whose country we challenge, use, and 
possess ; except we be but made to use, and man, what our 
forefathers made, or but only tell what they did, or esteem 
ourselves too good to take the like pains.' Moreover, the 
way had heen prepared by Providence! 'God hath laid 
thiB country open for us, and slain the most part of the 
inhabitants by civil wars and a mortal disease.' 


Revival of the Plymouth Company. 

In 1615 Sir Richard Hawkins sailed with a commission 
from the Council of Plymouth to do what he could in New 
England. He found the natives at war, and passed along 
the coast to Virginia^ In the following year, however, four 
ships from Plymouth and two from London made good 
voyages. One of the former was sent out by Gorges, under 
the charge of Richard Vines. Other captains for Gorges 
were Edmund Rocroft and Dermer, or Dormer, who in 1619 
went out with Squanto, one of the Indians taken by Hunt 
to Malaga, to act as interpreter. But the natives remained 
irreconcileable, and the operations of the Company continued 
to be confined to ordinary trada This indeed grew to some- 
what important dimensions. In 1619-20 the merchants of 
London and Plymouth had eight vessels trading to New 
England; and the voyages were so profitable, that Smith 
notes seamen working on shares being able to earn £17 
in six months — or, say, £85. Meanwhile the Company did 
all they could to keep the trade to themselves, and in 1618 a 
French trader from Dieppe was seized by a vessel sent out 
by Gorges. 

Tliis brings us to the revival of the Plymouth Company 
on an enlarged basis, and with wider powers. Experience 
had taught the promoters of New England colonization 
some lessons from which they were not slow to profit. Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges had become the moving spirit, and to 
his experience of Western adventure and traflSc, and his 
influence at the Court, we may give the chief place among 
the causes which led to the reconstruction of the Company. 
On the 3rd November, 1620, James granted a new charter 
to Lodowick Duke of Lennox, George Marquis of Bucking- 
ham and Hamilton, the Earls of Arundel and Warwick, Sir 
Ferdinando Gorges, and thirty-four others, incorporated as 
being ' the first modem and present Council established at 
Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, 
and governing of New England, in America'; and the 
patentees were *to elect and choose others to the number 
of forty persons, and no more, to be of that Council,' so 
incorporated, 'by the name of the Council established at 
Plymouth for the governing of New England, in America.* 

The territory conferred on the patentees in absolute perpetuity, 
with unlimited jurisdiction, the sole powers of legislation, the 
appointment of all officers and all forms of government^ extended, 
in breadth, from the fortieth to the forty-eighth degree of north 


latitude, and, in length, from the Atlantic to the Pacific : that is 
to say, nearly all the inhabited British possessions to the north of 
the United States, all New England, New York, half of New 
Jersey, very nearly all Pennsylvania, and the whole of the country 
to the west of these States, comprising, and at the time believed 
to comprise, much more than a million of square miles, were, by 
a single signature of King James, given away to a corporation 
within the realm, composed of but forty individuala The grant 
was absolute and exclusive ; it conceded the land and islands, the 
rivers and the harbours, the mines and the fisheries. Without 
the leave of the Council of Plymouth, not a ship might sail into 
a harbour from Newfoundland to the latitude of Philadelphia; 
not a skin might be purchased in the interior ; not a fish might 
be caught on the coast; not an emigrant might tread the soiL 
No regard was shown for the liberties of those who might become 
inhabitants of the colony; they were to be ruled, without their 
own consents, by the corporation in England. ^ 

But James and the Company overreached themselves ; so 
huge a monopoly, even in these days, could not pass un- 
challenged. The pretensions of the patentees were laughed 
to scorn and ignored. Their vast designs dwindled into a 
scramble for individual interests and proprietorships. The 
settlement of New England was effected without their 
first knowledge or intervention. The * Council of Plymouth ' 
does not fill a very important niche in history; but it 
might have advanced the development of New England 
at least half a century. 

Before we proceed to trace the Company's brief career, its 
second founder claims a few words of personal notice. Sir 
Ferdinando Grorges was the youngest son of Edward Grorges, 
of Wraxall, Somerset, probably bom drca 1565-7. He 
served with distinction in France, and was one of the 
knights made by the Earl of Essex at the siege of Bouen, 
in 1591. He was also sergeant-major to the earl in the 
Cadiz expedition, and was imprisoned for his share in that 
ill-fated nobleman's rebellion. His direct connection with 
Plymouth appears to have begun with his appointment as 
governor of the fort. He died at Long Ashton, and was 
buried there May 14th, 1647. His last public service was 
his participation as a Boyalist in the defence of Bristol. 

Though Sir Ferdinando Gorges was himself of a Somerset- 
shire stock, the name had long been connected with the 
neighbourhood of Plymouth. A family of (Jorges, giving 
three gurges or whirlpools as their arms, was settled at 

' BAKCBorr, Eid. UniUd SUUes, 


Warleigh for several descents. The estate came to them 
(temp. Henry IIL) by marriage with the heiress of the 
Foliots, who gave the Tamerton parish in which Warleigh 
is situate its distinctive suffix. From the Gorges it passed 
by successive female heirs to the Bonvilles, Coplestones, and 
Badcliffes. But there was a much later settlement of the 
Gorges family, and nearer Plymouth, before Sir Ferdinando's 
day. Sir William (Joiges married Winifred, daughter and 
heiress of Roger Budockshed,^ the last of the ancient house 
which took its name from the ancestral seat at St. Budeaux, 
and in her right succeeded to that estate in 1576. Elizabeth, 
the daughter of Tristram Gorges, his son, became Sir 
Ferdinando's third wife ; and Sir Ferdinando had a residence 
at Kinterbuiy. 

The Pilgrim Fathers. 

The special work of the Plymouth Company was taken 
out of its hands by men and women who had nothing to do 
with Plymouth, save a passing connection ; but whose names 
are now indissolubly identified with the old town. 

In the year 1608 a small body of Puritans had expatriated 
themselves for conscience sake, and settled at Leyden. After 
a residence there of eleven years some of them determined to 
seek a home on the shores of the New World, and by the 
aid of certain English merchants — who looked at the matter 
from a strictly business point of view, and gave them hard 
terms — they obtained powers to eflFect a settlement near the 
mouth of the Hudson. These Puritans were the Pilgrim 
Fathers. They chartered two vessels, one the ever-memorable 
Mayflower^ of 180 tons, and the other the ill -speeding 
Speedwell, of 60. 

Bancroft describes the parting of the Pilgrim pioneers 
at Delfthaven from their friends who were to follow, and 
their subsequent proceedings, ere they finally set sail for 
their destination : 

As morning dawned Carver, Bradford, and Winslow, Brewster, 
the ruling elder, Allerton, and the brave and faithful Standish, 
with their equal associates — a feeble band for a perilous enterprise 
— ^bade farewell to Holland ; while Robinson kneeling in prayer 
by the sea -side, gave to their embarkation the sanctity of a 
religious rite. A prosperous wind soon wafts the vessel to 

> This name is of very ancient origin, and probably represents ' Budocks- 
hide,' the title of the land dedicated to the British saint Budock, whence 
the parish takes its designation. Budockshed preserves the old pronunciation, 
' Budo ' being a comparatively modem vulgarism, of the same type as the 
substitution of the fashionable Prido for the genuine Devonian Priddickss 


Southampton, and in a fortnight the Mayflower and the Speedwell, 
freighted with the first colony for New England, leave 
Southampton for America. But they had not gone far upon the 
Atlantic hefore the smaller vessel was found to need repair, and 
they enter the port of Dartmouth. After the lapse of eight 
precious days they again weigh anchor; the coast of England 
recedes ; already they are unfurling their sails on the broad ocean, 
when the captain of the Speedwell with his company, dismayed at 
the dangers of the enterprise, once more pretend that his ship is 
too weak for the service. They put back to Plymouth to dismiss 
their treacherous companions, though the loss of the vessel was 
very grievous and discouraging. The timid and the hesitating 
were all freely allowed to abandon the expedition. Having thus 
winnowed their number of the cowardly and disaffected, the little 
band, not of resolute men only, but wives, some far gone in 
pregnancy, children, infants, a floating village, yet in all but 101 
souls, went on board the single ship which was hired only to 
convey them across Uie Atlantic; and on the sixth day of 
September, 1620, thirteen years after the first colonization of 
Virginia, two months before the concession of the grand charter 
of Plymouth, without any warrant from the sovereign of 
England, without any usefiil charter from a corporate body, the 
passengers in the Mayflower set sail for a New World. 

The destination for which the Pilgrims sailed they were 
fated never to reach. Whether by stress of storm, or whether 
by the double dealing of their captain — none can now 
tell — they were carried to a point far north of the Hudson, 
in the centre of the depopulated territory of New England; 
and there, without patent or authority, without any other 
rights than their necessities, they built the town of Plymouth.^ 
There could be no more befitting name. Dear to them was the 
last spot of the mother country which their wandering feet 
had trod — dear to them if for that fact alone, but dearer still 
for the many kindnesses received from certain Christians 
there, having been * kindly entertained and courteously used 
by divers friends there dwelling.' They planted the first 
settlement on the coast of New England. They drew up the 
earliest American constitution, by which, before they left the 
Mayiflower (November 11th), they constituted themselves a 
civil body politic. 

* It htm been held that the Pilgrims gave it that name ; but the place is 
called Plymouth in Smith's First Account of New England^ 1616 — four years 
before the arrival of the Pilpprims, and probably, therefore, had been early 
frequented by Plymouth ships. No one can say positively whether the 
Pilgrims oontinued the old name or gave it anew ; bat if, as Mr. Justin 
Winsor believes, thev had Smith's map with them, it must have been simply 
a continuation. The descendants of the Pilgrims retain an affectionate 
regard for English Plymouth stilL 


There is a very general and mistaken belief that the 
Pilgrim Fathers were Plymouth people. But not only were 
no Plymouth folk in their ranks, several of the company 
of the Mayflower were merely hired men or apprentices, so 
small was the real New England germ. Only Winslow and 
Standish were above the yeoman class. Not many years 
after the settlement of Plymouth the Pilgrims and their 
descendants drifted away until, shortly after the foundation 
of the adjacent and favoured town of Duxbury, Bradford 
was the only one of the first comers of consideration who 
remained in the old town. At the present moment Duxbury 
probably contains more Pilgrim blood than any other 
locality in Massachusetts. And on the occasion of the 
celebration, June 17th, 1887, of the two hundred and fiftieth 
anniversary of the foundation of that town, Mr. Justin 
Winsor, Librarian of Harvard, a son of Duxbury of approved 
Pilgrim strain, in his commemorative address delivered the 
last words which have been authoritatively spoken on the 
subject of the landing. The Pilgrims, he said, 

were bound under the patent which they had received from the 
old Virginia Company to find land somewhere in the neighbour- 
hood of Hudson River, perhaps on the Connecticut, perhaps on 
the Jersey coast ; and it is almost equally certain that they had 
with them the map of the New England coast which John Smith 
had made when he examined its bays and headlands six years 
before, and had later published with the native names displaced 
by the English ones marked by Prince Charles on the draught 
which the engraver followed. So when at last they sighted land 
they knew it by the description to be the sandhills of the point 
which was called on Smith's map Cape James, after the Prince's 
royal father, but which the mariners who had been on the coast 
before — and they had such among the crew — told them was never- 
theless known by those who frequented the region for traffic with 
the Indians by the designation which Captain Gosnold had given 
it eighteen years before, when he was surprised at the numbers of 
fish which he found thereabout, and called it Cape Cod As soon 
as it became evident where they were they turned to the south 
to seek the place of their destination; but before long getting 
among the shoals off Nanset, and fearing that after all their 
tribulations they were running too great hazard to proceed, they 
turned once more northward, and rounding the head of the cape 
came at last to anchor in the shelter of what we now know as 
Province Town Harbour. 

Finding that stress of weather and the lateness of the season 
had rendered it necessary to cease the attempt to find a haven 


1^1111111 the privileges of their patent, and that they were brought 
beyond the pale of the delegated authority which that patent 
vested in their leaders, on territory not within the bounds of 
such necessary control, it was then that mutterings — at least from 
some of these same hired men and apprentices, eager to make the 
most of the freedom which chance had seemingly given them — 
made it necessary to draft that immortal compact, wherein by the 
subscription of all, this band of exiles in the very spirit of their 
religious independence took upon themselves the power of a body 
politic, fit to govern themselves, and compel the subjection of any 
that were evil disposed. 

The Huguenots were then at Port Eoyal or Annapolis 
(founded 1604), the London Company at Jamestown (1607), 
the Dutch at New York (1614). 

Progress of Colonization. 

The large concessions made by James soon provoked 
hostility. The Plymouth Company were first assailed in 
their attempt to limit the right of fishing. Coke declared 
their charter void. Two years after it was granted there 
were as many as thirty-five vessels from the West of England 
fishing on the New England coasts. An appeal from the 
Company to James procured a proclamation forbidding all 
access to the 'northern coast of America, except with the 
special leave of the Company of Plymouth, or of the Privy 
CounciL' It was alleged that the ' interlopers ' sold arms to 
the natives and taught their use. In 1623 Francis West 
was commissioned as Admiral of New England to put an 
end to unlicensed fishing. His eflForts failed, for the fisher- 
men were * stubborn fellows,' too strong for him. Nor was 
the appointment of Eobert Gorges, son of Sir Ferdinando 
(who had a grant made him in Massachusetts Bay), as 
Lieutenant-General of New England, one whit more effectual. 
Meanwhile the House of Commons took the matter up in 
earnest, and a bill was passed declaring that fishing should 
be free. Coke telling Gorges to his face, ' The ends of private 
gain are concealed under cover of planting a colony.' ^ 

This was much too near the truth to be pleasant. It had 
been found far easier to trade than to settle. Nevertheless 
settlement was encouraged, though the patentees took chief 
care of themselves. The earliest grant traceable under the 
Council of Plymouth is one made on June 21st, 1621, to 
John Pierce, of London. A hundred acres of land were 
allotted by the Company for every person Pierce took with 
him, and a grant of 1,500 more in consideration of Pierce 


and his associates undertaking to build churches, hospitals, 
and bridges. Pierce settled at Pemaquid, subsequently 
joining with one John Brown, who on July 15th, 1625, 
bought a tract of land there, eight miles by twenty-five, of 
two Indian chiefs, for fifty skins. It was through Pierce, in 
1622, that the patent was granted under which the Plymouth 
Colony was formally chartered. 

In the following year a patent was granted to Master 
Weston for the first plantation in Boston Bay. Weymouth 
was settled, but came to grief in less than a twelvemonth. 
In 1623 another attempt was made at the same spot by 
Bobert Gorges, but he did not find the state of things to 
answer his quality, and returned to England. 

Then two of the leading members of the Plymouth Council 
proceeded conclusively to justify Coke's allegation of the 
paramount influence of private gain. On the 10th of 
August, 1622, Sir F. (rorges and Capt. John Mason obtained 
a grant of all the lands between the sea, the St. Lawrence, 
the Merrimac, and the Kennebec, extending back to the 
great lakes and river of Canada. They commenced to settle 
in the following year on the Piscataqua river, by David 
Thompson, Edward and William Hilton, and oUiers. This 
patent either was, or in some way became, inoperative, in 
whole or in part, but it was renewed in due form several 
years later, and in 1634 the lands were divided. (Jorges 
took the lands east of the Piscataqua, the province of Maine, 
or, as he called it. New Somersetshire ; Mason, the lands on 
the west, to which he gave the name of New Hampshire. 

The enlarged limits of the Plymouth charter included 
the French territories. These, however, were granted, with 
the consent of the Company, under the name of Nova 
Scotia, to Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Stirling, 
September 10th, 1621. Alexander had a further grant 
from the Company, immediately before the surrender of 
its charter, of the land from St. Croix to Pemaquid and up 
to the Kennebec, to be called the country of Canada. He 
expelled the French, and they made reprisals. 

There is not any complete record of the land grants made 
by the Council of Plymouth, but they include the following : 

1621. John Piorce, of London, liberty to settle — ^Pemaquid. 

1622. Patent to Weston for Weymouth, the first plantation in 

Boston harbour, abandoned in 1623. 
1622 Sir F. Gorges and Capt Mason, lands between the Merrimac 
and Kennebec, inoperative wholly or in part^ but after- 
wards confirmed. 


1623. Robert Gorges, lands in Massachusetts. 

1623. Patent to John Pierce, for the Plymouth Colony. He 
subsequently obtained another in his own favour, but 
meeting with disaster, sold it for X500 to the ad- 
venturers who had set out the Plymouth Colony in 

1626. Grant of a tract on the Kennebec to the Plymouth ad- 
venturers, subsequently enlarged. 

1628. Charter to the Massachusetts Company, the foundation of 
the state of Massachusetts. 

1629(1) Alderman Aldsworth and Giles Elbridge, merchants of 
Bristol, 12,000 acres at Pemaquid. 

1630. William Bradford and his associates, new patent for the 
Plymouth adventurers, intended to place Plymouth on 
the same footing as Massachusetts, but failing con- 
firmation of the King. 

1630. Thomas Lewis and Richard Bonython, four miles by eight 
on the east side of the mouth of Saco river. 

1630. John Oldham and Richard Vines, four miles by eight on 
the west of the Saco. 

1630. Sherley and Uatherly, of Bristol, Andrews and Beauchamp, 
of London, lands at Penobscott 

1630. John Beauchamp, London, and Thomas Leverett, Boston, 
ten leagues square on the west of the Penobscott 

1630. John Dy, Thomas Luke, Grace Harding, John Roach, 

John Smith, Brian Brinks — most, if not all, of London 
— the province of Ligonia, between Cape Porpus and 
Cape Elizabeth, extending forty miles from the coast. 
This is commonly known as the Plough Patent An 
unavailing attempt at settlement was made in the 
following year. 

1631. Sir F. Gorges, Capt Mason, and others, a small tract on 

both sides of the Piscataqua. 
1631. Thomas Cammock, 1,500 acres, Black Point 
1631. Richard Bradshaw, 1,500 acres, claimed to be at Spurwink. 

Bradshaw was said to have been settled there by Capt 

Walter Neele on behalf of the patentees. 
1631. Robert Trelawny and Moses Goodyear, of Plymouth, a 

tract between Spurwink river and Casco Bay. 
1631. Walter Bagnall, Richmond Island, and 1,500 acrea 
1631. John Stratton and his associates, 2,000 acres on the south 

of Cape Porpus River. 

1631. Edward Godfrey, a grant on the river Agamenticus, now 


1632. Robert Aldsworth and Giles Elbridge, an additional tract 

on Pemaquid Point 
1632. George Way and Thomas Purchase, lands between the 
Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers and Casco Bay. 


1634. Edward Godfrey, Samuel Maverick, William Hooke, and 
others, 12,000 acres north of the A^menticus. 

1634. Ferdinando Gorges (grandson of Sir Ferdinando), 12,500 

acres west of the Agamenticus. (Grants were also 

made to Thomas, WUliam, and Henry Gorges, Sir 
Ferdinando's nephewa) 

1635. Sir F. Gorges, the territory between the Piscataqua and 


1635. Capt. Mason, the lands between Kennebec and Pemaquid. 

1635. Sir W. Alexander (Earl of Sterling), the territory between 
the Pemaquid and St Croix. The lands east of the 
St Croix and south of the St Lawrence had been 
relinquished in his favour under Royal grant in 1621. 

Deriving from these grants, or some of them, a large 
amoimt of property in New England is still held. 


The most important work efifected under the immediate 
auspices of the Council of Plymouth was the foundation of 
the Colony of Massachusetts. The first permanent plantation 
in Massachusetts Bay was that of David Thompson, who 
removed thither in 1624, the year after he had settled at 
Piscataqua, and possessed a fruitful island and a very 
desirable neck of land. He was a Scotchman, and was 
speedily followed by the pioneers of the Massachusetts 
Colony, who began a plantation at Cape Ann. White, a 
Puritan minister of Dorchester, was the original promoter 
of this undertaking. The Cape Ann patent belonged to 
the Plymouth Colony, and the Dorchester plantation was at 
first held of them, the Plymouth settlers having a fishing 
work there also. But independent action was soon taken. 
Differences arose at New Plymouth, and several persons 
removed thence and settled at a Plymouth trading port at 
Nantasket, at the entrance of the bay of Massachusetts. 
Among these was one Eoger Conant, a Devonshire man, 
whom White and his co-adventurers chose to manage their 
affairs at Cape Ann, where he with some companions settled 
in 1625. In the same year another plantation was com- 
menced in the north of the Bay, at Braintree, by Captain 
Wollaston and others. Among these was the afterwards 
notorious Thomas Morton, who so sorely offended all the 
Puritanism of New England by setting up a maypole at 
Merry Mount, whence he and his comrades. Master Endicott's 
rebuke failing, were subsequently ejected by the Plymouth 
forces under Capt. Miles Standish. The great grievance 


against Morton was less his merry doings than his selling 
arms to the Indians, and making Mount Dagon, as the 
Puritans called it, the refuge of all the colonial rascaldom. 

Conant, after sundry removes, selected Salem as the most 
fitting site for the Dorchester colony, which was in the end 
to lead to the extinction of the Plymouth Company itself, 
and become the germ whence sprung the wide liberties of 
the New England States. The territory comprised under the 
charter of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay 
included all the lands in the bottom of the Bay from three 
miles north of the Merrimac to three miles south of the 
Charles, and westerly to the Pacific. The original grantees 
were Sir Henry Eosewell, Sir John Young, Thomas Southcoat, 
John Humphrey, John Endicott, and Simon Whetcomb ; but 
the interest of the first three was purchased by Winthrop 
and the other leading Massachusets founders. Endicott 
planted a colony at Salem in 1628, and a royal charter was 
granted in 1629. 

The Massachusetts Company prosecuted the work of 
colonization with great activity, a large proportion of the 
early colonists coming from Devon, Dorset, and Somerset. 
Plymouth is specially associated with their operations by 
an entry that early in 1630 ' a Congregational Church is, by 
a pious People, gathered in the New Hospital at Plymouth 
[i,e. the Hospital of the Poor's Portion], in England, when 
they keep a Day of solemn Prayer and Fasting. That 
worthy man of GOD, Master White, of Dorchester, being 
present, preaches in the fore part of the day ; and in the 
after part the People solemnly choose and call those godly 
Ministers, the Beverend Master John Warham, a famous 
Preacher at Exeter ; and the Keverend Master John Mave- 
rick, a Minister who lived forty miles from Exeter, to be their 
Officers ; who, expressing their acceptance, are at the same 
time Ordained their Ministers.' This party sailed from 
Plymouth in the Mary and John, March 20th following. 
Southampton was, however, the chief rendezvous of the 
Massachusetts Company. Fifteen hundred colonists were 
brought over in twelve ships in 1630 — five other vessfels 
arriving later in the same year — and Charlestown founded as 
the capital That year also Boston, Dorchester, and Water- 
town were named and finally settled. Within the next two 
or three years the work of settlement and forming new 
plantations went rapidly on. Eoxbury, Cambridge, Medford, 
Ipswich, Marblehead, and other towns sprang up in Massa- 
chusetts; and Duxbury became the second town in the 



district of the Plymouth Colony. Connecticut was first 
settled by the English from New Plymouth at Windsor in 
1632, after sundry trading voyages. 

The charter of the Plymouth Company was surrendered 
Jime 7th, 1635. Ferdinando Gorges, grandson of Sir Ferdi- 
nando, gives the reason as follows: 'The country proving 
a receptacle for divers sorts of sects, the establishment in 
England complained of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, and he was 
taxed as the author of it,^ which brought him into some 
discredit, whereupon he moved those lords to resign their 
grand patent to the King, and pass particular patents to 
themselves of such parts along the sea coast as might be 
sufficient for them.' 

Accordingly on the 3rd of February, 1635, the patentees 
made such division as they desired by lot, finally settling 
the grants on the 22nd April 

The reasons for the surrender of the Plymouth charter 
were set forth at length by the Council at a meeting in 
Whitehall, April 25th of the same year, three days after the 
confirmation of the division. 'Forasmuch,' they say, 'as 
we have found by a long experience, that the faithful 
endeavours of some of us, that have sought the plantation 
of New England, have not been without frequent and 
inevitable troubles as companions to our undertakings, from 
our first discovery of that coast to this present, by great 
charges and necessary expenses; but also depriving us of 
divers of our near friends and faithful servants employed in 
that work abroad, whilst ourselves at home were assaulted 
with sharp litigious questions both before the Privy Council 
and the Parliament, having been presented as a grievance to 
the Commonwealth . . . the affections of the midtitude were 
thereby disheartened . . . and so much the more by how 
much it pleased God about this time to bereave us of the 
most noble and principal props thereof, as the Duke of 
Lennox, Marquis of Hamilton, and many other strong stayes 
to this weak building . . . then followed the claim of the 
French Ambassador, taking advantage of the divisions of the 
sea-coast between ourselves, to whom we made a just and 
satisfactory answer. . . . Nevertheless these crosses did not 
draw upon us such a disheartened weakness till the end 

' The Massachusetts Company on their part charged Gorges, Mason, and 
their associates with attempting to take away their liberties. A netition was 
^resented by Gorges and his friends against both the Massachusetts and 
Plymouth Colonies to the Privy Council ; and much to their discomfiture, 
determined in January, 1638, in iayour of the settlers. English politics 
made themselves felt on the further shore of the Atlantic as well as at home. 


of the last parliament ' — ^when the Massachusetts Company 
obtained their charter, and afterwards thrust out the imder- 
takers and tenants of some of the Council — ^'withal riding 
over the heads of those lords and others that had their 
portions assigned to them in his late Majesty's presence,' 
These and other things were too grievous to be borne, putting 
the Council in 'so desperate a case' that they saw no 
remedy for * what was brought to ruin'; and so — ^* After all 
these troubles, and upon these considerations, it is now 
resolved that the patent shall be surrendered into his 

Accordingly on the 7th June the charter was surrendered, 
and the King somewhat spitefully urged to take away the 
charter of Massachusetts, and appoint a general governor 
for the whole territory, to be chosen among the lords 
proprietors. Charles naturally agreed to this; but Puritan 
Massachusetts and her sister colonies made such opposition 
that ere the plan could be carried out the Civil War com- 
menced, and the affairs of New England had to give place 
to nearer concerns. Ferdinando Gorges the grandson was 
indeed appointed General Governor of New England in 1637, 
but he never assumed the duties, and eventually sold his 
rights in Maine for £1250. 

Settlers from the West of England. 

We have yet to trace the special personal relations of the 
Western Counties to New England settlement. In Western 
Maine, and the lower districts of Massachusetts, the 
population to this day largely retains the characteristics of 
the men of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, and Dorset, from 
which it principally springs, and is spoken of as ' the pure 
English race.' 'The importation in the first instance was 
made by the English proprietors, who sent the farmers, 
mechanics, and adventurers, who lived in and about 
Devonshire, to cultivate and improve their large and vacant 
grants.* Massachusetts generally drew from a much wider 
field. As many as eighty emigrants left Plymouth in one 
ship in 1622, Philemon Powell being purser. 

Plymouth men played a prominent part in the work of 
actual settlement. The little island of Monhegan, a place 
of resort for fishermen at least as early as 1618, on which 
Gorges had a plantation in 1621 or 1622, afterwards became 
the property of Abraham Jennings, a Plymouth* merchant, 

• Willis. 
Q 2 


who in 1622 had the Abraham of Plymouth, and Nightiixgale 
of Portsmouth, fishing there. He sold it, in 1626, to 
Abraham Shurt, agent for Aldsworth and Elbridge, merchants 
of Bristol; but in all probability continued to trada A 
daughter of Jennings married Moses Goodyear, another 
Plymouth merchant trafficking to the New England coast; 
and Goodyear and Robert Trelawny, a third Plymouthian, in 
1631 commenced the work of plantation, and led to the 
foundation of the town of Portland. The Council of 
Plymouth made them a grant of lands adjoining other lands 
previously granted to Thomas Cammock, at one shilling a 
year rent, ' because they and their associates had adventured 
and expended large sums of money in the discovery of the 
coasts and harbours of those parts, and were minded to 
undergo further chai^ in setting a plantation.' Whether 
Goodyear or Trelawny was leader in the scheme we do not 
know ; but in the end it was carried on by the latter alone. 

Robert Trelawny came of a good stock. In the days of 
Elizabeth it was counted no degradation for Western men of 
family to engage in trade. Country gentlemen were content 
to live at home upon their estates, and farm for themselves ; 
and if their families grew too rapidly, they planted some of 
their children in the towns. Hence the very large 
proportion of the issuers of the tradesmen's tokens of the 
seventeenth century, who placed their family arms upon 
their coina To the changes that have taken place in our 
national customs in this respect we owe the enormous 
number of decayed manor and barton houses which have 
fallen into ruin, or become degraded into mere tenanted 
farms. The modest but sufficient properties of the sixteenth 
century do not suit the larger wants of the nineteenth. An 
illustration of the olden practice is afforded by the case of 
Robert Trelawny, senior, father of the Robert with whom we 
have to do. The record is still extant, which sets forth how, 
in the mayoralty of George Maynard, 1578, 'Robert 
Trelawney the son of Robert Trelawney of St. Germanes in 
the county of Cornewall gent put himself apptice w*** 
George Burgoyne & Agneis his wief for viii from the date of 
the same Indent to be enstructed in the trade of merchandize 
& the said George and Agnes to kcpe and maynteine the 
said Robert a convenyent tyme in Spajrne or Portugall & in 
France and to make hym free of the Company of fiske- 
mongers of the cytye of London and in thence double 
apparell.' This Robert Trelawny was Mayor in 1607-8, 
1616-7, and 1627-8, dying before his last mayoralty was 


over. Eobert, the New England planter, was Mayor in 
1633-4; and was elected member in 1640. His Royalist 
sympathies led to his downfall and death. He was expelled 
from Parliament and imprisoned, on the charge of having 
said the House of Commons had no power to appoint a 
guard for themselves without the King's consent. In prison 
he died. 

John Winter, a Plymouth captain, was sent out, by Tre- 
lawny and Groodyear, to take possession of the lands granted 
them between Spurwink river and Casco Bay. When he 
arrived he found George Cleeves, another Plymouthian, and 
Richard Tucker, without doubt a Devonian, in possession, 
having erected at Portland the first house built there by 
European hands. Winter ejected them, and thus initiated 
a controversy which lasted many years. Winter claimed 
the land as Trelawny's ; Cleeves and Tucker insisted that it 
was theirs. In an action between Cleeves and Winter in 
1640, Cleeves stated that for more than seven years he had 
possessed a neck of land in Casco Bay, called Machigonney, 
taking it at first under a proclamation of James I., which 
gave 150 acres to every person, for himself and those whom 
he might transport to the colony ; and that after four years 
he had had a lease of enlargement from Gorges. Winter 
claimed that the land was included within the Trelawny 
grant ; but the court ruled otherwise. 

The disputes between Winter and Cleeves and their 
respective parties greatly troubled the peace of the infant 
settlements. Winter kept a store, and the fashion of his 
dealings caused Cleeves and others to charge him with the 
Dutchman's fault (according to Canning) of 

Giving too little and taking too much ; 

while Winter denounced Cleeves for scandalous conversation, 
in saying that Winter's wife, who had been left behind at 
Plymouth, was 'the veriest drunkenest whore in all that 
town,' and further alleging that there were not * four honest 
women there.' However, a peace was patched up, which 
lasted until Winter's death. 

Winter, described by Royalist Josselyn as 'a grave and 
discreet man,' was entrusted by Trelawny with the entire 
management of his aflFairs, and had a tenth of the patent 
when it became Trelawny's sole property. For some years 
a large trade was carried on by Trelawny with his New 
England possessions, among the ships engaged being the 
AgneSy Richmond^ Hercules, and Margery. The cargoes 


consisted chiefly of pipe-staves, beaver-skins, fish, and oiL 
Winter made his first plantation, on behalf of Trelawny 
and Goodyear, at Bichmond Island in July, 1632. Two 
years later Eichmond was a place of such trade, that as 
many as seventeen fishing ships are recorded to have visited 
it and the Isle of Shoals as early as the 1st March. In 
1638 Winter had sixty-one men engaged in fishing. In 
this year Trelawny shipped wine to the plantation, and in 
the course of trade some of his vessels used to take their 
cargoes thence directly to Spain. Trelawny's family did not 
benefit by his transatlantic estates — ^probably in consequence 
of his early death in prison — and they eventually passed 
into the hands of a certain Sev. Robert Jordan, who married 
Winter's daughter. Jordan, in all likelihood another 
Devonshire man, went over to the Colony in the Bichmond. 
His business capacities are undoubted; for he obtained an 
award of the Trelawny property in 1648 in satisfaction of 
the claims for management put in by him on behalf of 
Winter's estate, which he increased by charging a legacy 
from Trelawny to Winter as a debt due to himself 1 

Cleeves became a man of great note in the infant colony. 
Colonel Rigby, a staunch Republican, bought the 'Plough 
Patent' in April, 1643. Cleeves, who is supposed to have 
suggested this purchase, was appointed Rigby's first deputy. 
Directly, however, he attempted to exercise authority his 
rights were denied by Richard Vines, as deputy for Gorges. 
Both parties appealed to the authorities of Massachusetts, 
without result. Vines was succeeded by Henry Jocelyn as 
deputy-governor in 1645, and the dispute was settled by the 
triumph of the Republican party in England, in favour of 
Rigby and Cleeves. The social position of Cleeves is shown 
by the fact that in a grant from Sir Ferdinando Gorges he 
is described as * esquire,' his partner. Tucker, being set down 
as * gentleman.' 

Two other Plymouthians are named among the earlier 
settlers — Richard Martyn, cousin of John Martyn, Mayor 
in 1634-5 ; and Winthrop. 

The letters of the Plymouth Trelawnys, published by the 
Maine Historical Society, contain the names of many from 
Plymouth or its vicinity, who either settled or worked in 
New England, chiefly on the Trelawny patent. The usual 
practice was for men to be bound to work in the colony for 
three years, at wages of £6 to £8 a year. Most of those 
whose places of abode are not given in the following list, 
compiled from the Trelawny Papers, were from Plymouth : 


Edward Andrews, Yealmpton; Thomas Algar, Newton 
Ferrers ; John Amirrie, William Allen, Millbrook ; Ambrose 
Bawden, Holbeton; Edmund Bake, Newton Ferrers; Thos. 
Bone, SaJtash ; Edward Best, Millbrook ; John Bellin, Josias 
Bayly, George Bunt, Roger Bucknell, Priscilla Bickford; 
Nat. Cannage, Oliver Clarke, Anthony Clarke, Ellen Curkeet ; 
Thos. Dustin, George Dearinge, Henry Edmunds, Millbrook ; 
William Frythy, Sanders Frythy, Ed. Foxwell, Ed. FeUd; 
Mark Gaud, St Johns; Arthur Gill, Peter Gill, Peter Gullet, 
William (Jooch; Charles Hatch, Newton Ferrers; Arthur 
Heard, John Hosken, Wm. Ham, Andrew Hofifer, Henry 
Hancock, John Hempson, John Hole, Petronel Heamond, 
Wm. Hearle, Philip Kingston, Narias Hawkins (master of a 
vessel and a settler) ; Samson Jope, Reginald Jinkin ; Thos. 
King, Stonehouse; Thos. lissen, Stev. Lapthome, Wm. Lucas, 
John libby, W. Lukes, J. Lukesley; Paul Michell, Sheviock; 
Bd. Martin, Francis Martin, Nich. Mather, Michael Maddiver, 
Wm. Mellin; Ed, Niles; Ed. Okers; Thos. Pomeroy (mariner), 
Plymouth; Clement Penny well; Nich. Eouse, Wembury; 
George Eogers, Wm. EundeU; Eobt. Saunders; Ben. Stephens, 
Landrake; John Simmons, Thos. Saunson, Tobias Shorte, 
Eoger Satterley, Thos. Shepperd, Stephen Sergeant; John 
Taylor, Yealm; Ed. Treble; Bennet Wills, Nich, White, 
Eoger Willing, Oliver Weeks. 


A fortreBS formed to Freedom's hands. 

• • • • • 

And there the yolleying thnndera poar, 
Till waves grow smoother at the roar. 
The trench is dug, the cannon's hreath 
Wings the far-hissing globe of death ; 
Fsst whirl the fragments from the wall. 
Which crumbles with the ponderous ball ; 
And from that wall the foe replies 
O'er dusty hills and smoky skies, 
With fires that answer fast and well. — Byron, 

PLYMOUTH won special distinction during the troubles 
of the Civil War. But before dealing with the events 
of that epoch, a few prior in time require reference.^ 

Piracy and Plague, 

It is not to the credit of the men of Plymouth in the 
early Stuart days, that they seemed unable to grapple with 
the Algerine pirates, who infested the shores of Devon and 
Cornwall in the opening years of the seventeenth century, 
and singed the beards of James and Charles more effectually, 
because more continuously, than Drake did that of Philip. 
One wonders what had become of the pluck and seamanship 
of Devon, when these corsairs were able, year after year, 
with impunity to haunt our coasts, and to enter and plunder 
not merely fishing-creeks, but such harbours as Plymouth. 
Hundreds of Devonshire men were carried into captivity by 
these rovers; scores died there; and from first to last 
thousands of pounds were raised within this county alone 
for their ransom. 

^ Here is the entry 1605-6 of the first local Guy Fawkes day: 
Itm pd for the Gunners for shooting of the Ordyn'nce vppon the 
tryymphe for ve Joyful deliverance of ye King and State from 
the Tresson of Pircie k others . . . . • ^** 


Our forefathers were not wholly helpless against pirates in 
general, for in 1608 'Thomas Trontes and his company* were 
tried at Plymouth for robbing Frenchmen, seven condemned 
and one executed; but with the Moors they could not 
themselves grapple, and they leant on a broken reed wheti 
they appealed to the State. 

The necessity of doing something in this direction was 
felt early in the reign of James I., and in 1610 a patent was 
granted to the Lord Admiral Nottingham to impress ships 
and mariners for the suppression of pirates, under which he, 
in 1613, made a grant to the Mayor, &c., of Exeter, to the 
same effect. Four years later, March, 1617, the King brought 
the matter before the Privy Council; and this led to the 
suggestion of united action on the part of England with 
Spain and other powers, and to steps being taken to levy 
money for fitting out the English expedition. 

Thus in July, 1617, the merchants of Exeter declared that 
they were willing to pay any reasonable sum towards sup- 
pressing the pirates of Algiers and Tunis ; and in the same 
month Sir Ferdinando Goi-ges wrote from Plymouth to the 
Privy Council, that the merchants of that town thought 
a small fleet would effect little. Their trade was much 
injured by the pirates, but it was injured still more by the 
encroachments of the Londoners, whose proposal to give 
£40,000 was none too liberal, considering that they engrossed 
the commerce of the world. The best way to destroy the 
pirates was to make war, both by sea and land, upon the 

After this the scheme practically slept until February, 
1619, on the seventh of which month letters were sent by 
the Privy Council to several ports, demanding contributions 
towards the fleet. The amounts required give a fair idea of 
the relative importance of the shipping and conmierce of the 
respective places. 

Thus the sum levied on Southampton was £300 ; on Hull, 
£500 ; Weymouth, £450 ; Lyme Eegis, £450 ; Pool, £100 ; 
Bristol, £1000 (promised ; the demand was greater) ; Exeter, 
£500 ; Barnstaple, £500 ; Cinque Ports, £400 ; Yarmouth, 
£200; Newcastle, £300; Chester, including Carnarvon, 
Liverpool, and Beaumaris, £100. Plymouth was assessed in 
£1000. This had to be raised by the port and its members 
of which Truro was one, and there is extant a very curious 
correspondence between the Mayor of Plymouth, Thomas 
Fownes, and the Corporation of Truro, who refused to pay.* 
■ Trans, Dev. Assoc, zx. 312-331. 


After many delays, the expedition sailed to Algiers under 
the command of Sir Robert Mansell, 12th October, 1620. 
Sir Richard Hawkins was Yice-AdmiraL Mansell was duly 
entertained at Plymouth : 

Item given to S' Robert Mansell Knight Generall of his 
M^** Fleet agaynst the Pyrats of Algeir at his goeing 
to sea two fat sheepe two sugar loafes, twelve capons 
and six fat gennies . . • . v^ ij" iiy* 

Five years later (September, 1625) Charles and Henrietta 
visited the town with their Court, to set forth an expedition 
against Spain, which terminated in ' disgrace and disappoint- 
ment ' to the nation, and great sorrow to Plymouth. There 
were just 100 ships, of 26,507 tons, manned. by 5441 sailors 
and 9983 soldiers. Charles remained at Plymouth ten days, 
attended service in the church, and was most hospitably 
entertained. The town gave him £150 in a purse costing 
£3 6s. 8d., and his suite £33 3s.-4d. He reviewed the army 
on Roborough Down. The expedition was under Sir Edward 
Cecil, and Glanville, afterwards Recorder, was secretary. 
Before it started there was great distress. Using his best 
endeavours the Mayor was imable to find billets for the 
soldiers, who were only paid 2s. 6d. a week. When they 
came back they brought the plagua In April, 1626, the 
sickness had so increased that 14 or 15 died daily, and the 
inhabitants fled into the country. In Juno all commerce 
had ceased, the town was destitute of its best men, and the 
infection had spread into all the parishes where the soldiers 
were billeted. Early in July only two aldermen were left 
resident; and there was no constable. 1600 in all died. 
Temporary hospitals were erected at the cost of the town at 
Lipson and Haw Start (Batten). One of the most curious 
entries in the Accounts reads : 

Itm pd for the charge of the setting vpp of the house in 
the feilds out of the Towne wherein the Mayo' was 
chosen, being wholy occasioned by meanes of the plague 
then in towne . ... xxviij" xi* 

This was by no means the first visitation of the kind, or 
caused in a similar way, but it was the most severe. There 
had been a very fatal epidemic in 1570-71; and in 1580 
' the plague was soe great in PlyTnP that this Mayor [Blithe- 
man] was chosen on Catdown.' Six hundred are said to 
have died then. 

Again in 1590 there was much sickness caused by the 


congregation of soldiers for the expedition under Drake and 
Norris. Sick soldiers lay in 'Vincent Scoble's barn;' 3d. 
was laid out with John Gybbons for ' f rankenoense ' for 
fumigation. Houses were shut up, infected goods burned, 
and a cordon established. 

Another failure was the expedition intended for the relief 
of Sochelle in 1628 — a fleet of 60 vessels, but so ill found 
that the sailors of the Lion, Adventure, and Vanguard, as 
they lay in the harbour, robbed all that came near them from 
sheer want of victuals; and that we find the Corporation 
spending money on powder and match ' for suppressing the 
saylers when they were in a mutiny.* The result of the 
expedition is recorded in the following entry : 

Kews sent to the Lords of the Council upon the first intel- 
ligence of the Earle of Denbeighes departure from before 
Bochell with the Fleete without relieving the said Towne x^ 

Plymouth had thus serious drawbacks as a residence in 
the earlier years of the seventeenth century. If plague was 
not ever present, pirates were always about. Thomas Ceely, 
Mayor in 1625, on one occasion reported the appearance on 
the coast of twenty sail of English, French, Dutch, and 
Turkish rovers. In 1629 seven Dunkirkers were in the 
Channel for a month, and took twenty sail, of which four 
or five were Plymouthians. Most of their company were 
English or Scots. Perhaps this was the reason why, in 
April, 1639, all the Scotch ships at Plymouth were seized 
and the men imprisoned. The Bochellers made Plymouth 
their rendezvous ; and it cannot be said that the Plymouth 
folk themselves were much better than their visitors. From 
1625 to 1629 there Were licensed in connection with the port 
no fewer than 57 privateers; while Stonehouse, Plympton, 
Oreston, Saltash, and Millbrook had 21 more, ranging from 
330 tons to 62. 

We find among the owners of the Plymouth vessels Sir 
James Bagge, Sir A. Hurton, Abraham Colmer, Nicholas 
Sherwill, John Scoble, Wm. Dolbery, James Foran, Edward 
Ameredith, John Smarte, Abraham Jennings, Nicholas Blake, 
Nicholas Harris, John Pryn, William Pryn, Jerom Eoch, 
Henry Barnes, James Waddon, John White, John Hill, Mat. 
Burgins, Bobt. Trelawny, Bartholomew NichoU, Nich. Opie, 
David Brown, Moses Slany, Jelmer Tiebbes, Edward Cooke, 
Thos. Ceely, Wm. Burch, John Jope, Gabriel Greene, Peter 
Foran, Peter Nean, Francis Amadas, Henry Gayer, Wm. 
Bowe, Henry Meath, Mat. Cassemarte, Kd. Donnelly Thomas 


Aumonere. Some of these, or members of their families, 
commanded several of the ships. 

Bagge claims a passing notice. Vice- Admiral of the south 
of Cornwall, and holding other oflSces, he was the chief repre- 
sentative of the government at Plymouth during the earlier 
part of the reign of the first Charles. The creature of the 
favourite, one letter to him he signs as Buckingham's ' slave.' 
From his greed, Sir John Eliot dubbed him ' that bottomlesse 
Bagge.' He lived at Little SaltrauL He was by no means 
popular; and we find him writing, in December, 1625, that 
he had pressed so many the country cried out and thought 
ill of hiuL 

There were severe storms in 1624 and 1625. On October 
4th, 1624, two Dutch and three English ships were cast 
away in the Sound; while in November 16th, 1625, there 
was a great snow, and many lives lost. ' Never such before 
in memory of man' in Devon. Many ships were wrecked 
then also. 

Opening of the Siege. 

The Siege of Plymouth marks an epoch of the first im- 
portance in national as well as local history.' Foremost in 
defending the liberties of England in the sixteenth century, 
when the haughty Armada was launched against our shores, 
no town in the West of England — London excepted, none in 
the whole kingdom — did more for the defence of these same 
liberties in the seventeenth, when they were assailed from 
within. In fact, as Mr. Gardner says, there was a time when 
the whole fortunes of the Parliament turned on the retention 
of Plymouth and Hull. There are places in the West that 
have been besieged more often ; Plymouth alone claims the 
proud title of a maiden town. Bristol, Exeter, Taunton, 
have been attacked and have fallen, again and again. Ply- 
mouth endured a siege longer and fiercer than either of 
theirs, and sustained it to the end. 

When civil dudgeon first grew high 

there were still among the elders of the borough many who 
had known Drake, and Hawkins, and Kalegh, and Frobisher, 
and Grenville, and Gilbert — some perchance who had sailed 
with them ; many who had watched with kindling eye and 

* The chief aathorities for this narrative are the Local Records, the con- 
temporary Siege Tracts, references in contemporary newspapers (these were 
collected by Mr. R. Barnard, and published in the Tavistock volume — 1889 — 
of the Transactions of ike Devonshire Association), Clarendon's History, 
Whitelock's Memorials, and Rushworth's Collections, 


eager heart the haughty Spanish fleet sail by to its destruc- 
tion. The half century that had passed had not after all 
quite tamed the spirit or quenched the energies which made 
Plymouth the first port in the land in days of Elizabethan 
glory. These only slumbered; hence the town was one of 
the first to declare on the Parliamentary side. Clarendon 
says that Plymouth 

Was a rich and populous corporation, being, in time of peace, 
the greatest port for trade in the West ; and, except Bristol, then 
more considerable than all the rest There was in it a castle very 
strong towards the sea,^with good platforms and ordnance; and 
little more than musquet-shot from the town was an island with 
a fort in it much stronger than the castle, both of which were, 
before the troubles, under the command of a captain with a 
garrison of about fifty men at the most, and were only intended 
for a security and defence of the town against a foreign invasion, 
the castle and the island together having a good command of the 
entrance into the harbour ; but towards the land there was very 
little strengtL This command was in the hands of Sir Jacob 
Ashley, and as unprovided to expect or resist an enemy as the 
other castles and forts of the kingdom, less for the receiving a 
recruit, there being only ordnance and ammunition, without any 
other provisions for the support of the soldiers within the walls, 
and the garrison itself, being by time, marriage, and trade incor- 
porated into the town, and rather citizens than soldiers ; so that 
Sir Jacob Ashley, being sent for to the king, before his setting up 
his standard, as soon as there was any apprehension of a party for 
the king in Cornwall, after the appearing of Sir Ralph Hopton 
and those other gentlemen there, the Mayor and Corporation of 
Plymouth quickly got both the castle and island into their own 

The King's standard was hoisted at Nottingham on the 
25th of August, 1642. It was therefore in the mayoralty of 
Thomas Ceely that the town declared against the King. 
Ceely was succeeded on Lambert Day following by Philip 
Francis, a man of enei^ and resource, one of the chief 
leaders of the townsfolk. To him the Parliament gave the 
command of the castle and town, about which * a line was 
cast up of earth, weak and irregular.' To Sir Alexander 
Carew, one of the representatives of Contwall, and member 
of a Committee of Defence appointed to assist the Mayor, 
was given the Charge of the fort and island, regarded as the 
key of the whole position, with a sufficient garrison. 

The first attack came from Cornwall. Sir Balph Hopton, 
the King's lieutenant-General of Horse in the West, with 


Sir John Berkeley and Sir Bevil Qrenville, assembled a party 
in that county. A bill was presented against them at the 
Michaelmas Quarter Sessions in 1642, as 'certain persons 
unknown, who were lately come armed into the county 
against the peace '; and Sir Alexander Carew and Sir Eichard 
BuUer gathered the Parliamentary forces at Launceston to 
cut off their retreat. But the tables were turned. A 
counter bill was preferred against the Roundheads as a rout 
and an unlawful assembly. It was found by the Koyalist 
grand jury, the posse comitatus was called out, and Carew and 
BuUer, with their followers, driven from the county. Saltash 
was the last place the Parliament held. It had a garrison 
of 200 Scots, but Hopton soon ejected them; and the 
Parliament, who had thought both Cornwall and Devon in 
their hands, were plainly undeceived. Nor was this alL 
There was a constitutional principle that trained bands, or 
militia, could not operate out of the county in which tliey 
were raised, and at the orders of whose high sheriff they 
were. When, therefore, the Cornish posse comUcUvs of 3,000 
foot had done its work, it was disbanded ; but the Royalist 
leaders raised voluntary regiments, wherewith they made con- 
tinual incursions into Devon, even to the walls of Plymouth 
and Exeter, both garrisoned against the King. 

HoptorCs Attacks. 

Plymouth was first attempted in November and December, 
1642, by Hopton, with about 2,500 horse and foot The 
town was then under the command of Col. William Ruthin, 
or Ruthven* — a brave and able soldier, but deficient in 
caution. Like a wise captain, however, so far, he had 
garrisoned certain outposts, Plympton among them. Here- 
upon Hopton came down in such force that the Roundheads 
had to retire. But they did not go far. A retreat across 
the Plym enabled them to cover their front by that river; 
and the Cavaliers were too wary to attempt more. We read 
that on the Ist of December the garrison 'stood upon the 
Lary for the space of three hours facing the enemy, who 
attempted one charge to have drawn us to their ambuscades ; 
but durst not with all their force, which we judge was at 
least 2,500 horse and foot, give in a charge upon fair ground.' 
So Hopton in his turn retreated upon Modbury, where, 

* Or Rathyen. He had oommanded the Soots ejected from Saltash, with 
whom he— a Scottish soldier of fortune— had been on his way to France 
when fortunately driven into Plymouth from stress of weather. 

hopton's attacks. 95 

notwithstanding he had in the interim received reinforce- 
ments, he was on the seventh of the month surprised by 
Ruthin, with four troops of horse and 100 dragoons. 

This determined the Parliament to carry the war into the 
enemy's country. The forces of Dorset and Somerset were 
ordered to join those of Devon, and march into Cornwall — 
one body under the command of Ruthin, the other imder 
that of the Earl of Stamford, governor of Exeter, and 
general for the Parliament of the five Western Counties. 
Ruthin led the way. An attempt to force the passage of 
the Tamar at Saltash was repulsed with loss. He then took 
his forces up the eastern bank, and crossed by Tavistock 
Newbridge. And here Ruthin blundered. Instead of 
waiting for Stamford, he pushed on to Liskeard, and was 
utterly defeated on the 19th of January by Hopton at 
Braddock Down. With the remnant of his shattered army 
he fled to Saltash, where he hastily entrenched himself, and 
where, with the aid of a ship of 400 tons carrying sixteen 
guns, he hoped to make a stand. Hopton followed him up 
with vigour ; and as a regiment which the Earl of Stamford 
had sent to Launceston fled to Plymouth, he was enabled to 
give his undivided attention to Saltash. The assault was 
made at four o'clock on the afternoon of Sunday the 22nd 
of January. For three hours the storm colitinued; and at 
length in the dark the town was captured, Ruthin and his 
principal oflBcers escaping by boat to Plymouth. The loss 
of the Parliamentary troops was very great: seven score 
prisoners to add to the 700 taken at Braddock, arms and 
stores for 4,000 men, and the ship, the master of which was 
accused of treason in that, though hired to * batter ' Hopton, 
he did not do so. The Royalists claimed that they only lost 
one man ; but this we may take leave to doubt. 

Plymouth was now menaced for the second time, and far 
more seriously. Flushed with success, the whole of Hopton's 
forces sat down before it. We learn their disposition from 
a letter of Sir Bevil Grenville to his wife, dated Plympton, 
February 20th, 1642-3: 'Our Army lyes stUl in severall 
quarters. Sir Rh. Hopton, with my Lord Mohun, is upon 
the north side of Plimouth with two regiments; Collo. 
Ashboum [Ashbumham], Sir Jo. Berk [Berkeley], and I are 
on the east side with two r^ments; and Sir Ni. Slan 
[Nicholas Slanning], with Jack Trevan [Trevanion], were 
sent the last weeke to Modbury to possess that quarter 
before the enimy come, being the richest part of this countrey, 
whence most of our provision and victualls does come. If 


it were taken from us we might be starved in our quarters.' 
Grenville saw no hope of taking Pljrmouth. It was too well 
supplied by sea, which the besiegers could not hinder. 

One of the Civil War Tracts, Good News from Plymouth, 
dated February 20th, 1642-3, asserts that an attempt had 
been made to take the town by treason : 

On Munday last there was a great treason found out, which is, 
That Sir Nicholas Slaning, being acquainted with one of the 
master gunners in Plymouth, sent him a letter to this effect : That 
if he would charge his guns with Powder and Paper, and give 
false fire, he would give him an hundred pounds \ this news 
being brought to the Mayor of Plymouth, he presently sent for 
this said gunner, and imprisoned him, and wrote back a letter in 
the gunner's name that all should be effected according to Sir 
Nicholas Slaning's desire ; upon which promise Sir Ealph Hopton 
went on and set upon one of the outworks with confidence to 
enter ; but Plymouth men having charged their peeces with small 
shot, discharged upon them, and slew 800 of their men, amongst 
whom Sir Ralph Hopton was one. 

As Hopton was not killed in any such way, probably the 
whole story is apocryphal; still, some such attempt may 
have been made to tamper with the garrison then, as well as 
at a later period. 

The Battle of ModJmry. 

When Sir Bevil wrote, the Parliamentary forces were con- 
centrating in the direction of Kingsbridge. They attacked 
the entrenched camp at Modbury four days afterwards — on 
the 24th February — and again won a complete victory. The 
Bideford and Barnstaple men led, while the London ' Gray- 
coats ' and other troops from Plymouth assailed the Cavaliers 
from that direction. The Royalists were completely routed, 
and five pieces of ordnance, 200 arms, and 120 prisoners 
captured. There was taken also one Alderman Fittock, the 
master of the Newcastle ship which was said to have 
betrayed its trust at Saltash; and it was reported, though 
falsely, that Slanning was among the killed. While the 
fight was onward at Modbury the Plymouth garrison made a 
sally, drove Hopton off, and slighted 'that spacious work 
which they called after his name.* The Cavaliers, compelled 
to raise the siege, fled in such haste that they left behind 
them three great guns and much powder. 

As a result of the ' battle of Modbury,' eflTorts were made 
by the moderates in the West to conclude a treaty of peace 
between the two counties, and proposals were discussed by 


Commissioners (whom the Corporation spent £10 in enter- 
taining) at Mount Edgcumbe, Stonehouse, and elsewhere. 
An agreement was arrived at, both sides being heartily tired 
of the conflict, though it had but begun. The Parliament, 
however, would have none of the treaty, sending * Master 
Prideaux and Master NichoUs' down, and hostilities soon 

About this time Sir George Chudleigh was the governor of 
' Plymouth, Mountwise, and other Castles thereabouts,' having 
under his command 2,000 foot and 500 horse. 'Barronet 
Norcot,' with his regiment of about 1,200, was quartered near 
Eoborough to hinder the passage from Comw^ by Saltash, 
where Sir Nicholas Slanning had 1,000 men. And so a petty 
border warfare was carried on, the Cornish generally having 
the advantage, daily stealing horses, sheep, and oxen. 

In April the Earl of Stamford madie another attempt to 
subdue Cornwall, marching thereinto all the forces at his 
disposal They were utterly defeated and dispersed on the 
16th of May at Stratton ; and Sir George Chudleigh, who 
had won a partial success at Bodmin, beat a hasty retreat to 
Plymouth. His son James, one of the Parliamentary leaders 
at Stratton, was charged with treason by Stamford and joined 
the Eoyalists. 

Strengthening the Defences. 

After the expedition of the Cornish forces eastward, which 
terminated so fatally for their leaders — Sir Bevil GrenviUe 
being killed at the battle of Lansdowne, Colonel Trevanion 
and Sir Nicholas Slanning at the siege of Bristol, and Sidney 
Godolphin, the other wheel of the 'wain,' at Chagford — 
Plymouth was left awhile to itself. The inhabitants made 
the best use of their time. The Black Book contains 'an 
order made the fifth day of Julye in the xixth yeare of the 
raigne of our Sovereigne Lord Charles, annoque dni 1643, 
for the erection of a wall rounde the towne of Plymouth for 
the better defence and safetie of this towne agst the 
Enemyes nowe in armes agst the Parliament.' The order ran 
— ^^ There shall be a wall with all expedition erected and 
Lenged [lengthened] for the better defence and safetie of 
this Towne agst those Enemyes that dayly threaten our s* 
burrow, and that every Inhabitant of the same shall be 
reasonably rated and assessed for and towards the Charges 
and Costes of lengthening and erecting the same according 
to their respective estates and substance.' 

There were then no Royalist forces of any strength in the 



neighbourhood, but it was thought wiae to be prepared for 
what was seen to be inevitable. According to tradition 
women and children aided in the work. 

That the townsfolk wished to stand well with the Par- 
liament we may glean from such an entry as this : 

Itm pd for a rolle of Spannish tobacchoe sent the Speaker 
of the howse of Comons assembled in Parliam^ for a 
gratuitie from the Towne . . . . vj" x" 

The earliest entries of expenditure in connection with the 
Siege are in 1642-3 : 

Itm payd for makeinge a wall att Mr. Alsopp's house an 
other by Dr. Wilson's howse and a thiid in the way 
leadeinge to Totehill • . . . iiij" vj" xi** 

Itm pd for carryeinge gunnes into Mr. Fowells and Mr. 
Elliotts gardens when they were mounted for j* better 
defence of the towne ag** S' Ralph Hopton and to 
gimners y* attended one moneth there . . . iiij** 

Itm payd for Carriadge of gunnes to the Town Gates and 
unto the Old Towne and for Lantemes for the guardes 
and for shott ... . . xxix" ix^ 

The full history of the defences will be found in the 
chapter on the Fortificationa It is sufficient here to say 
that the town was enclosed by a wall which extended from 
the Castle westward, northward, eastward, and southward 
to Sutton Pool; that there was a fort on the Hoe, with 
bulwarks on Drake's Island ; and that along the high ground 
north of the town there stretched a breastwork connecting a 
series of redoubts. The first of these was above lipson, 
east of Freedom Fields, the second at HoliweU, near the 
prison ; the third and chief, Maudlyn Fort, near the site of the 
Blind Institution, where the Maudlyn House once stood ; the 
fourth at Pennycomequick, near the head of Cobourg Street ; 
the fifth at Eldad. There were subsequently on the same 
line Little Maudlyn Work, N.W. of the Maudlyn; and 
Little Pennycomequick Work, near the site of Houndiscombe 
House. This rampart covered the heads of Stonehouse and 
Lipson Creeks, which were easily passable there at low- water. 
Detached works were made at Stonehouse and Lipson Mill ; 
at Laira Point, Mount Gould, Prince Eock, and Cattedown ; 
and south of Cattewater at Mount Stamford and Mount 
Batten. The redoubts were of earth, stockaded ; the breast- 
work merely a low earthen rampart and ditch. The sea 
formed a natural moat, except towards Mutley; and there 
lay the main strength of the defence. 

H 2 

336220 A 



The next attack was made about the middle of August by 
CoL Digby, who with 600 horse and 300 foot formed his 
head-quarters at Plymstock, and for five or six weeks so 
scoured the country that no provisions could be brought in. 
But the chief troubles of the town just then were internal 
Sir Alexander Carew, commander of the fort and island, 
was discovered in communication with the King's army. 
Clarendon says he was in treaty with Sir John Berkeley; 
Eushworth, that he held intelligence with Col. Edgcumbe and 
Major Scawen by night Mayor Francis, however, was a man 
of decision ; and the evidence of a servant supplying all the 
proof required. Sir Alexander was apprehended and sent 
to London. He denied the treason, was reprieved for a while 
on the application of his wife, but at length was executed on 
Tower Hill, December 23rd, 1644. When voting for the 
execution of Strafford, he told Sir Bevil Grenville: *If I 
were sure to be the next man that would suffer on the same 
scaffold with the same axe, I would give my consent to the 
passing of it.' It was with the same axe that he was be- 
headed. Among the witnesses against Carew were Francis, 
two ministers named Willis and Eundall, Capt. Hancock, 
John Deep, merchant, and Arthur Skinner. Carew's own 
soldiers are said to have taken him in the act of attempting 
to introduce Eoyalist soldiers into the island. Probably he 
was one of those who thought the conflict was being carried 
beyond what had been intended or needed. 

A Perfect Diurnal of Some Passages in Parliament (No. 8, 
September 4th to 11th, 1643) narrates his apprehension 

Monday 4 Sep. They [the Parliament] also received notice 
from Plymouth that another of their members — namely, Mr. 
Alexander Carew, Governor of the Island, near Plymouth, that 
commands the Sound there — was proved an Apostate, and went 
about to betray that island and the town of Plymouth into the 
hands of the Cornish cavaliers, but was prevented by the fidelity 
of his honest soldiers, who* upon the first discovery of his per- 
fidious purpose seized on him, and are about sending him up to 
the Parliament to receive just punishment, according to his demerit; 
and least there should be any protraction of justice here, by reason 
of other business, the good women in that town, upon his first 
apprehending (so odious was his treachery unto them), were about 
to be the executioners of justice themselves, and were very hardly 
intreated to forbear the hanging of him in the Island. And the 
House of Commons, upon consultation hereof, to evidence to the 


world their detestable hatred of such perfidiousness in any of their 
members, and to make him more capable of a speedy trial with 
some other of his fellow apostates by a Council of War, agreed in 
a vote to disable him from being any longer a member of that 
House, and that there should be [another member] chosen in his 

Advance of Maurice. 

Exeter surrendered to Prince Maurice on the 7th Septem- 
ber; and Clarendon holds that if Maurice had then marched 
directly upon Plymouth, it would have yielded at his ap- 
proach, such was the discouragement the loss of Exeter 
caused, and so little was the town provided to sustain an 
attack. Maurice resolved to take Dartmouth on his way, 
having all the disinclination of the old school of generals to 
leave even a weak enemy in his rear or on his flank ; and 
the Parliament took advantage of the consequent month's 
delay to send 500 or 600 soldiers by sea from Portsmouth 
to Plymouth, under CoL Wardlaw — appointed commander- 
in-chief of the town — and Col. Gould. Passing Dartmouth, 
they left 100 men there, and came on to Plymouth with the 
remainder. This addition to the garrison made the place 
secure. The Mayor, according to Clarendon, was in no very 
good heart; while the inhabitants were afraid they would 
lose their trade and become only soldiers. 

Wardlaw struck his first blow on the 8th October. Under 
cover of the night he sent 300 men over Cattewater, who 
fell upon and routed Digby's guard at Hooe, taking 54 
prisoners, some powder, and a pair of colours, with the loss 
of only two men. Dartmouth soon fell, and the garrison 
learnt that Maurice, with his whole strength, was on the 
march against thenu Willing while they had the chance to 
strike again, they made a sally against a guard at Enackers- 
knowle, and captured 20 or 30. The enemy rallied, were 
reinforced from Roborough Down, and fifteen of the garrison, 
who had pushed too far in advance, were captured, the only 
one who escaped being Major Searle, who gallantly chaiged 
through his opponents. 

Fall of Mount Stamford. 

The town was soon hemmed in. Maurice had five 
regiments of horse, and nine of foot, stationed at Plym- 
stock, Plympton, Tamerton, Buckland Monachorum, Mount 
Edgcumbe, Cawsand, and elsewhere, his head - quarters 
conveniently placed at Widey. The garrison were deceived 


by the Cavaliers bringing thirteen fishing boats overland from 
the Yealm into Pomphlet Creek. This was interpreted to 
indicate a design upon Cattedown, and the little redoubts 
and breastworks there were strengthened. But the besiegers 
knew their business better. In the night of the 2l8t 
October they raised a square work within pistol-shot of 
Mount Stamford, with regular approaches to cut off all relief. 
It cost the Stamford garrison three hours' hard fighting 
before the work was taken, and in it fifty prisoners, under 
one Captain White. The capture was garrisoned by thirty 
musketeers, under the command of an ensign; but in the 
night the enemy fell on again, and ensign and men decamped 
without warning the fort.* Next morning there was a yet 
more desperate struggle. The Eoyalists brought up rein- 
forcements, and it was not until the leader of the Eoundheads, 
Captain Corbett, had been shot in the forehead as he was 
encouraging his men to fall on, that the coveted spot was 
regained. This cost the garrison twenty men killed, and 
over a hundred woimded beside oflficers. Colonel (Jould among 
the latter. The besiegers certainly an equal number, in- 
cluding six commanders of rank. 

The work was then destroyed, and Mount Stamford 
strengthened by slight outworks — a breastwork on each side, 
terminated by a half moon, along the ridge — which were 
manned as well as the smallness of the force at hand 
permitted. The Cavaliers gave no rest Daily there were 
assaults and skirmishes; and on the third of November 
batteries were raised within pistol-shot of the fort, which on 
the fifth began to play, dischai^g upwards of 200 demi- 
cannon and whole culverin shot, beside the shot of smaller 
guns. These batteries completely commanded Mount Stam- 
ford, and flanked the outworks from Oreston Hill. On the 
first day several breaches were made in the fort, and the 
lieutenant and some gunners slain. The works were repaired 
during the night, but there were serious needs that could not 
be easily supplied. Provisions and ammimition alike ran 
short; and no reinforcements came to relieve the garrison, 
who had been continuously fighting for eight days. They 
held out under another battering until noon of the next day, 
Sunday. The outworks then fell to a general assault ; and 
the captain of the fort having sustained three further attacks, 
having only seven serviceable men left out of thirty-six, no 
provisions, and very little ammunition, and having made a 

* This was regarded as either treachery or cowardice, and on the eighth 
^oyember— a lew days ai'terwords— the ensign was shot 


signal of distress unavailingly for two hours, during which 
he kept the enemy at bay, surrendered on good terms, 
marching off with colours flying, bag and baggage, the best 
gun — a demi-culverin — in the work, and exchange of 
prisoners. If defeated, therefore, he was not disgraced; 
though the townsfolk who did not come to his aid were called 
both faint and false-hearted. 

So fell Mount Stamford— the first and only advantage 
gained by the EoyaUsts during the protracted and often 
revived Siege. It cost nearly three weeks independent 
leaguer, and some scores of lives, including four or five 
Cavalier captains, rumour magnifying the loss of the besiegers 
to a thousand. While the capture did credit to the energy 
of the Boyalists, the surrender was no discredit to its 
immediate defenders. The importance of Mount Stamford 
proved to have been monstrously exaggerated. The Eoyalists 
thought it the key to the position; and on its capture 
demanded the surrender of the town. 

That you may see our hearty desire of a just peace, we do 
summon you in his Majesty's name to surrender the town, fort, 
and island of Plymouth, with the warlike provisions thereunto 
belonging, into our hands for his Mcgesty's use. And we do 
hereby assure you, upon the power devised to us from his Majesty, 
upon the performance of a general pardon for what is past ; and 
engage ourselves upon our honour to secure your persons and 
estates from all violence and plunder. We have now acquitted 
ourselves on our parts ; and let the blood that shall be spilt in the 
obtaining of these just demands (if denied by you) be your guilt. 
-^Given under our hands at Mount Stamford the 18th day of 
November, a.d. 1643. — John Digby, Thomas Bassett^ Peter 
Killigrew, John Wagstaffe, J. Treleany [Trelawny], R. Prideaux, 
John Anmdell, Thomas Marke, William Arundell, John Downing, 
Thomas Stucley. 

The townsfolk were seriously inclined to comply. Colonel 
Wardlaw was of a different mind, and seized the fort and 
island, determined that if the town surrendered these 
strengths should still be held. Strong measures were needed. 
The neutralists who desired surrender were no feeble folk 
in numbers, whatever they were in mind. Moreover, both 
town and garrison were very ill-provided. A letter written 
from Plymouth to Capt. Joseph Vaughan, a month before 
(October 27th), states that affairs were then all at sixes and 
sevens, and men and money both wanted; 1,000 men and 
£5,000 being of more service at that juncture than 20,000 
men and £100,000 if the town were lost. Governor 


Wardlaw and Mayor Cawse had to face a desperate state of 
affairs; and to guard against treason, ever lifting its liead^ 
care was had to certain suspected deputy-lieutenanta 

The Vow and Covenant. 

It was soon seen that the loss of Mount Stamford was 
rather a gain. Of little use as a protection to the shipping 
— which, because of the enemy's cannon at Oreston and 
Mount Edgcumbe, had to shelter in Millbay — its maintenance 
would have drawn too heavily on the small strength of the 
garrison. Moreover, very little damage was done by the 
Cavalier cannon at Stamford, beyond shooting off a vane of 
the windmill on the Hoe, which was quickly new grafted, 
and injuring a woman in the arm. The final result was: 
* The town, which before was altogether divided and heartless 
in its defence, now grew to be united, with a resolution to 
stick by us in the defence thereof; partly out of fear, knowing 
that the fort and island would be goads in their sides if the 
town should be lost ; but especially from their assurance of 
our intention to defend the town to the last man, by securing 
of those four deputy-lieutenants whom they suspected, and 
by the many asseverations and resolutions of the officers 
that they would, when they could defend the town no longer, 
burn it to ashes rather than the enemies of Grod and of His 
cause should possess it; which resolution of theirs they 
confirmed by joining in a solemn vow and covenant for the 
defence of the town.' 

This Vow and Covenant, ordered to be taken by all, ran 

In the presence of Almighty God I vow and protest that I 
will to the utmost of my power faithfully maintain and defend 
the towns of Plymouth and Stonehouse, the fort and island, with 
all the outworks and fortifications to the same belonging, against 
all forces now raised against the said town, fort, and island, or 
any part thereof; or that shall be raised by any power or authority 
whatsoever, without the consent of both Houses of Parhament. 
Neither will I by any way or means whatsoever contrive or consent 
to the giving up of the said town and fortifications aforesaid, or 
any parcel of them, into the hands of any person or persons 
whatsoever, without the consent of both Houses of Parliament, 
or of such as are authorized thereimto by them. Neither will I 
raise or consent to the raising of any force or tumult, nor will I 
by any way or means give or yield to the giving of any advice, 
counsel, or intelligence, to the prejudice of the said town and 
fortifications, either in whole or in part) but will with all faith 


fully discover to the Mayor of Plymouth, and to the Commander- 
in-Chief there, whatsoever design I shall know or hear of hurtful 
thereunto. Neither have I accepted any pardon or protection, 
nor will I accept any protection from the enemy. And this vow 
or protestation I mc^e without any equivocation or mental reser- 
vation whatsoever, believing that I cannot be absolved from this 
my vow and protestation, and wishing no blessing from God on 
myself or my posterity if I do not sincerely and truly perform 
the same. So help me God. 

An attempt was made when Stamford fell to retain a hold 
on the south of Cattewater by raising a fort upon Haw Start. 
Hitherto the garrison of Mount Stamford retreated, but as 
the townsfolk would not go to their aid, and they were 
wearied almost to death, they came back to Plymouth. Haw 
Start was then fortified by the Cavaliers. On the same day 
Mount Stamford was taken Lipson Work was assailed, but 
without success : and possibly this was but a feint. 

The townsfolk had a solemn day of humiliation, took their 
vow and covenant, and, in the spirit of the Cromwellian 
saying, * Put your trust in Providence, and keep your powder 
dry,' proceeded to complete the rampart and ditch connecting 
the five great outworks, which were yet in a very imperfect 
state. Between the 6th and the 16th of November nothing 
of note occurred except a foraging sally at Thomhill, which 
ended in the capture of Major Leyton, because, as in the 
assault on Knackersknowle, the party pushed forward too 
far. The Lipson end of the line was the first attacked. The 
deep valley, however, prevented the Cavaliers from raising 
their batteiy (which opened on the 18th November) near 
enough to do much damage. 

Though the townsfolk were by this time both united and 
determined, they were not thoroughly purged of the leaven 
of malignity. Three notorious 'malignants' were among them 
— Ellis Carteret, sailor; Henry Pike, vihtner; and Moses 
Collins, attorney. Carteret endeavoured to induce Roger 
Kembom, chief gunner of Maudlyn Work, to blow it up. 
Kembom revealed the plot, ' God not suffering his conscience 
to rest until he did'; and Carteret was apprehended. Pike 
and Collins fled to the enemy. 

The 'Sabbath Day Fight: 

Sunday, the third of December, 1643, is one of the most 
memorable days in the history of Plymouth. Never stood 
the town in such peril Its fate trembled in the balance. 
If trainbands and soldiers had not alike done their duty, 


the Parliament would have lost its last stronghold in the 
West. There was a small breastwork at Laira Point, at the 
junction of what then was Lipson Creek with the Laira. It 
was an entrenched outpost with three cannon, in itself of 
little strength. Low tide fell during the dark hours of the 
morning of the third December, and Lipson Creek, save the 
middle channel, was dry. Guided by Pike and Collins, 400 
musketeers crossed the mud, wading the stream a little 
below the mill ; and following down the western shore under 
cover of the precipitous banks, surprised the guard at the 
Point. It then wanted three hours to sunrise. The guard 
gave the alarm to the garrison ; and at daybreak, 150 horse 
and 300 musketeers fell in above Tothill to repel the attack. 
The ridge concealed them from the main body of the 
besiegers ; but as they were in full view of Mount Stamford, 
a warning shot fired thence aroused Prince Maurice and ' all 
the gallantry of his army,' who immediately advanced in full 
strength from Compton and Egg Buckland down Lipson 
Valley, under cover of their ordnance and sheltered by a 
hedge, to the support of their forlorn hope. Speed as they 
would, the Roundheads were before them ; and by the time 
they arrived, a hot conflict was onward near the Point. The 
besiegers' supports turned the scale. The Boundheads were 
outnumbered ten to one, and driven back in absolute rout 
for the space of three fields. So hasty was the retreat, and 
so hot the pursuit, that some of the Cavalier horse pushed 
on past the outworks to within pistol-shot of the walls, and 
were there either killed or taken. The bulk of the Round- 
heads, however, rallied on the highest point of Freedom 
Fields, their left flank protected by Lipson Work. Here 
they were reinforced from the different outworks, though 
the aid was small. There was great danger of assault 
elsewhere. Pennycomequick Work indeed was attempted 
without success; and few could be spared. Weak as the 
defenders were, they held their ground for hours of anxious 
expectancy, while the Cavaliers were either unable or afraid 
to follow up their advantage. At length they summoned 
Lipson Work, probably the obstacle. Their trumpet was 
answered by a cannon, and this shot heralded the renewal 
of the battle. A drake was brought up, planted in a position 
of vantage, and discharged several times on the enemy's 
horse with good effect. The field party were reinforced by a 
couple of hundred of the trainbands. Sixty musketeers 
were sent round under Mount Gould to take the enemy in 
the rear. Then at a signal given by the sound of drum, a 


general assault was made along the whole line. The enemy 
gave way. Their retreat, followed up, became a rout. Down 
the hiU they rushed pell-mell, in far too much of a hurry to 
choose a path ; and while making their hasty way over the 
'creek, some were killed, and still more captured. Their rear 
guard of cavalry, cut off, was forced into the mud in utter 
confusion. Many of the horses were drowned ; some of the 
horsemen made their escape by crawling on shore. Not a few 
were killed by the cross-fire of the pursuing horse and foot, 
and of some vessels stationed at Laira Point, which had 
parleyed with the enemy while the issue of the day was 
doubtful, but when the retreat commenced became ' honest ' 
again. These vessels in all likelihood were some just sent by 
Parliament to the town's relief. The repulse was complete, 
and Plymouth was saved. Both sides suffered heavily. The 
garrison, when they were driven back, lost forty-three officers 
and men prisoners. Captain Wansey and twelve men killed, 
and a hundred wounded, some mortally. The loss of the 
assailants was much greater. The boasting shouts of the 
Cavaliers, 'The town is ours,' had been answered by the 
hopeful cries of the garrison, ' God with us.' And when in 
the event, to quote the words of the old chronicler, the Lord 
showed himself so wonderfully in their deliverance, soldiers 
and townsfolk united in a solemn day of thanksgiving, 
proclaiming their confidence in the noble motto, 'Turris 
fortissima est nomen Jehovae.' For many a year the bells 
of St. Andrew rang joyous peals each third of December in 
memory of the great mercy of this ' Sabbath-day fight.* It 
was indeed a great deliverance. If the Boyalists had held 
possession of their ground that night they would have gained 
Cattedown. Then the garrison would have had to betake 
themselves to the wall ; and as that was not finished, a very 
few hours would have settled the fate of the town. No 
wonder Major-General Basset called from the trenches to 
one of the Boundhead officers, he verily thought God fought 
against the Cavaliers. 

Departure of Maurice, 

The next three weeks were quiet, the only episode a night 
attack upon the small redoubt near lipson Mill, then newly 
raised. On the 18th of December bombardment commenced, 
but with little success. To make the attack more effective, 
the batteries were approached so close that they were 
commanded by the outer earthworks; and the Cavalier 
gunners were beaten from their guns. A more serious danger 


soon threatened On the night of the 20th December, under 
cover of the darkness and the rain, aided bj the carelessness 
of the captain at Maudlyn, who neglected his sentries, the 
besiegers contrived, with the help of a comer of a field, to 
raise a square work within pistol-shot of Maudlyn, endanger- 
ing the communication with the work at Pennycomequick. 
At daybreak this was discovered ; and, anxious to repair their 
neglect, the garrison at Maudlyn, threescore strong, made an 
attack. They found that the new work was held by a force 
four or five times their number, and were driven back. All 
the available men from the town were then brought up, both 
horse and foot, and at nine o'clock the attack renewed. The 
first assault was repulsed ; at the next the assailants made a 
footing in the work, to be immediately driven out again. 
But they were not daunted. The reserves were brought into 
action. Again they fell on, and this time succeeded, driving 
the Boyalists headlong before them, and being held back 
with difficulty from assailing their batteries. The work was 
destroyed. What it cost the garrison we have no means of 
knowing ; but as nearly 100 Cavaliers were slain, the loss of 
the stormers must have been severe. 

The effect of this blow was such — coupled with the fact 
that disease had broken out in the camp, the wet weather 
* breeding such a rot ' that the men died in great numbers, 
while hundreds sick and maimed were in the trenches-^that 
on Christmas-day, the date by which Maurice said the town 
should be taken, the Siege was raised; the Prince as a 
parting shot issuing an order to the constables and tything- 
men of Egg Buckland and St Budeaux against the relief of 
the garrison : 

Forasmuch as divers persons disaffected to his Migesty's service 
make their daily recourse into Plymouth, furnishing the rebells 
there with all manner of provision for man and horse, contrary to 
his Majesty's proclamation prohibiting the same ; these ar^ there- 
fore to signify that if any person, of what degree or quality 
soever, presume to have any commerce or dealing with any in the 
said town, or take or carry with him any horses, oxen, kine, or 
sheep, or other provision for man or horse, into the said town of 
Plymouth for the relief of the rebells there, every such person 
and persons shall be proceeded against, both in person and estate, 
as abettors of this horrid rebellion and contemners of his Majesty's 
proclamation, according to the limitation of the Court of Wards 
in such cases provided : willing and requiring all mayors, justices 
of peace, bailiffs, constables, and all other of his Majesty's officers 
and ministers, to cause them to be forthwith published in all 


churches, chappies, markets, and other places, \7hereby his 
Majesty's loving subjects may the better take notice thereof. — 

It was time for some relief. The privations of the 
inhabitants had been severe, and their death-rate had risen 
very high. The registers of St. Andrew, which deal only with 
the actual burials in the churchyard, show that in December 
alone, instead of the eighteen or twenty which would have 
been a fair average for that time of the year, there were 132. 
The leat was cut off. Provisions had been very scarce ; and 
it is acknowledged with devout thankfulness, that when the 
poor people were grievously punished, 'there came an infinite 
number of pilchards^ into the harbour within the Barbican, 
which the people took up with great ease in baskets, which 
did not only refresh them for the present, but a great deal 
more were taken, preserved and salted, whereby the poor got 
much money.' Another providential occurrence was the fact 
that the day after the Siege was raised, instead of earlier, 
part of two of the works fell down. 

The trainbands had done their duty well ; and perhaps it 
is to this period of the Siege that we must refer a tradition 
preserved by Mr. John Fox in his MSS.,^ the death, while 
defending Maudlyn Work, or in Mutley fields, of a silver- 
smith named Smith, an ancestor of the Collier family. A 
relative was going up to the work with his dinner, when he 
or she met his body being brought back, headless, thrown 
across a horse like a sack. The idea of taking out dinner to 
the combatants may seem strange; but we have a special 
record of *the great humanity of the good women of 
Plymouth, and their courage in bringing out strong waters 
and all sorts of provisions, in the midst of all our skirmishes 
and fights, for the refreshing of our soldiers, though many 
women were shot through the clothes.' The credit of the 
defence is not confined therefore to the sterner sex, and the 
pluck of the women must have helped to compensate for the 
scant numbers of the men. 

The garrison were deficient of munitions also; but they 
had one piece of good fortune. When they were most 
pressed for money, Sampson Hele, of Fardel, came informally, 
without drum or trumpet, with a summons of surrender; 
whereupon, by way of ransom, he was * persuaded ' to yield 
£2,000 for the payment and clothing of the soldiers. 

When Maurice left, the Siege was turned into a blockade 

^ Spriooe says 'mulleta,' which is much more likely. 
' Now in the Proprietary Library. 


under the charge of Digby. Mount Stamford was retained, 
but the head-quarters were at Plympton, whilst a strong 
force was quartered at Tavistock. Moreover, the Cavaliers 
of Devon and Cornwall entered into a solemn vow and 
protestation, to the utmost of their power to assist his 
Majesty's armies in reducing Plymouth. 

The chief commanders of the attack during this period 
were — Prince Maurice, the Earls of Marlborough and 
Newport, Lord Mohun, Sir Thomas Hele, Sir Edmund 
Fortescue, Sir John Gren\dlle, Sir Richard Caire, Sir James 
Coboume, Sir John Digby, Sir Peter Courtenay, Sir William 
Courtenay, lieut-General Wagstalfe, Major-General Basset 
The ofBicers of the garrison — ^Colonels Wardlaw, Wm. (rould, 
Michael Serle; lieut-Colonel William Layther; Nathaniel 
Willis, Sergeant-Major ; Captains Samuel Bersch, Gabriel 
Bemes, Henry Potter, William Watton, Henry Plumley, 
William Hill, Thomas Hughes, Robert Northcote, Thomas 
King, Gteorge Hamilton, William Owen, Humphry Burton, 
Thomas Halsey ; Capt-Lieuts. Bartholomew Henderson, 
James Moore ; Lieuts. Philip Beaumont, Thomas Stayner, — 
Chaffin. Officers of the horse — Philip Francis, John White, 
Richard Evins, Arthur Gay, Richard Burthogg, Henry HatselL 
Captains of the town — Ellis Crymes, Philip Crocker, Robert 
Harvie, Christopher Martin ; Christopher Crocker, Captain- 

In January, 1644, Wardlaw ceased to be active governor, 
and was succeeded by Gould. A letter from him was read 
to the House of Commons September 4th, 1644, in which it 
is stated that he had become incapacitated for service by 
infirmities incurred in the discharge of his duty; but in 
January he complained of supercession without notice. 

The town had a month's peace ; but peace did not mean 
idleness. The breathing time was employed in strengthening 
and repairing the old fortifications, and in adding new ones. 
Not only were the enemy's redoubts and batteries slighted, 
but the hedges immediately contiguous to the outworks 
destroyed. This was more important than making sallies. 
The soldiers sorely wanted rest: it had been a common 
thing for them to endure six or seven nights' duty without 

Blockade under Dighy arid GrenvUle. 

And peace consisted only in living free from actual 
assault. Mount Stamford daily favoured the town with great 
shot, but they did little damage. Hostilities in the field 


were renewed on the 26th of January, when the Cavaliers at 
Plympton and Buckland fell upon some scattered parties of 
the garrison. Major Halsey, with the Roundhead horse, 
pursued and attacked the enemy at Tamerton. In February 
and March there were various sallies, which inflicted con- 
siderable annoyance on the besiegers, but had no effective 

In one of these. Colonel Digby was placed hors de conibcU, 
receiving a rapier wound in the eye, from which he never 
properly recovered. The conduct of the Siege thus fell into 
the hands of Sir Eichard Grenville, of whom more anon. 

A little later death deprived the garrison of Colonel 
William Gould, who also held the office of High Sheriff of 
Devon under the Parliament The decease of this 'noble 
and valiant gentleman ' was improved by Stephen Midhope, 
one of the chaplains, who, when publishing the sermon, 
dedicated it to Sir John Bamplield (ancestor of Lord 
Poltimore), then commanding in the town. There is a 
singular uncertainty about the date of Gould's death. One 
of the contemporary Siege Tracts places it on the 27th of 
March. The register of St. Andrew records the burial of 
Colonel William Gould on the 9th July. When he died, the 
command of the town was put into commission, being 
granted (it would almost seem by Colonel Wardlaw) to the 
Mayor, Colonel Crocker, and Lieut-Colonel Martin, until a 
commander-in-chief was sent down from the Parliament; 
the two former subsequently transferring their authority to 
the last. 

But this has carried us in advance of the course of events. 
On the 18th of March — ^Digby was probably wounded in a 
sally on the 15th — Grenville sent the following letter into 
the town : 

For CoL Gold, together with the officers and souldiers now at 
the Fort, and Towne of Pliminouth^ These 

That it may not seeme strange unto you, to understand of my 
being ingaged in his Majesties service, to come against Plimoath 
as an Enemy, I shall let you truely know the occasion thereof. 
It is very true, that I came from Ireland with a desire and intention 
to look after my own particular fortune in England, and not to 
ingage myself in any kind in the imhappy difference betwixt the 
King and the pretinded Parliament now at London. But chancing 
to land at Liverpocle^ the Parliament's forces there brought me to 
London, where I must confesse I received from both the pretended 
booses of Parliament great tokens of favour, and also importunate 


motions to ingage me to serve them, which I civilly refused: 
afterwards divers honourahle persons of the pretended Parliament 
importuned me to undertake their service for the Government and 
defence of Plymouth : unto which my answer was, that it was fit 
(before I ingaged my self) I should understand what meanes they 
could and would allow and provide for the effectuall performance 
of that service; upon that a Committee appointed for the West 
thought fit with all speede to send a present reliefe of Men and 
Munition to Plymoufhf which with very great difficulty was brought 
thither, being the last you had ; afterwards there were many meet- 
ings more of that Committee, to provide the meanes that should 
give Plymouth reliefe, and enable it to defend itself, and notwith- 
standing the earnest desires, and endeavours of that Committee 
accordingly, I protest before God, after six moneths expectation, 
& attendance on that Committee by me, I found no hopes or 
likelyhood of but reasonable means for the reliefe and defence of 
Plymouth^ which made me account it a lost Towne, and the reather 
because I being by Commission Lieut Generall to Sir William 
Waller^ had an oniinance of the Parliament for the raising of 
500 horse for my Kegement at the charges of Kent^ Surry^ Sussex^ 
Hampshire, who in 3 moneths time, had not raised 4 Troopes, and 
my own Troope, when I left them having 2 months pay due to 
them, could get but one month for which extraordinary means 
was used, being a favour none else could obtain, it being very true, 
that the Parliament's forces have all beene unpaid for many 
months, in such sort, that they are grown weak, both in Men and 
Monies, and have by only good words kept their forces from 
disbanding. The processe of so long time spent at London^ made 
me and many others plainly see the iniquity of their policy, for I 
found Religion was the cloak for Rebellion, and it seemed not 
strange to me when I found the Protestant religion was infected 
with so many independants, and sectaries of infinite kinds which 
would not heare of a peace, but such as would be in some kind as 
pernicious as was the warre. The Priviledges of this Parliament 
I found was not to be found by any of the former, but to lay them 
aside and alter them as they advantaged their party. This seemed 
so odious to me that I resolved to lay my self, as I have done at 
his Ma : feete, from whence and his most just cause, no fortune, 
terrour, or cruelty shall make me swerve, in any kind : and to let 
you see also what hath formerly past, I have sent you these 
inclosed. Now for a farewell ; I must wish, and advise you, out 
of the true and faithfuU love and affection, I am bound to beare 
towards mine own Coimtry, that you speedily consider your great 
charges, losses, & future dangers, by making and hokling your 
selves enemies to his Majestic, who doth more truly desire your 
welfare and safety, then it seemes you doe your selves, wherefore 
(as yet my friends) I desire you to resolve speedily of your 
Propositions for peace, by which you may soone injoy your liberties, 


contents, and estates, lest on the contrary, the contrary which with 
a sad heart I speake, you will very soon see the effect of. Thus 
my affection urgeth me to impart unto you, out of the great desire 
I have, rather to regaine my lost old friends by love, then by force 
to subject them to mine, and on that consideration I must thus 
conclude. Your loving friend, 

Fitzford 18 Martij. 1643. [Old style.] Kick Grenville. 

To this the Garrison replied : 

Sir, — Though your Letter meriting our highest contempt and 
scome, which once we thought fit by our silence (judging it 
unworthy of an answer) to have testified, yet, considering that 
your self intends to make it publique, we offer you these lines, 
that the world may see what esteem we have of the man notorious 
for Apostacy and Trechery, & that we are ready to dispute the 
justice and equity of our cause in any lawfull way, whereto the 
enemy shall at any time challenge us. You might well have 
spared the giving us an account of your dissimulation with the 
Parliament. We were soone satisfied ; and our wonder is not so 
great that you are now gone from us as at firsts when we under- 
stood of your ingagement to us : & to tel you truth, it pleased us 
not so well to hear you were named to be a Governor for this place 
as now it doth to know you are in arms against us, we accounting 
our selves safer to have you an enemy abroad than a pretended 
friend at home, being persuaded that your principles could not 
afford cordiall endeavors for an honest cause. You tell us of the 
pretended houses of Pari at London^ a thred-bare scandal suckt 
from Aulicus, whose reward, or a Bp. blessing, you may chance to 
be honoured wth for your Court-service; & how tiiey make Religion 
the cloak of Eebellion, a garment which we are confident your 
Rebellion wil never be clad with : You advise us to consider the 
great chaiges we have beene at, and the future dangers we runn 
our selves into, by making our selves enemies to his Majesty, who 
more desires our good than we our selves, & thus would have us 
prepare conditions for Peace. That we have bin at great charges 
alreiekdy we are sufficiently sensible, & yet resolve that it shall not 
any way lessen our affections to that cause, with which God hath 
honoured us, by making us instruments to plead it against the 
malicious adversaries. If the King be our enemy, yet Oxford 
cannot proove that we have made him so. That his Majestie 
desires our wel-fare we can easily admit, as well as that its the 
mischievous Councellors so neere him who render him cruel to 
his most faithful subjects : & as for our proposing conditions of 
peace, we shall most gladly do it when it may advance the publique 
service ; but to do it to the enemies of peace, though we have bin 
thereto formerly invited, yet hath it pleased the disposer of all 
things to preserve us from the necessity of it^ & to support us 
against all the fury of the inraged enemy. The same God is still 



our rock and refuge, under whose wings we doubt not of protection 
and safety, when the Seducers of a King shall die like a candle, 
and that name which by such courses is sought to be perpetual in 
honor, shall end in ignominy. For the want of money to pay the 
Parliaments souldiers, though it be not such as you would persuade 
us, yet certain we are .their treasury had now bin greater, and 
honest men better satisfied, but that some as unfaithful as your 
selfe have gone before you in betraying them both of their trust 
& richea Whereas you mind us of the lost condition of our town, 
sure it cannot be you should be so truly persuaded of it, as they 
are of your personall, who subscribe themselves, and so remaine 
friends to the faithf ulL 

GrenviUe enclosed a book entitled the Iniquity of the 
Covenant, This was burnt in the market-place, by the 
hands of the common hangman, under order of the Council 
of War. Moreover, proclamation was made that all who 
had any of these books, and did not bring them forth, should 
be held and dealt with as enemies to the State and Town. 

Colonel Martin on the Offensive. 

Colonel Martin was a commander of decision and vigour. 
He acted upon the offensive, to prevent the enemy taking 
up close quarters again ; but the Cavaliers, as the year wore 
on, gradually drew their circle narrower. The garrison must 
have received some reinforcements. Our only definite in- 
formation is that certain of the prisoners captured took the 
Covenant and enlisted on the Parliamentary side ; and that 
men from all parts came in daily, but that there was no 
money to pay theuL 

Martin's earliest movement of importance was an assault 
upon St. Budeaux. Hearing that 500 Cavaliers were quar- 
tered there, he sent against them 600 musketeers, with 120 
horse, at the same time making a feint in the direction of 
Plympton, the besiegers* head-quarters. The attacking party 
were separated by a mistake of the guides. Nevertheless 
the foot fell upon St. Budeaux unoteerved, captured the 
garrisoned church tower, and took a couple of officers and 
44 other prisoners, besides powder, horse, and arms. 

This was on the 16th April. On the 19th Martin beat up 
the enemy's quarters at * Newbridge on the way to Plympton/ 
somewhere between Longbridge and Marsh Mills. Impetuous 
as usual, the forlorn hope, disobeying orders, fell on while 
the reliefs were yet a mUe behind, beat the Cavaliers from 
hedge to hedge, and captured a breastwork in advance of the 
bridge ; but at length, their powder being spent, they had to 


retire before the main strength of the enemy, two men only 
being wounded 

On the 21st of April an attack was made from Prince Eock 
upon the Cavalier guard at Pomphlet Mill, and prisoners 
and provisions brought in. This was but a small affair. 

On the 11th of May a more formidable expedition attacked 
the enemy at Jump (now Eoborough), then called ' the Jump/ 
or 'Trenaman's Jump/ This sortie issued from Hopton's 
Work — probably an old fortification of the besiegers, opposite 
Maudlyn. It consisted of 1,000 foot and 100 horse, 400 
musketeers and 25 horse 'making good the wayes about 
Compton ' to prevent a flank attack. The enemy were beaten 
out of their quarters, and 100 brought back prisoners, despite 
attempts at rescue. 

