POH Transcripts - 1852

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Th. January 1, 1852. – Beautiful bright, fine day. Gardened all the morning. Dined with the Walkers at Lime Park.

Sat. Jan. 3. – Put up an oval piece of plate glass for the servants to look into the hall from the kitchen.

Mon. Jan. 5. – Gardened for a couple of hours. Had music at Mr Heineken’s in the evening.

Tu. Jan 6. – Took a walk to Weston Mouth and back on the beach, to make some geological observations. A rough walk too. Brought back several specimens of gypsum, which a lad told me the common people call “spear.”


Sidmouth, Jan. 1852.


Fri. Jan. 9. – Finished turning the brass setting of my achromatic object lens in Mr. Heineken’s lathe.

Sat. Jan. 10. – Fine, clear, frosty morning, with the roads slippery with ice. Walked to Sidbury and called on several friends. Soon after I had returned home it changed; and a rainy thaw came on.

Mon. Jan. 12. – Music at Mr. Heineken’s. Played Overture to Semiramide as a quartette [sic] – Miss Heineken piano; her father, double bass; Mr Jackson, of Barnstaple, flute; I horn.

Tu. Jan. 13. – Finished my engraving of the plan of Blackbury Castle.

Mon. Jan. 19. – A small party at home, this evening.

Tu. Jan. 20. – Had tea at Lime Park and played Loo.

Wed. Jan. 21. – Finished writing out the Overture to Semiramide.

Sun. Jan. 25. – Beautiful day. Walked over Salcombe Hill, and went to Salcombe Church. Mr Chrichlow, the curate, did the duty. Returned in company with Mrs. Cornish of Salcombe Hill, and Captain Lang.

Monday. Jan. 25. – Music at Mr. Heineken’s. We had Overture to Semiramide with piano, horn, violin, and drum.


Tu. Feb. 3. –Walked to Sidbury. Spent the evening at the vicarage, and played four games of chess with the vicar. Mrs. Fellowes, the vicar’s wife, (a Bourke) is descended from Harlotta, mother of William the Conqueror, as appears in the pedigree I brought home to look over. The Marquis of Clauricard represents the eldest branch of this family.

Th. Feb. 12. –Had a good practice, flute and piano, with Mrs. Jenkins at Lime Park. Spent the evening there. The Miss Elphinstones, of Livonia Cottage, came in.

Fri. Feb. 13. –Finished engraving the “Bird’s Eye View of Sidmouth, Devon, from the Sea.” The second attempt. By referring back to December the 5th. I see I was 55 hours about the last: this one I did in 37 hours – but there is not so much work in it.

Sat. Feb. 14. –Received four Valentines: but have no idea who any of them are from.

Sun. Feb. 23. –In the afternoon took a walk to Bulverton and Peak Hill, and the neighbourhood.

– –Walked to Sidbury and back.


Sun. Mar. 7. – In the afternoon walked to Salcombe Mouth on the beach, and returned over Salcombe Hill.

Thur. Mar. 4. – At a party at the Tollers. Played the flute there.

Monday - Mar. 8. – A party of about 25 at home. Mostly music. Played the French horn to an audience in accompanying Mr. Heineken’s voice in the song “The Angel of Life.” The general notion was that so large a brass instrument would be deafening if played in a room. When they heard it, they were surprised how soft it was.


Sidmouth. Mar. 1852.


Tuesd. Mar. 18 9. – At a party at Mrs Walker’s, Lime Park – mostly music. Played the horn again (as well as the flute). When I brought it into the room, much doubt was manifested by those who had not heard it, as to whether so military and so large an instrument would not either stun them, or blow them all out of the windows. I assured them that the French Horn was the most mellow of all the brass instruments. I accompanied Mr. Heineken in two songs; and they were surprised to find that his voice was even stronger than that fierce looking instrument.

Sun. Mar. 14. – After church at All Saints’ took a walk to Manstone Farm, then up Manstone Lane to High Street, where I found, among some flints on the road, a good specimen of the Cetites or Eagle’s Stone: walked along High Street westward, and came down at Woolbrook: returned home by Bulverton. There were two large blazes of fire in the plantation on Bulverton Hill, and immense volumes of smoke rising. Some mischievous person is supposed to have done it. Yesterday evening all the furze on Beacon Hill, near Core hill was on fire.

Mon. Mar. 15. – Gardened as usual for an hour or two, and have nearly got all the seeds in.


Sidmouth. March, 1852.


Su. Mar. 21. – In the afternoon walked up to the top of Bulverton Hill, to see where the fire was last Sunday. On getting there the furze and underwood was destroyed for a great distance, and the trunks of the fir trees in the plantations so charred, that the trees probably will not survive. Their lower branches and foliage are also burnt off. The scene was a black expanse of desolation, wherever the dried grass, furze, or foliage had favoured its progress. I observe in the papers that similar fires have occurred on the hills in other parts of the county.

Tu. Mar. 23. – Called on Mr Birbeck (now of Greenbank) of Settle in Yorkshire, to return Howitt’s “Visits to Remarkable places,” which he has lent me to read.

Spent the evening at Mrs. Walker’s Lime Park, where I met the three Miss Elphinstones. Came home and dreamt of Miss Amelia.

