POH Transcripts - 1871

< Go back to the previous page


Sun. Jan. 1 1871. The new year comes with all its hopes, like others before.

Fri. Jan 6. Eclipses are as plenty as blackberries, indeed much more so, at this season of the year. Only a fortnight ago an eclipse of the sun, and now an eclipse of the moon. I was struck with the similarity in appearance, owing to nearly the same amount of obscuration, but making due allowance for the different arrangement of the three great heavenly bodies engaged in the performance.

Mon. Jan. 16. Paris, week by week, becomes closer and closer enchained by the surrounding grip of her enemies. There are upwards of 200,000 troops inside, who have made several vigorous sorties; and there are two or three vast armies now in the provinces. These last have attempted to march to the relief of Paris, but the Prussians have so far prevented. Meanwhile the city is suffering beyond description. Even cats, rats and dogs are beginning to fail. Two elephants have recently been killed for food. One was killed by means of an explosive shell. Impatient of the delay, the Prussians have begun to bombard the city.

I would have sold No. 4 if I could have got a good price for it: but the railroad was not started and no one was disposed to buy, so I retain it.

Sidmouth Jan. 1871

Sat. 21. - A trifle of mine, annexed, appeared in the paper. I hope the old stone will be better preserved.

Mon. Jan. 30. Paris has fallen! The siege has lasted Upwards of four months 4 months & 11 days. The bombardment has at last had its effect. The amount of misery suffered from starvation and cold is indescribable. When they had consumed the cattle and sheep, they fell upon the horses. Then they took to the dogs and cats and rats and mice. Still later they took to the menageries and wild beast shows. Lions, tigers and elephants have recently been slaughtered. The progress of this war has surprised all Europe. The French have failed in everything: and in every battle of any account, they have always been beaten. An armistice of three weeks is agreed upon. The forts around Paris are occupied by the Prussians, and the city for the present is held in check. No one thinks that the fighting will be renewed.

Fri. Feb. 10 1871. It is reported that the Germans, as a war indemnity, demand of the French Alsace and Loraine, with Belfort and Metz: also Pondycherry in the East Indies: 20 first class iron-clad ships of war: and £400.000.000 in money. If these terms are persisted in, it is thought the French will renew the war out of desperation.

Sat. Feb. 11. The death of my brother in Australia, Aug. 3 1870, and my sister’s husband Oct. 11, have altered my plans. Made a new will, leaving my houses in Sidmouth to my sister, also stock and money, and also my land Sec. 18 at Port Victor.

Sat. Feb. 25. The three weeks armistice terminated at noon on Sunday the 19th, but as there had not been time to complete the elections for the National Assembly to meet at Bordeaux, and for the members to deliberate on the great questions before them, it was extended to yesterday the 24th. The conquerors have demanded the sum of £8,000,000 from the inhabitants of the city, and made them pay it. Messages used to be sent from Tours to Paris by carrier pidgeon 1 f. p. word. From England they were sent in the Times. The paper was reduced by photography to 1 inch by 1½ the page containing messages. One of these little photos was sent by pidgeon. It was there enlarged and the messages forwarded to the persons concerned. Great quantities of food have been sent from England to the starving Parisians.

Sun. Feb. 26. The armistice is extended to 12 to-night. After morning service I walked to the cairns on Bulverton Hill. I walked back in the rain.

Sidmouth Mar 1871

W. Mar 1 1871 – For months past the Franco-German war has absorbed everything. The French nation has with much reluctance, but by a vote of 546 to 107, accepted the German terms of peace. They give up all Alsace, and one third of Loraine, including the important city of Metz: and five milliards of francs in money, about £200,000,000. One milliard is to be paid this year; two more in 1872; and the remainder in 1873. The Prussian troops will withdraw gradually out of France, as the money is paid. All prisoners to be set free. With an ingratitude not to be admired, the people are denouncing their late Emperor Napoleon, and laying all the blame of their misfortunes upon him; when it is well known that France has never prospered more than during his reign of the last twenty years, and that six months ago they were all mad for the war, if they did not even force him into it.

Tu. Mar 7. – Destroyed my Diary from Feb. 1849, back to 1840, I had previously destroyed it back to 1832. I may yet have another spell at destroying and lop off another decime or two. The early part I thought contained a great deal of childish nonsense. Some few entries would have been worth retaining, had they stood alone; but as they did not outweigh the trash I condemned the whole together. I observed under date Mon. Aug. 2 1847, Mr Heineken and myself went over to Branscombe and examined the interesting old house at Edge Farm. Wed. Sep. 8 1847 I dined at Salcombe Lodge, when the company were alarmed after dinner at seeing a great blaze over the town of Sidmouth. About a dozen houses were burnt down at Mill Cross, opposite the Unitarian Chapel and Mill Lane now foolishly altered to the sentence “ All Saints Church Road”. The remains of the monks’ and Adam de Radway’s old mill with the adjoining houses were destroyed. The fire was caused by a man going into a stable with a candle, and setting the hay and straw alight through carelessness – Wed. Jan 12 1848, H. Ponsford on the cliff of Salcombe Hill, fell over and was killed. He was ferreting rabbits, and a dead ferret was found in his pocket. My late mother and myself, walking on the Esplanade, saw his body brought home in a boat. From different parts of my Diary of 1845 and 1846, I took out the following notices of the late Marquis of Northampton’s soirees, to which he invited me.

Sidmouth Mar 1871

Fri Mar. 24 1871 – Beautiful day. Wing NE, fresh & pleasant. Brilliant sun. Mr Heineken and myself drove over to Branscombe. Went up Trow Hill, past Slade, drove to Higher and Lower Bulstone to enquire more about the coffin made of slabs of stone with bones in it, said to have been found many years ago by a labouring man near a hedge. Could get no information whatever, from either there or of old men elsewhere. Drove into Branscombe. Went again into the old house called “The Clergy”, near the church, with the loophole and trap door over the entrance. Went to Castle Close, on the hill over Culverhole or Trafalgar Cottage (Jul 9 1861). The lintel of the hole where the lime is withdrawn from the upper kiln (now in ruins) is a sandstone block 3 feet long and 9 inches thick. Query, the stone taken from the destroyed tumulus? The corresponding hole of the lower kiln is buried in rubbish. We eat our sandwiches and bread and cheese and drank our beer and cider as we sat on the grass, and enjoyed it all amazingly. We entered the chalk quarry which is now worked out and abandoned. We then scrambled up to where the filled – in trenches of the supposed camp were. I dug at the end of the southern one. It had been 9 feet deep, and about the same width at top. The portion remaining of the trench (agger or vas??) is 65 feet long, then turns at a right angle, and goes 15 to the edge of the quarry. Having been filled in, and all on the level, nothing is seen but the ends of the trenches in the face of the cliff. Bones, pottery etc having been met with by the quarry men suggested my digging at the end: but I had neither time nor tools to do much. We found beach pebbles like sling stones in the fields above, which may or may not be genuine. Near the kilns we saw many flint flakes, evidently modern. Perhaps gun flints used to be made there.

Then went into Branscome Church. There was no proper font. John Parrat, who is 79, and has been sexton between 50 and 55 years, told us that the old font had been used as a pump trough within his memory, and taking us to the garden at the east end of the churchyard, he showed us a fragment of it about 18 inches long, being the curved segment of the outside. On the altar tomb of Joan, wife of Ellis Carter of Weston, 1699, opposite the south porch, is a rhyming stanza of four lines, which stands as I copy it here.

About half a mile out of Branscombe, as we were returning home, we met a man with a donkey cart, and as the lane was very narrow, we stopped to let him pass. I stood up to put on an overcoat. The cart was loaded with faggots of sticks, on which was perched a boy of 10 or 12. Willing to have a joke, I cried out with a Devonshire accent “I zay! What’ll e zell the lot vor – sticks and boy and all?” “ I should be very glad to zell the boy,” said the man, “but I can’t pairt wi’ the sticks”. This caused a great laugh all round, and in which the boy joined.

Sidmouth March 1871

Sat. Mar. 25 1871. Lady Day. News have arrived that the Emperor-King of Germany, having just returned home, has released the ex-Emperor Napoleon from his palace-prison at Wilhemshoe, who arrived in England on Monday, and has joined his wife and son at Chiselhurst. Some twelve years ago there were two Miss Vaughans at Sidmouth, whom I knew. They told me they had been at school with the Empress at Clifton.

Last Tuesday the 21st the Princess Louise was married to the Marquis of Lorne, eldest son of the Duke of Argyll. This marriage has caused a great deal of talk, it being a princess married to a subject, but no objection has been raised. The handkerchief for the wedding was made here. I went and examined it before it was sent off. It was about 18 inches square. A square of 6 inches was plain in the middle, and a border of Honiton lace surrounded it of the same width. The four corners had a royal crown in each: midway between which were “true lovers’ knots:” the rest of the wide border was made up of flowers like orange blossoms, birds like doves and other pretty devices.