Colonel Martin next turned his attention westward. The 
Mercurius Rusticus contains a statement under date May 
12th: *The rebels from Plymouth assaulted Mount Edg- 
cumbe House in Cornwall (which was only defended by 
thirty musketeers), were bravely repulsed, and eighty of 
them killed in the place.' While there is evidently some 
exaggeration in the roll of the slain, there is little doubt this 
action reaUy took place three days later — on the 15th of the 
month, when Colonel Martin sent Captain Haynes with 300 
men from Cremill (now Devil's) Point to Mount Edgcumbe, 
himself following with twenty horse when the passage was 
open. On his arrival he despatched the following summons 
to Mount Edgcumbe, but without effect : 

To prevente the Efusyon of Chrystian Blood I doe heerbye 
Bequire y^ ymediately to deUver Mount edgcmnbe house unto 
mee for ye use of the Kinge & Parliamt And y^ shall have fayre 
quarter wh<* if y'* shall Refuse I have acquitted myselfe from 
the guilte of the Blood w^ may be spilte in obtayninge my just 
desire Bobt Marten 

Passage 15 May 1644 

To the Govemour of 

Mount Edgcomb House : these. 

The landing was effected at the Warren, near the Old 
Blockhouse yet standing in the gardens. Here had been 
mounted three small guns, which used greatly to annoy the 
boats going to Stonehouse. These were captured at the 
outset, the gunners retreating to the house. Finding that 
his summons produced no result, Martin left a party to 
watch the garrison, and pressed onward. Maker Church 
tower was assaulted and taken, and therein a barrel of 

I 2 


powder. A fort at Cawsand was surrendered; Millbrook, 
entrenched and garrisoned by 250 men, was carried with the 
capture of cannons, prisoners, and cattle. A fort at 
Inceworth was abandoned on the approach of the victorious 
Boundheads. But the posts could not be held. The Cavaliers 
came down in force from their head-quarters on the Cornish 
side, at Saltash ; and so Colonel Martin retreated with his 
booty, and 200 prisonera On the road he assaulted Mount 
Edgcumbe, but was repulsed. The banqueting-hall and the 
out-offices were burnt, but the main building, being of stone, 
was not to be dealt with in that summary way. According 
to Col. Martin, the casualties in this affair were very slight ; 
not a tithe of the eighty slain by the writer in Mercurius 
AtUicus, When the sortie returned it was learnt that the 
besiegers had attacked the outworks with 1,000 horse and 
foot, and been beaten back. 

On the 22nd of the same month Warleigh House was 
assailed, and fifty horses taken. This was not effected 
without loss; for the party were considerably harassed in 
their return. 

There were other sorties. Whitelock mentions one in 
which forty prisoners, with horses, arms, and ammunition, 
were taken ; another, wherein the garrison issued forth two 
miles, and captured nine guns, 150 prisoners, 100 cows, and 
500 sheep ; a third, whence forty horses and prisoners were 
brought in ; a fourth, resulting in 100 prisoners ; and a fifth, 
towards Newbridge, in which fifty horses were captured, 
Capt. Arundel stnd other inferior officers, and many soldiers 
slain. How far these are to be identified with the forays 
already detailed we cannot say ; but in aU likelihood some 
are duplicate versions of the same events. Arundel, who 
was son of the gallant Governor of Pendennis, familiarly 
called ' Old Tilbury * and ' John for the King,' was shot dead 
in the entrenchments by Capt. Braddon.* 

There were still troubles within the walls. A feminine 
malignant and traitor was detected holding correspondence 
with the enemy, and committed to the Castle, The articles 
against her were that she sent suits of apparel to the 
renegadoes Pike and Collins; that she discovered to the 

* James Hals, of Effbrd, was Lieut. -Colonel in Colonel Boscawen's regiment 
defending Plymonth. He was captured in a sortie, and sent prisoner to 
Lydford. Here some of his fellow-offioers — Leach, Morris, and Brabyn 
[Brabant ?] — were executed without trial for high treason by Orenville. Hals 
was spared, but kept in prison until, twenty months afterwards, Essex in his 
march into the West set the prisoners free. While in prison, Browne gave 
him a copy of his LydJ'ord Law * for his diversion.' (Hals's Cornwall,) 


enemy the quantity of powder in the town ; that she invited 
the enemy to assault it; and that she desired a Cavalier, 
Major Harris, to quarter in her house when the town was 
taken, informing him moreover that the Protestant religion 
in Plymouth was decayed and breathing its last gasp. There 
was another 'virago/ but she was allowed to 'sleep for a 
while that her shame and doom might be the heavier.' 

The WeeMy Account of July 30th, 1644, states that 
Plymouth was well supplied with provisions: beef, 2Jd. 
per lb.; cheese, coal, and meal, cheaper than in London. 
From another source, however, we learn there was great 
distress. The chief wants were of money and river-water, 
(though there were plenty of wells), and water to drive the 

CoL Gk)uld had been an officer of the most approved 
Puritan type, purging ' the forces from swearers, drunkards, 
and abominable livers, causing the town and garrison to be 
very careful in observing the Lord's-day and days of 
humiliation, and to be frequently present at the ordinances 
of the Lord of hosts.' CoL Martin followed in his footsteps. 
So far as actual warfare went, he was the most energetic and 
daring conmiander the town had. 'Tough Old Plymouth' 
was now the only place in Devon and Cornwall that adhered 
to the Parliament. Save Plymouth, Poole, and Lyme, the 
whole of the West of England was in Eoyalist hands. like 
his predecessors, Wardlaw and Gould, Martin succumbed 
to the service. The burial of Lieut. -Colonel Martyn is 
recorded in the register of St. Andrew for October, 1644. 
CoL Kerr was the next commander. On his arrival, Jime 14, 
he was entertained by the garrison and whole town with very 
great expressions of love and joy. Martin, however, was stiU 
at the head of affairs when, early in July, there was another 
unsuccessful assault. 

Essex* s TJfd'wcky March West 

On the 1st of this month an ordinance of the Lords and 
Commons appointed Commissioners for the Western Counties 
for raising moneys for the maintenance of the army and 
garrisons there, and for other purposea The chief care of 
this committee was the supply of Plymouth. At the head 
of the Commissioners for Cornwall was John Lord Bobartes 
(ancestor of Lord Eobartes); and it was at his desire that 
Essex made his unfortunate march into the West, Bobartes 
believing and arguing that in this way great assistance 
would be obtained in his own county. Plymouth was greatly 


encouraged by the news of the Lord General's approach. As 
he drew near, Grenville, who had now only 500 foot and 300 
horse, retreated on Tavistock, abandoning all his positions. 
At Fort Stamford four guns were taken, and at Plympton 
eight; whilst at Saltash and a 'great fort' — ^wherever that 
may have been — there were found more cannon and many 
arms. Essex, strengthened by 2,500 men from Plymouth, 
where he only left Colonel Harvey's horse, marched on into 
Cornwall by Newbridge. GrenviUe's house at Fitzford was 
assaulted on the 23rd July, 150 prisoners made, and £3,000 
worth of pillage taken. On the 26th the passage at New- 
bridge was forced, Essex losing 40 men against GrenviUe's 
400. Captain Keynolds's Plymouth horse are recorded to 
have charged bravely. It does not add to our estimate of 
GrenviUe's qualities as a soldier, or to our opinion of his 
men, that Essex was able to effect the passage so easUy. 
The sides of the goige of the Tamar at Gunnislake are 
exceedingly steep, even precipitous, the river deep: and 
GrenviUe's force, if small, ought to have inflicted great loss 
on the assaUants. 

At this time some of the Parliamentary fleet were at 
Plymouth, as appears from the foUowing correspondence, for 
which, with the summons of surrender already cited, we are 
indebted to the Earl of Moimt Edgcumbe, among whose 
family muniments the originals are : 

Robert Earle of Warwicke, Lord High Admiral of England, 
Ireland, and Wales, and Captain-Generall of his Ma*^ Seas and 
Navy RoyalL 

To ye Commander-in-Chiefe of Mount Edgecomb, — I doe hereby 
sommon you, in the name of the King and Parliament^ forthw^ 
to render to mee Mount Edgecomb, now in yo' keeping, for the 
use of his Ma*** and ye Parliam* w*** all things in it. Els you 
you may expect the rigour of warre, I being resolved otherwise to 
enforce yo' speedy obedience. You are to retome mee yo' answere 
by this Bearer, my Lieutennant. Warwicke. 

Aboord lus Mat's ship the James^ in Plimouth Sound, 30 July, 

The answer is as follows : 

Noble Earle of Warwicke, — Wheras you have sumoned me, 
in the name of the King and Parliament, to Render unto yo' 
Lordw the Howse Mountedgcombe ; may y** please yo' Honner, 
I am heere intrusted to keepe the Howse for my Master, Coll*^ 
Edgcombe, till his returne : to whom, as I conceive, itt doth justly 
belonge. Your Humble Servant^ Henry Bourne. 

Mountedgcombe, July the 30th, 1644. 


There is no need to recall the details of the disaster that 
befell Essex ; the greatest blow the Parliament had received 
The King and Prince Maurice marched after him, Richard 
Symonds, a Cavalier who was with the King, states that 
their joint armies mustered 10,000 foot, 5,000 horse, and 28 
pieces of cannon, Essex was hemmed in at Boconnoc, the 
scene of Euthin's disaster. Sir William Balfour, with 
2,300 horse, broke through the investing line, and reached 
Plymouth by Saltash; Skippon, with the foot, including 
the Plymouth contingent, surrendered. Essex, with Lord 
Eobartes, Sir John Merrick, and a few others, escaped from 
Fowey in a small vessel, contemptuously termed a cock-boat 
by the Cavaliers, to Plymouth. 

Charles "before PlynunUh. 

Every preparation was made at Plymouth to resist the 
coming attack of the Royalists, flushed with victory. Fortu- 
nately some supplies had been received which were originally 
intended for Gloucester. The breathing- time was brief. 
Skippon surrendered on the 1st September ; by the 5th the 
King, with Maurice and Grenville, were at Tavistock, whence 
the latter sent a trumpeter summoning the town to surrender. 
The trumpeter, who according to Symonds * was abused and 
imprisoned,' did not return until the next day, and then only 
with the message that the answer should be sent by one of 
the Roundhead drummers. All we know of this answer is 
that it was in the negative. On the 9th of the month 
(Monday) the army marched to Roborough, where they 
camped, and whence Sir John Campsfield, with the Queen's 
regiment of horse, was sent to demonstrate against the 
stubborn town ; the result being that when he returned the 
rebel horse followed him at a less respectful distance than 
was convenient. So on the Tuesday the army marched 
upon Plymouth, with drums beating and colours flying, 
and making, no doubt, a very gallant show in the eyes of 
the expectant Roundheads as they poured down, 15,000 
strong, over the slopes of Mannamead and Compton. Still 
the garrison were not moved by the spectacle; and the 
march had to be made under ' mercy of the enemy's cannon,' 
. which played upon the Cavaliers as they advanced, taking 
cover of the hedges. But they, too, were not easily to be 
daunted. The twenty-eight, great guns were brought, and 
planted within half cannon-shot of the outworks, and the 
battle began in earnest. 


Next day the King resorted to negociation. His head- 
quarters were at Yeoman Heale's, at Widey. Charles tried 
every means that ingenuity could suggest to obtain possession 
of the town — ^force, persuasion, treachery, bribes, blandish- 
ments. Plymouth was proof against them alL Well that 
it should be. It is not claiming too much for the fame of 
the good old town to say that, if it had been less staunch and 
true the entire complexion of the Civil War might have 
changed. The whole of the West and South of England 
would havS been at the mercy of the Boyalists ; and if this 
had not caused events to t^e a different turn, it would 
beyond doubt have greatly prolonged the struggle But 
Plymouth was true ; and while it remained loyal to liberty 
it absorbed the energies of a Eoyalist army. 

Charles in his summons of surrender, set forth : 

That Gk)d having given him a great victory, yet as his desire 
was to reduce bis people by acts of grace and clemency, so he is 
desirous of setting a special mark of favour on his town of 
Plymouth, and doth therefore require them to surrender up the 
town, assuring them, on the word of a king, that they shall ei^joy 
all their wonted privileges, and have no other garrisons put upon 
them than what they had in the most peaceful times ; viz., in the 
fort and in the island; promising pardon to all townsmen and 
soldiers for what was past ; entertaining such as shall be willing 
in his service ; and requiring their speedy answer. 

The answer was not very speedy ; for the trumpeter did 
not return until a drummer was sent after him, and then 
not until the next day, with a hint that if he came again he 
would be hung ; but if not speedy, it was decided — * Never.' 

Lord Digby made a private appeal to Lord Eobartes, 
appointed Governor on the 11th September, offering him 
preferment and honour if he would betray his trust. To this 
the same answer was returned. 

The next appeal was to arms. The 'gallant spirits of 
Plymouth ' had * shut up their shops ' and ' betook themselves 
to the workes to stand it out to the last.' They 'were none 
too soon. That same day, the Cavaliers made a desperate 
attack on the western line of defence by Stonehouse and 
Pennycomequick, but were repulsed with great loss; the 
sailors of the fleet then lying in Cattewater being especially 
notable for their gallantry. According to Symonds, on the 
Saturday night * our souldjers gave the enemy strong alarmes, 
and cryd, " Fall on," " Fall on the enemy," shott thousands 
of musket and many pieces of cannon as was the severall 


night before.' But this did no good ; and in the morning, 
between six and seven, the armies of the King and Maurice 
marched away. Symonds records with evident chagrin that 
the ' rogues followed the reare, commanded by Lord North- 
ampton; little or no hurt, onely the basest of language,' 
This was even more aggravating than hard blows. To lose 
was bad enough ; to be abused and ridiculed far worse. It 
was the King^s custom daily to demonstrate with his chief 
oflScers and guards at Mannamead. Daily was he received 
with a shotted salute fi'om the gims at Maudlyn; and the 
townsfolk with grim humour dubbed the site of these idle 
vauntings — ^'Vapouring HilL' After the King left, forty 
prisoners of qudity were sent from Plymouth to London. 

These were very perilous times. Essex, who before his 
defeat had spoken of Plymouth as 'a place of as great 
concernment as any in the kingdom next to London,' in his 
letter from Plymouth of September third announcing his 
defeat says : ' I have taken the best care I can to secure this 
towne, but without a present supply of men and monie it 
will be in great danger.' On the 18th August the Earl of 
Warwick had written that the garrison was only 800 strong 
beside the burgesses, and that there were four miles of line to 
defend, with 150 cannon. ' If this town be lost all the West 
is in danger.' The Mayor and Governor were quarrelling, 
the soldiers wanted pay, and the townsfolk were not very 
forward. Eobartes declared the soldiers low in courage and 
loud in complaints ; many of the inhabitants cold and weary 
of the two years' siege. When the King attacked there were 
2,500 foot and 400 horse in the garrison besides the towns- 
men; and Essex was told that his army must wait until 
Plymouth was supplied. 

Sir Richard Orenville in Charge. 

The Siege being raised, a blockade was substituted under 
Grenville, who was made (Jeneral of the King's forces in 
Devon and Cornwall, with special charge of Plymouth. 
According to Clarendon, Grenville promised to take the town 
before Christmas ; and to that end to raise and pay an army 
of 6,000 foot and 1,200 horsa That he might have the 
means to do this, there were allotted to him half the Eoyalist 
contributions of Devon, over £1,100 weekly; the whole of 
those of Cornwall, about £700 ; and arrears of near £6,000. 

Richard Grenville was utterly unlike his brother Bevil. 
He was grievously hated by the Eoundheads, equally for his 


cruelty, and bis cool and deliberate treacheiy to tbe Parlia- 
mentaiy cause. Brave and a good disciplinarian; be was 
cbarged witb misapplying the moneys granted him for tbe 
maintenance of his army, and with being chiefly diligent in 
seizing the estates of partisans of the Parliament for bis 
own individual benefit ' Though he suffered not bis soldiers 
to plunder, he was in truth himself tbe greatest plunderer 
of this war.' And so be was cruel, even malignant, in bis 
disposition. He brought no good character from the Irisb 
wars ; ancf to keep his band in, would now and then bang a 
constable ; while his minor acts of oppression were coimtless. 
He met four or five soldiers of Plymouth garrison coming 
out of a wood with faggots, and made one hang the rest to 
save bis own life, which, says the historian, ' he was contented 
to do.' He caught an unfortunate solicitor — ^Francis Brabant, 
of Breage — who bad acted for his wife in a lawsuit, and 
bung him as a spy. 

And now we come to an incident which set Grenville and 
Bobartes (Ricraft's ' most noble religious and pious lord ') in 
such deadly antagonism, that thereafter, while they com- 
manded, no quarter was given. When the blockade was first 
left in Grenville's charge, bis chief endeavour was to stop 
the supplies, and many skirmishes necessarily resulted. Lord 
Lansdowne states that in some such affair, wherein prisoners 
were taken on both sides, a young gentleman about sixteen, 
near kinsman to Grenville [probably a natural son], fell into 
the hands of the garrison ; that Sir Kichard wanted to ransom 
or exchange him, but that Sobartes hung him at one of the 
town gates without otber reply. Such is Lord Lansdowne's 
explanation of tbe passage in Clarendon, that a message 
passed between Grenville and Bobartes, which kindled such 
furious resentment between them that all who fell into their 
bands afterwards on both sides were put to death by the 
sword or, what was worse, by the halter. And if Lansdowne's 
story were true, we need not wonder at what followed ; the 
act would have been base and cruel — worthy of Grenville 

But there is a very different version of tbe affair. White- 
lock's account is that yoimg Grenville was a cousin of Sir 
Eichard's, and was persuaded into a plot to betray Plymouth 
to him, but discovered and executed. Rushworth adds that 
this Grenville offered CoL Serle, then second in command, 
£3,000 to betray bis trust, and was executed on the 24th 
September accordingly. And however we may lament the 
fate of this unfortunate yoimg man, if be obtained entrance 


into Plymouth to effect such an object, by all the rules of 
war his life was forfeit 

There were not many incidents of importance during the 
remainder of 1644. Grenville took up his head-quarters at 
Buckland Monachorum, and busied himself chiefly in looking 
after his own interests, receiving the money allowed, but 
not raising the force agreed. On the fourth October a party 
from Plymouth took Saltash, after a short encounter; on 
the fifth a boat party captured Millbrook and the fort at 
Inceworth. This roused Grenville. He drove the Eound- 
heads out of Millbrook, killing 40, and taking 33 prisoners. 
Saltash cost more time and life. It had a garrison of 500. 
Of these, 200 were killed in the assault; the other 300 
refused quarter, were taken prisoners, and Grenville wrote 
to the king that he intended to hang them. Possibly he 
did ; but there is no further record of their fate. That was 
on the 11th October. 

The Committee of Defeiice. 

This brings us to the year 1645. There is among the 
archives of the Corporation a valuable document, which 
relates to the proceedings of the defenders of Plymouth 
during this year, and contains a store of detailed information. 
This document is the account of the expenditure of the Com- 
mittee of Defence, who included CoL Christopher Savery, 
Francis Godolphin,^ Justinian Peard (the Mayor), Thomas 
Ceely (Mayor in 1641-2), John Cawse (Mayor in 1636-37 
and 1643-44), and on the death of the latter, Bobert Gubbes 
(Mayor in 1650-51). Sir John Bampfylde, CoL Kerr, CoL 
Crocker, and John Beare, acted also, and the treasurer was 
Timothy Alsop, Mayor in 1648-49, and twice elected repre- 
sentative of the town under the Commonwealth. The Mayor 
was the chief of the Committee, which acted at first under 
the authority of Lord Bobartes, who continued Governor 
until May, when he was removed, in spite of a petition for 
his retention, by virtue of the Self-denying Ordinance, and 
the government vested in the Committee of five, CoL Eerr 
having the military conunand. The Committee had powers 
to execute martial law. Sir John Bampfylde was Governor 
for some little while. 

^ This wtfl Francis Oodolphin, of Treveneage, Cornwall, the father-in-law 
of John St Anbyn, ancestor of Lord St. Levan, himself a colonel of horse 
in the garrison, whUe his brother Thomas was colonel on the other side. 
Sir Francis Godolphin, the head of the Godolphin family, and aU his sons, 
wen stannch Royalists. 


The records of the appointment of the Committee were 
copied into the book of accounts by Henry Bexford, clerk : 

Whereas S' John Bampfeilde, appointed by ye Comittee of 
the West to be one of those whoe should distribute the last 2,000 
sent for the vse of this garrison and other puisons expressed 
by theire last Lres, refuseth to attend the saide service, And 
whereas CoUonell Kerre, one other named by ye said Comittee to 
attend y^ service, excuseth himself e in respect of other imploym^; 
and whereas the necessitie of this garrison requiroth y* speedie 
performance of this service; I doe therefore appointe CoUonell 
Christopher Savery, Harcourt Leyton, one of y* Com" of Parliam^ 
M' John Cawse, & M' Thomas Ceely to sett wth, joyne, and to 
be assistant vnto Justinian Peard, now Maior of Plymouth, and 
Francis Goodolphin, esq*^, two ojf ye peons named for y* said 
service and for their soe doeinge this shalbee their wamt 

Dated y* 19 day of Febr. 1644 [1645]. J. Koberts. 

Whereas M'. Cawse is deceased, and there is required for the 
despatch of this garrison one other to supply his place, I haue 
appointed M^ Robert Gubbes of this Towns to attend y* Maior, 
& joine with and assiste for the pmte service. 

Dated the 25 of March, 1645. J. Roberts. 

In these appointments Robartes acted on behalf of the 
Committee of the West, of which he was a leading member, 
as well as in the capacity of (Jovemor of the town. 

The first entries refer to the payment of £1.805 IBs. for 
the Kentish regiment of Colonel John Birch from October 
29th, which the Committee of Kent had to repay ; but the 
regular account does not commence until February, 1645 
[1644 old style]. From the 15th February to the 3rd March 
the sum total sent up was £2,135 4s. 2d. The chief item of 
expenditure was for the weekly pay of the officers and 
soldiers of the garrison. This passed chiefly through the 
hands of Commissary Slade; and there was another com- 
missary, named Clapp. The first entry under this head, on 
the 17th February, is for £459 18a; but the amount 
gradually and largely increased, indicating that as the year 
went on the garrison was considerably strengthened. In 
the last week of December the amount thus paid was 
£723 3s. 2d.; and in January, 1646, it reached its highest 
mark, £734 19s. 8d. These payments did not include the 
cost of maintaining the guards at the town walls and the 
outworks. Their pay was handed over fortnightly — some- 
times, when money ran short, once in three weeks — to the 
officers in command. The first entry under this head, also in 
February, amounts to £134 IBs. 6d., which includes the cost 


of coals and candle-light. The oatworks were dismal places 
in the winter nights; and the soldiers would have fared 
badly without fires. Candle-light was an absolute necessity. 
The fact that the pay for ' ye commanders and gunners of ye 
outworkes and wall' was handed over to the officer in 
command, has preserved the names of those who at different 
times occupied that honourable post. The amount paid per 
week ranged from about £70 — £69 6s. 6d. is given in one 
week in March, and £72 18s. lid. in another — down to a 
little over £50. There is an entry in December that Captain 
Walters had £113 lis. for two weeks' payment of the 
commanders, gunners, and seamen of the outworks, ' shippes 
in Lary,' and redoubts on the town wall The variation in 
amount is easily accounted for, since the number of men on 
guard would depend mainly on the acti\'ity or inactivity of 
the enemy. What the ships in Laira were there is no record; 
but there are entries of payments made to the masters of 
vessels named the Welfare^ Diana Hopetvelly Elizabeth and 
SiLsan, Hampton, Hopewdl of Plymouth, Dymond, Endeavour, 
and Amity of Plymouth, employed in the public service in 
various ways, the latter in May at Laira Point. (Jovemor 
Kerr received £8 a week towards his housekeeping — some- 
thing akin to the modem table allowance. 

Gunners in the outworks were paid at the rate of 7s. a 
week. The chaplains of the garrison were not neglected. 
April 9th, * Paid Mr. Stephen Midhope minister for his 
labour in ye ministry w*hin this garrison the summ of £5.' 
Francis Porter, afterwards the first minister of Charles 
Church, had for his ministry a like sum ; J. Wills also 
£5, and George Shugge £10. Abraham Cheere, the first 
recorded pastor of the Baptist Church of Plymouth, who 
served in the trainbands as a full private, was ' for some few 
weeks, unknown to him and against his will, mustered a 
chaplain to the fort, but quickly got himself discharged of 
that again/ His name does not appear in the accounts. 

The Committee had in charge the whole question of 
supply. There are records of payment for boots, biscuit, 
beer, forage, and various articles of clothing. At times 
funds ran short, and then they borrowed from all who were 
willing to lend until fresh supplies arrived. And they were 
practically grateful for the relief of their necessities. On 
the 20th of December, Captain Somester had £5 'for his 
paines in bringing down money for the supply of the 
garrison.' It must have been a great slice of luck when, on 
20th November, 1645, the Earl of Warwick brought in a 


barque laden with kerseys for clothing the King's soldiers, 
which he had taken. 

Very quaint is the methodical way in which the Ply- 
niouthians managed the defence. The accounts abound with 
entries of payments for masons' and carpenters' work on the 
wall and at the outworks, which seems to have been treated 
quite as a matter of ordinary business. Parts of the wall 
were battered down, or a weak point in the outer line of 
defence would need palisading. The Committee sent their 
orders to their tradesmen, and they went and did the work 
— to all appearance, much in the same way as they would 
have followed out the ordinary details of their occupation 
— coming up for their pay with exemplary regularity. 
These old Puritan folk took a lesson from the builders of 
the wall of Jerusalem under Nehemiah. 'They which 
builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those 
that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the 
work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the 
builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and 
80 builded.' All this illustrates with singular force the 
matter-of-fact earnestness and straightforward simplicity of 
character which characterised these rugged Roundheads, and 
in the end won them a victory at first very doubtful 

There was an active business carried on in horse stealing. 
The chief supplies of horses for the garrison were obtained 
by levying requisitions on the besiegers. This was profit- 
able, because the Committee regularly paid for all such 
captures. In April we find, ' Item : P* Comett Holies for 
ye horses taken by him from ye enemye yesterday, four of 
which were lifted in Collo Sentaubyn*s troope for ye service, 
and ye other imployed for ye publique service in ye garrison, 
£4 10s.' Horse lifting flourished with the greatest vigour 
towards the end of the year, and the reward dropped from 
£1 to 10s. Land was rented of Ambrose Diggens at 
Cattedowne for keeping the troop horses by night. 

To return to our narrative. When 1644 closed the 
besieged were in a much better position than when Charles 
made his unsuccessful assault. The interim had been well 
spent in strengthening the defences, which Grenville, 
although he scoured the country and kept up an aggravating 
blockade, did little to prevent. It is evident, from the 
entries in the account-book, that the line of defence was 
considerably more extended than it had been twelve months 
before, though its general features remained the sama Half- 
moons had been added to the defences, at least of Gasking 


and of East Gates; the chain of earthworks and their 
commiinieations strengthened, and the former palisaded ; the 
detached redoubts made more formidable, and others added. 
The ground held now extended from Mount Batten on one 
side to Mount Wise on the other. There is no evidence that 
at Moimt Wise there was more than a guard ; but at Batten 
a fort of formidable character was reared. Mount Stamford 
remained as left when slighted by the garrison after the 
advance of Essex. 

GeTieral Assault 

Grenville at length resolved to do something to justify his 
proud title of Eing's General in the West. In January he 
collected a force of 6,000, and made a desperate assault upon 
the outworks. He attacked them at four different points — 
lipson, Holiwell, Maudlyn, and Pennycomequick Works. 
For a time the fate of the town appeared to tremble in the 
balanca He is said to have taken three of the works, 
and to have turned their guns against the town. Bobartes, 
however, credits him with only capturing one ; and probably 
the solution of the contradiction is that he gained at first 
a footing along the line, but was able to make it good at 
one point only. This would be either Pennycomequick or 
Maudlyn. But even that modicum of success was evanescent 

With the loss of 300 men slain, 75 of whom were left 
dead around the batteries, and many hundreds wounded, 
Grenville was thus beaten off at every point save one. The 
captured work was then stormed on all sides by the Plymouth 
men, who behaved with extraordinary gallantry, and speedily 
carried, all within being either killed or taken prisoners; 
those who did not fall eventually surrendering upon quarter. 
The intelligence of this success was very welcome to the 
House of Commons, and care was at once taken for the 
supply of the garrison. The city of London petitioned that 
due r^ard should be had to the necessities of the town. 
Moreover, news came that Grenville, under discontent, had 
pistolled Col. Champemowne and his brother. 

After this bout the town wall and outworks stood greatly 
in need of repairs, which were at once executed. Grenville's 
next movement was upon the other side of Cattewater. In 
the night of the 17th February his troops cleverly effected a 
lodgment among the ruins of Mount Stamford, and raised a 
breastwork of faggots twelve feet thick, which they intended 
to complete on the following night. The garrison had not 
expected this. But their measures were soon matured. The 


little force at Mount Batten was strengthened at noon by a 
party of horse and foot ; the latter partly seamen, under the 
command of Capt. Swamley, who had just relieved Plymouth, 
and landed a body of soldiers. A feint sally was maide from 
Pennycomequick, which kept the main body of the besiegers 
engaged. And then, under cover of the fire of sixty guns 
from the ships and forts, which ' beat up the dust about the 
Cavies ears,* the new Fort Stamford was attacked and carried. 
The Cavaliers were driven from the field and pursued two 
miles. Twelve officers, including a lieutenant-colonel, a 
major, and four captains, with ninety- two soldiers, were 
captured ; and in the new work were found 300 arms, and 
good store of mattocks, shovels, and faggots. Only one of 
the attacking party was slain, and that by accident. There 
is an entry that £6 worth of biscuit was supplied by Thomas 
Bowden, on the 18th February, for the soldiers in fight with 
the enemy at Batten. 

We know very little about the conduct of the Siege for 
the next few months. No general attack appears to have 
been made ; but the garrison did not relax their efforts to 
improve the defences. Little Maudlyn and Little Penny- 
comequick Works were erected, additional fortifications raised 
at Lower Lipson, and a new redoubt thrown up at Mount 
Gould, which took its name from the dead coloneL Con- 
siderable sums were spent in paUsading the whole line of 
ditch and rampart. 

Grenville was meantime engaged at the siege of Taunton, 
where he was dangerously wounded in the thigh. He left 
scarce 2,000 foot and 400 horse before Plymouth. Indeed it 
does not seem that from the date of the fight at Mount 
Stamford the town was in any serious danger, although 
continually harassed. The sending away of the Kentish 
regiment proves this. In June, Sir John Berkeley was 
placed in command of the Siege, but failed to do more 
than his predecessor, and never attempted to go beyond a 
blockade. It is questionable whether at this time the garrison 
were not the stronger pcurty of the two. There had been a 
continual drain on the resources of the Boyalists, promoted 
by the action of Grenville, and many of the King's soldiers 
had deserted to the Parliament, who were taking abundant 
care for the needs of the besieged. An ordinance passed in 
March to raise one per cent, for the supply of the town and 
the recruiting of the Kentish regiment. There was another 
order for money in May ; and in October it was reported that 
Plymouth, though beleaguered, was in no want. Yet the 

digby's appeal. 129 

straits of the Committee had been so severe, that in the 
early part of the year they had to borrow at three several 
times from their friends, and even then were only able to 
pay some of their debts in coals at the rate of £1 a quarter. 
Autumn, however, found the townsfolk not only in good 
circumstances, but in good spirits. They felt secure them- 
selves. They were cheered by the tidings of success elsewhere. 
To the bearer of the tidings of the great victory at Naseby 
they gave a silver tankard, thus recorded : 

Paid Jobane Chandler widdow for a silver tankard weighing 
12 ounces given a gentleman y* brought the intelligence of y* 
defeateinge y® King's army by Sir Thomas Fairefaxe ^3 9. 

Dighjfs Appeal, 

In September Sir John Berkeley was succeeded by General 
Digby ; and subsequently CoL Welden, who had been engaged 
with Fairfax at the siege of Bristol, and had at one time 
conducted the defence of Taunton, was appointed (Jovemor 
of Plymouth. Mount Batten takes its name from Captain, 
afterwards Admiral Batten, made by Parliament (Jovemor of 
Batten's Tower and Batten's Mount a little earlier. It does 
not appear as if Welden's appointment took immediate efifect ; 
for Kerr continued in command until the following January. 
Digby was not more active than his predecessors, and con- 
fined himself to the blockade until December. He then did 
make an effort to take the town. But it was by treachery. 
Whitelock states that the agent was hanged, by martial law. 
This can hardly have been the case, unless Digby tried twice. 
The only attempt of which we have any information is that 
recounted in the following correspondence between Digby 
and Kerr : 

Sir, — I am troubled to understand, that through the ingratitude 
of those you serve you are likely to be rewaided with the dis- 
honour of having a person of much inferior merit put over your 
head, an injury insupportable to any man of spirit, and which 
may offer you a justifijBible occasion of doing a very eminent service 
to your Native King and Country ; and which if you will embrace 
to deliver up the Town with the works of Plimouth, I shall 
engage myself on my honour and the faith of a gentleman, you 
shall be rewarded with ten thousand pounds, and have the 
command if you please of a Regiment of 500 Horse, with what 
honour yourself can desire. Sir, be not scrupulous in taking the 
advice of an enemy that desires heartily on these terms to become 
your true friend and faithful servant^ 

For CoL Ker, Governor of Plimouth. Jo. Digby. 

30 Decern. 


8ir, — Tour motion to Treason I have seen, and detest it ; it is 
below my spirit for personal iigury (supposed only by an enemy) 
to take national revenge, and for a Punctillio of honour to take 
advice from Hell, and betray my trust I am sony that one so 
ingenious as your selfe should abuse your natural parts only to do 
mischiel Yet I have no reason to wonder much at your per- 
suasion to treacherie, because I have had the experience of the 
indeavours of your Family to corrupt others also. I remember 
the Gunpowder Plot^* the letter which your brother writ to the 
Lord Roberts in this place for the same purpose ; and his Negoti- 
ation with General Brown at Abington. Surely these Principles 
came from Spain ; but you should have told me also that Spamsh 
proverb, To love the Treason, and hate the Traytor, &c 
Your assured servant, 

20 Dec. James Kor. 

Final IndderUs of the Leaguer. 

The work of strengthening the defences still continued. 
So late as December we find the platforms on the earthworks 
kept efficient ; and even in the following month there was a 
payment of £42 19a 2d. for building a new guard-house and 
repairing the town wall at Frankfort. 

After this period of quiescence the first move was made 
by the garrison resuming the offensiva The besiegers had a 
small redoubt at Einterbury. This was assailed on the 27th 
December and easily taken, with 17 prisoners and store of 
arms and ammunition. From Einterbury the Boundheads 
marched to St. Budeaux, where the church and tower had 
again been turned into a garrison. After an hour and a 
half s hard fighting the church was captured, and in it 
Major Studey, 20 other officers, and 100 soldiers. Another 
account puts the number of prisoners at 92, including 55 
horse ; arms and ammunition likewise fell into the hands of 
the victors. Ten of the defenders were killed, and seven of 
the Boundheads, with Major Haynes, the officer of highest 
rank slain, so far as we know, on the side of the besieged 
during the whole of the operations. 

Buckland Abbey was next stormed, and 100 prisoners 
taken; while five pieces of ordnance were captured at Saltasb. 
The last entry of actual operations in connection with the 
siege is on the 5th January, a payment of soldiers 'ymployed 
in ye raissinge of fortificacions against Forte Arundell on 
ysueinge forth of the fources of ye garrison on Saturday last' 

The advance of Fairfax from Exeter to Totnes put an end 

* Sir Everard Digby was one of the oonspiratork 


to the Siege in name — ^it had for some time ceased to exist 
in fact — and on the 18th January it was finally raised, the 
Eoyalists decamping in such a hurry that they left guns, 
arms, and ammunition behind. Fairfax and Cromwell visited 
Plymouth March 25th, and viewed the fort and works — 
' The Governor and the Towne entertaining the General very 
honourably, three hundred pieces of ordnance discharged to 
welcome him thither.* 

There were still two Eoyalist garrisons in the neighbour- 
hood — Mount Edgcumbe and Ince Housa For the surrender 
of the former, Fairfax oflFered good terms. If CoL Edgcumbe 

disgarrison his house, lay down arms, and perswade those of the 
Cornish in whome hee hath good interest to sitt down and submitt 
to all orders and ordinances of Parlanmt, in that case I doe under- 
take that his house shall not be made a garrison, but that hee shall 
have the free liberty of it^ security of his person and goods as to 
my army, and further, that hee shall have from mee a Ire. of 
recomendacion to the Parliament or committee for ye army, that 
hee may by them be dealt withal as one that deserves their favour 
for his liberal and seasonable coming in. 

Mount Edgcumbe was eventually surrendered to Colonel 
Hammond, Governor of Exeter, who found there thirty pieces 
of ordnance and store of arms and ammunition. 

Ince House held out until the end of March. On the 29th 
of that month it was summoned by a party from Plymouth. 
The garrison returned a scornful answer. Thereupon the 
Plymouth men sent for their cannon. The sight took the 
scorn out of the Cavaliers ; they b^ged quarter, and had it. 
The house was armed with four guns, and these, with ninety 
muskets, were taken. 

Cost of the Siege. 

This was the last act of the Siege tragedy, which now 
with intervals had continued for over three years, and the 
inhabitants could reckon the price of their gallantry. The 
success was glorious, but it was bought at a terrible cost. 
The registers of St. Andrew show that during the Siege 
there were upwards of 3,000 interments, whereas under 
ordinary circumstances these should not have much exceeded 
600. From the data at hand we can estimate that of the extra 
number, one-third were soldiers and two-thirds townsfolk. Nor 
does this exhaust the fatality. It neither includes the losses 
on the side of the besiegers, whether in the field or from the 
fatal ' camp disease/ nor the deaths of those of the garrison 

K 2 


whose bodies were buried where they felL Taking the length 
of time over which the operations extended, noting that 
there were several occasions when over 100 were killed — one 
at least, when more than 300 feU — we shall not exaggerate 
if we assume that the deaths due to the Siege reached nearly 
8,000 ; in other words, that in three years or so a number 
greater than that of the entire population of the town was 
swept away. The whole history of the Civil War fails to 
supply a parallel to this. 

Nor did the evil effects of the Siege end here. The trade 
of the town was, for the time at least, ruined. Scores of 
families, by the deaths in the field of husbands and fathers, 
were deprived of their means of support and reduced to the 
greatest misery. After a while provision was made for their 

The Siege was thus a very real thing to the townsfolk for 
many a yecor after the last sally had been made and the last 
shot fired. But little by little its memory failed: as the 
old earthworks which had been attacked and defended so 
bravely crumbled into decay; as, creeping slowly onward, 
the growing town burst the cincture of the once well- 
guarded waU ; as, one by one, the ancient gates passed away. 
A hundred years ago there were still Uving men whose 
fathers had remembered the great struggle. Fifty years since 
tradition was almost dead; but there yet remained many 
relics of the old defences. The past ten years have swept 
away every recognizable vestige ; save a fragment or two of 

Eelics of the Siege have frequently been discovered. 
Bones in Gibbons Fields in 1824 Levelling a bank at 
Mutley Farm, the property of the Eev. C. Trelawny, in 1853, 
the labourers foimd a broken cannon and a sword. This 
was just opposite Maudlyn. In 1855 a quantity of human 
bones was unearthed at the head of Old Town Street, near 
the site of Old Town Gate, by workmen employed in laying 
water-pipes. It is presumed that these were the remains of 
men kUled in the Siege, and buried where they fell In ex- 
cavating at Stamford, at Hooe, and on the sites of others of 
the forts cannon balls and bullets have often been exhumed 
And on the localities of the old 'guards' so many broken 
tobacco pipes have been dug up as show that even Puritan 
soldiers were alive to creature comforts. Holiwell, Maudlyn, 
and Pennycomequick Works have yielded such traces. A 
burial pit was found by the Laira five-and-twenty years 
since, and another in 1880 by Furze Hill Lane, now West- 


mioster Terrace ; an old hedge in Terr Lane yielded store of 
pistol bullets in 1884; and in 1887 a very old hedge at 
Houndisconibe, in front of Stafford Terrace, was found to 
contain large quantities of leaden bullets and a chain shot. 
This was the hedge utilised by the Cavaliers in raising their 
work against Maudlyn. Skeletons were discovered in Bussell 
Street, outside Frankfort Gate, in 1889. 

The most interesting find was, however, made in 1886, when 
Messrs. Bumard, Lack, and Alger, dredging in front of their 
deep-water whar\'es at Cattedown, uncovered the remains of 
what proved to be a war vessel of the Siege period, probably 
sunk by the Cavalier fire from the south. A small iron 
cannon was also found, still charged, which Mr. Eobert 
Bumard traced to belong to this date, and which he deposited 
in the Museum of the Plymouth Institution, mounted on a 
carriage made of the vessel's timbers. It is 2 feet 9^ inches 
long, of cast-iron, weighs 1 cwt. qrs. 3 lbs.; and was 
evidently dismounted by a shot which broke one of the 
trunnions. The vessel was short, deep, and broad, about 
80 feet long, and some 300 tons burthen. 

A curious bequest made by Thomas Sherwill for the 
defence of the town at this time is recorded in the follow- 
ing entry, the only record left : 

Itm reed of Mr. Thomas Sherwill of London for eight yeares 
arrearages of an annuitie of v^ per annum given by Mr. 
Thomas Sherwill M^ deed out of his lands att Houndis- 
combe to the towne to buy powder two yeares of the 
eight being abated him in regard of the troubles his 
being the firste payment of that annuitye beinge to Con- 
tinue five and twenty yeares. • ... xxx^ 

Several Plymouthians were members of the Committee of 
public safety which met in three divisions weekly at Exeter 
in 1648; namely, Christopher Martin, Arthur Upton, C. 
Vaughan, Justinian Peard, R Crymes, J. Waddon, Philip 
Francis, C. Ceely, T. Alsop, EA Pollexfen, John Beare. Most 
if not all of these were members of the Committee of 
Plymouth, with Eichard Evens and John Champeys. 

OjSHcers of the Garrison. 

The officers of the Grarrison in 1645-6 included the 
following : 

Oovemor, — CoL Kerr. 

Oavemor of the Fort and Island. — Arthur Upton. 

Master Ounner, — ^Thomas Bolitho. 


Cohnds, — John Saint Aubjm, Crocker, Anthony Bows, FoweII| 
Leyton, Christopher Savery, John Birch, Brooking, T. TrendalL 

Lieut.'Ool(mel8.—Kekeyfich^ T. Fitch, Robert Moore, Elias 

Mc^'ars, — Symonds, Foxworthy, Haulsey, Worthevale, Barrett^ 
HayneS) Martyn, Gabriel Barnes. 

Captains, — Shilston Calmady, Voyzey, Hawken, Courtney, 
Roope, Kail, Penrose, Lyall, Burgess, Baghett, Dutton, Cattereil, 
Cozens, Sampson Crabb, Bawden, Owen, Louis Perry, Wools, 
Diment) James Pears, Henderson, Holt, Pope, Richards, Fountayne, 
Barnes, Rowe, Robert Savery, E. Blagge,* Whittie, Trayes, Richard 
Laugheme, J. Rows, K Weston, W. Wotton, John Richards, John 
Bawden, Wm. Gregory, Hoop,* Adrian Anthony,* R Clarke,* 
Jn. King,* James Randle,* George Fownes,* Kath. Walters,* Hy. 
HatselL Those to whose names an asterisk is attached are men- 
tioned as at different times commanding the outworks. Weston 
for some time was master of the hospital, and was apparently 
succeeded by John Hall, physician. 

Captain-Lieutenants, — Roe, Vaughan, 

Lieutenants. — Ellis Greenwood, G. Wyatt, Nicholas Bowy, Thos. 
Emerson, J. Tapson, Richard Phillips, Walter Clifford. 

Ensigns, — Plumley, Gwilliam, J. Crocker (reformado), N. Birke- 
holl, Ed. Webb, Digory Hony, Arthur Carter (reformado), Anthony 
Gefferys, R Gest 

Cornets, — Edward Beare, Clarke, George Charleton, Memory, 

Commissaries, — Samuel Slade, Richard Clapp. 

Chaplains, — Alexander Grosse, Stephen Midhope, Shugge, J. 
Wills, Francis Porter. 

Physicians, — Charles Goldsmith, John HalL 

Surgeons, — Samuel Lumley, John Parker. 

Quartermaster, — Edwards. 

Masters of Marshatsea, — Robert Chislett, James Deeble. 

Master of Magazine, — John Allin. He had coadjutors. 

The Siege Accounts also contain the names of a lai^ 
number of persons with whom the Committee did business 
in various matters of supply of goods and work. Thus we 

Apothecary. — Christopher Eaton. 

BlacksmitJis. — William Maynard (made ironwork for ' sweyne's 
feathers'), Tho& Bootie, Jn. Letheren, J. Anderton (made crooks 
and heads for palisades), T. Parker, Jn. Bennett, Philip Eliott^ 
Arthur Yeole. 

Carpenters^ Masons, ^c (chiefly employed in repairing and 
improving the outworks and town wall). — Oliver Werry, Jn. 
Kingston, James Deeble, Ralph Weston (or Westcott), Robert 
Andrews, John Briant, Thomas Dunstan (mason), Jn. Foster, 


Wnt Medland, Kettleby Woodhouse, Ludowick Stitson (carpent6r)| 
Robert Arundell, Wm. Moore, William Murch, William Gaye, 
Matthew Stanley, Yeoland, T. Boyes. Andrews was extensively 
employed, as were Woodhouse and Moore, 

Chandlers. — Amy Gladman (widow), Henry Batten, George 

Cutler. — ^Francis Fownes. 

Cordwainers. — ^Wm. Dunridge, Richard Dunrith, Ed. Keagle, 
Jn. Lane, Richard Morgan, Jn. Kempe, Thomas Arrowemith, Jn. 
Lapthome, Wm. Webb, Richard Webb, Barnard Burd, Richard 
Chase, Roger WannelL 

Cobblers. — Jn. Kendall, Mark Bati 

Farriers. — Andrew Joye, Thos. Penny, Philip Hatch, Wm. 
Fuge, Wm. May, Ambrose Gubby, J. Hoop, T. Parkins. 

Ounsmiths and Armourers. — Richard Manning, John Anderson, 
Thos. Bickford, William Stenhouse, Peter Scott^ Judith Turtly 
(widow), Ralph Briant^ Jn. Galpin, G. Hall, Wm. Hammett^ 
Richard Yeale, James Batten, Jn. Williams, Francis Roe, Anthony 
Richards, Thomas Quicke, Wm. Pownell, Jn. Gaye, Richard 
Teate, Wm. Fursley. 

Mercers and Tailors. — Christopher Ceely (sold 2,346 yards of 
dowlas), Thomas Yabsley (cloth), Caleb Brookinge (cloth), Hum* 
phry Thomas (kerseys), J. Harris (kerseys), Thos. Durant (kerseys), 
£dward Pattison (cloth), Thomas Dalkeinge. 

Saddlers. — Richard Cory, Thomas Eangston. 

Shipvjright. — Robert Hingston. 

Lead was bought of Peter Kekewich ; cheese of Henry Goyne ; 
beer of John Paige; materials for fireworks of John Whiddon; 
coals of John Searle. Benjamin Butt had 7s. for a coffin. Timber 
was bought of Hugh Cornish, Simon Jackson, Crispin Painter, 
John Allen ; biscuit of Thomas Bowden. 


DEVELOPMENT, 1650-1890. 

How oft bj Fancy led. 
Sweet Plvm, at morn or ere, I stray with thee : 
Bat chief at shadowy eve I linser where 
The ocean weds thee, and delignted yiew, 
Proud rising o'er the yast Atlantic sni)^. 
Thine own,--thy Plymouth,— nurse of heroes— her 
' Who bears thy noble name.' 

The azura Sound, 
The reservoir of rivers. Silvery bays 
Are seen where commerce lifts the peaceful sail. 
Or where the war-barks rise ; the indented coast 
Frowns with wave-breasting rocks, nor does the eye 
Foraet the proud display of bustling towns, 
Ana busy arsenals, and cliffs high-crowned 
With pealing batteries and flags that wave 
In the fresh ocean gale. — CarringUm, 

THE history of Plymouth during the past two and a 
half centuries, is not marked by such an intimate 
connection with the general history of the country as dis- 
tinguished the two centuries which preceded. There is no 
defeat of an Armada, no Siege, to chronicle. The period 
was by no means barren of important events, but their 
importance was more of a local character. The development 
of the capabilities of the port, and of the resources of the 
community, have chiefly occupied the interval between 1650 
and the present day. Nevertheless we find the name of 
Plymouth inextricably interwoven, first with the naval, 
then with the commercial interests of the nation. The 
characteristics of the town have completely changed, twice 
over, since the reign of Charles II. Under that monarch 
and his successor Plymouth was purely commercial. The 
foundation of the Dockyard under William III. introduced 
a permanent warlike element, which a century later almost 
extinguished the pacific. The gradual separation of the 
interests of Plymouth Dock, now Devonport, from those of 


Plymouth, and the conclusion of peace after the Napoleonic 
struggle, again led to the rise of trade. And now we have 
the parent town engaged in and flourishing by commerce; 
the daughter maintained by the arts of war. 

Deelaration for William of Orange. 

There is, however, one prominent point of connection with 
the national history, of which Plymouthians may weU be 
proud. The borough was the first in the kingdom to declare 
for William of Orange. The fleet which brought him 
and his gallant followers to Torbay sailed round to 
Plymouth, and wintered in Cattewater. The Earl of Bath, 
then Grovemor of Plymouth, negotiated the surrender of the 
fort and of a ship of war that lay in the harbour, to 
William at Moditonham; and the news reached William 
at Sherborne on the morning of November 28th. In 1689 
Lord Lansdowne, the earl's son, was governor, and in con- 
sequence of his inaction, a quarrel between the garrison and 
the townsfolk, at the rejoicing for the coronation of William 
and Mary, led to one of the latter being killed. 

That spring two regiments were sent to Plymouth to 
embark for Ireland. Once more, in consequence of the 
crowdjed state of the town, 'great infection' happened, and 
upwards of 1,000 people were buried in three months. Two 
years later, in 1691, there were 4,500 Danes at Plymouth, 
apparently soldiers, in sore want of provisions. 

The only suggestion that the second James had a party in 
Plymouth is the statement imder date April 2nd, 1690, 'One 
night last week several declarations of James were posted 
up at Plymouth.' 

Naval Development. 

Until William succeeded the port was not in the strict 
sense of the term a naval arsenal. It was rather a shipping 
station — a rendezvous, where fleets used to gather, and 
whence they used to sally. It was, however, one of the 
principal stations for naval prizes ; and there was so much 
embezzling of prize goods (which paid the same duties as 
goods belonging to Englishmen) that a commission of enquiry 
was issued, of which Sir Edward Wise was chief. The 
prize-office establishment at Plymouth during the reign of 
Charles II. was somewhat extensive. There was a clerk at 
£160 a year, a clerk and examiner at £60, a surveyor at £60, 
a housekeeper at £40, and a messenger at £25. 

A propel was made to build a prison at Plymouth in 


1695, to contain three hundred prisoners of war, at a cost of 
£656 19s. 6d. 

Naval yards had been established for nearly 200 years 
at Woolwich and Deptford, and Portsmouth and Chatham 
were considerably more than a century old, before that at 
Devonport was formed. Mr. Woollcombe in his MS. history 
records a tradition that ' an establishment somewhat of the 
description of a dockyard on a small scale existed in two 
parts of Cattewater — one at Turnchapel, and the other at 
Teats Hill'; but there is no evidence that these had any 
public character. The first suggestion of a government 
dock was in the reign of Charles L Saltash was the place 
selected; and in November, 1625, Sir James Bagge, with 
Cawse (a shipbuilder and afterwards Mayor) and Apsley 
went to 'Ashe' to make arrangements, and plans were 
drawn. Either then, or subsequently, the Saltash folk 
objected, ' because their gardens would be interfered with,' 
and a spot at Emesettle was proposed. 

Charles II., by whose direction the yard at Sheemess was 
formed, intended to organize a similar establishment at 
Plymouth, and in 1677 came hither to inquire thereon. 
Nothing, however, was done until the accession of WilliauL 
Plans were prepared in 1689; and next 'we learn that 
the Dock in Hamoaze was begun on the 2nd of September, 
1691.' Before the formation of the establishment the spot 
was called Point Froward, and advantage was taken of a 
natural inlet in the construction of the first basin and dock. 
Dummer was the designer; and up to 1698, when a plan 
of the works was included in a survey of the Dockyards of 
England now in the British Museum, £67,095 6s. had been 
expended. At first no dwellings were erected, and the 
artificers either resided on board a ship fitted for the purpose, 
or in Plymouth. A few years later the building of Dock 
conmienced. 'The new establishment was regarded with 
great jealousy by the inhabitants of the old town, as re- 
moving to a distance from them the benefits of the building 
and repairing of the King's ships.' Nevertheless Dock 
throve. By the time its jubilee was reached it was half 
the size of its ancient neighbour. Before another half 
century passed it was quite as populous ; and at the time of 
the first census, in the year 1801, so great had been the 
impulse given to the arts of war over those of peace by the 
long years of conflict with France, that whilst the inhab- 
itants of Plymouth numbered 16,040, those of Devonport 
had mounted to 23,747. In 1821 the disparity was stiU 



greater, Devonport having 33,578 inhabitants against Ply- 
mouth's 21,591. But when war had ceased and commerce 
had fairly revived, the tables were soon turned. 

In 1835 the numbers were once more equal, and since 
then a steady increase has given Plymouth an advantage of 
some sixty per cent. 

Prior to the foundation of Dock, Plymouth was the seat 
of the various local government establishments. As there 
were the equivalents of dockyards at Plymouth previous to 
that at Devonport ; so there were Ordnance Storehouses at 
Plymouth many years before the Gunwharf at Devonport 

was constructed; 
and a Victualling 
Office, a century 
, and a half older 
than that at 
M^ Stonehouse. The 
ll storehouses were 
W erected in Sutton 
Pool at Coxside, 
on land which^ 
being part of 
the foreshore, be- 
longed to the Duchy. The Victualling 
Office still remaina below Lambhay Hill; 
long used as the Emigration depot. Devon- 
port eventually became the naval and 
military headquarters of the district; and 
now Stonehouse even is more closely con- 
nected with the Government than Plymouth, possessing the 
magnificent Victualling establishment, of which an engraving 
is annexed, with a Naval Hospital and extensive Marine 

From the time of the formation of the Dockyard, the 
port of Plymouth has continued a chief naval station, for 
which the noble estuaries of the Tamar and the Plym — 
particularly the former — and the magnificent bay in which 
they meet, afford every facility and convenience. 

The speedy Tamar, which divides 
The Cornish and the Devonish confines ; 
Through both whose borders swiftly down it glides 
And meeting Plim, to Plinmiouth thence declines. 

Killigrew, Shovell, Benbow, Boscawen, Kodney, Howe, 
Jervis, Collingwood, Nelson, Cochrane — all our most famous 
admirals and captains, have made it their resort; and its 


name is aflsociated with the records of imperishable deeds of 
naval glory, wrought by these worthy successors of the 
Drakes, the Hawkmses, and the Blakes of an earlier time.' 
The words Portsmouth or Plymouth (Devonport did not win 
separate title or recogiiition until long after the Napoleonic 
struggle had ceased) are to be found upon every page of 
England's maritime history ; and traditions of the port in 
war time, though swiftly disappearing, yet linger — traditions 
of pressgangs and prize-money, of prisoners and prowes& 
Such traditions as that which states how Lord Cochrane, 
when appointed to the Pallas, went to Sutton Pool to fill up 
his crew, and quickly manned his vessel with longshore men 
and merchant sailors, so great was his reputation for kindli- 
ness and daring. Or as that which recalls the day in March, 
1805, when he sailed into the Sound with three golden candle- 
sticks taken from a Spanish prize, lashed to the mastheads 
of his frigate. The Customs authorities would not let the 
candlesticks through without payment of full duty, so he 
broke them up to pass as old gold In ten days Cochrane 
took four rich prizes, and one had nearly half a million 
dollars on board. These were the ' galloouers,' still associated 
in popular local l^end with his name. 

Although the principal naval business, then as now, was 
transacted at Dock, Plymouthians were by no means idle 
spectators. They were quite ready to divide the labour if 
only they could divide the spoil And thus legitimate com- 
merce gave way almost entirely to privateering and prize 
dealing ; both found remarkably profitable specuLtiona 

Invasion Scares, 

But there was a reverse to the medal. The sun did not 
always shina Occasionally — ^not often— a Plymouth priva- 
teer met her match, and escaped, if at all, with los& Occa- 
sionally a feeling akin to that which our vessels caused in 
many a French and Spanish seaport, became unpleasantly 
prominent in the minds of the inhabitants of Plymouth. 
When all England was on the pci vive in the matter of 
invasion, Plymouth had extra cause to feel the necessity of 
keeping a sharp look-out. More than once a visit from the 
foe was very narrowly escaped. There is an old story that 
an attempted descent was nipped in the bud by the strategic 
array upon the Hoe of all the old women who were posses^ 

^ Blake died Aug. 27th, 1657, on his return from Santa Cmz, as his fleet 
was entering the Sound. | 


of red cloaks ; but as a similar yam is told of almost every 
seaport from Dover to the Land's End, a little scepticism 
may be excused. In 1662 the Dutch Admiral De Euyter 
came to an engagement with Sir George Ayscough in sight 
of Plymouth ; and three years later De Euyter's fleet 
anchored off the Sound, though no landing was attempted. 
There was great alarm, too, in 1690, when the French fleet 
under Tourville, which burnt Teignmouth, was seen sailing 

But the scare was in August, 1779. For four days the 
combined fleets of France and Spain— eighty-eight vessels — 
were off the Sound; and although Plymouth was not injured, 
the Ardent was captured within sight of the port, and one 
of the French frigates played havoc with the fishing boats 
in Cawsand Bay. Dibdm made this incident the subject of 
a musical farce produced at Covent Garden, and entitled 
Plymouth in an Uproar, In this allusion is made to 
Maker Tower as the look-out place. That a descent upon 
Plymouth was actually in contemplation is clear from a 
work by the Count De Parades — Memoirs of a Spy in England , 
and the Causes of the Failure of the Expedition against 
Plymouth in 1779, 

A very good tale is told of Paul Henry Ourry, Commissioner 
of the Dockyard at the time. He is said to have asked the 
Admiralty, 'Shall I, Paul Ourry, bum His Majesty's Dockyard, 
or wait until the French admiral comes in and does it? ' The 
Admiralty commended his zeal, but thought that, on the 
whole, he had better wait. 

The fright was very great, and sauve qui petU was at 
first the motto. When no attack was made, the townsfolk 
plucked up spirit, and helped to remove thirteen himdred 
French prisoners to Exeter. The most graphic account is 
that given in the MS. of an old townsman named Harris : 
' Many thousands came to Plymouth to see the enemy, lining 
Same Head and the opposite heights from daylight till dusk; 
thousands of women and children left the town in great 
confusion. Mr. Bidwell, mason, collected a body of men, 
chiefly masons, who acted as pioneers, and threw up a 
battery on the West Hoe. When the fleets were gone, a 
small Welsh regiment of militia encamped on the East Hoe, 
and some Highlanders. Mr. Cater, shipwright, fortified the 
quay at Calcutta with some old ship guns, resolving to stay 
and die by them. After a while the bustle was again 
revived by the hourly arrival of troops, baggage waggons, 
and powder. Great alarm was caused by the rumour that 


a boat's crew had landed at the back of Staddon Heights, 
and were got into the town. They were taken about the 
town, one in the pathfield adjoining the Hoe. The merchant 
vessels were taken up Cattewater and Hamoaze. The only 
armed ships in the port were two small vessels that lay 
between the island and the main. There was a camp on 

The enemy, if they had known all, would have found the 
port an easy prey. As to the English Channel Fleet, under 
Hardy, it ran away, for * strategic purposes '; and the French 
seemed equally afraid of attacking. 

In August, 1815, special orders were issued 'in case of an 
alarm of the approach of the enemy.' Three guns were to be 
fired from the post first alarmed, and answered by the others, 
the posts named being Mount Wise, St. Nicholas Island, the 
Citadel, and Maker Heights. At night three rockets were 
also to be fired, and the beacon at Maker lit, if the officer 
there was perfectly sure he had good grounds. Directly 
the alarm was given all the soldiers and volunteers were to 
repair ' to their respective Begimental Parades, and wait for 
orders from Lt.-Genl England.' 

The prisoners brought in during the American and French 
wars were lodged at Plymouth, in the barracks at Millbay, 
then called the French Prisons. Others occupied hulks in 
Hamoaze. When the prisons at Princetown were completed 
(1809), the captives were removed thither. During the 
Crimean War the buildings at Millbay were again applied 
to their old purpose, and held some hundreds of Bussians, 
chiefly from Bomarsund and elsewhere in the Baltic. 

Maritime Discovery. 

More peaceful but not less gratifying reminiscences than 
either of the foregoing, are to be found in the association of 
the port with the maritime discoveries of the last century. 
In 1764 the Dolphin and Tamar sailed for the purpose 
of circumnavigating the globe, under Byron. In 1766 Wallis 
left with his expedition in the Dolphin,; one of his junior 
officers, Captain Carteret, in the SivcUlow, making a distinct 
voyaga In 1768 (August 26th) Cook sailed in the 
Undeavour on his first circumnavigation; in 1772 (July 
13th), in the Resolution and Adventure^ on his second; 
and in 1776 (July 12th) on his third, from which he never 
returned. His ships were then nearly wrecked under the 


Notable Visitors. 

Within the period under review Plymouth entertained 
many distinguished guesta Charles II. paid several visits. 
In 1670 he arrived by sea in company with the Dukes of 
York and Monmouth, and lodged in the Old Fort on the 

John Allen, a Plymouth mercer, gives* brief accounts 
of two of the visits of Charles 11. At the first visit 
Charles landed, on the 17th July, at five o'clock in the after- 
noon, at the Barbican Stairs, and went to the fort on the 
Hoe, where the Mayor and his brethren presented him with 
a purse of gold He was out on the Hoe by four o'clock the 
next morning, and subsequently visited Saltash, ' Ozen,* and 
Lary. The royal squadron mustered seven pleasure-boats 
and six frigates. In August, 1677, the King and his brother 
paid another visit, memorable to Allen by the fact that he 
saw the king oftentimes, and that * my wife had ye honour 
of being kissed, both by ye king and by his brother James, 
Duke of York.' Allen's wife was a Stert of Brixton, 
twenty-three years of age. 

Charles then attended divine service at St. Andrew 
Church, where a state canopy and throne had been erected 
at a cost of £32 10s. 4d., and where he went through the 
ceremony of 'touching for the eviL' One day he dined at 
Mount Edgcumbe. Upon this occasion he is recorded to 
have lodged in a private house. The Citadel was in progress, 
and no doubt he watched with interest the advancement of 
a work intended to hold in check the liberal views of the 
Plymouthians, should civil disturbances again arise. 

Other noteworthy visitors about the same time were: 
Monk, Duke of Albemarle, who was made a freeman ; Lord 
Dartmouth, who sailed hence on the expedition to Tangiers, 
when Pepys accompanied him, and ' stayed for his doublet — 
his sleeves altered to sea fashion'; Cosmo di Medici, Grand 
Duke of Tuscany, who landed at Plymouth in 1674; and 
the Queen of Portugal, who sailed for Lisbon in 1687 under 
convoy of a fleet commanded by the Duke of Grafton; 
while in 1684 the ' famously loyal Judge Jeffreys * came on 
invitation, and was entertained at a charge of £20. * 

Several visits were paid to Plymouth by George IIL and 
various members of his family. William IV., when Duke 

' In his MS. Diary, now at the Athenadnm. 

* Blake in 1650 and 1658 had a hogshead and a hntt of sack ; and in 1668 
John Howe had a piece of plate, costing £7 28., for 'solicitinge the town 
hoisinetse with the late loxd Frotecto'.' 


of Clarence, from his connection with the navy, was quite 
a familiar personage at Plymouth and at Dock. Many a 
yam concerning his wild pranks has been handed down, 
several of which will not bear repetition. The most memor- 
able royal visit of the last century was that of George III., 
Queen Charlotte, and the three eldest princesses, in August, 
1789. They were entertained at Saltram, and during their 
stay inspected the Dockyard (where they were received by 
Lords Chatham, Howe, and Chesterfield) ; witnessed a grand 
naval sham fight; visited Mount Edgcumbe, Cotehele, 
Maristow, and other notable places ; and by their patronage 
of the old theatre conferred upon it the title of Eoyal On 
the 20th of the month the Mayor and Corporation presented 
a dutiful and loyal address at the Gk)vemor^s house in the 
Citadel The Saltash women made quite a demonstration^— 
'a handsome cutter rowed by six fine young women, and 
steered by a seventh, all habited in loose white gowns with 
nankeen safeguards and black bonnets, each wearing a sash 
across her shoulders of royal purple, with " Long live their 
Majesties " in gold,' accompanying the royal bai^. 

Queen Victoria has made frequent visits to the port — ^both 
before and since her accession to the throne. In August, 
1833, she landed with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, 
at the Dockyard, received an address from the Mayor and 
Corporation of Plymouth at the Royal Hotel, and presented 
the 89th Kegiment with new colours. She came also in 
August, 1843; July, 1852; and in 1856. In May, 1859, 
the Prince Consort arrived alone for the purpose of opening 
the Eoyal Albert Bridge, On the ninth of July, 1860, the 
Prince of Wales took his departure from the Sound on his 
visit to Canada and the United States, when addresses were 
presented to him by the sister towns, that from Devonport 
being made in person. At Plymouth, too, he first touched 
English soil on his return. In July, 1865, both the Prince 
and the Princess came to the town, and went through the 
exhibition of the Eoyal Agricultural Society, held that year 
at Pennycomequick. 

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh also 
visited Plymouth in August, 1873; attending the march 
past at the conclusion of the Autimm Manoeuvres on Dart- 
moor, and the Plymouth races. They received addresses 
from the municipalities of each town. On August 13th, 1874, 
the Prince of Wales came officially as Lord High Steward, 
and opened the Guildhall The Pnnce and Duke and other 
members of the Eoyal family have visited the town since ; 


and the Duke of Edinburgh took up his official residence as 
Port Admiral at Devonport in October, 1890. 

Of the other distinguished personages who have been 
temporarily associated with Plymouth in recent times two 
must receive especial mention — Napoleon Bonaparte and 
GaribaldL Napoleon remained some days in the Sound on 
board the BeUerophon in 1815, thousands flocking around 
that vessel in boats during the period of his stay. A picture 
of the Emperor as he appeared, gazing round him from the 
gangway, was painted by the late Sir C. L. Eastlake, who 
seized every opportunity of catching a glimpse of the great 
captive. Napoleon was aware of his intention, and rendered 
all assistance in his power, even to sending his clothes on 
shore that the attire might be correctly delineated. A large 
copy of this work was sold for £1000. 

Garibaldi simply passed through the borough by rail, in 
April, 1864, whilst on his way to visit his old companion 
in arms, Colonel Peard, at Penquite, near Fowey. Advantage 
was taken of the occasion by the Corporation to present 
him with an address at the Coloners mansion. Great was 
the popular excitement ; but the eager multitude turned out 
for nothing; for the hour of Garibaldi's arrival at Plymouth 
was so long delayed that the night had far advanced before 
he came, and nearly all the would -be -sight -seers had gone 

Napoleon III., with the Prince Imperial, visited Plymouth 
October 14th, 1871. The ex-Emperor was stajdng at the 
Imperial Hotel, Torquay, and came on a visit to the Earl of 
Mount Edgcumbe. 

Other notable visitors include : Warren Hastings on his 
return from India. In 1809 the Prince of Orange. In 
1810 Lucien Bonaparte with his family, who landed at the 
old Victualling Office, and put up at the King's Arms, where 
a great many ladies 'waited table to obtain a glimpse of 
them I' In 1817 the Grand Duke Nicholas and General 
Mina. In 1828 Don Miguel was entertained at the Boyal 
Hotel until he embarked for Lisbon. Two years later three 
thousand Portuguese refugees, who had fled from their native 
country to escape Miguel's tyranny, took shelter in the 
town. Storehouses at Coxside were converted into barracks 
for their reception; and there they remained until their 
departure to the Brazils was required. May 19th, 1881, 
the King of Sweden came. As the chief western centre of 
population Plymouth has likewise been visited by most of 
the political leaders of modem times: Bright, Canning, 


Chamberlain, Cobden, Dillon, Gladstone (1877, 1889), Har- 
court, the Marquis of Hartington (1886), Labouchere, O'Brien, 
Pamell, Lord Kosebery, the Marquis of Salisbury (1884), &c. 

The JSddysione ZigfUhatises. 

The later years of the seventeenth century are memorable 
in the history of Plymouth, not merely for the settlement 
of a new town on the borders of the Hamoaze, but for the 
commencement of a work of national importance — the 
establishment of a lighthouse on the dangerous reef of 
rocks known as the Eddystone, which lies fourteen miles off 
Plymouth Sound, right in the Channel fairway. Many a 
tall ship had been lost thereon before any successful attempt 
to mark the danger was made. The credit of the erection 
of the first lighthouse belongs to Mr. Henry Winstanley, a 
gentleman of property residing at Littlebury, Essex, a self- 
taught mechanician, and a whimsiccd as well as a clever man. 
His house was filled with curious contrivances for the surprise 
— not always for the pleasure — of his friends. If you trod 
on a certain board in a passage forthwith a skeleton started 
up against you. Did you unwittingly sit down in an arbour 
near the edge of a pond in his grounds, straightway you 
would be launched upon a floating island. In one room an 
old shoe left lying about invited a kick ; give it, and a ghost 
would appear. Sufficient proofs these of Mr. Winstanley's 
ingenuity. He commenced the erection of the lighthouse 
in the year 1696, and completed it in four years. The 
structure was exceedingly beautiful, elaborately ornamental 
in design, and admirably built. It consisted of a polygonal 
shaft one hundred feet in height, with an open gallery near 
the top, through which it was said a six-oared boat could be 
washed clear in a storm. The accessories made the building 
resemble a pagoda, rather than a fabric which was intended 
to defy the utmost fury of wave and wind. It braved the 
elements just three years. Peculiarly tragic were the circum- 
stances of its destruction. Mr. Winstanley had the utmost 
confidence in his work, and frequently expressed the wish 
that he might be in the lighthouse under the fiercest storm 
that ever blew, to witness the effect. His desire was fatally 
fulfilled. One morning in November, 1703, he left the Bar- 
bican to superintend some repairs. An old seaman standing 
by warned him that a tempest was at hand. Nevertheless, 
strong in his confidence, he went. That night, whilst he 
remained at the lighthouse, a hurricane sprung up, and 



morning broke upon the untenanted rocks. Lighthouse and 
occupants — all had been swept away. Not a vestige could be 
seen but the fragment of a chain wedged into a cleft, though 
in building the last lighthouse the old clock weights were 

Three years elapsed before another attempt was made to 
rear a beacon. At length, under the powers of an Act of 
Parliament, the work was undertaken by Mr. Rudyard, a 
silk mercer of London. He determined to avoid the error 
of his predecessor, and to give the winds and waves as little 



hold upon the structure as was possible. Hence his light- 
house was round instead of angular, and instead of stone he 
built it of wood, conceiving that by so doing he would be 
able to fasten the respective parts more firmly together. He 
was justified by the event. Commenced in 1706, and com- 
pleted in 1709, the slender shaft weathered the storms of 
nearly fifty winters in safety, and might have defied them 
until the present time. Proof against wind and surge, it 

* This stonn carried devastation to every part of the kingdom ; thousands 
of hooaes were blown down, and hundreds of ships lost The Bishop of 
Bath and Wells and his wife were killed by the falling of their palace. 

L 2 



was not however proof against fire; and on the second of 
December, 1755, it was accidentally burnt. There were 
three keepers on the rock at the time, and they worked 
courageously to subdue the flames until compelled to desist, 
and to take refuge from destruction in a hole of the rock. 
Fortunately for them it was low water. They were rescued 
by some Cawsand fishing boats, the crews belonging to which, 
seeing the conflagration, hastened to the spot. One was so 
panic-stricken, that immediately on landing he took to flight 
and was never heard of afterwards. Another, an old man 
of 94, named Hall, died within twelve days. He stated when 
rescued that some of the molten lead from the roof had 
run down his throat as he was looking up. This was 
disbelieved ; but when he died his body was opened, and a 
piece of lead weighing seven ounces and five drachms found 
in his stomach. 

Twelvemonths were not suffered to elapse before the third 
lighthouse was commenced. Mr. Smeaton was recommended 
as architect by the Eoyal Society. 
He Imsiid liig design for the shaft of 
the building on the outline of the 
trunk of a tree. This he believed 
would ensure stability. By the use of 
nothing but stone in the construc- 
tion — ^granite without and Portland 
wit!iin—he effectually guarded against 
fire. Until 1882 his lighthouse stood 
to all appearance 
an imperishable 
monument of 
the architect's 
skill. The work 
of preparation 
was commenced 
in August, 1756; 
in June, 1757, 
the first stone 
was laid; on the 
16 th October, 
1759, the lantern 
was lit. Thus the whole undertaking was accomplished 
within about three years; without accident or loss of life 
or limb. During the whole period there had been but 
421 days on which, from the weather, the men could 
work on the rock; and of these only so small a portion 




could be used, that the whole time really spent in the 
erection of the building did not amount to sixteen weeks, 
A large work-yard was established at Millbay, fitted with 
workshops and smitheries. Here the stones were hewn, and 
fitted to each other, and thence conveyed to the rocks by 
yawls and other vessels, to be placed in their permanent 
position. All the lower courses of stone were joggled and 
morticed into the rock itself, which was hewn for that 
purpose into a series of six step-like courses; and all the 
tiers of masonry were ingeniously dovetailed together, as 
well as into each other, and strengthened with trenails, 
cramps, and every other appliance which experience or 
ingenuity could suggest. The 
lower portion of the building 
was solid throughout, and, 
from its peculiar dovetailed 
construction, was practically 
but one stone, of quite as 
firm a texture as the rock 
upon which it was raised. 

So far as Smeaton*s work 
was concerned, indeed, his 
tower might have stood for 
another century; but the 
continual beat of the waves 
undermining its foundations, 
another was commenced, on 
an adjacent part of the reef, 
from the designs of Mr. (now 
Sir J.) Douglass, in 1879— 
the memorial stone being 
laid by the Prince of Wales, 
August 19th; and the practi- 
cally-completed edifice inau- 
gurated by the Duke of 
Edinburgh, May 18th, 1882. 
This new lighthouse contains 
nine stone vaulted apart- 
ments, one above the other, and stands on a circular base 
of masonry, dovetailed even more ingeniously than the sub- 
stnicture of Smeaton. The total height of the tower is 
148 feet, and the focal plane of its light 130 feet above 
ordinary high water springs; whereas the focal plane of 
Smeaton's was 72 feet. 

When Douglass's tower was completed the upper portion 



of Smeaton's was removed ; and, following up a suggestion 
by Mr. F. J. Webb, F.G.S., a subscription was raised to 
rebuild it on the Hoe, where it replaces an old Trinity 
obelisk. The Duke of Edinburgh laid the foundation, 
October 20th, 1882, and the building was opened by the 
Deputy Master and elder brethren of the Trinity House, 
September 24th, 1884 The new base, nineteen courses of 
Dartmoor granite, was given by Mr. J. Pethick. The total 
height is 87 feet 8 inches. 

The Breakwater. 

Whilst the eighteenth century saw the realization of the 
efforts to erect a beacon on the Eddystone, it was reserved 
for the nineteenth to witness the commencement and 
completion of a still greater national work, for the protection 
of the magnificent roadstead of Plymouth Sound — the 
Breakwater. So far back as 1788 a plan was submitted to 
the Government by Mr. Smith, then Master- Attendant in 
the Dockyard, for making the anchorage secure by running 
out a pier from Staddon Point to the 'Panther Eock.' 
Before the formation of the Breakwater Torbay was deemed 
safer than the Sound, and it was the practice to send 
supplies and stores thither from Dock accordingly. Never- 
theless Torbay is so exposed that several men-of-war were 
lost there; and hence Lord Howe said it would in all 
probability prove the 'grave of the British fleet.' Men-of- 
war when at Plymouth generally anchored in Cawsand Bay. 
Here they had the beat of the south-e.asterly and easterly 
winds ; whilst if they anchored in the Sound they were open 
to the full fury of the south-westers. That some improve- 
ment should be made was recognised on all hands, but 
nothing was done until Earl St. Vincent moved. 

In 1806 Mr. Rennie, C.K, and Mr. Whidby, Master- 
Attendant at Woolwich, were ordered to draw up a report. 
They prepared a plan for the construction of the Breakwater 
very much as we see it now, with certain supplementary 
works since found unnecessary. The scheme lay in abeyance 
until 1811, when, after several other plans had been discussed, 
it was decided that Messrs. Rennie and Whidby's should be 
adopted. Twenty-five acres of land near Oreston were 
purchased for the purpose of raising the stone, and on 
August 12th, 1812, the first block was dropped into the 
sea. The plan of construction adopted was to sink rough 
masses as they came from the quarries within the line of 


the intended mole, and so rapid was the progress of the 
work, that on March 31st, 1813, the comers of some of the 
stones peered above the surface at low water spring tides. 
In 1815 it was determined to raise the structure to twenty 
feet above low water, instead of ten, as originally contem- 
plated. In January, 1817, a hurricane displaced much of 
the work, and altered the seaward slope from one in three 
to one in five. At the same time it afforded ample evidence 
of the value of the undertaking. The Jasper sloop-of-war, 
and the schooner Telegraphy anchored outside the Break- 
water, were driven to the head of the Sound and wrecked ; 
whilst a deeply-laden collier, anchored within its shelter, 
rode out the gale in safety. Although the natural slope 
had been indicated by the damage done, the work still 
proceeded upon the original plan. In November, 1824, 
however, a storm still more violent again reduced the slope 
to one in five, removing upwards of 200,000 tons of stone. 
It was then determined to follow the dictates of experience, 
and the centre line was removed thirty-six feet inwards, the 
width of the top being reduced from fifty feet to forty-five. 
The original estimate for the work was £1,200,000, and it 
was believed it would be completed in six years. Over 
£1,500,000 were expended, and the works were not finished 
until 1841. About 4,500,000 tons of stone were used, the 
twenty-five acres of rock originally purchased from the 
Duke of Bedford proving insufficient The greatest number 
of workmen employed at any one time was 765. 

Great Storms. 

Beference has already been made to some of the more 
violent tempests that have visited the Sound. In 1691 
the Coronation, ninety guns, and Harwich, seventy, were 
wrecked there with great loss of life. In 1760 the 
Conqueror was lost off Drake's Island. In January, 1762, 
the Lambhay Pier was swept away, and damage to the 
extent of £80,000 done to the shipping. Six merchant 
vessels were wrecked between Teats Hill and Bear's Head ; 
and out of nine men-of-war in the Sound only three kept 
their masts. In January, 1806, a boat belonging to the 
Hibemia was driven ashore near the Shagstone, and 
twenty-six drowned out of forty-five ; while in the following 
year contrary winds detained so many vessels as to com- 
pletely fill Cattewater. Of Danes alone there were 150. 

The great storm of November 23rd and 24th, 1824, was 


the most disastrous of recent timea Between the Citadel 
and Cattewater twenty-five ships were driven on shore — 
sixteen within 300 yards in Deadman's Bay. The barometer 
fell to 2819, and the tide rose twenty-one feet two inches. 
In January, 1828, fifteen vessels were driven ashore. 

There was another terrible storm in 1838, when the 
Inconstant frigate, which had just returned from Canada, 
with Earl Durham and his family on board, had to lie in the 
Sound for three days, without being able to communicate 
with the shore. Had it not been for the Breakwater she 
could never have ridden out the gale in safety. 

The striking pictures of Luney have made specially 
n\emorable the wreck of the Button under the Citadel 
in January, 1796. She was an East Indiaman, and had 
400 soldiers on board, besides women and her crew. The 
scene was a terrible one. None more fearful was ever 
witnessed from the Hoe. 'The vessel lay on the rocks, 
inclined to one side, her decks covered with soldiers as thick 
as they could stand, with the sea breaking over them in the 
most horrible manner.' Yet, chiefly through the exertions 
and personal risk of Lord Exmouth, then Captain Edward 
Pellew (who in consequence was presented with the freedom 
of the town), all except ten or fifteen were saved 

In the following September a far more fatal maritime 
disaster occurred at Devonport, the blowing up of the 
Amphion off the Dockyard, when nearly 200 lives were lost. 
In 1769 the Kent had met a similar fate in Cawsand Bay; 
La CoquUk, in 1798, in Hamoaze. 


Executions were comparatively frequent interludes in the 
earlier history of Plymouth ; and it seems clear that some 
were the result of purely local authority. Gibbets were 
commonly erected on the Hoe; but in 1595-6 there was 
one in Market Street. 

The first execution remaining on record is that of a 
Spaniard, hung in the mayoralty of William Brokyng — 1518 
— by * mast' Jerman of Exett,' for being engaged in an affray, 
in which * Thomas Rowland and ffbte were slayne.' In 1548 
there was an execution for high treason on the Hoe. March 
26th, 1662, the head of John Alured, of Stokeinteignhead, 
was set on the top of the Guildhall * on a spill of iron fixed 
to a strong pole.' Alured was beheaded for speaking treason. 
According to Yonge he was a resident of Plymouth* 


The most noteworthy execution in the period directly under 
review was in 1676, when two women were put to death 
— one burnt — at Cattedown. This was for poisoning. A 
young servant girl, set on by a nurse, poisoned her mistress. 
The Puritan minister Quicke wrote a book about it — Hdl 
Opened ; or, The Infemcd Sin of Murder Punished — and the 
original depositions are still among the Plymouth archives. 
Michael Pentire had £1 14s. for a guard. 

April 16th, 1703, Captains Kerby and Cooper Wade were 
shot in the Sound, on the day of their arrival in England, 
for cowardice in Benbow's action with Du Casse, and buried 
in Charles Church. In 1758 a young grenadier was shot 
for desertion; and in the following year five Frenchmen 
were executed for murdering a comrade in Hamoaze. They 
flogged him, jumped upon him till he was dead, then cut 
him up and threw him overboard. In 1762 a sergeant was 
shot at Dock for mutiny. July 6th, 1797, three marines, 
Lee, Coffee, and Bronham, were shot on the Hoe, in presence 
of 10,000 soldiers and marines, for mutiny and sedition. 
They had formed a plot to release the French prisoners, and 
to upset the Grovernment. August 30th, 1798, six ' United 
Irishmen,' mutineers of the Ccesar, were executed on board 
her in Cawsand Bay. In 1807 Lieutenant Berry was hung 
on board the Hazard in Hamoaze for an unnatural offence. 
December 4th, 1811, four seamen were hung in the Sound 
for mutiny and desertion. 

The last execution in Plymouth itself was that of Cajetano 
Canado, a Spanish prisoner of war, in 1807. 

Touching minor methods of punishment we find the 
' cokying stoU ' named as early as 1486. It was last used 
early in the present century ; and when the first edition of 
this book was published (1871) those were yet alive who 
had seen it in operation. 

The pillory had frequent occupants. John Stone was put 
. therein in 1685 after whipping for using seditious words — 
the innocent remark, ' I hear that the king is dead.' One 
of the last occasions on which it was set up in the market- 
place was January 30th, 1813, when a man and his wife 
were stood therein for keeping a disorderly house at Charlotte 
Bow — the man for an hour, and the woman half an hour. 

The town records show that in Tudor and Stuart days 
there was always plenty of entertainment provided for the 
general public in the way of whipping at the cart's taiL 
' Fackabons' and ' hores' were commonly passed on to Stone- 
house or Compton« 


There were serious riots in Plymouth at various times 
during the great French war on account of the high price of 
provisions ; and Harris records sundry incidents of that in 
1801. The butchers and bakers were assailed. The mob 
threatened to hang a baker named Yelland, of Briton Side, 
putting a rope round his neck and only letting him go on 
promise of amendment. ' Mr. Crimp, baker, Market Street, 
kept them oflf with his drawn sword.' Special constables 
were sworn in, and the authorities in London communicated 
with. On another occasion the crews of men of war in 
Hamoaze, who had quarrelled, landed at Dock to the number 
of several hundred to fight the issue seriously out. 


SiciNius : How now, my masters f Have you chose this pan ? 
Citizen : He hath our voices, sir. — Shak^pere, 

PLYMOUTH first sent representatives to Parliament in 
the reign of Edward I., as the Borough of Sutton. 
The earliest record is dated 1298, the twenty-sixth of 
Edward I. The returns seem to have been intermittent 
until the twentieth Henry VI., from which date they have 
been continuous. We find the town sending to councils on 
maritime affairs, however, when its parliamentary voice 
appears to have been suspended ; and the representation may 
have been more continuous than is now traceable. Thus in 
1344 two inhabitants acquainted with shipping were sum- 
moned to London to advise the king and council; in 1369 
two sufficient men familiar with mercantile affairs ; while in 
1374 Willian Noytour, master of the Trinity of Plymouth, 
was called by name to advise. 

Right of Election. 

The right of election was variously exercised, sometimes 
by the Mayor and Corporation, sometimes by the freemen, 
including the corporate body, and later by the freemen and 
freeholders jointly. There is no doubt now that the Com- 
monalty were the body in whom the right of election 
originally vested, and that in the first instance freeman was 
a term of as wide an application as burgess has become, and 
practically included the general body of native male inhabi- 
tants of full age. 

The House of Commons in 1660 decided upon a contested 
return, that the right of election of members to serve in 
Parliament for the borough of Plymouth was vested in the 
Mayor and Commonalty, and Sir John Maynard and Mr. 
Edmund Fowell, who had been elected by the Corporation, 


were therefore declared unduly chosen. The Corporation, 
however, chose the members in 1685. From that time 
onward the elections were made by both freemen and free- 
holders, though without authority, until the creation of 
fictitious votes led in 1739 to the rights of the freeholders 
being disputed. 

Mr. John Rogers and Mr. C. Vanbrugh were the opposing 
candidates, and the election being decided in favour of the 
former by ' the vast number of faggots which came from the 
utmost parts of Cornwall,* a petition was presented against 
his return. The House decided that the word Commonalty 
mentioned in the former decision extended to freemen only, 
and Mr. Vanbrugh was declared duly elected. The free- 
holders ako claimed to vote in 1780 on behalf of Mr. John 
Culme against Sir F. L Rogers. Each candidate then voted 
for his opponent. For Rogers 119 freemen polled; for 
Culme 61, and 87 freeholders. The last attempt of the 
freeholders was in 1807. In the freemen the right of 
election then remained until the Reform Bill of 1832, when 
the franchise was extended to the ten-pounders. 

The Corporation at various times passed bye-laws regulating 
the choice of representatives. Thus in 1568-9 it was ordered 
that no burgess should be chosen * but onelie suche men as 
be toune dwellers and the counsell of the toune'; and in 
1601 it was directed that one should be a freeman. 

The Freemen. 

When the Reform Bill of 1832 passed Plymouth was 
returned to have just 240 voters (there were 426 names, 
however, on the roll); and fifty years elapsed ere the last 
freeman passed away — Mr. William Dart, whose right 
accrued before 1832, but was not taken up by him until 
1844, and who died in 1883. In him ended the line which 
began with William Ketherick, named Mayor in the charter 
of Henry VI. There must indeed have been freemen of 
the ville of Sutton before then. Only we know nothing of 
them; and the earliest list of freemen of Plymouth extant 
is dated 1540, from which time to the present day materials 
exist for the compilation of a fairly complete list. To be a 
freeman of Plymouth once meant a great deal. All that it 
meant to Mr. Dart was the right of voting for members of 
Parliament without paying rates. In the old days no one 
could claim to reside or trade in the town without being free 
of the franchise, or compounding for his disability; and 


there were certain classes of persons who could never 
become freemen at all. No ' alien borne ' could attain that 
dignity, unless he were 'of Normandy, Gascon, Syon, Irelond, 
Caleys, Benoyke, and the bordars of the same Being 
Englisshe ' — these being at the date of the regulation foreign 
possessions of the English Crown. Moreover, about the 
same time, in the reign of Edward IV., it was declared that 
freemen of Plymouth must be either wliole or half brothers 
in ' cure Lady and saynct George is yelde,' and all ' fiforeyns ' 
— which meant simply anybody who did not belong to 
Plymouth — were ejected The names of freemen were 
entered in the town 'ligger*; and the freedom of the 
borough was the highest honour the Corporation could 
bestow. There were four classes of freemen — honorary, 
of whom very few were made previous to the Eestoration ; 
hereditary, the eldest son of a freeman being entitled to the 
freedom after the death of his father; apprenticeship, 
curtailed at one time to a freeman's first apprentice only ; 
and purchase, the price varying from a few shillings up to 
£25. At this latter figure the unreformed Corporation 
sold a large number of freedoms just before 1832, and gave 
only a barren honour. As the new freemen had not voted 
before 1832 or held the freedom twelve months, the 
first Eeform Bill extinguished them, and the money was 
not handed back, but applied in building the gaol. More 
creditable to the Corporation was their recognition of the 
services of the medical men of the Three Towns at the 
time of the first cholera visitation. All who were not already 
freemen were made so; and those who were had the right 
to nominate a substitute, granted also to the widow of one 
of these gentlemen. It became the custom for each Mayor to 
choose a freeman on his retiring from ofl&ce ; and for some 
little time — mysterious statement — 'the Mayoress was 
allowed to make her favourite if she had any.' As beseemed 
the last representative of this once important body, Mr. Dart 
had great faith in the * good old times.' For some years he 
occupied a return in the Parliamentary register to himself. 

The original list of freemen in the Bldck Book, which may 
be distinguished from the earlier additions by the writing 
(further on the names of the freemen made are entered 
under the respective mayoralties) contains 108 entries. These 
then formed the entire Commonalty in the year 1540. The 
names are as follows : 

William Eandall, James Horswell, William Hawkyns, 
Thomas Clowter, Henry Harvy, Lucas Cok, Thomas Holwaye, 


John Persse, John Bovy, John Ude, Robert Craswell, Bichard 
Cuscott, William Wyks, Richard Chugg, William Ayshel^h, 
Stephen Burdon, John Towson, William Edgcombe, Thomas 
Bull, John Bygporte, John EUyott, Thomas Byrtt. John 
Thomas, Thomas Mylls, Robert Dyghton, Richard Lybbe, 
John Keynsham, Henry Martyn, William Bullar, Robert 
Hampton, John Brokyng, Thomas Trowin, John Tasse, 
Stephen Mylls, John Moone, William Gybbons, John Grosse, 
Philip CoUas, John Pegon, John Howell, Robert HorsweU, 
William Hawkyns, baker, Thomas Byrtt, jun., Thomas Symon, 
William Trounse, Richard Crockar, Henry Bolde, Lewes 
Mendose, Peter Chopyn, John Gybbons, Richard Cavell, 
Thomas Whyddon, Edward Cok, Stephen Andrew, Richard 
Saunder, John Rowe, John Coram, Symon Cok, John Hawkyns, 
John Lowde, John Persse, jun., John Small, Thomas Kaye, 
Thomas Whyte, Robert Homebroke, William Coosyn, John 
Charelton, Robert Charelton, John Ysan, Patryke Makane, 
Vyncent Bury, Richard Rowlyn, Thomas Hacker, John Dery, 
John Gawde, Nicholas Pounde, Thomas Rodger, John Gyll, 
Thomas Rowljrn, Thomas Pecock, Andrew Tooker, William 
Foorde, William Myll, John Notyng, Thomas Mayson, John 
Feltwell, John Pery, Richard Heywoode, Alexander Trott, 
Richard Gawde, John Pounde, Richard Rodger, Henry Howe, 
John Palmer, John Lowter, John Clement, John Mounforde, 
Nicholas Dunforde, William Macy, John HerfForde, John 
Hooper, John Lenden, John Peryn, Thomas Collyn, Henry 
Cowper, tailor, Robert Burley. 

The earliest dated entry of admissions is in 1552, up to 
which time 135 had been made free in addition to the 
original list quoted; but there is no record of losses save 
here and there the mention of a death or an expulsion, as 
in the case of John lighe, 'dysmysed for disobeinge of 
Mr. Edmonds coinandnt beinge Mr. Maior.' The numbers 
admitted in each year varied greatly, ranging in the sixteenth 
century from two to thirty-eight, while in some mayoralties 
in the early part of the seventeenth century none were 
made; for example, in the successive mayoralties of Clements, 
Colmer, and Trelawny 1614-15-16 ; and again in those .of 
N. Sherwell and Fownes, 1618-19. There were evidently 
from the earliest date more ways than one of getting on the 
freeman's roll ; for while to the great majority of the names 
no note is appended, some of the freedoms are said to have 
been purchased, and others given by the Mayor, or by the 
Aldermen, as in the case of Francis Fletcher, preacher — 
' Gvyn by thassent of the whole masters,' in the mayoralty 


of George Maynard, 1586. Honorary freemen were then 
almost unknown, though now and then we get the name of 
a member of a county family — a Carewe, a Copleston, a 
Budocushyde for example. But these would have some local 
interest, and the first purely honorary freemen on record are 
' William Jackson and Hemfrie Jobson, esquires/ made free 
in 1605, apparently for the all-sufficient reason that they 
were ' secretaries to the Earle of Nottingham, Lord Admirall 
of England.' 

It will help to complete this personal picture of Elizabethan 
Plymouth if we add the earliest list preserved of those who 
being unfree * fyned to dwell in the town ' in 1566, for in 
these days only a freeman could habitually reside in Plymouth 
as of right. The list, some of the Christian names of which 
are defaced, is in the White Book 

Philip Cocke, James Wyght, Nich. Holman, John Doble, 
John Gale, Thomas Allyn, . . . Cottye, NicL Browne, . . . 
Edmownds, Bichard Lawgh, Patrick Dyngle, Thomas Pyers, 
John Hawkyn, mariner, Robert Pyeke, . . . Curber, . . . 
Harvye, . . . Lygh, Robert Master, . . . Courtys, Walter 
Perott, William Colle, Robert Johns, . . . Parke, William 
Waters, . . . Hancock, Robert Cowrtys, . . . Granger, 
William Maye, Robert Smyth, . . . Ambrose, . . . Coram, 
Roger Swyngebye, John MethereU, Thomas Morysse, William 
Buttler, John Hewberd, Mr. Bandfyld, Martyn Lovet, John 
Gybbyns, Edward Thruston, Thomas Mathew, Martyn Darton, 
William Bennytt, mariner, Robert Plymton, John Martyn, 
mariner, . . . Collyn weyver, Hewys . . . helyer, John 
Nycholas, tayler, Philip Barber, John Blythman, Nyghyll 
Jones, George Skarlytt, John Truslow, Arnold Johnson, 
Thomas Tryppljrn, William Godfrye, William Bachyler, 
Harrye Lovdl, William Roger, brewer, William Roger, mariner, 
George Tye, Robert Grigg, Jerman Blake, EUys Welshe, 
Christopher Browkyng, Roger Rowlyn, Thomas Collyn, cooper, 
John Blake, John Francklyn, baker, John GryfTyn, Cornelius 
Morsse, John Towre, William CoUyng, Francis Burdon, John 
Towker, Harry Rawlyn, Martyn Pottran, Thomas Wyllyams, 
mariner, John Nycks, Richard Byrt, Arthur Yeats, Vynson 
Browsye, John Vde, John Penrye, John Bowman, Sander 
Skobyll, Richard Smale, Lawrence Rowland, John Halse, 
Mr. Cuttyll, Edward Crosse, John Bromhyll, Lawrence 
Wyllyams, Thos. Davyes, William Byant, Charles Glowbbe, 
Thomas Horwyll, John Rowke. 

