POH Transcripts - 1867 (Jan - Sep)

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January 1867.

January 1. 1867. - To-day the wind got round to the northward; the thermometer rapidly fell, and the first snow fell.

Friday, Jan. 4. - Since the coming in of the new year we have had a steady hard frost, with the ground covered with snow. The thermometer has been down to 19.7/10 most unusual for Sidmouth.

Sat. Jan. 5. - The wind veered from the north to the east, south-east and south, with violent rain. The temperature quickly rose, and before the day was over, the snow was all gone. I may remark, that as soon as frost sets in here, and snow covers the ground, numbers of fieldfares, and gray birds here called “Whindles,” continue all day and every day to pass over the valley, flying towards the west. Probably they are proceeding towards Cornwall, in the hope of finding more genial skies – A vain hope I believe just now. The whindle is very like a thrush in size and colour, only that it has red on the breast. The fieldfare is about the size of the thrush, or larger, and might be taken for it, at the first glance, though the breast is not speckled like the thrush. These birds do not so much fly in dense flocks, with long intervals between each flock, or by sixes and sevens, sometimes succeeding each other almost continually. There are several generally visible at a time at any moment of the day, the stream constantly tending westwards. Many years ago I recalled being struck with the same thing, and that the stream continued for weeks. In those days we used to have severer winters than we have had of late.

Sat. Jan. 12. - After a week of mild weather, the snow and frost have returned with some severity. In every bedroom where there was not a fire, the water in the jugs froze hard.

Tu. Jan. 15. 1867. - Last night the coldest we have had. Mr Heineken’s thermometer in High Street in the town, went down to 22’, Dr. Radford’s at Sidmount about the same. Dr. MacKenzie’s at Belgrave House, uniformly registers lower, and stood at 16.6. And Mr. Sanders’, at Salcombe Hill (House) about half a degree above Dr. MacKenzie.

M. Jan. 21. - My old servant Mrs. Webber succumbed to the cold. She gave me my dinner yesterday, but complained of being feeble and short-breathed. She kept to her bed to-day, and I went and fetched her sister Mrs. Mitchel. For some time there had been symptoms of dropsy about her; and she died quietly soon after four this afternoon, by a flow of water on her lungs and brain, owing to benumbed circulation in the lower extremities, Mrs. Mitchel being with her.

Th. Jan. 24. – Thaw.

Fr. Jan.25.- Mrs. Webber was buried at Sidmouth, close to the north or north-east wall of the ground.

February 1867.

Tu. Feb. 5. 1867. - When I was a child at Tiverton, before my late father sold his house at the top of Peter’s Street, with the garden below the churchyard, to Mr. Heathcote and bought the house No. 4, at Sidmouth, there used to be a noted character there, who was the terror of the children and school boys. This was John Kibby, an old soldier, who sometimes wandered in his mind, and would chase the boys if they teased him. The alarm which I had always felt for him, he one day removed by coming to my assistance and picking me up when I fell and hurt Myself. I remember being in St. Peter’s church, when a party of visitors came in to look at the monuments. Kibby was in the church also. As we were walking about, and as I was looking upwards, I walked out over a step without noticing it, and fell on the pavement, and hurt myself considerably. Old Kibby immediately ran over, took me up in his arms, and putting me on my feet, said some kind words expressive of his regret at the accident. My astonishment at his kindness was intense. I never felt the fear of him afterwards that I always had before. When Mr. Harston, now Vicar of Sherborne, formerly a Tiverton boy, who remembers Kibby as well as myself, found the MS. account of Kibby’s life amongst his papers, and sent it to me, I forwarded it with his permission, to the Tiverton Gazette. I have cut it from the paper, and it will be found out over.


JANUARY 29, 1867.

Old Kibby.

There are scores of fathers and mothers in Tiverton who well recollect “Old Kibby,” as he was always called; and there are doubtless scores of the rising generation who have heard their parents mention him. John Kibby was an old soldier, who seems to have retired on a pension and lived in Frog-street. During the later years of his life his mind at times wandered, when he used to harangue the public in the streets. In front of an old-fashioned house in Bampton-street, he would sometimes stop, and address himself to some quaint carved figures, sculptured on the front. That house was then occupied by the late Col. Roberton, who died at his own residence in St. Andrews Street in 1854. St. Peter’s churchyard was also a usual place for him to take his stand and hold forth. He was the terror of the schoolboys, who used to tease him. The boys had a story, that he had been shot at with a silver bullet, and that the bullet was still in his head – which fully accounted for his eccentricities. Yet Kibby was not without his good qualities, and many instances are known of his kindliness of heart. He was much noticed by Mr. and Mrs. Harston, formerly of Bampton-street, when Kibby would go out for one of his long rambles, sometimes extending over a week or more, he was lent a basket and knife or trowel, and on his return he would being back wild flowers, and splendid specimens of cup-moss and lichen from the woods. Recently turning over his late father’s papers, the Rev. Edward Harston, now Vicar of Sherborne in Dorsetshire, came upon a manuscript written by Kibby. The fineness and beauty of the writing are most remarkable; and Kibby must have had more care paid to his education than was generally suspected. This was the more remarkable, as he lived in an age when education amongst his class was not so common as it is now.

There is an interesting account of his own life; but it may be remarked, in reference to the story of the silver bullet, that Kibby only mentions his only been wounded once in battle, and that was in his leg. There are also some beautifully written copies of verses, and extracts from the sacred writers.

Mr. Harston recently sent the M.S. to Mr. Hutchinson, of Sidmouth, son of the late Andrew Hutchinson, M.D., F.R.S., who sold his house at the top of Peter’s Street to the late Mr. Heathcoat, (who converted it into two) when he left Tiverton and removed to Sidmouth. Surely there are many people in Tiverton who would be much amused in reading an autobiography of Old Kibby.


Those Warlike Recollections or the Beauties of a Soldier is most humbly Dedicated To the Worshipful George Barne &c “By His most humble, and Devoted




