POH Transcripts - 1858

< Go back to the previous page

January 1858.

Fr. Jan. 1. 1858. Was awake by the church bells at some unknown hour this morning, but fell asleep again. To-day I hoisted the large flag; but there was not a breath of wind to display it. This evening our old Christmas friends the Mummers came round. Also last night.

Wed. Jan. 6. Spent the evening with the Leys at Powys. Mr. Ley was at school in Exeter with my cousin Frederick Hutchinson, now at the Cape of Good Hope.

Th. Jan. 7. To-day my attention was attracted by some fishermen in the town Carrying in baskets some lumps of stuff that looked like yellow clay. I stopped one of them and asked him what he had got. He said that the south wind was blowing and the heavy sea, had washed some cans on shore, of which they had found fragments; that they had been lost overboard, or some vessel had been wrecked; and that many people had been picking up these lumps of stuff on the beach. One sailor said it was sperm oil in a frozen or thickened state, the weather having been somewhat Cold lately; another said it was palm oil. Some lumps were yellow, like yellow clay; others were whitish, like soap or fat. They said they could sell it for two pence a pound. As I am known to be a collector of Curiosities and all sorts of odds and ends in Sidmouth, they offered me some; but as I had just left home to pay some visits, and had on kid gloves, I could not take the gift.

Mon. Jan. 11. This evening at 8 o’clock there was a meeting of the Musical Committee of the Choral Society at my house, to see what could be done to go on. There are two or three rebellious and mischievous members, who have long given a great deal of trouble, and have much discord where (among musical people) everything ought to be harmony. It is a curious thing, that most musical societies are troubled in the same way. There is a stock of music in hand, and £11.0.0 in money. The opposition want to divide and scramble for all this. That wont do.

Tues. Jan. 12. Received the twenty five copies of my Tour in Lincolnshire, from John Harvey the printer, with the Pedigree at the end, which I have received from Featherstones the Lithographic printer in Exeter. [See Dec. 21. 1857; and Dec. 28.] Sent off four copies by post:- to Rev. Canon Hutchinson, Blurton; Rev. William Hutchinson, Hanford; Rachel, daughter of T. Hutchinson, of Heavitree, and married to the Rev. William Oliver; and to Sarah Hutchinson. As soon as the opportunity occurs, I mean to send one to each of the following:- To my brother G. B. H, Beaudesert, Flindmark Valley, Port Elliot, South Australia; to my sister Frances Harriet, wife of Mr. Robertson, Strowan Grove, near Salisbury, Adelaide Co. South Australia; to my cousin Frederick Hutchinson, Cape of Good Hope, whose exact address I do not know; and to Henry Hutchinson, in Van Dieman’s Land. And when I can find out what and where the remnants of the Foster Hutchinson’s are, who went to Halifax and other parts of Nova Scotia, I will send to them.

Next Monday week the Princess Royal is to be married in London to the Prince of Prussia. A committee has been formed in Sidmouth for the purpose of celebrating the event. The children of the various schools, amounting to 600 or more, are to have tea and cake at the Town Hall. Attended the first Committee Meeting: and was elected Chairman. After arranging preliminaries, a Sub-Committee was formed, which should act as a Working Committee.

Sat. Jan. 16. Attended a meeting of the Sub-Committee.

Sat. Jan. 23. All the week has been taken up in making arrangements for Monday. It has given all the members of the Committee a great deal of trouble.

Sun. Jan. 24. At all Saints in the morning, and St. Giles’s in the afternoon.

Monday, Jan. 25. 1858. Sidmouth is all alive for their amusements to-day, and resolved to celebrate the Princess’s marriage with good will. The wind blew hard from a point a little to the east of south, and on trying to hoist my large flag (the size of a drawing room carpet) I found it was in danger of reaching one of the Lombardy poplar trees; so I had a few of the south-east branches taken off, and then it flew clear. Having seen all the arrangements completed at the Town Hall, I returned home soon after four when the church bells chimed as a signal for all the schools to leave their schoolrooms and converge towards Coburg Terrace, as a general place of meeting. This was very well carried out, and the sight was a very pretty one, as the children carried plenty of banners. Having assembled front of my house, and all over the Terrace, they proceeded through my field to the top of the town at Mill Cross. They then marched down the town, headed by a band of music, to the beach; hence westward along the beach; hence inland round Denby place to the Old Church; and hence down Church Street to the Town Hall. It was a lovely sight, and all eyes were upon us. The room was cram-full, The dimensions are 66 feet long by 26 feet wide. At each end portions were divided off - one for tables for tea and cake, and the other for the admission of visitors, where there were two fir trees suspended all over oranges. I annex a printed Programme of the proceedings. So fearful was I last week of the difficulty and ever danger of putting so many persons into the room, that I tried to dissuade the Committee from it, but allow the children to have their feast in their own separate school rooms (to which the heads of the schools had agreed) we sending them their quantum of tea and cake. I was very much afraid, in the crowding, lest any of the children should slip and fall on the steps, which are very step and bad, (and two grown people have broken their bones on them); and I was somewhat apprehensive of the safety of the floor. However, I have not heard of any accident. A Magic Lantern, and the band of music, kept the children occupied. There was no room for romping games; it was no easy matter to find elbow room to have tea. I here could be no tables. The children sat on the benches; had mugs given to them: and we all helped to give them cake & tea. They were all bribed to go with an orange each. After they had left the Committee and teachers, numbering 60 or 70 or more, sat down to a quiet tea, This was the best part of the evening. We had songs of various sorts, and Ended by “God save the Queen.” I found that whenever there was anything disagreeable to say, the Chairman was requested to say it. Thus when people did not behave well, I was requested to admonish them: when any of the visitors intruded upon the children, I was made to direct them to go behind the barrier; and when we were going to sit down to our tea, I had to turn out a number of people who had come in from curiosity. If there was a compliment in being made Chairman, there were several disagreeables tacked on to it. I may as well make a memorandum of the quantity of articles used, the number of people being at least 700. There were 6lbs of tea, made into about 750 pints; but there were several gallons too much. The tea was made in a furnace at the Anchor Inn, holding about a hogshead and a half, and all heated at once. The tea itself was served up in six or eight large bags of muslin. When hot, 28lbs of brown sugar was put in, and about 10 gallons of milk. It was drawn out in large milk cans, and six messengers, specially appointed, ran with it to the town Hall. There were 100 quartern currant cakes, in all weighing 404lbs., at 6 the lb. and costing £10..2..0. The cutting up of all this during the morning, was a serious affair. There were about 780 oranges, which we got for £1..2..6. There were 2 ½ gallons of milk for the teacher’s tea, making in all 12 ½ used; and 4lbs. of lump sugar. Neither all the cake or all the tea was used. The whole expenses of Cake, tea, sugar, milk, messengers, carpenter, crockery (hire of) attendants, and Band of Music, amounted to nearly £24; and this was subscribed for in the place.

At a party at Dr. Miller’s, High Street. Some agreeable music, and some agreeable ladies

Note; At this point in the Diary POH has attached the following program:-


1. The children to assemble at their own Schoolrooms at 4 o’clock

on Monday.

2. The church bells to chine at a quarter past 4 as a signal, when

all will start for Coburg Terrace, as a rendezvous.

3. Procession will form two and two in this order - St. Giles’, All

Saints’, Independents, Wesleyans; and walk in the follow -

ing route - Coburg Terrace, through the fields to Mill Cross;

thence down the town to the beach by the York Hotel: thence

along the Promenade to Bedford Hotel: up by Denby Place:

the Old Church: and down Church Street to the Town Hall.

4. Any flags the children may carry will be given up at the bottom

of the stairs.

5. Children must take care of their own caps and hats.

6. Children will ascend the stairs and seat themselves without com-

fusion, under direction of teachers.

7. The first and last verses of the Old Hundredth to be sung as


8. Cups will be supplied by the Committee.

9. Jugs of tea, and plates of cake, cut up, will be brought to the

teachers, who will feed their own classes only.

10. Children’s tea over, the Doxology - “Praise God” &c., will be


11. Magic Lantern, if possible; during which, tea at table for

the Teachers.

12. If any of the younger children wish to leave after the teachers’

tea, they can, and an Orange will be given to each at the

bottom of the stairs.

13. After Magic Lantern, remove seats

14. Songs and Music to amuse them.

15. Parents may fetch their children about half-past eight.

16. National Anthem.

17. An Orange will be given to each child when it goes away.

February 1858.

Mon. Feb.1. 1858. At a party at the Vicarage. Present - the Vicar, the Rev. H. F. Hamilton, his Mother, two sisters, his brother, Col. H. and wife, his cousin Capt. H., and some 20 or 30 visitors. Music and supper, Two of the Ladies Hobart, daughters of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, played a duet. I did nothing, for it was my first party there.


Tu. Fed.2. At a party at the Lousada’s at Peak House. Music, dancing, and supper. Two of the Earl’s daughters were there. I played a flute solo (“Home, sweet Home, “ varied) without other instrument. It is a nice large room to play in. Had a pleasant evening.

At the Vicarage again. A pleasant evening, very like the last part I was at there. Played a flute and piano duet, with Mrs Jenkins of Lime Park

Fri. Feb.12. The news from India are more cheering. Our arms are steadily prevailing. The death of Sir. Henry Havelock is a great loss, and regretted by the whole civilised world. The Directors of the East India Company are shaking in their shoes. There is a proposition to dissolve the Company, and bring the management if India under her Majesty’s government.

The Indian Mutiny has kept our Chinese war in abeyance; but now we are again beginning to move ahead. The English and French forces combined have bombarded and assaulted Canton.

Orsini’s attempted assassinated of Louis Napoleon is engaging much attention. Young Tom Hodge, whom I remember in petticoats here in Sidmouth, has got into a hobble. He is the son of the late Tom Hodge a surgeon here, and nephew to Ben, the surgeon now here, and his mother a Miss Blake - who came of a precious rattling family, where I have had many a riotous evening. He inherited some money from his mother’s side, and Count Orsini got hold of him; and he, like a young fool, appears to have been flattered by the Count’s intimacy. He seems to have been in France with the Count, but on the day of the attempted assassination (Jan. 14.) we hear he was in Genoa. He was doubtless ignorant of Orsini’s plots; but if any of his letters have been found among Orsini’s papers or if any of Orsini’s letters should be among his, or if Orsini has borrowed any money of him (not unlikely) and it should appear that Hodge’s money should be used for Infernal machines, it may put the inexperienced young fellow in a awkward predicament. If he gets out of this scrape it will be a lesson to him not to take up with people of whom he knows nothing. We are rather curious in Sidmouth to see how he will get through it, especially as the papers say, that the French police are searching for a person of his name.

Tuesday. Feb.16. Gave my Lecture on “The Antiquities of Sidmouth and the Neighbourhood,” in the Ball room of the London Inn. The room was well filled. I had four illustrations - The “Two Women grinding at the Mill;” a large drawing of the Roman broach found in the stone Coffin; The Roman Standards; and the Skeleton found at Dunscombe. The coins and different antiques I produced were all found at Sidmouth or in the Neighbourhood. The time occupied in delivering it was an hour and a half.