The permanent character of the residence of many of 
these is shown by the number who subsequently become 


free. If to the 99 names here given we add 200 for the 
freemen, we shall get a total of just 300 male heads of house- 
holds at this date. 

In the earlier years of the present century there was much 
concern among the freemen as to their rights and privileges, 
and they had a club, the ' Shoulder of Mutton.' Proposals 
made to increase their number were generally objected to, 
the desire of the majority being to retain the power in their 
own hands, for reasons which are apparent enough. At 
length the club quarrelled among themselves as to the 
choice of a mayor, and held their last meeting September 
15th, 1827. In 1817 the freemen (who had sustained their 
right to elect the Mayor against the corporate body in 1803) 
made good their claim to elect Aldermen, as against a choice 
by the Mayor and Aldermen, out of the Common Council 

In this same year an attempt was made to open the 
borough by electing to the freedom upwards of a hundred of 
the 'respectable inhabitants/ but it was lost on a poll by 
74 votes to 68. 

The list of honorary freemen contains many distinguished 
names. The Duke of Albemarle with ' forty other gentry ' 
were made free in October, 1676. The patents were generally 
given in silver boxes costing 30s., but the Prince of Wales 
had a gold box in 1736-7. Such names occur as Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, the Archbishop of York, the Dukes of Montagu and 
Wharton, Lords Mansfield, Howe, and later of Nelson, 
St. Vincent, Wellington, Earl (Lord John) RusselL 

The Reform Bill. 

Intense interest was felt in the Eeform cause in 
Plymouth, the great majority of the inhabitants being 
without the pale of the franchise, and having no influence 
whatever either in Parliamentary or local affairs. When 
in May, 1832, it was learnt that the Bill was lost, and 
that ministers had resigned, the demonstrations of public 
feeling were very decided. Shops were half closed, flags 
were hoisted half-mast high, muffled peals were rung, 
and on the 16th an immense public meeting was held 
on the Hoe, Dr. Cookworthy presiding. The news in the 
following month that the Act was passed was received 
with corresponding rejoicing; and on the 27th instant the 
event was celebrated in most enthusiastic fashion with a 
monster procession a mile and a half in length, the parapher- 
nalia of which are stated to have cost in money alone. 


exclusive of labour, upwards of £5,000. The procession 
started from Granby Square, Devonport, and perambulated 
the Three Towns. The jubilee of the Bill was celebrated 
July 7th, 1882. by a mass meeting in the Hoe Bull Ring. 


The following is probably as accurate a list of representa- 
tives as is now obtainable : 

1298 William of Stoke, Nicholas the 'Rydlere.' 
1304 William Bredon, John Austin. 

1311 Robert the Sopere, William Smith. 
1311 Robert Cokeman, Walter Trompere(l). 
John of Honeton, Henry Welych(?). 

Soper and Smith may be for 1309. The four names given 
for the second Parliament of 1311 are unappropriated Devon 
returns, and one of the two sets may belong to Plymouth* 
A William Honyton was mayor in 1381. 

1313 John Austyn, William Beri 

These early returns are very defective; some have lost 
their dates, others the names of the places. Nothing is 
consecutive in the original documents before the accession 
of Mary. Austin, Bredon, and Berd seem to have sat for 
Plymouth at other times. The local records supply many of 
the early dates and names. 

1340 John Bernard, John Berd« 

1441 John Wolston, John Carwynnak. 
1446 William Eggecombe, William Tailiour. 

1448 Thomas Hill, William Dawen. 

1449 Thomas Wely wrought, John Brygham. 

1450 John Radeford, William Dawny. 

1452 William Tayler, John Clyff of ScobhilL 
1454 Vincent Pydilysden, Richard Page. 

1467 John Rowelond, Richard Page. 
1472 John Snape, Nicholas Snape. 
1477 Alfred Comburgh, Richard Page. 



1487 Thomas Greyson. 

1495 William Thyckpenny, William Bree. 

1496 Thomas Tresawell, William Bree, 

1603 Roger Elford, John Style. 
1508 John Bryan, Henry Strete. 


1510 Roger Elford, — Legh. 

1511 Ditto Ditto. 
1514 Roger Elford, — Bowrynge. 
1523(1)J. Oreng, — Bowrynge. 
1529 John Pollard, Thomas VowelL 
1536 John Pollard. 

1539 James Horswell, William Hawkins. 

1542 George Ferrers, James HorswolL 

1543 James Horswell. 

1547 William Hawkins. 
1553(1)Sir Richard Edgcumbe. 


1553 Roger Budocushyde, William Hawkins. 

1554 John Mallett (or Mailer), Richard Hooper. 


1554 Sir Thomas Knyvet, Roger Buttissyde. 

1555 Thomas Carew of Anthony e, John Yong. 
1557 Humphry Specotte, Nicholas Slannynge. 

1562 Henry Champemowne, William Peryara. 
1571(1)Sir Humphry Gilbert^ John Hawkyns.^ 
1572 John Hawkyns, Edmund Tremain. 
1584 Henry Bromley, Christopher Harris. 
1586 Henry Bromley, Hugh Vaughan. 
1589 Miles Sandes, Reginald Nichols. 
1593 Sir Francis Drake, Robert Basseti 
1597 Warwick Hele, William Stallenge. 
1601 James Bagge, William Stallenge. 


1604 Sir Richard Hawkins, James Bagge. 
1614 John Glanville, Thomas SherwiU. 
1620 Ditto ditto. 

1624 Ditto ditto. 

* There was no Parliament this year, so that the date given must be wrouc. 
Possibly it should be 1566. 



1625 John Glanville, Thomas SherwilL 

1626 Ditto ditto. 
1628 Ditto ditto. 
1640 Robert Trelawny, John Waddon. 

1640 Ditto ditto. 

1641 Sir John Yonge.« 

1654 Christopher Ceely, William Yeo. 
1656 John Maynard, Timothy Alsop. 
1669 Christopher Ceely, Timothy Alsop. 

1660 John Maynard, Edmund FowelL 

These gentlemen were declared unduly elected by the 
Corporation and unseated on petition. In their stead were 
taken, chosen by the freemen 

1660 William Morice, Samuel Trelawny. 

1661 Sir William Morice, Samuel Trelawny, of Ham* 
1666 Sir Gilbert Talbot, vice Trelawny, dead.' 

1677 John Sparke, vice Sir William Morice, dead. 

1679 Sir John Maynard, John Sparke. 

1680 Sir William Jones, vice Sparke, dead. 

1681 Sir John Maynard, Sir William Jones. 

] 685 Bernard Grenville, Richard Jones, Earl Banelagh. 
1689 Sir John Maynard, A. Herbert. 


1689 John Granville, vice A. Herbert^ created YlBCount 


1690 John Granville, Sir J. Maynari 
1690 John Trelawny, vice Maynard, dead, 

1695 John Granville, Geoige Parker. 
1698 C. Trelawny, John Rogers, senr.* 

1700 C. Trelawny, Henry Trelawny. 

1701 Ditto ditto. 

1702 John WooUcombe, vice H. Trelawny, dead. 

' ToDge was elected in the place of Trelawny, expelled for having said 
that the House could not appoint a guard for themselves without the king's 
consent, under pain of hign treason. Trelawnv died in prison. Yonee 
siffned the Remonstrance, and was one of the one hundred members secludecL 
The second Parliament of 1640 was the Long Parliament 

' Talbot's speech was, 'Gentlemen, I desire your company, at three of the 
clock, at the onn Tavern, where I have a glass of wine at your service.' 

* They beat Parker and Calmady by 190 votes to 135. 

M 2 



1702 C. Trelawny, John Woollcombe. 

1705 C. Trelawny, Sir G. Bjng.* 

1708 Ditto ditto. 

1709 Sir G. Byng. 

1710 C. Trelawny, Sir G. Byng. 
1713 Sir J. Rogers, Sir G. Byng. 


1715 Sir John Rpgers, Sir G. Byng. 

1720 Sir G. Byng. 

1721 Pattee Byng, vice Sir G. Byng, called to House of Lords. 

1722 WUliam Chetwynd, Pattee Byng. 
1724 Pattee Byng. 


1727 Arthur Stert, George Treby. 

1728 Kobert Byng in place of Treby, who sat for Dartmouth. 
1731 Arthur Stert> Robert Byng. 

1735 Ditto ditto. 

1 739 Charles Vanbrugh. 

Bye-election, Byng made governor of Barbadoes, John 
Rogers declared unduly elected. 

1740 Lord Henry Beauclork, vice Vanbrugh, dead. 

1741 Arthur Stert, Lord Vere Beauclerk. 
1744 Lord Vere Beauclerk. 

1747 Lord Vere Beauclork, Arthur Stert 
1750 Charles Sanders, vice Beauclerk, called to House of 

1754 Viscount Barrington, Samuel Dicker. 

1755 Viscount Barrington. 

1760 Vice-Admiral G. Pocock, vice Dicker, dead. 


1761 Viscount Barrington, Vice-Admiral Pocock. 

1762 Viscount Barrington. 
1765 Viscount Barrington. 

1768 Viscount Barrington, Francis Holbume. 

1770 F. Holboume. 

1771 Admiral Sir C. Hardy, vice Holboume, dead. 

* According to Yonge's Afernoirs the Whig interest carried Byng by ' tricks 
and oyerbaring.' 

* This Saunders is described as 'a man of neither figure nor character/ his 
election being due to the 'yile scoundrel Aldermen in place, and their 
lacqueys the Common Council, one half of both benches within a few years 
having made themselves slaves and dependents on the Board of Admiralty 
by getting into places.*— Woollcombk. 


1774 Viscount Barringion, Admiral Sir C. Hardy. 

1778 Viscount Lewisham, vice Barrington, retired. 

1780 Sir F. L. Rogers, vice Hardy, dead. 

1780 Sir F. L. Rogers, Vice-Admiral G. Darby. 

1 784 Captain R. Fanshawe, a n., Captain John Macbride, r. n. 

1790 Captain Alan Gardner, aN., vice Fanshawe, made 

Commissioner of Navy. 

1790 Captain Gardner, Sir F. L. Rogers. 

• 1796 Sir F. L. Rogers, W. Elford. 

1797 Francis Glanville, vice Rogers, dead. 

1802 Sir W. Elford, Philip Langmead. 

1806 Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, vice Langmead, retired. 

1806 Sir C. M. Pole, Sir T. Tyrwhitt. 

1807 Ditto ditta' 
1812 Sir C. M. Pole, Sir B. Bloomfield. 

1818 Sir W. Congreve vice Bloomfield, keeper of privy 

1818 Sir W. Congreve, Sir T. B. Martin. 


1820 Sir W. Congreve, Sir T. B. Martin. 

1826 Ditto ditto. 

1828 Sir G. Cockbum vice Congreve, dead. 

1829 Sir G. Cockbum. 


1830 Sir T. B. Martin, Sir G. Cockbum. • 

1831 Ditto ditto. 

Under First Reform Act. 

1832 Dec. John Collier (L). 

Thomas R Bewes (L) unopposed. 

1835 Jan. John Collier (L) 720 

Thomas B. Bewes (L) 687 

Sir George Cockbum (C) 667 


1837 July John Collier (L) 780 

Thomas B. Bewes (L) 772 

Sir George Cockbum (C) 551 

Hon. P. Blackwood (C) 466 

' The freeholders voted for Sir W. Elford and Mr. T. Bewes, who petitioned, 
but the committee would not enter into their petition, holding themaeWes 
preclnded by the decision of 1739. 

* The Hon. Captain Elliott was the third candidate. He was a Reformer, 
and the effort was to turn out Sir Geoige Cockbum. At this election there 
was much controrersy concerning the rights of the new freemen, who had 
become such by purchase. 


1841 July Thomas Gill (L) 

Viscount EbriuKton (L) 
Alderman J. Jolinson (C) 


On Lord Ebrington becoming a Lord of the Treasury. 

1846 July Viscount Ebrington (L) 
Henry Vincent (Chartist) 



1847 July Viscount Ebrington (L) 
Boundell Palmer (L C) 
C. B. Calmady (L) 


1862 July C. J. MaTe(C) 

R Porrett Collier (L) 
G. T, Braine (L) 
Bickham Escott (L) 





Mr. Mare being unseated on petition. 

1853 June Boundell Palmer (L C) 
G. T. Braine (L) 



1867 Mar, B. P. Collier (L) 
James White (L) 
John Hardy (C) 




1859 AprU Viscount Valletort (C) 
R P. Collier (L) 
James White (L) 




On Viscount Valletort succeeding his father, 

1861 Oct Walter Morrison (L) 

Hon. W. W. Addington (C) 

Earl Mount 



On Mr. Collier becoming SoUcitor-General. 

1863 July Sir R P. CoUier (L) 

1866 July Sir R P. CoUier (L) 
Walter Morrison (L) 
R S. Lane (C) 


Under Sxcond Bkforh Act. 

1868 Nov. Sir R P. ColUer (L) 
Walter Morrison (L) 
R S. Lane (C) 


1868 Dec. Sir R P. Collier (L) 

1870 Aug. Sir B. P. CoUier (L) 

Sir Eobert Collier was re-elected without opposition in 
December, 1868, on becoming Attomey-Grenend ; and in 


August, 1870, on being appointed Eecorder of Bristol, which 
office he resigned immediately after re-election, as objec- 
tion had been raised to his taking it. The next contested 
election was in 1871, on Sir R P. Collier's becoming puisne 
judge of the Common Pleas, preparatory to being chosen 
Judge of Appeal • 

1871 Nor. Edward Bates (C) 1753 

Alfred Rocker (L) 1511 

1874 Jan. Edward Bates (C) 2045 

Sampson Lloyd (C) 2000 

Sir George Young (L) 1714 

Walter Morrison (L) 1700 

1880 Mar. Edward Bates (C) 2442 

P. S. MacUver (L) 2407 

Sir G. Young (L) 2402 

S. Lloyd (C) 2384 

On petition Sir Edward Bates was unseated for ill^al 
payments, but exonerated from corrupt motives. To fill the 
vacancy — 

1880 July Edward Clarke (C) 2449 

Sir G. Young (L) 2305 

Undbb Thibo Reform Act. 

1885 Nov. Sir E. Bates (C) 4354 

E. Clarke (C) 4240 

P. S. MacUver (L) 4132 

Hon. BaHol Brett (L) 3968 

The nominal electorate had increased to 10,139, and the 
borough had been extended by the additions of the tithing 
of Compton Gifford and a portion of Laira. 

On the Lish Home Rule question — 

1886 July E. Clarke (C) 4137 

Sir E Bates (C) 4133 

T. E StephQps (L) 3255 

E. Strachey (L) 3175 

1886 Aug. Sir E. Clarke (C) 

On the formation of the Conservative Government in 
August, 1886, Mr. Clarke was appointed Solicitor-General, 
and re-elected without opposition. 

* Sir R. P. CoUier, the most dbtinsuiBhed of modem FlymontliianB) was 
created Lord MonksweU in 1885, and died in 1886. 


Many of the names in this list speak for themselves. 
The earlier members were for the most part local men, 
many belonging to the Corporation, and others to families 
resident in the neighbourhood. Aiid this local character 
distinctly predominated until the middle of the reign of 
George II., the exceptions being insignificant, and occurring, 
as a rule, at long intervals. The three most distinguished 
men who ever sat for Plymouth represented the borough in 
the reign of Elizabeth — Sir Humphry Gilbert, Sir John 
Hawkins, and Sir Francis Drake. 

The arrest of George Ferrers, one of the representatives 
in the reign of Henry VIII. was the occasion of the statute 
giving members freedom from imprisonment for debt. 

Throughout the first half of the seventeenth century 
Plymouth swelled the ranks of the popular party in the 
House of Commons; but after the Restoration there was 
a change, evidenced by the election of Sir William Morice, 
a Secretary of State, and one of the chief agents in pro- 
moting the King's return. Sir William's connection with 
Plymouth preceded by some years his purchase of the manor 
of Stoke Damerel from the Wises. The influence of the 
Court was exerted with more effect after the charter of the 
borough had been surrendered, and another granted appoint- 
ing a new Corporation. The Revolution saw a return to the 
old class of representatives— the Trelawnys, and men of that 
stamp. Not many years, however, elapsed before the borough 
again fell under the domination of the powers that were. 
As the naval establishment at Dock grew, the influence of 
the Government increased, and early in the reign of George 
II. Plymouth became an Admiralty nomination borough, 
which character it retained, with few intervals, down to the 
time of the Reform Bill, when Devonport with Stonehouse 
were constituted a distinct constituency, and the reproach 
in popular estimation transferred to them. But there are 
still numerous voters connected with the dockyard and other 
Government establishments resident in the older town. 

Many amusing stories might be told of old election 
humours. The struggle in 1784 between Captain Macbride 
and Sir Frederick Rogers was long held in memory. A popular 
election couplet — the Captain carried the day — was : 

Macbride 's a man, Sir Frederick 's a mouse, 
Macbride shall sit in the Parliament house. 

It was chiefly through Macbride's exertions that the 
Parliamentary grant was obtained for the erection of the 


Sutton Harbour piers; and his memory is still preserved 
at the Barbican, where a small public-house rejoices in the 
name of 'Admiral Macbride, the faithful Irishman.' But 
the fight was really for the independence of the borough 
against ofiBcial dictation and corruption, which Macbride 

The Kogers family were among the leading merchants of 
Plymouth in the days of its great colonial trade. They 
were raised to the baronetage in 1698, and throughout the 
eighteenth century held a foremost position in the Corpora- 
tion. In 1871 Sir F. L. Rogers, who had been Under 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, was raised to the 
peerage as Lord Blachford. The title lapsed on his death in 
1889 ; but the baronetcy continues in his brother. Sir J. C. 

Paymmt of Memhers. 

Nmnerous entries occur in the Corporate accounts of 
payments made to members of Parliament. The following 
are fair samples : 

In 1495 we find— 

Itm p** to William Thyckpeny and to Willm Bree burgs of 

the pliament the same yeie • . • • xl* 

In the next year Thyckpeny had 20a, and Bree 13s. 4d. 
Then in 1510— 

It dehiy'fyd to John Bryan for harry Strete and hym beyng 
burgefi of plement for the towne for ther labo' and 
Expences durynge the plement and for rewards and 
pleasurs gyven to dyus lordes of the Courte to be 
fryndeley to the towne . • . . x" 

A very suspicious entry, and only one of many pointing 
in the same direction. The Mayor, 'twelve and twenty-four,' 
were autocrats within the town, but had to be very wary of 
their ways without. 

In 1542 Ferrers had a doublet of satin for his fees. 

In 1602 Sir James Bagge was paid £32 for sixty-four 
days attending on Parliament, himself and man, at 10s. 
a day. 

In 1622 John Glanvyll, the Kecorder, had a bason and 
ewer of silver gilt given him for his service as a burgess in 
Parliament. They cost £33 ITs. 3d. Engraven on the 
basin was 'a mapp of the Towne of Plymouth' after a 
• Plott ' by ' Robert Spry the Paynter.' 


Timothy Alsop, one of the members under the Common* 
wealth, kept his constituents supplied with ' newes Bookes ' 
and letters in 1659-60. 

In 1680 there were £37 10s. paid for 'a large silver salver 
Cawdle Cupp and cover embost and thick washed with gold/ 
weighing seventy-five ounces, given to John Sparke, one of 
the burgesses in Parliament, in token of the ' Sespect and 
Gratitude of the Towne for Iils faithfull and diligent service.' 

Regular payment of members in cash went out in Plymouth 
with the Protectorate, but presents were given, as here, 
at intervals during the next half century. Then the tables 
were turned, and the representatives commenced to pay 
their constituents. The two first to do this were Charles 
Trelawny and George Byng, who in 1710-11 gave £100 
each for the use of the Corporation. The last payment of a 
member was in 1694-5, when John Trelawny had 100 
guineas 'in consideration of his services to the town in 



Enter the Mayor and his brethren. — Shakapere, 

OBSCUEITY veils the commencement of the corporate 
history of Plymouth. The borough, to the extent of 
its present municipal limits, was incorporated by Act of 
Parliament passed in 1439 ; but a Corporation by prescrip- 
tion existed within a part at least of the town from a much 
earlier period. 

An Inquisition taken at Exeter before Salamon of Boife 
and his associates, justices itinerant, on the octave of St. 
Martin, 9 Edward I. (1281), sets forth irUer alia that the 
manors of Sutton, Maketon (Maker), and Kings Tamerton, 
'cvmJUo ague de Taiaar* were ancient demesne of the King, 
but had been given by Henry I. to Soger (elsewhere called 
Reginald) of Valletort by the service of a knight's fee and a 
half — that John of Vautort then held the manors of Sutton 
and Maketon, and Elias of Blakeston that of Kings 
Tamerton, while Edmund Count of Cornwall * tenet JUum 
aquel it did not appear by what warrant. And John and 
Elias came and said that they and their predecessors had 
held these manors before the time of Richard the King. 
The Abbot of Buckland held Buckland Monachorum, 
Bickleigh, Walkhampton, and the hundred of Roborough; 
while Robert Gyfifard (whence Compton Gilford) held the 
manors of Egg Buckland, Compton, and Haueknol (Honick- 

Moreover, it was presented that the ville of Sutton 
belonged to the Prior of Plympton, with assize of bread and 
beer, and this right was allowed. The Prior claimed that 
these liberties had been enjoyed for many years by charter of 
Henry IIL 


Here is the first mention of Sutton as a ville. It is 
thus evident that it assumed the status of a town in the 
modem sense somewhere in the earlier part of the thirteenth 

Leland tells us, and unquestionably he had access to 
authorities no longer extant, that in the reign of Henry IL 
Sutton was 'a mene thing as an Inhabitation of Fischars'; 
and he asserts that all who had built houses in Sutton 
Prior since then took licence of the Prior of Plympton 
as their chief lord. The town, however, had increased 
more rapidly than his 'litle and litle,' or it would never 
have become a parliamentary borough in 1298 ; or in 1377 
ranked next to Bristol as the most populous port in the 

The establishment of a market is an excellent landmark 
of progress, and the first market grant for Plymouth was 
made in the reign of Henry III., though the dates are some- 
what uncertain. The Hundred Rolls of Edward I. state 
that the Prior of Plympton ' habet liiertatis ut assisas panis 
et cervisii et theolonea in villa de StUtan,' by charter of 
Henry IIL Elsewhere the grant is said to have been made 
38th Heniy III. (1253) and to be of a Thursday market 
with a fair of three days at the festival of John the 
Baptist. Some sixty years since this charter was sought for 
on behalf of the Corporation, without succesa In the 
forty-second year of the same monarch, Baldwin of the Isle 
had a grant for Sutton of a Wednesday market and a fair 
of three days at the feast of the Ascension. Henry's grant 
to the Prior was believed to have contained particular 
liberties. Beddwin of the Isle is Baldwin of Bedvers, the 
last Eedvers Earl of Devon, lord of Plympton, who does not 
previously appear to have had any connection with Ply- 
mouth. We cannot believe that the two grants applied to 
the same place or jurisdiction, for they are made to two 
different authorities and in inconsistent fashion. No town 
of the size of Sutton would have needed a market two days 
following. Had the second grant been made to a Valletort 
in respect of Sutton Vawter, all would be clear enough ; and 
we should be helped somewhat to understand certain apparent 
contradictions with regard to the market site, one of the 
spots alleged being within Sutton Prior and the other in 
Sutton Vawter. And as a reference to the Patent Eolls 
shows that the grant to Baldwin included manorial rights, 
possibly a dismemberment, if not a transfer, of Sutton 
Vawter was made in his favour. 


Strivings for Tncarporatian. 

Tear by year through the reigns of Henry III. and of the 
two first Edwards Sutton Prior continued to grow and flourish, 
until it either excited the attention of royalty, or the inhabi- 
tants sought to cast off the convent yoke. A movement com- 
menced in the penultimate decade of the 13th century which 
never slackened long together for just 150 years, until its 
end was achieved. The inhabitants were determined to assert 
their independence, and be kept in leading-strings no longer. 

By writ from the King to the Sheriff of Devon, circa 
1317, Nicholas of Cheigny, William of Chivelston, and 
Nicholas of Tewksbury, were appointed commissioners to 
enquire by a jury in the presence, if so desired, of the Prior 
of Plympton, John of Vautort of Clyst, and John of Vautort 
of Modeton, touching the property of the King in the town 
of Sutton, and a petition by the burgesses of Sutton to be 
granted at a yearly rent certain waste places belonging to 
the Crown thera In opposition uhe Prior and the two 
Yalletorts declared that the King had no lands in the town ; 
and that he had no right to make Sutton a free borough and 
grant thereto a fair and market, the Prior being lord of two 
parts of the same town, and having a fair and market by 
royal charter, and the Valletorts being lords of the other 
third. Further, that Sutton was within the hundred of 
Eoborough, of which the Abbot of Buckland was lord. So 
the Prior and the Valletorts declared that the town was 
wholly theirs and none of the King's, and prayed the King 
not to grant franchise there nor any other thing. 

Nevertheless upon an Inquisition held before Bobert 
Bondyn, Sheriff of Devon, at Exeter, ' die dominica in festo 
Sancte Trinitatis anno regno Begis Edwardi xi°«>* (1318), on 
the oaths of John Gifforde, William Kemell, Walter of 
Colrigg, Vincent of Wyneston, Alan of Lydeton, John of 
Sergeuill, Thomas ColUnge, John Adam, Bobert Baffe, Balph 
Cocke of Brendon, Martin the Clerk, and David Attewill. it 
was found that the kings of England before the foundation 
of the ville of Sutton had a piece of waste land near the 
port of Plymouth, five perches long and one perch broad ; 
and a certain other piece of land in the withcb^wal of the 
sea — ' in reiractio maris '—containing six acres of land, where 
a certain house of the town was built : at which places the 
King's ancestors by their bailiffs held their courts ; and that 
fishing boats of the said ville and other places were accus- 
tomed to resort thither to dry their sails and nets, and 


expose their fish for sale — paying the King a rent of 12cL 
and a penny on each basket of fish there brought More- 
over, that the proceeds amounted to £4 annually. 

This so far justifies Leland that it shows the existence of 
a fishing village of Sutton to be long antecedent to the 
foundation of the town; and it indicates moreover the 
existence of certain market rights in the King's demesne, 
prior to and contemporary with those granted to the Priory. 
The royal rights recognised by the jury are practically those 
which formed part first of the Earldom and then of the 
Duchy of Cornwall in connection with Sutton Pool — ^'the 
port of Plymouth ' in its original sense. 

Another Inquisition, taken by Matthew of Clynedon in 
the same year, indicates more clearly the character of the 
proprietorial rights in Sutton, and locates the two main 
divisions. The town of Sutton was upon the coast of the 
port of Plymouth, but no part of it stood upon the Bang's 
soil A certain portion of the town north of the said coast 
was upon the soil of the Prior of Plympton, and the Prior 
had assize of bread and ale, and rents to the amount of 
£14 9s. Q^d., and so had had from time immemorial, and 
there were free tenants. Another part of the town, south of 
the said coast, was upon the soil of John of Vautort, but 
the said John received nothing therefrom, save certain rents 
to the amount of £11 16s. 6d. ; and his tenants did suit to 
his court twice in the year. In this part of the town the 
Abbot of Buckland had assize of bread and ale. The port 
of Plymouth belonged to the King, and rendered yearly £4 
into the Exchequer; and Matthew of Clynedon found that 
it would neither prejudice the King nor any others if Sutton 
were made a free borough, and the inhabitants free burgesses, 
saving the service to the lords. 

It is evident that the meaning we must attach to the 
words *Port of Plymouth,' is 'Harbour of Sutton Pool,' 
otherwise the description, strained in any case, becomes 
absolutely unintelligible ; for while Sutton Prior undoubtedly 
lay mainly to the north of this inlet, Sutton Vawter, though 
partially it might be regarded as south, was essentially west 
And south of the port of Plymouth in any larger sense we 
have only the Channel. However, the way in which the 
word south is applied in the Inquisition is clearly enough 
indicated, by the use of the phrase Southside of the immediate 
south-western border of Sutton Pool; and ancient deeds 
show that tenements here were comprised within the manor 
of Sutton Vawter. 


As we have seen (Chap, ii) the rights of the Priors and 
their brethren were questioned on various occasions, but 
were always successfully defended, whether against the 
Crown or the Earldom and Duchy of Cornwall, though the 
Convent had to submit to pay a fee farm rent into the 
Exchequer. Still these repeated proceedings on the part of 
the Crown appear to indicate some peculiarity in the title of 
the religious lords of Sutton. 

JPirst Trojces of a Governing Body. 

The earliest reference to a governing body at Plymouth 
is the address of a writ by Henry III. (1254) to the Bailiffs 
of the port of Plymouth (Plymmue), among others ; but this 
general allusion is no absolute proof that such existed. The 
first clear evidence of a local authority is contained in a 
letter dated May Slst, 1289, in which the Bailiffs and 
Commonalty of Plymouth write to the King that having 
been ordered to get ready a ship to transport men at arms 
and horses upon service, they had prepared the Michd, of 

There are extant a number of writs addressed during the 
fourteenth century to persons in Plymouth, which indicate 
still further the existence of the germs, at least, of municipal 
government. Thus in 1326 the * Bailiffs of Plymouth, with 
the Port of Sutton,' were directed to seize all suspected 
persons and letters ; though this proves very little, for a similar 
writ was directed to the Bailiffs of Yalhampton (Yealmpton) 
and of Newton Ferrers. Again, in 1344 the Bailiffs of the 
'viUe de Plumuth' were directed to send two inhabitants 
acquainted with shipping to London, to advise the King and 
Council ; similar directions being sent to Bristol, Hull, the chief 
Cinque Ports, Exeter, and Dartmouth; while Portsmouth was 
ordered to send one. In 1358 Walter the Venour ( = Hunter), 
of Plimmouth, and sundry others, were ordered to detain 
three ships there and at Dartmouth, to transport Oliver, Lord 
of Clissons, and men-at-arms, to Brittany. It is worth 
notice that John Venour is elsewhere mentioned as Mayor in 
1377, so that it is at least possible that Walter occupied a 
somewhat similar office; and we know from other sources 
that the family were of considerable local note. In the 
following year (1359) the Bailiffs of Plymouth are directed, 
with others, to raise a subsidy of 6d. for the defence of the 
realm. In 1364 they are ordered to take steps to forbid the 
export of precious metals ; and in 1372 the Bailiffs of ' ville 


de Plymouth ' are the first mentioned in a writ addressed to 
the western ports to stay ships and men. 

In October, 1369, the Mayor and Bailiffs were directed to 
send two sufficient . men to Westminster conversant with 
mercantile affairs ; and in the December following, the same, 
with Thomas Fishacre, John Sampson, and Robert Pilche, 
were ordered to provide ships and men for the defence of the 
realm. This is the earliest local mention of the office of 
Mayor. In May, 1374, William Noytour, master of the 
Trinity of Plymouth, was ordered to come to London to 
advise the Council 

In addition to these writs to Mayors and Bailiffs and the 
like, there are many others, either addressed to unspecified 
authorities, or to the collectors of customs and subsidies — as 
in 1347 to the collectors of subsidies ' in portibus villarum de 
Plummuth* and all other places upon the water of Tamar. 
From 1287, when Plymouth was made the rendezvous of 
the fleet which sailed under the Earl of Lancaster for 
Guienne, down to the date of the Incorporation in 1439, 
not a decade passed but such writs were sent to Plymouth 
on sea service, and occasionally we may note them year 
after year. 

The WTiite Book of the Corporation contains the copies of 
several ancient deeds made by a town clerk of the sixteenth 
century, because they mentioned the names of divers Mayors 
of Sutton Prior and of Plymouth prior to the Act of Incor- 
poration ; with references to ten other ' auncyent dedes . . • 
by the which it is manyfest that Sutton Pryors and sythyns 
by the nomynation of Kyng Henry the Sixte named the 
buxghe of Plymouthe, was a town of auncyent name and 
hadd yerelie an officer chosen by the name of Fpositue or 
Gustos ville de Sutton Pryors, whiche then dyd rule and 
goveme vnder the Kynge.' These deeds were dated 8th, 10th, 
and 16th Edward IL, and 42nd Edward III. In the deeds 
actually recited the word Mayor is almost always used. 
Prepositus and Mayor are by no means identical terms, 
though the offices were very much akin. The existence of a 
Prepositus in Plymouth so early as the commencement of 
the fourteenth century is certain, for Richard the Tanner 
held that office for Sutton in 1310 ; but Maurice Berd, 1370, 
is the first Mayor whose name has been preserved. 

A few hints are given in records of grants of land by the 
Priory of Plympton. The earliest we have of these is by 
John [de la Stert], Prior of Plympton, 15 Edward IIL (1342), 
to Kobert, son of William the Spicer, of Sutton, and Alice, his 


wife, of a tenement in Billabiii Street, south of one belong- 
ing to William of Northcote, and extending sixty feet to the 
east to a way leading towards the market of Sutton, and a 
way leading from Bilbury Street towards the Oldtowne. The 
only other with a date is by John Prior of Plympton, 10th 
Eichard 11. (1387), to Ade Blogge, and Isabella, his wife, of a 
tenement at the hUl in Sutton Prior, east of the stalls and 
south of the pillory, with survivorship, at a yearly rent of 
36& 8d. The undated grants are all in the name of John 
Prior of Plympton, probably de la Stert abova There is one 
of an acre and a half of land in Sutton, near Martock's Well» 
to Margery Stilman and her heirs ; a second of an acre and 
a half * apvd le hauedUmde* north of the middle of the 
hyauedlond, to John of Stoke; another of an acre and a 
half near the heauedlonde, south of the middle, to Robert 
of Whitelegge; and a fourth of three acres and a half to 
William Berde, of Sutton, next the field held by William 
Cocke, and a piece of waste adjoining {'eodvm wastu sub 
salistu maris '). 

As William Berd was Propositus of Sutton in 1313, we 
have some clue to the date of this last document. Again, 
John Austen was his colleague in the representation of 
Sutton in Parliament, and John Austen appears among the 
witnesses to Margery Stilman's grant. The grants of the 
land at the heauedlonde were apparently somewhat anterior, 
as the first is said to have afterwards been the property of 
Eobert Sope, who took to wife the daughter of John of 
Stoke; and Bobert the Soper was member in 1310, as 
William of Stoke had been in 1298. The heauedlonde at 
first would seem to be represented by the field called the 
Headlands ; but that conclusion is negatived, not merely by 
the fact that this was part of the manor of Lulyett's Fee, but 
from the entry, ' Postea Bobtus Sope qui duxU in uxorem JU 
Johis de Sok & vendidit terr in Cart que est sup la howe vbi 
molendinum vefrUritim Mawricii Prigge sit.' 

The distinctive character of the (Uvisions of those days is 
shown in the oldest deed at present in possession of the 
Corporation of Plymouth, 1381 (4th Bichard IL). It is 
a release by William Okelegh, of Plymouth, to William 
Wrouke of the same place, of a tenement and garden in 
' lo wwrd de Sutton Vautort.' It is dated at Sutton Vautort, 
and witnessed by Eobert Hill, William Honiton, John Bull, 
and others. William Honiton is elsewhere named as Mayor 
in this very year, but does not appear as such in the deed. 
A point to which attention may specially be directed here is 



the use of the phrase *\o ward de Sutton Yatitort*^ at this 
early date ; for it is fairly equivalent to the division which 
afterwards existed for centuries under the Act-Charter — 
' Old Town Ward.' In the assessment of tenths and fifteenths 
first found, the burgh of Sutton Prior is assessed at £24; 
Sutton Yawter at £10 12& 8d. ; and down to the middle of 
the sixteenth century Old Town Ward had to pay just twice 
as much as Yintry, though that must have been the wealthiest 
part of the borough. 

Market Eights Acquired. 

Some sort of independent action in the inhabitants was 
assumed and acknowledged definitely early in the fourteenth 
century ; for market rights werb acquired by the buigesses in 
1311. In that year there was final concord and agreement 
made on the morrow of the feast of St James, between the 
Prior and (Convent of Plympton, and the Buigesses of the 
Commonalty of the town of Sutton, in the presence and by 
the mediation of the Bishop of Exeter, the Lord Hugh of 
Courtenay, Peter Abbot of Buckfastleigh, the Lord Thomas 
of Cilecestre, Enight, and others. A stone cross had been 
erected in a certain place within the borough of Sutton 

^ Before the incorporatioii of the town the territorUl diyisions were of 
coarse proprietorial ; but this phrue * ward of Sutton Vautort ' naturally 
BUffiests the inquiry how far the ward diTisions of later times represented the 
earner manors. Leland mentions the four wards of the town in his day as 
being Old Town, Venners, Vintry, and Lower ; and this dirision practically 
remains in the Land Tax assessment. No doubt it also represents the 
original arrangement ; for each ward had the care and defence or one of the 
four towers orthe ' castel quadrate ' by which the town was defended. As the 
town grew the outer boundaries of the wards, which were purely urban in their 
character, would be modified ; but there is no reason to assume any internal 
modification while the number remained unchanged. On the contrary, there 
is every reason to believe that the old internal ward boundaries, which can be 
traced back to the sorenteenth century, were practically those that had existed 
from the beginning, and that the division was made then, as it continued 
later, by drawing lines as nearly as the thoroughfares allowed east and west 
and north and south, intersecting at the point wnere the Free Library stands. 
The manorial distinctions must therefore have been disregarded ; for while 
Old Town did in the main represent Sutton Yawter, and Yenner's Ward slso 
in part, yet they both included portions of Sutton Prior. Yintry, however, 
was almost wholly in Sutton Prior, the only exceptions being the premises at 
Southside, in Sutton Yawter ; and Lower Ward, though certainly in later 
days consisting l&igely of Sutton Raf, must then have been chiefly repre- 
sentative of Sutton Prior likewise. 

The relative positions of the four wards in population and wealth is shown 
very clearly by the amounts levied in poor-rates. In the year previous to the 
commencement of the Siego (1642) the total poor-rate of the borough was 
£204 15s. Of this Yintry Ward alone contributed nearly half, £90 8s. Id. ; 
Yenour Ward, £37 15a 2d.; Old Town Ward, £88 198. 4d. ; and Looe Street 
(Lower) Ward, £82 78. 5d. 


(Holycross Lane is probably a survival of its vicinage), and 
certain stalls for the sale of fish, flesh, and other victuals. 
These, with the Church of Sutton, are stated to belong to the 
Prior and Convent ; while the burgesses had no right to erect 
others without license, which however they had dona The 
controversy is settled by the burgesses having let to them 
eighteen stalls, at a penny each per year — ^to be paid on their 
behalf by the Prepositus for the time being — and agreeing 
not to put up any more, either in that place or any other spot 
within the borough, without due license. As the buigesses 
had no seal, Bichard the Tanner, Prepositus, put his. Some* 
where within the next half centuiy, however, coiporate 
authority must have gained a more definite existence, 
probably in the division of Sutton Vawter, for, as we shall 
see, a deed of 1368 has a seal with a ship for device, and the 
legend £V.C0m^ii?nrt^a^{9.'viUe.£&.iSr^^2^.^^.P/ym(?v^A, a 
designation assumed to be distinct from Sutton Prior. The 
deed is that by which Stonehouse is conveyed from the 
Bastards to the Dumfords, and the Commonalty of Sutton 
were sufficiently important to be called in as witnesses. 

An Informal Charier. 

At length we reach more definite ground. Edward III., 
towards the dose of his long reign, conferred upon the 
inhabitants of Sutton what was essentially a charter, and 
was so regarded. On the 24th November, 1374, he directed 
letters patent to William Cole, Stephen Dumeford, John 
Sampson, Eoger Boswines,* Robert Possebury, Gteofifrey 
Couche, John Weston, William Trevys, William Gille, 
Maurice Berde, William Bourewe, jun., and Humphry 
Passour, as burgesses of the borough of Sutton. Being 
mindful of the damage and disgrace that might happen to 
the town and the country adjacent by invasion of the enemy, 
in default of good rule; being willing to provide for its 
defence and safety ; and fully confiding in the fidelity of the 
men above named — the King assigns them jointly and 
severally to survey all defaults in the town and port thereof 
whereby dangers might arise; to procure the same to be 
amended ; to cause the men of the said town to be arrayed, 
so that they should always be ready and prepared to meet 
their enemies ; and to do and execute such other things as 
might be necessary to provide for the safety of the same 

* Roger Beaucbamp, who lived at ' Boswinea,' Plymouth, is probably 
intend^ The name Boewines appears to be lost 

K 2 


towiL Moreover the Mayor and Bailifib, and all and singalar 
the inhabitants of the town, were to be obedient and aiding 
in the performance and execution of these premises. 

It seems as if we have here a recognition of the existence 
of two rival divisions, Sutton Prior and Sutton Vawter. 
Had the Mayor and Bailiffs possessed full authority, the 
orders should, in due course, have been addressed to them ; 
and as from other sources we gather that the twelve men 
named were inhabitants of Sutton Prior, the corporate body 
recognized in these letters must have had junsdiction in 
Sutton Vawter. Under cover of this quasi-charter, the 
effort was made to bring the whole town under one juris- 
diction ; and hence probably it was that in 1378 Eichard IL, 
for the purpose of fortifying the town (which was then in 
great danger, and not enclosed or fortified with walls or 
turrets or otherwise), made a grant of customs duties for the 
purpose to ' the Mayor, Bailiffs, honest men, and Commonalty,' 
while in 1383 an order was directed in his name to the 
Mayor and Bailiffs against the exportation of provisions. 

In 1384 we find William Cole, Thomas Fishacre, Geoffrey 
Couche, and Humphry Passour licensed by Eichard II. to 
alienate six acres of land held of the King in chief to the 
Friars Minors ; and three of these men, it will be seen, were 
of the twelve commissioned to take steps for the defence of 
the town under the letters patent of ten years previous. 

In the same year, moreover, the Royal rights to toll of fish 
taken in the sea water of Sutton Plumpmouth and Tamar, 
and sold in Plymouth, were enforced against certain fishermen, 
by whom they had been evaded. 

All this points to definite action on the part of the Crown 
and of the inhabitants to bring the whole town under one 
municipal government ; and it will be noticed that the name 
chosen to combine Sutton Prior and Sutton Vawter was 
Sutton - upon - Plymmouth, thence Sutton Plymouth, and 
finally, when union and incorporation were completed, the 
Plymouth without the Sutton as now. 

The old Manorial Government, and its Assailants. 

The records of the controversy between the Priors and 
their tenants have preserved a description of the old manorial 
government of Sutton Prior; and the most interesting 
notice extant of the early municipal history of Plymouth is 
contained in the finding of an Inquisition taken by order of 
the King on the complaint of the Prior of Plympton, 8th 


Eichard 11. (1385). It was held at 'Ekebokland/ on the 
Wednesday next after the feast of the Holy Trinity, before 
Walter Cornu and Eichard Gripston, on the oaths of Peter 
Whitelegh, Stephen Lautron, Williani Wyneslond, Ealph 
Bytheyes, David Treweman, Eichard Wylberton, Thomas 
Stanton, William Worston, William Lake, Thomas Boyes of 
Hareston, Thomas Cut, and William Godegrome. They 
found that the Prior of Plympton and his predecessors from 
time immemorial had been lords of Sutton Prior, and 
accustomed to hold a Monday Court, with assize of bread and 
beer and weights and measures, with jurisdiction over trans- 
gressors, and authority over millers, bakers, butchers, sellers 
of wine and hydromel, and cooks, and those who made bread 
outside the town and carried it therein to selL That in this 
Court, held by the Prior's Seneschal, at the first sitting next 
after the feast of St. Michael yearly, twelve tenants of the 
same Prior, in the said town, were sworn to determine and 
choose a Propositus of the same Prior and town, and him so 
chosen to the said Seneschal immediately to present, where- 
upon, having taken his corporal oath before the said 
Seneschal, the said Prepositus should from that time forth of 
the said Court be head, receiving for the Prior all debts, 
amerciaments, fines, reliefs, and perquisites of the said Court, 
and all other like profits of the same Prior at the same place 
well and faithfully collecting and levying ; and immediately 
on the end of his year of office well and faithfully accounting 
for the same to the aforesaid Prior in the Priory of Plympton, 
Moreover, all other things to his said office of Prepositus 
belonging, without favour he should do and execute, in all 
respects as had been accustomed, holding the sittings of the 
Court aforesaid under the license of the Prior, and all else 
that a Mayor in the aforesaid town should do, or as had been 
accustomed from remote times. 

And now (said the jury) Humphry Passour, cunningly and 
falsely plotting subtlely to usurp the rights of the lord King 
and to make himself Mayor of the aforesaid town, instead of 
John Sampson, recently-chosen Prepositus (that is to say, in 
the Court held on Monday next after the feast of St. Michael 
last past, in the said Court elected, presented, and sworn to 
the said office), him to amove, and the said Prior and Church 
of the Apostles Peter and Paul of Plympton maliciously to 
disinherit in this part, the aforesaid John before the lord King 
and his Council of divers offences and misdemeanours assailed 
and accused. Moreover, under cover of a certain brief of the 
lord Eling to the Bailiffs and honest men of the said town of 


Sutton Prior by the name of the town of ' Sutton Plymp- 
mouth/ certain burgesses of the said town Humphry Passour 
to the office of Mayor of the same town chose and elected, 
admitting him as such and obeying him in that office, and 
themselves to him in all things touching the said office sub- 
mitting and obeying, whereas they would not allow the said 
John to enter and exercise his office. And in the King's 
Chancery the said Humphry Passour fraudulently, under 
colour of the brief of the lord King, sought to set hunself in 
the mayoralty of the said town without the Ck>urt of the 
Prior, not being chosen before the Seneschal of the aforesaid 
Prior (whereas the mayoralty of the town with the Mayor of 
the same ought not so to be); and the removal of the 
aforesaid John from the office and exercise of the said 
prepositure he procured and made, and the same office of 
Mayor, without sufficient authority and warrant, he for a long 
time has occupied and at present occupies — that is to say, 
from the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul last past ; and 
John Martyn, the Seneschal of the said Prior, he has pre- 
vented from holding the Monday Court by force of arms 
from the aforesaid feast ; and has held it himself without the 
licence of the said Prior by his own authority, exercising all 
the rights of the said prepositure, and up to this time has 
continued to do and perpetrate other enormities and injuries, 
and as many and as grievous deeds as lay in his power. And 
further the jurors aforesaid say under oath that never was 
there Mayor in the aforesaid town of Sutton Prior before the 
aforesaid feast of the Conversion of St Paul last past, neither 
ought there so to be, nor used there to be but a Prepositus, 
until the day when the aforesaid Humphry caused himself to 
be chosen Mayor of the aforesaid town of Sutton Prior. 

If this finding were strictly accurate, then, as we find 
Mayors of Sutton mentioned nearly twenty years prior to 
the inquiry, they must have been Mayors of Sutton Vawter, 
But the absolute accuracy of the finding is not quite certain ; 
for the term mayor had been used of the chief officer of Sutton 
Prior antecedently to that date, though of course it may have 
had no authority. John Sampson, the Prepositus, will be 
noted as one of the twelve put in commission with Passour. 

The proceedings did not end with the Inquisition ; for in 
1386 we find Passour rejoining in defence of his right to the 
mayoi-alty that at various times during the reign of Edward 
IIL, and during the reign of the present King for the space 
of twenty years, mandates had been sent both under the 
King's privy seal and by his letters patent to the Mayor of 


the town, under the name of the Mayor of the town of 
Sutton Plymouth, and had thus appointed the inhabitants 
to have a Mayor. However, judgment was given against 
Passour and his friends, ' because it has not been the custom 
for a Mayor to govern in the town of Sutton Prior.' 

The point to be specially noticed throughout this con- 
troversy is that everything turns upon Sutton Prior, and 
that no judgment is given in respect of Sutton Vawter, 
which, though termed a hamlet in the Act of Incoiporation, 
is frequently called a town in earlier documents, and at times 
even takes precedence of Sutton Prior ; while it is significant 
that from the time of the opposition raised by the Johns of 
Yalletort of Clyst and Moditon in 1318 to the creation 
of the borough a free community, we have no evidence of 
any further opposition on behalf of the owners of Sutton 
Vawter. All the difl&culty is with the Priory of Plympton, 
and in respect of Sutton Prior. There thus seems reason for 
believing that the older town had acquired and maintained 
its claim to corporate rights, and that the line which the 
Plymouth Beformers then took was one of extension and 
comprehension. Thus in 1411 — stimulated by the destruction 
of 600 houses in the Breton invasion in 1403 — we find the 
inhabitants of Sutton Prior and Sutton Vawter jointly 
petitioning for incorporation — ^the right to elect a Mayor, 
and to levy dues and tolls for defence ; the answer being, 
'Let the petitioners compound with the lords having 
franchises before the next Parliament, and report having 
made an agreement' 

Ifusorporatian hy Act of Parliament. 

The present Incorporation of the town within existing 
boundaries was, as already stated, effected in 1439 by Act of 
Parliament, which seems to have been needful to carry out 
legdly the arrangements made with the Prior of Plympton. 
No other rights of government were recognized by the statute 
as existing in the town ; but there were saved out of the 
provisions of the Act the rights of Sir John Comewaill, Lord 
of Faunhope, to the Duchy property held under lease by him, 
and out of the provisions of a subsequent charter his rights, 
and those of Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon. No one 
seems to have succeeded, unless the Courtenays, to the claims 
set up by the Valletorts ; and the Priory had suffered so 
severely by the French inroad that it was well disposed to 
surrender on terms. 


The prayer of the Act is in somewhat significant words, 
that the town of Sutton Prior, the tithing of Sutton Baf, 
parcel of the hamlet of Sutton Yautort (commonly called 
Plymouth), with a parcel of the tithing of Compton, should 
be a free borough incorporate with one Mayor and one 
perpetual Commonalty. The Act did not provide for the 
election of any officer besides the Mayor, save the creation of 
fresh burgesses : and its chief provisions, beyond the general 
powers of incorporation, were for the acquisition of the 
manorial rights of the Priory (saving only the advowson of 
St. Andrew and three messuages which were never to be 
parcel of the borough'), by the Mayor and Commonalty, 
under terms to be arranged ; and for the satisfaction of the 
Abbot of Buckland touching the loss of his Hundred 

On the 25th of July following (1440), Henry VI. followed 
up the Act by a Charter, which gave power to elect a 
Recorder and a Coroner, made the Mayor and Recorder 
justices of the peace, conferred the right to hold pleas and 
to exercise criminal jurisdiction, and to have and hold a 
Merchants' Guild, ' with all and singular the appurtenances to 
a Merchants' GuUd, as the Mayor and BaQifiFs of our city of 
Oxford jointly and severally better and more freely have and 
hold, or may have and hold.' Moreover, there was a fresh 
market grant — a market on Monday and Thursday, and two 
fairs of three days annually, at the feast of St. Matthew the 
Apostle, and the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul — the 
latter, be it noted, the time of year assigned to Passour's 
' ursurpation,' and a curious coincidence, if nothing more. 

Either in the Guild Merchant, or in the continuance of 
a pre-existing custom, does it seem most probable that we 
must look for the origin of the form the Corporation assumed. 
The Charter mentions only the Mayor, Recorder, Coroner, 
and Commonalty ; but within half a century we find existing 
the 'twelve and twenty -four' — the Aldermen or Masters, 
and the Common Councilmen — who formed the executive 
down to the year 1803, when the Commonalty successfully 
asserted their right to choose the Mayor. It was not indeed 
until the charter of Elizabeth, in 1601, that the ' twelve and 
twenty-four' had the recognition of authority; but they may 
well have been a modified survival of a pre-existing adminis- 
trative body. The peculiar way in which the Mayor was 
elected until the Commonalty obtained the power, by a 

* These were on the south of Bilbmy Street, north of Note (Notte) 
Street, and north of Stillman Street 


jury of thirty-six chosen by four alfurers or affeerers — two 
Aldennen appointed for the Aldermen, and two of the 
Common Council chosen by the Commonalty — ^recalls the 
method of electing the Prepositus, and may also have been 
a survival of the twin manorial jurisdiction of Suttons Prior 
and Vawter. 


There remains among the Plymouth muniments a copy of 
the Act-Charter in the vernacular— or rather of its earlier 
portion, written certainly not later than the reign of 
Henry VII., but which differs so remarkably in some points 
from the present translation of the same Act that it may 
represent, in part at least, an original draft : 

Knowe ye that wher as the towne of Sutton pryor and the 
tyihynge of Sutton Raf and parcellys of the hamelet of Sutton 
vautor whech towne tethynge and pceUys Comynly be callyd and 
namyd Plymouth and a sertayne of the tethynge of Compton 
wythyn the Cowtye of deuynshere beyng and sett so ny to the 
Btronds and costys of the see and soo many and boo greate and boo 
Comyn applying of fletys of Shyppys and of veBsels aswel of 
Enymys as of others yn the port of Uie Bame towne tethynge pceUys 
of the hamelet and tethynge of Compton lying that fro time to 
time hyt hath be that the towne tethynge and pcellys aforsaid a 
fore thys tyme of x tymys yn gretter ptye of the same for the faute 
of Co and aswell the same yn tymes of oure nobyll execu- 
tors often broke and distrevyth and aswell the ynhabitans of the 
same of theyre goods and catellys nyghtly and dayly Spoylyd and 
many of theym of the ynhabitans by the same enymyes take and 
lede to the owte contryes and there kepte yn to the tyme that they 
had made fennauB and Ravnson and they were yn harde kepyng 
p'Bament and vnderful kept yn gevys stocks and other wayes and 
other evyll losts and vnpfytabyle not lytyll to the same towne 
TethyDge and pceUys of the hamelett and of the Tethynge of 
Compton and to the ynhabytance of the same yn tymys past eu' 
and were hade and many ither yn tymes to Time they doth but yf 
relef fortefyinge and betterynge of the towne tethynge and pcell 
aforsaid the other remedy be vyded be howfull by the apetycyon 
to us yn our plement beyng at Westmyster the xyth daye of 
Noueber last past holden [and then it is enacted] ... for the Best 
of the malys of oure enymys theryn dayes applying and for the 
saluacon of the Towne tethyng and pceUys aforsayd and that the 
ynhabitance of the same the Bather that the townetethyng and 
pceUys aforsaid be fro hensforthward a fre Borough In corporat of 
one Mayer and of one Comynaltie for eu' and hytt shalbe caUyd 
the borowgh of plymouih . . . and that the aforsaid borowgh By 
the makys and boundys vnder wretyn aU tymes that ys to Wete 


hytwyne the hyll callyd the Wynderygge by the Banks of Bowre 
pole a yenst the North on the grete dyke otherwyse callyd the 
greate deche and fro thena ayenat the North vnto Stoke dam'ele 
flete and fro thens by the stronde of the same fiete Tnto mylbroke 
brygge ynclewdyd and fro thens to the yate of thome hylle pke 
ayenst motley pkelane and fro thens vnto lypetone brygge 
ynclewdyd and fro thens by the seestronde to the lary poynt To 
the Catte to henstone fyse store and £8t kyng and fro thens to the 
said hylle callyd Wynderygge as the mkys and bonds eu' were that 
be derectyd and fyxed fully and opynly schewytL 

The metes and bounds given here differ materially in some 
points of expression, though the general effect is the same, 
from the language of the Act of Parliament, as copied 
directly from the original roll : 

Inter montem Tocat Wynrigg p ripam de Sourpole v'sns boriam 
usque ad le grete dyche alias diet' le grate diche et exinde it'um 
v'sus boriam ad Stokedamarleflete et abinde p litus eiusdem flete 
usque ad MiUebroke brigge inclusive et deinde v'sus orientam p le 
middeldiche de Houndescom usque ad Houndeecombrigge inclusive 
et abinde usque ad Thomhilpark exclusive et deinde usque ad 
Lypstonbrigge inclusive et abinde p litus maris continue usque ad 
le lare ad le Catte ad Hyngston lysshtore et Estkyn^ et abinde 
usque diet' montem de Wynrigg.^ 

It is difficult to understand the use of the term ' parcel of 
the hamlet of Sutton Vawter ' — for the whole of that manor 
seems included. It may, however, be that both in this case 

^ We most see here that the vemacalar vernon has en independent 
anthori^ of aome kind* There is an important proviao in the Act-Charter of 
Henry Vl. wholly excluding from ita operation the Manor of Trematon, to 
which Sutton Pool belonga; and hence and becanae of the words in the 
deacription of the ambit ' by the aea ahora ' the Sntton Harbonr Company, on 
their rating being greatly raiaed in 1889, appealed againat the rate on the 
ground of non-liaoility among other pointa. The cuatom has been, however, 
to take the boundary of the borough acroaa the mouUi of Sutton Pool from 
Fishers Noee, and rates had been regularly paid for a century and a half. 
The Recorder, Mr. Bompaa, Q.O., held that the Trematon proviao did not 
operate in this respect, and that the description of the metes and bounds was 

Sneral rather than piarticnlar, and to be interpreted by marks which had 
en fixed ; hence gave judgment for the Quardiana. From thia dedaion the 
Compaoy again appealed ; but without effect The documentary evidence 
for the exclusion of Sutton Pool as part of the Manor of Trematon was 
regarded as in their favour ; but judgment was given against them on the 
Rcore of usage and continued rating. 

The clause in the Act*Charter excluding Trematon runs : ' Prouise semp 
quod pdcus actus et ordinade minima ae extendant ad man'rii de Trematon 
Buigu de Saltayshe aqua de Tamer nee ad altqua alia poesessiones ffrancheaiaa 
libtatea aquas piscarias redditus aeuie cur* iurisdiccees officia hereditameuta 
forissturas eacaetus aut aliqua alia excitns profitna sen oommoditatea qui 
Johea Comewaill dna de fiaunhope tenet ad tr'm vite auo reu'sione inde ad 
nos spectante.' 


and in that of the tithing of Compton, no portion of which 
as at present recognized forms part of the municipal borough 
of Plymouth, the omission and inclusion were of the very 
slightest (and soon forgotten), for the purpose of the rectifi- 
cation of the boundary, which followed the natural lines of 
coasts and watercourses wherever practicable; and only at 
two places crossed from one such point to the other. One of 
these was on the verge of Sutton Vawter, next Stonehouse ; 
the other next Compton. Moreover as Leland places Sutton 
Vawter on the north, giving Sutton Prior the 'middle and 
heart ' and Sutton Salf the east ; and as he states that the 
oldest part of Plymouth in his day was north and west, and 
some thereof sore decayed, it seems clear that Sutton Vawter 
extended much further up the hill and along the ridge 
between Surpool and Stoke Damarel Fleet (Stonehouse MUl 
Lake) than implied in the later use of the words ' Old Town.' 
We have also recorded the existence of a spot called ' The 
Vawters ' on this ridge, closely adjoining Stonehouse, which 
aids a similar inference.^ 

Uhperpetual CoTMnemoration, 

An agreement made on the 28th August, 1440, between 
William Keterigge, Mayor of Plymouth and the Commonalty 
of the same, and the Prior and Convent of St Qermans, sets 
forth that Bichard Trenode, merchant of Bristol, and 
Thomasia Venour, widow of William Venour, formerly of 
Plymouth, and sister of the said Bichard Trenode, had been 
at great expense and labour to have Plymouth made a 
corporation of ' one Mayor and Commonalty/ In recognition 
of this the Mayor and Commonalty, to keep the same 
Bichard and Thomasia in perpetual remembrance as their 
principal and special benefactors, bound themselves to the 
Prior and Convent, to maintain a chaplain to say mass daily 
at the altar of the blessed Virgin in the Church of St Andrew, 
for the souls of Bichard Trenode, Alice his late and Joan his 
present wife, William Venour and Thomasia his widow, for 
their children, for Bichard Trenode and Dionisia his wife, 
father and mother of Bichard Trenode, for John Venour and 
Joan his wife, parents of William Venour ; and for the souls 
of all others for whom Bichard Trenode, William and 
Thomasia Venour, were bound to pray. 

* In the etrly 'fifteenths' Vawter's Oroand and Stonehooae were each 
imemBil in the same amonnt, 2s. 6d.— distinct from Plymouth ; and we find 
the entiy * terra UnenHi afvd FatUard ex pte Boriali U mylU poole tenetUa 


As another means of remembrance — equally, as the result 
has proved, unperpetual — one of the wards of the borough 
received the name of Venar Ward ; and this was in the part 
of Sutton Prior which lay immediately west of Sutton Pool, 
in which locality some of the family had lived. We are not 
told what Trenode and his sister did ; but as expense was 
involved as well as trouble, probably the passage of the Act 
was smoothed after a fashion well understood. The Venours 
were people of position ; for one was Mayor in 1377 — John, 
no doubt the father of William — and their exertions may 
not have been confined to the finally successful effort. 

£arli/ Mayors. 

The following names of Mayors and Headmen prior to the 
full Incorporation have been preserved: 1310, Bichard the 
Tanner, propositus of Sutton; 1313, William Berd, pro- 
positus; 1318, EichardTannere, propositus; 1325, Edwani of 
Northcote, prior's propositus; 1370, Maurice Berd, mayor; 
1377, John Venour, mayor of Sutton Priors ; 1381, William 
Honyton, mayor; 1383, Humphry Passour, mayor of Sutton 
Priors; 1384, John Sampson, propositus; 1395, Walter 
Crocker, mayor of Sutton Priors; 1397, Bichard Bow, 
mayor; 1398, Walter Dymmick or Dymcock, propositus; 
1397. Henry Boon, mayor of Plymouth; 1399-1403 (?), 
William Pollard, mayor; 1408, William Bentle, mayor; 
1412, William Bogherne, mayor of Plymouth ; 1413, William 
Bentley, mayor of Sutton ; 1414, William Boon, mayor of 
Plymouth ; 1418, William Bentley, mayor of Sutton Priors ; 
1439, WilUam Totwell (the old form of spelling the modem 
Tothill), prior's portreeve of Sutton. 

Though we have here only twenty mayoralties for a period 
of over a century and a quarter, it is probable from the 
repetitions preserved that several of these Mayors and 
Prepositors held office still more frequently, the range of 
choice being narrow. Moreover, the fact that between each of 
Bentloy's throe recorded mayoralties five years elapsed, seems 
to indicate the existence of a select body — as of Aldermen — 
from whom the choice was made in turn, and is fair collateral 
evidence of the existence of oiganized corporate authority. 

The good standing of some of these early Mayors is shown 
by one of them having been chosen to represent the borough 
in Parliament— William Berd,in 1313 ; while John of Honoton, 
no doubt father or grandfather of William Honyton, was 
elected, probably for Sutton, in 131 1. From various sources we 
learn that several others were men of wealth for those days. 


The name of Flymouih, 

Since it is in the charter of Henry YL that the substitution 
of the name of Plymouth for that of Sutton is first ofiGicially 
recognized, some notes on the origin of the word will be here 
in placa It is spelt in very nearly 300 different ways in 
various records — Plimu being the shortest and Pilimmouthe 
the longest. The port of Plymmue is named as early as 
1254 ; but late in the reign of Edward II. the town is still 
* Sutton villa supera costera partus de Plymouth,* There was 
a Plympton long before there was a Plymouth ; but Plympton 
is not and never was on the river now called the Plym. 
It was upon the estuary afterwards called the Lary. Why 
then should it be named after the river ? The answer lies in 
the derivation of the word. In all likelihood the Keltic 
name for the estuary was simply lyn — a 'lake or pool/ 
retained at the present day locally by the estuary of the 
Notter — the Lynhir, or ' long lake ;' and found translated into 
Saxon in such names as Stonehouse Lake, Keyham Lake, St. 
Johns Lake, Millbrook Lake. Penlyn is 'the head of the 
lake.' Penlinton exactly expresses the site of the original 
Plympton, which we find in Domesday as Plintona. Precisely 
this contraction has taken place in Cornwall, where Pelynt 
is often called Plynt. On this hypothesis Plympton gave 
name to the Plym, Penlin being first blunderingly applied by 
the Saxons to the estuaiy, and thence to the river. We 
have several instances in Devon of names being carried up 
rivers. Such are the East and West Dart, and the East and 
West Okement; whereas many tributary streams of less 
importance have distinctive titles. Only those who were 
ignorant of the true names of the branches would duplicate 
that of the lower river. Mew6, or Meavy, the name of the main 
branch of the Plym, really means 'the greater water'; and 
as Lary is easily resolvable into the ' lesser water,' that may 
well have been the name of the branch which of late years, 
without the smallest authority, because of a poetic ' slip,' it 
has been the fashion to call the 'Cad.' Plin passed into 
Plym through Plinmouth, whence Plymouth, just as at the 
present day the local pronounciation of Lynmouth is 
Lymouth. . 

Tranter of the Priory Property. 

The value of the property transferred from the Priory to 
the new Corporation was assessed at a public Inquisition, 
held by the Archdeacon of Totnes, in the nave of the Priory 
Church on the seventh of January, 1440. The jury found 


that the conventaal property had been in part destroyed by 
the descent of the Bretons in 1403, that the yearly rental 
of lands was £8, that of courts, markets, and fairs 60s., and 
the profit of the mills over £10. Under these circumstances 
the offer of the Corporation of a fee farm rent of £41 was 
deemed a sufficient compensation, and was accepted. In 
1464 this rent was reduced to £29 6s. 8d, in consequence of 
the ' povertee and dekaye ' of the town ; and in 1534 to £20. 
The arrangement with the Prior included the payment of 
ten marks annually to the Prior of Bath ; and under it the 
lordship of the fee of the manor was vested in the Mayor 
and Commonalty for ever, with the appurtenances, the assize 
of bread and beer, fishery, view of frankpledge, tolls of the 
market, ducking-stool, and pillory. There is an ordinance 
that the Prior's rent was to be wholly discharged by the 
grant of the advowsons of Ugborough and Blackawton, but 
the town paid the £20 until the Dissolution, and was relieved 
by the King in 1546. The livings had not been vacated, 
which was the condition. 

The fee farm rent payable to the Crown — 40s. to 
Henry VIII. — ^became eventually £1 13s. lOd It was 
granted to Lord Somers in 1697, and redeemed by the 
Corporation in 1875, by the payment of £40 to Mr. William 
Latham, to whom Earl Somers had sold it in 1853. 

The Charters. 

The oldest known charter of the borough is that of Henry 
YL — 1440 — but the original does not exist; and that of 
Mary — 1558 — ^is the earliest preserved. Charters have been 
granted by Henry VI., as above, Edward IV. (1464), Bichard 
in. (1484), Henry VIL (1490). Heniy VIIL (1510), Edward 
VL (1547X Mary (1553), EHzabeth (1601), James L (1604, 
1613), Charles L (1628), Charles IL (1668, 1684), William 
III. (1697). Most of these were simple confirmations, and 
only four effected any material changes in the constitution. 

The charter of Elizabeth was important Mathew Boyes, 
the town clerk, had £170 for it; the charter being entered 
as 'purchased,' and as being renewed by his 'meaues and 
industrie.'* Under this the late Mayor was made a fellow- 
justice with the present Mayor and Becorder, theretofore 
the only ones. In 1628 Charles I. granted a charter which 
added the two senior Aldermen to the bench of justices. 
This cost £136 7s. 

* Conrt faroars were oosUy. In 1697-8 there were spent 'for chaiges ia 
London on town busineas at the Court this year' £187 Ss. more than was 


In accordaiice with the usual policy when towns were 
governed by corporations regarded as inimical to the higher 
powers, Plymouth in 1684 was made to surrender its charter 
to Charles II., although it had been closely 'regulated' in 
1662. The requisition for the surrender was made by the 
infamous Jefiferies, the man of the Bloody Assize ; and the 
Mayor and five other members of the Corporation were 
authorized to make it in due form, and to get the best terms 
they could. The surrender was made at Windsor (after the 
Corporate property had been duly secured by transfer to 
trustees), and a new charter granted in answer to a petition, 
which, after setting forth that much of the income of the 
Corporation was held by prescription, and that it was encum- 
bered by debt, concluded thus : 

We, your most humble petitioners, do therefore in all dutiful 
manner implore your majesty to vouchsafe your princely com- 
passion and favour to your said town and to pardon its past 
offences, and out of your abundant royal grace and boimty to 
accept of a surrender of the whole governing part of the said 
Corporation, in such manner as is most conducing to your majesty's 
service ; we only beseeching your royal favour that what is not 
useful for your majesty's service, but of great benefit and advan- 
tage to the said town, may be preserved, wherein we most humbly 
pray your migesty to signify your royal pleasure in such manner 
as your most sacred m^esty in your great wisdom shall think fit. 

The new charter varied in several particulars from the 
old one, and named the members of the new Corporation — 
staunch Church and King men all It vested the power in 
thirteen Aldermen, of whom the Mayor was one, and in 
twelve Assistants or Common Councilmen, instead of twenty- 

And yet the Corporation had done their best to keep the 
King in a good humour. In 1660 they had given him the 
wine fountcan now among the royal regalia. 

Item paid m' Tymothy AUsopp for two RoyaU pieces of plate 
bought by him of Alderman Yynar of London, by order 
from the maior and Cominalty of this Burrough, which 
vpon theire speciall Request was presented to the Kings 
most Excellent migesty vpon his happy Bestauration to 
the Government of his Dominions by the hands of Sir 
William Morrice knight, the kings chiefe Secretary of 
State and Samuel Trelawny Esq' Burgesses of the Burrough 
in this p'sent parliament, Sergeant Maynard Recorder of 
this Burrough and Edmond ffowell Esq' the Towne Councell| 
the sum of ffower hundred pounds. 


Moreover, they had spent £49 16& 9d. in proclaiming * the 
merry monarch/ paid £16 14s. 4d for putting up his 
arms in the Guildhall, and 17s. 6d. for painting them on the 
new shambles ! 

There is an entry in an old court book of the persons who 
in public court declared their humble acceptance of His 
Majesty's gracious pardon, June 4th, 1660. The declarations 
were made in open court, before John King, Samuel North- 
cott, and Robert Gubbes the elder, who a!Uio 'laid hold on 
and accepted' the pardon aforesaid. Nevertheless, the 
Roundhead ringleaders were almost to a man ejected from 
the Corporation when it was 'regulated' by the Ck)m- 
missioners, and this charter of 1684 placed them wholly 
at the mercy of the Ck)urt. It cost some £620.^ 

The old charter was practically restored by William of 
Orange in 1697, Sir Francis Drake being the moving spirit, 
at an outlay of £504 5s. 6d. This made the (Corporation to 
consist of a Mayor, Recorder, twelve Aldermen, and twenty- 
four Common Councilmen, with twenty-six freemen. The 
number of the freemen varied, but the municipal body 
continued the same without alteration down to the Municipal 
Reform Act, which added twelve Councillors to the twenty- 
four, and divided the town into the six wards of St. 
Andrew, Frankfort, Drake, Charles, Sutton, and Yintry.^ 

Mayor-Choosing in the Olden Time. 

Under the old regime the Mayor was chosen on St 
Lambert's Day (17th September), on whatever day of the 
week that might fall, the last Sunday Mayor-choosing being 
in 1826. For three centuries a very curious mode of election 
was followed. The Mayor and Aldermen (at one time the 
Mayor only') would elect two Aldermen, under the name of 
alfurers or affeerers ; and the freemen two more, out of the 

7 In 1683 the Aldermen usurped the election of Councilmen for ' five years/ 
hut this was put an end to by the new grant The old Corporation was 
essentiklly a self-elected one, but there was occasionally much controversy 
touching the hands in which the power lav, not unfrequently followed by 
litigation. At times the Aldermen claimed the sole right of electing their 
colleagues ; at times, as in 1683, the sole right also of choosing the 'twenty- 
four/ who on their side were equally tenacious ; while now and again the 
freemen asserted their right to appoint sometimes one, sometimes both ; and 
there were kindred disputes touching the election of freemen. But the full 
story would be a very long one, and of no practical interest now. 

* By the Local Government Act of 1888 Plymouth was made a county, 
and the town- became a county-council April 1st, 1889. 

> TraiM, Plym. Inat, v. 556. Yomgb's Memoirs. 


Common Council By the four a jury of thirty-six would 
be chosen, and by this jury one of the Aldermen was 

A contest arising at the Mayor-choosing in 1802, the 
matter was brought to trial at the Exeter Lent Assizes in 1803, 
before Mr. Baron Thompson. It was then declared to be an 
infringement upon the rights of the Commonalty, and therefore 
illegal ; and the elective franchise was restored tx) the freemen 
at large, every freeman being eligible. Mr. J. C. Langmead 
was the first Mayor thus appointed by the Commonalty. This 
memorable victory of the freemen over the old Corporation is 
commemorated by a medal, worn suspended to the chain of 
office which was then presented to the Mayor, and first 
became part of his paraphernalia. It bears on the obverse 
the arms of the borough, and the following inscription: 
" Usurpatione depressi, Legibus BestitutL Turris fortissima 
est nomen Jehovae. 17 Martis, 1803.' On the reverse: 
' The freemen of Plymouth request your wearing this medal, 
to be returned at the expiration of your Mayoralty, in 
honourable token of that inestimable branch of the British 
Constitution, trial by jury, by whose verdict the right to 
elect a chief magistrate for the borough was restored, after 
having been unjustly withheld for upwards of three 

Notices of the Mayor-choosing used to be given in the 
churches, after the Nicene Creed, two Sundays previous to 
St. Lambert: *The Eight Worshipful the Mayor desires 
the Commonalty of this Borough to meet him in the Guild- 
hall thereof on the seventeenth day of September next at 
10 o'clock in the forenoon, then and there to elect a Mayor 
of the said Borough for the year ensuing.' 

Hanis's description of the procedure in 1807 is as follows : 

Mayor-chooBing-day is ushered in by the ringing of the church 
bells, which continue ringing at intervals. At 10.30 the corpora- 
tion met in the GuildhaU, and proceeded to church, where the 
vicar preached on the duty of magistrates and brotherly love. 
When returned to the Guildhall the list of the freemen was called 
and the names ticked. If there was opposition a short poll would be 
taken and the freemen sworn, three or four at a time, in the same 
manner as at the election of representatives. The Mayor must be 
chosen before the meeting was dissolved, and many times it was 
midnight before this was done. The rest of the business being 
done, they went to church again for to pray, as sly rogues say, 
that the dinner might be good. From the church they used to 
go down High Street to the New Quay, thence to the Mayoralty 



House [WooLster Street]. At present they go the same road as far 
as Woolster Street, then into Foxhole Street, Tin Street^ up Broad 
Streets, [Bilhury and Buckwell Street] to the Guildhall again. 

The Mayor did not take office until Michaelmas Day ; and 
between Leimbert and Michaelmas was Freedom Day, when 
the (Corporation ' saw the franchise about/ and 'the boyes have 
liberty to take w* they meet y* is eatable.' This was a local 
Saturnalia, kept as such from the earliest times, fruit and 
the like being provided by the Corporation for the boys to 
scramble for, in addition to that to which they helped 
themselves. The proceedings closed in Freedom Fields. In 
later years one of the incidents of the day was the fighting 
between the Old Town and Burton [Breton] boys for a barrel of 
beer. Martyn's Gate was the dividing line of the two districts, 
and the beer was given by the Mayor. The practice was 
abolished in 1782, because ' some young gentlemen had their 
collar bones broken.' Nickey Glubb, a porter pugilist, who 
died in 1809 blind, was the latest Burton chief. The charity 
boys were the last who held to the ancient custom of ' self- • 

The swearing in of the Mayor on Michaelmas Day was 
the occasion of a very curious survival Under the Act- 
Charter the Mayor had to be sworn before the Prior of 
Plympton or his steward, if either chose to attend, and the 
Conmionalty had to wait until eleven in the morning for 
them. Priors and stewards alike ceased to be at the Dis- 
solution of the Monasteries ; but the burgesses continued to 
wait! And thus down to the passing of the Municipal 
Beform Act, though it was the practice of the freemen to 
assemble on Michaelmas Day at ten, the customary hour 
elapsed ere his worship was sworn. 

Lo ! in the Apple of the Charter's Eye 
The Prior ana nis Steward never die : 

Our Guardian Angels mnst await for these 
Ecclesiastical nonentities. 
In Common Hall assembled. Reason says hence. 
Until the Law that supersedes their presence.^ 

The old corporate processions were somewhat imposing 
afiFairs. When Harris wrote the order was thus: The old 
governor of the Barbican, the town corporals, the constables, 
a band, a standard bearer armed, with the town flag, the 
Mayor, Aldermen, Justices, and Eecorder, two and two in 

^ Babon's Maycn and Maycraltiea, 20. 



scarlet robes, Vicars and Clergy gowned, Common Councilmen 
two and two in black silk gowns. Town Clerk, Coroner, 
freemen, gentlemen not members of the Corporation. 

The Aldermen seem first to have assumed scarlet gowns, 
which they wore by regulation sixteen times a year, in 1572, 
though the practice was subsequently dropped, to be renewed 
in 1598. In 1669 the gowns of the 'twenty-four' were of 
black cloth, guarded with black velvet, and having square 
collars lined with fur. 

The Corporate Insignia. 

The Seals of the borough are interesting. There is only 
one impression known of the seal of the early Corporation 
of Sutton. It is attached to a deed of 1368 in the possession 
of Earl Mount Edgcumbe; 
the device a ship on the 
water, and the legend si • 


The seal which was used 
down to the Municipal 
Beform Act is a quaint 
composition. It is circu- 1 
lar, with,in the upper part, 
three elaborate canopies. 
Beneath the central 
canopy is a figure of St. 
Andrew, with cross and 
book, and nimbus sur- 
rounding the head ; and beneath the others figures bearing 
respectively shields of St. George and the royal arms. In 
the lower part is a shield of the arms of the borough — 
the saltire and castles with lion supporters. It bears the 


This, however, is a late reproduction of the original seal of 
1439, two fragmentary impressions only of which are known 
to exist, dating respectively 1479 and 1493. These show 
portions of the legend in black letter instead of Boman 
capitals, while the device is more skilfully cut, and the 
tabernacle work in better taste. Altogether this was a very 
fine seal, and with a very marked ecclesiastical character. 
The figiu*e of St. Andrew refers to the dedication of the 
church; the shield of St. George to the Freemen's Guild. 

o 2 



The accompanying illustration represents the more perfect of 
the existing impressions, with the full restoration otherwise 
suggested — the legend being ^ Sbigfllu : comunt : buigf : et : 
communitatis : bill : lElegfs : He : ^^Ipmoutb.' 

A third and smaller seal is also circular. The field is 
occupied by the shield of the saltire and castles, with Gk)thic 
tracery at the sides, and surmounted 
by a crown of fleurs de lis. This is 
the original Mayor's seal of 1439, and 
bears the legend: * Sb'offitfi mafotatUS 
btttgi bflle trn( trafs tre ^Igmoutb/ 
The words 'dni regis have been defaced, 
probably in the days of the Common- 
wealth. There is further a plain circular 
seal of rude workmanship, having the 
borough arms (saltire and castles) in a shield, with the 
date 1695. In 1580 the town seal is mentioned in the 



singular. In 1623-4 6s. 9d. is entered for a small silver seal 
with the town arms ; and in the following year we read that 
the town seal was 'graved' at a cost of 6s. 4d. by John 
Bardsey. If this was the later St. Andrew seal the smallness 
of the pay may excuse the poorness of the work. 

The modem seal introduced in 1837 under the Municipal 
Eeform Act was designed 
by Col. Hamilton Smith, 
who combined the two 
coats of arms [see p. 198], 
by placing the saltire and 
castles with the lion sup- 
porters on board the ship 
with beacons ; and added 
six flags of the saltire and 
castles, to represent the 
six wards, to the coronal 
crest. The town motto is 
placed round the device, 
and in an outer circle the 


The first mention of a Mace is in 1486-7, when James the 
goldsmith, mended * John gele ys mase ij tymes,' and * rystaflfer 
ys mase.' In 1494 we have 'ye lyttell mace.' The maces 
came so frequently to repair in early days as to suggest that 
they were more for use than ornament. In 1576 four maces 
were procured, costing £3 lis. lOd. for silver and £2 2s. for 
work. In 1625 three small maces were new made and gilt 
at a charge of £2 13s. 6d., while three new maces cost 
£19 15s. 8A Two others were bought in 1710 for £90. 

These maces mostly disappeared in the reign of Queen 
Anne. Some no doubt had been thrown aside before. The 
fate of others can be traced. Boche, the mayor, amoved in 
1711 for malpractice, retained the maces in his possession, 
and had to pay £41 11a 6d. for three. These were, however, 
recovered, for £16 lis. 6d. was paid to the person to whom 
he had sold them ; but in 1714 two were sold for £14 

The three maces now belonging to the borough date from 
the reign of Queen Anne. The largest was given by Colonel 
Jory, when one of the others was ordered to be carried 
before the mayoress. 

The most ancient members of the civic paraphernalia are 
a couple of silver-gilt Cups. One, called the * Union cup,' 
was given June 5th, 1585, 'The gyft of lohn Whit of London, 


Haberdasher, to the Mayor of Plymouth and his brethren 
for ever to drinke crosse one to y* other at their Feastes 
and Meetinges." The second was given by Sir John Gayer, 
founder of the * Lion Sermon/ in 1648. 

The Mayor's Chain dates only from 1803, as already noted, 
when chain and medal were bought at a cost of £77 10s. 64, 
a sum which there was an unfortunate delay on the part of 
the donors in paying. The medal now attached to the chain 
bears the date of 1816, so that it is not the original 

The Mayor's Hammer of office was the gift of Mr. John 
Kelly in 1873. 

Plymouth is unquestionably entitled to two Coats of Arms. 
The saltire vert between four castles sable, with the rampant 
lion supporters or, found on the large seal, probably dates 
from the charter of Henry VL It combines the cross of 
the parish church of St. Andrew, the four turrets of the 
town castle, and the national lions. But the device on the 
seal of Sutton is a ship, and the Heralds* Visitation of 1575 
gives a three-masted ship on the waves, the masts sur- 
mounted by blazing fire beacons. 

A manuscript Armorial in the Exeter Cathedral Library, 
of about the same date, gives a three-masted ship on the 
waves with the motto, *Si vela tendas nimium navis mergitur' 
The modem motto, ' Turris fortissima est nomen Jehovce ' is 
probably traceable to the Puritan feeling of the siege time. 

It became the custom from the year of the Municipal 
Beform Act to treat as the local coat the unauthorized 
combined device arranged by Colonel Hamilton Smith for the 
modern Corporation seal (see p. 197). In 1887, however, in 
the second mayoralty of Mr. W. H 
Alger, a return was wisely made to the 
simple and dignified coat of the Incor- 
poration : Argent a saltire vert between 
four castles sable ; supporters two lions 
rampant or ; crest a royal coronet or. 

The Municipal Records. 

The Municipal Records have been reported upon by the 
Historical Manuscripts Commission, and are duly arranged 
and calendared ;* but valuable as they are only represent the 
smaller proportion of what once existed. The first destruc- 
tion appears to have been at the time of the Western 
Kebellion, 1548-9, when we have the cited record, 'Then 

^ The reports are by Mr. J. C. Jeafi&eson and the writer. 


was our stepell burnt, w^ all the townes evydence in the 
same by Bebelles.' In 1601-2 further damage was done by 
a Totnes man, who burnt a chest in the Council Chamber. 

The present charter chest dates from about this period. 
Here is the entry from the Beceiver's Accounts — 

ItnL lec. of Nicholas Goodridge of Totnes mrchaunte vppon 
an agreement made between the Towne and him for an 
offence committed by him the said Nicholas in burning 
of a cheste in the Council Chamber wherein were contayned 
divers eyidences and writings conceminge the Towne. C^. 

It is probably to this severely punished piece of arson 
(the fine would be equivalent to nearly £600 now) that one 
William Jennens and John Warren, in the course of a suit 
with the Corporation, referred when they declared, about 
1665, that the town records had been burnt some seventy 
years previously. 

The wonder, however, rather is not that so much has been 
lost, but that so much is left. The borough records passed 
through a worse peril than even the fires raised by the 
Western Bebels or by Nicholas Gk)odridge, when the sometime 
old Guildhall, now the Free Library, replaced its Jacobean 
predecessor at the commencement of the present century. 
Books were taken some care of, but it is said that accumu- 
lated papers were thrown into heaps in the streets, and carted 
oiT, and that whoever cared to do so helped themselves at 
pleasure. There may be a little exaggeration; but if the 
story were not essentially true it would be impossible to 
account for the almost entire absence of current letters and 
papers during the eighteenth century ; whereas those since 
that date and a small proportion of the older ones have been 
preserved. When the penultimate Guildhall was finished, 
and the records moved back again, confusion became worse 
confounded. There was no room to arrange them properly, 
and a lot of loose papers were thrust under the roof, where 
they remained for many a long year. The first attempt to 
arrange the municipal records was in 1813, when a conmiittee 
was appointed, and did much valuable work. Insufficient 
space, however, prevented them from carrying out their 
intentions fully ; and meantime deeds and papers rapidly 
accumulated. When the late Mr. Henry Woollcombe, F.8.A., 
was appointed Becorder he continued the task which he had 
commenced as a member of this committee, and by him 
a large number of loose papers and parchments were care- 
fully preserved by being mounted in portfolioa He utilised 


his researches also by writing the first history of Plymouth, 
which remains in manuscript at the Plymouth Institution. 
More than he did it was impossible, with the very limited 
office facilities of the old building, to do; but when the 
present Guildhall was projected a large and well-lighted 
muniment room was provided; and the papers and books 
of the old Corporation down to 1835 are now separately 
classified and arranged, in such a manner that with the help 
of an index catalogue any document may be turned to 
without difficulty or delay. 

Several missing books and papers have been recovered, 
the most important being the volume of Receivers' Accounts 
between the years 1570 and 1658. This was found in 
January, 1881, among the muniments of the Morshead 
family at Widey Court, and restored to the Corporation. 
The Seceivers' Accounts are thus practically complete from the 
year 1486. There are some other accounts of the end of the 
fifteenth century, chiefly relating to works connected with 
the church of St. Andrew ; but the most valuable records of 
this period are to be found in an old book, which some one 
kept as a kind of commonplace or day-book for the entry 
of miscellaneous matters. It contains notices of the 
proceedings of the manor courts, of the borough and pie 
powder courts, of inquests by Simon Carswell, coroner, 
probably the writer; copies of various deeds, some of con- 
siderable interest and. value; the earliest borough rental, 
commencing 6th Henry VII.; precepts and warrants con- 
cerning the water of Sutton Pool ; a very curious abstract in 
English of the Charter of Henry VL; and a copy of the 
earliest noted bye-laws. Some of the entries are as early as 
38th Henry VL, and it contains the oldest series of con- 
temporary records now in the possession of the Corporation. 
Next in point of date, but first in importance, is the ancient 
'Town Ligger,' a bulky volume in oak boards and tattered 
pigskin, long known by the name of the Black Booh This 
is the new ' lygger,' for which, and writing therein all that 
was in the old, 20s. was paid in 1535-6. It commences, 
* Jesus Christus. Liber maioris et Communitatis hurgi de 
Plymouthe in Com. Defvon,* The earliest current entries 
refer to the year 1540; but it contains copies of charters 
and of a number of ancient documents of importance relating 
to the town, for which in most cases it is now the sole 
authority. The Black Book was evidently intended to be a 
repertory of all matters of note relating to the conununity 
— ^proclamations, bye-laws. Acts of Parliament, guild orders. 


assessments, with lists of Mayors and freemen. Eventually 
it came to be used as a registry, in which deeds relating to 
private properties in the town were enrolled by the town 
clerk for safe keeping. All communications from the King 
or court were not only to be entered * for the good gyding of 
the towne/ but every article in the 'lygger' was to be read 
once a quarter or twice a year in the hall 'for the good 
remembraunce and good rule of the same to be hadde/ an 
order which can never have been literally fulfilled. A very 
important feature of the Black Book is the fact that it 
became the custom to enter under each mayoralty brief 
memoranda of leading local and national events. The 
book remained in use as a record of the mayoralties down 
to 1709, and its lists of freemen continue to 1658. Without 
it much of the early history of Plymouth would be a blank. 

Next in importance to the Black Book is the WTiite Book, 
a volume given to the town by John Ford, Mayor in 1655, 
and used from 1560 down to 1754 for the entry of bye-laws 
and orders of the 'twelve and twenty-four,' and of the 
sessions. The orders are for the most part signed by those 
who made them. 

There are a number of letters from the Privy Council and 
various persons of note in the reign of Elizabeth still extant, 
but only a very small proportion of those which once existed. 
There is merely one autograph letter of Sir Francis Drake, 
whereas there must have been scores ; and although there 
are several papers of various kinds connected with William 
Hawkins, Sir John is all but unrepresented. There are, 
however, autographs of nearly all the statesmen of the 
Elizabethan Court; and of the local notables from this 
period downward the autographic representation is complete. 

From the early part of the seventeenth century the 
various sets of current Corporation books are fairly con* 
tinuous ; and there are a few of the day-books, which it was 
the custom to destroy, with the vouchers generally, when 
they had been produced and examined at the annual audit. 
The most interesting volume of seventeenth-century accounts 
belonged to the Conmiittee of Defence at the time of the 
siege of Plymouth by the Royalists, containing a full state- 
ment of their expenditure from February, 1644-5, to 
January, 1645-6. 

The papers of the Borough Court date back to the reign of 
Henry VII., but there are only a few of the older ones left. 
The Court books now extant commence in 1636, and some of 
the volumes contain quaint illustrations of the manners and 


ouBtoms of old Plymouth. There are some very cmioiui 
entries respecting the style in which ' conventicles ' and their 
frequenters were dealt with under the second Charles and 

CorparaU Bye-Law9 and ReguUUuyM. 

The powers exercised by the mediaeval municipality of 
Plymouth were very wide. Save in great matters of imperial 
concern Plymouth in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries 
was in all essential respects a little republic, governed by its 
oligarchical ' twelve and twenty-four/ the Mayor at the head 
of whom wielded an authority almost as great and mysterious 
as that of a Venetian Doge. As the townsfolk were charged 
with the defence of the port — ^with building the fortifications, 
finding the guns, keeping watch, and manning the bulwarks 
— so the Mayor was general of the town by land and sea. 
Whether he could actually hang any one may not be quite 
clear ; but he coidd banish an offender as easily as lock one 
up ; and what with prison, pillory, whipping-post, stocks, and 
ducking stool, had plenty of ways and means of making his 
will ol^yed. He was not only the president of the free 
burgesses, but the direct representative of the Crown, and 
to him royal letters and mandates were sent, involving at 
times no little chaiga Moreover, he issued passports, and 
there is one extant in which William Thyckpeny, on the 
16th of March, 1492, in choice mediaeval Latin, bespeaks for 
one John Cropp peaceable passage, without being vexed or 
troubled, in his journey to visit divers shrines — to wit, that 
of the blood of Christ at Haylys, 'San Johem in pria de 
Scotland,' the blessed Virgin of Walsingham, St. Thomas of 
Canterbury, thence to transact certain business, and then to 
return by * Beatem Eegem Henry ap* Wyndsore ' (Henry VI.) 
to Plymouth. 

The Freemen's Oath, as taken prior to the 'Begulation' 
of 1684, shows how independent in many ways a mediaeval 
corporation was. The borough was 'to be held harmless,' 
even against the King : 

You sweare, to be true & faithfull to o' soveraign L* y* king, 
his heirs and Buccessors, and you shall be obedient, and Beady to 
the Mayor, his ministers, & keepers of this Burrougb, officers 
under y** king; the Franchise, and franchises, libertyes, and 
Customes of this Burrough you shall keep, and maintain, after y' 
power ; and as farr forth as you can^ you shall save this Burrough 
harmles, agtf ^ Kiv^^ and aU his Leige people^ and you shall be 
partaker of all manner of charges, touching this Burrough, as in 


Bamonfl, Contributions^ watches, wards, tole, taxe, and Tollage, as 
other freemen be of this Borrongh after your power, you shall 
avow noe forraigners goods, as your own goods, nor buy and 
bargain with any forraigner, or stranger in your own name, to y* 
use, behoof, & proffit of another forraigner, and stranger, whereby 
any Custom, or duety may be Lost or withdrawn, from y* Mayor 
and Commons of this Burrough. Tou shall take noe apprentice 
for less than seven yeares, and within that tyme, you shall see 
them taught^ and Instructed of some honest mystery, craft, or 
occupation. And if you shall hereafter know any forraigners, 
merchants, or handy crafts men, that shall use to buy, or sell, or 
practice any craft, continually within this Burrough, not being 
free of y* same, you shall then give warning thereof, unto the 
Mayor, of this Burrough, for the tyme being, or his officers, and 
you shall not Implead, or sue any person, out of this court, or 
courts of this Franchise, or liberty, of any action, cause, or quarrell, 
that is pleadable, or determinable within y* said court, or courts, 
holden and kept here within the precincts of this Burrough, and 
you shall give & keep in counsell, of all things that shall come 
to your knowlidge, concerning the publique weal of this Burrough, 
and you shall wear noe man's Livery otherwise than y* Law 
Suffereth and permitteth, ^ you shall maintain no cause, or 
quarrdlf a^ y* Mayor, 4c comons of this Burrough, and you shall 
pay yearely for your freedom to iJie Mayor and Comonalty sixe 
pence, to these points, and all other things, touching this 
franchise, & Liberty, you shall truely keep and observe, as nigh 
as God shall give you grace, soe help you God. 

The Freemen's Oath of 1684 differs in some very material 
restrictive particulars from this old oath. For the words 
' and as farr forth as you can, you shaU save this Burrough 
barmles, ags^ y* King, and all his Leige people/ the words 
' you shall save this burrough harmless as farr as Lawfully 
you may' are substituted. The passage, 'whereby any 
Custom, or duety may be Lost or withdrawn, from y* 
Mayor and Commons,' is altered by the insertion of the 
words • from the king and ' before * y* Mayor.' And before 
the words 'and you shall pay yearely for your freedom' 
there is inserted the significant clause, '& you shall from 
time to time give notice to y* Mayor of this Burrough for 
y* time being, of all conventicles or unlawfuU Assemblyes 
y* you shall know to be within this Burrough.' 

Here is an order made by the Mayor drca 1450, which 
shows the strict local police of those days : 

Maister mayer chaigyth and comaundyth ju our sourayng lord 
the kings be halffe that all man of stranges resortyng to this 
towne here no wapyn swerd byll glevys or other wapyng vppone 


the forfaytore of the same wapyng and there bodye to peon and 
£fyn and Ransom to the Kjikg, 

And allao that none of then habytance of this said towne 
w^ute the mair ys comaundement were no wapyn yppon the 
forfayture of the same excepte siauntes and constables or suche as 
be assigned thereto by the mayr or suche officer as ben w^ the 
said towne for oure said souraigne lard the kyng. 

Itm that eury Strang Ipged w^ the said towne be atte his 
loggyg sone vppon yj or yg atte clocke att leste. And thake 
yppon theyme to loge eny pson or psons butte as they wolle 
onswer for theyr goode beryng. 

Itm that no yacabundes or trayelyng men or beggers passing 
thorowe the contray a byde here oyyr a day and a nyght yppon 
the payne of ympsonment and theyr hosts to answer yn lyke wyse 
for the same. And also that all man'^ of yytelers w^ this said 
towne sell theyr yytaill att aresonabyll pse aswell to stranges as to 
deynzyens yppon payn of forfayto' of the same as well yn brede, 
fflesch, ffyshe, wyne, ale, Eggs butt' chese and all other yytaill so 
that eury pson as well strangrs as other maybe resonabely yntretyd. 

And also that eury pson loged yn the schypps a nyght take 
theyr loggyng ther be tymes by the our af orsaid. 