Wed. Mr. 24. – Bright sun and very warm – felt so especially after the long continued north-easters we have had. Walked to Sidbury Vicarage. Took the French horn, and played several things with harp and violin; also accompanied the Miss Felloweses in some songs. Stayed to tea; and had some chess with the Rev. H. Fellowes, the Vicar.


Sidmouth & Exeter. March, 1852.


Th. Mar. 25. – Lady Day. Called on Mr Lobach, Mrs. Elphinstone’s brother. Out.

Fr. Mar. 26. – Went into Exeter to shop. Ordered down patterns of carpets and of papers. Bought a fender and a coal scuttle for the drawing-room: a letter weigher (white glass stem) a table cover for the diningroom [sic], &c. &c. Slept at my old lodgings, 63 St. Sidwells.

Sat. Mar. 27. – Went on with my shopping – returned home.

Sun. Mar. 28. – All Saints’ church in the morning. Fine afternoon. Walked to the top of Core Hill, and enjoyed a beautiful view.


Sat. Ap. 3. – Engraved Mr. Heineken’s coat of arms on a block of slate, with which he means to stamp his music. This was an experiment; but slate is not a good material for engraving on. It blunts the tool rapidly – is brittle – and the chips prevent one seeing one’s work.

Su. Ap. 4. – It was a splendid day. Walked during the afternoon to the top of Sidbury Castle Hill, and back.

Mon. Ap. 5. – Engraved the small copper Carolus coin, recently found in the Fort Field, Sidmouth, on box wood.

Tu. Ap. 6. – Started in a phaeton with Mr. Heineken to make some examination of the top of Sidbury Castle Hill. The west end extremity of the camp has lately been cleared of the coppice, and, for the first time, I had an opportunity of examining the plan of the ancient entrance, and of laying it down. Here I dug a trench with a spade, in the vain hope of turning up some coin, spear head, or bronze weapon – but I dug to no purpose. I found two green sand nodules, as large as apples, which rattled like the cetites on shaking them; and these I pocketed.

In the centre of the camp, on the highest ground, near the ash tree, we planted our compass; and found that the mouth of the Sid lay due south of us. With a water level we took observations at all the surrounding hills.

Before we started in the morning, we sent a man on to the top of High Peak, with a long fishing rod and a flag on it. This he was to hold up at an appointed hour and wave for 20 minutes. We were anxious to find out whether signals could be made from the hill fortress on High Peak to Sidbury Castle. There seems little doubt that intelligence could at one period have been conveyed between these two stations; but as the plantations on Peak Hill now intervene, and have grown so high, we were unable to discover the little flag.

Having discussed our sandwiches and beer (into which we dived with considerable avidity) we proceeded to the plantation at the east end of the hill. We measured the slope of the agger, and found it 45 feet. We then examined “The Treasury,” or “Money Heap,” a tumulus of dry bleached flint. Some persons had been sinking a hole into the top of it, into which I descended, but no kist-van has been come to. On descending the hill we found a large globular stone wonderfully like a human skull; but it is a mass of chalcedony [sic]. I brought it home.

A boy near Castle House told us a legend about the “Money Heap.” He said there was one Joe Lugg, a day labourer, who lived at Sidbury, once conceived a strong desire to penetrate into that supposed depository of hidden treasure. He used to steal up into the plantation and dig; but strange to say, the hole that he made during the day, was all filled in again during the night following, so that he never progressed in his work. That some supernatural hand did this he had no doubt; especially as he was much troubled when on the hill, by certain airy figures flitting round him. The unaccountable filling in of the flints, as fast as he turned them out, and the dread forms by which he was haunted, were quite enough to scare him from the work. So much had he been frightened, that nothing could afterwards make him willingly go near the spot. However the boy described old Joe Lugg as being “a terrible feller for zider;” and a pic-nic or Gypsy party was made up to take place on the hill. Joe could not resist the hogshead of cider which was carried there. He joined the party: but “he valled away,” as the boy expressed it; by which I understand Joe fainted or fell away, probably at the sight of the airy figures which appeared to him, though they were unseen by his friends. The story ends by saying that they were obliged to carry him home.

Sidmouth, April. 1852


Wed. Ap. 7. – Walked to Sidbury, though somewhat stiff with yesterday’s flagging. Called at the Vicarage, and had tea afterwards with Mrs. Church and Mrs. Jenkins of Lime Park, who are sojourning in lodgings at Sidbury. Walked back at ten.

Th. Ap. 8. – Ground the glass for my camera.

Su. Ap. 11. – After church took a walk to Sandy Cove, on the beach.

Wed. Ap. 14. – Called at the Luke’s, Elphinstone’s and Walker’s with mother.

Th. Ap. 15. – At a party at the Radford’s, Sidmount. Played horn & flute.

Fri. Ap. 16. – Walked again to Sidbury Castle, having heard that there are two outworks, of which I was before ignorant. There is certainly a small platform against the outer and lower agger in the middle of the flank of the camp, both on the south and north sides – the latter, however, being scarcely perceptible. I know not what these could have been for, unless for heaping and burning wood on, to act as beacons. Possibly they avoided making their fire on the crown of the hill, within the entrenchments, as it might interfere with their habitations. The idea that such situations were used as beacons receives confirmation when we bear in mind that it was on the agger, similarly placed, that I discovered the charcoal on High Peak.

Sun. Ap. 18, 1852. – At All Saints’ church in the morning.

