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BY S. P. FOX. 






(BY permission) 


APRIL 15TH, 1874. 





This little book makes no pretension to originality. It 
is not much beyond a selection of materials culled from 
various sources, and strung together in a connected form. 
The works of Polwhele, Risdon, Prince, and many others, 
have been consulted, while Hawkins' "History of Kings- 
bridge " has been borrowed from extensively. Valuable aid 
has also been received from several of the inhabitants, and 
others, to all of whom the writer tenders her very sincere 
thanks. She is indebted to Mr. H. Nicholls, taxidermist, 
for most of the information on the Natural History of the 
district, it having been kindly furnished by him for the 
purpose. The Photographs, with which some of the copies 
are illustrated, are the work of her brother. 

Kingsbrklge, 1864. 


"Kingsbridge Estuary, with Rambles in the Neighbour- 
bourhood," was published about ten years since. 

The writer has now prepared a second edition; and 
having endeavoured to render it more complete as a local 
history, she trusts it will be found better worth perusal than 
its predecessor, from which it differs in so many respects 
that it has been deemed best to alter the title to " Kings- 
bridge and its Surroundings." 

She desires to offer her best thanks to those kind friends 
who have so readily responded to her inquiries for infor- 
mation, either by the loan of books, or by written or verbal 

Some additional information, in connection with pages 
61, 88, and 112 to 114, which was received too late for 
insertion in the body of the work, will be found in the 

Fore Street Hill, Kingsbridge, 1874. 

fvhtphiir^ iwir ite Stetxtmx&ing*. 


•• I am very sure that the plan of reading general history by the light 
of local is one that may be applied far more widely than has hitherto 
been attempted. * * * Every parish has its church, seldom without 
some relic, some carved tomb, some mouldering achievement, or heraldic 
shield, which may be made to tell its own story of the past. In most 
there is the old manor house, the revolutions of which, as Southey has 
somewhere told us, would be as interesting and as full of instruction 
as those of England herself, could they be as fully chronicled ; and 
even where these arc wanting, the open country, the woods, the moors, 
and above all, the ancient roads, may be called on for assistance." — ■ 
It. J. King's Dartmoor. 

About ten years ago — that is, in the spring of 1861- — a 
Bill was presented to Parliament, praying for the authoriza- 
tion of a branch railway, to connect the town of Kingsbridgo 
with the South Devon line. This Bill was passed, but not 
acted on. A second Bill was presented and passed in 18GG. 
The line was commenced; a bridge was built (the first 
stone of which was laid amidst rejoicings) ; then — difficulties 
arose, and the work was abandoned. Again, in 1873, a 
third Bill was presented ; but this was ultimately, and very 
reluctantly, withdrawn, from cnusos which it is not needful 


to enter upon here. Notwithstanding this discouraging state 
of things, another scheme has been discussed. We extract 
from an article in the Kingsbridge Gazette, dated October 
24th, 1873. — "The promoters of the new Coast Line of 
Railway express great confidence in the success of their 
scheme, and hope they may be able to carry it out without 
an Act of Parliament. We believe that if they get the 
consent of all the landowners through whose property the 
line passes, they can proceed to make it without parlia- 
mentary sanction; and seeing that when the Brent line 
was before the public, the major part of the landowners 
along the line of the proposed coast railway hung back 
from the Brent scheme, and advocated such a one as now 
proposed, it is only fair to argue that at least they will not 
object to this being carried out, even if they do not actively 
support it. Kingsbridge people now will not care much 
which line is made : they want railway accommodation, 
and how it comes they will not greatly care." Whether 
any of the present generation will live long enough to see 
locomotive engines bustling in and out of a railway station 
at this place, remains to be proved. In the meantime, let us 
enquire a little about " Kingsbridge and its Surroundings." 

Kingsbridge is a small market town and parish, but the 
metropolis (one may say) of the Union to which it gives its 
name.* It is in the Deanery of Woodleigh, Archdeaconry 
of Totnes, Diocese of Exeter, and Hundred of Stanborough, 
South Devonshire; distant five miles north from Salcombe 
Harbour, nine miles and a half south from Kingsbridge Road 
Station (on the South Devon Railway), twenty miles from 
Plymouth, and about 231 miles from London. 

* The Union House is in the parish of Chnrchstow. 


" Stanborough Hundred is a long, narrow district, ex- 
tending more than twenty-two miles southward from the 
river Dart, in Dartmoor Forest, to the English Channel, 
between Bolt Head and Bolt Tail, and the mouths of 
Salcombe Creek and the Avon, but averaging only about five 
miles in breadth. It stretches into the hilly region of 
Dartmoor on the north-west, and is bounded by the river 
Dart as low as Totnes, where it is crossed by the South 
Devon Railway. It is traversed southward by the Avon, 
which receives several smaller streams; and the haven and 
creeks from Kingsbridge to the sea form its south-western 

A fine navigable estuary runs inland about five miles, 
from Salcombe to Kingsbridge. Fifty years ago few 
vessels were seen here but sloops ; now, however, the 
sloops are few in comparison with vessels of larger class 
and tonnage. This estuary has also several navigable 
creeks, branching from either side, and affording the 
adjacent parishes the means of importing lime, sand, 
and other manures; and of exporting their produce. 

Frazer, in his Survey, in 1794, spoke of the district about 
Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, and Modbury, as remarkable for 
the produce of barley ; and observed that it was exported 
from Salcombe in quantities scarcely to be credited: and 
Kingsbridge is mentioned by White as one of the chief 
corn markets in the county — the others being Exeter, 
Tavistock, Totnes, Plymouth, and Barnstaple. The cider 
of the South Hams is considered superior to any other, 
and it is largely exported from hence. 

"The most uniformly fertile soils are in the red sand- 

;; White's History of Devonshire, published in 1850. 


stone district; but the richest are those occurring in 
contiguity with limestone or greenstone rocks, in many 
parts of the slate district ; especially in that beautiful 
southern district, commonly called the ' South Hams,' and 
sometimes the ( Garden of Devon,' and having for its 
natural boundaries Dartmoor and the heights of Chudleisrh 
on the north; the river Plym on the west; Torbay and 
Start Bay on the east; and Bigbury Bay and the other 
parts of the coast of the English Channel, on the south. 
The red colour which characterizes the best soils, both in 
the South Hams and the eastern division of the county, 
and which seems to be so closely connected with the 
principle of fertility, proceeds from an abundant mixture 
of iron, in a highly oxidated state. The soil of that part 
of the South Hams which is bounded by the Erme and 
Dart rivers is generally a rich friable loam, of a hazel-nut 
brown colour, mostly on a substratum of slate ; but that 
on the east of the Dart, as far as Torbay, is richer and 
redder, and generally on a substratum of marble rock."* 

Polwhele says, "In regard to the South of Devon, its 
climate has often been compared to the South of France. 
The hills that, overspread with verdure, more frequently 
rise with a gentle swell than with that rocky abruptness 
which is a feature of the north, are favoured by tepid 
breezes ; and the green vallies, sometimes covered with 
wood, though open to the sea, indicate the softness of 
the atmosphere." He also remarks that in Devonshire 
the summers are cooler, and the winters warmer, than in 
any other part of England, except Cornwall. 

With respect to the Rainfall in this immediate neigh- 

* White's Devonshire. 


bourhood, it is slightly in excess of some other parts of 
South Devon. The register from which our data are 
taken is from a gauge under the care of the writer's 
brother (G. Fox), and is fixed at an elevation of 60 feet 
above the sea level. The rainfall for the last seven years 
gives a mean of 35 inches. We believe the nearest 
station to this is on the Bolt Tail, where the readings 
are somewhat less than the above. The Kingsbridge 
Gazette has, from the commencement of the observations, 
published the monthly returns. 

The climate and soil about Kingsbridge are particularly 
favourable for the culture of vines : probably there is no 
other town of its size in England where there are so 
many green-houses expressly devoted to this branch of 
horticulture ; and grapes in abundance find their way to 
less favoured parts of the adjacent counties.* A Cottage 
Garden Society, established some years since, has been 
the means of demonstrating the great capabilities of our 
fertile soil, and the mildness of our climate. Besides the 
orange and lemon, the myrtle and magnolia nourish in 
great perfection. The myrtle sometimes attains the height 
of twenty or thirty feet ; and the magnificent cream-white 
flowers, and bright green laurel-like leaves of the magnolia 
may be seen reaching even to the roofs of some of the 

The neighbourhood of Kingsbridge is also favourable 
for bees, if we may judge by the large number of hives 
in the gardens of cottagers and others. But that there 
is a great diminution of good years is evident ; for we 

* As many as 99 green-houses were counted very recently in Kingsbridge 
and Dodbrooke ; but these are not all specially devoted to vines, although 
a great number of them are so. 


seldom now hear of very large " supers " of honey. This 
may be owing to the increased cultivation of the land, and 
consequently the lessening of wild flowers, which form the 
best pasturage for bees. In 1863, G. Fox (who practises 
the humane system of bee-keeping) took the following 
large quantity of honeycomb from two of his hives, viz., 
112 lbs., and 109 lbs. 8 oz. (nett weight of honey). These 
boxes, or rather glass cases, were placed on the top of 
the stock hives ; which, after these astonishing " supers," 
as they are called, were removed, remained untouched and 
well filled with stores, for the winter use of the industrious 
inhabitants. It must be understood, however, that this 
was quite an exceptional year, such surprising quantities 
never having been obtained here before or since ; so that 
the wonderful display created quite a sensation when it 
formed a part of the first exhibition of the Cottage 
Garden Society. 

Robert Dymond, Esq., F.S.A., says — " Kingsbridge is 
the smallest parish in Devonshire. Some of the Exeter 
parishes are smaller, but they are not, strictly speaking, 
in Devonshire, as Exeter is a county of itself." Hawkins' 
statement, that "its whole contents are no more than 
thirty-two acres," was in accordance with the general im- 
pression, but we have been informed by Mr. William Jarvis 
that this is considerably below the mark, and that fifty-two 
acres would be more nearly correct. 

Leland, the librarian of Henry VII., observes of Kings- 
bridge, in his Itinerary, that it was " sumtyme a praty 
town." Blome, in 1673, less courteously, mentions it as 
" a meane Towne, but hath a great market for provisions 
on Saturdays." 

Nothing is known with certainty regarding the origin 


of the name Kingsbridge. The various theories respecting 
it are too vague to be in any [way relied on, and it is 
not likely we shall ever have much light thrown on the 

In Directories and Gazetteers you generally find Kings- 
bridge and Dodbrooke mentioned as one town : they are, 
in fact, only separated by a rivulet, which, however, is also 
the dividing line between the Hundreds of Stan borough 
and Coleridge, in which the parishes of Kingsbridge and 
Dodbrooke are respectively situated. 

Hawkins stated that in 1791 the population of Kings- 
bridge (without Dodbrooke) amounted to 972. At the 
census of 1841 the numbers reported were... 1,561 

1851 1,679 

1861 1,585 

1871 1,557 

Emigration may, perhaps, partly account for a diminution, 
but probably the chief cause is the absence of railway 

Risdon, who died in 164-0, says that "Kingsbridge was 
long since the lands of the Earl of Devon, until by the 
attainder of the Marquis of Exeter (the 3rd of December, 
1531), it came to the Crown, and was purchased by Sir 
William Petre, Knight, now the Lord Petre's inheritance." 
Sir William Pole, who died in 1 635 or 6, also says, " Kinges- 
bridge belonged unto therles of Devon, and after thattainder 
of Henry Marques of Exceter, purchased by Sir William 
Petre, and is nowe the Lord Petre's "; but it is stated 
elsewhere that "this manor, and that of the adjoining 
parish of Churchstow, belonged to the Abbey of Buckfast as 
early as the year 1333. After the dissolution of monasteries, 
they continued in the Crown till after the 4th and 5th Philip 


and Mary, A.D. 1558, a period of twenty-five years; when 
they were sold to John Drake and Bernard Drake, Esquires, 
who, in the same month, conveyed them to Sir William 
Petre, the ancestor of the Right Honourable Lord Petre, 
of Writtle. From that time till the year 1793, when the 
late Robert Edward, ninth Lord Petre, sold the said manor 
to a relative of the present proprietor, it continued in that 

The Manor of Kingsbridge belonged for many years to 
Colonel Scobell, of Nancealvern, near Penzance, Cornwall. 
He died June 16th, 1866, in his 88th year. He was the son 
of the Rev. Mr. Scobell, Vicar of Sancreed, Cornwall. At an 
early age he entered the Marine service, and was in action 
at the battle of the Nile. According to the statement of 
the late Mr. Robert Cox,* (who was steward to the Lord of 
the Manor), Colonel Scobell was born at Nutcombe, in 
the parish of East Allington, originally the property and 
residence of the Scobell family. When a child, he was a 
favourite of an uncle, a barrister, and Lord of the Manor of 

* On the 31st of March, 1870, the Portreeve wrote to George Scobell, Esq., 
to inform him of the death of his steward, Mr. Robert Cox, and received the 
following reply : — 

" Montvale House, Hallatrow, Bristol, 
4th April, 1870. 
Dear Sir, 

I am obliged by your note of the 3lst ult., addressed to my 
brother, Mr. George Scobell, upon the death of the late manor bailiff and 
town crier. The settlement of a new appointment has been referred to me, 
as trustee of the manor property at Kingsbridge. These offices having been 
held by the Cox family for the last three generations, as I am informed, we 
should naturally favor any other member of the same family, if entirely 
fitted for the business. It has been proposed that the widow should retain 
the offices, with Mr. John A T eale as her deputy. Still, I am open to any 
recommendation or information on the subject, my only object being to 
appoint some one suitable for the interests of the manor and the require- 
ments of the town. 

I am, dear sir, 

Yours faithfully, 

[The appointment was made as above suggested.] 


Kingsbridge, who resided at the Manor House (now called 
Knowle House), which was then a part of the Manor, but 
was sold to Sir Edwin Bayntun Sandys. He (Col. Scobell) 
lived with his uncle, and went to our Grammar School until 
he was seventeen years old. 

Colonel ScobelPs eldest son, John Usticke Scobell, Esq., 
who now owns Nancealvern, although he generally resides 
near Bristol, is Trustee for the Manor of Kingsbridge, but 
George Scobell, Esq., the Colonel's younger son, receives the 
rents of this property. His residence is at Lower Poltair, 
near Penzance. 

The Steward holds a Court Leet and Court Baron on 
alternate years, and appoints a Portreeve, Constables, and 
Ale Tasters. At the Manorial Court held in 1865 (which 
was the last preceding the death of Colonel Scobell) Mr. 
William Parkhouse was re-elected Portreeve, an office he had 
already held for a number of years, and which he held up 
to the time of his decease, having been again elected in 
October, 1873* On the occasion above referred to, he 
informed the newly-appointed Ale Tasters that it was " their 
duty to taste the ale of every brewing at the various breweries 
and inns in the town (each Ale Taster having the power to 
demand half a pint), and if they did not consider it good, 
they might set the tap running, that the bad ale might be 

* From the Kingsbridge Gazette of November 29th, 1873 :— " The late 
Portreeve. — During the past week one, crcwhile, of our most prominent 
public men has been removed by the hand of death., Mr. W. Parkhouse, 
senr., represented the parish of Kingsbridge at the Board of Guardians for 
some years ; and so diligently and heartily did he transact all such business 
as modern institutions have left to be performed by the Court of the Lord 
of the Manor, that he was unanimously re-elected, for a considerable number 
of years to the office of Portreeve. The remains of the deceased were 
followed to their last resting-place, in Dodbrookc Churchyard, on Wednesday 
last, by a large number of townsmen." [In December, 1873, Mr. John Port 
was elected to till the vacant office.] 


got rid of." # On the Manorial Court days, the Portreeve and 
officials, and other gentlemen invited, make a perambulation 
of the manorial property, and afterwards dine together. A 
few years ago, a robe and cocked hat, as appropriate for a 
Portreeve on state occasions, were purchased, and presented 
to Mr. Parkhouse. 

Hawkins thus describes the town of Kingsbridge. "The 
principal street, Fore Street, which is full 60 feet broad, runs 
nearly the length of the parish from, south to north, and, 
rising from the estuary like the crest of a helmet, commands 
a delightful view of the water and its verdant shores, almost 
to the harbour of Salcombe, being obstructed only by the 
creek's suddenly turning from south to south-west, and 
leaving the prospect to be terminated by the parish church 
and green hills of Portlemouth. Behind the several houses 
are gardens and orchards ; and as this street is on the brow 
of a hill, these grounds decline to the east and west, at the 
extremities of which, on each side of the town, run two 
brooks, which form a junction of the best portion of their 
waters near the bottom of the hill on the west side, and 
there become of sufficient force to turn the Town Mills. 
# * * Nearly at the lower end, Fore Street is crossed at 
right angles by Mill Street and Duc'c [now called Duke] 
Street, the former on the west side, leading to West Alvington 
and Salcombe; the latter on the east, in the direction of 
Totnes and Dartmouth, and uniting the towns of Kingsbridge 
and Dodbrooke by a very small bridge.! These, with a 

* Ale Tasters were also appointed formerly at Dartmouth. In White's 
"Devonshire" we find the following :—" The Ale Taster is an officer 
appointed by the Corporation ; and formerly he tasted every brewing of the 
publicans, and proclaimed at their doors, with a loud voice and ' uplifted leg 
and arm,' whether the ale was good or not ! " 

f Alvington Road (now Mill Street) was once the aristocratic end of the 
town : here lived the Crockers and the Holdyches. 

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double line of houses branching off from the east side of Fore 
Street towards the north end, formerly called Sigdure Lane, 
sines that, by corruption, Sugar Lane, and more recently, 
Duncombe Street (in compliment to the founder of the 
Lectureship), together with the gardens, orchards, a few 
small closes, and a genteel villa and pleasure grounds, called 
Knowle House, at the north end, compose the whole parish." 
The foregoing, although Avritten by Hawkins many years 
ago, is a pretty accurate description of Kingsbridge at the 
present time. 

Robert Dymond, Esq., F.S.A., says, "From the few ancient 
buildings that remain, and from an old engraving, dated 
1586, it may be inferred that Kingsbridge formerly wore 
something of that quaint, foreign aspect, still in some degree 
characterizing the neighbouring port of Dartmouth. The 
' Cheape House,' in the middle of the main street, was the 
southernmost market place in the county." 

The old engraving referred to has been considered of suffi- 
cient interest to be reproduced by photography. Hawkins 
speaks of it thus : " The birds-eye view of Kingsbridge, 
taken in 1586, and now preserved among the archives of the 
Feoffees of the town lands, has been engraved to satisfy local 
curiosity ; it may be proper to mention, however, that what 
has been there marked ' The Wester parte ' is the south, and 
the ' Easter end' is the north. This error is in the original." 
Kingsbridge was formerly a part of the parish of Church- 
stow, and at what period the separation took place is 
uncertain. They, however, still form one vicarage. The 
ecclesiastical history of Kingsbridge is rather complicated. 
There is an old document, bearing date 1309, which is a 
memorandum of the deposition of witnesses taken at Exeter, 
concerning the rights and services of the chapel of St. 


Edmund, king and martyr, at Kingsb ridge ; and the first 
witness states that it has had a parish and parishioners 
separate and distinct from a time beyond all memory, and 
that the said chapel possesses Canteria, or Chantry, and all 
other Divine service complete, the rite of burial alone 
excepted. It is recorded that the parishioners represented 
the inconvenience of attending the Mother Church, which 
they stated " is founded on the summit of a high mountain, 
and the direct way between them for carrying dead bodies 
to be there buried proceeds through a troublesome and 
tedious ascent of the said mountain." Probably it was in 
consequence of this representation that M. Litlecumb, rector 
of the church of Churchstow, " granted unto the Abbot and 
Monks of Buckfast permission to build a church in their 
demense, in the vill of Kingsbridge, upon condition of their 
granting all the profits of the said vill, belonging to the 
church, for the maintenance of a chaplain to celebrate Divine 
service there; and that all the inhabitants might enjoy every 
ecclesiastical right therein, so that they visited the Mother 
Church, with offerings, at least once in every year, to wit, on 
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or within eight 
days after." The present parish church was thereupon 
erected, and on the 26th of August, 1414, it was dedicated 
to St. Edmund, king and martyr, and the cemetery was 
consecrated on the following day.* 

A few words respecting the patron saint of the church. 
" St. Edmund, King of the East Angles, having been 
attacked by the Danes, and being unable to resist them, 
heroically offered to surrender himself a prisoner, provided 

* A copy of the original grant for building the church (with the trans- 
lation) may be found in the " Notes and References," at the end of Hawkins' 
History of Kingsbridge." 


they would spare his subjects. The Danes, however, 
having seized him, used their utmost endeavours to induce 
him to renounce his religion. Upon his refusing to comply, 
they first beat him with clubs, then scourged him with 
whips, afterwards bound him to a tree and shot at him till 
he was completely covered with their arrows, and then 
finally struck off his head. — A.D. 870." Many years after- 
wards his body was removed to London, and subsequently 
was brought back to Suffolk, to be there enshrined and 
honoured ; and in process of time a vast abbey and a large 
and wealthy town, now known as ** Bury St. Edmund's," 
gathered around his venerable dust. In confirmation of 
the story that he was shot in the manner, related, it has 
been said that when an old tree in Hoxne Wood, Suffolk, 
which had been known as St. Edmund's Oak, fell in 1 848, 
an arrow was found imbedded in the heart of the tree. 
The following is an extract from Dr. Oliver's account 
of Buckfastleigh Abbey, in his Monasticon Dioecesis Exo- 
niensis :— "26 Aug. 1414, Bishop Stafford dedicated the 
chapel of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, a daughter 
chapel of Churchstow, and on the next day blest its 
cemetery. Roger Bachelor, then rector of Churchstow, 
made his will Aug. 30, 1127, and desired to be buried 
'in cancello de Kingston' [Kingsbridge ?], and left to 
its store 10 marks. To the store of St. Mary de Church- 
stow he gives 12 sheep and 1 cow, and also 2 marks 
1 to paint the image of the blessed Mary of Churchstow, 
namely in the chance 1 .' On the dissolution of the abbey, 
in the time of Henry 8th, Gabriel Donne, the last Abbot, 
granted a lease to John Southcot, of Bovey Tracey, of 
the rectory of Churchstow, and its dependant chapel of 


Kingsbridge." Edmund Stafford, Bishop of Exeter, and 
Lord Chancellor of England, died in 1419. In the north 
wall of Exeter Cathedral there is a stately monument of 
alabaster, with a latin inscription to his memory. The 
name of the Abbot of Buckfast, at this time, was William 

Kingsbridge Church stands in a cemetery, on the west 

side of Fore Street. The edifice is of stone, and built in 

the form of a cross. The bells (six in number) were 

made in London, in the year 1761, at which period the 

old set having been taken down and shipped for the 

capital, to be re-cast, were captured by a French privateer, 

and carried off as a lawful prize. It certainly cannot be 

said that the present bells were chosen for sweetness of 

tone; and the question of a new set has been mooted, 

and may, perhaps, at no very distant time be carried out. 

On Sunday, the 22nd of June, 1828, there was an awful 

thunderstorm, which came on about one o'clock p.m. : the 

lightning struck the spire of the church, descending by the 

iron bar which supports the top and carries the vane; it 

exploded with a tremendous crash, knocked out a large hole 

about fifteen feet from the summit, and shifted a considerable 

portion of the spire from its centre. The stones, which were 

hlown to shatters, flew over the houses, and into the gardens 

adjacent. Providentially, no person was injured; but if it 

had occurred one hour sooner, the consequences might have 

been very serious, as many people were then in the church. 

The lightning came down, and after partially fusing a small 

bell used for calling the attention of the ringers, and knocking 

out the staples with which the communion table was secured, 

then escaped through a window, the glass of which was 


smashed. The damaged portion of the spire was taken down 
the same year, and re-built * 

In reference to the clock in the church tower, Hawkins 
says, "The present clock was set up in the year 1786, to 
replace one of ancient date and mendacitous notoriety." We 
might remark that this present clock has not established for 
itself a much better character for correct time-keeping than 
its predecessor ; consequently it will be a great boon to the 
inhabitants when it is superseded by one which will render 
inapplicable the old saying, " As great a liar as Kingsbridge 
clock." Some time ago, Mr. Thomas Peek offered. £100 
towards a new town clock for Kingsbridge. Soon after his 
handsome offer was made, he died, but it appears that his 
gift is still available. Plans have, accordingly, been drawn, 
and estimates made, in preparation for its erection. 

There is within the church a monument, executed by 
Flaxman, in Carrara marble, to the memory of the wife of a 
Major Hawkins, of the East India Company's Service. A 
marble tablet, with a Latin inscription, may also be seen, to 
the memory of the Reverend George Hughes, B.D., vicar of 
St. Andrew (commonly called the Old Church) in Plymouth. 
He was one of the 2000 ministers who, two years after the 
restoration of King Charles II. (which took place in 1660) 
were deprived of their benefices for refusing to subscribe 
to the Act of Uniformity passed in 1662. It seems that 
he was not only silenced, but committed a prisoner to 
St. Nicholas Island. After a considerable time, his health 
having suffered by long confinement, he was permitted to 
pass the remainder of his days in Kingsbridge. He died 
the 9th July, 1667. Thomas Crispin, the founder of the 
Free Grammar School, erected this monument to his 
* Information from the lato \V. Millar. 


memory. The Latin inscription is said by Hawkins to 
have been written by Duncombe ; others attribute it to 
the Rev. John Howe, the Chaplain of Cromwell, and son- 
in-law of Hughes. 

Hughes was the author of several works ; and a sermon 
of his, preached before the House of Commons, is still 

The remains of George GefTery, A.M., Incumbent of 
Churchstow and Kingsbridge, were deposited in the same 
place twenty-seven years before. He died 12th May, 1641. 
A translation of the inscription, as given by Hawkins, is 
here copied, as a specimen of the pompous style of 
epitaph adopted formerly : — 

"To the redolent, immortal, and ever-to-be-respected 
memory of that most excellent man, George Hughes, 
B.D., late of Plymouth : highly vigilant to unfold the 
hidden truths of the Holy Scriptures; to incline man- 
kind by his preaching, the Almighty by his prayers, 
being particularly learned; who (like the luminary of 
day) auspiciously commencing his career in the east 
(having received his birth in London), thence beamed 
a star in the west for a long time, diffusing light on 
every side by his life, and wailing by his death. His 
earthly course (truly useful) having been extended to 64 
years, contributing good and enduring ill, he at length 
found pure rest — for his soul in the skies, his body in 
the grave beneath, on the 9th day of July, in the year of 
grace 1667, with his fellow pastor, long most dear, 
George Geffery, A.M., whose remains, thrice nine years 
before, were deposited in the same place, and being first 
turned to dust, are now to mingle with fresh ashes." 

(We omit the six poetical lines which accompany this). 


To the memory of Duncombe, Master of the Grammar 
School, and founder of the Lectureship, the following is 
inscribed on a tablet : — 

" Here lieth the body of Mr. William Duncombe, the 
son of John Duncombe, of Buckinghamshire, Esq., who 
was some time fellow of King's College, in Cambridge, 
and the first schoolmaster of the Free-school in Kings- 
bridge, and taught there twenty-eight years, and brought 
up many young gentlemen, who, by his industry, became 
useful members both in Church and State, and died the 
last day of December, 1698, and left all that he had to 
pious uses." 

The attention of strangers is sometimes directed to a 
tablet just outside one of the doors of the church, which 
has the following inscription : — 

" Underneath 
Lieth the body of Robert, 
Commonly called Bone Phillip, 
who died July 27th, 1793, 
Aged 65 years. 
At whose request the following 
lines are here inserted : — 
Here lie I at the chancel door; 
Here lie I because I'm poor; 
The further in the more you'll pay; 
Here lie I as warm as they." 

These lines were supposed to be written by the person 
whose name they commemorate, but Murray, in his 
" Guide to Devon," intimates that they are, or were, also 
to be found at Hartland, North Devon, consequently their 
authorship may be considered somewhat doubtful. 

In a book entitled "From the Thames to the Tamar," 


is the paragraph which follows : — " Robert Phillip, who 
died in 1793, was commonly called Bone (Bon?) Phillip, 
and was by trade a cooper, bnt preferred to obtain his 
livelihood by collecting herbs, which were then used as 
specifics, and by receiving beatings at thirty strokes for 
a penny." 

The Church was enlarged and improved about the begin- 
ning of this century: again it was partially restored in 
1845, and subsequently in 1860. 

Over the communion table is a handsome window of 
stained glass. The upper centre compartment represents 
the Ascent of the Saviour, and the lower one has a figure 
of St. Edmund (the patron saint). The side compartments 
are filled with various saints and apostles. Underneath 
is an inscription to this effect : — " Presented by John 
Millar and Tryphena Toby. Prebendary Luney, Vicar." 

A beautiful memorial window has just been inserted, and 
on a brass plate underneath, the following inscription is 
engraved. "This Avindow is presented by the youngest 
daughter of Thomas and Harriot Harris, in affectionate 
remembrance of much-loved parents, three brothers, and a 
sister. A. N. Hingston, Vicar, 1873." In the centre is a 
figure of the Saviour bearing a lamb in His arms, and below 
is the injunction "Feed my sheep." The screen was 
removed from the church long ago. On a fragment of it 
might be seen these words, cut in relief — 

© m&<&E3E 3BBM1B® ©ME W© J14&I53&. 

(0, Saint Edmund! pray for us.) 

The following is a list of the Vicars of Kingsbridge, as far 
as we have been able to ascertain the names : — 


Rev. Robert Spark ... ... ... ... 1 636 

„ George Geffery, A.M died 1641 

„ Nathaniel Seaman ... ... ... 1695 

[In an old baptismal register, belonging to the parish of 
Kingsbridge, commencing, we believe, at the date 19th June, 
1636, there is an entry to this effect: "The first entry upon 
y e old rigester, by Nath. Seman, minister." This is under 
date 1695. There are also entries of the baptisms of twelve 
of his children.] 

Rev. — Freke... 
„ — Baron 
„ Richard Jones ... ... ... ... 1754 

„ — Andrews 

„ Edward Michell 1763 or 4 

„ John Wilcocks, A.B 1779 

„ George Furlong Wise, .B 1809 

„ —Pott died 1842 

„ Richard Luney, M. A., 1812 ... died 1865 
„ Alfred Nottage Hingston, M.A. (the present 
The vicarage house stands very near the turnpike gate, at 
the head of the town, as you enter the Plymouth road. It is 
a good, modern, stone dwelling, and was erected by the late 
Rev. Richard Luney, M.A., Vicar of Kingsbridge cum Church- 
stow, and Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral. Mr. Luney was 
a native of Launceston, in Cornwall, and received his early 
education at Dr. Cope's school, in that place. He manifested 
great aptitude for learning, and displayed talents of no 
ordinary character. Ultimately, he went to the University of 
Oxford, took orders in the Church, and shortly became the 
preacher at St. Andrew's Chapel, Plymouth. In Kingsbridge 
he soon became very popular, not only as a preacher, but as 


a lecturer and public man in general. In 1842, the Rev. Mr. 
Pott, the Vicar of Kingsbridge, died, and this living, which 
is in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, was handed over to the 
Bishop, who presented it to Mr. Luney. For several years 
he was incapacitated by ill-health from attending to the 
duties of his office, and he died December 19th, 1865. His 
remains were .deposited in a vault in Churchstow churchyard, 
and on a white stone cross is inscribed the following :— - 

Richard Luney, M.A., 
Vicar of Kingsbridge 

and Churchstow, 

Prebendary of Exeter; 

Born March 5th, 1800; 

Died December 19th, 1865. 

Jesu Mercy. 

After the death of Mr. Luney, the Rev. Alfred Nottage 
Hingston, M.A., received the appointment of Vicar of 
Kingsbridge and Churchstow. 


".Can we so describe, 

That you shall fairly streets and buildings trace, 

And all that gives distinction to a place ? " 


About the centre of Fore Street, and obstructing a view of 
the church, stand the Shambles, which were built in 1796. 
Hawkins says, " Five of the six granite pillars which support 
the present butchery are the very same that upheld the late 
corn market, and are represented as sustaining u Ci)C ttftoe 
fcnlrJfiNfl/' between the two church styles." 

In the same year (1796) footways were added on each 
side of the street ; but these were mostly paved with round 
pebbles, and in process of time they became very uneven and 
much out of repair. They were consequently replaced by 
good Yorkshire stone some years ago, at a cost of about 
£600. Not long since, a considerable quantity of the " tar 
pavement" was laid down, both in Kingsbridge and Dod- 
brooke. Perhaps the less said respecting this the better. 

The Town Hall, which immediately adjoins the church 
steps, on the lower side, was erected in 1850, by a company 
of shareholders. The spacious area, paved with stone, is 
used for the weekly butter and poultry market; it also 
serves as a covered drill-room for the 26th Devon Volunteer 
Rifle Corps, and various other purposes. A long passage at 
the farther end leads to the lock-ups, to apartments for the 


sergeant of police resident in the district, and also to club 
rooms. A flight of stone stairs at the west end leads to the 
Public Rooms, which are used for magistrates' meetings, 
sittings of the County Court, lectures, concerts, bazaars, 
&c. &c. Another staircase takes us to the reading room, 
which is well supplied with books, newspapers, maps, and 
other requisites. One of the rooms is devoted to a museum 
of stuffed birds and other objects in natural history, presented 
to the town by the late Charles Prideaux, Esq., and intended 
as the nucleus of a larger collection as other donors come 

The Petty Sessions, which were formerly held at Morley, 
were discontinued there in or about the year 1858, and are 
now held in the Town Hall, Kingsbridge, and the adjourned 
meetings take place at Totnes instead of Kingsbridge. There 
are meetings of magistrates held alternately at Kingsbridge 
and Totnes, monthly; at the Public Rooms, Kingsbridge, and 
the Guildhall, Totnes. 

The names of the present magistrates (1874) are — 

Sir H. P. Seale, Bart, Mount Boon, Dartmouth j 

J. Allen, Esq., Coleridge House, Stokenham ; 

A. B. E. Holdsworth, Esq., Widdicombe, Stokenham ; 

R. Dueant, Esq., Sharpham, Totnes ; 

M. Fortescue, Esq., Weston House, Totnes ; 

H. L. Toll, Esq., Street Gate, Blackauton j 

Capt. A. Eidgway, Shipley, Blackauton ; 

A. Champernowne, Esq., Dartington House, Totnes ; 

E. H. Watson, Esq., Dorsley, Totnes ; 

C. S. Hawkins, Esq., Triton Lodge, Plympton ; 

A. F. Holdsworth, Esq., Widdicombe, Stokenham ; 

S. E. Cary, Esq., Follaton, Totnes j 

Com. T. S. Twysden, E.N., Charleton; 

T. King, Esq., Manor House, North Huish; 

Major-General Birdwood, Woodcot, Salcombe ; 

W. Cubitt, Esq., Fallapit, East Allington. 

Magistrates' Clerk— Thojias Wyse Weymouth. 


The County Court of Devonshire, holden at Kingsbridge, 
was opened in the year 184-7, William Mackworth Praed, 
Esq., Judge, who died in or about the year 1857; when 
Matthew Fortescue, Esq., the present Judge, was appointed. 

Thomas Harris was Registrar to the time of his decease ; 
when the present Registrar, John Henry Square, was 

The Court is held once in two months, on Saturdays. 
Until the present year it was held once a month, on Fridays. 

Formerly, that old instrument of punishment, the pillory, 
stood about the centre of Fore Street ; but it was removed in 
the eighteenth century. 

From Hawkins' account of the inns in Kingsbridge, we 
extract the following :— " The chief inn, prior to the year 
1 775, was the * Prince George,' in Fore Street, close to the 
north style, or gate, of the church, and north end of the 
butchery, * * * conspicuous in the ancient view 
engraved to accompany these pages, where the site is marked 
' George French's land,' and clearly shows the foundation to 
have been before the year 1586. In consequence, however, 
of legal disputes, 'The Old Tavern,' as it was familiarly 
termed, remained some years untenanted ; another inn was 
opened in opposition, in Fore Street, a little below Duncombe 
Street, and the ' George Inn ' was put up for a sign. This 
continued open for many years, but at length was disposed 
of, and became a private residence. After this, a dwelling- 
house and shop were fitted up and opened as the 'King's 
Arms' Inn, by Mr. Richard Stear, in 1775, on the opposite 
side of the way to the Old Tavern, or Prince George, and this 
has from that period been the principal house of entertain- 
ment. Mr. Stear resigned in 1787, and Mr. Andrew Winsor 
succeeded him." It is now kept by Mr. Robert Foale. The 


present Ball or Assembly Room was built by Mr. Winsor in 

Not very long since, the " George Inn " being for sale, it 
was purchased, and a portion of it was converted into the 
"Parochial Rooms." The Rev. E. A. Lester (Duncombe's 
Lecturer) says, "We had no place of our own where we 
could have a Bible class, or anything of the kind, except the 
church. * * * I took the rooms, and converted them 
into tolerably respectable ones, to supply the above much-felt 
want, where our Sunday School can be held, our Young 
Men's Society can meet, and where we can have our 
missionary meetings, &c." 

There are several other inns in Kingsbridge, but none 
which require particular notice. 

In former times, four water conduits stood, nearly at equal 
distances, in the middle of the main street. They were 
constructed of stone, and were six feet square, and ten or 
twelve feet high. The upper conduit stood nearly opposite 
the Free Grammar School; another faced the door of the 
" King's Arms " inn ; a third, a little below the Shambles ; 
and a fourth, towards the lower end of the same street. 
These supplied the town with water, brought thither in pipes 
from Combe Royal Estate, which now belongs to John 
Luscombe, Esq. The oldest of these conduits had on it the 
date 1611. All of them were demolished by the Feoffees, 
with the consent of the Lord of the Manor, in 1793; others 
were placed on the side of the street, not far from their 
former position, and a reservoir was built at the upper end 
of the town. The removal of these " water taps," however, 
was resolved upon in 1853, and effected as soon as pipes 
were conveyed into the different courts and houses. 

Over the smaller of the reservoirs (for there are two) is 


the shed appropriated to the fire engines of the West of 
England Company. Happily, the services of the fire brigade 
are, however, seldom required, except for the purpose of 
exercising the engines by washing windows, when troops of 
noisy boys are splashed to their hearts' content. 

The water supply for this town being a subject of great 
importance, and one which has been occupying the attention 
of the inhabitants for a considerable time, we enter upon it 
at greater length than would otherwise have been the case. 

Hawkins says, "The first lease of the water now extant 
bears date 14th October, 1677, and was made by John 
Gilbert, of Combe Royal, Esq., to Joseph Bastard and 
others, feoffees and inhabitants of Kingsbridge, for ninety- 
nine years absolute ; but the writer (Hawkins) feels confident 
that in the year 1791 he saw a more early lease of the 
water, granted by one of this family, and bearing date in 
1607. * * * The existing lease of this water is dated 
2nd May, 1775, and was granted for a like term of years 
(to commence on the expiration of the former) by the late 
John Luscombe, Esq., to Mr. John Adams and others, feoffees 
and inhabitants of Kingsbridge, under the yearly rent of 
five shillings." 

There seems to have been a trying deficiency of water 
in 1861, for in August of that year "it was resolved that 
application be made to John Luscombe, Esq., of Combe 
Royal, to enquire if he will allow the water which now 
runs to waste to be conveyed into the town reservoir," &c. 

And again, in 1867, it was resolved that Mr. Appleton, 
of Torquay, should be written to, and requested to survey 
the Combe Royal valley, for the purpose of getting a 
larger supply of water for the town. He did so, and 
pronounced as his opinion that the valley was not large 


enough to get the desired supply from, on the theory 
that its area was too small for a sufficient rainfall. He 
recommended that the supply should be taken from the 
neighbouring valley of Mary Mills. There was, however, 
a strong opposition to this scheme, on the part of many 
of the inhabitants, on the ground of expense. 

In the meantime, "a plan and estimate of a proposed 
alteration in the Combe Royal valley, with a view to 
increase the supply of water to the town, was produced 
by Mr. Thomas Moore, and it was resolved that the same 
should be submitted to Mr. Luscombe for his approval." 
This was done; and his consent having been expressed, 
" Mr. Moore was requested to get the work proceeded with 
at once. " 

In 1872, a new lease was granted by John Luscombe, Esq., 
for the term of 99 years, from the termination of the existing 
lease of the water in Combe Royal Valley, to Trustees, 
twenty-five in number. 

Notwithstanding the improvement in the supply of water 
since Mr. Moore completed the work he undertook, there is 
still a deficiency, which might be attended with very serious 
results. It was, therefore, resolved in October, 1873, " that 
application be made to John Luscombe, Esq., to allow the 
pond in the lawn at Combe Royal, to be drawn, and the 
water therefrom conducted into the town reservoir, according 
to a plan suggested by Mr. Pulliblank, in the case only of a 
fire occurring in the town of Kingsbridge ; the committee 
undertaking to use all necessary precaution to prevent the 
said pond-water from flowing into the reservoir on any other 
occasion, or for any other purpose than to be used in case 
of fire." 

This application was granted, " subject to the condition 


that some provision must be made to prevent the pond from 
being entirely emptied, so as to preserve the fish.* 

We may now turn our attention to some other topic. 
There is an erection in Fore Street, known by the name of 
the " Timber House," of which some remarkable things 
are said. Listen to this — " I am told that Mr. Lavers 
reversed the usual order of things, by commencing at the 
top, and building downwards." " Yes — so he did." " How 
did he manage this architectural feat ? " " Can't tell'ee, 
but so he did," We should think this problem as diffi- 
cult of solution as Euclid's " Pons Asinorum." Once 
upon a time, a man really kept his donkey on the roof 
of this house. Although not remarkably up in the world 
himself, yet he took care that his " Mulley," f at least, 
should occupy an elevated position in life, and so he had 
his stable on the flat roof; and the animal used to walk 
up and down the long flights of stairs which connected 
his home with the street below, (as our informant said,) 
" like a Christian." The eccentric owner of the donkey 
also had a sort of garden laid out upon the house-top. 

Hawkins mentions six bridges within the limits of the 
town : it would puzzle a stranger to find them, for they 
are now little more than covered Avater-courses. Thcy 
were as follows:— the first called pre-eminently "The 
Bridge," was near the bottom of the town, the second 
is Gallant's bridge, at the further end of Mill Street ; the 
third, Duck's bridge; the fourth, Quay bridge; the fifth, 
Duncombe's bridge; and the sixth is that which crosses 
the stream dividing the two parishes. Previous to the 

* This information is mostly gathered from minute books bclonm'nr>- to 
the Water Trust. 

f Provincial name for a Donkey. 


construction of some of these bridges, foot passengers were 
dependent on stepping-stones, while horses and carriages 
waded the brooks. Some years ago, when an alteration 
was made in the course of one of these streams, an 
engagement was entered into, that the owners of the land 
through which the new channel was made, should be 
allowed, by way of compensation, to have their corn 
ground at the mill, gratis, " for ever." 

There are records of transactions relating to houses in 
Mill Street, in the first half of the fourteenth century; 
one such is dated 1337. The mill was there at that time, 
for the north boundary of the said property is " the mill- 
stream of the Abbot of Buckfast." In a feoffee deed of 
1601, it is called Mill Street, but the name is doubtless 
older than that. 

In 1798, Messrs. Walter Prideaux and John Roope erected 
extensive machinery here, and converted the mills into a 
woollen manufactory, where for a number of years the 
serge or long-ell trade was carried on, to supply the East 
India Company with goods for India. This branch of the 
trade gradually lessened, and when Messrs. Walter W. and 
George Prideaux took the business, they commenced 
making blankets and other woollen goods for Newfoundland, 
and for some years this was carried on to a considerable 
extent. This has, however, been long discontinued, and 
the mills were, in 1845, turned again to their original 
use, that of grinding corn. There was, at the beginning 
of this century, another manufactory erected by Mr. John 
Lavers, for making serges and other woollen goods, but 
that has also been long given up. It was situated in 
Duncombe Street. 

Tokens, principally in connection with the woollen trade, 
were at one time struck in this district. 


A paper by H. S. Gill, Esq., on "Devonshire Tokens 
issued in the 17th century," was read at the meeting of the 
Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, 
Literature, and Art, in July, 1872. He says, "The local 
tokens so universally circulated in this kingdom about tAvo 
hundred years ago present to the student a very singular 
episode in the history of our national currency. They were 
introduced by private enterprise, without the consent of the 
Government, to meet a pressing want of 'small change/ 
which had existed for a long period. These tokens, chiefly 
copper, but sometimes brass, began to appear in London 
at the close of the reign of our ill-fated King Charles 1., 
gradually spreading from place to place during the Inter- 
regnum, and for twelve years after the Restoration, until 
at length they were issued in nearly every city, town, and 
important village, in England, Wales, and Ireland. * * * 
More than ten thousand varieties of our local tokens are 
known to have been coined; the earliest date to be found 
on them is 1648, the latest 1672, in this country; and 
although never legally sanctioned, yet for just that quarter 
of a century they were allowed to circulate in their respective 
localities, each coin passing for a farthing, half-penny, or 
penny, according to the value set upon them by the persons 
for whom they were struck ; and scarcely any other small 
money being then obtainable, they supplied to the poorer 
classes, while they lasted, almost the only means of obtaining 
the cheaper necessaries of life; but in 1672, Charles II. 
sent out a very stringent proclamation, forbidding the 
further use of them throughout the kingdom, and declaring 
that all offenders in that respect should be 'chastised with 
exemplary severity.' " 

In the list of local tokens appended to Mr. Gill's 


paper, nine different ones are described as belonging to 
Dartmouth, two only to Kingsbridge, two to Modbury, 
two to Salcombe, and one to Aveton Gifford. 

Mr. William Parkhouse, the late Portreeve, had in his 
possession some time since, a book containing fac-similes 
of some of the tokens in the collection of the late Mr. 
John Gibbs, who was an assistant to Colonel Montagu. 
We noticed three belonging to Kingsbridge, three to Mod- 
bury, two to Salcombe, and one to Aveton Gifford. 

Doubtless the old monks of Buckfast knew perfectly 
well what they were about when they settled themselves 
so comfortably amongst the rich pastures of South Devon. 
We find traces of them in various parts of the town 
and neighbourhood even now. Towards the top of Fore 
Street Hill, on the west side, there was, some years ago, 
a house which had been a banqueting house, where the 
Abbot of Buckfast used to keep Lent. In the front room, 
on the first floor, there was a large cupboard, behind 
which was a considerable hollow, intended as a hiding 
place. That part of the house was taken down many 
years ago, and we believe that there is no portion of 
it now remaining. When the late Mr. Walter Light, 
druggist, purchased these premises, he discovered in the 
cellar, a large open space, something in the shape of an 
inverted limekiln, about which remained some appliances 
which led to the belief that it had been a chimney, used 
for roasting oxen, and other animals, whole. The materials 
of this building were used for repairs, and none of it is 
in existence now. 

There is also a house at the lower end of Fore Street, 
which is said to have been an occasional residence of these 
monks, and where there is still retained some finely-carved 


wainscoting (of the kind termed linen-carving) of a monastic 
character. Some years ago, a portion of it was taken 
down from the wall, when repairs were needed; and after 
having a thorough cleansing from the coats of paint 
with which it was encrusted, it Avas tastefully transformed 
into a magnificent sideboard or bookcase ; and it now orna- 
ments the dining-room instead of remaining almost hidden 
away behind the legal documents of T. W. Weymouth, Esq., 

There are not many houses now remaining of what 
may be termed ancient Kingsbridge ; the hand of improve- 
ment has gradually swept them away. Perhaps No. 40, 
Fore Street Hill, may be considered a pretty fair sample 
of the style of abode once prevalent in the town. We 
remember when there used to be many houses with these 
broad, low windows, and projecting attic lights; but the 
old buildings have in many instances been superseded by 
good modern ones. " Old Inhabitants " speak of penthouses 
projecting from the house fronts into the street, forming 
a sort of open shop, where goods were exhibited for sale. 
"Joe" Pritchett's cloth stall seems to be the one more 
especially remembered. There is a deed still extant, 
relating to a house, or rather the site of a house, the 
property of the late J. Elliot, Esq., surgeon, of Tresillian;* 

* In the Kinc/slndge Gazette of February 1st, 1873, appeared the 
following notice : — " We regret to announce the death of John Elliot, Esq., 
which took place on Wednesday evening, after a very brief illness. Deceased 
had not been well for some days, but nothing serious was apprehended until 
Tuesday, when his symptoms became alarming, and he gradually got worse 
until the closing scene. Mr. Elliot had for many years taken a prominent 
part in public affairs in Kingsbridge, although of late an increasing deafness 
had caused his partial withdrawal ; but at the time of his death he held the 
offices of Guardian of the Poor, Churchwarden, Feoffee, Duncombe's Trustee, 
and he was the sole survivor of the Water Trust.* His uniform courtesy 

* We believe this is a mistake, and that Mr. Peter Randall, since deceased, was tho 
last survivor of the Water Trust. 


which dates back to the thirty-fifth year of Edward I., 1306. 
The earliest date on any of the public documents belonging 
to the town is 1309; consequently the former is very 
valuable from its antiquity. Tresillian House was called 
after an Estate of that name in Cornwall, which belonged 
to the late Major Bennett, of ihe Cornwall Militia, and 
who was at one time stationed here. 

