Dragonfly

POH Transcripts - 1859

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SIDMOUTH, JAN. 1859

Sat. Jan.1- Went down to the fish again. Several gallons of oil were procured. The carcass was opened. The anatomy was like that of a land animal. The flesh looked like coarse red beef. Assisted in cutting off the head, the skull of which I had set my heart on getting, but Heneage Gibbes, son of the incumbent of All Saints, also wanted it; and as he took the trouble to dissect off the greater part of the flesh ( a disagreeable job) I let him have it without dispute. The blow-hole was double, that is, like two nostrils close together. For sanitary reasons, the carcass was towed out to sea and set adrift. In the afternoon, took a botanical walk to Salcombe to look for a particular fern,which I procured---the Asplenium Ruta Muraria--- To point it out to a young man who is here on a botanical visit. Found it afterwards in Sidmouth churchyard. Mon. Jan. 3- Went with him up Sweetcombe valley to look for the Osmunda Regalis but failed in the search. First we went to Snodbrook, where they have just made a stone bridge and spoiled the picturesqueness of the spot, then to Harcombe, then the greater part of a mile on the eastern flank of Bucker Hill, where the mud was miserable, then up the hill in a field for the fern; then having looked in vain,we mounted on the crown of the hill,to avoid the mud we had encountered in the valley,cut across it on the heath and descended towards Snodbrook and home. Fri. Jan. 7- I dined at the Lousada's at Peak House. We sat down fifteen to dinner at a round table. The days of King Arthur are come back, or at all events one of the fashions thereof. Many ladies came in the evening. We had chatting and music, and I was scolded for not having put my flute in my pocket.
( My flute doesn't dine out )

Sun. Jan. 9- Beautiful day. After some two months rain, the weather seems to have again settled. After church, walked over Salcombe hill to see the new quarry which they have opened at a spot on the slope of the hill on the Sidmouth side of Salcombe Brook and at about half way between Salcombe church and the sea, or nearer the sea and nearly over the farm house. The stone for the rebuilding of some parts of the parish church, now in contemplation, is to be brought from here, indeed some has been brought. Some of the blocks which I had seen appeared to me to be so soft and so friable that I was not satisfied with it. On examining the quarry, I see that the upper stratum is the best. Found one or two fossil shells.

Mon. Jan. 10- Committee meeting at the vicarage about the church. Sold my horse chestnut tree at the further end of the field and today it was loosened all round the root and felled. I condemned it for two reasons:- first, nothing would grow under it, second , I never could keep the place neat after the blossoms and nuts came, for the boys were perpetually throwing stones and breaking my hedge down to get them. I mean to plant a young sycamore or lime tree in the place of it. I have selected a lime

Tue. Jan. 11- At an evening party at the vicarage. Had music, chatting and supper.

Tue. Jan. 18- My lecture was announced for tonight. Inadvertently, the committee of the institution forgot that there was to be a tradesman's ball this evening at the London Inn, so that after the bills were printed and out, they had to be called in and others printed for next Thursday the 20th. but after that was done Lord and Lady Buckinghamshire issued cards for a ball for Thursday and I found that I should lose many of my gentry. In this predicament a sudden thought struck me, that I would pretend that my cousin Miss.Roberton at Dawlish was taken dangerously ill and that I must go over. Notices were printed and sent to all the principal inhabitants regretting my 'unavoidable absence', and appointing my lecture for Tuesday next. The crier was also sent round the town. But instead of going over, I shut myself up in my house for 4 days and drew the blinds down. Not a soul in the place new the trick except Mrs. Webber my housekeeper.

Sat. Jan. 22- Today I was supposed to return from Dawlish.

Sun. Jan. 23- Went to both churches to show that I had really come home and when my friends hoped that my cousin was better, I nearly burst out laughing.

Mon. Jan. 24- At a party at Mr. and Mrs. Clements (Mr. Clements
one of the curates). Mr. Hamilton, the vicar told me there was a report about, that my cousin was dead and that she had left me a fortune. I laughed and said that she was neither dead, nor had she left me a fortune, and as she had poorer cousins than myself, I did not expect she would ever leave me one halfpenny.

Tue. Jan. 25- And my lecture did come off and I had a very good audience. My subject ,'On the restoration of churches in general and on that of Sidmouth church in particular', and in spite of its apparent gravity, managed to make my hearers laugh a good deal.

Thu. Jan. 27- Dined with the King's at Blossom house, on the beach. We sat down twelve. I took Miss. Lockwood, (sister of Mrs. North, Salcombe Hill) to the dining room. In the evening we had some music.

Fri. Jan. 28-Spent the evening with the Ley's, at Powys, where I met Mr. Latimer (of the 'Western Times') and his two daughters, very agreeable young ladies.

Sat. Jan. 29- Mr. Ley and Mr. Latimer came to me after breakfast. We chatted for half an hour and then took a walk to the top of Peak Hill. Dined at Powys with them and a small party.

Mon. Jan. 31- Beautiful day, for a wonder. Repaired the fixings of my flagstaff. Attended a committee meeting at the vicarage, about the church. See my book about it.

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SIDMOUTH, FEB. 1859

Thu. Feb. 3- At a party at the Luke's, Primley Hill. We had music, dancing, tableaux, acting charades and supper.

Fri. Feb. 4- Lunched at Lime Park and started for Sidbury, It began to rain, but I went on. Went into Sidbury church and looked round it. The south wall of the chancel leans out and is dangerous, they talk of restoring it. Spent the evening at the vicarage with the Fellowes's. Gave them a sovereign for their chancel. Walked home. Very dark, still raining and roads very muddy.

Sun. Feb. 6- At a party at Dr. & Mrs. Miller's. Music, dancing.

Sat. Feb. 12- At a party at the Ley's at Powys. Music, acting charades, etc.

Mon. Feb. 14- Valentines. This evening I repeated my lecture at the London Inn, as given on the 25th of last mouth. I gave it tonight for the benefit of the 'Mechanics Institute', the time before for that of the 'Institution'.

Tue. Feb. 15- All the morning in the field, mending the railings. - Went over to 'Hook Ebb', being the foot of Maynard's Hill, walked along the beach, examined the cliff (all red marl at the base) and looked out for specimens of celestine or sulphate of strontium. One specimen, and only one that I ever heard of, was found near Salcombe Mouth, It is crystalised, heavy and blue or slightly green, when wet. Looked in vain. The immense quantities of rock, fallen down from the greensand formation above and resting on the beach at the point of the hill furnish a great supply of fossils. Procured a few new ones. Examined the gypsum beds. Looked in vain for a specimen of 'Mountain leather', or gypsum having the appearance of asbestos. Returned home after a 5 hours walk.

Thu. Feb. 24- Spent the evening at Powys.

Sat. Feb. 26- Went again to Hook Ebb for fossils.The tunnel made from the mouth of the Sid, some three quarters of a mile through the cliff in 1837, to fetch stone from Hook Ebb to construct the proposed harbour, still remains as a monument of foolishness. Beyond it, over to Hook Ebb, in places are seen the piles on which the rail was made. Procured two or three more new fossils and found others for which I must again come.