I became a Solder in His Majesty’s 40th. Regiment of Foot (commanded by General Sir George Osbourn) in Taunton. On the 18th of July 1799. Immediately we received the Rout to March to Canterbury, in order to encamp on Barham Down with the Grand Army. On the Ground, we was Reviewed by the Royal Dukes and Princes &c. And we entertained them with, a sham fight. Instantly, we received orders to embark at the Downs, on board of Men of War, and to sail for Holland. We were commanded by the Duke of York, (the Solders Dearling*) the Prince William of Gloucester, and General Abercrombie. Admiral Mitchel had command of the Fleet. We set sail and Landed at the Helder. We had four Actions there: two of them were General engagements, and indeed the fourth and last that we fought there on a Sunday, was almost a general one. I don’t mean to say any thing about killing one an other, (but?) I saw some very droll customs, and very, very comical manners amongst the fair ones.. . . . . The more that we did kill of the French, the stronger they ware, for they did not cease to through across the Rhine, such mighty reinforcements ; that we could not withstand them no longer. The enemy’s Fleet struck to the British Flag, and we embarked at the Texel, and set sail for England. We landed at North -Yarmouth, and marched for the city of Canterbury, and took up our winter quarters at Margate, Broad Stairs, and Ramsgate. Early in the spring of 1800, we embarked for the Mediterranean, and landed in the Island of Minorca. Then we were under the command of General’s Fox and Doyle. Minorca is a sweet pretty Island, but I have seen many a droll night there and one very beautiful one, it was two of the greatest Beauties in all the Island, the two young Ladies were about 16, or 17, years of age. And they were dressed in the form of two Angels, they had on them Eagles wings, there faces were uncovered but there Legs and feet was bare. From thence we sailed to Leghorne, and the Queen of Naples came on board of Lord Nelson’s Ship, and Dined with the two Lords, Nelson, and Keith, and we gave Her Majesty a Royal Salute. From thence we sailed to the Rock of Gibraltar, and to Cadiz, then back to the Rock, took in Provisions, and steered our course to the Island of Malta. Here we was under the command of Generals Hutchinson, Pigott, Vellatti, &c. This is a most Beautyful Island. I have been at the place where Saint Paul was ship wrecked, and have often swim’d in the harbour where He went on board of the Castor, and Pollux. St. John’s Church, in the city of La Vallette, is very beautyful, the approach to the Church, is most Grand. I could like to describe it a little. The flooring is pure white, and Black Porphyry, and those marble stones, are cut in diamonds, and such beautyful figures, and devices, are engraven on them, in pure gold. All the ceiling, and the walls, are covered with bright crimson silk cloath, embroidered with gold. There is the alter gates, of massey silver. But the approach to the grand oracle is too beautyful for me to describe. In a little cell, is Saint John’s head, crowned with most precious Gems. Indeed there is no person, that can tell its intrinsic value. I do believe with the Auther of the General Gazetter, that it is one of the richest Churches in all the world. I must not forgate the fair Ones. The Ladies does dress very rich, but I have seen them with silk shoes on, bespangled with gold, and at the same time, there shoes was down at the heel, and no stockings on. They are very fond of the English. But they are very bold. . . . . . . . It is a beautyful Island altogether, for it is always spring, and summer. In 1801. We embarked again for the Island of Minorca, and in our passage we sailed by Mount Estna , the light of it was most dreadfull, I have seen the light of its fire, when I have been more than 60 miles from it, and have heard its Thunders, and seen the Lightnings proceed from its Bosom in a most awful manner. We landed in Minorca, and marched into Port Mahome Barracks. In 1802. We put things in order, under the command of General Clapham, and gave up the Island to the Spaniards, and set sail for England, on board the Dread Nought, 98. guns. Landed at Portsmouth, 1803. a new war, marched into the County of Sussex, built Towers, and thrown up breast-works, and batteries along the coast, was reviewed three times by His Royal Highness the Duke of York, once by the Earl of Chatham, once by Sir David Dundas. But the French was afraid to come over. Then we marched to Hillsea Barracks. Passed in grand review before H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland. On the 16th of September 1806. we embarked at Portsmouth, bound to Rio De La Plate in the South America. Through the Needles we did go with our ships all in a row, we was commanded by General Sir Samuel Auchmotry.But when we were sailing through the great Atlantic Ocean. We had a very strong gale of wind for a day, and a Night, and we thought that we had lost two of our ships, but found them safe at anchor. When we came to our destination. I was entertained with many beautyful sights on the passage, such as the Peak of Tenerif, the Sword Fish, the Grampuses, the flying fish, the Dolphins, the White Squalls &c. But under, and near the equinoctial line, there was such dreadfull Thunderings, Lightnings, and Rains, but it soon passed away, much like a Soldiers troubles. Then we was obliged to but into Riogenario the capital of the Braziels, in order to get our riggen mended, and to water the Fleet. I think this is the finest Harbour that I ever saw, but it is dreadfull hot here, and very unhealthfull. Then we sail’d for Monte Video in the River Plate. We made our landing good on the 16th of January 1807. After we had our great Guns on Shore we advans’d, and drove the enemy into the city in the action, we took two, or three Indians, and they were very conducive in getting Horses for our Light Dragoons, for the voyage was so far, that we could not take any Horses there. On the morning of the 20th the enemy sallied out, and gave us Battle. But we give them a sweet brushing, and drove them into the Town again. We thrown up Batteries against them, both for great Guns, and Morters to throw Bombshells with. On a Sunday, about two o’clock in the afternoon, just as the people were going to Mass, our shiping was drawn up so nigh to the Town as possible. We opened a most tremendous fire on them, and the sun did shine on us most gloriously. We Bombarded them both Day and Night, until the morning of the third of February. Them we stormed them, and took their city from them, and made them all Prisoners of War. But when it was light enough, to see one thing from another, the Ladies came out to look for their Sweethearts, their Husbands, their Fathers, and their Brothers: it was very . . . . Indeed, the sun was up a long time before the enemy would give up the Castle. At last they let down their Flag. And one of their Peace officers, brought some Bread, and Wine on a white Plate, and presented it to their Governor, and to our Commander: and they eat, and drank, in each others presence. Then all hands a hoy, to bury our dead, to liberate the slaves, and to march the prisoners on board. We had strict orders not to drink to much. But we could not help disobeying the orders, because the Ladies, even on the Day that we took the city did give to us to eat, and to drink. And indeed, for all the time that we was thare, thare was not one Murder commited, neither by them, nor us. Indeed they are a people I dearly love. The Ladies do dress very neat, very so in the morning, they are all in black silk, they have no caps, nor hats, nor bonnets, but their hair is dressed in a most delightfull manner, they have no parasols, only a fan. And the combs on their lovely heads, is very rich, being embossed with precious gems. I saw something very singular in this city, that was a very black Woman, with bright red hair,”

* “Dearling is proper, but Dearling is not. For take the letter, l, it is Daring”

Old Kibby.

(Concluded from last week.)

“So quick as possible we put every thing in order, and sailed farther up the River. And landed at a place called, De La Sacramenta. It is a little city, situated on a tongue of land, on the right hand side going up the River. We fortified ourselves so soon as we could, and the enemy paid us a visit, but could not make no hand of us, and in return: we thought proper to go and see them. We commenced our march on a Sunday morning, and just as the sun was rising, we hove in sight of their camp, in open column of Companies, Right in Front. The enemy commenced a heavy cannonading on us, we had to cross a bog, we soon got over, and form’d Line on our centre, advanc’d, gave them a volley: and charged them at once. We was into their camp in quick time. Indeed, the Soldiers Wives, and Officers Ladies: they had not time to dress themselves, oh! . . . . . . . We took all their Artillery, their Stoors, Baggage, indeed all that they had, even their Royal Standard. We had a good blow out, and then returned triumphant to our garrison, fired a Royal salute, gave three cheers, served out the grog, and laid down to rest. Then we embarked our Troops, and sailed across the River, and landed at a place called Alsenada, on a Sunday in the afternoon, the Monday morning, we had the Rout for Buenos Ayres, and a dreadfull march it was. Indeed our commanding Officer said unto us, even to me, that all the Soldiers that did live; they may consider themselves to be Gentlemen. At Montevideo General Sir Samuel Auchmutty had the command. Then General Sir John Whitelock landed, and took the command of all the Army. The proceedings at Buenos Ayres, is a great mystery to some people; But was it my province to interfere, I could throw a brightness over that dark cloud. Let us for a moment refer to the Days of Queen Anne, and there behold a Marlborough, and a Rooke. The former received the thanks of the three Estates, whilst the latter received their disapprobation, and the malediction of the people, and even “displaced from his command, for having so essentially served his country!” Too often is the soldier’s valour depreciated whilst them that do nought but drain the Kingdom of its Drops so Gold, is applauded. We went on board in a most shocking manner. Our flags were cap’d, Swords, and Bayonets returned to there scabbards, and the French and Spaniards, d----n them, and the Indians, and our own infernal deserters: did call us such dreadfull Names, when we were going on Board, and our officers was afraid to let us fire on them, because we had but so long a time to go on board. Then we sailed down the River, and landed at Monte Video, in this city there was great murmurings against the Commander in Chief. But there was a stop put to it by an order that, should any Officer, Non-commissioned Officer, or Soldier, speak any word, tending to the hurt or dishonour, of the Commander in Chief of His Britanic Majesty’s Forces in the South America; should be tried by a General Court Marshal. So quick as possible, we put all things in order, and set sail for Old England, but when we was nigh the chops of the British Channel, a strong wind set against us, and was obliged to put into the Cove of Cork in Ireland, on the 27th day of December 1807. We landed at Monks town, marched to Bandon and took up our Winter quarters. Early in the spring of 1808, we marched to the City of Cork, and from thence to the City of Limerick. Then we received orders to embark at the cove of Cork for the Continent. In the Month of July 1808, we disembark’d or rather landed our Army at Fegira Bay. We advanced on the enemy, they were commanded by General Junot, we were under the command of General Wellesley, and Spencer, General Ferguson commanded our Brigade. We came up with the enemy on the 17th of August, and brought them to action, and brush’d them off the ground. On the Sunday morning August the 21st at Vinniero, we had a General engagement. But General Dalrymple landed, took the command, and clouded the glory of the action. After this General Sir John Moore had the command, and then commenced the Corunna Races. But I was in good quarters in the City of Seville. Lord Holland the Embassador was with us. This Place was put in a good state of defence. Then we marched to the City of Sherry. The Nobility, and gentry, did kindly entertain us, both the officers and men. The ladies solicited the favour of seeing the English exersise. We fell in, in the afternoon to Parade, and the Gentry was highly pleased with us. We could not stop long in this dear City. Then our Rout was for Fort St. Mary. Here I had the pleasure to see the Holy Virgins, or what we call the Nuns. They walked through the streets of the city on a Sunday in the afternoon, the oldest of the sweet ladies went before, bearing a Flag, and the youngest behind. But we was shockingly disappointed for when we was even very nigh them, we could not see there beauty, for their Faces was covered with a black veil. But was our English Women to see the Manners of the women in general, in Spain, and Portugal, . . . . . We them embark’d at Cadiz and set sail for Lisbon, landed and marched for the City of Placentia, and at Talavera we got up with the enemy, that was commanded by General Massena, on the line of march we formed junction with General Cuesta, that commanded the Spanish Army. On the 27th of July 1809, at it we went hammer and tongs, but we had the honour to be their Masters. It was the pleasure, and the goodly wisdom of our commander in Chief to call a council of war. Then we took a fresh rout, and came to Badajos. Here we lay in cantoonments some time, Sir Arthur Wellesley went home to England, leaving the command of the army to General Sherbrook. And both Wellesley’s and Sherbrook’s valor, met King George the Third’s approbation. But General Cuesta the commander in chief of the Spaniards: was put to death. Our bold commander joined us again in this city, and our dear old King George the Third planted a star on our commander’s Breast, and called him Lord Wellington. Then we march’d through Portugal, and took up our winter quarters in a city called Guardo, and here was a place, and a very large place too, full of those holy virgins. Whilst we lay at this place, the French advans’d, and took the city of Almeida. We was obliged to set at liberty all those sweet Ladies, or else the French would have had them. Then we march’d as fast as we could, in order to gain the hights of Busaco, before the enemy came down. We had some beautiful engagements on these mountains. But Master Massena was obliged to wheel off. We then retreated into our grand works nigh Lisbon, early next spring we advans’d on them, and did not leve them, until we drove them out of the Kingdom of Portugal. Then Lord Wellington divided the army. He hammered away on Massena and we thumped away on Soult, by laying siege at Babajos, and the Battle of Albuera. Those Battles was fought in the month of May. 1811. We then march’d through Portugal, and arrived at Fontguenalda. Nigh this place we had a partial action. Then we retreated a little, and at Apontes, we had another action. But the enemy know that we was reinforced by a very strong Park of Artillery, they thought proper to retreat in quick time. At this time they were in possession of Cuidad Redrigo, and we sharply watched their motions thare. On the eight of January, we tore up the ground against them, and hammered away on them day and night, until the evening of the 19th being the Sunday, and a moonlight night about 9 o’clock we stormed and took the City from them, in quick time. We put all things in good order, and again march’d through Portugal. And about the middle of the month of March we tore up the ground against the City of Badajos. We laid a close siege to them until the 6th of April, 1812, then we storm’d and took that place. In this storm, I became vulnerable: for a Frenchman on the Battery wall, fier’d at me, and the shot went through my right Leg. Then I was ordered to England, in order to get my wounds cured, and they were healed under the superintendence of Doctor Denmark, the gentleman that amputated Lord Nelson’s arm. Then I had the Rout to march, to join our Depot at Taunton, the very place from whence I first started. After this I was ordered to march to Southampton. There I embarked, and sail’d to the Island of Guernsey. There I join’d the 5th or the Royal Veteran Battalion. We were commanded by General Sir John Doyle, from this I was sent to London, and there I passed the Board. And General Sir David Dundas, said to me, “Kibby, you are wanted no more.” I then went to Lynns Office, had my Instructions, and off I started for Tiverton. And here I am at present.