Feb. 18. Witnessed the signatures of the Rev. H. Gibbes, M.D. and Mrs. Gibbes, in my drawing room, to a parchment deed, concerning (as they told me) some property devolved on Mrs. Gibbes from her late mother.

This evening was at Mr. Heineken’s for an hour: then at Mrs J. Jenkins’s for two hours, where I met Miss Alice Miller and her sister Mrs. H. Jenkins, &c.; and after that went to Lime Park for two hours.

The town was in an uproar this evening as a report was about that a warrant was out from the French government, for the apprehension of John Hodge. I was told at Mrs James Jenkins’s that he had been taken in Glascow.

Mon. feb.22. Taken at Glascow! How wide of the mark are reports, to be sure. The London papers now say he has been taken in a hotel at Genoa.

The country is electrified to hear that Lord Palmerston, the Premier, and his Ministry have gone out. They have been defected on the reading of the “Conspiracy to Murder” Bill. This Bill originated out of the recent attempt on the life of the Emperor, was introduced to put greater restraint on refugees in England, and to present their abusing the hospitality of England: but as it was supposed to be introduced, partly at the instigation of the French, and to please that Nation, British jealousy took fire, in spite of the alliance, and the opposition have thrown it out by a majority of 19; The numbers being against . The Earl of Derby, The Opposition leader, has formed a new ministry.

I have recently made a new acquaintance in a curious way, and called on her to-day. Three or four years ago, a Mrs. Lonsdale, an elderly person, Came to Sidmouth with two daughters. She subsequently lost one, who was interned in the Burying Ground. One day, after her daughter had been some time buried she was walking in the Grounds, when her attention was attracted to my mothers tombstone, by the name of Anne, a daughter of Vice Admiral Sir William Parker. From Miss Pudsey Dawson of Audly, she made enquiry, and was told that a son of the said Anne, (who had Married Dr. Hutchinson,) was living at 4 Coburg Terrace. Miss Dawson sent her footman to me to inform me of this, with a request that I would make myself known to Mrs. Lonsdale. This I at once did. Mrs. Lonsdale was a Miss Walter, whose uncle, 55 years ago or more, was a proprietor of the Times paper. My grandfather Parker then lived at Ham, near Richmond in Surrey, and Mr. Walter’s house was across the river. The Parkers, as I have heard my mother say, could see the candles carried into Mr. Walker’s drawing room of an evening, though it was some three or four miles to go round by the bridge. Mr. Walter was very Corpulent - so much so, that he could not conveniently approach the dinner table for his “Corporation.” One day when he was dinning at the Parker’s, he placed his plate of soup on his stomach, according to custom, because it was too far off on the table, and the footman drew a napkin under his chin; but just as he was conveying a spoonful of soup to his mouth, the dog “Whim,” Came & gave his elbow a sudden jerk, because he wanted some dinner, and therely threw Mr. Walter’s spoonful of soap all over the room, - much to the amusement of the younger members of the family, of whom my mother was one. Mrs. Lonsdale, a niece of this fat man, was a few years younger than my mother, but remembers her well, and also most of the members of the Parker family. I had a long chat to-day with her, and Miss. Lonsdale.

On the 5th. Of January, six days after the assault on Canton, Commissioner Yeh (the author of all our trouble in China) was taken disguised as a Coolie, and sent on board a man-of-war; also the Tartar General and.

Sat. Feb.27. The Manorial to Prince Albert, which I drew up some weeks ago, has got into the Western Times, an Exeter Paper. Dr. Croker, of Bovey Tracy, to whom I sent it for signature in his neighbourhood, informs me that he made several copies and sent them round Dartmoor, to collect signatures elsewhere. One copy was sent to Exeter; and I suppose Latimer, the Editor got hold of it. I cut the annexed out of his paper.

Note:- The following is the annexed article.



A memorial is now traversing Devon and Cornwall, addressed to His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, and signed by the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood of Dartmoor, calling his Highness’ attention to the destruction to which the Relics of Dartmoor are exposed. The state of those relics had been made the subject of an indipendent investigation by an engineer of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, and the destruction has been observed with regret. The coincidence of the Engineer’s visit with the preparation of the memorial which we subjoin, shows the interest which is happily taken in this matter so important in an antiquarian sense. The memorial lies for signature at the Institution in this city, at Torquay, Plymouth, and other places:-

To His Royal Highness the Prince Consort, &c.


We the undersigned, dwelling within the Forest of Dartmoor, or living in its neighbourhood, beg to approach your Royal Highness with every sentiment of respect. Our love for antiquarian studies in general, and more particularly the interest we feel in the presavation of all objects of antiquity in our neighbourhood, urge us to make this appeal. We have viewed with concern, or heard with regret of the many acts of distruction that have from time to time taken place among the relics of a bygone age on Dartmoor. Rock idols, cairns, ancient British dwellings, Druidie circles, and other remains, mostly formed of granite, have been broken up, or are being occasionally broken up, either for making fences, or for mending the roads. To corroborate these remark, allusion need only be made to the mutilation of the Old Stannary Court at Crockern Tor - the removal of Druidie circles at Manaton, Bottor, and other places - the destruction of the Sacred Avenue on Shuffle Down, &c. The tenants of the Duchy are probably not fully conscious of the amount of injury they are doing, nor do they remember in what estimation these relics are held by cultivated minds. We venture to mention the circumstance to your Royal Highness, leaving it in your Royal Highness’s hands to adopt such measures as shall check the continuance of the evil, and secure the presivation of these monuments of past to future ages. And we have the honour to remain, &c.

March 1858.

Th. Mar. 4. Winter has come in earnest. For the last few days it has been blowing hard from the north-east; the wind, sometimes in violent gusts, and accompanied by snow storms. Many people have remarked, and it is also within my memory, how much the seasons have changed of late years. They have advanced by several months. Formerly our winter was over by the middle of February; but latterly it has commonly lasted till May.

Wed. Mar. 10. Despite the server weather and the occasional snow storms, I have lately had a good deal of work in the garden and the field; and now-and-then found it pleasant enough. Several of us in Sidmouth however, are now very busy making preparations for the Eclipse of the Sun, to come off next Monday the 15th. We hope to observe it with some care.

Fri. Mar. 12. Called at the Vicarage. Gave the Vicar, the Rev. H. F. Hamilton, £11..0..0, being the money in hand, belonging to the late Sidmouth Choral Society, to be placed in the Exeter Savings Bank, (for the use of some future Choral Society) in the names of three trustees i.e. Rev. N.S. Heineken, P.O. Hutchinson, and Thomas Perry. Note added in later. “Finally given up to the new Choral Society.”

Sat. Mar. 13. This may be the first spring day. The wind has suddenly changed to the mild south-west with rain and the server frost all gone. There is a peculiar feeling in walking across the paved yard, which I have before experienced at a sudden thaw, and which I felt this morning - the stones give way under one’s feet. The frost by expanding had lifted them up, so that, on a thaw, they sink a little at every step one takes.

Sun. Mar. 14. Boisterous weather. Went to church in the rain. Fine afternoon. Hope it will be clear for the Eclipse tomorrow.

Mon. Mar. 15. I was restless last night, and had a Confused dream of the Eclipse, - and I dreamt exactly what came to pass, despite the common notion, that dreams go by contraries. But the morning was beautiful; and about nine I got an observation of the Sun, and took down the large group of spots (as I have done for several days of late) and which are passing rapidly across the disc. At 10 I took my glass, diagrams , memorandums, colour box and water, &c, &c, and started. Called on Mr. Heineken, and found him making his preparations. Left for Salcombe Mount, a more elevated locality, where half a dozen of us had appointed to meet. We mustered several good glasses, thermometers, sympiesometer, Quadrant, and other appliances. After that, we wanted nothing but a clear sky; but as the heavenly bodies neared each other, the vapours collected. It was a miserable affair. In fact my dream came quite true. A leaden sky obscured everything. At one period it drizzled hard. The only thing I did was, to register the thermometer every 10 minutes, from 11.24 AM. About which the Eclipse began (Sidmouth, mean time) to 2..1 P.M., when it ended. I have stitched my diagrams and memorandums together in a brown paper cover, and they can be referred to. About 12.44, when it was at its middle, the obscurity was considerable for some minutes; but a newspaper could be read without difficulty. It had a marked effect on the birds. Some fowls went in as if to roost, and some rooks flew to their rookery, also apparently for the same purpose. The increase of light, which was at first wonderfully sudden, and then slower, was like the grey early morning. The disappointment felt by all of us was very great; for such an eclipse as this will not occur again during the life time of may of us. We, however, bore it very philosophically; and many were the jokes about nightcaps, and crying out for candles, which were bandied from one to the other. Hudibras says the moon in made of green cheese. Some asked his neighbour if he had remembered to bring a cheese scoop, in order to have a taste, and test the truth of the assertion. So much for the Eclipse.

Th. Mar. 18. A vestry meeting was held on the subject of the piece of ground between the two burying grounds. It was decided it must be had for burying in. £200 are wanted to cover all expenses. A sixpenny rate was carried; and that will produce nearly the sum.

Sat. Mar. 20. Beautiful weather at last. Superintended the planting of six spruce firs 6 or 8 feet high, outside the north wall of the garden. They are large for transplanting, but spruce will sometimes stand it.

Mon. Mar. 22. Had a fire in the field, and burnt up a quantity of rubbish. Drew out the gun, and fired several shots. Have the masons and the painters here, who are putting the whole of the exterior of the house and premises in neat order.

Wed. Mar. 24. Painted the mushroom seats under the elm tree in front of the house.

Th. Mar. 25. Went from Sidmouth to Dawlish, on a visit to my Cousin Mary Roberton. Had several hours in Exeter. Went and examined to two Russian guns on Northernhay. They are placed behind the Courts of Law. They are of iron - nine feet long - bore about 6 or 7 inches - and mounted on wrought iron English Carriages. They are like those I saw last autumn at Boston and Newark. One has a piece near the muzzle knocked out by a shot - an English shot I presume.

Sun. Mar. 28. Went to the parish church. From the distance that the church stands from the sea, one might infer that the old town of Dawlish once stood higher up the valley than now; and that “The Lawn” and course of the river were formerly occupied by a swamp or arm of the sea. In the churchyard I observed a tombstone, erected since I was here last, referring to a Mather Byles. I wonder if he was any relation to the Miss Byles whom I saw in Boston, in America, in 1836, or to the Mather who Married Governor Hutchinson’s sister ? Note added latter. stone since removed

Tu. Mar. 30. Walked at low water (spring tide yesterday) to the “Parson and Clerk.” In the cliff here, these are large hollow nodules filled with star. Procured one, and carried it back. Being a rough walk, over gravel and rocks, and being pressed by the rising tide, the mass of stone made my arms and legs ache Considerable. I thought it was heavy, and guessed it might weigh about ten pounds. The servants weighed it; and to my surprise it amounted to nineteen.