Mon. Feb. 28, and last- Spent the evening at Mrs Vaughan's, at piano and flute duets, at 1, Denby Place, and wound up with a game of 'Tivoli' or Chinese Billiards (a new game to me) with the children.

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SIDMOUTH, MAR. 1859

Tue. Mar. 1-A small party at home, ten ladies and four gentlemen, besides myself. I generally elect the oldest married lady as the lady of the house for the evening. I was disappointed of two or three of my singers so we danced all the evening, instead of having music. We had supper at eleven and broke up at twelve.

Wed. Mar. 2- Church committee meeting, held in the vestry. We went into the church and made a number of measurements and calculations about pews & seats.

Thu. Mar. 3- Walked out to Sidford immediately after breakfast to see John Pound, one of the last remaining followers of Joanna Southcott, who has several sons in Australia living near my sister, concerning whom I had news for the parents. Found old Mrs. Pound home, told her my news and received some messages from her to send out. Something led to speak of her husband and his religious views, for she is a church woman. She told me husband was turned to this way of thinking by a man called Bailey, who died at Sidford or there about, some years ago. There was also another called Johnson (whom I remember) who was found dead in his room a few months ago. Pound is the last in Sidford. She told me that his conversion, or perversion, had been a source of much misery to her. He believes he shall never die, but be translated to heaven. Those who die, were not 'true israelites'. They never shave, perform their religious duties in secret and practise circumcision. She told me the queer bit of news, that her husband was circumcised about a dozen years ago.

Fri. Mar. 4- Walked to Hook Ebb, dug out fossils and made a plaster cast of a large one I marked the other day.

Wen. Mar. 9- First day of lent. Service at church in the morning.

Fri. Mar. 10- Again at Hook Ebb. Every time I go I find two or three new specimens. I should be glad to bring out a new edition of my geology, for the first was a childish production and is wrong in two or three places. I started this morning at 9.30 and got back at 6.30, 9 hours and I only sat down whilst I discussed my sandwiches and sucked an orange. I would have given a trifle for something to drink. Towards the latter part of the day, I drew from a spring that issued from the cliff and used the water also to make a plaster cast of a shell from the matrix in a great stone, having come provided with iron hammer and chisels and every pocket full of fossils, it was a weary walk home over the loose shingle of the beach. Had tea (I forget how many cups I drank). There is nothing like tea after a fagging walk.

Fri. Mar. 11- Felt very stiff this morning. Repaired some of my cracked fossils. I once tried glue, but I found that the moisture contained in the stone prevented its drying. I have some specimens which I glued several months ago and the glue is still quite wet and useless. I now use 'Robinson's liquid glue', which is shellac and it seems to answer.

Tue. Mar. 15- At an evening party of young folks at Mrs. Walker's at Lime Park, given for her granddaughter Eleanor. Music, supper and dancing, how we did dance! I went through quadrilles and lancers,with Eleanor Walker, Miss. Boltons, one or two, Miss. Creighton, Miss. Josephine Stephenson, Mrs. H.Jenkins and some others. For the more active dances I played a flute accompaniment to the piano.

Fri. Mar. 18- Spent the evening at Mrs. Bolton's, Sidlands.

Tu. Mar. 22- Dined at Lime Park,where there was a friendly party of young folks.

Wen. Mar. 23- Took a walk to the Dunscombe Cliffs with Mrs. Jenkins of Lime Park and her niece Eleanor Walker, and three Miss. Boltons. Two donkeys assisted the ladies. The distance is about three miles out. After we had discussed our sandwiches on the hill, I took two of the girls a scramble along the undercliff, where I go for fossils.[See Sept. 10. 1858.] We all returned home tired.

Thu. Mar. 24- An evening party at Dr. & Mrs. Miller's. We were some of us rather stiff in the limbs from yesterday's walk.

Sat. Mar. 26- Mr. Latimer of the Exeter 'Western Times' called and had a chat. Spent the evening at Mrs. Vaughan's and had flute and piano duets.

Tue. Mar. 29- Walked to Sidbury. Had tea at the vicarage.

Thu. Mar. 31- Walked to the Dunscombe Cliffs again. Went along the beach: entered at Salcombe Mouth: mounted Maylands Hill: saw two swallows, the first this year: placed three short tobacco pipes in the brook at Lincombe Shoot, to see if they will get coated with stone: (see Sept.10. 1858) Went to the cliffs and passed several hours hunting for fossils and extracting them. I believe, however, that I have now pretty well exhausted this locality. Eat my sandwiches and two oranges, having no other drink. On returning, I struck inland and passed through Salcombe, having been out eight hours. Drank at the public pump in Salcombe village, I was so thirsty.

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SIDMOUTH, APR. 1859

Sun. Apr. 3- At church twice at All Saints and once at St. Giles.

Mon. Apr. 4- All the morning painting wire flower supports and flower stands for the garden.

Tue. Apr. 5- Dined at Mrs. Stephenson's at Myrtle Cottage, Salcombe parish.

Wen. Apr. 6- At an evening party at Mrs. Digby's. Vestry meeting to consider a proposed meeting at the Town Hall tomorrow.

Thu. Apr. 7- Meeting at the town hall about the church restorations, the vicar in the chair. All we members of the committee were of course present. The meeting was better attended than I had expected. The only actual fact brought forward was that the faculty for rebuilding the chancel and doing the other proposed works will be granted as soon as the money is subscribed. We want £1,500 before we pull down a single stone. We have about £1,100. I spoke for a quarter of an hour.

Tue. Apr. 12- Saw in a London paper, an account of some bush fires, which swept through the Hindmarsh Valley, in Australia, with extracts from the accounts sent to the Adelaide papers by Mr. Y.B.Hutchinson, whom I of course recognize as being my brother. The heat and dryness of the weather had rendered the vegetation very combustible. It had been seen on fire on the hills, but at last the wind drove it into the valley. It came sweeping along, irresistibly burning up corn and other crops, ricks and even houses. Many persons are ruined. My brother seems to have suffered in some degree, I shall anxiously wait for a letter from him. This evening at Mr. Clements 'Lecture on Poetry'.

Wed. Apr. 13- Spent the evening at Lime Park. Five of us put down a shilling each, the price of a lady's worked collar and played cards for it. I won it and gave it to Elsie Church, one of Mrs.Walker's granddaughters.

Thu. Apr. 14- Had tea and music at Mrs. Vaughan's.

Sat. Apr. 16- Amused myself nearly all day trimming trees, lombardy poplars and the elm. Made my arms and shoulders ache not a little.

Mon. Apr. 18- Took a walk along the beach under High Peak Hill. I intended to have gone at the time of the equinox nearly a month ago, as the lowest tides in the year occur at such periods. It was full moon yesterday and though some weeks after the equinox, the tide descended low enough to allow me to get upon Little Picket Rock. I recollect once getting upon it years ago.

Tue. Apr. 19- Walked to the summit of Peak Hill, to see the ground destined for the yeomanry cavalry about the end of May. Returned by Mutters Moor.

Thu. Apr. 21- Went where I never went before, out over the sea face of Peak Hill on the undercliff, to see if I could find any traces of the old road to Otterton, said to have passed that way till about 80 or 90 years ago. They seem to be nearly all obliterated. Query ! Did it ? Old men say so.