And also that no pson nor psons w^n this said towne take 
yppone hym tobe owto of his house oyyr yiij atte cloke excepte 
offyces or wachemen by the maire there to assigned. 

And god save the king and send ys pease. 

The general trade and commerce of the port was controlled 
by the Corporation, and so remained, in part at least, to within 
the eighteenth century. Only free residents had the right 
to conduct businesa From the brewing of beer to the 
building of a church steeple ; from the regulation of fisher- 
women to the sustentation of a guild, nothing came amiss to 
the * twelve and twenty-four.' 

The first act, order, or constitution of the Corporation 
extant was made by the Mayor and Commonalty in the 
second mayoralty of William Paige (1474-5) ; and declared 
that no man should be free of the Corporation unless he 
were a whole or half brother of Our Lady and St. George's 
Guild, a whole brother paying 12d. quarterly, and a half 
brother 6d. ; while each of the * twenty-four ' had to pay 8d. 
yearly, and each of the 'twelve' 12d. Moreover, 'no foreigner' 
(aU were foreigners who were not natives of Plymouth) was 
to be made free. This sweeping act of disfranchisement 
'was appoynted by the hoole Councell of the Toune, and 
John Yogge, John Shippen, and other foreyns putte owte of 
theyre freedom.' 

Less than twenty years later (1492) the stringent step 


was taken of banishing from the town Nicholas Law and 
Avjs his wife ; and a series of orders were made to uphold 
the dignity of the Mayor : 

Tf any pson or peons of the Inhitaance of the said Towns 
rebell and dysbey the Mayer for the tyme being or distyrbe and 
lett him to doo and execute even Justice within the said Boroughe 
or drawe a knyfe hanger swerde vpon the Mayer or sott his hondes 
ypon his knyve hanger or swerde entending to drawe it vpon the 
Mayre or Bill Axe or Gleve or any othe Abylements of werre, or 
letting of the Mayre and his officers to mynistre their office 
according vnto the kinges lawes then hit shalbe at the libertye 
of the said Mayre to punishe him or theym so offending in svche 
prison within the said Boroughe as it shall please him. 

Freemen were to be imprisoned in the Guildhall. More- 
over, fine and disfranchisement, or other penalties at the 
discretion of the Mayor, followed on declaring the ' counsell ' 
of the town to any foreign person, or seeking 'any helpe 
and mayntinaunce of any lorde, kniyght, or any other, what 
degree or condition he be of, agenst the Mayre.' 

About the same date, or a little earlier, appear the follow- 
ing regulations : 

The Mayor comaundith in the king's name of England that 
all maner of Bakers make good brede and of good come and 
holsome for man's bodye, and that they make a loffe for a peny 
^ loffes for a peny and ii\j loffes for a peny, and that yo' brede 
keepe weight att the first tyme vpon payne of a grevous am'cem^ 
and the second tyme a grevouser am'ciament and the third faults 
a payne of the pillorie and to forfaite their Bread and their bodie 
to prison and there to make or fyne att the Mayor's wilL 

Also that all manner Brewers make good ale and of good malte 
holsome for man's bodye, and that they sell a gallon of the best 
in the keve for l^ and q., and when it is cleare and stale in the 
Barrell for 1^ oh. And of the second ale in the kyve for iij 
farthings, and when it is cleare and stale in the Barrell for 1^, and 
that they sell no ale by wyne measure but onlye by ale measure 
and sealed. And that they sell none till the Ale Taster have 
tasted it^ and so that it be good holsome and able for man's bodye. 
And that no manner of Brewster neither hoggester sell none ale 
till they have sett out their signe on payne of forfeyture of all 
together and their bodies to prison there to make a fyne and 
Baunsome at the Mayor's will. 

Also that no man' men sell no corrupt wynes neyther reboyled 
wynes, neither melled wynes ne no other but it be good and 
wholsome for man's bodie, neither sett two prices on one pype 
hoggeshed or toun to raise the price that is to saie first for ii^^ 
and after for vj^ on payne, &c. 


[Then the butchers were only to sell wholeaome meat — 'no 
Bulls flesh, no Bamms flesh, no Gowe flesh that be an Calfe and 
the Calfe be quicke.' They were also to bring * their kidneys in 
their muttons and their skynnes of all manner of flesh to markett^' 
and were not to make any filth in the shambles. Linen and 
woollen cloth were only to be sold by measures tested by the 
King's standard in the Guildhall; and the only weights to be 
used were those of Winchester standard.] 

Also that no hostler ne any other man oste no vacabunds 
neyther anye other man passing two dayes and two nights, but 
he be a man of knowledge and whence he came and whether 
he will and where his busienes be in Toune, and that no man 
walk yp and downe working daies to ale and to wyne but he be a 
man lyrelichoode a m'chaunt other wayting vpon any gentleman, 
on payne of ymprisonm^ of theire bodies and a grevous fyne to 
be att the Mayo** will for it is suspicious. 

Also that no hosteler nor Tavemer by color of their Taveme or 
hosterie sufler anye suspetious people of theire lyving to ryott 
accompanny or lodge together as man and a woman but he knowe 
verielie that it be a man and his wief, and that no Tav'ner keepe 
in his house harlote neyther strumpett, but voyde her awaie 
hastelie on payne of a grevous am'ciament 

[Furthermore no man was to forestall before all victuals were 
in the market ; none to regrate ' before the towne be full served.' 
No fish to be bought in boats, but all to be landed, 'and that 
everie man haue a parte thereof that is present att the buying of 
the same pounde and pounde if it Hke them.'] 

The Borough Court was a local law court, dealing with 
debts, of laige powers and considerable importance, veith a 
settled procedure, and came to an end in 1842. The town 
clerk, who was always a barrister, presided, and the custom 
was to hold it weekly on Mondays. Quarter and Petty 
Sessions were held under the old charters. Quarter Sessions 
were re-granted 6 William IV., and a Commission of the 
Peace. In old days there was a Court of Pie Powder in 
connection with the fairs. 

Corporate Finance. 

Fines were long levied on members of the Corporation and 
freemen not present at Mayor-choosing; and persons who 
refused to take office were imprisoned until they complied 
or found surety. In 1520 the fines leviable for non-attend- 
ance were: 'twelve' £5, 'twenty-four' 40s.; 'freemen* 
12d.: and in 1566, the fine for refusing the mayoralty was 
raised to £20, from £10, at which it had been fixed in 1560. 


Only the Aldermen could be chosen Mayors, and they were 
taken to some extent in turn ; while there are several orders 
of the discharge from all liability to serve of those who had 
filled the office on several occasions. In 1571, to relieve the 
burden, it was ordered that no one should be made Mayor 
who had been Mayor within six years, four having been the 
limit. In 1597 this was increased to eight years; the six 
was restored in 1643. 

As further illustration of the general powers of the Cor- 
poration, we may quote an order of 1566, that all alien 
servants received within a year were to be discharged within 
a month ; and others of 1603 and subsequently, fining and 
imprisoning those who spoke evil of the local dignitaries, 
using disparaging words and making slanderous speeches; 
for example : 

Itm lec of Joseph Gubbes for an offence in speaches on 

St Lamberts daie at thelation of the newe maior • x' 

The chief sources of the town revenue in early days 
were rents, petty customs, the mills, pound, and market, 
ale and wine 'wits,' tonnage, land -leave, rollerage, and 
package. Most of these were really manorial rights, and 
transferred at the Incorporation from the Priory. The town 
customs were, however, granted by Bichard II. in aid of the 
fortifications. Tonnage was a payment of a penny per ton 
by ships coming into Sutton Pool ; land-leave was a landing 
due; rollage and package were paid by brewers, and con- 
nected with the landing, &c., of casks; ale and wine wits 
were dues paid by drinking-houses — in fact, licences. The 
total ordinary receipts from these sources in the fifteenth 
and early in the sixteenth centuries ranged from £50 to £60 
a year. 

There were also certain miscellaneous sources of income, 
such as a mysterious ' dawnsyng money ' in 1483. A few 
samples wiU be of interest. 

1513-14. m^ that ther was taken owie of a fflemyng 
shyp this yere yn the tyme of warre yj ffrenshe 
men peons w^ the which was taken of ther goods 
yn the said shyp vi^ butts & j hoggsh^ of 
Komney where oon butt went to vlage the other 
80 remayned but v^ butts & j boggled of the 
whiche ther was soldo to dyus peons yj butts & j 
hoggshed pee for the butte U\j" iiij^* & the hoggshed 
for xxy" iiy* am* • • xvy" iy" ii^* 


Itm Bee' of oon of the forsaid ffrenshemen that were 
taken psons yn the said fflemyng shyp the which 
was a pilott yn the same shyp for his Raunson 
(xls) & of ij other of them (xx*) a pece beside 
oon of them that dyed & beside ij of them the 
whiche went home for their Raunson and came 
not ageyn . . ... iiij^ 

1527-8. Itm Rec of tharrogosye [the ai^gosy] for 
defendynge theyre shyp ageynst the ffrenshemen 
that wold have taken her . . xvj** xiij* iiij* 

Itm Rec of y Spaynards for lyke defens . . xxvj* viij** 

Itm p*^ for wyne at the welcom of the ffrenshe Kyngs 
capteynes when they were comaundyd to com a 
lond out of theyre shipps to be spoken w%il for the 
peace to be kept w^n the porte . . . y* 

Itm p' ffor fyndyng of the said Capteynes & theyre 
8ruants i^ dayes when they were kept alond 
ageynst theyre wylls . . . xxvj* viy* 

Itm spent in wyne when the frenshemen went hens . xij^* 

Itm spent in wyne when the Spaynards p' theyre money xxj' 

1538-9. Itm for a ffustyan blankett & for a harte of 
Sylu' and gilte which was taken from lytell Rawe 
the taylo' for an £xcheyte to the Towne . . vj» 

1541-2. Itm p' for the shroudyng & buryeng of 
Johanne lyons whose hangyd her selffe by meanes 
whereof her goods wer forfeytt to the Town . iy» iiij* 

1592-3. Itm rec of a ducheman for a fyne for a hains 

offence by hym and his compayny done . . ccc^ 

1654-5. It Reed of Matgarett the wife of Anthony 
Skynner for a Fine beinge Convicted for breach of a 
Late Ordinance of the Lord Protecto' against Duells 
Challenges and all provocofis therevnto in abusinge 
Mary the wife of Benjamin Dymond whereof the 
said Dymond's wife had £10 soe Remaines £10 20 00 00 

So in 1603-4 a man was hanged, and the town 'seased 
on his goodes.' 

Rates were at first only made for special objects. When 
money was short it became the practice to borrow, and in 
later times to hamper the town property by leases. The 
Corporation would grant leases on lives or for fixed terms for 
fines at nominal rentals, and when all the property was 
leased would lease it again in reversion, two and three leases 
deep, securing the best bargains for themselves. Thus the 
estates of the town were rendered almost wholly unpro- 
ductive, for the fines were spent as soon as got. By and bye 


the Corporation went a step further and got rid of the fee. 
Very few Plymouthians have any idea of the once enormous 
extent of the town lands. If they had been properly dealt 
with there would be no need of any rates in Plymouth ; but 
they were wasted and spoiled. The lands of the Corporation 
included the Marshes, on which Union Street and its adjuncts 
stand ; the ' Great hill * above Pennycomequick ; Tamelary, 
Windmill Park, &c., on the east ; the Vaw tiers, Crosse Down, 
Well Park, Mayes Cross, on the north; Frankfort Fields, 
adjoining the Marshes, on the west; and houses in Green, 
BUbury, Kinterbury, St. Andrew, Stillman, Tin, Looe, Lyme, 
Lyneham, Buckwell, Petherick, Market, Castle, Vennell, 
Whimple, Treville, Finewell, High, Batter, Market, Notte, 
East, and Woolster Streets ; Katherine, Hoe, Loaders, White- 
friars, and Peacock Lanes; also at Briton Side, Cockshedd 
(Coxside), Southside, Friary Green, Old Town, the Hoe and 
the Quay, with Corpus Christi House and other properties 

Most of the lands belonging to the Corporation, with some 
belonging to charities! were finally disposed of between 
1822 and 1827 in 238 lots. Between March 9th, 1822, and 
June 25th, 1825, 52 lots were sold, realizing £10,898. 

It will be of interest in this connection to quote the details 
of the earliest town rental preserved — Michaelmas to 
Michaelmas, 1491-2. It is the oldest existing list of 
Plymothians : 

Thos. Tregarthen, heirs of Jayben, heirs of Wm. Comu, * Dom*i 
pebiteros ij* i*,' Wm. Rogger, Robt Harry, Ste. Hamelyn, Ralph 
Chompelayn, heirs of John Rowlond, Thos. Grayson, Wm. 
Tregoll, Wm. Chopyn, Wm. Baylly, Rd. Pomeray, John Bailly, 
Isabel Dowrygge, Thomasia Lawry, * Ten See Crucs vj,' John How, 
Wm. Russell, Wm. Taylor helyer, wife of John Mayen, heirs 
Wm. Bykbury, late Geo. Elysworthy, heirs Nich. Henscotte, 
Margaret Henscotte, heirs Robt Hylle, Awing She, Rosa Sherman, 
And. Alenson, Rd. Bovy, Cornelius Burg, heirs of Eggbeore, late 
Thos. Bymmor, Alexander Vppecote, Walter P'dyaux, Thos. 
Wyett, Robt Bear, John Carkeke, John Fumes, Thos. Phylypp, 
Wm. Nycoll, Tho& Byne, John Greselyng jim., Rd. Dowrysh, heirs 
John Foote, heirs Hugh Davy, Thos. BuUe jun., heirs Belworthy, 
heirs Trecarrell, Wm. Brune, Alice Bady, heirs John Benet, John 
Rougemont, John Colles, John Banadon, Kich. Holand, Wm. 
Gole, Garrard Barry, 'Decan et capit £xon vij* j**,' heirs of 
Margaret and John Stubbys, heirs Wm. George, heirs Thos. Gew, 
Thos. Browse, Thos. Cotterell, Thos. Bykporte, heirs Prymeton, 
heirs Rd. Page, Robt Savage, Joan Stubbys, heirs John Gwyn, 
Joan Fox, Andrew Hunt^ Thos. Cropp, Peter CarswyU, * ffrat'nitat 



corpis xpi j*,' Peter Lygger, John Beke, heirs Vincent bogge, 
Marquis of Dorset, Walter Dusty, John Grysby, Radegund Bailly, 
Win. Lucas, cordwainer, heirs of Porter, Thos. Tresawell, * ffoxbole 
ix*,' Joan Daw, Elias Crocker, John Parker, Isabel Sai^, 
Margaret Comysh, John Mona, * Custod domq Eleosinar ij* iiij*"/ 
'Custod. sci marie vj**,' heirs of Spyller, *Dymn' at Moreshed,' 
Robt Hayes, * Custod Ecclie sci Andr de plyoth vj*,' Lord de 
Broke, heirs John Cok, Walter Pollard, Wm. Polhaman, Thos. 
Ford, Thos. Furlong, Thos. Gaym, Thos. Coche, Wm. Cokeram, 
Robt Nele, Rd. Cade, Rd. Gele, Robt Holbeme, Thos. KeUy, 
Jn. Chopyn, Wm. Rede, Henry Gray, Walter Yewan, Rd. 
Dabnon, Joan Pollard, Peter Carswyll, Joan Baker, Thos. Yogge, 
John Ilcombe, Thos. Sayer, Walter Honychurch, Robt Lawrans, 
Joan Newton, John Morles, John Glynne, heirs John Hawken, 
Philip Hop [Hooper], Peter Eggecomb, Peter Erie, Rd. Whytley. 
Wm. Colman, John Bucke, John Horswyll, Wm. Attre, Thos 

In shambles — Wm. Bold, RobtWarwyke, Rd. Goe,Wm. Joseph, 
Wm. Chopyn, Robt Ayer, Matthew Chopyn, Gelam Bocher, 
Rd. Drap, John Moysen, Robert Hore, Roger Joseph, Thomas. 

The total paid by 157 tenants was £23 13s. 7d. 

'Feasts and Treatments.* 

Entertcdning and banqueting figure prominently in the 
Corporate records. In 1486 we read : 

Itm payd ffor vj lovys of sugg' weyyng xxxviij q' at vj 
y* lb y« whyche was gevyn to my lord steward and 
vnto Syr John Sapcott at plymton when we made 
owre benevolence of C mark for the whole town 
of p . . . . xiij"ij* 

In 1494-5 there are entries of wine given to the Sheriff 
to look after the interests of the town in empanelling a jury 
to decide in a lawsuit with Sir John Crocker ; and 

to S Willia™ Courteney at S. CarsewyUs hows y galons 
of wyne at his dyn' & a galon at Sop [supper] by 
cause he was one of o' best Jurors . . . ij* 

William Thykpeny also laid out money at Exeter to help 
to pay the jury. He was then Recorder. 

The townsfolk were always desirous to stand as well as 
they could with their more powerful neighbours, and they seem 
to have been on terms of special amity with the Edgcumbe 
family. The first reference of this kind is the following : 

Coste done to mast' Eggscomb by advys of m** Mayr m' 
Record'^ the xij & the xxii\j when he was made 
Knygt and Shyryff. 



flSrat for ij Sug' loflfe weyeng x li qrtr iig li qrtr y® of at 

xvij and ye vj li at ij v* sm* 
It ij botells of Bedde wyne pee 
It a potell of Malmsey 
It a Galon of Clarett wyne & bayne wyne 
It a botell of bastard 
It do dos of pownegamarde a pownde sedo and a dos 

do of Orange . . ... vi\j* 

A hogshead of wine was drunk in the market in 1511, 'at 
the pcession for the byrthe of the prynce ' ; and in the next 
year we have — 

Itm to John Gryslyng for a hoggshed of wyne which 
was sette a broche & dronken vppon the key when 
the pryo' of plympton & his Company were here to 
rescewe the town when it was said the frenshemen 
had brende [burnt] ffowey . . . xx* 

Bishop Veysey in 1521 was treated to 'gresyd Congers/ 
oranges, iBgs, raisins, great iBgs, conserve, and marmalade; 
in 1533-4 hake was sent to London to ' Mr. CrumwelL' In 
1547 there was a 'tryumphe' for the 'victory in Scotland,' 
(Pinkie) at which a hogshead of wine was drunk, and a 
' bankett ' had. 

Itm pd to them w^ made the bankettynge housse and 

for nayles . . ... viij^ 

Itm p** for meate & drynke for them w<* played the 

antycke the same tyme . ... xij^ 

Itm pd to them w^ toke paynes to fett forthe the boats 

to fetch the vysyters from Aysshe . • . xy* 

Grenville, Drake, Ralegh, Hawkins, Howard, Essex, 
Mansell, Blake, Cromwell, Fairfax — in fact all distinguished 
visitors to the town were entertained by the Corporation, 
even if they went no further than the 4d. expended in 
London beer on Bishop Cotton in 1599. 

Among the most curious items of entertainment is that 
of 'four Indian Kings' in 1709-10; and the gift of £5 5s. 
to the 'Prince of Chesroan' in 1709-10, with 19s. for his 
travelling expenses to liskeard. Here the Corporation was 
evidently ' done.' 

And Corporation banquets formed a leading feature in 
the civic life. The Mayor in 1558 was allowed £20 yearly 
towards his expenses; with power to modify the several 
feasts then held. In 1571 all feasts and l^quets were 
utterly done away; but this regulation was not long in 
force. In 1646 the rents and profits of the shambles were 

p 2 



settled on the Mayors, their charges being so great, and their 
allowances so smalL Then this was qualified by the Mayor 
being expected to repay £13 a year, the old rent, and £30 
interest of £600 advanced by the Poor's Portion, out of the 
market profits. Later the £30 was reimbursed, and even- 
tually in 1738, when great eflTorts at retrenchment were made, 
a fixed allowance of £100 was substituted ; and the enter- 
tainments restricted to feasts on Lambert and Michaelmas 
Days, and cakes and wine on Freedom Days. The freemen's 
dinner was given up in the mayoralty of Mr. Greorge Eastlake 
(1819-20), and the Mayor's allowance finally stopped. 

The Mayoralty House in Woolster Street, where the later 
feasting took place (now the Mayoralty Stores), was bought 
for £168, and £230 paid towards its repairs in 1736-7. Then 
it was burnt, and in the following year rebuilt at an outlay 
of £748 19s. lOJA 

Mayors under the Present Incorporation. 

1439-40 William Kethrichc 
1440-41 Walter Clovelley. 
1441-42 William Pollard. 
1442-43 John Schepeley. 
1443-44 William NycoU. 
1444-45 Ditto. 
1445-46 John Schepeley. 
1446-47 John Facye. 
1447-48 John Carwynyk. 
1448-49 John Facye. 
1449-60 John Paige. 
1450-51 Stephen Chepeman. 
1451-52 Ditto. 
1452-53 Thomas Tregle. 
1453-54 Vincent Petelysden. 
1454-55 Ditto. 
1455-56 John Demford. 
1456-57 Vincent Petelysden, 
1457-58 John Carwynyk. 
1458-59 Thomas Tregle. 
1459-60 William Yogge. 
1460-61 John Pollard. 
1461-62 William Yogge. 
1462-63 John Page. 
1463-64 John Rowland. 
1464-65 Ditto. 
1465-66 Ditto. 
1466-67 Richard Bevy. 

1467-68 WiUiam Yogge. 
1468-69 John Page. 
1469-70 John Rowland. 
1470-71 William Yogge. 
1471-72 William Page. 
1472-73 Richard Bovy. 
1473-74 Nicholas Heynscott. 
1474-75 William Page. 
1475-76 Nicholas Heynscott 
1476-77 Ditto. 
1477-78 John Pollard. 
1478-79 Nicholas Heynscott 
1479-80 William Rodgers. 
1480-81 Thomas Tregarthen. 
1481-82 Thomas TresawelL 
1482-83 Nicholas Heynscott 
1483-84 Thomas Grey son. 
1484-85 Pers CarswelL 
1485-86 Thomas TresawelL 
1486-87 Thomas Greyson. 
1487-88 Nicholas Heynscott 
1488-89 Peryn Earle. 
1489-90 Thomas Greyson. 
1490-91 Nicholas Heynscott 
1491-92 John Paynter. 
1492-93 William Thykpeny, 
1493-94 Ditto. 
1494-95 Thomas Bygporte. 


1495-96 WiUiam NycolL 
1496-97 WiUiam Rodgera. 
1497-98 Thomas TresawelL 
1498-99 John Paynter. 
'99-1500 John Ilcombe, 

1500- 1 William Byle. 

1501- 2 Thomas Cropp. 
1602- 3 John HorswelL 

1503- 4 John Paynter. 

1504- 6 John Brewne. 

1505- 6 William Tregle. 

1506- 7 Thomas TresawelL 

1507- 8 Simon CarewelL 

1508- 9 John Paynter. 
1509-10 Richard Gew. 
1510-11 Walter Pollard. 
1511-12 William Brokynge. 
1512-13 John Gryslyng. 
1513-14 John Pounde. 
1514-15 William Brokynge. 
1515-16 John Paynter. 
1516-17 John Brewne. 
1517-18 John Herforde. 
1518-19 William Randall 
1519-20 John Pounde. 
1520-21 WQliam Randall. 
1521-22 Stephen Pers. 
1522-23 Thomas Bull 
1523-24 John Bovy. 
1524-25 William Brookynge. 
1525-26 John Pounde. 
1526-27 John Herforde. 
1527-28 Henry Bvkham. 
1528-29 James HorswelL 
1529-30 William Brokynge. 
1530-31 William RandalL 
1531-32 John Bygporte 
1532-33 WiUiam Hawkyns." 
1533-34 Christopher Moore. 
1534-35 John Elyott. 
1535-36 James HorswelL 
1536-37 Thomas BulL 
1537-38 Thomas Clouter. 
1538-39 WiUiam Hawkyns. 
1539-40 Thomas Byrte. 
1540-41 John Thomas. 
1541-42 Thomas Mylles. 

» Capt. Will, father of Sir John. 

1542-43 James HorsweU. 
1543-44 Thomas Holwaye. 
1544-45 Thomas Clowter. 
1545-46 Wniiam RandaU. 
1546-47 Lucas Coke (Cocke). 
1547-48 John Elyott. 
1548-49 Richard Hooper. 
1549-50 Wm.Wik8(Weekes). 
1550-51 John Keynsam. 
1551-52 Thomas Clowter. 
1552-53 John Thomas. 
1553-54 Lucas Cocke. 
1554-55 John Ilcomb. 
1555-56 John Ford. 
1556-57 Thomas Clowter. 
1557-58 John Derry. 
1558-59 WilUam Wiks. 
1559-60 Lucas Cocke. 
1560-61 John ElUott 
1561-62 WiUiam Lake, died 

November 10th. 

Edward Whyte 

chosen in his 

1562-63 John Forde. 
1563-64 John Derry. 
1564-65 Nicholas Slannyng. 
1565-66 Nicholas Bickford. 
1566-67 John Ilcomb. 
1567-68 WUliam Hawkyns. 
1568-69 Lucas Cocke. 
1569-70 John Martyn. 
1570-71 Gregory Cocke. 
1571-72 William HoUowaye. 
1572-73 John Blythman. 
1573-74 WiUiam Brookynge. 
1574-75 John Amadas. 
1575-76 Walter PepereU. 
1576-77 John Ilcomb, senr. 
1577-78 George Maynarde. 
1578-79 WiUiam Hawkyns.* 
1579-80 Gregory Cocke. 
1580-81 John Blythman. 
1581-82 Sir Francis Drake. 
1582-83 Thomas Edmonds. 
1583-84 JohnSparke. 
1584-85 Christopher Broking 

* Brother of Sir John. 



1585-86 Thomas Ford 
1586-87 George Maynard. 
1587-88 William Hawkyns.* 
1588-89 Humphry FownesL 
1589-90 John Blythman. 
1590-91 Walter PeperelL 
1591-92 John Sparke. 
1592-93 John Gayre. 
1593-94 John Phillips. 
1594-95 George Barons. 
1595-96 James Bagg. 
1596-97 Humphry Fownes. 
1597-98 Sir John Trelawny. 
1598-99 Martin White, died; 

John Blythman. 
'99-1600 Richard Hitchens. 

1600- 1 Thomas Paine. 

1601- 2 William Parker. 

1602- 3 John Martyn. 

1603- 4 Sir Richard Haw- 


1604- 5 Walter Mathew. 

1605- 6 James Bagge. 

1606- 7 William Downeman. 

1607- 8 Robert Trelawny, 

1608- 9 Thomas Sherwill. 
1609-10 John Buttersby. 
1610-11 Thomas Fownes. 
1611-12 John Trelawny. 
1612-13 John Waddon. 
1613-14 John ScobeD. 
1614-15 John Clement. 
1615-16 Abraham Colmer. 
1616-17 Robert Trelawny. 
1617-18 Thomas SherwUL 
1618-19 Nicholas SherwilL 
1619-20 Thomas Fownea 
1620-21 Robert Rawly n. 
1621-22 John Bownd. 
1622-23 John Martyne. 
1623-24 Leonard Pomery. 
1624-25 Thomas Ceely. 
1625-26 Nicholas Blake. 
1626-27 Thomas Sherwill. ^ 
1627-28 Robert Trelawny; 

Abraham Colmer. 



Nicholas SherwilL 

William Hele. 

John Bownd. 

John Waddon, jun. 

Philip Andrews. 

Rob. Trelawny, jun. 

John Martyn, jun. 


John Caws. 

Nicholas SherwilL 

William Hele. 

Robert Gubbes. 

William Byrche. 

Thomas Ceely. 

Philip Francis. 

John Cawse. 

Justinian Peard. 

Barth. NicholL 

Christopher Ceely. 

Richard Evenes. 

Timothy Allsop. 

Oliver Ceeley. 

Robert Gubbes. 

Philip Francis. 

John Madocke. 

Richard SpurwelL 

John Paige. 

Christopher Ceely. 

Justinian Peard. 

William Geflferie. 

Samuel Northcot 

John Kinge. 

Oliver Ceely. 

William Allen, re- 
moved for noncon- 
formity; William 

William JennensL 

John Harris. 

John Martyn. 

William Harpur. 

George Strelley. 

Thomas Stutt. 

William Symona. 

Daniel Barker. 

William Cotton. 

• Brother of Sir John. • Son of Sir John. 

' There were three mayors in 1627, Sherwill and Trelawny dying of the plague. 





1700- 1 

1701- 2 

1707- 8 

1708- 9 



Peter SchaggelL 
John Lanjon. 
Henry Webb. 
William Weekes. 
John DelL 
Andrew Horseman. 
William Tom. 
John Munyon. 
James Hull 
William Symons. 
Daniel Barker. 
Peter Foote. 
William Martyn. 
Isaac Tillard, died; 

William Martyn. 
Samuel Madocke. 
John Trelawny. 
Thomas Stutt 
Willliam Symons. 
Philip Andjewa. 
John Paige. 
John Martyn. 
John Munyon. 
Philip Willcox. 
James Yonge. 
Robert Berry. 
John Munyon. 
John Warren. 
John Keel 
Kichard Opie. 
Joseph Webb. 
William Davies. 
William Cock. 
Nicholas Ginnys. 
Thomas Darracot. 
Jonah Lavington. 
Samuel Allen. 
James Cocke. 
Eobert Hewer. 
James Bligh. 
Wm. Roche, amoved ; 

Richard Opie. 
Robert Cown, died; 

Benjamin Berry. 
Andrew Phillips. 
William HurrilL 
John Pike. 
John Crabb. 








Abraham Joy. 

John Beere, died ; 
Robert Hewer. 

Edward Deeble. 

William Bartlett 

George Ridout. 

John Fletcher, died 
the day after elec- 
tion; John Elf ord. 

Sir John Rogers. 

Andrew Phillips. 

John Crabb. 

Samuel Brent. 

Benjamin Berry. 

Edward Deeble. 

John Rogers. 

Samuel Allen, died; 
William Cock. 

John Tapson. 

John Wadden. 

Robert Hewer. 

John Hellier. 

Thomas Phillips. 

William Strong,died; 
Robert Hewer. 

John Veale. 

Greenhill Darracott. 

Henry Tolcher. 

Edward Deeble. 

John Waddon. 

Sir J. Rogers. 

Launcelot Robinson. 

John Rogers. 

Edward Hoblyn. 

William Martyn. 

Wm. Davis Phillips. 

Michael Nicholls. 

John EUery. 

John Facey. 

James Richardson. 

Robert Triggs. 

John Drake, died ; 
Michael Nicholls. 

John Morshead. 

Jacob Austen. 

Thomas Bewes. 

John Forest 



1767-58 Antony Porter. 
1768-69 John Facey. 
1759-60 James Bichardson. 
1760-61 Robert Phillips. 
1761-62 Michael Nicolla 
1762-63 John Morshead. 
1763-64 Jacob Austen. 
1764-65 Thomas Bewes. 
1765-66 John Nicolla 
1766-67 Wm. Davis Phillips. 
1767-68 Richard Beach. 
1768-69 Henry Tolcher. 
1769-70 Samuel Peters. 
1770-71 Joseph Tolcher. 
1771-72 Diggory Tonkin. 
1772-73 Joseph Brent. 
1773-74 Robert Fanshawe. 
1774-75 Sir F. L. Rogers. 
1775-76 Ralph Mitchell 
1776-77 Henry Tolcher, jun. 
1777-78 Samuel White. 
1778-79 Joseph Freeman. 
1779-80 Tho8.BlythDerricott 
1780-81 Jacob Shaw. 
1781-82 Joseph Austen. 
1782-83 George Marshall. 
1783-84 John Arthur. 
1784-85 John Nicolla 
1785-86 Joseph Tolcher. 
1786-87 Diggory Tonkin. 
1787-88 Robert Fanshawe. 
1788-89 Peter Tonkin. 
1789-90 John Cooban. 
1790-91 Stephen Hammick. 
1791-92 George Winne. 
1792-93 William Crees. 
1793-94 Andrew HiU. 
1794-95 William Symons. 
1795-96 Robert Fuge. 
1796-97 Richard Burdwood. 
1797-98 Peter Tonkin. 
1798-99 Bartholomew Dun- 

'99-1800 John Arthur. 

1800- 1 Philip Langmead. 

1801- 2 Thomas Cleather. 

1802- 3 Jn. Clark Langmead. 

1803- 4 Edmund Lockyer. 

1804- 5 James Elliott 

1805- 6 John Hawker. 

1806- 7 Thomas Lockyer. 

1807- 8 Thomas Eales. 

1808- 9 William Langmead. 
1809-10 Joseph Pridham. 
1810-11 Edmund Lockyer. 
1811-12 George Bellamy. 
1812-13 John Arthur. 
1813-14 Henry WooUcombe. 
1814-15 Sir Diggory Forest. 
1815-16 William Lockyer. 
1816-17 Samuel Pym, Capt 

1817-18 Thomas MiUer. 
1818-19 Richard Arthur, 

Captain, R.N. 
1819-20 George Eastlake, jun. 
1 820-2 1 Richard Jago Squire. 
1821-22 Edmund Lockyer. 
1822-23 W. Adams Welsford. 
1823-24 Nicholas Lockyer, 

Captain, r.n. 
1824-25 Edmund Lockyer. 
1825-26 Wm. Henry Hawker. 
1826-27 Richard Arthur, 

Captain, rn. 
1827-28 Richard Pridham, 

Captain, b.n. 
1828-29 Richard Freeman. 
1829-30 William Furlong 

Wise, Capt., r.n. 
1830-31 Nicholas Lockyer, 

Captain, aN. 
1831-32 Aaron Tozer, Capt, 

1832-33 George Coryndon. 
1833-34 WUliam Hole Evans. 
1834-35 John Moore. 
1836 Thomas GilL» 
1836-37 James King. 
1837-38 William Hole Evans. 
1838-39 George Wm. Soltau. 
1839-40 Joseph Collier Cook- 
1840-41 Ditto. 

' First Mayor elected under the Municipal Reform Act Mr. Moore held 
office to the end of 1835. 



1841-42 George Wm. Soltau. 
1842-43 WiUiam Prance. 
1843-44 Nicholas Lockjer. 
1844-45 Philip Edward Lyne. 
1845-46 Benjamin Parham. 
1846-47 Thomas Hillersden 

1847-48 John Moore. 
1848-49 William BurnelL 
1849-50 James Moore. 
1850-51 David Deny. 
1851-52 Alfred Booker. 
1852-53 Herbert Mends 

1853-54 Copplesione Lopes 

1854-55 Thomas Stevens. 
1855-56 John Kelly. 
1856-57 Fras. Freke Bulteel. 
1857-58 Richard Hicks. 
1858-59 James Skardon. 
1859-60 John BurnelL 
1860-61 William Luscombe. 
1861-62 William Derry. 
1862-63 ditto. 
1863-64 Charles Norrington. 
1864-65 ditto. 

1865-66 Francis Hicks. 
1866-67 William Radford. 
1867-68 ditto. 
1868-69 Alexander Hubbard. 
1869-70 William Luscombe. 
1870-71 Robert Goad SerpelL 
1871-72 Isaac Latimer. 
1872-73 John Kelly. 
1873-74 Alfred Booker. 
1874-75 Wm. Foster Moore. 
1875-76 ditto. 
1876-77 ditto. 
1877-78 Joseph Wills. 
1878-79 Edward James. 
1879-80 WiUiam Derry. 
1880-81 Francis Morrish. 
1881-82 Gharles Frederick 

1882-83 John SheUy. 
1883-84 John Green way. 
1884-85 Edward James. 
1885-86 Wm. Henry Alger. 
1886-87 ditto. 
1 887-88 Henry John Waring. 
1888-89 ditto. 
1889-90 ditto. 
1890-91 John Thomas Bond. 

Mayoralty Notes. 

A William Keterigge, probably the Mayor named in the 
Charter, sat for Tavistock in 1423 and 1425. Heynscott 
was a man of position. He is mentioned by Roger Machado, 
Ambassador to Spain and Portugal, who put into Plymouth 
in 1489 with the Castilian ambassadors, as a knight, under 
the name of Nicholas Aynsle, and as entertaining some of 
the party. Others lodged with John ' Tickpeny,* one of the 
customers; some with Thomas Tresawel, alderman; others 
with the Mayor. William Yogge was another early Mayor 
of note, a great benefactor to the town and the builder of the 
Old Church tower according to one authority, though a second 
gives the Christian name of the builder as Thomas. John 
Yogge, put out of the freedom in 1472, was no doubt a relative. 

The most notable Mayors are those of the Elizabethan 
period — ^William Hawkins, Mayor of the Armada year. Sir 
Francis Drake, Sir Bichard Hawkins, and a little later the 
Fowneses, Trelawnys, Waddons, Sherwills, and men of that 


stamp, who had worthy colleagues or successors in the 
Ceelys, and the Mayors of the Siege days — Philip Frances, 
John Cawse, Justinian Peard, and Bartholomew NicholL A 
Thomas Ceely, who may have been the father of the Mayor 
of 1624, declares in 1588 that he had been thirteen years 
in prison for the Queen's sake. In 1604, according to Yonge,' 
an amusing contest of dignities occurred Sir Bichard 
Hawkins was succeeded in the mayoralty by Walter Mathew, 
said to have been Sir Bichard's servant, and his wife Lady 
Hawkins's. The latter * disdaining to sitt bellow one y* had 
been her mayd, endeavoured to keep y* uper hand, w*"* the 
other attempting, y* Lady struck her a box in the eare/ To 
make satisfaction Sir Bichard is said to have given the 
town a house in the Market Street. There is, however, no 
"trace of this in the records, and the story seems somewhat 
apocryphal. Mathew indeed was a man of means, for he 
built a new conduit in Briton Side at his own cost. 

Nicholas Blake was ruined by the charges he was com- 
pelled to incur in connection with the Cadiz expedition — 
£624 6s. 4d. He petitioned piteously for payment in 1632, 
want of the money having caused him to be imprisoned and 
sell his estate. He was then eighty years of age. 

Samuel Northcot, Mayor in 1658-9, was also ruined by 
office. As a matter of conscience he refused to give currency 
in Church to a proclamation of Parliament, and was sent for 
to London and imprisoned. In 1662 William Allen was 
ejected for Nonconformity. In 1711 William Boche was 
amoved, and prosecuted for malpractice, having 'broken 
open the chest to get at the seals, in order to make one 
Hugo vicar of the New Church, in the absence of the 
majority of the aldermen.' Opie succeeded Boche, but the 
Litter kept the maces, and every Sunday hung them out at 
his windows in derision as Opie went to church. 

There were times when party feeling ran very high in the 
Corporation, as may be seen by a perusal of Yonge's Memoirs. 
The highest pitch was probably reached in 1728, when the 
Lambert Day contest lasted until midnight The jurymen 
were equally divided between Colonel George Treby and Mr. 
Bogers. It is said that actual bloodshed was only prevented, 
the ' mob * feeling running high, by a .providential fire in 
Gascoyne Street. Edward Deeble, the Mayor, called a new 
meeting the next day, and a new jury was sworn, which also 
proved equally divided, between Mr. Hewer and Mr. Bogers, 
Treby and Bogers had drawn their swords on each other j 

• 'PUmouth Memoirs,' Traits, Plym. Ifut. toI. t. 


and Hewer refused to be swom. In Michaelmas term both 
sides applied for a mandamus — one to swear Hewer, the 
other to proceed to a fresh election. Both applications were 
granted, but the Treby-Hewer party did not proceed. On 
the 11th December there was another jury, and again there 
were eighteen for Hewer and eighteen for Rogers. Event- 
ually it was agreed that John Rogers should be chosen. His 
Tory friends had been joined by many zealous dissenters. In 
1729 the contest was prolonged until noon the following day. 

In 1745 there was such a high tide on Freedom Day eve, 
that the corporate feasters were carried out of the Mayoralty 
House on men's shoulders. 

In consequence of the operation of the Test and Corpora- 
tion Acts, Plymouth was without a sworn Mayor from 
September to December, 1811. Dr. Bellamy, who was 
elected, was not, to quote the 'poet corporate' (R W. S 
Baron), swearable, in consequence of having omitted to 
take the sacrament within the previous twelve months. It 
was a Sunday swearing day, and he was perfectly willing to 
qualify at once, but the vicar of St Andrew, the Eev. J. 
Gandy, declined to administer on the spur of the moment ; 
the town clerk refused to put the oath ; and the Corporation 
did not go to church, where the congregation were waiting 
for them. There was great excitement, not only in the 
Common Hall, but in the streets. Eventually the Mayor 
was sworn under a writ of mandamus, December 16th, 
having qualified himself in the meantime. Dr. Bellamy was 
one of the candidates in another memorable contest in 1825, 
when the Aldermanic party in the town put forward Mr. Wm. 
Henry Hawker, and the ' Shoulder of Mutton ' party among 
the freemen, Dr. Bellamy, who was beaten by ten votes. 

Mr. Alfred Hooker, who died while on a visit to the Holy 
Land, is commemorated by a fine statue (Stephens, A.R.A., 
sculptor) at the western end of the Municipal Buildings. 


There is no complete list of the Recorders, but there can 
be few omissions in the following statement. From the 
banning of the seventeenth century the dates are those of 
appointment. Before that period the years are those in 
which the names occur : 

1480 Thomas Tresawell. 

1482 John Denya 

1487 — Bowrying. 

1493 Thomas TresawelL 


1495 William Thykpeny. 
1522 Andrew Hillersden. 
1539 Peter Courtenay. 
1547 John Charlea 
1564 John William& 
1669 John Fitz. 
1574 John Williams. 
1585 Sir John llele. 
1609 John Hcle. 
1611 Sir W. Strode. 

1620 Serjeant Glanville — Strode resigned. 
1640 Serjeant Maynard — Glanville resigned. 
1684 John [Grenvillel £arl of Bath — Maynard displaced. 
1697 Sir F. Drake. 
1717 Sir John Rogers. 
1744 Sir John Rogers, son of the former. 
1774 Sir F. Rogers. 
1777 Sir F. L. Rogers. 

1797 Sir William Elford. Unavailing efforts were made to 
get him k» resign on several occasions previously to 
1833 H. Woollcomhe. 

1837 W. C. Rowe, afterwards Sir W. C. Rowe. 
1856 C. Saunders. 
1872 H. T. Cole. 
1885 H. M. Bompas. 

Serjeant Maynard was displaced under the new charter of 
Charles, and the Earl of Bath substituted. After the Revolu- 
tion Maynard, notwithstanding his great age, represented the 
borough in Parliament. It will be noted that for eighty 
years in succession during the last century the recordership 
was, so to speak, hereditary in the Rogers family. Mr. 
Woollcombe was elected by the Mayor and Commonalty, 
previous appointments back to an unknown date having been 
made by the Corporation. Under the Municipal Reform 
Act the office is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. 

The early stipends were very small Bowryng, in 1487, 
had £1 6s. 8d.; Fitz, in 1570, had £4; Glanville, in 1634, 
£2 13s. 4d. 

Lord High Stewards. 

Plymouth rejoices in the possession of Lord High Stewards, 
whose duties are now purely honorary, whatever they may 
have been in times past. The origin of the office and its 
early history are involved in much obscurity. 

Lord Willoughby De Broke is the first holder of the 
stewardship whose name is traceable. Sir William Courtenay 
seems to have held it for some time previous to his death in 


1536, and to have been followed by Sir Richard Edgcumbe. 
Sir Robert Cecil was steward for many years before his death, 
and had £10 a year for his fees. Then we have the Earl 
of Suffolk in 1613 ; the Earl of Bedford in 1631 ; Lord 
Robartes in 1666 ; the Earl of Stamford — succeeded in 
1722 or 1723 by the Earl of Berkeley; Frederick Prince 
of Wales. Lord Anson was appointed in 1751 ; the Duke 
of York in 1762. It has long been the custom to create one 
of the Royal Family. George IV. held the office when but a 
child, and was succeeded by the Duke of Sussex, the Prince 
Consort, and in 1862 the Prince of Wales. 

Town Clerks. 

The first Town Clerk whose name has been preserved is 
Nicholas Slanning, who held the office in 1552; Thomas 
Purkins occurs in 1562 ; William Wells alias Femeworthy 
in 1563 and 1566; William Wills, jun., 1580; George 
Barons, 1592 ; John Luxton or Lupton, 1601 ; Matthew 
Boys followed in 1605, and was succeeded by John Fowell 
in 1613. The same surname occurs in 1635 ; but the holder 
of the office in the latter year was Edmund Fowell, son 
of the preceding. William Yeo, appointed in 1647, was 
town clerk in 1662 when the Corporation was 'regulated,' 
and was replaced by Philip Shapcote, who held office until 
1665. Edmund Pollexfen was town clerk when the charter 
was surrendered and the new one granted in 1684 He was 
succeeded in 1699 by Robert Berry ; and Berry in 1705 by 
Francis Pengelly; who was followed in 1722 by Richard 
Waddon. In 1725 Aaron Baker was appointed; and in 
1764 Philip Vyvyan resigned. John Heath, who afterwards 
became Justice of the Common Pleas, held the office until 
1768, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Charles 
Fanshawe, who in his turn resigned in 1780. Warwick 
Hele Tonkin was next elected, and held on until 1835, 
when Mr. C. C. Whiteford who (as his father, Mr. Joseph 
Whiteford, before him) had been deputy town clerk, was 
appointed under the Municipal Reform Act He resigned 
December 31st, 1878 — when his bust was placed in the 
Council Chamber — and was followed by the present holder 
of the office, Mr. J. Walter Wilson, January 1st, 1879. 

There used to be Town Counsel and Town Attornies. In 
1503 Elford was town attorney at a fee of 13s. 4d. ; Adam 
WUliams in 1543 ; V. Calmady in 1561. From 1572 to 1658 
we have the names in the former capacity of Coplestone, Hele, 


Majnard, Glanvill, Rattenbiiry, Mason, RoUes, and Fowell ; 
in the latter of Pope, ChoUwiche, Tozer, Kich, and Treby. 


It is impossible to compile a full list of the boiough 
Coroners, Simon Carswyll occurs as holding the oflBce temp. 
Henry VII. ; Thomas Payne, Charles I. ; Thomas Paige, 
Charles II. ; Thomas Payne, William III. In 1713 Andrew 
Phillips was succeeded by Matthew Roe ; and George Wood- 
ward Mallett by Richard Rosdew in 1791. The office was 
then held in succession by George Eastlake and R J. Squire 
(1821), and Mr. Squire was followed by Mr. John Edmonds, 
who gave up the aldermanship to which he had been chosen 
in the then newly-reformed Corporation, for the purpose. 
Mr. Edmonds resigned in 1868, when Mr. T. C. Brian was 
appointed, and on Mr. Brian's death in 1888, the present 
Coroner, Mr. A. Clark. A curious custom prevailed during 
the latter part of the last century, in the frequent absence 
or incapacity of Mr. Mallett, of appointing temporary 
coroners to hold single inquests, their power ceasing when 
the individual enquiry ended. Hence the roll of Plymouth 
coroners includes the names of Digory Mills, George Strode, 
Robert Saunders, Moses Williams, Henry Woollcombe, and 
Thomas Reynolds. The formula ran, * for this occasion only.* 

Clerk of the Peace. 

The Clerk of the Peace dates from the Municipal Reform 
Act; and Mr. R. £. Moore, then chosen, still holds the 

Receivers and ChawJberlains. 

The Receiver was a member of the Corporation, chosen 
annually; but eventually his duties came to the Borough 
Steward or Chamberlain, a paid official; the offices being 
combined in 1807. Since then the office has been filled 
by Messrs. Rattenbury, R L. Stephens, R Treeby, C. W. 
Croft, and Mr. G. G. Davey, its present holder. 

Borough Surveyors. 

The first public Surveyor in Plymouth was an officer of the 
Commissioners ; and John Eastridge Adams, who held that 
office imtil his death from cholera in 1849, was not only 
Surveyor, but Captain of the Watch, and, in fact, general 
head of the executive. He was followed by Augustus 
Bampton, who held the office from 1849 to 1854 ; and Robert 
Hodge, from 1854 to 1880. On Mr. Hodge's retirement on 


a pension as Consulting Surveyor Henry Alty was elected ; 
and on his death in 1882 Mr. G. D. Bellamy, who had been 
Assistant Surveyor in charge of the waterworks, became 
Chief Surveyor, and so remains. 

Totvn Improvement, 

The work of town improvement, so vigorously prosecuted 
by the present generation, dates more than a century back, 
although so long ago as 1673, in the mayoralty of John 
Lanyon, it is recorded that the debts of the town were paid, 
the streets cleansed, houses of office built on the quays, new 
pounds built, &c., whilst in the following year a fire engine 
with buckets was provided. Not long before the inhabitants 
had been ordered to put out a light nightly until nine o'clock, 
from All Saints to the Purification. The streets had needed 
cleansing, for in 1634 they were so filthy that a royal vrrit 
required them to be put in decent order. These reforms, 
however, were of a spasmodic character : the town was little 
the better for them after their novelty had worn oflF. 

Towards the middle of the last century the authorities 
were inspired by visions of rural loveliness. In 1737 elm 
trees were planted about the town, at Millbay, Pennycome- 
quick Hill, Frankfort Gate, and other localities. Within the 
next twenty years the tide of improvement fairly set in. 
In 1753 the Horse-pool without Rankfort Gate was filled 
up, levelled, and planted with two rows of trees (* le hors pole * 
is named temp. Henry VII.) ; rails, gates, and turnstiles were 
erected on the Hoe, and towards the water side in various 
directions; and 'a gutter made in Butcher's Lane (now 
Treville Street) to carry the water underground,' in plain 
English, a sewer. In the following year trees were planted 
on the Hoe by the * king's engineer.' These are but trivial 
matters, but they show people were beginning to think that 
after all the old town was not quite what it might and should 
be. Soon after the accession of Geoige IIL streets began to 
be paved, and lamps to be set up ; and in the tenth year of 
that monarch the first of four special Acts for paving, 
lighting, and watching the town, and regulating the carmen 
and porters therein, became law; the second and third 
following in quick succession, in 1773 and 1775 respectively. 

These statutes were repealed in 1824 by an Act for local 
improvement, which established a body of Commissioners, 
with power to levy rates to the amoimt of 2s. in the pound. 
By the Municipal Act the control of the watching was 


transferred to the Coq>oratioD, and the Commissioners 
limited to a Is. 3d. rate, the average expenditure of the 
previous seven years, exclusive of the cost of watching ; the 
average rate having been Is. 6d. and the cost of watching 
3d. In the twenty-eight years from 1824 to 1852 inclusive, 
the Commissioners raised and expended in rates £140,322 9s., 
and incurred a debt of £15,000, chiefly for widening Treville 
Street. Some of the improvements commenced by them at 
the outset of their career, notably the widening of Old 
Town Street, are as yet uncompleted, and others have been 
carried out by the Local Board. 

At length it was felt that the powers of the Commissioners 
were inadequate to the wants of the town. The cholera had 
made great ravages, Plymouth ranking in point of unhealthi- 
ness and mortality the seventh town in England and Wales.^ 
This increasing death-rate led (January, 1846) to a public 
meeting being called, and a committee being appointed, to 
make systematic enquiry into the whole matter ; and, sub- 
sequently, to the publication of the Pit/mouth Health of 
Towns Advocate (the first number in January, 1847), and the 
preparation of a very exhaustive and valuable report by the 
Eev. W. J. Odgers. At tliis time there were thirty streets 
in Plymouth without drainage, and fifty only imperfectly 
drained, whilst two-thirds of the houses were in the same 
condition, the Commissioners' Act containing no power to 
compel persons to connect their premises with the sewers. 

Under these circumstances an enquiry was directed by the 
General Board of Health, and made by Mr. (now Sir) Eobert 
Eawlinson, one of the inspectors of that body, in January, 
1852. He did not present his report until the January 
succeeding, and in the interim application was made to 
Parliament for a private Act repealing the old Improvement 
Act, and giving enlarged powers to a new body of Com- 
missioners. Mr. Rawlinson reported against this measure, 
and in favour of the adoption of the Public Health Act; 
and in 1854 the Town Council was duly authorised to act as 
a Local Board, and the functions of the Commissioners 
ceased, their assets and liabilities being transferred to the 
new body. There was much controversy concerning the 
respective merits of the two schemes. Proceedings were 
taken against sixteen gentlemen who promoted the private 

1 Cholera in 1832 carried off 779 people in Plymouth, and in 1849 1894 
— there being 1894 cases in 99 davs in the first year ; and 3360 cases in 127 
days in the second. The annual death-rate has since the latter date been 
considerably decreased as the result of sanitary improvement 


Act, resulting in their being saddled with very heavy costs, 
the greater portion of which was however defrayed by 
subscription. The worst result of the dissensions was the 
loss of the opportunity for improving George Street. The 
opening of the Millbay railway station gave this thorough- 
fare a business importance not previously possessed. Nearly 
every house then had a small garden in front, part at least 
of which should have been thrown into the road or footway. 
Instead of this these spaces were suffered to become covered 
with shops; and the authorities have paid thousands of 
pounds to make small improvements where substantial ones 
might almost have been made for shillings.^ 

' The improTement of the town under the Municipal Authority will be 
treated of elsewhere. It was oecessary, however, to trace here the course of 
events which led first to the establishment of the Commissioners and then to 
their extinction. The Court of Guardians originated in a, charity, and is 
noticed in the Chapter on Charities. 



Who with another's eye can rend. 

Or worship bv another's creed f 

Revering God's commands alone 

We hnmbly seek and nse onr ofm.-^ScoU, 

Of every race 
We nnrse some portion in onr favoured place. 
Not one warm creature of one growing sect. 
Can say our borongh treats him with neglect — Craibem 

The British Church. 

PLYMOUTH in the reign of Edward the Confessor was 
attached ecclesiastically to the College of SS. Peter 
and Paul at Plympton (the oldest religious foundation in 
the neighbourhood); but there is no ground, as already 
shown, to believe the story of Leland that part of its 
site belonged to that community, or that Sutton as such 
had a church. What evidence we have points in the other 
direction. There is nothing to suggest the existence of a 
benefice until after the Conquest, when the original parish 
of Plymouth stretched from the Plym to the Tamar, in- 
cluding the whole of the angle between the Laira and the 
Hamoaze, the parish of Stoke Damerel excepted. Domesday 
shows that the population of this area was small and 
scattered. No church would then be called for in Sutton; 
though it may very well be that one of the preaching 
stations of the canons of Plympton was on the high ground 
by the Workhouse, which long bore the name of Cross 
Down. But there is very distinct evidence that Christianity 
was originally established within the limits of the old parish 
by the British Church, in the dedications of St Budock at 
St. Budeaux and St. Pancras at Pennycross. Both these 
saints belong to the elder British Church, which preserved 
its independence in Cornwall until the tenth century ; and 


the last is specially characteristic It is worth noting 
too that the parish of St. Stephens-by-Saltash crosses the 
Tamar at Saltash Passage, and that the ancient chapelries 
of St. Budeaux and Pennycross form simply a prolongation 
of that tongue of Keltic ecclesiastical authority. 

The Parish of StUtan, 

If Camden is correct, Ealphage — a Saxon by his name — 
was a priest at Sutton in the time of Rufus, and was 
succeeded in turn by his son Sadda, Alnodus, Robert Dun- 
priest, and William Bacon. The dispute in the middle of 
the twelfth century between the Prior of Plympton and 
John of Valletort as to the right of presentation proves 
that the benefice was not only then in being, but had so long 
existed that the Prior was able successfully to plead custom 
in his favour. 

It is in the thirteenth century, however, that we find 
ourselves first upon firm ground, and that the consecutive 
history of the parish begins, with the entry in Bishop 
Bronescombe's Eegister that on the 16th October, 1264, 
Master * William de la Stane ' was instituted to the vicarage 
of Suthtone; patrons, the Prior and Convent of Plympton. 
Of much the same date is the transitional Norman arch 
now in the Athenaeum, found in pulling down the old 
almshouses, and which, there is no reason to doubt, formed 
part of the earlier church of St. Andrew. In 1291 the 
TaaxUian of Pope Nicholas gives the value of the living at 
£5 68. 8d.i 

lieliffious Orders. 

As time rolled on, various monastic bodies established 
themselves in the growing town. First came the Carmelites, 
or White Friars, who settled the only house of their order 
in Devon or Cornwall, on the site stiU known as the Friary, 
in 1313. Some irregularity in this procedure was overlooked 
by the bishop, at the request of the King. They had exten- 
sive buildings, and a stately church with a tall steeple ; and 
here in 138T the Commissioners in the Scrope and Grosvenor 
controversy, touching the right to the arms 'Azure a bend or,' 
held a sitting. John of Gaunt was one of the witnesses, 
and declared for Scrope. It has been said that at the Disso- 

' For fnller details on all these heads see the exhaustive papers by Mr. J. 
Brooking Rowe, f.m.a., on 'The Eccleftiastica] History of Old Plymouth/ 
in the fourth and filth volumes of the Tratisadiont of the Plymouth 
Institntion ; also republished with additions. 

Q 2 



lution the buildings of the Friary passed to the Corporation; 
but the town records seem absolutely silent on this head, 
and the probability is that they were acquired by Giles and 
Gregory Iselham, who obtained possession of other eccle- 
siasticfid property in Plymouth. And not long after we find 
the Friary in the Sparkes family, who resided there, and 

Spabkb's Qatewat at Friart. 

from whom it passed through the Molesworths and Clarkes 
to the Beweses. The steeple was still standing in the latter 
part of the reign of Elizabeth, so that it was not the steeple 
burnt with the 'town's evydence' by the Western rebels. 
The buildings were converted into a hospital for sick soldiers 
in the year 1794, when great mortality prevailed among the 
troops detained at the port for the West India expedition* 
They were subsequently used as an infirmary for the troops 
stationed at Millbay and Frankfort Barracks. Portions 



were used as dwellings, Friary Court not being one of the 
most aristocratic purlieus of Plymouth. 

Now all has disappeared ; the bulk of the site is occupied 

-^m^ ^n/ 

by the Friary terminus of the London and South Western 
Eailway; but part by the Roman Catholic Church of the 
Holy Cross. 


All that is certainly known of the establishment in 
Plymouth of the Franciscans, or Grey Friars, is that Richard 
II. in 1384 licensed William Cole, Thomas Fisher, Geoffrey 
Couche, and Humphry Passour, to alienate to them six acres 
of land in Plymouth for a church, belfry, houses, buildings, 
and closes. Then they got into difficulty. Having pro- 
ceeded without license to erect their church in * VUla de 
Sutton juxta Plymouth! ^^^ having obtained its consecration 
by one John Berham, who pretended to be Bishop of Naples, 
they were punished by Bishop Brantyngham, who laid the 
church under an interdict. 

The Franciscan house was in Woolster Street, and some 
of the old granite doorways in that locality are now its only 
relics. Part of the ancient building was eventually used 
as a public-house, and known as the ' Old Mitre.' Oliver* 
oljserves : * The Inn was entered from the street through a low 
arched doorway leading into a quadrangular court, having on 
the eastern side a cloister supported by twisted spiral pillars. 
At the end of this a staircase led to apartments formed out 
of the Convent church. The lower part had been used as 
cellars for merchandise.* All this was removed in 1813, 
when the present Exchange was built. Giles and Gregory 
Iselham were tlie grantees of the Franciscan property in 
1546 ; but its history cannot be traced. 

The Dominicans had a house in Southside Street. Nothing 
however is known of their connection with Plymouth ; 
and the one thing that links the existing remains with that 
body is the name Blackfriars Lane. Curiously enough these 
remains, now the distillery of Messrs. Coates and Co., are all 
that is structurally extant of either of the monastic houses 
of Plymoutli. After the Dominicans were ejected, the house 
came into the hands of the Corporation, who long used it as 
the town Marshalsea. In 1672 it became the first meeting- 
place of the Plymouth Nonconformists after Bartholomew, 
under Nicholas Sherwill ; and later it was occupied by a 
congregation of Huguenots. For nearly a century it has been 
a distillery. The refectory has been divided, but is still 
perfect, and has a singularly elegant roof. An ancient burial- 
ground existed in New Street, not far distant. 

There are considerations that seem to point to the settle- 
ment in Plymouth of other religious orders; and there is 
a tradition, but nothing more, of the presence of the 
Cistercians. Leland says that St. Andrew Church stood 
by the ' Grayes,' though the Franciscans were clearly settled 

' Monasticon Exoniensis^ p. 157. 



in Woolster Street. So in laying the foundation of the 
tower of the Guildhall an ancient burial-ground was dis- 
covered, evidently of great antiquity. Moreover, during a 
suit promoted by the Rev. Dr. Wilson, Vicar of St. Andrew, 
in 1637, in the Star Chamber against the Corporation, one 
of the points in dispute was the building of the Hospital 
of Orphans Aid, where the Vicar had anciently a house. 
These facts render it clear that the site of the Guildhall 
was occupied, in addition to the old almshouses, before the 


seventeenth century, and that the buildings thereon were 
at least partially ecclesiastical. Houses were built by 
Charles Kiddewe *on the viccaridge near the churchyard' 
in 1620 ; but these were in Whimple Street, where the old 
vicarage stood. 

Corpus Chruti. 

The house of the Guild of Corpus Christi was near what 
is now the northern end of Westwell Street, and passed 
to the Mayor and Commonalty. In 1610 we read : * William 
Brooking and John Brooking for a Tentt adioyning to the 
Church yard wherein Robert Stephens weaver nowe dwelleth, 
knowen by the name of Corpus Christ house, w*h the garden 



to the same house adioyning on w^'h garden certen dwelling 
houses are buylded. viij"/ 

The 'Prysten House: 

The so-called * Abbey ' south of St. Andrew Church is not 
an abbey or monastic house at all, but the old * pryst^n ' or 

The 'Prystes House.' 

clergy-house of the town, l^nt was paid to the Corporation 
for the * prysten-house * in the reign of Henry VII. ; and 
at a much later date, early in the sixteenth century, there is 
record of a grant by the Corporation to * Sir ' Thomas Fly te. 


chantry priest, of the ' prysten-house/ for life, in consideration 
of his outlay in repairing the kitchen. 

The Mavdlyn. 
There was a Maudlyn or Leper House at North Hill, 
which occupied in part the site of the Blind Asylum. It 
has been stated that the Maudlyn of Plymouth was dedicated 
to the Trinity and St. Mary Magdalene, and that it was the 
occasion of a dispute with the Prior of Plympton in 1370, 
at which date it was said to be of unknown antiquity. This 
is an error, which arose from confounding Plymouth and 
Plympton. The only important record concerning Plymouth 
Maudlyn House is the entry in the Chantry Eolls (1547) 
that there was then in Plymouth an almshouse called 
' Groddeshowse for the releife of impotent and lazare people 
with owte any certayne nomber appoynted.' At the date of 
this report there were fourteen inmates; but sometimes 
there were twenty, more or less, ' as the occasyon of tyme 
dothe offerr.' Beside their 'mansyon howse,' they had the 
rents of lands given by different benefactors, amounting 
to £14 7a The Maudlyn is mentioned in 1569 as the 
subject of an intended gift by William Weekes, and it 
is shown in the Cecil and British Museum maps of the 
Plymouth Leat as existing about thirty years later. When 
it disappeared we cannot say, but it must have been some- 
where within the next half-century, since at the Siege 
the site was occupied by a fort. It is quite possible that 
the Siege was the cause of its destruction ; for we have the 
record of a sale in 1648 to John Martyn of land ' neere the 
late howse called the mawdlyn howse . . . neere Plymouth,' 
which appears to indicate a very recent removal. The road 
leading thither was long afterwards called Maudlyn Lane. 

St. Katherine, 
The ' fair chapel ' of St. Katherine on the Hoe, first noted 
in 1370, was in use down to nearly the end of the sixteenth 
century. The 'hermyt of Seynt 
Katyn* is mentioned in 1511. The 
engraving is a faC'Simile from the 
old chart temp. Henry VIII. Pro- 
bably it was originally a votive 
chapel, like that of St. Michael, of 
which all we know is that it stood 
upon Drake's Island. Originally that island was called after 
St. Michael ; but a dedication to St. Nicholas apparently led 


to the name being changed, and the fame of Drake caused 
it eventually to be again re-named, with the appellation it 
now popularly bears. This chapel was destroyed before the 
middle of the sixteenth century, a letter written concerning 
the fortification of the island in 1548 stating that it was 
plucked down to the foundation. It is mentioned by William 
of Worcester in his Itinerary, 1478. 

It is probable that this chapel, in conjunction with that at 
Eame Head, and that of St. Katherine, also served the 
purpose, like many other cliff chapels, of mediaeval lighthouses 
— the three giving a fair lead into Sutton PooL Another 
ancient chapel, St. Lawrence, stood at Devil's (Duval's) Point, 
and it is quite possible that the ancient part of the abandoned 
dwelling on the Mewstone had some ecclesiastical connection. 
The 'Hawe bell' was cast by 'Platter of Bucklande* in 
1592-3—225 lbs. weight and 19 pounds of *mettell,' 47s. 

A cross will be seen in the sketch of St. Katherine 
ChapeL There were others in the town, and one near the 
Custom House had Sanctuary rights. 


Among the smaller foundations were certain chantries, 
and a hermitage of our Lady at Quarrywell, also called St. 
Marie Attewille, and ' le capdl beate Marie de font! It is 
doubtful that this is represented by the modem LadywelL 
Wardens of St. Mary occur in 1491. 

The fullest information touching the chantries is contained 
in a series of deeds belonging to the Earl of Mount Edgcumba 
Herein is set forth the grant to Edward Grymstone, senior, 
and Edward Grymstone, junior, in 1579, of a messuage and 
bam called * the hermytage of our ladie at Quarrywell,' with 
two acres of land in Plymouth, lately belonging to Plympton 
IMory, and, inter aHa, certain messuages, tofts, lands, and 
tenements in Sutton Prior, Sutton Vautorte, and Sutton 
Rauff, given for the maintenance of a chaplain to say mass 
daily at the altar of St. John the Baptist in the south aisle 
of the church of St. Andrew, for the soul of John Jabyen. 
Eventually these properties came to Piers Edgcumbe ; and in 
1582 a general commission issued to enquire into various 
lands, &c., detained from the Crown in Devon and in Corn- 
wall ; which sat at Plymouth in September. Jabyen was 
living in Plymouth in 1419, and died in 1441, when he was 
buried near the altar of St. John the Baptist in the north 
aisle of St. Andrew Church, which aisle he had probably 
built. The evidence given before the Commissioners went 



to prove that Jabyen's chantrj was sometimes called Tre- 
garthen's chantrj, and that there were also the 'rood 
chantry/ and 'Dabarns chantry.' The chantry priests 
mentioned are Sir Thomas Fleete, Sir Keysar, and Sir John 
Nichols; and it is perfectly clear that the bulk of the 
chantry land did not pass to the Crown and its granteea 
Jabyen's chantry is set down as being worth about £7 a 

Dabemon's charity, according to the Chantry Boll (1547), 
was established by 'Dabnone and John Paynter to fynd a 
pryst to praye for the soules of the founders, and mynystre 
dyvyne service in the quyer in y* parish cherch of Plyn- 
mouthe. Paying unto Maigaret Sommester, sometyme a 
wyf unto John Paynter, one of y* sayd founders, xviij*. 
yerely for her dowry, w** is deue unto her during her lyf.' 
The value of the lands and possessions of the foundation is 
set down at £9 2s. 4d. Some of these lands lay south of 
St. Andrew, some in Old Town, and some near TothilL 

Licences to celebrate divine service in domestic chapels 
or oratories were granted by Bishop Stafford, whose episco- 
pate seems to have been a time of peculiar local activity 
in this direction, to the following in the parish of Wymouth : 
Koger and Margaret Beauchamp, of Boswyns, 1395 ; Joan, 
relict of William Cole, 1400 ; Stephen and Kadegund Dume- 
ford, in their mansion of East Stonehouse, 1414; Kichard 
Kow, his mansion in the parish of Plymouth, 1411; Joan 

' The inquiry wiis conducted by inteirof^tories administered to each 
vituess in the same form, and duly set forth: * Imprimis doe you knowe 
that there wiis a chauntrie founded in the Churche of St. Andrewes in 
Plymothe called Jabyns chauntrie or Tregarthans chauntrie and whether 
was the said chauntrie founded to haue continuance for euer Or what 
haue you harde by Credible reporte conceminge the same Itm what lands 
tenements or hereditaments eyther within the towne or pishe of Plymouth 
lansalus in Coruewall or elswhere belonginge to the said chauntri or chauntrie 
priste thereof or ymployed towards the necessary vse of the said chauntrie by 
whom where the said lands geven and in what mann' were they soe geven 
and whoe were tfeofTeos thereof Itm what pristes haue you knowen to singe 
or saye masse or other s'uice within the said chauntrie and how longe 
sithens whether did you knowe one Sir Thomas Fleete Gierke Sir John Crofte 
Gierke and one Thomas Washington Gierke, or eyther of them to be chauntrie 
priestes there in what princes raine and aboute what yere thereof did the 
saide seu'all chauntrie pristes or eyther of them s'ue the said chauntrie 
Itm were not the rents and pfhitts of the said lands ymployed paid or 
bestowed towanls the findinge of the said chauntrie pristes within fyve yerea 
before the deathe ot the late kinge henry theigte and how longe after were 
they paid by whom and to whonie and how muche was there paid yerelyo 
out of the said lands towards the said chauntri or chauntrie pnstes and by 
whom Item whoe were tennaunts and tfarmers of the said lands at the time 
of the gevinge over of the said chauntrie and whoe the nowe tennants and 
occupiers thereof.' 

ST. ANDREW. 237 

Schaldon ; and William and Christina Haisende, at Kynter- 

St. Andrew, 

But of the ancient ecclesiastical institutions of Plymouth 
only one remains, and that the oldest of them all, the parish 
of St. Andrew. Its original area has been limited from time 
to time, but St. Andrew continues the mother parish, and 
the patronage of its older divisions still remains in the hands 
of its Vicar. So far back as the fourteenth century there is 
record of the ancient chapels at St. Budeaux, Stonehouse, and 
Pennycross. St. Budeaux became a distinct parish in 1482, 
and the church of that date was replaced by the present 
fabric in 1563. License to celebrate divine worship in the 
church of St. Lawrence, Stonehouse, was granted by the 
Bishop in 1472 ; but the chapel of St. George, on the site 
of the present edifice, existed and had chapel wardens in 
1497, though Stonehouse continued distinctly within the 
parish of Plymouth until its register began in 1697. Penny- 
cross, or the tithing of Weston Peverel, is still a chapelry 
of St. Andrew; although, like St. Budeaux, the tithing of 
Compton, and the township of East Stonehouse, in civil 
parochial matters it has always managed its own affairs. 
Touching the other tithing of Sutton Kaf, we have no 
information on this head. 

We glean a few dates and tajcts concerning the early 
history of the present church of St. Andrew. An aisle 
dedicated to the Virgin, then noviter constrwcta, was licensed 
in August, 1385. This, Mr. Bowe suggests, was the south 
chancd aisle. An aisle dedicated to St. John the Baptist 
was added in 1441. Twenty years later it is recorded that 
Thomas Yogge built the tower, the town, to use Leland's 
words, ' finding the stuif,' also adding, again to quote Leland, 
a ' fair chapel on the north side of the church — no doubt 
the north transept Yogge is the name we find now as 
Young. There was a John Yogge, as we have seen, put 
out of the freedom as a ' foreyn ' in 1474 ; but the Mayor 
of that surname was called William, and the tower builder 
Thomas, and that the town continued on good terms with 
him is clear. Gew, the Receiver in 1495, rode to Ayspton 
(Ashburton) to see him when he was sick, and 8d. was spent 
'when he came fro London at seynt Tomas ys day yn the 
towne ys name yn wyne,' the same year. 

At the earliest recorded date the connection of the 
Corporation with St. Andrew and its services was very close. 


In the Seceiver's Accounts of 1482 we find entries of pay- 
ments by them on ' Seynt John ys He/ and on the ' StypyU/ 
for which later four wardens were appointed — one for each 
ward of the town — ^William Thykpeny, Peryn Erie, William 
Eogger, and John Browna The *80uthe Dde/ and 'Sent 
George ys yele ' also occur. The works were in hand several 
years. John Dawe is first named as mason, and afterwards 
John Andrew, on to 1488. 

Thenceforward there was no important change in the 
structure of the fabric, beyond the choking with pews and 
galleries ; and the demolition under the name of renovation 
by Mr. Foulston in 1826 ; until the restoration by Sir Gilbert 
Scott in 1874r-5. In 1818 it was actually proposed to divide 
the building into two places of worship by a ' Babylonish walL' 
Of the church which preceded the present there are a couple 
of relics, two defaced sepulchral effigies of the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries. St. Andrew Church, as it stands, is the 
chief link with antiquity which Plymouth possesses — the 
building in which Katherine of Arragon returned thanks 
for her safe voyage; wherein the Elizabethan heroes wor- 
shipped ; whence the congregation swarmed to the shore to 
welcome Drake; where the Puritans of the Commonwealth 
took the Solemn League and Covenant, and vowed to defend 
the town to the last ; where the second Charles touched for 
the evil ; which supplied a resting-place for portions of the 
bodies of Frobisher and Blake ; and in which Johnson criti- 
cally sat to hear the sermon Mudge preached for his special 

Church Ale, 

In the closing years of the fifteenth century we find the 
Corporation paying for sermons, for playing ' to organs,' for 
singing men, and (1490) making regulations for the due use 
of the copes and vestments at interments, the wardens 
accounting for the money received for the sama Many 
years before this they had established a church ale to be 
kept by every ward of the Borough in the feast of Corpus 

yn the Parishe Church Yarde of Seynte Andrewe aforesaide ; and 
every person of the said wardes to bring with tbeym, except 
Brede and Drinke, such vytayle as they like best. And have there 
such and as many persons, estraungers, as they thinke best of theyr 
friends and acquaynted men and women, for the encreasing of the 
sayde He ; paying for brede and ale as it cometh thereto in 
rekening for theyr dyners and sopers the same day, etc. Item, it 
is agreed, that every taverne of Wyne and Ale within the said 


Burghe do forbeare theyro sale the same daye of theyre wyne and 
ale, for the well of the said Churche : every person of the xii. 
upon payne of vi' viii'*, and every of the xxiiii. iii» iiii^, and 
every of the commoners one pound of waxe, or the value of the 
same, to the said churches behoufe. And he or they doing the 
contrary at the Mayre, xii. and the xxiv., is wyllod to stand in 
jupardye of his fredome ; and to paye the said fyne : and every 
fyne or fynes so forfayte to be levyed by the Mayre for the tyme 
being, within iiii. dayes after the said feaste ; and in his defaulte 
to be levyed of his fee. And upon the audyte thereof, item, the 
Mayre for the tyme being, all way es in his owne Warde in the 
Hall so made for hym and his Warde, &c. Item, that the xii. and 
the xxiiii aide and helpe the Mayre to levy the said paynes 
forfayte at every yere and tyme therto called. Item, that no 
person that shall goe about with the Shipp of Corpis Xti. bring 
no body there but himselfe to charge the yle. Item, that they 
make a rekening to every person for mete and drinke, and notte 
to paye at theyr leasure. Item, that every He from hensforthe 
for the welthe of the Churche in tyme comyng be accomptabyle 
afore the Mayre, the xii. and the xxiiiL in the Gyldehall of the 
Burghe aforesaide, and the debet of every of theym to be sett in 
the logger of the said Towne entered ; and the said debet to be 
atte the Mayre xii. and xxiiii. disposicion in every yere and tyme 
for the welthe of the said Churche. 

The record goes on to lay down certain regulations for 
assuring every freeman to be present, or pay his tine, and for 
other purposes. 

The Ancient Church Plate and Ornaments. 

The Vicarage remained in the Priory of Plympton until 
the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when it passed to the 
Crown, being valued at £25 10s. 9d. In some way or other 
the church plate, however, fell into the hands of the Corpo- 
ration, as set forth in the following entries of 1539-40 : 

here follow^^ thaccompte of willm hawkyns, mchaunt, made 
before the auditors in the tyme of John Thomas mayre b? xxxij 
h vi\j of certen of the Churche Juells & other thyngs to the said 
willm hawkyns delyuyd in the tyme of his laste mayraltie a^ 
zxx h viij ffirste delyuyd to the said William hawkyns a chalice 
belongyng to o' lady store ij Cruetts of Silu' a lytell pax of Silu' 
the Roode shoes a Crowne for the ymage of o' lady certen small 
beds stones of silu' a Crucifix of Silu% a bokell & a pendant of a 
gurdell weyeng lix vncs & do. 

Itm more delyuyd to the said willm hawkyns an olde Crosse 
that stode yn the hande of the ymage of Seynt Savyo' 
weyeng • . . , i vnce & iy qrtrs 


Itm more delyuyd to hym certen offeryng pens & a lytell 
shype of Silu' hangyng apon Seynt Cleie cloth 
weyeng . . . . . i vnce & do 

Itm more delyuyd to hym by the hands of Thomas Clowter 
a Chalice that was at o' lady chapell at quary well 
weyeng , . . . . xij vncea 

Sm* Ixxiij vncs & iij qrtrs 
The which was sold one w*^ a nother for iy* and iiij* the vnce 

Sm* of the money xij^' ix' ij* 
Itm more the said willm hawkyns had of Seynt Clere store xliij" xi* 
Itm more he had & rec of John bovy for wax of Seynt 

Clere taps and other taps . . • viij' ix.^ 

Sm* Iij" ix** 
Sm* Tot* Rec by the said willm hawkyns xv^ xxiiij** 
Whereof paid to willm wike for that he paide to Robert 
Dighton for Seynt Katyn Chalice that lay w*^ hym to 
plegge . . . ... XX* 

Itm p^ to John Moone to acquyte a chalice of the churche 

that lay w^ hym to plegge . . xxxiij* x** ob 

Itm m^ John hals hath in his honde a chetyll whiche he had 
of the wardyns of Seynt Andrew is store at Compton. 

m? to call for o' ladyes Cote & her childs cote & for the vestments 
of Crymson velvett that Dr. John Melyn gave to the Churche. 

We also read under 1543-4 : 

plate & juells delyuryd to willm hawkyns m'ch*nt the 
xiij daye of ffebruary a® xxxvj*** h viy yn the tyme of 
Thomas hoi way to by therw**^ for the Toune gunpowdei 
bowys & for arrowys ffirste the foote of the crosse 
weyeng xlv vncs & do gilte at iij' & x* the vnce 
Sm* ..... vy"iy"vj* 

Itm iij Silu' candelstycks pcell gilte weyeng xv vncs & do 

at iij' vj** the vnce Sm* . . . liiy' iiy** 

Itm a Chalice vngilte weyeng xg vncs & j qrtr at ig" vj* 

the vnce Sm* . . . . xlij" x* ob 

Itm a Chalice gilte weyeng xx vnces iij qrtrs at ivj' vj<* the 

vnce Sm* . . . iy'* xix' vj** ob 

Itm a shyp of Silu' pcell gilte weyng xviy vncs at iy" vj* 

the vnce Sm* . . , . . iy^* iy" 

Itm more the said Mayre delyuryd hym to sende on to 

london . . . • . • xv' 

Sm* of the vnces ccxxvy 
Sm* of the money xlj" xiy" v* 

Whereof rebate for tynne & sawdyer vy* & also p* thereof 
to the said Willm hawkjrns & to Thomas Mylls to 
them due for money that they layde owte for the 
townys busynes . . ... iiy" 

So reste xxxvy^ vj" v** 


Of this Hawkins spent £21 5s. on ten barrels of powder 
in London, 1000 lbs., at 5d. a lb. ; £2 for 20 bows, at 2s. 
each; £2 15s. 'for xxx*® sbefife of arrowys at xxij^ the 
sheflFe'; £2 15s. for a cwt. of saltpetre. Canvas for bow 
eases, carriage, &c., came to £3 19s. Id., leaving with Hawkins 
£5 Is. lid. In 1545-6 William Hawkins paid £18 12s. in 
part payment of plate sold by him in London; and £14 
lis. 8d. were received for plate sold by Eichard Saunders to 
pay for ordnance. Nearly one hundredweight of plate at 
2Jd. the pound fetched £1 Is. lOd. This 'plate' was 
probably pewter. 

Since the Dissolution. 

The Dissolution introduced important financial changes. 
The town was relieved of the payment of the annual fee 
farm rent to the Priory; and in 1572 Elizabeth granted 
the advowson to the Mayor and Corporation (at a cost for 
the letters patent of £59 7s. 8d.) on condition that they 
should find a fit person to serve the cure (which had been 
burdened with a pension of £8 a year, payable first to the 
Prior and then to the Crown) and maintain a free grammar 
school. Some rights in the Vicarage had been previously 
acquired from a Mr. Maslar. 

This proved at first an excellent arrangement, but the 
Puritanic leanings of the townfolk speedily brought them 
into collision with the Court; and Dr. Aaron WUson was 
instituted by the King, first Alexander Grosse and then 
Thos. Ford, having been refused.* 

Wilson and his flock soon quarrelled over temporalities, 
and he took proceedings in the Star Chamber. He failed 
to prove allegations of encroachment on the Vicarage; but 
the Corporation thought it wise to surrender the right of 
presentation to the King, who regranted it under conditions. 

When the Civil War broke out Wilson was sent prisoner 
by the townsfolk to Portsmouth, and died at Exeter in 
July, 1643. On this the King intruded the lecturer, Thomas 
Bedford (chosen in 1635 at the instance of the King and 
Bishop), whom Walker describes as having been still more 
roughly treated ; but who, instead of dying from his perse- 
cution as stated, lived till 1653 a Presbyterian and Parlia- 
mentarian. Hobbes the clerk is said, by Walker, to have 
been frightened to death by the Puritan threats. The 

^ It was the CQstom at this time for the Yican to enter into bond to the 
CoTponition to resign when called on ; and there are many entries of pay- 
ments to preachers, who seem to haye filled the position of informal 
' lectarers,' chosen by the Mayor and Council. 



retaliation of the Corporation was the appointment of the 
great Puritan leader of the county, George Hughes, to whom 
eventually they gave a fixed income of £200. There were 
Acts of the Commonwealth to rate the town for the better 
maintenance of the ministers, and for building on the vicarage 

Under the Municipal Reform Act the advowsons of St. 
Andrew and Charles were sold (the next presentation on the 
death of Mr. Gandy had produced £5050), and the Corporation 
ceased to appoint lecturers of St. Andrew, as they had done, 
when unhindered, from the reign of Elizabeth. 

There are many unedifying records of squabbles in regard 
to the rights to official seats in the church, especially with 
the wives and daughters of the corporators, which were 
revived even within living memory. 

The register of St. Andrew commences in, 1581, the first 
entry, May 10th, being the baptism of * Fraunces the sonne 
of Mr. William Hawkynges,' and a nephew of Admiral John. 
There are few entries of peculiar interest. From September, 
1653, down to September, 1662, the register was kept by 
Henry Champlin, who was appointed by the parish and 
approved by the Mayor. During this period entries of 
* contracts ' occur. 

Vicars of 8L Andrew, 

The following list of Vicars of St. Andrew is substantially 
that given by Mr. J. Brooking Eowe. All the dates from 
the reign of James I. are those of appointment, and most 
of those before; but a few are simply the years in which 
the names are found.^ 




Kobert Dunpriest. 

William Bacon. 
1264 Wm. of the Stane. 
1309 — Martin. 
1313 Robt. Russell (1). 

Wm. of Wolley. 
1334 Nich. of Weyland. 
1371 John Hanneye. 

Thos. of Amcotes. 

John Edenes. 

Mich. Sergeaux. 

1397 John Gyles. 

1409 Thos, Guldesfelde. 

1427 John Cok worthy. 

1433 Ranulph MorewilL 

1464 Thos. MochelL 

1472 John Stubbes. 

1502 John Anthony Bonf aunt, 

Cardinal do Castello. 
1509 Thos. Griffith. 
Richd. Follet. 
1628 John Gybbons. 
1530 Edward Wygan. 
1540 John Peryn. 
1558 Ranulph Newton. 

> William of Snttone, priest, was instituted vicar of Totnes, May, 12S8. 
Sir John of Suttone was deprived of a canonry at Crediton in 1819. 

1600 Thos. Upham. 
1604 Henry Wallis. 

1633 Alex. Grosse. 

1634 Aaron Wilson. 
1643 Thos. Bedford. 
1643 George Hughes. 
1662 Koger Ashton. 


1667 Hen. Greensworth. 
1681 John Gilbert 
1723 Wm. Stephena 
1732 Zachary Mudge. 
1769 John Gandy. 
1824 John Hatchard. 
1870 Charles T. Wilkinson. 


Down to nearly the middle of the seventeenth century 
the parish of St. Andrew included the entire town. 
Ostensibly in consequence of the want of accommodation 
for the whole of the inhabitants in the Old Church, but 
partly it would seem with a view to obtain a more Puri- 
tanical ministry, a petition was presented to the King in 
1634, praying him to grant permission for the building 
of a new church on a spot called the Coney or Gayer's 
Yard, which had been given by John Hele, of Wembury, 
for the purposa Letters patent were accordingly passed 
granting the prayer of the petition ; and in 1640 the parish 
of Charles was formally constituted by Act of Parliament, 
as soon as the new church should be built. The Act, which 
cost the Corporation upwards of £150, recapitulates the 
grant to the Corporation by Queen Elizabeth of the ad- 
vowson of the Vicarage of St. Andrew, and of a pension 
of £8 issuing out of the same; and confirms the license 
granted by the King to the Mayor and Commonalty to build 
the new church, to set forth the boundaries of the new 
parish, and to prefer a Vicar to it, as they had hitherto done 
to the old one. The Mayor and Commonalty on their part 
imdertook to build the church, to maintain a hospital for 
the use and relief of poor persons within the parish, and 
confirmed their agreement to keep up a grammar school 
with a stipend of £20 a year. 

For some reason, now unknown, the Coney Yard, which 
was a ' pallace ' in Tin Street, on the shore of Sutton Pool, 
was abandoned, and the present site given in 1665 by William 
Warren, vintner, to whom was assigned m return a place of 
burial adjoining the chancel, and a seat, 14 ft. 6 in. by 3 ft. 6 in., 
to ' hear divine service and the word of God preached.' 

Money was given by several donors, and other funds 
raised by rating the inhabitants. The erection of the church 
commenced soon after the date of the Act, but the Civil 
War and Siege delayed its progress. In 1643, when operations 
were suspended, it had reached the roof; and the fabric 

fi 2 



seems to have been used — possibly there was a temporary 
covering — for there is record of a baptism in December of 
this year. In 1646 the work was resumed, but slowly. A 
rate of £500 was levied on the inhabitants for the purpose 
in 1656, and the building was not completed until 1658 — 
the tower is dated 1657. It was dedicated in 1666. The 
first spire, wooden, covered with lead, was built in 1707-8, 
and a few years later a clock with chimes was given to the 
church by Colonel Jory. This spire was taken down, and 
the present stone one erected in 1767. The building is 
one of the finest post-Reformation Gothic churches in the 
kingdom, the east and west windows being notably good, 
and recent restoration has made its singular excellence 
more clearly apparent. 


Chamcxl, Oharlis Church. 

The parish has been, and is now frequently, called Charles 
the Martyr, and sometinnes St. Charles, from a belief that 
it was dedicated to the monarch in whose reign it was 
commenced, whereas it is simply named after him. The 
'martyr' afl&x originated with a zealous parish clerk, and 
was ofl&cially expunged in 1868. It was held with the 
curacy of Compton Gifibrd, and the vicar presented to 
Charles Chapel, now St. Luke. Familiarly St. Andrew 
is still called Old Church and Charles New Church. 


The following is a list of the Vicaxs of Charles. Porter 
was a Presbyterian who conformed. He had laid aside the 
liturgy before Hughes came. On the vacation of the living 
by Martin a controversy arose, and an illegal appointment 
of a Mr. Hugoe was made by the mayor, William Eoche, 
who broke open the chest to get at the seals in the absence 
of a majority of the Aldermen. For this he was amoved ; 
his proUgi retired. Dr. Hawker is the most noteworthy 
Vicar of Chjurles. A very voluminous writer, he was the 
leader of the revival of Calvinistic theology in the West. 

1646 Francis Porter. 
1675 Francis Collier. 
1686 Abednego Sellar (non- 
1690 Thomas Martin. 
1711 Walter Hugoe. 
1711 Charles Monkton. 
1725 Nathaniel Boughton. 
1748 William Brent 
1759 John Bedford. 

1784 Robert Hawker. 
1827 James Came. 
1832 Septimus Courtney. 
1843 Charles Greenhall Davies. 

1845 Sir Cecil Bisshop. 

1846 Henry Addington Greaves. 
1878 G. F. Head. 

1885 J. M. Laycock. 
1889 N. Vickere. 

A hundred years ago the provision for religious worship 
in Plymouth consisted of the two churches, and eight 
chapels and meeting-houses unconnected with the Estab- 

Modem Church Extension, 

From the building of Charles Church until 1812 nothing 
was done to provide additional church accommodation in 
Plymouth. In that year a bill was suggested to divide the 
town into four parishes with a church in each ; while in 1813 
one was promoted to build two new churches — the money 
to be raised by levy on the inhabitants. The Dissenters 
strongly opposed this scheme (though ofTering to contribute 
towards a new burial ground), and it fell through.* 

The first practical step was the building in 1823 of St. 
Andrew Chapel, at a cost of £5,000, and at the joint 
expense of the Rev. Robert Lampen, Messrs H. Woollcombe, 
J. Pridham, and T. GilL Mr. Foulston was the architect. 
The death of Dr. Hawker next led to the erection of Charles 
Chapel (now St. Luke) for the Rev. Septimus Courtney, who 
had been the doctor's curate. The chapel was built in 
1828-9 from designs by Mr. Ball, at a cost of £4,000. 

In the first case there was some little controversy touching 
the damage that might be done by 'competition' to the pro- 

* Church rates oenaed to be levied io 1884. 


prietary rights of the Corporation in the advowsons; but 
• unquflJified consent ' was given in the latter. 

Next followed a chapel erected at Eldad — ^then ' the first 
field in Noplace Lane' — for the Rev. John Hawker, who 
left the Church on the concession of Catholic emancipation. 
The Corporation consented, on condition that Episcopalian 
rites and ceremonies were observed. Licensed in 1848, as 
the church of the new parish of St Peter, it was replaced 
in 1882 by the present handsome fabric, designed by Mr. 
Fellowes Prynne. Holy Trinity Church, begun in 1840, was 
completed in 1842. Then came Christ Church (1845-6), 
Mr. Wightwick, architect ; St. John, Sutton-on-Plym (1855), 
architect, Mr. Ferrey ; St. James (1861), Mr. St Aubyn, archi- 
tect These, with St. Peter, were churches of new parishes, 
taken out of the old ones under Sir Bobert Peel's Act The 
movement which led to their formation originated in an 
appeal by the then Bishop of Exeter, Dr. Phillpotts, to 
provide for the great spiritual destitution of Plymouth and 

In 1870, were consecrated the churches of Emmanuel, Mr. 
Reid, architect ; and St Saviour ; in 1874, All Saints, taken 
out of St Peter ; and in 1876 St Jude, Mr. Hine, architect ; 
in 1887, St Matthias, Messrs. Hine and Odgers, architects. 

In the last forty years at least £80,000 have been spent 
on church building and restoration, &c., in Plymouth, 

Incumbents of Modem Parishes. 

For the following list of appointments to the modem 
parishes of Plymouth we are indebted to Mr. A. Burch, 
Diocesan Registrar : 

St. Andrew Chapel. Robert Lampen, October 4th, 1823. 
George Hadow, October 19th, 1849 ; Death of R. Lampen. John 
Challice Street, July 6tb, 1856; Cession of G. Hadow. John 
Erskine Risk, February 20 th, 1867; Resignation of J. C. 

Charles Chapel (St. Luke). Septimus Courtney, December 
8th. 1829. Meshach Seaman, February let, 1834; r. of S. 
Courtney. George Ferris Whidborne, August 6th, 1839; r. of 
M. Seaman. William Hawker, December 2nd, 1846 ; c. of G. F. 
Whidbome. George Bellamy, September 20th, 1860 ; r. of W^ 
Hawker. George David Doudney, January 20th, 1852 ; c. of G. 
Bellamy. Frederick Courtney, August 6th, 1865; d. of G. D. 
Doudney. Isaac Hawker, February 8th, 1871 ; r. of F. Courtney. 

Trinity. Hinton Castle Smith, October 24th, 1843. Francis 
Bames, November 18th, 1861 ; r. of H. C. Smith. 


St. John, Sutton-on-Plym. Greorge Greystock Carrigliain, 
November Ist, 1844. Charles Coombs, August 16th, 1866 ; d. of 
G. G. Carrigham. Arthur Wynell-Mayow, November 29th, 1888 ; 
d, of C. Coombs. 

Christ Church. Greorge Ferris Whidbome, May 4th, 1846, 
Richard Malone, November 16th, 1849; c. of G. F. Whidborne. 
Thomas George Postlethwaite, October 14th, 1851 ; c of R. 
Malone. William Crofts Bullen, December 13th, 1861 ; r. of T. 
G. Postlethwaite. Theophilus Bennett, August 26th, 1865; r. of 
W. C. Bullen, Henry George Gervase Cutler, October, 6th, 1869 ; 
r. of T. Bennett James Metcalfe, July 6th, 1870 ; r. of H, G. G. 
Cutler. Thomas Whitby, May 24th, 1877 ; c. of J. Metcalfe. 
Benjamin Mills, December 19th, 1881 ; c. of T. Whitby. Albert 
Bonus, November 29th, 1888 ; c of B. Mills. 

St. Jambs. George Stephen Hookey, April 8th, 1847. James 
Bliss, May 31st, 1858; r. of G. S. Hookey. Horace Stone 
Wilcocks, January 9th, 1873 ; r. of J. Bliss. Frederick Gurney, 
April 30th, 1875; r. of H. S. Wilcocks. William Humphrey 
Child, September 30th, 1884; c. of F. Gurney. 

St. Peter. Edward Godfrey, May 29th, 1847. George Bundle 
Prynne, August 16th, 1848; r. of E. Godfrey. 

Emmanuel, Compton GifiTord. George Henry Fletcher, April 
Ist, 1872. George Benton Berry, March 11th, 1879; r. of G. 
H. Fletcher. 

All Saints. Samuel William Elderfield Bird, June 26th, 1876. 
Charles Rose Chase, December 6th, 1878; r. of S. W. E. Bird, 

St. Jude. Thomas Henry Howard, June 26th, 1877. 

St. Matthias. Philip Williams, November 12th, 1889. 

St. Saviour. Joseph Jones, 1884. 

T/ie Sisters of Mercy. 

Plymouth is the seat of the oldest of the various sister- 
hoods connected with the English Church. Originally 
established in a house in Milne Place, Morice Town, it was 
called the Devonport Society. Statements concerning the 
working of the sisterhood caused Bishop Phillpotts in 1849 
to hold an inquiry into its character and operations ; when 
his lordship not only exonerated Miss Sellon, the lady 
superior, but wished her God -speed. Much controversy 
arose concerning the alleged liomish nature of the Society, 
and the Devonport Sisters of Mercy became famous from 
one end of the land to the other. In 1850 the foundation- 
stone of the Abbey in the North Boad was laid; and 
it is now the head-quarters of the sisterhood, which has 


ramifications in many parts of England, and also abroad 
There are large schools and a house of refuge on the 
premises. The Abbey is in the parish of St. Peter, the 
use in which of what became known as High Church 
or Eitualistic practices — then denominated Tractarian or 
Puseyite — by its incumbent, the Eev. G. R Prynne, led to 
an inquiry by the Bishop in September, 1852, with regard to 
the question of confession, and was the fruitful source of 
controversy and pamphleteering. 