“Sir, your most gratefull



“Frog Street.


“N.B. This is not the Hundredth part of the recollections of what I experienced in the different expeditions in the last wars.

“I wish that I had not wrote in such haste, and so very briefly. But, should it be your good pleasure, I will write the Recollections beautifully, and more at large.”

Th. Feb. 28. 1867. – February has been mild and pleasant, the wind prevailing mostly from the westward, with occasional rain.

March. 1867.

Fri. Mar. 1. - The wind got round to the north-east: the weather freezing.

Tu. Mar, 5. - Shrove Tuesday. A cold north-easter blowing.

Wed. Mar, 6. - Ash Wednesday. This forenoon there was an eclipse of the sun. Unfortunately there were many passing clouds, so that I only got some occasional glimpses. I observed it from the Library or Oak Room of the Old Chancel, where I breakfasted; the sun being directly opposite the window.

Sat. Mar. 9. - The Vicar of Sidmouth, Mr. Clements, called on me at the old chancel, and brought me a very pretty present - a photograph in a gilt frame of the Queen’s Window in Sidmouth parish church. It measures 10 ½ inches by 15: I have hung it up in the Oak Room opposite the fire. This is an acceptable present. I have suffered enough for this window, first and last. When on the Church Building Committee, six years ago, I could not sanction the dishonest mode of trying to get a window from the Queen, not to honour Her Majesty, but for the purpose of promoting a party quarrel, and of defeating an existing agreement between the Earl of Buckinghamshire and the parishioners, relating to the proposed position of the organ. With the Earl’s sanction, I took a Petition to Osborne House, praying Her Majesty for an enquiry. The gift of the window was withheld for a time, but has recently been given; and now we have got it honestly and openly, we may be proud of it.

Mon. Mar. 24. - Lady Day. Attended a Vestry Meeting, the inducement being that the subject of the boundaries between Sidmouth and the neighbouring parishes was to be discussed. Produced and read to the meeting the heads of an old deed of 1322, referring to the boundaries. The original is with Canon Rogers; a copy was sent me by the late Rev. Dr. Oliver, of Exeter. It states that owing to a flood in the river, the boundaries had been washed away, and that a Jury of twelve men from each of the parishes of Sidmouth and Salcombe, met and proceeded to lay them down again. The result of the discussion was that a committee was formed to communicate with Salcombe, Sidbury, Harpford, and Otterton, and then, with their co-operation, to proceed to the revision of our boundaries.

April 1867.

Mon. Ap. 1. 1867. - March, now expired, has been almost as severe a month as January. After the mild weather of February, the wind veered to the north-east on the first, and continued there till the 21st. these whole weeks. There was scarcely a bright day. The sky was like lead, and the driving wind brought rain or hail, sleet or snow, or all together. The latter ten days were better, though very cold, but a great improvement came in with the first of April, and I got all the flower seeds into the garden and flower beds.

Speaking of the Cattle plague, murrein or rinderpest, which raged so fearfully last year, I see it stated in the papers from an official return, that 253.891 beasts had all been attacked from its commencement, and that 52.657 had been slaughtered healthy to prevent its spread. Some stray cases seem to have broken out again.

Fri. Ap. 4. 1867. - The annexed cutting I have taken from a newspaper. It is interesting, as shewing the great difference in the rainfal in the west of England, supposing, that the instruments are good, that they are properly placed, and that they are well and regularly looked after.


The following extract from Professor Symons’s tables of total depth of rain in 1866 in our Islands will be interesting to our readers. As a rule, the rainfall increases with the elevation. The greatest fall in the three western counties is 94.6 inches at Dartmoor Prison Reservoir, (400 feet above the sea) and the least is 30.91 inches, at Burnham 30 feet above it.

DEVON.- Kingsbridge (Buryon) Authority W. Balkwill, Esq., depth of rain 41.58; Plymouth (Old Town Street), A.P. Balkwill, Esq., 45.38; Plymouth (Saltram Gardens), Mr. J. Snow, 52.95; Plymouth (Ham) Rev. C. Trelawny, 47.61; Ivybridge (Torrhill), J. Widdicombe, Esq., 60.68; Plympton St. Mary (Ridgeway) Miss B.T. Phillips, 54.33; Plympton St. Mary (Goodamoor), H.H. Treby ESq., 65.46; Dartmoor (Le Moor), W. Martin, Esq., 76.05; Torquay (Lamorna), W. Pengelly, Esq., 40.69; Newton Bushel (Highwick), Dr. Barham, 41.40; Dartmoor (Prison Reservoir), Mr. H. Watts, 94.66; Dartmoor (N. Hessary Tor.), Mr. H. Watts, 94.18; Teignmouth (Landscore), Mrs. Clark, 44.06; Teignmouth (Bishopsteignton), Rev. S. M. Scroggs, 38.17; Tavistock (Public Library), Mr. W. Merrifield, 50.04; Tavistock (Mount Tavy), H. Clark, Esq., 55.07; Millton Abbot (Endsleigh), Mr. Cornelius, 54.06; Dawlish (Charlton Villa) P.J. Margary, Esq., 39.18; Bovey Tracey, J. Divett, Esq., 46.87; Exmouth (Budleigh Salterton), R. Walker, Esq., 37.30; Hexworthy (Launceston), H.M. Harvey, Esq., 52.37; Chagford, R.L. Berry, Esq., 61.15; Sidmouth (Black Moor), W. Steaham, Esq., 38.71; Sidmouth (Belgrave), Dr. Mackenzie, 37.63; Sidmouth (Salcombe Hill House), E.T. Sanders, Esq., 38.78; Sidmouth, S. Chick,31.67; Topsham (Clyst St. George), Rev. H.T. Ellacombe, 34.68; Exeter (High Street), W.H. Ellis, Esq., 36.48; Exeter (High Street), W.H. Ellis, Esq., 36.78: Exeter (Devon and Exeter Institution), Mr. E. Parfitt, 36.94; Exeter (Hoopern House), G. Kennaway, Esq., 35.62; Exeter (Brampford Speke), W.H. Gamlen, Esq., 38.59; Collumpton (Clysthydon), Rev. J. Huyshe, 37.70; Collumpton (Strath Culm House), C.R. Collins, Esq., 39.99; Honiton (Broadhembury), Rev. W. Heberden, 38.36; Tiverton (Cove), W.N. Row, Esq., 49.56; Tiverton (Springfield), H. Stokes, Esq., 46.58; Great Torrington, Rev. S. Buckland, 43,68; S. Molton (Meshaw), Rev. W.H. Karslake, 50.11; Bideford (Buckish) Rev. J.H. Kirwan, 55.70; Bideford (Northam), Rev. I.H. Gosset, 41.25; S. Molton (Castle Hill), Mr. A. Saul, 54.62; Barnstaple, T. Mackrell, Esq., 43.02; Barbstaple (Barton Fleming), Rev. H.S. Pinder,62.06.