Thu. Apr. 28- Meeting at vestry, adjourned for more room to the Town Hall. The vicar has lost his wife's father and being absent, J.B.Lousada, churchwarden, in the chair. The Earl of Buckinghamshire was there and took part, the first time I ever saw him at a parish meeting. The business was, the election of the same churchwardens as last year, the passing of a rate of 3d in the pound (after much opposition from the absentees) for the organists’ salary, the sextons Do., the clerks Do. A rate of the same amount, e.g. 3d in the pound (which produces in this parish about £106) was proposed for enclosing and walling the new piece of burying ground bought last year, but refused. The Chairman demanded a pole and the vestry is to be open next Monday & Tuesday for people to record their votes. The organist's election was also confirmed at this meeting.

Fri. Apr. 29- Made William May, the gardener's will, leaving his wife all his personal property. Witnessed his mark 'X' together with Thomas Newman. He destroyed it before he died. Spent nearly the whole day in making experiments in electro engraving on zinc, according to Devincenzi's plan. The first trial was of a fossil shell, the EXOGYRA DIGITATA.

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SIDMOUTH, MAY 1859

Mon. May 2- At a party at Mrs. Hamilton's (the vicar's mother) at Myrtle Hall.

Tue. May 3- All day at Honiton, at the concert etc. Home at 3 in the morning.

Fri. May 6- Had tea at Mrs. Walker's, Lime Park, one of her granddaughter's “Elsie” Church, being there and her friend Miss. Ward. Won at cards, a pair of bead ornaments for candlesticks.

Sat. May 7- After breakfast went again to High Peak Hill. Went out over and explored the sea face of the cone. Searched it carefully, both for geological specimens and for any stray antiques from the camp above. Pulled out a tooth, like of a young horse from the eastern end where the charcoal is. Near the western end found a piece of pottery and some bones, but as yet I will not venture to give an opinion on them. All the greensand fossils in this hill are broken to pieces. Today arrived from the Smethwick foundry, near Birmingham my new 3-pound iron gun. If any of our enemies try to invade us at Sidmouth, I shall be able to give them a warm reception. It is 4f [long] about 8in. In diameter at the breech and weighs 3wt. 2qrs. 20lbs. It cost £3-3-0 At another place I was asked £5. Carriage from Birmingham, 13s.

Mon. May 9- Went up on Peak Hill to see part of the Sidmouth troop of yeomanry exercise, preparatory to the general meeting on the 19th. Some of the men, as well as some of the horses, decidedly want practice.

Sat. May 14- Busy all the week getting alterations made in the old gun carriage in order to adapt it to the new gun.Work people in Sidmouth are generally complaining that business is very dull, that they have not got enough to do and that they wish times were better: and yet curiously enough, when one finds them a job, there is no getting them to work. If one turns one's back, they either stand idle, or else they take up some other work or occupation. As I am anxious to get the gun mounted before the yeomanry cavalry come in on the 19th I find it necessary to stand over them and even work with them. In this way I can make them move and this is the only way.

Thu. May 19- This morning the town was all alive. Flags were flying and triumphal arches of laurel spanning the streets. The soldiers were to meet on Peak Hill at 2 P.M. The gun and limber being all ready, I determined to go up and meet them. The gun is of iron, but nevertheless by rubbing it over yesterday with some drying oil and then dusting over it a little bronze powder and here and there a little green paint which looked like verdigris, it was taken for a brass gun. I ascended by way of Cotmaton, Jenny Pine's Corner and Mutters Moor, because the ascent is more gradual. On reaching the summit (rather a hard pull) I found a full array of cavalry, I believe nearly 500. My appearance soon attracted their attention: and the more so when I unlimbered loaded and fired. I made a circuit of the hill and fired four times. I was surprised to find that I was heard down in Sidmouth, though I only put in half charges. I descended along with the regiment, by way of the cliff, Peak House, Cotmanton, Mill Lane and down the town to the beach.

Sat. May 21- Drove the gun to the esplanade. Fired one charge there this evening at parade on the beach and another in the Fort Field.

Sun. May 22- There was an early service at nine for the soldiers. Went to see them march in, headed by their band playing anything but psalm tunes.

Mon. May 23- This evening at parade I drove the gun round the Fort field and then took up a station near Fort Cottage and fired six ½ pound charges, the last 10 ozs.

Wen. May 25- The review took place today. The weather was beautiful. I walked up solus via Five fields and right up the side of the hill. The place on the summit was like a fair and the area surrounded by people and vehicles of all sorts. Met several friends sauntering about. Selected a good station and a comfortable seat, with the wind and the sun at my back. The evolutions were very well performed, the skirmishing and the firing being the most amusing.During the melee of one charge, I saw a gray horse roll over in the dust and throw his rider. The rider was Lord Courtenay. In the evening I dined at the mess. We sat from 7 till 10. Came home instead of going to the ball, as most did. But Lieut. John Wolcott, of Knowle, who has my stable and a spare room, came home, when I lent a hand to set him up in full dress to go. Sat up writing letters and reading till---.

Thu. May 26- Till four o'clock in the morning of another day. Put out the candles, drew up the blinds and let in the daylight. Wolcott returned. To bed soon after. Breakfast at 10. The soldiers left during the day. Not sorry this campaign is over. Fri. May 27- At a small party at Lime Park.

Mon. May 30- At six p.m. There was a public meeting at the Town Hall,to consider a circular from the Lord Lieutenant of the county (Earl Fortescue) on the subject of forming a Rifle Corps. Considering the uncertain position of political affairs on the continent, the government has expressed a wish that Volunteer Rifle Corps should be embodied all over the country. Gustavus Smith Esq. J.P. Was in the chair. As people are required to find their own rifles and equipment, everybody pleaded poverty and little was done. Mr. Lousada read a letter from the Earl of Buckinghamshire, in which the Earl expressed his willingness to subscribe £20 if money was wanted. A committee was formed and matters will stand over till parliament meets in a few days, when it is expected that the subject of Volunteer Rifle Corps will be brought before the house.

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SIDMOUTH, JUNE 1859

Wed. June 1- After breakfast I was sent for to come down to the Preventive House to witness practice with the mortar. The men are now and then exercised at throwing a ball to which a rope is attached. This is employed when it is desired to effect a communication with a wreck. At night, they use a ball into which a fuse or portfire or blue light, is inserted, like the fuse of a shell, by which the course of the ball through the air is seen in the dark. Both kinds were tried today and succeeded well. I showed the commanding officer some of my friction tubes with which I fire the gun and used in the Royal Artillery, but not in the Navy. They were new to him and he was much taken with them. I told him I would fire his mortar with one if he liked. He readily assented. I fired the third shot and I gave him one as a specimen. One of the men, who was on board one of our ships in the Baltic during the Russian war three years ago, saved part of the Russian Infernal Machine which exploded and put [out]one of Admiral Seymour's eyes: and he showed it to me today. It was a block, with some ingenious contrivances, for retaining the machine under water and then freeing it. Another sailor described to me the wrought iron Monster Mortar, now at Woolwich, made a few years ago. It is made in three pieces, clamped together. It has no vent or touch hole. The fire is communicated down the bore. The man who fires, lights a fuse and retires to some distance, to escape the concussion. The shell is put into the mortar by means of shear-legs and pullers. It buries itself fourteen feet deep in the ground when it pitches.