The Church Congress met at Plymouth in October, 1876. 

Puritanism and Nonconformity. 

Nonconformity in Plymouth dates to the Puritan feeling 
of the early years of the seventeenth century. In 1620, 
when the Pilgrim Fathers called at the port on their way 
to America, they ' were kindly entertained and courteously 
used by divers friends there dwelling.' The Pilgrim Fathers 
were Independents ; and the earliest recorded Nonconformist 
organization of Plymouth was such a mixed congregation of 
Independents and Baptists as was then common. 

The local Puritanism developed remarkably during the 
reigns of Elizabeth and James. In 1609 an order was made 
that no beer should be carried through the streets on the 
Sabbath except for the supply of strange ships; and we 
have other Puritanic clues in the constitutions of the 
Hospital of Orphans Aid, founded in 1617; and of the 
Hospital of the Poor's Portion, founded in 1630. 

Plymouth Puritanism had its first check when Charles I. 
in 1631 ordered that Thomas Forde of Brixton should not 
be chosen lecturer, and in 1632 instituted Aaron Wilson 
to the Vicarage instead of the choice of the Corporation, 
Alexander Grosse. The Corporation seem to have tried to 
sustain Grosse as lecturer; and this was met by the institution 
of Bedford, as already noted. Hence the probability that 
the petition of 1634, to erect a new church, had far less to 
do with the want of church accommodation in the town (the 
population had been greatly reduced by pestilence) than 
with the lack of Puritan preaching. Wilson could not be 
got rid of, the lecturer was of the same type ; what more 
ready mode of solving the diflficulty than the erection of 
another place of worship ? Charles Church was built, largely 
if not wholly, out of the rates of the town ; and since the 
Civil War not only delayed its progress, but prevented its 
consecration until the Eestoration, and in the interval it was 


used for Presbyterian worship, there is a sense in which it 
may fairly be called Plymouth's oldest 'Nonconformist 

During the Siege (1642-46) there were several religious 
assemblies in the town, and not only Presbyterians, but 
Baptists, Independents, and Fifth Monarchy Men, were 
represented. Plymouth, moreover, was the refuge of ministers 
of adjoining parishes, who could not exercise their functions 
in the presence of the Boyalist soldiery ; as it was likewise 
the prison of Episcopal clergy, zealous for the Boyal cause. 

There is little to record concerning the progress of Non- 
conformity during the Commonwealth, when Presbyterianism 
was the established faith. St. Andrew was occupied by 
George Hughes, a man of high character, unblemished 
reputation, sincere piety, and great ability. Francis Porter 
was preacher of Charles. There were two Nonconforming 
congregations. The oldest, the Baptist, is now represented 
by the Baptist Churches of George Street and Mutley, of 
Devonport, and of many other places in the neighbourhood. 
A careful, detailed, and interesting history of this Church 
has been written by Mr. H. M. Nicholson. It sprung from 
the mixed congregation of Baptists and Independents already 
mentioned, and its records date back to 1648. In that year 
Abraham Cheare, a native of Plymouth, and a fuller, was 
baptized, and shortly afterwards received an invitation to 
the pastorate, which he accepted. The society must have 
been large, as the invitation was signed by one hundred and 
fifty members. In 1651 a piece of land was bought in the 
Pig-Market, now Bedford Street, and a meeting-house erected. 
This was rebuilt in 1751, abandoned in 1789 in favour of 
the chapel in How Street, and finally, having been converted 
into stores, removed in April, 1865. 

Tke Early Friends. 

The Independents of the old united congregation, and 
those of the garrison during the Siege, do not seem to have 
left successors, and the Baptists continued the only separatists 
in Plymouth until the middle of 1654. There then came 
thither John Audland and Thomas Arey, two of the early 
Quakers, who were * received of many who were waiting for 
the Lord's appearance.' They held several meetings in public 
and in private ; * and on the first day the s^ John Audland 
went to one of the steeple-houses in the Towne, and testyfied 
against the priest and there worship, and also sounded truth 


amongst them, for w^ the s* John Audland received from 
the people in the steeple-house pritty much Abuse ; and the 
s* Thomas Arey he went to the Baptist meeteing, and 
sounded truth amonge them, who stod in great opposition to 
his testimony/ March 16th, 1655, Thomas Salthouse and 
Miles Halhead visited Plymouth, and established the first 
meeting, their reward for which was thirteen months' 
imprisonment at Plymouth and Exeter. In the same year 
George Fox paid the first of his four visits to Devonshire, 
and his journal records how, ' Having refreshed ourselves at 
our inn, we went to Eobert Gary's house, where we had a 
very precious meeting. At this meeting was one Elizabeth 
Trelawny, daughter to a baronet. She, being very thick of 
hearing, came close up to me, and clapped her ear very nigh 
me while I spoke; and she was convinced. After the 
meeting came in some jangling Baptists; but the Lord's 
power came over them, and Elizabeth Trelawny gave 
testimony thereto. A fine meeting was settled there in the 
Lord's power, which hath continued ever since.' 

There is a tradition in the Plymouth Society that the first 
meeting-house of the Quakers was a thatched building which 
stood at the head of Sussex Street. Near this was undoubt- 
edly the original Quaker burial-ground, used as such before 
the erection of the original meeting-house on the site in 
Bilbury Street in 1674, and not given up until 1721. The 
present (now modernized) meeting-house replaced the old 
one in 1804. 


The persecutions of the Quakers at Plymouth began with 
a drunken naval chaplain, who attended a meeting held by 
Halhead and Salthouse in the garden of John Harris, and 
waxed excessively wroth at being told to combine works with 
faith. He complained to John Paige, the Mayor, and Salt- 
house and Halhead were committed to the assizes as disturbers 
of the public peace, and for 'diverse other high misdemeanours 
against a late proclamation prohibiting the disturbance of 
ministers and other Ghristians in their assemblies and 
meetings.' Themselves the disturbed ; they were prosecuted 
as the disturbers ! Then Margaret Killam offended the Mayor 
by speaking to him on religious matters; and to gaol she 
went. Next year Priscilla Cotton, Margaret Cole, and 
Katherine Martindale spoke to the 'priest and people* in the 
Church, after the sermon; and to gaol went they: while 
Barbara Pattison was locked up for interrupting a funeral 


sermon. In 1658, John Evans, for speaking to the people in 
a steeple-house, was not only imprisoned, but whipped 
through the streeta And so matters went on, until hj 
1660 every prison in the county was crowded with the 
Friends. ' Within two months of that year the High Gaol 
and Bridewell of Exeter received no less than seventy, 
including all the men inhnbitants of Plymouth of that 

Plymouth was governed in all strictness during the Pres- 
byterian regime ; and there remain a few illustrative records. 
Thus, in 1659, John Wood was presented for walking on the 
Hoe during 'sermon time,* and George Cragg for suffering 
company in his house to drink burnt wine during 'sermon 
time'; while in June the constables of Old Town Ward 
presented John Olde 'for keeping men drinking yesterday, 
being Lord's-day.' This last, of course, is in accordance with 
modem ideas; but the present amount of 'walking on the 
Hoe during sermon time ' would be very shocking to the old 
Puritan ' twelve and twenty-four.' 

Immediately on the Restoration persecution began all 
round, and the wrongs of the Quakers were avenged on the 
Presbyterians. One Captain William Pestell paid the West 
a visit in 1661, in character of spy. He wrote Secretary 
Nicholas, 26th September, that the Fifth Monarchy Men 
were associated with the Presbyterians in encouraging the 
people to withstand the Common Prayer ; that ' several of the 
old sea-captains at Plymouth were determined the Common 
Prayer should not come into Mr. Hughes's church,' and that 
there was the same feeling at other places on the coast, 
where Anabaptists and Quakers abounded. 

The Presbyterians could not be touched until the Act of 
Uniformity; the Quakers were in prison before Charles 
returned; only the Baptists were available. So Abraham 
Cheare was sent to Exeter gaol for encouraging religious 
assemblies, and remained there three months, until released 
by ' special grace.' 

The Plymouth 'Bartholomew* and its Results. 
Plymouth was singled out for special visitation. Its 
gallant stand for the Parliament made it a marked town. 
Its Corporation was thoroughly Puritan. Every way it was 
obnoxious to the ruling powers. So it had a call from the 
Commissioners appointed to regulate corporations, who ejected 
the Mayor, made a clean sweep of his brethren, and turned 
out Hughes from the Vicarage of St. Andrew, a week before 


the fatal 24th of August. The Mayor, William Allen, a 
Presbyterian, gave place to William Jennens, who proved an 
adept in persecution ; and the old corporators to new Alder- 
men and Councillors of the same school Four ministers 
were silenced in Plymouth. George Hucjhes, the Vicar; 
Obadiah Hughes, his son, ejected from a studentship at 
Oxford ; Thomas Martyn, lecturer at St. Andrew ; Samuel 
Martyn, his son, an occasional preacher. Porter, minister of 
Charles, conformed George Hughes and Thomas Martyn 
were sent to Drake's Island, under charge of musketeers. 
That rugged rock then held the dignity of state-prison ; and 
among its occupants were General Lambert (who died there), 
Colonel Lilburne, and Harrington, the author of Oceancu 
Hughes was attacked with dropsy and scurvy, and after nine 
months was released on bond for £2,000 (given by his friends 
without his knowledge) not to come again within twenty 
miles of Plymouth So he retired to Kingsbridge, where, in 
July, 16G7, he died. Martyn was released under a similar 
l)ond for £1,000. He had been silenced some months before 
Bartholomew Day, on pretence of speaking certain words in 
private conventicles, which he altogether denied. Cheare 
was again seized, and lodged in the gaol at Exeter for three 

But when the appointed ministers were removed their 
adherents were not left utterly to themselves. There lived 
in Plymouth Nicholas Sherwill, member of the wealthy 
merchant family of that name, an M.A« of Magdalen, a 
Presbyterian and an occasional preacher, who had received 
episcopal ordination. He, with the younger Hughes, had 
been imprisoned, and set, free on promising not to return to 
Plymouth without leave of the Governor, the Earl of Bath, 
or his deputy. However, he commenced the first register- 
book of the Unitarian congregation in Treville Street, now 
preserved at Somerset House, with the entry of the marriage 
by him at Stonehouse, on the 17th September, 1662, not 
a month after Bartholomew Day, of Walter Trowt and 
Katherine Crampron; while on the 28th November he 
baptized Mary, the daughter of George and Mary Lapthome. 
He ministered to the people who had adhered to Hughes 
and Martyn; and in the congregation thus formed the two 
societies in Treville and Batter Streets originated. It has 
been held that there were two congregations from the 
commencement ; but as Hughes and Martyn both ministered 
in the same church, and as Sherwill was the only minister 
free to engage in ministerial work in Plymouth immediately 


on the Ejection, it seems clear that the Nonconforming lay- 
folk of Plymouth must at first have formed one body, though 
meeting in different places as best they could. And Sherwill 
ere long had assistance. Obadiah Hughes was ordained by 
Jasper Hicks, ejected from Landrake, and five other ministers, 
and preached in the neighbourhood as he had opportunity. 
When no longer safe, in 1674, he removed to London, where 
he became minister of a large congregation. John Quicke, 
ejected from Brixton, also preached in Plymouth, and spent 
eight weeks in the Marshalsea. Jacob too, the ejected 
minister of Ugborough, rode to Plymouth once a fortnight, 
and eventually became permanent pastor. 

StUl for several years Sherwill was clearly the sole regular 
minister of the Plymouth Presbyterians. George Hughes 
never saw Plymouth after his retirement to Kingsbridge. 
He was then sixty years of age, and worn out by infirmities. 
Martyn took advantage of the Indulgence of 1672 to return 
to Plymouth. There are entries of baptisms by him in the 
Treville Street registers from June 12th, 1672, to February, 
1675, and he did not die until 1677. It was upon his return 
that the division of the followers of the Ejected into two 
societies took place; for to this date the existence of two 
separate bodies can clearly be traced. Sherwill continued iu 
the ministry until his sudden death, May 15th, 1696. His 
last entry of baptism was on the 7th May preceding. 

Persecution was revived at intervals, until the Toleration 
Act was passed in 1689 ; and the records of the town contain 
many entries of Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers being 
sent to gaol, and of meetings being broken up by constables 
and soldiers. Under the Declaration of Indulgence, in 1672, 
there were licensed in Plymouth not only Sherwill and 
Martyn, but the younger Hughes, Quicke, and George 
Mortimer, who had been ejected from Harberton, and 
apparently returned thither to minister. John Glanville, 
who had been proceeded against for not coining to church, 
had his house licensed for worship, as did Thomas Yeabsley. 
A house near Charles Church was also licensed, and the 
widow Menir's at Stonehousa The illegal Indulgence was 
speedily revoked, and persecution again began, being es- 
pecially active from 1677 onward. Sometimes the meetings 
were broken up by force, sometimes the doors were locked 
and sentinelled, and then the Quakers used to gather boldly 
in the open air outside. 

The sites of some of the early meeting-places can be fairly 
identified. Martyn the elder baptised at ' Greene House, in 


Greene Street/ Sherwiirs congregation met at the *01d 
Marshalls ' — the Marshalsea, the Dominican house in South- 
side Street — and probably continued until the erection, in 
1705, of the chapel in Batter Street, the oldest meeting- 
house now remaining in the town. In 1689 the following 
were licensed in open sessions: John Woods and Thomas 
Sheppard certified that a house in Bilbury Street, in the 
possession of William Rowe, merchant (founder of Eowe's 
Charity), was chosen as the meeting-place of the congrega- 
tion under Mr. Nathan Jacob. This was the predecessor of 
the present Unitarian ChapeL Isaac Pickes, grocer, entered 
a house in the Pig-Market as the Baptist meeting-house. 
D. Papier and Jos. Boutill a house near Frankfort, the 
property of John Stone, for French Protestants, under 
John Calvett and Michael Lions. 

Under Nathaniel Harding, who succeeded Jacob at Treville 
Street, and John Enty, who followed Sherwill, the two 
societies founded by the ejected ministers flourished. 

Arianism first made head in Plymouth under the ministry 
of the Rev. H. Moore, successor to Mr. Harding ; and as it 
showed itself at the same time in the Batter Street congre- 
gation, where it was favoured by Mr. Hanmer, assistant to 
Mr. Baron, there was a double exodus ; the orthodox of both 
congregations settling in Batter Street, the heterodox in 
Treville Street, which has since been distinctly Unitarian. 

The Hugiienots. 

An exceedingly interesting feature of the religious life of 
the town has passed into oblivion. Plymouth was the seat 
of a colony of Huguenot refugees, driven from their own 
country by the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The 
first party escaped across the Channel in an open boat from 
Rochelle, arriving on the fifth September, 1681. They 
numbered between forty and fifty, and were joined by so 
many others that they established two congregations, one 
at Plymouth and the other at Stonehouse. It is the one 
redeeming feature in the years of persecution which followed, 
that these poor creatures do not seem to have been molested. 
We know little more concerning them than is to be found 
in the registers of the two congregations, now at Somerset 
House ; those of the Stonehouse congregation ranging from 
1692 to 1791, and those of the Plymouth congregation from 
1733 to 1807, the earlier records having been lost. The 
register of 1733 commences with an entry of the election, 


on the 11th April in that year, as wardens, of Pierre Hory 
Laine, Jayre Valeau, Jean Pare, and Moyere Thomas, in 
succession to Jean Pare, Etienne Brigeau, Francois Thomas, 
and Etienne Cagna — ^twenty-four heads of families assenting. 
In the July following there is an entry of the distribution 
of the royal bounty of fifteen guineas to fifty -one poor 
members of the community, ranging from eighty-two years 
of age to an infant in arms. Allowing five to a family, and 
assuming that the recipients of the bounty did not take any 
set part in the management of aifairs, the number of the 
little colony may be reckoned at between 150 and 200. For 
fully half a century these sufferers for conscience lived in 
Plymouth among, but not of, our forefathers. When they 
were householders they were entered in the rate-books under 
the style of Monsieur or Madame. Thus in the poor rate 
assessment for 1720 we find with the prefix of Monsieur the 
names of Perry, Peter Perry, Francis Thomas, F. Jourdan, 
James Borgeau, Peter Bone, James Ruffiat, Charles le Mar, 
Isaac Oust, Mignan, Ruffiat, Valleau, Boteet, Pratt, Lavigne, 
Sherren, Freno, Dammer, Chardevoine, Bourvit, and Ruleau. 
Then we have Mesdames Cateau, Burfeans, Langaller, and 
*Mons. Osorio's widow.' Other names of French origin, 
occurring without either prefix (which were probably applied 
only to the well-to-do) are Francis Colas, Peter Averilla, 
Isaac and Peter Lelander, Abraham Angoure, Gilbert de 
Lapp, Gerrard, Stephen Cagna, Ch. Peneau, Bignon, Barbe, 
and Gabon, the latter described as a French barber. There 
was likewise a Dr. Freno. 

The registers supply us with several family names in 
addition to those already given, among them Du Bouchet, 
Du Clou, Dore, Dechereaux, Arnaud, Bordier, Cherri, 
Viall, Blondett, Guillard, Benoit, Bastard, Rous, Dubois, 
Lardieu, Travers, Duval, Vincent, Herring, Gille, Delacomb, 
Gruzelier, Bonnet> Maingy, Darton, Lamoureux, Mousnier, 
and Paillin. 

While the original refugees lived, and the first generation 
of their descendants, the foreign character was distinctively 
kept up ; but the registers show that with the second genera- 
tion exterior influences of association and intermarriage 
began to work; and the third was far more English than 
French. The knowledge of the mother tongue wore less 
and less among the younger members of the community, 
and the attendance on public worship, which was of course 
conducted in French, gradually dwindled until it was con- 
fined to a few aged persons, on whose death the congregation 


became extinct. James Devoit was pastor from his arrival, 
in 1685, until his death, in 1723. In 1733, the date of the 
first register, Pierre du Bouchet was minister. He was suc- 
ceeded in 1739 by Jacob Bordier; followed in 1764 by Jaques 
Touzeau. During Touzeau's pastorate the congregation gave 
up the chapel they had erected in How's Lane, which was 
removed about 1785, after occupation by a Mr. Hemsworth, 
to give place to the present edifice. Touzeau was the last 
minister. He died in February, 1810, having been pastor 
nearly half a century, and having outlived nearly all his 
people. For many years he kept a French school in Lower 
Lane, and was much respected in the town. The following 
names of ministers are believed to belong to the Stonehouse 
congregation: 1699, Jaques Bevoitz; 1725, Joseph Demain ; 
1744-60, M. Faurier; 1762-82, David Morin; later, Jacob 
Maitre and Guilliame Bataille. 

Many descendants of the refugees still reside in this 
locality. Such names as Gruzelier and Lamoureux are of 
course easily identified, but in most cases there has been 
some amount of Anglicising. Thus Cherri is Cherry ; Tou- 
zeau, Tozer ; Gille, Gill ; Pare, Park ; Bonnet, Bonny ; Lar- 
dieu, Lardew; Bous, Eowse; Viall, Vile; Lavigne, Lavin; 
Conde, Cundy; Benoit, Benoy; Guillard, Jillard; Jourdan, 

Ccdvinistic Methodism. 

Towards the middle of the last century Conformity and 
Nonconformity alike became dull and lethargic; decorous 
indeed, but wanting energy and spirit — the form of Chris- 
tianity, lacking the vitality. All was formal and frigid. 
Church and chapel come under the same condenmation. 
Nor was Plymouth any exception, though St. Andrew boasted 
the polished Zachary Mudge, and the Treville and Batter 
Street congregations were enlivened somewhat by the stir- 
rings of the Arian controversy. As to the Baptists, they 
were 'a poor disjointed people,' a 'small renmant,' the 
membership falling off until it was reduced to eight. At 
Plymouth therefore, and in the growing town of Dock, there 
was ample scope for the exertions of the early Methodists, 
and Whitfield and Wesley reaped an abundant harvest. 

Calvinistic Methodism was the first established. Whitfield 
came to Plymouth about 1744, with the intention of em- 
barking for America. Before that date his labours had 
borne local fruit. Andrew Kinsman, a native of Tavistock, 
converted by reading one of Whitfield's sermons, settled in 


Plymouth as a grocer ; and by him and his wife chiefly (slie 
was a Mrs. Ann Tiley, and gave the ground) the Tabernacle 
in Briton Side was built, in the garden behind his house. 
Adams and Cennick and Midleton, with other of Whitfield's 
colleagues, and Kinsman himself, occupied the pulpit at first. 
In 1750 Kinsman became a regular minister, and in 1752 
removed to Devonport, where he built the first dissenting 
chapeL The Tabernacle remained his property, and he was 
still accustomed to preach there, his chief assistants being 
named Dunn, Paddon, and McAll. Kinsman was a duly 
qualified member of the Church Militant. When a party of 
seamen, led by their lieutenant, broke into the Tabernacle 
while he was preaching, with intent to put out the lights, 
and * castigate the congregation ' — one of the humours of a 
pressgang — Kinsman seized the leader and took him before 
the magistrates. When Kinsman died he left the Tabernacle 
in trust for the purpose of perpetuating the gospel The 
bequest was annidled by the Mortmain Act, and Kinsman's 
son became the owner. He was a very autocrat. The 
minister wished to get married. Kinsman preferred his 
celibacy. The minister got married. Kinsman padlocked 
the door of the Tabernacle, planted himself in a window 
opposite, armed with loaded pistols, and threatened to shoot 
any one who meddled with his property. So the congregation 
were ejected as well as their minister. For a while they met 
in the Baptist Chapel, which was placed at their service. 
At length Norley Chapel was built (then called the New 
Tabernacle), and opened December 8th, 1797. Mr. Cooper, 
who formed a Baptist church, was ejected by Kinsman from 
the Old Tabernacle in 1811. His congregation divided, 
part going to a Moravian Chapel at the Old Mitre, and part 
to a currier's shop in Duck's Lane (Week Street), whence 
they moved, in 1812, to a chapel in Willow Street, built by 
the Universalists, first called the Philadelphian Church, but 
then the Eefuge Chapel. 

The New Tabernacle was the first dissenting place of 
worship in Plymouth in which an organ was placed. The 
instrument was built by a carpenter of Tumchapel named 
Bedstone, chiefly at the expense of Mr. Cater. Terrible was 
the resultant discord ; for the org6ui in the New Tabernacle 
led to a division in the congregation, and in the end to the 
re-opening of the Old Tabernacle. The Friday before the 
organ was to be used a letter was received, signed ' David,' 
announcing that Dagon had fallen before the ark, and that 
the writer had discovered the art of ' taking his guts out.' On 


examination it was found that all the pipes of one stop had 
been taken away, proving, as Harris, who records this incident, 
quaintly says, ' that the thief was no musician.' 

Wedeyan Methodism. 

Wesleyan Methodism was established in a settled shape in 
Plymouth in 1745, when a class was formed. This was 
twelve months before Wesley paid his first visit to the town, 
in September, 1746 ; and as a result he found several zealous 
local preachers hard at work. StiU, more than thirty yeais 
elapsed before any attempt was made to erect a chapeL 
The members met in private houses, and there was a good 
deal of open-air preacliing on the Parade, by the great tree 
in Briton Side, and in rooms in Catte Street, Batter Street, 
in the Moravian Chapel, and the Old Tabernacle. The first 
Wesleyan chapel in the Three Towns was commenced in 
1779 in Lower Street, chiefly by the exertions of Bedstone, 
the carpenter, and Nehemiah Jane, a quarterman in the 
Dockyard. This sufficed until 1792, when the old chapel 
in Buckwell Lane (theii called Mud Lane) was begun in 
Mr. Prideaux's garden. Thenceforward the progress of 
Wesleyanism was very rapid, though the larger population 
and greater activity of Dock gave it such a preponderance 
that Devonport still names the district. Ebenezer Chapel 
was commenced in 1816 ; and consequent upon the cessation 
of the war and the depression thus caused, Wesley Chapel 
had to be closed for Wesleyan worship until September, 
1847, though occupied by Messrs. Denham (Baptist), Todd, 
Triggs, Kichards, and others in the interim. Salem Chapel, 
however, was built in 1828. In 1864 the erection of King 
Street Chapel was commenced. Ham Street Chapel was 
erected in 1879, in substitution for Wesley and Salem; and 
Mutley in 1881, Mr. Snell being architect of both. 

The eldest represented of the various offshoots of Wesleyan 
Methodism is the Bible Christian body, which dates from 
1818. Its chapel in Zion Street was erected in 1847, and in 
1886 that in Greenbank Road. The United Methodist Free 
Church society, originally Wesleyan Association, acquired 
the large chapel in Ebrington Street, formerly belonging to 
the Plymouth Brethren, in 1862, and named it Hope ChapeL 
It had previously assembled for nearly twenty years in the 
Old Tabernacle. The Primitive Methodists are of more 
recent appearance in the town, and occupy a little chapel in 
Ebrington Street, which has been used in turn by several 


The period of the French war, one of the greatest activity 
in all business a£fairs in Plymouth and Dock, was marked 
also by great liveliness in religious matters ; thus described 
by a no means friendly contemporary hand: 'Amidst the 
general dissipation and rage for worldly aggrandizement, a 
religious disposition was everywhere prevalent. Churches, 
chapels, and meetings were crowded with auditors; the 
latter not only on Sundays, but many evenings in the week. 
Besides public places of worship, parties of the pious assem- 
bled at each other s houses, and embryo preachers here first 
practised the rudiments of their future calling. These spiritual 
pastors were prineipally uneducated mechanics and artificers 
in the Dockyard and town. Never perhaps did moralist 
survey a more incongruous spectacle than this place afforded. 
The most open and undisguised profaneness and the most 
rigid sanctity seemed equally predominant. On one hand 
were heard the revels of debauchery and drunkenness ; and 
on the other, the praises and prayers of devotional con- 
gregations. The sanctuaries of religion were surrounded by 
the temples of profligacy.' 

Revival of PerseciUion, 

The close of the eighteenth century saw the revival of 
persecution. The Unitarian Chapel opened at Devonport in 
1791 was closed, because the Commissioner of the Dockyard 
intimated that dockyardsmen who attended would be dis- 
missed as disloyal subjects; and by perjury and malice 
the Eev. W. Winterbottom, junior minister of the Plymouth 
Baptist congregation, was punished for seditious words he 
never uttered, and for treason of which he was not guilty. 
It was the custom in those days for Dissenting congregations 
to celebrate the anniversary of the landing of the Prince of 
Orange by special sermons ; and on the fifth of November, 
1792, Winterbotham preached such a sermon in How's Lane 
from Exodus xiii. 8, ' Thou shalt shew thy son in that day, 
saying. This is done because of that which the Lord did 
unto me.' This he followed on the 18th by a sermon 
from Bomans xiii 12, 'The night is far spent, the day is 
at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, 
and let us put on* the armour of light' For these sermons 
he was brought to trial in the following July. The evidence 
for the Crown was wholly insuflBcient to sustain any charge ; 
indeed, so far as regarded the second sermon, it consisted 
entirely of the jumbled notes of Edward Lyne, a clerk to 
the Collector of Excise, and of the random recollection of 

8 2 


John Denbj, a midshipman, that he agreed with Lyne. On 
the other hand, there was abundant testimony that the 
sermons, though political, were anything but seditious. Yet 
Winterbotham was found guilty. He was sentenced to four 
years* imprisonment, two for each sermon ; a fine of £200, 
£100 for each; and to find £900 security for his good 
behaviour for five years; while the expenses of the trial 
were £337. But his friends at Plymouth stood by him, and 
on his release he returned to minister among them. 

After this the Baptist Society in Plymouth declined, until 
it entered on a fresh career of prosperity with tlie pastorate 
of the Eev. Samuel Nicholson in 1823. In 1845 How Street 
Chapel, which has an endowment of £25 yearly from Dean s 
Charity while used for Baptist purposes, was abandoned 
for the chapel in George Street, which was erected at a cost 
exceeding £5,000 ; and in 1869 the new chapel on Mutley 
Plain was opened, having been erected at an expenditure 
of £8,000. 

Sherwell Chapel, the handsomest and costliest Non- 
conformist edifice in Plymouth, was erected by the Norley 
Street congregation, and is thus an outcome of the work 
of Whitfield. The site, purchased from the Corporation, 
at one time formed part of the Sherwell estate, and this 
circumstance, in conjunction with the fact that Nicholas 
Sherwell was one of the men of 1662, named the structure. 
The chapel was opened in September, 1864, having cost with 
the land upwards of £8,000. The organ, a gift from a 
member of the congregation, is the finest in any Dissenting 
place of worship in the West of England. Mount Street 
Chapel is a mission in connection with SherwelL Norley 
Chapel was closed for a time after the removal to Sherwell, 
but was subsequently re-opened in 1866 by a section of the 

Union Cfiapel, the other Independent place of worship in 
Plymouth, is an offshoot from Batter Street, and was erected 
by the Rev. T. C. Hine in 1847-8, on a site where Whitfield 
is recorded to have preached. 

Ministers of the Elder Nonconformist Societies. 

The ministers of the * Three Denominations' — Baptist, 
English Presbyterian, and Independent — of the older societies 
in Plymouth are as follows : 

Baptist. — Abraham Cheare, 1649-1668; persecution then kept 
the church without a pastor for nineteen years ; Bobert Browne, 


1687-1688; — Wamer, 1688; Robert Holdenby, 1688-1690; 
Samuel Buttall, 1690-1697 or 1698; Nathaniel Hodges, 1698- 
1701; — Bryant commenced 1707, not ordained until 1710; 
Wm. Bennick, 1718-1720; Caleb Jope, 1720-1722; Elkanah 
Widgery, 1723-1725; John Ridley, 1726-1730; Didcot Hoare, 
mentioned as pastor in 1737 and 1739; John Binnick, left in 
1747; Philip Gibbs, 1748 (ordained 1749)-1800; Isaiah Birt, 
co-pastor with Mr. Gibbs, 1782-1789; William Winterbotham, at 
first co-pastor, and afterwards successor to Mr. Gibbs, 1790 (four 
years in prison, 1793-1797)-1804; — Ragsdale, 1808-1810; John 
Dyer, 1811-1814; G. Gibbs, 1816-1819; S. Nicholson, 1823- 
1856; G. Shorty co- pastor, and afterwards successor to Mr. 
Nicholson, 1856-1858; T. C. Page, 1860-1869; John Aldis, 
1869-1876 ; Robert Lewis, co-pastor, 1870-1876 ; John Ashworth, 
1878-1882; S. Vincent, 1883; BenweU Bird, pastor of Mutley 
Chapel, 1876. 

Unitarian. — George Hughes and Thomas Martyn, ejected in 
1662; Nicholas Sherwill, 1662-1672; Thomas Martyn, 1672- 
1677; Nathaniel Jacob, 1677-1690; Nathaniel Harding, 1690- 
1744 ; Henry Brett, assistant to Mr. Harding, 1707-1723 ; Joseph 
Cock, ditto, 1721-1731 ; Henry Moore, assistant to Mr. Harding 
till 1744, and afterwards his successor, 1731-1762 ; John Reynell, 
1762-1784; John Hanmer, co-pastor with Mr. Reynell, 1762- 
1771 ; Thomas Watson, 1785-1788; Thomas Porter, 1789-1794; 
John Kentish, 1794-1795; John Jones, ll.d., 1795-1798; John 
Tingcombe, 1798-1806: John Jones, 1807-1812; Israel Worsley, 
1813-1831; William James Odgers, 1832-1853; John HiU, 
1853-1854; Henry Knott, 1854-1865; J. K. Smith assisted 
Mr. Knott for about two months previous to his death, and 
continued on into 1866, but was never appointed minister; T. W. 
Freckelton, 1866-1874; WiUiam Sharman, 1875-1883; George 
Evans, 1884-1888; W. Binns, 1888. 

Batter Street. — George Hughes and Thomas Martyn, ejected 
in 1662; Nicholas Sherwill, 1662-1696; — By field, assistant to 
Mr. Sherwill; John Enty, 1696-1719; Peter Baron, at first 
co-pastor with Enty, came to Plymouth in 1700, was ordained 
1704, chosen minister 1720, died 1759; John Moore, assistant to 
Mr. Baron, and his successor, 1727-1760 (the trustees then chose 
John Hanmer, the congregation Christopher Mends — the latter 
was put in possession by a mandamus, and Hanmer became 
co-pastor at Treville Street); Christopher Mends, 1762-1799; 
Herbert Mends, co-pastor with his father, afterwards his successor, 
1782-1819; J. Mitchell, 1819-1821; Richard Hartley, 1823- 
1836; W. Morris, 1837-1839; T. C. Hine, 1839-1846; Joseph 
Steer, 1846-1851; John Barfitt, 1851-1854; W. R. Noble, 
1855-1860; E. Hipwood, 1860-1867; W. Whittley, 1867- 
1885; S. Higman, 1886-1888; Alfred Cooke, 1889. 


MiKisTERB OP NoRLKY AND Shkbwkll Chapkuk. — Norley Chapel 
was opened 1797.— Charles Soper, 1798-1805; Thomas Pinchback, 
1807-1811; Francis Moore, 1812-1816; James Doney, 1816- 
1823; W. P. Davies, 1825-1831 ; G. Smith, 1833-1842; EUewr 
Jones, 1844-1856; C. Wilson, 1858-1882; C. Slater, 1883. 

Plymouth has a College belonging to the Independent 
body, and affiliated to the London University. The Western 
College was established as an academy for the instruction of 
ministerial students, in 1752, by the Congr^ational Fund 
Board. In its early days it was under the direction of 
various Independent ministers, located in different parts of 
Devonshire. At length it was removed from Axminster to 
Exeter, and after some years* sojourn in that city, again 
removed in 1844 to Plymouth. Here it was carried on upon 
premises in Wyndham Place for several years. It was then 
decided to provide it with a permanent habitation, and in 
April, 1860, the foundation stone of the present handsome 
pile of Collegiate buildings at Mannamead was laid. They 
were opened in June, 1861. 

The Brethren. 

Plymouth has given a distinct name to a community of 
Christians who call themselves the Brethren, but are generally 
known by the name Plymouth Brethren. Nevertheless the 
movement did not absolutely originate in the towa It 
appears to have first assumed definite form in Dublin, on the 
suggestion of Mr. A. N. Groves, of Exeter, in the setting 
apart every Lord's-day for the breaking of bread in remem- 
brance of Christ. This was about the year 1829, and the 
meeting at Plymouth, which became the centre and fount of 
Brethrenism, was commenced in 1831. The two most 
prominent members of the society in its early days were Mr. 
B. W. Newton, Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and the 
Kev. J. N. Darby, a minister of the Irish Church, the first of 
whom was resident for some years at Plymouth. The Eev. 
J. L. Harris, incumbent of Plymstock, and Mr. H. W. Soltau, 
were also prominently identified with the movement. In 
1845, a difference of views between Mr. Newton and Mr. 
Darby led to the first open division in the body, since which 
others have occurred. The first special meeting-place used 
by the Brethren at Plymouth was what became the Tem- 
perance Hall, in Baleigh Street. Later the large * room ' in 
Ebrington Street, now the chapel of the United Methodist 
Free Church Society, was erected As the transfer of these 


buildings indicates, the Brethren are by no means so numerous 
in Plymouth as they formerly were. Four or five of their 
sections/ however, meet regularly for worship, and some 
of the body preach in various places, as at St. Andrews 
Hall, to which all are welcomed ; but without forming any 
distinct community or society. This is not the occasion to 
enter into an exposition of the peculiar tenets of Brethrenism, 
nor would the task be at all an easy one. Horace Mann 
stated as their fundamental raison d'etre, that they ' may be 
represented as consisting of all such as, practically holding 
all the truths essential to salvation, recognize each other as 
on that account alone true members of the only Church. 
They do not believe in human forms or systems, or ordained 
ministries. They break bread weekly; and some of them 
consider their assemblies under the guidance solely of the 
Holy Ghost.' 


Trinity Chapel (York Street) was erected as a High 
Calvinist place of worship for Mr. Arthur Triggs in 1828. 
In 1857-8 there were disputes as to its ownership, which 
led to one party taking possession by force and barring the 
other out, so that they were compelled to hold service in 
the open air outside. Legal proceedings followed. 

The Protestant Evangelical Church in Compton Street 
was established by the Rev. Wm. Elliott. 

The Presbyterian Congregation now at Eldad was formed 
at Devonport in 1857, and removed to Plymouth in 1862. 
The original chapel was burnt in 1882. Mr. J. L. Hodge is 
the architect of the present structure. 

The Catholic Apostolic (Irvingite) body early established 
a church in Plymouth. The present chapel in Princess 
Street was rebuilt on the site of a plain building which had 
been occupied for a dozen years. 

A Universalist congregation, now extinct, met in Henry 
Street, having worshipped previously in Park and Ebrington 
Street Chapels; and its minister, the Eev. Mr. Seabrook, 
once officiated in a meeting-house in Kichmond Street.^ 

The chapel in Portland Villas — Free Evangelical — was 
built by the Kev. J. Babb, formerly a clergyman of the 
Church of England, in 1844. It forms the under portion of 
one of the houses. 

^ Some old chapels have been abandoned as such. There was one called 
Philadelphia Chapel in Willow Street ; and a small Calvinist Chapel (Zoar) 
in Octagon Street 


The Bethel Union Chapel in Castle Street was originally 
built in 1833. 

The Salvation Army commenced operations in the Three 
Towns early in their history; and subsequently acquired 
How Street, and Mount Zion (Devonport) chapels. Their 
Congress Hall in Martin Street was opened by Greneral 
Booth in February, 1886, and cost £4,724 7s. 

The Exeter Street Mission Hall was built for a herbalist 
named Boland Kiley, who took to preaching, on the site of 
the old merchant residence of the Treeby family — a fine 
early eighteenth • century building with deep eaves, and 
central courtyard surrounded by offices. Kiley left the town 
deeply in debt in 1886. 

The Young Men's Christian Association was formed in 
1848, and acquired its present handsome and conmiodious 
premises in Bedford Street, which Dr. Hingston was mainly 
instrumental in erecting, in 1887. There is also a Young 
Women's Christian Association. 

The Jewish community of Plymouth dates from the earlier 
part of the last century. About the year 1740 several 
Hebrew families settled in the town, and formed a con- 
gregation in Broad Hoe Lane. The Synagogue, in Catherine 
Street, was built in 1760. The elders then were Joseph 
Jacob Sherenbeck and Gompert Michael Emden. 

There have for several years been Spiritualist and Secular 
Societies holding regular meetings. 

Less than a half century since a few bearded disciples of 
the Devonshire prophetess, Joanna Southcott, distinguishable 
by their disuse of the razor in days when shaving was the 
fashion, might be seen in Plymouth streets. The Three 
Towns were the seat of a Southcottonian congregation, of 
which four survived, expecting Joanna's appearance, so 
lately as 1851. About the same time a number of persons 
met for worship at th« Central Hall, Manor Street, who held 
that the end of the world was close at hand. Their leaders, 
Dealtry and Burgess, upon one occasion — in 1847 — ^positively 
fixed the date for its destruction, much to the terror of 
few even outside their flock. 

Roman Catholic. 

When Pope Pius IX. decided upon establishing the present 
Eoman Catholic hierarchy in England, Plymouth was selected 
as the seat of one of the new dioceses. The first priest who 
is known to have statedly ministered in Plymouth after the 
Reformation was the Eev. Edward Williams, who was settled 


at the seat of Mr. Eichard Chester, in Buckland-tout-Saints, 
and who occasionally visited Plymouth to attend to the 
spiritual wants of the few and scattered Catholics then to be 
found there. This was a century since,® The first missionary 
station in the Three Towns was established at Devonport, in 
a room over a stable behind the George Inn, by the Eev. 
Thomas Flynn, an Irish Franciscan. He was succeeded by the 
Eev. Louis Guilbert, a French emigr^, who, being unable to 
obtain a site for a chapel at Devonport, built and opened in 
1806-7 that in St. Mary Street, Stonehouse. The rapid 
growth of the Three Towns, and the equally rapid increase 
of their Irish population, rendered the accommodation of 
this edifice utterly inadequate. Soon after the bishopric 
was established, it was decided to erect the present cathedral 
in Cecil Street The foundation stone was laid in June, 
1856, by Dr. Vaughan, the chief promoter of the work ; but 
nearly twelve months afterwards operations were delayed by 
the unfortunate falling in of a considerable portion of the 
building. The spire is a later addition. The cathedral is 
dedicated to the Virgin and St. Boniface. Adjoining, on the 
south, is the bishop's residence, and on the west a large 
conventual establishment and schools, occupied by the 
Sisters of Notre Dame, the foundation stone of which was 
laid in 1864 

Part of the site of the Old Carmelite Friary was recon- 
verted to its ancient uses by the erection of a conventual 
building known as Carmel House. This was occupied for a 
short time by a Carmelite Sisterhood who came to Plymouth 
from Schlerder. When they left in 1878, they were succeeded 
by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who have a 
certified poor-law school for girls under their cara The 
Church of the Holy Cross was erected here in 1881. 

There is a house of Basilian Fathers at Beaconfield, near 

The old church premises in St. Mary Street, Stonehouse, 
were for some years occupied by the Little Sisters of the 
Poor, who in 1885 built St. Joseph's Home at Hartley, in 
1890 adding a chapeL 

There was formerly at Coxside a Nunnery of Poor Clares, 
who belonged to a house established at Aire in 1629. They 
settled at Plymouth in 1813, and removed in 1835. 

Dr. Errington was the first Bishop of Plymouth (1851) ; and 
was succeeded by the present prelate. Dr. Vaughan, in 1855. 

' Mau was celebrated in the Citadel Chapel daring part of the reign of 
James II. by his chaplain, Christopher Turner. 



Church and Chapd AccommodcUiofi, 

The census returns of 1851, as arranged by Mr. Horace 
Mann, present the following statement of the provision for 
religious worship in Plymouth at that date : 






Sunday. Much SOth. 


. Free. 






Church of England . 10 







Independents . . 6 







Particular Baptists . 1 







Friends ... 1 







Unitarians . • 2 






WesleyanMethodiBtB. 6 







Bible Christians . 1 







Wesleyan Association 1 







Isolated Congregations 10 







Catholic Apostolic . 1 


• •• 





Jews .... 1 







Totals • 

38 9258 13647 23805 13176 3056 12506 

The proportion of sittings to population was thus 45'6, 
and the additional number required to provide for 68 per 
cent, of the population was 6483. There were not thirty- 
eight distinct churches or chapels ; some of the congregations 
meeting in rooms. 

In 1871 the Nonconformid published a statement of the 
number of places of worship in Plymouth, as compared 
with these returns for 1851. Their accuracy was questioned, 
and a statement concerning the various Dissenting bodies 
was then published by Mr. Alfred Booker, substieintially 
corroborative, so far as these were concerned. The figures 
given for 1871 are: 

* NoBroovroBMnr.* 
PlftOM of Inereua •inoe 1861. 

Mb. Rookkb. 

Wonbip. BIttlngi. 



PlAOec Sittings. 

ChuTch of England • 




1385 .. 






1200 .. 

. 1 1200 





682 .. 

. 6 4040 

Baptist . 



2264 .. 

5 3994 



1 400 


700 dec. 1 

26 .. 

. 1 400 

Wesleyan Methodist . 


3760 dec. 1 

1474 .. 

5 4061 

Primitive Methodist . 



450 .. 

1 450 

United Methodist . 



692 .. 

1 900 

Bible Christians 



1 450 

Brethren . 



760 W 

. 4 800 

Roman Catholics 



700 .. 

. 3 950 




1 200 

All others • • • 


1900 dec. 8 dec. 3850 .. 

. 4 1270 





34 19115 



Excluding mission stations and rooms casually occupied, 
but includmg all independent gatherings statedly held, 
the present accommodation provided, chiefly in separate 
buildings, for religious worship in the Parliamentary borough 
may be approximately stated as follows. Absolute accuracy 
seems unattainable, and there are some grave difficulties of 
classification. There are now among the miscellaneous group 
chapels which were placed in the earlier return under the 
Baptist or Independent heads; and this must be borne in 
mind in attempting any comparison. 

Chnrcli of England 
Baptist . 
Inaependent • 

Wesleyan Methodist 
Bible Christians . 
United Methodist . 
Primitive Methodist 
Roman Catholic . 
Catholic Apostolic 
Presbyterian . 

Salvation Army . 

Places of Worship. 















It is still more difficult to give an exact estimate of the 
mission accommodation. The mission -rooms and chapels 
connected with the Church of England do not, however, 
seat fewer than 3600 ; and the rooms and buildings statedly 
used for Nonconformist and unsectarian mission work will 
accommodate approximately 3000. 

Burial Oraunds. 

At the time of Mr. Bawlinson's enquiry (1852) some 
interesting particulars were given with reference to the old 
burial grounds of the town, the whole of which were then in 
use. St. Andrew Churchyard, the most ancient, dates from 
the middle of the thirteenth century, and has been raised by 
interments above the natural level The burial ground in 
Westwell Street (Strayer Park), belonging to the same 
parish, first used about 1700, also had its surface consider- 
ably elevated. Yet 4,320 interments had taken place in the 
parish within the seven years previous to the enquiry. The 


burial ground of the parish of Charles consists of three 
sections, the original yard, opened about 1650, the higher 
ground west enclosed in 1824, and the higher ground east 
first used in 1832. The number of interments there within 
the seven years was 1,828. The Nonconformist burial 
grounds date as follows : Friends, Bilbury Street, 1748 ; 
Presbyterian, Batter Street, about 1750; Jews, near the 
Citadel, 1748 ;» Baptist, George Street, 1787; Methodist, 
Ebenezer, 1817; Unitarian, Norley Street, 1832; Norley 
Chapel Vaults, 1839. The Plymouth Brethren had a place 
of interment in Ebrington Street and vaults under the 
Baleigh Street HalL The total area of the whole was 
5a. Or. lip. 

In 1854 the Church, Wesleyan, and Batter Street yards 
were closed except for interments in vaults ; and since that 
date the burials from Plymouth have mostly taken place in 
the Plymouth, Devonport, and Stonehouse Cemetery, on the 
north-east of the town. The project of establishing a 
cemetery was started in 1845, and the Act obtained in the 
following year. Eighteen acres of land were purchased, with 
power to acquire four more. Ten only were laid out in the 
first instance. The first interment in the unconsecrated or 
general ground took place on the 22nd December, 1848 ; and 
the first in the consecrated 9th February, 1849. A part of 
the consecrated ground was set apart for the interment of 
those who died from cholera in 1849, and received 408. 

Few of the present generation of Plymouthians are aware 
of the existence of a disused burial ground in front of the 
Crescent. In that spot the French prisoners of war who 
died during their incarceration in the Millbay Prisons 
adjoining were buried ; and when in 1824 the late Dr. Yonge 
commenced the never-finished Crescent, the Corporation, 
with the concurrence of the Navy Board, granted the ground 
to him, to enclose with iron rails and form into a shrubbery, 
with walks, in consideration of his giving up a road to the 
Hoe. Though there has long been no external trace of the 
purpose to which the ground was once applied, the planting 
of additional shrubs has frequently afiforded evidence of an 
incontestable character. Some of the intennents took place 
in what is now Athenaeum Street ; and have come to light 
in works of sewerage. 

* The Jews have now a burial ground adjoining the Cemetety. 


Learning by study must be won, 

Twas ne'er entailed from sire to son. — Oay. 

The Qrammar School. 

THE Grammar School is the oldest educational institution 
in Plymouth. It was founded in 1561 by the Corpora- 
tion, as the following extract from the White Book shows :* 

xiiij Die July 1561. 

In the guilhale w^ thasseut of John Eliott Maio' w^ the more 
p^ of the xg and xxiiij^^ then assembled it was determyned con- 
cluded and vtterlie agreed ypon that one Thoms Brooke should 
supplie thoffice and function of a teacher or Scholem' wHn this 
towne so longe as he therin shall decentlye behave hym selfe and 
in consideracion of an annual stipend of x^ quarterly to be paid 
by the receavo' he the said Scholem' shall freelye teache aU the 
children native and inhabitaunt wHn the Towne and that he also 
for his loginge and refuge shall hawe to his owne vse the chambers 
over the almeshowsse chapell and the said chapell for his schole- 
howsse and that ho shall teache no other but gramer and writinge. 
Itm ther it was by thassents aforsaid fullie agreed that all suche 
psons whose names be herin ingrossed as hawe given anye some or 
somes of moneye toward and for the stipend aforsayd shall for 
nonpayment of such somes of moneye an they of ther mere good 
willes hawe giveu towards the vse aforsayd be Dystreyned and 
Distreinable for the same. 

John Elyot, mayor. Ids. 4d. ; Thomas Clowter, 68. 8d. ; Lucas 
Cocke, 58. ; Richard Hoop[er], 58. ; William Weks, 10a ; John 
Ilcombe, lOs. ; John Derye, 5a ; Edward White, 5& ; Nicholas 
Bickford 6a 8d. ; William Lake, 68. 8d. ; Nicholas Slanninge, 

^ The materials for this chapter are almost wholly drawn from the original 
docnments in the local archives. 

' The date of 1501, previouidy assigned by various writers, arose from the 
misreading of an imperfect figure by the first enquirer. However, we find 
'James the soolemaister ' in 1607, with a kind of quasi public position. 


13a. 4d.; William Hawkyna, 58.; John Forde, Ca. 8d.— [The 

William Symons, 208. ; Bobert Hampton, 16d«; Edward Cocke, 
lOd. ; Thomaa Byrt, 28. 8d. ; John Sampson, Gs. 8d. ; John Haw- 
kyns, Ss. ; Thomas Hampton, 58. ; William Howe, sen., Is. ; 
Thomas Browne, 4s. ; John Maynard, 28. 8d. ; John Marty n, 58. ; 
Gregory Cocke, 2s. 8d. ; John Waddon, 28. ; Thomas Perkyns, 
2s. 8d. ; Walter Peppcrell, 28. 8d. ; Christopher Earle, 138. 4d. ; 
John Vosye, 3s. 4d. ; Henry BrecnaU, 28. ; William Brokinge, 16d. ; 
Richard Enscott, 4d. ; Mr. Edmund Euston, lOs.— [The Twenty- 

Richard Lybbe, lOs. ; Greorge White, 3s. id. ; Robert Holman, 
1&; Greorge Bolton, 16d.; JohnRewbye, lOd.; John Greninge, 5d.; 
John Lyght, Is. ; John Worgow, 2s. ; John Lewys, 4s. ; William 
Griffyn, of Compton, 2s. ; Wm. Chiswyll, 48. ; Wm. Jetfrye, 16d.; 
Thomas Williams, Is.; Wm. Griffyn, Is.; John Whyte, la; Wm. 
Makye, 8d. ; Wm. Blake, fletcher, 16d.; Wm. Gill, 16d.; John 
Peny, lOd. ; Roger Tremlynson, 8d. ; Alse Lyle, lOd. ; Robt 
Wood, 20d.; John liealbery, 28.; Thos. Turner, 16d. ; John 
Sounde, (t) 2s. 8d. ; Nicholas Barford, 28. ; John Bery, 28. ; John 
Tennycombe, 28.; John Harvye, I6d.; Thos. Hoy lie, 3s. 4d.; Thos. 
Barrett, 6s. 8d. ; John Roche, Is. ; John Hoop, 20d. ; Alse Pera, 
3s. 4d. ; Nicholas Browne, 5b, ; Thomas Bickley, 5s. ; William 
Brown, 10s.; John Gewyns, 38. 4d.; John Hayleston, 16d.; Wm. 
Huchins, 6s. 8d. ; John Estcott, 3s. 4d. ; Walter Batteshill, 38. 4d. ; 
Bawdon Hooker, 2s. ; John Bumard, 58. ; Richard Pers, 28. ; Jas. 
Hampton, 16d. ; Henry Blase, 16d. ; John Foote, Is.; Wnu Batti- 
shill, 28. ; Margaret Bunting, 16d. 

Between this date and 1572 there occur many entries of 
payments on account of the school house — 36 perches of wall 
were built in 1561 at lOd. a perch — and for the school- 
master's * table ' and fees, while * the little schoolmaster ' and 
' two schoolmasters ' are also mentioned. In the latter year 
(February 20th) the Queen granted letters patent which set 
forth that the revenues of the Vicarage, burdened with the 
pension of £8 a year payable to the Crown (in succession to 
tho Priory), and its arrears of £112 were unable to maintain 
a Vicar, since no one could be found to undertake the duties 
for the balance. Wherefore, on the undertaking of the 
Mayor and Commonalty, that they and their successors for 
ever would find a fit person to serve the cure, and would 
support a free grammar school in the town, paying the chief 
master a stipend of £20 per annimi, the Queen granted and 
assigned to the Mayor and Conmionalty and their successors 
the arrears of the said pension, the pension, and the advowson 
of the Vicarage. 


The salary of £20 was for the time liberal It attracted 
hither William Kempe, an M.A. of Cambridge, a poet, and 
author of a work on education. It was the same amount 
that the Mayor was allowed for his yearly fee, and it was 
certainly over a third of the whole vicarial revenues. Thus 
in 1592-3, when the Vicarage was farmed by Kempe, he 
paid £40 ; while George Baron gave £10 for the rent of the 
vicarage house. Moreover, we have clear evidence of what 
was considered in those days the due division of the income 
of the Uving, in the fact that in 1600 Upham, the Vicar, had 
£34 to Kempe's £20. And Henry Wallis, who succeeded 
Upham, was bound under penalty to pay the £20 every 
year. In the time of the Commonwealth the difference 
between the shares of the Vicar and the schoolmaster had 
become greater ; but then the Mayor and Commonalty made 
up the ministerial stipend to what was regarded as an 
adequate amount, out of the town revenues, and doubled 
the pay of the schoolmaster. The stipend, in fact, never 
represented the whole of the outlay on the school, as we see 
even from such entries as the payment of 14s. 8d., in 1592, 
to Eempe, towards building his study and trimming his 
chamber. The Almshouse Chapel and its appurtenances 
may have continued the school-house and master's residence,' 
with sundry alterations (though we find the term 'the 
school-house in the churchyard,' which seems distinctive), 
until, in 1657-8, the old school-house in the Orphans Aid 
was erected at the cost of the Mayor and Commonalty; 
though subsequently rented from the other Charity, and in 
some way associated with the almshouse property, which it 
adjoined, and which received a small annual payment from 
the Orphans Aid on its behalf. 

The Corporation at that time undertook what was essen- 
tially the foundation of the Grammar School on em enlarged 
basis. Not only did they build the new school-house, but 
they resolved that the salary should be £40, with the 
Orphans Aid house and garden ; and that forty boys should 
be taught free, the master being allowed to make his own 
advantage for the rest Upon this understanding, July 8th, 
1658, articles of agreement were entered into with Nathaniel 
Conduit, of Ilminster, who became the first master in the 
new premises. 

The Grammar School in the last century lost its free 
character altogether, and became simply a subsidized school 

* It and the dwelling attached were leased, in 1710, to William Strong, at 
a fine of £70, and on condition that £60 ahoold be laid out in alterations. 


of the ordinary classical type ; though tinder the mastership 
of Dr. Bidlake, which ended in 1810, it attained a high and 
well-deserved reputation. On the appointment of Dr. Bid- 
lake's successor, the salary, then £30, was raised to £50, on 
condition that two sons of poor freemen of Plymouth should 
be educated therein free ; and at the present time ten boys 
are educated on payment of two guineas each per annum. 
The only other change to notice is the removal from the old 
premises, which had become very inadequate. A payment 
was then made in lieu of the school-house to the master; 
and this continues, the Corporation paying £20 as salary, 
and £50 for the school-house. The fee farm rent of £8 
granted to the town by Elizabeth, and once paid to the 
Prior, is now paid by the Vicar. 

There is no complete list of the masters, but the following 
occur: Thos. Brooke, 1561; GUI, 1570; Wystlek, 1574-5; 
Wm. Mynterne, 1575-6 ; William Kympe, 1581 ; Moore, 
1604-5; John Worth, 1605-30;* A. Horsman, 1630- ; N. 
Conduit, 1658- ; John Bedford, 1674-1738; John Bedford, 
jun. (agreement 1735 in his father's lifetime), 1738- ; 
Rev. H. Lemoyne, -1779; Eev. Dr. Bidlake, 1779-1810; 
Rev. W. WUUams, 1811-1826 ; Rev. J. H. Borwell, 1826-1840 ; 
Rev. Dr. Holmes, 1840-1854 ; W. G. Clase, 1854-1858 } Rev. 
W. Harpley, 1858-1866; W. Bennett. 1867-1879; John 
Bennett, 1879-1885 ; J. Kinton Bond, 1885- 

The Orphans Aid, 

The founder of the Hospital of Orphans Aid was one 
William Laurence, a merchant living at * Foxhole.' By his 
will, made December 3rd, 1612, he bequeathed to Thomas and 
Nicholas Sherwill, merchants, £100, to be paid at the return 
' of the good shippe called the Jonathan of plymouth whereof 
I am part owner from her now intented vioage to the Straights 
in the parts beyond the seas, and of the proceeds and retume 
of my goods and adventure now in the said shipp the said 
voyage,* the condition being that within seven years after 
the testator's death the SherwiUs should erect and build a 
' convenient Almshouse ' in Plymouth for ' poore people . . . 
to dwell and inhabite therein or for the education and bring- 
ing vp of poore children or orphants of the same borough.' 
Further he bequeathed to the Mayor and Commonalty ' to 

* Worth was a clorgyman appointed in Bucoession to Moore, also a clergy- 
man, who had obtained other preferment, on the recommendation of Bishop 
Cotton that he was * an excellent good schoUer, a minister and a verie good 
preacher, one that hath spent most part of his time in teaching schools, and 
hath made as many good schollers as any one man iu the coontrie.' 



the use and for and towards the releife and mayntenaunce 
of the said poore people and orphants which shall from time 
to time dwell or be brovght vpp in the saide howse/ or in 
defaulte of the Sherwills erecting such a house, then to the 
same purpose in any such house erected by other persons 
within the said seven years, four pounds annually out of his 

H>A W 

OH-" tA~ ^UX ^ 

Bktbamcs or thk Orpbavi Aid. 

lands and tenements at Tor for ever. Another 20s, a year 
was left to the Mayor and Commonalty out of Tor towards 
the maintenance of a * preacher of the Word ' at Tidneham, 
Gloucester ; and £20 to the ' stocke to sett y* poor to worke.' 
The Sherwills were faithful to their trust; and well witliin 
the seven years the work was dona A memorandum upon 
a loose piece of paper, fortunately preserved, puts the 
cost of endowing and incorporating at £301 9s. 5d. ; and of 



building and walling and planting the orchard at £457 138. 4d., 
total £759 28. 9d. William Laurence's £100 had thus borne 
good fruit A memorandum on another scrap shows that it 
had been supplemented up to July, 1616, by the following 
gifts: Abraham Colmer, £100; John Clement, £120; Nicholas 
8herwill, £120; Thomas Sherwill, £120; Humphry Fownes, 
£50; — Proctor (a legacy), £20; John Bound, £10; W. Heale, 
£10 ; W. Hill, £20 ; William Birch, £10. Laurence's £100 
was received from Clement. 

There is extant the detailed account of the building 
charges, kept by Thomas SherwiU, beginning March 7th, 
1615, on which day Robert Trelawny had JtlS 10s. towards 
the redeeming of Mr. Mathow's lease, 'being the on halfe 
of the pryse thereof,' and ending August 28th, 1618. There 
are entries of small gifts from poor people — shillings from 
lightermen and the like ; and Kobert Trelawny appears as a 
liberal benefactor in addition to those already named. Not 
only does he seem to have taken half the cost of Mr. 
Mathew's lease; but he pays £6 13s. 4(L in cash; £10 16s. Id. 
for the ' remayner of the poole,* and gives a house occupied 
by Robert Bray, bringing in £2 8s. annually. A precedent 
was sought for the deed of incorporation, and a copy of that 
of Dr. White's Temple Hospital in Bristol obtained. Mr. 
Gland ville's man had lis. for writing and engrossing, and 
Sir Matthew Cary 3s. 4d. for his fee ; the enrolment cost 6s. 
£100 was paid to Mr. Fownes in 1618 for a house in Still- 
man Street, and £25 to Mr. Colmer for his gardens in Mudd 
Street — Buckwell Lane.* 

The actual site of the Hospital was the tenement leased 
by Matthews, granted by the Corporation for the purpose, 
and in consideration of the 'cost and great charge' of the 
Sherwells in acquiring the lease, at a yearly rent of 223. 

An account with Abraham Colmer, Robert Trelawny, 
Thomas Sherwill, and Nicholas Sherwill, governors, gives 
the expense of ' building erecting founding & incorporating 
the sayd Hospital w*h the dyet apparell & other necessaries 
of the orphans' to December 24th, 1620, at £833 7s. 5d., of 
which, up to the 29th September preceding, the founders and 
first benefactors had given £734 Os. 1 Jd., so that £99 6s. 3|d. 
remained due. 

The property conveyed under the foundation deed consisted 
of (a) three messuages and a close adjoining the Hospital on 

* On the parchment back of the book are the mottoes : ' Ki dens domum 
ediBcat frustra laborant sedificatores ' ; and, ' He is a father of the fatherlesae 
& a Judge of widdowes euen god in his holy habitation.' 


the west ; (J) two gardens in Mudd Street ; (c) a house in 
Stillman Street; and (d) two houses in Southside, with a 
close of land at Laira, and two closes in Egg Buckland, 
called Awter's Well — the latter (d) the property of Arthur 
Pollard, Esq., deceased. This naturally suggests that Pollard's 
property was itself a special endowment. 

Entries of receipt in the following year set forth the 
details and values of the original endowment as follows: 
house in Stillman Street, £3 ; tenement at Southside, 16s. ; 
two messuages lately built by Joseph Gubbes at Southside, 
piece of ground at the Lsuy, and 16 acres of land at 
Egbuckland called Auters well, £1 13s. 8d.; shop at Southside 
Quay, 4s.; three messuages and gardens adjoining the hospital 
on the west, and a close in Old Mill Lane, 6s. 8d. ; part of a 
dwelling-house and shop, 48s. ; building on the wall of the 
town, 4s.; two gardens in Mudd Street, 25s.; dues of Sutton 
Pool, collected by John Barnes (£13 6s. 8d. was paid the 
Prince for rent), £22 3s. 7d. The total receipts, with a 
legacy of £10 from John Waddon, were £43 15s. lid.; the 
expenditure, £33 16s. 2d. 'Richard Isteed phisition* was 
tutor, and had £11 14s. for the diet of four orphans for 
three-fourths of a year. 

There is not here, nor anywhere else apparently, save in 
the Eeceiver's Accounts for 1602-3, any definite reference 
to a gift by Walter Mathewe to the town of certain houses 
for the use of poor fatherless children, a pair of indentures 
concerning which were written in that year at the cost 
of 5s. 

Bobert Bawlyn, a captain in Parker's last expedition, 
whose will is dated February 15th, 1626, was a liberal 
benefactor to the town, and to the orphans in particular. 
He left £10 to the poor; £10 to the poor stock; £125 to 
be lent to poor seafaring men in sums of £10 and £5, at 
4 per cent. ; £125 to be lent to poor tradesmen and young 
beginners. Two houses in Batter Street and the residue 
of his property were bequeathed to the 'Orfifautes Ayd,' with 
the expressed wish that one of the children therein should 
belong to Compton Giflford. Of the interest of the first 
£125, £3 was to be spent in providing butter for the 
Almshouse people on fast-days; £2 was to be paid for the 
poor of the tithing of Compton Gifibrd. Of the interest 
of the other £125, 10s. each were to be paid to the poor 
of Plymouth, Stonehouse, St. Budeaux, Stoke, Egg Buckland, 
Weston Peverell, and Saltash; and the remaining 30s. at 
Christmas to the poor of Plymouth. 

T 2 


That the remainder given to the Orphans Aid was sub- 
stantial is shown in his recognition by the 'twelve and 
twenty-four/ in 1647, as the chief fovmder of that Charity, 
of which he was certainly the chief supporter. The greater 
part of his gift had been applied in the purchase of the 
moiety of the Drake lease of the mills, which then produced 
£150 a year ; and the Mayor and Commonalty resolved that 
only eight orphans should be maintained out of the mill 
income ; and that as much money should be saved as possible, 
*to raise some considerable sum for the future support of 
that house, and keepe in memory the acte of soe good a 
benefactor/ The Commissioners of 1820 had an idea that 
the £250 loan stock had never been received by the Cor- 
poration, inasmuch as all the payments thereout are, and 
have long been, made from the funds of the Charity (save 
the 303. to the poor of Plymouth, which has dropped). 
The real explanation, however, seems to be that all Eawlyn's 
bequest was applied directly in furthering the objects of the 
Hospital. The Corporation still pay, and have long padd, 
£20 a year to its funds. 

A portrait of Kawlyn was placed in the schoolroom of 
the 'Aid,* and is now in the Guildhall. 

The necessities of tlie Corporation, brought about by the 
Siege, led them to borrow freely of the funds of the Charities 
in the town, as well as of individuals. There is full evidence, 
however, that a strict account was kept. The Orphans Aid 
as the most wealthy body was most largely drawn upon. 
The £1,500 paid for the moiety of the Drake lease of the 
mills during the Siege produced practically no return ; and 
when the lease ran out the Corporation had become largely 
in debt to the Charity. £1,400 of this debt was, however, 
cancelled in 1653 by the settlement on the Hospital of a 
fourth of the mills (then fallen in hand) and of the water 
in the leat; and this arrangement lasted down imtil 1805, 
when the fourth was repurchased by the Corporation for 
£1,800. This led, in 1840, to the Charity Commissioners 
filing a bill against the Corporation to recover the property ; 
but in 1845 the Master of the Rolls decided that the Charity 
had no legal claim. The produce of the mills to the Charity 
from 1666 to 1803 averaged £60 5s. 7d. The highest year 
was 1712 = £107 28. Id. ; while in some years, as in 1766, it 
yielded nothing. 

The Orphans Aid is strictly a Corporation foundation. 
Though founded by deed poll July 17th, 1617, by Thomas 
and Nicholas Sherwill, the site had been granted them 



April 14th, 1615, subject to the fee farm rent of £1 2s., by 
the Mayor and Commonalty; and the Sherwills by their 
foundation deeds provided that the Hospital should be 
imder Municipal management The ex-Mayor was to be 
governor, four of the Aldermen assistants, and two of the 
'twenty-four' wardens; and the Mayor and his brethren, 
from the time that there should not be three of the first 
founders or benefactors surviving, were to have the sole 
direction and visiting of the Charity, and the placing and 
displacing of the orphans. For this reason the Commissioners 
of 1820 made no investigation of the affairs of the Hospital 

Skal or Obphaks Aid. 

It is now under the control of the trustees of the Municipal 
Charities, Mr. Edmund Pridham, clerk. 

Though appropriated solely to boys, the original intention 
was to include girls within its benetits. The seal, the draught 
of which cost Is. 6d., shows five orphans, of whom three are 

Htie and Lanyons School. 

The history of Hele and Lanyon's School begins with a 
feoffment by Elize Hele January 9th, 1632, of all his estates 
to his own use during life, and after his death to his wife 
Alice Hele, John Maynard, John Hele, and Elize Stert, and 
their heirs in trust, to employ the same in some godly, pious, 


and charitable uses. They gave £500* and £20 a year about 
1640 for the benefit of poor children in the Hospital of 
Poor's Portion ; and subsequently John Maynard and Elize 
Stert, the survivors, definitely applied the profits of certain 
of the lands for 'the maintenance of poor children to be 
placed and educated in and preferred from the Hospital of 
Poor's Portion.' £2,000 left by John Lanyon, under his will, 
September 15th, 1674, for the benefit of the poor people of 
the Hospital of Poor's Portion, was laid out in the purchase 
of properties in Plymouth, the rentals being applied in the 
maintenance and education of children, as with Hole's 
Charity, and the two being managed by the same set of 
trustees. Hence originated what is now known as Hele and 
Lanyon*s School, but in the last century as the Ked and 
Blue Boys — those brought up on the Hele Charity being 
dressed in blue, and those on the Lanyon in red. It was a 
purix)se of the original scheme of the Hele Charity that 
children of 'extraordinary parts of memory and otherwise* 
should if possible be sent to the universities. On other 
Hele foundations this has been done, but never in Plymouth. 

The funds of this trust have been grievously wasted in 
litigation, and sustained loss by the insolvency of Mr. 
Cleather, the steward, early in the present century. Much 
difficulty in management has arisen from the fact that 
there are three sets of parties interested — the hereditary 
trustees, who are the heirs of Sir John Maynard ; the official 
trustees, in whom the Lanyon property is also vested ; and 
the Guardians : and at different times various schemes have 
been drawn up to settle points in dispute between them. In 
this way a Charity intended for the elevation of pauper 
children has been turned into a lower middle-class school, 
and the real owners deprived of their Intimate rights. 

Under the deed of 1658, by which Sir John Maynard and 
Elize Stert settled the estates, the revenues were to be 
applied (among other matters) ' towards the maintenance of 
poor children to be placed and educated in and preferred 
from the Hospital in Plymouth, conmionly called the Poor's 
Portion,* and none were to be admitted 'but orphans who 
have no father, or whose fathers cannot maintain them'; 
while guarantee was to be given on behalf of outside places 

* The £500 was to bo invested in lands ; and after |)ayraent of £10 each 
yearly to the ministers of Plympton and Plynistock, one chUd was to be 
maintained for each £8 of income — the Mayor and governors of the hospital 
appointing three, and the trustees the fourth. One year's income might be 
allotted to place each child out. 


that children from them, if they became unfit for the 
Hospital, should be maintained by the parishes to which they 
belonged. When the Hospital passed to the Guardians under 
the Workhouse Act, the trustees dealt with the Hele Charity 
independently of the Guardians, and nominated the lads 
without reference to the Workhouse until 1805. Then the 
Guardians successfully maintained the right of the children 
in the Workhouse, and the trustees chose the two -thirds of 
the recipients who were under the deed of 1658 to belong to 
Plymouth, from a list presented to them annually by the 
master of the Workhouse. Lanyon's Charity, which at first 
admitted girls, had precisely the same history. 

In 1821 a formal agreement was entered into between the 
Guardians and the trustees to settle certain disputes. Here 
the same principle was affirmed, but with certain limitations, 
which have really led to the present condition of affairs. 
The boys were placed under the care of the Guardians, and 
the schoolmaster nominated and paid by them in considera- 
tion of his educating the other male children in the Hospital. 
'But the boys maintained and educated on this Charity' 
were ' always to be kept as distinct as possible (both in and 
out of school) from the paupers in the house' — elsewhere 
called * the general poor.' 

While the old Hospital was occupied as the Workhouse 
Hele and Lanyon's School was conducted therein, originally 
as an integral part of the establishment, later as an adjunct, 
in separate apartments, which the Guardians were bound to 
provide. Then it had a house provided, and it became for a 
while the custom to pass boys sent there in at one door of 
the Workhouse and out of the other, to keep up the pretence 
that they were preferred from the Hospital of the Poor's 

Joan Bennett's Trust. 

Joan Bennett's Trust was founded under her will, bear- 
ing date August 10th, 1650. She left certain premises in 
Plymouth (Old Church Lane) to the Mayor and Commonalty, 
to the intent that £6 of the yearly proceeds should be paid 
for the preaching of twelve sermons in the parish church of 
Maker, by Joseph Hicks, of Laudrake, or whom he might 
appoint during his life (afterwards, her other executors had 
the appointment, and finally the Mayor and Commonalty) ; 
the residue to be paid quarterly to the poor of Maker. And 
certain other premises, in Southside Street, the profits to be 
applied for the maintenance of two scholars in the study 


of divinity at Oxford or Cambridge, or one of them; one 
student to be of the posterity of her husband's brother's 
sons, and the other of the posterity of one of her sisters. 
Furthermore she left £30 to be lent out in sums of £10 for 
four years or less, gratis, to young tradesmen of Plymouth, 
well and piously affected ; another £50 to be lent out in like 
manner for the same period, gratis, to * two able and religious 
ministers of the gospcll'; and out of the profits of her 
properties in Plymoutli, formerly the land of Pollard or his 
wife, £6 a year, for i)reaching a sermon monthly in the 
'Great Church' of Plymouth, every Saturday before the 
first Lord's-day, or before the celebration of the Lord's 
Supper, and during the term she had in the same property, 
by Mr. George Hughes, minister of Plymouth, or such as 
he should appoint — the residue of the profits to go to the 
increase of the maintenance of the two scholars; £20 was 
also left to be given to poor people of Plymouth — ancient 
men or poor widow women. Finally, after a number of 
personal bequests, Joan Bennett left the whole remainder of 
her property for the purchase of the freeholds of her lease- 
hold interests, or of other lands, ' to the end that the portions 
appointed by me for the maintenance of the said scholars 
and the lecture in the towne of Plymouth may be ppetuated 
and continue foreu' if god shall soe please.' The executors 
were George Hughes, Jasper Hicks, Andrew Trevill, and 
Christopher Ceely ; and Hughes attended her on her death- 
bed, March 10th, 1651-2, when he added a codicil. 

There is no trace of the moneys bequeathed by Joan 
Bennett to be lent on loan, nor of the bequest for the en- 
dowment of the sermon in Plymouth. The Maker Trust 
continues ; but had long ceased to be, if it ever was, under 
the management of the Mayor and Commonalty of Plymouth, 
at the date of the Charity Enquiry of 1820 ; it is however 
one proof that the testatrix was a Presbyterian, and that her 
endowment was not intended for the education of Episco- 
palian clergymen, to which it has been at times applied. 

According to their own showing to the Chaiity Com- 
missioners of 1820, from 1678 to 1795 the Corporation had 
received in rents £2,174 18s. 7d., against which they had 
only paid exhibitions to the amount of £732. In that year 
the house was burnt; so they allowed £500 to the tenant 
toward rebuilding. Another £500, or over £4 a year, was also 
claimed by them as deduction for rates, taxes, repairs, and 
expenses of receiving the rents, while they allowed nothing 
on the other side for the interest of the constantly-accu- 


mulating balance, which paid very handsomely for all these 
things. However, they did acknowledge a debt to the Trust 
in 1799, of £442 18s. 7d. ; and this is the foundation of the 
present stock. From that date down to the time of the 
enquiry, the Corporation continued to receive and use the 
rents; but they made no application of the funds because 
no persons had been able to prove descent; and possibly, 
if the Commissioners had never investigated the business, 
nothing more would ever have been heard of Joan Bennett 
and her gift to the poor scholars of Plymouth. A few years 
later there was a Chancery suit ; and in 1834 it was ordered 
that failing claimants of descent the sons of inhabitant house- 
holders should be chosen. The bulk of the Charity property 
now consists of accumulation of income, and is administered 
under a scheme of 1888 by a body of governors, to whom 
Mr. Edmund Pridham is clerk. Exhibitions are granted of 
the yearly value of £50, tenable for three years at an 
approved university in the United Kingdom, and are open 
to sons of residents in the Parliamentary borough under 19 
years of age. They are awarded on examination, and the 
parents must be of limited means. 

General Endowed Schools, 

The Grey School, Hampton Street, was foimded in 1713 
by several leading inhabitants, prominent among whom was 
Canon Gilbert, Vicar of St. Andrew. It was known as the 
Grey and Yellow School, from the dress adopted, and 
previous to the erection of the present premises in Hampton 
Street, in 1814, was held in Woolster Street in 'a dirty 
situation and a miserable building.' 

Lady Eogers's Charity School, now at Ivybridge, bub long 
occupying premises in Bedford Terrace, was founded in 1764 
by Dame Hannah Rogers, who left £10,000 to be applied for 
that purpose, after certain conditions had been fulfilled. 

In 1785, during the joint pastorate at Batter Street Chapel 
of the Revs. Christopher and Herbert Mends, the Batter 
Street Benevolent Institution was founded, for the education 
of girls and infants. It was the oldest local educational 
institution definitely connected with any religious body ; and 
was always conducted purely on the voluntary principle, 
supported by subscriptions from persons of different denomi- 

The Household of Faith in Vennell Street was founded by 
the Rev. Dr. Hawker, while Vicar of Charles. In 1787 a 


Sunday School was established in Friary Court, and in 1790 
a day school of industry for girls. The present school house 
in Veunell Street was built in 1796. The children are 
instructed according to the principles of the Established 
Church, and trained and employed in such useful employ- 
ment as is best calculated for their positions in after life. 

Mr. Jacob Nathan, a wealthy Hebrew of Plymouth, in 
1867 left £17,000 to charities, and founded an endowed 
school for his own people, held on premises in Well Street 

Voluntary Schools. 

The Plymouth Public Free School was founded in 1809 
for boys, in 1811 for girls, and the first stone of the first of 
the present group of buildings was laid in 1812. Prior to 
that date the boys were taught in Bedford Street ; the girls 
in the Guildhall. The growth was so great that several 
additions were rendered necessary; and it has become not 
merely the largest in the town, but one of the largest 
of its kind in the kingdom, educating over 2,000 children. 
The Infants' School was established in 1860. The annual 
expenditure is about £2,500. When first established ad- 
mission to the school was free, but it was soon found 
necessary to charge a small fee. 

Ragged Schools were commenced in 1848, Mr. Eldred 
Brown and Mr. T. Nicholson being the promoters. In 1850, 
the Ragged School Association was formed. Premises in 
Catte Street were then purchased at a cost of £600, and 
adapted at the outlay of another £200. A small school was 
next set on foot in Foundry Ope. This afterwards developed 
into the King Street Schools, erected at a cost of £2,100. 
The Ragged Schools eventually merged into the work of the 
School Board. 

Public 'voluntary' schools have been established, and good 
— in several cases attractive — school buildings provided in 
various parishes in the town. Charles led the way. Schools 
for this parish were established in 1838, but it was not 
until 1846 that the school buildings in Tavistock Place were 
erected. In 1856-7 additional accommodation was afforded 
by the erection of a boys' school at Vinegar Hill, otherwise 
Charlestown, when the former building was appropriated to 
girls and infants only. St. Andrew Chapel Schools were 
started in 1842. Schools for Holy Trinity were first opened 
in 1844, and the present buildings erected in 1854, 1859, and 
1865, as occasion required The schools of St. Peter were 


established in 1850, and the premises (since largely extended) 
opened in 1859. Christ Church schools were likewise estab- 
lished in 1850. Sutton-on-Plym boys* school was erected in 
1861, and in 1870 capacious girls' and infants' schools were 
added. The schools of the parish of St. James, long held 
in very poor premises in Bath Street, occupy commodious 
and handsome premises in Prospect Eow. Singularly enough 
the mother parish was the last to move in the matter of 
education. It was not until 1861 that day schools for St. 
Andrew were established. Only two years from that date 
had passed, however, before the buildings in Princess Street 
Ope were erected. There are also schools in connection with 
the Abbey, North Eoad. 

The Boman Catholics hold large schools in capacious 
buildings attached to the Cathedral, until the erection of 
which the old chapel in St. Mary Street, Stonehouse, and 
previously to the Cathedral being built a house adjoining 
that chapel, were used. They have been established upwards 
of fifty years. There is also a school at TothilL Higher 
education is given in the Convent of Notre Dame, and by 
the Basilian Fathers at Beaconfield, near Plymouth. 

In 1865 the Baptists provided spacious school buildings 
adjoining their chapel in George Street, in which an un- 
sectarian boys' school was then carried on. In 1870 the 
Wesleyans erected commodious schools behind their chapel in 
Kong Street, which were likewise used for daily instruction ; 
but neither of these undertakings is now in existence, the 
School Board having practically covered the same ground. 

The School Board. 

Under the provisions of the Education Act of 1870, the 
Town Council applied for powers to elect a School Board, 
and the first election took place on the 31st of January, 1871. 
There were nineteen candidates for thirteen seats ; six being 
nominated as Churchmen, six as advocates of unsectarian 
education, two by the working men, two by the Wesleyans, 
one by the Roman Catholics, whilst two — the Rev. J. Barter 
and Dr. Merrifield — stood independently, the latter specially 
representing science. The election was held before Mr. W. 
Luscombe, as returning officer, the Mayor, Mr. Serpell, being 
one of the candidates, and resulted as follows. The unsec- 
tarian candidates are distinguished by an asterisk : 

Successful candidates : — Mr. J. Pike (Working man. Inde- 
pendent) 4349 ; Mr. S. P. Cook (Working man, Wesleyan) 
4171 ; Mr. T. Pitts (Churchman) 3456 ; Mr. J. Smith (Wes- 


leyan) 3119; Mr. C. F. Burnard (Wesleyan) 2968; Rev. C. 
T. Wilkinson (Churchman) 2861 ; Kev. J. Barter (Indepen- 
dent) 2257; Rev. Canon Mansfield (Roman Catholic) 2129; 
Mr. C. Norrington (Churchman) 1967; •Air. A. Rooker 
(Independent) 1927; •Rev. F. E. Anthony (Independent) 
1805; Mr. C. Bewes (Churchman) 1768; •Mr. R C. Serpell 
(Baptist) 1739. Unsuccessful candidates: Mr. J. Kelly 
(Churchman) 1669; •Mr. J. N. Bennett (Liberal Church- 
man) 1562 ; Dr. Merrifield (Unitarian) 1531 ; •Mr. S. Eliott 
(Friend) 1282; Mr. W. Radford (Churchman) 1135; •Mr. 
R. Rundle (Liberal Churchman) 643. 

In consequence of the Board adopting the principle of the 
twenty-fifth clause of the Education Act, which allowed the 
payment out of the rates of fees for indigent children in 
denominational schools, Mr. Serpell, who had been elected 
chairman, resigned his seat. The contest to fill the vacancy 
took place in November, 1872, and turned upon the clause. 
Mr. S. Eliott, one of a number of Nonconformists who had 
refused to pay the School Board rate on the ground of 
conscientious objection, was the candidate of the opponents ; 
Mr. G. Jago, master of the Free School, the candidate of 
its supporters, chiefly Churchmen and Roman Catholica 
The contest was exciting, but Mr. Eliott won by 1457 votes 
to 1280 ; and this was taken as deciding the controversy. 

A preliminary educational census by the Board showed 
3,114 children in the town between three and five, and 
10,966 between five and thirteen. Upwards of 2,000 were 
not receiving any education. 

On the completion of its sixth triennial term of office, in 
January, 1889, the Board had acquired or erected ten sets of 
schools — in Castle Street, Cattedown Road, King Street, 
Mount Street, Oxford Street, Palace Court, Sutton Road, 
Treville Street, Union Street, and Wolsdon Street ; a truants' 
industrial school ; and had established a higher grade school, 
a cookery school, and science and art classes. The total 
cost of building had been £64,062 2s. lid.; and there was 
due on loans £54,701 16s. 2d. These buildings provided a 
total accommodation, at eight superficial feet per child, of 
6975 — as allowed by the Education Department of 6010. 
There were 6020 on the register, and the average attendance 
was 82*79 per cent. Mr. H. Soltau was the first clerk of the 
Board. On his resignation Capt. Pope succeeded. When 
he resigned Mr. E. Stribley was appointed, and on Mr. 
Stribley's death in 1889, Mr. Cook. 


Higher and Special Education. 

The provision for higher education in Plymouth is ample 
and excellent ; and, in addition to the private schools, there 
are two proprietary establishments — the Plymouth High 
School for Girls, opened in 1874; and the Plymouth High 
School for Boys (Plymouth College), founded in 1877. The 
town is also an important centre for the modern systems of 
University Examination and Extension. 

Art Schools and Science Classes have been carried on in 
Plymouth for many years with very marked success ; and in 
1887 it was resolved to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee by the 
erection of a suitable building for the purpose of Technical, 
Art, and Science Schools. Designs by Mr. Shortridge, 
architect, were approved on competition ; the Town Council 
gave a part of the Cattle Market fronting on the Tavistock 
Eoad, for a site ; and in 1889 memorial stones were laid by 
the Mayor (Mr. H. J. Waring) and Mr. T. BulteeL 



In Faith and Hope the world will disagree. 

Hut all maDklDd's concern is Charity. 

All must be false that thwart this one great end ; 

And all of God that bless mankind or mend.— /V»/m. 

Plymouth ! wherein from the remotest age 
>Vhich knew thee, Charity hath found her shrine, 
May I not elory, hailing thee as mine f 
There still lives moist-eyed Pity to assuage 
The pangs of misery, or soothe the rage 
Of fierce disease— there ever stands the door 
Of Mercy open to the houseless poor — 
There 's not a sorrow written in the page 
Of human wretchedness, there *s not a woe 
But finds some gentle ministry. — Qandy. 

The RospUal of Poor's Portion. 

FROM the peculiarity of its origin the Workhouse of 
Plymouth claims place among the endowed charities of 
the town, though by no means senior in point of aga 

In May, 1589, John Berry, of Plymouth, left (a) a house 
to Thomasine CoUyn for life, charged with 6s. per annum to 
the relief of the poor; (6) lands and tenements which he 
had bought of Mr. Foster 'near Plymouth Church' to his 
kinsman, William Berry, of Bideford, Jane his wife, and 
their heirs ; failing such heirs, in succession to Mark Berry, 
Thomas Berry, and Rc^er Berry, and their heirs male ; and 
failing these, the reversion to the Mayor and Commonalty 
for the maintenance and relief of the poor for ever — this 
land was also charged while it continued in the Berrys with 
a second annuity of 6s. for the relief of the poor ; (c) lands 
and tenements at the Southside which he had bought of 
John Amadas and Edmund Specott, in succession to Marke, 
WiUiam, Thomas, and Roger Berry and their heirs male 

^ The leading authorities for this chapter are among the maniments of the 
Corporation and the Board of Guardians. 


(likewise charged with an annuity of 6s. for the relief of 
the poor), and the reversion as before to the Mayor and Com- 
monalty for the maintenance and relief of the poor for ever. 

By this will John Berry virtually became a principal 
founder of the Hospital of Poor's Portion. 

Neither Mark nor William Berry had any male issue; 
Eoger Berry died without issue ; Thomas Berry had one son 
and two daughters. This son, Thomas Berry the younger, 
also died without issue, but left the property at the Southside 
to his wife and her heirs, considering himself the owner in 
fee-simple. Then the Mayor and Commonalty stepped in 
and claimed the reversionary rights; and the property was 
leased in 1626 by the widow, Elizabeth Berry, to Robert 
Trelawny and others for the use of the poor, on payment of 
£70. Disputes arose with the daughters of Thomas Berry 
the elder, but the Mayor and Commonalty sustained their 
claim ; and this property (both a and c ; for the house left to 
CoUyn was also at the Southside) became a portion of the 
endowment of the Hospital of the Poor's Portion, the 
annuities merging. What became of h is not clear; but 
probably it also came to the Corporation. When the Hospital 
was built the Mayor and Commonalty claimed that it had 
been erected on their land. 

There is a curious order in the White Book, setting forth 
that the three messuages and tenements on the site of which 
the Hospital had been erected were worth twenty marks a 
year in clear annual value. And whereas this was so, and 
whereas the Corporation were possessed of three closes of land 
containing about six acres, then in the occupation of Philip 
Andrews and Robert Barker, which closes were charged with 
the payment of £2 6s. 8d. yearly to the poor, it was agreed 
that this yearly payment should lapse to the Corporation in 
exchange for the Hospital site ; and that if at any time the 
Court of Chancery, or such competent authority, should 
insist upon the payment of the rent-charge, the wardens of 
the Hospital should pay the Corporation £200. These three 
closes were in the hands of the Corporation, so charged, as 
early at least as 1612 — two, adjoining the Mill Pool, in the 
occupation of Wra. Parker ; one in that of Sir Warwick Hele. 

Other properties then belonging to the poor, and sub- 
sequently in part transferred to the Hospital as endowment, 
were a tenement in High Street, and a piece of land on 
Crosse Downe (the Moore Splatt, of which more hereafter), 
in the occupation of Richard Hitchins, at a rent of 38s. ; a 
tenement in Market Street (Whimple Street) and a garden in 

288 HISTORr OF plymoctk. 

High Street, rented by Wm. Pinsent, at 15s. (also transferred), 
and * late White's tenement ' in Old Town, rented by John 
Waddon, at 6s, 8d. Three rent-charges of 6s. each were then 
paid on the Berry property ; and the total rental receipt was 
JE6 4s. 4d. 

Thus, early in the seventeenth century, there were in the 
hands of the Corporation of Plymouth various properties 
and rent-charges belonging to the poor, which they sought to 
make available in various ways. Moreover, the Poor Accounts, 
which begin in the year 1611, show that the poor funds were 
continually increased by small legacies, which, treated as 
capital instead of revenue, would have accumulated to a 
handsome simi. 

One of the chief directions in which our Elizabethan 
ancestors sought to be charitable was that of 'setting the 
poore on worke' — finding employment for them if they 
could not find it for themselves ; and out of an eflfort of this 
kind the Hospital of Poor's Portion developed. As early as 
1597, we find the Corporation moving in this direction. 

There is extant a petition by one William Woulfe, sei^e 
weaver, to the king, dated 1606, in which he complains that 
the Mayor and Aldermen of Plymouth had induced him nine 
years previously to come to that town from Exeter, to instruct 
twenty poor children in the art of spinning worsted. He 
avers that he was promised £50 for the first year, and £100 
for the next, ' which some of a hundred pounds they then 
also promised to lend unto him for seven yeares then after 
the effecting the premises, and likewise promised him they 
would from tyme to tyme duringe the said terme at their 
costes and charges after the first yeare mayntayne the said 20 
poore children with meat drinke and apparell ; and likewise 
that he should have out of every shipp that belonged to the 
same which came from the Newfoundland 100 of fishe, and 
a house rent free/ The rejoinder of the Mayor and Aldermen 
was that Woulfe was a wasteful and untruthful person, and 
his charges * most false.' Mr. Foynes had agreed to lend him 
£30 and no more (Foynes or Fownes was Mayor when the 
agreement was made), and the town to provide the children 
with apparel, and to give him a shilling a week for the 
diet of every child 'whom he should sett at work and 
instruct in his science.' Woulfe had wasted his £30 and 
was no longer able to put the children to work for want 
of credit 

In 1611 we find children placed with William Weekes to 
be trained in a similar way. And then a curious memoran- 



dum in one of the old Corporate Apprenticeship Books, 
apparently in the handwriting of Matthew Boyes, the town 
clerk, records what appears to have been the first attempt to 
establish a workhouse, in the old castle — the work being 
picking oakum, knitting stockings, and weaving. 

Such was the way in which the Mayor and Commonalty 
led up to the establishment of the Hospital of Poor's Portion. 
The foundation deed, executed by Sir John Gayer, Abraham 
Colmer, and Edmund Fowell, in performance of the trust 
reposed in them by the Corporation, is dated May 4th, 
1630. The Hospital stood in Catherine Lane (now Street), 



Hospital or Poor's Portioit. 

immediately south of the Orphans Aid, and bore over the 
entrance gateway the pious motto, * By God's helpe throvghe 
Christ' The regulations concerning religious teaching and 
exercises were very particular and strict. The management 
was vested in the Mayor and Magistrates (Aldermen) and 
Common Council 

As in the case of the Orphans Aid the necessities of the 
Corporation during the early part of the seventeenth century 
led them to borrow from the funds of the Poor's Portion, 
and the debt was dealt with in much the same fashion. Thus 
in 1658 an annuity of £30 out of the shambles for ever was 
settled on the Hospital, in consideration of £600. But the 
dealings with the Poor funds were never so extensive as those 



with the Orphan ; and the only monej owing to this Hospital 
by the Corporation in 1685 was £129 17s. 3cL, besides £100, 
the bequest of John Lanyon ; and certain arrears of the rent 
chai^ of £30. The rent charge is still paid, though the old 
shambles have disappeared, but it goes to Hele s Charity, and 
not to the Poors Portion, the £600 purchase-money being 
part of the funds arising from the Hele gift. 

The Hospital ceased to be a private charity in 1708, when 
an Act of Purliaiuent was passed creating the existing Cor- 
poration of Guardians, and transferring to them the Poor's 
Portion, with all the charitable trusts and gifts 'given, devised, 
or disposed in general terms for the use of the poor of the 
town, or of either of the parishes of St. Andrew and Charles.' 
The Act also provided that the names of all benefactors to 
the Workhouse should be inscribed in 'capital golden letters' 
for ever in the chief room ; and that a moiety of the accumu- 
lated funds from fines, and of all future fines of the Hele 
estate, should be paid over to the Guardians. 

This was the result of an arrangement between the 
Corporation, as managers of the Hospital; the Earl and 
Countess of Stamford and Sir John Hobart, representatives 
of Sir John Maynsuxi, the last surviving trustee of Elize 
Hele ; and the trustees of Hele's school. Sir Francis Drake, 
Eecorder of Plymouth, Richard Opie, John Neele, Thos. 
Bound, and Joseph Webb, of Plymouth, merchants, and 
Edmund Pollexfen, late of the same, esquire. The Guar- 
dians as incorporated, were to consist of * the Mayor and 
Recorder of the said town for the time being; six of the 
masters or magistrates of the said town; six more of the 
four and twenty or common council of the said town ; and 
also twenty other persons to be chosen out of the ablest and 
discreetest inhabitants of the parish of St. Andrew within the 
said town, and eighteen others of the ablest and discreetest 
inhabitants of the parish of Charles within the said town.' 

When the toor's Portion was founded it was endowed 
with the Hospital Building ; five messuages at the Southside 
— the Berry bequest ; a messuage in Market Street (Whimple 
Street) ; a garden in High Street ; other premises in Whimple 
Street; the 'Moore Splatt' north of Crosse Downe; and 
two messuages between the Hospital of Poor s Portion and 
the Hospital of Orphans Aid. 

Of these a portion only remain. The Hospital and 
adjoining premises were sold, and their sites thrown into 
that of the Guildhall. The * Moore Splatt ' was utilized for 
the erection of the New Workhouse. All that is left of the 



five tenements at the Southside now forms the site of Messrs. 
King and Pinkham's warehouse in New Street. The 
remainder was sold to the Commissioners of Improvement 
in 1853 for £400. The Commissioners likewise bought the 
first house named in Market Street in 1835. It was at the 
comer of Whimple and Buckwell Streets, and the price paid 
for the fee was £350. The garden in High Street has long 
ceased to be part of the Corporate estate. It was at the 
comer of Catte Street, and so early as 1641 Philip Francis 
built a house thereon. Francis by his will, August 6th, 
1658, left an annuity of 40s. a year out of his house in 

Seal or ths Poor's Pobtiov. 

* Foxhole,* and this may represent the garden rentaL More- 
over, Francis left all his lands of inheritance not otherwise 
disposed of, after failure of his right heirs, to the Mayor and 
Commonalty, for the use of the poor of the parishes of St. 
Andrew and Charles equally. The will was proved in 1668 ; 
but the poor have never been anything the better for the 
reversion. The remaining item of the original endowment 
is now represented by the Guildhall Wine Vaults in Whimple 

Other endowments in the hands of the Guardians include : 
A house in North Street, occupying the site of three 
tenements, mentioned among the lands of the Hospital in 
1641, and leased by Nicholas Sherwill to John Young in 
1633. There is no trace of the manner in which this came 
to the Guardians. 

u 2 


A house in Looe Street, purchased, with two small houses 
communicating at the rear, by the Guardians, of one John 
lloberts, of Plymouth, tallow chandler, in 1722. The two 
houses in Batter Street were, by the operation of the life lease- 
hold system, allowed to get so disgracefully into decay, that 
they were eventually pulled down by the Town Council as 
ruinous, and the sites thrown into the street, shortly after 1854 

The annuity of 40a under the will of PhUip Francis, 
charged on a house in Vauxhall Street, and paid in equal 
inst^ments by &Ir. Bellamy and Mr. Treeby. 