Previous to the year 1461, the weekly market at Kings- 
bridge was held on Fridays. It was at that period changed 
to Saturdays. A fair is held annually, and begins on 
St. Margaret's Day (20th of July), or following Thursday. 

The late Portreeve kindly lent a copy (both in Latin 
and English) of the original charter for holding Kingsbridge 
Fair and Market. We here give the translation.* Whether 
the various modes of spelling Kingsbridge exist in the 
original document, we have no means of knowing. 




"The King to the Archbishops, Bishops, &c, greeting. 
Know ye, that of special grace we have granted and given 
license, and by these presents do grant and give license, 
for us and our heirs, as much as in us is, to our beloved 
in Christ, the Abbot and convent of the house and church 
of the blessed Mary, of Buckfast, in the county of Devon, 
and to their successors, that they and their successors, 

had made him much respected, and his kindness to the poor will make his 
loss much felt by them, as well as by a large circle of friends." Mr. Elliot 
was buried on the Tuesday following his death, at South Milton. Nearly 
all the shops in Kingsbridge were wholly closed for several hours on that 
day, as a mark of respect for this much-esteemed gentleman. 

* Being a curious specimen of abbreviated Latin, we give that also in the 


hereafter, for ever, shall have one market every week, to 
be holden on Saturday, at their manor or lordship of 
Kingesbrygge, in the county aforesaid, and also two fairs, 
for ever, each to continue for three days in every year, 
namely, one to be holden at Kyngesbrigge aforesaid, on 
the day of Saint Margaret the Virgin, and the two days 
next following, and the other to be holden in like manner 
at their manor or lordship of Buckfastleigh, in the county 
aforesaid, on the day of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, 
and the two days next following, Avith all liberties, rights, 
and free customs, to such market and fairs belonging or 
appertaining, unless the same market or fairs be to the 
injury of neighbouring markets and fairs. Wherefore we 
will and firmly command, for us and our heirs, as much 
as in us is, that the aforesaid abbot and convent, and 
their successors, for ever, shall have one market at their 
manor or lordship of Kyngsbrigge, in the county aforesaid, 
to be holden on Saturday, in every week, and also two 
fairs, every year, for ever, to last each for three days, 
that is to say, one to be holden at Kyngesbrigge aforesaid, 
on the day of Saint Margaret the Virgin, and the two 
days immediately folloAving, .and the other to be holden 
at Buckfastleigh aforesaid, in the feast of Saint Bartholomew 
the Apostle, and the two days immediately following, every 
year, for ever, with all liberties, rights, and free customs, 
to such market and fairs belonging or appertaining, unless 
the same market and fairs be to the injury of neighbouring 
markets and fairs, as is aforesaid, these being witnesses : 
the venerable fathers, Thomas of Canterbury and W. of 
York, archbishops ; Thomas of London and W. of Exeter, 
(our chancellor) bishops ; and our most dear cousins, 
Richard of York and John of Norfolk, dukes, Richard of 


Warwick and Richard of Salisbury, earls; Henry Bourgh- 
chier, treasurer of England; also our dear and faithful 
John Nevill, our chamberlain, and Walter Scull, treasurer 
of our household, knights; and others. 

"Given by our hand, at Oxford, the 16th day of Sep- 

"By the King himself, and of the date aforesaid, &c." 

A meeting of the parishioners of Kingsbridge was held 
in the vestry on Friday, the 20th of July, 1855, pursuant 
to a public notice, to take into consideration the propriety 
of altering the day and days on which the Fair shall in 
future be held. 1st, it was proposed by Mr. Robert Cox, 
and seconded by Mr. Reuben Toms, that the Fair, in future, 
shall be held on the first Thursday after the nineteenth 
day of July, and continue on the two days (only) following, 
in each and every year, commencing in the year 1856, 
and carried unanimously. 

The following letter from the Lord of the Manor having 
been read, 2nd, it was proposed by [name illegible, from 
paper being torn], and seconded by the Rev. Prebendary 
Luney, that the Portreeve be requested to give proper 
publicity to the above resolutions. The letter from the 
Lord of the Manor is as follows : — 

" Nancealvern, July 17, 1855. 

Dear Sir, 

I have great pleasure in complying with 

your and other inhabitants of Kingsbridge's request, with 
respect to the Fair, and have written to Mr. Cox, my 
agent, to that effect. 

Yours truly, 

W. Parkhouse, Esq., Kingsbridge." 


During the time of the Fair, a stuffed glove is extended 
on a pole, at the Market House, and continued there until 
its conclusion, to designate the right.* 

Formerly, there was an extensive business transacted 
in woollen goods at the time of the annual fair, but this 
is no longer the case. Cattle and horses are brought for 
sale on the first day only; and on the other days, when 
wild beasts, acrobats, bands of music, Punch and Judy, 
sweetmeats, and various other attractions, used to be 
present, there is now very little to draw the people from 
the country, save the pleasure of exchanging an annual 
greeting. The fair, at least that part of it known as the 
" pleasure fair," is gradually dwindling away. Witness 
the report of it in the Kingsbridge Gazette of last year 
(1873). "The fair this season has been, with the ex- 
ception of the first day, one of the smallest we have 
seen for years. There was but one show, and a rifle 
shooting tube, besides the usual fairing stalls; and the 

* In explanation of this old custom, we copy the following from a 
newspaper of last year (1873): — "Judges used to be prohibited from 
wearing gloves on the bench, and gloves were not tolerated in the 
presence of royalty. The covered hands were considered discourteous in 
the latter case because, the first gloves being gauntlets, it was equivalent 
to presenting the mailed and, consequently, threatening hand to the king. 
If we carry the matter a little further, we here find the reason why it is 
at present considered discourteous to shake hands with gloves on. In many 
parts of England it was common to hang out a large gilt glove from the 
Town Hall in fair time, as a token of freedom from arrest while the fair 
lasted. Here, again, we have the hand and the glove representing power 
and protection. This typical use of the glove probably originated at 
Chester, a city which was noted for its glove manufacture for several 
centuries. The annals of the city shew that Hugh Lupus, the first Norman 
Earl of Chester, granted to the Abbot and Convent of St. Werburgh ' the 
extraordinary privilege that no criminals resorting to their fairs at Chester 
should be arrested for any crime whatever, except such as they might have 
committed during their stay in the city.' Hence this sign. A glove was 
hung out from the Town Hall, at the High Cross, while the fair lasted ; and 
under its safeguard non-freemen and strangers carried on a roaring trade, 
which at other times was restricted to the citizens. The custom ceased 
about thirty years ago." 


consequence was that very few people were in on the 
Saturday. Everything passed off quietly, and there was 
not even a case for the interference of the police." 

Mr. J. F. Earle, of Upton, has kindly given the following 
account of an institution of considerable importance to the 
neighbourhood : — 

" The Kingsbridge Chamber of Agriculture was established 
about six years ago, for the purpose of discussing all 
questions affecting agriculture, with the view of influencing 
legislation, by petitioning Parliament, so as to prevent 
the agricultural interest from having an undue share of 
burthens placed on it. The following are a few of the 
subjects dealt with by the Chamber. The unfairness of 
charging local real property only with rates which are 
spent for Imperial purposes, and should be supplemented 
by funds from the Imperial Exchequer. The desirability 
of abolishing turnpikes. The formation of County Financial 
Boards, so as to give the ratepayers a voice in the expendi- 
ture of the county rates. The improvement of farm leases 
and agreements which are become obsolete. The necessity 
of allowing the occupiers of land to destroy rabbits. The 
propriety of adopting the 'Metric' system of weights and 
measures, in lieu of the present numberless systems and 
customs of buying and selling, by which it is impossible 
to ascertain the real value of an article in any particular 
market of the kingdom, the same terms being frequently 
used to express different weights and quantities." 

A Branch Bank of the " Plymouth and Devonport Banking 
Company" was opened in Kingsbridge in 1832, under the 
joint management of Messrs. George Fox and John Nichol- 
son. The name of this establishment was afterwards changed 
to that of the "Devon and Cornwall Banking Company." 


On the retirement of Mr. Nicholson, in consequence of 
ill-health, Mr. Fox became sole manager. He continued 
to hold that appointment until 1870, when he also retired 
from it, on account of the infirm state of his health. His 
relinquishment of this office was thus noticed in the 
Western Weekly News of October 8th, 1870: — "Mr. George 
Fox has resigned the managership of the Kingsbridge 
Branch of the Devon & Cornwall Banking Co., and is 
succeeded by Mr. Benjamin Balkwill. At a meeting of 
the Kingsbridge Board of Guardians, on Saturday, a vote 
of thanks to Mr. Fox was unanimously carried, for his 
attention to the duties as Treasurer of the Kingsbridge 
Union, which office he has held for thirty-four years. His 
reason for resigning this is that he is going to remove to 
Plymouth. Mr. Fox has always taken a great interest in 
the well-being and prosperity of Kingsbridge, and will be 
greatly missed in that town." 

A Branch of the "West of England & South Wales 
District Bank " was established here several years since. 
It is under the managership of Mr. William Boucher Davie. 

The agent for the " Devon & Exeter Savings' Bank " is 
Mr. W. H. Balkwill ; and the " Post Office Savings' Brmk " 
has been available for a considerable time in Kingsbridge. 

"About the middle of 1865, 'The United Kingdom Tele- 
graph Co.' extended their line from Totnes to Kingsbridge, 
the wires being carried along the turnpike road between 
the two towns; the receiving office being at Mr. G. P. 
Friend's. Towards the end of 1868, Sir William Mitchell, 
the proprietor of the Shipping Gazette, also carried a 
wire from that office to his signal station at Prawle, thus 
being enabled to supply his paper with early shipping 
intelligence. This line was worked with a single wire; 


the return current being obtained by 'going to earth/ as 
it is termed. Sir William Mitchell's station at Prawle, 
and that of the Messrs. Fox, of Falmouth, at the Lizard, 
Cornwall, are, perhaps, two of the most important on our 

"The United Kingdom Co.'s line fell into the hands 
of Government, February 5th, 1870, but the Prawle line 
still continues private property; it is, however, kept in 
working order by Government. 

"A wire was also carried to Torcross, the Prawle insulation 
being available as far as Frogmore, Avhere the line branches 
off. An important line has also been extended to Salcombe, 
along the main road; the Brest line being suspended to 
the same poles. These also carry a wire which was to 
have joined the Channel Islands cable; but as that cable 
was landed at Dartmouth, instead of on the Salcombe 
coast, as at first intended, this wire is not used. The 
Post Offices at Kingsbridge, Salcombe, and Torcross, are, 
as is now usual, the receiving offices for messages." 

The mention of Telegraphs and Post Offices seems to 
take us back to the time when Kingsbridge letters were 
delivered by a woman, and that woman extremely deaf, 
and unable to read writing. How she managed to take 
the letters to their right destination is a kind of mystery; 
but she did so much better than could have been expected. 
When "Jenny" became superannuated, a postwiara was 
appointed to succeed her, and he (as well as the letter 
carrier for Dodbrooke) is now attired in the orthodox 
livery of blue and red, which certainly does look more 
business-like than the black bonnet and little woollen 
"turnover" of his predecessor. 

* "The Lizard telegraph station, worked by Messrs. Fox & Co., of 
Falmouth, passed into the hands of Government, October 1st, 1873." 


A local newspaper, the Kingsbridge Gazette, printed 
and published by George Pearson Friend, has been in 
existence for nearly twenty years, the first number having 
been issued in 1854; but in November, 1873, on his removal 
to Plymouth, Mr. Friend disposed of his interest in this 
paper to Mr. Charles Fox, of London.* 

The Kingsbridge Journal, printed and published by 
Alfred Davis, first appeared in 1867. 

The " Foresters," " Odd Fellows," and sundry other clubs, 
have lodges in Kingsbridge. The "Independent Order of 
Good Templars" (the "Star of Kingsbridge") has only 
recently been established here. 

The shops in this place can vie with those of most 
other small country towns ; many of them have plate-glass 
windows, and all are lighted with gas, which was intro- 
duced here in 1834. The gas Avorks are in the Union 

There is still a great want unsupplied; viz., a Public 
Library. True, there are reading societies and libraries 
on a small scale; but it would be a great benefit to the 
town if a library of a more general character was established. 

* Not related to the writer of " Kingsbridge and its Surroundings." 



" Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do 
them good." — Mark xiv. 7. 

The late Sir John Bowring, in a paper read at the 
meeting of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement 
of Science, Literature, and Art, July, 1872, when speaking 
of the Cathedral Yard, at Exeter, says : — " In the same 
Cathedral Yard lived Thomas Crispin, one of those public 
benefactors, founders of schools and alms-houses, who did 
for Exeter what Gresham accomplished in London, and 
Colston in Bristol. * * * Crispin was born in Kings- 
bridge, where he endowed a school, still prosperous, and 
ornamented with his portrait. Of the charities left for 
the encouragement of the woollen trade, several will, ere 
long, have to be devoted to other purposes. They represent 
the conditions and requirements of bygone times, and their 
appropriation must be accommodated to new-born wants." 

In the portrait alluded to by Sir J. Bowring, Crispin is 
represented "with a large hat, grey hair, and a crutch 

Crispin's Tree Grammar School is situated in the higher 
part of Fore Street. Over an arched entrance in the front 
of the building, is the following inscription, cut in stone — 


This Grammar School was 

Built and Endowed 1670 


Thomas Crispin of the City of 

Exon, Fuller, who was born in 

This Town, the 6 of Jan: 1607-8 

"Lord what I have, 'twas thou that gavest me, 

And of thine own I this return to thee." 

There is a good dwelling-house attached to the school, 
for the residence of the master, and accommodation of 
pupils. In 1688-9, Thomas Crispin (who died the following 
year) "by his will bequeathed this grammar school and 
house, with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, to 
trustees; and he charged an estate of his in fee, called 
Washbearhays, in the parish of Bradninch, in the county 
of Devon, with the payment of an annuity of thirty pounds 
to the said trustees, for them to give five pounds thereof 
yearly for teaching twenty-five poor children of the town 
of Kingsbridge English; five pounds more for instructing 
twelve poor children of the said town to write and cipher; 
five pounds a year for repairing the grammar school, and 
to defray the expense of collecting the money; and fifteen 
pounds per annum, for ever, to be paid to the master of 
the said school (such an one as shall be chosen and 
appointed by the trustees), who is to teach at least fifteen 
boys of the said town (grammar) ; and in case so many 
are not to be found in that place, then the number may 
be filled up at the discretion of the trust. He also be- 
queathed twenty pounds, the interest of which was to be 
expended in buying books and paper for the children of 
the school; but this sum is said never to have been 

* A copy of Thomas Crispin's Will may be found in the Appendix to 
Hawkins' History of Kingsbridge. 


In consequence of dissensions among the trustees, the 
house was for many years uninhabited, and the school 
deserted. At length, in 1779, the trustees appointed the 
vicar of Churchstow and Kingsbridge, the Rev. John Wil- 
cocks, A.B., formerly of Merton College, Oxford, to the 
mastership. This gentleman dying in August, 1809, the 
school was again suffered to remain vacant for nearly two 
years (" no ostensible holding of the establishment, at least," 
says Hawkins, "was apparent"). In June, 1811, the Rev. 
Robert Lane, A.B., formerly of Baliol College, Oxford, and 
perpetual curate of Salcombe chapel, received the appoint- 
ment; and since that time several other masters have had 
it in succession. 

We will here introduce a letter, which was addressed 
to the master of the Grammar School in the year 1700, 
by Henry Hingeston, a man who boldly and conscientiously 
lifted up his voice, and wielded the pen, against many 
of the evil practices which prevailed in this town in his 
" Respected Friend, 

* * * The occasion of this, at present, 
was from my hearing, two days since, of a cock-match 
shortly to be fought by the scholars, and I am apt to 
think, not without thy approbation, either directly or 
indirectly, which hath occasional me to think it my duty 
to request thee to silence it, and that for many reasons, 
not only from the duty incumbent on thee as a master, 
but more especially as a professed minister of a self-denying 

I was last year grieved on the same account, when I heard 
of the same action then going on in the school * * * 
inasmuch that I made bold to acquaint my neighbour, 


N. S.* of my dissatisfaction, who candidly told me he 

thought the action inconsistent with Christianity; however,' 

it lay not with him to suppress it, as being subjective 

to thy government. I am certain thy predecessor, and 

my master, W. D.,f did detest this action, and directly 

forbid it, so as not to suffer it to be clone. I have also 

been informed that thy predecessor, E. E., a man to be 

honoured for his faith and piety, thought it his duty, for 

some years past, publickly to reprehend the abettors of 

cockfighting. * * * 

17th 12th mo., 1700." 

The writer of this letter was the son of William 
Hingcston, an upright, faithful man, and one of the first 
in Devonshire who embraced the principles of "Friends." 
He suffered much for conscience sake during the long 
period of their persecution. His son Henry was the author 
of a book entitled "A Dreadful Alarm, &c, an Address 
to England, containing sundry warnings and admonitions 
to the inhabitants thereof, of all degrees and persuasions, 
but more particularly to those of the town of Kingsbridge, 
in Devon (the place of my nativity and abode), and parts 
adjacent." In this part of his work the writer severely 
condemns the vices and follies of his neighbours in such 
matters as throwing at cocks, bull-baiting, and wrecking; 
and includes in his condemnation the pastimes of football, 
shooting, keeling (i. e., skittle playing), carding, dicing, 
dancing, and the prevalent feasting and drunkenness of 
his day-t 

* Rev. Nathaniel Seaman, 
f William Duncombe. 

% Probably II. II. 's objection to some of these pastimes was on the ground 
of the betting and drinking which usually accompanied them. 


A great change has taken place in the habits of people 
• generally since the period when this book was written, 
and we cannot be too thankful for the altered times in 
which we live. 

In the absence of a biography, we can gather but little 
respecting Henry Hingeston's history, but believe he was 
a merchant of good standing and considerable importance. 

William Duncombe, who was the first master of the 
Free Grammar School, and appointed by the founder him- 
self, bequeathed by will, in 1691, certain lands to trustees, 
"in order to pay fifty pounds a year to a lecturer, to be 
chosen by the major part of the said Trustees, with the 
consent of the inhabitants of the said town; who shall 
every Sunday supply the place of the vicar on that part 
of the day when his duty requires his attention at Church- 
stow, and also to preach once a month on one of the 
week-days which he shall judge most convenient ; that 
the lecturer so chosen shall be neither the master of the 
free school, the usher, nor the incumbent or pastor of the 
place, but some other clergyman of good moral character. 
Besides the annual stipend of fifty pounds, he ordered that 
the lecturer should be paid an additional three pounds 
yearly, to give away, or buy books to present to the poor 
parishioners, as an encouragement to learn catechisms, &c. 
He also directed that ten pounds a year (if the estate 
would permit) should be allowed for four years, to one, 
two, or three scholars, being poor, and educated at the 
free school before mentioned, who should go from thence 
to Oxford or Cambridge, with the approbation of the 
major part of the trustees, and the master, as a help 
towards their maintenance at the university. If any surplus 
remained, he ordered that it should be applied in binding 


out poor scholars, of not less than two years' standing 
at the said free school, to good trades; but that no larger 
sum than eight pounds should be given with each, and 
a like sum at the expiration of their apprenticeship 
(provided they behaved well) to set them up in business."* 

There have been changes in the administration of both 
these charities since the first foundation, and doubtless 
there will be more as time advances, and new plans are 
found desirable, in place of the old. 

The Kingsbridge Gazette of March 29th, 1873, says:— 
"It has been felt by Kingsbridge people, for some time 
past, that the salary of Duncombe's lecturer should be in- 
creased, either by money, or by the provision of a residence. 
Duncombe's Trustees appear to have taken the same view, 
and have applied to the Charity Commissioners to be allowed 
to give the lecturer possession of Duncombe House at a 
nominal rent; and we are glad to say the request has 
been granted." 

The National and British Schools for the two parishes 
of Kingsbridge and Dodbrooke are both situated in the 
latter place, and will be referred to bye-and-bye. 

About the year 1844, the Rev. John Tucker opened a 
school, under the name of the "Kingsbridge Classical, 
Mathematical, and Commercial School." This, Avhen it fell 
into other hands, became known as " St. Edmund's School." 
It is a very old building, if we may judge by the low stone 
archway at the entrance. 

We believe that it was on these premises that John 
Morris, a native of Ringwood, in Hampshire, followed the 
profession of a schoolmaster for many years, with great 

* For copy of W. Duncombe's will, see appendix to Hawkins' History of 


success, and died in 1788, at the age of seventy-one. He 
was a member of the Society of Friends. Hawkins describes 
him as "a good classical scholar, beloved and respected 
through life by all his pupils and neighbours, for sound 
learning, virtuous worth, and unassuming manners." 

It was probably in John Morris's time that a certain 
Dr. Phillips, by will, left some property in trust to the 
Society of Friends, for charitable purposes, more especially 
for the endowment of a free school in Kingsbridge. It 
appears, however, that the will was disputed by the heir, 
and a proposal was made to him that he should "give 
the sum of £1,500, in case William Cookworthy would 
re-convey the Barton of Malston and the mills, in lieu of 
the charity intended to be charged thereon. That a thousand 
pounds capital stock should be purchased therewith, as an 
endowment of a free school," &c. The arrangement was 
agreed to; and the sum received just covered the law 
expenses ! so that the Friends lost the Barton of Malston, 
the mills, and the free school. 

Lands in several parishes have been given, and vested 
in feoffees in trust, for keeping the church in repair, and 
for the relief of the poor. The oldest deed concerning 
the feoffee property dates 1309. 

There is an old Seal belonging to the feoffees of these 
parish lands, as they are termed, on which is engraved 
the town arms, viz., a bridge of three arches, with a 
crown over it, and in a legend around are these words, 

Sigillvm Regis Pontis* 

* The representation of the Seal, which appears on the cover of this 
book, was copied from Lewis's "Topographical Dictionary"; but it differs 
somewhat from the carving over the church porch, although both are 
intended to portray the same subject.' 


One of these bequests of land deserves notice as a curious 
relic of ancient superstition. By the original deed of grant 
now extant, dated the 1st of April, in the 20th year of 
the reign of King Henry VIII. (A. D. 1528), "one John 
Gye grants to Robert Toly and others, a close of land 
near Wallingford, in the parish of Dodbrooke, in trust, 
to pay part of the profits to the churchwardens of Kings- 
bridge, to buy cakes, wine, and ale, to be spread on a 
table in the chancel of the church of St. Edmund in the 
said town, for the priests and others attending, who are 
to proceed from thence to the west end of the church, 
near the font, and there pray for the souls of the donor, 
his wife, father, mother, &c, who there lie buried. Further, 
on every Good Friday, to pay ten poor people one penny 
each in honour of the Passion, when it is sung or said 
in the church, who are to say five Paternosters, five Ave- 
Marias, and one Credo : and a half-penny each to twenty 
other poor persons for nearly similar purposes, &c, &c." 

There appear to have been two grants, or at any rate, 
two deeds of grant concerning John Gye's charity — one 
dated 1522, and the other 1529, and although not clearly 
expressed, yet we rather fancy there was something to 
be given to the poor besides the cakes and ale, the pence 
and the half-pence. In the deed of 1522 he intrusts to 
feoffees two several half acres of land in Kingsbridge, "for 
the use of the wardyns of the store of St. Edmund." The 
first half acre lies between his own house and "that of 
the Abbot of Buckfast, and runs down so far as the Lord 
Abbot's meadows, called Norton Meadows." The other 
half acre is on "the other side of the street, higher up, 
and runs down to the bed of the current which divides 
Kingsbridge and Dodbrook." 



The family of the Gyes were people of consequence 
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

In connection with the bequest of John Gye, Hawkins 
says : — " As the inhabitants of Kingsbridge have, from 
time immemorial, made use of a liquor called white ale, 
known only in their own neighbourhood, and give the 
name of leer to what is elsewhere denominated ale, it 
is natural to conclude that old Gye meant the beverage 
peculiar to his native place, and which is of such ancient 
date as to have established, by long usage, a tithe thereon 
in the adjoining parish of Dodbrooke, payable to the rector. 
This malt liquor has much the albugineous appearance of 
egg-wine, and is always lutulent. A principal ingredient 
made use of in the brewing, called grout, is a secret 
composition, known only to a few people, who make and 
sell it to the ale-house holders." 

Among the benefactors of the town and neighbourhood, 
we find the name of Sir John Acland, who was knighted 
15th March, 1603, by King James I. Prince says, in his 
"Worthies of Devon": — "He settled on the Mayor and 
Chamber of the City of Exeter, in trust, for ever, the 
rectory and sheaf of Churchstow and Kingsbridge, * * * 
for them to dispose of the profits thereof, as he had 
appointed. The greatest part whereof is to be distributed 
in bread, weekly, to the poor of divers parishes in Exeter 
and Devon (which are enumerated). * * * If, after all 
this, any overplus should remain, it is ordered to be divided 
(except what is settled upon the minister that serves the 
cures) " amongst towns and parishes also mentioned by 
name, Kingsbridge and Dodbrooke being included in the list. 
Prince goes on to say : — " Next, let us consider his piety 
towards the church; and herein he was also considerable. 


For whereas, before was reserved to the minister that is 
to officiate in the parishes of Churchstow (the mother) and 
Kingsbridge (the daughter) but twenty nobles a year, he 
was pleased to settle upon him twenty pounds. Which 
being duly and entirely paid by the Chamber of the City 
of Exeter, is much better than a greater sum, to be received 
only out of the small tythes, as they come due." 

In May, the 21st year of Henry VII., 1505, Nicholas 
Osant gave a tenement in trust to feoffees to pay an 
annual rent of four shillings to the wardens of the store 
of St. Edmund. 

Hawkins also mentions among the charitable donors the 
names of Robert Mydwynter and Johan his wife, who, in 
1568, left houses in trust, to provide dwellings for four 
poor people; Joseph Leigh, who left land for the church 
and poor; and John Peters, rent charge for the benefit 
of the poor. 

The following is gathered from an Inspector's report. 
"In or prior to the year 1626, certain lands were held 
in trust in the parish of Kingsbridge, part being the gift 
of one Joseph Leigh, and part being given to superstitious 
uses. They were subsequently conveyed to Pascoe, Lapp, 
and others, inhabitants of Kingsbridge, for the good of the 
town and its inhabitants, and for the payment of all con- 
tributory charges and impositions wherewith the said town 
might be charged, as might be agreed upon by the chief 
inhabitants. When the feoffees died, others were to be 
elected by the inhabitants of Kingsbridge ; but those feoffees 
were not to convert the charity to any other purposes 
without the consent of the inhabitants. The fact of the 
charity having been applied to the repairs and sustentation 
of the parish church was first mentioned in 1679; but 


the Inspector believed this came within the intention of the 
donors. The last conveyance to new trustees was made 
about twenty years ago. * * * The Inspector remarked 
that this was only technically a charity. It was not like 
an eleemosynary charity ; but was rather for the benefit 
of those who paid the rates than those who received 
it. * * * The Commissioner observed that as this 
charity was held for parish purposes, it would have been 
allowable to apply the money to the relief of persons 
receiving parochial relief. * * * During the enquiry 
into this charity, the Commissioner expressed incidental 
opinions that one of the most valuable and admirable 
objects to which a charity could be applied was to give 
the poor medical relief by means of a dispensary, to which, 
however, they should contribute some small sum, so that 
they might feel they had a right to the relief; that this 
money might have been applied to the poor rate or church 
rate; that the Churchwardens were not bound to apply 
this money in exactly the same way as they must church 
rates, out of which they could not pay an organist 
or any officers, as he thought this trust allowed such a 
disposition, if a majority of the parishioners consented; 
* * * that it would be legal to apply some of the 
money to erect a clock, or bring water into the town. 

"TV *R* TT " 

Various institutions — scientific, literary, charitable, &c. — 
have long been in existence in Kingsbridge and Dod- 
brooke. The "Benevolent" Society was established in 
1810; the "Dorcas" Society in 1819; and the "Blanket" 
Society in 1832. A biennial Repository-sale of fancy 
work has been held for about forty years. It was originally 
held for the purpose of increasing the funds of the "Bene- 


volent" only; but of late years the proceeds have been 
divided between the three charities named. 

In the Kingsbridge Gazette of June 21st, 1862, a letter 
appeared, the principal part of which is here copied. 

" Sir, 

Of all the ' wants ' of Kingsbridge set forth of 

late by yourself and your zealous correspondents, you have, 
I conceive, overlooked the greatest want of all, namely, a 
sanatorium, or hospital (none being nearer than Plymouth) 
for bodily injuries, difficult operations, and for such 
diseases as require special treatment, dietary, baths, &c. 
Places of worship, schools, reading rooms, a Town Hall, 
a popular Gazette, and improved walks round the Quay, 
you have already; and the time may not be far distant 
when you have a line of healthy, convenient dwellings for 
the labouring classes, a railway station, and even a park. 
But the town, with its populous district of six miles round, 
without a sanatorium, scarcely deserves the name of a 
town. A sanatorium must surely be regarded as the next 
want to places of worship (of which you have already 
seven), for it is certain Our Lord, in His Divine mission 
to this our fallen and suffering world, next to the salvation 
of souls, devoted much of His time in ministering to 
the bodily afflictions of our race; and, with his first 
commission to his disciples to preach the gospel, com- 
manded them to heal the sick, and as freely as they had 
received, freely to give. * * * Any Christian, there- 
fore, having the means, and daily receiving God's blessings 
of life, health, and comfort, who would 'pass by on the 
other side,' and evade the claims of suffering humanity 
(we are assured by our Lord Himself), is not worthy the 
name of neighbour, much less of a Christian brother. But 


here it may be asked, where is the money to come from? 
I reply, from the ivealt/i and benevolence of the locality. 

* * * Should any one shrink from their pecuniary 
duty to the cause, let me remind such that a hospital 
has been compared to a universal bank, which has all 
the wealth of the universe for its security, and which 
pays the highest interest; vide Proverbs, chap, xix., v. 17. 

* * # And now, Mr. Editor, I must leave the under- 
taking, with all its arrangements and details, to yourself 
and your zealous friends, so laudably engaged in supplying 
the wants of Kingsbridge; only adding, as a suggestion, 
that although I have a large family, and have not a penny 
but what I have earned, under the blessing of Providence, 
by my hand and brain labour, I will (D. V.) contribute 
£400, if met by four others, each in a similar amount, 

and subscribe myself 


After the publication of this letter, the "Kingsbridge 
Invalid Trust" fund was founded by the late William 
Peek, Esq. (the "Non-resident Invalid"), by the gift of 
£600 in New South Wales five per cent, bonds, for the 
purpose of " aiding poor persons residing in Kingsbridge, 
or at any place within six miles from the parish church 
thereof by the main road, and not receiving any relief 
from the parish to which they belong, and who may be 
deemed proper objects of the bounty hereby contemplated, 
to go to and return from one of the hospitals at Plymouth, 
or Devonport, or Exeter, or the Free Hospital at Bath; 
and moreover for the purpose of enabling or assisting 
poor invalids residing within the limits aforesaid, and not 
receiving relief from the parish to which they belong, to 
go to the sea side for any space of time not exceeding 


six weeks, and to return therefrom, and for supplying 
them while at the sea side with a weekly allowance of 
not less than four shillings, or more than six." 

Eight hundred pounds in the same kind of bonds was 
placed in trust by the late Mr. Thomas Peek, to be added 
to the above fund, and to be applied to the same purposes, 
on the death of his only surviving child.* 

In case a sanatorium should be hereafter established, we 
believe it was the desire of the "Non-resident Invalid" 
that the monies now vested for the " Invalid Trust " should 
be transferred to the object at first contemplated; but as 
the Charity at present exists it is a most useful and highly 
appreciated one.f 

The "Hazelwood Chapel Trust," founded by James 
Peek, Esq., by which several inhabitants of Kingsbridge 
and others are greatly benefited, is spoken of in connection 
with Richard Peek, Esq., and his residence, Hazelwood. 

* She died January 30th, 1874. 

f A pamphlet, entitled " Kingsbridge Invalid Trust Fund," was printed 
by Mr. G. P. Friend, to which our readers are referred for particulars. 



"What is the city but the people?" 


The first in chronological order who may be mentioned, is 


or as he is variously called, Tolbey, Towle, Trevelgus, and 
Tavelegus, who was a native of Kingsbridge. Tradition 
says he was born in Mill Street. "He commenced student 
at St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, about the 9th of Henry VIIL, 
and became a considerable proficient in the Latin and Greek 
languages. The Progymnasamata Grammatical Grcecse was 
written by him for the use of Prince Edward. He was also 
the author of Themala Homeriy and other works." "In 
1547, or thereabouts," says Anthony Wood, "I find this 
David Tolley to be made one of the senior students of 
Christ Church, by the name of David Towle, being then 
forty-one years of age, at which time, or before, he taught 
grammar to young students of this University." When he 
died is not known, nor is anything further recorded of him, 
except that his name occurs among the senior students 
who were theologians of Christ Church in 1551, and the 
following year. 



One of the names most intimately connected with the 
early history of the porcelain manufactures of this kingdom 
is that of William Cookworthy, to whom that art was 
indebted for the discovery of the two most important of 
its ingredients (the native Kaolin, and the Petunse), and 
to whose successful experiments and labours its excellence 
was, and is, in a great measure, to be attributed. At the 
time when he first made his experiments — although Dwight 
had patented his invention for making transparent porcelain, 
although Van Hamme, and others, had also secured their 
rights for similar purposes, although Chelsea and other 
places made their china (it is said of Chinese materials), 
and although many experiments had been made on the 
nature and properties of the earths supposed to be employed 
for its manufacture — the art of china-making from native 
materials was unknown, and Cookworthy pursued his course 
of study, unaided by the experience of others ; and though 
beset with difficulties at every turn, brought it to a 
perfectly successful and satisfactory issue. 

William Cookworthy was born at Kingsbridge, on the 
12th of April, 1705, his parents being William and Edith 
Cookworthy, who were members of the " Society of Friends." 
His father died, leaving his family but ill provided for, in 
1718. Thus young Cookworthy, at the age of thirteen, 
and with six younger brothers and sisters, was left father- 
less. His mother entered upon her heavy task of providing 
for, and maintaining her large family with true courage, 
and appears to have succeeded in working out a good 
position for them all. She betook herself to dressmaking, 
and thus maintained them in comparative comfort. 

In the following spring, young Cookworthy was ap- 


prenticed to a chemist in London, named Bevans, and 
he walked there on foot. This task, no light one in 
those days, or even now, for a boy of fourteen, he 
successfully accomplished. His apprenticeship he appears 
to have passed with extreme credit, and on its termination, 
he returned into Devonshire, not only with the good 
opinion, but with the co-operation of his late master, 
and commenced business in Notte Street, Plymouth, as a 
wholesale chemist and druggist. Here he gradually worked 
his way forward, and became one of the little knot of 
intelligent men who in those days met regularly together 
at each other's houses, of whom Cookworthy, Dr. Huxham, 
Dr. Mudge, and the elder Northcote, were among the 
most celebrated. 

Here he brought his mother to live under his roof, and 
she became, by her excellent and charitable character, 
a general favourite among the leading people of the place, 
and was looked up to with great respect by the lower 
classes whom she benefited. 

In 1745, an American brought William Cookworthy 
some specimens of China Clay (Kaolin) and China Stone 
(Petunse) found in Virginia; and of Porcelain made there- 
from. This seems to have stimulated his enquiries respecting 
the art of china-making; but the death of his wife, which 
appears to have taken place the same year, entirely took 
away his attention from business, and his researches into 
china-clays were thrown aside. He retired into seclusion 
at Looe, in Cornwall, where he remained for several 
months, and on his return to business, took his brother 
Philip into partnership. This arrangement enabled Cook- 
worthy to prosecute his researches while his brother took 
the commercial management of the business. Left thus 


more to the bent of his scientific inclination, he pursued 
his enquiries relative to the manufacture of porcelain, 
and lost no opportunity of searching into, and experi- 
menting upon the properties of the different natural 
productions of Cornwall; and it is related of him that, 
in his journeys into that county, he has passed many 
nights sitting up with the managers of mines, obtaining 
information on matters connected with mines and their 
products. The information given him by the American 
had never been lost sight of, and he prosecuted enquiries 
wherever he went. After many searchings and experi- 
ments he at length discovered the two materials, first, 
Polwhele says, " in the burrows of a mine near Helston "; 
another account says "in Tregonning Hill, in the parish 
of Germs.;* next, in the parish of St. Stephens; and 
again at Boconnoc." 

Having made this important discovery, Cookworthy 
appears to have determined at once to carry out his 
intention of making porcelain, and to secure the material 
to himself. To this end he went to London, to see the 
proprietors of the land, and to arrange for the royalty 
of the materials, and in this he succeeded. 

Cookworthy determined to make his porcelain equal to 
that of Sevres or Dresden, both in body, which he himself 
mixed, and in ornamentation, for which he procured the 
services of such artists as were available. To this end he 
ensrasred a Mons. Saqui, from Sevres, who was a man of 
rare talent as a painter and enameller, and to whose hands, 
and those of Henry Bone, a native of Plymouth, who 
was apprenticed to Cookworthy, and aftersvards became 
very celebrated, the best painted specimens may be 

* St, Germans I 


During the time he was engaged on the manufacture 
of china-ware, his ever active mind seems to have been 
busied with other things as well, and he appears to 
have been sought, and much esteemed by the savans of 
the day. 

Smeaton, the builder of the Eddy stone Lighthouse, was 
an inmate of his house while the lighthouse was in pro- 
gress ; Dr. Wolcot (Peter Pindar) was a frequent guest 
for days together; Sir Joseph Banks, Captain Cook, and 
Dr. Solander, were his guests just before the famous 
" Voyage Round the World," and also on their return ; 
Earl St. Vincent was his attached friend; and he was 
looked up to by all as a man of such large understanding, 
such varied and extensive knowledge, and such powers 
of intellectual conversation, that, as Lord St. Vincent is 
said often to have remarked, " whoever was in Mr. 
Cookworthy's company was always wiser and better for 
having been in it." 

He carried on considerable experiments to discover a 
method by which sea-water might be distilled for use on 
board ship ; he was also an accomplished astronomer, and 
an ardent disciple of Izaac Walton. 

In 1780, Cookworthy, then seventy-five years of age, 
died in the same house, in Notte Street, Plymouth, which 
he had occupied from the time of his first starting in 
business; and a touching testimony to his character was 
given by the "Monthly Meeting" of Friends. He was 
interred, with every mark of respect, at Plymouth; and 
his memory is still warmly cherished in the locality. 

As is well known, his china, which has become scarce, 
is eagerly sought after, and produces the most extravagant 
fancy prices. A few pieces, at an auction, will bring people 


from great distances, eager to purchase. The mark upon 
the coloured specimens is the astronomical symbol for 
Jupiter, or the chemical for tin. The white specimens 
have no mark. Cookworthy's China-works were situated 
at Coxside, Plymouth. After a time, he sold the patent 
right to Mr. R. Champion, of Bristol, who established a 
manufactory at Castle Green, in that city.* 


usually known by the name of "Peter Pindar," was a 
native of Dodbrooke. Hawkins speaks of "a smart little 
mansion, with a white front, on a gentle verdant declivity, 
extending to the water's edge at the flow of the tide;" 
and he says that Dr. Wolcot "first drew his breath within 
the precincts of these premises." The house now called 
Pindar Lodge stands on the site of this "little mansion," 
and is not, as many suppose it to be, the actual birth- 
place of the satirical bard. In the road which passes 
behind Pindar Lodge is a barn, which Wolcot rendered 
conspicuous by addressing to it various sonnets, one of 
which concludes thus — 

" Daughter of thatch, and stone, and mud," &c. 

Dr. Wolcot received a classical education at the Grammar 
School, which was under the able direction of John Morris ; 
and after pursuing his studies here, and finishing his 
education at Liskeard and Bodmin, he was apprenticed 
to his uncle, a respectable surgeon, at Fowey. This uncle 
was employed as an apothecary by Sir William Trelawny, 
and consequently the nephew was introduced to the notice 
of that family, who soon formed a high opinion of his 

* Account mostly extracted from : 'Art Journal." William Cookworthy 
was grcat-great-unclc to the present writer. 


abilities. In 1769, when Sir William was appointed 
Governor of Jamaica, Wolcot obtained a diploma, and 
accompanied him in the capacity of physician. After a 
time, he returned to England, procured ordination as a 
clergyman, and went back to Jamaica. 

On the death of Sir W. Trelawny, he returned to England 
gave up a clerical life, and settled at Truro, in the medical 
profession. He afterwards fixed his abode in London 
where he became an acknowledged satirist, and the tor- 
mentor of old King George III. We can feel but little 
respect for the memory of this clever, but unscrupulous 
man. It is only fair, however, to state that "he nobly 
threw up the pension with which Government silenced 
him, when he found that he had to write for the adminis- 
tration he despised.'* In the latter part of his life, Dr. 
Wolcot's literary pursuits were impeded, though not entirely 
suspended, by cataracts in his eyes, which occasioned 
sufficient blindness to prevent his reading, which had been 
one of his greatest sources of enjoyment; and an increasing 
deafness rendered much conversation fatiguing to him. He 
died on 14th of January, 1819, in his eighty-first year, 
and was buried in St. Paul's, Covent Garden; his coffin, 
at his special request, being placed touching that of Butler, 
the author of Hudibras. 

There was in the possession of the late C. Prideaux, Esq., 
a beautifully-executed miniature of Dr. Wolcot, the work 
of W. S. Lethbridge, of whom we shall speak in due 

Knowle House, which is at the head of the town of 
Kingsbridge, was, from the year 1799 to the middle of 
1815, occupied by the late Colonel Montagu, who was the 


author of the Ornithological Dictionary, Testacea Britannica, 
a Treatise on Gunpowder and Fire-arms, and other works. 
His various discoveries in this neighbourhood, particularly 
of birds and nondescript marine animals, were detailed 
in the papers of the Linnsean Transactions, and Memoirs 
of the Wernerian Society. He was the younger son of a 
gentleman of good family and fortune, and was born at 
Lackham, in Wiltshire, the seat of his ancestors. He entered 
early into the army, and served as a captain in the 15th 
Regiment of Foot in the American war, till the year 1778, 
when the death of his elder brother recalled him to Europe 
to take possession of the paternal estates. He then 
accepted a company in the militia of his native county, 
under the command of the late Henry, Earl of Carnarvon, 
in which he obtained the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He 
quitted the service in 1799, and retired to this spot, 
wholly devoting himself to those scientific pursuits which 
rendered him so distinguished a member of the Linnsean 
Society. He died on the 20th of June, 1815, in conse- 
quence of a wound received in the foot, by accidentally 
stepping on a rusty nail, which brought on lockjaw, and 
speedily terminated his life. The valuable collection of 
British birds and animals which the colonel had gathered 
and preserved, was purchased after his death for upwards 
of £1,100, by William Elford Leach, M.D., F.R.S., for the 
British Museum.* 


In Notes and Queries for June 6th, 1868, appeared the 
following account, which seems to have been drawn up 
from information collected from different sources : — 

"John Cranch was bora at Kingsbridge, in Devon, on 

* Abbreviated from Hawkins. 


12th October, 1751. Having made extraordinary progress 
as a boy, in writing, music, and drawing, he was invited 
by John Knight, of Axminster, Esq., to accept the situation 
of a writer in his office, at a salary of £15 a year. Whilst 
at Axminster, the Catholic Priest, the Rev. William Sutton, 
took pleasure in teaching him Latin, &c. At the end of 
three years, Cranch engaged himself with a Mr. Bunter, 
an attorney of the town, who gave him his clerkship, and 
by his will left him £2,000, and even appointed him his 
executor and trustee. With this property, Cranch settled 
in London, where he published a book on the 'Economy 
of Testaments,' painted pictures, and became one of the 
Fellows of the American Society of Arts and Sciences. 
He died at Bath, 24th January, 1820 or 21, unmarried. 
(The foregoing is derived from information afforded by 
the late Dr. Oliver, of Exeter). 

It further appears, from other sources, that Cranch's 
best picture, on the 'Death of Chatterton,' was formerly 
in the possession of Sir James Winter Lake, Bart.; and 
that a story is current in the town of Axminster, to the 
effect that, on one occasion, during the absence of his 
employer (Mr. Knight) from his office on a winter's 
day, Cranch amused himself in front of the fire-place 
by executing a design on the panels of a large oaken 
chimney piece, with the end of a red-hot poker, producing 
an effect of boldness of style and execution which was 
generally admired. This drawing is believed to be still 
in existence somewhere in the neighbourhood of Axminster." 

In a paper on ancient Exeter, and its trade, read by 
the late Sir John Bowring, in Exeter, July, 1872, he 


speaks of his cousin, Mr. John Cranch, of Kingsbridge, 
as follows : 

" Among remarkable Exonians connected with the same 
trade [the woollen trade] the name of John Cranch is 
well entitled to notice." Hawkins states that John Cranch 
was born at Exeter, in 1785, of Kingsbridge parents, 
and died 4th September, 1816, aged thirty-one. 

Sir J. Bowring supplements this by saying, " He was 
not born of Kingsbridge parents. His father (Richard) 
was a journeyman fuller, and he married Jane, eldest 
daughter of John Bowring, my grandfather." He goes 
on to say, "A short biography of this remarkable man 
will be found in the introduction (written by Mr. 
Barrow, Secretary of the Admiralty, for whom I furnished 
the materials) to the narrative of the proceedings of the 
Congo expedition, under Captain Tuckey, also a Devonian, 
which Cranch accompanied as zoologist, and there 
perished, with most of the party. He was particularly 
patronised by Col. Montagu, of Kingsbridge, and by 
Dr. W. E. Leach (another Devonian) the Curator of 
the British Museum, Avhose over-enforced studies brought 
with them insanity and premature death. Richard, 
the father of John Cranch, was a fuller, fond of music, 
and one of the many who benefited by the instruction 
of Jackson, the organist of the Exeter Cathedral. 

*-v* -\t 

Being left an orphan, John Cranch was bred by an 
uncle to the humble trade of a shoemaker, in which 
capacity he visited, and had a stall at the country fairs 
in the neighbourhood ; but he deserted the employment 
for the study of Natural History. 

He passed whole nights with the dredgers on the Devon- 



shire coast; wrote articles in a local periodical, called 
The Weekly Entertainer, and assisted Col. Montagu in 
his researches, particularly in the capture of rare and 
curious birds." 

There is a tablet to the memory of John Cranch, in 
the Independent Chapel, Kingsbridge. 

Sir John Bowring, in the paper from which we have 
quoted, says : 

" The daughter of John Cranch has also taken her place 
in the literary world, and has written some observant 
descriptions of the times of the persecuted Puritans, with 
whom her ancestors were associated.* The three Presidents 
Adams, of the United States — John, John Quincey, and 
Charles, were connected with the Cranch family through 
Judge Cranch, who migrated to America." 


On the site of the four new houses, exactly opposite 
the Free Grammar School, there stood formerly an old, 
long,' low, house, with a grey, unstuccoed, stone front, 
almost hidden by the luxuriant branches of vines. This 
house was for a great number of years the abode and 
property of some of the Prideaux family, and was the 
birthplace of the late Charles Prideaux, Esq., of whom a 
brief account was prepared at the request of the Secretary 
of the Linnsean Society, and with very slight alteration 
it is here inserted. 

"Charles Prideaux, Esq., F.L.S., who died in his 88th 
year, at his residence, Kingsbridge, on the 19th of July, 
1869, was born at 'Vine House,' January 2nd, 1782. 