In the afternoon, the weather still continuing dry and beautiful, walked to Beacon Hill overlooking Harpford Wood. The view is splendid. The former beacon seems to have been a building like Culmstock Beacon on the Blackdown Hills. (See Diary, August 7. 1851)  It was about 12 feet in diameter outside. All that remains is part of the circular stone wall, which is two feet thick, standing about five feet out of the ground. But it is very ruinous.


Frid. May 7. – At last, after scarcely any rain for about three months, the dry weather seems to be breaking up.

And now the house is getting into order, after a fortnight’s disorder. Several rooms have been papered – the dining room, breakfast room, three bed rooms, hall and staircase. The hall, staircase, & drawing room painted white. Hall canvas, and new carpets in the dining room, and two bedrooms.

My time lately has been filled up with engraving, examining the top of Sidbury Castle hill, music, gardening, &c.

Wed. May 12. – Tried some photographs on glass with collodion, but did not succeed to my satisfaction.


Sidmouth. May 1852.


Wed. May 19. – At a small party at Lime Park, where I met the Orchards, of Salcombe, the Mortimers, and the James Jenkinses of Radway.

Wed. May 26 – Called on Mrs. Cornish of Salcombe Hill, by appointment, and copied some parts of the map of Salcombe Parish, especially the Sidmouth Poor Lands, and the boundary line between that parish and Sidmouth, which in my published map is wrong.

We learn that cousin William Hutchinson, Perpetual Curate of Hanford, in Staffordshire, had a daughter, born May 9, at 10.20 P.M.

Fri. May 28. – At a small party at Sid Abbey. Music, prayers, supper.

Finished engraving “High Peak Hill from Peak Hill, near Sidmouth.”


Tuesday. May June 1, Duly bespoke my place last night to go away this morning, but somehow they forgot me, and I was left behind. It was of no consequence; nevertheless I was somewhat savage.

Wed. June. 2. Started from Sidmouth by the mail for an excursion to Avranches and St. Michael’s Mount, in Normandy, to search the cartulary and other old MSS. belonging to that Abbey, in which I hope to find some memorandums relating to Sidmouth.

Arrived in Exeter. Saw Bingham. He wired me not to be a week in France, as he wants me back to his wedding. Called on Dr. Oliver, and told him the object of my expedition – in which he takes much interest. Took the rail, and got to Plymouth by five.

Thursday. June. 3. Walked about Plymouth. Called on my aunt Lady Parker. Heard the band play on the Hoe. Went over the Citadel. Procured a passeport [sic] at Luscombe & Driscolls’, Vauxhall Street, for five shillings. Embarked in the steamer at half past


England and France


five in the afternoon, and steamed away for Jersey. The Queen, three decker, and two frigates were lying inside the Breakwater. I was sea-sick of course; but I had companions in my distress – even four French nuns, who were as sick as any heretics could well be. Slept on the sofa all night.

Friday. June. 4. Got up at four, just as the sun was rising. At five we stopped off St. Peter’s Port, Guernsey, to set down some passengers, and take in new. The island looks bare, for want of more trees. I was surprised at the imposing appearance of the town, built all up the side of the hill from the water.

We resumed our voyage at six, and finally reached Jersey by ten. St Heliers is a large and good town for so remote a place. As there was no packet to France till the next day, I was obliged to wait: so I amused myself with rambling about the place.

Saturday, June. 5 – Got up at five: had a hasty breakfast; and at six I embarked in the Rose steamer for Granville. The coast of France is discernible to the naked eye towards the east. After a very calm and pleasant voyage of four hours, we got to Granville; and as there was a brig lying across the entrance to the harbour we managed to run against the pier head, and stove in our bulwarks. It gave us a precious shaking, and frightened the ladies. Here my passeport [sic]was overhauled; but my one carpet bag, was allowed to pass without even being being looked at. The first thing that strikes the eye is the


Avranches, June 1852


preposterous caps of the women. It was market day and the town was full of people. Whilst I was trying hard to maintain my gravity at such eccentricity, a shower of rain came on, and they reared aloft a number of crimson and scarlet umbrellas. These huge caps covered with such gaudy machines was a sight enough to make any one laugh.

I took the diligence at half past eleven for Avranchs [sic], and arrived at three, the distance being about six leagues and a half. The greater part of the way the road is as straight as a line. One can see along it for miles. The face of the country all the way is exactly like a Devonshire scene – the large hedges made of earth and covered with bushes – the smallness of the enclosures – the crops grown – the appearance of the tillage – and the most common trees, as oak, ash, and elm. I could quite fancy myself in Devonshire. I was told that agricultural labourers get about one franc a day. The diligence put me down at at the Hotel de France, and there I established myself.

Sunday, June 6. – Went to the cathedral. It was well filled; but mostly with women –a general remark in Roman Catholic countries.

Monday, June 7. Went to the Library of the College, and found the charter of Edward the Confessor, which I went to Normandy to copy. This Library is open to all the world, without introduction, every day from 10 till 12, and Thursdays all day. The Conservateur is Mons. Chancé. Then rambled about and made some sketches.


Avranches, Normandie. June 1852.


Tues. June 8. Copied the charter of Edward the Confessor from The Cartulary of St. Michael’s Mount. Monsieur Chancé also made me a copy – so I have two that were taken from the original MS. Mons. Chancé then produced a visitors’ book, in which I wrote my name, and made a few pertinent remarks.