CORNWALL.- Lans’s End (St. Sennen) Authority Rev, G.L. Woolcombe, depth of rain 40.42; Helstone, M.P. Moyle, Esq., 42.95; Penzance, W.H. Richards, Esq., 48.50; Redruth (Tehidy Park), Mr. H. Beddard, 50.32; Truro (Royal Institution), Dr. Barham, 50.77; Truro (Penarth), Nicholas Whitley, Esq., 49.43; St. Agnes, Dr. Barham, 47.45; St. Austell (Trevarns), W. Coode, Esq., 53.77; St. Germains (Port Eliot), Mr. Lynch, 49.94; Newquay, Mr. W.H. Tregidgo, 43.90; Liskeard, S.W. Jenkin, Esq., 57.25; Callington (Pentillie Castle), Mr. C. Edwards, 55.50; Callington (Hingston Down), Captin Richards, 67,61; Callington (Harewood), H.R. Trelawney, Esq., 51.64; Bodmin (Fore Street), A. Hambly, Esq., 55.25; Bodmin (Fore Street), Capt. Liddell, R.N., 55.17; Bodmin (Warleggan), Rev. D. Clements, 58.74; Bodmin (Pencarrow), Mr. H. Jones, 51.24; Wadebridge (Treharrock House), F.B. Hambly, Esq., 46.45; Port Isaac (Roscarrock), Mark Guy, Esq., 45.26; Launceston (Altarnum), C.U. Tripp, Esq., 72,54; Camelford (Lanteglos), Rev. J.I. Wilkinson, 54.17.

Fri. Ap. 5. 1867. - Took a walk up Peak Hill to make examinations. We went up Stintway Lane, the lane from Bickwell Farm westward up Peak Hill. The land towards the left on the upper slope, part of Peak House estate, belonging to Mr. Lousada, is called Stintway Hill. I recollect that in the Otterton Cartulary, compiled in the thirteenth century, a place in this (Sidmouth) parish is spoken of under the name Stintrwore. Perhaps it is the same place. The 20-acre field immediately at the top of Stintway Lane has always been wild land, producing furze and wortle-berries. It belonged to Lousada, who sold it about 1864 to Shapway for £ who recently sold it to Balfour, the new Lord of the Manor for I believe £ . He has just had the upper slope and flat top cleaned and planted. The walk was taken to see what had been done. The lower slope is still wild, afterwards in turnips. The trees are little more than a yard apart. From the top of the field, made for Salter’s Cross northward and eastward along the ridge of the hill. The plantation at Salter’s Crops, in the other parish, has always looked to me, like some old encroachment into Sidmouth Manor.

Mon. Ap. 8. 1867. - Spent the evening with Mr. Heineken. Mr. Chick came in, and we amused ourselves with experiments in spectrum analysis. We laboured under some difficulties in respect to the apparatus and other resources at our command; but the results altogether, tallied pretty well with what we were led to expect. At first we used a candle, by which the prismatic spectrum was strongly exhibited; afterwards a spirit lamp, which showed it faintly, so that the metallic lines perpendicularly across the spectrum, came out stronger.

The above are some of the spectra, The sodium line appears on all occasions. It is almost impossible indeed to get rid of it, so universal is sodium in everything, and even floating in the atmosphere. In producing these effects, we merely burnt chloride of sodium, magnesium wire, chloride of calcium in the side of the flame, in a platinum spoon or on a wire. As an experiment, saliva produced the sodium line strong, burnt on a wire. So did perspiration rubbed from the forehead.

Sat. Ap. 20. - Saw the first Swallows last Tuesday the 16th. and heard the Cuckoo this morning. I believe however that others have seen and heard them before, especially further from the town than I live, here at Coburg Terrace or the Old Chancel.

Th. Ap. 26. - It is a pity that a man should be employed the letter half of his life in correcting or undoing or destroying the works of the earlier half. Or rather, it is a pity that he should have so much misdirected his talents or his time, as to think he had better undo what he had had the labour of doing. In turning out the contents of a closet this morning, I came upon the M.S. of a small book entitled “Busts and Burial in Poets Corner.” It was written in 1845, and originated in a discussion in the House of Lords, on the propriety of admitting Thorvaldsen’s statue of Lord Byron into Westminster Abbey. After skimming parts of it, I put it into the fire. And then I sent ”Terence Croshie” into the flames after it. This last was a five Act play, written about the same time.

May 1867.

Fri. May 3. - The weather has suddenly become sultry and complete summer.

Tu. May 7. - Being on Peak Hill with Mr. Heineken, we made several observations respecting the elevation of the hill and the neighbouring hills, High Peak is 513.9 by the Ordnance survey, and we made Peak Hill about 12 feet more, that is 513.9+12=525.9. Salcombe Hill, Bucken Hill, Sidbury Castle, Core Hill, all within sight, are higher by many feet. The thermometer was at 71’. In London it has reached 80’. This is most unusual so early in the summer.

Wed. May 8. 1867. - Drove with some ladies to Branscombe, which place some of them had not seen. We passed all through the long village to Sea-side Farm, where we alighted. We ate our sandwiches near the cliff. We then proceeded to the undercliff. One of them and myself went all along to the great towers of chalk towards Beer Head. Since I first rambled through this romantic place, more than thirty years ago, numerous parts of the ledges and slopes have been cleaned and brought into cultivation, ether for potatoes or corn. And how forward the potatoes are at this early season of the year! The place is so sheltered and so warm. To-day it was boiling hot. I do not know that I ever admired the wild and fantastic shape of the rocks, and the varied and beautiful colouring of the cliffs more than to-day. Returning we stopped in Branscombe to look at the church, and I showed my friends the fortified entrance of the house just above called “The Clergy,” with its loophole over the door, and the trap-door just inside overhead. We were in Sidmouth again by 6.30 P.M.

Sun. May 12. - Thunder storms and rain, with the air getting cooler. All this morning the most violent rain.

Tu. May 30. - “Beating the Bounds” or Perambulation of the Parish of Sidmouth gone through to-day. Owing to the unsatisfactory state of the affairs of the Manor, this has not been properly done for about 40 years. I walked the entire round, and a good fag it was. I furnished the report for the papers, which I shall cut out and put among My Sidmouth historical memorandums. – In my M.S. Hist. of Sidmouth.


June 1867

Mon. June 24. 1867. - Got on the Exeter coach, but stopped short of Exeter. Got down at Liverydole, in Heavitree, and called on Mr. Charles Tucker, who has the custody of some bronze weapons, recently found by digging trenches for draining purposes at Larkbere, on the line of ancient road from Streetway or Straightway head to Henbury Fort. As they all to be engraved and described in the Journal of the Archaeological Association I did not take careful drawing of them.

But I subjoin sketches of them from memory.

They are six in number, the length of the longest about two feet, or perhaps a little more. The smallest, which has a detached rivet, is broken. They are broad and thin towards where the handle was, and the holes of the rivets are decayed out. Their make, or mode of use, or shape of the handle has not yet been ascertained. I think he said that none or only one had hitherto been found in England, but several in Ireland. He showed me an Irish one, with the rivet holes and rivets perfect, but no haft. Some have hazarded the conjecture that the handles may have been of horn. He told me of a lady now in London, (Whose name he could not remember) whose late father found, or became possessed of the mould in which such weapons were cast. I think he said this mould was found at Salcombe or Kingsbridge, or near there about in this County. Before his death, her father had made the remark that that would make her fortune if she sold it. From this observation she has taken up the idea that it is worth some fabulous sum. She has offered to sell it to the British Museum, but has demanded £500 as the price. This has been rejected, so she still retains the article. I believe it is the only mould of the kind that has ever been met with.