Mon. Mar. 27 – The accounts from France teach us that that unhappy and misguided country was better off when it was in the iron grasp of her enemies the Prussians. It is now in the hands of the Red Republicans, who are walking in the steps of Robespierre and Marat.

Fri. Mar. 31 – The frost and rain of the winter loosened the cliff in Peak Hill, and recently there has been a large “rusement” or fall-down of the sea face nearly in line with Peak Cottage. I have seen many such occurrences, but never on so large a scale. So much fell down, as to make a little promontory in the sea. Of course this will not last long, as the soil is soft. Such a fall down is locally termed a rusement, rhyming with amusement. Unde derivatur?

Sun Ap. 2 – Called at Helens with Mr Wm Floyd after church, to enquire after Mr Haughton James. Last Friday he and Mrs James were out walking, and were returning up the lane near the Marino, when Mrs James, who was enfeebled from a slight attack or two of parallasis, suddenly fell and appeared dead. The shock overcame him so much, that he fainted and fell too. They were taken home, but she died in the evening. He is better. Monument in church.

Tu. Ap. 4 1871. Wishing to have a thorough examination of Broad Down, Mr Heineken and myself spent the day there. We drove to Sidbury, been passed the Vicarage, where I have passed may a pleasant evening, in the time of Mr Fellowes the former vicar. Some 25 years ago (I hazard a rough guess) the Vicarage was burnt down, and the two old volumes in vellum of the parish Register were virtually destroyed. They looked like two lumps of charred wood. About an inch of the outside was burnt, the centre being untouched; but the skin was so dried, twisted, and contracted that I could not open them. I had several articles in Notes and Queries on singed vellum about a dozen years ago. It is strange to me that the old Registers are not collected and preserved in the government Record Offices. There is not one clergyman in ten who can be trusted with the custody of them. We ascended the lane up to Sweetcombe Common (now cultivated) and got out near Roncombe’s Gort. We first traversed Seven Barrow Field, as I call it, where the cup and the little cylindrical vase full of calcined bones were found in 1868.

On the surface, which had recently been ploughed, I found a core from which flint flakes had been struck; but as the flint, which is not black, did not seem to have split kindly, perhaps for that reason it had been thrown away. It is roughly cylindrical: 3in high; 2¼ across.

We plotted down all the barrows on the north, some of which were new to us. We then skirted the eastern side of the Down. We looked onto and admired the deep chasm at the head of one of the streams running down to Wishcombe. Near this we discovered three barrows. We pushed on westward till we came out into the road – a rough track for the carriage. We walked north and again visited the two large ones. The eastern one is a bowl barrow - flat or rather dished, or slightly hollow on the top. We made the top or platform 70 feet in diameter, the slope of the sides 30, whole diameter thus, 30 + 70 + 30 = 130 feet. We were indeed inclined to think that, instead of a barrow, this may have been a speculum or minature fortress of a circular form in advance of Farway Castle. It is to be lamented that Mr Kirwan has obtained unlimited permission to dig over as many barrows as zeal may invite. One barrow at a time, opened and examined carefully and deliberately, would give far more satisfactory results than tumbling over a great many, and leaving the workmen too much to themselves. The annexed plan may assist.

Coming home we saw, just after sunset, a peculiar yellow light over the sun. It was the same width as the diameter of the sun, and rose to the height of nearly 15 degrees. It continued steadily for 20 minutes. I reported it to professor Airy, and I annex his reply.

Sidmouth and Wareham, April 1871

Mon. Ap. Easter Monday. – From Sidmouth to Wareham. Coach to Honiton. Rail to Templecombe. Thence to Wimborne, passing between Hanbury Camp, and Hamel Dun and Hod Hill. Examined Wimborne Minster, being late Norman and early English. Crypt under east end. Some of the columns without capitals. Organ 42 stops. Old clock in south transept something like clock in north transept of Exeter Cathedral. Variety of coloured glass windows. Glass in E. window mostly old glass from Belgium. Thence to Wareham through a bare and barren district lying low round the shores of Poole Harbour. Abode with Mr and Mrs Lloyd – née Heineken. Saw the first swallows.

Tu. Ap. 11. To-day was buried, outside the east end of Sandringham Church, the little prince Alexander John Charles Albert, son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, born the 6th and died the 7th. He came into the world too soon. The Lloyds and myself went to Lulworth, 8 miles. Passed over a deal of barren heath. Passed near Lulworth Castle, the seat of the Roman Catholic family of Weld, for the last 200 years. It is a modern antique, being a square building with round towers at the corners. Went to Stair Cove, an extraordinary and beautiful place. The formation seems to be the greensand below the chalk. The contortions in the strata are most striking. Went to the preventive lookout station perched on the cliff. In the village there is a splendid spring of water issuing from under the chalk hill, worth looking at.

Wed. Ap. 12. – By Rail 5 miles west to Wool, and visited the ruins of Bindon Abbey. This, with the cloisters, gardens &c, was very extensive. But it is in a low, swampy, and unhealthy place by the river Frome Froom, full of fever, ague, and rheumatism. A plan is given in Hutchins’s History of Dorset; also of the scraps of sculpture which we saw.

Went into Trinity church in Wareham. It is the church served by Mr Hutchins a century ago. It is now the National school. Went up into the tower by a ladder. There are places for 5 bells, but only one remaining.

Th. Ap. 13. – Walked out N.W. passed the Poor House to see the ancient British track way. It goes along at the foot of the hill through the uncultivated land. It is sunk, with a hedge or earth bank on each side, so that propably persons passing along it could not be seen outside. This track seems to have gone from Wareham to Dorchester.

Mrs Pike, with Miss Pike, drove me to Corfe, some 5 miles. We rambled all over the castle. This is a most extensive and splendid ruin. The thickness of the walls is very great, and the great broken masses look like masses of rock in the cliffs. The destruction has been ruthless and complete. I was much struck with the beauty of the outside masonry, all of well squared stone. In the Second Ward (to the west) and in the outer jail court, there is a great deal of herring-bone work in the walls. There is the beam of stone to which prisoners were hung.

There was an amateur concert at the Townhall in the evening, to which we went.

Fri. Ap. 14. – Examined several places of interest in Wareham. There are the traces of the old British track way from the W. or N.W. of the town towards Dorchester. It begins a little beyond the Union Poor House, and skirts the foot of the hill over the open heath westward. The road is lower than the ground outside, and perhaps when perfect, was deep enough to conceal persons from an enemy outside. I add this to give the section above. I did not measure it, but I do not think it is more than six feet wide. We went into the Mint, so called. It is between the south Gate (or Bridge) and the Priory. At present the spot is used as a large depository for coals. We called at the Priory, now a private residence. It is on the south side of St. Mary’s Church, with a grass plat down to the river Froom, pronounced Frome. There are but few remains of the old buildings. We inspected the site of the castle. There is a large mound of earth in a field outside a garden. Also a deep foss with hillocks beyond. This is all. They are at the south-west point of the town.

Wareham, Dorsetshire, Ap. 1871

The nave of St. Mary’s church was rebuilt about 1855, I was told. I doubt if the architect was a first rate one. The east window is decorated. The head is all quartrefoils, like Holyrood Chapel; but there is a transome, which is a Perpendicular feature. I do not know whether it is the original window. In a crypt or chapel on the south side of the chancel, I saw several sepulchral slabs and stone coffins. In the arms of the town of Wareham, I remarked that the three fleures-de-lis, which surround a crescent and star, (that, the fleures-de-lis) are upsidedown. Doubtless there is some old legend connected with this.

Sat. Ap. 15. – We drove three miles to the clay pits south of Wareham. All the land here about belongs to the Rev. Prebendary Bond, of the Grange. Some of the pits are open, but some are burrowed underground like a coal mine. They are of great extent. The clay is as soft as hard butter, and looks like white soap. The clay is from 7 to 30 feet thick. It is cut with tools like spades or great chisels, perpendicularly downwards, and in steps about 18 inches high, on which the men stand to work. The tools are wetted to make them cut easier. In the underground galleries the clay is dug with the pickaxe, and raised at a shaft. Geologically speaking these beds lie on the chalk. The subterranean field of clay is 80 feet below the surface, and is covered with beds of sand and gravel. The clay must have been slowly deposited; and curiously enough, they have discovered that it is divided by a broad band of dirty sand and decayed vegetable matter, as if a brook had run through it. This must have been when the land was 80 feet higher than it is now. The clay contains about 46 p. cent. of alumina. Mr Pike, of North Street, works the pits. He sends away to the potteries, or to foreign countries, nearly 80,000 tons every year, from Poole Harbour. A Roman pottery once existed in this neighbourhood. They have dug up quantities of black ware in fragments, also fine red Samian ware. Also vases of black ware, and large cups with handles. Also a Roman column of the Tuscan order, about 7 inches in diameter and 4 feet high. These things are at Mr. Pike’s house, where I saw them. The column is in the conservatory.