During a considerable portion of his early life he 

* ''■ Troublous Times," by Jane Bowring Cranch. 


resided at Plymouth, but afterwards returned to his native 
town, Kingsbridge, where he continued until his death. 
He took great interest in pursuits connected with Natural 
History, and was for upwards of half a century a Fellow 
of the Linnsean Society. His collection of British shells 
was an excellent one, and his persevering labours in 
dredging for curiosities were the means of bringing to 
light rare and previously unknown specimens in Marine 
Zoology. There is a small Hermit, or Soldier Crab, 
to which his friend and relative, Dr. Leach, gave the 
name of Pagurus Prideauxii: another is named Hippolyte 
Prideauxiana. Many years ago Mr. Prideaux presented 
to the Museum of the Plymouth Institution a very good 
collection of these Crustacea — a large proportion, if not 
the whole of them, having been collected by himself, chiefly 
in Plymouth Sound, Bigbury Bay, and Kingsbridge Estuary. 

He always took a warm interest in every thing connected 
with the welfare of his native town, giving liberal aid both 
in public and private charities, and he will long be greatly 
missed .by his poorer brethren. Some years since he pre- 
sented his collection of stuffed birds and other curiosities 
to the town, intending it to form a nucleus for a more 
general museum. Late in life he was appointed a Magis- 
trate, but he never qualified for the office, or took his seat 
on the Bench. 

Although confined to his bed for many years, through 
illness and infirmity, his intellect remained bright to the 
last. He frequently spoke with deep humility of his own 
unworthiness ; and after a time of great suffering, borne 
with much patience, he departed, in full reliance and trust 
in the merits of his Saviour. He was interred in the 
Friends' burying-ground, at Kingsbridge." 


In 1773, George Prideaux, Esq., solicitor, grandfather 
of the above, was accidentally killed by the upsetting of 
his carriage in Aveton Gifford. 

He is spoken of by Hawkins as "a gentleman of great 
antiquarian research and strong mental abilities, and par- 
ticularly celebrated for his skill in deciphering and reading 
ancient writings." He appears to have been the first of 
the Luson branch of the Prideaux family who settled in 
Kingsbridge. We have no intention, however, of tracing 
the pedigree back to old Paganus de Prideaux, who came 
over from Normandy with William the Conqueror, and who 
was Lord of the Castle of Prideaux, in Cornwall. 


From the AtJienceum of August 19th, 1865, we extract 
the following: — 

"We have this week to record the death of one of the 
most distinguished of Natural History travellers, and the 
possessor of the finest and most extensive conchological 
collection that has ever been formed. In both these capa- 
cities the name of Hugh Cuming has long had a world-wide 
celebrity ; and few men, if any, have contributed so largely 
to the material extension of the Natural Sciences, which, 
from his infancy, formed the subject of his eager and 
almost passionate pursuit. Mr. Cuming was born at 
[Washbrook, in the parish of] West Alvington, near 
Kingsbridge, Devon, on the 14th of February, 1791. Even 
as a child his love of plants and shells displayed itself in 
a remarkable manner; and under the friendly patronage 
and encouragement of Col. Montagu, the celebrated author 
of ' Testacea Britannica/ who resided in the neighbourhood, 
it was largely fostered and developed. Apprenticed to a 


sailmaker he was brought into contact with seafaring men, 
and in the year 1819 he made a voyage to South America, 
and settled in business at Valparaiso. Here his passion for 
collecting shells found an ample field for its development. 
* * In 1826 he gave up his business, in order to devote 
himself wholly to his favourite pursuit. He built a yacht, 
expressly fitted up for the collection and stowage of objects 
of Natural History; made a cruise of twelve months 
among the Islands of the South Pacific; afterwards he 
visited the western coast of America; spent several years 
amongst the Phillipine Islands, Malacca, Singapore, and 
St. Helena, as well as other places; and returned to 
England with the richest booty that had ever been collected 
by a single man. Mr. Cuming had long been subjected 
to a chronic bronchitis and an asthmatic affection, and he 
died on the 10th of August, 1865, at his residence in 
Gower Street, London." 


This well-known Anti-Slavery Lecturer was a native of 
either Dodbrooke or Kingsbridge, probably the former. 
His parents were quite in a humble station. When a 
young boy he one day fought vigorously on Dodbrooke 
Quay with a boy much bigger than himself, in defence of 
a little fellow whom he was persecuting and ill-treating. 
This brought him under the notice of the child's parents, 
who from that time took him by the hand, and finding 
him very desirous of acquiring knowledge, they lent him 
books, and were in various ways kind and helpful to him. 
Step by step he rose, until he became eminent as a lecturer. 
Mr. Scoble long since removed to Canada, where he is, or 
has been, a Member of the Canadian House of Commons; 


but until the death of his widowed mother he continued 
to pay occasional visits to his Kingsbridge friends. 

the celebrated miniature painter, was born in the village 
of Croveton, and parish of Charleton. He served his 
apprenticeship with a house painter named Drew, in Duke 
Street, Kingsbridge; and while quite a boy he evinced 
such a natural talent for drawing that it attracted the 
attention of a gentleman called Place, who took him to 
Edinburgh and elsewhere. After remaining with him for 
two years, he commenced portrait painting on his own 
account. He met with great success in the West, par- 
ticularly at Falmouth; but for many years he lived in 
London, where he ranked high as an artist, more especially 
as a miniature painter. 

the London bookseller, was not a native of this district, 
or even of Devonshire, but a portion of his life was passed 
in Kingsbridge. 

He was born at Wellington, in Somersetshire, and was 
bound apprentice to a shoemaker at Taunton. After his 
time was expired he went to different places seeking work : 
he was for a while at Exeter, of which place he soon 
tired, and, to use his own words, " being informed that 
Mr. John Taylor, of Kingsbridge, wanted such a hand, I 
went down, and was gladly received by Mr. Taylor, whose 
name inspires me with gratitude, as he never treated me 
as a journeyman, but made me his companion. Nor 
was any part of my time ever spent in a more agreeable, 
pleasing manner than that which I passed in this retired 
place, or I believe more profitable to a master. I was 


the first man he ever had that was able to make stuff 
and silk shoes; and it being known that I came from 
Bristol, this had great weight with the country ladies, 
and procured my master customers, who generally sent 
for me to take the measure of their feet." But his great 
ambition from the first seems to have been to become a 
bookseller; and although his beginning in this line was 
very small, yet ultimately his sale of books amounted to 
more than one hundred thousand volumes annually, and 
his shop, of enormous size, called "The Temple of the 
Muses," was at the corner of Finsbury Square. 



What is a Church ? let truth and reason speak, 
They should reply, " The faithful, pure, and meek ;" 
From Christian folds the one selected race, 
Of all professions and of every place. 


In the old days of Nonconformist persecution, great 
sufferings were endured by many peaceable people in 
Kingsbridge and the neighbourhood, for their religious 

The Conventicle Act, forbidding religious meetings, caused 
much strife and persecution ; and many of the inhabitants, 
on account of such meetings, were heavily fined, while 
others had their furniture and beds sold from them, and 
some were immured in Exeter Gaol. 

George Reynell, Esq., of Malston, in the parish of Sher- 
ford, and John Beare, Esq., of Bearscombe, in the parish 
of Buckland-tout-saints, were two magistrates most rigid 
in carrying the law against conventicles into execution; 
while Matthew Hele, Esq., of Halwell, and William 
Bastard, Esq., of Gerston, two other justices of the peace, 
were mild and tolerant; so much so, indeed, as to incur 
prosecution for not being sufficiently active to suppress 
these religious assemblies. 


Several of the ejected ministers sought refuge in Kings- 
bridge, among whom was the Rev. John Hicks. He was 
born in 1633, at Moorhouse, Kir kly wick, near Thirsk, in 
Yorkshire. He became minister of Stoke Damerel, Devon- 
shire, which being in the gift of the crown, he was obliged 
to quit at the restoration of King Charles, when he re- 
moved to Saltash, in Cornwall, but at the passing of the 
Bartholomew Act of 1662, he gave up his benefice, and 
came, with his wife and children, to Kingsbridge. 

Here he held religious meetings, and took all opportunity 
that offered for preaching; but for many years he met 
with great persecution, especially from Justice Beare, and 
he was harassed by the Bishop's Court ; but his great spirit 
carried him through with cheerfulness. He seems to have 
been generous, frank, and daring to a fault; and for some 
things he suffered, he had reason to blame himself. On 
one occasion, when a warrant was out against him from 
the Kingsbridge justices, for preaching, and two messengers 
came to take him in charge, he answered their abusive 
words by lifting his cane and thrashing them soundly. 
After this, he determined to reach the ear of the King; 
and took his horse, and rode to London. By means of 
one whom he well knew, and who was then a favourite 
at court, he was introduced to the King's presence, and 
laid before him the state of things at Kingsbridge. The 
king told him he had abused his ministers and the justices 
of the peace. He replied, "Oppression, may it please 
your Majesty, makes a wise man mad. The justices, 
beyond all law, have very much wronged your Majesty's 
loyal subjects, the Nonconformists, in the west." He 
instanced several particulars, and spoke with such presence 
of mind and ingenuity, that the King heard him with 


patience, and promised that they should have no such cause 
of complaint for the future. Soon after this the Dissenters 
had some favour shown them, and liberty was given to 
build meeting-houses. Hicks had a congregation after- 
wards at Portsmouth, and continued there until he was 
driven away by fresh persecutions; and his last place of 
residence is ascertained from an old indictment, in which 
he is described as " John Hicks, clerk, of Keynsham, near 

At length, being led on by the impulses of his ardent 
nature, he joined in the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion, 
for which he suffered death in 1685; but he seems to 
have been firmly impressed to the last with the belief 
that Monmouth had the prior claim to the throne, and 
not the Catholic Duke of York. His brother, Dr. George 
Hicks, became Dean of Worcester. 

The atrocities perpetrated by the Royalist troops after the 
suppression of this rebellion, in the reign of James II., 
were for many long years bitterly remembered in the West 
of England. Few cases excited at the time more com- 
miseration than that of the Lady Alice Lisle, who was 
actually executed for giving shelter to this same John Hicks. 
She was the widow of John Lisle, a man (says T. B. 
Macaulay) "who had sat in the Long Parliament, and in 
the High Court of Justice ; had been a Commissioner 
of the Great Seal, in the days of the Commonwealth, and 
had been created a Lord by Cromwell. Lady Lisle was 
generally esteemed, even by the Tory gentlemen of her 
county, for it was well known to them that she had deeply 
regretted some violent acts in which her husband had 
borne a part, that she had shed bitter tears for Charles I., 
and that she had protected and relieved many cavaliers 
in their distress." 


After the engagement at Seclgemoor, John Hicks, and 
Richard Nelthorpe, a lawyer who had been outlawed for 
his share in the Rye-house plot, sought refuge at her 
house. [In the account of the trial, Lady Lisle is described 
as "of Moyle's Court, near Fordingbridge."] "The same 
womanly kindness," continues Macaulay, "which led her 
to befriend the Royalists in their time of trouble, would 
not allow her to refuse a meal and a hiding-place to the 
misguided men who now entreated her to protect them. 
She took them into her house, set meat before them, 
and shewed them where they might take rest. The next 
morning her dwelling was surrounded by soldiers; strict 
search was made; Hicks was found concealed in the malt- 
house, and Nelthorpe in the chimney." Lady Lisle was 
also herself captured by Colonel Penruddock, brought to 
trial for harbouring the fugitives, condemned by Jefferies, 
and executed — thus adding another to the long list of 
atrocities perpetrated by the "unjust judge."* From this 
historical incident Ward has painted one of the frescoes 
in the Houses of Parliament, in which picture may be 
seen represented the Lady Lisle, John Hicks, and Richard 

The following ejected ministers are also associated with 
Kingsbridge. Of the Rev. George Hughes, the friend of 
Crispin and Geffery, mention has already been made. 

Anthony Wood, in his "Athense Oxoniensis," says he 
entered Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1619, and took 
the degree of B.D. in 1633, about which time he became 
vicar of St. Andrew's, Plymouth. Wood says that "he 
exercised a kind of patriarchal sway in Devonshire," and 

* " In the first year of William and Mary, the attainder was removed, and 
Lady Lisle's two daughters were restored to all their former rights." 


that, "on his obtaining permission to remove from St. 
Nicholas Island to Kingsbridge, he was welcomed to the 
house of one Daniel Elley, in that town, in whose house 
he died." 

"The Rev. John Quicke, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford, 
was born at Plymouth, anno 1636. He went to Oxford 
about 1650, and left it 1657, when he returned to his 
native county, and preached for some time at Ermington. 
He was ordained at Plymouth, February 2nd, 1658, being 
called to be minister of Kingsbridge and Churchstow. 
From thence he was called to Brixton, where the Act 
of Uniformity found and ejected him. After imprisonments 
and persecutions, he died in the seventieth year of his 
age, April 29th, 1706." 

"The Rev. Christ. Jellinger, M.A., was born in the 
Palatinate of the Rhine, near Worms, in the hereditary 
dominions of Frederic, King of Bohemia, at whose court 
he was when he was in Holland. After being in various 
parts of England, he settled at South Brent, from whence 
he removed to Marldon, not far from Totnes, and then 
to Kingsbridge. He continued to preach when he was 
very old, and died at Kingsbridge, at about eighty-three 
years of age." 

" The Rev. James Burdwood, of Pembroke College, Oxford, 
was of an ancient family which had an estate at Preston, 
in West Alvington, near Kingsbridge, which hath been in 
the name of the Burdwoods for many generations. He was 
born at Yarnacombe, in that parish, of religious parents, and 
had his grammar learning at Kingsbridge school. When 
he left the University, he was for awhile minister at 
Plympton St. Mary, near Plymouth. From thence he 
removed to St. Petrox, Dartmouth, where he continued 


till the Act of Uniformity ejected him. He then rented 
an estate at Batson, in the parish of Malborough. There 
he stayed five years, and preached in his own house, as 
long as he was permitted, to great numbers who flocked 
to hear him, and when his house would not receive them, 
in his orchard; * * * but one Beer, or Bear, (who 
had been for some time the head of the informers, and 
now, for his good service in disturbing conventicles, was 
advanced to the degree of a justice of the peace), together 
with another justice, and a crew of informers, who were 
at their beck, occasioned him much trouble and vexation, 
unhung his doors, rifled his house, seized and carried away 
his goods, ripped off the locks of his barn doors, and put 
others on, and obliged his wife and children to seek 
shelter among the neighbours. He was also heavily fined. 
He removed from Batson to Hicks Down, near Bigbury, 
and finally back to Dartmouth, where he died, August 
21st, 1693, in the sixty-seventh year of his age." 

* ; The Rev. Edmund Tucker, of Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, was born at Milton Abbot, near Tavistock, in 1627. 
His father had a good estate. He was first settled at 
Dittisham, and was a man of good natural abilities. He 
succeeded Mr. Hicks at Kingsbridge, where, for his non- 
conformity, he suffered much from the barbarity of Justice 
Beare and his informers, who seized all his household 
goods, his bed, and even his children's wearing apparel. 
He died July 5 th, 1702, in the seventy-fifth year of his 
age, and was succeeded at Kingsbridge by the Rev. John 

There is a pamphlet still in existence, which was printed 

* The foregoing accounts arc extracted from the "Nonconformists' 


in 1671, bearing the following title: — "A True and Faithful 
Narrative of the Unjust and Illegal Sufferings and Oppres- 
sions of many Christians, Injuriously and Injudiciously called 
Fanatics, holding all the Fundamentals of the Christian 
Religion, believing all the Articles of the Christian Faith, 
and whose Lives and Conversations are as Consonant and 
Agreeable to the Laws of God, as theirs that persecute 
them, &c, &c." This pamphlet is in the hands of the 
representatives of the late Jeremiah Cranch, and a reprint 
was issued in 1821, by Mr. Joseph Cranch. 

In those days of pains and penalties, the early Non- 
conformists used to meet for worship, by appointment, at 
Sorley Green (then called Surley Butts) and Lincombe 
Cross (then known as Linckam Hill Head), and perhaps 
in other places, in the open air, where they could meet 
undiscovered, or from whence they should be able to escape, 
if discovered by those who sought them out for punishment 
and disgrace. 

The first meeting-house of which there seems to be any 
account stood on the west side of Fore Street, a little 
south of Duncombe Street. This was taken down towards 
the end of the last century, and a new Independent Chapel 
was built on the east side of Fore Street, by Millman's 
Lane, in the year 1780. This chapel was enlarged during 
the pastorate of the Rev. Edward Newton. The present 
handsome and commodious chapel was erected in 1858 : 
Mr. J. Pulliblank architect. 

We have been supplied with a list of the Independent 
ministers, as far as can be ascertained. 


— Rev. Alexander Walker — 

1775 „ William Evans ... 1794 or 5 







George Denner 

• • 



John Angear 

.. 1820 



Josiah Davies 

.. 1829 



Hugh Watts 

.. 1840 



William Skinner Keale . 




Edward Newton 

. 1849 



John Averick 

.. 1850 



Michaiah Hill 

.. 1853 



George H. Hobbs ... ., 

,, 1857 



John Jack 

. 1861 



John Elrick, M.A 

. 1862 



James C. Postans ... 

,. 1868 

— „ John Stewart (the present Pastor) 
In the chapel are tablets to the memory of deceased 
Pastors, viz., Rev. Josiah Davies, Hugh Watts, Edward 
Newton, &c. 

The Independents have recently purchased a house in 
Fore Street, for the use of their minister. 

The celebrated George Whitefield visited Kingsbridge 
more than once. On one of these occasions, whether in 
1749, or at an earlier date is not quite clear, he preached 
out of doors, near the spot now occupied by Quay House.* 
A youth named Philip Gibbs (great uncle to the individual 
of that name, who for many years conducted a school 
in Kingsbridge, and who afterwards removed to Canada) 
Avent to hear Whitefield preach, and he says "being little 
of stature, I got up, not into a sycamore, but into an 
elm tree." The words of the preacher took such a hold 

* It was probably at tbis time tbat Mr. Natbanicl Crancb lent a tabic 
for Wbiteficld to stand upon, wbile preaching. Tbis table Miss J. I!. 
Crancb bas caused to be restored, and a plate inserted with an inscription 
showing the honoured use to wbich it was applied. 


upon him, that he appears to have entered, as it were, 
on a new life. He afterwards became an eminent minister, 
and was Pastor of the Baptist Church at Plymouth for 
fifty-one years. He was highly and very generally re- 
spected, and at his funeral, which took place 5th of 
December, 1800, the Rev. Dr. Hawker, Vicar of Charles 
Church, and another Clergyman, together with four Inde- 
pendent and two Baptist Ministers, supported his pall. 

In connection with the account of Philip Gibbs, it may 
be mentioned that the Hon. T. N. Gibbs, who was educated 
in Kingsbridge, at the school of his uncle (the late Mr. 
Philip Gibbs), has for some years been a member of the 
Canadian House of Commons, and recently accepted a seat 
in the Canadian Cabinet as Minister of Inland Revenue. 

The Baptists have existed in Kingsbridge from a remote 
period. In the published denominational list of Churches, 
the date of the Baptist Church, Kingsbridge, is given as 
16i0. On the accession to the pastorate of the Rev. Marty n 
Dunsford, in 1700, the Baptists resolved on building the 
chapel in Meeting Lane. This still stands, but is now 
turned into a chapel-keeper's dwelling, and into two large 
rooms, which are used for the elder Bible classes. 

In 1798, a larger chapel was erected several feet lower 
down the lane; this was enlarged and altered in 1852, 
at considerable cost. On the walls are tablets, with 
inscriptions, which form almost a continuous history of 
the pastorate from the year 1689. 

To commemorate the names of 

Leonard Kent, Philip Weymouth, 

and Arthur Langworthy, 

who with others in the reign of Charles II., 

laboured and suffered for the truth's sake, 

in connection with this Church. 


Also, that of 

Rev. Samuel Hart, 

Who held the pastorate of this Church in 1689 5 

and of the 

Rev. Martyn Dunsford, 

who accepted the call of this Church about the close of the 

seventeenth century. He died in 1713, and was buried in the 

old Meeting House. 

The Rev. Crispin Courtis 

succeeded him in the pastoral office, and ministered to this 

Church and congregation during a period of fifty years : 

He died December 14th, 1768, aged 86, 

and was buried in Venn Yard. 

" They rest from their labours and their works do follow them." 

Rev. H. Penn, 

nineteen years a beloved and successful pastor of this Church, 

Died 25th October, 1802, aged 44, 

By whose exertions 

(Crowned with the Divine blessing,) 

This house was erected, 

and his ardent desires for its exoneration were gratified. 

The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. 

His remains are deposited at the door. 

Rev. John Nicholson, 

Twenty-nine years the beloved pastor of this Church, 

Died August 26th, 1832, 

aged 71 years. 

He possessed a vigorous understanding, 

Extensive knowledge, and solid piety. 

The memory of the just is blessed Prov. x. 7. 

His remains are deposited in Venn yard. 

The following are the names of Pastors succeeding the 
Rev. John Nicholson, to the present time. 

Rev. Edmund Hull. 

James P. Hewlett. 
Thomas Applegate. 
Enoch Williams, M.A. 
Robert Clarke. 
Elias H. Tuckett. 


Rev. Thomas Peters. 
„ J. Upton Davis, B.A. 
„ John O'Dell, (the present Pastor). 

In 1673, the Baptists seem to have become a numerous 
and permanent religious body, for in this year Arthur 
Langworthy, Esq., of Hatch, bequeathed to them by deed 
of gift, a piece of land near the village of Venn, for 
the quiet burial of those amongst them who were removed 
from those troublous times. This yard is still occasionally 

A convenient Minister's house is situated at the entrance 
of Meeting Lane; and one or two small endowments 
also belong to the Society. 

The first Sunday School set on foot in these towns was 
at the Baptist Chapel, in the year 1812. In the following 
years schools were opened, and are still carried on, in 
connection with almost each place of worship. It is im- 
possible to suppose that several hundreds of children have 
received religious instruction every Sunday, in the various 
churches and chapels, for so many years, without an 
important influence on the population. 

We are indebted to Robert Dymond, Esq., F.S.A., for 
most of the following information respecting the "Society 
of Friends " in Kingsbridge. 

George Fox's journal relates that he first entered this 
county from Dorsetshire in 1655, in the company of his 
trusty friend, Edward Pyot, of Bristol, ex-captain in the 
army. Passing somewhat rapidly through the southern 
parts of the shire, these companions sowed the first seeds 
of Quakerism in the towns of Topsham, Totnes, Kingsbridge, 
and Plymouth, and then crossed the Tamar into Cornwall. 


G. Fox says, (on the occasion of this, his first visit) "the 
next day we got to Kingsbridge, and at our inn enquired 
for the sober people of the town. They directed us to 
Nicholas Tripe and his wife, and we went to their house." 

These " sober people " appear to have adopted the views 
entertained by their guests, for G. Fox says afterwards, 
" and since, there is a good meeting of Friends in that 

After passing several months in the pestilential dungeon 
of Launceston Castle, the two pioneers of Quakerism again 
traversed Devonshire, on their eastward journey, propagating 
their views in the central towns of Okehampton, Exeter, 
and Collumpton, G. Fox's second visit to the county 
was in 1659, -the third in 1663, when he again came 
to Kingsbridge. In his journal he says that he went "at 
Kingsbridge to Henry Pollexfen's, who had been an ancient 
justice of the peace." This Henry Pollexfen, of West 
Alvington, joined Friends at an early date, and was 
imprisoned at Totnes in 1657. 

In 1680, an enquiry was made as to the more prominent 
oppressors of Friends. It appears, from an old record 
belonging to the Society, that, at that time, there were 
but two persecuting magistrates in West Devon : " the one," 
says this record, "is called by his surname, Champernown 
of Modbery, and the other is called by surname, Bare, 
dwelling near Kingsbridge. These are both very wicked 
to friends, and meetings, in these westarne parts, and, 
indeed, also to other professors, both priestbiterjans and 
baptists. The one of the two espetially, namely Champer- 
nown, he doth glory greatly in his acts of wickedness, 
who said to a baptist at whose house the said Champernown 
was, inquiring his name, I am one Champernown who 


persecuteth the Saintes. This is as farr as wee can say- 
in this matter att the p'sent." 

We find under date 1684, that "a justice called John 
Bare, keeps Friends out of their house." [This was a 
house they rented for the purpose of holding their meetings 
in.] In the first month of 168i the prisons of Devon- 
shire alone held no less than 104 members of the Society 
of Friends ; the fines also were ruinous : for one small 
" First day " meeting alone, of Kingsbridge Friends, in 
1670, goods were levied by distress to the value of 
£85 lis. 8d., and in consequence of this severe opposition, 
it was not until 1702 that they could assemble here in 
a building of their own. 

The Friends of Kingsbridge had, in 1693, purchased a 
plot containing twelve perches in Sugar, (or Sidger) Lane, 
for a burying place, and in 1697 they obtained for the 
site of their present meeting house and burial ground, 
a plot called Old Walls, or Cutler's tenement, also an herb 
garden behind the said Old Walls, and a meadow or quillet 
of land, lying below the herb garden, and divided from 
it by a " lake of water, that runneth to the town mills 
of Kingsbridge." 

The monthly Meetings of the Western division of the 
County continued to be held at Kingsbridge in rotation, 
till the end of 1871; but the migration of Friends from 
the town has now so reduced their numbers that it has 
been found necessary to close the Meeting House. 

The information respecting the Wesleyan body, was 
supplied by Mr. J. Pulliblank. He says, " Although Kings- 
bridge possesses interesting souvenirs of the preaching of 
George Whitefield, there is no reason to believe that either 
of the brothers Wesley, or their coadjutors, ever visited 


this locality. That branch of Methodism which perpetuates 
the name of Wesley was introduced into the town about 
the beginning of the present century by a few pious 
Welshmen, who were stationed here in one of the militia 
regiments from the principality. They having met together 
in a cottage, in Dodbrooke, for social prayer in their native 
language, invited the townspeople to join them, and con- 
ducted religious worship in English. The times of meeting 
were announced by the town-crier, and the services thus 
commenced amidst much obloquy and scorn, resulted in 
the gathering of many converts, who formed the nucleus 
of a society which attracted the notice of the Methodist 
conference, who appointed a duly-qualified minister to 
labour in Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, Modbury, and all the 
intermediate country, under the denomination of the South 
Devon Mission. A school-room was hired in Kingsbridge, 
where regular services were held every Sabbath-day during 
several years, when the Methodists having lived down the 
opposition which met their first efforts, and considerably 
increased in numbers, purchased the site which they at 
present occupy, together with the house adjoining, and 
in the year 1813 erected a commodious place of worship, 
which for some time was known exclusively in the town 
as the Chapel; the preaching places of the Independents 
and Baptists being at that time designated respectively 
the Higher and Lower Meetings. Kingsbridge became the 
head of what is known in Methodism as a circuit, extending 
from Salcombe on the one side to Modbury and Ermington 
on the other, and containing at the present time seven 
chapels, besides several other preaching places, with each 
of which is connected a Sunday-school. 

In the early part of the year 1870, the chapel built in 


1813-14 wa3 very considerably enlarged and improved. 
It was lengthened thirteen feet, had a new roof with a 
circular ceiling (by which increased internal height was 
secured), new doors and windows throughout, and the 
internal fittings restored on a more modern construction." 

A place of worship for the Plymouth Brethren was 
built in 1853. It has a neat stone front, with a colonnade 
before the principal entrance. The chapel stands back 
from the street, from which it is separated by a grass 
lawn and handsome iron railing. The Brethren have 
no burying-place in the town, but they mostly use a 
small cemetery in the village of Galmpton, or one at 

About fifty years since, several persons holding Calvinistic 
doctrines opened a room for worship in Ebrington Street, 
Dodbrooke, which was continued until about twenty years 
ago, when they removed to a large room near Gallants' 
Bridge; but in 1872, the Friends' Meeting House being 
vacant, they resolved to endeavour to rent that place of 
worship, and after some little difficulty, permission was 
given for the "Calvinistic Baptists" to hold their services 



Cities and towns, the various haunts of men, 
Require the pencil, they defy the pen. 
Could he who sang so well the Grecian fleet, 
So well have sung of alley, lane, or street ? 


DODBROOKE, which is so closely connected with Kingsbridge 
that it is not easy to define the boundaries, is more ancient 
than the latter place. At Domesday survey, the Manor 
of Dodbrooke belonged to the widow of Edward the Con- 
fessor, and after her it was held by the family of De 
Dodbrooke, whose heiress married Alan Fitz Roald, ancestor 
of the family of Fitz Alan, who were possessed of it for 
five descents. The heiress of this family brought it to 
Champernowne. The manor now belongs to John Froude 
Bellew, Esq. 

Sir William Pole says : " Dodbrooke discended from the 
Lady Alis de Dodbroke, by Rohant, unto Sir Richard 
Champernon, of Modbury." 

In 1801, the number of inhabitants in Dodbrooke 
amounted only to 608. As far as we can ascertain, we 
believe the numbers reported at the census of 

1841 amounted to 1,229 

1851 „ 1,302 

18G1 „ 1,181 

1871 „ 1.245 


The living of Dodbrooke is a rectory. The advowson 
was appendant to the manor till 1790, when it was severed 
and sold separately to the Rev. Benjamin Kennicott, at 
that time rector (nephew of the celebrated Hebraist, B. 
Kennicott, D.D.) The Rev. James Dewing was for many 
years rector of this parish ; and on his removal to another 
part of the country, the Rev. John Power, M.A., the 
present rector, became his successor,, 

The Rectory House, which is an attractive-looking 
dwelling, is situated almost close to one of the entrances 
to the churchyard. 

The parish church, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, 
is at the north end of the town. The tower was formerly 
surmounted by a spire, which was taken down in 1785. 
Many have remarked that the south side of the church 
has a more finished appearance than the north side. This 
is accounted for by the fact that the church is a nave and 
south aisle only, which, perhaps, was thought sufficiently 
large for the population at the time of its erection; and 
it was, no doubt, expected that a north aisle would be 
added at some time afterwards. 

There are a few tablets on the walls of the interior. 
One of them has an epitaph in Latin to the memory of 
Elizabeth, wife of John Beare, Esq., of Bearscombe (usually 
spoken of as "Justice Beare"). She died in June, 1666. 
Hawkins gives the following translation : — 

" What grief is this, O marble, say ? 
A public loss, see ! shrouds the day : 
Of purity the model true, 
And modesty, — devotion too, 
Is gone, (0 sad!) — who does not sigh, 
Must more unfeeling be than I." 

A stained glass window has been placed at the south 


side of the church, the subject being the Adoration of 
the Magi, and at the lower part is this inscription: — "To 
the glory of God, and in pious memory of Prestwood 
Pearse, who died on the 10th May, 1862, aged 77 ; and 
of her sister, Mary Hele Pearse, who died on the 28th 
of October, 1862, aged 76 years." 

On the opposite side of the church is a window of 
stained glass, erected by the widow of Thomas Harris, Esq., 
to the memory of her husband, who died in December, 
1861; and also in remembrance of other relatives. 

A small diamond-shaped tablet is to be seen, in memory 
of the Rev. Thomas Lampton Chilton Young, A.M., of 
Emmanuel College, Cambridge, who succeeded the Rev. 
Simon Webber, A.B., of Wadham College, Oxford, in 1817, 
as rector of the parish. 

When the Rev. Mr. Owen was Rector of Dodbrooke, 
he effected some alterations in the church, and it was 
also re-seated in 1846. 

A board hangs in the vestry, on which are painted the 
arms of John Peters, Esq., " who gave twenty shillings 
every year, for ever, to the poor of this parish of Dodbrooke. 
He was buried at St. Thomas, Exon." 

In the present year, 1874, considerable improvement is 
being effected by the restoration of the chancel, and the 
removal of the old window of wood over the Communion 
Table, and replacing it with stone and stained glass, 
representing the Ascension. A window has also been placed 
in the Well Aisle,, (as it is called), by J. K. Gillard, Esq. 
Many members of the Gillard family lie in the vault 
underneath the family pew, and also under the pavement 
of that portion of the church.* 

* Well, or Langvvell House, the residence of J, K. Gillard, Esq., will 
be alluded to presently. 


In the churchyard, which is surrounded by tall elm 
trees, there are several old monuments and tombstones. 

The following appeared in a newspaper of the time, 
respecting Mrs. Prosser, who was interred in Dodbrooke 
churchyard ; as also was Sir John Savery Drake, her brother. 

"At Kingsbridge, in 1822, died Mrs. Ann Pollexfen 
Prosser, aged 76, widow of Capt. Prosser, of the Royal 
Marines, and last surviving child of John Drake, formerly 
collector of customs at Plymouth, the lineal descendant of 
Sir Francis Drake, Bart., and sister to Sir John Savery 
Drake, with whom the title became extinct, he dying 
without issue, and from whom the last Sir Francis cut off 
the entail of the property given to his ancestor by Queen 
Elizabeth for his services and discoveries, and gave it to 
the late Lord Heathfield, after him to Sir Thomas Trayton 
Fuller Elliott Drake, Bart., High Sheriff of Devon." 

The late Mrs. Pearce, widow of William Lyfe Pearce, Esq., 
was the last survivor of Mrs. Prosser's family of eleven 

Beyond the bottom of Duncombe Street, and facing 
a pleasant row of houses, called Waterloo Place, stands 
Langwell House, or as it is generally called, Well. It is 
a very old mansion, which has been partly rebuilt, but 
there are still remains of what appears to have been a 
monastery, . probably belonging to the Monks of Buckfast. 
But there is no authentic record remaining to tell the 
history; all the old documents and deeds relating to it, 
as well as to some other church property, are supposed to 
have been accidentally destroyed by a fire which occurred 
in the house of the churchwarden about a hundred years 
ago. In confirmation of the idea that Langwell was 
originally monastic in its character, is the fact that one of 


the aisles in Dodbrooke Church belongs to that estate, and 
that the proprietor is bound to keep the same in repair. 
The ancient portions of this place, now mostly used as farm 
buildings, are situated at the entrance of Wallingford Lane. 
In John Gye's deed of 1529, Well appears under the name 
of La Wyll, hence perhaps Langwell. In a feoffee deed 
1601, Well occurs as Will-yeate. Yeate is used on Dart- 
moor for a running stream, and thus Will-yeate would 
mean that stream which comes down by Will. Well is 
probably an ancient Saxon word for a spring of water. 
Again, we find the following, "It is spoken of by tradition 
that there was a holy spring of water at the once religious 
establishment, at Well, in Dodbrooke, near Kingsbridge, 
which the priest affirmed, with his prayers and incantations, 
would relieve whatsoever complaints were brought to it; 
and it seems that there were numbers of people from all 
parts of the neighbourhood who resorted thither, and no 
doubt considered it infallible. * * * There is no doubt 
but that the place received its name from this famous 
well; and there are many other places in the county, called 
Holywell, Halwell, &c, which perhaps may be derived from 
the like circumstances." There is an ancient road leading 
from this house to the religious house at Leigh, near 
Hatch Bridge. 

In Oliver's History of Exeter, he says, "There was in 
ancient times, a hermitage at Dodbrooke :" and in Polwhele's 
account of this parish we find these words, "In a place 
called Court Green, near Court House, are the remains of 
an old chapel, and the vestiges of a burying place belonging 
to it. It is situated in a triangular plot, where three ways 
meet. The walls are still standing, but roofless." This, 
however, is not the case at the present time. We believe 


every portion of the ruins has been removed, and that 
pieces of the stone may be seen built into hedges and 
walls in the immediate neighbourhood. Some of the larger 
stones, probably the upright sides of arches, we rather 
think have been laid down as steps in the Dodbrooke 
churchyard. With regard to Court House, it has been 
stated that it was the original residence of the Champernon 
family, whose seat is now at Partington; and in J. Gye's 
deed of gift of that field now called Gye's Field, 1529, 
it was spoken of as Champernon's property; but Prince 
says that "Sir Arthur Champernon, Knight, was born at 
Court House, at the western end of Modbury Town in this 

Leaving Wallingford Lane on the left hand, and Batt's 
Lane, as it is usually called, on the right, we proceed 
towards the National School, which was established in 
1847, and of which James and Dorothy Weekes were the 
first master and mistress. The building, which can boast 
of no architectural beauty, was originally a malt-house, 
but was purchased for the purpose of being converted into 
a school-house. "The managers of the National School," 
says the Kingsbridge Gazette of September 5th, 1873, "have 
determined to erect a new class-room adjoining the present 
building, so as to meet the Government requirements." 
This decision has accordingly been carried out. 

Just outside the school-house there is a clear spring of 
water, which flows through a pipe, causing a tiny waterfall. 
Many of the inhabitants come to "the shoot," as it is 
familiarly termed, for a supply of this necessary of life, 
which, we believe, never entirely fails, even when other 
springs are dry. It is truly a refreshing "brook by the 


Instead of mounting the hill towards the church, we 
will turn round the point elegantly termed " Bellow's Nose," 
and we soon reach the British School, which (as well as 
the National) appertains to the children of both Kings- 
bridge and Dodbrooke. 

The piece of land on which the British School now 
stands was purchased in 1841, by the late Richard Peek, 
Esq., of Hazelwood, from George Prideaux, Esq., once of 
Plymouth, but during the latter part of his life a resident 
in Kingsbridge. 

The indenture describes the property as "all that close or 
parcel of land, with the appurtenances, called or commonly 
known by the name of Hill Close, alias Hill Parks, situate 
or lying within the parish and manor of Dodbrooke." The 
indenture also " witnesseth " that Mr. Peek conveys a certain 
portion of this land to individuals whom he named, "upon 
trust, to permit the said premises and all buildings thereon 
erected, or to be erected, to be for ever hereafter appro- 
priated and used as and for a school or schools, for the 
education of children or adults, or children only, of the 
labouring, manufacturing, and other poorer classes, in the 
parishes of Kingsbridge and Dodbrooke, and their vicinity, 
and as a residence for a schoolmaster and schoolmistress, 
if required; which said school shall always be conducted 
upon the principle of the British and Foreign School Society, 
established in London, and shall be under the general 
management and control of the committee for the time 
being of the subscribers to the said school, and shall be 
at all times open to the inspection of the Government 
Inspector or Inspectors for the time being." The school 
was first opened in 1842. 

In December, 1850, Richard Peek, Esq., conveyed to 


the Trustees the remainder of the before-mentioned Hill 
Close, or Hill Parks, the income arising from which was 
to be applied to the purpose of " reparation of the school 

A raised causeway extends the whole length of the 
main street of Dodbrooke ; and in some parts it mounts 
up to such a height above the roadway that it has been 
described as "suggestive and provocative of broken bones, 
being entirely destitute of fence or hand-rail;" and yet we 
scarcely ever heard of a catastrophe of the kind occurring 
in this locality. At the foot of this bank is a broad 
open space of sloping ground, on which the monthly cattle 
market is held, and where temporary sheep pens are pitched. 
There were formerly weekly markets, both in Kingsbridge 
and Dodbrooke; the former granted about the year 1256, 
and the latter about 1461. Dodbrooke weekly market 
became obsolete about the close of the last century, after 
the establishment, in 1773, of a great cattle market, which 
is still held on the third Wednesday of every month. 
There is also a fair on the Wednesday before Palm Sunday. 

Whereabouts the Dodbrooke Pillory was situated we 
know not, but it is left on record that "in the reign of 
King Henry III., Henry Fitz Alan impleaded Matthew Fitz 
John, with forty others," for throwing it down. 

In the main street there are two tanyards ; also the 
station of the Dodbrooke fire engine. There are a few 
good houses, but the greatest number are small, and some 
of them very old. 

A parchment deed has been placed in the hands of the 
writer, relating to buildings in Dodbrooke which are no 
longer in existence. It is an indenture made the 24th 
day of December, 1797, between Sir Jonathan Phillipps, 


of Newport, in the county of Cornwall, Knt., and Richard 
i Hawkins, of Highhouse, in the parish of Dodbrooke, Esq., 
of the one part, and Thomas Luscombe, of Kingsbridge, 
cordwainer, of the other part, concerning the sale to the 
latter of "all that messuage called the Cheap House, of or 
situate in the Borough and Parish of Dodbrooke," together 
with various other buildings ; but we find that part of this 
property was reserved, viz., " the little shed or room erected, 
and built up against, and resting upon, and fastened to 
the north wall of the said Cheap House; as the same now 
is, and many years last past hath been used as a Toll 
House, or place for collecting the Tolls, Dues, and Duties 
of the Fair and Market of Dodbrooke aforesaid, which 
belong to the said Richard Hawkins," &c. 

What portions of these buildings still stand, we know not, 
but the property remains in the possession and occupation 
of different members of the late Mr. Thomas Luscombe's 

In former times, the parish stocks stood in front of 
the Cheap House, which erection was a part of the Manor 
of Dodbrooke. 

Hawkins, in 1819, wrote of "the butchery, which still 
stands at the market cross, between the sheep-pens, and 
what, since the year 1804, has been called Barrack Street, 
though enclosed on every side long since, and at present 
converted into separate dwellings, had, within memory, 
and perhaps still retains, many parts of the interior, to 
show for what purposes it was originally used." Doubtless 
these are the premises referred to in the deed just mentioned. 

Not long before his death, Richard Peek, Esq., contributed 
£190 towards the erection of a chapel in Dodbrooke, to 
be used by the "Bible Christians." One was accordingly 


built near that part where three streets branch off in 
different directions, viz., Duke Street, Bridge Street, and 
Ebrington Street. 

In Duke Street is situated Lidstone's iron foundry, which 
it seems, is in Kingsbridge; but as the stream which 
divides the parishes is underneath Duke Street, it is not 
easy to discover to which some of the houses belong. Mr. 
Lidstone's foundry stands on the site occupied by the same 
business in possession of the same family for more than 
a century. The blacksmith's department was first founded, 
but has been gradually increased and added to, and at 
present iron-founding, smithery, and practical engineering 
are all carried on, with the assistance of the varied 
appliances of modern machinery, turning lathes, iron- 
planing machines, boring and punching machines, all of 
which are worked by steam. 

All kinds of edge tools, agricultural machines, and imple- 
ments, as well as steam engines, are manufactured on the 
premises. Salcombe being the nearest port to the Channel 
Islands, a large trade (principally in edge tools) is carried 
on with them, in connection with the fisheries of Newfound- 
land and Labrador, and there is also a considerable amount 
of business with the whole of the South Hams. . 

Here we find ourselves on Dodbrooke Quay. In November 

fbZif of the year 1825, there was so high a tide that several men 

went in a boat from the quay to the " King of Prussia " 

Inn (which is situated just at the junction of the three 

streets), and through Duke Street and Mill Street. 

And again, in 1869, there was a very similar inundation. 
The quays were covered, and in a very short time, Bridge 
Street, and a considerable part of Duke Street, Mill Street, 
and a part of Union Road, were completely flooded; large 


pieces of timber floated in every direction, and boats were 
rowed through the streets. 

In reference to the death of one of the inhabitants of this 
part of the town, the following appeared in the Kingsbridge 
Gazette of June 17th, 1865: — 

"Longevity.— 'The oldest inhabitant' of Kingsbridge, 
who died last week (we allude to Mrs. Gard), was one of 
three old ladies, who, singularly enough, are mothers of 
three tradesmen living close adjoining each other in Duke 
Street, viz., Messrs. Gard, Lidstone, and Oxenham. The 
united ages of the three were 274 years; and two of them 
have lived most, if not all, their lives at the lower end 
of the town, which is frequently said to be less desirable, 
in a sanitary point of view, than the higher part." 

The only name on the Registrar's books as that of a 
centenarian is Grace Tucker, who died at Kingsbridge, 
in December, 1845; aged 102. 

Although Kingsbridge is so conveniently situated for 
commerce, being exactly at the head of an arm of the sea 
which is navigable for vessels of burden, yet neither of the 
quays for landing goods belong to the parish; Dodbrooke 
Quay being in the parish of that name, and Square's Quay 
in that of West Alvington. There used to be a creek 
at right angles with these two quays, but some years 
ago it was covered in, and superseded by the "Prince of 
Wales' Road," to the manifest improvement of the sanitary 
condition of that portion of the toAvn, where the receding 
tide left anything but a fragrant perfume. Besides many 
schooners, sloops, barges, and boats, two steamers ply up 
and down the Estuary; one, the "Kingsbridge Packet," 
runs to and from Plymouth twice a week ; the other which 
is smaller, called the "Queen," is only used as a river 



steamer. During the summer months this last, in addition 
to the regular trips between Kingsbridge and Salcombe, 
makes frequent excursions to the North and South Sands, 
near Salcombe; thus affording the inhabitants the benefit 
of a day's enjoyment at the sea-side, in an easy and in- 
expensive way. 

Let us cross, by the " Prince of Wales' Road," to Square's 
Quay. This road runs in front of the house formerly 
occupied by the late Roger Ilbert Prideaux, and which 
was then surrounded by a high stone wall, but has been 
laid open, and it is now separated from the road by a 
handsome iron railing only. We now come to Quay 
House, which was erected in 1789, by Lieutenant-Colonel 
William Elford Ilbert. It stands near one end of the 
quay, from which it is separated by a low wall. On 
this side of the Estuary is West Alvington. 



Scenes must be beautiful which daily viewed 
Please daily, and whose novelty survives 
Long knowledge, and the scrutiny of years. 


Just appearing above the brow of the hill on your right 
hand, the pinnacles of West Alvington Church tower may- 
be seen. One of these pinnacles was struck by lightning 
in the winter of 1833, when one of the large granite stones 
at its base, weighing more than a hundredweight, was blown 
out. It was afterwards replaced. 

Risdon says, "The manor of West Alvington, which had 
been an ancient demesne of the crown, was given by King 
John to Alice de Rivers, Countess of Devon. After the death 
of Alice, wife of Patrick de Chaworth, and daughter and heir 
of William de la Ferte, it escheated to the crown, and King 
Henry III. granted it to Matthew de Besils." The lords of 
this manor had the power of inflicting capital punishment. 

The vicarage of West Alvington includes also the parishes 
of Malborough, South Milton, and South Huish. The 
present Vicar is the Ven. Archdeacon Earle, M.A., Preben- 
dary of Exeter. 

The church, which is dedicated to " All Saints," has a fine 
embattled tower, and there are within the church some 


memorials of the Bastard and Holditch families, and a vault 
belonging to Bowringsleigh. At the time of the restoration 
of this edifice, a handsome painted window was placed over 
the communion table, in memory of the late William Ilbert, 

On a headstone in the churchyard is an inscription, which 
Polwhele says is transcribed verbatim et literatim, It is a 
curiosity in its way : — 

" Here lyeth the Body of 
Daniel Jeffery, the son of Mich- 
ael Jeffery, and Joan his Wife he 
Was buried y e 2nd day of September 
1746 and in y e 18th year of his age 
This youth when in his sickness lay 
did for the minister Send * that he would 
Come and With him Pray * But he would not atend 
But when this young man Buried was 
the minister did him admit * he should be 
Carried into Church *' that he might money geet 
By this you see what man will dwo * to geet 
money if he can * who did refuse to come 
and pray * by the Foresaid young man." 

"Upon setting up this stone, the churchwardens imme- 
diately waited on their minister, representing to him the 
offence which the epitaph had given to themselves, and to 
the parishioners in general, from the scandalous falsehoods it 
contained, and the stigma intended to be fixed on his cha- 
racter; for they knew that the deceased had died of a virulent 
smallpox, and that so suddenly, that there was scarce time 
for giving notice of his illness before his death confirmed it. 
They, therefore, begged the epitaph might be obliterated, 
and that they might be supported by his concurrence in 


doing it. But he, having gratified the churchwardens' 
indignation, and his own curiosity, by looking at the in- 
scription, begged it might be permitted to remain, for he 
could not allow himself to have a share in the destruction 
of such poetry, of which, probably, he chose to be the sub- 
ject rather than the composer."* This minister was the Rev. 
and learned Mr. Pyle, the incumbent of the parish at that 
time, and a Prebendary of the Church of Winchester. We 
believe the hand of Old Father Time has since swept over 
the offending inscription, and effected the desired oblite- 

When the Rev. A. Earle succeeded to the living in 1866, 
he found the Church affairs of the united parishes in a 
very critical condition. Three of the churches were in a 
dilapidated state, and the school-houses required extension 
and re-building. The churches of West Alvington, Mal- 
borough, and South Huish, were considered positively 
unsafe, and formidable as the enterprise appeared, the 
restoration or the re-building had to be set about. West 
Alvington Church has been restored, at a cost of £2,600; 
new schools have been built in the parish; and a public- 
house converted into a reading-room for the working classes. 
Malborough Church has been restored at a cost of £2,500, 
and handsome new school-rooms also erected. The Church 
at South Huish was in such a perilous state that it had to be 
abandoned, and a new one was built at Galmpton to replace 


The Vicarage House is pleasantly situated near the 
village of West Alvington; and the vicar is assisted in 

* Polwhele. 

f It was afterwards re-cut. 