Wed. Mar. 31. A thoroughly wet day. We must not complain of wet. The last twelve months have been drier than any twelve months within the memory of man. I am told that in Dawlish, as I was told in Sidmouth, the inhabitants have been complaining all through the winter, of wont of water in their wells; - a circumstance never known before.

Finished reading Smiles’ Life of George Stephenson the Engineer. Stephenson was truly a wonderful man. The difficulties in overcoming prejudice and hostile feeling, against which he had to contend, in constructing the Liverpool and Manchester rail were enormous. It should seem that he somewhat preceded Sir Humphrey Davy in the invention of the safety Lamp for mines, although the fact is scarcely known. The railway statistics at the end are striking. By the end of 1854 £286.000.000 had been raised for making and maintaining railways. 80.000.000 miles are annually travelled on our railways. In 1854, 111.206.000 passengers were conveyed by rail. The receipts from railways were -

In 1845. . . . . £ 6.209.000.

1850. . . . . 13.204.000.

1854. . . . . 20.215.000.

There are 3.000.000 tons of iron used in the railways of the United Kingdom. There was only 1 person in 7.195.343 killed on railways during the first half of 1854. The original or Narrow Gauge is 4 feet 8 ½ ; the Broad 7 feet; and the gauge in Ireland 5 feet 3.

April 1858.

Tu. Ap. 6. Spent the evening next door at Mr. and Mrs. Ermen’s. (Aside, and don’t tell any body.) Miss Matilda and Miss Emma Ermen, two nice girls.

Fri. Ap. 9. Walked to the hill over the Parson and Clerk, and looked at the new villas being built there in the fields. Two are nearly finished. On the top of the cliff a little on the Teignmouth side of the Parson and Clerk, they have erected a stage and windless; and they are quarrying stone on a shelf half way down the face of the cliff over the sea, and are hauling it up to build the new houses with. I walked back to Belmont Villa in the rain.

Sat. ap. 10. Went into Mr. Ermen’s to see his engravings. In the afternoon went to the churchyard and copied a tombstone to a Mather Byles and his wife. Curious enough, she died April 19, 1851, and he, April 20. 1851. The name on this stone attracted me, as the Hutchinson’s in America intermarried with Mather, or Nather, This stone has been removed. It was near the South Lodge.


Su. Ap.11. At Dawlish Parish Church.

Note:- After this entry there is written. Oliver married Byles.


Mon. Ap. 12. Wombwell’s Wild beast show arrived. Went at feeding time with Elizabeth Hands. I was surprised at the small quantity of animal food they gave the beasts, and was told they only fed them once in twenty four hours. The performance of one of the elephants was the most striking part of the exhibition; that of standing upon half a tub, with all the four feet together; then stretching out two feet, and standing on only two: and lastly, standing upon its head on the ground. These animals are not only sagacious, but they are tractable.

Tu. Ap. 13. Walked along the beach towards the Parson and Clerk, and with a hammer and chisel dug out a large hollow nodule filled with spar. As the tide was rising, I was obliged to leave it till tomorrow.

Wed. Ap. 14. Took over Elizabeth Hands, and we brought back the nodule, slung in the middle of a stick.

Th. Ap. 15. Made a coloured sketch of part of the cliff (a fault) near the Preventive House.

Took a walk up nearly to Dawlish Water. Called on Miss Tucker, who lives at the top of the town, who know papa and mamma, here at Dawlish, about 1816 and 1817. She had heard their son was here, and wished to see me.

Finished reading Lord St. Leonard’s “Handy. Book of Property Law.” It will not make me a lawyer; nevertheless, it contains many valuable points of information, worthy of being kept in remembrance.

Sat. Ap.17. Went next door to Mr, Ermen’s to see remainder of his engravings. He has a large and beautiful collection. He has also a house full of good paintings, some of them valuable ones collected on the Continent.

At two o’clock took the rail and went to Teignmouth. Called and saw Miss Cousins, who was our landlady in 1818. Took a turn round the Den, and then to the Harbour, as I always do when I come here to see what is going on in the docklands among the shipping. Then went to see the Cresswells, Sidmouth friends, and Mary Roberton’s tenants, had an early tea with them, and returned to Dawlish.

Tu. Ap. 20. Had luncheon, by invitation with Miss. Tucker. Met another lady there, and we had a pleasant chat; she telling me that had become of all the different people I can remember when I was a child; and I asking he all the news I could remember of persons and things.

Wed. Ap. 21. Left Dawlish for home. Was in Exeter several hours en route. Got to Sidmouth before 7 P.M. The weather fine and warm.

Th. Ap. 22. Unpacked my heavy hollow nodule. See Ap. 14. Bother ! I have forgotten my Sketchbook and left it at Dawlish. Went to the Photographic Exhibition.

Fr. Ap 23. Spent the evening at Lime Park; after having again been some time at the Photographic Exhibition at the Town Hall. It closes to-day. There are 500 specimens here, some are of great beauty. Dr. Radford, (whose father was one of my god-father’s) has taken a great deal of pains to cater so much for the Sidmouth public. They have not however, patronised it so much as they ought.

Tu. Ap. 27. Assisted at Mr. Heineken’s Lecture on “Electricity.” Worked the machine for him. The experiments succeeded pretty well, and the room was well filled.


Wed. Ap. 29. Wrote a short article for Perry’s Journal, on the Photographic Exhibition.

May 1858.

Sat. May. 1. and a Royal birthday, so I put up the Large flag. The weather is fine, but with a Cold northeaster. Fine weather, in fact for March.

Fr. May. 7. Mr. Heineken and myself made an expedition to examine Bury Camp. On the maps the word Bury is usually spelt Berry; but according to analogy, Bury ought to be Night. Bury Farm stands at the western end of Branscombe. We mounted Salcombe Hill - passed through the village of Salcombe - by old Dunscombe House - Slade - Weston - the field where we examined the stone Coffin (July 27. 1857) - and stopped at Bury Farm. Here we turned off along a lane towards the cliff.

The above is a rough plan; but there is a more correct one in the private quarto copy of my Sidmouth Guide. There is no known name to this Camp; but it was anciently, and par excellence called Byrig, Burgh, or Bury, in all probability; and the farm which is close to it, called Bury Farm after it. The side along the edge of the cliff measures 952 feet; and the width in the middle 350 feet. It has a vallum inside the ditch (19 feet high at the north end, from the bottom of the ditch) and a small vallum outside, the ground is level all round. Whether any of it is lost by the falling away of the cliff, it is impossible to say: and therefore it is impossible to say whether there was ever an outer vallum or hedge on the side of the cliff. At the present there is none. There are traces of a hedge near the opposite or inland side. We are told a man had a garden there some years ago. From this camp are visible High Peak Hill, the town of Sidmouth, Blackbury Castle, and apparently Musbury and Musbury Castles, beyond the Axe. The camp is a sort of irregular parallelogram; but not sufficiently regular to warrant its being considered Roman. It is sufficiently rude to make us assign it to the Britons. We had never heard of its existence until recently. Walking out at the end in the Sidmouth direction came to three large masses of stone almost buried in the grass; the first is of sandstone (of the greensand formation) and then two others of chert. Tradition (as usual) declares that there is treasure buried under them. Pursuing our route for nearly half a mile (measuring with the Pedometer) we examined and took down a number of barrows or tumuli. I believe they have never been opened; but Mr. Ford of Branscombe, has given leave. Some of these do not bear the semblance of genuine barrows, but only heaps of dry flints thrown up after clearing the land for cultivation. All along here there is a beautiful under cliff - a sort of stage or platform half way down to the sea, - well cultivated with corn, potatoes, &c. The mule that drew us, we turned adrift in the camp for several hours to graze; and the lad who drove us, whom we have reared up in these sort of expeditions during the last ten years, who bears the immortal name of Smith, lay down and went to sleep, after half emptying a quart bottle of beer which we gave him. We lunched on the hill, and returned home somewhat tired after so much measuring and walking about.

Tu. May 10. This day last year the Indian Mutiny broke out at Merrut. See back, Oct. 27, last year.

After breakfast went up Salcombe Hill with a hoe to grub about where an apparent barrow had been recently levelled. The spot is on the crown of the hill, 25 yards in the field, on the right, or south side, going to Salcombe. We walked up the hill last Friday with Mr. Charles Cornish, of Salcombe House, (whose land it is), and he said that a good many stones, large and small, had been removed, but no antiquities were found. I scraped about for an hour on the spot, and then went to another place, some 100 yards south-west in the same field, where a similar apparent tumulus had been - but all my hoeing was in vain.

Packed up and sent off a box for Bingham.

Wed. May 11. When I came back from Dawlish, I discovered a hedge-sparrowi nest in the ivy of the wall close to the flagstaff, for I inadvertently frightened out the hen bird as I was hoisting the flag. I put my hand in and found four eggs. The bird however, returned. Since then I have hoisted it carefully; and she sits looking at me when I hoist it every morning, and take it down every evening. The young birds are now hatched; and if I touch the nest, or only even the ivy, they all lift up there heads, with their mouths wide open, fancying the old bird has returned with food.

Fri. May 21. Went with Mr. Heineken to Budleigh Salterton. He went down to see after his houses. We completed our measurements and took the angles of the premises, in order that I might make a more complete plan than the last. Mr. Wesley has not yet come to any understanding with Mr. Heineken about the encroachment he has made by cutting away into Mr. Heineken’s hedge, and building a pebble stone wall against it; so Mr. Heineken had some more of it knocked down. I endeavoured to intercede as a peacemaker, and draw Mr. Wesley over; but he would not consent to Mr. Heineken’s terms, and save the wall.

Took a walk half a mile eastward to the mouth of the river. There was a small cutter yacht and some boats lying in smooth water inside. The inhabitants of Budleigh Salterton have recently been loudly complaining of the injury done to the harbour by the Rolle family for 20 or 30 years past, by enclosing some of the flats, and there by curtailing the size of the basin. A public meeting was held a week or two ago about it. I was told that about 30 acres of land had been enclosed. Before this large shallow basin was thus curtailed, the inhabitants assert that the rising tide powered in so large a body of water, as effectually to keep the mouth well open, and secure a deep channel, when it rushed out on the falling of the tide; but that since these encroachments have been made the channel and the mouth have been filling up. When the tide was only two hours up, from low water, boats, I was told could enter; whereas now, they can only enter when the water is nearly high. It was decided at the meeting to memorialise the government, with a view to having the embankments thrown down; but an amendment was subsequently adopted, by which it was decided first to make an amicable application to the Rolle family.

Sat. May 22. My young birds left their nest.

Man. May 24. This evening Mr. Drew came to me, and with a mysterious and significant air drew from his pocket what he declared to be a petrified orange filled with diamonds! He found a round pebble on the beach some time ago, and has recently cut a slice off one side, and polished the exposed surface. On examining the thing, it proved to be nothing more than an Echinus, or Sea-egg, infiltrated with chalcedony, and a cavity in the centre, sparkling with crystals. I showed him an Echinus, which I had got out of a flint on Peak Hill; but as some of the prominent features had been rubbed off his specimen on the beach, and mine as rough and fresh, he could not distinguish the resemblance. Nothing that I could say in delicate language, shook his confidence in being the happy possessor of an orange full of diamonds.