We then drove on and passed The Grange. The mansion is placed miserably low in the bottom of a pit. We mounted the high chalk hill, and turning to the left, returned by Knowle and Corfe Castle.

Sun. Ap. 16. Went and heard the service at the Unitarian chapel: the first time I ever heard a service of this denomination. First, there was a hymn: then a chapter in the new Testament: several prayers from the prayer book of the Church of England, slightly altered in the wording in some parts: an anthem: a sermon about 25 or 30 minutes long: and another hymn. I think this was the order, though I am not quite sure. The Unitarians are very good people, but I wish they were not Unitarians. In the evening we supped with Mr & Mrs Pike and their family.

Mon. Ap. 17. – Wareham fair day. Left for Sidmouth. Took the rail soon after one P.M. Retraced my steps, as the arrangements via Dorchester are imperfect. Went to Wimborne, Blandford, Templecombe, Yeovil, Axminster, Honiton. Here I mounted the coach, and got home by 7 P.M.

Sidmouth, April 1871

Tu. Ap. 18. – Wind south. Incessant rain all day. A very beneficial rain for the seeds just sown, and for the young vegetation, after the day and cold north-east winds.

Wed. Ap. 19. – Dined at the Floyds’ at Powys. Took Lady Floyd to the dining- room, placed her at the head of the table, sat on her right hand, and carved for her – according to established custom. There were Miss Ellen Kennet Dawson and her brother Mr Benjamin Dawson, our Curate the Rev. G. Gordon, two Misses Clements, Sir John, Lady Floyd’s eldest son, Mr William Floyd, and self.

Fri. Ap. 21. – Heard the cookoo the first time to-day.

Sat. Ap. 22. – My cousin, Anne Giffard, née Stares, died at Winchester.

Th. May 4. – Put the finishing touches to the diaper in diamond pattern which I have recently done at each end of the communion rails in the parish church.

Mon. May 8. – Mr Heineken and myself wished once more to examine Bushy Knap and Buckerell Knap, which still has all the appearance of being an outwork like a promontory in advance of Hembury Fort, overlooking the Icknild between Honiton and Exeter. We drove through Sidbury to the top of Honiton Hill. We got out at the six mile stone and walked a few score yards eastward over the heath to revisit the three barrows opened in 1869. We went on and made a short cut to Awliscombe, by crossing the great road a mile or two west of Honiton. We discussed our sandwiches in a shady place near the mill at Mardles, and then mounted the flank of the hill. This peculiar hill is a long narrow ridge, and seems to have been regularly fortified by an earthwork all round. I took several measurements, and in my History of Sidmouth I have made a more correct plan than my former one of June 6, 1859, which in 1862 appeared in the Journal of the Archaeological Association. Some old writers say there was a sacrificial stone on this hill. We renewed our enquiries, but no one ever heard of it. The defences at the north end are certainly very peculiar and interesting. If this place became untenable, the garrison would retire upon Hembury Fort along the ridge discernible nearly all the way. In my History I have stated why I now believe Hembury to have been Moridunum.

After this we made a divergence to Buckerell. The Rifle Volunteers were being drilled in the village. The volunteers of this place made themselves quite famous as marksmen a few years ago. Went into the church. The wall behind the communion table is covered with odds and ends of old oak paneling, as of the carved fronts of old oak chests &c, &c. The late vicar had it done, we were told, and the effect is not bad. There is a black oak open screen, I presume original. Thence to Feniton. In the churchyard, on the south side of the tower there is an altar tombe, recording John Pierce 1620. The screen in this church has been cut in two: one half has been pushed back and fixed against the east wall behind the communion table, and unfortunately painted white and blue; whilst the other half runs at right angles to it between the chancel and south aisle. There is also a small bit across the south aisle.

We returned home through Fenny Bridges, Ottery, Bowd, and Bulverton. Out from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M.

Sidmouth, May 1871

Wed. May 10. – This morning I was in the Blue Room over the Hall in the Old Chancel, when I heard a great outcry. On looking out of window, I saw a boy caught on the spikes of the iron railings under the elm tree in front of No. 4 Coburg Terrace. By the time I had got down he had extricated himself, but he had badly pierced the palms of both his hands, and also one of his arms. I asked him why he tried to climb the railings? He said he was running away from his master, who, for some offence, was going to give him “a good walloping.” He was bleeding, and in great pain, so I took him into the kitchen of No. 4, made the cook get some warm water, and after he had washed his hands, I bound them up with rag, and gave him some diacolon plaister.

Wed. May 17. – Walked out to Knowle and called on the Alexanders. After I had returned a Salcombe man called Gay brought a badger which he carried in a sack, and let it out for me to see. He held it by a cord tied to one of the hind legs. He had set a trap on Salcombe Hill to catch a fox, but caught this badger instead. It is rather a pretty animal. The head is sharp and graceful in form, with some beautiful light and dark stripes running backwards from the nose. He said he had sold it to Mr Lousada, of Peak House.

Th. May 18. – Sir John Floyd, of Powys, brought Mr and Lady Katherine Buchannan to see me and the Old Chancel this morning. Not expecting them, I was not at home. She is a sister of the late Earl of Donoughmore. They were “birds in passage.”

Sat. May 20. – Were there ever such Goths and Vandals as the Red Republicans who still hold Paris? On Tuesday last they undermined and overthrew the splendid bronze column in the Place Vendôme!

Th. May 25. – Last Sunday the troops of the French government entered Paris, after a two months siege. This is the second siege within six months – first, by the Prussians, and then by the troops faithful to the government. The Prussian soldiers still hold all the northern and eastern sides of the city outside, and will do so until a stipulated part of the war indemnity is paid.

On Monday and Tuesday there was much fighting in the streets; the government troops however continued to advance. The insurgents, finding that they were losing ground, determined to destroy the city and all the most beautiful works of art in it; and to effect this they went to work with a species of reckless barbarism which no low or ignorant savages on the earth could have exceeded. On harmless and inoffensive persons they have been using the rifle with the same freedom with which the guillotine was used in 1793. They saturated bundles of hay with petroleum, and conveyed them into the Tuilleries, and opening casks of it on the floors, they set it all on fire. The palace was irrevocably reduced to ashes. They set fire to the Louvre, Palais de Justice, Palais Royal, Hotel de Ville, and to houses in most of the streets. They have also blown up the Luxemburg with a terrible explosion. The beautiful Saint Chapelle, the Pantheon, the Hotel Dieu, Notre Dame, and other public buildings, appear through the smoke to be burning. These wanton acts of destruction have much enraged the government troops, so that but little mercy is shewn. We shall soon have further intelligence.

Sidmouth, May, 1871

Mon. May 29. 1871. – The last advices from Paris inform us that the rebels are at last put down, but the slaughter has been terrible, and the vengeance awful. It was discovered that these wretches were pouring petroleum out of a fire engine instead of water into the burning palaces, and the government troops coming upon them, shot them down by dozens. The women then, who seem to have been complete Furies, tried to throw the petroleum on the fire, when they too, were shot in the same way. Even children endeavoured to follow the mad acts of their parents, and then they were shot. A week or more ago the rebels shot the Archbishop of Paris and 64 hostages and 10 nuns. During the week that the fighting was going on in Paris, about 3000 government troops were killed, and 10,000 insurgeants. From 20 to 30,000 have been taken prisoners, now the insurrection has been crushed, and it is hard to know what to do with them. Some tried to escape through the Prussian lines, but they were immediately shot down, 372,000 rifles have been taken. There are 50,000 dead bodies in the houses, cellars, and streets, some imperfectly buried weeks ago, but the greater number recently killed. The hot weather is coming on, and the atmosphere of the city is becoming so tainted and poisoned, that a fearful pestilence is apprehended. Truly, the events of the last twelvemonth have shewn to all Europe, that Frenchmen are not capable of governing themselves.

Tu. May 30. – The census returns of April 3 shew that the population of London was 3,251,904. The increase in the last ten years is 447,815. The population of Sidmouth parish is 3,370, which stands thus:- Inhabited houses, 699, Uninhabited, 61. Males, 1415. Females 1955. Total, 3370. Increase since 1861 = 19. But from 1851 to 1861 we lost 70.

Th. June 1. 1871. – Mr Heineken and myself drove again to Broad Down, our chief object being, to explore the western position, to see if there are any tumuli in that quarter. We ascended Salcombe Hill, and turned into a field on the left, at the turn-off of the lane. The land was first enclosed some 12 or 15 years ago, when the labourers found a quantity of beach pebbles, like the sling-stones of Sidbury Castle. I went up at the time, but Mr H. had not seen the spot. We observed from 40 to 50 lying about within a radius of perhaps 30 yards of the great stone, as if some ancient fight had taken place there. Mr H. took 2 or 3, but I left them. Jan. 7. 1873.