Wed. June 9. – [SEVERAL WORDS OVERWRITTEN AND ILLEGIBLE HERE], paid my bill, and left Avranches for St. Michael’s Mount. N.B. She [?] very little [?], and this is the only [?] [?] had in France. Went to Pontorson in a cabriolet. Then started off to walk two leagues or more to the Mount. As it happened to be neap tides, I could approach over the sands without danger. There are many fearful stories going, of persons getting engulfed in the quick sands and lost. For a whole week, however, during the neap tides, the sea never covers the sand, nor surrounds the Mount at high water, spring tides, it covers it to the depth of two or three yards, as I understood; and strangers ought to have guides when they cross them it. I did not arrive until it was getting dusk. I proceeded as directed, to the hotel of Madame Pouvier[?], where I slept comfortably.

Thursday, June 10, 1852. – This morning a woman of upwards of sixty acted as my guide. She first took me all round the Mount on the sands – showed me the foot-print on the rock, which was all full of sand, washed into it by the tide, and made me put my


St. Michael’s Mount, Normandy, June 1852.


own foot into it, to try the shape. She then pointed out Montgoméré’s door and flight of steps; and further on, towards the east side, the projecting tower of the surrounding fortifications, which is built upon piles. Having made the circuit, we entered the gate again. I took a sketch of the two great wrought iron guns near the inner gate, which, as the histories mention, were captured from the English, who besieged the Mount in 1424. We ascended the street, entered the church, went over the ramparts; and at eleven o’clock, I was allowed to enter the upper buildings of the old abbey (after my passeport [sic] had been examined) which are now used as a prison for offenders against the state. I examined the whole of it up to the very top, accompanied by a soldier of the garrison. They are not allowed to take any gratuity. After this my guide again joined me. I gave her two francs, which, I believe was liberal pay. St. Michael’s Mount is a little parish of itself. The inhabitants are very poor. The men live by fishing, and the women scrape the sands for cockles at low water. It is a charity to spend a little money on the Mount. Left it, and walked to Pontorson. Took the diligence and went twelve leagues to St. Malo, where I did not arrive till nine at night.

Friday, June 11. – Had breakfast before eight. Went out to look at the town. Walked all round the place on top of the ramparts. Looked with my spyglass, at the tomb of Chateaubriand (a native of


Jersey, June 1852.


St. Malo) which is reared on a rocky island, on the right-hand side of the harbour, looking outwards from the town: and at ten o’clock got on board the steamer “Rose” for Jersey.

After a pleasant passage of four hours I ar     rived, but found myself just one hour too late for the “Sir Francis Drake” to England: –so here I was obliged to remain until next Tuesday.

Sat. June 12. 1852. – Walked over from St. Helier’s to Gorey, and took a colour sketch of Orgueil Castle. Then went up to the top of the hill, and called on some friends who formerly lived at Sidmouth. Stayed and had tea with them, and then walked back to St. Helier’s.

Sun. June 13. 1852 – Went to St Mark’s church, the “crack” church in Jersey. After that went over to St. Auben’s, and the village a couple of miles beyond. The scenery is very wild and picturesque.

Mon. June 14. – Went over to Gorey again. They pronounce this word Go-ree, accented on the second syllable. Made a drawing of the Cromlech, or Druid’s Temple, as it is locally called. The top stone is 13 feet long, and 11 wide. Spent all the rest of the day with my friends very agreeably, and walked back to St. Helier’s.

Tues. June 15. – Got on board the “Brunswick” steamer at one, for Torquay. On leaving Jersey, I must say I have been very agreeably surprised in the island, and especially in St. Helier’s, the port town. I did not expect to see so numerous a population, nor so large a town, nor so much bustle and business, and such handsome shops. The coast of


Jersey, Torquay, Exeter. June 1852.


France, towards Coutances is easily seen with the naked eye from the hills above Gorey; even the strip of sandy beach is quite plain. The inhabitants of Jersey seem to be no friends to the French whatever; and they would apparently fight hard, if any danger of invasion from the Continent should present itself. The island is fortified all round with castles and Martello towers; and all the males are embodied as militia. The English style of living prevails at Jersey, but the prices are near those of France, in those things on which no duties are paid. I did not like the routine of the meals in France. I dined at the table d’hôte and purposely took things as the French did. With respect to the other meals, I certainly missed my tea very much. Soon after getting into the steamer, I got miserably ill, for the wind was contrary, and the sea was rough. We touched at Guernsey between five and six in the evening, and then made for Torquay.

Wednesday, June 16. – At half past four this morning, after a rainy and boisterous night, we got to Torquay. We landed in the rain. Our things were looked at at the Customs House. I then went to an inn and got some coffee, and at eight took the rail for Exeter. On arriving at my lodgings I found a note from Bingham saying he had got married the day before to Miss Augusta Kingdon at Heavitree – so I was just 24 hours too late to be present.


Exeter, June 1852.


Thursday, June 17. Called on the Dean of Exeter –saw him –got permission to see the Exeter Domesday and other MSS. belonging to the Dean and Chapter Library. Called also on Dr. Oliver, and gave him an account of my researches in France, in which he took much interest. Left him my sketch-book and the copies of the MSS. at Avranches for him to turn [look?] over for a few days.