Wed. May 26. Spent the evening at Lime Park, where I meet Mrs. Halcombe, and Miss. Lister - the later of Saleby, near Alford, Lincolnshire.

Th. May 27. Started with Mr. Heineken to examine Woodbury Castle. Drove over Peak Hill - through dirty Otterton - past Bicton Cross and the great Lodge. A little beyond this we turned out of our way, by passing Hayes Mill, to go to Hayes Farm, of which we took two photographs. There was a great meeting of farmers there, it being rent day. We then pushed on westward, out upon the open heath, towards Black Hill; but before we reached it, we turned north along a mere track, so rough that we were nearly over more than once, the better the fun. Nearly two miles across this wild and romantic country, brought us to the camp. The views are splendid and most extensive on all sides. High as the hill is, the cone of High Peak rose considerably above the horizon line of the sea. The camps visible were - High Peak, Sidbury Castle, Dumpdon, Hembury Fort, Mary Pole Head, and various camps towards Cadbury, Tiverton, &c., also Haldon, and towards Milber Down. Woodbury Castle is thickly planted with trees - a practice I should discourage if I owned these places. It prevents any satisfactory examination of their interior, and it conceals their features from a distance. We examined as well as we could, and measured as well as we could. The camp is irregular (as mentioned in my Guide) having been originally an oval, but subsequently ( apparently) added to on the south. There are two ramparts on the north-west postion. The foss was 45 feet deep, and very steep; and from the top of the inner agger, across the foss to the top of the outer agger, 62 feet. There is a little ditch and agger outside all at A in the section attached. The interior is like a basin, as the agger rises all round. All the rest of the camp has but one agger. The outworks, supposed to have been added in 1549 are not quite accurate in Shortt’s Collection Curiosia, but I have corrected them in the little plan annexed. B double agger; C single agger;

D straight outworks to defend north entrance, being a bold hedge and ditch; E traces of a low hedge; F partly obliterated, running down the hill, where there is a spring;

G doubtful , or obliterated; H ditto; I Earthwork to defend south entrance; J similar work; K another running back to camp. L woodman’s cottage inside - woodman called Gordon. We walked round the agger, and made it 920 yards, or more than half a mile. Of the outworks, the piece 6 measured 68 yards; the short piece a 23; from that to the road 34; across the road, and down to the slope of the hill 84; where the traces are broken and Confused. The piece I about 30 yards; J 66; and K 30. There are one or two fields cultivated, just outside the south-east side of the camp; but the crops are usually destroyed by the Rabbit’s that abound on the heath.

I told the Gordens that I had heard some shot or cannon balls had been dug up in the Camp; but they had never heard of this. The only antiquities they had ever heard of as having been found there, were “three old ha’pence,” as Mrs. G. called them. She gave them to a Miss Swan of Woodbury Salterton, about 1847; but Miss Swan left the neighbourhood about 1849. I should like to know what they were. They told me a story still well known all about here, in reference to the battle fought on this hill in August 1549 between Lord Russell’s forces, just come down from London, and a detachment of the Cornish rebels who were besieging Exeter. There is a brook almost dry, except after rain, nearly half a mile down towards Woodbury Salterton. The place is called Red Slew . The battle at one period is said to have raged here; and the combatants fought “up to their knees in blood.” Mrs. Gordon added, very mysteriously, that when she had passed that way, after a shower of rain, she had seen the brook quite red still. I could have told the good Mrs. Gordon, that there is a abundance of oxide of iron down there; and that the redness is more likely to be oxide of iron than human blood.

Outside the outworks marked a and b, and against them, some hollows, as if the bank had been cut down, are seen. Could the soldiers of Col. Simon’s time have made huts here?

As a mem. of this neighbourhood, I may mention, that when some old cottages near Woodbury were some short time ago, pulled down, it was found that they had been originally thatched with rye straw; for the lowest stratum of thatch was of rye, though the higher, and more recent ones were of wheat. Rye has not been cultivated in this neighbourhood within the memory of man.

We left the Camp not till half past six in the evening, and descended to Yattington, a neat and clean village - the ancient Yettemetone of the Otterton Cartulary, 1260. At Yattington we enquired about manganese, for it used to be dug on the hill north-west of this place, and all about it. The diggings are now however given up, as they did not pay.

We got home soon after eight somewhat tired.

Sat. May 29. Put up the large flag. After breakfast took a walk to the top of Salcombe Hill to look for some fossils in the Greensand. Crossed the wood bridge - ycleped the “Alma Bridge” - at the mouth of the river, and followed the cliff. Went out over near the top of the hill by the path to the gardens on the slope of the undercliff. At 200 paces on this descending and rugged path, the promontory of white Greensand, or Foxmould, is reached, where many fossils may be picked out, as the Foxmould is soft; and 25 paces further, 10 feet up a step bank, the hard stratum of fossils is seen. I got up, and with my geological hammer and chisel, got off a mass the size of two fists. Not having been this way some time, I went on. Remarked that the first gardens are destroyed, and these are several acres of steep patches in potatoes, and a plot of corn. Proceeded on, up and down, and came out at the other end, by a new exit, over Salcombe Mouth. Returned back over the top of the hill, and then down to Sidmouth.

June 1858.

Tu. June 1. Mr. Mayson walked over from Lyme, 16 miles, and hired lodgings for his mother in Marlborough Place. He dined with Miss Brotherton, and took coffee, a’ la Françoise with me, and then started to walk back. I went with him over Salcombe Hill.

Thu. J. 3. After breakfast walked to High Peak Hill. Went out over on the undercliff to grub about for greensand fossils, and antiquities. Got a few imperfect specimens. As for antiquities, it is possible, though not likely, that something from the camp might be met with here. A thunder storm, with lightning and rain, made me hurry away for shelter. The storm was very solemn and grand approaching from the sea. On returning I managed when it held up, to go into the gravel pits on Peak Hill, and found a couple of sea eggs petrified.

Sat. June 5. Mrs. And Mr. Mayson came to Sidmouth for a fortnight. Called on them at Marlborough Place.

Mon. June 7. Walked with Mr. Mayson to the top of High Peak Hill and back to show him the view.

Tu. J. 8. Had an early dinner with the Walkers at Lime Park to meet Mr. and Mrs. Gurney from Sidbury.

Wed. J. 9. Had a small party at home - the Millers, Lime Park party, Miss Lister from Lincolnshire, Mrs. Halcombe, Mr. Mayson.

Th. J 10. Witnessed the signature of Mr. Ley of Barnstaple, now at Sir H. Floyd’s house = Powys.

Sat. June 12. Walk to Ladram. Moon changed yesterday - new. Took Mr. Mayson, to show him a rough walk. We started soon after ten along the beach - took the Geological hammer, and looked for pebbles. Under High Peak I found two or three pieces of the branch like petrifaction; but they being heavy, I hid them under a rock for future removal. Found a number of ball’s, which I have been before looking for, which came out of the cliff, and which Mr. Mayson took for iron bullets. They are pyrites or sulphured of iron, varying in size from that of a pistol bullet to that of a six-pound shot. Brought home a pocket full. We went on, going through the first arch, the second, and then the third, or great one into Ladram Bay. We returned home over High Peak. A sea fog hid much of the view from us. It was extremely warm all the way.

Sun. June 13. After Church Dr. Miller came into ask me to witness his signature to a paper connected with the recent death of Mrs. Fellowes, wife of the Vicar of Sidbury; - which I did. Took the opportunity to make him (and Mr. Mayson, who was present) witness my signature to my new will, which has been lying about on the table for a week, waiting some such opportunity of execution.

Tu. June 15. Took a walk with Mr. Mayson, where I went along on May the 29th. - up Salcombe Hill, and the undercliff, among the potatoe grounds, emerging at the further side, and returning over the top of the hill. I don’t know when I have felt it so warm. The sun was bright, and falling full upon the sloping surface of the undercliff; the white foxmould banks, against which we were obliged to cling, reflected the heat; and to this we added the exertion of scrambling up and down difficult places. A man who was hoeing potatoes, told me he paid Mr. Cornish £1 an acre for some land he rented there; and he thought it was high, considering the difficulty of access, the necessity of spade labour, and the trouble of carrying the seaweed on his back, with which he manured his plots of ground, all the way from the sea beach up to that elevated position. We hurried on, and got down the hill to Sidmouth, just before the bursting of a thunder storm. Had a quiet tea with Mrs. Mayson.

Wed. J. 16. We were to have had a pic-nic to-day in Harpford Wood; but there was still thunder in the air, and it rained all the morning.

Fr. J.18. Waterloo Day. The Sidmouth Club walked, and the bells made a great deal of noise.

Took Mr. Mayson to Mutters Moor, and Salter’s Cross, to enjoy the view. Then through the plantation to the Cairn; and then across Bulverton Hill towards Sidmouth, and home thirsty to tea.

Sun. June 20. At church three times, (at two churches) with Mr. Mayson. Went to see his mother, and said good-bye to them, as they leave tomorrow on their return to Hilton, near Huntingdon.

Mon. June 21. The three last Vicars have given me leave to turn over the Contents of the parish chest, to assist me in my historical researches. To-day I availed myself of the permission for the first time. I got one key of the chest of Webber, one churchwarden, and went to the Vicarage for the other. Mr. Hamilton was up in a field haymaking, Mrs H. took me to him. He showed me a spot on the high ground, of the glebe where a new Vicarage would stand with advantage - an idea that probably will never be carried out. Went to the church, and examined some of the old deeds. By means of a ladder I mounted, and copied the piece of painted glass in the east window; and copied also the arms on Harlelwin’s monument, recently cleaned and the colours brought out.

Came home and made a coloured drawing of the painted glass.

Tu. J.22. In the Vestry examining old deeds for three hours. Took those in a round box. There are several very interesting and valuable. One I saw of the 3rd. of Richard III. Made short menus of each.

Thermometer 72’ this afternoon in my drawing room with the windows open.

Th. June 24. Took Mr. Lawrence, my neighbour, up on Salcombe Hill and out over the cliff to the fossil bed, and indeed, the same walk I took Mr. Mayson on the 15th.

Fri. June 25. After breakfast, the low tide suiting, started for the purpose of finding and bringing home my petrifactions hid away on the 12th. Under High Peak. Hunted, but could not find them. However found some better specimens amongst the rubbish where the cliff had fallen down. Collected 8 or 10, and hid them in a hollow above high water mark, in case of wanting more, and brought away, two masses pretty heavy. Two young Kennet Dawsons came over with a rifle to shoot gulls. Watched them for some time. Some of the balls, having struck the cliff more than 100 yards off, and some 200 feet high, recoiled back with a whiz, and fell near us. We picked up one of them. These were voted dangerous, as we had only light summer hats on. Left them bombarding the cliffs. My arms ached immensely before I got home; and it was extremely hot.