We passed Thorn Farm, then the Pound, and glanced at the ordnance mark on its east side. We got out at Trow hamlet, and looked into some of the cottages to see if they had any old oak furniture, but they had not. On the Lyme road we observed the marks on the mile stones. The elevations I have. We turned off north, and descended at Rakeway Bridge, the southern point of the Down. Mr Heineken explored the S.E. corner, whilst I went away N. on the E. of the centre road. I observed traces of an old trackway, perhaps used before the road was made. This portion was enclosed about 1820. I noted down two tumuli; one doubtful. Came out by the two great barrows, and returned by the road. Joined Mr H. and we

then proceeded to take another look at the Lovehayne tumulus, or rather, of the eastern portion, which is all that remains. Standing on it, Mr H. turned up a fine thumb-flint with his stick. Returning through the field to the road, I found another, and then another, the last not being well made. He then picked up a core. We think there must have been a manufactory of flint weapons here, for we have always seen numerous indications in this field. We then proceeded to the great western triangle. We went north from Rakeway Bridge a few score yards, and then turned in to the left westward, and over the hedge. There is a large expanse of heath beyond. I went further west, leaving him to explore in a northerly direction; but on surmounting the next hedge, there was still another expanse of wild heath. No wonder this Down got the name “Broad”. Finding no tumuli I veered away northward; then into some plantations; then out over the hedge owards Seven Barrow Field; then back till I met Mr Heineken, when we proceeded to the great barrow in the middle of the Down, on which some years ago he met with a thumb-flint, now in the Exeter Museum. With his stick to-day he turned up a flake, apparently intended for a thumb-flint, but not completed. I measured the N. and S. diameter of the barrow, and made it 140 feet. There is no foss round it.

It was now time to return home. We drove north: stopped and walked round Farway Castle; proceeded to Hunters Lodge, Sidbury, Sidford, and home before nine. A hard day. Much rough walking in the heat. The flints we found repaid us.

[F On this subject see printed letter further on, June 14.

Tu. June 13. 1871. -The iniquities of this world are monstrous, and they take every variety of form. The annexed are rubbings of false antiques made of brass, very ingeniously corroded with vinegar and acid, and all over dirt, mortar and verdigris, to make them look old, and very old they look. They have been forwarded to me for examination by the Rev. H.J. Ellacombe, Rector of Clyst St. George. They are said to have been found near Budleigh. He warns me to be on my guard lest any designing person bring the like to me. I have shewn both sides of the three preceding. The two last are hollow, being apparently of two stamped plaques soldered together. The Bishop is 4 inches high: the heart 3½in.

Wed. June 14. 1871. - The following letter on Broad Down I sent to the Exeter Daily Telegram, since my last visit there of June 1.

designing person bring the like to me. I have shown both sides of the three proceeding. The two last are hollow, being apparently of two stamped plaques soldered together. The Bishop is 4 inches high; the heart 3 ½ in.

Wed. June 14. 1871. The following letter on Broad Down I sent to the Exeter Daily Telegram, since my last visit there of June 1.



To the Editor of the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette.

Sir, - To those who like antiquarian pic-nic-ing, repeated visits to Broad Down furnish repeated opportunities for out-door enjoyment. Since the termination of last winter Mr. Heineken and myself have already made several visits to that spot, the object for such visits being twofold: firstly, to explore every portion of the Down, not only according to the present limits, but according to its ancient limits as laid down in some of the old county maps, and jot down all the tumuli wherever they may be discovered; and secondly, to revisit those tumuli which have already been opened, and recall to memory the pleasant scenes of their first opening. I have known the hill for twenty or thirty years, but every visit, owing to its great extent, reveals something new, or something overlooked before. Donn’s inch-scale map of the county, published in 1765, shews a trackway in dotted lines north and south over the moor, but does not shew any enclosing hedges or limits to the Down whatever. The Ordnance survey of Colonel Mudge, dated 1809, exhibit’s the boundaries, and also one long hedge, nearly parallel with the road, at a few hundred yards to the west of it, and running from the northern or Farway end of the Down, to the southern point at Rakeway Bridge. The great barrow or tumulus by the road side is laid down on the Ordinance map. At this period the large triangle to the west of this line was all open moor. The map of Greenwood and Co. published in 1827, shews that many encroachments had been made in the interval; notably, two plantations at the southern end, and a large one towards the north-west, over Roncombe Gurt, or Girt. [Query. - What is the derivation of the word Gurt, and how ought it be spelt?] Since 1827 many more enclosures have been carried over the ground, the largest being on the south-east, indicated by a long hedge by the road side, planted with beach, behind the milestone 17 from Exeter, 13 to Lyme. To the casual observer the long hedge above mentioned, running from the northern or Farway end of the Down, to the southern point at Rakeway Bridge, appears to mark its western limits all through; but if he gets on the bridge and looks towards the setting sun, he will see another expanse of heath and furze, with a line of young fir trees in the distance, and that he will say is the end; but let him tear his rough way through to the line of young fir trees, and look over the hedge on which they grow, and he will still see more heath and furze. No wonder this Down was originally called “Broad.” From repeated observations made at various times on this extended range, I have jotted down 20 barrows as being on the Gittisham and Farway hills, and 31 on Broad Down, the sum of the two numbers being 51. It may be remarked that these barrows are strewn the most thickly on each side of Roncombe Gurt, - some on the side of Farway Castle, and some on that of Broad Down. Between these groups there is a narrow ridge, formed by the Farway valley on the north, and Roncombe Gurt on the south, the Turnpike Gate occupying nearly the narrowest part. If it be a sufficiently ascertained fact that the ancient tribes buried their warrior chiefs where thy fell in battle, it is easy to see where the fight was the most fierce and the most fatal. The tumuli are pretty thick along the road near Farway Castle; but just beyond the Toll-gate there is a triangular field all mounds. I call this “Seven-barrow-field” for want of a better name. Three of its barrows are conspicuous and striking, (they were opened in 1868), two others are easily discernible, and two more have been nearly obliterated. Within my memory they were all very plain, but the plough is every year endeavouring to make them less so. From this spot along the northern verge of the Down, and out over the hedge, they are numerous, but they become sparse as we remove further away. It may be inferred that hostile tribes contended with each other to get across this ridge: or it may otherwise be conjectured that invaders or other enemies, coming up from the south or east, found themselves, by the conformation and contour of the hills, in their progress westward necessarily converging towards this same narrow ridge, where they would be opposed by the natives who held the position. As this place again the fatal struggle would ensue. The great variation in the construction of these tumuli, and the variety of objects they contain, all go on shew that they were ether made by different tribes, or at widely different periods, when habits and customs had had time to change. I hope I shall not offend anyone if I express my regret at seeing so meny of these tumuli opened at the same time. If I owned land on which such objects abounded, and if application were made to me to have them examined, I would say - “My dear Sir, - I will grant you permission to open one barrow this year and no more, and that must be on condition that you either open it with your own hands, or that you never leave the workmen whom you may employ.” A stipulation of this sort would ensure a more careful examination, and would be in the interest of science. The results moreover, would be more fruitful and more satisfactory. At the meeting on the hill in 1868, one of the servants having heard that the three large tumuli, in Seven-barrow-field, had been opened by labourers during the preceding day or two, said to me, “You ought to stand by the workmen all day, and have your eye upon every spadeful of earth they throw out; and you ought to sleep on the barrows all night, or rather, you ought to sit up wide awake, to see that nobody tampers with them before the day of the meeting.” I have reason to think that on most places where barrows have been opened, and in other places besides Devonshire, these mounds still contain many objects of interest which a too hurried examination has caused to be overlooked. We know where to find the primary interment; we drive a trench into the centre; find the kist-vaen; take out the contents, and think we have got everything. But experience has shewn that secondary and subsequent interments have taken place on the sides of these mounds. Further, there are grounds for believing that the ancient inhabitants living only in frail huts made of boughs or the like, and having no place of security in times of danger, for things they prized, or for keeping duplicates of weapons until they should require them, recurred to these burial heaps and deposited them in their sides for present safety. I look upon the finding of about 100 bronze palstaves in the side of the Lovehayne tumulus, in 1763, on the southern skirts of Broad Down, as an instance in point. The primary interment consisted of calcined bones (from two pieces of jaw, apparently of an adult and a child) enclosed in a very rude urn, and seemingly to the stone age. These remains I still have, which, together with some others found in this county, I hope the Trustees of the Exeter Museum will accept some day. Hence it may be inferred that any spadeful of earth taken from any part of the tumulus may contain objects of interest, for all we can tell to the contrary. I cannot just now say how many times we have visited the Lovehayne tumulus during the last dozen years, whether on the occasions when the farmer repeatedly disturbed it for the sake of the stone, or at cursory visits since, just to take another look at an old acquaintance. And yet, after all these disturbances and turnings over, standing upon the remains of it on the first of this present month of June, Mr. Heineken turned up a fine thumb-flint or scraper (?) with the point of his walking stick. Scarcely ten minutes after I found another in a neighbouring field, where we have so often on previous occasions observed flint flakes lying about as to lead us to suppose that an ancient manufactory of flint implements had once existed here. In a few minutes I met with another, but this last is badly formed, as if some novice had been trying his hand. He then picked up a flint core, from which flakes had been struck. It is not a good one, but it has a flat top, and is evidently a core. Whenever we cross a ploughed field we separate from each other, and walk parallel, with our eyes scrutinising the ground. In this way we have met with many objects of interest. The best time is during the months of spring and early summer, when the ground has been recently worked, and the crops not high enough to conceal it. Some few years ago he met with a well-formed thumb-flint, or scraper, or artificially wrought sling-stone, as the case may be, for it dose not yet appear satisfactory decided what these discs, about the size of half pence or penny pieces, really were on the disturbed top of the great tumulus in the middle of the Down. It is now in the Exeter Museum; and in the same place the other day, again with that wonderful walking-stick, he turned up a flake, which was evidently intended for a thumb-flint, but is not completed. On a previous visit this spring (April 4) I found a fine core, as large as a boy’s fist, with a flat top, in Severn Barrow Field. It has the glassy surface of great age, I mention these things just to show that quiet and unobserved work is by no means barren of results; further, that tumuli which have been trenched and examined, and supposed to be exhausted, are by no means exhausted, but again and again yield their treasures to those who inspect them cautiously and deliberately.