Sat. June 19. Went to Mr Ralph Barnes’s office, by appointment, about the Exeter Domesday Book.

On coming away I fell in with the Revd. F. Jones, who is a Candidate for the Exeter Grammar School.

Sun. June 20. Went to the Cathedral. Then spent the day with the Grays.

Mon. June 21. – Had tea with Sibella Jones at Heavitree.

Wed. June 23. – Travelled on the mail from Exeter to Sidmouth without being turned over. The coach, however, was so disgracefully overloaded and we were consequently, in such danger of accident so many times, that I mean to reprove the proprietors through the medium of Woolmers’ paper. I have been away just three weeks.

Th. June 24. –At a party at Miss Lester’s.


Th. July 1. – At a party at the Elphinstones’ at Livonia.

Sun. July 4. – After church walked to nearly the top of Core Hill and saw the unfortunate man Coles, who is laid up with an abscess in his leg.


Sidmouth, July 1852.


Mon. July 5. – At a party at Mrs Creighton’s. Accompanied the Miss Elphinstones with the horn in some songs.

Tu. July 6. – Walked again to Core Hill. A very hot day.

Wed. July 21. – There now! A long interval and no record. The interval has been filled with a few evening parties, as at Mrs Clarke’s, No. 2, Coburg Terrace, at Mrs Walker’s, Lime Park, &c. The horn and the flute have been plied –gardening attended to, the fruit and the vegetables now being abundant – and certain photographic experiments made. The weather has been beautiful, and remarkably fine. It has been hotter this summer at Sidmouth than I believe it has ever been known before. One Wednesday – I think it was July the 7th – it was 88 in the shade. I heard it said that it was once as high as 90; but perhaps this may have been in a situation where there may have been some radiation of heat.

To-day, after breakfast, I went down to the beach with Captain Lang, to survey and consult as to a new plan for drawing coals up an incline from the sea to a depôt in the Marsh field.

Mon. July 26. A cold day, and especially striking after the hot weather we have had. Went into Exeter in a four-wheel, with mother, taking in Mrs James Jenkins and her daughter Clare. They did some shopping and returned; whilst I went down to Heightley Cottage with Mary Roberton.


Heightley Cottage, Plymouth, Jersey – Augt. 1852


Th. July 29. – Left Heightley Cottage for Jersey. Embarked this evening at 6 from Plymouth on board the Sir Francis Drake steamer.

Fri. July 30. – At 5 this morning we arrived at Guernsey. We left at 6, and by 10 were at Jersey. The sea was as smooth as a lake all the way. Went over to Gorey by the omnibus, and took lodgings at Mrs Mackay’s cottage, called Mont Orgueil Villa. It is very prettily situated, all alone in the midst of its fields and gardens, and commanding a fine view of the harbour and Mont Orgueil Castle. Returned to St. Helier’s, where I slept.

Sat. July 31. – Went over to Gorey with my portmanteau, and established myself at Mont Orgueil Villa. Went up the hill and called at Pilot view. Saw Annie and all the rest of them.


Sun. Augt. 1. – Went this morning to Gorey Chapel of Ease. Had an early tea with the ladies at six, and then went to the Chapel with them and had the service in French. Returned with them to Pilot View.

Mon. Augt. 2. – Up at 6. Took a walk on the Pier, and saw the “Dasher” steamer off. Went over Mont Orgueil Castle. Took a coloured sketch of the platform on the summit, with the four guns.

During the afternoon went to Bagot House, near St. Helier’s, and called on Captain Mecham, to whom I had letters of introduction. Walked back to Gorey; and whilst so doing, turned aside, and mounted the hill near St. Clements to examine the alleged Druids’ Temple. From the way the blocks of stone are placed, and from their having been buried under a large mound of earth (now



Heightley Cottage & Sidmouth. Augt. 1852.


Tu. Augt. 17. – Walked over to Hennock from Heightley Cottage, near Chudleigh. I was once over at this place when I was a child.

Wed. Augt. 18. – Cousin Mary Roberton drove me to Newton. Called on Martin the Engraver, and gave him an order for a seal. Took the rail to Exeter, and then the mail to Sidmouth.

Mon. Augt. 23. – Spent the evening at the Revd. Mr. Chrichlow’s at the vicarage, Salcombe.

Wed. Augt. 25. – All the morning making collodion photographs. Made a photograph of myself, in which I have my face reflected in a looking-glass. I was anxious to know whether the reflected light would have sufficient power to produce a picture. It seems it has. Took a profile of Mr. Heineken, who happened to call. Also took a group of musical instruments.


Sep. 1. 1852. –Have had many failures in my photographic amusements, and some satisfactory results. My apparatus, however, is rather rude, and I doubt whether it is worth while to be at the expense of procuring a better camera, and a good compound acromatic [sic] lens –without which few really creditable things can be produced.

Tuesday, Sep. 7. –A pic-nic for Dunscombe was projected for to-day; but it turned out so wet that it was impossible to go; so in order that no body should be disappointed, Mrs Walker asked us all to celebrate our pic-nic under her roof –and I must say we all had a very pleasant evening.

Thursday, Sep. 9. – Walked out to Sidbury to the School Feast. There was tea and cake in the School Room, and afterwards dancing. Then games in the meadow. Finally the gentry adjourned to The Vicarage. Came back in a carriage with Mrs Jenkins of Lime Park, and two Miss Elphinstones of Livonia.