July 1867.

Th. July 25. 1867. - The recent visit of the Sultan of Turkey to this country is something noteworthy, as such an event never occrued before in the history of the World. The Exhibition in the Champ de Mars at Paris has attracted many of the European Crowned heads, who have been well feted by the Emperor and Empress of the French. The Sultan having been there came over on a visit to Queen Victoria, brining his son, a boy of ten years old with him. When he introduced his son to the Queen at Windsor Castle, the Queen kissed the little fellow.

Fri. July 26. 1867. - As there are several points in the following account which interest me, I preserve it entire.



FRIDAY, JULY 26, 1867.




This Association whose President is the eminent geoeologist, W. Pengelly, Esq., F.R.S., opened on Tuesday at Barnstaple under favourable circumstances its sixth annual meeting. The Association arrived at the station by the 12.10 down train, and met with a most cordial welcome. The following were the members present:- The President-elect, W. Pengelly, Esq., F.R.S.; E. Appleton, F.I.B.A., Torquay; C. Spence Bate, Esq., F.R.S., Plymouth; Sir John Bowing, LL.D, Exeter; W. Cann, Esq., Exeter; H.S. Gill, Esq., Tiverton; Rev. R. Kirwan, Gittisham Rectory; G.W. Ormered, Esq., F.G.S., Chagford; E. Parfitt, Esq., Exeter; Rev. J.E. Risk, Plymouth; W.B. Scott, Esq., Chudleigh; Dr. Scott, Exeter; W. Vicary, Esq., Exeter; James Jerwood, Esq., M.A., Exeter; E. Vivian, Esq., M.A., Torquay; R. Farleigh, Esq., Barnstaple; J.R. Chanter, Esq., Barnstaple; W.F. Roak, Esq., Barnstaple; Dr. Thomson, Bideford; W. Cotton, Esq., also Rev. W. Harpley, M.A., of Clayhanger Rectory, and H.S. Ellis, Esq., of Exeter (hon. Secretaries); R.W. Cotton, Esq., (hon. Local secretary); E. Vivian, Esq., M.A., Torquay (hon. Treasurer); and T.W.M. Guppy, Esq., (hon. local treasurer).

Amongst other gentlemen on the platform were:- the Mayor (R. Farleigh, Esq.), the Town Clerk (L. Bencraft, Esq.), Aldermen Thorne and Norrington, Councillors May, Geibble, Kaill, Dandle, Cartis, Willshire, Cooke, Bromham, and Rottenbury, and Rev. G.I. Wallis.


A procession was formed on the platform, and the party, proceeded by the Mayor and Corporation, proceeded to the Literary and Scientific Institution – the place of meeting – the entrance to which was gaily decorated with plants and flowers, After viewing the Institution, the party separated, meeting next in the new and handsome Music Hall, where they were invited by the Mayor to luncheon, which was provided by Mr. W. Rowe, of Banbury House. The Mayor presided, supported on the right by W. Pengelly, Esq., J.R. Chanter, Esq., Dr. Scott, Rev. R. Kirvan, J. Jerwood, Esq., Spence Bate, Esq., T.W. Guppy, Esq., H.S. Ellis, Esq., - and on the left by W.F. Rock, Esq., (London), Sir John Bowing, E. Vivian, Esq., W. Jones, Esq., Rev. G.I. Wallis, - Griffiths, Esq., G.W. Ormerod, Esq., R.W. Cotton, Esq., and Rev W. Harpley. There were also present:- the Mayor of Bideford, R.I. Bancraft, Esq., Rev. J. Harding, Rev. J.R. Wood, M. Cooke, Esq., H.I. Gribble, Esq., J.G. Hiern, Esq., T. Hall, Esq., Captain Pinkett, Alderman Thorne, Esq., H.J. Gill, Esq., (Tiverton), Rev. J.E. Risk, (Plymouth), C. Williams, Esq., N. Whitley, Esq., (Truro),W. Cann, Esq., (Exeter), Rev. Mr. Cox, Alderman Norrington, J.M. Miller, Esq., M. Marshall, Esq., G.P. White, Esq., L. Bancraft, Esq., R. Shute, Esq., (Exeter), J.R. Fox, Esq., H. Vivian, Esq., Rev. J.T. Pigot, C. Willshire, Esq., C. Johnson, Esq., E. Parfitt, (Exeter), R. White, Esq., (Instow), J.H. Thompson, Esq., W. Cotton, Esq., (Exeter), Alderman Palmer, J. Harper, Esq., E. Appleton, Esq., Dr. Thompson (Bideford), Dr. Harris, J. Hearier, Esq., Messrs. Harding, Bromham, C.H. Dow, R.L. Barry, E. Caedie, Ley (Bideford), Parry, G.H. Britton, Danstone, Rawell, J. Farleigh, T. May, Prowse, Rittenbury, Curtis, Colmer, Hill, C. Northcote, Dendie, Harland, MeLeowman, and Pratt.

After luncheon the loyal toasts were drunk. The loving cup was passed around from the chair and the Mayor received general applause. Mr. VIVIAN who is a member of the Devon Temperance League, amused the party by his celerity in passing on the loving cup. Mr. LEY, of Bideford, took wine with Mr. Rock, and gave as a sentiment “Love is the rock upon which all societies should be founded.” Much cheering and general harmony followed. The MAYOR then proposed “Prosperity to the Association,” expressing the pleasure which its visit had given the inhabitants, who hoped to be similarly favoured on another occasion. He coupled with the toast the health of Earl Russell, the president for the past year. Sir JOHN BOWRING, who was much cheered, said he exceedingly regretted the absence of the noble lord. As the earliest president of the association, he (Sir John) had been called upon to respond, and he hoped that he should not be considered intrusive – (cheers). Sir John dwelt on the progress made in science, and then returned cordial thanks for the honour done the association, which, he said, travelled from town to town in the county, desirous of imparting information to, and receiving it from, those with whom it associated. There was no man who was not able to contribute something in the way of knowledge – from every man, however humble, something could be learned – (hear, Hear). Mr. PENGELLY made a humorous speech, commencing “Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking.” He should be sorry for the party to separate with the idea that the Association was ungrateful. The manner in which it had been received at Barnstable surpassed, he might say, anything which it had hitherto experienced. It became a serious question how towns should invite it in future – (laughter). On behalf of the association, he heartily thanked the men of North Devon for their kind, cordial, handsome reception, and proposed “Prosperity to the town of Barnstaple” – (applause). Mr. W.F. Rock replied. Barnstaple was dear to him, and he heartily supported any society which had for its object the intellectual and moral improvement of its inhabitants – (hear, hear). This concluded the toast list, and the party separated. Mr. Walrond’s brass band played at intervals during the luncheon.


At four o’clock the members met at the Literary Institution to perform some routine business. Sir John Bowring was voted to the chair. After the conformation of the minutes, read by , Mr. HARPLEY, the hon. Treasurer (Mr. VIVIAN) presented the cash account, which showed a balance of £68 5s 10d to the credit of the Association – (applause). A discussion arose on the publication of the Society’s Transactions – several suggestions being offered – the first that the size of the volumes should be increased, but this was considered undesirable. On the motion of Mr. PENGELLY, it was agreed that the drawings for the illustration of papers to appear in the Transactions, should be prepared for the engraver at the expense of the authors – an amendment to all such burden being borne by the Association, being lost. It was also decided that the Transactions up to the present time, should form the first volume, the next volume to commence with the proceedings of this year’s meeting. Mr. PENGELLY considered it undesirable that the earlier parts of the Transactions should be sold to the public, as the number on hand is limited. In future, the hon. Secretaries are to report at the annual meetings on the subject. Mr. VICARY engaged to supply the Association with a geological map of the county. Mr. PENGELLY moved that brief notices of deceased members of the Association would appear in the Transactions. This was seconded by Dr. SCOTT, and carried. The Transactions in future are to make their appearance three months, instead of six months, after the meeting, on the understanding that the secretaries receive copies of the papers in reasonable time for publication. On the motion of Mr. Pengelly, C. Babbage, Esq., of London, was elected honorary member of the Association. On the recommendation of the Council (who had met at one o’clock), it was agreed that the next annual meeting of the Association should take place at Honiton, Viscount Sidmouth the president, and the following the vice-presidents – A.B. Cochrane, Esq., Sir John Coleridge, Sir E.S. Prideaux, Sir John Kennaway, Rev. R. Kirwan, Julian Goldsmid, Esq., M.P., J.D. Coleridge, Esq., M.P., C. Gordon, Esq., W.R. Bayley, Esq., R. Thornton, Esq., W. Porter, Esq., Rev. Preb. Mackarness, the Mayor of Honiton, and W.W. Buller, Esq., Rev. R. Kirwan, of Gittisham, and E. Withey, Esq., of Honiton, were appointed local secretaries for the Honiton meeting. The following were elected the Council of the Association for the year ensuing – the ex-presidents, the authors of papers published in The Transactions of the Association, the officers, the officers-elect, Rev. Dr. Tancock, R. Champernowne, Esq. (Dartington), DR. Thompson (Bideford). Mr. Cann, (Exeter), Mr. Gamlin (Brampford Speke), A.H.A. Hamilton, Esq. (Exeter), Dr. Pycroft (Kenton), W.B. Scott, Esq. (Chudleigh), and Mr. Daw (Tavistock). A letter was received from Mr. H.S. Ellis, intimating his intention to resign the office of secretary, Mr. Ellis and Mr. Harpley were re-appointed the general secretaries for the next year. Other business was done, the members separating with a vote of thanks to Sir John Bowring for his conduct in the chair.