An annuity of 10s., paid by Messrs. Sparrow and Co. out 
of Fairpath Field, Cattedown. This represents a gift by 
Bichard Baddon, presumably the Bichard Baddon who, about 
1589, built two houses on Friary Green, and obtained a lease 
from John Sparke. Nothing, however, is really known of the 
origin of this charge, which passed from the Mayor and 
Commonalty to the Guardians under the Act of Incorpora- 
tion. In 1828 it was reckoned at 20s., two years in arrear, 
nnd charged upon three fields. Mrs. Julian, the owner of 
one part of the fields, was willing to pay her share; Mr. 
Langmead, the owner of the other part, refused to pay his, 
unless the Guardians could show their title. However, so 
late as 1850 the 20s. was paid — 15s. by 'Peter Symons, of 
Stonehouse, out of Stone Park and little Foxes, Cattedown/ 
and 5s. *Sir B. Lopes, remaining part of 20s. late Julian.' 
Half of this gift has therefore been lost since then. 

Margery Bow, by will October Ist, 1666, left the estate of 
Bridgemoor, St. Johns, to the Mayor and Commonalty, for 
the distribution by the overseers of the poor of 2s. in bread 
on Friday in every week, the residue to go to the increase 
of the stock for the use and maintenance of the poor of 
the borough for ever. It is probable that a portion of tliis 
property has been lost. 

William liowe (merchant), by will April 16th, 1690, left 
Shute Park, three acres three roods and twenty-seven perches, 
under trust for the distribution of the rents and profits in 
clothing yearly within ten days after the 25th of December. 
The rest of his property was devised to such charitable uses 
as his trustees and their heirs should approve. The Guardians, 
beyond the field, only obtained £100, the money and the 
land being handed over by John Crabb, trustee, in December, 
1713; but it was not until 1816 that the directions of the 
testator were followed, the rents and- profits up to that time 
being carried to the general fund of the Workhouse — to the 
relief, of course, of the ratepayers. 


The original site of the Free School was alienated for 500 
years at a rental of £10 a year, and in 1824 the rest of the 
available building land was let on lease for ninety-nine years 
for the erection of the cottage dwellings in Rowe and 
Glanville Streets ; so that the annual produce of what was 
once four acres of land in a prominent locality in Plymouth 
became only £51 9s. 5d. The leases have proved to be in- 
formal, and hence disputes have arisen between the Guardians 
and the tenants, as yet unsettled. Some of the land appears 
to have been lost. The residue of the personal property of 
the testator beyond the £100 was invested in Consols. One 
of the objects specified by him for its application was the 
education and preferment of poor children. 

Joseph Palmer, by will, September 12th, 1723, gave an 
annuity of 408., to be distributed annually to the poor of 
both parishes for ever at 12d. per head. 

Joseph Maddock, in 1727, bequeathed £1,500 to the poor 
of Plymouth, to be laid out in lands of inheritance, and the 
proceeds applied in the yearly distribution of clothing on 
November 1st, one-half to poor in receipt of relief, and one- 
half to poor not in receipt of relief. January 7th, 1729, 
£1,475 was laid out in the purchase of £1,400 South Sea 
Stock until suitable lands could be procured. As it remains 
so invested, the inference is that for the past 150 years no 
suitable property has come into the market. The produce 
of this £1,500 fell to £36 ISs. 

Sarah Webber, by will, October 24th, 1778, left 30, BQbury 
Street, subject to a life annuity to Paul and Mary Chabot of 
40s. a year, to the Guardians, for the benefit of the poor of 
the parish of St. Andrew. 

The whole of these Charities are treated as part of the 
common fimd in relief of the poor-rates, with the exception 
of William Bowe's and Maddock's, which are laid out in 
clothing ; and 2s. a week out of the Bridgemoor rents, spent 
in bread. 

When the Act of 1708 was passed, a number of private 
benefactions were given towards the new scheme, as recorded 
by tablets now in the ante-chamber of the board-room at 
the Workhouse, whilst in the board-room it^lf are the aims 
of between forty and fifty of the benefactors. Tablets and 
arms were removed from the old Workhouse. Thus we find 
the representatives at the time the Act was passed, Mr. 
Trelawny and Sir George Byng, giving £50 each; Mr. Joseph 
Palmer, £500 ; and a French refugee, probably as a thank* 
offering for the succour he had received, £10. 


The poor increased, their maintenance became expensive, 
and the Guardians, before many years were over, found they 
could not make both ends meet. By 1758 they were £1,644 
in debt, for which they had to pay interest, and were further 
liable for life annuities to the amount of £33, in respect of 
another £400 borrowed and spent The annual excess of 
expenditure over income for the six years previous was 
£320. So the Guardians applied to Parliament for relief, 
setting forth their monetary straits, with certain diflSculties 
which had occurred. One of these had regard to assessing 
• lodgers or boarders, or any other persons than housekeepers 
in their own right' In stating another grievance they 
afford a curious insight into some of the characteristics of 
Plymouth a century since. The summary way of dealing 
with vagrants then in vogue, the 'ablest and discreetest' of 
Plymouth evidently thought was not half summary enough. 
This special grievance was that by an Act passed a few years 
previously * masters of vessels bound for Ireland, the Isles of 
Man, Guernsey, Jersey, and Scilly are obliged to take on 
board them respectively no more than one vagrant for every 
twenty tons burthen of their respective ships or vessels.' 
The ships bound to those places from Plymouth were mostly 
of small tonnage, by reason whereof 'vagrants whose last 
legal settlements are in Ireland, or one of the islands, are 
for want of timely opportunities of passage over to the said 
kingdom or islands, sometimes necessarily obliged to lie and 
continue for a long time in the said town and parishes of 
Plymouth, to the great burthen and charge of the said 
Corporation.' The question of legal settlement was not 
considered too nicely, when vagrants could be got rid of in 
this easy fashion. 

The Act of 1758 provided for the relief of the Guardians 
by giving them power to raise £2,000 to pay their debts, by 
assessment within three years; to make a poor rate of 
£1,000 a year; to levy a distress upon negligent church- 
weurdens or overseers ; to compel masters of vessels to take 
on board one vagrant for every fifteen tons, instead of 
twenty ; to receive the surplus of the land tax assessments 
then in the hands of several persons in the town ;^ and to 
be reimbursed out of the county stock, the expenses of 
sending to their homes the wives and children of soldiers 
and sailors left in distress at the port, by the departure 

^ This atnonnted to £800, and a tablet in the Workhooae records that this 
application of the money was due entirely to the efforts of Mr. Justice 


abroad of their husbands and fathers, upon the Mayor and 
Commonalty paymg £5 4s. 8d. as their proportion of every 
future county rate. 

The continued increase of the town again threw the 
Guardians into difficulties. By 1786, when their next Act 
was passed, they were in debt £2,150, and had an excess 
of expenditure over income of £290. Power was therefore 
granted them to levy a rate of £1,500 ; and to obtain such 
additional sums as might be required, by certifying their 
necessities to the justices; thereafter certifying the rate 
proposed to raise the amount to the Mayor, Recorder, and 
Magistrates, who would authorise its collection. 

In 1813 the fourth of the Acts by which the Incorporation 
is governed was passed. Debt had been again incurred, and 
the expenditure was largely in excess of the £1,500 which 
the Guardians could raise of their own motion. Power was 
therefore given them to raise £6,000 yearly, and to obtain 
additional sums, for which purpose the formal sanction of the 
Municipality was required. The date of the annual elections 
was changed from the second Tuesday in May to the second 
Wednesday; the appointment of collectors was authorised; 
more stringent regulations were made with regard to rating, 
and for the management of the poor; and the House of 
Correction within the Workhouse declared available for 
public purposes, including the custody of lunatics.* 

Several additions were from time to time made to the 
Workhouse, the latest of consequence in 1833. All proving 
insufficient, it was decided in 1849 that the present Work- 
house should be erected. The old premises were subsequently, 
after much delay, sold to the Corporation in 1857, as part of 
the site of the new Guildhall, for £3,250. The new Work- 
house cost £12,000. The old Hospital was associated with 
many important events in the history of the town. Not a 
few violent contests for the election of members of Parlia- 
ment — eight-day polls — were carried on there. 

The Workhouse underwent stringent reformation a century 
ago. From its original character it gradually sank into * a 
nest of vagabonds,' until Mr. Kevern, one of the Guardians, 

employed some of the people in spinning, which in three years 
produced £80. Industrious habits were gradually created, and at 
length, after a complete reformation of the concern, the paupers 
(among whom were numerous children who could not be placed 
out as apprentices owing to the general dislike to receive them in 

' A Borough Lnnatic Aflrlnm is now in conree of oonstruction at Blacket, 
near Ivybridge, from the plans of Messrs. Hiue and Odgen. 


that capacity) earned by making their own clothes^ bed woollens, 
blanketSi and rugs, and providing the same for other charities, 
Bucceasiyely in three years £235, £160, and £116. At the 
expiration of the third year the idle and dissolute, in consequence 
of being kept at work, quitted the house, and the annual profit 
on labour declined until reduced to nothing.' 

A carious system of voting, termed 'scratching,' was in 
use for many years in the election of the Guardians. A list 
of the candidates was written on a sheet of paper, and the 
voter made, or caused to be made, ' scratches ' opposite the 
names of those whom he favoured. The oddest feature of 
the business was, that if a name were passed over the voter 
was not allowed to return to it. The first time probably for 
a century that the system had not been used was at Charles 
parish in 1871, when Mr. John Bayly, the chairman, decided 
that it was illegal, and took the votes by show of hands. In 
1872 there was a return to the old system of election, and 
Mr. Bayly brought an action against one of the elected 
Guardians, Mr. Cousins, to test its validity. Scratching was 
then decided to be l^al ; but the Guardians in 1873 resolved 
that voters might * try back,* 

Finally, in 1879, scratching was done away with and 
the elections conducted under the provisions of the Union 
Act, the right to elect a contingent being taken from the 
Council, and given to the ratepayers and owners. Twenty- 
six Guardians were then allotted to St. Andrew parish, and 
twenty-four to Charles, The total number of papers counted 
at the first ' Union ' election was 1,910 in St. Andrew, and 
1,496 in Charles. Thirty-eight Liberals were returned to 
twelve Conservatives, the elections for many years having 
been mainly political. Since then St. Andrew parish has 
returned a preponderance of Conservatives, Charles of 

The Clerk of the Poor's Portion was originally resident, 
and the last who held office in that capacity was Mr. R. 
Burnard, the early friend and patron of Kitto. On his 
death a professional clerk was elected, Mr. J. W. Matthews, 
who was succeeded in 1879 by the present clerk, Mr. 
W. Adams. 

The * Almshouse of Plymouth! 

The 'Almshouse of Plymouth,' known in late years as 
the Corporation Almshouse and the 'Old Qhurch Twelves' 
(simply Tbecause it stood by the Church in Catherine Lane, 

» Bust's Refriew of ih£ Commeree of (he P&ri qf Plynwvth, p. 161. 



at the eastern end of the Municipal Buildings), is the most 
ancient charity existing in the town. It finds mention in 
the Corporation rental of 1491, in which the Wardens of 
the Almshouse (Custod dom*i Elosinar) are set to pay 2s. 4d. 
Some of its belongings formed part of the manorial property 
which passed to the Mayor and Commonalty from the Priory 
of Plympton; but whether the house itself existed before 
the Incorporation is uncertain. There are grounds for 

believing that it did. Its destruction in 1868 revealed the 
semi-Norman arch now in the Plymouth Institution Museum, 
which no doubt formed part of the original church of St. 
Andrew. This would carry back the erection of the Alms- 
house to the date of the substitution of old St Andrews by 
the present fabric, unless the arch formed part of another 
building in the interim. No doubt the Almshouse was the 
* Hospitale House ' mentioned by Leland ' on the north side 
of the chirche'; and as in the latter part of the fourteenth 
century Plymouth was a flourishing and wealthy town, it is 


fairly probable that both the Almshouse and the Maadlyn 
were founded then. The Almshouse was well-to-do in the 
reign of Henry VIL ; for against the 2s. 4d. paid by its 
wardens, the wardens of 'St. Andrew of Plymouth' paid 
6d. only; those of St. Mary the same; the Fraternity of 
Corpus Christi, Id.; and the Prysten House, which came 
nearest, 2s. Id. There are other reasons for holding that 
even thus early it had been liberally endowed. The old 
papers of the Borough Court record at this date the existence 
of a toft in the south of Buckwell Street belonging to the 
Almshouse. An entry in the White Book sets forth that 
deeds of lands given by William Kandall to the Almshouse 
were put into the Corporation chest September 26th, 1561. 
Moreover, 1st December following it was 'given to under- 
stand' that Johanna Lake had left the remainder of her 
lands to the Almshouse ; also that ' Mother Hacker ' had given 
a piece of land ujwn * Crosse Downe * (it immediately adjoined 
the present Workhouse site, east and south) to the Alms- 
house after the death of Thomas Clowter ; while Clowter gave 
the reversion after his death of a house at Briton Side. 

And when four years later (1569) William Weeks, for 
reasons which do not appear, bound himself to make certain 
gifts to the town (including payments of £4 to some good 
use ; of 208. each to the poor men's coffer in the church and 
to the Almshouse ; four good wainscots and 3s. 4d. towards 
making of ' puys * in the church ; a pledge to maintain and 
repair during his life the * cause * at Coxside which he had 
built; and further to leave 5s. to the poor people at the 
Maudlyn), he promised to leave 6s. 8d. a year, out of which- 
ever house of his the Corporation might choose, either 
towards the repair of the Church or to the Almshouse, 
'which ye like best' 

Curious references occur in an account of Nicholas Slan- 
ning, town clerk, against the Corporation in 1566, which 
deals mainly with expenses incurred about the Vicarage, but 
also touches the Almshouse. Ten shillings are paid to Mr. 
Peryam (William Peryam, who sat for the town in Eliza- 
beth's first Parliament) for drawing a bill 'to be layd 
in the plyament howsse for the almeshowsse ' ; and Mr. 
Fletwoode has another 10s. for his services in connection 
therewith, including speaking ' in its favour in the howsse.' 
Moreover the 'sergeant of plyament* had 5s. (and subse- 
quently a shilling more) to put the Speaker in mind of the 
Almshouse Bill. It does not seem that such an Act was 
actually passed. 


The original Almshouse was an important building. It 
had a chapel, licensed by Bishop Lacy in 1450, 'capellcu 
hospitalis prope cemeterium ecclesice parochiaJis.' Moreover, 
the site was much more extensive than the remnant which 
continued to the present generation, — including herb-garden, 
orchard, fields, and barn. An encroachment is specified in a 
lease granted in 1602 to Robert Trelawny, of two houses 
newly builded on part of ' the gardaine of the almshouse of 
Plymouth north of the same, adjoining the lane [Basket 
Street] leading from the West Churchyearde stile towards 
Stonehouse . . . and in the southside of the same Waie in 
the west parte of the said churchyearde and of parcell 
of the Schoolehouse there.' For this a conventionary rent 
was apparently paid to the Charity. 

An early benefactor of Plymouth was John How, priest. 
This is the name of the last Prior of Plympton, but there is 
no direct evidence to show whether the two are one ; and a 
John How appears as paying 3s. 6d. in the old Town Eental 
already quoted. It seems probable, however, that the John 
How who founded the charities and the Prior are the same. 
The bill is still extant under his hand and seal, September 
30th, 1563, in which How gives to John Derye, Mayor of 
Plymouth, and John Forde, Alderman : 

These Pcelk of goods here specified, to weite, one clothe of 
blew velvett imbrodred w* flowers of venys gold & silek. Also 
one white sute of vestyments for priest diacon and subdiacon w^ 
one Cope of the same sute of silke. Also one red sute of vesty- 
ments for priest diacon and subdiacon w^ x Copis of the same red 
Bute. Also one other red sute of vestyments for priest Diacon ^ 
subdiacon w^ one cope of the same sute, to this intent & eude 
that these forsaide pcells of goods may be solde by the said M' 
John Derye & M' John Forde. And that the mony recaved for 
the same goods be distrybuted vnto the power accordyng their 
wisdom and discretion. 

A letter from How dated 'at M' Willm hychyns howse 
at hawle the xxx of January' — the year not named, but 
addressed to Deny as Mayor, and therefore in 1564 — thanks 
the Mayor and his brethren for their liberal gifts,* and states 
that he had 'appoynted to disb'us twenty pounds in mony 
to be paid by you & yo' towne to my frynd Nicholas Barfot 
to the intent that he shalbe one of them that shall ex'cise 
the crafte of clothe wevyng wMn yo' towne. And that he 
be bownd in forty pounds to pay an yerely rent to yo' towne 

* There are entries of his being entertained, and presented with sugar and 
marmalade, kc 


of xxvj* viij* yerely to be paide, vntill suche tyme as the 
saide Nicholaa his heirs executors or assignes make vnto yo^ 
toune a sufficent state of lands or rent of the clere yerely 
valew of XXV* to the use of the pow'. And that he be 
bownd to make that state w^in xij yere next ensuyug/ A 
postscript says that it is to be specified in the covenant that 
the first quarter's payment of this rent is to be at the feast 
of the Annunciation, 1565. How wishes to be heartily com- 
mended to the Mayoress, and commends the Mayor ' to the 
grace of god which eu^'more p'sue you,' 

There is another letter of somewhat similar purport from 
How (27th April, 1565), in which he desires that out of his 
moneys the Mayor and Commonalty should advance (the 
letter is addressed to Derry and Ford) to his servants William 
Morgane and Eichard Morgane, and to Stephen Hechings, 
£20 each, upon due security. They were to have these smns 
interest free for the first year ; but each year thereafter were 
to pay £1 6s. 8d. imtil they should each assure ' unto you 
for the relief of the poor people * lands or tenements to the 
clear yeai'ly value of 20s. for ever. 

How died not long after this letter was written ; for on 
the 21st September following, Eobert Bekett, his executor, 
who lived at Cartuther, writes to the Mayor cautioning him 
against giving up 'cteyne Coopes* which 'crteyne men doe 
gredely seke to haue them out of yo possession,' and stating 
that he intended to see his friend's will carried out. 

The final issue was the grant, October 3rd, 1566, by John 
Derye and John Forde to the Mayor and Commonalty, of 
£100, the proceeds of How's gift, on payment of £6 13s. 4d. 
annually to the widows of the Almshouse. 

How had, however, previously given a large sum ; for the 
White Book records, under date l3ecember 16th, 1565, that 
Richard Hooper (Mayor 1548-9, which may help to fix the 
date of this donation) and John Hooper were to make proper 
conveyance of How's gift of £8 a year, or to be handed over 
to Mr. Beckett's care. How was also the chief donor in 
1560 towards the large bell for the town. 

There are a few imperfect accounts of How's Charity 
during the reign of Elizabeth extant. In 1567 the total sum 
apparently amounted to £180. It has now for many years 
been represented by the payment by the Corporation of 
£14 138. 4d., under two agreements, for the occupants of 
the Almshouse. 

The oldest existing accounts of the Almshouse Wardens 
(1729) set forth the town rents * allotted ' by the Mayor and 


Commonalty towards the maintenance of the people in the 
Almshouse. But these rents were the rents of properties 
belonging to the Almshouse, and not to the Mayor and 
Commonalty at all; and while the Charity had to be con- 
tent with these merely nominal yearly payments, the Mayor 
and Commonalty, long before that date, had learned to appro- 
priate the fines levied for the granting of fresh leases, which 
in the aggregate were not less than £1,000 a turn ! 

From Town Surveys and other sources we find that during 
the seventeenth century the Almshouse estate comprised 
the following properties: Close at Coxside, l^acre; Eoper's 
Piece ('landscore land,' by the West Hoe); Mayes Cross; 
tenement at Underwood, in respect of which 3s. 4A was paid 
to Mayor of Plympton ; Tamelarie Closes (2) and Bickland, 
adjoining Cross Down, and an enclosed part of Cross Down ; 
Almshouse Park and other closes at Borrington, 11 acres, 
5s. high rent paid to Mr. Harris; and houses, Ac, in Lyneham 
Street (2), Stillman Street, Whimple Street, Patherick Street, 
Southside, Vennell Street, by the Almshouse (2), Tin Street 
(2), Treville Street, Green Street (2), High Street (2), Looe 
Street (2), Batter Street (4), near the Church Stile (4), Fine- 
well Street, Briton Side, Hoe Lane, Buckwell Street, Woolster 
Street (2), Peacock's Lane, Kinterbury Street, and ' near the 
Old Castles,' formerly Mr. Sparke's. 

Oliver Harry, of Plymouth, by will March, 1595, left 
small bequests to the poor people of the Almshouse and the 
Maudlyn. Edmund Fowell, in 1659, granted a rent-charge 
of 10s. for the Almshouse out of land adjoining the road 
leading from Hampton Shute to Plympton; John Lanyon, 
in 1674, left £50 to better its revenues, which cannot now be 

Under the Act by which the Guardians were incorporated 
(1708), it was provided that all the public almshouses in the 
borough should be transferred to that body : * All and every 
the Alms-houses, or Houses commonly used for the Habita- 
tion of Poor People, lying within the said Borough or Town, 
as are belonging to the Mayor and Commonalty of the said 
Town, or to either of the said Two Parishes.* Nevertheless 
the Mayor and Commonalty have retained the ' Old Church 
Twelves' — though in a new form — as the sole illegal remnant 
of their charitable trusts. The reason for this retention, in 
direct defiance of the Act of Parliament, does not seem to 
have occurred to the Charity Commissioners. It is perfectly 
clear, however, when it is seen how valuable was the Alms- 
house estate, and how profitable its management to the Mayor 



and Commonaltj. To hand over the Almshoase would have 
involved the surrender of the property; for the pleasant 
fiction that the rents had been 'allotted* to the Charity 
would not have stood investigation. There being no transfer, 
there was no enquiry, and matters continued on the same 
footing. The properties were leased, commonly for ninety- 
nine years on lives, on substantial fines, for nominal rents, 
which latter were all that the Charity received. Thus at 
thf^ bp;^inning of the present century the 
etidimnients of the Corporation Alms- 
Uowm comprised: '£6 13a 44 from the 
Mayi>r and Commonalty in accomplish- 
niejit of their indenture with John Ford 
and John Dery (How's Gift); £8 for the 
aLrotuplishment of another pair of in- 
iU*iiluR*3 between them and John How, 
clt*rk ; devisees of Mr. Clark for the 
Manor of Sutton Pill, 2s. 8d. ; chief rent 
of Hokigc's Garden, 6d. ; annuity out of 
two tit^lds late Gilwell's, 10s. ; from the 
t>jjVhtma Aid for the Latin (Grammar) 
_ School, £1 2s.; Eawlyn's Gift 

for butter on fish days, £3; 
conventionary rents of small 
amounts for properties near 
the Church Stile, How Street, 
Woolster Street, Basket Street 
(four houses), FineweU Street, 
Reed's Garden, Buckwell 
Street, Batter Street, Tin 
Street, Synagogue, Colmer*s 
Lane, Lower Street, Pike 
Street, High Street, Loader's 
Lane, Bilbury Street, Little 
Hoe Lane, Tauialary Closes, May's Cross, Burraton, and 
Underwood.' These properties were treated as purely 
Corporate properties when the Municipal estates were sold, 
and the proceeds of the sales were put into the Corporation 
pocket. The rents, however, were regarded as a continuing 
liability. At present a definite sum of some £80 is annually 
paid out of the Municipal funds towards the support of 
the widows in the modem Corporation almshouses in 
Green Street Moreover, the Municipality keep the entire 
block in repair. 

CuuRCH Alley and Almshoubk, 1860. 


Fovmes's Almshouse. 

Almshouses bearing the names of Fownes, Miller, and 
Pryn, were destroyed early in the present century. The 
foundation deed of Fownes's Almshouse exists in counter- 
part among the muniments both of the Corporation and 
the Guardians. Nevertheless no document relating to this 
Charity could be found to be produced before the Com- 
missioners at their original enquiry. The Almshouses had 
been demolished, their sites sold, and the money appropriated 
to other purposes without legal authority, not many years 
befora The deed, dated 1628, recites that Thomas Fownes 
had lately created and 'new buy It the said Hospitall and 
Almeshouse conteyning thirteene roomes.' The almspeople 
were to be elected by the Mayor and Commonalty, with the 
' assent and agreement of Thomas Fownes and his heirs for 
ever ; notice of every election being given 10 days prior at 
his dwelling-house in Vintry Street.* This Almshouse did 
pass to the Guardians under the Act of Incorporation. It 
lay between Bedford and Basket Streets, with a frontage of 
54 feet to the former, and a superficies of 2,859, and accommo- 
dated twenty-four decayed and aged people. Having been 
suffered to become dilapidated, it was called a nuisance, and 
in 1808 was pidled down, and the ground sold for £500 to 
the Mayor and Commonalty, as portion of a site for the 
proposed hotel and theatre. When another position was 
chosen for this building, part of the site of the Almshouse 
was thrown into the street. The money is stated to have 
been laid out on the Workhouse; but the Charity Com- 
missioners questioned the right of the Guardians to dispose 
of these buildings. The fabric was said to have been 
allowed to fall into decay because there was no endowment ; 
nevertheless in September, 1656, we have Timothy Alsop 
acknowledging to the Mayor and Commonalty that he owed 
the Charity £100, with interest. 

Miller's Almshmise, 

The history of Miller's Almshouse is still worsa Alice 
Miller, about 1655 (in which year £10 was paid in lieu of 
stones promised her by the town towards building expenses), 
erected an Almshouse 'in the churchyard' (St. Andrew), 
containing ten rooms, for twenty people ; and in May, 1660, 
endowed it with a rent charge of £10 a year, out of her 
estate at Broadley. Under her will, August 30th, 1664, she 
left Broadley, so chairged, to her cousin, fiichard Burdwood ; 


and in March, 1681, James Burdwood, his son and heir, the 
rent being in arrear, and the premises 'for the most part 
waste and unoccupied, and encumbered beyond the value of 
the inheritance,' conveyed the estate to the Mayor and 
Commonalty, when the proceeds were applied for the benefit 
of the almspeople. At the time the estate passed to the 
Guardians, under the Act of Incorporation, it was under 
lease to Bichard Opie at £6 a year only; and notwith- 
standing this enormous depreciation in value since 1660, 
when the £10 rent charge left a surplus, the Charity 
Commissioners reported that there was no reason to believe 
any of the property had been lost. The minute books of 
the Guardians in later times contain numerous complaints of 
encroachment by the various lessees, who, subsequently to 
Opie, included other of the Burdwoods, Sir Masseh Lopes, 
and Sir Ralph Franco. No map, however, exists by which 
these points can be settled ; and all that can be definitely 
said is, that a farm which was worth over £10 a year in 1660 
could not have fallen to £6 in 1720 without loss or malver- 
sation of some kind. 

PryrCs Almshouse, 

Anne Pryn's Almshouse, adjoining Miller's, was erected in 
1651-2; for in that year two elm trees were cut dovm in 
the churchyard, 'for the better building of Mrs. Prynne's 
Almeshouse there.' The next year she is recorded as having 
left an annuity of 10s. a year, charged on a house in Notte 
Street, for the 'prechinge of a sermon yearllie for ever on 
the Third day of December in Bemembrance of the Townes 
then deliverance from the enemie anno 1643*; and this 
amount was received by George Hughes. No information 
concerning this Charity was vouchsafed to the Commissioners, 
save the one fact that both Pryn's and Miller's houses 
were pulled down for the improvement of Bedford Street in 
1791, the materials being sold by auction, and the trustees of 
the Stonehouse Turnpike giving £100 for the land. They 
were in part replaced by some small shops built against the 
churchyard wall, named Saffron Row, and the end of one of 
which is shown in the picture of the entrance to Catherine 
Lane from Bedford Street in 1837. The Commissioners 
questioned the authority to sell, but considered that the 
money received in this case, as in Fownes'a, had been spent 
beneficially in building a school and an infirmary in the 
Workhouse. A committee minute of the Guardians avers, 
however, that the Pig-Market Almshouse (Fownes's) was re- 



erected at the west end of the Workhouse Yard. £10 of 
the rent of Broadley is now applied to the occupants of the 
Almshouses in Green Street. 

The destruction of these Almshouses was attended by 
unpleasant consequences to the occupants, who naturally 
were disinclined to leave the shelter to which they had as 

Kktrancb or Cathi^binb Lams wtmu lisoroRD bTHXcr, 1837. 

good a right as the Mayor of Plymouth to his house. When 
Fownes's came to be destroyed, Mr. Henry Woollcombe 
wrote, on behalf of the Guardians, to the Corporation: 
* Sunday noon, Jan. 3, 1808. ... As I find I shall never get 
the inhabitants of Foynes's Almshouses to quit until they 
perceive that the building is actuaUv taking down, may I 
beg the favour of your proceeding to do so forthwith ? I will 



inform the people to-morrow that on that day se'nnight the 
workmen will begin to take it down.' 

With these facts before us, we may put a different value 
upon the work of the gentlemen who recorded their good 
deeds on the tablet in the old wall of the churchyard, and 
set forth at full length how they had ' beautified ' the town 
by pulling down filthy and loathsome Almshouses. There is 
no readier way of getting rid of a charity than to neglect it 
until it faUs into decay, and then to demolish it because it 
has not received attention. 

New Church Almshotues, 

The original New Church Almshouses in Green Street 
were founded by John Lanyon, who by his will, September 
15th, 1674, gave £300 to the use of the poor people of 
Charles, for building an almshouse. The site was conveyed, 
October, 1678, by John Trelawny the elder to John Martyn 
and others acting on behalf of the Corporation, the cost 
being £50 3s. The Almshouses were built thereon, and con- 
veyed by Martyn and his coadjutors to the Mayor and 
Commonalty, September 26th, 1680 ; and they remained so 
vested until the Incorporation of the Guardiana Lanyon s 
bequest being insufficient, £100 left by John Gubbs to the 
poor of Plymouth, and other monies, were applied to the 
same purpose. 

Modem Almshouses, 

After the demolition of the Almshouses of Miller, Pryn, 
and Fownes, there remained only the ancient Almshouse — 
the 'Old Twelves,' in Catherine Street, a small almshouse 
* behind the Twelves,' belonging to the Guardians, and the 
'New Church.' When, in 1868, the Guildhall site had to 
be cleared, and the Church Alley Almshouses removed, an 
arrangement was made by which the New Church Alms- 
houses were rebuilt ; and the Almshouses of the Corporation 
and the Guardians now form one block, with additional 

Jory's Almshouses at Coxside, a quaint if not picturesque 
range of cottages, were founded by Col. Joseph Jory, a native 
of Plymouth, in 1703, and liberally endowed. 

Fox's Almshouses behind Sussex Terrace were established 
in 1834 by Francis Fox, for twelve aged women. 

The Victoria Almshouses, Victoria Street, were founded by 
deed, February 2nd, 1844, by Mrs. Mary Granville Hodson, 
for natives of the parishes of St. Andrew and Charles. 


Omeral Endowed Charities. 


We now come to the general endowed charities. In 1584 
John White, citizen and haberdasher of London (a member 
of a Plymouth family of note, the donor of the 'Union' 
cup), made the Mayor and Commonalty his trustees in 
respect of the sum of £250, to be employed in making loans 

Gateway or Jort's Azjcshousvs. 

for five years at 5 per cent, interest (half the current rate) 
to merchants between twenty-one and forty-one years of 
age. Of the interest, £3 each was to be paid annually to 
the Mayor and Burgesses of Liskeard, Truro, and Lostwithiel ; 
to be applied in weekly gifts of bread to twelve poor people 
in each of these towns. The parson of each place was to 
have 16d. for his pains in distributing the bread every 

X 2 


Sunday in his church, and Ga. 8d. was to be paid to a preacher 
for preaching a sermon in the same parish church on or 
about the first Sunday in November. The balance accrued 
to Plymouth. 

How long the loans may have been kept up it is difficult 
to say ; but the Corporation had learnt to borrow the money 
themselves by October 12th, 1664, when it was ordered that 
£50, the residue of the legacy in hand, should be applied in 
defending the rights of the Commonalty to Sutton Pool. 
They admitted the liability in 1685, when £40 was out on 
loan, and they had £210 in hand for want of borrowers. 
The present payment by the Corporation under this head is 
£11 15& annually. 

An entry in an Apprenticeship Book — undated, but early 
in the seventeenth century — supplies a Ust of monies given 
to the poor of Plymouth from 1595 : 

Sir Francis Drake left £10 to the poor ; £20 to the poor 
people of the Almshouse, to be paid in equal instalments 
over three years ; and another £10 to be distributed at the 
discretion of the Mayor — £40 in all. Martyn White left 
£20. Walter Peperell gave £10, to be yearly paid. John 
Eewbie left £10. George Baron 20s. annuity, to be charged 
on his lands for ever. John Scoble, merchant, in 1591 gave 
£10, to be converted for the provision of [fire?] wood for the 
poor, yearly to be employed. Anthony Goddord left an 
amount not specified. John Phillips, merchant, gave £5. 
Sir John Trelawny left £15. 

Thomas Middleton, merchant, of London, afterwards Sir 
Thomas, gave £20 to be converted for the provision of [fire?] 
wood for the poor, yearly to be employed. The Eeceiver's 
Accounts state that he paid £20 for certain godly uses in 
1590-91 ; and according to a bond entered into by the 
Mayor and Commonalty, the £20 advanced by Middleton 
was given in trust for the redemption of articles pawned by 
people too poor to redeem the same, and for the extension of 
the terms for which money had been lent thereon. 

This list does not include a legacy of £50, and an annuity 
of £10, left under the will of Sir John Hawkins at his death 
in 1595. £4 15s. was paid to Matthew Boyes, in 1598-99, 
for 'making and seekinge' this bequest; but its payment 
cannot be traced. The £50 might easily escape notice, as it 
would not, unless attended by exceptional circumstances, be 
carried into the general accounts ; but it is not easy to see 
how all mention of the annuity should fail, if received. On 
the other hand the memorial verses placed on the cenotaph 


of Hawkins, in St. Dunstan's-in-the-East, by his widow, 
speak of the poor of Plymouth as benefited by his 'great 
and gracious legacy.' As she puts it, they 

Have had, now have, and shall have. 
Many a crown. 

ReveFs Gift, otherwise the Underwood Charity, consisted 
of a rent-charge of 13s. 4d. on Tierney's field, of which 
9s. 4d. went to Plymouth, and 4s. to Plympton. In 1762 
this field was called Dunstone Hill, and was in two owner- 
ships. The total area was two acres forty-three perches. In 
1819 it was said to be held by a Mr. Kingdon, under the 
Mayor and Commonalty; and the Charity was stated in a 
return of 1786 to be the gift of John Eevel. Whether this 
be so or not there is an odd entry in the earliest extant Poor 
Accounts, of 1612, repeated in subsequent years, that Wm. 
Reve, of Plympton Mary, had the use of 40s. given by John 
Revel, whose will was that William Reve should have the 
same. Reve did not, however, pay anything for interest, and 
John Revel's name does not otherwise appear ; nor can any 
payment in respect of his legacy have been included in the 
rents. Again, we find that in the early part of the seven- 
teenth century, the Corporation had a messuage, tenement, 
and garden, with two pieces of land and appurtenances at 
Underwood. And Dorothy Revel, October 4th, 1661, left 
the Mayor and Commonalty £20 to be lent out at interest, 
and the proceeds to be given to poor widows who had 
been formerly housekeepers, and who were not inmates of 
the Almshouses, on the first of January in each year for 

William Hib, Plymouth, merchant, July 30th, 15 James I. 
(1618), left to the Mayor and Commonalty an annuity of 
52s. out of two messuages adjoining Southside Quay, ' com- 
monly called the Sampson,' and a courtlage. For this they 
were to give on every Sabbath-day, immediately after morning 
prayer, 'one dozen of middle sort of penny loafe wheaten 
bread comonly called cheat bread ' to the poor in most need, 
to be distributed by the churchwardens and overseers, under 
the direction of the Mayor and Justice. Payment com- 
menced the same year, and continues. 

April 10th, 1624, there was received £20, the bequest of 
Robert Cowche of Moteley, *w*hin the pish of Plymouth,' 
to the Mayor and Commonalty for the use of poor artificers, 
to be lent to them gratis year by year for ever. This has 


In the accounts of money collected in aid of the sufferers 
by the plague of 1625 there is reference to a receipt of £20 
as part of a legacy left by Thomas Brockadon. 

Mark Cottell, of Cricklade St. Mary, in Wilts, by will 
of March 8th, 1626, probate of which was granted in the 
following year, left to the town of Plymouth (where his 
father had sometime dwelt and was buried) £50 as a stock, 
the interest of which was to be distributed annually — one 
half to the poor and sick on St. Mark's day, with a noble to 
some learned preacher for preaching a sermon on the same 
day; and the other half every year in the week before 
Christmas. This Charity has diMippeared, but it may be 
included in the Poor's Portion. 

In February, 1628, Robert Trelawny and John Clement 
had livery and seisin for the Mayor and Commonalty of four 
houses in New Street, feoffed by Sir Thomas Wyse of Syden- 
ham, and Sir Samuel RoUe of Insworth. This arose out of 
a bequest by Benjamin Baron, merchant, of London, of £100 
to the Mayor and Commonalty of Plymouth, that they 
should pay yearly 40s. to the parson and churchwardens of 
Bickington, to be given to the poor of that parish within 
fourteen days in bread, shoes, and stockings ; cdso 20& to be 
distributed in white and wheaten bread to the poor of 
Plymouth ; the residue of the £100 to make a stock to set 
and keep the aforesaid poor people of Plymouth * on worke.' 
The £2 have continued to be paid by the Corporation to the 
authorities of Bickington, but as far as Plymouth is con- 
cerned the Charity has disappeared; and a curious fact is, 
that in 1655 and some subsequent years £20 is said to be 
paid under the head of 'Mr. Baron's annuity' to a certain 
Mistress Hunt. The receipts were insuflBcient for this 
purpose, and the Mayor and Commonalty had to make up 
the deficiency. 

John Scoble, in December, 1629, bequeathed Is. 6d. weekly 
to the poor of the town, during the lifetime of his wife, 
Elizabeth Scoble. He had then left Plymouth, and gone 
to reside at Wickhampton, in Dorset. She, in October, 1631, 
bequeathed this sum for ever, to be distributed in bread 
weekly ; and her daughter, Johane Cole, wrote to the Mayor, 
November 2nd, 1641, that the charitable work begun by her 
father, and continued by her mother, should not through her 
neglect ' falle to the grounde, but shall rather by me receaue 
enlargement' The accounts of the poor fund show that 
Elizabeth Scoble commenced payment in 1630 ; and it was 
afterwards continued by Cole. It cannot now be traced. 


In 1631-32 John Bound paid £40 for a grant in fee farm, 
and gave the town an annuity of 6s. 8d. for ever. Under 
his will, April 30th, 1642, he gave an annuity of 20s. oUt of 
Thistle Park, which waa increased by his son Thomas to 40s., 
and continues. 

At this date, too, £1 yearly was paid to the poor out of 
the 'Sheaf.' 

Hugh Willan, sailor, August 24th, 1644, left all the monies 
owing to him to the poor of Plymouth. 

Eobert Trelawny, under his will of August 24th, 1643, 
made important bequests fgr charitable purposes, which came 
to nothing, in consequence of his dying in prison a Eoyalist, 
with his estates under sequestration. Besides £200 towards 
the building of Charles Church, he bequeathed £600 to the 
town of Plymouth, on security being given to his heirs for 
the annual payment of £30. A sermon was to be preached 
on his birthday, March 25th, in St. Andrew, by the Vicar of 
St. Andrew or Charles, exhorting people to works of piety 
and charity ; and on the same day the £30 was to be distri- 
buted by the Mayor and Trelawny's heir male, or his deputy, 
as follows : 40& to each of the Vicars ; £20 to a maid servant 
of spotless character, that had lived in Plymouth with one 
master or mistress five years or more, ' none but maides are 
hereof capable ' ; £5 to a young sailor who had served faith- 
fully five years or more of his apprenticeship in Plymouth ; 
10s. to the town clerk for keeping the account ; to the eldest 
sergeant, 5s. ; and the sexton, 5s. The gifts were to be given 
on nomination, by the heir. Mayor, and Magistrates, by 
drawing lots, l^elawny's heir being the drawer ; and every 
third year the heir male was to distribute the £25 to 'any 
of my bloud and poore kindred that he pleaseth.' Other 
charitable bequests affecting Plymouth were £10 to the poor 
of Plymouth ; 40s. to the poor of Pennycross ; £20 to the 
Poor's Portion ; £10 to the Orphans Aid ; £10 to the Alms- 

Sir John Gayer, of an old Plymouth family of note, whose 
will was proved in 1657, left £500 to glaze all the glass 
windows in the New Church with good plain glass and strong 
lead, his arms to be set in the last ; the residue to be laid 
out in land by his cousin John Maddock. Part of the rents 
were to be paid for preaching twelve sermons a year in the 
New Church, before the administration of the sacrament — 
13s. 4d. to the preacher, 2s. to the curate or reader, la to 
the clerk, and Is. to the sexton for tolling the bell to give 
notice. The minister was to be chosen by the Mayor and 


Magistrates (Aldermen), and six of the testator^s Idnu The 
residue of the rents (10s. excepted, for a collation of wine 
and cakes at the distribution) to buy broad cloaths and 
kersies, ' died into a sadd hair colour/ for outward garments 
for poor people, to be yearly distributed in October. 

The land acquired was the estate called Tor or Oaten 
Arishes, in the tithing of Western Peverell, the rents of 
which are duly devoted by the Municipal Charity Trustees 
to the general purposes set forth in the wiU, though of course 
the ' minister ' is no longer chosen in the manner directed by 
the Puritan knight 'Die Yicar gets £8 annually, and the 
clerk and sexton £1 4s. 

Burrough's gift consists of £18 out of the tithes of Egg 
Buckland and St. Budeaux, and was not founded by John 
Burrough, as the Charity Commisioners of 1820 thought, 
but by a certain Mistress Burroughs, to provide clothing for 
the poor (the Corporation used to spend it on oflBcial unifonns). 
There is an entry in the Beceiver's Accounts of 1653-54 of 
£2 10s., spent on a banquet for ' Mrs. Trosse, daughter of 
Mrs. Burroughs of the city of Exon, and her Companye.' 
This Mrs. Burroughs was Rebecca Burroughs, widow of 
Walter Burroughs (or Borough), twice Mayor of Exeter. 
He was, during his lifetime and by will, one of the greatest 
benefactors the city ever had ; and she followed his excellent 
example. There is no direct evidence that she was the 
founder of the Plymouth Charity; but the inference that 
she was so can hardly be resisted. This continues. 

Moses Goodyeare, merchant, left under wiU, in 1663, two 
sums of £50 — one to the Hospital of Poor's Portion, and 
the other to the Old Almshouse, his direction being that 
these sums should be laid out in the purchase of freehold 
lands for these two Charities. Nothing is now to be traced 
of this bequest. 

John Hill, in 1672, gave £50 to the Mayor and Commonalty 
in consideration of the payment by them of 52s. yearly for 
ever, to be spent in the distribution of twelve penny wheaten 
loaves every Sunday morning at St Andrew. This payment 
is still made. 

Charities founded by John King, Mayor in 1659-60— £100 
to be kept as a stock and the interest given in bread ; and 
by Stephen Ollivier, merchant, of Exeter in 1668, of 2s. to be 
given weekly in wheaten bread ; have long disappeared. 

Kelway's charity was founded in 1732 by wilL It was 
essentially a family endowment Three thirty-fourths of 
the income were apportioned to the donor's relatives; the 


remainder in bringing up, apprenticing, &c., the children of 
such relatives, and in default thereof children of Plymouth 
and Saltash. 

The most liberal benefactor of modem Plymouth was Mr. 
Jacob Nathan, a native of the town, who in addition to 
various sums of money to Hebrew charities added largely to 
the endowments of the principal local charitable institutions, 
bequeathing in all nearly £17,000. 

Under the operation of the Municipal Reform Act the 
management of the Municipal Charities of the Corporation 
was transferred to a body of trustees specially created (to 
whom Mr. Edmund Pridham is clerk). With them it remains ; 
and the Corporation are now held responsible for a capital 
sum of £525, and an annual payment of £25 7s., made up 
as follows : White's Gift, £11 15s. ; Hewer's, £4 ; Baron's, £2; 
CoUins's, £2 10s. ; Hill's, £2 12s. ; Ackerman's, £2 10s. 

The Corporation have one charity under their control, that 
of John Oxenham, who in 1876 left his property to the 
Mayor and Corporation that the income might be given away 
to poor people. Part of his bequest failed under operation 
of the statute of Mortmain, but £745 8s. lid. was received, 
now represented by £753 8s. 7d. 2f per cents. The interest, 
£22, is given away half-yearly — ^in January in coals, and in 
July in bread. 

There are in addition to the foregoing a number of endowed 
parochial charities, mostly of small amount. They include — 

St. Andrew. — Sir John Acland (1619), rent-charge of £2 
12s. ; and the interest of money invested in Consols given by 
John Morshead (1750), Eleanor Huxham (1796), Hurst and 
King, Northcote (1836), Williams (1836)— distributed in 
bread or bread and flour. The dividend on £706 88. stock, 
left by Samuel Addis, forms part of the salary of the 
organist, and rent-charges of 5s. on a field north of the 
Friary and 6s. 8d. upon a house in Vintry Street, are appUed 
to Church purposes. 

Charles. — ^The bread charities here comprise the interest 
of money invested in Consols given by Morshead (1756), 
Stevens, Acland (1843), Mrs. Hodson, Morris (1828), Lucy 
Moore (1846). The interest of money given by Elizabeth 
Chapman (1791 — £80, applied in enlarging the burial ground) 
and Mrs. Sutton (1795), are distributed in linen. Money 
gifts are made from the Bruce Charity, originally £150, 
partly appUed to the Household of Faith; and Huxham 
Charity, originally £600 Consols, out of which £2 8s. is paid 
annually to St Andrew. In 1870, Mr. J. Williams, of 


Chiidleigh, formerly of Plymouth, left £500 for the poor of 
eax^h parish. 

The tithing of Weston Peverell has three charities pro- 
ducing £4 a year; Rawlins's gift of 10s.; John Harris's 
(1725) £2 10s., charged on the Barton of Pennycross; and 
£1 from the charity of £3 annually founded by Mrs. 
Johanna Knighton, in the parish of St. Budeaux. The 
tithing of Compton Gifibrd has three charities producing £12 
annually: Rawlins's of £2; Rebecca Shaw's (1807) £5, 
interest of £100 ; and Sarah Hancock's (1811) of a similar 

Such are the specially endowed charities of the town of 
Plymouth. There remain to be noted the great associated 
philanthropic institutions ; nearly all of which have sprung 
up within the present century, and have something in the 
way of accumulated funds or permanent investment^ 

Public Dispensary. 

The Public Dispensary originated in 1798 with Mr. 
Charles Yonge, an eminent medical man of the town. Its 
first quarters were in the old Mayoralty House, Woolster 
Street, whence it moved to premises in How Street, then 
How's Lane. In 1804 the site upon which the present 
capacious building stands was purchased, but it was not 
until 1807 that the committee were able to proceed with 
the worka In that year Mr. Yonge left the Institution 
a legacy of £1,000. The building was opened in 1809. An 
excellent portrait of the founder, by Northcote, hangs in 
the governors' room. 

SoiUh Devon and Sad Cornwall Hospital. 

The South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital is an 
ofiFshoot from the Dispensary. The court of governors of 
that charity, 'encouraged by the liberal donations already 
made, and their rapidly increasing subscription list, pur- 

' The Charity Commissionera, in 1865-7, put the total income of the 
endowed charities within the borough and the tithings of Compton Oifford 
and Weston PeverU at £3,649 98. lid. At the first inquiry it was £3,028 
16s. 8d. These charities were apportioned thus : Education, £2,106 12s. 8d.; 
apprenticing and advancement, £561 15s. 5d.; clei*gy, lecturers, and sermons, 
£9 48.; church purposes, £21 ISs. 6d.; almshouses, &c., £545 lOs. 5d.; 
articles in kind, £237 18s. 9d.; money, £76 178. 4d.; general uses of the 
poor, £77 IBs. lOd. The chief di£ference since then has heen caused by the 
oequests of Mr. Oxenham and Mr. Williams, and by the change of the in- 
vestments in the funds from 8 to 2] per cents. 


chased a piece of ground adjoining Sussex Place, Princess 
Square, as the most eligible site for a building to answer the 
joint purpose of the existing dispensary, and a general 
hospital for in-patients.' The amalgamation was never 
carried out, and the Hospital became a distinct undertaking. 
The original building in Sussex Place was designed by Mr. 
Wightwick. The Rev. J. Hatchard laid the foundation stone 
of the central block August 6th, 1835 ; and it was opened in 
January, 1840. Wings were subsequently added in 1852 
and 1863, and a children's ward in July, 1868. As time 
went on the demands on the accommodation became greater, 
and the defects of the building more apparent ; and at length 
it was resolved to take the bold step of erecting an entirely 
new set of buildings on the best available site, in the Green- 
bank Eoad. Hence Plymouth now possesses one of the 
finest provincial hospitals in the kingdom. The foimdation 
stone was laid July 22nd, 1881, by the Earl of Mount 
Edgcumbe, and the building opened in 1884. The total cost 
was £38,696 16s. lid.; the whole of which, with the 
exception of £4,500 from the sale of the old buildings, and 
£1,000 taken from the investments, was raised by sub- 
scription. Mr. W. H. Alger was the Honorary Treasurer, and 
Mr. J. Walter Wilson the Honorary Secretary, during this 
arduous period. The endowments in possession and reversion 
approach £25,000; and Hospital Sunday and Saturday 
coUections realize annually a sum of about £1,400. 

Eye Infirmary, 

Dr. J. Butter and Dr. K Moore were in 1821 the founders 
of the Eye Infirmary. At first a small house in Westwell 
Street was rented for its operations; but eventually the 
front portion of the present building in Millbay Boad was 
adapted to the purpose. The wing in Buckland Street was 
added in 1867. In 1854 a portrait of Dr. Butter by Lucas, 
of London, was placed in the Infirmary ; a salver was pre- 
sented to the Doctor at the same time. 

Orphan Asylum. 

The Devon and Cornwall Female Orphan Asylum, in 
Lockyer Street, was established in 1834. In May, 1841, 
the foundation stone of the present building was laid by 
Sir Balph Lopes, M.P., Mr. Wightwick being the architect. 
There is room for seventy children. 


Blind InstUviion. 

The South Devon and Cornwall Institution for the Blind 
dates from 1859, Mr. James Gale, himself blind, being one 
of the chief promoters. It long occupied premises in Cobouig 
Street, until, in 1875, the present building, at North Hill, 
was erected from the designs of Mr. SnelL 

Besctu Work. 

* Bescue ' work began by the establishment of the Female 
Penitentiary, now in Ham Street, in 1832. The Refuge, 
since connected with the Abbey, was started in 1850, and 
held for ten years at Barley House, near the spot where 
King Street Wesleyan Chapel now stands. The Plymouth 
Female Home, now joined with the Penitentiary, dated from 

Mvscellaneaus Charities. 

The Plymouth Sailors* Home has been founded some forty 
years. There was once much controversy concerning its 
right to a legacy left by Admiral Harcourt to the Sailors' 
Home at Plymouth. Devonport as a naval station having 
been until 1843 officially styled Plymouth, and the Admiral 
having shown much interest in the Sailors' Home there, it 
was argued that he meant that institution instead of one 
which was specially intended for merchant seamen. How- 
ever, Plymouth retained the money. 

During recent years the philanthropic activity in Plymouth 
has been very great. Scores of organizations are at work, 
in various directions, in connection with the churches and 
chapela Other societies of a more general character include : 
The Devon and Cornwall Industrial Training Ship; the 
Devon and Cornwall Certified Industrial School for Girls; 
the Friendless Girls' Help Association; Kitto Institute; 
Mendicity Society ; Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals ; Devon and Cornwall Homoeopathic Hospital ; Ear 
and Throat Hospital; and Dental Hospital Temperance 
work has been carried on in many ways ever since the 
formation of the first Temperance Society in 1832. 



The band of commerce was designed 
To associate tM the branches of mankind ; 
And of a bonndless plenty be the robe. 
Trade is the golden girdle of the globe. 

• • • • Art thrives most 
Where commerce has enriched the busy coast ; 
He catches all improvements in his flight, 
Spreads foreign wonders in his country's sight ; 
Imports what others have invented well. 
And stirs his own to match them or excel,— Cawper, 

Early Commerce. 

THE historic foundation for the trade of Plymouth^ is 
the finding of the jury empannelled by Robert Bondyn, 
Sheriff of Devon, in 1318, that before the foundation of the 
ville of Sutton fishermen were accustomed to resort to a 
certain place there, to dry their nets and sails, and to expose 
fish for sale, on the payment of 12d. a year, and Id. on each 
basket sold. This fairly agrees with the oft-cited statement 
of Leland, that in the reign of Henry IL (1154-1189), 
Plymouth was ' a mene thing as an Inhabitation for Fischars, 
and after encreasid by a litle and a litle.' 

The growth of Plymouth during the early years of the 
fourteenth century, must have been marvellously rapid. In 
1311 an Act of Parliament declared Plympton, Modbury 
(representing the trade of the Erme), Newton Ferrers, and 
Yalemouth, to be members of the port of Sutton. But for 
many years afterwards, certainly through the reign of Edward 
III., the customer of the river of Tamar, whereof Plymouth 
was originally a member, had his residence at Saltash. Fowey 
was then head port of Cornwall, a position which Plymouth 
subsequently took; and in the closing years of the fourteenth, 
and opening years of the fifteenth centuries, we find Plymouth 

^ The great bulk of the materials for this chapter comes from the Municipal 


and Fowej most intimately associated, the same controllers 
and customers commonly acting for both — ^the latter chiefly 
selected from the local merchants. There are among our 
fifteenth-century collectors — ^Whl Bentley, Richard Denzell, 
John Cory, John Cokworthy, John Serle, Thomas Pilkyngton, 
Thomas Treffiy, John Scott, Vincent Pittelesden, William 
Spenser, Dionis Bampton, W. Hertiside, Thomas Tregaye, 
Walter Copleston, Peter Carsewelle; and among the con- 
trollers William Santon, Richard Weye, and John Pylla In 
1495 John Monkeley was havener. Of the great importance 
of the commerce of both ports in these early days there is 
the strongest evidence in the contingents each furnished to 
the famous siege of Calais, in 1346. 

Customs Grant. 

In the opening years of the fourteenth century Plymouth 
had an active trade with France. It was to Sutton that, in 
the years 1317-18, the glass for glazing the Lady Chapel at 
Exeter Cathedral was brought from Rouen. Com and wine 
were among the chief items of import. In 1360 royal 
permission was given to the merchants of Plymouth to traflfic 
with Portugal ; and Plymouth, the chief port for trade with 
Bordeaux, soon became the favourite harbour for vessels from 
the northern ports of Spain. Richard II. granted a scale of 
customs to the 'Mayor and BailifiFs, honest men and Com- 
monalty,' for the purpose of fortifying the town, which 
enumerates among articles of commerce — wine, honey, mead, 
cloth, linen, canvas, skins, hake, pilchards, salt, coals, herrings, 
iron, cheese, soap, wax, com, boards, pitch, and tar, slates, 
tiles, hemp, and cord ; besides dues on fishing-boats of 12d. 
a year; 6d. on ships 'bearing batell or cokett,* 4d. if not; 
and on brewhouses of Id. annually. And in the same reign 
we find something like a bonded warehouse establish^. 
Parliament declaring that merchants and mariners coming 
'to a place called Conners, in the island of St. Nicholas, 
shall not pay any duties on their merchandise unless it is 
exposed for sale.' 

Another proof of the extent of the commerce of Plymouth 
in the fourteenth century — since its population depended 
on its trade — is its contribution in 1377 of £80 12s. 4d. to 
the poll tax, showing an inhabitancy of 7,000, against £26 
for Exeter and £8 8s. 8d. for Dartmouth. Bristol paid 
£105 15s., York £120 16s., and London £388 lis. 4d., and 
these were the only places with a greater population. 
Devon paid £760 lis., with a taxable inhabitancy of 


45,635. Its relative wealth is also seen in the payment of 
£34 12s. 8d. to the 'tenth and fifteenth' of 1374, out of 
£953 15s. levied for all Devon. 

^Ruyne and Decaye* 

What led to the falling oflf in the prosperity of the town 
at the close of the fourteenth and opening of the fifteenth 
centuries we cannot say (unless it were the damage done by 
the French in their descents) ; but when, in 1464, the Corpo- 
ration petitioned for the reduction of the rent paid the Priors 
of Plympton, they piteously declare: 'the Boroughe and 
towne is fallen into great ruyne and decaye, and so like to 
contynewe in decaye, if that the Same Boroughe and towne 
be not shortlie relieued or otherwise p'uided for.* And then 
they cite the 

great and intollerable charges and coste, as well by the adventure 
of the sea and otherwise, by the Inhabitants of the same Boroughe 
and towne sustayned within these few yeres, to the valew of Tenn 
thousand pounde and above, as the great and intollerable chai^ge 
that the said May'^ and Coyaltie and their Successors have had in 
tymes past, and hereafter shall have, and be putt vnto, for the 
yerelie mayntenaunce and safeguard of the said Boroughe and 
Towne, and the port of the same, w^^ is one of the most principall 
and fayrest ports at this tyme within this Realme, and the kaye 
and onlie defence of all the Covntrie thervnto adioyning, and 
necessarie to be kept and mayntayned as well in tyme of peace as 
of warre. 

Shippijig Returns. 

In 1437, as appears by an old customs book of Plymouth 
in the Public Eecord Office, the oldest preserved, sixty-five 
cargoes were imported into Plymouth. Guienne, Landemeau, 
Brest, Guerrande, Oporto, Lisbon, Norway, Denmark, 
Holland, Genoa, Dusant, and Spruce, each sent ships hither ; 
and London, Dartmouth, Guernsey, Exmouth, Fowey, and 
Exeter among home porta The local vessels mentioned are 
— the Oeorge, Mary, Catherine, Antony, Margaret, and Christ- 
opher of Plymouth; the Jvlian, and Richard of Stonehouse; 
the Christopher of Millbrook; the Margaret of Yalmouth; 
the Catherine, Thomas, and Mary of Landulph; the Richard, 
Christopher, and James of Saltash ; and these sixteen ships 
brought twenty-eight cargoea The leading local merchants 
were — Eobert Folthym, John Nigholls, John de la Lande, 
Thomas Hoker, William Pollard, Walter Clovelly, Stephen 
Chapman, Peryn Thomas, John Shippeley, Thomas Bythman, 
John Pagnell, Walter Facey, Thomas Gille, John Martyn, 


Thomas Pyppe, John Seeley, John Halbye, John Facey, T. 
Glede, Thomas Smyth, Fardell, Thyche, Caskes, and Hall. 
In 1450 the customs of Plymouth and Fowey contributed 
£40 a year to the 'despences' of the Boyal household; 
those of Exeter and Dartmouth, £50 ; while Bristol figured 
for £266 13a 4d. ; and HuU for £400. 

The materials for tracing the progress of the commerce of 
the port are scanty until comparatively recent times. The 
spirit of adventure, first developed under Henry VIIL, and 
raised to its highest pitch under Elizabeth; the North 
American trade in the earlier years of the seventeenth 
century; the general colonial traflBc of the eighteenth — 
these, each in turn, were the cause of great activity and 
the source of much wealth. But every now and again 
war intervened to check the arts of peace, and to turn the 
attention of the local merchants and shipowners to priva- 
teering — nothing loth. The Municipal Eecords afford a few 
inconsecutive glimpses of the course of commercial events, 
though for the most part of little value in this regard. 

Thus the Tonnage Dues received by the Mayor, at Id. a 
ton, for the foreign and alien ships that came within the 
Pool, from 1514 to 1582 ranged from nothing up to £4 5s. 5d. 
a year, and never seem to have really formed an important 
item of the town revenues. A calculation made by one 
William Borrowes of the probable proceeds of a tax of 3d. 
a ton on all shipping passing from the town for every voyage 
(which he proposed should be levied for the purposes of the 
Castle), as not exceeding £40 or £50 a year, makes the total 
taxable tonnage at the commencement of the seventeenth 
century between 3,000 and 4,000 tons only. The import of 
coals, however, he puts at 10,000 chalders. 

We find that in the year Michaelmas to Michaelmas, 
1571-2, there were sixty-nine ships belonging to Plymouth 
—One of 100 tons ; two of 80 ; three of 60 ; four of 50 ; 
eleven of 40 ; two of 35 ; seven of 30 ; five of 25 ; twelve 
of 20 ; three of 16 ; four of 15 ; three of 12 ; eleven of 10 ; 
and one of 6 tons. Bristol and Southampton had fifty-three 

In 1623, 195 vessels paid moorage varying from 4d. to 2s., 
Scotch ships coming next to the English, then French and 
Flemish, with several Jersey craft and a couple of Danes. 

Toum Customs. 
The Town Customs in 1623 yielded £20 12s. 5d. Malt, 
barley, wheat, peas, rye, and salt paid Jd. a qr.; hops, 


canvas, 2d. a hundred ; cloth, 4d. a piece ; wine, 6d. a tun ; 
beef, 6d. a tun ; sugar, 4d. a chest ; dry-fish, 3d. a thousand ; 
salt. Id. a ton ; coals, Id. a wey or chaldron ; herrings, 6d. a 
last, Jd. a barrel ; * kerses,' Jd. a piece ; hides. Is. a hundred ; 
tar, 6d. a last ; vinegar, 2d. a tun ; iron, 4d. a ton ; oakum. 
Id. per cwt. ; healing -stones (slates), ^d. per thousand; 
tallow, 2d per hundred; 'trayne' (oil), 4d. a tun, Id. a 
hogshead ; ' caske,' Id. a ton. Quantities levied on : 70 tons 
3,933 qrs. salt; 234 chaL 131 weys coal; 27 last 160 barrels 
herrings ; 352 qrs. malt ; 167 qrs. barley ; 60 qrs. wheat and 
peas; 25 qrs. peas; 176 qrs. rye; 27 hundred hops; 60 
hundred tallow ; 388 thousand healing-stones ; 154 thousand 
dry-fish; IJ tuns wine; 7 tons beef; 15 hundred canvas; 
5 chests sugar; 17 pieces cloth; 6 tons 'caske'; 15 hundred 
hides; 9 last tar; 12 tuns vinegar; 12 tons iron; 3 tuns 10 
hogsheads 'trayne'; 50 'kerses'; 28 hundred oakum. The 
cloth and nearly all the salt came from France; the 'wey' 
coal from Wales ; the * chaldron ' Newcastle. 

These Customs had been farmed by Thomas Edmonds, 
father of the statesman of that name, in 1568-9 for £5 a 
year. The increase thence was very slow. And when in 
1634 Devonshire was ordered under the Ship-money writs to 
furnish a vessel of 400 tons, Plymouth was only assessed at 
£185 Os. 8d, while Plympton St. Mary had to pay £184 16s., 
and Barnstaple £252 4s. 8d But in the following year, 
when £9,000 was demanded of Devon for a ship of 900 tons, 
Plymouth had to pay £190 against Exeter's £350, while 
Barnstaple went back to £150, and Plympton to £35. 

The Town Custom had a singular coursa In 1659-60 it 
was £77 8s. 4d. In 1665-6 it touched £239 2s. 4d, the 
highest figure reached. Then it oscillated a while between 
£60 or £70 and £150; and in 1680 commenced a steady 
decline, which brought it by 1690 to little more than £6. 
In 1696-7 it rose to £70, but when the eighteenth century 
opened it was all but nil. The quayage of the town quay 
rose from £12 168. 9d in 1669-70 to £25 ISs. in 1699-1700. 
No doubt special causes were at work beyond the ordinary 
course of trade. 

Foreiffn Trade in the JSigJUeenth Century, 

At the beginning of the last century, the merchants of 
Plymouth drove a * considerable trade to Viipnia, the Sugar 
Islands, and the Streights,' and had a fair share of the 
Newfoundland. About 1750 sixteen vessels annually sailed 
out of Plymouth and Oreston for the West Indies, and 



twelve others to and from diflferent parts of America.* This 
led to the establishment of a sugar refinery on the old 
Exeter Boad. 

An old inhabitant of the town, verging on eighty in 1814, 
could remember when 

the Parade was full of hogsheads of sugar, rum, rice, tobacco, and 
every colonial produce, the property of the merchants, particularly 
the great Mr. Morshead, the leading man of the Corporation ; this 
was in the year previous to the French war in 1755. During the 
peace that followed in 1763 a number of spirited gentlemen 
embarked in the Newfoimdland fishery, and succeeded ; the town 
received the advantage, and would have gained the superiority 
over Dartmouth in that trade, but the war breaking out put a 
stop to all commercial enterprise. . . . Wealth flowing in from 
the lucrative channel of prizes and prize goods without hazard, 
the foreign pursuits are soon forgotten, and being a King's Port^ 
on the first impress the seamen fly to London, Bristol, and Liver- 
pool, where they are not easily pressed. Consequently all trade 
is stagnated.' 

Privateering and Prizes, 

The efifect of the wars with America and with France 
was indeed to destroy the legitimate commerce of the port. 
The activity displayed at the Dockyard reacted on Plymouth 
and Dock; and the other influences of a great arsenal in 
time of war were exerted to an extent unequalled elsewhera 
Privateering was much in vogue. The port, moreover, was 
the greatest emporium in the country for prize ships and 
goods.* 'Hence a forced prosperity, a rapidly augmented 
population, and an active spirit of speculation,' which in 
a short time completely changed the condition of the in- 
habitants and the aspect of their affairs ; and when the war 
ceased produced a collapse. Gloomy indeed did the prospects 
appear when Napoleon was finally subjugated. With the 
war ended the traffic which had sprung out of it ; and the 
pursuits of peace, so long neglected, required time for de- 
velopment. All classes suffered. Men of capital, from the 

* As an illustration of the manner in which a bye-traffio spmng up oat of 
this Colonial trade, Burt mentions that thirty vessels used to sail to London 
for bricks, and then return to Plymouth for ouenched lime packed in the 
hogsheads in which sugar had been brought nome. Before the American 
war a large quantity of slate, souared and packed in boxes, was transmitted 
to that country. * Burt's Review. 

* In the period from February, 1798, to Michaelmas, 1801, 948 prize shifM 
were examined at Plymouth, besides others examined before arrival. This is 
a fair sample of the war time. It is needless to enlarge upon the opportuni- 
ties for money-making such a continuous influx of prizes afiforded. Captors 
were far more anxious to turn captures into money than to get the exact 
value of their goods. 


closing of the channels through which it had flowed. Pro- 
prietors of houses, who had made exorbitant rents, single 
rooms sometimes letting for £10 a year, from the sudden 
decrease of population caused by the restriction of operations 
at the public establishments. The working classes from want 
of employment, which caused the Workhouse to overflow 
with tenants. There were not wanting efforts at remedy. 
For immediate relief of workmen a committee was formed, 
under whose directions the original marine road below the 
Hoe was constructed by the unemployed in 1817. 

Vigorous attempts had been made to resuscitate commerce. 
It was emphatically asked, ' Can it be contended that a state 
of peace is to consign to decay a large and flourishing town 
and inhabitants, placed in the immediate vicinity of harbours 
which appear to be designed by Nature to invite man to the 
pursuits of commercial industry ? ' 

The Chamher of Commerce. 

The most practical answer to this question was eventually 
supplied by the Port of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, 
formed in 1813, under the presidency of the first Earl of 
Morley, whose successors in the title have continued at its 
head. The Chamber had the advantage of a very energetic 
secretary, Mr. W. Burt, most fruitful in projects for the 
welfare of the port. Several of these, under more propitious 
circumstances, have been carried out, notably his suggestions 
with regard to Millbay. 

Mr. Edmund Lockyer, one of the most active citizens of 
his day, and one of the chief promoters of local improve- 
ments, laid a scheme before the Chamber in 1814 for the 
formation of associations to build or purchase vessels to 
engage in the coal and culm, Baltic, Greenland, and Colonial 
trades; for the working of a sugar refinery; for the 
conversion of Sutton Pool into a wet dock; and for the 
establishment of East India packets.'^ 

' Mr. H. Woolloombe at this time estimated the capital of the port as 
follows: Real property, £190,000 ; funded ditto, £8,000,000 ; annual income 
from professions, trades, &c., £276,000 ; private property in mere moveables, 
not less than £1,000,000 ; Government ditto, more than £1,000,000. 

•^he total rateable value of Plymouth now— £800,000— after allowing for 
non-rated and under-rated property, will certainly represent a capital value 
of £8,000,000. Personalty in furniture, stock in trade, plant, &c., will total 
up to some £6,750,000, at least. The money invested in stocks, shares, &c., 
and in business outside Plymouth, is less accurately estimated ; but Mr. 
Woolloombe's £8,000,000 has in all likelihood grown to £7,500,000— probably 
more. This would make the present capital of and in Plymouth £21,250,000 
—a figure rather under the mark than otherwise. The income of the inhabi- 
tants approaches £2,000,000. This is the tovcn against Mr. WooUcombe'si^ort. 



Much interest was taken in the projects thus launched ; 
and among other attempts to aid the work in hand, the 
Exchange in Woolster Street was built, and proved an 
unfortunate speculation. In truth the time was not ripe for 
the success so eagerly anticipated. Not that the efforts 
made were thrown away ; but business is often a plant of 
slow growth, and fruitage was deferred. However, the im- 
mediate result of the energy displayed was to revive the 
West India and Newfoundland trades. 

Slowly the commerce of the port sprang into renewed 
existence ; and the tide, once turned, flowed steadily in the 
direction of extended business connections, and increased 
wealth. With a few intervals of temporary depression the 
history of the trade of Plymouth during the last seventy 
years has been one of progress ; that progress having pro- 
ceeded in a greatly increased ratio since the extension to the 
town of the railway system, and being fostered by and 
fostering the improvements made in Sutton Pool, Millbay, 
and Cattewater. 

Sutton Fool. 

Sutton Pool, the old commercial harbour of Plymouth, re* 
mained an appanage of royalty from the earliest times to the 
present year. So far back as the fourteenth century we find 
controversy between the Crown and the Priory as to their re- 
spective rights therein. The Crown then maintained its claim 
to the Pool; but the Prior established his to the quays on 
the south, which eventually passed to the Corporation. The 
Pool, with the other 'waters of Plymouth' really belonged 
to the Earldom, subsequently the Duchy of Cornwall ; and 
so continued to the present day, as part of the Manor of 
Trematon. It was originally the practice for its owners to 
appoint haveners. The * port of Plymmue ' occurs as early 
as 1254 Edward II. granted the custody of the castle and 
town of Trematon with ' the water of Sutton,' to Thomas of 
Genely in 1315; and Edward III., in 1331, granted 'the 
water of Sutton ' to Thomas Coppeare, valet of his chamber, 
at a rent of £4 In 1334 Thomas de Spokenton took the 
water and port of Sutton, with all the customs and dues, 
except chattels forfeited at the suit of the lord, wreck of sea, 
prisage of wine, etc., of the honour and castle of Trematon, 
to be held in convention at the rent of £17 10a ; which may 
represent between £300 and £400 of our present money. 

The working of Sutton Pool was commonly in the hands 
of the town authorities. In 1481 £1 4s. was contributed 


towards the reparation of the church of St Andrew, and the 
making of its south aisle, out of the pence of the farm of 
Sutton PooL Courts of the water of Sutton Pool were, 
however, held on behalf of the Duke of ComwalL Roger 
Edward, ' sub-ballivo,* was directed in 1479 to take twelve 
legal men of Plymouth, six of Stonehouse, six of Yealm and 
Newton Ferrers, and six of 'Horson,' and in legal court 
before Nicholas Henscott locum tenens, who was then Mayor, 
to make sundry inquiries into matters connected with the 
PooL Such rights in the Pool as the Prior of Plympton had 
possessed the Corporation enjoyed; the Duchy rights they 
appear to have rented or farmed. In the closing years of the 
fifteenth century they kept two carryers or lighters, which 
were let out on hire to merchants of the town and strangers 
at 6d a tida They had a water-bailiff appointed yearly, 
and made r^ulations for the general conduct of the traffic. 
Here is an abstract of an order made in 1568 by William 
Hawkins, Mayor, John Fitz, Eecorder, the 'twelve and' 
twenty-four,' concerning ' the good kepyng of the poole and 
water-side under the ffuJl sea marke': 

No manner of ballast, nor the ' swepyng or clensyng ' of 
any ship, was to be cast into the Pool ; no anchor to be put 
out 'without a boye vpon hym, or a pole to stand by the 
anker, that people may knowe where the anker lieth'; no 
stones, timber, or other things to be cast into the Pool to any 
common prejudice ; no graving-pits to be left unfilled after 
use; no 'landing kayes accustomed to be mayntayned' to 
be suffered to fall into decay ; nobody to ' bryng any kynde 
of stingkyng thyng to the water's side, as ffyshe, fflesh, deadd 
beasts, as dogges, cattes, swyne'; all ships discharging within 
the Cawse were there to take their ballast, and that without 
allowing any to fall into the water ; no one taking ' any stone 
or other thyng whereon to stape into any bote or shepyng ' 
should leave it in the water ; no timber should be buried in 
the 'ose,* save in the lawful place; no 'guttyng or heddyng 
of ffyshe be caste vpon the kayes, or left vpon the kayes/ 
All breaches of these regulations to be visited by fine. 

The 'Cawsey: 
A pier, the ' Cawsey ' at the mouth of the Pool, on or near 
the site of the Barbican Pier, is noted in the earliest accounts. 
Leland states ' The mouth of the gulph wherein the shippes 
of Plymouth lyith is waulled on eche side, and chained over 
in tyme of necessite.' And so in 1493-4 we find 8d. charged 
for 'Bryngyng of the cheynes from the Cawse yn to the 


CastelL' Bat chains did not form the only defence. In 
1456 2d. were paid for mending the 'mast at the Caws'; 
and in 1496-7 eleven pounds of ironwork are charged for the 
•maste at Caws/ In 1511-12 a new house was put up at 
the Cawsej, and a chaine of iron bought therefor, weighing 
'viij. c. j. quart viij. lb., at (j*- qr.) the lb., iiij"- xvij" j*^' 
Mention is likewise made of a new Cawse, and 'grete stones ' 
beng brought there. John the mason and Edward Salerman 
( = sailor man) had 9d. for working three tides at the Cawsey. 
In 1508-9 it had been * pynned and poynted' by 'Newcomb 
the mason and his fellows.' In 1511-12 the expenditure on 
the Cawse and the * lytell new howse ' thereon was consider- 
able ; and there is one entry that shows the great antiquity 
of the modem custom of 'standing treat': 'Itm. for ale to 
dyus men that holpe to slinge the grete stonys at the Cawsey, 
viij^ This was something considerable ; for 6d. a day was 
then about the average wage of artificers; the masons' 
labourers engaged on the 'lytell howse' had, however, the 
higher amount, ' because it was harvest tyme.' In this year 
a Spaniard was paid for carrying stones to the Cawsey, and 
6d. a day given to two ' men of Stok ' for similar work. John 
Paynter had 3s. 6d. for a ring of iron; and one of John 
Gryalyng's servants was drowned in 'slyngynge of stonys 
for the Cawsey.' In 1521-22 machinery was provided for 
the chain. A carpenter had Ss. 6d., at 7d. a day, to make 
the 'wyndynge' (windlass) 'for the cheyne at the Cawse.' 
The timber cost 2d. For a ' rope to wynde up the chayne, 
weying IxvL lb.,' 8s. 6d. was paid ; and a staple to ' waye up 
the chayne,' weighing nine lb., cost at IJd, the pound, thirteen 
pence. All this, however, was insufficient. The chayne 
broke, and 'Shuge' had 16d. for mending it, after 4d. had 
been spent in the same way to little purpose. Then more 
iron was put on the mast of the Cawse, and nails and spikes 
bought for the end of the 'sayleyard,' while 'balche' was 
provided for the rope of the chain. Next we find ' It. for a 
greate yard to lye w* the Chayne at the Cawse xx"- It. for 
Ivj. li. of yrework for the end of the yard vj"* iij^' Thus 
the entrance of the Pool was defended by a boom as well as 
a chain. 

Under the name of 'Cawsey hake' or 'Castle hake' it 
was the custom to levy dues of hake on ' straunge bots that 
mored themselffe wt° the Cawssey,' the proceeds being applied 
to the maintenance of these structures. 

The sixteenth century saw improvement in Sutton Pool 
A 'Crane Key* is mentioned in 1519-20, with 'William 


Pull's Kaye,' and 'Allyn is Key/ In 1572-3, the 'Key on 
South side' was built 'from the Barbican, under full sea 
mark ; in length 130 feet, and breadth 44' Later, William 
Weekes binds himself to maintain and repair during his life 
the 'causse at Coxside, that I dyd there make.' Smart's 
Quay was built about 1602 ; the * dung key ' at the foot of 
Looe Street in 1639-40. In 1626-7 the 'old cause' was 
made higher ' that boats may not come over it.' The Cawse 
was leas^ to William Parker in 1601. 

Plymouth and SaUasfu 

Early in the seventeenth century we come across the first 
evidence of interference with the trade of Plymouth, of the 
absurd privileges claimed by the Corporation of Saltash. A 
great ship haa sunk in Cattewater, to the sore damage of 
the harbour of Plymouth, which required in 1637 £2,255 to 
put it in proper order. The Saltash people would do nothing 
to remove the ship. Quite enough for them to collect their 
dues.® So the merchants of Plymouth appealed to the 
authorities. These declared it to be only reasonable that 
the Mayor and Commonalty of Plymouth should receive Id. 
a ton on all ships coming within the port, which then in- 
cluded all the harbours on the south coast of Cornwall (thus 
creating a new grievance after the fashion of the Saltash 
one) ; Id. per ton on all ships belonging to the port for every 
voyage ; and 6d. per ton on all pilchards laden in the Soimd 
for export. This was to be in force for three years if needed ; 
and Saltash was to remove the ship, and pay half of its 
dues to the reparation of Plymouth harbour. Hereon Saltash 
came to terms, gave up to Plymouth the ballast rights 
within Cattewater and Sutton Pool, paid £20 a year for 
three years, and agreed that the care of Cattewater in future 
should be joint. It was at the same time ordered that every 
Plymouth lighter and sand-barge should each year take away 
a load of rubble, &c., from Cattewater and deposit it on the 
southern part of 'the fretted neck of land called How 
Stert'sthe Batten Isthmus. 


In 1617 Sutton Pool was leased by the Duke of Cornwall, 
Prince Charles, afterwards Charles I., to John Sparke (he of 
the Friary) and John Powell, of Plymouth, in farm, for 

* The rights of Saltash to levy dues in respect of the Cobbler Buoy were 
made tenninable in fifteen years, in 1885. 


twenty-one years, at a yearly rent of £13 6s. 8d., the lessees 
taking the profits of the anchorage and 'keyladge' of all 
ships coming within the Pool, and the measurage and lastage 
on all which discharged there, with fines of fisWng boats and 
pottage of fish ; the l3uke reserving all prisage and bushelage, 
wrecks of sea, customs of cloth and leather, petty customs, 
goods of pirates, and maritime jurisdiction. Yet in 1608 
it had been declared that it did not appear the soil of 
the Pool was the King's, or that the Prince had any land 
in Plymouth. 

On enquiry made during the Commonwealth (Oct. 7th, 
1650) concerning the water and pool of Sutton, it was 
declared that the rights of the same, anchorage, keelage, 
measurage, bushelage, lastage, toll of fishing boats and 
pottage, had been granted for 20 ^ years from March 25th, 
1638, for £13 6s, 8d annually, to Sir John Walter, Sir James 
Fullerton, and Sir Thomas Trevor; that they in the same 
year had assigned their patent to Thomas Caldwell; from 
whom it passed in succession to Sir David Cunningham, 
Peter Hendra, of Plympton St. Mary, William Hele, William 
Warren, and the Hospital of Orphans Aid. Houses had been 
built on the bank of the Pool within high watermark ; but 
the foreshore was claimed by the Corporation as part of their 
manor of Sutton. The Pool was then really in the hands of 
the municipal authorities. At the Restoration it was leased 
by the Crown for thirty-one years to Lord Arundel at £45 
a year rent ; and proceedings forthwith commenced between 
him and the Corporation. The latter were cast, and not 
only lost the Pool, which was worth £100 a year, but heavy 

^ There are still extant the prooeedinga of an enquiry held at Plymouth 
Auffust 28th, 1661, by George neare, Ezekiel Arundell, and William Sprye, 
as Commissioners, and a jury of twenty-four. The verdict was that the 
metes and limits of the water commonly called Sutton Pool were : Beginning 
at a certain place called the Barbican ; and thence by the South Key, and 
thence to the New Key, and thence to the place called ffoxhole [Vauxhall], 
and thence to the key of a certain Martyn Morrice, and thence under a certain 
tree called the Great Tree, and thence along the wall of the place called the 
Friary, and thence to tlie place called the Cockside, and tnence over the 
house of Mr. Ratten bury, and so round to the mouth of the place called the 
Barbican. The jury found also that the following encroachments had been 
made : The Dung Key, or Tynn Key ; key at the back of Mr. Page's house ; 
pallace adjoining Mr. Colmer's cellars ; pallace and cellars behind Mr. Millar's 
nouse ; pallace and cellars near the Great Tree ; houses, cellars, and pallaces 
built by Oliver Ceely, and William JeflFery ; Half Moon Key near Cockside ; 
houses, cellars, keys, and pallaces near Cockside ; house, cellars, keys, and 
pallaces built by one Rattenbury ; Teate's Key ; a key adjoining ; a wall 
built at the end of his close bv William Jennings, diverting the flow of the 
sea ; Martyn's Key ; Oliver Gsely's Key ; cellars and keys near ffoxhole ; 


Nor did litigation end here. In the first year of the reign 
of Elizabeth an Act of Parliament made ' Hawkins's Quay/ 
which was either built by, or adjoined the property of, one 
of the Hawkinses (Sir John probably, as it afterwards came 
to Sir Bichard), the sole legal quay for landing goods. This 
quay in 1664 was unprovided with a crane; and so the 
Customs authorities in London, pointing out that it was the 
only lawful quay, and that goods landed elsewhere were 
liable to seizure and confiscation, the benefit of which they 
heard * doth redound to the town,' required a new crane to 
be supplied; which was done, at the cost of £19 Is. 2d 
William Jennens, who had the general conduct of the 
Arundel suit on behalf of the town, and John Warren, 
another merchant, claimed Hawkins's Quay as theirs — partly 
as Jennens's Quay, and partly as Warren's Quay — and 
demanded fees for landing goods. This led to more law. 
The local Quarter Sessions averred that the quays were not 
the property of Jennens and Warren, but belonged to the 
Corporation ; and thence the case went to the superior courts. 
It was a very pretty quarrel. Lanyon and other merchants 
declared that the quays claimed by Jennens and Warren 
were really Hawkins's Quay, at which, time out of mind, 
goods had been freely laden and unladen, without charge to 
the freemen of the town, and to the inhabitants of the 
neighbouring towns and villages ; that Jennens and Warren 
having got hold of Sir Richard Hawkins's deeds, in the 
course of the law-svdt with Arundel, were keeping them 
back, whereas they would show the true rights of the 
property; and that Jennens, being *a powerful man,' had 
forced some people to pay dues, and had ' persuaded ' others. 
The Mayor and Commonalty, on their part, contended that 
the quays were theirs, included under the term * New Quay,' 
and built on part of the waste of their manor of Sutton 
Prior. It had been a very * old and ruinated quay,' which 
they had repaired and 'beautified,' making it much more 
commodious. Moreover, by their quaymasters they had 
regularly collected the petty customs there (these customs 

Smart's K^ and houses thereon ; Toll's cellars ; Friary Key and house near ; 
Samnions Key ; * Jones his yard ' ; part of Lawrence's yard ; White's pallace ; 
a slip or key next Nicholls's house ; ditto by Hamlyn's house. All which 
the jury declared had been built within full sea mark, and u\you the mud 
and shore of Sutton Pool, and had greatly restricted it, so that whereas 
anciently ships and boats were able to come and go to a certain house called 
the Queen's Arms, Bentleys, and other places, now they were prevented. To 
lay the foundations of these encroachments (which were forfeited) stakes had 
been in some cases driven into the silt and planks laid upon Uiem. A 
pallace meant simply a place enclosed by pales, or pallaced. 


included, by the way, a faggot or billet of wood for the Old 
Almshouse from every boat so laden); and the fact that 
different parts of the quays were called by the names of 
different people did not make them their property. The 
quays were only so called, for 'distinction and difference 
sake,' after people whose places of business adjoined 

Jennens and Warren, thus assailed from two different 
quarters, charged their opponents with being in league ; and 
insisted on the rights of private property against the custom 
of Lanyon and the manorial and corporate privil^es of the 
town. They challenged the Corporation to show that the 
New Quay was built before 1576 or 1577, and denied that 
Hawkins's Quay or Custom House Quay (which was another 
name for that held by Warren) were any part of the New 
Quay at all — referring, moreover, to the town writings being 
burnt about seventy years previously. What was the end 
of this business is not quite clear; but whatever Jennens 
and Warren may have retained, there still remained town 
quays, which in 1693 underwent considerable repair ; while 
in 1730-1, when they wanted reparation again, 161 dozen of 
timber wedges were driven, at the town cost, between the 
stones. A few years later there were negotiations between 
the town and Lord Arundel for the lease of Sutton Pool; 
and in 1684 he offered to assi^ the remainder of his term 
of seventeen years, and to obtain a new lease for twenty-one 
years more, for £5,000, which he was told was a great deal 
too much. 


In 1673 John Lanyon erected an Exchange on the New 
Quay at his own expense, thus depicted in MS. in the 
British Museum, and during the W///// M//JJ////M 
term of office of his successor Wis iiM/f^ ^Ui^ 
a walk or exchange was built 
on the Southside. About this 
period therefore the commercial- 
interests of the port appear to have made a fresh start. In 
1694-5 the New Quay was paved, and in 1737-8 chains were 
fixed thereon, the gift of Captain Dufour. A very high tide 
on Freedom Day eve, 1744, shattered the quays, threw down 
the Fish House,® and damaged the town generally to the 
extent of £3,000. In 1749 the town water was carried to 
the Barbican for watering shipping. In 1753-4 another law 

' There was a little island in the entrance of the Pool, now included in the 
Barbican Pier, on which the old fish house stood— a ' laige square ancient 
building/ with windows and stairs on the Pool side. 


suit arose concerning the Pool, limits being in question 
between the Corporation and Mr. T. Veal. The town for a 
short time was deprived of its mace, which was taken away 
by the sheriflTs officers as a penalty for neglect in not 
answering the citation. The Corporation were again cast. 
In 1762 the Barbican was washed down, and two members 
of the Collier family drowned. A furious storm early in 
January, 1787, inflicted very serious damage upon the 
quays. A few years later, between 1791 and 1799, by the 
aid of a Parliamentary grant the entrance piers were built. 
In this matter Captain McBride interested himself, which 
gave him great political influence. 

The Sutton Harbour Company. 

Sir T. Tyrwhitt prepared plans for the improvement of 
Sutton Pool in 1806, but they came to nothing; and the 
most important stage in the history of the old harbour of 
Plymouth was reached in 1811, when the Sutton Harbour 
Company was incorporated by' Act of Parliament, after 
opposition by the Corporation, and the Duchy rights leased 
thereto. Subsequently the New, Southside, and Guy's Quays, 
and the other portions of the Pool frontage, which the 
Corporation own in right of representing the Priory, were 
leased to the Company also. Prior to 1811 they brought in 
an income of £300 ; the Duchy dues amounting to between 
£400 and £500. Several schemes have from time to time 
been started for the improvement of the harbour. A bill 
for the conversion of the Pool into a floating dock was 
dropped, because the consent of the Admiralty could not be 
obtained. Since then this authority has been given, and 
tramways made on the quays, communicating with the 
railways ; while in 1889 an Act was passed authorizing the 
construction of a fish-market, the raising of money to buy 
the fee of the Pool from the Prince of Wales (since effected 
at a cost of £38,000), and regulating the tolls. 

Prior to the lease of the Corporation Quays to the Sutton 
Harbour Improvement Company, the following dues were 
paid : * Moorage at the New Quay, or Southside Quay, 8d. ; 
Quay. duties on coals per quarter. Id.; Bushelage on coals 
per quarter. Id. ; Quay dues for merchandise per ton, 2d. ; 
use of a plank. Is.; colliers, ditto, 28.; load of hoops, 3d.; 
slate per thousand. Id.; bricks per thousand, 4d.; earthenware 

Eer crate or cask, Id.; hay, wood, &c.. per barge, 2s. 6d. ; 
quor per pipe. Id. ; grain per sack, ^d. ; water from the 


conduit, Is. Fish jowters [hawkers] paid in kind.' Majorca 
dues are still collected on certain kmds of fish from boats 
which do not belong to the port 

Shipping dues used to be collected for the Governor of the 
Citadel, but have long been discontinued. Every British 
ship in Sutton Pool, Cattewater, or Hamoaze, paid Is. 6d.; 
every Spanish ship in Sutton Fool and Cattewater, 6& 8d. ; 
in Hamoaze, 10s. ; other foreign ships were let off for 2s. 6d 
or 3s. respectively. 


As the town grew in importance, so the desirability of 
turning the capacious inlet of Millbay to account became 
apparent. Centuries since, though Sutton Fool continued 
the harbour 2Mir excellence, Millbay was the resort of vessels. 
Anchors have been found where the Octagon now is. The 
first attempt of importance to provide special accommodation 
was the formation of the Union Dock, of which Mr. W. H, 
Evens and the Messrs. Deny were the promoters, in what is 
now the southern angle between Martin and Fhoenix Streets. 
Not long subsequently, in 1839, Mr. Thomas Gill laid a 
project for the erection of the Millbay Pier before a public 
meeting at the Guildhall ; and in the following year the Act 
was passed under which the pier was built, and a dock formed 
adjacent. Pier and dock were soon however to give place to 
a larger undertaking ; the former to become subsidiary, and 
the latter to be obliterated altogether by being filled up. 
The site is now built on. 

The next step in the development of the capabilities of 
Millbay, and by consequence of the commerce of Plymouth, 
was the formation of the Great Western Docks Company, 
the Act for which was obtained in 1846. Mr. Brunei, engineer 
of the South Devon and Cornwall Eailways, was the engineer 
of the Docka Serious difficulties were experienced ; but at 
length, in February, 1857, the floating basin was opened, 
though not formally, by taking in a vessel of 1100 tons for 
repairs. The pier and the whole of the water side of Millbay 
belonged to the Company. The fundus, as at Sutton Pool, 
was the property of the Duchy of Cornwall. The basin 
contains thirteen acres, with a depth of water of twenty-two 
feet. The length of the quay wall is 3,490 feet ; the area of 
the wharves around over fifteen acres. The entrance gates 
are eighty feet wide, and there is a depth on the cill at low 
water springs of ten feet three inches. Opening out of the 
basin is a graving dock 460 feet long. Extensive warehouses 
have from time to time been added. A line of railway 


conimunicating with the Great Western system runs round 
the docks, and there are deep-water wharves on the east of 
the outer harbour. The Docks were acquired by the Great 
Western Kailway in 1874. 

Until the formation of the Docks, Millbay, being prac- 
tically valueless, was not considered in' the local municipal 
and parochial arrrangements. Subsequently it was claimed 
as within the borough boundary, which includes a point 
called Eastern King. The Eastern King of the present day 
is the western boundary of Millbay; but when the case 
came on for trial in 1859 one of the chief points of the 
Dock Company's case was that the old Eastern King was on 
the Western Hoe. It was argued further that the Act of 
Incorporation had a proviso that it * should not extend aught 
to the water of Tamar'; and that in compliance therewith 
the Corporation of Saltash, to whom the ancient jurisdiction 
of the 'liberty of the river Thamar' belongs, had always 
exercised rights over the waters of Millbay. Sir Alexander 
Cockburn therefore gave judgment for the Company. Thus 
matters remained until 1868, when Millbay, as an extra- 
parochial place, came under the provisions of an Act pro- 
viding that all such localities should either become parishes 
themselves, or be annexed to parishes adjoining. An attempt 
to constitute Millbay a distinct parish failing, and a desire 
on the part of Stonehouse for annexation being repelled, 
Millbay was united to the parish of St. Andrew. 


As Sutton Pool was the haven, so Cattewater was the 
roadstead, for the shipping of the port in the Middle Ages. 
Leland describes it as 'a goodly Bode for great shippes 
betwixt the haven mouth and the creek of Schilleston,' or 
Chelson, now Chelson Meadow. The Sound, until the 
Breakwater was built, was not by any means a secure 
anchorage. For the greater safety the vessels which could 
not enter Sutton Fool resorted to Hamoaze when bad weather 
was expected — long before Dock was founded — but for 
convenience they lay in Cattewater whilst they could. 

Hence the pains taken by the Corporation to preserve this 
part of the haven from the damage caused by the tin- 
streamers. A commission relating to the tinners is mentioned 
as early as 1486. In 1538-9 divers 'platts of the Town and 
port were made,' tin-works viewed on behalf of the town, 
and a presentment entered concerning the haven, while by 
the order of the Lord High Admiral a ' view ' was taken of 


Cattewater. Two years later 38. 8A were paid for ' viewing 
the streame Brok that descends down hurtfull to the haven.' 
In 1542-3 there was riding to the petty sessions at Ermington 
against the tinners ; and in 1543-4 there was a nisi prius 
suit against them. In 1544-5 John Sprye had £1 13s. 4d. 
for 'payntyng a platt' of the haven. Two years later he 
made another * platt/ which was taken to Sir Peter Carew ; 
and the tin-work was viewed again. 

Eventually Acts of Parliament were passed, under 
Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, to restrain the tinners ; and one 
of the objects contemplated imder the Water Act was the 
scouring of the harbour. 

Steps for the protection of Cattewater were early taken, 
in the already cited order that every Plymouth lighter and 
sand barge should yearly carry a load of rubble, &c., from 
Cattewater, and deposit it on the southern part of the 
Batten Isthmus. Sometime later the neck was protected 
against the sea by a strong sea wall, which has all but 
disappeared. The isthmus was partly breached in 1633-4; 
and repairs to the wall are mentioned in 1645. In 1638 
Charles I. granted the Mayor and Commonalty letters patent 
for the harbour ; and in the reign of Queen Anne a statute 
was passed, the principal object of which was the removal 
of the * middle bank,' close to the entrance. 

Shipbuilding was formerly a very important branch of 
local industry; and the shipbuilding yanls were either in 
Sutton Pool or Cattewater. There was a dockyard at Turn- 
chapel, from which early in the century a couple of seventy- 
fours were launched. The largest merchant ship built in 
the port was launched from the late Mr. Banks's yard at 
Queen Anne's Battery, August, 1870. She was of 1,127 
tons burthen. 

Among the earliest improvements of the present century 
effected in Cattewater was the laying down of chain moorings 
by Lord Boringdon, afterwards the iirst Earl of Morley — the 
Corporation opposing. He built the Laira Bridge to replace 
the old * flying bridge ' ; and embanked Chelson Bay, which 
gained for him the gold medal of the Society of Arts. This 
was undertaken in the spring of 1806, and completed in the 
autumn of 1817. The expenses amounted to £9,000, and 
the land reclaimed, 175 acres in extent, was then valued at 
upwards of £20,000.» 