Friday, Sep. 10. – At a small party of intimates at Captain Elphinstone’s at Livonia.

Wed. Sep. 15. – At a small party at Major Fitz-Gerald’s, Mount Edgar. The London papers, just come down, contain an account of a short illness, and the almost sudden death of the Duke of Wellington. Poor old Duke! The last time I saw him was one day when he past [sic] me on the pavement opposite Canning’s statue, walking down to the House of Lords. They are going to give him a national funeral on a splendid scale; but the preparations cannot be completed for a month. They will give him a place in St. Paul’s, under the same dome with Nelson and Collingwood.

Mon. Sep. 27. – Walked out to Sidbury. Called at Court Hall. Sat half an hour with old Mrs Hunt in her room. She is a chatty old lady, of some 84. Went thence to the vicarage. Played several games of chess with Mr Fellowes, the vicar. Walked home between eleven and twelve. A moonlight night.


Sidmouth. Sep. 1852.


Wed. Sep. 29. – Goose Day! I don’t say I did eat goose for dinner, but I only say didn’t I?

In the evening went to Lime Park and had a practise with Margaret – flute and piano. Then sat down to loo and won s2. 6.


Sat. Oct. 9. – Thank goodness the masons go to-day! Wilmot and his men have been for two or three weeks patching up old No. 4 Coburg Terrace, until mother and self are wearied of their noise and mess. First putting a triangle of nine-inch brickwork at the top of the south corner of the house, then destroying the sky-light in the sham chimney on that side and putting in a ground glass window in the attic, making the north chimney to match the sham one in appearance, and plastering the south side of the house (between Nos. 4 & 3.) with blue lias lime. No [sic] we shall be able to clean the Terrace again, and get neat.

Thurs. Oct. 14. – The Terrace, within the boundary of our own railings is now having shrubs planted along, by way of enclosing it, and making it more private. I cannot go outside to garden, or look after the flowers, or take a turn up and down, without having the eyes of Amyat Place, opposite, and the rest of the neighbourhood on me. I am rather fearful, however, lest the salt winds which sometimes blow somewhat strong from the sea, may cut off the tops and prevent their growing. This has, before now, been an evil with us; but we have now selected such shrubs as are reputed best to stand the sea air, so, blow soft ye breezes, and grow away ye shrubs!


Sidmouth. October 1852.


Mon. Oct. 18. – Bingham, my brother, and his wife (née Augusta Kingdon, of Newacott, in Cornwall) came over to pay us a visit, before they sail for South Australia. This evening Mrs. Jenkins, of Lime Park, & Mr. Heineken, came to have a practise, in order to prepare for Mrs. Walker’s musical party on Tuesday the 26th Instant.

Tuesday, Oct. 19. – Went with Mr. & Mrs. Heineken, and Mrs.       Smith, over to Widworthy to pay the Rector and his new wife a wedding visit. We went through Sidbury, up Honiton Hill to Hunters’ Lodge, and then turned eastward nearly as far as Roncombe Gate, and then north, but over a very devious road. A few hundred yards east from Hunters’ Lodge, on the north, or left side of the road, there is a large barrow, having a few old fir trees on it. The heath is studded with barrows all over. A little further (but on the right) is the lodge to Mr Hewetson’s ground and about opposite this, 2 or 3, or 3 or 4 hundred yards, towards the north, across the heath, I understand is the spot called “Ring in The Mire.” It is described as a hollow on the hill, and I suppose muddy. The tradition goes, that Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon, to whom vast tracts in the county belonged, was made acquainted with a dispute between the four neighbouring parishes respecting their boundaries; and she, acting according to the plenary and summary forces, claimed of old by the potent. Lords and Ladies of the soil, settled the dispute in a very summary manner. Riding up to the top of the hill to the spot in question, she reined up her horse, and taking off her “ring” from her finger, threw it into the “mire,” saying to the deputies of the parishes who attended her, that that exact place should henceforth be the boundary – and so I believe it continues to the present day. Four parishes meet here all in a point; and I believe the parishes are those of Farway, Gittesham [sic], Honiton and Sidbury. I think the story is told in “Hone’s Every Day Book.” I have a curiosity to make an expedition to examine the exact locality some day.       Which I did.

At about half a mile from Hunters’ Lodge, eastward, on the north or left side, there is a circular plantation of firs. This place is a regular agger with a ditch outside it. The man at Hunters’ Lodge said it was known as “Farway Castle.” Doubtless it is an ancient entrenched work. On measurement, it proved to be 210 feet in diameter, and 204 feet by taking it in the other direction. It may however be called a circle. The agger is 16 feet wide; but its width, height, and the width of the ditch, are so irregular, that no precise measurements can be assigned. This place is on the crown of the hill, and most of the old camps in the neighbourhood can be discerned from it. The top of High Peak Hill, with its earth-works, can be seen rising over Peak Hill. A small portion of Sidbury Castle could be detected; and numberless hill fortresses all round could be descried – as those by Musbury, Membury, and away into Dorsetshire; on the north at Dumpdon, Hembury Fort; and westward over to Cadbury; and (though hazy,) Woodbury Castle seemed to be apparent in the dip between Core Hill, and Ottery East Hill. On leaving this locality we proceeded to Bishop Coplestone’s Tower at Offwell, of which Mr. Heineken took a photograph. At Widworthy he took two or three. Mr. Mathews, the recently appointed Rector, took me into the church. I was surprised at the number and beauty of the monuments. There is one by the elder Bacon. There is one of a rich farmer of the parish. The bust by Rouw, he had made during his lifetime, and kept it in his house. It now surmounts his monument. The ancient recumbent figure is a gem of antiquity. I then accompanied the Rector to the hill called Widworthy Castle. There is a sort of platform on the top of it; but no trace of stone work. This parish almost entirely belongs to Sir Edward Elton, of Widworthy Court, Bart. We dined at the Rectory, and got back to Sidmouth before nine. Tired as I was, I dressed and went to a ball at Mrs Radford’s, Sidmount. I did not get there till half past ten, and came away before eleven – glad to get home to bed.