Mon. June 28. Coronation Day. In the Vestry. Came upon a deed dated 9th. of Richard II. being 1386. This is a gift of house and garden “in ville de Sydd” in the Manor of Opton. I know no such place in Otterton parish, though there is a hamlet called Sid, pronounced Seed, in the parish of Salcombe, opposite Lime Park, across the river.

Tu. June 29. My drawing of the painted glass, (which I gave to the vicar) has got me a new acquaintance. This sister-in-law’s father, Sir Erasmas Borrowes, Bart, (over on a visit from Ireland) saw it, and being an antiquarian, expressed his willingness to know the maker Himself. I called yesterday, but he was out. He came to me to-day, and we chatted for three hours.

July 1858.

Sat. July 3. In Exeter for the day. Mr. Ley, now at Sir Henry Floyd’s, drove me in. Walked about Exeter; did some shopping; went and looked at the railway works under Northernhay; got back about seven; dined with Mr. Ley and family; and home by nine. Sent Westcote’s View of Devon, and Pedigrees, lent me by Mr. Ley, to Sir Erasmus Borrowes.

Mon. Jl. 5. Picnic in Harpford Wood, where I have not been for several years. We dined under the trees near the Cottage. Soper, the Woodkeeper, told us he had been there 42 years. We rambled through the Wood; sat down and sang songs, which I accompanied on the flute. The different vehicles started for home; but the horse destined to draw two ladies and me, got out of the wood, where it had been grazing, and ran half way to Sidmouth. Whilst the men were running after it, and brought it back, we sat chatting under the trees. We all spent the evening at Lime Park.

Th. 8. July. At a party at the Rev. H. Gibbes’s, Incumbent of All Saint’s. Music: played: Miss Gibbes sang and played very well.

Sat. July 10. All morning at the Parish Chest. During the afternoon Called on the Elphinstones at Livonia (Just returned from Bath.) and Mr. Oufton Fitzgerald, of No.2. New Town Villas. Several times I have had a long gossip with the Rev. Sir Erasmus Dixon Borrowes, on antiquities, and such subjects, of which he is found, and have been able to give him some menus, referring to Farringdon of Farringdon, from a member of which family he is descended.

Mon. July 12. Six hours at the old deeds in the Parish Chest.

Tu. July 13. Three hours at them. Have now deciphered and made memorandums of all the oldest on parchment. Also I have copied several of the seals, by pressing wax on them. These I mean to electrotype in copper.

Wed. July 14. Walked to Sidbury. Called in at Furzehill on my way to look again at the old cast iron fireback. Sounded Mr. and Mrs. Hook as to whether they would part with it; but it belongs to the house. A man there, who lives at Ebdon, close by, told me that an iron ball, as large as his fist, was recently dug up on the side of Sidbury Castle Hill, and that it is at his house. I promised to come out and look at it soon.

Had tea with the Rev. and the Miss Felloweses at the Vicarage at Sidbury (the first time I had seen them since Mrs Fellowes’s death); played a game of chess with Mr. Fellow’s, and walked home in the cool of the evening

Thurs. July 15. In the Vestry all the morning. I was speaking to the Sexton‘s son about the iron ball I heard of yesterday at Furzehill, when he said that he had one lying in the back yard at home - which he fetched and gave me. He said that about 1820, when some of the buildings connected with the Fort were cleared away, some rubbish was carted away from the place, and thrown in a part of the churchyard; and that in 183- when Admiral White’s tomb was made (I well remember the little Admiral) he and his father dug into this rubbish, and turned up the ball.

They threw it into their yard; and there it has remained ever since. It was a 6 pounder; but has lost ounces by rust.

Fri. July 16. After breakfast walked out to Ebden or Ebdon, the farm lying on the East flank of Sidbury Castle Hill. (See last Wednesday). Saw and handled the iron ball; but which, however, is not above two inches in diameter, and much rusted. It was dug up in the road, or side of the road, in front of the old farm house. The farmer promised to bring it to me, the next time he came to Sidmouth. But never did.

Went to the Archery Ground at Cotmaton: called on the Kennet Dawsons; spent the evening at Lime Park.

Sat. July 17. All the morning in the Vestry. The oldest deed I find there is the 2 or 3 of Edward III.:- date 1328. Spent the evening at Mrs. Hamilton’s (mother of the Vicar) at No.4 Clifton Place.

Sun. July 18. This evening, after church time, I listened to a psalm, a prayer, and a sermon delivered in the open air on the beach from Mr. Lucas, the Minister of the Independents.

Sat. July 24. My summons into Exeter is for the assizes on Monday; but as I am summoned for 10 in the morning and the Sidmouth coach does not get in till 12, I go to-day to my cousins at Dawlish, from which place I can get in conveniently at the required hour. Went to Exeter by mail - stayed a few hours in Exeter - and then went on to Dawlish.

Sun. July 25. At St. Mark’s chapel.

Mon. July 26. Took the nine o’clock train to St. Thomas’s, and was in Court at the Castle by ten. My name was called but I was not required all day. In the afternoon I was told I might absent myself till Wednesday morning, as the Special Jury cases would not come on till then. Returned to Dawlish.

Tu. July 27. It rained all day. Called next door, on the two Misses Ermen. Went to Exeter this evening.

Wed. July 28. In Court at 9a.m. The first case was “Bragg v. Brock,” a dispute about a water course, which was stopped in the middle and submitted to arbitration. The second was “Jewins versus Lethbridge,” a case of slander. We gave a verdict for the plaintiff, with £100 damages. Returned to Dawlish to sleep.

Th. July 29. Came up and was in court by ten. Twelve of us were impanelled and the case of “Barons versus The British Equitable Assurance Company.” It was an action brought by the widow to recover £200 on a policy effected by her late husband; but we were obliged to give it against her, as some of his statements to the Company were not true. We grieved to do this because she did not know this, and probably came into court strong in the supposed justice of her case.

Fri. July 30. The trial ended about one o’clock on Friday but we were shut up an hour, as we could not agree. The Judge had told us that he was going to empower another Jury, and that we were to be released. But when we came back into Court and gave our verdict, we learnt that he could only get five jurymen, and that he had fined seven absent ones. He therefore took seven of us immediately, without allowing us to go out to get anything to eat, though we had nothing since half past eight in the morning. It was then two o’clock, and had been complaining of hunger for an hour. Finding ourselves shut up again, I observed to some of my fellow sufferers, that we seemed doomed to starvation, to which I was not at all resigned. I beckoned to one of the officers of the court, and gave him a shilling to go out and fetch me half a dozen penny buns - which he did. I eat one and distributed the rest; and this is all we had till we got out at 6 o’clock. The trial was “Lord Clinton and others v. Beavis and another.” It was in fact, to determine in what Manor, or to what person the bed of the river Ex belonged. It was plain throughout that it had, from ancient times, pertained to the Manor of Kenton, in which stands Starcross and Powderham Castle. This was the last case, and we were glad to be released. We had a guinea each for the three first. And two guineas for this last. Returned to Dawlish tired and with a headache.

Note. POH has attached to the diary at this point a copy of proceedings of the trial relating to the ownership of the bed of the river Ex.




Mr. M. Smith, Q.C., Mr. Coleridge. and Youge, were counsel for the plaintiffs; attornies, Messrs. Frere and Co., London. Mr. Slade, Q.C., Mr. Karslake, and Mr. Bere, were counsel for the defendants; attorney, Mr. Adams, Exmouth.

Mr. Yonge having opened the proceedings.

Mr. Smith stated the case. He said that the action was brought by Lord Clinton, Sir J. B. Y. Buller, (if he were Sir J. B. Y. Buller,) and Colonel Buck against Mr. Beavis and his son the defendant. The plaintiffs were trustees under the will of the late Lord Rolle, and this was an action for trespassing on property of the plaintiffs. The land in question was Bull Hill, in the river Exe, and the trespass was the taking of sand and ballast by the defendants. The owner and master of the ship Boyne. The plaintiffs are lords of the manor of Littleham and Exmouth, on the eastern side of the river Exe, and near the mouth of the river. The Earl of Devon is the lord of the manor of Kenton, which is on the side of the river opposite to the manor of Littleham and Exmouth. Kenton was a manor of some importance; it had long been in the family of the Earl of Devon; and included Starcross and part of Teignmouth. The land in which the trespass was committed was between High and low water mark in the river between Starcross on one side and Exmouth. Both manors had had the right of soil between high and low water mark, and it seemed to have been a question as to which manor the bank in question really belonged; and to settle these disputes Lord Rolle commenced an action against the trustees of the Earl of Devon, but the action was stayed by Lord Rolle purchasing Bull Hill for £750, from the trustees of the Earl of Devon‘s manor. This property was conveyed to Lord Rolle in 1840, and the deed of conveyance would be put in evidence. He (Mr. Smith) would next call the attention of the jury to a map, from which they would understand the general features of the cause, and which would arise in the cause. He should have very strong evidence to lay before them that Bull Hill was a part of the manor of Kenton; and they would no doubt think it was not likely that Lord Rolle would have bought the bank if it had belonged to his manor, The conveyance to Lord Rolle comprised the land, sand and soil of Bull Hill. From that time, all the right over the piece of land had been exercised by Lord Rolle, and since his death, by his trustees. The manor of Kenton was a manor before the Norman conquest, and was once the property of Editha. After the conquest it was granted by charter of King John to Queen Isabella; and he (Mr. Smith) should put in the charter to show that Kenton was a manor at that time. Subsequently, the manor was granted in a similar manner by Henry III. To Richard, Earl of Cornwall. He (Mr. Smith) should also put in two inquisitions, one of the third, and one of the fourth of Edward I., which recited that the Manor of Kenton had originally belonged to the predecessors of the King; and mentioned that South Teign was in the Manor of Kenton; and the jury would find that South Teignmouth was now in the Manor of Kenton. The inquisitions showed that they had in the manor wreck of the sea, if it happened on the land of the manor, as well as assizes of bread and gallows. But the material part of the inquisition was, that relating to wreck of the sea. This was in the time of Edward I., and they would find that wreck had been taken in all time as far as the plaintiffs had evidence of it, down to the present day; and this was evidence of right of the soil of the manor. He should show by various old documents, that Bull Hill was in the Manor of Kenton, the boundary of which was Darling Rock, (Lympstone,) and Check-stone Rock. (Exmouth and Starcross,) and as far out at sea as a Humber-barrel could be seen. Anciently courts were held before twelve customers, water courts were held, water bailiffs were appointed, and presentments made of wreck taken, sand and oysters taken, and encroachments made between high and low water. He (Mr. Smith) should show that they took wreck, dredged for oysters, took toll from persons who dredged for oysters, and did not allow any persons to dredge for oysters who were not inhabitants of Kenton, although they allowed others to take mussels, &c., on paying for them. They took anchorage, which was an evidence of right of soil; and what was stronger, they permitted persons to take ballast for ballasting ships, for a considerable period of time, and payment was made for what had been taken at the rate of 4d. per ton. They had not only been paid within living memory but far beyond it, for he was enable to put in leases which referred to that point; and one of these was very important. It was a lease of the anchorage, keelage, and bushelage, and they would find that payments had been made under this lease. He should not multiply evidence more than he thought was necessary in this case, but he should also put in a lease of 1769, and which was a lease of the harbour dues belonging to the manor of Kenton, and the object of the lease was to show them that the place Bull Hill was described as being within the manor. In 1746 the lease of anchorage, keelage, and bushelage included a part of the Den in Teignmouth, which is part of the manor of Kenton, which was a very large manor, including a great deal of land, but it was only with one particular part of the manor that they had now to deal. The Duke of Albemarle was once lord of the manor, and he executed a lease to which was appended his autograph. He (Mr. Smith) would now come to the lease which was made in 1769, a lease to a person called William Fryer and they would find it a very important lease, by which Lord Courtenay, in consideration of a fine of £295 leased to William Fryer, all the ballastage, ancient customs, harbour dues, &c. They would find the exercises of right under that lease; Fryer collected the dues and saw them paid. The son of William Fryer to whom this above lease had been transferred in 1785, took the lease from Lord Rolle of similar privileges on the other side of the river. The latter lease gave to Fryer the liberty to fetch, take and carry away soil, sands, stones, and gravel fit to ballast ships. Fryer paid 20s. a-year under the Kenton lease, and he exercised the right under it to a considerable extent, four pence per ton being taken from all vessels using the ballast, except those ships belonging to the lord of the manor of Kenton. They often found that there was an evasion of a right, and no doubt some ships escaped without the payment of the dues. But they would find that these rights were kept up with considerable care, and that all the ships which ballasted from this place paid this four pence per ton. Since 1829 bailiffs of the manor had been appointed and collected these dues. He believed that the only question would be whether the soil was vested in the Lords of the Manor, or whether the crown had a right to it. The land between high and low water mark, and no doubt the crown was entitled to land of that description if there was no evidence to the contrary, and it so happened that the lords of the manors throughout England, and which manors adjoined land of that description, were found to have the soil, and though the grant might not have been made to them as lords of the manor, yet from the length of time they had been in possession of them, they were presumed to be entitled to them. The pleas which the defendants had put upon the record were numerous, but in substance they came to two or three. They denied the taking, but the plaintiffs would prove that point. They said the plaintiffs were not possessed, and depended on the general evidence; and plaintiffs said they were possessed. They pleaded an immemorial custom for the public to take sand for ballast in favour of navigation; and that they were entitled to take it without payment. These pleas were not only bad law, but in fact. They could not be proved in fact, because whenever the ballast has been taken, a payment had been made for it. Defendants pleaded that they were ready and willing to pay for sand, but the plaintiffs would show the defendants had refused to pay. If defendants had paid them 4d. per ton, this case would not have been tried.