Sat. June 4- Walked to Salcombe and had some conversation with Gale, a man who has been in the Royal Artillery, about my gun.

Sun. June 5- Gale came over this morning before church:had breakfast with me,looked at the gun,approved of the mounting, said that if an enemy tried to land a boat full of armed men, he would swamp them with that gun, he then left to go home.

Mon. June 6- Mr. Heineken and myself resolved to visit Hembury Fort, distant nearly twelve miles. We started at nine, passing through Sidbury. We pulled up at Hunter's Lodge and took some observations with the sympiesometer, to ascertain the height of the hill,which however has been levelled from Sidmouth and found to be 800 feet. Made steep descent and crossing the Honiton road, passed Weston or Waringstone to Awliscombe. Here we got out to see the church. The village was full of flags and holiday people and as they were now all in the church, we altered our plans. We explored Bushy Knap and Buckerell Knap. The former is an immense mound or tumulus at the southern point of the hill, which we climbed, in spite of the heat, on which some trees grow and from which a fine extent of country is seen. (see May 8. 1871) T he latter is the northern and higher end of the hill, rising like a mound about 200 feet in diameter, surrounded by an earthwork and having other earthworks south of it across the hill, to dispute the approach. These places look strongly as if they had been outposts connected with Hembury Fort. We came down and entered Awliscombe church. It is curious that the stone floor rises by a slope from the west door to the chancel. It is a handsome building in the perpendicular style. The stone screen good. There appears to be no monument to Mrs. Amelia Elphinstone in this church, as mentioned by Lysons and which I copied into my guide book. The tower, however, is square, without buttresses. We then made for Hembury Fort, discussing our sandwiches and drinking our beer by the way, to save time. This is a wonderful camp. It is a long square with the corners rounded off and the southern end more pointed and having a circular place as if a beacon had been there. The length from north to south is 1085ft., width across the middle 285ft. And nearer the north end 330ft., from the tops of the aggers. We measured from the top of the inner agger at the north end, to the bottom of the fosse and made it 57 feet. On the west side, from the top of the inner agger to the top of the second, 85 feet. Sidmouth tower is only 75. The camp is surrounded by three aggers with their ditches. Across the middle of the interior area there run two hedges or earthworks, the purpose of which is disputed. There is a mound in the middle of the south one. The entrance was on the west, perhaps another at the northeast. An iron figure of Mercury is said to have been found here. I should like to know what has become of it. We varied the route home by taking the lane on the southwest, which is straight and perhaps occupies the line of a Roman road. We passed Lower Cheriton, Feniton, climbed up Ottery east hill, passed Hunter's Lodge, Sidbury etc. and got back by nine, having been out twelve hours. See also August 24.

Wed. June 8- Meeting of committee at the vestry about the church restorations. Resolved to call a public meeting at the Town Hall on Tuesday week.

Tue. June 21- Excused myself from attending the meeting at the Town Hall, not being well.

Thu. June 23- So the French and Sardinians are going ahead against the Austrians at a great pace. This fierce war had been predestined, though a good reason for it has never been alleged. On New Years Day, at the Tuilieries, the Emperor Napoleon said to M. Hubner, the Austrian envoy, that whilst he felt every regard personally for the Emperor of Austria, he regretted that their two governments were not on so good a footing as formerly, M. Hubner looked perplexed, knowing that something significant was meant: and all who heard the remark looked confounded. The funds fele ? and alarm soon spread itself over more countries than one. Soon afterwards, a marriage was hurried up between Prince Napoleon and the Princess Clotilde daughter of the King of Sardinia. France and Sardinia thought it is suspected that they are hungering for more territory, pretend to sympathize with the Italian States, which were put under Austrian protection in 1815 by treaty, but which are much oppressed by Austrian rule. So they undertake, without a quarrel, to drive Austria out of Italy. Austria, goaded by threats or supposed insults, take the initiative, by invading Sardinia. Doubtless Austria here committed a great mistake, she should have waited till she was attacked, but she had called out an immense army and could not afford to keep it idle. Napoleon sends 150000 men to Sardinia and follows them. Sardinia unites her forces and with about 200000 men at their command, the allies attack the Austrians. They beat them at Montebello, at Palestro, at Magenta and at Malegnano. Napoleon and the King of Sardinia entered Milan in triumph and were welcomed by the inhabitants. The first act of the drama is over and the French are full of glory. The Austrians are retreating on their fortresses. The French and Sardinians are following them and another great battle is expected.

Mon. June 27- Another great battle, the greatest battle of modern times. The front of the armies extended 12 miles. The Austrian right wing lay near Peschiera and its left reached to Castel Goffredo, the French being opposite, with the Sardinians bearing on the southwest end of the Lago di Garda. The attack began at 4 o'clock on Friday the 24th. And the contest was not over till eight in the evening. The wings of the Austrian army at first drove the French back, but a combined attack of the French centre, threw the Austrian centre into confusion and forced the Austrians to retreat. The French and Sardinians numbered 150000 men, the Austrians more. The French took 3 flags,30 guns and 8000 prisoners. There were about 10000 French and Sardinians and 18000 Austrians killed and wounded. The new French rifled cannon did much execution, at a great distance. This affair has been called the Battle of Solferino.

Th. July 7. 1859 – Finished reading Charles Dickens “Barnaby Rudge”. The first half is the best, I mean there is more literary talent displayed, especially in the delineation of character.

Fri. July 8. 1859 – Very fine and very warm. Hoisted my new heraldic flag (Hutchinson coat of arms) just made; the old one quite worn out. Hayman drilled the holes in the vent-patch of the gun, to fix a lock, if I wish it: and the hole for the screw to hold the sight.

Wed. July 13. 1859 – An armistice – and then a peace! Austria is beaten. Austria is eating humble pie. She is the first to send a flag of truce. The armistice proposed on the 8th of July, and the peace on the 11th, when the Empress had a private interview at Villafranca. I think that Napoleon treated his ally the king of Sardinia rather cavalierly in that consulting him in these matters, or when admitting him to the interview.

Th. July 14. 1859 – Went to Dawlish, by way of Exeter. Besides my cousin Mary Roberton, at Belmont Villa, I found my cousin Mrs Johns and her children (Fanny and Agnes) also Miss Gordon, from Dumfries, and her niece and nephew, Mary and Alexander Roberton.

Sat. July 16. 1859 – In the cool of the evening (the weather being very fine and warm) several took the rail for Teignmouth. We enjoyed our hour’s worth or more, and returned.

Sun. July 17. 1859 – Twice at St Mark’s chapel.

Mon. July 18. 1859 – Took little Alexander (or Alec, or Lally as they call him) over to Teignmouth, to look at the harbour and shipping, he having a strong desire to be a sailor. We also crossed to Shaldon by the ferry boat, and took a walk round the Ness. We then returned to Dawlish.