Wednesday, Oct. 20. – Bingham and his wife left us this morning; and in a few days they sail for Adelaide, South Australia.


Sidmouth. Oct. 1852


Tu. Oct. 26. – At a musical party at Mrs Walker’s, Lime Park. Played the flute and the horn. There were sixty people there. How ill-judged it is, in those who form the audience, that they should so often crowd round the performers! People would hear the music much better if they would keep a few yards off. Instead of this, however, they thrust themselves up to the piano forte and other instruments, looking over the music, and watching every note that is produced. All this is an annoyance to those who play. It distracts their attention from what they are about, and thereby does much to make them commit errors, when they might otherwise go creditably through their parts. There is a want of delicacy and a want of reflection in those who do this. It was particularly the case to-night. Mr. Heineken, who played the violincello on one side of the piano, could scarcely work his bow; and I, on the other, had much difficulty in finding a place to stand, and even more in holding, in some pieces the flute, and in others the horn. All this was most disagreeable.

Wed. Oct. 27. – At Mrs. Walker’s again! Went this evening to talk over the party, and play a game of Loo with them alone.

Th. 28. – At a musical party at the Rev. and Mrs Gibbes’s, at Marine House. Played the flute only. Mr. Ellice (professional) was there with his violin.

Sat. Oct. 30. – Dined at Captain Elphinstone’s at Livonia. Took Miss Milly (Amelia) in to dinner. The reunion consisted of the party from Lime Park, from Mount Edgar (the Fitz-Geralds) and myself – to have some music. This we had until eleven o’clock, and came away, having spent a very pleasant evening. Captain Elphinstone, who is descended from Lord Balmerino (beheaded at Tower Hill in 1745) has Lord Balmerino’s claymore. He produced it tonight. I examined it with some interest.


Sidmouth. Novr. 1852.


Tuesd. Novr. 2. – Breakfasted with Dr. Cullen. Our party consisted of the Revds. S. Walker (St. Euodur [?]) the two curates of Sidmouth (Lower and Hamilton) Mr Loback [?], and Captn. Lang.

Wed. Nov. 3. – This morning the church clock was altered to Greenwich time. Here we have an inovation [sic] superinduced by the new requirements of railway travelling. The subject of altering all the clocks in the country to the time agreeing with the maridian [sic] of Greenwich Observatory has been much canvassed of late. The mayors and corporations of some of the cities and great towns have adopted the plan; some still hesitate, and some have discountenanced it. Yesterday it was adopted in Exeter; and the example of the capital will probably influence most of the places in the county. If we were on a large continent like Europe, perhaps it would be impossible to attempt it, as the discrepancy would become so egregiously glaring at the extreme east and west limits. As Great Britain is so small the evil may be bearable; if limited to Great Britain: but they now talk of laying down an electric telegraph to America, as they already have to France. If the system is to be extended it will become absurd. Indeed although I have listened with some attention to the agreements adduced in favour of the plan, I confess I do not think them thoroughly satisfactory. The difference between Greenwich and the Sidmouth Maridian [sic] is about 12 minutes and 10 seconds, allowing 4 minutes of time to a degree of longitude. Sidmouth is about 3״10 west. 3״14״30.


Sidmouth. Nov. 1852.


Th. Nov. 4. – Another letter from Bingham, on board the Walvisch [?] in Plymouth Sound, unable to put to sea, owing to the violent winds from the south and sou’-west. As the wind moderated last night, and veered somewhat to the north of west, it is probable he has sailed. He and his wife ought to be at Adelaide early in February. I hope my 600 sovereigns will get out safe!

Friday, Nov. 5. – The postman brought me the following few words in pencil:-

“The Walvisch [?] is at sea. –G.? B. Hutchinson.” The Plymouth postmark was on the envelope. So I suppose they put to sea. But the wind is again most stormy from the south, with quantities of rain. I don’t know when we have had so boisterous a fortnight as the last has been.

Old Pope Day! and plenty of Guys about. The boys have adopted a new feature – they themselves have assumed masks on their faces.

Spent the evening at Lime Park.

Began to-day to write out a clear and fair copy of my History of the Town, Parish and

This was not the same as in the five green volumes. This came after

Manor of Sidmouth, from the notes and memorandum which I have been collecting for the last two or three years. It begins:- “Three Histories pertain to every place; &c.”