John Toby, who was 71 years of age, stated that he was born at Starcross, and with the exception of about five years, had lived there all his lifetime. In 1815 he was appointed water bailiff; his father was a water bailiff before him. Witness had been told by his father and Mr. Fryer, the then lessees of the ballast, the boundaries of the manor and understood them to be from Daring Rock to a little eastward of Check-Stone Rock. Shilley and Bull Hill were within the boundary. Week is on the Kenton side of the river. Witness was water bailiff till 1838. Witness knew of ships taking ballast from the sand banks in the manor and paying 4d. per ton for it. When my dispute took place about the payment for ballast, witness was called upon to procure payment, and on going to the ship with his silver oar, the money was generally paid. After the lapse of Mr. Fryer’s lease, the ballastage fell to the lord of the manor. Witness had taken possession of wreck in the manor. The owners of the wreck were always found. All the inhabitants were permitted to dredge for oysters; it was a custom. If Exmouth people came to dredge for oysters they were taken before the magistrates and punished. There were no oysters on Shilley and Bull Hill. There was a large number of mussels there. But no notice was taken of these. There was very little anchorage, but if a foreigner came he was charged.

Cross-examined.- Never summoned any persons but Exmouth people for dredging for oysters. Never took any wreck upon Bull Hill.

The court rose at 6 o’clock.

( Note. End of Newspaper Cutting.)

Sat. July 31. Resolved how to get home. Saw my cousin in her room for half an hour; then took the train for Exeter, where I remained some short time. Got on the mail, and was home by seven.

August 1858.

Sun. Augt. 1. At both churches.

Mon. Augt. 2. Though not recovered from my weary week in Exeter I went to a picnic on Dunscombe Cliffs - a very pretty place, where I have not been for some years. We built a fire place with stones, collected wood, and boiled our kettle out of doors. We did more, we boiled our potatoes for dinner beautifully. We dined on the hill; we sang songs and I accompanied them on the flute; and then I gave them some lively tunes, and set them dancing on the grass. We rambled about; down to the beach at Weston, and up again; boiled the water, and had tea. During this time, the lads who drove us had wandered away; so that when we wanted pack up, and go home, there was no one to assist. We therefore had to do everything ourselves. There was some difficulty in catching the mules. Some of the party drove them into a corner, whilst I and others were engaged in collecting the tea things and packing them away. Whilst I was so engaged, and had a tea-pot and cream jug in my left hand, I saw that one of the mules was going to make a bolt and run away; so I went before him to stop him; but he turned and let out his heels at me, and very dexterously kicked the tea-pot out of my hands, and sent it flying. It was a most absurd event. It might have been a serious one; but as it happened it was a very laughable one. As the lads had not come back, I drove home one carriage, and Frederick Walker (of Lime Park) another. They overtook us, running at a great pace, just as we were near Sidmouth.

Tu. Aug. 3. The Exeter cricket club came down; and a match, (which they lost) was played in the Fort field. Took the brass gun down, and fired them a few shots.

Wed. Aug. 4. Finished my researches and my memorandums taken from the documents in the parish Chest kept in the vestry. From these notes and memorandums I now proceed to make my catalogue; and shall number the deeds and books, and arrange them chronologically.

Th. Aug. 5. At a party at Mr. and Miss Digby’s, Fort Field Villa.

Fri. Aug. 6. The Budleigh Salterton Cricket Club over and played the Sidmouth in the Fort Field.

Sun. Aug. 8. At All Saints Church in the morning. During the afternoon took a turn over the wooden bridge over the mouth of the river (the “Alma Bridge”) and partly up Salcombe Hill. Afterwards in the Fort Field. A noise like thunder or great guns was more or less audible for several hours, and continually attracted my attention. The sky was without a cloud, so I could scarcely make it out to be thunder; and there being no fleet in Tor Bay, and the day being Sunday, I could not make it out to be guns. Others had heard it, and declared it to come from Cherbourg. The Queen paid her visit there on the 4th. and following days; and has safely returned; and according to the programme in the papers, The Emperor was to leave to-day in the line-of-battle ship Bretagne for Brest. If it be possible that the sound of guns could come so far, they may have been winding up the fetes by saluting the Emperor on his quitting the port. I have some difficulty in believing it. The distance to the nearest part of the English Coast is about 80 miles; but from Cherbourg to Sidmouth, is about 100. The wind was favourable - a gentle breeze from the southeast.

Tu. Aug.10. Gave a brooch, being a “moss-gate” Sidmouth pebble set in silver, to be shot for by the Sidmouth Archery Club. The match came off to-day, on their ground at Cotmaton; and Miss Radford, eldest daughter of George Radford, Solicitor of Sidmouth, got it.

Th. Aug.12. The Vicar and Mrs. Hamilton had their annual school treat in a field behind the Vicarage. Most of the gentry were invited. The scene was very lively. The weather splendid. The games most energetic. I left at seven; and spent the evening at a party at Lime Park.

Sat. Aug.14. This afternoon we had one of the heaviest showers of rain, accompanied by thunder, I ever recollect. The yard behind the house was full of water, so that it ran into the back kitchen.

So the Atlantic Telegraph is laid, after two unsuccessful attempts. The two ships, each carrying half the cable, met in the middle of the Atlantic, spliced the ends and sailed different ways; one to Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, and the other to Valentia, Galway, Ireland. The feat was accomplished, and messages transmitted, in the forenoon of August the 6th., being yesterday, or Friday week. Captain Mathews, of Sidmouth Lodge, bet Mr. Lousada, of Peak House, £50 to £5 that the undertaking would not succeed. The Captain now looks rather rueful.

Tu. Aug.17. Had tea at Mrs. Halcombe’s, Radway Place.

Th. Aug.19. This morning I was vaccinated. What a whim! The small pox has been flying around the place of late, and several old maids, old bachelors, and old fidgets have had themselves re-vaccinated. Though I was vaccinated in my infancy, and though I go everywhere, and come in contact with all sorts of people, and never trouble my head about danger, or think about infection of any sort, I have amongst my acquaintances, several of these fidgets; and they have been bullying me about vaccination. So, to please them, and satisfy a whim, Dr. Miller did it this morning; and laughted at the whim too.

Fri. Aug.20. Cricket, and cold collation in the Fort Field. We sat down 70 to diner. Undress promanade ball at the London Hotel. I went. Have not been to a public ball these dozen years. Went through three quadrills.

Mon. Aug.23. Dr. Miller called, and looked at my arm. There were three punctures. One is irritating, as if it would rise. Called on the Everetts at 6 York Terrace - a family recently here; amongst whom I hear some follow Botany, some Geology, and so on.

Th. Aug.26. We had a fete on the Archery Ground at Cotmaton to-day. First there was shooting for prizes; then some 60 partook of a Collation with tea and coffee; and then more shooting. It all went off very well.

Sat. Aug. 28. Finished writing out my chronological catalogue of the contents of the Parish Chest, from my rough notes. I must prefix a preface, and Number the documents in the chest, and then my work will be done.

Tu. Aug.31. The Everetts left this morning for Greenhill. Called on young Prout, son of Prout the artist. The widow and three daughters of the artist have lived here (in the Bridge Cottage) for several years. Prout looks about thirty. I suppose he will not equal his father; and I am told he builds to much upon his father’s fame, forgetting the saying that “every man must be the architect of his own fortune.” I saw in the house some good interiors of Norman and French churches by the father. The colouring is rich, mellow, and true.

September 1858.

Thu. Sep. 2. Sidmouth Regatta. The weather has suddenly become unfavourable. It blew strong on shore, with a heavy sea running; nevertheless three yacht’s from Exmouth started. I gave the signals with my brass gun. It then came on to rain; so that the remainder of the shorts were postponed till finer weather.

Mon. Sep. 6. Went to Branscombe and opened a barrow near Bury Camp. Nothing in it. See May 7.