Tu. July 19. 1859 – Miss Gordon and Mary and Lally left for Dumfries.

Wed. July 20. 1859 – At 4 this morning I was awoke by a violent thunder storm. Got out of bed and looked at it. Had tea at my cousins the Blighs.

Tu. July 26. 1859 – Went to Exmouth. Walked from Dawlish to Langstone Point, and then across the warren to the Exe. It was rather a tedious and warm walk over the sandy warren. Crossed the river for two pence by the ferry boat. The man told me the ferry has been purchased by the South Devon Railway company, but it does not pay. Called on the Miss Cutlers in Exmouth who formerly lived in Sidmouth, for the purpose of looking over their fossils formerly got out of the Sidmouth cliffs. Unfortunately most of them had been unpacked; so I am able to come again if possible. Looked at Exmouth, where I had not been for some years. Recrossed the ferry, and walked back.

Fri. July 29. 1859 – Exeter assizes. Went by rail. When I got into court, I learnt that the special jurymen would not be required till Monday morning. Kicked my heels for a few hours about Exeter, and returned.

Sun. July 31. 1859 - Obliged to go into Exeter this morning to sleep, in order to be in court sufficiently early tomorrow morning. Annoyed by the bugs! This hot weather they abound everywhere – even in the best hotels, - and one is enough to keep me from sleeping. Their attack is just like that of a sting nettle on my skin. Some say that to touch the edges of the nightcap and waistband and collar with essential oil of lavender, or any strong scent, will keep them off. Others recommend sponging the face, neck, hands or other exposed parts with vinegar before going to bed, letting it dry in. They say they will not touch the skin where the vinegar has been.

SIDMOUTH, AUG. 1859

Mon. Aug. 1- Went into the “Nisi prius” court at nine. My name was called and I went into the jury box. The case was 'Owen versus Holman', a trumpery quarrel about a party wall between two properties at Topsham. Tue. Aug. 2- The trial lasted till the afternoon today and then only ended by an arrangement: The defendant bought the plaintiffs property and threw into his own. He bought it for £250, although some thousands had been wasted on this dispute in another trial in London. I was on another case, a disagreement between a miller and a farmer about the right to a mill-pond. We gave it to the miller. I got a guinea for each trial. Returned to Dawlish.

Wed. Aug. 3- Went to Teignmouth. The“Blenheim”, a two-decker, was anchored some two miles off. The coast guard, men and boys are being exercised on board her. The great guns made the land shake. It was amusing to see the shot make “ducks-and-drakes” on the water. Called on Sir Warwick Tonkin, whom I had not seen for many years. Had a long talk with him about Rifle Corps and coast defences. Had tea with Mr. & Mrs. Lardner and returned.

Thu. Aug. 4- Went to Exmouth, as last Tuesday week.

Mon. Aug. 8- Returned home to Sidmouth via Exeter.

Tue. Aug. 9- Examined the works at the church, now begun. Attended a meeting at Peak House, it being the intention to extend the sphere of the Archery Club and remove their ground from Cotmanton to a field at the bottom of Mr. Lousada's lawn at Peak House.

Wed. Aug. 10- Spent the evening at Lime Park.

Thu. Aug. 11- Was present at a meeting of the Artillery Corps committee at the house of Gustavus Smith Esq. It is decided that the best way to annoy or harass an enemy that might attempt to land here (the idea of a French invasion being again rife) would be 9- pound field pieces, in preference to guns in battery or riflemen. Fifty volunteers are required. As yet only 33 have offered. In spite of my lameness my offer is accepted. If I can go out with my field piece and fire for my amusement at a target why may I not go out in earnest and fire at an enemy. Examined the works in the churchyard. See my book on the Church Restoration.

Sun. Aug.14- Today there were six vessels lying off Sidmouth. They were mostly brigs and schooners ready to unload tomorrow. The water looked quite lively.

Mon. Aug. 15- Meeting of volunteers for the Artillery Corps at the Town Hall.

Tue. Aug. 16- The Archery Club met for the first time in the new ground at the foot of the grounds of Peak House.

Wed. Aug. 17- Went with Mr. Chick and Mr. Heineken to Bury Camp on the cliff. Examined it and the flint heap which we opened last September. Drove inland to Blackbury Castle. This we examined and surveyed years ago. Mr. Heineken killed a viper and took home the head for preservation. Some persons have spoken of traces of earthworks, as existing on the west of this camp, but we were unable to discover any. About half a mile west of the camp there are the remains of a barrow in a field on the south side of the road, in one part of which was found a coin 50 years ago. Mr. Higgins,miller of Colyton, has the coin. We must enquire what it is. Approaching Broad Down, we stopped at a cottage, saw an old man aged 89. In answer to our questions, he said that when the road over the Down was made, now about 100 years ago, his grandfather was one of the men employed. They cut right through a barrow near Roncombe's Girt and found one or two urns of pottery with bones in them. Parts of weapons (he appeared to mean arrow or spear heads) were also met with. This testimony shows the mode of burial here. Some men further on, near Ring-in-the-Mire, corroborated the same story and said the vessel or vessels they believed were taken to Netherton Hall. We returned home via Hunter's Lodge, Sidbury and so on.

Fri. Aug. 19- Drove the gun down on the beach at low water to have some practise. Drove on the sand and shingle to High Peak Hill. Erected a target, fired six shots. I think I will send the particulars to one of the journals. On returning, I found the mule quite unable to draw the gun up the steep banks of shingle. I was obliged to send for a horse. This place is so very inconvenient that I doubt whether I will go there again, though I know of no other.

Sat. Aug. 20- Attended a meeting of the Volunteer Artillery Corps at the Town Hall. Was proposed as Second Lieutenant. Excused myself, as I wished first to know what were the duties and responsibilities of taking command. I also said that I had some misgivings as to whether my lameness might prove to be an impediment. I had another reason which I did not reveal, I wanted to know what the expenses of an officer's uniform were likely to be. Some discussion about swords etc. Broke up with three cheers.

Wed. Aug. 24- Mr. Heineken and myself went again to Hembury Fort. When we had mounted Honiton Hill we turned half a mile out of our way to examine the remains of the barrow near the 15th milestone from Exeter (see July 26, 1854) We scraped about it, but found nothing. I went 100 yards to the bog called 'Ring-in-the-Mire'. I found it dried up, that is, sufficiently so to walk over. We then turned back to our previous route and pursued our way through Awliscombe to Hembury. As soon as we had attained the summit of the hill we sat down to enjoy the view and discuss our sandwiches. That done we dug about in various places, but dug in vain. We then went down to Payhembury to see Mr. Venn, the owner of the camp. We examined Payhembury Church. It was put into a state of repair some four years ago. The Tower is square and Norman in appearance. The present windows of the church are perpendicular. Imbedded in the walls, are many fragments of the Devonshire igneous rock. Inside, there is, down the nave, the original oak low seats, handsomely carved. There is a good old screen of fan-tracery, of wood, painted white and blue. There are a few ancient square tiles in the floor at the north- east part. In the churchyard, at the north-east part, there is a remarkable yew tree of great size. I thought it was four yew trees growing close together with just space enough to walk between the four trunks, but the sexton's wife who- accompanied us, said that it was one tree which many years ago had been struck by lightening and split open into four portions down to the ground. We had tea with Mr. and Mrs. Venn and Miss Bathe, they showed us a quantity of handsome old furniture in different parts of the house. A bed, very handsome, also cabinets,chests, etc. and many other antiques. We did not get back to Sidmouth till near ten. On my arrival, I learnt with regret that Mr. Alcander Hutchinson, had come down from London on purpose to see me, but was obliged to leave this evening without seeing me, on his return to France, where he has been living for five years. He had been making a tour in England, had visited Alford and York, from which places I had heard from him. His father Hiram Hutchinson is now at Aix-La-Chapelle. He had an uncle Elisha Putnam Hutchinson at South Danvers, Massachusetts. I have given Hiram and Alcander each a Lincolnshire pamphlet. From the tradition in his family I suspect they are descended from Richard Hutchineson, “treasurer of the Indian Corporation.” But I have no proof. See Aug. 24, 1874.