At eight o’clock a numerous party, including Lady Bowring and other ladies, met in the Lecture Hall of the Literary Society to hear Mr. Pengelly’s address. The vestibule of the hall was lighted with Chinese lamps, which had a very pretty effect. Professor Daubeny, who arrived in the town by the late train, took the chair. He said that two years ago it was his privilege to be the president of the association, when he delivered an address at Tiverton. He had now the pleasure of introducing Mr. Pengelly, a gentleman who had greatly distinguished himself amongst the learned men of the country.

The PRESIDENT (W. Pengelly, Esq., F.R.S., F.G.S., &c.) in rising to deliver his address, was received with cordial applause. The address was a most able and interesting account of the present position of opinion respecting the geology of Devonshire. The learned president in a few introductory remarks referred to the laying of the Atlantic Cable as the great scientific event of the past year, and also adverted to another distinguishing event – the memorable meteoric shower of ’66. Proceeding next to the subject of his address, Mr. Pengelly said –

“It cannot be needful to inform those interested in the Natural History of Devonshire, that our county is rich in geological phenomena. It includes numerous varieties of Aqueous, Volcanic, Metamorphic, and Plutonic rocks; Siliceous, Argillaceous, Calcareous, and Carbonaceous rocks; Chemical, Mechanical, and Organic rocks; and Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Caenozoic rocks. Some of its squeous deposits, like the lime-stones of South Devon, are little more than aggregates of animal remains; while others, like the red sandstones and associated strata, covering several hundreds of square miles, contain no remnant of contemporary existence. Nowhere probably, can the phenomena of contortions, jointage, cleavage, and mineral veins be studied with greater advantage; the numerous ossiferous caverns in our limestone’s are celebrated throughout the world; our cliffs abound in raised beaches, and other evidences of a general upheaval; and the retreating tide lays bare submerged forests on our strands. In the explication of phenomena so varied, the interpreters, as might have been expected, have in several instances differed so widely that Devonshire has been the field of many a hard-fought geological battle; and unless the omens have been misunderstood, future severe contests may be expected. In determining the relative ages of rocks the geologist relies on certain trustworthy tests. Thus, he is confident that, where he has a clear case of superposed strata, every bed is older than those overlaying, and more modern than those underlying it; that a conglomerate is more recent than the rocks which furnished the pebbles of which it is made up; that the rocks which, in the forms of dykes and veins, invade other rocks, are more modern than those invaded; and that strata lithologically similar, found in localities not widely separated, and charged with the same species of fossils, are geological contemporaries. With the aid of these tests the rocks of Devonshire are, with few exceptions, easily arranged as a chronological series. The exceptions are some of the Traps, the Metamorphic schists forming the southern angle of the county, and some of the superficial gravels. Omitting these, and taking the order of history, the following is their succession; - 1st. - The Slates, Grits, and Limestones lying between the Bristol Channel on the north, and a line drawn through Barnstaple and Clayhanger on the south; as well as those which occupy the greater part of South Devon, between the parallel of Newton Bushel and Tavistock on the north, and that of Start Bay and Hope on the south. Some of the Greenstones belong chronologically to this group; and, unless they are of higher antiquity, the Schists of the Start and Bolt district, previously mentioned, must be placed here also. With this possible exception, the rocks in the series here defined are the oldest of the county. 2nd. – The Culmiferous or Carbonaceous rocks which, with few exceptions, occupy the whole of central and west Devonshire. 3rd. – The Dartmoor Granites. 4th. – The Red Sandstones, Conglomerates, and Marls which occupy the greater part of the county east of a line from Torbay to Loxbere, and which in one marked instance penetrate as a long narrow tongue, westward of this line, by Crediton to Jacobstow. These rocks occur also, as small outlying or detached portions, in various parts of the county. To this age must be referred, at least, most of the feldspathic Traps, which occur chiefly near the western verge of the area of the red rocks. 5th. – The Lias, found at the base of the cliff and on the tidal strand eastward from Axmouth. 6th. – The Greensands and Chalks, well seen at Beer Head and in other parts of south-eastern Devonshire, and of which ‘outliers’ exist on the Haldons and elsewhere. 7th. – The Lignites, Clays, and Sands occupying the Bovey basin, and known as the Bovey deposit. 8th. – The Gravels which overlie the Bovey beds, the summits of the Haldons, and numerous other parts of the county. 9th. – The Ossiferous Caverns, especially those of Torquay, Brixham, Yealmpton and Oreston. 10th. – The Raised Beaches which, at about thirty feet above mean tide, occur at various parts of the coast on both the English and Bristol Channels. The evidence respecting the relative ages of the Caverns and Beaches is meagre and insufficient. 11th. – The Submerged Forests which at low water are frequently seen on the strand, and which extend to considerable distances both seaward and landward.”

Having classified the fossiliferous rocks according to the geological system, Mr. Pengelly entered into the question of the proper places of the primary formations of Devonshire in the chronological scale of the geologist, and set forth the various opinions obtaining amongst geologists on this subject, particularly referring to the views recently brought forward by Mr. Bete Jukes, and the reply to them by Mr. Etheridge. The President referred next to the second group – the Culmiferous beds – remarking that probably in none of the Devonshire formations are there to be seen contortions so numerous and on so grand a scale as in our equivalents of the Coal-Measures. They are strikingly displayed in the limestone quarries just mentioned, but perhaps their grandest development occurs in the cliff sections near Hartland quay. ”No words,” say Sedgwick and Murchison,” can exaggerate the number and violence of these contortions - sometimes in regular undulating curves – sometimes in curves broken at their points of contrary flexure, and exhibiting a succession of cusps, like regular-pointed arches – sometimes, though more rarely, thrown into salient and re-entering angles, generally of local extent and only affecting particular beds.” The grits of this group are traversed by numerous well-defined joints,




Note :- The top line of text on the next page is damaged and cannot be read.


……………………of; indeed, almost into cubes. On the sea-beach these blocks are soon converted by the waves into the spheroidal boulders and pebbles which everywhere line the cliffs from which they fell, and reach their most striking, though by no means an unusual, phase in the Pebble ridge at Northam Burrows. With respect to the ages of the granites, he observed that “the question of the exposure of the granite before the commencement of the Red-rock era was finally disposed of in 1861, when Mr. Vicary detected pebbles of each of the three kinds of granite in the Red Conglomerate at the base of Haldon, and thereby enabled us to state that the oldest Granite of Dartmoor – the Schorlaceous variety – is post-Carboniferous; that the most modern – the Elvan – was exposed to the wear and tear of waves and atmosphere prior to the formation of the Red rocks; and that the interval of time separating the Sandstones and Conglomerates from the Culmiferous formation – between which there are no stratified formations in our county – must have been of immense duration.” The learned President treated at length on the various other formations, particularly dwelling on the testimony to man’s antiquity discovered in the bone caverns of South Devon. In conclusion the President said –