' Upon Cholson Meadow, sinco 1828, the Plymouth, Devonport, and Stone- 
house races have been held ; and a better piece of ground for the purpose it 
would be difficult to find in Devonshire. Here it will be convenient to 

ROADS. 335 

The most important step ever taken in connection with 
Cattewater was the formation in 1874 of the Cattewater 
Harbour Commissioners, a public, not a trading body, by 
whom its affairs have since been regulated. Under the 
Commission the harbour has been protected by the con- 
struction of a breakwater, first suggested in the last century, 
on the Batten Beef. It is nearly 1000 feet in length, and is 
built of concrete, from the designs of Mr. J. C. Inglis. 

Since then deep-water wharves have been formed — at 
Tumchapel by Messrs. Bulteel, and at Cattedown by Messrs. 
Bumard and Alger; and railways have been carried along 
each shore. 

A life boat was given to the port in 1803 by Mr. Philip 
Langmead, and stationed in Sutton Pool. The wants of the 
port in this direction are now supplied by the National 
Lifeboat Institution. 


Good roads are as indispensable to the development of 
commerce as good harbours. In old time Plymouth was very 
badly off for land communication. Bishop StafiTord in 1411 
granted indulgence for repair of the road from Plymouth 
to Smapolemille.^ Cecil declared that he had never seen 
•fouler ways' than those of Devon. Ralegh in 1593 said 
that ordnance could not be carried to Plymouth, 'the 
passages will not give leave.' Groods were then carried from 
town to town by long lines of packhorses ; and a remnant of 
an old packhorse road worn deep in the rock may still be 
seen near Egg Buckland villaga Post horses are mentioned 
in the Corporate accounts in the closing year of the sixteenth 
century, together with such names as ' Peter the post ' and 
'Bussell the post' A weekly post between London and 
Plymouth in three days was proposed in 1630; but 
apparently not introduced until 1635. R Biggs was post- 
master in 1642. A post house was established in 1658, by 
Northcote, then Mayor. 

The first substantial improvement effected was by the 
formation of the Old Exeter or Eastern Turnpike Boad, the 
Act for which passed 31st George II. Next came the 
Tavistock Turnpike, under Act bearing date 44th George III. 

notice that the first resatta for the port came off in 1825, and that the Boval 
Western Yacht Clnb dates back to within a few years of that period. The 
Clnb House was originally at Millbay, then a capital yachting rendezvons ; it 
is now upon the Hoe. 

^ Via profunda ei lutota, perigrinarUibui U lahoranlibuB per tandem 
nimU nociva et pericuhaa. 


Less than six score years ago the communication between 
Dock and Plymouth was of a miserable description, consisting 
of the road by Mill Bridge, originally made by Sir Richard 
Edgcumbe in 1528, and a ferry near the site of the present 
Stonehouse Bridge, crossing to Newport Street, the boats of 
which were pulled by ropea In 1767 the Act was passed 
which empowered the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe and Sir 
John St. Aubyn to build Stonehouse Bridge (finished in 
1773); and in 1784 that for constituting a turnpike. 
Carriages first began to ply for hire between the towns in 
1775,* and were licensed by the turnpike trustees. In 1800 
there were forty-one of these 'Dock diligences,' but the 
imposition of the stage coach duty stopped them all in 1828. 
In the April of that year, however, the foundation of the 
old bus system, replaced by tramway in 1871, was laid by 
starting six hackney coaches to run at stated times. The 
turnpike notwithstanding, at the beginning of the century it 
was a matter of complaint that the road through Stonehouse 
Lane and Fore Street, Stonehouse, was inconveniently 
narrow. The road by Millbay, originally ' a lane leading to 
the paper mills,* was also very contracted near Plymouth. 
Union Boad 'through the marshes' was not opened until 
1815. These marshes, where snipe have been shot in the 
memory of Plymouthians yet living, were very desolate and 
dreary at night ; and it was the custom for those who had to 
go from one town to the other after sunset to wait until a 
little party had collected, sufficiently strong to repel attack, 
before commencing to traverse theuL The turnpike gate 
was at the junction of Plymouth and Stonehouse, and was 
removed September 29th, 1843. 

The Modbury and Saltash Turnpikes were authorised 
4th George IV. The operations of the Embankment Com- 
pany, which was empowered to embank the Laira by an Act 
of the 42nd and 43rd George III., led to the formation of 
the New Eastern Eoad, which completely superseded the old 
road by lipson within a very few years of its formation.' 
The substitution of the Laira for the ' flying ' bridge (itself a 
substantial improvement on the ferry) by the Earl of Morley, 
tended greatly to facilitate the communication of Plymouth 
with the South Hams. The foundation stone of this structure 

' The hackney carriajges, with the boats and wherries of the Three Towns, 
are regulated bv CommissionerB, saperseding the old trustees, appointed under 
an Act iiassed in 1848. 

* * Sirs, for the road on Laira's banks 

Accept the weary horsoa' thanks,' 

was one of the mottoes in the procession at its opening. 


was laid in 1824, and it was opened July 14th, 1827, when 
the Duchess of Clarence (afterwards Queen Adelaide) and 
suite passed over it Mr. Kendel, the engineer, projected a 
suspension bridge over the Tamar at Saltash. 


The Dartmoor Eailway, the first of its kind to call for 
notice here, was a work of considerable importance when it 
was undertaken. It was introduced to the public in 1818 
by Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt, the father of modem reclamation 
works upon Dartmoor, and the originator of Princetown. 
The accommodation at Plymouth early in the century for 
prisoners being inadequate and inconvenient, Sir Thomas 
suggested that they should be transferred to Dartmoor, and 
in 1806 laid the first stone of the Prisona Princetown thus 
created, it became a question how it was to obtain the 
necessary supplies, and in 1818 Sir Thomas brought before 
the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce his project for the 
establishment of a horse railway between the Prisons and 
Crabtree. The scheme commended itself, and was started. 
In 1819 the first authorising Act was passed ; in the follow- 
ing year Parliament approved of a two-mile extension from 
Crabtree to Sutton Pool; in 1821 a third Act gave powers of 
variation. The total capital authorised was £39,983, Govern- 
ment being empowered to lend £18,000 for the extension to 
Plymouth. Twenty-three miles, from the town to King Tor, 
Walkhampton, were opened in 1823 with a public procession. 
The total length of the line is twenty-four miles, with a 
tunnel at Leigham of 630 yards. Mr. Hopkins was the 
engineer. The undertaking never paid. In the first place it 
was heavily mortgaged to the contractor, in consequence of 
the expense of construction far exceeding the estimate. In 
the next, from the downfall of Napoleon until the formation 
of the Convict Establishment, there was no one at Princetown 
to supply. Lastly, the line was laid out in the easiest 
manner, far behind the present age. The traffic gradually 
decreased until 1880, when the Dartmoor portion was recon- 
structed for locomotive purposes, and the line opened to a 
junction at Yelverton in August, 1883. 

Under the old coaching system the main road from 
Cornwall to London was by Launceston and Exeter. The 
construction of the South Devon and Cornwall Railways 
changed the course of the stream of traffic; and it now 
flows through Plymouth. Attempts were made to restore 
the old route by the formation of a Central Cornwall and 


associated lines ; but these failed, until the extension of the 
narrow-gauge system into North Cornwall was taken in 
hand by the South Western pioneers. The South Devon 
Eailway was authorised in 1844; and laid out by its engineer, 
Mr. I. £. Brunei, as an atmospheric line. Upon that principle 
it was opened as far as Newton ; but experience then proving 
that the atmospheric system, however pretty in theory, 
failed in practice, the Company had to fall back upon the 
locomotive, which they had hoped to supersede* The effect 
was that about £400,000 were lost. The railway was opened 
to Laira in 1848, thus giving direct railway access to 
London, and in 1849 to the present terminus at Millbay. 
It was at first proposed that there should be a station for 
the Three Towns in the Five Fields, then open ground, near 
the present North Boad Station; but other counsels prevailed 
Had there been any idea that the traffic would have de- 
veloped to its present extent, different arrangements would 
certainly have been made; as the Millbay accommodation 
has had to be increased at a heavy expense by the removal 
of the Boyal Union Baths,^ of the eastern side of Bath 
Street, and of other property in that neighbourhood; and 
still further absorptions have become necessary. 

The Tavistock branch of the South Devon line, made 
by an independent Company, was opened in 1859 ; and the 
extension, also the work of a separate Incorporation, from 
Tavistock to Launceston in 1865. The Cornwall line, after 
much delay, very serious financial difficulties having to be 
overcome, was opened in 1859 ; thus placing Plymouth in 
direct railway communication with Truro and Penzance, and 
subsequently with Falmouth. All these lines now form 
parts of the Great Western system. 

^ Under the atmospheric Bystem the carriages were propelled by means of 
the pressure of the air upon i>istons to which they were attached. These 
pistons worked in huge tubes laid between the rails. The air being exhausted 
in front hj stationary steam-engines, the pressure behind forced the pistons 
on, and with them the carriages. The practical difficulties which put an end 
to this system were avoided in pneumatic despatch tubes, by enclosing the 
despatch carriage wholly in the tube ; and the principle could now be success* 
fully adapted* 

* The Baths stood on the south of Union Street, where the incline to the 
railway goods shed now commences. Their foundation-stone wss laid by 
Admiral Sir Byam Martin, M P. for the borough, by command of the Duke 
of Clarence as patron, in 1828. The water was brought in pipes from near 
the Rusty Anchor. A few years after the erection of the building a spa was 
disco veriMi and a pump-room added. The waters were obtained from a depth 
of 860 feet, and contained in the imperial pint il^ cubic inches of carbonic 
acid gas; chloride of sodium, 96*64 grains; muriate of magnesia, 18-68; 
muriate of lime, 15*10 ; sulphate of soda, 9*56 ; sulphate of lime, 8*94 ; 
carbonate of lime, 2 06 ; carbonate of iron, 0*69. 

z 2 


After several expensive contests in Parliament between 
the * broad * and ' narrow ' gauge railway interests — the Great 
Western and London and South Western Companies — the 
latter seeking access to Plymouth, and the former striving to 
prevent it, powers were granted to the Devon and Cornwall 
Kailway Company, the pioneer of the London and South 
Western, to complete a line from the North Devon extension 
at Yeoford to Lydford, and thence to run over the broad- 
gauge to Plymouth, with an extension from a joint station 
at North Road to a terminus at Devonport. These works 
were carried out, and the line opened to Devonport amidst 
great rejoicing in May, 1876. The undertaking is now that 
of the South Western Company; and an independent con- 
nection from Lydford was opened May 30th, 1890. This 
new line runs down the valley of the Tavy until it crosses 
the ridge by Morwell, to follow the left bank of the Tamar 
to Saltash Passage, and so to Devonport and Plymouth. 
Both systems therefore have independent access to the Three 
Towns, though in the course of time the broad-gauge has 
been practicsJly abandoned by its only advocate— the Great 
Western Company — in favour of the universal ' narrow.* 


Stage coaches are locally quite out of date, but a few notes 
concerning them may be acceptable. It was not until 1762 
that any regular passenger communication was set up between 
Plymouth and distant localities- In that year a ' diligence * 
was put on to Exeter by John Bignell, of the * Prince George 
Inn,' performing the distance in twelve hours. Thirty years 
later there were two coaches from Plymouth (or rather Dock, 
that town being the terminus of the up-country traflBc) to 
Exeter daily, fares 14s. 6d. and 7s. 6d. There were two 
London waggons twice a week each, a Launceston waggon 
weekly, and a Barnstaple waggon fortnightly. Chartered 
vessels sailed to London and Bristol ; and hoys to Portsmouth 
were 'generally to be heard of at the Seven Stars, North 
Corner. Another thirty years saw six stage coaches running 
daily up country;* one daily and one alternate days into 
Cornwall. The ' fly waggons ' from London used to take four 
and a half days to reach Exeter. Immediately prior to the 
construction of the South Devon Railway there were six 
coaches running daily eastward — the Nonpariel, Telegraph, 

* A second coach in opposition to the mail coach was boycotted in 1802 by 
flome of the leading mercnanta. 


Defiance, Oreat Western, Quicksilver, and Bath Mail. The 
distance between Plymouth and Exeter was often done in 
3 hours 28 minutes. The Quicksilver ran the 219 miles 
between Plymouth and London in 21 J hours. 

The first family coaches in the neighbourhood were those 
of Sir J. Rogers, and * Madame Darell ' ; and there was no 
coachmaker in Plymouth until the reign of Greorge IIL 


Steam made its influence felt before the advent of the 
railwaya The Plymouth, Devonport, Portsmoutli, and 
Falmouth Steam Packet Company was formed in 1822, 
through the exertions of Mr. John Hawker, and in the 
next year regular steam communication was established 
with Portsmouth. The Brunswick and Sir Francis Drake — 
names ever memorable in connection with the early history 
of steam navigation in the Port of Plymouth — were runniug 
to Torquay, Cowes, and Portsmouth; and to Falmouth, 
Guernsey and Jersey; respectively in 1836: whilst the 
London and Liverpool Companies plied to London, Liverpool, 
Falmouth, Cork, Dublin, and Belfast. The South Devon 
United Shipping Company (established 1828) had seven 
schooners on the line between London and Plymouth; the 
Plymouth and London Union Shipping Company eight, 
engaged in coasting ; whilst there were two Bristol traders. 

The most important development of local shipping affairs 
in the past half century, has been the selection of Plymouth 
as a point of arrival or departure for mail steamers to almost 
every part of the world, beginning with the calling of the 
Cape Mail Union line in 1850. Moreover, Plymouth has 
long been the chief Emigration Depdt for Government 

Custom Houses. 

The official Customs business has been carried on in the 
vicinity of Sutton Pool for centuries. The present Custom 
House on the Parade was built from Mr. Laing's designs in 
1820, at a cost of £8,000 ; its predecessor being a seventeenth 
century building opposite, built at a time when what is now 
the Parade was a creek. The Corporation paid for work on 
one still earlier in 1586. The mediaeval merchants did not 
always get on well with the authorities, and in 1450 obtained 
an Act of Parliament to relieve them from the extortionate 
demands of the water bailiff. Henry Harfam, * custemer of 
Plymuth,' was executed at Tyburn in 1537. 



In 1834 Plymouth was made a stannary town, but the 
privileges were abolished so soon afterwards that the appoint- 
ment was never worth much. The first tin coinage was at 
the Exchange, March 25th, 1835. 

^ r^ 

>^' ?.> ^f- 

R ^4*— W* >'g ^ __'^*i 

Old Custom Houbk, Parade. 

Regulation of Trade by the Ancient Corporation. 

The ancient Corporation had much to do with the 
regulation of internal trade. Every freeman, as we have 
already seen, swore — ^* You shall avow noe forraigner's goods 
as your own goods, nor buy and bargain with any forraigner 
or stranger in your own name to y* use, behoof, and profit of 
another forraigner and stranger, whereby any Custom or 
duety may be lost or withdrawn from ye Mayor and Commons 
of this Burrough. You shall take noe apprentice for less 
than seven yeares, and within that tyme you shall see them 
taught and instructed of some honest mystery, craft, or 
occupation. And if you shall hereafter know any forraigners, 
merchants, or handycrafts men that shall use to buy, or sell, 
or practice any craft continually within this Burrough, not 
being free of the same, you shall then give warning thereof 
unto the Mayor of this Burrough for the time being, or his 

No one in fact could carry on business unless he were a 


freeman, and then only under regulation.^ There is yet 
extant the charter granted to the tailors of the town, ' the 
Liberty of the Tailors' Craft/ in 1479-80 :— 

Be hit knowen to all man' of people that we Will™ Rogger 
mayer of the Burgh of plymouthe, Thomas Tresawell Recorder of 
the same Thomas byne Will" Nicoll Will™ Thikpeny i^eryn Erie 
w^^ other moo com burges of the same burghe with all the comens 
of the Same burghe haue geuen and g'unten vnto the brethern and 
Crafte of Tayllors of the same Burghe full auctoritee and power to 
clecte chose and make masters of theyre occupacon and Crafte, and 
they so made and chosen by theym of the same occupacon and 
shall haue full auctoritee and power to rtde and Correcte all 
things belonging to the said occupacon and crafte so ffyxte made 
and stablyshed. They shall make or cause to be made at the cost 
and charge of the said Crafte a pagent yearly vnto Corpus Xri 
Ude for the welthe and proffitt of the said Ilde on Corpus Xri 
day. And the same they shall kepe and maynteyn for eu' at their 
Coste and charge for the which pagent the said bretherdyn may 
be prayed for euer in the same Ilde. And on that yf there be 
any man of the same occupacon in the same towne not keping 
household that then he or they so being in the said towne not 
keping household shallbe noon of the said occupacon but that he 
or they shall make fyne with us the said mayer and Conions And 
also with the said occupacon and Crafte after the order and 
discression of men of the said Crafte by the ou'sight of the said 
mayer. And yf the said wardens and Crafte amytte any man to 
be oon of the said occupacon and Crafte And he happyn to 
destroys or marre any man' of garment for lakke of vnderstondyng, 
and non cunnyng yn that behalfe, that then he or they so hurted 
or greved shall wame the master or masters of the same occupacon 
thereof, and then the said masters of the same occupacon shall 
paye and contente for the garment or garments so distroyed as hit 
can be thought reasonable for the same hurte, hauing a recompense 
of the same pson or psons. 

Provyded alway by this psents that the said masters and Crafte 
and eu'y pson of the same shal be ordered ruled and gou'ned by 
the mayor of the said burghe for the tyme being in eu'y thing 
according to the Ibtye and fourme of the said Towne and burghe 
as any oder of the inhitaunts there being this g'unte not 

The Corporation also considered the due regulation of 
commerce. Their idea of the common weal was supreme; 
individual rights counted for little or nothing. 

^ For example, so late as 1669, Abraham Blocke paid lOa. for liberty to 
trade ; while Hendricke Blocke and Hendricke Peterson paid £3 each for 
leave to ' open their shop windows ' for the year. There are other entries of 
similar licences of the ' anfree.' These men were Flemings. 


In 1564 it was ordered that no resident should buy any 
meal brought to the town, on pain of forfeiture and other 
punishment. This was to compel the inhabitants to have 
their com ground at the Millbay mills, which formed one of 
the chief sources of the town income, and then yielded £24 
a year rent One wonders whence the windmill on the Hoe 
got its business. In 1570 it was directed that no one was 
to grind aoy com away from the mills, on pain of forfeiting 
three times the just toll per bushel ; while the millers who 
did wrong were likewise to restore threefold. Three years 
afterwards we light upon a record of the most distinguished 
miller Plymouth ever had, before the time of Sir Francis 
Drake — no less a person than Sir John Hawkins, who, 
with his brother WUliam, rented the town mills ; bought a 
house at ' Pope's Head ' to weigh the com in before it was 
carried to the mills; and kept a man with a horse ready, 
on due warning, to fetch the corn from the houses of the 

In 1580, too, we find mention of a prototype of the Royal 
Hotel — the Town Tavern — in respect of which Walter 
Battishill, Humphrey Fownes, and Christopher Ceely agreed 
to pay yearly £3 6s. 8d. at the winewits audit 

As to general merchandise, in 1575 it was enacted that all 
goods brought by sea should be put, before purchase, into 
the common hall, 'the large Seller adjoyninge the Crane 
Kaye,' under penalty of £5. Three years later, John Sparke 
provided a sufficient cellar for receiving strangers' goods, 
being recompensed by a moiety of the moneys the town 
ought to receive thereon. 

And in 1575 there was another very sweeping enactment, 
that no one should buy wine, commodities, or merchandise 
coming 'to the town by water, without having made the 
Mayor privy thereto, in order that, if they so desired, the 
Mayor and his brethren might buy for the town. If they 
did make a purchase, then every freeman had to take the 
share apportioned him. This could hardly have been oper- 
ative, or else it must have fallen into desuetude ; for in 1597 
it was further enacted that no merchant or other inhabitant 
should 'bargain for deal boards, com, grain, salt, or other 
victuall, wyne only excepted,* up to £5 value in all cases 
except deal boards, and then to the value of £10, until the 
Mayor had been apprised, and had decided whether he would 
deal for the profit of the town generally. 

In 1603 fines, &c., were inflicted on the parties oflTending, 
because Pascowe Pepperell had forestalled the market by 


bnying coal at 7s. lOd. the quarter and selling it at 8s. 8d., 
which does not seem a very extravagant profit In 1605, 
too, there were sundry fines and imprisonments inflicted for 
buying rye within the Cawsey contrary to rule. 

MeduEval Fisheries. 

The regulations made during the sixteenth century with 
regard to fish were numerous and important. In the mayor- 
alty of Nicholas Bickford, 1565-6, it was ordered that no 
alien should lade or buy fresh pilchards above the number of 
1,000 in a day ; no man not being free to buy or sell above 
5,000, unless the fish were *in danger of perishing.' In 
Drake's mayoralty (1581-2), other orders were made. No 
one was to promise or sell any pilchards before they had 
them (• time-bargains !*). Any persons suspected of sellin<r 
or promising to deliver pilchards before they were 'saved' 
(cured), or of having received money beforehand from any 
non-inhabitant to 'make' (cure) the 8ame,was to be questioned 
on oath before the Mayor, and if guilty, not allowed to 
' make ' any more pilchards that year. No woman, whether 
wife, widow, or servant, was to set or make a price for or 
upon any pilchards brought to the town, under penalty of 
10s. fine (to be paid by the husband or master, if no widow) 
and personal punishment — as usual at the Mayor's discretion. 
In 1584 a more stringent order was passed to the same 
effect, including hake, but allowing women to make provision 
for their households. Those who brought hake to the town 
were to sell to every freeman equally some indifferent portion. 
Freemen who aided any stranger to break these regulations 
were subject to severe penalties — losing their liberty, and 
having to pay heavy fines, from 5s. upwards. In 1590-1 a 
tax of 8d. per last was laid upon pilchards cured, except for 
household use, towards the defence of the town. 

Earlier in the seventeenth century the town petitioned the 
Privy Council, to prohibit the exportation of pilchards, save 
in ships of Devon and Cornwall, because 'divers ships and 
mariners lye idle without employment within our harbour,' 
while foreign ships were continually employed. Special 
mention was made of certain Flemish vessels of great burden 
being so engaged.^ 

* Oatsidera were not encouraged in these days in any way. For many a 
year it was the custom in Plymouth to send Irish folk back to the place from 
whence they came ; and at one time it was compulsory on masters of vessels 
trading between Plymouth and Ireland to take a certain proportion of Irish 
immigrants as part of their return cargo. 


One of the most amusing entries anent fish concerns the 
fishwomen. In the mayoralty of Humphry Fownes (1596-7), 
these traders were considered by the 'twelve and twenty-four' 
to have unduly multiplied. So their numbers were restricted. 
The names of the favourite ladies of the Corporation allowed 
to continue their business were: Cyslie Barons, Johanna 
Straunge, Katheren Earle, Cyslie Sherwill, Thomasine Prince, 
llahatch Dune, Elizabeth Lanne, Alse Bree, Agnes Clifforde, 
Alse Gilbert. Elizabeth Harte, Nell Seelye, Alse Lawrell, 
Elizabeth Evens. Three-quarters of a century later (1656-7) 
it was enacted that women who went about 'trucking' to 
ships without leave, should be set in the ducking-stool at 
the Barbican and haled up and down three times. 

The fisheries of the port were not only its oldest but one 
of its most important industries. Parliament decreed in 
1384 that all fish caught in the waters of Sutton, Plymouth, 
and Tamar should be exposed for sale in Plymouth and Aish 
(Saltash) only. During the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. 
pilchards formed a chief branch of the town exports, the 
old curing-house being at the entrance of Sutton Pool. The 
ei-ection of fish-houses at Cawsand and other places in the 
neighbourhood was regarded by the Plymouthians with 
extreme jealousy. They frequently complained to the Privy 
Council of those who carried fish taken there to other towns 
than Plymouth, Stonehouse, Millbrook, or Saltash ; and in 
consequence an order was issued in 1606 for the sale of two- 
thirds of the fish taken at Cawsand in Plymouth. Some 
years previously, Sir John Gilbert had been directed to look 
into complaints made that forestallers stored pilchards in 
cellars built in the cliff at Cawsand. 

The Newfoundland fishery was carried on with consider- 
able vigour, until abolished by the turn given by war to the 
avocations of the port, and was also the subject of frequent 
appeals to the Privy Council. In 1620 protest was made 
against the French and Spanish trading companies, and 'a 
plantation in the Newfoundland.* • Indeed * about the end 
of the seventeenth and the commencement of the eighteenth 
century, when from various conspiring causes Plymouth 
seemingly enjoyed a greater share of trade than at any 
other, the Pollexfens, Rogerses, Trelawnys of Ham, Hewers 

* The late Mr. Jonathan Couch, F.L.8., published extracts from the ledger 
of Richard Trevill, * an eminent merchant, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 
from whom and the members of his house a street in Plymouth derived its 
name.' Trevill was a very spirited man. He erected fish cellars at Kingsand 
and Cawsand, and exported 'fumados,' now called 'fairmaids,' to Bordeaux, 
Hochelle, Spain, and Naples, between 1597 and 1600. 



of Manadon, Fowneses, and Calmadys, accumulated large 
fortunes from the fisheries and other sources.^ 

In 1624 there is an entry of ' the charge disburst for the 
putting down of the Lyzard light, w*h would have been 
burdensome to all the cuntrie/ 

A OoRirxB or Button Pool. 

Present Commercial PositioTU 

As a general commercial port Plymouth may be ranked 
about seventh in importance in England and Wales. The 
import trade is largely in excess of the export, though the 
latter has shown a very considerable increase in the past 
five and twenty years. The Customs returns are compara- 
tively small, because of the abolition of imposts on the 
articles chiefly imported ; but in 1857 £266,677 were paid 

* The fortunes of several county families were laid at Plymouth. The 
Fowneses bought Plympton Priory lands at the Dissolution, that property 
subsequently passing to the Luttrells of Dnnster. The Yonges of Puslinch, 
spring from Dr. Yonge, a physician of Plymouth. He obtained the estate 
by marrying Mary, daughter and heir of William Upton, who died in 1709. 
The founder of the Symonses of Chaddlewood — now represented by Mr. 
Soltau-Symons— William Svmons, an alderman of Plymouth, bought that 
property of the heirs of Slford Sparke, the Sparkes being likewise Ply 
mouthians. The Julians are another old Plymouth family ; in 1744 John 
JiUian bought Kingston. 


in Customs duties. The coasting trade is large, and gives 
Plymouth practically the sixth position in England and 
Wales, and the tenth in the United Kingdom. As an 
English fishing port Plymouth stands about tenth. Sutton 
Pool is still, as it has been for at least ten centuries, the 
harbour of the fishermen of the port ; and is often crowded 
with fishing craft in various parts. 


The first grant of a market at Plymouth was made al>out 
the year 1253, to be held on Thursdays, with a fair of three 
days at the festival of John the Baptist Four years after- 
wards Baldwin of the Isle had his grant of a Wednesday 
market, and a fair of three days at the festival of the 
Ascension. Under the monastic rule the Markets belonged 
to the Priory, but when the town was chartered passed to 
the Corporation. Prior to that, however, the community had 
acquired market rights. 

In 1311 Matthew, Prior of Plympton, let to the burgesses 
of Sutton eighteen market stalls in a certain place in the 
said ville adjoining a stone cross, at the rent of one penny 
per stall per year. Richard the Tanner acted for the bur- 
gesses. Tlience until now market jurisdiction has been 
exercised in Plymouth by the Municipal authorities. 

The cross here mentioned was presumably the Market 
Cross, the granite pillars of which were bought by James 
Bagg for 40s. in 1610. It had probably been demolished 
in connection with building the Guildhall. Work was done 
on the Market House (which had a bell) in 1571-2 ; and in 
1590 it was 'planched;' but so far as can be gathered it 
had been mainly rebuilt, with ' more stone * pillars, in 1564. 

Shambles were erected in 1606, apparently in connection 
with the Jacobean Guildliall ; and a little later a * new corn 
market house,' eventually made a shop. The Corn Market 
House is mentioned as early as 1539, and in 1625-6 another 
new market house was built at a cost of £9 13s. lid.; but 
in the next year it was taken down and carried away to be 
rebuilt 'above higher mill.' In 1646-7 the markets were 
leased at £10 a year. In 1653-4 £6 14s. 6d. was spent on 
new building the 'Yam Market' in Old Town. In 1656 
Shambles were built in the middle of Old Town, a long 
narrow range of buildings 200 feet by 12, with the Leather 
Hall above extending about a third of the length, and 
costing £177 10s. 9d. The Old Green Market was on the 
south side of Whimple Street. In 1693 Fish Shambles were 


constructed in Whimple Street, afterwards called the Old 
Fish Cage. The building was thirty feet long by ten feet 
wide, and was demolished in anticipation of the visit of 
George III. in 1789 — ' a waggon/ says Harris, ' being hired 
to drive against it to ensure its demolition.' 

Thence the Market was removed to the Guildhall, and 
thence again when Evelegh began to build what is now the 
Free Library, to the site of the Old Almshouses north of 
St. Andrew Churchyard. A Fish Market had been made 
against the Churchyard wall in 1601-2, costing £18 19s. 4d. 

The utter inadequacy of the provision made by Evelegh, 
with other pressing reasons, rendered the building of a new 
Market necessary early in this century. Accordingly the 
present site was bought — then an open field with a pond 
wherein a boy had been drowned, known as the Bloody 
Field; and the foundation stone laid in 1804 It was 
opened in 1807, and the tolls were first let by auction in 
1809 for £900, whUe in the next year they made £2,010 
(in 1783 the market rent had been £430). A tontine loan 
for building the Market was raised of £10,000, and the land 
cost £4,000 more. Plans for rebuilding were invited in 1853, 
and the first awarded to Mr. C. Eales, of London. Other 
plans by Mr. C. King and Mr. H. Alty were obtained in 
1882, and the work has since then been proceeded with 
piecemeal, a main feature being the construction of a road- 
way through the Market from Cornwall Street to Old Town 
Street, at the Ebrington Street junction. 

The Mayor used to be Clerk of the Market; and at one 
time had the revenue of the Shambles to keep up his 

A weekly Yam Market was held in the seventeenth 
century in the Churchyard ; and a Cloth Fair in November 
in Old Town, at which the Somerset and Devon clothiers 
used to assemble in large numbers. 

The Fairs, for business purposes, practically came to an 
end in 1864. 

Textile and Cfenercd Manu/aciures. 

The cloth manufacture is the earliest that can be traced 
here. There is no record when it was established; but it 
was certainly carried on in the reign of Elizabeth. When 
Drake brought in the water, mills were built in the town ; 
and two of these were used, if not from the time of their 
erection yet very soon afterwards, as tucking or fulling mills. 
These were the mills in what is now called Bussell Street, 


then Horsepool Lana They were known as the Eastern and 
Western Fulling Mills, and were leased by the Corporation 
with the right of setting up racks for the cloth in the lane 
and on the ' Great Hill ' — the ridge overlooking Pennycome- 
quick. The first fuller mentioned is John Chare, who rented 
the Western Fulling Mill, a moiety of which was leased in 
1666-7 to Stephen Forstrete. He was the father of Abraham 
Chare, or Cheere, the first recorded pastor of the Baptist 
Church of Plymouth, and Abraham's life was on the mill 
when the lease was granted to Forstrete. Chare had also 
something to do with the Eastern Tucking Mill, a moiety 
of which was leased in the following year to William Bray, 
of Milton Abbot, fuller. 

There was a revival of the woollen trade early in the last 
century by Mr. Shepheard, who came to Plymouth from 
Northampton. It flourished most under Mr. William Shep- 
heard, his grandson, who paid £1,200 to £1,500 weekly in 
wages, and gave a tenth of his profits to the poor. At 
Plymouth there was a large baize manufactory, the tucking 
mills being at Yealm Bridge. The number of woolcombers 
was about 60, earning 15s. a week; spinners, 800, 3s. to 5s.; 
weavers 300, 9s.; warpers and tuckers, 158.; spolers and 
children, 3s. Many of the children took home work one 
morning, and returned with it the next, when they received 
sixpence and more work. Mr. Shepheard was also engaged 
in fellmongering, and had six coasting vessels. 

The baizes and cloth manufactured from coarse wool, not dis- 
posed of in Plymouth or the neighbourhood, were sent to North 
America, in exchange for tar and turpentine (which were taken by 
the manufactory of tar, oil of tar, pitch, and rosin, at Stonehouse, 
lately belonging to Luscombe and Co.), masts, &c., &c. On the 
breaking out of the first American war this extensive concern 
began to decline ; and though a magnificent procession of the 
woolcombers at Plymouth took place in 1783 on the return of 
peace, and the business was continued after Mr. Shepheard's death 
by his sons with sufficient success to warrant hopes of its reviving, 
yet the whole has mouldered away or been dispersed into distant 
quarters, except one solitary renmant — a small white seige manu- 
factory, carried on by Mr. Codd, in Old Town.* 

Of manufactories existing in the port when he wrote 
(1814-15), Burt enumerates, excluding trades : A salt refinery 
of such antiquity that it was among those privileged in the 
time of Queen Anne, when an Act of Parliament was passed 
prohibiting the erection of new refineries, except in places 
' Bubt's JSeview, p. 176. 


containing salt pits or springs, and contributing in 1814 at 
the rate of £12,000 a year to the revenue; five tallow 
factories ; a nail factory (in Colmer's Lane) ; a brown paper 
mill at Millbay ;* a writing slate and pencil manufactory at 
Lee Mill, near Ivy bridge, delivering two slates per minute ; 
two potteries, one manufacturing coarse ware of clay im- 
ported from Bideford, and the other 'cream-coloured, or 
Queen's ware, painted, printed, and enamelled ware,* of clay 
from Cornwall, Teignmouth, Poole, and Gravesend ; varnish 
and pitch manufactories, from which large exportations of tar, 
turpentine, and varnish, had taken place to Newfoundland ; 
an ivory black manufactory, established three years previously 
by Mr. Briggs, who employed many persons, principally 
women, in collecting bones; two tobacxjo and tobacco pipe 
manufactories ;* distilleries, employing twenty men ; a straw- 
plait manufactory, established when the French prisoners 
were at Dartmoor, straw being supplied them, which they 
returned plaited ; five tanyards — an increase of four in thirty 
years ; thirteen ship-building yards ; seven rope- walks ; and 
two canvas manufactories, employing about 200 persons, the 
first established by a Mr. Jardine, from Scotland, in Westwell 
Street. The sail-cloth manufactory of Messrs. Hammett 
and Dove (at one time Shepheard, Hammett, and Co., and 
again, Hammett, Prance, and Co.) was a very flourishing 
concern; but the changed conditions of the shipping trade 
caused this industry to decay, and it has been given up by 
Mr. Yeo, the last to practise it. 

The white serge factory ceased its operations long before 
these canvas works in Mill Lane, the last relic of the textile 
manufactures of Plymouth. A flock and shoddy mill was 
subsequently carried on at Brent by Mr. Peter Adams, 
who had introduced the manufacture of Brussels carpets, 
unfortunately just about the time that power looms were 
superseding the old machinery; so that operations were 
suspended after a couple of years. 

Textile industries are now represented in Plymouth by 
great clothing factories, first introduced by the Messrs. 
Tippetts. The factory system has also been applied of late 
in other departments of production, and in the manufacture 
of furniture. 

' A paper miU was erected there by Thomas Netherton as far back as 1710. 

^ The port received very great importations of tobacco from Virginia in the 
Tessels of Mr. Rogers and Mr. Morsnead, to the former of whom a singular 
bat Incky accident occurred. Only two days previously to the legal com- 
mencement of the dutT imposed on tobacco, three of his vessels arrived, by 
which he saved, or rather gained, £6,000 to £6,000. 


Chemical Manufactures, 

The great development in the manufacturing industry 
of Plymouth within the present century has b«Bn in the 
chemical branches. Hence the laige establishments which 
have converted the district to the east of Sutton Pool into 
a manufacturing suburb, the tall chimney stacks of which 
sufficiently indicate the purposes to which it is devoted. 
This locality indeed has enjoyed some sort of connection 
with manufactures from the date of their introduction. 
There was a time when Millbay seemed likely to distance 
it in the race; but the progress of building has confined 
the manufacturing operations of western Plymouth within 
comparatively narrow limits. The Millbay paper mills and 
glass-house^ have disappeared; but it retains the extensive 
soap works established by Mr. Thomas Gill in 1818, now 
the property of the Millbay Soap, Alkali, and Soda Com- 
pany, and formed into a Company in 1856; alongside of 
which a younger concern of the same kind — the Victoria 
Soap Company — ^was established in 1858. The Victoria 
Company is also the successor to the West of England Soap 
Company, which formerly conducted business in the Sutton 
Boad. The cement manufacture has been carried on for 
many years — a manufactory of Boman cement at Millbay 
being the first established, by the late Mr. Eattenbury. 
It is now conducted at Cattedown. 

Nearly sixty years ago the business of sugar refining was 
re-introduced by Mr. James Bryant. Having estabSshed 
the first starch manufactory in the town in Mill Lane, not 
long subsequently he founded in the same locality the 
refinery, the site of which until then was occupied by 
vegetable gardens and a tanyard. By Messrs. Bryant and 
Burnell it was carried on until 1856, when the concern 
passed into the hands of the British and Irish Sugar He- 
finery Company. After they ceased operations it was 
acquired by Sir Edward Bates, M.P., and eventually closed 
by him, as it was conducted at a loss. 

Plymouth for a short time posse-ssed a lucifer match 
manufactory, the property of Messrs. W. Bryant and 
R James, which was burnt in 1829. Mr. W. Bryant was 
afterwards the founder of the Soap Works, subsequently 
known as the West of England ; Mr. £. James, of the 

' The workmen of Messn. Stanford's glaas-honse walked in the pro- 
ceMion formed to celebrate the coronation of the Queen, with glass nats 
and all manner of glass paraphernalia. The premises were sold to the 
Qreat Western Dock Ck)mpany. 


Starch Works at Coxside, now owned by his sons (Messrs. 
W. Collier, and E. Hamilton, James), which have grown to 
very large dimensions; and at which black lead, blue, and 
other articles are manufactured. Part of these premises were 
occupied by the Poor Clares (see page 265). Mr. W. Bryant 
likewise established candle works, a branch of manufacture 
carried on at Coxside by the Patent Candle Company. 

The manufacture of artificial manure has grown to very 
large proportions, as the extensive establishments of Messrs. 
Norrington, and of Messrs. Burnard and Alger, testify. 
Connected with the manufacture of manure are the produc- 
tion of sulphuric acid and metal reduction. 

The tar distilling works of Mr. Harvey, at Deadnfan's Bay, 
are the only ones of the kind in the West of England. 

The lead works of Messrs. James and Eosewall were 
established in 1850, on premises which had been unsuccess- 
fully occupied as a naphtha manufactory for a few years. 
The firm was originally Sparrow, Hodge, and Co. The business 
was transferred to new premises in the Octagon in 1868. 

The Plymouth Paper Staining Company has been one of 
the most successful concerns ever started in the borough. 

About twenty-five years since Mr. George Frean founded 
the biscuit factory, now carried on by Messrs. Serpell and Co., 
by whom the fancy business has been largely developed. 

Gas making is hardly looked upon as a manufacture. An 
Oil Gas company was incorporated under an Act passed in 
1823, the first meeting to consider the matter having been 
called July 24th, 1817. (In 1770 the town was lit by 250 
oil lamps.) In 1825 the United General Gas Company was 
established at Millbay; and in 1832 the Oil Gas merged 
into it. The Plymouth and Stonehouse Gas Light and 
Coke Company, by which the towns are at present lit, was 
incorporated in 1845. The prices in the first instance were 
charged at Plymouth, as elsewhere, per burner. Now the 
town enjoys the advantage of having almost the cheapest gas 
in the kingdom. 

Plymouth China. 

Plymouth was the seat of the manufacture of the first 
true porcelain nia<le in England ; and to the founder of the 
old I^lymouth Pottery is Cornwall indebted for the discovery 
of her great mineral resources in china clay (kaolin) and 
china stone (petuntse). William Cookworthy, a member of 
the Society of Friends, was born at Kingsbridge in the year 
1705. Eemoving to Plymouth, he engaged in the drug 

2 A 


business in a house in Notte Street. In the year 1745 an 
American directed his attention to the materials used in the 
manufacture of porcelain, by showing him some specimens of 
kaolin from Virginia. This led Cookworthy to make investi- 
gations in the neighbouring county, where he discovered both 
the kaolin and petuntse on Tregonning Hill, whence some of 
the china stone had been brought to Plymouth to build 
casemates in the Citadel. This is believed to have been 
about the year 1750. It was not until after long experiment 
that he established his pottery at Plymouth, Here the 
manufacture was carried on for some years with fair success; 
but in 1774 Cookworthy — who died in 1780 — transferred his 
rights to Mr. Champion of Bristol, whither the works had 
been removed. Eventually the patent passed into the hands 
of Staffordshire proprietors. Cookworthy is said to have 
procured a painter and enameller from Sevres for the 
decoration of his ware; and Bone, the celebrated enamel 
painter (a native of Probus), learnt his art and was brought 
up in the manufactory. While the pottery was at work 
there was such a demand for the china that it could hardly 
be made fast enough. Wood was the principal fuel consumed, 
and from fifty to sixty persons were engaged in the various 
processes. Plymouth china is much valued among collectors, 
and fine specimens fetch higli pricea The Plymouth mark 
was commonly the alchemical symbol for tin ; but the 
following varieties occur, and much of the plain white china 
was not marked at all. 



CJookworthy's patent was dated March 17th, 1768, and 
there is a dated example of the Plymouth china of March 
14th; but at least six years before the manufacture had 
been attempted, with Cookworthy's materials and probably 
with his aid, by Champion at Bristol, though then and there 
it failed. The Plymouth China Works seem to have been 
carried on between 1768 and 1772 ; but there is no certainty 
as to these details, or as to the exact locality where the 
porcelain was made. The so-called ' China House ' at Coxside 
— now removed — seems to have been really a storehouse; 
and the probability is that the works were upon premises 
still standing in High Street, which the ratebooks show to 
have been in Cookworthy's possession at this period. 

Oeneral Handicrafts artd Trades. 

There are sundry indications in the Corporate Records of 
the manner in which ordinary handicrafts and trades were 
conducted in the town at various periods. Thus in 1486 
the * taynying ' of the great banner and standards had to be 
entrusted to the * stayner [dyer] of totnys ' ; and in 1506-7 
Nicholas Adams had to be fetched from Looe to make the 
' crosse and the vanys on the stypelL' In 1624-5 there were 
134 payers of 'ale and beer wyts' to a population of some 
7,000, beside four vintners — one to every fifty inhabitants. 
Two of the houses of these four vintners are still in use as 
inns — the Old Four Castles and the Eose and Crown, in 
Old Town Street — the latter the most characteristic of its 
class in the town. The tobacco shops in the seventeenth 
century did a good business. Letters patent were granted 
for the exclusive sale of tobacco in Plymouth in 1634 to 
Thomas King, Abraham Briggs, John Adlington, John 
Wilcock, Nicholas Harris, Henry Honey, Richard Tapper, 
and George Rattenbury; London being the only place at 
which tobacco could be landed. The extent to which 
smoking was patronised is shewn in the report of Garrard 
to Lord Stafford in 1663, that Plymouth had yielded £100 
and as much yearly rent to the licensees, besides which 
there were many unlicensed shops which the magistrates 
had to put down. 

The brewers were strictly regulated. Ale -tasters were 
appointed (manorial fashion), who had to see that the ale 
and beer made were good and wholesome, and without whose 
approval none could be sold. Moreover the price was fixed. 
In 1608 the best was sold at 13s. 4d. per hogshead, the 
second quality at 6s. 8d. ; while in 1627, in obedience to the 

2 A 2 



strong Puritan feeling of the town, it was ordered that no 
work was to be done by the brewers or their servants on the 
Lord's-day, * that they may wholly apply themselves to the 
attendance of religious duties as fully and freely as any 
others.' Further, they were to sell no beer at a higher rate 
than 15a a hogshead — a considerable increase on the prices 
of twenty years previous. The breweries and distilleries 

'Ross AND Crown,' Old Town Stbebt. 

now rank among the oldest local industries, and a number 
of the former have recently been amalgamated into one 
concern, under the Limited Liability Acts, which have 
found frequent application in the locality. 

Burt quotes from Bayley's Western and Midland Directory 
for 1783, the number of merchants, professional men, and 
tradesmen in Plymouth in that year, and gives a somewhat 
similar statistical statement for the year 1814, compiled by 



Mr. Shepheard, then collector of taxes. We put this informa- 
tion in a tabular form, with the addition of the number of 
principals engaged in the respective occupations for the years 
1830, 1870, and 1890, as gathered from directories. It must 
be premised that the comparison, though sufficiently accurate 
to indicate the remarkable commercial progress of the town, 
is only approximate ; the amalgamation and distribution of 
trades being governed by different principles now to formerly. 












Auctioneera and Salesmen . 


• «. 




Basmakers . . . . 


. •. 




Bakers and Confectionen 












Barristers . . . . 












Boot and Shoemakers 





Braziers and Plumbera 






Brewers, and Wine and Spirit 






























Carpenters and Builders 


















Coachmakers . 







. ... 





Com Factors . 







. 2 






. 1 





Drapers and Hosiers . 

. 18 






1 ... 





Earthenware Dealers . 

. 2 





Grocers and Tea Dealers 






Gunsmiths • • • . 












Ironmongers and Ship-Chandlers . 






Maltsters . . . . 






Masons and Plasterers 












Painters and Glaziers 






Pawnbrokers • • • 

1 ••• 





Physicians . 






Printers and Booksellers 






Bopemakers . 

. 2 





» •.• 






1 ••• 





Sailmakers . 






Shipbuilders . • • 

. 7 





Silversmiths . 







. 16 







178S 1114 ISSO 1870 ISOO 

Sarins . • . . 
Tailors .... 

















Tannen .... 






Tinmen . . • • 






Tobacconists . . . . 






Victuallers and Beershop-keepers . 

• •• 





Woolstaplers . ... 






The first Plymouth Bank was established in 1772, by 
Barings, Lee, Sellon, and Tingcombe ; the second, the Naval 
Bank, in 1773, by Harris, Turner, and Herbert. The former, 
the Plymouth Baoik (then Elford, Tingcombe, and Clark), 
stopped payment in 1825, which caused widespread sufifering. 
There are now nine banks in the town : The Naval, Bank of 
England, Devon and Cornwall (established as the Plymouth 
and Devonport in 1832, and of which Plymouth is the head- 
quarters). National Provincial, Cornish, Wilts and Dorset, 
Mount's Bay (Bolitho and Co.), Plymouth and Penzance 
(Batten, Carne, and Co.), and Capital and Counties. The 
Plymouth and South Devon Savings Bank occupies the pre- 
mises once held by the Plymouth Bank. A Three Towns 
Bank has been amalgamated with the Devon and Cornwall 

The general trade of the town has assumed a more whole- 
sale character than formerly. The development of the local 
railway system made Plymouth the business metropolis of 
Cornwall, and of great part of Devon. Wholesale houses 
in the different branches of shop trades — drapery, grocery, 
and the like — have been established ; and even in reference 
to building operations, the erection of sawing, planing, and 
moulding mills has largely contributed to increase the timber 
trade of the port, and by preparing the wood to a greater 
extent for the workmen, to reduce the quantity of manual 
labour required in the district 

An important local trade development on the co-operative 
system has to be noticed. The Plymouth Mutual Co-opera- 
tive and Industrial Society, Limited, was started at a meeting 
of nine working men in December, 1859, and conmienced 
business with a subscribed capital of something under £3 in 
February, 1860. September, 1890, showed a total member- 
ship of 14,825 ; trade for the year, £200,000 ; profit, £26,457. 
The capital was £89,006. Business is carried on at six places 
in Plymouth, five at Devonport, two at Stonehouse, and one 
at Torpoint, in thirty-four departments, including productive 
as well as distributive branches. Central stores are being 
built in Frankfort Street, at a cost of £25,000. 

tbadesmen's tokens. 359 

Tradesmen's Tokens, 

There are some interesting relics of the traders of Ply- 
mouth in the latter half of the seventeenth century, in the 
little tokens, issued 'for necessary change' first imder the 
Commonwealth, and during great part of the reign of Charles 
II. No copper money was coined by the Government, and 
as silver pennies did not meet their requirements, the 
tradesmen took the matter into their own hands. Probably 
20,000 varieties appeared. Devonshire is known to have had 
368, of which 42 were issued in Plymouth, all fcuiihings, 
save those marked with an asterisk. The Churchwardens of 
St. Andrew also paid for * smyting tokens.' The earliest is 
dated 1651, the latest 1670. The Plymouth tokens are 
business productions, commonly with some device — the arms 
of the trades to which the issuers belonged, or occasionally 
the arms of the family of the issuer. The town arms also 
appear, and there are instances of the signs of the houses 
kept by the issuers. These tokens are as foUowa Where 
three initials are given, the second is that of the Christian 
name of the issuer's wife : 


Obv. Abraham Appelbee, A ship of war in full saiL 

Rev. Of Plymoth, 1666. A.M.A. 

This man went to the Exeter Assizes in 1668 to give evidence against a 
certain ' hlind preacher.' 

Obv. M^ Baker, 
Rev. In PJymovth. 


Obv. Mazemillian Bovsh, 
Rev. In Piymovth, 1659. 

A Trefoil 
Three Stars. 

Obv. Elizabeth Byland, 
Rev. Of Plymovth, 1667. 

The Coopers? Arms. 
KB. between two stars. 

Obv. Henry Clarke, 
Rev. Of PUmovth, 1667. 

A Lion rampant 

Obv. Nicholas Cole, 
Rev. Of Plymovth, 1665. 

A full-blown Rose. 

Obv. lohn Cooke, 
Rev. In Plymovth. 

Arms— a Chevron between three Pears. 

Obv. William and Arthur 
Rev. CoUings, of Orson. 

Apparently a Man. 

This would be Oreston, still in common parlance Osan. 

*Obv. Henry Davis, His half-penny. 

Rev. Plymovth, 1669. H.D. 

Obv, Beniamin Dvnning, A Castle. 

Rev. In Plymoth, 1666. B.D. 

Obv. Grace Elliott, Mercers* Arms. 

Rev. Of Plymovth, G.E. 

Mark Elliott was an apothecary, probably husband of Grace. 



Obv, UtLTf^t Eaton, Apothecaries' Amu, 

Rev. In Plymovth, 1666. M.E. 

Widow of Christopher Eaton, mentioned as an apothecary in the Siege 

Obv, Ivdith Ford, 1669. 

Rev, Of Plymovth. I.F. 

Probably widow of Thomas Ford, merchant 

Obv. loachim Qevers, A Castle. 

Rev. Of Plymovth, 1656. I.AO. 

Joachim must have died soon after this; for in 1658 Widow Gavers was 
carrying on business as one of the five vintners of Plymouth. 

Obv. Edward Geffery, Plymouth Anna, 

Rev. In Plymoth, 1664. E.KG. 

There was a William Gefferie, a woollen draper ; and a William Gefferie 
had 17a 6d. for painting the king's arms on the New Shambles at the 

Obv. Ralph Gordge, Shield with three Guiges (t). 

Rev. In Plymouth. RM.a 

One of the Gorges family of St Bndeaux (t). 

Obv. Richard Hamlyn, A Ranch of Grapes. 

Rev. In Plymouth, 1659. R.P.H. 

Obv. Christopher Hatch, A Swan. 

Rev. Of Plymovth, 1668. C.R.H. 

*Obv. Michael Hooke, Grocer, Grocers' Arms. 

Rev. In Plymovth, 1667. His half peny. 

Obv. lames Ireish at ye Three Fish Hooks, 

Rev. Of Plymovth, 1667. I.E.I. 

Obv. lames lackson, at the The Sun. 

Rev. Svnn in Plymovth, 1661. I.G.I. 

Obv. Will. Movntstevens, 1670. 

Rev. Of Plymovth. W.P.M. 

That Mountstevens was not a freeman we learn from an entry* that in the 
vear of issuing this token he paid for leave to open his shop wmdows for the 
four years preceding. 

Obv. Samvill Northcott, S.N. 

Rev. Post ma in Plymovth. 1653. 

Mayor in 1658, and ejected for refusing from conscientious scruples to give 
currency to a certain proclamation. Nathaniel Northcott was a mercer, and 
Nathaniel Northcott, jun., an artist 

Obv. Roger Oliver, 1663, Arms— A Chevron between three Trees. 

Rev. In Plymoth, Mercer. R.O. 

Obv. Edwurd Pateson, Drapers' Arms. 

Rev. In Plymovth. KA.P. 

Obv. lohn Payne, A Pelican feeding its yoong. 

Rev. In Plymovth, 1656. I.P. 

Obv. Simon Paynter, of Four Castles, two and two. 

Rev. Plymovth, 1657. S.A.P. 

Obv. Richard Perry, 1658, A Man making Candles. 

Rev. In Plymovth. R.D.P. 

Obv. Thomas Phillipps, Mercers' Arms, 

Rev. In Plymoth. T.M.P. 

tradesmen's tokens. 361 


Obv, Henry Pike, at the Three Three Cranes. 

Rev, Cranes, in Plymovth. H.P. conjoined. 

The Three Cranes was in Looe Street Pike was a vintner, and was 
succeeded by George Bellew. 

Obv. Tho. Pike, at y« 4 Plymouth Anna 

Rev. Castles in Ply moth. T.P. 1657. 

The occupant of the Old Four Castles, still standing in Old Town Street. 
Obv. losias Pickes, A foul Anchor. 

Rev. Plymovth, 1657. I.E.P. 

Probably the father of Isaac Pickes, grocer, noted in 1693 as occupying 
a house in Whimple Street Josias was a Baptist, and persecuted as such. 
Obv. Thomas Powell, A Woolcomb. 

Rev. Plymoth, 1669. T.I.P. 

Obv. William Reepe, 1666. 

Rev. Of Plymovth. W.I.R. 

William Roope, or Reepe, was a grooer; when he died his widow, Johanna, 
continued the business, but had to pay the Corporation for leave to open her 
shop windows. 

*Obv. Samvel Seeley, Grocers' Arms. 

Rev. Of Svtton, 1657. S.S. J. 

The Seeleys, or Ceelys, are an old Plymouth family ; and this issuer may 
have had some special connection with the locality of Sutton Pool. 
Obv. William Toms, Family Arms. 

Rev. In Plymovth, 1663. W.T. 

♦nfcti Willmm Tnm Hmcpr Armaof Tom ikinlly, three Bucks' heads oouped. 
« T «i* , »^J?^' Crest-A OomUh Chongh. 

Rev. In Plimovth, 1666. His half peny. wTt. 

These two are probably by the same issuer. 

Obv. Adam Tvrtly, Qrocers' Arms. 

Rev. In Plymoth. A.T. 

Judith Tnrtly, widow, appears as a gunsmith and armourer in the Siege 

Obv. William Warren, A Fleece. 

Rev. In Plymovth, 1656. W.I.W. 

Obv. William Warren, A Fleece. 

Rev. In Plymovth. W.W. between four cinquefoils. 

Warren was a vintner. When he issued the first token he was married ; 
when the second appeared he was a widower. 

Obv. William Weeks, A clasped Book. 

Rev. In Plymovth, 1659. W.S.W. 

Weeks was a stationer, and supplied goods to the Corporation. 
Obv. luhn Williams, An open Book. 

Rev. In Plymoth, Stationer. I.W. 

A halfpenny was issued towards the close of the last 
century in connection with the sailcloth factory. It bears 
on the obverse a woman at a spinning-wheel, and the words 
SAIL CANVAS MANUFACTORY, with the date 1796 in the 
exergue. On the reverse is a man at a loom, with Plymouth 
above and halfpenny below. On the edge are the words 


device of a man at a loom, and from the same die, is seen 
on a Bochdale halfpenny of 1792. 



Describe the Borough— thoagh our idle tribe 
May love description, can we so describe 
That you sliall fairiv streets and buildings traoSt 
And all that gives distinction to a place ? 
This cannot be ; yet moved by your request 
A part I paint ; let fancy paint the rest 
Cities and towns, the various haunts of men. 
Bequire the pencil, they defy the pen.— OoMe, 

Hail narrow streets — haunts of mine innocent days ! 
I almost like your dinginess : in sooth. 
There 's not a nook or alley but doth raise 
Some pleasing fond remembrance of my youth, 
Yea e'en yon lumpish Guildhairs lack of grace, 
That was the laugh of my uprising years. 

Linked with a thonsht of cherished infancy 

The crooked'st laue leads straight into my heart I 

Albeit, old town of mine, no love ran screen 

That ugliest truth of all— thon art not ovtr dean.— (ronify, 1827. 

IT is not probable that when William the Conqueror 
ascended the throne of England, the population of what 
is now Plymouth exceeded, if indeed it reached, 60 all told ; 
Di/inesday only accounts for 30. A hundred years later it 
was but a little fishing village. A period of assured progress 
succeeded. The Subsidy KoU of 1377 sets forth, as already 
stated, that there were 4,837 lay persons of fourteen years 
and upwards resident in the town assessed to the poll tax, 
Exeter having 1560, and Dartmouth 506. In the whole of 
Devon 45,635 lay folk were assessed, and 1,115 clergy, so 
that Plymouth had over a tenth. These figures would 
indicate a total population of 7,000. During the next three 
centuries the average number of inhabitants could not have 
gone beyond tliis. The damage occasioned by the French in 
their frequent incursions was one of the principal operating 
causes in preventing increase, and the periodical attacks of 
pestilence the other. For part of the time the population 
must have been very much under this mark, since a Chantry 
Koll of 1547 states the number of 'houselyng people' (t.e. 


people old enough to receive the Sacrament) at 2,000 only. 
At the close of the reign of Elizabeth the population was 
about 7,000; and it fluctuated between 6,000 and 8,000 
during the Stuart reigns. In 1612 the assessments were: 
Old Town, 51 ; Vintry, 101 ; Venours, 52 ; Loo Street, 43 — 
total, 247. In 1642 these figures were about doubled. But 
in 1628 Old Town had 134 assessments, so that very little 
can be concluded from these statistics alone. 

There are no trustworthy data upon which to base an 
estimate of the population at the commencement of the 
last century. In 1740 it was 8,400. Probably there had 
been little change for the preceding fifty years. The follow- 
ing returns, extracted from the register books of the parishes 
of St. Andrew, Charles, and Stoke Damerel, indicate that it 
was after this the activity consequent upon successive wars 
first tended to the increase of the population from outside. 


299 ... 331 
409 ,.. 581 

Ymam, BAPnsiia. Bubxalb. 


296 ... 310 

239 ... 285 

. 299 ••• 728 ... ... 

552 ... 397 

878 ... 1313 ... 525 

672 ... 682 ... 234 

873 ... 1563 ... 518 

891 ... 872 ... 352 

1639 ... 1770 ... 845 

The present century lands us on firm ground, supplying 
authoritative data in the Census returns : 

1101 mi 1121 ItSl IMl IWl 1881 Itn 1881 
FenoM . . 16,040 80,803 81.501 81,080 36.627 62,821 62,600 68,768 78,704 
Honaes . . 1,744 8,186 8,646 8,478 4,208 6,178 6,408 7,867 8,108 

FlynunUh at the Conquest. 

At the time of the Conquest the site of Plymouth had a 
very different appearance to that with which we are familiar, 
quite apart from its clothing of houses. Much that is now 
land within the area was water or marsh. The limestone 
hiUs of Cattedown, the Hoe, and Stonehouse, were half 
islanded peninsulas ; while a still more inclusive peninsular 
character was given to the borough generally by the extent 
to which Stonehouse Creek on the west ran up to Penny- 
comequick and Houndiscombe, and Lipson Creek on the 
east penetrated towards Mutley. Sutton Pool spread within 
its narrow entrance on all sides, sending off a creek towards 


the Laira at Cozside and another westward along the line 
of the Parada Still wider was the expanse of the inner 
reach of Millbay, known for so many centuries as Sourpool 
or Surpool, covering the whole of what is now the Union 
Street district, from Geoige Lane on the east, ranging by 
Frankfort Street and Eling Street on the north, and reaching 
to the Stonehouse boundary on the west 

Old Names. 

And some of the old names would be as unfamiliar to 
us as the configuration, especially along the shore. Even 
so late as the Act of Incorporation we find Wynrigg or 
Wynderygge used in place of the Hoe, and evidently in- 
cluding what was afterwards called Battery Hill at Stone- 
house — the metes and bounds beginning 'inter montem 
vocat' Wynrig,' at the spot where the continuity of the 
ridge was broken by the narrow channel between Millbay 
and Surpool. The fact that the word Hoe is always prefixed 
by the definite article shows that it was not originally a 
proper name, but a common name adapted « the 'height.' 

Then we have Henstone or Hingston for what is now 
Cattedown; The Catte for Cattewater; Fyshe Tor for Fisher's 
Nose, the later Lambhay Point ; and still earlier than the 
date of the Incorporation Pol Tor — apparently for the head- 
land then and subsequently known as Est Kyng or Eastern 
King; while at Stonehouse another promontorial point is 
called Whyttor. This frequent use of tor is noteworthy. 

Touching Surpool there is further to be said that the cus- 
tomary interpretation as the 'upper pool,' from «tr«' above' 
cannot be maintained. The original form is not sur but sour. 
The suggestion may be made that the derivation is from the 
Keltic «a77i = a causeway. In the Act of Incorporation, after 
Wynrig, the boundary is said to run 'by the Banke of 
Soure pole ayenst the north on the grete dyke otherwyse 
callyd the greate deche.' This dyke was naturally thought 
to be the dam of the mills; but it is clear firom early 
fourteenth-century deeds in the possession of Earl Mount 
Edgcumbe that this cannot have been the case. Land is 
transferred in Stonehouse near Sutton, ' within great diche ' ; 
and the dyke under its Keltic name of ' Sarn ' may well have 
given title to the Pool of which it was a distinctive feature. 
On the age of this bank it is idle to speculate ; but in all 
likelihood it had something to do with the exceptional early 
building which gave Stonehouse its special name, and was 
essentidly a Stonehouse boundary. 

GROWTH. 365 

The Sutton of the eleventh century was simply a few 
houses dotted here and there by the margin of Sutton Pool 
and Sour Pool; and a group or two on the slopes above. 
The whole would have hardly made a modem hamlet, much 
less a village; and the inhabitants divided their labours 
between fishing and tilling. There are just a few indica- 
tions of the sites of some of the dwellings, in such names 
as Fletehenda, given to an early resident, showing that he 
lived at the end of a 'fleet' or little stream that flowed 
into the tideway ; and of the locality of early enclosures in 
such terms as the LambAay, or ' Vautordispark atte Pole.' 
Tradition and history agree that the first ceTitre of population 
was on the spot for six centuries at least called Old Town — 
and in Sutton Vawter as distinct from Sutton Prior. 

Sometime in the twelfth century the first church was 
built ; and the town assumed a definite plan. Old Town is 
the most ancient of the existing street names ; St. Andrew 
Street is mentioned in a deed of 1386; Briton Side dated 
from the commencement of the fifteenth century; and in 
the Act of Incorporation we find ' Byllebury Strete, Note 
Strete, and Stillman Strete.' Catte Street is also ancient. 


Leland calls the town very large ; and Risdon (died 1640), 
writing of it just a century later says: 'The commodious 
situation and healthful habitation was vulgarly known and 
allured many to resort thither, whereby it is so increased with 
beautiful buildings, that of the two parts formerly spoken 
[Sutton Prior and Sutton Valletort], conjoined is made one 
populous Plymouth ; and now so great grown that it may be 
held comparable to some cities.' Undoubtedly the town was 
much improved and beautified during the Elizabethan era. 
There was ample evidence of this in the fine old houses of 
that period. But Risdon's standard was not high. 

A quaint poetical description of Plymouth about this 
date, by the Rev. William Stroud of Newnham, from a 
country bumpkin's point of view, is too good to be passed 
by. It is in a collection of poems among the Harleian MSS. 

Thou n'ere 'woot riddle, neighbor John, 
Where ich of late have bin-a- ; 
Why ich ha bin to Plimoth, man, 
The like 'was yet n'ere zeene-a-. 
Zich streets, zich men, zich hugeous zeas, 
Zich thinjp and guns there rumbling, 
Thyzelf, like me, wood'st blesse to zee 
Zich bomination grumbling. 


The streets be pight of ehindle-stone, 

Doe glissen like the sk v-a. 

The zhops ston ope and all y jeere long 

I 'se think a fiBdre there bee-a-. 

And manv a gallant here goeth 

I' goold, that zaw the King-a- ; 

The King xonie zweare himself was there, 

A man or zome zich thing-a% 

Thou Toole, that never water saw'st, 

But thiuk-a in the moor-a-, 

To zee the zee, wood'st be a'gast, 

It doth zoo rase and roar-a : 

It tast'is zoo zalt thy tonge wood thinke 

The vire were in y« water ; 

Andy 't is zoo wide, noe lond is spide. 

Look nere zoo long there-ater-. 

The water from the element 

Koe man can zee chi-vore ; 

'Twas zoo low, yet all consent 

'Twas higher than the moor. 

'TIS strange how looking down a cliflfey 

Men do looke upward rather, 

If there mine eyne had not it zeene, 

'Ch ood scarce believe my vather. 

Amidst the water wooden birds, 

And flying houses zwim-a- ; 

AH full of things as ich ha' heard, 

And goods up to y« brim-a* ; 

The^ goe unto another world, 

Desiring to conquier-a-, 

Vor wch those guns, vonle develish ones, 

Do dunder and spett vire-a-. 

Good neighbor John, how yar is this? 

This place vor I will zee-a- ; 

'Ch 'ill moape no longer heere, that's flat, 

To watch a zheepe or zheene-a- ; 

Though it zoo var as London bee, 

Wch ten miles ich imagin, 

*Ch 11 thither hye, for this place I 

Do take in great induggin. 

An Italian who visited Plymouth in the train of Cosmo 
de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in 1669, left an 
interesting pen-and-ink sketch of the town as it appeared 
to his unaccustomed eyea 

The city cannot be seen from the sea, and is almost shut up by 
a gorge of the mountains, on the lower skirt of which it is 
situated. Its extent is not very considerable [yet elsewhere 
tho writer remarks that it may be reckoned one of the best 
cities in England]. The buildings are antique, according to the 

GROWTH, 367 

English fashion, lofty and narrow, with pointed roofs, and the 
fronts may be seen through, oAving to the magnitude of the 
windows of glass in each of the different storeys. They are 
occupied from top to bottom. . . . The life of the city is 
navigation. Hence it is that in Plymouth only women and 
children are to be seen, the greater part of the men living at sea ; 
and hence also the town is exceedingly well supplied, all the 
necessaries of life being found there [fortunate Plymouthians], 
and many other articles that administer to luxury and pleasure ; 
and silversmiths, watchmakers, jewellers, and other artists of this 
description are not wanting. 

In Roger North's life of the Lord Keeper Guildford, we 

His Lordship went down to Plymouth to see the town, which, 
as other marine towns, is crowded together, and the streets are 
narrow. But the fort which was built by King Charles II. with 
the marble of the place, and lime of the same sort of stone 
burnt, is a worthy spectacle, especially for its glorious prospect 
overlooking the harbour, which consists of two waters, one called 
Hamoaze, the other Catwater. . . . All this lies below the Castle, 
and in view of the Fort^ being seen as in a map or rather a 
flying prospect ; and ships imder sail look like cockboats. 

Two hundred years ago the town covered much the same 
ground it did a century later. The increase in the interim 
chiefly consisted in packing more houses into the old gardens 
and on open spaces. A plan of the neighbourhood of the 
Barbican made in 1677, now in the British Museum, shows 
between the houses facing the New Quay and those im- 
mediately west of them on the Hoe, an area unoccupied 
by buildings at least 200 feet wide. A view from Cattedown, 
taken in 1715, proves that in the interval the buildings had 
been much more closely packed. The towers of St. Andrew 
and Charles appear on the very verge of the town, and 
in the distance is Stoke Church, embosomed in treea About 
this date (1714) there were 1,139 houses. The first brick 
house with sash windows had been built in Briton Side 
seven years previously. 

Let us attempt to describe the appearance of Plymouth 
one hundred years ago. There were about 1,600 houses. 
The Pig -Market, now Bedford Street, reached but to 
Frankfort Gate (the Globe Hotel). Not only Westwell 
Street, but part of Catherine Street was open towards the 
west, whilst southward a succession of fields spread between 
them and the Hoe. Old Town stretched away in irregular 
fashion as far as Saltash Street, with fields flanking it 


on either side. The town proper did not extend further 
north than Week Street, tlurough which the mail coaches 
ran; and Charles Church was still half in the country. 
Eastward the houses did not reach beyond the Friary; 
but a straggling advanced guard of buildings had been 
pushed out up Whitecross Street. From Frankfort Gate 
to Stonehouse — then merely Fore, Newport, and Chapel 
Streets, with a lane for Edgcumbe Street — ^lay the great 
salt marsh, where but a century before had appeared 
the waters of Surpool, and where now the great business 
artery of the Three Towns passes. The water had been 
banked out to some extent; by slow degrees the pool had 
silted up; and the growth of aquatic plants had so far 
completed reclamation, that the bulk of the ground was 
just such a rough pasture as can be seen by the side of the 
Lynher, intersected by numerous streams, and at the highest 
tides still overflowed. There were two roads from Plymouth 
to Stonehouse. One, a lane, wound round by Millbay, 
following the line of the ancient mill dyke ; the other ran 
between the northern edge of the marsh, and the fields 
which covered the southern slope of the ridge, now crowned 
by the North Eoad. Most of the houses in Old Town 
Street were thatched. Even in 1875 there remained a 
thatched cottage in the North- Road, the last inhabited 
thatched dwelling within the urban limits, and thatched 
stores in the very heart of the town — in Frankfort Street. 

One of the earliest attempts to realise the future destiny 
of Plymouth was the commencement in 1776 of George 
Street as a pleasant series of suburban residences. Yet so 
little was that future foreseen by the general public, that it 
was remarked of one professional gentleman who built a 
house at its further end that he could never expect his 
clients to come so far to see him. The tide, however, had 
set in. Frankfort Street soon followed suit, and before the 
end of the century was reached building was going on in all 
directions. According to the Picture of Plymouth, between 
1793 and 1812 there had been erected 600 houses, including 
the following streets and places: Tavistock Street (1803), 
Portland Place, Orchard Place, Park Street (1809), Duke 
Street, Cornwall Street (1810), New Town (York Street), 
Richmond Street (1811), Barrack Street (now Russell Street, 
taking its first name from the barracks in Frankfort Square), 
Willow Street, Arch Street, Market Alley, Hampton Buildings, 
Exeter Street, Jubilee Street, Brunswick Terrace (1811), Lady- 
well Buildings, and Lambhay Street. To this list, Rowe in 

Plan or Plymooth nr 1706. 

2 B 


hifl Pawyrama, adds Gascoigne Terrace (1811) and Portland 
Square (1811), and as of more recent construction Cobourg 
Street, James Street, Union Eoad (1816), Union Terrace, 
Queen Street, King Street, Princess Square, the Crescent, 
St Andrew Terrace, Charles Place, Fareham Place, and 

The building trade when Burt wrote (1814-15) had shown 
much activity, but was stagnating. There were six or seven 
master builders, vdth about 200 masons and plasterers, and 
150 carpenters. In the ten preceding years 500 bouses had 
been built; 200 in the last three. Forty houses were 
untenanted. A project for the provision of suitable dwellings 
for the poor had been brought forward by Messrs. F. Fox, T. 
Cleather, H, WooUcombe, and G. Soltau ; but had fallen to 
the ground after £1,450 bad been subscribed. The scheme 
was to erect dwellings in Shute Park, and other spots con- 
tiguous to Plymouth, at a cost for each house of £120; the 
rent, including taxes, to be £9 15s., 'or 5s. less than what 
constitutes a parishioner.' From that day to the erection of 
Shaftesbury Cottages, in 1861, nothing in this direction was 
done, much as it was needed. The establishment in 1850 of 
the Baths and Washhouses, though resulting in pecuniary 
loss, however contributed somewhat to improve the comfort 
of humble homes. 

The past twenty years have been more fruitful The 
Plymouth Improved Dwellings Association have built work- 
men's dwellings at Coxside ; Sir Edward Bates and Mr. John 
Pethick have erected blocks in St. Andrew and Victoria 
Streets ; Messrs. Bulteel and Co., of the Naval Bank, have 
by building and conversion provided extensive ranges of 
dwellings at the rear of the old house in Notte Street, which 
is made the centre of a picturesque frontage designed by Mr. 
Gribble. But there are still scores and hundreds of houses 
in which it is a shame and a disgrace that human beings 
should dwell ; and not in all cases of ancient date. 

Sixty years ago, when * Sailor William ' was king, Union 
Road was not half built; there were only a few blocks of 
dwellings in Stonehouse Lane, and a few scattered houses 
near Eldad Chapel, between it and Deadlake; whilst the 
Crescent and the long departed Millbay Grove, the site 
of the Duke of Cornwall Hotel, were the only connected 
buildings between Union Road and the Hoe. The district 
whereon Lockyer and its associated streets, with Princess 
Square and its communications down to Notte Street, now 
stand, was almost entirely unoccupied, save by a ropewalk 



and a house called Shady Groves. Portland Square was but 
partially built — a detached suburb; Gibbons Fields and 
Charlestown were in the hands of the farmer and dairyman ; 
Woodside and Charles Place were pleasant rural retreats. 

Old House, Nottb Strbct. 

Urban Plymouth was bounded by a line drawn from the top 
of Claremont Street to the Royal Hotel, and continued round 
that buildiug along the back of George and Bedford Streets, 
by Catherine Street to the Hoe, in front of the Citadel, 
round Lambhay Hill to the Barbican, along Sutton Pool to 

2 B 2 


its north-east comer, thence direct to the head of Tavistock 
Place, and thence again by the Lower Mill, up Cobouig 
Street, and down the present North Boad to the starting- 
point And much of the ground within these limits was 

Twenty years later great changes had taken place. Still 
Five and Four Field Lanes had not given place to the North 
Boad. The ground between St. Peters and the South Devon 
Kailway was open; Barley House, with its grounds (now 
covered by HarweU, Well, and Tracey Streets), was yet a 
private residence; Pontey's Grardens (Kings Grardens) were 
in the very height of their beauty ; North Hill was unbuilt ; 
Mutley and Ford Park were open country ; Mannamead was 
still mainly field; Union Boad was unfinished, the ground 
right and left only partially occupied ; along the northern 
face of the Hoe there was scarcely a house from Lockyer 
Street to the Millbay Barracka 

The building activity of the past twenty years, and 
especially of the last decade, has far exceeded that of any 
former period.* Practically the whole of the building land 
within the borough, parts of Charles and still more Sutton 
Ward excepted, is now occupied. Eldad is completed ; a small 
area only remains in the vicinity of the Hoe; the North 
Boad is finished; North Hill and Houndiscombe are lined 
with houses ; the fields south of Mutley Plain, Barley House, 
Greenbank, and Beaumont estates, have become towns; 
Sherwill House has been replaced by Queen Anne terraces 
and roads; the high ground by Freedom Fields, and the 
slopes thence above Tothill, are rural no longer; and still 
the town spreads towards Cattedown and Mount (rould. 
Suburban Compton, miscalled Mannamead (a name which of 
right belonged only to a couple of fields), has grown to such 
an extent that it acquired a Local Board in 1881. 

Singularly enough, with the growth of north-eastern 
Plymouth the use of the name Mutley has been extended 
to embrace not only part of Compton, but a wide area of 
Plymouth proper, the Mutley railway station being treated 
as a kind of centre. The original Mutleys were on the west 
of Compton Gifford, two little manors in Weston PevereL 
Mutley Plain is so called because it succeeds to Mutley 
Fields, thus named because the path through them led to 

^ This is due maiDlv to the actiyity of speculating builders, and the 
manner in which they have been financed ; so that at the preeent moment 
Plymouth is largely overbuilt. 


Corporate Finances and Debt 

The Corporate Finances exhibit the progress of the borough 
very clearly. When the Municipal Eeform Act became law 
the Corporate Debt was £41,888, and the rental of the 
Corporate Estates, including the water, £5,825. At the time 
of Mr. Bawlinson's enquiry in 1852 the debt was £52,518, 
and the rental £8,741. In 1870 the total debt was £55,796, 
and the rental £14,924 The Commissioners, when they were 
extinguished, left a debt behind of £15,000. This had been 
increased in 1870 by the great outlay on sewerage and street 
improvement under the Local Board to £88,471, besides which 
£35,045 had been paid off. The Mimicipal debt on the 
31st Mardb, 1890, was £232,001 15s., of which £116,061 
17s. 4d. was on the Municipal Account proper, and £115,939 
17s. 8d. on the account of the Sanitary Authority. Some of 
these liabilities were of old standing. There still remained 
an annual charge on the tontines created to build the original 
Market and Hotel and Theatre of £350 ; and old mortgages 
amounting to £30,000 on the Municipal Account, with 
£9,050 borrowed between the years 1826 and 1829 on 
mortgage by the Improvement Commissioners. At the same 
date the Municipal property was estimated to be worth 
£249,133 8s. lOd., exclusive of the Hoe, the Guildhalls— old 
and new — the Corporation Almshouses, and the Lunatic 
Asylimi at Blackaton. It was then agreed, on the report 
of the Finance Committee, to borrow during the year ending 
March 31st, 1891, further sums of £25,000, while an 
additional expenditure of £30,000 had been previously 
authorized; and some of this has since been raised. The 
instalments of principal to be paid oflF during the twelve- 
month were, however, £13,703 5s. 7d. 

The loan debt of the School Board on the 25th March, 
1890, was £53,242 Os. 2d ; and, as the Board of Guardians 
had no outstanding loans, the total loan indebtedness of the 
public bodies of Plymouth for which the ratepayers were 
responsible, in March, 1890, was thus £285,243 15s. 2d. 

The rateable value of the borough advanced from £28,983 
in 1821 to £297,999 in 1890. In 1831 it was £36,923 ; 
in 1841, £76,000; in 1851, £101,818; in 1861, £127,184; 
in 1871, £165,953; in 1881, £193,845; and at Lady-Day, 
1890, £297,999 ; the assessments having increased between 
1861 and 1890 from 7,003 to 10,925. 


Plyvumth Pourtrayed, 

We can accept Bisdon's remark, that the town had been 
increased with beautiful buildings. Nevertheless, to a 
modem eye the Plymouth of the first James would have 
seemed but a poor place. A hundred years later its buildings 
were *not extraordinary, and its streets narrow.' If we 
could believe the glowing account given in the British 
Traveller, we should imagine that another fifty years had 
made a marvellous change, and that in 1780 'the streets 
were spacious, and the houses in general regular and hand- 

Kot so, however, even at the commencement of the 
present century. Plymouth had no handsome suburbs then, 
and presented to the cursory observer few but business 
characteristics. Yet there were 'many good houses, but so 
concealed in bye-streets or lanes, or situated in the gardens of 
the proprietors, as not to be easily discoverable.' Most of 
these old mansions and their surroundings have disappeared. 
Their sites are covered by streets, their existence forgotten. 
A few remain, sadly fallen from their old estate. Dr. KLtto 
gives us a sketch of the business streets in 1818 : 

Excepting an occasional painting in the window of the sole 
picture-frame maker, and a few smirking portraits in the windows 
of the portrait and miniature painters, my sole resource was in 
the prints, plain and coloured, and in the book plates displayed 
in Uie windows of the stationers and booksellers. These were 
seldom changed, and often not until by frequent inspection I had 
learned every print in every window by heart: so that it was 
quite a reUef to see one of the windows cleared out for a scouring 
or a fresh coat of paint. ... In my own town the windows of 
the shops lay within such narrow limits that it was easy to devour 
them all at one operation. 

A faithful but by no means flattering picture of Plymouth 
in 1852 was drawn by Mr. Rawlinson. He described nearly 
every house and shop as having an independent style of its 
own ; the macadamised streets as very dirty in wet weather 
and very dusty in dry; the old back streets as narrow, 
crooked, and steep, with narrow passages leading into dirtier 
and still more crowded courts. 

Originally many of the houses now in ruins were erected as 
residences for the nobility and gentry of the town; but from 
being the abodes of those possessing wealth they now give partial 
shelter to the improvident, the vagrant, the vicious, and the 
imfortunate. The quaint carving on the stonework looks out of 



place ; the walls are half in ruins ; the gables are shattered, and 
foul weather stains of damp blotch the surface. Within matters 
are even worse; the rooms are now divided and subdivided on 
every floor; the staircase is darkened; its massive handrail and 
carved balusters are crippled and broken; the once firm stairs 
are now rickety and dangerous ; the stucco-finished plastering is 
blackened and in holes. 

Great changes have since been made, though such a spot 
as St. Andrew Street still recalls the ancient picturesqueness 
of the older town. To the Commissioners Plymouth is 
indebted for the improvement of Treville Street at a cost 
of £15,000, and for the widening of Whimple Street, from 
fifteen feet in its narrowest part to thirty-five. Since the 
Local Board superseded that body much larger sums have 
been expended in street improvements. Union Street, 
George Street, Bedford Street, Old Town Street, Tavistock 
Street, on the main line of thoroughfare, have been cared 
for. To the commercial district, where the streets, old and 
narrow, proved utterly inadequate for the reception of the 


traffic to and from the quays, great attention has wisely 
been paid. Notte and Woolster Streets have been widened 
almost throughout their whole length. Southside and 
Vauxhall Streets have received little less care. The capacity 
of the main mcuiufacturing thoroughfare, Sutton Road, has 
been increased. And there have been a host of minor im- 
provements, the value of which everybody recognises, but 
which do not call for special mention. At the same time, 
Plymouth was transformed, by lairge outlay on sewerage, 
from one of the unhealthiest towns in England into one of 
the healthiest, though the growth of population has made 
considerable further outlay in this direction essential since. 
Moreover, private improvement has kept pace with public, 
and the main streets of the town, though still rejoicing in 
irregularity of design, have many buildmgs which would do 
credit to the metropolis. 

The names of sundry streets have been changed from 
time to tima Whitecross, or North Street, was once known 
as Old Penny Lane; Hill Street as French Lane; Week 
Street as Duck's Lane ; Kinterbury Street as Colmer's Lane ; 
Vintry Street as Foynes's Lane ; Hoe Street as Little Hoe 
Lane; Hoe-Gate Street as Broad Hoe Lane; part of Ham 
Street as Scammel's Row; Basket Street as Love Street; 
Vauxhall Street as Foxhole Street; Westwell Street as 
Love Lane ; Tothill Lane as Whitefriars Lane ; Batter Street 
as Pomeroy Conduit Street ; High Street as Market Street ; 
Higher Lane as Loder's Lane; Middle Lane as Lyneham 
Street ; Lower Lane as Patlierick Street ; Buckwell Lane as 
Mudd Lane ; Woolster Street as Winchelsea Street ; Bedford 
Street as the Pig-Market, &c. A few old names have been 
restored : thus Buckwell and Bilbury Streets were long called 
Higher and Lower Broad Street, Stillman Street Seven 
Stars Lane, and Looe Street Pike Street. On the other hand 
Briton Side has been turned into Exeter Street. Amongst 
other names which have disappeared are Catch French Lane 
and Cock and Bottle Lane. 

Ancient Buildings. 

Plymouth does not possess many features of archseological 
interest. The most ancient is that Norman arch alluded to 
in the twelfth chapter, as having been discovered in pulling 
down the Almshouses near St. Andrew ChurcL Some thirty 
years since it was pointed out by a careful and competent 
observer that the town was not rich in architectural an- 
tiquities. Since that date fully half of those which remained 



&T??1 Si 

have disappeared, and live but in remembrance. There was 
then standing in St. Andrew Street, on the site now occupied 
by the Abbey Wine Vaults, an ancient hostelry known as the 
Turk's Head, reputed the oldest house in Plymouth. Not 
improbably it dated from the fourteenth century, and within 
its walls must the worthies of old Plymouth have quaifed 
many a flagon of sack. 

Of ancient domestic 
buildings,hereand there 
corbel and gable and 
oriel still remain in low 
estate, to show what a 
picturesque town old 
Plymouth was. That 
fine Elizabethan dwell- 
ing, the grand old house 
in Notte Street, fortu- 
nately fell into good 
hands, and has been 
heedfully rebuilt. An- 
other twenty years, and 
it will be nearly all we 
shall have left to connect 
the Plymouth of Victoria 
with the Plymouth of 
Queen Bess. It was only in 1880 that the great, massive 
quadrangular mansion in which Merchant and Mayor Paynter 
is traditionally reported to have entertained Katherine of 
Arragon — ^long known as Palace Court — was pulled down 
and replaced by a brand-new Board school (a quantity of 
ecclesiastical material was found built up in the walls) ; and, 
save the Notte Street house, we have not such another loss 
to sustain. It is not a little singular, that while Plymouth 
has been the residence of many a worthy of ancient time, 
the dwellings of none are distinctly traceable. Paynter's 
connection with Palace Court is purely traditional 

Yogge probably lived in a granite and limestone building 
with a quadrangle, in the Pig -Market, removed to make 
way for Market Alley, the 'goodly house of more stone,' 
which Leland says he built north of the Church. Of the 
Hawkinses, all we know is that they lived somewhere near 
the present Parade — ^presumably in Woolster Street, near the 
quays which they occupied in their mercantile capacities. 
The merchant branch of the Trelawnys (of Ham), however, 
without doubt lived in Looe Street, in a house which was 

Tbb Tube's Hkad. 



long the PlyTnovih Herald oflBce ; and which, in December 13, 
1885, was the scene of the most fatal fire recorded in Ply- 
mouth. Twelve persons were suffocated or burnt — eight of 
one family. Hard by, it is all but certain, was the residence 
of the great Sir Francis Drake. He was the owner of a 
house and spacious garden at the comer of Looe and 
Buckwell Streets, and of land opposite, at the comer of 
Peacock Lane ; and his personal occupancy of this property, 
prior to his purchase of Buckland Abbey, hardly admits of 

Pun Lanb. 

doubt. There are no buildings of that time left upon the 
site; but in his day some of what are now the most 
crowded localities of Plymouth were the most open, old 
deeds revealing the existence of extensive gardens where 
dwellings have been most thickly packed. 

The most interesting domestic buildings still left in 
Plymouth are in Pins Lane, which retain the ancient 
arrangement of cellar and solar. 

The seventeenth century was an active period in the 
structural history of Plymouth ; and a very picturesque and 


extensive group of buildings, dating thence, stood by St 
Andrew Church — the Hospital of Orphans Aid, and the 
Hospital of Poor's Portion — until removed to make way for 
the New GuUdhalL The Orphcuis Aid was erected in 1615, 
the Grammar School buildings behind in 1658, the Hospital 
of the Poor's Portion in 1630. A Guildhall cmd an Exchange 
were also among the products of the age. All have been 
swept away, with the walls and gates that defied King 
Charles; and there is left to us of seventeenth -century 
Plymouth but one building of importance — Charles Church 
— of which more anon. 

If we turn to the ecclesiastical antiquities of the town 
we are somewhat more fortunate, though here too we have 
but a remnant Of the church and buildings of the White 
Friars there were important remains down to the early part 
of the present century, but the last traces of the ruined 
walls lie buried beneath the South Western Friary station, 
which in its name preserves the memory of the ancient 
dedication. Of the house of the Franciscans there are a 
few bold doorways in Woolster Street, while in other of 
the older thoroughfares of the town, in the neighbourhood 
of the quays, there are sundry characteristic though hardly 
noteworthy and very fragmentary relics of the elder Ply- 
mouth. In Southside Street, however, are portions of the 
house of the Black Friars, now and long since a distillery 
of the noted Plymouth gin I 

SL Andrew Church. 

St. Andrew, or Old Church, though it has suffered from 
over praise, is a noble fabric, of which Plymouthians may 
well be proud; and the massive proportions and simple 
dignity of its tower — unexcelled for boldness and effect in 
the county — ^go far to redeem what may be regarded by 
some as the faults of the remainder of the building — essen- 
tially, however, a typical Devonshire Perpendicular church. 
The oldest portion of the present fabric ia in part the south 
chancel aisle, which dates from 1385 ; and there are no 
means of forming an opinion as to what its predecessor was 
like, though prolmbly it was Late Norman. 

St Andrew consists of a chancel and chancel aisles (of 
unusual size), nave and aisles, transepts and western tower, and 
will accommodate 1,700 persons. It is 184 feet long ; 64 feet 
wide across the aisles; 94 across the transepts. During 
the Middle Ages, when its area was clear of seats, its want 
of height must have been much less apparent than now. 


Towards the end of the sixteenth centuiy (1595-7) the 
process of 'choking' was commenced by the erection of a 
gallery, the Churchyard being at the same time palisaded. 
Other galleries were subsequently constructed — one in 1709, 
when a thunderstorm threw down a pinnacle from the tower 
— and at length the Church assumed a thoroughly ' church- 
wardenised' type. In 1825-6 restorations and repairs were 
made at the cost of nearly £5,000, under the direction of 
Mr. Foulston. All the old galleries were pulled down, 
western and transeptal galleries erected in their stead, and 
the Church reseated. 

Irreparable mischief was then done, for Mr. Foulston had 
no feeling for Gothic art. Practically as he left it the 
Church remained, with the exception of the provision of a 
new pulpit from the designs of Mr. J. Hine, and a few other 
works, until 1874, when it was thoroughly restored imder 
the direction of Sir Gilbert Scott, and made worthy of its 
ancient state, at an outlay of some £6,000. Only then could 
the present generation form any adequate idea of the real 
beauty of the structure ; with its fine accessories in artistic 
carving, rich stained glass, screen work, and general decoration. 
The greatest change was the removal of the galleries, which 
threw open the entire area. The organ, originally built by 
James Parsons, of the Dockyard, in 1737, was shifted to the 
north chapel or transept, and greatly enlarged and improved. 

The Church contains many monuments, several of which 
were rescued from oblivion, and the whole restored, during 
the churchwardenship of Messrs. Hingston and Bone. The 
oldest is dated 1583, and is said to be to the memory of a 
member of the Sparke family. The inscription reads : 

I was once as thou art now, 
A man, could speke and goe ; 
But now I ly in silence heere— 
Serve Qod, thou must be loe. 
When death did me asayle, 
To Ood then did 1 crye ; 
Of Jacob's well to moiste my soule 
That it might never die. 

The next memorial in point of antiquity is dated 1589, to 
Humphry Fownes, and members of his family. Erected 
some thirty years afterwards (1624), we find another stone 
recording how John Fownes and his wife had been killed by 
the fall of a chimney. Until the recent restoration, when a 
fourteenth-century Purbeck effigy was found, with a fragment 
of another, no memorial was known to exist in the Church 


older than the latter end of the sixteenth century — a suffi- 
cient indication of the great alterations which had from time 
to time been made in the fabric. 

The most striking monument is that to Sir John Skelton, 
lieutenant-Grovernor of Plymouth in 1672. There is a bust 
of Dr. Zachary Mudge, by Chantrey;* and a tablet in 
memory of Charles Matthews, who died whilst at Plymouth, 
and was buried in the Church. The most distinguished 
personages whose remains lay in St. Andrew Church were 
Sir M. Frobisher, whose bowels were deposited there ; and 
Blake, whose bowels were buried at the door of the Mayor's 
pew, his body being interred at St Margarets, Westminster. 

In 1594 five bells were cast for the Church, costing 
£293 12s. 4d., Drake and Hawkins giving broken ordnance ; 
and plenty of employment was found for them and their 
successors in reflecting the popular feeling. 

In 1709 Colonel Jory, the founder of Jory's Almshouses, 
and in many ways a benefactor to the town, presented 
St. Andrew with a peal of six new bells, estimated to be 
worth £500. In 1749 they were cast into a peal of eight, 
with additional metal. The tenor bell weighed 4,032 lbs., 
and bore the motto, 'Ego sum vox damarUis paratt,' Some 
of the bells were re-cast ; but there was still the same 
number, until, in response to a movement initiated by the 
late Mr. C. Norrington, jun., in 1874, Sir Edward Bates 
gave other two, and the present fine carillon was arranged. 

Nowhere in Plymouth has there been so much change 
and improvement as in the Nncinity of St. Andrews. Almost 
from the time that Thomas Yogge built its stately tower 
until the present day, the sacred edifice had been cramped 
and surrounded in nearly aU directions by a number of 
buildings, many very mean, which prevented its beauties 
from being properly appreciated. One by one, at long 
intervals, these obstructions have been cleared away. A 
tablet in the Churchyard wall facing Old Town Street bore 
the following words : 

Immediately in front of this wall lately stood a set of stalls 
called the Flesh Shambles, which narrowed the space from the 
opposite houses to about nine feet. On the right hand were two 
houses, which considerably confined the entrance to the Church ; 
immediately in front was a building called the Fish Market, taken 
down on his Majesty coming to this borough in the year 1789; 

' In the progress of some alterations the yanlt in which Dr. Mudse was 
bnried was o^iened ; and for a moment Mr. Bone caught a glimpse of uie old 
Vicar. The next he looked upon a heap of dust. 


on the left hand by Buckingham Steps were some miserable, loath- 
some almshouses ; and at the entrance of Old Town Street stood 
a conduit and the New Shambles, all of which, for the greater 
comfort and convenience of the inhabitants and persons resorting 
to the town have, with great liberality and public spirit on the 
part of the Mayor and Commonalty, been removed, and the 
present New Market erected. To commemorate these improve- 
ments this tablet was set up 4th of June, 1813. 

The Churchyard was thus thrown open to the street upon 
the eastern side, but continual interments since the middle 
of the thirteenth century having raised the natural level of 
the ground, the Church itself was still in great part hidden 
from view, and a generation elapsed before the work of 
improvement was resumed. Moreover, low houses continued 
the south side of Bedford Street in front of the Churchyard 
wall, 80 narrowing that thoroughfare as to render it almost 
impassable for two vehicles. Catherine Street, then a lane, 
was approached from Bedford Street by a flight of steps (see 
page 305), which cut off all view of the lower part of the tower. 
A great improvement was effected when the old houses were 
removed, and the lane approach levelled. But the dead wall 
of the Churchyard remained in blank integrity, even after 
the southern half of the burial ground had been improved 
by the Church authorities. 

The works of the New Guildhall swept away the whole of 
the buildings on the west of the Church; the Almshouses, 
Orphans Aid Hospital, and Old Workhouse were demolished, 
and for the first time for 300 years, the Church was thrown 
open to distinct view. Catherine Street was converted into 
a wide thoroughfare. Substantial slices of the northern 
Churchyard were taken away, and a new wall surmounted by 
an ornamented railing placed round the remaining portion, 
which was sloped and turfed after the same method adopted 
in dealing with the southern section. 

Charles Church, 

Charles Church is a noteworthy structure. 

For its time Charles Church is a remarkably good building. The 
true principles of Gothic architecture had long since been forgotten; 
they had gone out with the great Church-building ages ; only the 
vaguest notion of there being something beautiful and worthy of 
reproduction in the Pointed Style lingered in the minds of a few 
degenerate disciples of William of Wykeham. One of these 
evidently was the architect of this Church* I think he must have 


had a vision of the gloriouB days of old, from a oonfosed 
recollection of which he prepared hia design. Some parts of the 
huilding are really heautifuL The outline of the tower and spire 
is almost perfect. The east window of the chancel is a fine 
specimen of geometric tracery. £lsewhere, however, there is a 
contradiction of etyles and a jumhle of Perpendicular, Elizabethan, 
and Classic details, and the last spark of correct feeling would 
appear to have vanished when the designer stuck the four pine 
apples on the top of the tower.* 

The Church consists of nave, chancel continuous therewith, 
north and south aisles, and western tower. It will hold 
about 850. 