Fri. Aug. 26- The so-called 'foundation stone' was laid at the Church today. The particulars are in the book I devote to the subject.

SIDMOUTH, SEPT.1859

Tue. Sept. 6- Mr. Noah Miller, builder and myself, have entered into a contract which we signed today. For £45-0-0 he is to erect for me, on my grounds at Coburg Terrace the old chancel of Sidmouth Church in miniature. I thought it a pity that the old windows (especially the great east window) the buttresses and other parts should be lost or broken up, so I mean to rescue them and re-erect them on my premises.

Fri. Sept. 9- Dined at Knowle with the Wolcotts and a large party. We sat down twenty to dinner.

Sat. Sept. 10- The “Great Eastern” steamship, having left her moorings at Deptford last Wednesday, arrived today on her first trial at Portland. This afternoon an accident occurred on board her. One of the steam funnels burst, causing the death of three men and hurting ten others. With a spyglass the monster ship is visible from Peak and Salcombe Hills.

Mon. Sept. 12- This morning the men felled a tree and began digging the foundations in my premises for “The Old Chancel”

Tue. Sept. 13- Attended a meeting of the Artillery Corps at Mr. Gustavus Smith's (Belgrave House) and took with me several new shot of my own pattern,which I have just had cast in Exeter. The intention is that they should revolve and go point first, though fired out of a smooth bore. Wed. Sept. 14- Went along the beach to the base of High Peak and fired five shots at a target against the cliff. Firing very unsatisfactory. No.1. Distance 200yards, charge 6oz powder, elevation ½ a degree,shot 3lb-12oz.like the first sketch. It struck ground at 150 yards and rose. No.2. Same size shot and charge, point blank, grazed ground, point flattened, flukes broken. No.3. Charge 5oz, shot like second sketch, weight 4lb-3oz. Plug at back broken, elevation ¼ degree, grazed and mounted. No.4. Same size shot and charge and elevation. Struck at No.4, I believe without ricocheting. No.5. 3lb round shot, ½lb powder,wad, grazed at 180 yards, with ¼ degree elevation and hit near bull's-eye.

Sat. Sept. 17- At a meeting at Mr. Gustavus Smith's, about artillery etc, patterns of uniforms were shown us. A Royal Artilleryman and some of the Exeter Riflemen were there from Exeter.

Mon. Sept. 19- Went with some friends to examine a tumulus near Lovehayne Farm. Drove to “Stephen's Cross”, ascended Trow Hill, followed the Lyme road, made for Broad Down, on reaching “Rakeway Head” bridge, we turned short round to the east,went about a quarter of a mile, turned into the fields to the tumulus. The farmer Mr. Power of Elverway, was already there with two labourers. Half the tumulus was dug down a few years ago. Its construction is thus: first the earth was lowered two feet below the natural surface, a mound of dry flints was made four feet six inches high and this was covered with earth to the depth of five feet. On digging, the men in time came to some pieces of bone, which we picked out. For an hour we continued to pick out pieces of bone, then some pieces of rude, black, unbaked pottery, and I found what appeared to be two or three arrow and spear heads of flint. From appearances in the section of this barrow, it is plain that it had been opened before by sinking a hole from the top. It had been clumsily done, for the vase had been broken and parts left and mixed with the soil as well as the bones and flint heads. The bones had been calcined. We found what appeared some slight traces of charcoal, but these were doubtful. The barrow had been 70 feet in diameter. It is in a field called “Stone Burrow Plot” belonging to the feoffees of the Poor Lands of Colyton. Report says that 50 or 60 years ago some bronze spear heads or similar weapons, were found in the south side of this heap. The discoveries we made seem to point to an earlier age. Report further says that the said feoffees have one of these weapons at Colyton. We must enquire. (Later note: They have not and Mr.Snook has one, now in Exeter museum) I am disposed to think that there are the bones of a child and the bones of a grown person among these remains. There is the left of the lower jaw, very minute. Perhaps, however, the bones have shrunk in burning. (Later note: See “Pamphlets” Second Report of Barrow Committee.) We then went on to Blackbury Castle with one of the men. At A, on the east side of the entrance, about 1825, the man (James Mutter) told us that he took away some 70 cartloads of what was believed to have been burnt or calcined flints. Amongst these were many pieces of charcoal, as much as would have filled a cart. There has always been a tradition about calcined flint at Blackbury Castle. Some have ascribed it to the burning of the woods, but this is vague and the burnt flints would be equally scattered everywhere. Others ascribe them to the action of a fire beacon, but no fire beacon would ever be made down in such a low situation. Query – did they burn their dead there? But the man told us a fact hitherto unknown. He said that after his fellow workmen of that day had left the spot, he (James Mutter) saw a round hole where these flints had been dug. The hole was about 15 inches in diameter and 18 deep. Query – whether there had not been an urn burial here? And whether the men had not removed the vase? The flints were sifted and used in the mortar for for building the house at Wiscombe Park. But there is also a bed of burnt flints at B, on the agger of the camp. This is higher and a more likely place for beacon signals. At C, there are traces of a half moon entrenchment. (Later note: Gross Dyke) At A, there is a large, low mound. Tradition says the slain after a battle were buried there.

Fri. Sept. 23- Went into S.Cawley's vault. See other book. Witnessed some mortar practice on the beach. The mortar was placed on the shingle opposite High Street. The windows of two or three of the neighbouring houses were broken by the concussion. Afterwards, some ropes were fastened to the flagstaff of the Preventive House and a contrivance tried by which people may be rescued from a wreck. I then went on board Captain Andrews new steamer, lying on the stocks at the east of York Terrace, which is to be launched next Tuesday.

Sat. Sept. 24- After some chilly weather and fires of an evening, today was like summer, with the thermometer at 69 in the dining room with the windows open. Walked out to Knowle to pay a visit. Found Mrs. Wolcott at home. The hedges are profusely covered with blackberries. I never recollect so many.