Sat. Sep.10. After breakfast I started for the Dunscombe Cliffs. Walked over the hill and through Salcombe; and then took the fifth gate beyond the lane on the right, beyond the school in Salcombe. This gate takes one by a track across a field into the lane which leads to the cliffs, and is shorter than going to Dunscombe farm. First examined Lincombe Shoot, as I believe the stream is called in the coombe It is reputed to be a petrifying spring. I found stones and pieces of wood covered with a coating of stoney matter, deposited from the lithic quality of the water. Brought home several specimens. Then went to the undercliff, all along the base of the cliff, and at the top of the cultivated patches in mid air above the sea. This cliff scrambling is rather tiring. This is the spot for the geologist. Lay down and eat some bread and cheese and apples. N.B. Apples are a good substitute for drink. Then threw off my coat; and with my chisel and geological hammer, examined the cliff, and passed several hours in digging out fossils. I found Aspleuium marinum on the fissures of the cliff. Returned home somewhat tired, having been eight hours out. Had tea: the most refreshing of meals when wearied.

Sun. Sep. 12. To-day some new organists, candidates for the situation of Organist here, played at the services. Trial next Wednesday.

Wed. Sap. 15. At 3 this afternoon the church was thrown open and nearly half the congregation went in. The three candidates were Mr. Leiman, of Chagford, Mr. Snelling, from London, and Mr. Lawrence, from Weymouth. The Vicar came to the pew where I was sitting, and asked me and Dr. Miller, being musical men, to go up into the Organ Gallery, and direct their play to certain psalms and chants best known to the congregation. This we did, and the trials of the three continued nearly a couple of hours. The Vicar then requested us to adjourn to the Vestry, and discuss the matter. I came in late, for I did not much care who was most approved of. The Earl of Buckinghamshire asked my opinion? And I gave it that Mr. Leiman best managed the organ. This was the general notion; but Mrs. Hamilton, the Vicar’s wife, herself a good musician, and Mrs. Lousada, of Peak House, reminded us that if an organist could be secured who was a good pianist, and could teach the rising generation, in a place where masters are scarce, a great boon would be obtained. The Vicar then proposed to go to the Vicarage, and have a piano trial. Some 30 or 40 of us adjourned there: and Mr. Lawrence managed to turn all opinions in his favour; and the whole company gave him their votes.

Th. Sep. 16. Much dissatisfaction in the town, because Mr. Leiman, who best acquitted himself in the church was not elected. What a pity it is one cannot please everyone!

This evening at half past eight I saw a very compleat lunar rainbow. There was a half noon in the south, with a clear sky: to the north dark thunder clouds, with a shower coming on, and the wind north-east. Colours in the bow were not distinguishable: the bow consisted of a band of pale white light. The weather for the last few days has been as hot as midsummer. Thermometer 68’ this evening in my drawing-room, with two windows open.

Sat. Sep.18. Walked over Salcombe Hill to examine the quarry near the church. Several churches in the neighbourhood have been built from this quarry; and tradition asserts that part of Exeter Cathedral came from here. The quarry consist of beds of sandstone, covered by the usual stratum of flints and clay. It was a geological walk. Found specimens of oysters, and other bivalves - but I looked long before I found a perfect one. They are mostly broken.

Tu. Sep. 21. Sidmouth fair - second day. The remainder of the Regatta sports (see Sep. 2) took place to-day. There were two rowing matches, the signals for which I gave with the gun. After the races were over I amused myself with throwing balls out to sea. They pitch about a mile out, and considerably farther than two collier schooners that were lying off, - much to the amusement of the by standers. Indeed, the gun seems to be taken much interest in by all Sidmouth, for I am generally cheered wherever I appear with it. “Three cheers for Mr. Hutchinson,” were given when I came on the beach. To-day I dispensed with the mule to draw the gun, and used the drag-ropes; having two boys at each rope, and one to hold up the shafts of the limber, myself mounted as usual. They enjoyed the exploit amazingly. They ran with all their might, and rather incautiously round corners, nearly capsizing sundry people. They also took me a run up through the town and back to the beach, just for the fun of it. The sports ended by running matches, jumping in sacks, racing wheelbarrows, grinning through horse collars, and other sports in the Fort Field.

Fri. Sep. 24. Had coffee with Miss. Lister, and spent the evening at Lime Park.

Sat. Sep. 25. Spent the evening with the Leys at Powys.

Sun. Sep. 26. At All Saints church.

Mon. Sep. 27. Left Sidmouth for an excursion. Got on the mail at half past nine in the morning, and arrived in Exeter before twelve. Made for Warminster - by a zig-zag course. Went by rail to Durston, and then across the country to Yeovil. Passed Athelney - a place which calls up remembrances of the romantic story of King Alfred lurking in disguise, at the time the Danes were ravaging his kingdom and murdering his people, when the farmers wife scolded him for letting the cakes burn. This place historians describe as having been a thicket and a swamp. It is a still a dreary flat, intersected by ditches and drains, A great part of it is meadow land; but a large portion is moist, and converted into osier beds.

I had to delay in Yeovil for three hours, so I walked about incessantly to look at the place and neighbourhood. I was here once some years ago for a short time. Went onto Westbury, and then back to Warminster by rail. Did not arrive till nine P.M. Went to the “Bath Arms:” had tea, and to-bed.

Tu. Sep. 28. After breakfast examined the parish church. Took a rubbing of a brass, to the name of Todd. There are several other brasses in the church. Went up the tower to enjoy the view: also examined the bells of which there are five. The metal loops of the two oldest have been broken off. They have bored holes through the tops of the bells, and have fastened them to the beams with iron bars. They ring just as well suspended in this way.

Drove out to Greenhill - two miles and a half - and called on Mr. and Mrs. Everett, recently at Sidmouth. - See August 31.

Returned: took a rambling walk to the top of the Downs, and other hills. Examined the chalk quarries. There is a stratum of flints. The men told me they never found fossils there. I observed the entrenchments of several old camps on the different hills in the neighbourhood.

This evening I took the rail for Bristol. Got there in two hours. Tea and to-bed.

Wed. Sep. 29. Michaelmas Day - beautifully fine. Left Bristol at 8.20 A.M. for Birmingham. Arrived in three hours or so, via Glo’ster, and Droitwich - famous for salt. Visited some of the factories in Birmingham. Got a lodging for a week.

Th. Sep. 30. Left my lodging on account of the bugs. Went to Tipton to see a foundry of great guns this afternoon. Also, made my trip geological, for I collected specimens of iron stone, and met with some specimens of brimstone, highly fossiliferous.

October 1858.

Fri. Oct. 1. Went to look at Aston, near Birmingham. First went into the church. There are some splendid monuments with recumbent figures on them, in the choir. Then went to Aston Hall, an old brick mansion, standing in the park, recently bought by Birmingham people, to turn into museum and place of entertainment. The Queen recently went down to open it. I went into a small display room she occupied. There is the wash-hand jug and basin she used when she washed her hands, and the towel on the horse, somewhat crumpled. The towel amused me more then anything.

Sat. Oct. 2. Went to Tipton near Dudley again. This was to collect some fossils from some heaps of stone raised from the pits, and belonging to the coal measures. I omitted to do this the other day.

This afternoon I took the rail for Lichfield, and found John at his old quarters in the Close, being again, as last year, in residence.

Sun. Oct. 3. Twice at the Cathedral.

Mon. Oct. 4. Examined the Cathedral. The repairs in the choir progress; but it is necessarily slow work. John, as Precentor and Canon, in the absence of the Dean, superintends everything.

Went with John this evening by rail to Blurton near Trentham.

Tu. Oct. 5. Walked over to see Redbank, and Normacott churches, built since I was last here.

Called on Mr. John Harvey, who lives near Blurton parsonage. I had not seen him for more than 20 years - actually more than 20 years. Miss Harvey, whom I remember a little thing a year or two old, is now an eligible young woman. Her father has an anxiety. He spent the early part of his life in making a fortune - a large one; and he has an only child. His anxiety is - into whose hands the child and the fortune will fall. She has many suitors, of course. I told him to look for a steady man, and one who has a profession. He shock his head and said it was difficult to find.

This evening the comet was splendid - marvellous. To-day, or to-morrow, it is at it’s nearest, to the earth. The tail is as long as the constellation Great Bear. It was something like the annexed sketch. I shall never see the like again.

Wed. Oct. 6. Left Blurton. Took a walk in Trentham Park. Took the rail for Stone. Walked about Stone. There is in the churchyard, at the west end, an alter tomb, with two fine recumbent figures in stone lying on it. The name on a brass plate is Crompton. The mans feet are broken all broken off. it’s a pity it is exposed to the weather. Missed the train, and had to wait three hours for the next: and then, could get no further then Stafford.

Th. Oct. 7. Having slept at Stafford, went out to look at the place, after an absence of 20 years. I supposed it has much improved. There is a Russian gun in the squire, like those at Exeter, Newark, Boston, &c. Took the rail, and got to Lichfield.

F. Oct. 8. Went to see some Horsemanship, &c, &c., with the Misses. Hadson, daughters of the late Archdeacon, and sisters of the Captain Hodson, who so distinguished himself in quelling the Indian Mutiny.

Sat. Oct. 9. Made a coloured drawing of a monument in Lichfield Cathedral.

Sun. Service twice in the Cathedral.

Mon. Oct. 11. Collected some specimens of the “American weed,” as it is sometimes called. This troublesome weed has become formidable during the last ten or twelve years in this country, or at least, throughout the Midland Counties. It is filling up canals, ponds, lakes, and all stagnant or slowly running waters. Some people say that the seeds of the plant were imported along with timber from America, and grew when accidentally dropped in the water: but a higher account says that the first specimen was brought from America by a Mr. Babington, who placed it as a curiosity in the Botanical garden at Cambridge. If a portion is dipped in the water, and touches the bottom, it throws out roots and grows. The lake in Trentham Park is seriously spoilt by it, much to the Duke’s chagrin. I have not yet learnt the true Botanical name; but the learned call it Pesta Bahingtoma. The lower orders at Lichfield and other parts of Staffordshire, term it “the Derbyshire Weed’” alleging that the bows of the canal boats, having torn up some portions of it, transported it along the canals, and dropped it where it has grown. I have not heard of it in the south of England: and I mean to dry my specimens before I take them there.

Wed. Oct. 13. Spent the morning at Archdeacon Moor’s. Mrs. Moor, who has a great talent for drawing, showed me a number of her coloured sketches, taken in many places and countries. She has now a great work in hand. She has undertaken to make coloured drawings of every church in the district - one exterior and one interior. She has already done about one third.

Th. Oct. 14. Left Lichfield for London.

Fr. Oct. 15. Got into a lodging at 24 Great Russell Street, to be near the British Museum.