“This sketch of the structure of our county suggests a few topics to which I will now briefly turn. 1st. – Though the geology of Devonshire is very varied, there are many systems of rocks of which no examples is found within its borders. Thus we have no Lower Devonian, or Permian, or Oolitic, or Lower Cretaceous, or Eocene, or Upper Miocene, or Pliocene deposits. The destruction of old rocks is a pre-requisite of the formation of new ones. The latter are formed of the debris of the former. An universal stratified formation is impossible. Deposition as certainly pre-supposes denudation as masonry pre-supposes quarrying. To furnish material for the Devonshire strata, rocks were destroyed elsewhere; and in its turn Devonshire, instead of an area of construction, has been one of waste. It is conceivable that the earth’s surface may be capable of a threefold division – areas of denudation, areas of disposition, and areas of quiescence. The first may be sub-ariel or sub-aqueous, the second must be sub-aqueous, and if the third exist, they must be at the bottoms of profound seas only. The absence of a formation in a district implies that it was never deposited there, or that it has been completely destroyed. The former indicates that the Area was above the sea level, or, what is much less probable, that it was covered by a profound sea; whilst the latter shows that it was sub-aqueous during the period in question, and that the deposits, then laid down but now missing, were destroyed before the era of the next more modern formation existing in the locality. Thus, for example, if Permian rocks ever existed in what is now Devonshire, this county must during that era have been sub-aqueous, and those rocks must have been so completely broken up and removed before the Triassic period as not only to leave no portion of a bed in situ, but not even any fragment to be included in the red conglomerates: and so on in other cases. 2nd. – The voluminous and varied systems of strata which exist within this county, denote that the material was supplied by denudation on a very large scale. In some instances it is easy, in others difficult or impossible, to say whence the materials were derived. Thus it is easy and safe to conclude that the clays and sands of the Bovey Lignite formation were derived from the Dartmoor granite; that by far the greater part of the rock fragments found in the Triassic conglomerates were obtained from rocks very near at hand; and, in like manner, there is no difficulty in tracking to their by no means distant homes the pebbles composing the superficial gravels of the county; but it is not easy to determine whence came that remarkable assemblage of pebbles forming the famous Budleigh Salterton “pebble bed,” and extending thence inland for several miles. Perhaps all that can with certainty be stated is, that Devonshire contains no rocks which could have yielded them, and that there are such rocks in France and in Cornwall. There is a similar difficulty in accounting for the flints which are thrown up on almost every beach in Devon and Cornwall, and which in some instances, as at Slapton, in South Devon, form the larger portion of the beach material. No one thinks, of course, of attempting to determine the source of the calcareous matter forming our limestones and chalks. These formations are mainly, if not exclusively, of organic origin – results of the labours of countless molluscs, and myriads of polyps and other lowly forms of life, which extracted from the ocean water the carbonate of lime which it held in solution. Nor is it the case of our slates and fine grained grits much more hopeful. The extremely slow rate at which fine mud sinks in water, the depth of the ocean, and the persistency and velocity of many ocean currents, are sufficient to show that the area of construction may often be far removed from that of denudation. But the deposits of our county are not the only evidences of denudation which it contains. It is as emphatically shown by the great vacant spaces between detached portions of what was originally one continuous formation. For example, we have no greensand between Peake Hill, near Sidmouth, and the Haldons; and thence again to Milber Down, near Newton Abbot. That these great interspaces are natural quarries we may be sure, but where the excavated materials were carried it is by no meens easy to determine. So again, there are in Devonshire several small ‘Outliers’ of Trias, as on the shores of Barnstaple, Start, and Bigbury Bays, many miles from one another as well as from the continuous formation. Within the last few weeks I have had the opportunity of studying a still more distant patch of the same rock, between the villages of Cawsand and Redding Point, in Plymouth Sound. The denudation was obviously on a very large scale; but had it been still larger, had it destroyed the outliers too, there would have been no evidence that it had ever taken place. 3rd. – When we find that on such a question as the age of the oldest group of rocks in Devonshire, the opinion of Messrs. Sedgwick and Murchison – Professor of Geology in the University of Cambridge, and the Director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain – is pronounced to be an error by the pupil of the former and the colleague of the latter – Mr. Jukes, Local Director of the Geological Survey of Ireland – it is perhaps not surprising that we occasionally hear it disparagingly stated that ‘geology is in its infancy;’ that ‘its most ardent cultivators are by no means agreed among themselves;’ and that ‘what is orthodox to-day may be heterodox to-morrow,’ On looking closely, however, it is found, as in others, that this case does not affect the great principles of the science, is mainly a matter of classification, and in a great degree arises from an attempt to discover a line where nature never drew one. In hastily generalizing from somewhat local facts, our fathers were too prone to suppose that from time to time convulsions had universally and synchronously depopulated the globe, and brought back chaos. On the restoration of order, it was supposed that by a new act of creation the world was re-peopled with organisms, which in their turn would be ejected by the same rude process. Had this been the real life-history of the earth, the divisions of geological time would be well defined and easily determined; but discovery has shown that it is anything but a true representation of actual facts; that there is reason to believe that from the advent of the first organism up to the present hour the world has never ceased to be the theatre of life; and that breaks in organic continuity arise entirely from the imperfection of the geological record. It is obvious, that in proportion as the science approximates perfection, the chasms will be filled in, and hard lines of demarcation will disappear. “We may be eventually compelled to resort to sections of time as arbitrary, and as purely conventional, as those which divide the history of human events into centuries.” There will always be different systems of classification, and debatable zones at the junction of formations. 4th. – Amongst the besetment of the cultivators as well as the discouragers of science, is that of trusting to negative evidence, even when unsupported by any confirmatory positive fact; of practically forgetting that ignorance of the existence of a fact is far from being the same thing as knowledge of its non-existance. The Kent’s Hole explorations supply an instructive example of this. For years Mr. M’Emery sedulously explored the Cavern, and he recorded the fact that he found human flint tools. To precisely the same effect were the subsequent researches of Mr. Godwin-Austen, and, still later, of the Torquay Natural History Society. The British Association Committee laboured some months without advancing further – the flint implements were still the only indication of the presence of man. Before the end of six months, however, they met with a new class of evidence, and in their first report, in 1865, were able to announce that ‘several small pieces of burnt bone had been met with in the red loam.’ Before the end of another year, they observed an additional fact, and, in 1866, reported that ‘very many of the long bones had been split longitudinally, and that ‘it was difficult to suppose, ether a priori, from an examination of them, that less than human agency could have divided them.’ Later still, at the end of twenty months from the beginning, the first bone implement was found; and at the next meeting of the association, the committee will have the pleasure of reporting the discovery of, at least, four of this new class of objects. On taking a dispassionate view of all the facts, it does not appear to be necessary to relinquish the hope of finding the bones of the implement makers, or to abandon the belief in the high antiquity of man, even though Kent’s Cavern may never yield any part of this osseous system. Lastly. – It must be unnecessary to remark that the time has by no means arrived when the Devonshire geologists can suspend their labours. There remain many unsolved problems within our borders. We still ask. What is the age of the Crystalline Schists at the southern angle of our county? What is the precise chronology of our limestone and associated rocks? Is there, east of Exmouth, a break in the Red rocks? Whence came the Budleigh Salterton pebbles? Whence (came?) the porphyritic Trap nodules so abundant in the Trias? Are our greensands really of the age of the Gault? Whence the flints so numerous on our existing beaches? What is the history of our Superficial Gravels? Are there any indications of Glaciation in Devonshire? To what race did our Cave Men belong? The solution of, at least, many of these questions must be reserved for another generation of enquirers; and to the young men of the present day I earnestly command them.

The learned gentleman resumed his seat amidst loud applause.

On the motion of the Mayor of Barnstaple, seconded by W.F. Rock, Esq., a vote of thanks to the president for his excellent address was carried with acclamation.

The general meeting of members was resumed on Wednesday morning, Mr. Pengelly in the chair. Rev. W. Harpley (secretary) read the fifth annual report, which stated that the year just expired had been marked by signal success to the association, the accession of new members having been unusually large, and the number of resignations comparatively small. Sir John Bowring spoke of the desirableness of the association publishing brief biographical notices of distinguished scientific men of the county –“worthies of Devon” – especially of those who had been members of the association. Sir John gave notice of a motion on the subject. The suggestion met with general approval. The treasurer having in hand £68, it was considered desirable that it should be invested on interest. On the motion of Dr. Scott, seconded by Mr. Ormerod, it was resolved all life compensations should be funded. It was also agreed that £50 of the available balance be invested in the names of the secretary and the treasurer. This concluded the business of the meeting, and the reading of the papers commenced in the Lecture Hall.