X See chapter on Bigbury Bay. 


this, his more immediate locale, by a curate. A resident 
minister has been placed by him in each of the other 
parishes. Formerly, when the vicar, or curates, had to 
travel from one parish to another, the services were few ; 
now there are either two or three services each Sunday, 
besides those on week days, in all of them : nor are 
other means of influence neglected; such as harvest 
thanksgivings, penny readings, and other social gatherings. 

Combe Royal, which is about one mile from Kingsbridge, 
is in the parish of West Alvington. The Rev. John Earle 
says, " There is a very old document almost consumed by rot, 
which, however, has a sound piece with the name Combe 
Royal on it. Roger Efford remits, releases, and for ever 
cries quits to Richard Chiceli of all his right and claim 
in Kingsbridge, Dodbrooke, and Come-royel. The date of 
this is 1373." 

It may be mentioned that at this date the Archbishop 
of Canterbury was a member of this family of Chiceli. 

This beautiful place, Combe Royal, is the property of 
John Luscombe, Esq. The mansion was enlarged and 
restored some years ago, and it is now the most attractive 
residence in the neighbourhood. 

After passing the lodge, which is a pretty ivy-covered 
building, you enter on a winding carriage road, bordered 
by magnificent rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and other fine 
evergreen shrubs. The sloping grounds are beautifully 
diversified with wood and water : the orange walk presents 
great attractions to strangers, unaccustomed as they probably 
are to the sight of oranges, lemons, and citrons, flourishing in 
the open air, and bringing their fruit to perfection, with 
only the occasional protection of straw mats placed against 
the recesses in the walls at night. 


In the Journal of Horticulture of August 31, 1871, there 
is an interesting paper describing Combe Royal. It is 
here inserted, with one or two corrections. 

"'Who are you?' 'Visitors to Combe Royal.' 'Ha! 
Ha !' Such was the query, reply, and final laugh which 
occurred at the door of the Malster's Arms, at Harberton, 
where we pulled up on a 120°-in-the-sun day of this present 
month of August, to give our horses a few mouthfuls of 
water. If our interrogator had been even a better authority 
than a parrot we should not have been deterred from pro- 
ceeding to our destination, for we were assured by good 
judges that we should be well recompensed for enduring a 
drive of thirty miles under such a sunshine; those judges 
were right, without any reference to the specially excellent 
cider made in the parish. That parish is West Alvington, 
in Devonshire, about a mile from Kingsbridge. The Manor 
was an ancient demesne of the crown in the time of the 
Norman monarchs, if not even previously, and was given by 
King John to Alice de Rivers, Countess of Devon, but 
reverted to the crown, and was subsequently granted by 
Henry III. to Matthew de Besils. Afterwards it was divided 
into various smaller estates, one of which was certainly ' all 
that barton known as Combe Royal,' for a barton was the 
demesne lands of a manor, and is named in an existing deed 
of the time of Edward III. This barton passed to various 
possessors until the Gilberts became its possessors, and one 
of the Gilberts of Holwell sold it in 1722 to an ancestor 
of the present proprietor, John Luscombe Luscombe, Esq.* 
Luscombe is a truly Devonian name (and is Anglo-Saxon 
for 'a valley of delight'), and the Luscombes of Luscombe, 

* " Great gnat grandfather of the present proprietor. He was High Sheriff 
of Devonshire in 1740."— J. L. 


in the parish of Rattery, held there a knight's fee in the 
time of Henry IV. and were residing there in 1630* 

The family were never ennobled, but they have always 
borne ' the grand old name of Gentleman/ and we can add, 
from experience, that the Luscombe of the present fully 
sustains Westcote's character of the Devon gentry, ' they are 
civil, affable, kind, and courteous to strangers.' Combe 
Royal undoubtedly was so named because part of the King's 
demesne, but it also merits the distinguishing epithet, as 
one of the kings of the wooded valleys of the country. 

The entrance lodge is at one extremity of the valley, 
the house is at the other end; and the approach is by a 
road winding along the valley between the well-planted 
hills which border each side. Its situation is peculiarly 
adapted to the growth of exotic plants, as it is two hundred 
and eighty feet above the sea level, and screened by hills from 
the prevailing south-west winds, and also from the north 
and east. 

The successful culture of the trees of the Citrus family 
is a peculiarity of Combe Royal, as it is believed that the 
luxuriance and fruitfulness of the trees cannot be equalled 
in England, when it is remembered that no protection is 
afforded them beyond the walls on which they are trained, 
and the frames of wood or reed with which they are 
covered by night, and partially by day, when needful, in 
the winter. One Seville Orange tree, from which vast 
quantities of fruit are annually gathered, is traditionally 
known to be 250 years old, from the fact that the grand- 
mother of the present proprietor was told when a child by 

* " It is believed that the Combe Royal family branched from the parent 
stock more than three centuries ago, and after residing at Scobbahul and 
Wood, settled in their present home." — J. L. 


her grandfather, John Luscombe, Esq., that it was more 
than a century old when he became the possessor of the place. 
The Citron trees often produce enormous fruit, several 
having attained seventeen, eighteen, and even nineteen 
inches in circumference. The Shaddocks, Lemons, and 
Limes are fine in proportion. 

No permanent injury has ever been done to the trees 
by the severest winters, except in 1859-60, when a vigorous 
Bergamot Lemon was killed, which at the time bore a 
fine crop of fruit, averaging twelve inches in circumference. 
A magnificent basket of Citrus fruit was in 1850 presented 
to the Queen, who, through Sir Charles Phipps, graciously 
expressed her surprise and admiration of their size and 
beauty, and sent Mr. Toward from Osborne to inspect the 
trees. The Orangery, or, as it might more justly be 
entitled, the Citrusry, for it includes the best fruit-bearers 
of the genus, is on the side of the valley, has nearly a 
southern aspect, and is a recessed wall. * * * The 
recesses are all eleven feet high, but vary in width. That 
in which the Lemon is growing is fifteen feet, that of the 
Citron sixteen feet, and the six other recesses are twelve 
feet : aU of them are fifteen inches deep. The occupants 
of these eight recesses are the Lemon, Bergamot, Citron, 
Seville Orange, Shaddock, Orange, Lime, and Mandarin 
Orange. Although the thermometer fell to zero last winter 
no injury was caused to any one of the trees, although 
their only protection was reed panels. When we saw them, 
ripening fruit was on all of them, and the healthy 
luxuriance of their foliage was most striking. Anyone 
about to erect such recesses for the culture of the Citrus 
genus would do well to have each eighteen feet wide, for 
the need to prune back the branches in the Combe Royal 


recesses must increase the difficulty of securing the fruit- 
fulness of the trees by avoiding over luxuriance. 

Perhaps one of the largest specimens of Acacia dealbata 
in England once ornamented the grounds. It was, unfor- 
tunately, broken down and uprooted by the weight of 
snow in an unusually heavy fall in December, 1859. It 
measured fifty-four feet in height, and the trunk was more 
than five feet in circumference. From the heart timber 
an ornamental drawing-room chair has been manufactured. 
A very large species of Eucalyptus, a native of Tasmania, 
has stood the last winter well, and bloomed profusely in 
the spring of the present year, while Embothriums coccineum 
and lanceolatum have been gorgeous with their scarlet 
flowers, and Camellias prodigal of bloom. Desfontainea 
spinosa has done well, and Opuntia Rafinesquiana grows 
and blooms in the open air. Many more plants, shrubs, 
and trees, deserving notice must be omitted, but we will 
observe that the Datura arborea in the conservatory had four 
hundred of its noble flowers open simultaneously. In the 
open ground we saw specimens of Cycas, huge bushes of 
Camellias, species of Aralia, Bamboos from the Himalaya, 
Abutilon vitifolium, all of which endure the winter un- 
protected. We also noticed a deciduous Conifer, the name 
of which is doubtful. We think it is the Glyptostrobus 
pendulus, a native of China; at all events it is hardy at 
Combe Royal, and we should like to be certified of its 
name. We must note one bed of Phlox Drummondi in 
front of the conservatory. We never saw a bed of crimson, 
scarlet, purple, and pink flowers so brilliant. Beds of 
verbenas on each side looked poor and paltry in comparison. 

Almost equalling the orangery in interest is the American 
garden, formed by the present proprietor in a branch of 


this 'happy valley.' Among a collection of other trees 
and shrubs, it includes the Sikkim Rhododendrons received 
from Kew through the kindness of the late Sir William 
Hooker. Many of them are doing well. The strongest 
and most floriferous are Thomsoni, niveum, and Bland- 
fordiseflorum ; the latter produces its gay and peculiar 
blossoms in the greatest profusion, and the bushes of 
Thomsoni are gorgeous with their wax-like bells of the 
richest crimson. Being seedling plants they vary much, 
and several cannot be identified when compared with Dr. 
Hooker's exquisite drawings, or rather the plates from his 
drawings. This year the beautiful yellow Rhododendron 
Wightii flowered for the first time, but the blossoms were 
pure white; its foliage, however, is unmistakable. Some 
of the more tender sorts, Dalhousise, Edgworthii, Aucklandii, 
Falconeri, and one or two others, will not endure the 
winter even at Combe Royal. The Japanese Rhododendron 
Metternichii has borne the severity of the last two winters 
well, as have five plants of the Himalayan R. cinnamomeum. 
The preceding winters have proved fatal to many large 
specimens of the true R. arboreum, two only having 
survived. The trunk of one of the defunct trees was 
measured recently, and found to be, a short distance above 
the earth, three feet one inch in circumference. 

The recent proprietors of Combe Royal have been 
gardeners as well. As far back as 1812 a practice of 
J. L. Luscombe, Esq., for successfully raising cuttings of 
the Citrus genus was made known to the Royal Hor- 
ticultural Society, and approved by the then President 
T. A. Knight, Esq. The same Society awarded him a 
Banksian medal for Oranges, Lemons, and Citrons, exhibited 
in the April of 1827." 


We may add that J. Luscombe, Esq., says, "Wood in 
Woodleigh, where the family also lived was a very large, 
low, Tudor mansion, originally the seat of one of the 
many branches of the Fortescue family. During the 
minority of the late John Luscombe Luscombe, Esq., a 
great portion of the house was taken down, the porch and 
two or three gables only remaining : one of the wings is 
used as a barn, and still goes by the name of 'the dining 
parlour,' and on the walls of which fresco paintings might, 
a few years since, be here and there discerned: the chapel 
stood on the opposite side of the enclosed court-yard: 
the andirons of the hall chimney, three feet high, form 
the stand of a marble table at Combe Royal." 

In this parish is also Bowringsleigh ; a large and 
ancient Tudor mansion, recently restored, but admirably 
retaining its former character. It lies in a beautiful valley 
below West Alvington. 

Sir William Pole says of this place, " Bowrings Legh was 
th' ancient dwellinge of the name of Bowringe ; the last of 
which name, called Thomas, had issue Alis married unto 
William Pike of Pike's Ash, in Somersetshire, and had 
issue Robert Pike, which had issue Thomas, which by 
Mary, daughter of John Stowell, of Cotheston, had issue 
Elizabeth, married unto one James Leghe, called Reynolds, 
sometyme a singing boy in the church of St. Peter, in 
Exon, a man of great baseness, which hath sold a great 
estate, which he had by the said Elisabeth, and this unto 
Nicholas Webber, alias Gilbard Esq., who now dwelleth 
theire. Theire is now a tytle sett on foote, that the said 
Thomas Pike should have a sonne called Stephan, long 
tyme concealed, and never known unto his supposed father, 
or publickly unto any other, before all Pike's land was sold." 


This fine old mansion was purchased of the Gilberts 
in the reign of William III., by William Ilbert, Esq., of 
Rill, (of which place there is a picture over one of the 
mantlepieces at Bowringsleigh). Since that time Bowrings- 
leigh has continued in this family, and it is now the 
residence of W. R. Ilbert, Esq. 

An old picture of Bowringsleigh represents it after 
undergoing a restoration, when the roofs were replaced 
by others in the Dutch style, and the gardens were laid 
out in the same formal manner; but the present possessor 
has adopted the original style of architecture in carrying 
out the recent restorations. 

Many years ago the chapel and some other parts of the 
building were accidentally burnt, many of the old family 
portraits and other valuable paintings were destroyed, 
besides the tapestry which hung on the walls; but there 
are still paintings of value remaining; amongst them is 
a portrait of Queen Anne, which was given, we believe, 
by that Queen herself to Mr. Ilbert's great grandmother, 
to whom her Majesty had performed the office of god- 

The chapel, which abuts from the south front is a 
faithful restoration of the original chapel : a magnificent 
screen, (which was formerly in South Huish Church), 
admirably restored and gilded, adorns the interior. 

In one of the rooms there is a grand old ceiling, with 
emblematic figures moulded in plaster, in high relief. In 
the centre is Fame, blowing her trumpet, while in various 
compartments around there are warlike implements and 
instruments of music; the whole of the figures so raised 
as to appear as if clinging by magnetism to the ceiling. 

There is a Yery curious clock in one of the rooms, the 


date 1702. The present writer cannot attempt to recapitu- 
late all the wonderful things it undertakes to perform. 
A clock on the tower roof is dated, we believe, 1717; its 
bell might be made to sound, in case of need, for some 
miles around. 

Bowringsleigh has not been without its traditionary ghost, 
and haunted room. The " singing boy," " the man of 
great baseness" (according to Sir William Pole) was said 
to have been murdered on the premises, which dreadful 
event coming to the ears of his wife "Elisabeth," she 
rushed, shrieking wildly, into the room where the tragedy 
occurred ; never again to be seen or heard of, save as a 
haunting ghost, occasionally wandering about the house in 
her rustling silk attire ! How much, or how little of truth 
there may be in this story " deponent sayeth not." 

However, the ghost seems to have been summarily ejected, 
for the room, which was for many years closed up, and 
specially devoted to its ghostly inhabitant, has been con- 
verted into a dressing room, into which she certainly 
never intrudes her presence. 

One of the curiosities at Bowringsleigh is an ancient 
bed, with hangings of needlework, the laborious production 
of a lady-ancestor of the family. Many other things 
of interest might be mentioned, but we must retrace our 
steps down the noble avenue of lime trees, and across 
the wooded meadows, through which passes the " private 
road" to Bowringsleigh, and also to Norden, the residence 
of Mrs. Ilbert, mother of W. R. Ilbert, Esq. 

Although South Milton is situated not far from the shore 
of Bigbury Bay, being within an easy distance of Thurle- 
stone Sands, yet this seems the most fitting place to 
introduce a few words respecting it, seeing that it is 


included in the vicarage of West Alvington ; and that 
Horswell House, the residence for many years of W. Ilbert, 
Esq., is in this parish. Of South Milton Sir William Pole 
says, "Midleton, or South Milton, anno 24 of Kinge 
Ed. 1, James de Mohun held; and anno 19 of Kinge Ed. 3, 
Sir William Pipard Kt. held the same. Hee died anno 
Domini 1349, and left issue Margaret, wief of Sir Gerard 
de Lisle, and Matild, wief of Sir Osbert Hameley. This 
mannor came afterwarde unto Carew of Haccomb; and 
is lately sold unto Sir James Bagge, of Plymouth, by 
Carew, of Haccomb." White said in 1850," Mrs. Prideaux 
is lady of the manor." We believe it has descended to her 
daughter, Mrs. Douglass. 

South Milton Church "is a fine ancient edifice in the 
perpendicular style, with a noble embattled tower, containing 
six bells." 

The old stone font is surmounted by a high, conical 
carved wood cover, which is much admired. There is also 
a carved screen. On the walls are tablets recording the 
names of Elliot, Prideaux, &c. ; and on the pavement, that 
of Roope, accompanied by coats of arms. 

Very many tomb-stones in the churchyard bear the name 
of Elliot. There is also a vault of the Ilbert family 
distinguished by a yew tree within iron railings. Milton 
is now (like Thurlestone and Buckland) noteworthy from 
the absence of a public house ! The one which formerly 
existed there was converted, some time since, into school- 
rooms, where considerable numbers of children are now 
educated. Some of the farm houses in this neighbourhood 
bear evident traces of a somewhat aristocratic origin, such 
as Higher and Lower Sutton, Callicott, &c. 



With ceaseless motion comes and goes the tide, 
Flowing it fills the channel vast and wide ; 
Then back to sea, with strong majestic sweep 
It rolls, in ebb yet terrible and deep. 


Returning to Dodbrooke Quay, and passing the house, 
with timber and coal stores, (once the property of the late 
Joseph Hingston, who was a deservedly respected and 
valued resident for many years; and afterwards belonging 
to F. H. Fox & Co., who sold it to Messrs. Beer & Trant) 
we come to Pindar Lodge, which now stands on the site of 
the "smart little mansion," where John Wolcot, M.D., was 
born (an account of whom is given in the fourth chapter). 

Almost, if not quite, the only mile of level road adjacent 
to the town, is that which runs from Dodbrooke Quay 
down by the side of the Estuary. This is a very pleasant 
promenade, especially when the tide is in. 

After passing Pindar Lodge, as well as a pretty cottage 
which was built in 1816 by Mr. John Lidstone, and 
Victoria Place, and Glena, pleasant looking modern houses, 
we reach Boxhill, a substantial mansion, with a verandah 
in front. Part of it was built on the site of the old 
Dodbrooke Poor-house ; indeed, until rather recently, a 


small portion, of that ancient erection might still be found 
somewhere on its back premises. 

Then comes Foxhole, or as it now called, Vauxhall, and 
behind it is Garden Mill, overlooked by Buttville, the 
property of the late Admiral Hawkins, and now of his son, 
C. S. Hawkins, Esq. 

A quarter of a mile below Dodbrooke Quay is Saltmill 
Quay, on the same side of the Estuary. Here stood some 
corn mills until the middle of the eighteenth century, 
driven by the water secured by flood gates at the flowing 
of the tide, in an enclosure at the side of the Quay, but 
which about the year 1800 was turned into a meadow. 

A lime kiln just here was for a long time noticeable on 
account of a noble Wych elm, growing quite through a 
side wall, and spreading its graceful branches all over the 
front of the kiln. It was the only specimen of this 
particular kind of elm that we knew of anywhere in the 
neighbourhood, but it was laid low by a fearful gale which 
occurred in January, 1866, and did much damage in this 
vicinity. At Wallingford, the gale seems to have been felt 
in its greatest force — the wind taking the line of the valley. 
There are, or rather were, in that valley, several hedges 
full of fine elm trees, and one after another of these 
were completely swept away, the trees lying along in 
regular rows, as if they had been felled with an axe. 
There were altogether one hundred and four trees prostrated 
in this valley alone. 

About the end of the last century, a wall was com- 
menced by Edward Hodges, Esq., at Salt Mill Quay, in 
order to form a public walk, to be planted with trees, 
which would make a pleasant communication, secure from 
the flowing tide, between the wharf and Dodbrooke Quay ; 


but when this design had been partially effected, a dispute 
arose as to the freehold right, and the work remained 
unfinished till 1816, when it was completed by a public 

In the year 1804, a spot of ground on the east side 
of the Estuary was selected by the late Lieutenant-General 
Simcoe, and temporary barracks were erected thereon to 
contain six hundred men. Various regiments occupied them 
during the war : the materials of these structures, however, 
were disposed of by auction in the spring of 1815, but 
some of the buildings, particularly the hospital, having 
been purchased by the owner of the land, are yet suffered 
to remain, and are occupied by different families. We 
have been told that the bakehouse which belonged to the 
barracks now forms part of the house once known as Ivy 
Cottage. Winsor Lodge was erected in one of the fields, 
by Mr. Andrew Winsor, in 1818. High-house, a seat 
situated on these lands, is about half a mile to the east, 
but not in sight of the water. 

We must not omit to notice the Shipwright's Yard, where 
many a well-built vessel is constructed, to be employed in 
the foreign fruit trade, or some other branch of commerce. 
Date's yard presents a busy scene, and is especially attractive 
to the population of Kingsbridge and Dodbrooke when it 
becomes known that a launch is to take place. There is 
generally, at such times, a large gathering assembled to 
watch the new vessel make her first plunge into the tide. 
This yard was first established in 1837. Vessels are there 
built of from one hundred to five hundred tons burden; 
the largest, as yet, five hundred and fifty tons; and the 
average number of men employed, forty. 

Complaints having been made that the public path 


beneath the cliff was much interfered with by the lodgment 
of timber, the Harbour Commissioners requested the owner 
to remove the obstruction, which was effected; but only 
for a time. He was therefore requested to make a new 
and good road, as an approach to the steamer landing- 
place at High-house Point. This has been done, and it is 
much used, instead of the steep and narrow path some 
time since cut in the cliff. 

A field at High-house Point has recently been purchased 
from the Rev. P. A. Ilbert, for the purpose of forming a 
new cemetery for Kingsbridge. This being considered a 
larger piece of ground than would be required, a portion 
of it was again sold, and the remainder retained for the 
cemetery. It was expected that the ground would be ready 
for use about the end of last year (1873) ; but it is not 
yet available. 

Nearly opposite the shipwright's yard, on the other side 
of the estuary, is Tacket (or Ticket) Wood, where there 
are a few houses and a slate, quarry. There is a bridge 
near by, bearing the same name, crossed by the old road 
to Salcombe. It was erected by the county in 1768. 

Ticket Wood is supposed to have derived its name from 
the circumstance that, in the days of Nonconformist perse- 
cution, tickets were here given to all who were in the 
habit of attending the meetings, probably as a precaution 
against the admission of spies amongst them. 

On a hill, between Ticket Wood and Kingsbridge, there 
is a large rope-walk, which was established by Mr. Thomas 
about fifty years ago. This rope-walk Avas burnt down 
on the 14th of August, 18G8, and re-built early in 1869. 
Since that time, it has been lengthened very considerably, 
necessitated from the increased demand for the cordage made 


here. Large quantities are sent off to the North of England; 
also to Quebec and the Labrador fisheries. About eighteen 
men and nine boys are usually employed here. 

To return to the east side of the estuary. Rather 
beyond the first mile-stone on this, the "new road" to 
Dartmouth, is Charleton Bridge, crossing a creek, near the 
head of which is Shindle mill. This bridge possesses some 
peculiarities of construction, probably not to be found else- 
where. The following particulars were kindly furnished, 
in 1864, by Mr. Joseph Pulliblank, builder, and son-in-law 
of Mr. John Eddy, therein mentioned: — "The present hori- 
zontal swing-bridge over the Bowcombe creek was erected 
in the year 1845. The contract for its erection was taken 
on the 1st of January in that year by Mr. A. Saunders, of 
Kingsbridge, millwright and engineer, and the work was 
carried out under the superintendence of Mr. John Eddy, 
surveyor. The principle of the bridge (being required to 
open to allow of the navigation of the creek) is a strong 
horizontal framework of wood, about forty-five feet long 
by sixteen feet wide, resting on a strong fulcrum of timber, 
built into a solid mass of masonry, and shod with tempered 
iron at its upper end — the weight resting on twelve cannon 
balls, which play freely in two grooved pieces of cast-iron, 
one of which is fixed to the movable framework, and the 
other to the solid masonry below. This application of 
cannon balls excited the admiration of a very worthy 
member of the Society of Friends, since deceased, who 
observed that it was such an use of cannon balls as he 
could approve of, and he wished they were always as well 

Since the foregoing was written, the bridge being much 
out of repair, it was rebuilt. Mr. Pulliblank says : " The 


plans for the present bridge were prepared by Mr. W. 
Symons, who was also the contractor for its erection. There 
are a few unimportant alterations of detail in construction, 
but the principle is the same, and I believe the cannon balls 
remain where the good Joseph Hingston was pleased to 
see them." 

From the Bowcombe quarry, on the Charleton side of 
the inlet, is drawn a large quantity of good building stone. 
Descending a little further, you get a pretty near view of 
Charleton church (St. Mary), which is an ancient structure, 
but it was thoroughly renovated in 1849-50, when the 
nave and aisles were mostly re-built, and new windows 
were inserted, with mullions of Caen stone. "The lordship of 
Charleton was, amongst other lands, granted by Henry VIII., 
in the thirty-fifth year of his reign, to Catherine, Queen ,/F2rv£ 
of England, for her dower. On the death of Catherine, 
in the second year of the reign of Edward VI., it reverted 
to that king, on whose death it descended to, and became 
the property of, his sister Queen Mary, who by letters 
patent of the 22nd of June, in the first year of her reign, 
granted the same unto Francis, then Earl of Huntingdon." 
It was afterwards held by Lord Borringdon; and is now 
the property of Lady Ashburton. As lately as the year 
1753 the Hundred Court was regularly held, presentments 
were made, and the different parishes in the Hundred paid 
small chief-rents to the lord of the manor. The original 
grant conveyed most extensive privileges, but many of them 
are no longer exercised. The rectory house, which was 
spoken of by Polwhele as an "uncouth structure," was 
mostly taken down by William Tickell, L.B., at that time 
the Incumbent, and re-built; and it is now said to be one 


of the "best parsonage houses in the county." The Rev. 
Thomas Twysden, M.A., is the present Rector. 

Charleton is divided into two portions, so that it appears 
like two separate villages ; these are known as East Charle- 
ton and West Charleton. The hamlets of Goveton and 
Lidstone, as well as part of Frogmore, are in this parish; 
as also is Slade, the residence of the late Fortescue Wells, 
Esq., and now of his son-in-law, Edward Arthur, Esq. 

Across the estuary, and nearly opposite High-house Point, 
is Park, a very pleasant house, overlooking the water, and 
further on are the remains of a decoy, commonly called 
Coypool, which, in the beginning of the last century, was 
much used for taking wild fowl. 

Gerston, or Garston, the ancient seat of the Bastard 
family, lies just above, but is not visible from the water. 
During the eighteenth century, the gardens at this place 
were famed for producing oranges and lemons, trained 
against the walls in the manner of peach trees, and sheltered 
only with mats of straw in winter. Some of the fruit? 
said to be "as large and fair as any from Portugal," was 
presented to the king by Lady Bridget Bastard's brother, 
Vere, the third Earl Poulett, about the year 1770. Here the 
noble family of Bastard resided from the days of William 
the Conqueror till the year 1773. William Bastard, Esq., 
having, however, fixed his abode at Kitley, the ancient 
mansion was deserted. When the French fleet menaced 
Plymouth in the summer of 1779, this gentleman raised a 
large force of yeomanry and peasants, and repaired to the 
scene of alarm. For his exertions on this occasion he 
was created a baronet on the 19th of October in that year. 
However, although the dignity conferred was gazetted, yet 
neither he nor his descendants have thought proper to use 
the title. 


After passing Gerston Point there is a creek which leads 
to Collapit. Besides the farm-house, there is a bridge of 
the same name in the road to Salcombe. Then comes 
Rowden Point, and a creek runs thence to Blanks' or Alston 
Mill, also headed by a bridge. On the left side of the 
estuary there is a piece of land now used by the Volunteers 
as a " rifle range," which is usually denominated " Charleton 
Marshes." In 1805 Earl Morley here formed an embank- 
ment, by which between thirty and forty acres were re- 
claimed from the tide, and in a couple of years this land 
began to vegetate. 

You now enter an extensive breadth of water, called 
Wide-gates, where, in a high wind, it is occasionally a 
little hazardous to small boats; for instances have occurred 
now and then of a capsize. 

Upon the high land overlooking the little port of Sal- 
combe, and about four miles from Kingsbridge, stands " All 
Saints'," the church of the parish of Malborough, one of 
the four included in the West Alvington Vicarage, and (as 
elsewhere stated) this church has undergone a thorough 
restoration, through the exertions of the Vicar, the Ven. 
Archdeacon Earle. Decayed as many parts of the building 
were, the masonry is remarkably substantial; so far, there- 
fore, as the walls were concerned, little was required to be 
done; but new roofs have been constructed, the windows 
re-filled with stone mullions and tracery, the pews cleared 
away and replaced by open benches, and the tower-arch 
thrown open, by the removal of the gallery, so that the 
bells are now rung from the ground. Of these bells, Pol- 
whele says "they are much esteemed by those who like 
such ding-dong sounds." The building is chiefly of the 
Late Perpendicular period ; but the tower and chancel 


exhibit indications of Early Decorated work; and the font 
is Early English. 

Within the church is a handsome white marble monument, 
erected to the memory of the 28th Baron Kingsale. This 
will be referred to in the account of Ringrone. 

A memorial window was placed in the church by — 
Pinwell, Esq., of Salcombe ; and there is another, the history 
of which is unknown to the writer. Both of these are 

In the month of August, 1829, this spire was struck by 
lightning in a very similar manner to that which injured 
the Kingsbridge spire in the previous year. At the time 
of the occurrence the minister was reading the burial service 
in the church, while the relations and friends of a deceased 
parishioner were assembled for the funeral. The sudden 
flashes of lightning, and the tremendous peals of thunder, 
caused such an alarm, that the clergyman, as well as all 
the people, rushed out of the church, and did not return 
until the storm was over. The spire was so much injured 
that it had to be taken down and re-built. 

Some new school-rooms having been erected in Mal- 
borough, they were opened, in May, 1873, by Dr. Temple, 
Bishop of the Diocese. 

A Baptist chapel was built in this place in 1815. This 
was enlarged and repaired in 1872. A new school-room 
was also built in 1872; and much has been done this 
year (1874). The names of successive pastors are 
Rev. John Nicholson, 
„ W. H. Evans, 
„ H. Crossman, 
„ E. Tamsett Davis (the present pastor). 

A Wesleyan chapel, of very neat design, has also recently 
been erected in Malborough. 


This place stands on very elevated ground, and commands 
an extensive prospect, bounded on the south by the open 
sea, in the direction of Bolt Head and Bolt Tail. 

Some of the inhabitants used to say, no moon ever shone 
so brightly as "Marber moon," and perhaps this is not 
altogether imaginary, for, being raised so far above the 
mists and fogs of the valleys, there may be less vapour 
to intercept the light which shines down upon them. 

Batson, Bolberry, Collaton, Combe, Rew, and Shadycombe, 
are hamlets forming part of the parish of Malborough. 

At Batson (where some of the most productive cider 
orchards in the kingdom are situated) there is an old ruin, 
partially covered with ivy, which is still known by the 
name of "Batson Hall." Tradition says that it was formerly 
a prison. Bit by bit, the materials which composed this, 
evidently, at one time fine old place, are removed, to serve 
as repairs for the adjoining farm-house, which was doubtless 
a part of the same mansion. There is little now remaining 
save a window or two, where the fine carved work may 
still be seen, and a stone mantlepiece, on which a very 
early date may be deciphered. This place is the property 
of Mr. Bastard, of Kitley. 

At the upper part of Blanks' Mill Creek is seen Alston, 
the seat of the late Abraham Hawkins, Esq., author of 
the "History of Kingsbridge" which was published in 1819. 
This gentleman was a descendant of Sir John Hawkins, 
who, as well as his son, Sir Richard, were both celebrated 
navigators and naval commanders in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth. On the south of Alston, but scarcely to be seen 
from the water, is Yarde House, in the parish of Mal- 
borough. This is on the barton of Yarde, and was formerly 
the residence of the family of that name, to whom, according 


to Prince, it belonged for twenty generations. In the reign 
of Richard II., a Yarde having married the heiress of Bussel, 
their posterity changed their dwelling to Bradley. It then 
came to the Dyers, in whose family it remained until the 
male heirs became extinct. In 1765, Samuel Savery, Esq., 
succeeded to it, with other estates, in right of his great- 
grandmother, whose maiden name was Dyer, from whom 
it descended to Miss Burnell.* The name of Yarde still 
continues in the Buller and other families. 

In the middle of Wide-gates is an islet, or rock, called 
the Salt-stone, about a hundred feet in length, and more 
than fifty in breadth. "As it is extra-parochial," says 
Hawkins, " and perhaps doubtful to whom it belongs, lying 
nearly equi-distant from the parishes of Charleton, South 
Pool, and Malborough, it is surprising that no one has 
taken possession of it, to erect some building thereon for 
speculative purposes." This remark leads some to think 
that formerly the Salt- stone must have been considerably 
more raised above high-water mark than it is at present; 
others do not suppose this to be the case. 

" The Earl of Devon claims to hold a Court of Admiralty 
— a royal privilege granted by the Crown to his ancestors, 
extending from this islet on the east to a place called 
Shaggy Rock, in the river Aune 3 or Avon, which empties 
itself into Bigbury Bay on the west, including the sea 
coast between these limits, as far off as a man on horseback 
can see an umber barrel; and by a jury of thirteen re- 
spectable men, settles matters respecting salvage, pays the 
amount, and preserves the property for the owners till 

* It is now the property, by purchase, of T. W. Weymouth, Esq. 


claimed, when the same is delivered over, deducting only 
what has been paid the salvors."* 

It is traditional that in the old days of persecution, the 
Nonconformists took advantage of the fact of this rock 
being a sort of "no man's land," and accordingly resorted 
thither at low water, in order to hold their meetings, 
seeing that the "justices" could not legally interfere with 
them there; not that these justices were always very par- 
ticular as to the lawfulness of their proceedings. These 
meetings appear to have been associated with the name 
of Flavel rather more than that of John Hicks. 

The Salt-stone is mentioned by Colonel Montagu in his 
"Testacea Britannica," as the locality in which he procured 
several marine animals ; amongst others, the Amphitrite 
infundibundum, one of the molluscous tribe, which he 
describes in the Transactions of the Linnsean Society; and 
amongst the Crustacea he particularises Cancer astacus sub- 
terraneus (we give the Colonel's own nomenclature, though 
many changes have taken place in this respect since his 
time). "This crab," he says, "is a new and curious 
species, discovered in digging for Solen vagina." Of the 
Solen vagina he remarks, "this shell has been usually 
considered as rare in a living or recent state, but we have 
lately had the good fortune to discover it in its native bed. 
In a sand bank, near the Salt-stone, in the Estuary of 
Kingsbridge, it is by no means uncommon at the depth 
of two feet or more beneath the surface." Montagu also 
says, that by far the finest specimens he ever saw of Bulla 
hydatis were found on the south side of the Salt-stone. 
The Turbo clathrus is found in the same locality. He 

* Hawkins. 


says, "as the animal becomes sickly by keeping for some 
days in sea water, it frequently discharges a most beautiful 
purple liquor. This circumstance was known to Plancus, 
who observes that it is one of those shells which yields 
the purple dye of the Mediterranean." 

Kingsbridge Estuary is full of interest to the student in 
natural history. Amongst the feathered tribes almost every 
genus has its representative, either as an inhabitant, or an 
occasional visitant. In winter these sheltered waters become 
the rendezvous of a great variety of birds. 

Many different kinds of gulls may be seen, preening 
their delicate plumage, and enjoying the still, cold water, 
or standing in groups on the shore, making the most 
entertaining noises. Did you ever listen to them holding 
forth in one of their conventicles ? (for they, too, frequent 
the Salt-stone). If not, you have missed one of the most 
amusing sounds of the sea shore. Frequently, herons are 
seen, stalking silently about in search of their slippery 
prey; while flocks of tringa are coursing over the mud 
when the tide is low, industriously foraging for their daily 
food; streams of wild ducks vary the scene; and to crown 
all (if the weather is very severe) the Hooper, or wild 
swan, with its snow-white plumage, and its gracefully- 
arching neck, may be seen sailing along.* 

Various sorts of fish are caught in the estuary, such as 
millet, bass, eels, dabs, smelts, and mackerel. About sixty 
years since, a large shoal of porpoises were seen rolling 
up past Salcombe, apparently in hot pursuit of some of 
their favourite prey (probably mackerel). It was about 

* Mr. Henry Nicholls lias kindly furnished a list of birds which have 
been found in the neighbourhood ; and also of butterflies. Both will be 
found at the end of this book. 


half-tide, and it was ebbing rapidly. The fish passed over 
what is called the "four hours' mud" into the shallow 
water, the porpoises still pursuing, and intent on their 
anticipated feast. At last they were seen to be flapping 
and floundering about in a distressed manner, until it 
became evident that sixteen of them were completely left 
by the tide, and were stranded on the mud. The whole 
of them were secured, and became a profitable speculation 
to their captors. 

Passing Wareham Point, and just at the mouth of the 
Frogmore Creek, Halwell Wood rises from the water's edge. 
Halwell House lies about half-a-mile from thence; it is in 
the parish of South Pool. In Domesday Book, Halwell 
is spelt Halgewelle, which is nearly the correct Saxon 
spelling of Holywell. The wood used to be a favourite 
resort for pleasure parties from Kingsbridge on a fine 
summer's evening; and frequently a thin column of smoke 
might be seen rising in the vicinity of the shed which 
was erected for their accommodation; for a fire was some- 
times extemporised, and the kettle boiled amongst the trees. 
But since the Queen steamer has been available, the North 
and South Sands have almost entirely superseded the wood 
in the matter of picnics. 

A murder was suspected to have been committed near 
this spot many years ago. Nicholas Wood and another 
man, who both lived at Kingsbridge, and worked at Sal- 
combe for Mr. Strong, maltster, went down together in a 
boat. They were apparently on good terms, but on re- 
turning it appeared that, although both sober, they must 
have disagreed about something, as Wood's companion was 
overheard saying, "I'll settle thee before we get back to 
Kingsbridge;" but this was thought nothing of at the 


time. It was nearly dark when they returned, or rather 
when one of them returned, for Wood was never more 
seen alive. Several persons bore witness to the fact of 
having heard cries of murder in the direction of the water, 
but being dark they did not ascertain the exact spot from 
whence they proceeded; it was thought, however, that 
some withheld their testimony lest through their means the 
man's life would be forfeited; and so the affair remained 
a mystery; but sixteen years afterwards, a human skeleton 
was found buried beneath the beach on one of the points 
of land, and kept down by large stones. 

The village of Frogmore (which is partly in Charleton 
and partly in Sherford parish) is situated at the head of 
a navigable creek. Vessels of one hundred tons here load 
and unload their cargoes; and there are lime kilns, coal 
wharfs, and corn stores. There was formerly an extensive 
flour mill in this village, but it was destroyed by fire about 
the year 1845, and it has never been re-built, which is 
somewhat surprising, considering the amount of water power 
which would be available for working it. The ruins of 
the mill, although gradually crumbling away, have been so 
beautifully covered with ivy, and look so picturesque, that 
strangers very commonly suppose them to be the remains 
of an old monastery, which they closely resemble.* 

There are some valuable slate quarries in the neigh- 
bourhood of Frogmore. The Molescombe quarries were 
first opened in the reign of Henry VIII. The Winslade 
quarries were very old workings re-opened a few years 
ago, but from repeatedly falling in, are, we believe, again 

* "The Thames to the Taniar" has the following remark: — "At Frog- 
more a decayed flour mill, covered with ivy, has received a kind of counterfeit 
dignity, being generally taken for a ruined castle." 


abandoned. The watchful care of a superintending Provi- 
dence was remarkably exemplified on the occasion of one 
these fallings-in, and ought to be recorded. About thirty 
men, we believe, were assembled by appointment, in order 
to work at one particular spot, when it was discovered 
that the man who had the key of the powder store was 
absent; and after waiting some time for his return, they 
dispersed, being unable to proceed with their work without 
the blasting powder. In a very short time that part of the 
quarry in which they ivould have been, but for this dis- 
appointment, fell in, and entombed the two men who alone 
were there, instead of the large number who were thus 
providentially prevented from going. Although great exer- 
tions were made at the time, yet the bodies of these two 
poor fellows were not recovered for two or three years. 
We should like to know that the men who experienced this 
remarkable preservation were duly sensible of the great 
mercy shewn them, and that thanksgivings arose in every 

And now leaving the Frogmore creek, we are advancing 
towards another, which soon divides into two branches, or, 
as Hawkins expresses it, " with a bifurcated continuation ; " 
that to the left leading to South Pool, while that towards 
the right runs up to Waterhead, and almost to Chivelstone. 
South Pool is said to have been formerly a part of the 
parish of Stokenham. The church, which is dedicated to 
St. Syriac, is a fine specimen of the perpendicular style, 
with a lofty tower. The interior has transepts; the screen 
is elaborately carved; and in the chancel is a handsome 
altar tomb, or Easter Sepulchre, with a representation in 
the front of the Resurrection. In this church there are 
many handsome antique monuments. 


The Rev. R. D. Alexander, the Incumbent of South Pool, 
says (April 7th, 1873) : — "The church is mainly of fifteenth 
century work. Our school, which everybody said was 
absurdly large, &c, has proved a great success. Indeed, 
the only mistake I made was that I did not build it large 
enough; H. M. Inspector having twice told us he shall 
expect to see a class-room built soon." 

Risdon says, that "South Pole was the lands of the 
Lord Nicholas de Pola in the time of King Henry I., 
whose son, the Lord William, went with King Richard I. 
into the Holy Land: after whom Maurice de Pola held 
this land. In South Pole is Scobbahull, and Chivelstone 
the ancient inheritance of Scobbahull, which, from Robert, 
in the reign of King Henry III., unto Robert, in King 
Henry IV.'s time, remained in that name." Scobbahull, 
or as it is now called Scobell, is not within sight from 
the Estuary. Chivelstone is a small village, but the parish 
extends southwards to the romantic sea cliffs between Start 
and Prawle Points ; it includes the fishing village of Prawle, 
and the hamlets of Ford and South Allington. The church 
at Chivelstone is an ancient one, dedicated to St. Silvester; 
this is the only church named in his honour in all England. 
The old rood loft remains, and the pulpit is formed of a 
solid block of wood. 

"South Pole, in Kinge Henry I. tyme, the Lo. Nicolas 
de Pola held; and Will a m Pomeray held it anno 27 of 
Kinge Henry III,; anno 24 of Kinge Edw d I., John de Ciren- 
cester was lorde thereof; anno 8 of Kinge Edw. II., Thomas 
de Cirencester held the same; afterward, anno 19 of Kinge 
Edw. III., S r Thomas Courtenay was Lord of South Pole, 
from whom, by Peverell and Hungerford, it descended unto 
Henry Hastings, Erie of Huntingdon, w cU sold this mannor 


unto Walter Hele, of Gnawton; from, hym it descended 
unto Samson Hele, the now lorde thereof."* 

" Scobhull and Chevilston lieth in the parish of South 
Pole, anciently Scobbahull, and belonginge unto y* name, 
w ch I finde to have contynewed their possession their from 
Kinge Henry III. tyme unto Kinge Henry V. tyme. * * * 
This land came wholly unto Speccot, and is linealhy 
descended unto Sir John Speccot." f 

The rectory house of Portlemouth stands near the 
entrance of this creek; it is a pleasant looking dwelling, 
surrounded by trees, and overlooking the water. 

Parts of the building are very ancient. An archway, 
without a key-stone, the Rev. T. B. Wells says, is of the 
time of Henry VII. or VIII. On the premises there is 
a granary, which once formed a part of the old Kings- 
bridge Barracks. At the time they were taken down, 
this portion was purchased by Mr. Wells' father, and 
re-erected in his yard. A few years ago a swarm of 
bees took possession of part of the wood-work, and since 
then two other swarms have migrated there also ; endea- 
vours have been made to eject them, but unsuccessfully, 
and the three separate families are still occupying this 
"Timber House." 

The following account of a son of the rector of Portle- 
mouth, is copied from the " Illustrated London News " 
of December 27th, 1873. 

" Lieutenant Lewis Fortescue Wells, R.N., late of H.M.S. 
Barracouta, died at sea, on board the Biafra, on the 26th 
ult. This gallant young officer, whose demise occurred 

* Sir William Pole. 

f Sir William Pole. 


on his return from the West Coast of Africa, entered 
the Navy in 1861, and since that period has been suc- 
cessively employed in the allied expedition to Mexico, 
for nearly four years on the China station (where he was 
present at the bombardment of Kagosina and Simonassaki) 
and afterwards on the North American station, as Sub- 
Lieutenant in H.M.S. Royal Alfred. He became a Lieutenant 
June 1st, 1869, and was subsequently appointed to the 
training ship Indefatigable, and then to the Volage. In 
March last Mr. Wells was made First Lieutenant of H.M.S. 
Barracouta, which proceeded to the West Coast on the affairs 
of the Ashantee expedition. While crossing the Bay of 
Biscay the Lieutenant courageously leaped overboard, and 
saved a man of his ship. On June 13th, at the action 
at Elmina, he greatly distinguished himself by leading 
a small body of Barracouta men against the Ashantees, 
receiving the thanks of his commanding officers upon 
the field for his great skill and decision. 

He was subsequently thanked by the Commander-in- 
Chief for gallantly landing despatches through a heavy 
surf, and was afterwards left in command of a small naval 
brigade at Abrakrampa, where, too, he rendered effective 
service. The fatal fever of that region was the cause of 
his untimely death. Lieutenant Wells was the second 
son of the Rev. Thomas Bury Wells, rector of Portlemouth, 
Devon, (formerly in the navy) by Catherine Frances, his 
wife, eldest daughter of the Rev. William Stockdale, rector 
of Wilby, Northamptonshire. His ancestors in the female 
line were the old Devon race, the Fortescues of Fallapit." 

In addition to the foregoing, it may be mentioned, that 
at the time of his death, Lieutenant Wells was on his 
way home, in order to take the command of Her Majesty's 


yacht, the Victoria and Albert, to which important post 
he had just been appointed. A portrait of this gentleman 
appears in the "Graphic" of December 27th, 1873. 

The Church at Portlemouth, which is dedicated to 
St. Onolaus, stands on very high ground, and commands 
extensive views of the neighbourhood. It is an ancient 
cruciform edifice, somewhat dilapidated, but contains a very 
beautifully carved oak screen. The stone font is also very 
ancient ; but we could not learn the probable date of either 
font or screen. At the west end of the churchyard there 
is a lych-gate, not uncommon in Devonshire, but seldom 
seen elsewhere. ? Some of the inscriptions on the tombstones 
are becoming almost obliterated by time and exposure to the 
weather — indeed we looked in vain for some of the old 
epitaphs which were legible a few years ago, and failed 
altogether to discover a curious one which we copied not 
many years since, respecting a master who had been 
poisoned by his servant girl. It was as follows : — 

"Through poison strong he was cut off, 
And brought to deajh at last; 
It was by his apprentice girl, 
On whom there's sentence past. 
may all people warning take, 
For she was burned to a stake !" 

The tombstone bears date May 25th, 1782, and the 
execution of the criminal was performed at Exeter; but in 
her case the burning did not take place until after death 
by hanging. This is the last recorded instance in the 
country, it is believed, of the infliction of burning as a 
punishment for poisoning. 

Very different are the relations between master and 
servant recorded in the following inscription : — 



The Memory of 

James Wood, 

Who departed this life 

On the 25th Jan 1 - 1835 ; 
Aged 26 years. 
by Mr. Jackson, of the Moult, as a testimony of his sincere 
regret for the loss of a most valuable servant, whose many 
excellent qualities caused him to be respected and lamented 
by all who knew him." 

On another stone, over the remains of a child, aged two 
years, we read these lines : — 

"Death takes the good, 
Too good on earth to stay, 
And leaves the bad, 
Too bad to take away." 

(A sentiment, by the way, not particularly gratifying to 

A white stone cross (on which, for a considerable time, 
hung a wreath of "immortelles") bears the following 
inscription : — 

"In memory of 

John Dyker, eldest son 

of John Dyker and Jane Thew, 

of Kings Lynn, Norfolk, 

who was drowned 

off Prawle Point, Dec r 10th, 

1868; aged 16 years." 

Many are the tombstones in this churchyard, overlooking 
the sea, on which is inscribed the mournful word drowned. 


Jewitt, in his History of Plymouth, says — " When a sea- 
port from which a ship was required for the King's service 
was too poor to furnish it, the neighbouring towns were 
ordered to contribute for the purpose. Thus in 1310, when 
the inhabitants of Dartmouth declared that they were unable 
to maintain a ship and its crew, orders were sent to the 
people of Totnes, Brixham, Portlemouth, and Kingsbridge, 
to assist those of Dartmouth, on the occasion." 

The mention of Portlemouth, rather than Salcombe, has 
been suggested as " strongly indicative that Portlemouth was 
more important than Salcombe, in the time of Edward II., 
and probably the harbour was Portlemouth Harbour rather 
than Salcombe Harbour at that time."* 

Taking the lane on the right hand of the church at 
Portlemouth, you pass through the little village of Rickham, 
and about three-quarters of a mile further on reach the 
coast-guard station, situated near the top of the fine bold 
cliffs. The row of houses presents a neat and substantial 
appearance, and attached to each one is a well-cultivated 
little plot of garden ground. The rocket apparatus, for 
saving life from shipwrecks, occupies a detached building 
close to the flag-staff. 