Sat. Oct. 16. Saw Mr. Panizzi the head Librarian, at the Museum, and had a talk with him about a volume of MS, letters, once at Buckingham Palace, but now thought to be in the Museum. Mr. Panizzi instituted a search, but could not find it. He suggested my writing to Mr. Glover, to see whether it could be found at the Palace - which I have done. These were private letters written by Governor Hutchinson and Lieut. Governor Oliver, from America, to members of the government in England, but in some unaccountable way they were purloined - copies taken by Benjamin Franklin or his agents, - sent out, and printed in Boston. Of late we have had a suspicion that Governor Pownall was a part concerned, though neither Lord Makon (Earl Stanhope) nor any other historian, alludes to him in the enquiry. Pownall had been Governor of part of North America, but was subsequently M.P. in England; and not well affected to the Royalist side. If another volume of the Governor’s History is brought out, an examination of these letters is desirable. My Cousin, the Precentor of Lichfield, tells me that Thompson, Count Rumford, having got possessed of them, or acting for others, offered them to Governor Hutchinson, but that the Governor kicked him out of the house, or something of that sort; and that they were afterwards offered to the King, and were then deposited in the Library of Buckingham Palace, where John Hutchinson (the Proctor) once saw them. * Spent several hours in the Geological Museum in Jermyn Street.

* See Diary and Letters of Governor Hutchinson, 2 vols, lately published by us. It is all explained there.


Sun. Oct. 17. At the Temple Church in the morning. Went down the river in a steamer to Rotherhithe. Went to church. Had tea at the Rectory, with the Rev. Ed. Blick and my cousin, his wife.

Mon. Oct. 18. Again at the Geological Museum. Obtained the names of several of my Sidmouth fossils belonging to the Greensand. Showed some of the authorities some specimens of the stalk-like fossil from High Peak Hill. They were puzzled. Will send them Some.

Tu. Oct. 19. Wet day. Spent several hours in the Reading Room of the British Museum.

Wed. Oct. 20. Finer. Walked to Wapping - four miles. Went to examine some iron guns. Want a three-pounder, which I think I could mount on the same carriage that I had made for the Bornes brass gun. Messrs. Tyzack and Co. had two-pounders. They charge 18/-s per hundred weight, the two-pounder weighing 2cwt. They cast their guns with hollow cores, and sell them without proving - which I find is common practice. Baily and Co. had 2 and 4 pounders, and larger guns, up to 56-pounders, but no 3-s. They make for the government, charge higher, but I think their guns better. They Cast solid, and drill out the bore. They charge £1..4 the cwt. For 3-pounders; and their 2-pounders weigh 3cwt. Their length is 3 feet 3 inches. The 4-pounders are too heavy for my carriage, I think. They are 3 .. 6’ long, and weigh 5cwt. They Cost £1..3 the cwt: but I suspect that in either case I could get them to strike off the shillings. For iron shot they charge 12/-s the cwt.; and for quill percussion fuses 12/-s a 100.

Returned westward. Took steamer at the Tunnel Pier for Hungerford Bridge. The river was covered with shipping in motion, and very lively. Walked to Great Russell Street.

Fri. Oct. 21. Mr. Glover, in his reply from Windsor Castle, (See Oct. 16.) says the volume of letters is not in the Royal Collection. What am I to do now. It must be somewhere. I will to-morrow show Mr. Panizzi his letter, and see what he says; for both the Librarians say it is not in either of their respective libraries. They must look again.

Note added later. They were Mr. Pownall’s Letters. I have now two printed copies of Governor H.s Letters. See (??)

Fri. Oct. 22. Went down to see Woolwich, after an interval of several years. Went down by the river, and the same was very lively. The monster ship, the Great Eastern, lies unfinished off Deptford. Some say she is too large ever to go to sea. I don’t think so. On Woolwich common I witnessed some shell practice. The shells, flying through the air, looked just like great footballs, kicked higher and further than we generally see. Indeed, what struck me most was, the great height they seemed to attain, and how they made a great curve, creeping along apparently close under the clouds. Returned also by the river.


Having walked back to Devizes, I took the rail to Bristol. 1
Had an hour in Bristol to walk about. Then started for
Exeter, where I arrived at half past eight, too late for the
Sidmouth coach. Had tea at the Hotel and to bed.

Thu. Nov.4- Procured a porous clay cylindrical cell
for electrotyping. Took a walk from the railway works under
Northernhay, now forming, towards St.Sidwells, to examine
the cutting geologically. Remarked a great number of
igneous boulders,or rather fragments,which the navvies turned
out, and a great mass of igneous rock, apparently outliers of
the igneous rock of Rougemont Castle. Further east one may
see the junction of the red sandstone with the slate.
Got on the mail at 4p.m. and was home by half past six.

Fri. Nov.5- Was greeted this morning, as usual, by sundry
old popes. Gave a shilling as a contribution for getting wood
to make a fire. Had tea at Mrs. Walkers, Lime Park.

Mon. Nov.8- Took a walk on the beach to the foot of High
Peak Hill, to look for the apparent organic remains I
mentioned in the Geological Museum, Oct. 18. There was not
a breath of wind under the cliffs and as the sky was cloudless,
the sun came down brightly. This combined with the exercise
made it feel as hot as midsummer. Collected a quantity of
specimens of short lengths. These I piled in a heap and
marked the spot. One was like a piece of the trunk of a tree,
some two feet long and about one foot diameter. As these are
so heavy, I think I must go over in a boat and collect them.
Collected also a quantity of nodules as round as musket balls,
from the size of a pea, up to the size of a 4-pound shot.
Found 29 in a hollow among the rocks at low water, not more
than a yard across. Brought home half a pocket full, when
broken they exhibit a lustrous, yellow appearance, like pyrite
[ See June 12 and 25]


Wen. Nov.10- Sent to the Museum of Geology in Jermyn Street,
London, some specimens of the branch like fossils from the
new red sandstone of High Peak Hill, and a mass of shells
from the Greensands of Salcombe Hill.

Fri. Nov.12- Went again to the foot of High Peak. My heap of
specimens, picked up last Monday till I can take them away
in a boat are safe. I was afraid the waves might have reached
them and done them harm. I cannot move them yet, as the sea
is so rough. Took the cast of a shell In a large flint lying at the
foot of Peak Hill, too heavy to bring home, with Plaster of
Paris which I carried there on purpose. Wetted the Plaster from
a spring issuing from the cliff.

Thu. Nov.18- The great bell at Westminster was first sounded
with the hammer and clapper today, having recently been
hoisted into the Clock Tower, and fixed in its place.
It weighs 13tons 10cwts 3q's 15lbs: measures 7f 10in high and
9f 6in in diameter at the mouth. Its note is 'E'. It took 8 men
32 hours to raise it. Of the 4 quarter bells, the largest weighs
4½ tons and is 6f in diameter at the mouth: note 'B'. The
second 2 tons: 4f 7in diameter: note 'E'. The third 1½ tons:
3f 11in diameter: note 'G'. All have hammers and the great
bell a clapper weighing six hundredweight. The clapper, which
brings out the fullest sound, will only be used in times of
national mourning.

Fri. Nov. 19-Called at the Vicarage. Gave Mr. Hamilton £5
towards the restoration of the parish Church, soon to be begun,
with an intimation that more would be forthcoming before
the work is completed.


Sat. Nov.20-At last a quiet morning, though cold, with the sea as
calm as a lake. Hired a boat and went to Picket Rock Cove for
my fossils. (See Nov.12) It was milder on the water than on
the land. Took two sailors. We had a pleasant row down. Put
into the cove, collected the fossils and carried them to the
boat and again put off. Told them to go through the narrow
channel inside Little Picket Rock. Returned and had the cargo
taken to Coburg Terrace in a hand cart.

Mon. Nov.22-Went to Gutteres's sale of the furniture at

Tue. Nov.23-After breakfast went to the top of Peak Hill with my
geological hammer. Searched the gravel pits. Got only a small
petrified sponge (apparently) out of a flint. Intended to have
explored the Undercliff, but there was a cold and strong east
wind sweeping along, " Enough to cut a ship in two," so I


Thu. Dec. 9- A party at home – members of the Archery Club.
Whilst Miss. Alice Stephenson was seated on the music stool,
one of the legs broke and sent her all along on the floor.
I was at the other end of the room talking to her mother, when
the room was electrified, first by a tumble down, then by a
scream and then by a burst of laughter among the girls.

Thu. Dec. 16- Discovered a piece of stone built into the south
wall of the chancel, outside, having a Norman zig-zag
moulding on it. This is a remnant of an older church at

Fri. Dec. 17- At a vestry meeting called to consider the plans for
rebuilding the chancel and other works connected with the
church, it was found necessary to adjourn to the Town Hall.
Mr. Hamilton, the vicar, presided. There was some contention
respecting the re-seating the body of the church and a
committee was formed of which I was one. [see my book
headed "Restoration of Sidmouth Parish Church" in which I
enter all particulars.]

Mon. Dec. 20- First meeting of the new committee, at the

Fri. Dec. 24- Second meeting, at the same place.
This morning at daylight Henry Conant, a fisherman, with his
companions, in a boat, having gone out to catch herrings,
entangled a large fish in their net which at last they brought to
the shore. It measured eleven feet four inches long. If I may
judge by the description given in books, It is the “Delphinus
Tursio” [See my account of the capture, written for Harvey's
Sidmouth Directory for next mouth.] The sailors knew nothing
about it. It is surprising how ignorant the fishermen here are
about the differences between even the common large fish on
this coast, such as the shark or dogfish and the porpoise tribe.
At a party at Dr. and Mrs. Millers.


Sat. Dec. 25- Christmas day:- Mild with incessant rain. We have
had more rain during the last two months than we had had for
two years before. (See March 31etc.,etc.) At All Saints church.
Dined this evening at the Luke's at Primley Hill, Sidbury
Parish. I don't approve of the practice of dining out on Xmas
Day. The remembrance of the church service is too closely
mingled with wine and flirtation.

Sun. Dec. 26- At both churches.

Tue. Dec. 28- Dined at Mrs. Walbrige's

Wed. Dec. 29- A Party at Mrs. Ley's, at Powys. Home at 12.
Thu. Dec. 30- Finished a drawing of the great fish.

Fri. Dec. 31- This morning the fish was taken beyond the mouth
of the Sid on the beach, to have the oil boiled out. It was
entirely covered with a coat of blubber or hard fat, about an
inch thick on the sides, but three or four inches thick on the
back. The dorsal fin was merely a prolongation of this fat,
without any bone or muscle in it. Strange to say, four bullets
and a stone marble (such as boys play with) were found
embedded in the fat and the skin was entirely healed over.
They were of different sizes and had apparently been fired
into the fish at different times. I saw them cut out and I have
preserved them. Spent the evening at Lime Park.

< Go back to the previous page

Contact Us

East Devon AONB Partnership
Kennaway House
Coburg Road, Sidmouth
EX10 8NG

Tel: 01404 46663

Email : info@eastdevonaonb.org.uk

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

Follow Us:twitter logo

'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson' outputs

An introductory leaflet to 'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson' (pdf)

A summary of our Peter Orlando Hutchinson Year 1 achievements (pdf)

About 'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson'

In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson (2010-2013) has been delivered by the East Devon AONB Partnership on behalf of and with the financial support of Defra, Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund (Your Heritage) and the Sid Vale Association's Keith Owen Trust Fund.

Phil Planel is your first point of contact for this cultural and historic landscapes project.

Find out more >