Sir J. BOWRING read an interesting and amusing essay on “Devonshire Folklore.” Sir John, dwelt upon rustic idioms and the belief in ghosts, pixies, and superstitions, giving many striking instances thereof. He was afraid that the credulity and ignorance of our peasantry would not be deemed very creditable to the Devonshire reputation, though they afforded materials for instructive and amusing lncubrations. Everybody, he said, had been struck with outbreaks of sagacity and the sharp and original sayings even of our Two Arabs and rural “boors,” which were well worth preserving. Amongst the illustrations given of rustic wit the following;- Sir John was walking near a street-crossing where a dirty ragged boy was vigorously using a broom. Another boy somewhat better clad – he could scarcely be worse – was passing.” Guimee a hapney” said the sweeper, “A hapney!” replied the other” I han’t got nort vive pun notes in my pocket” – (laughter). Dr. Scott expressed an opinion that the superstitions which Sir John had referred to were not confined to the peasantry.


Mr. J.R. CHANTER followed with a paper “On some popular local superstitions.” The most noticeable fact connected with North Devon was, he thought, not so much the variety or socially local character of its superstitions and vulgar customs as of their being still generally interwoven with the daily life of the population. While in most parts of the country it is necessary in order to gather up local customs or legends, to seek out ancient customs or legend tellers, no one can live in North Devon without finding a general belief in witchcraft still existing and old customs and superstitions in full swing. Many of these were once common to all England; while now, although they have died out in the busy parts of the country, they continue in North Devon. Mr. Chanter concluded, most probably from the isolated nature of the district and the stagnant character of the agricultural population. Rev. J.M. Cox, Rev. R. Kirwan, and others, gave several instances of superstition in the county and there was an interesting discussion.


Mr. R.W. Cotton contributed a paper “On the part taken by North Devon in the earliest English enterprises for the purpose of colonising America.” To our county, he said, belonged the credit of having sent out the first expedition which left the shores of Great Britain for the purpose of founding a colony in the New World. Mr. Cotton showed the part taken by North Devon in that enterprise, throwing some new light upon an incident which led to the miscarriage, and retarded for about twenty years the actual settlement of the English in North America. Sir Walter Raleigh’s expedition sailed from Plymouth in 1585. The vessels were fitted out in the estuary of the Taw and Torridge, in the port of Barnstaple, which Sir R. Grenville, general of the fleet, overlooked from his house at Tapeley. The fleet returned to England, and preparations were made for reinforcing the infant colony which had been established. The reason given for the non-sailing of the expedition was stated by Philip Wyot, Town Clerk of Barnstaple, to be the want of sufficient water at the bar, in consequence of which Sir R. Grenville left his ship. This was the direct cause of the breaking up of the first English settlement in America. Other expeditions were fitted out and came to a disastrous issue. One of them – in 1588 – was fitted out in Barnstaple for the relief of Virginia colony, but was stayed by order of the Privy Council in the pressing national emergency of that year. It eventually sailed over Barnstaple bar, but to do good service against the Spanish Armada. This was the bare but sufficiently striking incident which had been invested with all the charms of romance by the graphic pen of the author of “Westward Ho!” The last Virginian colony of Sir W. Raleigh was left to its fate. The diary of Wyot was published last year, and is important as throwing light on what has hitherto been a difficult point in English History.


Mr. J.A. PARRY brought up a well-written paper “On the remains of Ancient Fornications in the neighbourhood of Bideford.” He described the ancient British fortifications, referring first to the earthworks known as Clovelly Dikes, situated on the turnpike road to Stratton, about ten miles from Bideford. They consist of three distinct and almost concentric entrenchments, each having its “agger,” or embankment, and vallum, or ditch, the embankment varying from 15 to 25 feet in height; the bottom being nearly level, and from 20 to 30 feet in width. The inner of these entrenchments is oblong, 130 paces in length, 100 feet in width at the northern end, but tapering to 75 feet at the southern end; the outer circum-vallation embracing the other two encloses above 20 acres of land. This camp or town taken together is a work of much greater magnitude than any other in the vicinity, and from the magnitude of the outworks and covered approaches was no doubt a military camp of the first order. At Hartland, eastward of the Clovelly Dichens, are vestiges of another but less important embankment. In Buckland Brewer are two ancient fortifications, known as “Darphy Castle.” In Roborough is a camp called the “Ten Oakes,” circular in from, and situate in the midst of a wood. It may be interesting to know that the outrenchments thrown up by Lord Hopton for the defence of Torrington are still in existence at Stevenstone Park.

Papers were also read by Mr. C. Johnson “On an ancient chapel at Barnstaple;” Mr. J.R. Chanter, “On the ancient history and aborigines of North Devon, and the site of the lost Cimbric Town, Artavia;” C. Danbeny, M.D., on “The Temperature of the Ancient World;” W. Pengelly, Esq., on “The raised beaches in Barnstaple Bay;” and “Antiquity of Man in the South West of England;” Mr. H. Fowler, on “The results of the opening of a British barrow at Huntshaw;” Rev. J. May, on “The results of the opening of a barrow at Putford;” and C. Spence Bates, Esq., F.R.S., on “The Evidence of pre-historic Man, found in Constantine Bay, Cornwall,”

The members of the association were entertained to luncheon by W.F. Rock, Esq., the president of the Literary and Scientific Institution.

The Association Dinner took place at the Golden Lion Hotel.

The meeting was resumed yesterday, when the following papers were read – “Notes on the carboniferous beds adjoining the northern edge of the granite of Dartmoor,” by W. Ormered; “The Raised Beaches in Barnstaple Bay,” by W. Pengelly, Esq., “Some Remarks on Combmartin Silver Lead Mines,” by A.S. Kingdon; “On Prison Discipline,” by E. Vivian, Esq., “The Distribution of the Devonian Brachiopoda of Devonshire and Cornwall,” by W. Pengelly, Esq., “On the Annelids of Devon, with a resume’ of the Natural History of the County, past and present,” by E. Parfitt, Esq.; “On the Parasitism of Orobanche Major,” by E. Parfitt, Esq.; “Notes on the meteoric shower of November, 1866,” by W. Pengelly, Esq.; “On Murchisonite pebbles, and boulders in the Trias,” by W. Vicary, Esq.; “On the Floatation of Clouds and the Fall of Rain,” by W. Pengelly, Esq.; “On St. John’s Church, Torquay, struck by Lightning,” by E. Vivian, Esq.; “On the Longitude of places and the application of the Electric Telegraph to determine it,” by J. Jerwood, Esq.; “On the Deposits occupying the Valley between the Braddon and Wald on Hills, Torquay,” by W. Pengelly, Esq.; “On some Mammalian Bones and Teeth recently found in the submerged forest at Northam,” by H.S. Ellis.


Before the old year went out I finished the ceiling of the Oak room, on the north side of the Old Chancel. The last operation has been the carving (in oak) painting, gilding, and screwing up, the twenty five coats of arms of the Lords of the Manor of Sidmouth, one in each of the panels.

Note :- There are no entries for the month of August 1867.


September 1867.


Note :- Attached to this next page of the diary is the following letter.


Note: - Attached to the back of the letter is this printed article.


PETER ORLANDO HUTCHINSON, Esq, of the “OLD CHANCEL,” Sidmouth, has recently received a legacy of £100, bequeathed to him by the late Miss Dawson, of Audley, as a testament of her “admiration of his unflinching adherence to truth, through good and evil report,” throughout the church disturbances in Sidmouth. We congratulate this gentleman on his disinterested and gratifying proof of appreciation on the part of the deceased lady, who in 1861, &c, was an impartial looker-on during a contest involving those liberal and orthodox church principles which she so much valued, and for which in critical times Mr. Hutchinson so firmly and conscientiously contended, especially as a member of the Church Restoration Committee, and in whom, with some others, the parish stands indebted to this day for the unexceptionable manner in which the services of the parish church are conducted, although, singularly enough, the present vicar was then curate of Sidmouth, and an ally of the cause espoused by Mr. Hutchinson. At the same time we regard Miss Dawson’s act of honest approval as the severest reproach ever administered to those who sought to introduce innovations and changes in the reconstruction of the sacred edifice itself, as well as in the ritual, which had for years been most carefully pursued according to the real spirit and meaning of the Prayer Book, and in the prevention of which Mr. Hutchinson bore a most prominent and successful part. We have no desire to revert to by-gones when church matters in Sidmouth savour so strongly of peace and unity, but we could not overlook a fact of such significant import in these days of impending doubts and dangers to out Protestant National Establishment, as well as of flattering encouragement to all lovers of truth who may hereafter receive a similar proof of individual approbation when least expected.

Note :- Attached to the next page is another letter. This time from the vicar of Sidmouth, the Rev. Clements, thanking P.O.H. for a drawing and also congratulating him on his legacy.

Note :- There are no more entries in the diary until January 1868.

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