Mon. Sept. 26- Another antiquarian expedition. Mr. H. and self went to examine the point C, opposite Blackbury Castle [ See Sept. 19]. We drove up Salcombe Hill and came out at Trow. Stopped at the Three Horseshoes, rented by William Webber, one of my housekeeper's sons. The earthwork is in his field and he took us out to see it. The vallum begins almost imperceptibly not far from the turnpike road behind the Inn and runs in a northerly direction in a straight line (not a curve or half moon) for, I should think, 200 or 300 yards and then turns towards the east nearly at right angles. The angle is rounded off. It runs into the hedge but I am inclined to think that it originally ran on and occupied the line of the present hedge at the top of the copse B. This makes two sides of a square like a Roman camp. Report says that the ditch of this entrenchment was the inside (along the sides A & B) though I scarcely know whether to believe it or not, but suppose the farmers must be mistaken. (added No). With respect to the east and south sides of the square (if square it were) we could not trace them, or learn whether they ever existed. Supposing this should ever have been a Roman camp, one may imagine that it had been made there to watch Blackbury Castle, occupied by the Britons. This idea is supported by the tradition that a battle was fought between the two and that the slain were buried in the mound at A. (see July 3, 1861) It set in a rainy day, nevertheless we went on, passed Bovey House, approached Beer and drew up the vehicle in the road and eat our sandwiches, for it rained so hard that we scarcely knew what to do. We heard of the finding of a vase with bones in it near Watercombe. The spot was at D. As it occurred 6 or 7 years ago, we fear that we shall not recover any of the remains. We visited the Beer stone Quarries. The largest is the most curious, the passages extend under eight acres of ground. At some places the roof is not more than 18 or 20 feet thick, at others 120. A man called Cawley, who rents the quarry, or works in it, was our guide. Each person carries a candle. The beginning of the excavations is very ancient. There are no traces of the use of gunpowder in blasting. The roof is supported by immense square columns of chalk. In the ancient workings these columns have a sort of rude capital. We saw two stone troughs for water, one triangular (full of water) & the other square, leaky. We went through many turnings round about, besides which there is a horse road part of the way, where the stone is drawn out. The largest chamber, at the end, where stone is now procured, is some 60 feet long, the roof is 12 or 15 feet high. Several blocks of stone from two to three tons weight had been detached. They are sold at one shilling the cubic foot. Cracks or fissures are met with in the excavations. As a test, to find out whether these are dangerous or disposed to go further, clay is rubbed into them and the clay watched. If it does not crack, the fissure is not increasing. The fine stone for architectural purposes lies about 6 or 8 feet- thick and separates into beds of 2 to 3 feet thick. Above this the stone is coarser and is used for lime. Lime kilns and an open quarry are near. On emerging the light has a peculiar effect on the eye.

Wen. Sept. 28- A small steamer, built at the eastern end of the town, was drawn over the esplanade and launched.

Thu. Sept. 29- Michaelmas Day. The masons began the stonework of “The Old Chancel” in my grounds. At noon there was an artillery meeting, where some 29 or 30 of us were enrolled as volunteers by taking the oath of allegiance etc. Last day of the season of the Archery Club,when the prizes were shot for. The field was very gay. The list of the shooters and prizes shot for will be in Harvey's Directory. For any notes respecting the progress of affairs at the church, see 'RESTORATION of SIDMOUTH PARISH CHURCH

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SIDMOUTH, OCT. 1859

Thu. Oct. 13- Laid the foundation stone of my “Old Chancel”. See my Mh. Book on that subject

Tue. Oct. 18- Another meeting at Mr.(or Captain) Smith's on the subject of artillery. I was again offered a commission (for the third time) but refused, as before and for two reasons, i.e. fearing my lameness may be an impediment, or a disadvantage and a dislike to incur the expense. Subscriptions have been paid in to the amount of £160. 18s. 0d.

Wen. Oct. 19- A man called Barrett, a fisherman of Budleigh Salterton, called on me with oysters. Both his hands are deformed in a very peculiar manner. He has only a misshapen thumb and forefinger, not unlike the claw of a crab. The tarsus is carried back, not flat like the back of the hand, but irregularly round to the wrist bone which projects a good deal. His neighbours, in order to account for the circumstance, say that his mother was frightened by a crab before he was born. It did not occur to me to ask him what he knew about this part of the affair.

Fri. Oct. 21- Collected £6-1-0 in subscriptions for the Artillery Corps. Officers uniforms will cost from £40 to £50. The mens £3-1-0, being for tunic, trousers and cap. The cloth is £1-3-0. Five tailors have tendered for the making only, Cowd 16/4 each, Abery 19/-, J.Wood 19/6, Holwell and Barratt £1-3-0. To the three lowest were given eight uniforms each,to begin with. As I shall pay for my own, I shall choose my tailor- Barratt.

Mon. Oct. 24- Decidedly there is no trust in man. I have just done what I have all along resolved not to do. I have accepted a commission after refusing three, or I think four, times. Captain Smith sent Lieutenant Ede to me, (who found me busy with the masons at the “Old Chancel”) and requested I would go to Belgrave House. Capt. Compton R.N. First Lieutenant of our Volunteer Artillery Corps, has retired and vacancy occurs. Mr. Ede wished to put me over his head as First Lieutenant in Captain Compton's place, he remaining as Second Lieutenant, but this of course would not hear of. After a long discussion I was persuaded and my name is to be sent to the Lord Lieutenant.

Tue. Oct. 25- After several days frost, we have today a most boisterous, windy and rainy day. I scarcely remember the like. Went down to the beach to see a small vessel that had been driven on shore. The hail and rain were incessant, and the wind hard to stand against. The driving hail was quite painful against the face. After remaining there half an hour I got drenched, and feeling the rain running down my legs inside my clothes, I came back and changed.

Wen. Oct. 26- “After a storm comes a calm”, saith the proverb, and today it is calm and quiet. But what a scene of desolation on the beach. At six yesterday evening the sea broke over the esplanade and ran into the town carrying shingle and gravel along with it. The Market Place and all the lower part of the town was flooded. The lower rooms of the houses were filled with water, mud and gravel. The esplanade and all the roads and walks near it are now covered with sea beach. The little vessel lies high and dry. A man on board told me he had sent word about his disaster to Jersey (where she belongs) and that endeavours to launch her will be made as soon as an answer is received. Such a storm as this has not occurred here since the memorable one of November 1824.

Thu. Oct. 27- A beautiful day. Took another look at the beach. Walls and railings of the houses and gardens are knocked down and carried away. How forlorn the place looks. Went to Captain Smiths to see his undress uniform. It is very neat I must say. There were received 50 belts and frogs for the men and 31 caps, with black oil silk covers, in case of bad weather. Captain Smith paid Mr. Bishop, the tailor £25 on account. Spent the evening at Dr.& Mrs. Miller's.

Sat. Oct. 29- Spent the evening with the Leys at Powys, They leave next Tuesday.

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SIDMOUTH, NOV. 1859

Wed. Nov. 2- Went to the sale at St. Kilda Lodge, Salcombe Hill. The 99 years lease, with the houses, built and partly built, building materials, etc., sold for £1,100.

Thu. Nov. 3- Spent the evening at Miss. Listers.

Fri. Nov. 4- Mr. White, the architect of the church came down from London. Committee meeting at my house. See other book. Went to Captain Smiths, saw his uniforms etc., had discussions on the subject of the Artillery Corps, etc. Captain Smith paid him (Mr. Bishop) £25-13-0, for goods and work done.