From the look-out rock a fine sea view is obtained : the 
Start on the left, and the Bolt Head on the right. 

Iron mines have, until lately, been worked by a company, 
just beneath the station, the quality of the ore being better 
than at other portions of the coast. Some little distance on 
the left is a bold arched rock, always called by the coast- 
guard " Temple Bar : " it is not approachable by land at 
any tide. From this rock the jagged outline of the point on 

* So also, Kingswear is said to be of greater antiquity than even 


which the Start Lighthouse is built may be seen. Rickham 
was one of the Fitzroy storm-signal stations. 

An amusing circumstance is narrated of a party of ex- 
cursionists, who a few years since were rounding the point 
from whence the flag-staff came in view, and they imagined 
the collapsed drum (signifying "fine weather") hoisted on 
the mast to have been a teakettle, which some of the party 
had thus hoisted as a sort of telegraphic intimation that tea 
was ready. 

It appears by the Domesday survey, that not long 
before that survey was taken, Thurlestone, Portlemouth, 
West Alvington, Collaton-Prawle, East Sewer, and other 
manors on the southern coast, were laid waste by the 

In King's "Dartmoor," we find it stated that Godwin 
and Edmund, the sons of King Harold, fled into Ireland 
with the greater part of the Saxon fleet; that in the 
spring of 1068 they landed on the coast of Somerset- 
shire, where they were met by Ednoth, who had been a 
"leader of the army," under their father Harold, but 
who had now become the liege man of the Conqueror. 
A battle took place in which many fell on both sides, 
amongst whom was Ednoth : and the sons of Harold, 
having plundered the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, 
returned again to Ireland. Here they received fresh 
assistance from Dermot, King of Dublin : and in the 
following year again appeared off Exeter, with a fleet of 
sixty-six ships, and a numerous army. From Exeter 
they plundered along the southern coasts ; and the line 
of their ravages may be traced from the Domesday 
survey, which tells us how the manors lying along the 
coast from Dartmouth to Kingsbridge were " laid waste 
by the Irishmen." 


The little seaport town of Salcombe is seen to the greatest 
advantage from the Portlemouth side of the harbour; 
indeed, Ringrone, Woodcot, and some other villas, are so 
embosomed in trees, that they are scarcely discoverable to 
a passer-by on the same side of the water. 

Strangers who are desirous of obtaining the view in 
question, (if they are going from Kingsbridge to Salcombe 
by the Queen Steamer), can be landed at " Dutch 
End," and after spending a little time in a ramble on 
the Portlemouth shore, they can proceed to the Ferry 
House, from whence the boat will readily convey them 
across to Salcombe. 



" Silvery bays 
Are seen, where commerce lifts the peaceful sail ; 

The indented coast 
Frowns with wave-breasting rocks, and cliffs high crowned, 
And flags that wave in the fresh ocean gale." 


In Leland's Itinerary (temp. Hen. VII.) Salcombe is thus 
described : — " Saultcombe Haven sumwhat barrid, and having 
a Rok at the entering into it, is about a vij miles by West 
South West from Dertmouth ; and aboute half a mile within 
the mouth of this Haven, longing to the Privileges of Dert- 
mouth, is Saultcombe, a fishar towne and a three miles upper 
at this Haven Hedde is Kingesbridg, sumtyme a praty 
Town. The Est Point of Saultcombe Haven is a great 
Foreland into the Se, caulled the Sterte." 

Salcombe is a port under Dartmouth, and the out-port of 
Kingsbridge. Foreign vessels sometimes land their mails 
here, when prevented by stress of weather from proceeding 
to their usual ports. It is often used as a harbour of refuge, 
and has safe anchorage for about two hundred ships. 

Hawkins thus describes the situation of this place : — 
" Salcombe lies between those two well-known points of land, 
the Prawle and the Bolt Head, the former on the oriental, 


the latter on the occidental side, which last, rising to a 
tremendous height, discloses the resemblance of a human 
profile, while the projection immediately opposite, and nearly 
two miles within the Prawle, called Peartree Point (being 
part of Rickham Common), is low and flat." 

The town of Salcombe does not present a very attractive 
appearance on first entering it. The streets are narrow and 
ill-paved, and the shops by no means first-rate, but great 
improvements have taken place of late years; many new 
houses have been built, and there is a prospect of its 
becoming a place of much more importance than it has 
hitherto been, especially if the Kingsbridge Railway should 
ever be opened, and the proposed extension to Salcombe 
carried out. 

The coast scenery around is very fine, and the climate 
exceedingly mild ; indeed, it is considered the warmest place 
on the south-west coast. The celebrated Dr. John Huxham, 
who practised at Plymouth in the reign of George II., used 
to call it " the Montpellier of England ; " and Humboldt 
says " its mean temperature is but 2 A Farht. below that of 
Montpellier and of Florence." Invalids resort thither for 
shelter during the winter months, and doubtless will do so 
to a much greater extent when there is more accommodation 
provided for them than is to be found there at present. 

The manor of Salcombe belongs to the Earl of Devon, 
whose steward holds a court leet and court baron here, and 
appoints the constables. He is also Lord of the Manors of 
Malborough, Ilton,* East Sewer, Bolbury, Batson, Collaton- 
Prawle, Hope, &c. 

* " Uton, or Ithdstone Castle, was the ancient dwelling of Bozun, in 
King Henry II.'s time, whose inheritance after some descents, was divided 
between two daughters ; the one married Sir Hugh Ferrers, and the other 


The old Salcorabe chapel, which had gone to decay for 
some centuries (it was licensed by Bishop Stafford in 1401), 
was re-built, partly by subscription, but chiefly at the 
expense of James Yates, Esq., formerly of Woodville. It 
was afterwards augmented with Queen Anne's Bounty, but 
being too small for the greatly increased population, it has 
given place to Salcombe District Church, dedicated to the 
" Holy Trinity," erected by subscription and grants in 1843, 
at the cost of £2,605. 

The east window is enriched with stained glass, given by 
Viscount Courtenay (now Earl of Devon). The perpetual 
curacy is in the patronage of the Vicar of West Alvington. 

The present incumbent has a handsome modern residence, 
a little out of the town. 

Until rather recently almost all funerals took place at 
Malborough; consequently there are no tombstones of 
ancient date to be found in Salcombe Churchyard. This 
yard is planted with aloes, yuccas, myrtles, and other 
flowering shrubs. 

The Wesleyan minister at present stationed at Salcombe 
has kindly furnished the following facts relative to the com- 
mencement of Methodism in that place : — 

"Methodism was introduced into Salcombe shortly after 
its appearance at Kingsbridge, I think about the year 1809 
or 1811, but it is impossible on this point to be strictly 
accurate, as I find no documents that throw any light upon 

Sir John Chiverstone, who had this house. Two Knights of this tribe 
succeeded, the son and grandson of Sir John, who dying without issue, 
settled this land on his father-in-law, Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon, to 
which family it now belongs." Ilton Castle has so long been in ruins, that 
in the middle of the eighteenth century nothing was to be seen except a 
heap of brambles, which having been cleared away .about the year 1780, the 
traces of the foundation of a square building, flanked with turrets, were 


the subject. A room near the present Market Hall was first 
used for Divine worship, and afterwards the Infant Society- 
removed to another in Buckley. The next migration 
was to the site of the present chapel at the Island ; then 
occupied by a pretty looking cottage. This was bought and 
turned into a preaching house, which soon became too small 
for the worshippers. At this early stage a Sunday School 
had been commenced, and was in so flourishing a condition 
as to call for some special accommodation for the children, 
beyond what the already enlarged structure would afford. 

After successive alterations and enlargements the house 
was taken down, and, in 1 824, a chapel was built, which in 
its turn gave place to the present much larger edifice, which 
consists of a fair-sized, substantially-built chapel, with school 
room and vestries on the ground floor. This was in 1849, 
since which date the gallery has been extended along each 
side, an organ has been introduced, and the accommodation 
from time to time improved. The present congregation is 
large enough on ordinary occcasions comfortably to fill the 
chapel, and the Sunday School, consisting of nearly two 
hundred children, loudly calls for some further addition to 
the premises." 

The " Plymouth Brethren" have a Room at Salcombe, in 
which their meetings] are held ; and we believe there is also 
a small gathering of the body calling themselves the " Catholic 
Apostolic Church." In August, 1 866, the Baptists commenced 
holding their services in the Town Hall at Salcombe, and in 
April, 1868, the Earl of Devon was applied to, and granted a 
site on which they might build a chapel. The foundation 
stone was laid on June 24th, 1869, by Mr. Peter Adams, of 
Plymouth, and the chapel was opened June 22nd, 1871. At 
the evening meeting, after the opening, the pastor, the Rev. 


F. Pugh, on behalf of his late wife's mother, presented for 
the use of the church, a silver communion service, engraved 
with the following inscription : — " Presented to the Trustees 
for the use of the church worshipping in Courtenay Park 
Chapel, Salcombe, June 22nd, 1871, by E. W., Mother of 
Eliza, the beloved wife of Frederic Pugh, first pastor of the 
said church, who departed this life, November 29th, 1870, 
aged 29." 

The National School at Salcombe was built in 1847; and 
there is, besides, a flourishing Infant School.* 

There are Shipwrights' yards from which many fine clipper- 
built vessels are turned out ; indeed this may be considered 
the principal trade of the place. The facilities for launching 
vessels, of almost any burden, are great ; and of subsequently 
fitting them up, without leaving the port. 

You will find at Salcombe those usual accompaniments of 
a sea-port town, viz., a Custom House, and a Coast-guard 
station. Among the various societies and institutions, an 
important one is that of the Salcombe Shipping Association. 

The Gas-works, which were erected in the little creek, 
almost close to Salcombe, called Shadycombe, were opened in 
December, 1866. 

"The new Pier, or landing place at Orestone,t Salcombe, 
was built in the summer of 1871, by public subscription, 
to which the Harbour Commissioners, the Earl of Devon, 
and the shareholders of the Queen steamer Co., were the 
chief subscribers. The stones used for the work were taken 
from Limebury, with the exception of the steps which 
are Cornish granite. The whole is covered with a thick 
coat of Portland cement, and fenced with a stout fence of 


A new National school-room for girls is about to be built in the town, 
f Hawkins calls this place "Hoar, or Old Stone." 


iron tubing. The work was very satisfactorily executed 
by Messrs. George Stear & Sons, of Salcombe, under the 
superintendence and from the designs of Mr. John Wills, 
of Dodbrooke. While this erection facilitates the landing 
from boats at low water, it is a matter for regret that its 
length was curtailed in deference to the wish of some of 
the leading shipowners of Salcombe, who apprehended a 
danger to sailing vessels in tacking. It is admitted, how- 
ever, on all hands, that the original design, which was 
twenty feet longer, might have been carried out with the 
greatest possible advantage."* 

This new pier is a great accommodation to passengers 
in the ferry-boat which plies between Salcombe and the 
Portlemouth shore, being exactly opposite the ferry-house. 

The following report respecting a proposed "Oyster and 
Mussel Fishery " is extracted from a more lengthy account 
which appeared in the Kingsbridge Journal of October 7th, 
1871, and of May 4th, 1872. 

"A meeting of the inhabitants of Salcombe and neighbour- 
hood was held in the Town Hall on Friday afternoon last, 
for the purpose of considering the application made by 
Capt. Russell, of Gillingham, Kent, to the Board of Trade, 
for permission to lay down oyster and mussel beds in the 
river, from Keeve Mud to the Ferry. Capt. W. H. Webb 

Capt. Hill pointed out the importance of the issues in- 
volved. He stated that if Mr. Russell obtained the permission 
he sought from the Board of Trade, and laid down the 
oyster beds he contemplated, the harbour and immediate 
approaches to the port of Salcombe would be practically 

* Information from Mr. J. Wills. 


under his control, and mariners would be legally compelled 
to ask his permission before anchoring their ships, or to 
enter over his ground. Such an assumption of authority 
would prevent dredging for scallops and netting by the 
fishermen of Salcombe, and a very large number of them 
would thus be thrown out of employment, especially in 
winter. Capt. Hill having pointed out the disastrous conse- 
quences of the granting of the application, proposed the 
following resolution: 'That, having regard to the com- 
mercial and shipping interests of the port of Salcombe, this 
meeting considers that the application of Captain Jonathan 
Russell to the Board of Trade for an oyster and mussel 
fishery, from Keeve Mud to Salcombe Ferry, would be most 
injurious to those having charge of the harbour, as well 
as to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.' 

Rev. T. B. Wells remarked that it had been an un- 
interrupted privilege throughout generations for the in- 
habitants to dredge in the river for oysters and scallops. 
£500 worth of scallops were caught during the winter 
of 1869. He proposed 'That this meeting uses every 
legitimate means to oppose the establishment of oyster 
and mussel fisheries in Salcombe river.' 

Capt. Sladen moved 'That a memorial be prepared, pe- 
titioning against the grant, that the memorial be taken 
round to the inhabitants of the district for their signatures, 
and then forwarded to the Board of Trade; also, that a 
copy be sent to Capt. Russell.' 

These resolutions were seconded and carried." 

Notwithstanding the universal feeling against this measure, 
and the general belief that, if carried out, it would be a 
serious injury to the neighbourhood, the Board of Trade 
decided on " granting to Mr. Russell a several oyster and 


mussel fishery, from Snapes Point to Salt-stone Rock, instead 
of from the Passage-way to Keeve Mud, as applied for. Mr. 
Russell will not be allowed to interfere in any manner 
with any persons using seine, tuck, or other nets, which 
do not fish for or take oysters. This order will continue 
in operation for sixty years from its confirmation by Act 
of Parliament." 

Ringrone House, a little out of Salcombe, is a handsome 
marine villa, with terraced gardens extending quite to the 
water's edge. Until his lamented death, which took place 
in April of this year (1874), it was the residence of the 
Right Honourable Michael Conrade de Courcy, Lord Kingsale, 
respecting whom the following account appeared in the 
Illustrated London Neius of April 25th, 1874: — 

"The Right Honourable Michael Conrade de Courcy, 
thirtieth Lord Kingsale, Baron Courcy of Courcy, and Baron 
of Ringrone, Premier Baron in the Peerage of Ireland, died 
at Salcombe on the 15th instant. His Lordship was born 
December 21st, 1828; the second son of John Stapleton, 
twenty-eighth Lord Kingsale, by Sarah his wife, second 
daughter of Joseph Chadder, Esq.; and inherited the title at 
the decease of his brother, June 15th, 1865. He was not 
married, and is succeeded by his cousin, John Fitzroy de 
Courcy, born March 30th, 1821, now thirty-first Baron, who 
is son of the late Lieutenant-Colonel, the Honourable Gerald 
de Courcy, fourth son of John, twenty-sixth Lord Kingsale. 
The historic and very ancient family of which the deceased 
lord was the representative, was founded in Ireland by the 
famous soldier Sir John de Courcy, created Earl of Ulster in 
1181, and granted the privilege that he and his successors 
(after first obeisance being paid) should remain covered in 
the presence of the King and all future Sovereigns of 


England. The privilege is still enjoyed by the Lords 
Kingsale, whose right to it was confirmed by William III., 
George I., and Queen Victoria." 

Ringrone was built on the site of a former house by the 
twenty-eighth Baron, John Stapleton de Courcy, who died 
in 1847, and was buried in Malborough church, where there 
is a monument to his memory, of white marble, surmounted 
by the arms of the family, and motto, "Vincit omnia 
Veritas" (Truth conquers all things). It bears the fol- 
lowing inscription : — 

"This Monument is erected to perpetuate the memory 
of the Right Honourable John Stapleton de Courcy, 28th 
Baron Kingsale, and Premier Baron of Ireland, whose 
ancestors have obtained for themselves laurels which time 
can never wither. He died at Ringrone House, in this 
Parish, justly lamented, on the 7th day of January, 1847; 
aged 42 years. 

Also the Honourable William Everard de Courcy, third 
son of the above, who was born the 11th day of January, 
1832, and died the 25th day of May in the same year." 

The particulars respecting the De Courcy family were 
mostly gathered from a work on the "Aristocracy of the 
Empire," by Richard Sprye. 

" The family of Courcy claims alliance with most of 
the royal houses of Europe, paternally through the Dukes 
of Lorraine, and maternally through the ducal house of 
Normandy. Louis IV., King of France, born in 920, married 
in 939, Gerberga, daughter of Henry I., Emperor of Ger- 
many, by whom he had two sons, Lotharius, who suc- 
ceeded to the French throne (and with whose son, Louis 
V., the race of monarchs descended from Charlemagne 


ceased,) and Charles Duke of Lorraine whose immediate 
descendant, Robert de Courcy, was Lord of Courcy, in 
Normandy, in 1006,* and was succeeded by his eldest 
son Richard de Courcy, who accompanied his sovereign 
William into England, and distinguished himself at the 
battle of Hastings, participated largely in the Conqueror's 
.spoil, having been allotted numerous lordships, amongst 
which was that of Stoke, County Somerset, and thence 
denominated Stoke Courcy." (Passing over four descents, 
we reach the name of) " Sir John Courcy, who having 
distinguished himself temp. Henry II., in that monarch's 
wars in England and Gascony, was sent into Ireland, in the 
year 1177, as an assistant to William Fitz-Adelm, in the 
government of that kingdom. Sir John having prevailed 
upon some of the veteran soldiery to accompany him, 
invaded the province of Ulster with twenty-two knights, 
fifty esquires, and about three hundred foot soldiers; and 
after many hard-fought battles, succeeded in attaching that 
quarter of the kingdom to the English monarchy — for 
which important service he was created, in 1181 (being 
the first Englishman dignified with an Irish title of honour), 
Earl of Ulster. His lordship continued in high favour 
during the remainder of the reign of his royal master, and 
performed prodigies of valour in Ireland; but upon the 
accession of King John, his splendour and rank having 
excited the envy of Hugh de Lacie, appointed Governor of 
Ireland by that monarch, the Earl of Ulster was treacherously 

* About midway between Amiens and Laon in France, stands Courcy 
castle, a great object of attraction to visitors, and among the finest of the 
kind in France or Western Europe. The most conspicuous remains are one 
entire wing, with great corner towers, and, rising above all, the massive 
circular keep, a solid machicolatcd pile, 190 feet "high, and 30 to 32 feet 


seized (while performing penance) unarmed and barefooted, 
in the churchyard of Down-Patrick, on Good Friday, anno 
1203, and sent over to England, where the King condemned 
him to perpetual imprisonment in the tower, and granted 
to Lacie all the Earl's possessions in Ireland. 

After his lordship had been in confinement about a year, 
a dispute happening to arise between King John and Philip 
Augustus of France, concerning the Duchy of Normandy, 
the decision of which being referred to single combat, King 
John (more hasty than advised) appointed the day, against 
which the King of France provided his champion ; but the 
King of England, less fortunate, could find no one of his 
subjects willing to take up the gauntlet, until his captive in 
the tower, the gallant Earl of Ulster, was prevailed upon to 
accept the challenge. But when everything was prepared 
for the contest, and the champions had entered the lists, in 
presence of the monarchs of England, France, and Spain, 
the opponent of the Earl, seized with a sudden panic, put 
spurs to his horse, and fled the arena; whereupon the victory 
was adjudged with acclamation to the champion of England. 

The French King being informed, however, of the Earl's 
powerful strength, and wishing to witness some exhibition 
of it, his lordship, at the desire of King John, cleft a massive 
helmet in twain at a single blow. The King was so well 
satisfied with this signal performance, that he not only 
restored the earl to his estates and effects, but desired him to 
ask anything within his gift, and it should be granted. To 
which Ulster replied, that having estates and titles enough, 
he desired that his successors might have the privilege (their 
first obeisance being paid) to remain covered in the presence 
of his majesty, and all future Kings of England; which 
request was immediately conceded. This heroic warrior and 


able statesman died in France, about the year 1210, and was 
succeeded by his only son, Miles, upon whom Henry III. 
conferred the Barony of Kinsale,* in Ireland, as a compen- 
sation for the Earldom of Ulster, which was retained by 
Hugo de Lacie. 

For five centuries afterwards the honours descended 
regularly. (But we pass on to) "Almericus, twenty-third 
baron, outlawed in 1691 for his adhesion to the fortunes of 
James II., but the outlawry was very soon removed, and his 
lordship took his seat in the parliament of Ireland, in 1692. 
This nobleman, in observance of the ancient privilege of his 
house, appeared in the presence of King William, covered, 
and explained to that monarch, when his majesty expressed 
surprise at the circumstance, the reason thus : — ' Sire, my 
name is Courcy. I am Lord of Kinsale, in your majesty's 
kingdom of Ireland ; and the reason of my appearing covered 
in your majesty's presence is to assert the ancient privilege 
of my family, granted to Sir John de Courcy, Earl of Ulster, 
and his heirs, by John, King of England.' The King 
acknowledged the privilege, and giving the baron his hand 
to kiss, his lordship paid his obeisance, and continued 
covered." He died in 1719, and was buried in Westminster 
Abbey, where his tomb may be seen. 

It is left on record that his successors, Gerald, twenty- 
fourth baron ; John, twenty-sixth baron ; and John Con- 
stantine, twenty-ninth baron; on different occasions "exer- 
cised this ancient privilege of their ancestors." 

A fine specimen of the American Aloe flowered last year 
(1873) in the grounds at Ringrone House. The continuance 
of a colder atmosphere than is usually experienced here, just 

* We know not when the family of De Courcy first adopted the present 
mode of spelling the name King sale : it was clearly not so at first. 


at the time that heat was desirable, probably prevented this 
noble plant from attaining the height it would otherwise 
have done. Twenty-six feet was about the length of the 
flower stem. The photograph accompanying these pages 
was taken from this plant. 

The Journal of Horticulture of September 5th, 1872, 
sa y S — "The first of our herbalists who mentions the 
American Aloe is Parkinson. In his ' Theatrum Botanicum,' 
published in 1640, he says — 'It grew first in America, 
which being brought into Spaine, was from thence spread 
into all quarters.' He also observes on its early flowering 
in the hotter countries, 'but never in these colder,' so that 
at that time we may conclude it had not flowered in 
England, although we know that it had flowered in France 
and Italy. ^ ^ # This Agave is not merely an orna- 
ment, for, as stated by Dr. Hogg, in his ' Vegetable 
Kingdom,' the root as well as the leaves yield excellent 
fibre, called Pita fibre, which is separated by bruising and 
steeping them in water. The Mexicans make their paper 
of this fibre." 

The following paper, which was contributed to the 
Gardeners' Chronicle, in October, 1842, by John Lus- 
combe, Esq., of Combe Royal, will doubtless be read with 
interest. It was kindly lent by the author, with permission 
to copy. 


"Believing that there is no part of England, where so 
many plants of the Agave Americana have grown to maturity 
in the open ground, without the slightest protection, I am 
induced to send you a brief statement of the specimens that 
have flowered at Salcombe, a small seaport near Kings- 
bridge, in the South of Devon. The first on record bloomed 


in 1774,* being then only twenty-eight years old: it grew 
in the garden of Cliff House, a residence (as its name implies) 
within a few yards of the sea. In the middle of June the 
plant was first observed to have shot forth a flower-stem, 
which grew rapidly, and advanced about nine inches daily, 
until at the end of September it had attained the height of 
twenty-eight feet, bearing innumerable flowers on forty-two 
branches : its leaves were nine feet long and six inches wide. 
In 1820 a second Aloe flowered at Woodville, the seat of the 
late James Yates, Esq., which attained the height of twenty- 
seven feet, and produced forty flowering branches, bearing 
sixteen thousand flowers: this plant is fully described in 
the fifth volume of the ' Transactions of the Horticultural 
Society.' In 1832 a third flowered at the Moult, the seat of 
W. Jackson, Esq., which was twenty-eight feet high. The 
lawn at Woodville was again ornamented in 1835 with the 
almost countless blossoms of this most stately exotic : the 
stem of this specimen was twenty-four feet nine inches in 
height, forming the fourth Aloe that had flowered here. In 
the Autumn of 1840 a fifth flowered at the Moult, and was 

* Hawkins gives a copy of a handbill which was printed and circulated 
at the time this Aloe was flowering. It is as follows : — 

" Now to be seen at SALCOMBE, near 

KINGSBBIDGE, in full blow, 

A Remarkable ALLOE, 

Supposed to be the largest ever seen in this kingdom ; and although 

continually exposed to the Weather, it hath grown to the following 

Dementions : — 

feet, inches. 

In height 20 Of 

Length of the leaf „ 9 

Thickness of ditto 6 

As the Proprietor hath been at great expenses to keep it for the Inspection 

of the Curious, the Terms of admission are, for Ladies and Gentlemen 

2s. 6d. each ; all others at one shilling each person, and to be paid at the 


t It afterwards grew eight feet more. 


twenty- seven feet in height : this plant was transplanted the 
previous year, which perhaps threw it into bloom, as the 
leaves were not quite so large as those of its predecessors. 
At the present time (1842) a sixth Aloe is coming into bloom 
at Cliff House, the residence of Mrs. Prideaux. This plant 
is between thirty and thirty-five years of age, and is inferior 
in beauty to the others that have bloomed at Salcombe, as 
instead of sending up a central flower-stem, seven stalks 
have protruded themselves from different parts, the principal 
of which are about ten feet high. From this circumstance 
the peculiar character of the plant is lost, and it is at present 
a mass of stems and flower-stalks, upon which only one or 
two blossoms have yet expanded. At each of the places 
mentioned, many fine young Aloes, of large size, are growing 
luxuriantly; and in another small garden, overhanging the 
sea, and constantly exposed in stormy weather to the spray, 
five magnificent specimens are manifesting more than ordi- 
nary vigour. 

It may not, perhaps, be out of place to speak of Salcombe 
itself, and the other tender plants that flourish there. It is 
a populous village,* carrying on a considerable trade, and 
situated between Torquay and Plymouth. At the west end 
are Cliff House, and the mansion of Lord Kingsale, with 
other respectable abodes, and towards the entrance of the 
harbour, which is about a mile from the village, are placed 
in their wooded grounds the delightful residences of Wood- 
ville and the Moult. From the south-west gales, which in 
this part of Devon blow with such resistless violence, the 
harbour is entirely protected by the magnificent head-land, 
called the Bolt Head, and from the storms from other 
quarters by lofty hills on almost every side. In point of 

* So denominated when this paper was written, but decidedly a town now 


picturesque scenery, there are few portions of the coast that 

exceed it, while the various tender plants which it displays 

^render it a spot of no ordinary interest to the horticulturist. 

At Woodville there is a wall of thriving Orange, Lemon, 
and Citron trees, protected only by temporary frames of reed. 
Near them stood, a few years since, a large Olive tree, trained 
also against a wall, but wholly unprotected, and there is still 
a specimen in the grounds. The luxuriance of the New 
Zealand Flax is remarkable, some immense masses being 
more than seven feet high. The beauty of these plants is 
great, as they evince the strongest health, and are uninjured 
by the severest Devonshire winters. Two smaller plants have 
blossomed, the flower-stalks being between two and three feet 
higher than the leaves. 

At the Moult, a great number of exotics have been 
planted in the open air, and the grounds at the present 
moment are gay with Dahlias, Salvias, Petunias, Seneceos, 
Sollyas, Bouvardias, Pelargoniums, and Brugmassias. The 
last-named shrubs stand the winters well; and though often 
cut down to the ground, form strong plants by the end 
of the summer. There are also some fine specimens of 
Cassias, New Holland Acacias, an interesting species of 
Eucalyptus (raised from seed) marked ' White Gum.' A 
still finer species, called the 'Blue Gum,' (the fragrance 
of which was very perceptible after rain) was killed by 
the severity of the winter of 1840-1. Various herbaceous 
plants from Mexico, particularly Stevias, are perfectly ac- 
climatized; and a species of Phytolacca is conspicuous 
from its numerous spikes of deep purple berries. Until 
the intense cold we experienced a few years since, the 
varieties of Cape Pelargonium had formed immense bushes, 
and were everywhere rising from self-sown seeds. A 


splendid Ipomoea, apparently allied to, if not identical 
with, I. Tyrianthina, raised from South American seeds, 
nourished for several years at the foot of a wall, but 
was destroyed by the incessant rain of last winter. It 
had a fleshy root, and its twining stems, which perished 
in December, bore an abundance of rich purple flowers, 
of large size." * * * 

Some few years after this paper was written, four Aloes 
were in flower at one time at Salcombe, in different gardens 
there; and last year (1873) a fine one flowered in the 
grounds at Ringrone, as we have previously stated. 

There are many good and attractive residences in and 
around Salcombe, but we cannot attempt to mention them 
all. Adjoining the Ringrone grounds (on the Salcombe 
side) are the terraced gardens belonging to Cliff House; 
one way of approach to them from the house being by a 
bridge thrown across the road. 

Woodville, now called Woodcot, was built in the year 
1797, by James Yates, Esq. It is now the property and 
residence of Major-General Birdwood. The windows of 
the villa, which are shaded by a colonade, command a 
fine view of the Bolt Head, and the rocks and high hills 
of Portlemouth. The grounds are tastefully laid out, and 
abound with evergreens and flowering shrubs. Oranges, 
Lemons, and Citrons, are produced here in great luxuriance. 
Hawkins, when referring to this place, speaks of "a large 
camera obscura, fixed on a perpendicular rock"; of "a sort 
of quay, with a mock parapet, and small swivels to fire a 
royal salute"; and of "a sinuous enclosure for retaining 
and preserving fish in their natural element." All these, 
excepting the small quay with the mock parapet, are now 
things of the past. 



"One lonely turret, shattered and out-worn, 
Stands venerably proud— too proud to mourn 
Its long-lost grandeur." 

Perhaps no period of English history is more momentous 
than that of the Civil Wars, in the time of Charles I.; nor 
was the share which this neighbourhood and the adjacent 
towns had in these events of inferior importance. 

Long before the rebuilding of the castle at Salcombe, 
collisions took place between the forces of. the King and 
the Parliament in this neighbourhood. The Royalists were 
quartered at Tavistock, Plympton, and Modbury.f Ply- 
mouth seems to have supported the Parliament throughout, 
and shewed a remarkable spirit of disaffection; and being 
strong, often sallied out to the Royalists at Plympton, 
Modbury, and elsewhere, generally bringing back prisoners, 
and arms, and also cattle. | 

In 1642, Sir Edmund Fortescue was High Sheriff of 
Devon. He has been known to us mostly as being Governor 

* Although this chapter is headed " Fort Charles," yet it includes many 
particulars respecting the Civil Wars, as affecting this neighbourhood 

f Moore. 

X Whitelocke. 


of Salcombe Castle, and maintaining a gallant resistance 
for a lengthened period; but it seems this was far from 
being all he did for the Royalist cause. From the first, 
he had shewn great activity on behalf of the King, and 
his bravery and daring were known to his opponents, inso- 
much that they speak of him at this date as " a very 
great malignant." 

Early in February, 1642, Sir Edmund's head quarters 
being at Plympton, he had gone over to Modbury to meet 
other gentlemen of distinction in the county, and the trained 
bands, when they were attacked suddenly by a party of 
five hundred horse from the garrison at Plymouth; and 
the men being seized with a sudden panic, under the im- 
pression that the forces of the enemy were more numerous, 
took flight, and Sir Edmund Fortescue and the other gentle- 
men were taken prisoners. The particulars are found in 
the following quotation. 

"The Commanders of the garison at Plymouth having 
had intelligence that the High Sheriffe of that Shire, by 
name Sir Edmund Fortescue, a very great malignant, lay 
at Modburie, where the trained bands, by virtue of his 
' Posse comitatus,' met also Avith him that day, the Cavaliers' 
chief quarters being then at Plympton, which was within 
three miles of them; hereupon they thus formed their 
designs. Very early in the morning, Capt. Thompson, Capt. 
Pym, Capt. Gould, and some others, with five hundred horse 
and dragooners, marched to go away privately northward 
towards Rowbardown, as if they meant to go to Tavistock; 
but suddenly wheeling about, they came secretly to Mod- 
burie, where, in Master Champnon's house,* they found 

* This was Modbury House, the residence of the Champernowne family 
from the time of Edward II. to the end of the seventeenth century. The 


the High Sheriffe, with divers other gentlemen of quality, 
and two thousand trained souldiers and volunteers, who 
presently, on their approach, crying out 'The Troopers are 
come/ most swiftly all ran away, many of them leaving 
their arms behind them. The house fore-mentioned was 
instantly beset, where the High Sheriffe stood stoutly on 
his defence, till the house was fired, and the assailants 
breaking in upon them, possessed the house, and took 
there divers prisoners, to the number of twenty eminent 
persons of those parts, among whom were Sir Edmund 
Fortescue, High Sheriffe of the County, Sir Ed. Seimour, 
Baronet, Mr. Ed. Seimour, Mr. Basset, Capt. Champnoon, 
Capt. Pomeroy, Capt. Bidlock, Capt. Peter Fortescue, Mr. 
Barnes, Mr. Shipton, Clerk of the Peace, and others. After 
this, they marched with their prisoners towards Dartmouth."* 

The following extracts are from an old pamphlet of the 
same month and year, bearing the date, Plymouth, Feb. 
24th, 1642. 

" On Tuesday last all the Devonshire forces met at Kings- 
bridge, and marched towards Modbury — they were in all, as 
is supposed, eight or nine thousand, at the least — and came 
to Modbury about noon, where the Cavaliers had strongly 
fortified themselves with brest Workes, and laid all the hedges 
round about the Towne, for half a mile's compasse, with 
Musquetiers. There went from hence the London Gray- 
coats and about four hundred Horse and Dragooners, who 
came time enough to doe good service. But the Bastable 

site was sold in 1705, find the family seat is now at Dartington, near Totnes. 
One of the Champernownes was the mother of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and, 
by a second marriage, the mother also of Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Edmund 
Fortescue was descended from the Champernownes through his grandmother. 

* For this account, obtained at the British Museum, and for many 
particulars of the siege of Fort Charles, from the same source, we are 
indebted to Mr. John Hooper. 


and Biddeford men were the first that came on, before 
they were aware, about halfe a mile ere they came to the 
Towne, not expecting to be charged by the enemy so soone, 
yet so forward and desperate were the Cavalliers that they 
let flye amaine upon them, but did little or no execution, 
nor did abate the courage of their assailants ; but the 
Bastable men went on with such abundance of resolution 
as if they feared not bullets, and the whole Army comming 
up, and our men joyning with them, they beate the Caval- 
liers from hedge to hedge. The fight beganne about one 
of the clocke at noone; and towards night they drave 
most of them into the Towne, and to their Works, where 
they made a very hot defense, and had many men slaine, 
which they perceiving, and our Forces having beaten them 
out of their Works, the chiefe of them privately stole away 
about three of the clock in the morning (the fight continuing 
all night), and by degrees drew away all their Forces by a 
way which the Easterne Army supposed was kept by our 
men, but in truth neglected by both, onely their haste 
forced them to leave their Armes behind them, and some 
threescore of their Dragooners, to keepe our men in sus- 
pense, with command to keepe shooting continually until 
the day appeared, and then to take their horses and to 
follow them. But when the day came on, our men found 
out their drift, how they were deluded, and pursued them, 
took fourscore prisoners and many horse, much armes 
scattered in the way, which they were faine to cast off 
that they might flye the faster. 

Our Horse and Foot, on Munday night last, visited Fleete 
House, where Baronet Heale dwels, and there tooke about 
twenty Horse, with some Prisoners. Our army have taken 
in all above a thousand armes, double the number they 


tooke from us at Liskerd. We lost seven men that were 
slaine, and Sergeant-Major Herbert's Lieutenant and six 
others, that were taken prisoners by adventuring too 
farre. It is supposed that they have a hundred men 
slaine, besides abundance hurt : we have three or four hurt, 
but not dangerously. 

This evening, Captaine Boskowen, with a partie of Horse, 
hath brought in twelve prisoners, of which there are two 
Captaines, viz., Captaine Nevill Blight (a furious malignant), 
and one Captaine Pomroye, that was sent to London by 
water, with the Sheriffe, but escaped thence."* 

By this pamphlet we see that the Sheriff, Sir Edmund 
Fortescue, Captain Pomeroy, and others, who were taken 
prisoners at Modbury, were marched towards Dartmouth for 
the purpose of " sending them to London by water" And 
we are also told that Captain Pomeroy (and probably the 
others) " escaped thence." The manner of this escape is not 
known, but that they did escape accounts for their being so 
soon again at their old posts of duty for the King. 

About three quarters of a mile beyond Salcombe, towards 
the harbour, are the remains of Fort Charles, built on a rock, 
and insulated at high water. 

There had been an ancient castle, called the Old Bulwark, 
standing on this site for ages before the time of the civil war, 
(Hawkins says it was attributed to the Saxons) but which 
was in 1643 "utterly ruined and decayed" It is not 
improbable that Sir Edmund Fortescue suggested the im- 
portance of its restoration. He certainly made known his 
willingness to undertake to reconstruct and re-fortify it, and 

* This very rare old pamphlet was in the possession of the late George 
Prideaux, Esq., of Plymouth. It is also among the King's pamphlets in 
the British Museum. 


received an order for that purpose from Prince Maurice, the 
King's nephew, by whom he was also appointed Governor. 
The following is a copy of his commission. 

"Prince Maurice, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of 
Bavaria, to Sir Edmund Fortescue, Kt. Forasmuch as I have 
received very good satisfaction that the fort, called the Old 
Bullworke, near Salcombe, now utterly ruined and decayed, 
which being well fortified and manned may much conduce to 
y e advancement of his Ma ts service in annoying the rebells, 
and securing those partes from their incursions ; and whereas 
you the said S r Edmond Fortescue, have given mee assurance 
of your readyness and diligence in refortifying and manning 
y e said fort; These are to will and require you, hereby 
giving you full power and authority, by all possible ways and 
means, to refortify and man the same, willing and requiring 
the Sheriffe of the county of Devon, and all other his Ma ts 
officers and loving subjects, to aycle and assist you in perfect- 
ing of the said fortification, which fort with the officers and 
souldiers you shall for his Ma ts service by virtue of this 
commission receive into your charge and command, requiring 
all officers, souldiers, and others belonging thereunto, you to 
obey readily, to receive and accomplish your directions and 
commands, and you yourselfe in all things well and duely to 
acquit yourself for the best advancement of his Ma ts service, 
for which this shall be your warrant. Given at Whitley 
under my hand and seale att armes this 9th of December, 
1643. MAURICE." 

Sir Edmund immediately set about repairing this fortress, 
which by the 15th day of January, 1646, he had completely 
provisioned and fortified with great guns and muskets, the 
expense of which, as appears by the Knight's daily account, 
amounted to the sum of £3,196 14s. 6d., exclusive, as he 


remarks, of a single penny being charged for furniture. The 
provisions laid in for the siege amounted to £740 Is. 6d. The 
wages paid in the rebuilding of the castle were, for masons, 
quarry men, and carpenters, a shilling a day each; plasterers, 
one shilling and two pence each; joiners, one shilling and 
eight pence each. The attendants (which it is supposed 
means labourers) ten pence ; and lime was at six shillings a 

The garrison consisted of Sir Edmund Fortescue, 
Governor, Sir Christopher Lucknor, Mr. Thomas 
Fortescue, Captain Peter Fortescue,* Major Syms, 
Major Stephenson, Captain Roch, Captain Kingston, 
Captain Powett, Captain Peterfield, Captain Doues, 
Mr. Snell, Chaplain, and the men, in all numbering sixty- 
six. The names of all the men are on record, together with 
a few notes respecting some of them ; such as that Lieut. 
John Ford, William Cookworthy, and Stephen Goss, ran 
away, and that Thomas Quarme, being sick, went by leave. 

Everything was now ready, and the little garrison only 
waited the attack. They would know that Sir Thomas 
Fairfax had arrived at Totnes, and an eager watch would be 
kept for the first sign of his coming, but Fairfax had decided 
first to reduce Dartmouth. On the 12th January, 1646, he 
sent his regiments with orders to besiege the garrison of 
Dartmouth, and on the 18th followed them himself with his 
army, and the summons to surrender being refused, com- 
menced storming the town the same night. " Every 
commander was assigned to his post, and to fall on upon 
the word of command given. The contest was vigorous and 
severe, but short. Col. Hammond entered the west gate, 

* Captain Peter Forteseue was uncle to Sir Edmund. Ho married 
Elizabeth, daughter of John Bastard, Esq., of Gerston. 



where four guns were placed, and two by the Mill-pool, but 
the great guns were fired but once. Hammond's men went 
freely on, and possessed one fort after another, from the West 
Gate to Little Dartmouth, while Col. Pride took the north 
part of the town called Hardness, unto the Drawbridge. 
Townstal Church, which was manned with above a hundred 
men, and had in it ten guns, was next taken, so that now 
there only remained the great fort, and the castle, into which 
the Governor, with the Earl of Newport, and as many as 
escaped, did nye." 

" Sir Thomas Fairfax's Dragoons, with two companys of 
Firelocks and some seamen, were ordered to alarm the great 
fort, wherein was Sir Henry Carey with his regiment, 
twelve guns, and store of amunition, but they came willingly 
to terms, and Sir Thomas Fairfax agreed that Sir Henry 
Carey should march away with the rest, leaving the arms, 
ordnance, ammunition, and provisions, in the fort, and 
engaging never to take up arms against the parliament, which 
was done by them, and the next morning the Governor 
yielded the castle."* 

An extract from a letter of the period shows that Fairfax 
now turned his attention to Salcombe. 

"The General then sent for five hundred men from Ply- 
mouth, that he might employ those of his own in reducing 
other places which was not then resolved, only a party was 
sent to fall upon a fort near Salcombe, a harbour that lies 
between Dartmouth and Plymouth, which hath Frigots in it 
that much infest the seas.f" 

These Salcombe frigates had made themselves a name, and 

* Whitelocke's Memorials. 

f " The Moderate Intelligencer impartially communicating Martial Affairs 
to the Kingdom of England." 


sad stones were told of their deeds in the Channel; for, 
during the re-building of the fort, they had been ever on the 
watch, to pursue and harass the vessels of the enemy. 

Another letter says — "The General having left at present 
the care of Dartmouth to Col. Lambert, went on Wednesday 
to Totnes. We go on to attempt Fort Charles, near 
Salcombe. It is commanded by Sir Edmund Fortescue. 
There must be ordnance to batter it, which are coming; 
likewise some addition of forces to Col. Inglesby's* regi- 
ment, now before it, are to be raised and gathered out of 
the country, which they do willingly." f 

The commencement of the siege is said by some authorities 
to be January 15th, while others say January 23rd. It is 
probable [that Col. Inglesby commenced proceedings on 
January loth (the siege of Dartmouth was on the 18th), 
and that General Fairfax, having with him the additional 
force and the ordnance to batter it, which was said to be 
coming, summoned it to surrender on the 23rd. The 
General was, however, unable to produce much effect upo n 

"When Fairfax entered Devonshire the Royalists had 
most of the garrisons in the county in their possession, as 
Tiverton, Exeter, Dartmouth, Barnstaple, Torrington; but 
he speedily reduced one garrison after another." t It must 
have been mortifying therefore to Fairfax to have to leave 
the little garrison at Salcombe unsubdued, as well as to 
Col. Inglesby, who had been so successful elsewhere. 

It is probable the situation of Fort Charles was a difficulty, 
but may it not have been that the Governor and his garrison 

* Col. Inglesby was killed soon afterwards, at the siege of Pendennis. 

f Martial Affairs. 
% Moore. 


Avere also difficult, and not so easily made to yield as they 
had found those at Dartmouth and elsewhere to be ? 

There is no doubt Fairfax recognised the Governor's 
qualities, and the determined stand which he took in his fort, 
and endorsed the opinion of those who, so long before, had 
called him " a very great malignant." 

Among some notes left by Sir Edmund Fortescue is the 
following : " Item, For great shot and musket shot when 
Fort Charles was formerly twice besieged, £15 17s. Od." 
This alludes to the two short sieges before the last. The last 
siege which necessitated capitulation is said to have been a 
lengthened one, and there is no doubt " Sprigge" refers to 
this last siege, when he says, " Salcombe Fort yielded in 50 
dales. 8 pieces of ordnance taken."* 

On the 25th March, a week after the commencement of the 
last siege, Colonel Weldon no doubt perceiving how little he 
would be able to accomplish, made offers to Sir Ed. Fortescue 
to surrender, which are called by the writer " very faire," 
and were somewhat similar to the articles afterwards signed. 
It was supposed, on the side of the besiegers, that Sir 
Edmund intended to yield, and premature news to this effect 
was sent to Plymouth, and from Plymouth to the " Diurnall 
of Parliament." What was the motive of the Governor in 
this feint, does not appear ; but it is unlikely that he intended 
any thing of the kind, well knowing, as he did, that the 
enemy could produce but little effect upon the fortress, and 
that he could hold out until May. We at least know, that he 
did not yield, that the siege went on, that certain men of 
the garrison were shot after this date, and that at length, 
articles of capitulation were signed " y e 7th of May, 1646." 

Tradition has handed it down, that the Parliament forces 
* Sprigge's Anglia Eediviva. 


attacked the castle from Rickham Common, on the opposite 
side of the harbour, and a half-moon trench with a mound, 
and places for guns, is shown on the hill-side exactly facing 
the castle, where they erected a battery. They must, 
however, have had other positions also. Be this as it may, 
on the 7th of May, 161*6, a little less than four months after 
the commencement of the siege, the garrison was obliged to 
capitulate, which they did upon honourable terms. 

One account says, " For a period of nearly four months, 
the retired inlet of Salcombe was a scene of incessant uproar. 
The batteries thundered from each side of the harbour, but 
at the end of that time, the garrison capitulated. For this 
spirited resistance, Sir Edmund Fortescue was allowed to 
march with the honours of war to his mansion, Falapit 

A letter to the " Diurnall of Parliament" says, " Charles 
Fort, sometimes called Salcombe, is surrendered to us, to the 
obedience and use of the Parliament, which is the only 
considerable place that the enemy has lately held, in all the 
west parts, except the strong garrison of Pendennis Castle." 

This ruined fort, therefore, although regarded by many as 
of no particular historic interest, may at least boast that it 
held out for the King until almost every fortress in Devon- 
shire had succumbed. 

The articles signed were ten in number. It was agreed 
first, "That the Governor and all the garrison, in their 
several and respective places, capacities, and degrees, should 
have full liberty in thire profession of the true Protestant 
religion, professed and vowed by both houses of this present 
Parliament, &c" Also, "That the said fort may not bee 
knowne by aney other name than Fort Charles, as now itt is, 
or any coate of arames in y e dininge rume defaced ; or any- 


thing belonging to y e said fort." The eighth article in the 
agreement runs thus — "That the Governor, with Sir Ch r - 
Luckner, thire servants, and all officers and souldiers in the 
fort, have free liberty to march from hence to Fallowpit with 
there usuall amies, drums beating, and collars flyinge, with 
boundelars full of powder, and muskets apertinable, and 
after three vallues to yield up theire armes to those whome 
Corronell Welldon shall appoint to receive them — the Gover- 
nor, Sir Ch r- Luckner, with both thire servants, likewayse y e 
officers in common, excepted." 

When the tide is particularly low, numbers of bullets, 
large clumsy pieces of metal, are found. 

"A large key, said to have belonged to this fort, is 
preserved by the representatives of the Governor's family. 
It is sixteen inches long, and two-and-half inches wide at 
the bit or ward."* 

For the expenses of the garrison, Sir Ed. Fortescue had 
an order from the Commissioners of the County of Devon, 
dated from the Charter House, Exeter, the 12th day of 
August, 164-4, assigning him the weekly contributions of 
the parishes of Malborough and Portlemouth — the former 
amounting to £11 15s., and the latter to £6, making 
together £17 15s. weekly; and this he continued to receive 
till the first day of November in the same year, when it was 
further ordered by the said Commissioners that he should be 
paid £14 weekly by Mr. Geo. Potter, supposed to be the 
receiver-general for the county. This, perhaps, proceeded 
from the Parliament army having by that time possessed 
themselves of the neighbouring district, so as to prevent 
these payments from being made by the parishes to the 
royal party. It appears that the Governor received also a 

* Hawkins. 


weekly contribution of £7 Is. 8d. for some time from West 
Alvington, and that he was paid by them to the amount of 
£245 16s. lOd. The Knight seems to have kept a very 
regular account of his receipts and disbursements. At the 
end of the account he observes that he has not taken a 
single penny for himself as Governor. 