I trust that no one will feel aggrieved at these remarks, made on my experiences of a wild and beautiful Down with which I have been more or less familiar ever since the hey-day of my unripe youth.

Sidmouth, June 6, 1871. P. O. HUTCHINSON.

Tu. June 20. 1871. To-day Mr. James M. Robbins, with Miss. Robbins, his niece, having come over from Boston in Massachusetts to visit England, and having heard my name over there, came to pay me a visit. They found me at No. 4 Coburg Terrace. I had two bedrooms prepared and begged they would make my house their home. They claim to be relatives, for his ancestor; for Mr. N. Robbins, (not Robins), married Elizabeth daughter of Edward Hutchinson, in 1737, at Boston, Mass.

Whilst he was with me he made several allusions to the manuscripts known to have been left by my great-grandfather, Governor H., and observed that in the Preface to the third vol. of his History of Massachusetts Bay, there is an intention expressed of drawing up a book from these materials. I said that it has always been the intention, but want of leisure has alone prevented it. He urged me to do it myself. I observed that my cousins and myself meant to do it jointly. I had devoted much time to unfolding and ironing out and arranging chronologically, many old letters, and in reading and making indexes to Diaries and other papers. The building of the Old Chancel, together with the amount of work I had done there with my own hands, and the compilation of my History of Sidmouth, had been impediments in the way since the manuscripts had been in my custody; but if I continue to be blessed with the same health I had for many years enjoyed, and be spared a few years longer, I hoped to undertake something in earnest. I shewed him the account of the Governor’s death in Elisha’s Diary, which took place as he was walking from the door of his house. At Brompton Park to his carriage, when he reeled and fell, and was caught by his servant Riley, and carried back into the hall, where he breathed his last, June 3. 1780. This he read with much interest. I did not shew him the Governor’s Diary, nor the great mass of letters and papers, for at that time they were not under my roof.

Walking round my kitchen garden, Mr. Robbins stopped before the broad beans, one of the commonest vegetables in England.

“What are those?” said he to me.

“Broad beans.”

“Broad beans? I don’t recollect seeing anything like them in America. Do you eat the pods too?”

I answered No. I said the beans were rather young yet. When they had grown a little larger, they were taken out of the pods and boiled. They were an extremely nice vegetable.

Perhaps he had lived much in the City of Boston, and had not seen them growing; but I should think they were well known in the United States.

I published the Governor’s Diary & Letters in 2Vols. In 1883 & 1886.

Tu. June 27. 1871. The choirs of the Choral Association, numbering about 400, met here, and there were two choral services in the parish church. If people wish to assimilate the services to those of the church of Rome, as I have seen them on the continent this is not a bad contrivance for accomplishing it.

Wed. J. 28. Went from Sidmouth to Dawlish. Drove to Budliegh. Walked to Budliegh Salterton. Omnibus to Exmouth. Crossed the river Exe by the Ferry boat, and was landed on the sand bank. Walked along the Warren. The oyster beds, or nursery foe young oysters, established about five years ago in the inlet between the two great banks of sand, have been quite destroyed by an irruption of the sea two or three winters ago. I used to go along the southern bank next the sea, but the breach that was made lets in the water, so that pedestrians are obliged to take the northern bank. Got on the Railway wall. Advanced the “Elephant Rock” on the east side of Langstone Point. The waves and the elements have combined to form the cliffs into something very much the shape of a great elephant. The spot to see it best, is nearly opposite the 204 miles from London. Got to Belmont Villa before six.

Fr. June 30. Walked out three miles to the top of Haldon. On reaching the keeper’s house on the right hand side, just on the border of the moor, I perceive that two new hedges have been made, one each side of the road. They all carried on over the moor from this spot towards the camp to the four cross way. Other hedges diverge to the right or north. From there hedges of earth extend wire fences both west and south. A wire fence cuts the comp in two, from SW. to NE. I could not find either flint arrow heads or sling stones. I shall give no more details here, as I have dealt fully on them in a communication sent to the Exeter Gazette. (See out over.) Went and visited the remains of Lidwell Chapel. I shall send an account of this too to the Gazette.

July 1871


Sat. July 1. 1871. Went by rail to Teignmouth. Called on Mr. and Mrs. Hildebrand. He was curate at Sidmouth, and now Vicar of East Teignmouth. Also on one or two other friends.

Sun. July 2. Very rainy. At St. Mark’s chapel.

Mon. 3. Returned to Sidmouth. Walked across the Warren, and got across the ferry to Exmouth. I had barely got shelter in Exmouth, when a thunder storm broke over the place. The rain came down violently for half an hour. Took the omnibus to Budleigh Salterton. Walked two miles further to East Budleigh, where I had some tea at a Friend’s house, being thirsty after my walk, and found a carriage from Sidmouth waiting for me. Drove over Peak Hill home.


To the Editor of the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette.


Sir, - A few weeks ago there appeared in one of the Daily Telegrams of the Exeter Gazette a communication on the subject of Little Haldon Camp. The public were warned that its destruction seemed imminent from the process of enclosure which was being promoted on the top of the hill. So long ago as September 22. 1853, a description of it by me was printed in “Westcote’s Dawlish Directory.” This camp is a circle, if not mathematically true, struck at all events with a creditable amount of accuracy, considering the rudeness of the age in which it must have been formed. It measures about 124 yards in diameter. I need scarcely remark that the old-fashioned idea tending to the belief that works of this nature, of a circular figure, owe their origin to the Danes, has been abandoned as wanting in proof. The notion in the first instance seems to have been only hazarded, and as nothing has turned up to lend it consistency, it has died out and become exploded. To find its constructors we must go back far beyond the Danish period. This hill-fortress is not to be noticed so much for its strength, which, comparatively speaking, is not great, as for the selection of the spot where it is placed. It is encompassed by a ditch and an agger or hedge, the slope of the agger being from fifteen to eighteen feet. In rainy weather there is water in the ditch. It is not found on the crest of the hill, as would have been the case if an extensive view on all sides had been the only consideration. But it is a quarter of a mile on the east or Dawlish side of the crest of the hill, so that the occupiers of the place could have had no view of the country to the west, nor could they have perceived an enemy approaching from the valley of Ideford. Some other considerations, therefore, must have suggested the selection of the site. Manifestly, it is placed near the centre where all the roads converge which come up from Teighmouth, Kingsteignton, Great Haldon, Mamhead, and Dawlish; and especially is it placed on a narrow ridge of the hill, between the deep descent on the north, occupied by one of the plantations belonging to the Mamhead Estates, and the precipitous gorge of Smallacombe Goyie on the south. Though not on the highest point of the hill, from which a view to the west, as well as on other sides could have been obtained, it is strategically so placed as that no enemy, passenger, or traveller could have crossed the moor without being observed by the holders of the position.