There were formerly some old flags here said to have been 
carried by the trainbands of the town at the time of the 
Siege; but they have long since disappeared. A pair of 
spurs and a glove were stated to have belonged to some one 
who had ridden from libndon in an incredibly short time, 
and therefore done infinite service to the town or country. 
Buried near the altar lie Captains Kerby and Cooper Wade, 
shot for cowardice in Benbow's action with Du Cassa 

Here also wise improvements have been made, in cutting 
away portions of the Churchyard, and widening the adjacent 
streets ; building new boundary walls ; and in restoring the 
fabric itself, the original beauty of which had been sadly 
marred by the *very wonderful galleries and high pews' 
within, and by some very tasteless utilitarian accretions 

There is an odd legend that the original spire was 
knocked awry by the broomsticks of a lot of witches, which 
struck it in Uieir flight 

Modem Plymouth. 

Modem Plymouth now claims attention. The first attempt 
to give an architectural character to the extensions of the 
town was made by Mr. Foulston. He was a devotee of so- 
called Classic art, and set the fashion of his day. Hence 
nearly all the buildings reared in Plymouth during the first 
half of the century, that have any claim to design, present 
elevations of a Classic or pseudo-Classic type. Of Foulston's 
numerous works, the Hotel and Theatre are the most 
important, the Athenaeum the most successful, St. Andrew 
Chapel the least attractive. The chapel of St. Paul at 

* Hine's Old Buildings of Plymouth. Elsewhere Mr. Hine suggests that 
the architect was also the designer of Plympton QFRmmar School. 


Stonehouse styles him also one of the local pioneers of 
Gothic revival, but shows how little the true principles of 
Grothic architecture were understood. The first Gothic 
building erected during the present century in Plymouth, St. 
Peters, Eldad (designed by Mr. Ball), in its degree illustrated 
the same fact. Mr. Wightwick, although most of his works, 
like those of his predecessor Mr. Foulston, were Classical, 
was a student of Gothic, and under his auspices the revival 
progressed. The result has been that, with few exceptions, 
the churches and chapels erected in Plymouth within the 
past forty years have had a Grothic character; while tlie 
most extensive pile of modem Gothic buildings in the West 
of England has been reared for a new Guildhall and 
Municipal Offices. Nor is this all. Various modifications 
of Gothic have been adopted in the designing of business 
premises and buildings of miscellaneous purpose ; and, still 
more recently, the dreary wastes of stucco which replaced 
the honest slated fronts of earlier Georgian days, have 
largely given place to massive stone-faced houses and to 
brick buildings, reproducing with more or less success 
Queen Anne and earlier styles. And thus Plymouth grows, 
in beauty as well as size. 

Royal Hotel and Theatre. 

Mr. Foulston's great work, the Royal Hotel and Theatre, 
is said to have cost £60,000. Like the Market, it was 
erected on the tontine principle. The foundation-stone was 
laid on the 10th September, 1811, by the Mayor, Mr. 
Edmund Lockyer, and the building was finished in two years. 
The stone bears the following inscription: — 'Theatri et 
Hospitii impensis Majoris et Communitatis Burgi Plymouth. 
Edmundus Lockyer, M.D., Major, fundamenta locavit 1811. 
Johanne Foulston, architecta.' The style adopted is the 
Ionic ; but the imposing effect of the long lines of frontage, 
and of the bold porticoes, is sadly marred by the inelegant 
groups of chimneys which break the continuity of the roof. 
' Kyder's cherry garden ' occupied part of the site. 

Prior to the erection of the Hotel, the principal inn of the 
town was the Pope's Head, in Looe Street, the landlord of 
which became the first lessee of the Boyal. The assemblies 
were held at the London Inn, in Vauxhall Street. In 
January, 1863, a serious fire occurred in the centre of 
the north front of the Hotel and Theatre, which caused 
damage to the extent of several thousand pounds, destroying 

2 c 


the Assembly Booms. In 1878 another fire gutted the 
Theatre, and the whole of the interior had to be recon- 

There are many entries in the Corporate Accounts touching 
the visits of bands of players to the town early in the six- 
teenth century and onward : * my Lord Bushoppes players/ 
' the Queenes players/ the players of Mr. Fortescue, Sir 
Percival Hart, the Earl of Warwick, Earl of Worcester, 
Lord Munyon, Lord Hunsdon, the * Moryshe Dauncers,' and 
the like; and the growth of Puritan feeling is shown in 

RoTAL Hotel, Theatre, and Clock Tower. 

payments made early in the seventeenth century to the 
strollers * to departe the Towne without playing.' The first 
permanent theatre recorded was in Broad Hoe Lane (Hoe 
Gate Street). The immediate predecessor of the present 
theatre was by Frankfort Gate, at the junction of Greorge 
and Bedford Streets, immediately opposite the Globe, and 
was called the New Theatre down to 1765. In a playbill 
of 1759 the proprietor, Joseph Pittard, makes the odd 
announcement — to modem notions — by way of 'draw/ that 
he had * been over to Launceston to engage some of the best 
performers belonging to the company there ! ' 


Seventy years ago what we now regard as the natural 
order of things was quite reversed in matters theatrical. 
The Theatre Season was during the summer, and assemblies 
on alternate Wednesdays in winter supplied the whole of 
the public amusements enjoyed by genteel folks during the 
inclement months, those who did not keep their own con- 
veyances availing themselves of one of the six public sedan 
chairs. The Old Theatre belonged to the Corporation, and 
when the new one was built was sold for the residue of a 
term, with the exception of the lobby. It was not originally 
built for a theatre, but adapted. Long Koom was the local 
Eanelagh of the bucks and belles ' when Greorge the Third 
was king.' 

Modem Churches and Chapels. 

To the rapid extension of Church and Chapel accommo- 
dation most of the modern architectural attractions of the 
town are due. Fifty years ago the only places of worship in 
Plymouth possessing any claims to attention on the score of 
their design were the churches of St. Andrew and Charles. 

The majority of the new fabrics are Gothic; of the 
remainder most have a semi-Classical or * Italian ' character 
— as for example Trinity Church; Mutley Baptist chapel, 
with its elaborate Palladian fa9ade, designed by Mr. Ambrose ; 
the Presbyterian chapel, Eldad ; Ham Street Wesleyan 
chapel, and Greenbank Boad Bible Christian, both designed 
by Mr. Snell. 

Of the Gothic churches the best are St. James and 
Emmanuel, in the Decorated style; All Saints, as yet un- 
finished ; and two exceedingly fine examples of Early English 
and Perpendicular in St. Peters and St. Matthias — the 
elegant tower of the latter the first true Perpendicular 
tower built in the district since the Reformation. 

The most noteworthy groups of modern Gothic ecclesias- 
tical buildings in Plymouth belong respectively to the Boman 
Catholics and to the Independents. The Roman Catholic 
Cathedral is a very good example of Early English, the one 
defect being that tlie wall line is not broken and relieved by 
buttresses. It consists of a clerestoried nave of great height, 
north and south aisles, transept, apsed chancel with aisles, a 
Lady chapel behind the high altar, and a tower and spire. 
It was erected from the designs of Messrs. J. and C. Hanson, 
of Clifton; and is 155 feet long, 80 feet wide at the transepts, 
and 50 feet wide over the nave and aisles. The tower and 
spire are singularly graceful and elegant. Adjoining the 

2 2 


cathedral, in Cecil Street, is the Bishop's residence; in 
Wyndham Street a nunnery; and in the rear capacious 
schools. The whole are Gotluc ; and their effect exceedingly 

Sherwill Chapel in the Tavistock Boad, with the schools 
adjoining, forms the second group to which reference has 
been made. The chapel and schools were erected from 
designs by Messrs. Paidl and Ayliffe, of Manchester. The 
chapel consists of nave, lean-to aisles, transepts, tower and 
spire; and there is an apsidal organ recess behind the pulpit. 
There are galleries over the aisles and the entrance porchea 
It is a great and instructive contrast to compare this elegant 
and commodious fabric with its structural grandsire, the Old 

MisceUaneoua Modem Buildings. 

The Western College, designed by Mr. Hine, is another 
good exeunple of modem Grothic. Some excellent carving, 
moreover, is introduced into the capitals of the pillars, the 
whole being reproductions of natural foliage. 

The extension of education has played its part in the 
structural embellishment of the town. Most of the Board 
Schools are not merely substantial, but attractive, and some 
of these stand on sites once occupied by buildings which did 
the community no credit. There are also the High School 
for girls at North Hill, and the Plymouth College at Compton. 

Philanthropy, too, has done its share, as in the Blind In- 
stitution; but chiefly in the extensive range of the South 
Devon and East Cornwall Hospital, strongly marked indeed 
by the beauty of utility, but not wanting iu severe dignity 
and a certain effectiveness of grouping. 

Improved business premises are too numerous to detail, 
beyond the position taken by some of the banks ; the most 
ornate frontage in the town being that of the Wilts and 
Dorset bank in George Street 

The Clock Tower* in George Street was built in 1862-3 to 
contain the clock, the gift of Mr. W. Deny. The Corpora- 

* The town had its first public clock in 1526 : 

It p<* for ypysettyng [setting np] of a Clok in the geldhall k 

for the same Clok boueht of Ro laurence • . zziiy* tj<> 

It p<> for Weyer for the Clok . . . . . xv* 

It p^ for jrreworke for the Clok to Coke the Smyth . xv<> 

It p<> for nayles for the Clok frame • . . ii\j<> ob 

However ; in the next year we read — 

Itm Rec of master herford for the Clok of the geldhall that he 

bought of the Towne . ... xxvj* viij^ 


tion had no powers to build a clock tower, hence called it a 
* fountain/ but the basins have been always dry. The tower 
cost nearly £500, of which Mr. Deny gave £200, besides 
the dock, costing £220. 

The Post Office in Westwell Street is built on a site once 
occupied by a later vicarage of St. Andrew, then in part by 
St. Andrews Hall, and purchased by the Post Office 
authorities in 1881. The previous Post Office was at the 
corner of Whimple and St. Andrew Streets, and was merely 
rented by the Department. 

The OuUdhall 

The most important modem public building of Plymouth 
has yet to be described — the Guildhall. Its history, with 
that of its predecessors, would be in brief a history of the 
town. Plymouth had a Guildhall certainly five centuries 
since; for in the earliest records of the fifteenth century 
there are references to a structure, even then ancient — the 
old 'guild ' or * eld ' hall. The site of this edifice is unknown, 
but it was probably somewhere in Old Town, with which 
the fourteenth-century Guild of Merchants was more im- 
mediately connected. Not long after the Incorporation with 
Sutton Prior a new Guildhall was built, of which all we 
know is a tradition that it was somewhere in Southside 
Street ; and that within its walls, or that of the Mayoralty 
in Woolster Street, Drake, Hawkins, Ealegh, Gilbert, Davis, 
Frobisher, Grenville, and many another unforgotten worthy, 
oft participated in the civic hospitality. The destruction of 
the 'stepell,' with the 'townes evydence/ in the Western 
Hebellion perchance points to damage done to this structure ; 
and there is an entry that the 'new haUe' was ceiled in 
1573-4. We know also that the Guildhall of Tudor days 
had a bell ; and we find that the great bell was bought by 
subscription in 1560. A bell naturally suggests a bell tower 
or * stepelL' 

The ' elde haU ' is first mentioned in 1486 ; the ' olde yelde 
hall' is ' heled' in 1494 ; and a ' morestone' vdndow was made 
for the Guildhall in 1495, while it was refronted in 1515. 

Firm footing is given by an order for the building of a 
new Guildhall, which we find in the White Book under date 
August, 1606 ; for this Guildhall stood at the head of High 
Street, on the site of what is now the Free Library, and it 
was still well in memory when the latest New Guildhall was 
built Mr. James Skardon, who was present at the opening 



of the building now standing on its site, participated in the 
ceremonial of laying the foundation-stone in WestweU Street; 
and Mr. W. H. Evens, Mayor both under the old and the 
reformed Corporations, who was present at the opening of the 
Municipal Buildings on April 16th, 1873 (when the Mayor, 
Mr. Kelly, entertained the Council and a number of the 
leading inhabitants at luncheon), stated that he saw the 
foundation-stone of the last Old Guildhall laid in 1800, and 
remembered and described its predecessor. 

It was [he said] a picturesque and really pretty building. It 
rested upon granite arches and columns. The hall was built upon 
these, and underneath the market was held. There was a sort of 
opening, called Market Street, into Bull Hill; and on each side 

EvTBAifoi TO Ohurch Au.IT rBOM Wbixpls Strbr, 1800. 

of that there was a pork butcher's stall Whimple Street was so 
narrow that scarcely one carriage could pass. There were houses 
on each side of the entrance to the Churchyard, one occupied by 
a grocer, and the other by a tinman. By the Churchywd wall 
was the fish market, and at the end of it the weighing-house. 
In the middle of Old Town Street were the shambles. Treville 
Street, then Butchers Lane, was so narrow at the upper part that 
two carts could not pass. George Street was little better than a 
cul de saCy and they had to go over the fields to Millbay. Union 
Street was a marsh, where he had seen snipes shot, and skating. 
The approach to Devonport was along Stonehouse Lane. Where 
Bussell Street was, there stood a magnificent grove of four rows 


of elms, and there was another grove on the site of the Duke of 
Cornwall Hotel Of the old gates he recollected three, including 
Hoe Gate. He recollected, too, when the mail hags used to be 
despatched from Plymouth on horseback. He saw the first mail 
coach come into the town (and great was the rejoicing), and he 
had seen the last go out. Five or six days were then required 
before any answer could be got from London. 

The Jacobean Guildhall, with shambles under, was built 
in 1606-7 at a total cost of £794 8s. Id., under the direction 
of ' Thomas Apsey, of Nettlecom.' But the Corporation had 
gone rashly to work. In February, 1607, they resolved: 
' that a parcel of the guildhall had been of late new builded 
for the keeping and holding of the King's Majestys Courts, 
and courts of the said borough ; and that the said town was 
greatly indebted for the building thereof, and were not able 
to clear the same without selling some part of the revenue 
thereof, to the great discredit of the town and Corporation.' 
And so to avert this discredit, the Mayor, with the twelve 
Aldermen and twenty-four Common Councilmen, made an 
order for the assessment of the inhabitants. It used to be 
held that this Guildhall was rebuilt in 1667, but that is an 
error. Part of it was pulled down and rebuilt, and it under- 
went extensive repair, at the cost of £264. A new cupola 
was put up in 1706. 

Under and around this Guildhall was held the butter and 
poultry market, whilst an enclosed court behind was supposed 
to accommodate the com and vegetable markets. The state 
of the thoroughfare on market days may be imagined. In 
front a tower projected, in the upper storey of which was 
a clock surmounted by a cupola. Through the first storey 
of the tower, which formed a porch, the hall was approached, 
access being gained from the street by a flight of seven- 
teen steps. These became in time proverbial; and a hint 
that anyone would have to ascend that number of stairs 
was held the reverse of complimentary. At the western 
end of the hall were seats for the Mayor, Magistrates, and 
Councillors, and at the eastern a staircase to the Council 
Chamber — a small room, partly in the tower and partly over 
the hall. At one end of the building was the debtors' prison, 
with a place where criminals were confined or detained prior 
to commitment. The lowest deep was the Clink, a couple 
of dungeons entered by the side of the steps. This was 
justly the terror of all evildoera Howard in 1774 visited 
Plymouth to see the Clink, and condenmed it strongly.* In 
* A prosyn hooa is mentioned in 1486. 



the space under the hall, on Sunday mornings, the Corpora- 
tion used to assemble prior to going to church, their di^^nity 
being kept up by the attendance of a stalwart halberdier, 
while they strutted their little hour upon the stage pre- 
paratorj'^ to wending their way to worship. 

Jacobean Guildhall. 

The present Free Library was intended to supply all the 
purposes of the old Guildhall and more. The architect of 
this * unsightly, inelegant, and inconvenient erection, with its 
wretchedly-designed Gothic windows,* undertook to provide 
all the necessary rooms for 'a court-house, a guildhall, a 
mayoralty house with dining-rooms and kitchens, civil and 
criminal prisons, guard-rooms, a news-room, and a market- 
place T His plans were adopted; £7,000 were spent; and 
the building was then found to be * inconvenient as a guildhall, 
unsuited for a mayoralty house, totally inadequate as a prison, 
and perfectly absurd for market purposes.' Tell it not in 
the 'city of waters* — his name was Evelegh, and he came 
from Bath.® 

* Ten years after it was bnUt the prison portion was described as being so 
badly managed and so inadequate as to be nlthy in the extreme, ' the lower- 
roost cells liltby beyond conception.' The prisons on North Hill, now the 
property of the Govenxment, were completed in 1849, at a cost of £18,500. 


Plymouthians were not long content with this mvltum in 
parvo. Three-score years ago the desirability of rearing a^ 
better structure was urged. But threatened men live on; 
and so Evelegh's ugly building long continued the centre of 
the civic life of Plymouth. When the New Workhouse was 
erected it was decided that the most central site for a guild- 
hall would be to the west of St. Andrew Church ; and the Old 
Workhouse was consequently purchased by the Corporation. 
From time to time the property of the Orphans Aid Charity, 
and lands and houses adjoining, in Basket and Westwell 
Streets, were likewise acquired ; and Westwell Street, as one 
of the main approaches, was widened. The propriety of 
proceeding to build was mooted upon several occasions ; and 
in 1869 — a public meeting having unavailingly been called 
in opposition — it was decided to invite plans and offer three 
premiums for the best. Twenty sets of designs were sent 
in ; and the Council having called to their aid Mr. Waterhouse 
as professional adviser, the first premium was awarded to 
Messra Alfred Norman and James Hine, of Plymouth. 
Early in 1870 tenders were invited accordingly. Twelve 
were made, from which the Council selected that of Messrs. 
Call and Pethick, Plymouth, for £32,475, but the work was 
done by Mr. J. Pethick. The final cost approached £50,000. 

This was in June. In the following month the site had been 
BO far cleared as to allow of the foundation stone being laid 
by the Mayor, Mr. W. Luscombe. The day chosen, the 28th, 
turned out exceedingly fine ; and many thousands congregated 
to witness the ceremoniaL The proceedings were opened 
with prayer by the Vicar, the Rev. C. T. Wilkinson ; and 
the Mayor was invited to lay the stone by Mr. Rooker, in an 
eloquent speech. After the ceremony there was of course a 
dinner at the KoyaL 

The new buildings are laid out in two blocks, with a public 
place between them averaging 100 feet in width, leading 
from Westwell Street to Catherine Street. In the southern 
block, 292 feet long, are the Guildhall and Assize Courts ; in 
the northern, 207^ feet, the Council Chamber and Municipal 
Ofi&ces. The style is Early Pointed, the details bold rather 
than elaborate. They harmonize well with the Old Church 
Tower, the wings being treated in broad and simple masses, 
leading up to central features of sufficient richness and 

The Great Hall is the finest public room in the West 
of England, and consists of a nave 58 feet wide, with 
aisles on either side, the extreme length being 145 feet, 


and extreme breadth 85 feet, while it is 70 feet high. The 
aisles open into the body of the hall by two arcades of 
seven arches each, with pillars of polished grey granite. 
The traceried windows of the clerestory follow the mystical 
and perfect number of the arches below. The hall was 
intended to seat 2,600 persons, and has seven separate 
doorways for ingress and egress. At the west end is a 
large orchestral platform, and in connection therewith a 
suite of ante-rooms, available for performers and others; 
at the east end there is a gallery. The internal dimensions 
of the police-court, at the Catherine Street end, are 46 feet 
by 38 feet; rooms adjoin for magistrates, magistrates' 
clerk, attorneys, and witnesses ; in the rear are the station- 
house, police muster-room, reading-room, &c. Each of the 
assize courts, at the Westwell Street end, is 38 feet wide — 
one being 49^ feet long, and the other 47^ feet — and has 
separate entrances and apartments for barristers, attorneys, 
and witnesses, with accommodation for the public in galleries 
at the ends of the courts, approached by a stone staircase in 
an octagonal angle tower, forming an important feature of 
the Westwell Street elevation. The crowning feature of 
the great pile of buildings is the tower at the south-west 
comer, 190 feet in height. The finial of the spirelet which 
breaks the roof line of the hall is 140 feet from the ground. 

As the Great Hall is the central feature of the southern 
block, so is the Council Chamber that of the northern. It is 
an exceedingly handsome apartment, 56^ feet long, 32^ feet 
wide, and 40 feet high, with a gallery. Adjoining is the 
Mayor's parlour. The various Corporation Offices are 
two wings ; and in addition the School Board is quarte: 
in the western, and the Chamber of Commerce accommodated 
in the eastern. 

The general accessories in the way of carving and the like 
are rich and tasteful ; and since the completion of the fabric 
the appearance of the hall has been marvellously enhanced 
by the gift of a series of stained glass windows, chiefly 
historical; and by placing in the orchestra by subscription 
a magnificent organ, by Willis, at a cost of over £2,500. 

The subjects and donors of the windows are : The Black 
Prince Window (given by members of the Hawker family) ; 
the Breton Window (Rev. T. A Bewes) ; the Drake Window 
(the Whiteford family); the Armada Window, the first 
erected (the Moore family) ; the Ealegh Window (Mr. C. F. 
Tanner); the Cookworthy Window (Eev. U. Cookworthy); 
the Opening Window (Mr. Gibbs, c.B.) ; the Priory Window 


(the Stevens family); the Katharine of Arragon Window 
(Mr. C. S. Skardon); the William of Orange Window 
(Mr. J. Pethick); the Pilgrim Fathers Window (Mr. A* 
llooker); the Siege Window (given chiefly by the de- 
scendants of combatants on either side); the Napoleon 
Window (Major-Gen. Congdon) ; the Masonic Window (the 
Craft). All the windows on the north, with the Drake 
Window, are by Messrs. Fouracre and Watson ; the remainder 
by Messrs. Heaton, Butler, and Bayne. 

The hall was used, though then unfinished, for a banquet 
in connection with the second visit of the Bath and West of 
England Society to Plymouth in 1874 

The buildings were formally opened by the Prince of 
Wales, August 13th, 1874, with elaborate and hearty cere- 
moniaL At the invitation of the Mayor, Mr. A- Booker, 
the Prince unlocked the door of the hall, in which a large 
and distinguished company sat down to luncheon. The 
next day the Freemasons of Devon and Cornwall met there 
and welcomed the Prince as Grand Master. 

The Hoe. 

Many a memorable event in the history of Plymouth is 
connected with the Hoe. It would indeed be impossible to 
compile a chronicle of this famous spot, which would not 
serve as a record of the town. Time out of mind it has 
been the theatre of important local demonstrations. It has 
been no less familiarly identified with the amusements of the 
people. When peace was declared in October, 1801, a bonfire 
was lit thereon which contained 800 barrels, sixty feet high, 
by 240 feet in circumference. Wl\en the Crimean war came 
to a close tens of thousands thronged thither to witness the 
illumination of the men-of-war that lay inside the Break- 
water. When the Prince and Princess of Wales were 
married a bonfire was reared, which rivalled that of three- 
score years before, and the flames of which were seen for 
many a long mile. On the celebration of the Queen's 
Jubilee in 1887 even this was outdone. 

Until the beginning of the present century the Hoe 
stretched in unbroken grandeur from Sutton Pool to Millbay, 
but it is a mistake to suppose that it had been a mere waste 
of sea cliff, for centuries before that date. The earliest 
building there of which we have any trace was the chapel of 
St. Katherine, not improbably the orij^inal place of worship 
— perhaps such a votive fane in its origin as St. Aldhelm in 
Dorset — of the fishers of the village of Sutton proper, as St. 

THE HOE. 397 

Andrew of the older town which stretched along the heights. 
Then came the bulwarks, the germs alike of Castle and of 

The Hoe in these early days was a portion of the ' waste ' 
of the manor of Sutton (part of the eastern end apparently 
excepted), and as such belonged to the Corporation ; and the 
oldest right connected with it is that which the fishermen 
continued to exercise of drying their nets — which dated 
certainly eight centuries back. The Hoe was then looked 
upon as distinctly exterior to the town, but as its most 
important adjunct. Close to St. Katherine was the town 
bam, which may have been originally that of the Priory. 
On the ridge was the fire beacon, always well stored with 
furze, wherewith to signal the approach of danger. A 
watch-house was erected by the beacon in the reign of 
Elizabeth. Not far from the beacon, on the West Hoe, was 
a windmill, associated at almost the very earliest date of 
special mention with the ominous name — for a miller — of 
Michael Prigge; and in connection with this structure we 
find the first attempt made to provide for the comfort of the 
Hoe public by the ' Hoe Committee ' of that day. This was 
the erection about it of a 'bench' or seat. There was no 
lack of amusements. On the Hoe were the butts for the 
practice of archery, which came to frequent reparation, and 
so must have been much in use. Thither the townsfolk 
gathered when * John the Drummer,' or one of his colleagues, 
summoned them to arms on the approach of a threatening 
saiL There most of the capital punishments of the town 
took placa The entries of charges for erecting 'gibbets on 
the ha we ' are unpleasantly numerous in the earlier records 
of Plymouth. 

* Hanging, drawing, and quartering,' burning, and in later 
days shooting, varied the methods of despatch; but it was 
holiday time for all save the sufferers. 

The Smeaton Tower in 1884 replaced the old Trinity 
Obelisk landmark, which there is no reason to doubt con- 
tinued the ' compasse for the use of mariners,' that tradition 
had associated with the name of Drake, but which was 
really erected by the Corporation in 1569 or 1570. This 
was simply a landmark intended to show the four cardinal 
points, with a vane to indicate which way the wind blew ; 
and it was at first placed upon the West Hoe. Late in the 
seventeenth century, when in some way unexplained and 
inexplicable, the West Hoe passed into the hands of a 
staunch SoyalTst and Churchman — one Isaac Tillard, while 


his Eoyal Master helped himself to the eastern end — ^the 
compass was removed and re-erected on or near the site of 
the old obelisk, and there it remained intact until well on 
into tlie last century. The West Hoe and the ' two Hawes ' 
are mentioned in early Tudor days. Taking the place of 
the obelisk the lighthouse therefore occupies the sole site 
on the Hoe which claims direct association with 'the spacious 
times of great Elizabeth.' 

Early in the present century there was much contention 
as to the rights of the public on the Hoe, which the Military 
Authorities endeavoured to claim, to the exclusion of the 
townsfolk. They gave permission to persons to put up little 
huts and pigsties on the waste by the glacis, which became 
a great nuisance; and eventually the occupants of these 
found themselves between two fires — both the Military 
Authorities and the Corporation demanding rent Yet the 
assistant solicitor to the Ordnance, when he had investigated 
the matter, had to report that the Eastern Hoe belonged to 
the Corporation, and that a number of houses and small 
pieces of land had been taken possession of in 1666 for the 
Citadel without any other authority than the King's Order 
in Council, no compensation being made until 1679. It is 
quite clear from the recital of a deed that portions of the 
Hoe were taken at the same time. On this General Mercer 
wrote to the Corporation acknowledging their right to the 
Eastern Hoe, the claim to the huts being still maintained. 

The question was brought to an issue by Dr. Bellamy in 
his mayoralty, and ended in the complete establishment of 
the rights of the Corporation, the Government having 
permission to use the Hoe for the exercise of troops, and to 
enter for that purpose by a key, should the ground at any 
time be locked up by the Municipal Authorities. Even then, 
however, new governors revived the old claims ; and in 1815 
persons were taken into custody by the orders of General 
Brown (who is said to have reserved all rights of passage for 
his cows !) for ' crossing the middle path leading from Broad 
Hoe Lane to the Eastern Hoe.' He was, however, speedily 
dealt with, and for some years subsequently the Corporation 
were very strict in demanding applications for permission 
for the military to exercise. Mr. John Collier, subsequently 
MP. for Plymouth, was particularly active in defending the 
rights of the inhabitants on this question. 

Ample compensation, however, has of late been afforded by 
the authorities for all these controversies, in the surrender of 
the outworks of the Citadel to the town, which has enabled 

THE HOE. 399 

the eastern end of the Hoe to be considerably extended, and 
laid out ornamentally with gardens and paths; while new 
drives have been carried through the old trenches, and along 
the sea face immediately below the ramparts. Time will 
get rid of the air of newness, which was inevitable, and 
some of the alterations are in questionable taste. Taken as 
a whole, however, these works of improvement, which were 
mainly brought to a close in 1888, and which have cost 
upwards of £10,000, have added much to the general 
attractions of this famous and historic promenade. Un- 
happily the mutilation of the Western Hoe by quarrying,^ 
which began to make its ugly mark there early in the 
century, cannot be compensated in so effectual a way ; but 
in connection with the development of building operations 
the best is being made of an act of vandalism which it 
would be worth the outlay of many thousands to undo. 
More has been lost in the destruction of the glorious sweep 
of swarded cliff from Sutton Pool to Millbay than all 
'improvement' can replace, and there has been too great 
a tendency to crowd and trim and limit what is left. The 
picturesque charms of the ridge are but shadows of their 
former selves ; and yet in its way it is unsurpassed. 

There is stUl extant a lithographic panorama of the Hoe, 
which shows how much of its natural beauty has been lost 
in living, if aged, memory. Occasionally mischief has been 
done with the best intentions. We cannot rank under that 
head the formation of the first drive along the sea front by 
way of relieving the distress which followed the cessation of 
the French war (already noted) ; but most of the works 
carried out in 1830 and subsequently were in very bad 
taste, and met with the warmest denunciation, among others 
from the late Mr. Jacobson, who in serio-comic vein described 
them as no less than an act of murder ! 

The most important changes made of recent years on the 
seaward face of the hill have been the construction of the 
West Hoe Pier and Basin, fronting the West Hoe Baths, by 
Messrs. Harris, Bulteel and Co., of the Naval Bank, who 
had become the owners of the West Hoe Estate ; and subse- 
quently the erection of the Promenade Pier, opened in May, 

' The physical featnres of Plymouth and tho sister towns have heon greatly 
▼aried by the extensive quarrying operations conducted in the Devonian 
limestone, especially within the present oentnnr, and at Richmond Walk, 
Battery Hill, the Hoe, Cattedown, Oreston, and Pomphlett. For centuries 
this limestone has been the chief source of lime for the country round ; and 
of late years it has been worked also for building and ornamental purposes, 
yielding a rich variety of the most beautiful marbleai 


1884, by a Company. Until these works were carried out 
facilities for landing and embarking at the Hoe were absent ; 
but their provision has developed a laige amount of steamer 
holiday traffic ; and the Promenade Pier, to which this year a 
pavilion has been added, has become a very favourite resort 

Until very recently the only structures on the plateau of 
the Hoe were the Trinity Obelisk and a Camera Obscura, 
on the bluff immediately above the Bull Ring — now re- 
moved ; and when, in 1864, the Town Council were oflFered 
the fine statue of Lord Seaton, now on Mount Wise, it was 
refused. Since then a di£ferent policy has been adopted. 
The Smeaton Tower has replaced the obelisk; and ter- 
centenary features have been erected, in the magnificent 
statue of Sir Francis Drake, and in the Armada MemoriaL 
The fountain in front of Osborne Place was the gift of 
Mr. C. Norrington, in 1880, in memory of his wife. That 
by the Bull Bing was erected by Alderman James Sang, for 
many years Chairman of the Water Conmiittee, in com- 
memoration of the Queen's Jubilee, 1887. 

The last Plymouthian ' affair of honour ' was to have come 
off on Sunday morning, October 1st, 1809, at six o'clock in the 
morning, on the Hoe, between Dr. Gasking and Dr. Bellamy. 
Mr. Pridham, the Mayor, had them apprehended ! 

Yonge in his Diary reports that on the 10th January, 1622, 
a minister of Plymouth walking with a French minister 
on the Hoe saw * three clouds, which clouds seemed to come 
and meet together ; at their meeting one of them brake, and 
gave a great noise as if it had been a cannon ; after the 
second brake, and gave two sounds as of two cannons ; then 
the third brake, and gave the noise as if it had been the noise 
of cannons in a set battle, with a whistling in the air as if 
bullets had been shot out of a piece. There was a thunder- 
bolt seen at Plympton to fall from thence into the ground, 
which weighed by report viii. lbs.' 

There are indeed several points of scientific interest in 
connection with the Hoe. It has fissures filled with pebbles, 
sand, and clay, which had been evidently transported by water; 
from the direction of Dartmoor. Cavities in the limestone 
have yielded bones of extinct animals, with a couple of fine 
mammoth tusks. And immediately above the lower road 
there are still left remains of a Raised Beach of considerable 
interest, ranging thirty to sixty feet above the present sea- 
leveL But the most noteworthy connection of the Hoe 
with science now is the presence beneath the Citadel of the 
Marine Biological Laboratory. 

THE HOB. 401 

The Hoe no longer stands alone as a public recreation 
ground in PlymoutL The land attached to the reservoir at 
Hartley has been laid out in walks and thrown open daily. 
More recently Freedom Fields, associated for centuries with 
the borough oflBcial life, and ever memorable as the scene of 
the final act of the great 'Sabbath-day fight/ have been 
formed into a public park. This year the site of the Higher 
Mills, south of Drakes Place Reservoir, has been made into 
a promenade, with terrace and piazza, the granite columns 
supporting which, removed from the Old Market, in all 
probability include some which belonged to religious houses 
in the neighbourhood, bought by the Elizabethan Corporation 
of one of the Champemownes, and utilised in public works 
in Plymouth ever since ; while even remllants of the 
Mediaeval Market Cross may also be among them. And by 
joint action of the authorities of the sister towns Deadlake 
— the old Stoke Damerel Fleet — ^is now being relaimed, with 
the view of being made a general recreation ground, having 
been purchaaed of the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe. 

2 D 



Biitannift needs no bulwark, 

No towen along the steep ; 

Her maroh is on the mountain wave, 

Her home is on the deep. — Campbell, 

"VTO better evidence of the gradual growth of the prosperity 
JAI of Plymouth can be desired, than the successive steps 
taken for its protection. During the reigns immediately 
succeeding the Conquest there was no organised navy, and 
when the King wanted ships, merchant vessels were called 
into requisition. Just as in the Napoleonic wars, and even 
during the Crimean campaign, the Government fell back 
upon the mercantile marine for means of transport, so up to 
the end of the sixteenth century English monarchs drew 
their war vessels chiefly from the same source. Hence the 
importance of the fortification of such a port as Plymouth 
in the reigns of the early Henries and Edwards. 

That Plymouth needed saf^uard was made only too plain 
through the damage done by the French in their frequent 
incursions. Under Edward III. (1374) it was ordered that 
a survey should be made, the town and port fortified, and 
the men of the place so arrayed * that they be always ready 
and prepared to resist our enemies, so often and when it 
shall be necessary, and any danger shall be imminent' In 
1378 Richard II. made the order for putting Plymouth in a 
state of defence, already quoted — ^it then appearing that the 
town was 'in great danger and not enclosed or fortified with 
walls or turrets or otherwise.' He granted 100 marks yearly 
for twenty years, to be expended by the oversight of tlie 
Prior in walling. Six years* Customs Duties were also given. 
It ia difficult to say what was done under these powers ; but 
clearly it proved insufficient to protect the town against such 
incursions as that of the Bretons. Then a patent was granted 
by Henry IV., and a wall built with towers and other defences. 

^ The Municipal Records, State Papers Domestic, and papers in the British 
Museum, are the chief authorities on this head. 


' Le grete deche apud le Catte/ mentioned temp. Henry VIL, 
may date thence. 

The Castle. 
The Castle was built on the rocky spur at the eastern end 
of the Hoe, immediately overlooking and commanding the 
entrance of Sutton Pool, somewhere in the reign of Henry IV, 
Bishop Stafford in 1416 granted an indulgence towards the 
erection of two towers, and the repairs of the causeway 
in the Pool; and his successor but one in the see. Bishop 
Lacy, in 1449 granted another to all true penitents con- 
tributing ad novamfairicacionem fosse viefuxta castrum infra 
villam de Plymouth. Another prelate. Bishop Veysey, in 
1520, not only assisted in the same way, but according to 
Leland took a more direct part in the execution of the work ; 
as Kisdon says Stafford also did. When Leland visited the 
West he found the entrance to Sutton Pool defended by a 
block-house on the south-west, and on a rocky hill hard by 
'a strong Castel quadrate, having at eche Comer a great 
Eound Tower. It semith to be no very old Peace of worke. 
Hard to this Castelle waul Veystf now Byshope of Exestar 
began a peace of an highe and stronge Waull from PlymoiUhe 
by good enclosyd Ground and strong WaulL' Kisdon in 
describing the same fortification says : 

A castle they have, garretted with turrets at every comer, 
supposed by some to have been built by the Yaulltorts, lords of 
the town ; but more probably showetb to be the work of Edmund 
Stafford, bishop of Exon, the Lord Chancellor of England, whose 
armories engraven in the work were lately to be seen. [One of 
the towers was sometimes called Hhe bishop's tower.'] The haven 
is sufficiently fortified on all sides, and chained over when need 
requireth, having on the south a peer, they call it the fort, built 
upon the cliff between the town and the sea, called the Haw, a 
place delightful for walk and prospect, which fort with the town 
force is sufficient defence against all hostility. 

From this old 'castle quadrate' the arms of the town, 
a saltire between four castles, are considered to be in part 
derived. The saltire 
is now vert and the 
castles sable, the 
coat being properly 
blazoned. Argent, a 
saltire vert between 
four castles sable; 
but there are grounds '^ OAtmE, rwu a map teicp. hwit viii. 

for suggesting that originally the saltire was sable also. 

2 D 2 


The Municipal Secords contain many references to the 
Castle, and show that it was maintained by the appropriation 
of one of the corner towers to each of the four wards, by 
the names of which the towers were occasionally known. 
Moreover, as the Mayor of tlie town in these early days 
was Commander-in-Chief of the borough forces, and all the 
inhabitants had to take their part in ' watch and ward,' or 
else find a substitute, so tlie heads of the little community 
— the 'twelve and twenty-four' — were supposed to act as 
the castle garrison. The text of an order is extant, made by 
Humphry Fownes, Mayor in 1588-9 and 1596-7, setting 
forth who should inhabit the Castle, 'in time of warre.' 
Three Aldermen and six Councillors were set apart for 
each tower, the Mayor taking his station in the north- 
eastern, which would be that more immediately overlooking 
the entrance to Sutton PooL 

Work was done upon the Castle in 1508-9, when, after it 
had been made clean, at a cost of ' iiij* for mete and drynke 
for the beggers that labored aboute ' its cleansing for a day, 
stone was brought from Prince Eock for its reparation or 
improvement. At another date we read of the pulling 
down of the ivy that grew on the Castle walls, and the 
clearing of the ditch; but as time went on the building 
became comparatively of less importance. 

The entries indicate nothing more of the character of the 
structure than that each of the towers consisted of an upper 
and lower floor, with a platform root Under Elizabeth the 
platforms were covered with lead, and in 1590 * 7 brass 
pieces were playnted uppon the iiij Castells.' In all prob- 
ability the Castle was allowed to fall into decay after the 
Siege, when it played its final part in actual warfare. It 
remained with the town when the Fort was built ; was used 
as a workhouse in 1610; and was partly burnt in 1624. 
Clearly the town was allowed to maintain it when the Citadel 
was erected. 

Still there must have been considerable remains within a 
century. The last portions of importance left were the 
north-eastern tower, and the foundations of the south- 
eastern, with the gateway. To the MS. recollections of 
Harris we are indebted for all the particulars that can be 
gleaned of the appearance of the fabric early in the present 
century. In 1807 there only remained one tower, and that 
' brought down almost to the internal base, there being on 
the inside about five feet serving for a breastwork, and a 
garden wall, the area being let for a garden. The diameter 


of this tower was about 30 feet ; 200 feet to the south there 
were the remains of one with a diameter of only 10 feet ; 
finally removed about 1804.' The tower which Harris 
describes disappeared only within recent years ; and he 
evidently overlooked the existence of other relics, some of 
which have continued to the present day, including those of 
the gateway in Lambhay Street, preserved by being utilised 
as a dwelling. 

QxrKWAY or Oabtlb, 1887. 

The Castle Barbican has long existed only in the name 
given to the pier at the entrance of Sutton Pool ; and here 
again Harris has preserved the sole description. It was of 
small extent, not quite the breadth of the present pier, and 
had a breastwork. In the enclosure there was an old one- 
roomed building with a porch, having the town arms on the 
front, and the date 1528. * In the pavement was the figure 
of a gunner in the act of firing a cannon, said by tradition 
to record the bravery of one man, who, when Plymouth 
was besieged, and only one charge of powder left, fired the 
cannon, which had b^n crammed to the muzzle, and placed 
in a lane by which the besiegers approached, scattering death 
around, and losing his own life I ' The ground of the Barbican 


was dug away for the pier, and four square subterranean 
chambers discovered outside the wall« and below high water- 
mark. Stone shot have been found in the Castle remains. 

The Bvhoarka and Ordnance. 

The Corporate Accounts from the earliest dates contain 
numerous items of expenditure on works of defence; and 
from time to time provision was made at the individual 
cost of wealthy townsfolk. Thus we read of ' thykpeny ys 
bolwerke,' 'John Walsh is bullework,' and of the guns of 
William Bandell, John Ilcombe, Pollard, and Stephen Pers ; 
the 'greate gonne/ the 'westmasto gvnne/ the 'portyngall 
gunne ' ' the gvnne of loostrete warde/ &c. 

The bulwarks are mentioned in the Accounts for 1486, 
when candles were provided for them, and furze for the ' ffyre 
bekyn' hard by. These bulwarks lined the sea front of the 
Hoe near the eastern end, and one was ' vnder Seynt Katyn.' 
We have also the 'great' bulwark, the 'west' bulwark, and 
the 'new' bulwark. In the same year there are entries 
relating to the ordnance and the provision of ammunition. 
' Jheffiy Thomas barber ys man ' was paid for making balls 
of 'led and eyrryn.' In other years stone shot were used, 
some made of ' More ' and some of Staddon stone.* Pyllets 
of iron were provided for a ' slynge ' in 1522 ; and arrows 
much later. 

It appears to have been the custom to drag the guns to 
and from the Hoe as need was ; though the great guns may 
have been an exception. In 1486 also occurs the first of a 
long series of entries of payments to the watchman at Bame. 

Itm payd ffor foreys to make the ffyr bekyn at bawe 

iij tyms . . . . . ix* 

Itm payd vnto the wbaycbexnan att Rame ffor kepyng off 

ye bekying ther & brinyng iiy tymys . . iiy* 

Itm payd vnto Wyllm bovy flfor the kepyng off the 

bolwerke ffor a yere . . . vj' viij** 

The ' whaycheman ' was paid better later on. In 1511-12 
eighteenpence was delivered to the parson of Eame for him ; 
and in the next year he not only had 2s. for his 'yeares 
wages,' but 4d. for a reward ' to come and yeve wamying of 
shipps at sea*' In 1522-3 he had 48. for his yearly wage, 

' One found at Hooe is in the possession of the writer ; and another, of 
Roborough Down stone, found in Sutton Pool, at Briton Side, equivalent in 
size to an iron seven-pounder. It is doubtless one of the shots fired against 
the Bretons. 


and Is. for his labour in coming to Plymouth sundry times. 
He must have thought himself luckier still when in 1543-4 
he received 8d. for * comyng hether by nyght when the new 
founde lande men came yn.' The 'waccheman of Eame/ 
however, had to be supplemented in 1537-8 by two others, 
who watched ' the water syde for pyratts.' 

What is rather amusing, considering the use the guns were 
put to, is that ordnance were bought in Spain. In 1504-5 
two great guns were ' bought out of Spaine/ and paid for by 
twenty- two dozen of 'whytts,* worth £7 lis, 8d. This 
cloth was packed in canvas and sent to Saltash to be 
forwarded. There had been an agreement drawn up with 
the gunmakers, and three * chesys' worth lOd. were included 
in the bargain. The ordnance of the town was then rather 
scanty. There was a * brazen gon,' and the end of the great 
gon (which a 'portyngal' not long before had been mulcted 
in some wine for damaging) was caulked with oakum ! while 
a piece of iron was nailed over the mouth to *kepe hym 
close.' In 1509-10 two other guns were bought in Spain, 
and paid for partly in hake. 

That the townsfolk not only had to find the defences of 
the town and the munitions of war, in these days ; but also 
to do their own fighting; and that they were not above 
taking pay from those they helped — is abundantly clear 
from the entries in 1526-7. 

Itm Rec of tharrogosye for defendynge theyre shyp 
agaynst the ifrenshemen that wold have taken 
her ... xvj" xiij" iip* 

Itm Rec of Spaynards for lyke defens • . xxvj" viij^ 

It is recorded that those who manned the bulwarks for 
this business were Stephen Pers, Wm. Bull, Christopher 
Moore, William Hawkyns the elder, John Pers, Ed. Hors- 
well, Simon Weryng, Ed. Gerrard, Nich. Sark, Langhame, 
and Lawrence. 

In 1528-9 William Hawkyns sold two brass guns to the 
town, and was paid in instalments of £8. A few years later 
other guns were bought in Flanders. And then there was 
such continual expense on the bulwarks, and on the 'gun 
slyngs ' and ' chambers ' and the like, that the town got into 

Beyond the grants of authority to fortify, and to levy 
Customs, the Crown seems to have done nothing for the 
defence of Plymouth until the reign of Henry VIII. 
Between 1537 and 1539 Henry caused to be erected 'bloke- 


houses, castles, and platforms' upon 'divers frontiers of the 
Bealme/ and a little later such important works as the 
castles of Pendennis and St Mawes ; built, with other local 
defences of this period, by Mr. Treflfrye," of Fowey. The 
records show that there was considerable expenditure on the 
bulwarks of the town and on their armament at this time. 

The tower at Devils Point, that near the Winter Villa, 
and that which formerly stood at the modem Eastern King, 
Stonehouse, belong to this series ; and so does the ancient 
tower worked into the sea face of the outworks of the 
Citadel, the blockhouse mentioned by Leland. There is, 
however, this difiference^-the Stonehouse towers are all of 
the same material, limestone with granite dressings, and were 
evidently planned and built by the same heads and hands. 
The Plymouth tower does not differ essentially in plan, but 
the dressings are of Boborough Down stone, which was not 
in common use in the sixteenth century. It may therefore 
have been built in part of older materials, and under some- 
what different conditions. The fact may also be significant 
that the first direct help recorded from the Crown is about 
this date, the gift of two brass guns in 1544. 

What was stiU more acceptable followed-^-the grant of a 
pension for defence of £39 10s. lOd. out of the Customs. In 
1560 the Corporation complained that Thomas Edmonds, 
who had succeeded William Amadas as collector, had stopped 
the payment They had then spent £440 in the repair of 
works on St Nicholas Island, where they had agreed to 
maintain at their own charge four gunners in time of peace 
and twelve in time of war, with eight pieces of ordnance. 

St. Nicholas Idand. 

St Nicholas Island had passed to the Corporation, with 
the rest of the Priory property in Plymouth, at the In- 
corporation. A scheme for fortifying it was devised, not 
later than 1547, when twelve pence were given in reward to 
the post which 'brought the Counsaylls Ires for the fort 
to be made on saynt Nichos Irlond.' There is a letter from 
the Privy Council (March 28th, 1548) to 'the Maior of 
Plimouth & his Bretheren, mervelinge of their unwilling- 
ness to proceede in the fortefyinge of St Michaells Chapele 
to be made a Bulwerke ... & wher they alledge the 
pluckinge down of that Chapelle hard to the foundacion,' 

* Thos. JAtLvtyn had sailed to 'penlo' in 1496-7 'to apeke w< mr. Treffrye' 
on the town bnsineaa. 


they were answered, 'the same beinge made upp againe 
with a wall of Turfe should neither be of less effect or 
strengthe (for a meane strength for such a place sufficed) 
nor yet of such great coste as they intended.' The 
Corporation seem also to have questioned the force of the 
garrison required. However, work was done on the Island, 
under the direction of Sir Francis Fleming; and William 
Hawkins, John Elyott, John Ilcombe, and Richard Hooper 
rode to London about the business, and had £2 each. (This 
sum was the yearly fee of Roger Newport for keeping the 
ordnance in 1573.) 

Thirty years later (April 6th, 1580) we find the Corpo- 
ration authorising William Hawkins and Thomas Edmonds 
to seal all the documents needful for transferring the Island 
to the Queen — ^'The fortification, continewaunce, mainten- 
aunce, artillerie, furniture, and munition to be had, placed, 
used, or employed, in or upon St. Nicholas Island for the 
defence of the same.' And in the same year Hawkins was 
paid £22 * for money laide owte in pcurying the patent for 
the Ilonde, and for his charge in the suyte thereof.' 

The maintenance and defence of the Island remained 
under the patent in the hands of the town with the yearly 
grant; and in 1583-4 no less a sum than £279 14s. 4^d. 
was paid out 'in fortefyeinge, buyldinge, entrenchinge, and 
other munytyons boughte for the fortificacon of St. Nicholas 
Island' Having to bear the burden, the Corporation directed 
in March, 1584, that no captain or governor should be 
appointed to the charge of the Island, save thought meet 
by the Mayor and Commonalty. This, however, was not 
acceptable at head -quarters; and the authorities next 
unavailingly asked that Drake might be made commander 
of Castle and Island ; and claimed either to appoint the 
captain to the Island, or to be free from all charge in 
maintaining it. But before many years the appointment 
fell definitely into the hands of the Crown, and the 
Corporation had to content themselves with the mere 
expression of a wish. 

The 'FoH of Plymouth! 

The position of affairs in May, 1590, is clearly set forth in 
a letter addressed to the Privy Council by Sir Francis Drake 
and the Mayor, begging help of the Queen towards building 
of a fort, the town lying open to the enemy, and not defended 
by * anie forte or rampier.' If the Queen would contribute 
£1,000 or £1,200 the townsfolk would build a fort on the 


Howe of strength and force sufficient to withstand an enemy 
50,000 strong for ten or twelve days at least ' without one 
pennie charge to her Majestic ; in which time the countrie 
might come to their releefe.' Sir Francis oflFered to give 
£100 at least. The letter proceeds : 

There is now some thirteen pieces of ordnance placed on the 
Howe, parte of which they have horrowed of sondrie persons to 
serve this present action if neede so require. And uppon the 
Castle towers which is of no strength they have placed foure. 
They have heside on St Nicholas Islande ahout 23 pieces of 
Ordnance, the greater parte whereof are likewise borrowed. If the 
borrowed pieces were restored the places would be left verie bare. 
So that they doe likewise become humble suitors that her Majestie 
would be pleased to bestow eight or ten brass pieces out of her 
stoare, the rest they themselves would furnish. 

The forte being once erected, the town and whole countrie 
should be more resolute and safe, which would be a great in- 
couragement to the Realme, and the enemy, knowing the Artillerie 
to be out of danger would, with less boldness, enterprise that way. 
Nowe, the harboure, lyinge without anie defence to make long 
resistance, the towne uppon this late reporte was strucken with 
such fcare, that some of them had convaied their goods out of the 
towne, and others, no doubt, would have followed if they had not 
ben stopped by the cominge of Sir Francis Drake, who, the more 
to assure them, brought his wife and familie thither. So that if 
the enemy had made his approach in his absence, he had assuredlie 
taken the towne without anie resistance and carried away their 

They have of late at their own charge fortified St Nicholas 
Islande with a wall where the entrance was lowest and easiest to 
be made of 20 foote in height and 150 in length, which hath 
made that place of the Islande equall in strength with the rest 
Within the Island they have armor (as Calivers, Musketts, and 
Piks) for the arming of 350 men. Besides they have brought 
thither 50 barrels of pitch, 40 barrels of tarre, 10,000 weight of 
hearth pitch, as manie of brimstone, to be in a readiness to be 
prepared for fireworks uppon anie occasion. 

Uppon May daie last (as their custom is every yeare) they 
made showe uppon the Howe of at the leasts 1,300 men well 
appointed wh were there all the morning mustered. From that 
daie ever hereafter Sr Francis Drake hath taken order that there 
shall be watch and ward every night kept in the towne no lesse 
than if it were a towne of garrison. Of which watch every Master 
in his tourne as captain is to have the charge and to watch with 
them himself until midnight, and then to be relieved by his deputie, 
who shall like be a man of good substance and trusts. This watch 
did Sir Francis himself beginne on Friday laste. 

THE WALL. 411 

This proved the commencement of a work out of which 
developed the Fort of Plymouth, ' divers plattformes on the 
haw/ which had been ' tymbred ' in 1589, being ' methodised 
into a fortification Begular'; while in 1593 we read 'the 
Fort built, on the haw clifts/ But this can only have been 
a beginning. The disbursements on the Fort by William 
Stallinge, from July, 1592, to October 11th, 1595, reached 
£1,627 Is. 5d. London and Plymouth had aided in the 
work, and Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins had 
given £60 each. 

The WaU. 

The Fort was not the only matter taken in hand.* The 
statement of Drake and the Mayor that the town had neither 
'forte nor rampier' (rampart) in 1590 is decidedly inexact. 
There were defences at the Hoe and the Island, as admitted 
in the letter; and there was also a town wall, which was 
ignored. Plymouth indeed had been circumvallated from the 
early part of the fifteenth century, at least; and the very 
year before this letter was written there is the entry in the 
Black Booh : ' the gate at cocksyie w®h is to be shutte eveiy 
neight was newe made.' Touching the work at the Island 
the same authority adds that ' a greatte platteforme by the 
gate att Hand & the wall neere the same containing 251 
feete was nowe newly made,' 

The town wall, however, can have been of little importance. 
One Bobert Adams was sent to Plymouth from London to 
inquire into the state of the defences in 1591. Touching 
him there are several entries of account In the same year 
he had a gift of £10 from the town, and there are other 
items of expenditure upon him, and on assistance for him. 

Adams designed a complete system of defence, so far as it 
went; and in 1592 sent in a report to the Privy Council, 
accompanied by a plan, which unfortunately cannot be 
traced. He recommended carrying a wall round the town 
from an existing wall and tower on the Hoe, to a quay or 
wharf belonging to Mr. Sparke at Coxside. The eastern 
quarter of the town he left out, regarding Sutton Pool as a 
sufficient defence there, but advised a boom at the entrance, 
as in the earlier days. At the eastern end of the town there 
was a steeple with a Friary, and there was a promise to pull 
the steeple down, so that it should give no advantage to an 
enemy. This steeple would be outside his wall, and he 
recommended it to be demolished and a mount erected. To 

* In 1590 ground wa« viewed for a fort ftt ' Hawe Stert* 


environ the town with a royal strength would cost miUions ; 
nevertheless it should be fortified against a sudden surprise. 
The circuit of the walling was 380 perches — under a mile 
and a quarter. He likewise proposed the improvement of the 
Fort, which would be 75 perches in circuit — the works to be 
such that the townsfolk might easily retire to the relief of 
the Fort from the bulwark on the Quay. There was a 
'bulworke' at ' Fishemosse.' 

William Borrowes, or Borough, in the same year put the 
cost of fortification at £5,000, and proposed to levy 3d. a 
ton on each ton of shipping passing from the town every 
voyafi[e, which he reckoned to yield £40 or £50 annually. 
He also suggested a tax of 2s. 6d. a hogshead on pilchards 
exported by strangers or in strange bottoms ; Is. a hogshead 
on pilchards exported by English or in English bottoms ; 6d. 
a cwt on hake. Subsequently the Queen ordered a tax of 
2s. and Is. respectively, and granted £100 a year out of the 
increase of the Customs beyond the average for the past seven 
years. Even this, however, was more than the trade of the 
town could bear, and the same year these taxes were reduced 
to Is. 6d. and Is., and in addition to the £100 the Queen 
gave half of the forfeitures of prohibited wares. The pilchard 
tax was paid very unwillingly by other towns. 

In February, 1593, John Sparke, the Mayor, petitioned 
that the wall might be buUt. The townsfolk had heard that 
the Spaniards intended to bum the town next summer, and 
many were leaving. 

In May following Adams reported that the works were 
going on as well as the time and small means afforded. 
They were not finished, however, by August, 1594; for in 
that month the Queen asked the Earl of Bath who the 
contributors to the work in the county were, and why they 
had not given enough ! About this time it was estimated 
that it would take £800 to complete the fort; while to 
garrison it with 100 men would cost £700 a year. The 
townsfolk were very anxious to have Arthur Champemowne 
made commander. 

Some old plans in the British Museum show what the 
Hoe Fort was like. It occupied part of the site of the 
present Citadel, and had a ditch and rampart, which com- 
pletely isolated the ground upon which it stood. If reliance 
could be placed upon a drawing by some unknown Italian, 
preserved among the Cottonian MSS., the ancient chapel of 
St. Katherine was also within its bounds. According to this 
plan, Plymouth was entirely enclosed by ramparts, which 

martyn's gate. 


came to the water's edge at one end at the Hoe, and at the 
other near Bear's Head (a curious rock in Deadmans Bay, 
now destroyed, which figured prominently in the borough 
boundaries). These are the only mural defences of a more 
extended character than those shown in the map of the 
defences of Plymouth at the time of the Siege. In 1643 
the wall enclosed the strictly urban part of the town only, 
the Hoe and the eastern borders of Sutton Pool being 
beyond its limits. There is a plan much to the same efl'ect 

Bsak's Hkad. 

among the Cecil papers, showing the east of Sutton Pool 
enclosed by ramparts, and a very elaborate system of works 
at the Fort. As no such works existed, the probability is 
that these matters were simply suggestions, never carried 
out. A note on the Cecil plan runs : * The circuit or compas 
of the new fortification of the towne amounts vnto a 500 

Srches at 18 feet the perche '—or 3,000 yards. There are 
;ters on the plan — A at the fort, B and C from Teats Hill 
to Coxside — and it seems a fair inference that these marked 
intended new works. 

MartyrCs Oate. 

Adams's wall did not cover so much ground as these 
schemes by a great deal; but it was more extensive than 
the circumvallation which it continued or replaced. The 
proof hereof lies in the existence of a gate far within 
Adams's line. This was Marty n's Gate, at the junction of 
Green Street with Briton Side. Harris, to whom we are 


once more indebted for the only description, states that it 
had two arches : one leading from Bilbuiy Street into Green 
Street, and the other into Briton Side It was veiy old and 
low, with rooms over ; and so strong that when it was taken 
down the materials were separated with difiBculty. * Bilbuiy 
Bridge ' was close by. From Martyn's Gate the old wall ran 
up Green Street, which follows its line; and Dr. Hawker 
made it the foundation of his vicarage walL We do not 
know either the date of this gate, or for a certainty the 
origin of its name ; but the first Martyn prominent in town 
affairs was John Martyn, Mayor in 1569-70; and in the 
next century the gate is spoken of as behind * Mr. Martin s ' 
house, which seems to afford a clue to the title. 

Another significant fact is that Martyn's Gate was regarded 
as the Old Town boundary, and hence became the chief 
scene of the annual fights between the Quay boys and Old 
Town boys, the former being called Burton (a corruption of 
Breton) boys. The Old Town boys used to a^ravate the 
Burton boys during the wars with France, by reminding 
them of the damage the French had done in their quarter. 
Long after the fighting had ceased its memory was preserved 
in the sign of a public-house, called the 'Burton Boys.' 
This was changed to the Black Lion, from a preference on 
the part of the owner ' for some more peaceful name I' 

Sir Ferdinando Oorges, 

Sir Ferdinando Gorges was apparently the first commander 
of the Fort upon its practical completion. The Mayor states 
in October, 1595, that the town was glad to have Gorges in 
that capacity. When appointed. Sir Ferdinando proceeded 
to finish the works. The original arrangement (May, 1596) 
appears to have been that he was to have fifty men assigned 
out of the Low-Country force by way of garrison, but to be 
allowed to keep as many less as would give him 4s. a day, 
without raising the charge above the cost of the fifty. The 
half-year's pay of Gorges and his force was £900. March 5th 
following he had disbursed on the Fort £1,327 4s. 6d. ; 
while the pilchard tax between 1592 and 1595 had produced 
£877 4s. 6d. Gorges was paid by the town in 1596-7 three 
quarters of his annuity to Michaelmas, £22 10s. 

In June, 1598, there were 200 men in garrison ; while in 
the following August, of thirteen companies of soldiers five 
were lodged in the town and eight in the adjacent parishes. 
Goiges wanted them all brought in; but the townsfolk 


declared there was no more room, and the Mayor thought 
Gorges was malicious. Apparently in this same year a 
Spanish spy reported that the town was not walled (it is 
perfectly clear that it was), that there were 40 or 50 guns 
on the Island, and 100 men; 30 in the Fort, and 100 men; 
and six or seven in the Castle. There was a chapel in the 

Gorges was Governor for many years, his son. Sir Robert, 
occasionally acting as his deputy. In 1599 he proposed to 
throw a bridge over the entrance to Hamoaze, to place booms 
there and at Cattewater, to erect a fortification at Mount 
Edgcumbe, and to plant guns and a fort on Haw Start. He 
then ceased to be Governor for awhile. In 1601 Sir John 
Gilbert is mentioned as in command ; but Gorges had 
returned to the post in July, 1603, when he was dis- 
possessed, and Sir Nicholas Parker appointed in his stead. 
In September, however, Goiges was back again with a 
salary of 56s. a day, and continued. 

Among the Harleian MSS. is a report on the defences of 
the town in 1624. The Fort is described as a guard for the 
'famous harbour of Cattewater,' not so well placed as it 
might have been, yet of great strength and consequence. It 
contained fifteen serviceable cannon (three of brass), and 
seventeen unserviceable, and to render it thoroughly efficient 
an expenditure of £206 12s. was required. St Nicholas 
Island was impr^nable, since the only means of approach 
was by small boats, which could easily be driven off The 
works had never been finished, and required an outlay of 
£137 12s. 8d. There were twenty serviceable cannon and 
ten unserviceable. One thousand and twenty-two pounds a 
year was allowed for the maintenance of the garrison, at the 
disposition of Sir Ferdiuando Gorges. The ' allowance ' did 
not amount to much, if Gorges is exact in his complaint in 
January, 1627, that his garrison had not been paid for three 
and a quarter years, and that some had died of famine! 
However by 1634 the three brass cannon had grown to 
eighteen, so that the authorities were not absolutely 
n^lectfid of their duties. A platform for ordnance, 
replacing a gun, was made on the Barbican in 1627-8. 

The governorship of Plymouth was of sufficient importance 
and emolument in the early part of the reign of Charles I. 
to induce Sir James Bagge to buy the reversion for £1,000, 
of Sir T. Aylesbury, to whom it had been granted in suc- 
cession to Sir K Howard. The patent was made to Sir 
James Bagge and Captain Arthur Chichester ; and in 1638, 


after his father's death, Captain Geoige Bagge, for whom it 
had been bought, petitioned for confirmation. But the post 
was given to Sir J. Astley, and in January, 1639, Bagge was 
dispossessed. Affairs were then in a very sorry plight They 
work was done by deputy. Captain Thomas Gay, lieutenant- 
governor, at £30 a year, had only 40 men, whereas 300 were 
not sufficient ; much of the ordnance was unserviceable ; 
the carriages were decayed ; the match was spent ; and there 
were only 70 barrels of powder, and these five years old. 
Thomas Koche then commanded the Island at £30 a year ; 
Polydore fioche was master gunner at £20. 

The Siege Defences. 

The Siege furnishes the next stage in the history of 
defensive works at Plymouth. The walling of the town was 
repaired and completed, and the redoubts and breastworks 
already mentioned in the sixth chapter constructed. After 
the raising of the Siege the waUs, being of no further utility, 
were gradually suffered to fall into decay, and as the town 
grew, little by little disappeared. 

The first important work done by the townsfolk in pre- 
r«Lring for the Siege was the lengthening of the town wall. 
This they efiected by carrying a new wall through the Friary 
Garden round the Friary buildings to the comer of Sutton 
Pool, enclosing the ground that Adams had omitted. Next 
they raised the line of earthworks along the ridge of high 
land north and east of the town, as already described, from 
Lipson to Eldad; and then and subsequently at various 
times erected redoubts on and in advance of this line, and 
across the water at Batten and near Turnchapel. 

The wall in its complete state ran from Coxside round 
Friary Gardens, across Whitefriars (now Tothill) Lane, thence 
to the head of Gasking Street ; nearly east and west through 
the gardens behind Hewer's Bow, by the north side of Ham 
Street, through the gardens on the south of Park Street, to 
the head of Old Town Street just below Drake Street, up to 
the entrance of Saltash Street (where traces were recently 
discovered beneath the pavement on the west); westward 
along Dove's Court, the cottages next to the Ebenezer Chapel 
boundary, called in the deeds * town walls,' and retaining the 
exact line; across what is now the Market, to the Globe 
Hotel ; thence through Westwell Street burial ground and 
across Princess Square to the head of Hoe-Gate Street, and 
so round the Castle to Sutton Pool at the Barbican. 


There are a few fragments still left. The best preserved 
are at the Friary, where the wall is a tolerably substantial 
limestone structure. A bit of the older portion, consisting 
of slates set on edge simply, is built into a garden wall at 
the end of Gascoigne Terrace, near the site of Grascoigne Grate. 
There is also a very interesting fragment in the gardens 
north of Ham Street. But much more remains in recollec- 
tion. Fifty years ago many old inhabitants recalled the 
existence of great mounds of earth at the head of Hampton 
Street, and at Frankfort Gate, which had formed two of the 
spurs or projecting portions of the circumvallation. Near 
the latter place there was likewise an old castellated 
building covered with ivy. 

The hst quarter of a century has been specially fatal, 
through the extension of building operations, to the relics 
of the outworka They were still important far within this 
period, including remains of Maudlyn Work, Holiwell Fort^ 
lipson Work, the rampart in the North Boad, and along by 
Freedom Fields. Now all are gone. 

There are ^et, however, bajuks at Batten towards Fort 
Stamford, which formed part of the Boundhead ramparts, 
though to a casual observer they would only suggest a 

The 'line' was made up again in 1654-5 on the rumours 
of Penruddock's rising. Part of Pennycomequick Work had 
been taken down in 1650-1, and the highways new made 
there, and so at Maudlyn HilL 

The Galea. 

It took just a century to demolish the gates, which had 
drawbridges. Friary Gate, which stood near the remains of 
the Friary, was removed in 1763 ; Gasking or Gascoigne Gate, 
otherwise North Grate, in 1768 ; Frankfort, or West Gate 
(rebuilt about 1661), which occupied part of the site of the 
Globe Hotel, in 1783 ; Martyn's Gate, between Briton Side 
and Bilbury Street, in 1789, the inhabitants subscribing 
for the purpose in consequence of an accident happening to 
a servant of one of the royal princes, who was injured while 
passing through it on a carriage. Old Town Gate, at the 
head of Old Town Street, rebuilt in 1759, was taken down 
in 1809. East, or Coxside Gate (called New Gate earlv in 
the seventeenth century), which stood near Jory's Aims- 
houses, not long subsequently ; the Barbican, or South Grate, 
in 1831; and the last remaining, Hoe Gate, in 1863. 

2 E 



Strenuous efforts were made to preserve Hoe Gkte, which 
had become the property of Mr. T. W. Fox. That gentle- 
man was, however, inexorable, and sold the materials hy 
auction for £44 This Gate was leased in December, 1657» 

Hob Qatk. 

hj the Corporation to Mr. Timothy Alsop, then one of the 
representatives of the borough (who had rebuilt it), for a 
term, which expired in 1754. It subsequently passed from 
the possession of the Corporation altogether. The house 



was at one time the residence of Dr. Musgrave, a native 
of Exeter, and a man of considerable literary repute, who 
lived and died poor, 'impolitic, unfortunate, and finally 
deserted.' William Elford Leach, the naturalist, one of the 
most eminent men whom Plymouth has produced, was born 
in the same building. 

The only two gates of which authentic drawings exist 
are Old Town and Hoe Gates. The reproduction of Frankfort 
Grate, put up in 1890 as part of the town decorations in 
connection with the visit of the Koyal Agricultural Society, 
was purely imaginative. 

Old Town Oatb. 

The Citadel, 

The erection of the Citadel marks the next stage in this 
section of the history of Plymouth. Built less for the 
defence of the port than to keep the townsfolk in order, 
there was something more than poetic justice in the fate 
which made it the first fortress in England placed in the 
hands of William of Orange. The Crown had carried 
matters with a high hand. The authorities helped them- 
selves to as much of the Hoe as they wanted, without 
compensating the Corporation; and also appropriated land 
near the Lambhay belonging to Sir Edward Hungerford, 
Sir G. Carteret, and Richard Strode, besides the dwelling 
houses and gardens of smaller folk. The commission for 

2 E 2 


building the Citadel is dated Nov. 17th, 1665, the com- 
miiBsioiiers being the Earl of Bath, Sir J. Skelton, and Sir 
Bernard de Gomme, the engineer. The connection of the 
Earl of Bath with the building is commemorated on a stone 
built into the wall of the seaward front. Gomme com- 
menced work in 1666, and 'canyed &rr on this yeare.' 
Some of the money wanted was taken from the militia 
fund of the county, kept in the Fort In 1667 orders were 
given to push on with all speed. Portions of the walls were 
reported up forty feet in May; while in June they were 
said to have reached twenty feet generally, and to be secured 
by a gate guarded at night The entrance gateway is dated 
1670. But the works at that date were far from complete, 
for Allen, the mercer, thus records a visit of inspection by 
Charles XL and his brother James in July, 1671 : 

King Charles y* 2^' together w% his brother James Duke of 
Yorke came from Portsmouth to Plym® in* his Pleasure boat^ they 
had seuen pleasure boats & six Frigotts to attend him in his 
motion. They landed in plym^* at the barbican stares Monday y* 
17**^ July 1671 about 5 of y« Clocke in y« aftemoone & from 
thence went presently to y^ fort, where y* Mayor and his 
bretheren p^sented him w*h a purse of Gold. The K. & D : lay 
in y* fort & next morning he was out vpon the hoe by 4 of y^ 
clocke, and thence to y« Iland, & then took boat & went vp the 
riuer towards Saltash &c & afterwards vp the riuer to osen & 
Lary, & returned into Sutton poole & went round it, & then to 
the fort to dinner, & after dinner he touched for the evill about 
18 persons, & at 5 of y« clocke Tuesday y* 18**^ July tooke boat 
at the Barbicon starres & went aboard his pleasure boat, and 
about 8 of the clocke at neight set saile, & went & from Plym^ 
both the 6 f rigots & 7 pleasure boats. The great Guns both from 
the fort & Iland gaue him a very Loud farewell 

The interest felt by Charles and James was natural, seeing 
the work was mainly intended as ' a check to the rebellious 
spirits of the neighbourhood.' In the British Museum is a 
plan of the Citadel in 1677; which shows the older forti- 
fications near the sea level to a certain extent incorporated 
with the new work. A new harbour, about 240 feet long by 
80 feet wide, is delineated as hewn out of the rocks 
immediately in front, with an entrance at the south-western 
comer. This no longer exists, unless we may identify it 
with the present landmg-place. On the site of the magazine 
a spot is marked as the ' Grott or Giant's Cave/ 

That name is doubtless associated with the l^end of 
Groemagot, for it was in the ^construction of the Citadel that 



the two fighting figures, so carefully renewed in the turf for 
so many centuries, were destroyed. The caves and alluvial 
deposits on the Hoe have frequently yielded relics of the 
extinct mammalia of the local cavern period; and such a 
discovery was made while the Citadel was building. Says 
Scawen : 'At the last digging on the Haw for the foundation 
of the Citadel of Plymouth the great jaws and teeth therein 
found were those of Gogmagog'; this at least was the 
ciirrent and for that time not unnatural belief. 

The Earl of Bath was connected with the Citadel as 
Governor. At the Eestoration Sir William Morice and his 
son obtained a grant of the governorship of the Fort and 
Island at a fee of 56s. a day. They surrendered in the 
following May for an annuity of £200 a year to young 
Morice, and grant was then made to the Earl of Bath. It 
was this Earl who handed the Citadel over to William. The 
connection of the townsfolk with the defences had ceased at 
the Bestoration. 

In 1701 it was proposed to provide for the defence of the 
infant Dockyard by the construction of two batteries at the 
Island, one of nineteen and the other of fourteen guns ; of 
one at Mount Edgcumbe of twenty- 
four guns; and of one at Stonehedge 
(Stonehouse) Point of eleven. The 
total cost was estimated at £8,798, 
of which £200 was for land. 
Eeports upon the fortifications of 
Plymouth were made by Colonel 
Christian Lilly in 1717. He de- 
scribes the works on the Island as 
being ruinous, and requiring ani 
outlay of £7,000 ; whilst he recom- 1 
mends an expenditure of £9,958 at 
the Citadel Of 138 cannon at the I 
port, in addition to a field train of] 
16 guns, 63 were unserviceable, andl 
not more than 190 were wanted, battwTow«b. 

including 20 for Stonehouse Point, and 4 for Cawsand. The 
tower at Mount Batten^ was mounted with six guns, whilst 

' This was bnilt in the reign of Cliarles II., on the site of one of the old 
forts erected for the defence of the town at the siege. It consists of two 
floors, the upper havinff a vaolted roof, and has embrasures for ten guns. 
Above the entrance on uie level of the upper floor is a coat of arms. 

Col. Ludlow was said to be oi^ganizing a rising near Plymouth in 1662, his 
party being 'sure of the town.' So much for the ongin of the Carolan 
« defences.' 



eight more were lying in the adjacent bay. There were 
likewise fourteen guns to the eastward of the Citadel at 
Piggs Point — Queen Annes Battery. All these Lilly re- 
commended should be brought away as useless, the Citadel 
being sufficient There only remains of Queen Annes Battery 
at present a portion of the exterior wall facing the sea, with 
several embrasures. 

The Citadel has five bastions, with intermediate works, 
and was originally mounted with 165 gims. Until 1888, 
when the outer works were partially levelled and partially 

OiTASBL Oats. 

converted into ornamental grounds, drives being carried 
through the trenches in connection with plans of Hoe 
improvement, it was the finest example remaining in England 
of a r^ular seventeenth-century fortress. The main cincture 
is still intact, and the rampart forms a delightful terrace 
walk ; while the handsome gate which once niched a statue 
of Charles IL has been carefully preserved. But as a 
fortification its use is gone; and it is to be hoped that 


ere long the uninteresting buildings in the interior will 
be cleared away and the area left free. If any exception is 
made it may be in favour of the comical leaden statue of 
QeoTge IL, which Eobert Pitt erected in 1728 at the expense 
of a loyal Captain Louis Dufour. According to Browne Willis 
there were still certain Elizabethan guns on the ramparts, 
when he visited Pljonouth early in the last century.' 

From the date of the erection of the Citadel down to 
1860, with the exception of strengthening the works on 
Drakes Island (the modem name which has supplanted that 
of St. Nicholas). no addition of importance was made to the 
defences of Plymouth. Devonport as the arsenal was con- 
sidered to have the first claim, and became the seat of 
both the naval and military government. In 1860 a Boyal 
Commission recommended the construction of a chain of 
forts entirely enclosing the Three Towns, from Tregantle 
on the west to Staddon on the east ; and these have been 
proceeded with to completion. None are within the limits 
of the town. Most important of the series is the Breakwater 
Fort, built on an artificial island of stone immediately 
within, but detached from, that work. 


In the Early Middle Ages the garrison of Plymouth 
consisted of all the male inhabitants capable of bearing 
arms. By slow degrees the professional military element 
was introduced, at first only in an auxiliary character. Even 
so late as 1572 there was an order made by the Corporation 
that every inhabitant should have in some convenient place 
in his house a 'good black bill or a clubbe,' to find in 
any time of strife, on penalty of 3s. 4d. The watch was 
then rather a matter of public safety than of mere police ; 
and while the inhabitants were ordered generally to aid 
the constables, it was directed in 1580 that they were to do 
their duty in the night or day watch, provide some sufficient 
substitute, or be fined. 

In the reign of Elizabeth the town forces were duly 
organized. Prior to that date, while the Corporation were 
expected to take the lead, special levies were made for 
special duties; and perhaps there was a certain amount 
of volunteering when a Ixxiy of Plymouth men dressed 
in 'grene jaketts' (the first indication of local uniform) 
went into Cornwall to oppose Perkin Warbeck. The 

< By a fire in the Citadel in 1829 Fort-Mijor Wataon and two of hia 
danghtera were burnt 


PlTmouthians practised their aicheiy, and later their 
musketry, at the butts on the Hoe; and there in the 
days of Elizabeth they mustered for inspection, under the 
command of such men as Granville and Balegh. Thus was 
laid the foundation of the famous Plymouth trainband, 
which did such service in the days of the Commonwealths 
There seems to have been an attempt to tamper with 
this body under James L, since an onler direct^ to the 
Mayor of Plymouth (October, 1617) directs that ' persons of 
worth and quality be inroUed' That the local authorities 
had a difiTerent idea may be gathered from the following 
entry — thence appearing yearly — ^in 1628 : 

Itm p' liuetennt Borthogg being enterteyned by the 
Toune for the exerdaing of the youth of the towne 
in military disciplyne . . . . x^ 

This ' disciplyne ' was turned to good account later on. 

When the trainband was disbanded there does not seem 
to be any direct evidence ; but it is probable that volunteering 
in Plymouth, after a persiBtent if varied life of well-nigh two 
centuries, dropped for a while late in the seventeenth. 

'Town Militia,' with the Mayor as Major Commandant, 
were in existence, indeed, in 1717, when sundry items of 
expenditure on 'the Kegalia or iSrophy,' drums and silk 
sashes, are entered ; but the notes seem to indicate a revival 
rather than a survival 

Yon^ in his Memoirs gives a list of the ' divisions' made 
in Sessions, 1686, and appointed to each Alderman — ^thirteen 
in all, with a further apportionment of Councillors to each 
division ; but this was merely for the purpose of order and 
cleanliness. There are earlier traces of the ancient division 
into four wards continuing the basis of a defensive organiza- 
tion ; but the practice seems to have died out long before 
Yonge's day. 

Volunteering was renewed with vigour in the latter half 
of the eighteenth century, and the Volunteers of 1779 were a 
really formidable body. Two corps were raised, the members 
of one of which clothed themselves and had no pay; the 
other was paid and clothed by the Government ; and, as they 
kept guard over the prisoners hedd in durance in the town, 
they saw both regular and what must be called active service. 

The more strictly volunteer corps was under Messrs. 
Hawker and Lockyer, as colonel and major respectively, and 
eventually increased to six companies and a strength of 350 
— the tradesmen of whom they were at first composed 
having been replaced and recruited to a large extent by 


working men. And a dashing force they looked, in their 
uniforms of red turned up with yellow, and their helmets 
covered with bear skins. 

Later the Plymouth Foot Association was formed — an 
' aristocratic body of the most respectable tradesmen/ They 
provided themselves, and formed three companies of about 
190 file, under the command of Major Culme, Captains fi. 
and B. Fuge, and A. HilL They wore blue coats with red 
collars, white waistcoats and pantaloons. 

Then there were the Sea Fencibles, 250 strong, composed 
largely of Custom-house oflScials (a very numerous body in 
these days) and fishermen. They were armed with the ' pike,' 
were under the command of Captain Clements and other 
naval officers, and were exerdsed by the garrison of the 
Citadel in artillery practice. No particular jealousies can 
be aroused now-a-days if it is stated that -Langmead's 
Volunteers,' dressed in red faced with yellow, and clothed 
and paid by Langmead himself, were considered the pick of 
the whole contingent They were chiefly brewers. 

There was also a rifle corps in green, of about fifty strong, 
'Julian's Bangers '; and a sn^ b^y of cavalry was recruited, 
chiefly among the butchers, and dressed in the customary red 
and yellow, with helmets. 

All these were Plymouth corps; but Stonebouse had a 
couple of companies under Captains Pridham and (the 
Bamck Artificers) under Captain Scoble; and Dock also 
had a couple of independent companies. The total Volunteer 
strength of the Three Towns towards the close of the last 
century was therefore little, if at all, short of 1,500. 

All these bodies were disbanded at the end of the war, 
on the Treaty of Amiens, 1802, but when hostilities were 
resumed, the 'martial ardour' of Plymouth again had way. 
August 15th, 1803, the inhabitants of the town and borough 
assembled in the Guildhall 'to consider on the most proper 
and effectual means of enrolling themselves as Volunteers 
for the defence of the country against the conmion enemy.' 
That meeting was not only 'numerously' but 'respectably' 
attended, and it was resolved, inter alia — 

That the measure of raising Volunteers to exempt this town 
from the arming and calling out the first-class of people as directed 
by the Defence Bill is highly expedient^ and ought to be adopted ; 
that two battalions of infantry be raised under the command of a 
colonel-in-chie^ and that Migor-General England be invited to 
take the command; that each battalion do consiBt of eight com- 
panies of sixty men, with one lieutenant-colonel, one migor, eight 


captains^ ten lieutenants, six ensigns, and one acyutant ; that one 
battalion be commanded by John Hawker, Esq., the other by P. 
Langmead, Esq. ; that these battalions do receive the pay and 
aUowances for clothing provided by the Defence BilL 

For defraying the extraordinary expenses a subscription 
was entered into, and a standing committee wajs appointed 
to superintend the affairs of the battalion. And as Plymouth 
had ceased to have a paper of its own, the notices were 
published in the Sun^ Star, and the Sherborne and Exeter 
papers. The following was also placarded : 

lists are now lying on the Guildhall Table, for the signature of 
all such persons as may be disposed to enrol themselves for the 
defence of the country, pursuant to the resolutions of the meeting 
held this day, and will remain there until four o'clock to-morrow 
afternoon, when the same will be transmitted to the lord lieutenant 
of the county for his approval 

The same day a letter was written by the Mayor and Mr. 
John Hawker to Major-General England, communicating the 
resolution of the meeting, and adding — 

It was also resolved by the meeting that you should be invited 
to honour the regiment by taking the command as colonel, and 
that the wishes of this meeting should be communicated to you 
by ua We, therefore, beg leave to inform you of the above 
resolutions, and we most cordially join in the request that you 
will be pleased to accept the command accordingly. 

In the following October Mr. Elford, of Bickham, wrote 
as Deputy-Lieutenant to the Mayor, asking assistance in the 
establishment of Pioneer Corps 'liable to be called out at 
the time of Invasion, or the actual appearance of an enemy 
on the coast,' acting for the Hundred of Boborough. Mr. 
Elford was anxious to discover what men would undertake 
the Pioneer service in each parish, as it was material ' at the 
moment of threatened Invasion that every man should know 
his post.' So Mr. Edmund Lockyer, Mr Langraead's successor 
in the mayoralty, issued a notice, desiring that the wishes 
of the authorities to form a Pioneer corps should be carried 
into effect. 

And that every good and loyal subject may have an opportunity 
of exerting himself in the defence of his King and Coimtry, 
against the ambitious designs of an implacable and desperate 
enemy — I do hereby request that all such able-bodied men as 
have not enrolled themselves to serve in either of the corps of 
Volunteers raised in this town, and who are willing to serve as 
Pioneers, will immediately deliver in their names and places of 


residence to one of the constables of the said borough, or enroll 
them in a book now lying on the Guildhall Table for that purpose ; 
together with such a list of such tools or implements as they can 
engage to bring with them. 

Moreover, to secure an adequate supply of waggons, &c., 
in case of invasion, with horses and drivers, for the con- 
veyance of forage and other necessaries, the proprietors of 
waggons, carts, and carriages kept within the borough, who 
were disposed to make a voluntary ofiTer of their services, 
were also requested to enrol their names, with the number 
of their carriages and the terms on which they would supply 
them. As to the result of this appeal we only know that 
volunteering was much more popular than pioneering, and 
that Government had to put powers of requisition in frequent 
force for the conveyance of baggage, &c. 

Meanwhile the work of fitting out the corps decided upon 
in August went briskly on. In the following January Mr. 
Peter Birdwood was anxious to be paid £1,000 as an instal- 
ment of his clothing bill, as contractor, and funds being 
short, on the last day of that month notice was issued asking 
subscribers to pay up at the Plymouth or Naval Banks prior 
to the 6th of February. But there was money still due in 
the following May, and the committee for managing the 
affairs of the Plymouth Volunteers of 1803 had no sinecure. 

So far as can now be ascertained the two battalions reached 
a total strength respectively of 525 and 420. They stuck 
at first to the old colours, red with yellow facings ; but in 
twelve months the second battalion adopted blue facings, 
and became the 'Prince of Wales's Own,' while in 1807 a 
rifle company was clad in green. The second battalion had, 
moreover, a capital band. The Loyal Dock Volunteers, 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Foot, were 500 
strong, with a good band. Dock likewise possessed a battalion 
of artillery 300 strong, under Colonel Bawle, and called the 
*Duke of York's Own,* and a small body of horse. Altogether, 
in 1804-5, the Volunteers of the Three Towns could put 
over 2000 men in the field. 

The Volunteers of those days, like the regular soldiery, 
were not infrequently billeted about in the various public- 
houses ; and there are some curious notices concerning their 
relations with the press-gang. Is it suggesting too much to 
hint that some of the popularity of the Volunteer force was 
due to the immunity it conferred from impressment? or 
rather was supposed to confer — for we find the Mayor of 
Plymouth written to on one occasion by Colonel Foot, to 


tell bim on board what vessel in the Sound a sergeant of 
the Loyal Dockers had been carried, that the Admiral's order 
might be obtained for his dischaiga When the war was 
over this civilian military spirit soon died out, and the 
Volunteers ceased to exist They had, however, seen some 
service, for they, too, occasionally mounted guard. 

The existing Volunteers date from 1859. Plymouth and 
Devonport were close rivals for the honour of being first in 
the Volunteer field. Devonport indeed held the first meet- 
ing for the purpose ; but the first enrolment took place in 
Plymouth, and the Plymouth corps thus became the 2nd 
Devons, the Exeter corps» which had a yet earlier origin, 
retaining the first place. Virtually the Plymouth corps is 
thus the senior body of the gen^ul Victorian movement^ 
Devon being the leading county. And it has an interesting 
link with the old volunteering days of Plymouth — the colours 
of the ' Prince of Wales's Own ' presented to it in 1879. 

Major Duperier was the first commandant of the corps, 
which started with some 150 members. Wlien he became 
adjutant of the 2nd Devon Battalion he was succeeded by 
Captain Bewes, who in his turn, in 1861, became adjutant 
of the 4th Devon Battalion. lieut-Colonel Hutchinson 
followed for a few months, and was replaced on resmiation 
by lieut-Colonel Fisk, who held the command untu 1869. 
Colonel Elliott came next, but as he succeeded Major 
Duperier in the adjutancy in 1870, a vacancy was once 
more created, and filled by the appointment of Major- 
General Pickard. On his retirement the corps first came 
under Volunteer command, in the person of Major M. Collier. 
He was succeeded by Major Pitts, and Major Pitts by the 
present commanding officer. Major Spearman. The present 
strength (December, 1890) is 20 officers and 494 non- 
commissioned officers and men. These numbers include 
a Mounted Company, formed in February, 1883. 

The head-quarters and drill-ground were originally at the 
old Grammar School, in Catharine Street, but when the New 
Guildhall was built, removal became necessary, and the 
present quarters in Prospect Bow were obtained, the drill- 
shed being built from the designs of Lieut Pearse. In this 
building the largest indoor political meetings of modem 
Plymouth have been held, over 7,000 being packed into it on 
the occasion of Mr. Gladstone's visit in 1889, when temporary 
galleries were erected. 


My name is Water ; I have sped 
Through straoge dark ways, uutried before, 

By pare desire of frieudship led, 
Old Dartmoor's swift amtiassador; 

He sends four royal gifts by me — 
Long life, health, peace, and purity. — LotoeU (altered). 

The Corporation Records, 

WHEN the first edition of this work was published, the 
original materials for the history of the Plymouth 
Waterworks were very meagre ; and official and non-official 
tradition were hopelessly at variance. The old Corporation 
always contended that while it was true Sir Francis Drake 
had brought the water into Plymouth, it was at their cost ; 
and therefore that they had a right to make a water rate. 
A section of the inhabitants, on the contrary, held that the 
water was a gift from the great navigator, and therefore in 
the nature of a charity. This divergence of opinion issued 
in legal proceedings. 

Until 1881 almost the sole contemporary record in the 
possession of the Corporation was an entry in the Blade Book, 
that the Corporation of Elizabeth had agreed with Drake to 
bring the water into Plymouth, at a cost of £300. But in 
1881, fortunately, the long missing volume of Receivers' 
Accounts, which contained the leading details of the financial 
transactions of the Corporation in the reigns of Elizabeth 
and the earlier Stuarts, was discovered at Widey Court. 
Since then other original documents have become accessible. 
Thus the history of the Plymouth Waterworks can now be 
written with reasonable fulness, from contemporaxy records, 
and we are no longer dependent on mere hearsay. 

The following narrative is drawn solely from these original 
and official recorda They are as far as possible left to tell 
their own story, without reference to a somewhat heated 


controversy which resulted from the discovery of the Widey 
Court Book. Those who are interested in the controversial 
side of the question will find it fully set forth in the Trans- 
actions of the Plymouth Institution, vols. viL and viiL, and 
those of the Devonshire Association for 1884» voL xvi 

WeUs and Streams. 

The water supply of Plymouth was, in the first place, 
derived chiefly from wells. Among the names of wells of a 
more or less public character preserved are Buckwell, Quarry- 
well, Lady well, Finewell, Westwell, St Andrews Well,* Holy- 
well, and Martock's WdL The sites of most of these are 
known, and they were fairly scattered throughout the town, 
as it then existed. An old conduit by Notte Street was fed 
from a well in Well Park acyacent, continuously on through 
the seventeenth century. Private wells were also numerous. 
Plymouth is exceptionally supplied with undei^ground water. 
There are even yet a number of productive wells along the 
line of junction of the slate and limestone rocks, in the less 
compact slates, and associated with the trappean bands ; and 
these, in 1881, when a severe frost depriv^ the town of its 
ordinary water supply, proved capable of materially relieving 
the necessities of the inhabitants, large as the population 
now is. 

In addition to the wells, two streamlets flowed through 
the town. One of these rose in Shute Park, near the Free 
School; the site of the other is yet marked by the name 
Hampton Shute. The first must have been of some little 
importance, since what is now Bilbury Street, which lies 
between its source and Sutton Pool, was anciently in part 
called Bilbury Bridge, the stream flowing into a little creek of 
the Pool now filled in. More distant, but barely a mile from 
what in the sixteenth century was the centre of the borough, 
were the still existing streamlets at Pennycomequick and 
Lipson ; and to these it was the custom to resort when the 
ordinary supplies within the limits of the town itself fell 
short in time of drought. 

^ A lease of 1681 mentions St. Andrews well as * lately digged, made, and 
enclosed* by Philip Andrewe, in the lane leading from Totehyll to Catt 
Downe. At the beginning of the centary it was overshadowed by a big 
fig tree, and * had the reputation of being a holy well.' Holywell was east 
of liongfield Terrace ; Martock's Well west of the way leading from Briton 
Side to the Mandlyn. Finewell is said to have been in a snurden attached 
to the * Prysten House.' Westwell was on the west side of that street, near 
Princess Square, and when filled up, about 1805, took some cartloads of 


The governing body of Plymouth from an early period 
interested itself in the matter of water supply. We find in 
the first volume of Accounts preserved, under date 1495-6, 
in the mayoralty of William NycoU— 

Itm p^ for mendyng of a Cunditt y^ the tenemente some 

tyme Nicolas Elsworthy y» ... xiij^ 

So in 1509-10 work was done in John Paynter's close * for 
the conveyance of the wat' yn to the waye.' Some entries 
of this class may be doubtful ; for the word conduit is not 
always applied in its more modem sense; but others are 
clear enougL Beferences to wells cannot be mistaken, nor 
can such entries as the following, one of a numerous class. 
It occurs under the mayoralty of William Weeks (1549-50): 

Itm paid for plats of Ire to amend the boxe of the 
plumpe of the well of the south syde and for 
Arnold Rawlyns labour abowte the same . . iiij' iiij^ 

Outside Supplies Sought. 

But the town was growing and its needs increasing. Not 
only was a better supply of water wanted for the residents, 
but the ' plumpe at the south syde,' constantly out of order, 
was utterly unable to meet the demands of the shipping. 
Thus the port outgrew its primitive system of water supply ; 
and hence in the mayoralty of Lucas Cock (1559-60) we 
find the following entry among the records of Corporate 
expenditure : 

Itm to M' f orsland of bovy & his company for vewinge 
of the ground wherebie freshe water myght have 
byn brought unto the towne • . . xvj* x* 

This is the real starting-point of the Plymouth Corporation 
Waterworks. Forsland was a man of some note in his day. 
By occupation a 'tin streamer,' he was a member of the 
Stannary Parliament that assembled at Crockem Tor in 
1576, and was of sufficient standing to be described as 
'gentleman*' Of all men in those days, a 'tin streamer' 
was best qualified to advise on such a question. Water was 
indispensable for washing tin ore out of the alluvium ; and 
to obtain this water the streamers sometimes carried their 
little ' miners' leats ' for miles, winding round the flanks of 
the hills. There are artificial courses of this character still 
in existence, of great and unknown antiquity. 

Though it is not said whither Forsland went, it is clear it 
must have been some distance from the town, and probably 


to the river Meavy. As nothing appears to have come of 
his work beyond the paTment, the entiy is chiefly valuable 
as showing that the idea of bringing water from a distance 
originated with the Corporation. 

While apparently unable to follow up the survey of 
Forsland, the authorities were not unmindful of the wants 
of the town. Entries follow of expenditure, not merely upon 
the Southside pump, but upon a pump in Hawe Lane, and 
on a town well and pump. Moreover, in 1569-70 William 
Hawkins built a new conduit; and either this or another 
conduit associated with the Market Cross came to repair in 
1571-2. And that one or other of these conduits was supplied 
by a stream of some sort (probably from Shute Park) is shown 
by an entry in the mayoralty of John Sparke (1583-4): 

Itm pd to Wilstrewe for bringinge the water above 

grounde to the Conditt . . . . v* 

But the Corporation had not abandoned their wider scheme. 
They had it before them in the mayoralty of John Ilcomb 
(1576-7) ; for we have the entry : 

Itm pd to certayne men that vewed the River at the 
requeste of m' mayo' & his brethren for their 
paynes & for their charges aboute the same . . Ig* v^ 

Here it is clear, from the mention of the river, that the 
Meavy, the only practical source of a gravitation supply, is 
intended. It is dear also that ' M' mayor and his brethren ' 
are the moving spirits. Of these brethren Drake was not 
then one. Indeed, as he sailed on his voyage of circum- 
navigation in November, 1577, he must have h^d his hands 
quite full of other matters, more important personally to 
himselt The entry, in date and language, is conclusive 
without collateral evidenca The Corporation scheme of 
1559-60 is the Corporation scheme of 1576-77, and the 
scheme carried to completion in 1590-91. It is not difl&cult 
to understand this delay. During the earlier years of the 
period, as the accounts show, the Corporation were struggling 
with financial difficulties, and could hardly meet current 
expenses. Later on the operations against Spain absorbed 
all their eneigies and resources. 

The Water Act. 

But want of money was not the only reason why the 
Corporation did not proceed. They did not possess the 
requisite legislative powers; and as no Parliament sat 


between 1572 and the end of 1584, there was no opportunity 
of procuring the needed authority. Directly Parliament was 
cwivened the Corporation introduced a bill, the history of 
which is to be read in the Jowmala of Sir Simonds d'Ewes. 

Christopher Harris, of Eadford, and Henry Bromley were 
chosen burgesses for Plymouth; and 24s. were 'paide to a 
man to goe to London w*h L'** to S' Frauncis Drake and Mr. 
Hele touchinge o' Burgesses for the Parliamente.' Mr. Hele 
was Serjeant Hele, then ' town counsel,' afterwards Eecorder,