The question arises, how has this fort, rebuilt, and restored 
in 1644-5, at a large cost, become an utter ruin, although 
not destroyed in the siege ? Many buildings, less substantial, 
and of greater age, remain. There seems little doubt that the 
articles agreed upon were broken, viz., " that not any coate 
of armes in y e dininge rume should be defaced, nor anything 
belonging to y e said fort." Perhaps the Parliament feared 
to allow a fort to remain intact which had for nearly four 
months resisted all the attempts of the enemy ; and probably 
an order was sent down for its destruction, which may have 
been effected by its own gunpowder, after its " eight pieces 
of ordnance were taken." 

Sir Edmund Fortescue married a daughter of Lord 
Sandys. He was created a Baronet by Charles II., in 1664. 
He lies buried at Delft, in Holland, where a monument is 
erected to his memory. He was succeeded by his son Sir 
Sandys, at whose death, without issue, the title became 



" Old majestic sea ! 
Ever love I from shore to look on thee, 
And sometimes on thy billowy back to ride, 
And sometimes o'er thy summer breast to glide ; 
But let me live on shore." 

Barry Cornwall. 

" The field above the Castle is called the Gore, or Gutter ; 
and tradition points it out as the scene of a bloody 
affray. The summit of the hill is known as the Bury, 
or Berry, and it is said to be marked with an old cir- 
cular entrenchment."* A little below this spot a battery 
has been constructed, mounting two pieces of ordnance, 
and used by the Salcombe Volunteers for artillery practice ; 
the target being ..moored off the bar at the entrance of 
the harbour; and on the other side, at Limebury Point, 
a battery of much older date, mounting two smaller 
pieces, points its guns at patches of white paint on the 
cliffs, a little beyond Splat Cove. During their practice, 
the concussion amongst the rocks is far from pleasant to 
those who may be sauntering along the walks just above; 
the first notice of anything taking place being announced 

* Murray. 


by the puff of smoke in the distance, and the reverbe- 
ration of the explosion. 

Not far from the castle there is a beach called North 
Sands. A wood is believed to have been here over- 
whelmed by the waves in times remote, and the stumps 
of a number of large trees, discernible some years ago, 
strengthen the supposition ; some of these may yet be 
seen at the low ebb of spring tides. These relics may 
also be found in Millbay, on the opposite shore. Three 
kinds of Pholas, the dactylus, candidus, and parvus, are 
found burrowing in these old stumps. The animals be- 
longing to all these shells are luminous in the dark, even 
while living. That fan-like shell, the Pinna ingens, is 
found in Salcombe Bay, where it has been known to 
fishermen as the French mussel. These creatures lie on a 
gravelly bottom, covered with mud and long sea weeds, 
and are only to be got at when the sea recedes further 
than usual. They stand upright, with the large end about 
an inch above the surface ; the lower end fixed by a very 
large, strong byssus, or beard, so firmly attached to the 
gravel, that much force is required to draw them up, and 
most commonly the beard is left behind. This is com- 
posed of numerous fine, silk-like fibres, of a dark purplish 
brown, two or three inches in length. Some of these shells 
were taken occasionally for many years, the animals having 
been accounted very good food, but they require five or 
six hours stewing, to render them eatable; if this is pro- 
perly attended to, they are said to be nearly as palatable 
as scallops, but never so tender. The Pinna has been long 
celebrated for giving protection to a small species of crab, 
which was supposed to be of great use to the animal, by 
giving it notice either of approaching danger, or of its 


prey. Montagu says it does occasionally become the habi- 
tation of a small crab, which seems to live in harmony 
with it, but that in not less than fifty of the Pinna ingens 
which he opened, not a single crab was found; yet in 
the only specimen of Mytilus modiolus, taken in the same 
place, three crabs were found within the shell. The ancients 
used to make costly vestments from the silky byssus of 
this animal, and modern travellers assert that gloves and 
stockings are still manufactured from it at Palermo, Naples, 
and one or two other places. 

We have been furnished with a few particulars respecting 
the laying of the telegraph cable at Salcombe : they are here 

"In order to effect a direct communication between the 
French- Atlantic telegraph cable and London, a sub-marine 
cable between Salcombe and Brest has been laid. The 
steamer William Cory, having the cable on board, under the 
superintendence of Captain Mayne, R.N., C.B., arrived off 
Salcombe on the 27th, and the shore end was landed on the 
28th of May, 1870 — the point selected being a sandy beach 
at Starehole Bottom, under the Bolt Head. It was then 
conveyed about two hundred and fifty yards, to the top of 
the adjacent cliff. The temporary testing house into which 
the cable was carried was, in the course of a few months, 
dismantled, and a more substantial erection of stone received 
the instruments, so as to test at intervals the state of the 
insulation and continuity of the submerged portions of the 
cable. Subsequently, the Anglo-American Cable Steam-ship 
Robert Lowe was engaged off the coast, raising the shore 
end and making a fresh splice, so as to bring it into the 
instrument house built for the purpose on the North Sands. 
This was effected on the 15th of October, 1871; the wires 


also being connected at the same time with the Salcombe 
receiving office.* Some of the leading telegraph gentlemen 
of the day were engaged in testing the cable at this building, 
by forwarding and receiving messages from very distant 
parts of the world; the long ribbons of communication 
uncoiling from the beautiful instruments in a marvellous 
manner, and displaying their hieroglyphic dots and strokes 
to the amazement of the uninitiated. 

In these times of rapid telegraphic or railway communi- 
cation, one is rather inclined to smile at the primitive style 
of postal arrangements at Salcombe in days gone by, for 
Hawkins, who wrote in 1819, says — "No regular mail 
reaches this place ; but a woman on foot (reversing the order 
of expediency) proceeds daily to Kingsbridge, where she 
arrives long after the letters are sorted, executes numerous 
petty missions, and returns to Salcombe, heavily loaded, 
at night, charging a penny for each letter conveyed to or 
from the office." 

Between the North and South Sands, stands the Moult, 
the property of the Earl of Devon, but for many years it was 
the summer residence of the late Lord Justice Sir George 
Turner. Lady Turner continued to reside there until her 
death, when her daughters removed from the Moult to another 
house at Salcombe. The Moult was built in the year 1764, 
by the late John Hawkins, Esq., as "a mere pleasure box," 
but he did not live to finish it. He left it to his widow, who 
in 1780 sold it to the late Henry Whorwood, Esq., of Holton 

* The Robert Lowe was lost, November 20th, 1873, having struck on the 
" Shotts," near St. John's, Newfoundland. She filled and settled down a 
few minutes afterwards. The commander, Capt. Tidmarsh (who remained 
on the bridge to the last), and sixteen of the crew, were lost, some of them 
having been washed overboard by the heavy seas which struck the vessel ; 
thirty-three others were saved in three of the boats which got clear of the 
sinking ship. 


Park, Oxford. The grounds were laid out under his direc- 
tions, the trees planted, and the house fitted up as a decorated 
cottage. Since then it has changed hands, until it came into 
the possession of the respected nobleman who now owns it. 
The gardens and conservatories contain plants and shrubs 
rarely to be seen elsewhere, many of which are referred to 
in Mr. Luscombe's paper, already given. 

Although the Moult stands in such a sheltered spot, yet 
in some winds the waves have been known even to surmount 
the barrier at the bottom of the garden, but this is of rare 

The South Sands, which are in the manor of Batson, have 
been for many years a favourite place for pic-nic parties. 
Boats laden with pleasure seekers flock to this delightful 
locality, and the Queen steamer also makes periodical trips 
to the Sands during the summer months. 

A shed, known by the name of the Boat-house, is the 
frequent rendezvous of luncheon and tea-parties; that 
essential element, hot water, being procurable from the 
cottage on the opposite bank ; or if you prefer it, a fire may 
be made, gipsy fashion, close at hand, and water brought 
from a little nearly hidden stream which comes down on the 
rocks from the Moult grounds. 

In 1869, R. Durant, Esq., of Sharpham, near Totnes, 
presented Salcombe with a life-boat and its accompani- 
ments, at a cost of £700, in connection with the Life-boat 

It was arranged that Miss Durant should " christen" the 
boat: she therefore said, "May this life-boat realize the 
object of its institution. I send it forth on its mission of 
mercy, to save the tempest-driven and shipwrecked mariner, 
under the name of the " Rescue ;" and I ask you all to join 
with me in the prayer, " God bless the Rescue." 


A house for the reception of the life-boat was built by- 
subscription, on the South Sands. This situation being 
chosen was a matter of regret to many, who feel some 
doubt, whether, in case of a violent storm (when its services 
are the most likely to be needed) it would be possible to 
get the boat over the Bar. 

" There is," says Hawkins, " a large and dangerous knot 
of rocks, about a furlong within the Bar, "and rather on the 
east side, called Blackstone, rarely covered at flood tide ; and 
a smaller rock named the Wolf, towards the west shore. 
Some are of opinion that if these were blown up, the 
harbour would be greatly improved ; while others as confi- 
dently pronounce, that the removing of these obstructions 
would cause the port to fill with sand." 

In June, 1869, H.M.S. Cadmus, Capt. Gibbs, 1,466 tons 
burden, in running down the Channel from Portsmouth to 
Devonport, whilst going eight knots an hour, struck on 
the Hillstone, close under the Bolt. There was a very 
dense fog, and the vessel was carried by the strong current 
peculiar to that coast out of her course. No suspicion 
seems to have been entertained that she was so near the 
shore. The Salcombe fishermen, Avho were pursuing their 
avocations at the time, witnessed her perilous position, and 
warned them to back off at once, so as to ground on the 
Bar, otherwise, owing to the injury she had sustained from 
her plates being broken in, she would have sunk in deep 
water. Telegrams were forwarded from Kingsbridge to the 
naval authorities at Devonport, who at once despatched a 
tug and other assistance. The position of the leak was 
soon discovered by the divers, and temporary repairs effected 
by patching the plates. By means of constant pumping 
and lightening the ship, she Avas at last floated off, and 


was taken in tow by the Scotia and Trusty, and brought 
to Devonport, where she was docked for repairs. At a 
Court-martial subsequently held it was proved that every 
care had been taken, but, owing to the denseness of the 
fog, the captain was unaware that the ship had approached 
so near to the shore.* 

From the South Sands we commence the ascent of a hill, 
and after passing through some fields, we reach a pathway, 
called " Courtenay Walk," cut about half way down the 
magnificent cliffs, for the accommodation and gratification 
of the public, through the liberality of Lord Courtenay, now 
Earl of Devon. This pathway is bordered by ferns, fox- 
gloves, purple heath, and yellow broom; in fact, with a 
great variety of such plants as will thrive with but little 
soil to support them. The lovely little Burnet rose, with 
its deliciously scented cream-coloured blossoms; the dwarf 
scabious tinting the banks with its blue flowers; various 
orchises; the delicate pink convolvulus, with the woodbine 
and briar rose, are mingled with the dark-green glossy ivy, 
which is wrapped around the overhanging rocks, while the 
purple iris, arid the butcher's broom, with its bright 
scarlet berries, in the winter season, diversify the scene. 
The furze bushes are plentifully covered, in some places, 
with the long tangled crimson threads of the parasitic 
dodder, sometimes sprinkled with pink- white blossoms. 
Suddenly the path becomes obstructed by rocks, which allow 
only a narrow egress, and on turning a corner, we find 
ourselves in a most exposed situation, the path strewn with 
fragments which have fallen from the sharp tors, now tower- 
ing above our heads, like ruined castles. Although the road 

* The Illustrated London News of the day contained an account, ac- 
companied by a pictorial representation, of the grounding of the Cadmus. 


is* rugged you should still push on, for the Bolt Head is a 
noble pile of rocks, and should be viewed from either side. 
Be cautious, however; for a high wind sometimes renders 
it a " pursuit of scenery under difficulties ;" but if you 
prudently can do so, by all means go on, and then look back. 
The Bolt Head seen from that side is a magnificent object, 
towering high above us, and extending to the sea, down far 
below. There is a curious hole, all through these rocks, 
which, seen from either side, has a very peculiar effect. 
From this point may be seen the whole of the bay 1 , shut in 
by the opposite headland. 

It is to be feared that the frost and rains of another winter 
or two will render a portion of this pathway impassable, as 
slips have already taken place in different parts, and there is 
a feeling of insecurity even now, when passing over cracks, 
and sunken bits of ground, when you remember that the sea 
is a hundred feet or more below. 

In clear weather, the double peak of Heytor, on Dartmoor, 
and also the Eddystone Lighthouse, can be distinctly seen 
from the Bolt Head. 

The larger rocks, out of the reach of the spray, are 
ornamented with lichens of a deep golden colour, while 
the little Sedum Anglicum, inserting itself into the crevices, 
and reddened by exposure to the wind, adds greatly to 
the beautiful colouring around you. 

It may not be altogether unacceptable to botanists if we 
give a short list of plants and flowers (with both their 
English and Latin names) which have been found in this 
immediate neighbourhood. We shall only mention those 
which, in botanical works, are . denominated rare. It is 
scarcely worth while to insert the names of such as are 
common to almost every locality. 



Burnet Rose (Rosa spinocissima.) 

Yellow-horned Poppy (Glaucium luteum.) 

Stinking Iris (Iris fcetidissima.) 

Climbing Corydalis (Corydalis claviculata.) 

Sea-side Everlasting Pea (Lathrus maritimus.) 

Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum.) 

Lesser Dodder (Cuscuta epithijmum.) 

Bird's-nest Orchis (Listera nidus avis.) 

Butcher's Broom (Buscus aculeata.J 

Vernal Squill (Scilla verna.) 

Autumnal Squill (Scilla autumnalis.J 

Bloody Crane's-bill (Geranium sanguineum.) 

A lady' named Acton, who was staying at Salcombe awhile 
since, writes, "The lichen I got on the rock beyond Bolt 
Head is such a wonder. Dr. Moore, of Glasnevin botanic 
gardens, has written to me for a good handful of it for his 
museum. He congratulates me for being so happy as to find 
this brocella— the rarest and most valuable of lichens. * * * 
The only place in the United Kingdom where it had been 
previously found was in the Isle of Wight." 

A scramble around the point leading towards Splat Cove 
(notwithstanding the difficulty from slippery rocks), will be 
amply repaid by a sight of the entrance to an old iron mine, 
which appears to have been worked for some fathoms into 
the schistus rock, and has much the appearance of a natural 
cavern. For several feet the walls are studded with patches 
of a most brilliant, soft, emerald-green moss, which, reflecting 
the light, almost rivals in splendour the gorgeous tints of the 
humming-bird, or the elytra of some of the foreign beetles. 
It is seen to the greatest advantage at the distance of a few 
yards, especially when it meets the eye in one particular 
direction. Upon detaching some portions of the moss from 
the disintegrating stone, and removing it to a full light, its 
resplendent character nearly, if not quite, disappears, and 
nothing is visible on the surface of the stone but a filmy, 


irregular network of green, and extremely short moss. 
In the "Magazine of Natural History" vols. ii. and iii., 
there are notices of the discovery of a similar "shining 
moss." In one of these papers, signed J. E. Bowman, 
the Court, near Wrexham, June 3rd, 1830, he says, "I 
have no hesitation in referring this beautiful moss to the 
order of Algse, of which it will probably be found to belong 
to the tribe of Confervoidece, but I must leave it to those 
who are better acquainted with this obscure family to decide 
whether it has yet obtained a name and place in the system 
of modern cryptogamic botanists." 

In the Gardeners' Magazine of February 3rd, 1872, there 
is an interesting paper, from which we extract a portion. 

"In 1843, the luminosity of plants was recorded in the 
Proceedings of the British Association. [Dr. Allman had 
expressed an opinion respecting a plant, that the phe- 
nomenon was not due to phosphorescence, but was referable 
to the state of the visual organs, that is, an optical delusion.] 
This led Mr. Babington to mention that he had seen, in 
the West of England, a peculiar bright appearance, produced 
by the presence of the Schistostega pennata, a little moss 
which inhabited caverns and dark places; but this, too, 
was objected to by a member present, who stated that 
Professor Lloyd had examined the Schistostega, and had 
found that the peculiar luminous appearance of that moss 
arose from the presence of small crystals in its structure, 
which reflected the smallest portion of the rays of light. 

These remarks having been published in the Gardeners' 
Chronicle,* Dr. Lankester, in a succeeding number, said, 
'The light from the moss, mentioned by Mr. Babington, 
has also been observed in Germany on another species 

* 1843, page 691. 



(Schistostega osmundacea). It has been observed by Funk, 
Brandenberg, Nees Von Esenbeck, Hornschuh, and Struve. 
Bridel-Brideri and Agardh attributed this light to a small 
Alga, which the former called Catoptridium smaragdinum, 
and the latter Protococcus smaragdinus, which they supposed 
occupied the moss. Unger, however, has examined the moss 
accurately, and finds that at certain seasons the peculiar 
utricles of this moss assume a globular form, and, being 
partially transparent, the light is refracted and reflected 
in such a way as to present a luminosity on the surface 
of the vesicles. Meyen says he has confirmed Unger's 
observations.' " 

Whether the Salcombe shining moss is identical with 
either of those above described, we do not know ; but there 
is sufficient similarity to render the extracts interesting 
and valuable. It should, however, be stated that in this 
instance the luminosity does not vary in intensity, but is 
precisely the same at all seasons of the year. 

The entrance to the cave where this beautiful moss may 
be seen is decked with that pretty fern, the Asplenium 

Hawkins says that "just within the Splat Cove rocks 
(towards the South Sands) is a subterraneous passage called 
Bull-hole, which the common people have an idea runs quite 
under the earth to another such place, of similar name, in 
a creek of the sea called Sewer Mill, about three miles 
distance to the west." An absurd story is told of a bull 
which entered it, and came out at the opposite end with 
its coat changed from black to white; and it is curious 
enough to find a similar legend current near Corunna, on 
the coast of Spain. "Whether," continues Hawkins, "these 
two cavities be really the same continuous aperture from 


one extremity to the other, has never been fully identified; 
none of those who have entered the respective openings 
having had the resolution to proceed sufficiently far to 
ascertain the fact." 

A little beyond the Bolt Head is a small cove, called Stare- 
hole Bay. Stare (or Stair) Hole is supposed by some to 
derive its name from a steep roadway by which sea-weed 
is carried up from the beach. 

This bay is remarkable (again we quote from Hawkins) 
"for a cavern that is reported (or, rather, imagined) to 
terminate near Malborough Church, which stands three miles 
off. The dripping of water, however, by extinguishing the 
torches, added to the fear of otters, which resort thither, 
has hitherto compelled the curious to abandon every design 
of penetrating to the end, few having advanced above a 
hundred yards. On the left of the bay, and near the 
mouth of the cave, is an excavated rock, eight or nine 
feet high and about five broad, forming a natural arch, 
opening towards the sea. It is not improbable that Bull- 
hole and the interior of Stare-hole cavern form a junction." 

The neighbourhood of Salcombe, and of the Bolt Head, 
are peculiarly rich in the variety of animal life existing 
there. While strolling along the cliffs near the signal 
house on a fine summer's day, you may see in the waters 
below, shoals of porpoises, tumbling and rolling about, and 
searching in the creeks for the fishes, of which they consume 
great quantities. In the caverns of the rocks close to the 
sea there are numbers of otters, who take an early bath 
and a breakfast at the same time. They may be heard 
whistling and calling to their mates and young ones. After 
their repast they return to their caverns, and remain in 
sleep and solitude until hunger again drives them forth 


in search of food. A little higher up in the cliffs there 
are rabbits in abundance, and occasionally a wily fox makes 
his presence known in the neighbouring poultry yards. 
That much-persecuted creature, the badger, has sometimes 
been captured here. He is very harmless, unless when 
attacked by men or dogs, but then he becomes formidable 
and ferocious, The chief food of these animals consists 
of insects and roots, though when driven by hunger, they 
are occasionally obliged to be satisfied with a duck or a 
chicken. What a pity it is they are so seldom allowed to 
enjoy, in peace and quietness, the life which was given by 
the Creator, on purpose, doubtless, for their enjoyment. 

In the clefts of the rocks may be seen an almost incredible 
number of herring and kittiwake gulls, sitting on their eggs 
in the bare hollows, without any materials used for making 
a nest. In the most inaccessible part of the cliff, and 
under some projecting rock, the peregrine falcon is snug 
in its eyrie. On leaving the nest (which usually contains 
two or three eggs, of a red-brown colour), it will drop 
almost perpendicularly down to the surface of the water, 
and then sail off in majestic style, in search of some poor 
stray gull, which becomes an easy prey. Next you may 
see, peering over the narrow ledges of rock, a number of 
heads and necks of snake-like appearance; they belong to 
the shags, or green cormorants; birds which weigh about 
four pounds, and whose plumage is of a fine metallic green, 
while the male has a fan-like crest. In close proximity to 
these are the nests of birds of the same genus, but much 
larger size — the great cormorant, which weighs about nine 
pounds. These birds sally forth during the day, and levy 
contributions from the ocean storehouse beneath, from which 
they collect their whole subsistence. 


In the sheltered hollows, which are covered with short 
grass and furze, the place seems teeming with animal life : 
rabbits burrowing in the ground; and polecats, stoats, and 
weasels, skulking and hunting them from burrow to burrow ; 
vipers, slow-worms, snakes, and lizards, writhing in the 
grass, and basking in the sun ; beetles of brilliant hues ; 
butterflies of the rarest kinds alighting on the blossoms, 
and spreading their beautiful wings ; amongst them is the 
large blue butterfly (Polyomatus arion) which is quite a 
local fly, being found only in a very few places in England.* 

Now look upwards — that kestrel is hovering above our 
heads, intent on the capture of an unsuspecting mouse or 
mole, who may be enjoying himself amongst the herbage 

Soaring aloft over the sea, at an altitude of some hundreds 
of feet, the solan goose, or gannet (who looks as if he had 
on a pair of spectacles), is surveying the surface of the 
waters, on the look-out for a passing fish. Suddenly his 
wings are closed, and he plunges down, head foremost, 
into the deep ; in a few seconds he is seen struggling 
with the prey, which he quickly dispatches, and then away 
he soars again to watch for more. 

Sometimes, while rambling on the cliffs, a sound strikes 
the ear as of horses and dogs rapidly approaching, and a 
poor timid hare, almost black with perspiration and terror, 
passes before you. He stops a moment, raises his ears, 
and then dashes on again. Poor hapless creature, our heart 
aches for thee ! oh, if the huntsman could only exchange 
places with his victim for one short hour, we think he 
would never again have the least desire to pursue this cruel 

* For Mr. H. Nicholls' list of butterflies found in the district, see end of 
the book. 


sport. We knew a dear lady who never would willingly 
partake of a hunted hare — she always said it had "the 
cruelty taste" How we wish other people had palates as 
sensitive ! 

Underneath the cliffs, in the pools left by the ebbing 
tide, sea anemonies of the most brilliant colours are ex- 
panding their tentacles, and enjoying the rays of the summer 
sun; and in the same pools prawns are darting about, and 
various kinds of shell fish are clinging to the sides. 

Navigation along this rock-bound coast is attended with 
many perils, and numerous are the disasters to shipping 
left on record from time to time. 

In July, 1871, during a very dense fog, the barque 
Westmoreland, 250 tons register, belonging to Messrs. 
Andrews, Andrews, & Co., of London, for which port she 
was bound from Jamaica, went ashore about two miles west 
of Bolt Head. No land had been sighted since the vessel 
(which was laden with sugar, rum, cocoanuts, walking-sticks, 
&c.) had entered the English Channel, and she now stood 
in for the land, in order to make the Start light, which the 
captain believed was not far distant. About half-an-hour 
after midnight the master saw land on the port bow, and 
directed the helm to be put down, in order to go about. 
The ship was brought up to the wind, but missing stays, 
fell off, and went ashore. Rockets and blue lights were 
burned, but no assistance arrived. When daylight shewed 
them their situation, the captain directed the boat to be 
got out, and he and the crew (in all, sixteen persons) got 
safely to land. They lost everything but the clothes they 
were wearing. 

Between the two headlands known as the Bolt Head and 
the Bolt Tail, almost every rock and cove seems to have 


its own peculiar name and distinguishing characteristic. At 
Stare-hole Bottom, there was, a few years ago, a straight 
rampart, or barrow, in perfect preservation, fifty-six paces 
in length. It was commonly called the Giant's Grave, 
though the popular tradition is equally strong that the 
whole bottom is the site of a Danish encampment, or settle- 
ment : to use the language of the tradition itself, as recited 
by a guide, "by the records of England, it was a Danish 
town, and had sixty dwellers." It is said that brass coins 
have been found by some labourers on this spot. In a field 
just below this there was formerly a quadrangular tumulus, 
but it has long been destroyed by agricultural operations. 

At Roden or Randon Cove, about the middle of the 
eighteenth century, a foreign vessel was wrecked, which 
had some marble statues on board. 

There were several mounds about that part of the coast, 
which had all the appearance of tumuli, but many of them 
have been levelled in the process of farming the ground. 
A considerable portion of this district is called "The Sewers," 
divided into east, west, middle, lower, &c, and there are 
farm-houses bearing these names. The whole neighbourhood 
is described as being strikingly fine and beautiful. 

Dragon Bay was so called from the wreck of a ship 
belonging to London, bearing that name, which was lost 
here in the year 1757, in which wreck perished a family 
called Chambers. Their remains were buried in Malborough 
Churchyard, where a headstone, over-run with yellow lichen, 
bore this inscription : — 

" Here lye the bodies of Rhodes, Daniel, Mary, and Joseph 
Chambers, sons and daughters of Edward Chambers, of 
Jamaica, who were shipwrecked at Cat-hole, within this 
parish, August 22nd, 1757." 


Nearly at the top of the almost perpendicular cliffs of 
Bolberry Down is a cavern, called Ralph's Hole, about 
twenty feet long, six or seven broad, and eight high. It 
is directly facing the sea, which is between four and five 
hundred feet below. The rock at the corner of the entrance, 
by doubling which this cavern is alone approached, projects 
to within two or three feet of the precipice, in such a 
manner that a single person from within might easily defend 
his habitation from a host of foes; for only one being able 
to pass at a time, they might successively be tumbled 
headlong down the steep. "There is a tradition," says 
Hawkins, "that one Ralph, in order to avoid the bailiffs 
or the constables, made this his abode for many years ; 
and, with a prong for his weapon of protection, kept his 
pursuers constantly at bay." [Others say Ralph was a 
noted smuggler, which seems, of the two, the more likely 
account.] " On Sundays he was accustomed to wander 
abroad, and his wife assisted him through the rest of the 
week in getting provisions. At what period this happened 
does not appear, but certainly it is of very old date." 

Some terrible inundation of the sea, or it may have been 
an earthquake, has divided the cliffs about here into deep 
fissures, and shattered immense rocks to pieces. At Ouse-hole 
Cove there is a noble view of Bigbury Bay, the Rame Head, 
the Eddystone, and the Cornish coast. A. mine was com- 
menced in 1770, by John Easton, of Dodbrooke, in a part of 
the cliffs of Bolberry Down, not far from Ralph's Hole ; but 
it was soon abandoned on submitting the spangled produce 
to the test of the assayer, who pronounced it to be mundic 
instead of copper ; and the adventurer gained nothing save 
the empty honour of leaving the shaft his name. It lies 
about three or four hundred feet down a declivity, so steep 
as to be scarcely accessible. 


Mr. John Cranch, when investigating the neighbourhood 
many years ago, said, " About twenty yards from Easton's 
mine is a most admirable and abundant chalybeate spring, 
very pure, and grateful to the taste. In combination with 
the advantages of marine air and water, sea bathing, the 
fisheries, &c, &c, this spring I consider as inestimable, and 
that it will one day be the means of drawing to the vicinity 
a great resort of wealthy invalids and others, and make the 
neighbourhood of Hope and Salcombe rich and prosperous." 
This expectation, however, has not yet been realised. Hope, 
although it possesses much to attract in the surrounding 
scenery, still continues to offer scarcely any accommodation 
for visitors beyond what is to be found at the two small inns.; 
which is certainly much to be regretted. In the cliffs, under- 
neath the Greystone, which is a very lofty rock rising high 
above this village, an iron mine was opened some years since* 
but it did not produce sufficient ore to pay the cost of work- 
ing; and moreover the access to it was so dangerous for 
vessels, that one was wrecked there with its cargo of ore 
on board. It was therefore discontinued. There are veins 
of iron in many parts of the coast, and several attempts 
at mining have been made, but ere long relinquished. Just 
about here begins Bolt Down, where the Kingsbridge races 
used to be held. The remains of two barrows are mentioned 
as having been found on this spot. 

In the hurricane of 15th February, 1760, so dreadful both 
by sea and on shore, the Ramilies, a fine ship of seventy- 
four guns, and seven hundred and thirty-four men, com- 
manded by Captain Taylor, was lost near this promontory, 
where she was embayed in consequence of mistaking the 
Bolt Tail for the Rame Head, and erroneously supposing 
they were driving into Plymouth Sound. Having let go 


their anchor close upon the rocks, and cut away all their 
masts, they rode safely till evening, when the gale increased 
to such a degree that the hull parted ; and only one 
midshipman and twenty-five men, out of the whole number, 
jumping off the stern upon the rocks, were saved. This 
fatal spot is near the cove and village of Inner Hope, and it 
has ever since been known as " Ramilies Hole." It is so 
peculiarly situated that it can only be entered by boats at 
certain tides and winds, in very calm, still weather, and 
when there is no swell of the sea. It cannot even be seen 
from any part of the cliffs. It is said that some of the 
guns of the ship may yet be perceived in six or seven 
fathoms of water, near the mouth of the cavern.* 

Close to the flagstaff, on the cliff which rises just above 
the coast-guard station at Hope, there is an old cannon, 
which was recovered from this wreck. The present writer 
also possesses a memento of the Ramilies : it is a small 
instrument, which appears to have been a guinea-weigher. 
There is a thin rod of ivory, with graduated marks on it ; 
a brass saucer hangs at one end, and the weight is to be 
suspended to the rod, on the steelyard principle. The 
whole is enclosed in a small, dark wooden case, in shape 
not very unlike a fiddle. 

The following paper was contributed by Robert Dymond, 
Esq., F.S.A., to a local newspaper, some years since. He 
kindly permits its insertion here. 

"a fragment of local history. 
The appearance of Miss S. P. Fox's book on Kingsbridge, 
its Estuary, and Neighbourhood, has doubtless rekindled the 
interest excited nearly half a century ago by Mr. Abraham 

* Mostly from Hawkins. 


Hawkins' History. Any additional particulars relating to 
a locality so rich in historical incidents may, therefore, be 
acceptable to the readers of a local journal. 

Stories of shipwreck and maritime adventure can hardly 
fail to be prominent amongst these incidents. Standing 
far out into the English Channel, the rocky coast of South 
Devon has witnessed the loss of but too many gallant ships. 
The wreck of the Eamilies man-of-war in 1760, and that of 
the Chantaloupe twelve years later, have been well described 
by the writers above-named; but I am not aware that the 
story has yet been told in print of an earlier shipwreck, 
that may as worthily fill a page of local history. 

Let the reader carry back his thoughts to the reign 
of Elizabeth, and to the year of grace 1588 — the most 
eventful of that remarkable era. Early in the month of 
May the long-expected Armada, fitted out with vast and 
careful preparation by Philip of Spain, had entered the 
Channel to fulfil his long-cherished plan for restoring heretic 
England to the bosom of the Church of Rome. No sooner 
was the Spanish fleet descried off the Lizard than the ready 
beacon fires carried the news from headland to headland, 
all along the southern coast to the capital. On the morning 
of Saturday, the 20th of May, thousands of eager spectators 
crowded on the Start, on Bolt Head, and upon every cliff 
from which a seaward view could be obtained, to look 
upon a sight, the like of which had never before been 
witnessed from those grim rocks. One hundred and forty 
ships, most of them of unwieldy bulk and strange form, 
were moving slowly up Channel in crescent-shaped array, 
closely beset by the smaller and less numerous, though 
nimbler, vessels, in which Drake and Hawkins, and many 
more renowned sea captains, had issued the night before 


from Plymouth Sound, under the command of the Lord 
High Admiral Howard, of Effingham. 

The reader of English history needs not to be reminded 
how, in spite of isolated captures, the Spanish fleet held 
its course through the narrow seas, with purpose to form in 
Calais roads a junction with the land forces of Alexander 
Farnese, Duke of Parma, Philip's astute general in the 
Netherlands; how this purpose was frustrated by the com- 
bined agency of the weather, the confusion resulting from 
the attacks of the English ships, and the blockade of Farnese 
by the Dutch in their own harbours; and how, scattered 
by a storm, the remnants of the great Armada staggered 
northwards through the German Ocean. The great heart of 
England again beat freely, for the disaster which had well 
nigh changed her history was providentially averted. The 
comparatively few vessels that escaped loss on the perilous 
shores of Norway, and the equally inhospitable Hebrides, 
sought to beat their way homewards by the western coasts 
of Britain and Ireland, till of all that splendid fleet of 
gilded and turreted ships, scarce fifty returned to bear the 
tidings to King Philip of the lamentable end of the mightiest 
of his great enterprises. 

One of the two hospital ships appointed for the Spanish 
navy was named the St. Peter the Great. She was upwards 
of 500 tons burden, and was laden with drugs and medical 
stores. Either the adverse gales of November had driven 
the ship from its course, after completing the entire circuit 
of Great Britain, or her commander had made for the 
enemy's land as the only chance of saving his sinking 
vessel. Certain it is that she came ashore in Hope Bay, 
near Salcombe. Manned by a thoroughly dispirited crew, 
the ill-fated St. Peter was set upon and plundered by the 


country people, before the authorities could take measures 
for securing the prize in the name of the Queen. 

George Cary, of Cockington,* one of the Deputy Lieu- 
tenants of the county, received intelligence of the wreck 
at Plymouth, and immediately rode across the country to 
Hope, where he took order for the disposal of the crew, 
and the recovery of the remnants of the cargo. Mr. Cary 
found the hulk lying, full of water, on a rock, where she 
soon fell in pieces. He gathered from the sailors that 
at their departure from Spain they had numbered thirty 
mariners, a hundred soldiers of various nations, and about 
fifty persons attached to the duties of the hospital. Out 
of these, one hundred and forty succeeded in reaching the 
shore in safety. Of the drugs and 'potecary stuff' of six 
thousand ducats value which had been on board, the greater 
part was spoiled by water. The plate and treasure had 
already been carried off, and even the seamen's chests had 
been plundered by the wreckers. The ordnance, which 
was all of iron, appears to have been secured; but of 
the tackling only one cable remained. 

Twenty of the Spanish officers were separated from the 
rest : eight of these were left to the charge of Sir William 
Courtenay, at Ilton Castle, near Kingsbridge, the wreck 
having occurred on that good knight's property. Mr. Cary 
undertook the custody of the apothecary and the surgeon, 
and having caused the remainder to be guarded by day 

* This gentleman was an ancestor of the present R. S. S. Cary, Esq., of 
Torre Abbey. A member of one of the most ancient and distinguished of 
our county families, be himself became one of the most illustrious of bis 
race. He had already done the state good service in tbe measures taken for 
the defence of the coasj:, and shortly after received the honour of knighthood 
at the bands of bis kinswoman, Queen Elizabeth. He was a friend of tbe 
great Secretary Walsingliam, and in later years was successively Lord 
Treasurer and Lord Deputy, or Viceroy of Ireland. His biograpby will be 
found in Prince's " Worthies of Devon." 


and night, lie assigned for each prisoner's subsistence an 
allowance of one penny per diem out of his private means, 
until the pleasure of Her Majesty's Privy Council should 
be made known. His report to their Lordships of these 
proceedings is dated 5th November, 1588, from his house 
at Cockington, near Torbay, whither he had retired after 
leaving the further care of the matter to Anthony Ashley, 
the Clerk of the Council, who took up his abode with Sir 
William Courtenay, at Ilton Castle. The orders received 
for the execution of the prisoners having been counter- 
manded, Ashley proceeded in a business-like way to make 
a careful inventory of their names, offices, and quality, 
distinguishing such as made offers of ransom, from those 
who were unable to purchase their liberty. In his report 
to the Council, bearing date the 12th of November, he refers 
to the wholesale rifling of the cargo, and the injury sustained 
by the drugs ; and adds, 

'By late examinations taken of the Spaniardes, I fynde 
that certain besar stones and other simples was purloyned 
out of the shippe, of which besar stones I hope to recouer 
the most of them. I have been bould to staie this messenger 
hitherto, thinking I should have been able to have advertised 
some certaintie of them, but must now leave the same to 
my return, w eh shall be as speedilie as I maie.' 

As to the prisoners, he writes, 

' X. or XII. of the best sorte are placed in a towne 
called Kingsbridge, where order is taken for the provision 
of their wants, and accompt kept of their expence. The 
rest, untill yo r - Lpps. further pleasure knowen, are remaining 
together in one house, whither they were first committed, 
where they are safe kept, and provided of necessarie food.' 

With what eager curiosity must the good townsfolk of 


Kingsbridge have regarded the ten or twelve olive-com- 
plexioned gentlemen of Spain, whom Anthony Ashley had 
sent over to their keeping. A good idea of the aspect of 
Kingsbridge at that period may be formed from an exami- 
nation of the quaint frontispiece to Mr. Hawkins' History. 
It is a kind of picture-plan, bearing the date 1586, or only 
two years before the wreck of the St. Peter the Great. 
People the scene here depicted with the Jarvises, the Adamses, 
and the Lidstones, who then, as now, thronged to their 
market town from the neighbouring South Hams. Imagine 
groups of these countrymen and countrywomen gathering 
round the foreigners, who lounged in strange costumes about 
the ' Cheap House,' which then encumbered the centre of 
the Fore Street, near the Church. Being, as Ashley says, 
1 of the best sorte,' these Spaniards most likely had their 
liberty on parole, and could regale their hosts with many 
a story of proud endurance of the hardships of their luck- 
less voyage. Some could doubtless recount tales of personal 
adventure in the golden colonies of their royal master in 
the Indies. They may have stirred the blood of these 
men of Devon by glowing narratives of encounters on the 
Spanish main, with Raleigh and Drake, and their bold 
west-country seamen. 

But my present concern is with historical facts, and these 
conjectures must, therefore, be left with the novelist. The 
presence of the foreigners could hardly have failed to leave 
a deep impression on the inhabitants of the district, and 
possibly some of your readers, possessing, like the author 
of 'Kingsbridge Estuary,' the advantages of good local 
sources of information, may find, still lingering in the 
neighbourhood, traditions whose origin may be traced to 
the wreck of the St. Peter the Great. 


It only remains for me to direct those who may desire 
to verify the strict historical accuracy of these particulars 
to the Domestic Series of State Papers of the reign of 
Elizabeth, preserved in the Record Office in London, and 
to which ready access may be obtained for literary purposes. 
The original letters of George Cary and Anthony Ashley 
to the Privy Council will be found in vol. ccxviii. of the 
series 1581—1590. 

Exeter, December, 1865." 



" There is a rapture on the lonely sbore ; 
There is society where none intrudes, 
By the deep sea, and music in its roar." 

Snugly ensconced within a beautiful cove are the two 
fishing villages of Inner and Outer Hope, from whence 
the neighbourhood derives its chief supply of lobsters and 

From the flag-staff, just above the coast-guard station, 
there is a charming look-out; indeed, it is marvellous that 
this part of the coast has not become the resort of a greater 
number of visitors. This usually quiet little cove sometimes 
presents a curious spectacle, from its being a sheltered 
retreat for wind-bound vessels, which occasionally lie there 
for a week or more, at least, until the breeze is a favourable 
one. We have seen between fifty and sixty vessels lying 
at anchor, at the same time, within a limited space; and 
then the villages presented a very animated scene, from 
the influx of sailors, both foreign and English, who came 
ashore, and caused great demand for provisions of various 
kinds. Cart after cart arrived with butchers' meat and 
loaves of bread, and were as speedily emptied of their loads, 



with much laughter and vociferation. Then came the filling 
of water casks from the clear spring just in front of one 
of the inns ; and then the discovery of water-cresses in an 
adjoining meadow. How they raced and chased, and vaulted 
over the stone hedge, and then came back again with caps, 
and handkerchiefs, and arms full of this wholesome and 
pleasant vegetable. 

"About the time the restoration of West Alvington Church 
was completed, South Huish Church had become so dilapi- 
dated that one Sunday, while the resident clergyman (the 
Rev. F. R. Hole) was preaching, a large window was blown 
in, and it was impossible that Divine service could be any 
longer conducted there. It was, therefore, determined to 
build a new church at once. But as the bulk of the 
parishioners resided at Galmpton and Hope, it was desirable 
that the new building should be erected amongst the popu- 
lation ; and a site close to the former village was given by 
the Earl of Devon, where a commodious and neat church 
has been raised. The site of the building is all that could 
be desired — on a slight elevation, and with a large yard sur- 
rounding it. The church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. 
It is of the style of the fourteenth century."* The conse- 
cration took place in July, 1869, by the Bishop of Exeter, 
Dr. Temple. Upon this new church, about £2000 has 
been expended; and the little chapel within sight of it, 
at Hope Cove, erected at the expense of the Earl of Devon 
and the late Sir George Turner, has been converted into a 

At Inner Hope there is a small chapel belonging to the 
Wesleyan Methodists; and the Plymouth Brethren have a 
meeting-house at Galmpton. 

* From the Kingsbridge Gazette of July, 180'J. 


Unless your walking powers are very small, we would 
advise a ramble over the cliffs between Hope and Thurle- 
stone, for carriages have to make a considerable detour 
inland, through the village of Galmpton; consequently you 
would miss a sight of the rocks and white pebbly beaches 
along the coast. 

Thurlestone is a village and parish, about four miles 
west of Kingsbridge, and near the junction of the Avon 
with Bigbury Bay. The village is situated on high ground, 
about half a mile from the sea. It is a straggling place, 
with pretty rural cottages, the fronts of which are, many 
of them, covered with roses, woodbine, and fuschias. 

It is worthy of remark that neither in Thurlestone nor 
Buckland (as is the case with South Milton) can you find 
a single public house. The Rector has, so far, been suc- 
cessful in his determination to prevent the opening of any 
place for the sale of strong drink; knowing well its 
demoralizing effect on a rural population. 

"This parish is called Torleston in Domesday Survey, 
and is there described as having 'two meadows and two 
pasture lands ; it seems to have been, about the time of 
Edward the Confessor, the property of Ordgar, or Algar, 
the Saxon Earl of Devon. About the thirteenth or four- 
teenth century, it appears to have passed into the possession 
of Courtenay, the Norman Earl of Devon, from whose 
family it has but recently passed away. 

Thurlestone, (or Torleston, Saxon) takes its name from 
a curiously arched rock of conglomerate, of so hard a 
character, that while all the other rocks around, being of 
clay slate, have been washed away by the violence of 
the waves, this arch which is a small isolated portion of 
the D e yonian y-Qt-old red formation, still stands erect, and 

It ry - '/ 

//r,/v^<*^>. <$. e, $ 


has given rise to the well-known saying of the neigh- 

' Brave every shock 
Like Thurlestone's Rock.' "* 

The noise made by the wind rushing through the archway 
is sometimes heard many miles away, and when it is 
perceptible at Kingsbridge it is regarded as the fore-runner 
of storms of rain. 

" An eminent geological authority considers that the sea, 
in the course of many centuries, has effected strange changes 
here, and that there are manifest proofs that there was 
once a forest where Thurlestone Sands are now. There 
is perhaps no healthier locality in the kingdom than 
this, owing to its enjoyment of the full, pure, bracing, 
though comparatively warm, breeze that from the Atlantic 
accompanies the course of the Gulf Stream, a portion of 
which appears from the character of the shells and 
debris frequently cast into the little bays, to flow straight 
in here, more particularly than elsewhere, before making 
its bend more directly eastward. 

At the mouth of the Avon, which bounds this parish 
westward, stands Burrow Island (or Burr Island) where 
the waves in a storm appear so grandly wild, that it is 
reported to have been the spot chosen by the celebrated 
marine artist, Turner, as the best he could select for the 
study of such a scene.f 

Doubtless when modern facilities for approaching it render 
this neighbourhood, with its picturesque valley of Buckland, 
its fine sands and cliffs, beautiful coast scenery, its bathing 

* Morris's " Devonshire." 

f Mr. Cyrus Redding describes Turner at a pic-nic on Burr Island, watch- 
ing the long dark Bolt, under the varying changes of a stormy day. 


and other advantages, more known, it will be far better 
appreciated than it is at present. The Rectory is in the 
incumbency of the Rev. Peregrine A. Ilbert, MA.."* 

The church is an ancient edifice, not long ago restored 
at considerable expense, and there is a good school for 
children of both sexes. 

Some time since there were seen on Thurlestone beach 
several specimens of that curious creature called the 
"Portuguese Man-of-war" (Physalia pelagica). They are 
abundant in tropical seas, and especially so on the vast 
shores of Australia, but it is a very unusual circumstance 
to see them on our own coast, whither they were probably 
driven by stormy weather. After being beaten about by 
the waves, much of the beauty of the creature was de- 
stroyed; but in its natural condition it has been described 
as "an inflated oblong bladder, glowing in delicate crimson 
tints, as it floats on the waves; and not only with crimson, 
but with veinings of rich purple, and opaline flashes of 
azure, orange, and green, changing in position at every 
movement; with long dependent tentacles of the deepest 
purple, the rich tone of which is seen even beneath the 
water." The earliest modern name of this zoophyte, Acale- 
pha pelagica, or Sea-nettle, was given it in consequence of 
the venomous sting caused by the tentacles, a sting which 
leaves after it a white pimple, precisely similar in appear- 
ance to that caused by a nettle. 

" Strange traditionary tales of the practice of ' wrecking ' 
or plundering the cargoes of lost ships are rife all round 
the extensive coast line of Devon and Cornwall. It cannot 
be denied that the spectacle of a homeward-bound Indiaman, 
or richly-freighted trader from the Mediterranean, drifting 

* Morris's " Devonshire." 


disabled towards their shores, was openly rejoiced over by 
the half-seafaring, half-agricultural population of the more 
secluded cliffs and beaches of these two counties. The 
rifling of the cargo was the first object, and it is even 
said that sailors whom the waves had spared sometimes 
encountered a worse fate than mere neglect."* 

"About the year 1772, a vessel returning from the West 
Indies, called the Chantiloupe, was wrecked in Bigbury 
Bay; all on board perished, with the exception of one man, 
who was rescued by the humanity of a farmer, who lived 
in the neighbourhood, of the name of Hannaford. Amongst 
the other passengers there was a lady, who it is supposed, 
seeing the desperate state of the vessel, put on her richest 
gems and apparel, with the hope that if she were washed 
towards the shore, those who found her might be induced 
to save her. She was thrown by the sea on to the beach, 
and they say that life was not extinct when she reached 
it, but the savage people (from the adjacent villages) who 
were anxiously waiting for the wreck, seized and stripped 
her of her clothes ; they even cut off some of her fingers, 
and mangled her ears in their impatience to secure her 
jewels, and then left her miserably to perish ! A lady in 
the neighbourhood, hearing the frightful tale, sent and had 
the body removed from the sands where it was left, and 
decently buried. It was supposed that the unfortunate lady 
was married, and that she had attendants on board the 
wrecked vessel, but her name was never known. The men 
who were principally concerned in plundering, and most 
likely murdering her, seemed from that time marked men, 
even in the rude neighbourhood in which they lived, and 
what is singular, they all three came to awful and untimely 

* Dymoncl's "Early Records." 


There is in the possession of Miss J. B. Cranch a corner 
of the ill-fated lady's apron, which was secured by a man 
(doubtless one of the wreckers), and given on the evening 
following the wreck to her grandmother, who preserved it 
as a relic of the sad fate of its unfortunate wearer. The 
fragment is a beautiful specimen of finely embroidered 
muslin. The account goes on to say that "the celebrated 
Edmund Burke came down at that time, fearing some 
relatives or friends of his whom he expected from abroad 
might be on board the wrecked vessel. He stayed some 
days at Bowringsleigh House." 

After receiving this deplorable history, we had its truth 
confirmed by a gentleman to whom application had been 
made on the subject. He says "The tradition here is that 
the vessel was called the Chantiloupe. The old man who 
seemed to know most about it said, 'the lady ivas a-mur- 
dered, he believed — 'cause the doctors said so, for the blood 
that was about the fingers and the ears proved it. All hands 
were lost except one man. Jan Whiddon's father's dog 
found this here lady buried in the sand : he scratched up 
the hand. 'Twas never found out who murdered her ; but 
one thing was knoiv'd — which was this — that when the 
wreck was about to take place, this here lady had put on 
her best clothes, and all her jewels, in order that if she 
was drownded, she might be buried decent. However, (he 
added) all who were concerned in it, or supposed to be, 
came to a bad end.' I have looked in the register (of 
Thurlestone church) but can find no entry of about 1772 
respecting the burial, but I hear she was buried here, and 
then exhumed and taken to London, and that her name was 
Burke, or Birt, or some name like it." 