After more visits to this spot than I can now enumerate, I walked on from Dawlish on Friday, the 30th. of June this year, the instigation so to do having been the communication in the Telegram above alluded to. On reaching the Keeper’s house, on the right hand side on the top of the hill, and close to the beginning of the open moor, I observed that two hedges had been recently made, one on each side of the road. They run on over what was unenclosed ground down to the present time, out to a four-crossway a little short of the camp. On the right or northern side, some new hedges, emerging from the one that flanks the road, have been carried over the level in the direction of Mr. Hoare’s Belvedere, only not so far, thus dividing the land into several enclosures. Beyond the four-cross way the enclosures are made by wire fences, consisting of high, stout stakes with five wires fixed to the sides of them with staples. These run beyond the camp towards the Great Haldon road in a westerly direction, and in a southerly direction from the four-cross way towards Teignmouth to a considerable distance. The field for volunteer reviews is considerably diminished. The dividing line between the two parishes of Dawlish on the south and Mamhead on the north unfortunately runs through the middle of the camp. It tends in a direction from south-west to north-east. Modern landed proprietors are not responsible for these ancient landmarks. Some will have it that the Saxon King Alfred of renowned memory divided the country into hundreds and parishes. But that as it may, and ancient as the landmarks are, they are not so old as the camp. We must now take the divisions as we find them, and we may enjoy our opinions of those careless people who could cut so interesting a work in two. It is to Mr. Hoare’s credit that he should have offered to purchase the other half or sell his own, so the camp should belong to one proprietor. The inhabitants of the neighbouring towns are giving vent to many complaints and lamentations on the subject of these enclosures. This is natural enough, and they are such as we generally hear in other places on similar occasions. Wealth to the wealthy. Riches to riches. To those who already have land in the neighbourhood, slices of the hill are given gratis. The poor man’s rights of common, whether he exercises them or not, are taken away, and he feels aggrieved. The prospect of his being employed all his life as a labourer at fair wages to cultivate this land, dose not appear to him to be an equivalent. Why should he not have had a square acre, or a square rood, or a square yard as his own all to himself, according to the number of claimants to be satisfied? These are questions social and political, and are not archaeological, with which I have nothing to do here. I went up to take another look at an old acquaintance, and to report to those who may feel an interest in the preservation of antiquities. I entered into conversation with a man of middle age who was engaged at the wire fences near the four-cross way. He did not know what the proprietors had decided on in the future disposition of the land. There was not much alluvial soil over the thick bed of flints; the turf cutters had taken away some, and probably few farmers would say it was worth ploughing up. He added that possibly it would be planted with young fir-trees. He concluded by observing that it was not of much consequence to him, as he should not live to see the trees grown up, let along 50 feet high. I paid him the compliment of saying that he was talking of dying too soon,- a compliment to which hard-hands and guttural-voice was not altogether insensible. The wire fence is carried over the ditch and agger, cutting the circle in two, with a slight flexure in the centre, the northern half having the appearance of being somewhat the larger, though it may not be so. As on former occasions, I hunted the interior across and around, under the hope that some stray arrow-head or other worked flint might meet the eye lying on the ground. Why not as well as sling-stones and thumb-flints (Gazette, April 9, 1864, and June 12, 1871), so often met with nearer my own neighbourhood in the camps and on the tumuli? In every skirmish the flint-tipped arrows were distributed amongst the enemies as well as the sling-stones, and there is no reason that they should not be met with either inside or within an easy distance of these hill fortresses. It would be needless to look for sling-stones here. They could not be recognised as such, because, though the great mass of the flints of this hill are angular, still, there are many spherical and egg-shaped nodules, or pebbles of white quartz, admirably suited to the purpose, and which could be had for the trouble of picking up. Nothing short of the discovery of a hoard or deposit, like that in a cave excavated in the side of the agger at Sidbury Castle, and which I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to see and report on (Gazette, April 9, 1864, as above), could settle the question as to whether such and such stones were genuine sling-stones or not. Everything depends on the circumstances under which they are found.

After completing my observations here, I steered southward for nearly half a mile, and then cut across the heath down to the ruins of Lidwell Chapel. I have known this place for nearly twenty years, and have got a few antiquarian notes upon it. They would be too long for this communication. The camp and the chapel are two different subjects, and there is a great break between the period of the one and the date of the other, and so, if the editor will find room for my trash, I will send again in a few day’s time.

I am, sir, your faithfully,


Sidmouth, July 7, 1871.

[Our correspondent sadly underrates the value of his communications. We are always happy to receive them, and to find space for them. - Ed. E. and P. G.]


To the Editor of the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette.


Sir,- Though the ruins of Lidwell Chapel stand near a populous district, there are very few persons who have seen them. They are placed in a secluded nook, enveloped in trees, and rather difficult of access; and people living in the neighbourhood console themselves by saying- “I can go any time,” and so never go. If it is a secluded and almost a desolate spot now, it must have been much more so some four or five hundred years ago when the building was erected. It is hard to realise the motives that could have induced anyone to select such a remote place, close up to the open moor, as it is now, but in a former day surrounded by wild land. It stands at the head of the stream that rises in Little Haldon, and runs down through the valley of Aller and Southwood, and the ruins are three fields above Lidwell Farm. During the first ten years of my acquaintance with the ruins, the spring of water, that issues from the bank opposite the west doorway, just at the junction of the greensand formation on the red sandstone (as all the springs round Haldon do), entered the chapel through this doorway, and the interior was a complete swamp. I took the liberty some years ago of representing this to Mr. Whidborne, the owner, who resided at a distance, expressing a fear lest this continued wet should injure the foundations, and threaten the stability of the west wall and gable, which alone remain erect. He took the intimation kindly, and ordered a trench to be cut from the spring in a direction so as to convey the water past the north-west corner of the chapel and into the brook that conveys it down through the valley to Dawlish. The following memorandum, drawn up by Mr. Whidborne, which I have for some time had in my possession, is worthy of being brought before your readers:-

The ruined chapel which stands on this estate was dedicated to the V. Mary. At the west end there is a spring of water, with the remains of some artificial stonework, which I suppose once constituted a well, so that the chapel was dedicated to Our-Lady-of-the-Well; and from which the name of the estate, anciently written Lythewell or Lyddewill, was borrowed.

The length is 35 feet within the walls, and the breadth 17 feet, and the west wall is 2ft. 6in. Thick. The ruins consist only of the western gable, containing an arched doorway, composed of four large stones, 4ft. Broad and 6ft. 4in. High, over which is a square oblong window. The line of the walls may be traced round the other side by the stones which still remain.

The following (continues Mr. Whidborne) are the only notices which I have found of it.

At Ludwell, or Lythewyll, an estate of Mr. Richard Whidborne, near Haldon, in a field called Chapel Park, is the ruinated chapel of St. Mary, of which the proprietor can give no other account than that he has heard his father say, it is prayed for in Roman Catholic countries by the name of the Holy Chapel of Ludwell. He added, that his father, when he gave him the estate, exacted a promise from him, that he would never remove any of the stones, or any part of the building. Ther are no monuments remaining of any person buried there. This chapel is called in the Liber Regis Lithewyll. So much from Polwhele. A foot note adds the notice in the Liber Regis thus - Lithelewyll (St. Mary) olim cap. To Dawlish demolished. - Lib. Regis. - Polwhele, v. II. P. 150, 1797.

Of the other chapel (he had spoken before of Coketon Chapel) de Lydewill, in honore S’ce Marie, infa parochial de Doulissh constructa et situata, - I find no mention before 11th August, 1411. It lies near Haldon; ‘tis a complete ruin.

Bishop Stafford further licenced him (Thomas Fayrforde) on 11th. August, 1411, to celebrate mass in St. Mary’s Chapel at Lidwell, on the 15th. August, the feast of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin Mary.

N.B. - On the 25th. May, 1426, Bishop Lacy licenced this Vicar (Walter Chitewell) to officiate - in capellis beate Marie de Coketon et Lydewill infra parochiam de Dowlyssh.

See Fol. 131, 133, v. 1. Stafford’s Register.

Oliver’s Ecc. Antiq. ii., 143-4.

N.B. - Lysons speaks of the hamlet of Lithwell, perhaps misled by the chapel.

Such is the information for which we are indebted to Mr. Whidborne. In White’s History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire for 1850, one of the legends connected with the chapel is alluded to. At page 416 the following passage occurs:-

About 3 ½ miles N.W. of the town (of Teighmouth) are the venerable ruins of Lithwell or Lidwell Chapel, where a villainous priest, popularly called St. Simon, is said, in a legendary tale of the 16th century, to have committed many murders on the surrounding heath, for the sake of hoarding up gold in a secret chest under the altar, at the foot of which was a deep well, in which he is said to have buried his victims. This chapel was in Dawlish parish, and the well may still be seen in the middle of the ruined walls, covered with a large granite slab.

This story wants consistency, inasmuch as the never failing spring of water before the west door would render the sinking of a well unnecessary. This well covered with the granite slab seems to be an amplification. The sequel of the tradition I picked up from some of the country people in the neighbourhood of Dawlish, so long ago as in 1854. It runs to the effect that when the monk one night went upon Haldon, and attacked a traveller for the purpose of robbing him, he met with his match. The traveller turned on him and wounded him severely, that he was only able to crawl back to the chapel, where he died. His ghost is said to haunt the spot still, which shews that St. Simon had the bump of Locality.