Sunday, Nov. 7. – To-day a deputation waited on Louis Napoleon to offer him the Imperial Crown – that is to propose the re-establishment of the Empire. This is the way they are going on in France.


Sidmouth, Nov.1852


Thursday, Novr. 11. – Today the Queen opened the new parliament by reading her speech from the throne.

Friday, Novr. 12. – Finished laying the beams, joists, and planking of the floor of my summer-house up in the elm tree opposite No. 4 Coburgh Terrace. This will make a pleasant eyrie in the summer.

Tuesday, Novr. 16. – John Carslake, of Cotmaton, Esqr. asked me to get up to see some part of the old house where he is engaged in pulling down and repairing, “because I was fond of antiquities.” He told me that Old Cotmaton was the original building; and it probably occupies the site of “Cottemeton” of the Otterton Cartulary. In altering part of the house in 1835, a stone was taken down from the front of the chimney with 1530 cut on it. He said the stone was used with others to cover a drain! I cried horror! and told him it ought to be taken up and affixed to the façade of the house. He said he thought he would have it done. The next house to Old Cotmaton, or Cotmaton Hall, is Cotmaton House, and was built when this man was a boy, on the barns and attached buildings of the former, and more ancient edifice. Asherton, further on westward, was built by this Mr. Carslake. The name was taken from the original, Asherton Estate (spelt Ascerton in the Cartulary) which comprised about thirty four acres (within Mr. Carslake’s time) lying on the left hand side going out the Exeter road, and on the Sidmouth side of the Turnpike Gate, near at three quarters of a mile from the sea, or perhaps The estate spread away towards the west over the

By the railway station

conical hill, and extended as far as the Sidmouth and Bulverton Road. Sir William Pole, who wrote his “Collections” more than two hundred years ago, says of Asherton, p.150:- “It is a very pleasant and wholesome dwellinge, uppon a dry sandy soyle, seated on the open fields, uppon a small advanced ground in ye[?] open prospect of the sea.” This description agrees better with the present Asherton than the former one, as the present house, so called, stands on a rise, looking down to the sea over the Fort Field. However, as the present Mr. Carslake owns all the estates, and himself changed the name, he ought to know. He does not remember any mansion house on the old Asherton estate, nor could he tell where it had stood.

Thursday, Nov. 18. 1852. – To-day the Duke of Wellington, who died on the 13th or 14th of last September, is buried in the cript [sic] in St. Paul’s Cathedral. It turned out

a fine day, and everything went off well. No accidents happened except that two people were crushed to death at the lying in state at Chelsea Hospital, and a young man fell off the roof of Drummond’s Bank, Charing Cross, as the procession went by.



Sidmouth. Novr. 1852



Th. Novr. 25. – Finished etching and biting in the “Plan of Sidmouth and Neighbourhood,” for my History of Sidmouth. I wonder if this History will ever be printed ? I have no certain idea what it would cost to publish: but considering it would make a thick royal 8vo volume, with a dozen plates I dare say not much under £200. It would be absurd to throw away a large sum of money, even on a rational and a useful whim, and it is scarcely likely I should secure 200 or 300 subscribers at some 15 shillings or a pound each. However I will issue prospectuses when I am ready.

Th. Dec. 2, 1852. – This morning Miss Emily Fitz-Gerald, daughter of Major

Fitz-Gerald, of Mount Edgar, was married to Lieut. I. [?] Darnell. I was at her sister’s wedding in September 1849. I was told I behaved very badly to-day. I borrowed a horn, and blew it out of the carriage window all the way to Sidbury (3 miles) and all the way back again. The ceremony went off very well in Sidbury Church, though the ring was a little too small. I asked Miss Emily whether she was not in an immense fright, to which she answered – “Only a little shaky.” We had a capital breakfast at Mount Edgar, and sat down about twenty. I was between Mrs. J. [?] Jenkins of Lime Park, and Miss Amelia Elphinstone. I have since made a coloured drawing of the scene in the church, and given it to the Major.

Wed. Dec. 8. –Finished engraving “Sidemew yn ye olden tyme” in imitation of an old print.

Th. Dec. 9. – At a small party at the Elphinstones, at Livonia.

Fri. Dec. 10. – Spent the evening at Lime Park.

Mon. Dec. 13. – At Lime Park – a small party.

Tu. Dec. 14. – At the Heinekens’, where I met the Rev. Mr Matthews, vicar of Widworthy and his newly married wife: and Miss Battiscombe from Tiverton.

Thurs. Dec. 16. – At the Heinekens’ again – music.

Tues. Dec. 21. – Shortest day – mild and pleasant as a morning in April. Was at a large party at the Elphinstones’, where I played, for the chief occupation is music.

Frid. Dec. 24. – Christmas Eve. Spent the evening at Lime Park.

Sat. Dec. 25. – Went to church in a thin summer coat, the weather was so mild.

Sun. Dec. 26. – Mild as yesterday.

Mon. Dec. 27. – Last night we had a gale of wind from the westward, and a violent storm of rain. I was kept awake nearly all night with the noise, and shaking of the house. The cook got up at four, fearing the roof was coming in. The sea was over the walk into the town. Much damage has been done – many large trees blown down, some walks laid flat, and chimney tops carried away.


Sidmouth, 1852 and 1853.


Fri. Decr. 31. 1852. – Spent the evening at Lime Park, and saw in the New Year 1853.



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