It would appear from the book entitled "A dreadful 


Alarm," which has been already spoken of as written by 
Henry Hingeston about the year 1700, that in his day 
wrecks were much more frequent on the neighbouring 
coast than is the case now (which, without lighthouses, 
and with inferior vessels and seamanship, would be likely), 
and wrecking was carried on in the most hard-hearted and 
barbarous manner. The following are Henry Hingeston's 
remarks on this subject. 

"I have been deeply affected to see and feel how sweet 
the report of a shipivreck is to the inhabitants of this 
country, as well professors as profane, and what running 
there is on such occasions, all other business thrown aside, 
and away to wreck. * * * I am verily persuaded 
that it hath been more sweet to hear that all the men 
are drowned, and so a proper wreck, than that any are 
saved, and by that means hinder their more public ap- 
pearance on that stage for getting money. 0! the cruelty 
that hath been acted by many. My heart hath been often 
heavy to consider it, insomuch that I verily think multitudes 
of heathen are nothing near so bad. Remember the broad- 
cloth slupe, stranded in Bigbury Bay, richly laden. ! 
for shame, for shame, I am really vext that ever my country- 
men should be guilty of such devilish actions." 

Is it not sickening to think that such scenes ever were 
enacted in this professedly Christian country ? But the 
days of these savage deeds are long past away, and now 
instead of the greedy wrecker, we may picture the life-boat 
launched, and manned by a brave and honest crew, eager 
to risk their own lives in the endeavour to save those of 
their fellow-men. 

The most recent wreck which we have to record as having 
occurred in Bigbury Bay is that of the brigantine Theodore, 


of Hamburgh, which came ashore at Thurlestone Sands, in 
February of this year (1874). She was laden with cotton 
seed and dye woods. During a heavy gale, a few days 
previously, she was struck by a heavy sea, which swept 
off the captain and two men, and damaged the vessel. 
The mate then took the command, and having been at 
the wheel for several days, got out of his reckoning, and 
the vessel became embayed. The brigantine was then off 
Hope, and the officer of the coast-guard, seeing she must 
come ashore, got out a small life-boat, and took off the 
mate and two lads before she struck, and landed them at 

Many years ago, some young people were amusing them- 
selves by digging in the sand just under Bantham Ham, 
and to their astonishment they came upon a human skull. 
It was apparently that of a negro — certainly not that of an 
Englishman. Afterwards several other skulls were disin- 
terred near the same spot, and it seems probable that they 
were relics of those who perished either in the wreck of the 
Ramilies, or of the Chantiloupe. 

When the valley between Bantham and Thurlestone was 
in process of being drained some years ago, the workmen 
stumbled upon a mass of bones, which were at first supposed 
to be human remains; they were, however, afterwards dis- 
covered to be those of various animals, but how they came 
there remains a mystery. Many cartloads of bones were 
carried away to be used as manure. This draining altered 
the course of a stream which ran all through the valley, 
and after a while a beautiful bubbling spring burst up 
through the saiid of the beach, where it remains a great 
boon to thirsty picnic-ers. 

Thurlestone parish includes the hamlets of Buckland, 


Bantbam, and Avon-mouth. Buckland is in a warm shel- 
tered valley, studded with orchards, and presents such an 
old-world appearance that it called forth the remark from 
a working man, when he saw it for the first time, that he 
thought "it must have been built when Adam and Eve 
were little." 

A short distance from the village of Buckland is Clan- 
nacombe — a fine Elizabethan mansion, but much modernised. 
It is approached, from the gateway, through a short avenue 
of elms. In one of the gardens is a fine specimen of the 
old dovecote — a circular, domed building, in a good state 
of preservation. Access to the interior is obtained by a 
small square doorway at the base, when upon looking up 
you will see a great number of square " pigeon holes," 
arranged in circular tiers, one above another. There is no 
projecting alighting place for the birds, and the only place 
of ingress and egress is a circular aperture at the top of the 
dome. No safer home could have been designed for the 
feathered inmates, as it would be impossible for either 
quadruped or biped to obtain access to the nests, except 
by the proper doorway, and then by a long ladder. 

Bantham is built almost close to the mouth of the Avon, 
where there is a harbour for sloops and barges. There is 
here a salmon-pool; and at low water the fine flat sands, 
which extend some way up the creek, are much frequented 
by cockle-boys. The Ham, which is a piece of turfy land, 
of considerable extent, is used for sheep grazing : it is a fine 
breezy down, frequented by rabbits, who burrow in the 
banks ; while the joyous songs of hosts of skylarks may be 
heard high over head. Oh, who that has ever heard the 
song of the free skylark, could think of making him a 
captive within the bars of a cage ! Truly we believe these 


poor prisoners often sing for sorrow of heart, and we miss 
the exulting, gleeful strains of the free "bird of the 

The sands on the beach at Bantham are the firmest for 
walking on of any we know in the neighbourhood, and 
a great variety of shells (some of them rare ones) may 
be collected here. The rocks are capital for a scramble, and 
the deep rock pools, fringed with beautiful sea-weeds and 
corallines, and tenanted by prawns, periwinkles, hermit crabs, 
sea anemonies, and many another creature, most tempting 
to the collector for a marine aquarium, may occupy the 
attention very pleasantly on a long summer's day. In the 
village of Bantham there is what may be termed an out- 
station belonging to the coastguard, in connection with 
the larger station at Challaborough. Avon-mouth, or as it 
is generally called, Onnamouth, consists of only a very few 
houses, higher up the creek than Bantham. 

The Avon divides the parish of Thurlestone from that of 


"Where Avon's waters with the sea are mix'd, 
Saint Michael firmly on a rock is fix'cl." 

St. Michael's rock, now called Burrow, or Burr Island, 
belongs to Bigbury parish. The sands that connect it with 
the mainland are passable at half tide : in these sands may 
sometimes be found beautiful microscopic shells, which can 
be scooped up by handsful in some states of the Avind and 
tide. A very elegant shell, supposed to be a nautilus, was 
found here by the late C. Prideaux, Esq., and given to 
Colonel Montagu. He describes it as "minute, with sides 
perfectly equal, and very much resembling the cornu- 
ammonis, transparent, and strongly ribbed." Of this 
shell he found three specimens. 


Camden mentions the ruins of an old chapel as existing 
somewhere here, but there is no appearance of such now. 
On the summit of the island there is a ruin, and some time 
ago we were informed by a Coastguard that he supposed it 
to be the remains of an observatory that had been erected 
in war time. He was rather surprised at receiving the 
counter information that it had been built by the writer's 
grandfather, for the accommodation of pic-nic parties at the 
island. The short turf here affords about ten acres of sheep 
pasture. It is riddled with rabbit burrows, so as to render 
it quite a perilous feat to ascend to the top on horseback. 
The wild squill is so abundant, that in the season of flower- 
ing, the ground has the appearance of being overspread with 
patches of blue carpet. There is a fine archway of rock at 
the base of the island, and deep fissures in the cliffs tenanted 
by innumerable sea gulls. 

Large quantities of pilchards are taken in Bigbury Bay. 
These fish annually assemble in millions, and perform a 
stately march through the sea, generally in the same 
direction, and within certain limits. 

Mr. Couch, in his Report of the Penzance Nat. Hist, 
and Antiq. Soc, 1847, says, "The main body retires for 
the winter into deep water, to the westward of the Scilly 
Islands. About the middle of spring they rise from the 
depths of the ocean, and consort together in small shoals, 
which, as the season advances, unite into larger ones, and 
towards the end of July or beginning of August combine 
in one mighty host, and advance towards the land in such 
amazing numbers as to discolour the water as far as the 
eye can reach. They strike the land generally to the north 
of Cape Cornwall, where a detachment turns to the N. E., 
and constitutes the summer fishery of St. Ives; but the 


bulk of the fish passes between SciHy and the Land's End, 
and entering the British Channel, follows the windings of 
the shore as far as Bigbury Bay and the Start." 

It is said in Moore's "Devon" that "many years since 
a quantity of pilchards large enough to produce about 
£7000 were taken in Bigbury Bay; but of late years the 
fishing seasons have been less successful." 

"There is a Bigbury Bay Company, possessing the 
necessary boats and nets, &c, for the pilchard fishery, 
and cellars for the cure of the fish at Challaborough and 
at the Warren, from whence they are shipped in hogsheads 
for the Mediterranean market." 

Pilchards constitute an important article of food to the 
poorer classes in all the villages and towns surrounding 
Bigbury Bay. 

The Avon (which is navigable for barges as far as 
Aveton GifFord only) rises in Dartmoor, a short distance 
north of Brent Beacon. It flows through a fertile country, 
rich in interesting views Immediately before it passes 
under Brent or Leedy Bridge, it pours down a ledge of 
rocks, not much higher, indeed, than a common weir; but 
the height of the arch of the bridge, beautifully covered 
with ivy, and the waterfall seen through the arch, together 
with the picturesque approach of the stream towards the 
bridge, afford an assemblage of romantic objects, so finely 
harmonised, that Polwhele says it has been preferred even 
to Becky Fall, and considered superior to the cataract at 
Lydford Bridge. 

Passing Brent, the Avon runs between Diptford and North 
Huish; there it is crossed by two or three bridges, besides 
that at Loddiswell and Aveton Gifford, and discharges itself 
into the sea near Bantham. 


Sir William Pole says, "Bigbery (anciently, Bikabiry) 
th' ancient dwelling of y* name. John de Bikabiry, in Kinge 
John's tyme, dwelled in this place. * * *" 

In Billing's "Devonshire," we find "Bigbury, anciently 
Bikdberry, was held by a family of this name for nine 
generations. * * * The village is very pleasantly 
situated, on the west side of the Avon valley, about a 
mile and a half from Bigbury Bay, and three and a half 
miles from Modbury. The navigation of the bay is very 
dangerous, on account of its rocky nature ; the coast is here 
indented with several coves, affording convenient retreats 
for smugglers ; there is a coast-guard station here. The 
bay commands a magnificent view of the ocean." 

"Bigbury, Prall, Yarde, Toutsaints, Huish, Bolberry, &c, 
are the names of ancient families of importance who once 
resided at these places, or to whom they belonged. The 
Bigburys lived in this neighbourhood from the Conquest 
to the time of Edward III." 

Bigbury Church, dedicated to St. Lawrence, has a hand- 
some tower, surmounted by a spire. There are, or were, 
some remains of paintings in the windows, and armorial 
bearings of the Champernowne and Drake families. 

This church has recently undergone a complete restoration, 
at a cost of about £1,200. It was re-opened in May, 1873, 
by Dr. Temple, Bishop of Exeter. It contains a fine brass 
for a lady of the Bigbury family, 1440. There is also a 
brass for Robert Burton (effigy gone) and wife, Elizabeth 
de Bigbury, 1460. 



"Ever varied, too, 
Is the rich prospect : valleys softly sink, 
And uplands swell — no level sameness tires ; 
While in the distance, happily disposed, 
Sweeps round the bold blue moor." 


Leland says, "Arme Haven is a . . . miles from 
Saultcombe Haven. The month of this lyith full of Flattes 
and Rokkes, and no shippe cummith in tempest hither, 
but in desperation. Two of Philip, King of Castille, shippes, 
fell to wrack in this haven, when he was driven into Eng- 
land by tempeste. Arme river cummith to this haven; 
and, as I have hard say, Aune river likewise." 

Neither Bigbury nor Aveton Gifford are strictly within 
our limits, both these places being in the hundred of 
Ermington; but the latter is in the picturesque valley of 
the Avon, and therefore must have a passing notice. The 
Giffords were anciently Lords of the Manor of Aveton — 
hence the name. Sir William Pole says "William Gifford 
held the same anno 27 of Kinge Hen. III. 

In Morris's " Devonshire," we find the following : — 
" The church is a fine ancient cruciform edifice, in the 
Perpendicular style, dedicated to St. Andrew, with a tower 


containing six bells. It has been thoroughly restored, at 
an expense of £2,003, and was re-opened for Divine service 
in October, 1869." The Rectory is a large and handsome 
modern residence, built in Elizabethan style, in 184&.Q. 

The Baptists, Bible Christians, and Wesleyans, have 
places of worship here, and there is a National School for 
the children of both sexes, with house for the master, 
which was erected in 1857. 

The Avon (which is here crossed by a bridge, and is 
navigable thus far, and no further) abounds in salmon and 
trout, and at the hatch is a salmon weir. Three brooks, 
which form feeders of the river, can be crossed at low 
tide at a place called 'The Stakes/ which gives a shorter 
route to Bigbury." 

At one time salmon were much more plentiful here than 
they are at present. Of late years they had so materially 
decreased that a society was formed for their preservation, 
and no one is now permitted to fish in the river for them 
without a ticket. 

In Domesday Book, among the sources of revenue of the 
Manor of Loddiswell, the salmon of the river are mentioned. 
It is said of this, as of some other places, that the indentures 
by which apprentices were bound in the valley of the Avon 
contained the provision that they should not be fed on 
salmon more than three times a week. 

Loddiswell is a large village, situated on rising ground, 
at the western side of the Avon vale, and about three 
miles from Kingsbridge. 

Risdon's account of this place is as follows : — " Loddis- 
well was held by Heath in the Saxons' time, and Judael de 
Totnes was owner thereof the twentieth year of William 
the Conqueror. William de Brays had this Manor given to 


him by King Henry II., whose grandchild Eva was mother 
unto the Lady Millicent de Montacute, of whom Gilbert 
Knovill, Knight, held this land. Near about the same 
time, Adam de Hatch was Lord of Hatch, which formerly 
belonged to the Arundells of Sampford, in Somersetshire. 
About the time of King Henry IV., the family of Karswill 
came to be Lords of this land." 

Sir William Pole says, "Hach Arondell belonged unto 
the famyly of Arondell, of Sandford Arondell, in Somerset- 
shire; and in Kinge Edw. I. tyme, Adam de Hach held 
the same, and John de Hach, anno 19 of Kinge Edw. III.; 
afterward, in Kinge Henry IV. tyme, Walter Carswell had 
the same." * * * 

From Prince's "Worthies," we extract the following: — 
"Sir William Karswill, Knight, was a native of Devon, 
and the second son of Walter Karswill, of Hach, Esq., 
in the parish of Loddiswell. A descendant of an ancient 
and worshipful family of great estate and honour heretofore 
in these parts, as most others in its time. Their most 
ancient habitation was also Carswell, in the parish of Hol- 
berton, near the town of Modbury, from whence they took 
their name. In process of time they removed to Hach, 
called Hach Arrondel, as belonging to a noble tribe so sur- 
named. More anciently this place had owners denominated 
from their seat, as Adam de Hach in King Edward I. 
time, and John de Hach in the nineteenth year of King 
Edward III." Elsewhere it is recorded that "in 1463, 
Thomas Gyll had license to castellate his house of Hach 
Arundell, and enclose a park ; " but the place has long 
been reduced to a farm-house. 

In this parish is situated Hazelwood, the residence of 
the late Richard Peek, Esq., the "Devonshire magistrate," 


of whose career Mrs. Balfour gives a little sketch in her 
work entitled "Moral Heroism." 

An interesting notice of this gentleman appeared in the 
Kingsbridge Gazette of March 16th, 1867, from which we 
extract largely. 

"The career of Mr. Peek, of Hazelwood, affords an example 
of how a man in this country may raise himself if he has 
the spirit and industry which are requisite to success in 
most undertakings. Few have begun life under more un- 
promising circumstances, and yet raised themselves to a 
position of affluence in less time than did the subject of 
this brief memoir. Some strange and contradictory accounts 
of the business history of this remarkable man are current ; 
and we have been favoured with some information from 
one of his nearest relatives, which enables us to correct 

Richard Peek was born at Hazelwood in 1782, of parents 
in a very humble position of life. When a young man, in 
the service of Mr. Lampin, a large grocer at Plymouth or 
Devonport, he was balloted for the militia; but not liking 
to be a soldier, and suspecting he was drawn, he went off 
suddenly to London, where he was a perfect stranger, and 
with very little money in his pocket. When crossing 
London Bridge, he saw a benevolent-looking Quaker [John 
Hamilton], whom he accosted, and to, whom he told his 
simple tale. This gentleman mentioned his case to a large 
wholesale tea dealer, who happened at that time to have 
a subordinate situation vacant in his warehouse, which was 
offered to the young man. No false pride deterred him 
from earning an honest livelihood, and he gratefully ac- 
cepted the situation, feeling sure he could work his way 
upwards. In two years he got promoted, and introduced 


his brother to his own place. In seven years he rose to 
be traveller, and his brother to be head warehouseman. 
After being a few years in this position, his brother de- 
termined to commence business on his own account. The 
great risk attendant upon the long credit (five months) 
then given to grocers, considerably enhanced the prices of 
their goods. William Peek (the brother referred to) thought 
that by buying through the brokers at one month's credit, 
and selling for ready money to dealers who could pay cash, 
a good and safe trade might be done. The system succeeded 
admirably, with perseverance and application, and in about 
eighteen months the prosperous state of the business induced 
Richard to relinquish his situation, and join his brother 
as partner, when the style of the firm was altered from 
William Peek & Co. to Peek Brothers & Co., and a younger 
brother was taken into partnership as soon as he came 
of age. Soon after this, a large broker offered them a 
permanent loan of £1500, which enabled them to buy 
direct from the East India Company, for cash, and spread 
their trade amongst a higher class of town and country 
dealers. Since that time the business has been steadily 
increasing, and is now divided into three large wholesale 
houses, carried on by the sons of the original partners 
and young men brought up in the house. 

Mr. Richard Peek early devoted much of his time to 
public business and various charitable and religious objects. 
He filled the offices of Common Councilman and Sheriff 
of the City of London, having in the latter position been 
the first returning officer after the passing of the Reform 
Bill. Having been made a magistrate for his native county, 
he retired to the residence he had built at Hazelwood, and 
employed the remainder of his life in works of philanthropy 


and beneficence. * * * Among other good works in 
which he took a prominent part, we may mention the 
British School-house in Dodbrooke, the ground for which 
was given by him; and shortly before his death he con- 
tributed handsomely towards the erection of a chapel for 
the Bible Christians in the same parish. A pretty chapel 
on his estate at Hazelwood was erected at his sole expense, 
while chapels and school-rooms at Loddiswell, Ugborough, 
Staunton, and East Allington, have been built chiefly by his 

Mr. Peek warmly advocated the Temperance cause, and 
was, during a large portion of his life, a consistent tee- 
totaller. Of late years he took great interest in the spread 
of Peace principles, and warmly supported the plan of 
arbitration between contending nations, in aid of which he 
spent both time and money. 

The remains of the deceased gentleman were interred in 
the catacombs at the new cemetery at Hazelwood, the 
funeral service being conducted by the Rev. J. C. Postans; 
and notwithstanding the very unfavourable weather, there 
was a large concourse of people, anxious to pay the last 
tribute of respect to the departed gentleman." 

For many years the Sunday School children of this neigh- 
bourhood have enjoyed annually "the Hazelwood Treat." 
The last time this took place before the death of Mr. Peek 
was in July of 1866. Tried as Mr. Peek had been by a 
recent illness, he appeared to enjoy this festal day as much 
as any present, though he expressed a belief that this was 
the last time he should witness the annual gathering. 
After singing the hymn " Shall we meet beyond the River ? " 
the benediction was given, and the large party broke up, 
and thus ended the last "Hazelwood Treat." 


The following information has been kindly furnished for 
insertion : — 

" The Hazelwood Chapel Trust has been founded by James 
Peek, Esq., to perpetuate the memory of his brother, the 
late Richard Peek, Esq., of Hazelwood, by placing in trust 
the sum of £11,000, which amount is to be supplemented 
at some future time by other sums from other branches 
of the Peek family. The objects of the Trust are — to 
support an Evangelistic Agent at Hazelwood, whose duty 
it is to conduct Divine worship in the chapel there on 
the Sabbath, and in the immediate neighbourhood during 
the evenings of the week, as opportunities offer; to super- 
intend a Sunday School at Hazelwood, and to distribute 
religious tracts, &c, in the neighbourhood around it; to 
visit and minister to the sick poor in the same locality, 
by supplying them with medical comforts and small gifts 
in money, at the discretion of the visitor ; to support either 
wholly or partially, by payments not exceeding thirty-two 
shillings per month, eight incurable invalids, and to give 
annuities of twelve pounds to each of four blind persons, 
who, as well as the invalids, must be resident within six 
miles of Hazelwood." 

The amount of good effected by the "Hazelwood Chapel 
Trust," and also by the "Kingsbridge Invalid Trust," is 
incalculable. Truly this whole neighbourhood has cause to 
hold in high esteem the names and memories of these 
benevolent gentlemen, who have done so much for the 
temporal and spiritual necessities of their fellow men. 

The following is copied from the Western Times, of 
April 24th, 1874 :— 

" Sir Henry William Peek, M.P., who is one of the first 
of Mr. Disraeli's new Baronets, is son of James Peek, Esq., 


of Watcombe, near Torquay, and nephew of the late Richard 
Peek, Esq., of Hazlewood, South Devon. This latter gentle- 
man was founder of the mercantile house which has 
enriched all the family. The father of Richard Peek was 
an agricultural labourer, and when Richard served the 
office of Sheriff of London and Middlesex he had his aged 
father up to town to see his 'brave' equipage. There was 
settled in business in London the son of a Devonshire 
yeoman, who had employed the father in husbandry in 
Devon, and the old man went to him and described, in 
ecstatic terms, the wonderment of the finery in which he 
saw his prosperous son arrayed. 'Lor a' massy — zilver 
harness and goold lace, and sich cattle, and sich a bootiful 
coach !' The worthy old rustic was only restrained by the 
slenderness of his vocabulary from doing justice to his 
feelings. We had the story from a gentleman well known 
in Devonshire, and who is a brother of the merchant in 
London to whom the old man delivered his mind on the 
subject. Richard Peek was a rigid Nonconformist, and was 
the life and soul of ' the cause ' in his district. He went to 
London an unfriended youth, with nothing but good prin- 
ciples and a sound constitution to stay him — and they 
brought him to a first-rate position in London. The new 
Baronet became a Churchman and a Tory. He has used 
his great wealth freely in ' helping ' churches and Tory 
candidates. Restoration of fabrics, ornamenting interiors, 
giving new organs, have all been described as modes by 
which he has shown his zeal for religion." 

The village of Woodleigh, which gives its name to a 
Deanery, is in the Avon Valley. The manor belonged at 
an early period to the Damerells, but now, we believe, 
it is the joint property of three or four families. The small 


antique Church belonging to Woodleigh was renovated 
a few years ago, and a new east window inserted. The 
interior has several handsome mural tablets belonging to the 
Luscombe, Cornish, Edmonds, and other families. There is 
a silver flagon here, which was given by Lady Amy Fortescue 
in 1686; it weighs 41bs. 12oz., and is emblazoned with the 
Fortescue and Courtenay arms. 

"Woodlegh was aunciently thenheritanc of Damerell; anno 
27 of Kinge Henry III., Raph Damerell was lord thereof; 
anno 24 of Kinge Edw. 1, John Damerell held it, and after 
him Rose, his wief, whom Henry de Rohant tooke unto his 
wief; Roger de Rohant, Kt. was lord of this mannor; by his 
daughter Elinor it descended to S r Richard Chambernon, 
which gave this mannor, wi th other lands, unto Richard, his 
eldest sonne, by his 2 wief Katerine, y e daughter of S r Giles 
Dawbeney; and soe it descended unto Sir Richard Cham- 
bernon, of Modbiry. 

Therle of Devonshire had also his mannor of Woodlegh."* 

Wood Barton is referred to when speaking of the Lus- 
combes, of Coombe Royal, it having been at one time their 
family residence. 

Woodleigh Woods are a favourite resort for pic-nic parties : 
the rocky river and overhanging trees are very beautiful. 

There is a singular history connected with the parish 
Church of Morleigh (which formerly belonged to the parish 
of Woodleigh). In Prince's "Worthies" we read that Sir 
Martin Fishacre had two sons, "Sir William Fishacre, of 
Coombe Fishacre, and Sir Peter Fishacre, of Morlegh, which 
lies about five miles to the south-west from Totnes, in the 
Road to King's-bridg, of which last knight, Sir Peter, 
tradition hath handed down unto us this remarkable 

* Six William Pole. 


passage : — That upon some controversy between him and 
the Parson of Woodlegh about tythes, the matter grew so 
high that the Knight in his fury slew the Parson. Which 
abominable fact was so eagerly followed against him, that he 
was constrained to answer the same at Rome, where he could 
not be dismissed until he had submitted unto this penance, 
enjoyn'd upon him by the Pope — to build a church at Mor- 
legh ; which accordingly he did, and lies buried under an arch 
in the wall thereof." 

Four miles north of Kingsbridge, in the parish of Loddis- 
well, is Bleak, or Black-down, commonly called Blakey-down, 
which commands a fine prospect. Here are (or were) the 
remains of an encampment of large extent. Lyson's account 
is this : — " Blackadon Camp is an irregular oval, the extreme 
length being above 1,000 feet, and in the broadest part about 
500. The whole is said to contain about eleven acres. The 
keep at the north-west corner is about ten feet higher than 
the vallum. On the south and east of it the vallum is double 
and irregular." 

The ancient fortress of Stanborough, which gives name 
to the Hundred, is similar, but of smaller dimensions. 

Several barrows were examined in this district many 
years ago, some of them containing fragments of human 

Near the Blackdown entrenchment is a copper mine, but 
it is not now worked. 

About two miles from Kingsbridge, on the road leading 
towards Plymouth, is the village of Churchstow, which has 
already been mentioned as belonging to the same vicarage 
as Kingsbridge. The earliest document known to be in 
existence in reference to Churchstow, under the deanery of 
Woodleigh, bears date 1291. It appears by the Hundred 


Roll that the Abbots of Buckfast, and also the Lord of the 
Manor of Churchstow, formerly had the power of inflicting 
capital punishment. The church of St. Mary has a lofty 
tower, and Polwhele says "Four bad bells." The church 
was restored in 1849. The east window is enriched with 
stained glass, and the whole interior has now a handsome 
appearance. The Rev. John Wilcocks lies buried in this 
cemetery. The following inscription is on his tomb: — 

" In memory of the Rev. John Wilcocks, A.B., vicar of 
this parish, and during thirty years, master of the endowed 
grammar school at Kingsbridge, who died on the 27th of 
August, 1809, aged 66 years. In every station of his life 
he executed its respective duties with judgment, diligence, 
and fidelity. To great and various intellectual acquirements, 
he added universal candour of mind and primitive simplicity 
of manners, which conciliated the esteem and regard of 
all who knew him. This humble testimony of her most 
affectionate remembrance was placed here by his widow." 

[The widow afterwards married Major Bennett, of the 
Cornwall Militia, who had been one of her late husband's 

In the valley below Churchstow is Leigh, once a cell 
belonging to Buckfast Abbey. The whole place has an 
aspect of great antiquity : the walls are composed of large 
and beautifully-chiseled stones of blue schist — in many 
parts in excellent preservation, but in others crumbling, and 
clothed with ferns and ivy. The entrance archway is a 
fine specimen of the less acute gothic order. Although the 
walls are in many places cracked and shaken, particularly 
those of the room above the archway, yet care appears to 
have been taken, by iron stays, and other means, to prevent 


further dilapidation. In one part of the building there are 
steps (containing some unusually massive hewn stones) 
which lead to an open balcony, the pillars of which remain, 
but the rails and open work which probably at one time 
existed, have disappeared. This balcony opens into two 
large well-proportioned rooms. Some of the original oak 
beams, supporting the roof, remain, but are grey with age 
and incrusted with lichen. A narrow doorway in one corner 
looks down into a deep well, or pit, which is considered to 
have been a place of confinement. This, as well as other 
parts of the rooms, is almost full of rubbish. 

Leigh, being at present a farm-house, agricultural imple- 
ments and such matters are here stowed away ; and sundry 
wooden partitions having been erected, the extent and 
symmetry of these fine apartments has been sadly marred. 
At different periods Leigh has been the property of the 
the Hayes family, the Aldams, and the Bickfords. 

Norton farm lies a little off the road between Churchstow 
and Kingsbridge ; it is a fine specimen of an old Devonshire 
mansion, with its stone gate posts, surmounted by large 
balls. It was formerly the seat of a branch of the Hawkins 
family. Prom some high ground belonging to this estate, 
and known by the name of Norton Ball, there is a good view 
of the estuary, which, from thence, looks almost like a lake, 
shut in, as it is apparently, by the Portsmouth Hills at the 
lower end. It is considered that Norton and Norden (pro- 
nounced Norn) are only two forms of one name, common to 
the slopes which run from Norton quarries to Norden, on the 
West Alvington road. The stream which runs down on the 
west side of Kingsbridge divides that place from Norton. 
The meadows about there are called Norton Meadows, and 
were the property of Buckfast Abbey. 



The Union House for Kingsbridge and twenty-five other 
parishes stands on a slope above Norden House, and opposite 
the West Alvington Woods. It is in Churchstow parish, 
and was erected in 1837, at a cost of £6,000. Kingsbridge 
Union consists of the following parishes, viz.: — 



Aveton Gifford 





















South Pool 






South Huish 












South Milton 









East Allington 






East Portlemouth 















West Alvington 







Those marked e are in Ermington Hundred 
„ „ c are in Coleridge Hundred 

„ „ s are in Stanborough Hundred 



"By breezy hills 
And soft retiring dales ; by smiling lawns, 
Bold headlands, dark with umbrage of the grove ; 
By towns and villages and mansions fair, 
And rocks magnificent." 

Buckland-t out-saints is a small parochial chapelry, 
appended ecclesiastically to Loddiswell parish. The manor 
belonged to the Tout-Saints family in the reign of Richard I., 
and afterwards passed to the Hills and Southcotes, the latter 
of whom, after having held it for several generations, sold 
the manor in 1793 to the late William Clark, Esq., of 
Plymouth. More recently it has been the property of Mr. 
Br un skill. 

The chapel (St. Peter) was very ancient, but was mostly 
rebuilt in 1779 by J. H. Southcote, Esq. It was appropriated 
with Loddiswell to Slapton College in the fifteenth century, 
and is now a curacy annexed to Loddiswell Vicarage. 
Having undergone alterations, such as the removal of the 
screen and pulpit, and the adoption of the more modern style 
of seats, instead of inconvenient pews, this chapel was re- 
opened in January, 1874. 


In the parish of Buckland-tout-saints there are extensive 
slate quarries. Before the Dutch War in 1781, great 
quantities of this article were exported from these quarries 
to Holland, but the trade has not since been resumed. 

Bearscombe, or as it was originally called, Woodmaston, 
once the abode of "Justice Beare" (whose name so frequently 
crops up in connection with Nonconformist persecution) is 
in this parish. 

In Worth's "History of Plymouth" is the following: — 
" When Pope Pius IX. decided upon establishing the present 
Roman Catholic hierarchy in England, Plymouth was 
selected as a seat of one of the new dioceses. The first 
priest who is known to have ministered in Plymouth after 
the Reformation, was the Rev. Edward Williams, who was 
settled at the seat of Mr. Richard 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." 

Mr. Richard Chester's residence was at Bearscombe, which 
is, and has been for many years past, a farm-house.* 

In the adjoining parish of East Allington, is situated 
Fallapit, the seat of the Governor of Salcombe Castle at 
the time of the siege. Fallapit was a possession of the 
Fortescues for many generations ; this branch of the family 
is descended from Sir Henry Fortescue, chief justice of 
Common Pleas in Ireland, who married the heiress of 
Fallapit about 1450 (Fallapit having been for several 
descents the property and residence of a family of that 
name). The heiress of this branch married Lewis Fortescue, 
a younger son of the Fortescues of Spriddleston, who was one 
of the Barons of the Exchequer in the reign of Henry VIII. 
* It was at onetime occupied by Walter, brother of the late C. Prideaux, Esq. 


Sir Edmund, the fifth in descent from this Lewis, was a 
zealous royalist ; he was knighted by King Charles I., and in 
1 664< was created a Baronet. The title became extinct on the 
death of his son Sir Sandys Fortescue, in 1683. Edmund 
Wells, Esq., whose maternal grandfather, Thomas Bury, Esq., 
married one of the cousins and co-heiresses of Sir Sandys 
Fortescue, took the name of Fortescue in 1768, and was 
grandfather of W. B. Fortescue, Esq., late possessor of 
Fallapit, who, however, sold it to William Cubitt, Esq. 

The house is a large and handsome mansion, built in the 
Elizabethan style, more than half a century ago, very near 
the former one — an ivy-mantled portion of which still 
remains. It is pleasantly situated in the midst of extensive 
and tasteful pleasure grounds. 

The church of East Allington is dedicated to St. Andrew. 
It contains three aisles, and is supported by eight gothic 
pillars. The pulpit and the screen have the appearance of 
great antiquity; the former is handsomely adorned with 
carved work, and bears the arms and blazonings of the 
Fortescues, and many families who have intermarried with 
them. Among the mural inscriptions in the chancel, 
Polwhele quotes the following as being over the grave of 
Elizabeth, wife of Edmund Fortescue, one of the sheriffs of 
the county : — 

" Here lieth a wight 

Of worthy descent, 
Whose loss for her worth 

The people lament; 
The Rich for her love 
And kind afFabilitie, 
The Poor for her Alms, 
Deeds, and Hospitalitie. 
Obit 28 Jan., 1611." 


There is another inscription as follows : — 

" To the memory of Elizabeth, lately the Pious 

Wife of Richard Wood, Gent. She died Jan. 11, 1662. 

Eliza's soule a GrafTe divine 

With Clay was fastened into Wood 

The Tree did suddenly decline 
The Fruit was blasted in the Bud. 
The Clay which death brake off lies here, the Wife 
Is now engrafted on the tree of life. 
Reader, expect not long to hold thy breath, 
For hearte of Oake thou see'st cut off by death. 

Kenedon, in the parish of Sherford, is an ancient house 
of the early Tudor period. It was formerly the seat of the 
Pralls ; at one time it belonged to Sir W. Elford, and after- 
wards it was the property of the late Luke Howard, Esq., of 
Tottenham. There was once a tower attached to it, but this 
was taken down by the Aldhams, who occupied the place 
for some years. The following is extracted from Prince's 
"Worthies": — John Halse, Lord Bishop of Coventry and 
Lichfield, was born in Kenedon, in the parish of Sherford (a 
chapel of ease to Stokenham Church). It hath the name 
Sherford from a clear stream of water running there and a 
passage through it. John Halse, the Judge, was the first of 
the name who possessed this seat (Kenedon) whom I take to 
be a native of this county, although where born I cannot say. 
In the 1st of King Henry V. he was made the King's 
Sergeant-at-Law. In the first of King Henry VI. he was con- 
stituted one of the justices of Common Pleas, and in the year 
after, 1424, one of the justices of the King's Bench. He took 
up his habitation at Kenedon, and made it the seat of his 
family, which flourished there many generations in a right 
worshipful degree, down to the latter end of the reign of 


Charles II., when Matthew Halse, Esq., was so far imposed 
upon as to make away this and his other inheritance from 
his uncle (a reverend divine of his name, then living in 
Cornwall) and his issue, and settle it upon his sisters, 
whom he made his heirs." 

In a later edition of Prince's "Worthies" we find the 
following remarks : — " The sisters of Matthew Halse, whose 
disregard of feudal claims in preferring them to his reverend 
uncle, excites so much indignation in our author, were Amy 
and Rebecca. Amy was married to Jonathan Elford, of 
Bickham, Esq. * * * In the division of the property 
Kenedon was the property of Amy, and descended to Sir 
William Elford, of Bickham, Bart. * * Rebecca, the other 
sister of Matthew Halse, was married to Henry Trelawny, 
Esq. The estate of Efford was her portion." 

" Let us now proceed unto the Bishop ; he was second son 
to the judge aforesaid; and it being his fortune (or rather 
misfortune, as some may esteem it) to be a younger brother, 
he endeavoured to free himself from the disadvantage thereof 
by his own personal worth and accomplishments ; and he did 
accordingly, by the vertuous improvement of his time, and the 
blessing of God upon it, grow up to be a much greater man 
in the world than his elder brother was with all his estate. 
He was bred a scholar; and had his education in Exeter 
College, in Oxford, of which house he became fellow ; and at 
length grew into that reputation with the university, that he 
was chosen (not by his college according to the late cycle, 
but by common suffrage of the masters in congregation) 
one of the proctors thereof for the year of our Lord 1432. 
After this he took the degree of Batchelur of Divinity ; and 
on the 23rd March, 1445, he was chosen Provost of Oriel 
College there. In this very reputable station doth Mr. Halse 


(for I don't find he was a doctor) continue the space of fifteen 
years ; and then his fame having reached the court, he was, 
by that pious prince, King Henry VI., in the 38th year of his 
reign, made Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. He continued 
Bishop of this Diocese about one and thirty years, and died 
upon the Lord's-day, October 3, 1490, at what time, by 
computation, he must be nearly ninety years of age. He 
lieth buried in his church at Lichfield." 

" The village of Sherford is very ancient. It once belonged 
to St. Nicholas's Priory, Exeter. The church (St. Martin) is 
a fine specimen of the decorated style, and has a lofty tower 
and five bells. There are stoups at the north and south 
doors, and in the chancel is a fine trefoiled piscina."* 

Let us pass through Chillington, which is a long straggling 
village, with a few pleasant-looking houses in it. It is one of 
the many villages in the parish of Stokenham. 

"This manor (Stokenham) belonged, in the reign of 
King John, to Matthew Fitz-Herbert ; it continued several 
generations to his descendants, by the name of Fitz-Matthew, 
Fitz-Herbert, and Fitz-John. Matthew Fitz-John, the last of 
this family, was summoned to Parliament as a baron. Dying 
without issue, he gave the inheritance of all his lands to the 
King (Edwd. I.). The manor was then held under the Cour- 
tenays, as of the Honour of Plympton. King Edward I. gave 
it to Ralph de Monthermer, his son-in-law, to be held of the 
crown, of which the Earl of Devon complained in a petition 
to Parliament, and obtained redress. From Monthermer this 
manor descended through the families of Montacute and 
Poole to Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, who sold it to the 
Arierideths. Both Sir Wm. Pole and Risdon state that 
this manor was dismembered; Risdon says by the Earl of 

* White's " Devonshire." 


Huntingdon; Sir Wm, Pole says by Sir John Amerideth, son 
of Edward, who purchased the estate. The royalty appears, 
nevertheless, to have been retained, the manor of Stokenham 
being now vested in R. W. Newman, Esq., who purchased it 
of Geo. Cary, Esq., of Torr Abbey." * 

The Hundred Court was anciently held here, and there are 
some remains of an old building called the Prison, near the 
church, and the site of an old manor-house. 

Robert Dymond, Esq., E.S.A., has furnished some very 
curious particulars respecting the manor of Stokenham, 
"derived from the ancient deeds and documents at Torr 
Abbey," which he says " have never been published." 

"The Carys, of Torr Abbey and Cockington, were Lords of 
the manor of Stokenham, from 1608 to the beginning of the 
present century. The earliest document relating to the 
manor, which I find among the Torr Abbey papers, is the 
verdict of the jury at a Manor Court, held 30 Sep 1 '., 5th 
Henry VII. (1490), in reference to the title to certain lands 
in 'Wydecombe and Colerige,' held by John Somaster and 
Margery Littleton, * * * 'and, moreover, the jury say 
that the said John and Margery and their ancestors, from 
time immemorial, were seized of a fishery in the Kings' 
water at the Ley in the manor aforesaid twice a year — once 
in Lent time, and once before the end of Pentecost. And 
moreover the jury say that the said John and Margery and 
their ancestors from time immemorial had, and used to have 
in the Park of the King at Stokynham, afs d > twice a year, 
a deer, in the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, and one 
other deer in the feast of the Nativity of St. John the 
Baptist, yearly. * * * ' p 

Before the sale to Amerideth it was thought probable 

* Lysons. 


that Sir Francis Drake would have purchased the manor (of 
Stokenham), as the following letter to Lord Huntingdon from 
his agent will shew : — 
' It maie please yo v honor, 

We have been heere at Stokenham w h p r pose 
to p'cede yn sale of your lo 113 lands there ; but being crossed 
by the practice of one Digbye, a busie curate newlie come to 
that towne, and assisted by a companie of light hedded 
fellowes, who sent a supplicacon to yo r Lo d P, which we have 
seen in a l're dated the Vth of this month, but the chiefe 
cause we take to be the very povertie of the tenants who 
would not deale anythinge till their messenger should return 
from London. So beinge stalled there and at Southpole for 
that tyme, we left them and rode to Yelhampton, and first we 
enquired for S r if 1 " Drake, who, being still at the courte, we 
conferred wth Mr. John Heale, to understand S r F's mynde 
in the p r chase of this manor, but Mr. Heale had no com- 
mishion to deale therein.' 

The letter goes on to state that the writer found it difficult 
to deal with the tenants at 'Yelhampton,' suggesting that 
Lord Huntingdon should confer with Sir. F. Drake in 
London, ' who happilie maie be drawen to yo r L dpps likinge.' 
The letter is dated the 14th of April, at Yelhampton, 

On the 6 Sepf, 1632, Sir Edward Cary, of Stantor (an 
ancient house in the parish of Marldon, between Paignton 
and Torquay), Knt., and his son Sir George, granted a lease 
for lives to W m Gournay, of Dartmouth, merchant, of ' all that 
place and hole, commonly known by the name of Poke Hole, 
situate under the cliff at Halsand, in the parish and manor of 
Stockingham, neere adioyning unto the fishhouse or sellar of 
the s d W M Gournay there.' Another lease of the same year 


grants to the same lessee a ' fishing howse at Halesand, and 
the Capstander roome thereto belonging.' 

The papers also comprise several Court Rolls of the Manor, 
recording the proceedings of the Courts Leet. The following 
are extracted from the presentments at the Courts : — 

In 1675 Richard Hawkings, esq., was presented 'for com- 
mittinge of an assaulte, and drawinge of blood fro™ Thomas 
Luscombe w th in the manno 1 ' aforesaid, to y e disturbance of y e 
peace, and amerced in 3s. 4d.,' and again, 'Roger Parret, for 
his irreverent behaviour, and disturbinge y e Co rt , and smoak- 
ing tobacco there after notice given him,' is amerced in the 
sum of 3s. 4d.' [R. D. remarks the temptation to indulge in 
this imported luxury was too strong for poor Roger]. In the 
same year, under the head of Button and Muck well, a fine of 
8d. was inflicted on ' Elizabeth ffox, widow, for brewinge ale 
two severall tymes without y e Lycence of the Lorde of 
y e MannoV In 1683 we find John Ewen presented for 
'sowinge of garden seeds and placinge of bees in Addle 

Michael Pope and John Lowe were fined 12d. each 'for 
sufFeringe their hoggs to goe unringed and unyoaked, to 
y e annoyance of y e inhabitants of y e Leete.' 1676. Tho s 
Paidge was presented 'for keepinge of an unruly and 
dangerous dogg wi th in this Leete, wherefore it is ordered by 
y e Co rt y* the saide Tho s Paidge doe hange or otherwise 
destroy the same.' 1690. 'The jury pssent Stephen Terry 
for commitinge of an affray, and drawinge of blood from 
John Earle, at Nuttiscombe, w th in this Manno r about y e 13th 
day of March last, by throughinge of a stone of five pound 
wight, or thereabouts,' for which he was fined 3s. 4d. 

About 1745 one Samuel Weekes was Reeve or Bailiff of 
the Manor of Stokenham. One of his letters seems worth 


quoting. It is dated 31 Jan., 174?, and is addressed to 
' George Cary, Esq., att his Tor Abby. To be left at the Post 
House in Totnesse with care.' It commences, 'Sir, I suppose 
you hear of the death of the landlady att the Church Hous 
in Stockingham town, Mary King;' then after enumerating 
the deaths of sundry persons, on whose lives tenements were 
held, he continues, ' its fifty to one whether the Lifes on Mr. 
Shath Estate in Dun son are not lost. There is no certain 
account of Ship nor men, since the whent out of Dartmouth 
— then, 'tis said, the are in Spanish prison, then in French 
prison : it seems there's nothing in nether of it.' Then, 
after a few more business particulars, he concludes, 'This 
from your very humble servent, Samuel Weekes. I know 
nothing els att present. The Leay being very high, the catch 
many fresch water Eles at the sands side.' " 

The Vicarage of Stokenham (with that of Chivelstone 
annexed) is in the incumbency of the Rev. J. C. Carwithen, 
M.A. The Church is large and antique, with a low tower 
and six bells. There is a National School in the village. 

Sir Lydstone Newman, Bart., of Mamhead, is Lord of the 
Manor of Stokenham, and has a marine residence here, 
called Stokeley, or Stokeleigh House. 

A. B. E. Holdsworth, Esq., owns Stokenham Priory estate: 
his residence, Widdecombe House, is picturesquely situated 
near the Bay. 

Coleridge House, a mansion built in the Elizabethan style, 
the seat of John Allen, Esq., who owns the estate which 
gives its name to the Hundred, is also in this parish. 

Stokenham includes six villages, and a few hamlets, 
mostly scattered along the shore of Start Bay. The villages 
are Chillington, Beeson, Beesands, Halsands, Kellaton, and 


Polwhele says, when alluding to a time of rebellion and 
revolution in 1794, "The active loyalty of every description 
of persons in Devonshire is beyond all former example. 
Signal houses were erected on the south coast of Devon in 
the autumn of that year, and Lieutenants of the Navy 
appointed to them the 18th of December following. They 
were situate as follows, viz., Collegrew, Start Point ; Hurter's 
Top, near the Prawle ; Westore, at the Bolt Head ; Gurnose, 
Bigbury Bay ; Berry Head, south point of Torbay ; Coleton, 
near Dartmouth; Beer Head, near Colyton; Westdown 
Beacon, near Exmouth; and Dawlish Head, near Chudleigh." 

Prawle Point has been thus described : — " The Prawle is 
principally composed of gneiss rock, which on the western 
side is weathered like a surface of snow which has been 
exposed to the sun's rays. It is everywhere broken into 
crags, and terminated at the point by a singular archway, 
through which a boat might sail in calm weather. Many 
years ago the Crocodile frigate was wrecked upon this head- 
land, with a great loss of life." 

One authority states that "here in the eleventh century 
the ships of pilgrims touched, on their voyage from Denmark 
to the Holy Land." 

There is a "coastguard station at this fishing village. 

In the " Londoner's Walk to the Land's End," the follow- 
ing paragraph occurs respecting the scenery between the 
Start Point and the Prawle : — " Those who have been 
disappointed with foreign travel would do well to bend their 
steps to this little-known part of our own country. One mav 
journey far before he finds so much to satisfy the eye and 
charm the imagination, as came before me in this day's 
wandering." A coastguard, whom the "Londoner" met 
with, remarked to him, " 'Tis as rough a bit of country as 


any part of Devonshire, but 'tis well worth looking at. An 
Englishman don't know what England is till he has been 
along here." 

The following notice appeared in the Kingsbridge Gazette 
of February 13th, 1864, headed Ornithology. "That very 
rare bird, the Little Bustard (Otis Tetrax, Linn), was shot 
at Prawle on Saturday last. The bird is a mere straggler in 
this country ; one was shot in the parish of Stokenham 
about twenty-five years since ; and, a few years before, one 
at Bigbury. The Little Bustard is a bird of considerable 
powers of flight; the great deserts of Tartary being its 
principal stronghold. Large flocks of them have been seen 
wandering thence in the direction of the Caucasus and the 
Caspian Sea, also to the south of Russia, Siberia, Turkey, 
and Greece; and in small numbers in Italy, Spain, and 
France. They are polygamous; but a male specimen has 
seldom been met with in this country. Their food consists 
of vegetables, insects, worms, grain, and seeds." 

Respecting one of the birds above mentioned, the following 
communication was made to Loudon's " Magazine of Natural 
History," and signed Charles Prideaux, Hatch Arundel, near 
Kingsbridge, Devon. "On Friday, the loth November, 
1839, a specimen of that very rare bird, the Little Bustard, 
was killed at Bigbury, in the south of Devon, which came 
into my possession the next day. This is, I believe, the 
second occurrence of this bird in that county; and it is 
rather singular that in the other instance the bird was 
bought in Plymouth market in 1801-, by my brother, 
William Prideaux, and presented to the late Colonel 
Montagu, and is now in the British Museum : it was killed 
in the north of Devon." 



" The rocky ledge runs far into the sea, 
And on its outer point some miles away, 
The lighthouse lifts its massive masonry, 
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day. 