I am persuaded that some interesting excavations could be made here, but they should be made cautiously and deliberately, or not at all. Owing to the accumulation of mud within the walls, and the falling away of the steep bank outside the west and south sides, the soil seems to have become considerably raised. It would be doing the walls good service if this encumbrance were cleared away. Perhaps it would be necessary to remove this to the depth of at least a foot before the original floor would be reached. Any examinations afterwards made inside might reveal tablets or fragments of sculpture, which might serve to afford some interesting information. Any earth, stones, or rubbish taken out, ought not be scattered or thrown away, but carefully deposited in a heap in some safe spot for re-examination if necessary. There is a waste spot outside the east end. I lay stress upon re-examination of the rubbish if necessary, for when a place is cleared out many small objects might be easily overlooked.

I have another legend by me connected with this chapel. There is something in it about Ion and Ianthe, the Castle, the Roman encampment on the heath (the British circular camp before described), and some old sailors. The story bears the stamp of modernness; and, compared with the facts above given, I look upon the tale as flummery. If anybody wants the flummery they can have it, but perhaps they will be content with the fact.


Sidmouth, July 14, 1871.

Mon. July 10. 1871. After a month of chilly and showery weather, during which time a great deal of hay has been injured, a change has now taken place for the better, and people are hoping for summer.

Th. July 13. Finished two more patches of diaper work in the parish church. Thy are the squire pattern, and on the entrance N. & S. walls.

Fri. July 14. Mr. DuCann, a ventriloquist and conjuror exhibited his powers this evening at the London Hotel, at the corner of New Street and Fore Street. Some parts were amusing.

Sat. July 15. Went on the top of the tower to look for an Ordnance mark. We are told by the Ordnance department that the battlements are 90 feet above mean tide. (They are 75 feet from the ground.) I thought I might find the broad arrow, but though I looked all round both inside and outside, I could not discover anything of the sort.

Tu. July 18. Whilst I was at Dawlish Mr. Heineken paid a visit to Farway Hill, and informed me he had hit upon five more barrows which we had not before noted down. To verify this we went up again to-day. We drove through Sidbury and having mounted the hill, we turned into the plantation and the fields on the right a half mile short of Hunter’s Lodge Inn. We walked all up through the plantation to search for barrows. We then got out upon the moor and proceeded eastward - visited most of the barrows we had known before, also Ring-in-the-Mire, now an oval pond full of water, found a small egg-shaped beach pebble, possibly a sling-stone, between this and the 14 mile stone from Lyme, and then made for Farway Castle. We sat on the agger and eat our sandwiches. Before we left, we measured the height of one of the fir trees growing within the circular area, and made it 56 feet. This camp is very like that on little Haldon, only smaller. The diameter of that is about 124 yards. This is 210 feet; the slope of the agger of that is 15 or more feet, whereas in this it is not half so much.

We then proceeded further eastward, almost as far as the road that branches of north to Offwell, to measure and jot down the new barrows we had come to examine. There are three in this region, a small one with the furze burnt off, (or it would not have been seen,) measuring 28 feet in diameter, and 3 high; a large one 100 feet from it eastward, 7 feet high and 98 in diameter, with a bound stone on the top of it; and east of this a smaller one, 20 feet from it, 3 feet high and 30 in diameter. On this I accidentally disturbed a partridge’s nest, scared away the old birds, and scattered the little ones. The young ones were scarcely larger than sparrows, and very pretty. I left them to recover themselves. There may be many more barrows about the hill, but the furze bushes are so high that it is impossible to say. The other two we visited are close to the lane leading down to Roncombe. The one close on the west side of the road has had most of the middle carved out, but the circumference remains. It is 30 feet in diameter, and about 3 high. The other, close on the west side of it, is 23 feet in dia, and 2 ½ high. These two last may perhaps be looked upon as rather doubtful . When near the one crowned with the boundary stone, we went into a field on the south, where there is a beautiful view down the valley towards Sidmouth, and hunted about the recently ploughed land. Mr. Heineken found a small beach pebble, and I found a large one. It is hard to imagine how they got here. On this recently enclosed land, unless they had been sling-stones use by ancient tribes on the hill.

We returned home via Sweetcombe Common (from Swetcombe) and Sidbury. Out from 11 A.M. till 9 P.M.

July 20? Ayshford, with rather more than four acres of land, was put up to auction this afternoon at the York Hotel. £2250 was the highest bid, but it was bought on at £2500. - See Fed 26, 1872.

Mon. July 24. Mr. Bates, an American giant, exhibiting in London, has recently married an American giantess - Miss Swann. They are both of them nearly eight feet high, She being the tallest. Exhibiting with them, is a pair of negro girls, aged nineteen, united together like Siamese twins, only much more closely united, and therefore the union is even more wonderful. The Siamese twins I saw in New York, walking one evening on the pavement near Astor House, in Broadway, in 1837. They are still alive. They are only connected by muscular ligaments about as thick as the hand, in the side. They have more than once proposed to be separated, but as there is a decided circulation passing between them, the attempt is looked upon as dangerous to their lives. Strange to say, they are both married, I think it was two sisters, and have both got large families, - some seven or nine children apiece. The two negro girls are short for their age, (as friends tell me who have seen them) and are moderately intelligent. They were born nearly back to back; but by continual straining, so as to stand and to move in a more convenient position, They are now half way side to side. They walk awkwardly, but they dance rather gracefully. The most extraordinary part of their anatomy is, that the lower part of the alimentary canal is common to both. Another extraordinary circumstance is, that, when one is touched the other feels it. The illness or death of one would doubtless be fatal to the other.

August 1871


Th. Aug. 3. To-day an order was received from the war office, disbanding the Sidmouth Artillery Corps. The reason alleged is, that there are one Commissioned Officers attached to it, and have not been for a long time. Gentlemen do not like to undertake the trouble and the expense: besides which, it is very difficult, in a small place like Sidmouth, to find gentlemen among the permanent residents free to accept Commissions. The order came quite unexpectedly, and has caused general regret.

Mon. Aug. 7. Mr. Heineken and myself went to explore Chineway Head, and search for tumuli in that direction. We got on the Honiton Coach. Mr G. Gordon, Curate of Sidmouth was there, on his was to London for a month. Saw corn cutting for the first time this year. Owing to the continued cold and showery weather since the beginning of June, the harvest is very backward. In Sidbury Mr. Parker the Curate there joined us. We mounted Honiton hill, and admired the beautiful view down over the valley on the left going up. At “Putts Corner,” some times called “Hare and Hounds,” or “Hunters Lodge,” we got down. Here we turned west.

Mr. H. took the road, and kept his eyes over the southern hedge, the ground being more open, whilst I turned into the plantations on the other or north side. I observed traces of an old track way. It was from six to eight feet wide, and from one to two feet below the general surface. There are several portions of old hedges in this plantation running more or less parallel with the road. In the north west corner, near a cottage and a cottage garden, I came upon what appeared to be a large tumulus. I hailed Mr. H. and got him over the hedge to examine it with me. He agreed that it had all the appearances; but it had been disturbed, - perhaps for the sake of the flints to build the cottage. It measured 29 paces in diameter. We returned to the road. I got into the next plantation near the milestone. The walking was very rough, difficult, and tiring, owing to the thick undergrowth of weeds, fern, and brambles, as well as the tangled branches of the trees. I nearly stepped on a viper, with a V on his head. He was about 18 or 20 inches long and as thick as my finger. I was struck with the grace, rapidity, and easy gliding motion with which he passed over the ground and the grass, making for a rabbit’s hole, into which he vanished. I made my way all through the plantation and came out at the western road. I think there are no tumuli there, though it would not be difficult to overlook them in so dense a foliage.

Tired and hot and thirsty, we sat on the slope of the hill to eat our sandwiches, and admired the splendid view over the valley of the Otter and the country beyond. I never saw the colouring finer, or the distance clearer. Every stranger ought to get to the top of Ottery East Hill, especially in the forenoon, to enjoy this view. With the telescope we could see Exeter Cathedral and the houses at Heavitree easily. On Dartmoor we clearly saw the cairn on Cawsand Beacon, Blakiston Rock, Heytor and the road down to the quarries, with other peaks and mountains.

We then walked half a mile south. I got over the east hedge and found a small tumulus apparently. Then we proceeded to return along the Chineway Head road to Hunter’s Lodge, making observations all the way. Sat on “The Wiches Stone,” at the carfoix in front of the inn. We went eastward, as the coach had not arrived, and re-examined the nearest tumuli.

The coach arrived. We got up; and soon got to Sidmouth.

Tu. Aug. 15. 1871. Weather fine and hot. Thermometer 79.