Tue. Nov. 8- Wood, Cowd and Avery, tailors, brought some of the men's uniforms to Captain Smith's.

Thu. Nov. 10- Went to Budleigh Salterton with Mr. Heineken. Heard him read over two leases to two of his tenants (one a piece) which they signed. Took a walk on the beach. The gale of wind of the 25th ult, has done a considerable amount of damage to the walks near the limekilns. Searched for a specimen of tertiary wood, said to exist in a fossil state on this beach – in vain. If so, it must come from beyond Portland. We got back by seven P.M.

Fri. Nov. 11- Went to Exeter with Col. Fitzgerald, Mr. I. ? and their eldest daughter Mrs. Creighton, recently become a widow, at whose wedding I was. She is about to take out Letters of Administration, he having died (at Cawnpore, Aug.22) without a will, and with her father I was asked to be one of the bondsmen – to which I consented. Had breakfast with them at ½ past 8, and had tea with them at 7 when we returned.

Sat. Nov. 12- Wrote to Alcander Hutchinson, Langlee ? And enclosed him one of my portraits (photograph, profile) and a coloured drawing of Alford church, Lincolnshire. Church committee meeting – see other book.

Mon. Nov. 14- After much rain, the weather for the last week has been dry. Walked with Captain Greatheed to the petrifying spring, Lincombe Shoot, Dunscombe, to look for my tobacco pipes deposited there months ago. Alas I could not find them.

Wed. Nov. 16- We of the Artillery Corps met this evening in the ballroom at the London Inn. Waiting for the guns, Captain Smith thought it a good plan to have the men twice a week of an evening, after their work, to be taught the facings, how to turn and march and so on. Only half of them are as yet in uniform.

Fri. Nov. 18- Drill again this evening, Captain Smith taking the men.

Sun. Nov. 20- Alcander Hutchinson arrived somewhat unexpectedly from London and found me at home this time. He is over in England making preparations for his departure to Batavia and wished to have a talk about family pedigrees, etc. I have no doubt we are descended from the same ancestor, but we cannot find the exact link. He believes he comes from the Richard Hutchinson born in 1615, I had imagined that he was murdered at the time his mother Ann was murdered, but as he was at that time 28 years old, Alcander thinks he was more likely away from his mother's roof. Alcander left me this evening for London and France.

Thu. Nov. 24- The guns – two 24 pounders – have arrived in Exeter. Captain Smith, Lieut. Ede and myself joined in a carriage to Exeter about them. From Sidmouth to the station (16 or 17 miles), we were two hours and a quarter. We found the sergeant in charge, who showed us the guns, and having made arrangements about their removal, we did some shopping and got back soon after three P.M. On returning , I found that my masons had finished the eastern gable of my “Old Chancel,” put on the cross and taken down the scaffolding. This end now looks very well.

Fri. Nov. 25- The guns are to be sent in waggons today. At noon the Corps mustered at the London Hotel. We first had an hour's drill by our Drill Sergeant, Mr. George Gosling and by one o'clock, when we heard the guns were in the Market Place, we all went down, formed in two divisions, one marching before the waggons and the other in the rear. In this way we went along the beach, up by Denby Place and in front of the houses of Fort Field Terrace, into the field, over towards its west side, then south, till we came near the sea wall. The guns were to be placed on the grass, 50 feet from each other, pointing to the sea and one on each side of the flag staff. The flag (Union Jack) was hoisted. The two guns were on a timber waggon and the two carriages on a common waggon. We were disappointed at the form of the carriages. Each gun, without its carriage weighed 50 cwt. The removing these from the waggon on to their carriages and placing them in position, took till half past four. In order, then, to give the Sidmouth men some idea how the guns were to be worked, the sergeant and six gunners, who had come with them from Plymouth, went through the action several times of loading and firing, our men being drawn up round the gun, forming three sides of a square.

Sat. Nov. 26- Today I received my sword. It has a steel scabbard and the blade bears the words Sidmouth Artillery. Unfortunately, steel scabbards blunt the edge of a sharp sword. Tonight we had a drill that made our arms ache. It is good exercise for the muscles of the shoulders, back,chest and arms and others for the legs.

Fri. Dec. 2. 1859 – Received my commission as 2nd Lieutenant, which is dated November 15, and for which I paid five shillings.

Sat. Dec. 3. 1859 – The gables and gable crosses of my old chancel were up a few days ago: today the masons completed the chimney, and crowned it with a spare gable cross. I then gave the man half a gallon of hot cyder with sugar, ginger and nutmeg in it, which they relished amazingly, for the day, though fine, was cold. It froze in the shade all day.

Mon. Dec. 5. 1859 – This evening at eight, the artillery corps met for the first time at the town hall. The room is longer than the room at the London Inn. It is, however, a very bad room to hear what is said in, the echo is so great.

Th. Dec. 8. 1859 – Today the masons completed the exterior of my ‘Old Chancel’. The walls are all up – the steps placed at the door – the garden wall brought up against the buttresses, where it had been pulled down to put in the north wall of the building – and the rubbish cleared away. Another payment of £13.00 is now due. This evening we began our drill at 7 and at 8 went to the London Inn to hear a lecture on ‘China’ from Sir John Bowring. Sir John’s expression is not thoroughly pre-possessing in his favour. His nose points downwards; his mouth is large; he is bald except some lank hair at the back of his head; he is pale, and 68. We all went in uniform. A few nights ago, as I was going to drill, I saw a very curiously refined cloud. The annexed is a representation. It was like five gigantic fingers springing upwards, with the young moon between two of them.

Th. Dec. 15. 1859 – The weather much colder, with a strong north wind. The carpenters were engaged putting up the rafters of the ‘Old Chancel’ roof; but it was so cold, they were obliged to leave off and go away. They complained they could not feel the nails and hammer in their hands. I gave them a 2 quart jug of hot cider with ginger and nutmeg. They first hugged the jar to warm themselves, and then drank the contents.

Tu. Dec. 20. 1859 – Since last Thursday, the weather has been intensely cold. Pump frozen, water in my bedroom frozen, everything frozen. On Sunday night the thermometer in my room went down to 23 degrees farenheit. All out-door work has been stopped. This morning the wind changed to the south. It blew, and rained, and thawed.

Wed. Dec. 21. 1859 – Witnessed the signature of Mr J.B. Lousada, of Peak House, to his will. We met accidentally at the Revd. Mr. Deacon’s at Portland House. It was in five or six sheets, to each of which we put our initial letters, besides our names in full at the end. Shortest day.

Sun. Dec. 25. 1859 – Christmas Day. The artillery corps went to the parish church in uniform, and seats were assigned to us in the south aisle. It began to drizzle when we came out. We marched four deep round Denby Place, to the beach, along the back to the York hotel, where we were dismissed.

Fri. Dec. 30. 1859 – My Old Chancel is now roofed in, and the continued rain kept out. Raked the earth of the floor smooth preparatory to the flag stones. Swept a quantity of carpenters’ shavings and chips to the hearth, and had a fire there for three hours, - the first fire.

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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.

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