And the great ships sail outward and return, 
Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells, 

And ever joyful, as they see it burn, 

They wave their silent welcomes and farewells." 


Polwhele says, in reference to Start Point, (but we have 
never seen it mentioned elsewhere) "There are still the 
remains of columns here, it is supposed, in memory of the 
Phenician Astarte." 

Another authority says, " The name (Start) is supposed 
to be the Anglo-Saxon, ' Steort,' a tail or promontory, but 
it is more commonly explained as the ' starting point' of 
ships outward bound. The point stretches boldly to sea, 
sloped on each side like the roof of a house, and crowned 
along its entire length by fanciful crags, strangely weathered 
and shaggy with moss. Its different sides strikingly illus- 
trate the influence of a stormy sea on the picturesqueness 
of a coast. On the west, the dark cliff incessantly assaulted, 
presents a ruinous appearance; on the east, although 
moulded from the same material, it descends to the waves in 


a smooth precipice. Beyond this point the sea is seldom 
agitated by a roll from the Atlantic, the ground swell of the 
ocean rarely extending further eastward than the Start." 

The Start Lighthouse is well known. It is situated almost, 
but not quite, on the extreme point of land, and at a con- 
siderable elevation above the sea; the bold, jagged rocks, 
however, rise high above the tower. It has now sent its 
warning light across the deep for more than forty years. At 
first it only consisted of the single round tower, at the top 
of which was the lantern, containing the revolving light, 
and also a fixed light, with the necessary apparatus for 
working the same. The rooms underneath were used as a 
residence by the light-keepers. At first one keeper only had 
to attend to this duty; but some years later, a cottage was 
erected adjoining the lighthouse, and a second keeper ap- 
pointed to assist in looking after the light, &c. 

It is the duty of the keepers to light up the lamps ten 
minutes before sunset, and watch them during the night, to 
see that the machinery which works the revolving light 
does not stop or get out of order. For this purpose, the 
night is divided into watches, which are taken alternately. 
It is a regulation of the Trinity Board, that during the time 
the lights are burning one keeper is to be constantly present 
in the lantern, watching them. 

Up to the end of 1871, the lighthouse continued to be 
worked with the lamps and machinery fixed when it was 
first erected ; but after so many years' wear the machinery 
had become worn and uncertain, and uneven in its action, 
and it was determined to fix a new lantern, machinery, and 
lights. For this purpose, plans and specifications of the 
proposed alterations were issued by the Honourable Trinity 
Board. The contract of Mr. Chapman, of West Alvington, 


was accepted for the t various alterations in the masonry 
department, and that of Messrs. Chance for the new lantern, 

The alterations embraced the erection of a new cottage 
for the head keeper, the removal of certain of the stone 
floors in the tower, the perforation of the tower for new 
windows, and the closing of some of the old ones ; the 
erection of a substantially-built stone store-room, for the 
paraffin oils used for the light, &c. 

All these alterations appear to have been satisfactorily 
completed. The new lamp, enclosed in its dome of crystal 
prisms and reflectors, is considered the best which has yet 
been erected; and the contractors, the Messrs. Chance, of 
Birmingham, may well feel satisfied with the perfect manner 
in which everything has been carried out. 

The arrangement for obviating the necessity of a fixed 
light, in addition to the revolving one, to throw its bright 
gleams on the sunken rocks and sand banks, which endanger 
vessels when they approach too near the point, is most 
ingeniously contrived ; a portion of the light being reflected 
from the lamp on the land side, where its rays are not 
required, and thrown down upon powerful prismatic re- 
flectors on the story below, and then a second time reflected, 
and allowed to pass through a large window in the desired 
direction. The light itself is obtained from an arrangement 
of a burner of four concentric wicks, supplied with paraffin 

Visitors to the Start Lighthouse will be struck with the 
extreme neatness, as well as substantial quality, of every- 
thing appertaining to the buildings. The apparatus and 
interior fittings are beautifully bright, and although some 
persons may imagine that the light-keepers must have much 


time on their hands, it does not appear to be so, the 
cleaning and trimming of the burners requiring the attention 
of both men for a large portion of every day. 

A short distance from the lighthouse is the fog-bell, 
which was erected in October, 1862. Although this does 
not appear altogether to answer the object desired — that of 
throwing a volume of sound far out to sea — yet no doubt 
vessels enveloped in a very dense and bewildering fog, would 
be warned in time to keep away from the perilous reef of 
sunken rocks lying off towards the south-west of the light. 
The machinery by which this bell is rung is very beautiful. 
By means of a falling weight, of about thirteen hundred- 
weight, the huge clapper continues to strike the bell for 
about four-and-a-half hours without additional attention on 
the part of the attendants. The machinery is very similar 
in appearance and action to that of a large turret clock. 

There is every probability, however, that ere long the 
fog-bell will be superseded by some adaptation of the steam 
whistle, as the sound thus produced is found to penetrate 
a foggy atmosphere further and more freely than that of 
a bell. 

The following is extracted from a newspaper of March 
17th, 1866:— 

"The ' Albert Medal* is at last formally announced. It 
consists of a gold oval-shaped badge, enamelled in dark blue, 
with a monogram composed of the letters V. & A., interlaced 
with an anchor erect, in gold, surrounded with a garter, in 
bronze, inscribed in raised letters of gold, 'For gallantry in 
saving life at sea,' and surmounted by a representation of 
the crown of the Prince Consort, and suspended from a dark 
blue riband of five-eighths of an inch in width, with two 
white longitudinal stripes. It will in future be granted to 


such as have distinguished themselves by their bravery in 
shipwrecks, or on other occasions, on the recommendation 
of the President of the Board of Trade." 

Mr. Samuel Popplestone, of Start Farm, was the first 
person to whom this medal was presented; it being given 
in the presence of the Queen herself, as a mark of appre- 
ciation of his gallant conduct in saving, at the imminent 
risk of his own life, the mate and one of the crew of the 
Spirit of the Ocean, which was wrecked at the Start Point, 
on the 23rd of March, 1866, when the rest of the crew 

On the day above mentioned, the Spirit of the Ocean 
was caught in a strong gale from the south-west, and Mr. 
Popplestone, seeing the danger of the vessel, dispatched 
messengers to Torcross, and to the Coast-guard for as- 
sistance ; and then taking a small coil of rope, proceeded 
along the rocks, and a dangerous sea washed him off whilst 
endeavouring to obtain communication with the vessel. He, 
however, by the aid of a returning wave, regained his 
footing, and from that perilous position succeeded in saving 
the lives of two persons. For this act, Mr. Popplestone 
received the decoration of the Albert medal. Shortly after 
this, subscriptions were collected in the neighbourhood, and 
a tea service, consisting of a silver teapot, sugar basin, and 
cream ewer, were procured. The teapot bore the following 
inscription : — " Presented to S. Popplestone, for heroic 
conduct, in saving life from the Spirit of the Ocean, 
wrecked off the Start, March 23, 1866." The presentation 
took place at the Grammar School, Kingsbridge. 

About a couple of miles from the spot that witnessed 
the loss of the Spirit of the Ocean, but nearer Prawle 
Point, the Gossamer, a China tea clipper ship, of 735 tons 


register, was wrecked in December, 1868, and thirteen lives 
were lost. 

There was a strong south-west breeze, and a heavy sea. 
The vessel stood too close in shore to the Start, and was 
driven broadside on to the breakers. Two anchors were 
instantly let go ; but the bottom was rock and loose shingle, 
and they would not hold, and the Gossamer was soon 
beating on jagged rocks, sixty yards from the shore, green 
seas breaking over her and sweeping the decks. These 
occurrences had been watched by the coastguards, who, 
under the orders of their chief officer (Mr. Pengelly) had 
got out a rocket apparatus, and conveyed it to the point 
nearest to the wreck. The crew were so terrified that they 
were unable to perceive the preparations being made for 
their rescue, and several of them jumped overboard to swim 
ashore. Most of these, however, perished in the attempt; 
but all who maintained their position were ultimately 
brought ashore by the rocket apparatus. The captain and 
his wife were both drowned. Had there then been a rocket 
apparatus at Prawle, as there now is, most probably all 
would have been saved; but Mr. Pengelly had to send 
to the next station, Rickham, about two and a half miles 
off, which, of course, took a considerable time. The sur- 
vivors were unable to save anything more than the wearing 
apparel they had on. 

The cargo consisted chiefly of shop goods ; and the stocks 
of very many drapers, clothiers, boot makers, and book- 
sellers, hardware dealers, and toymen, were strewn along 
the coast in the greatest confusion. There were, in all, 
with the pilot, thirty-one on board the vessel when she 
struck, including eleven able seamen and five apprentices. 

In June, 1870, the Emilie, of Altona, Captain Alhsen, 


from Iquique, bound to Altona with saltpetre, went ashore 
about half a mile from the place where the disastrous 
wreck of the Gossamer occurred. A dense fog prevailed 
at the time. Immediately she struck, both anchors were 
let go, but the chain breaking, she drifted about twenty 
yards from shore. The crew, thirteen in number, then 
took to two boats, and pulled off clear from land, and 
were discovered about five the next morning, upon the fog 
clearing, by the coastguard. Mr. Murray, the chief officer, 
launched his boat, and brought the crew to Prawle. At 
first, the Emilie was standing complete, with her sails 
set, but on her beam ends; but she soon began to break 
up, and in a comparatively short time was a total wreck. 
Scarcely anything was saved from her, with the exception 
of the clothes of the crew. The coast for some distance 
was strewed with wreckage. 

Another disaster occurred in March, 1873, when the Lalla 
Rookh fell a victim to miscalculation and fog, and was 
wrecked on the rocks at Prawle Point. The Lalla Rookh 
sailed from Shanghae in October, bound for London, having 
on board an enormously valuable cargo, consisting of 1,300 
tons of tea and 60 tons of tobacco. The morning was 
thick, and the wind blowing with considerable force from 
the south-east, with rain, and it is surmised that strong 
currents must have set on the weather side of the vessel, 
causing her to drive on the point, of which her officers 
thought she was sailing well clear. So close on shore 
did she run before land was seen, that four of her crew 
actually slung themselves down from her bows on to the 
rocks, and thus escaped. The boats were immediately 
launched, but one of them was stove, and became useless. 
Ten of the crew got into the other, but it was swamped, 


turned bottom upwards, and the occupants were thrown 
into the boiling surf. They, however, succeeded in getting 
back on board the ship, with one exception, that of the 
chief mate, Mr. Groves, who was drowned. The rocket 
apparatus was soon got to work, and all hands (with one 
exception, already mentioned) were quickly saved. 

The Lalla Rookh afterwards parted asunder, and an 
extraordinary sight was to be witnessed on the beach. The 
cargo of tea washed out, and at high-water mark lay many 
tons of loose tea, forming a ridge in some places ten feet 
high. Hundreds of entire chests were saved by the coast- 
guards and their numerous helpers. Bales of tobacco were 
floating about in all directions. The Lalla Roohh was 
869 tons register, owned by Messrs. Adams & Co., of Liver- 
pool: the captain's name, George Fullerton. The crew lost 
everything. The mate, Thomas Groves, was a native of 
Kendal, in Westmoreland. 

Halsands and Beesands are two very small villages, built 
quite on the beach, and almost entirely inhabited by fisher- 
men's families. Between Beesands and Torcross there is 
a large slate quarry, which, although not now worked, is 
said at one time to have produced slate of particularly 
good quality. There used to be, in the quarry, a steam 
engine, and machinery for squaring the slabs. 

Years ago a noble race of Newfoundland dogs might be 
found in these Start Bay villages; noble, not so much on 
account of their appearance, for we have often seen hand- 
somer animals, but for their deeds. They seemed as essential 
to the fishermen here as the sheep-dog is to the farmer ; but 
somehow they are now almost extinct. 

On a dark night, when the wind is blowing hard from the 
cast, and south-cast, and there is such a surf that it would 


be impossible for boats to approach near enough to the 
shore for a rope to be thrown to any one there, the word is 
given to a dog, and immediately away he plunges into the 
waves. He may be buffeted, knocked back by the surf, 
perhaps lost to sight for some time; still the faithful creature 
will not give up, but perseveres till he gets hold of the rope, 
and returns to the beach, grasping it firmly between his 
teeth, until he delivers it up to the men (or women) in 
waiting, who then haul in the boat, which perhaps contains 
the weather-beaten master, who is come back from his 
night's toil. When once the boat is close on the shore, the 
dogs are on the look out for the pieces of wood, technically 
called ways, which are placed underneath the boats to draw 
them up on the beach. It is very rarely that a single way 
is lost, owing to the careful guardianship exercised over 
them by the dogs. But with all their good qualities we are 
bound to confess they sometimes manifest a propensity to- 
wards cheating the revenue ! Here is an instance, related by 
the dog's master. " One night I was out with the dog when 
it was dark, and presently he began snuffing about, and then 
dashed off into the waves, and soon returned, lugging along 
something, which he dropped, and began digging a pit in 
order to bury it in the sand. It proved to be a tub of 
brandy, which I brought home, and was very glad of, as my 
missus had been ordered to take brandy." Another time, 
a dog, probably the same, brought in two tubs of this much- 
desired liquor, and again, "he brought in quite a lot of 
them" — but alas for the smuggling trade, those blue-and- 
white gentry, the coastguard, have pretty nearly put a stop 
to these proceedings, both of dog and man. 

It is not only property which the dogs thus watch over, 
for many a time they have been the means of rescuing 


persons from drowning. Interesting facts might be recorded 
to illustrate this noble trait in the habits of these intelligent 
and sagacious animals, who well merit our respect as well 
as admiration. Here is a fisherman's story : — " A dog was 
sitting up on the cliff above the quarry, and all at once he 
pricks up his ears, and cuts away right into the sea, of his 
own accord, and brings out a little drowning child. He 
carefully laid her on the shore, and began licking her face, 
but there was no sign of life, so he thinks to his self, 'what's 
to be done next ? I can't bring her to ? ' So away he goes 
to the nearest cottage, and pulls the clothes of the people to 
attract their attention. Guided by the dog, they soon 
brought in the poor child, and the means used were suc- 
cessful in restoring animation." 

The sands, which extend almost uninterruptedly in 
crescent form for seven miles, are in reality one vast bank 
of regular beach pebbles, extremely heavy to walk on. The 
accumulation is due to the exposure of the shore to a long 
range of breakers, and to the circumstance of the shingle 
being unable to travel, so as to escape out of the bay. 

A gentleman, once a resident at Slapton, says, "What 
Brighton is to London, Weston-super-mare to Bristol, and 
Scarborough to the great cities of the north-east of England, 
Slapton (or rather, we should say, Torcross), is to the 
humbler towns of Kingsbridge, Dartmouth, and Totnes. It 
could not be passed unnoticed in any description of the 
South Hams; but as Kingsbridge claims it for most civil 
purposes, it deserves especial mention among the environs 
of that town." 

There are several lodging houses at Torcross; none of 
them grand ones, but very pleasant, nevertheless ; and there 
is a good inn facing the sea, and quite on the beach — a great 



recommendation to occasional visitors who flock there in 
the summer time. 

It is an interesting sight to watch the fishing-boats 
returning home after a night of toil — first one, and then 
another, and another, tiny sail appears on the horizon, until 
the little fleet comes in close to the shore, where wives and 
children are waiting to receive the spoils as they are handed 
over to them by the weary fishermen. 

You will find a Coast-guard Station at Torcross, and a very 
small barn-like dissenting chapel, but there is no church 
nearer than Stokenham. Torcross is situated at one end of a 
long straight road, two miles in extent, which crosses the 
sands midway between the lea and the sea — between the 
fresh water and the salt. 

Slapton Lea presents many points of interest. It is 
situated in the parishes of Blackawton, Slapton, and 
Stokenham. Its length from Street-gate on the north, to 
Torcross on the south, is more than two miles, and it con- 
tains rather more than two hundred and seven acres. It is 
fed by three small rivulets, and the water thus accumulated 
forms the Lea, which has no visible outlet into the Bay, but 
discharges itself by percolating through the sand. A channel 
was cut in 1854, underneath the cliffs of Torcross, to allow 
of the escape of the surplus water, but it requires frequent 
clearing from the sand and pebbles with which it becomes 
choked up by the storms of winter. 

In Leland's " Itinerary " we find as follows : — " Ther is a 
very large Poole at Slapton, a 2 miles in length. Ther is but 
a Barre of Sand betwixt the Se and this Poole. 

The fresch water drenith into the Se thorough the Sandy 
Bank. The Waite of the Fresch Water and the Rage of 
the Se brekith sumtime this Sandy Bank. Good Fische in 
Slapton Poole." 


At about a mile from Street-gate the Lea is crossed by 
Slapton Bridge, which divides it into two parts, called ir- 
respectively the Upper and the Lower Lea. The Upper Lea 
is entirely overgrown with various kinds of reeds and other 
aquatic plants; but the Lower Lea is open water, with the 
exception of reeds growing near the shore, especially at the 
end near Torcross. That most voracious of all fresh water 
fish, the jack or pike, here sometimes attains the size of from 
twenty to thirty pounds, but the generality vary from three 
to ten pounds each. They feed mostly on their neigh- 
bours, the perch and roach, but they are sometimes known 
to pull under and devour the coots and young ducks which 
breed there in great abundance. The little coots may be 
seen swimming about amongst the reeds after their parents, 
almost as tame as domestic ducks. The common wild duck 
breeds in the meadows adjoining, and immense flocks of 
starlings roost in the reeds in the winter, but when summer 
comes you will not see one in the whole district. In the 
morning they separate in smaller or larger flocks, and range 
abroad in search of their daily food, perhaps to a distance of 
twenty or thirty miles; and as evening approaches they 
return, and may be seen dropping down in amazing numbers 
to their nightly repose. In the autumn, swallows, martins, 
and sand-martins, make this place their rendezvous, and 
about a fortnight previous to their departure to more genial 
climes they roost in the reeds in almost incredible numbers. 
In the winter the Lea is frequented by almost every kind of 
water-fowl, and some very rare specimens have been taken. 
The spoonbill, a pair of the glossy ibis, the little bittern, and 
the little bustard, have been captured in the valleys near by, 
and the osprey, or fishing eagle, visits this spot at rare 
intervals. On the sands between the Lea and the sea are 


frequently seen large flocks of gulls of different species ; also 
great numbers of the various kinds of tringa. Now and 
then, in the surge of the sea, the great northern diver, which 
is a magnificent bird, makes its appearance ; and the guille- 
mot pops up its head from the water. On walking over the 
sands, you may disturb from its nest the ring-dottrel, which 
will tumble and roll on before you as if wounded, until you 
are considered to be at a safe distance from its eggs or young. 

A pair of Pallas' sand-grouse were shot, in the summer 
of 1863, from a flock of fourteen, which had dropped 
on these sands, apparently in an exhausted state. Their 
journey must have been a long one, as their general 
abiding-place is on the deserts of Tartary ; and not until 
that year had any of the species been recorded as having 
been taken in England. It seems sad to reflect that these 
distinguished strangers should have met with so inhospitable 
a reception on this their first appearance on our shores. 
Slapton Sands afford but few specimens of shells; such as 
there are being common to most shores. Has any one ever 
noticed the absence of fresh-water shells in the Lea ? One 
would have expected to find in such a locality a great 
abundance and variety, instead of which there are, we 
believe, scarcely any. Perhaps this may be accounted for 
by the occasional influx of the salt water, which would be 
prejudicial to their existence. 

The " Sands Hotel," which is greatly frequented by 
gentlemen-fishers, is built quite on the beach, and is occa- 
sionally, during severe south-easterly gales (like the houses 
at Torcross), washed by the spray, and invaded by the 
waves. The Lea itself is subject to incursions of the sea 
on such occasions, which sweeps over the narrow barrier, 
much to the discomfort of the fish abounding therein. 


Sir William Pole speaks of " Slapton, thauncient inheri- 
tance of Guy de Bryan, from Kinge Henry II. tyme unto 
Kinge Henry IV. tyme : " and Leland says " Slaptoun, a 
praty college toward the shore, is almost in middle way 
betwixt Dertmouth and Saultcombe Haven. Guy Brien was 
founder of this college." 

"What is this tower hard by, which man has dismantled, 
but which the compassionate ivy has mantled round ? This 
old tower is the only part remaining of the famous chantry 
built by Sir Guy de Brian, one of the first Knights of 
the Garter. He was standard bearer to King Edward III. 
at the battle of Calais, in the year 1349, and was rewarded 
for his intrepidity by a yearly pension of two hundred 
marks from the Exchequer. He built this chantry, that 
when his worn-out frame had sunk to rest, the priests 
might sing masses for his soul." 

The parish church at Slapton (St. James') is rather a 
peculiar looking one, with a low spire. 

John Flavel, an eminent Nonconformist minister, retired 
from Dartmouth, after the passing of the Five Mile Act, 
to the parish of Slapton. He found an asylum at Hudscott, 
then a seat of the Rolles (and still the property of that 
family), where he preached in the great hall at midnight. 

There is a farm near Slapton called Poole, belonging to 
Mr. Bastard. "Here," we are told, "once lived Admiral 
Hawkins, who sailed round the world;" and moreover, 
" there was a Lady Edith Hawkins, of whom village tra- 
dition still reports that she walked on a velvet carpet 
from Poole to the church door." 

Probably this was the "Pole" which Sir William Pole 
describes as " a priory founded by the Lady Joane Pole, 
wief of Guy de Bryan in Kinge Henry III. tyme. After 


the dissolving it was purchased by the father of Edward 
Ameredith, of Pole, Esq., and sold by John Ameredith, 
his sonne, unto S 1 ' Richard Hawkins, Kt., whoe dwelled their, 
and hath left it unto his sonne." 

The village of Slapton, sheltered amid an amphitheatre of 
hills, is remarkable for the equable temperature of its climate. 
It rests on a red sandstone rock, surmounting the argilaceous 
slate, which principally dips in a south-easterly direction. 
These rocks, when decomposed, form some of the best land, 
and it produces exceedingly fine orchards. 

Beyond Slapton Sands you pass Blackpool. Of this village 
the following incident is related : — " In the reign of Henry 
IV., the French, under the command of Monsieur de Castel, 
landed in considerable numbers at Plymouth, plundered the 
town, and burnt 600 houses, after which, according to Stowe, 
they landed at Blackpool, where they were immediately 
attacked and repulsed by the country people. On this oc- 
casion the women united with the men in the assault, behaved 
with great courage, and rendered important service. The 
Commander himself of the invading forces was slain ; three 
barons and twenty knights were taken prisoners, and con- 
ducted to the King by the countrymen, who returned with 
their purses rilled with gold." 

At Blackpool Sands, in March, 1869, several valuable gold 
coins were picked up. They consist of coins of England in 
the time of Edward III. and Henry IV., and French coins of 
the reigns of one of the Charles's and Louis of France. 
They are in a wonderfully good state of preservation, the 
inscriptions being quite legible. It is supposed that these 
coins must have formed part of a box of specie on board a 
ship which had been wrecked there, and became deeply 
imbedded in the sand for some hundreds of years, but owing 


to the recent sweeping away of the sand by the sea, they 
have become dislodged, and are now being washed out of 
their deposit. These new " diggings " caused quite a little 
rush, and at low water every day, for a time, numbers of 
people visited the spot in search of the treasure. At an 
Archceological Society meeting at Exeter, which took place 
after their discovery, the coins were exhibited and com- 
mented on. 

Blackpool is in the parish of Stoke Fleming, which is 
thus spoken of by Sir William Pole. "Stoke (called from the 
Flemyngs, thauncient inhabitants thereof, Stoke Flemynge) 
was, in Kinge Henry II. tyme, the land of Sir Richard 
Flemynge." In the church at Stoke Fleming is a fine 
brass for John Corp, 1361, and his grand-daughter Eleanor, 
1391, with canopy. 

You pass through both Blackpool and Stoke Fleming on 
your way to Dartmouth, a curious old town with narrow 
streets, beautiful harbour, and ancient castle; and having 
conducted our readers thus far, we leave them to pursue 
their researches, either by way of the Dart, a river which 
tourists are wont to call "the English Rhine," or, if they 
prefer it, they may walk on board the steam-ferry, and 
landing at Kingswear, can take the railway, and thus more 
speedily leave behind them 



The Charter, granted in the reign of Henry VI., 
to hold a Market and Fairs at Kingsbridge and 
buckfastleigh, devon. 

A true copy of the original record of Chancery, preserved 
in the Tower of London, attested by Jno. Bayley. 

Rex archiepis epis &c. saltm. Sciatis qd de gra ma 
spali concessim' & licenciam dedim' ac per presentes conce- 
ding & licenciam dam' pro nob & heredibus nris quantu in 
nob est dilcls nob in xpo abbi & conventui domus & ecclioe 
be Marice de Bukfast in com Devon & successoribus suis 
qd ipi & succesores sui exnunc imperpm heant unu mercatum 
apud maneriu sive dnium suum de Kyngesbrygge in com 
predco singulis septimanis per diem sabbi tenend aceciam 
duas ferias utraque ear per tres dies imperpm singulis annis 
duratur unam videlt apud Kyngesbrigge predict in die see 
Margarete virginis & per duos dies prox sequentes tenend 
alteramque apud manerium sive dniu suu de Buckfastlegh 
in com predco in die sci Barthi appli & per duos dies 
prox sequen similiter tenend cum omibus libtatibus juribus 
& libis consuetudinibus ad hujus modi mercatum & ferias 
pertinen sive spectan nisi mercatu illud & ferie ille sint ad 
nocumentum vicinor mercator & vicinarum feriam. Quare 
volumus & firmiter precipim* pro nob & heredibus nris 


quantum in nob est qd predci abbas & conventus & suc- 
cessores sui imperpm heant unu mercatu apud predcm 
manerium sive dniu suu de Kyngesbrigge in com predco 
singulis septimanis per diem sabbi tenend aceciam duas 
ferias utraque earn per tres dies imperpm singulis annis 
duratur unam videlt apud Kyngesbrigge predict in die see 
Margarete Virginis & per duos dies immediate sequen 
tenend alteramque apud Buckfastlegh predict in festo sci 
Barthi appli & per duos dies immediate sequen singulis 
annis similiter imperpm tenend cum omibus libtatibus juribus 
& libis consuetudinibus ad hujusmodi mercatum & ferias 
pertinen sive spectan nisi mercatum illud & ferie ille sint 
ad nocumentum vicinor mercator & vicinaram feriam sicut 
predcm est. Hiis testibus venerabilibus pribus Th. Cantuar 
& W. Ebom archiepis Th. London & E. Exon cancellario 
nro epis ac carissimis consanquineis nris Rico Ebor & Johe 
Norff ducibus Rico Warr & Rico Sarum comitibus Henr 
Bourghchier thes Angl vie necnon dilcis & fidelibus nris Johe 
Nevill camerario nro & Waltero Scull thes hospicii nri 
militibus & aliis. Dat' per manu nram apud Oxon xvj 
die Septembr. 

Per issm Regem & de dat predca &c. 


The following information — much too valuable to be 
omitted — was very kindly furnished by G. B. Lidstone, Esq., 
but too late for insertion in the body of the work. 

"Pindar Lodge, the residence of Dr. Wolcot (the author 
of 'Pindar's works'), is supposed to remain unaltered, so 


far as the house is concerned, with the exception of a new 
front, which was put to it by the Rev. Nathaniel Wells, who 
became possessed of the property after Dr. Wolcot left it. 
The lawn in front of it has, of late years, been converted into 
business premises, and now comprises the coal-yards and 
cellars of Mr. John Adams, and the stable-yards and small 
garden used by the occupier of the Anchor Hotel. There 
was also a walled garden on the other side of the road, 
behind the house. 

The old house, with its lawn, having two or three hand- 
some chestnut trees growing in it, stood intact (except the 
new front before mentioned) until the property was pur- 
chased by Mr. John Foale Annis, builder, about the year 
1834. He divided it, and sold the house with that part of 
the lawn immediately in front of it, and a part of the walled 
garden, to Mr. Joseph Adams, coal merchant, who built 
cellars, and made his coal-yard in the lawn. The part re- 
tained by Mr. Annis consisted of the little garden and the 
remainder of the lawn : on these he built stables. This part 
of the premises is now used by the occupier of the Anchor 
Hotel. He also retained part of the walled garden. 

After Mr. Wells' death his widow occupied the entire 
premises, and she was succeeded by Capt. Crozier and Mrs. 
Pell, before the property was purchased by Mr. Annis. 

The barn alluded to by Dr. Wolcot in his writings as the 
resort of itinerant players, has been taken down, and on its 
site, on the opposite side of the street, several labourers' 
cottages have been built. 

The ancient entrance to Pindar Lodge must have been 
through the large doorway at the end of Ebrington Street, 
as the lawn ran down to the creek, which was then the 
muddy beach on which sea-sand, dredged from the Bar at 


the entrance of Salcombe Harbour, was deposited in large 
quantities, and taken away by farmers in the neighbourhood 
for manure. 

Dodbrooke Quay then only extended so far as Quay Lane, 
where the muddy beach commenced. 

Mr. Strong, corn merchant, owned the garden on the 
south side of Quay Lane, and made a great improvement 
by inclosing a portion of the creek, on the west side of his 
garden, which now forms South Place. He also built that 
portion of Dodbrooke Quay which lies on the west of South 
Place, which was afterwards extended to the point at the 
steps, where it now terminates. An attempt was then made 
by Mr. Winsor, the agent of Mr. Hodges, Lord of the Manor 
of Dodbrooke, to erect a sea wall, to form a road from Dod- 
brooke Quay to Barrack Lane and Salt Mill, then an ancient 
Quay ; but this was resisted by Mr. John Lidstone, who 
claimed the right outside his field,* which then sloped down 
to the beach, and on which field Quay Cottage, Victoria 
Place, and Glena, have since been built. It was then bounded 
on the west by the ebbing and flowing tide. After much 
litigation a compromise was effected, by which a sea-wall 
was built by subscription, with Mr. Lidstone's consent, and 
continued on the beach outside of Boxhill to Barrack Lane 
and Salt Mill Quay. 

Ebrington Street was then called Barrack Street, it 
being the only road from the town to the Barracks, then 

* On the crest of the hill of this field, which was culled Lower Field, it is 
supposed there was a row of cottages at an ancient date, as traces of their 
foundations were found in excavating for the new buildings. An ancient 
copper coin, or token, was picked up by Mr. G. B. Lidstone, among the 
excavations, having William Markell, 1666, on one side of it, and an ancient 
galley on the other. It is supposed that William Markell was a merchant 
who resided in the town, as there is a tombstone in Dodbrooke Church to 
the memory of a person of that name, of the same date. 


standing on the hill above the lime kiln at Salt Mill 
Quay. It was also the only road from the town to 
Charleton, Frogmore, Chillington, Stokenham, and Torcross; 
consequently there was a large traffic over this street, and 
it was considered an excellent place of business. 

The proposed deviation of the traffic from Barrack 
Street, by a road over Dodbrooke Quay, to Barrack Lane, 
was the occasion of much consternation among the shop- 
keepers residing in Barrack Street. [This led to the 
composition and circulation of some rhymes, by an anony- 
mous author, but as they number seventeen stanzas, their 
insertion here is scarcely desirable]. 

The land from the lime kiln at Salt Mill Quay to 
Mr. William Date's shipbuilding yard was, about 1804, 
previously to the communication being made by the road 
between Dodbrooke and Salt Mill Quays, taken in from 
the creek by the Lord of the Manor of Dodbrooke. 

It formed a beautiful level piece of ground of several 
acres in extent, and was dedicated by the Lord of the 
Manor to the public as a promenade and recreation 

The only erection then on it was a small house, now 
part of the New Quay Inn, then used as an officer's 

The promenade ground continued for many years to be 
used by the inhabitants of the town, without let or 

In the year 1829, the Kingsbridge and Dartmouth 
Turnpike Trust obtained an Act of Parliament to make 
a turnpike road over it to Charleton, and thence to Dart- 
mouth: and from that time the public have been confined 
within the walls of the turnpike road, and numerous 


erections have been made on new ground, which have 
completely spoiled the picturesque appearance of the place. 
Although the town has made great progress of late years 
in trade and commerce, and the improvement of its streets, 
it has sadly retrograded in its public walks and footpaths; 
so that in the winter season, the inhabitants are com- 
paratively imprisoned in the town, for want of those 
conveniences for air and exercise so conducive to health." 



Mr. Henry Nicholls, who for a number of years, has paid 
much attention to the study of Natural History, has very 
kindly furnished a list of the birds which have occurred in 
this immediate neighbourhood — all, or nearly all, having 
come under his own notice. 

White-tailed Eagle Ilaliaetus albicilla 

Osprey Pandion haliaetus 

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus 

Buzzard Buteo vulgaris 

Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus 

Kite Milvus vulgaris 

Hobby Falco subbuteo 

Merlin F. cesalon 

Kestril F. Tinnunculus 

Goshawk Astur palumbarius 

Sparrow Hawk Accipiter Fringillarius 

Marsh Harrier Circus rufus 

Hen Harrier C. cyaneus 


Montagu's Harrier 

C. Montagui 

Short-eared Owl 

Strix bracliyotos 

Long-eared Owl 

S. otus 

Tawny Owl 


White Owl 

S. Jiammea 

Great Shrike 

Lanius excubitor 

Red-backed Shrike 

L. collurio 

Great Tit 

Parus major 

Cole Tit 

P. ater 

Blue Tit 

P. coeruleus 

Marsh Tit 

P. palustris 

Long-tailed Tit 

P. caudatus 

Spotted Flycatcher 

Muscicapa grisola 


Alcedo ispida 


Merops apiaster 


Upupa Epops 


Corvus graeulus 


C. corax 


C. corone 

Hooded Crow 

C. comix 


C. frugilegus 


C. monedula 


Pica caudata 


Garrulus glandarius 


Bombyx garrula 


Sitta Europaza 


Yunx torquilla 


Certhia familiaris 

Green Woodpecker 

Picus vindis 

Great spotted Woodpecker 

P. major 

Lesser spotted Woodpecker 

P. minor 


Cucidus canorus 







Sand Martin 

Pied Wagtail 

Grey Wagtail 

Yellow Wagtail 

Meadow Pipit 

Tree Pipit 

Rock Pipit 

Wood Lark 

Sky Lark 

Snow Bunting 


Black-headed Bunting 

Yellow Hammer 

Cirl Bunting 


Mountain Finch 








Rose-coloured Pastor 



Missel Thrush 


Caprimulgws Europoem 
Hirundo apus 
II. rustica 
II. urbica 
II. riparia 
Motacilla alba 
M. sulphurea 
M. fiava 

Antlius pratensis 
A. aboreus 
A. aquaticus 
Alauda arborea 
A. vulgaris 
Emberiza nivalis 
E. miliaria 
E. passerina 
E. citrinella 

E. cirlus 
Fringilla ccdebs 

F. montifringilla 
Passer domesticus 
Loccia chloris 

L. coccothraustes 
Fringilla carduelis 
F. cannabina 
Loxia pyrrhula 
L. curvirostra 
Pastor roseus 
Sturnus vulgaris 
Cinclus aquaticus 
Turdus viscivorus 
T. pilaris 



T. Hiacus 


T. musicus 


T. merula 

Ring Ousel 

T. torquatus 

Golden Oriole 

Oriolus galbula 


Motacilla ^nodularis 


M. rubecula 


M. Phcenicurus 


M. atrata 


M. rubicola 


M. rubetra 


M. cenanthe 

Grasshopper Warbler 

Sylvia locustella 

Sedge Warbler 

S. salicaria 

Reed Warbler 

S. arundinacea 


S. atricapilla 


S. cinerea 

Lesser Whitethroat 

S. sylviella 

Willow Warbler 

S. trocliilus 

Chiff Chaff 

S: rufa 


S. troglodytes 

Gold Crest 

Regulus cristatus 

Wood Pigeon 

Columba palumbus 

Rock Dove 

C, livia 

Turtle Dove 

C. Turtur 


Phasianus Colchicus 

Black Grouse (male and female) 

Tetrao tetrix 

Pallas's Sand Grouse 

Syrrhaptes Paradooci 


Perdix cinerea 

Red-legged Partridge 

P. rufa 


P. coturnix 

Little Bustard 

Otis tetrax 



Great Plover 

Golden Plover 


Ringed Dottrel 

Grey Plover 




Oyster Catcher 

Crane (seen) 


Squacco Heron 

Night Heron, and young 


Little Bittern 





Spotted Redshank 


Green Sandpiper 

Wood Sandpiper 

Common Sandpiper 



Black-tailed Godwit 

Bar-tailed Godwit 



Great Snipe 

Common Snipe 

Charadrius crepitans 
C. pluvialis 
C. morinellus 
C. hiaticula 
Squatarola cinerea 
Vanellus cristatus 
Strepsilas interpres 
Arenaria calidris 
Hcematopus ostralegus 
Grus cineria 
Ardea cinerea 
A. Senegalensis 
Nycticoracc Europceus 
Ardea stellaris 
A. ininuta 

Platalea leucorodia 
Ibis falcinellus 
Numenius arquata 
N. pliceopus 
Totanus fuscus 
T. Gambetla 
Tringa ochropus 
T. glareola 
T. hypoleucos 
Scolopax glottis 
Recurvirostra avocetta 
Lhnosa melanura 
L. rufa 

Tringa pugnax 
Scolopax rusticola 
S. major 
S. gallinago 



Jack Snipe 

Brown Snipe 


Little Stint 


Purple Sandpiper 

Land Rail 

Spotted Crake 

Little Crake 

Water Rail 

Moor Hen 


Grey Phalarope 

Grey-lag Goose 

Bean Goose 

White fronted Goose 

Bernicle Goose 

Brent Goose 

Egyptian Goose 

Canada Goose 


Mute Swan 




Wild Duck 




Surf Scoter 



S. Gallinula 

S. grisea 

Tringa Canutus 

T, pusilla 

T. variabilis 

T. maritima 

Crex pratensis 

C. porzana 

C. pusilla 

Rallus aquaticus 

Gallinula chloropus 

Fulica atra 

Phalaropus lobatus 

Anser palustris 

A. ferus 

A. albifrons 

A. bernicla 

A. brenta 

A. Egyptiacus 

A. Canadensis 

Cy gnus ferus 

C. mansuetus 

Tadorna Bellonii 

Anas clypeata 

A. acuta 

A. boschas 

A. querquedula 

A. crecca 

A. Penelope 

A. perspicillata 

A. nigra 

A. ferina 




Tufted Duck 

Long-tailed Duck 

Golden Eye 


Red-breasted Merganser 


Great crested Grebe 

Red necked Grebe 

Dusky Grebe 

Eared Grebe 


Great Northern Diver 

Black-throated Diver 

Red-throated Diver 






Green Comorant 


Common Tern 

Arctic Tern 

Lesser Tern 

Black Tern 

Masked Gull 

Black-headed Gull 

Common Gull 

Lesser black-backed Gull 

Great black-backed Gull 

Herring Gull 

A, marila 
A. fuligula 
A. glacialis 
A. clangula 
Mergus albellus 
M. serrator 
M. merganser 
Colymbus cristatus 
C rubricollis 
C. cornutus 
C auritus 
C. Hebridicus 
C. glacialis 
C. arcticus 
C. septentrionalis 
C. Troile 
TJria minor 
Alca arctica 
A. tor da 
Pelecanus carbo 
P. cristatus 
Sula alba 
Sterna hirundo 
S. arctica 
S. minuta 
S. nigra 

Larus capistratus 
L. ridibundus 
L. canus 
L. argentatus 
L. marinus 
L. fuscus 



Glaucous Gull 

Richardson's Skua 
Buffon's Skua 
Dusky Petrel 
Leach's Petrel 
Stormy Petrel 

L. glaucus 
L. Rissa 

Lestris cataractes 
L. Richardsonii 
L. Buffonii 
Pujfinus obscurus 
Procellaria Leachii 
P. pelagica 



Mr. Charles Rogers, of Plymouth (who is one of the 
principal collectors for the Crystal Palace Aquarium), has 
been kind enough to supply a list of Butterflies which he 
had himself captured in this district. This we should gladly 
have inserted if Mr. Henry Nicholls (whose facilities for 
collecting have been greater, owing to long residence at 
Kingsbridge,) had not since given a list, which includes 
several in addition to those mentioned by Mr. Rogers. 

Clouded Yellow 
Pale clouded Yellow 
Large White 
Small White 
Green veined 
Wood White 
Orange tipped 
Marbled White 
Wood Argus 

Papilio rhamni 

Colias Edusa 

C. Hyale 

Pieris brassicce 

P. rapoe 

P. napi 

P. sinapis 

Anthocharis Cardamines 

Papilio Galathea 

P. uEgeria 



Wood Ringlet 


Rock-eyed Underwing 

Small meadow Brown 

Large meadow Brown 

Small Heath 

Red Admiral 


Large Tortoise-shell 

Small Tortoise-shell 

Painted Lady 

Purple Hair-streak 

Green Hair-streak 

Greasy Fritillary 

Small pearl-bordered Frittilary 

Dark green Fritillary 

Silver-washed Fritillary 

Small Copper 

Large Blue 

Holly Blue 

Common Blue 

Grizzled Skipper 

Large Skipper 

Small Skipper 

P. Hyperanthus 

P. megera 

P. Semele 

P. Tithonus 

P. Janira 

P. pamphilus 

Vanessa Atalanta 

V. lo 

V. Polychloros 

V. urticce 

V. cardui 

Thecla quercus 

T. rubi 

Papilio artemis 

P. Selene 

P. aglaia 

P. Paphia 

P. Phloeas 

Polyommatus Avion 

P. Argiolus 

P. Alexis 

Pamphila Malvw 

P. Sylvanus 

P. Linea 



We here give a list of some of the provincialisms which 
may still be heard among the working classes in the rural 



districts surrounding Kingsbridge, although from the in- 
fluence of modern improvement they are gradually getting 
out of use. 


A wasp 


An abscess 






A whetstone 




An axe 


To quiver, " Bivering with the cold " 


To tell 


Comely, " A fine bowerly woman " 


Good, or large, " A braave catch of fish " 


Small twigs from a wood rick, used for 

lighting fires 


Sultry, "buldery weather" 


A ball (such as children play with) 


A mixture 




A jackdaw 


Odd jobs 


Waxy, " cladgy potatoes " 


In good health 


Close, " clitty bread " 




A blow, " a clout on the ear " 


A female crab 




Gave way 

Cris Hawk 

A Kestrel 






Coroner's inquest 


Very, " cruel good," " cruel kind " 


To whine 








The woodwork around a door 






A wagtail 

Dolly moppin 

An idler, a lazy fellow 




A ditch 


Slow, lagging behind 


A flail 






A throng, or crowd 




Sleepiness, " a bit of a dwam." 


A three-pronged agricultural implement 


Spilt, splashed 


To bandage tightly 


A stone chat 


Large and awkward 




A stupid person 





Golden Gladdy 

A yellow hammer 


Offal of grain 




Proud, ill tempered 


A gridiron 


To grin 


To shrink under sudden pain 




A ploughed field 




To swallow 


Half door of a cottage 


A hedgehog 


A titmouse 




A green woodpecker 


Missel thrush 


A bullfinch 




A dragon fly 



or Jacky lo' 


Currant Cake 

Jolter head 





All large hawks and falcons are 





Large, straggling 


Chastise, " I'll lerrip that boy " 


An open shed 


A disease in a cow's foot 


A lizard 



Long-tailed tit 






To work hard, "he can't lowster as he 

used to do " 



Make wise 

Make believe 


A dirty person 


A beating 


To chew, to eat 




To break or bruise 


Mad, deranged 






To stir, " time to mooster " 


To root out 




A donkey 




A boil on the finger 




Ought, " you did'nt oft to do so " 

Old sodger 

A deceitful person 




Penny royal 


Fragments, refuse 



Pickin ears 


Pig's loose 

Pig's stye 




Mouldy, kept too long, "the meat is 

pindy " 




A quagmire 






Light, soft 


A rick, " a haypook " 




A great number, " a power of people " 


A fuss 




Panes of glass 



Raked up 

Awoke from sleep 






The cream on the surface of new milk 



Rory tory 



With a great noise 




A swing 

Scad, "} 

or [ 

A shower, " a frisky scad " 

Scud ) 


Uneven in colour, "this dyed shawl is 

scovy " 

Scrimmage, ^ 


A commotion 

Strimmage J 


To deal out begrudgingly 


A gift 


A bat 


A great quantity, "such a sight of 

pilchards " 


A Skewer 

Slammed, *) 

o or r 

Shut with violence 

Strammed J 



Slewered away 

Gave way 


To entice, " my clog was slocked away " 


Dirty, wet 


Offensive smell in the fire 




Strength, " I've no sproil left in me " 


Pressed, or squeezed 


Spoke, " he never squeaked a word of it" 


A young cock 




Managing, " a good stewardly wife " 

Stram bang 

To fling violently 


Grass weeds 


Even, smooth 




To melt 




A disturbance 




To set, " teel potatoes," " to teel a trap " 





Tidly goldfinch 

A gold-crest wren 

Tidly tope 

A wren 


Working slowly 


Trash, " don't tell me sich traffic " 


A slatternly woman 




To undress 


To take money 


A journey 


Mouldy (applied to cheese) 



Agriculture, Chamber of ... 38 

Albert Medal 235 

Ale, wbite 50 

„ tasters 9 

Allington, East 221 

Alston 121 

Alvington, West 99 

American Aloes 147 

Aveton Gifford 207 

Avon 203, 205, 208 

Bantham 202 

Baptists 80 

Barracks 114 

Batson 121 

Bearscombe 221 

Bees 5 

Beesands 239 

Bible Christians 95 

Bigbury 206 

„ Bay 193 

Bird's eye view 13 

Birds, list of 253 

Blackdown 216 

Blackpool 246 

Bolt Head 168 

„ Tail 185 

Botany 175 

Bowcombe 117 

Bowringsleigh 108 

British School 93 

Buckland 201 

Buckland-tout-saints 220 

Bull Hole 178 

Burdwood, Rev. J 76 

Burr Island 196, 203 

Butterflies, list of 260 

Cadmus, H.M.S 173 

Calvinistic Baptists 86 

Cemetery 115 

Census 7, 87 

Chantiloupe 198 

Charities and Endowments 42 

Charleton 117 

„ Bridge 116 

Cheap House 13, 95 







Combe Royal 
Cookworthy, William 
Courtenay Walk ... 


„ No. 2 

Crispin, T 

Cuming, H 


Distinguished Men 



Dun combe, W. ... 

East Allington 
Easton's Mine 

Elliot, J 



Fair and Market ... 


Feoffee Lands 

„ Seal 

Fortescue, Sir E 

Fort Charles 

Foundry, Lidstone's 
Fragment of History 




Geffry, G 


Gibbs, P 




Hatch Arundell . . . 


Hingeston, H. 















87, 268 
... 239 
19, 46 










44, 199 



Hughes, Rev. G. ... 
Huish, South 





Invalid Trust 

Tellinger, Eev. C. 


tingsale, Lord ... 



1 to 








Parochial Rooms 


Town Hall ... 



Lackington, J. 

Lalla Rookh 



Lethbridge, W. S. 






Monastic Remains 
Montague, Col. .. 





, 193 

:, 75 





. 223 
. 143 











National School 92 

Natural History 124, 179, 253, 260 

Newspapers 41 

Nonconformists 72 

Norden 110 

Norton 218 

Oyster Fishery 

Peek, James . . . 
M Sir H. W. 
„ Richard 
,, William 








Pindar Lodge 

Plymouth Brethren . . . 



Portuguese Man-of-war 


Prideaux, C 

» G- 




Quicke, Rev. J 

Railway Bills 


Ralph's Hole 






„ Chapels 

„ Church 

„ Manor 



Sands, North 

„ South 

Scobell, Col 

Scoble, J 


Shipwrights' Yard 

„ Lea 


South Huish 

South Milton 
South Pool 

Spirit of the Ocean 

Splat Cove 



Start Bay 

„ Lighthouse... 






Ticket Wood 


Tolley, D 





























... 114, 140 









... 3, 216 






... 39, 170 




30, 251, 268 




Tucker, Eev. E. 
Union House 


Water Trust... 







Wolcot, Dr. 
Woodcot j 

Yarde ... 






Page 56, read Progymnasmata 
„ „ Themata Homerii 
96 ,. 1824, not 1825 





136 „ Chapter IX., not XI. 




o vavaav8 vinvs i 



Santa Barbara 


100M 11/86 Series 9482 

I UU\L 3. 


3 1205 01254 1932 

000 241 702 o 



lihhj Mil 

1 I