Drove with some friends to a pic-nic at Branscombe. We assembled at Seaside Farm, where we dined and had our tea. I think this was the house occupied by the Mitchells in the time of James II, when the followers of the Duke of Monmouth were condemned and executed by Judge Jefferies. Mr. Mitchell is said to have for several weeks concealed and secretly fed in caves in the cliff, some of the simple people of the neighbourhood, who had been induced to follow the Duke. The present undercliff between Branscombe Mouth and Beer Head. I believe was formed by a great Landslip which occurred her about the end of the last century, 1788, when the subsidence took place. In Monmouth’s time therefore, the face of the cliff must have been very different in features from what it is now. I think that the Mitchells of Thorn in Salcombe parish, as recorded on the altar tombe in the yard, west of the church, in 1611, were the same family.

Th. Aug. 17. Went into Exeter for the day, by the coach. No Sidmouth railroad yet. Will it ever be made?

Wed. Aug. 23. Walked to Sidbury to call on several friends. Going through Sidford, I found a pair of spectacles in the case lying in the middle of the road. Apparently a horse had stepped on one end of the case and broken one of the glasses. I took the whole into the little Inn, and giving it up, remarked that perhaps the owner might call and enquire, and his property be returned.

Fri. Aug. 25. Went into Exeter to see my Banker. Brought back 175 sovereigns in a bag. Drove to Ottery Road and took the rail. Returned by coach over Aylesbear Hill. Spent an hour in the Exeter Museum. Wished to examine some of the flints, cups, bones, and bronzes found on the Honiton and Farway Hills, and other neighbouring places. Took a turn on Northernhay. Looked at the Acland and Dinham statues. I observe that within a few months, the two Russian guns, taken at Sebastopol in 1855, which used to stand on the platform close to the back of the court house, have been transferred to a platform in Queen Street, close to the Railway Station. - Since put in the Bonhay Meadow, close to the river.


Sat. Aug. 26. Going on the Esplanade about noon to-day, I saw, nice large ships in the offing. They had passed Portland and were steering down channel. These are our protectors in case of war.

Went to the funeral of the late Mrs. Lord, who, with her husband and family, have lived for four years at Rose Cottage, across Blackmore Field, and near All Saints Church.

Tu. Aug. 29. The Cottage Garden Society’s Exhibition, held in the field north of the Vicarage, called Culver Park. I got a first prize for Kohl rabi, which I grew in the garden, - a plant not yet introduced into this neighbourhood.

September 1871


Fri. Sep. 1. 1871. For the past month or more there has been a plague of earwigs at Sidmouth. About five or six summers ago I collect a great many, but not so many as this year. They have found their way all over the houses. Everything must be examined, food, clothes, beds, for they have been met with everywhere. Some people have a great horror of them, and are afraid of their running into their ears, which they think they have a tendency to do. I imagine they are no more likely to enter a person’s ear then any other hole where they would seek concealment. Should such an accident occur, the best thing is to drop a little sweet oil into the ear, when it could be drawn out with tweezers, or even with scissors.

Sat. Sep. 2. Not being able to go to the meeting at Bideford of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Mr. Pengelly was good enough to read a short paper of mine for me. It was a notice of the finding a second fossil tooth here.

“ On a second fossil elephant’s tooth found at Sidmouth,” by Mr. P.O. HUTCHINSON. - The tooth, from the right side of the upper jaw of the mammoth, elephas primigenius, had been found on the beach at Sidmouth by a lady named Walker, from Manchester. The paper was read, in the absence of the author, by Mr. PENGELLY, who stated that he had no doubt it came from a submerged forest not far from the Sidmouth coast. Mr. Pengelly called attention to the cosmopolitan character of the mammoth, and to an engraving of the mammoth on a mammoth tusk by some old Palaeolithic man of France. Mr. HALL thought the evidence of the derivation of the tooth from the submerged forest should be clear; and the Rev. Mr. KIRWAN suggested the bed of drift gravel near Sidmouth as a possible source. Mr. PENGELLY remarked that the colour of the tooth was that of the forest; and questioned whether the gravel spoken of was really drift.

To-day the Naturalists Club came from Exeter. The printed account follows.



Last Sunday at noon, under the auspices of the Exeter Naturalist’s Club, twenty-two ladies and gentlemen, including Sir. John and Lady Bowring, journeyed to Sidmouth from Exeter, for the purposes of holding there the Club’s third field meeting of the season. They were conveyed in two wagonettes supplied by Mr. Pedrick, and had a very pleasant drive through a pleasant country, noticing as they went along the completeness with which the harvest had been gathered in - no corn was seen standing, and in only a few fields crops remained for carrying. At Sidmouth the party was joined by Mr. A. H. A. Hamilton, the president of the Club, the Rev. R. Kirwan, the Rev. H. G. Clements, Mr. P. O. Hutchinson, Mr. Heineken, Mr. Strachan, Mr. Bailey, several other gentlemen, and some ladies. Without delay the Naturalists, or, to be precise, as many of them as cared to adventure the walk, started on their way to High Peak Hill, more than two miles distant, the Rev. Mr. Kirwan acting the part of cicerone. There was not even the faintest breeze to fan the cheeks of the climbers as they made the accent, and as the air was hot and oppressive the upward march was somewhat toilsome. But splendid scenery greeted the view as every stretch of rising ground was reached, and the visitors expressed their admiration in no measured eulogy. When the topmost height was reached, 500 feet above the level of the sea, known as High Peak - pronounce for beauty of shape and colour the most noted cliff on the coast of Devon - grand indeed was the panorama beneath. To the south was the greatly-rippled sea, glistening with that delicate grey colour which charms artists even more than the blue and glare of a golden sunlight , towards the east the coast-line of cliffs, white in the extreme distance, and changing to red, crowned with the yellowish-green sand, as it approached the Peak; northwards could be seen the succeeding hills, most of them the sites of a ancient camps, with lovely valleys interspersed; and to the west a fine expanse of picturesque country, with the vale of the Otter midway, Budleigh Salterton lying low down at the water’s-edge, and Haldon range distinguishable. Mr. Kirwan briefly explained the principal topographical features of the landscape, and then proceeded to describe the ancient encampment on which the Naturalists were congregated. The description appears at length in the paper subsequently read by the rev. gentleman. He directed attention to the layer of bones and charcoal discovered in the side of the hill, not far below the surface, and in company with Mr. W. S. M. D’Urban, curator of the Exeter Museum, dug out bones, pottery, and charcoal. Mr. Kirwan was fortunate enough to fine a pair of horns belonging to an extinct species of ox. The journey back to Sidmouth was not much less fatiguing than the ascent, for the sun, which had hitherto been screened by a dull grey sky, shone out in all his strength and lustre, lighting up gloriously the fine valley of the Sid.

Between five and six o’clock the party - thirty strong - partook of a well-served meat tea at the London Hotel, and them adjourned to the spacious ball-room, where the meeting for reading papers was held, Mr. Hamilton, the President, in the chair.



The Rev. R. Kirwan, M.A., F.G.S., Rector of Gittisham, read the first paper, entitled, “An Aboriginal Fort at Peak Hill, near Sidmouth, with some remarks on the relative antiquity of the ‘Forts’ and ‘Castles’ of East Devon.” He exhibited quite an extensive collection of bones, pottery, charcoal, and flint flakes, which he had dug out of the hill. The reverend gentleman said;- The raising of sepulchral mounds of earth or stone to mark the last resting-place of the loved or honoured dead is a custom that has obtained in all ages and in all lands. It is to those that the Archaeologist will turn with the greatest chance of success when he would follow out the traces of primitive art, and a definite progress of civilization on the part of those whose history he seeks to recover. For, however true be the words of the preacher in the sense in which he spoke then, there is both “device and knowledge and instruction in the grave.” for those who seek there the records of the past. The greater portion of the contents of our Archaeological Museums come from tombs where they were deposited by an affectionate reverence to the dead, upon whose interment also great labour was expended. Next to sepulchral mounds fortifications frequently furnish the most durable and characteristic evidence of the skill and civilization of the age to which they belong. The fabrication of offensive and defensive weapons, with which in general terms may be classed the aboriginal strongholds of our island, is one of the earliest illustrations afforded by man in a savage state of that intelligence and design which distinguishes him from the brutes. It will be remembered that the locality that the locality in which we are now met is peculiarly rich in the number of the ‘hill-forts’ or ‘castles’ as they are locally called. This circular ‘hill-fort’ is the expression of a simple idea, which would naturally command itself to a people who felt the want of defence against sudden attacks; and the modification of a second or third concentric agger or rampart is but the progressive development of the original idea to provide security against an active and aggressive enemy. Taking Broad Down as the centre, and describing a circle of a few miles’ radius, there would be included within its compass the following forts or strongholds:- Farway Castle, situate on the summit of Farway Hill, a circular entrenchment, 70 feet in diameter, and enclosed by a single line of circumvallation of low elevation. Blackbury Castle . Oval in form, enclosed by a single agger and fosse, 36 feet deep on the south-east, measuring about 108 paces from east to west, and about 100 paces from north to south. The gateway is flanked by a ditch and rampart on ether side which extends diagonally to a distance of 50 paces from the principal vallum - the device of some Vauban of those early days. Hocksdun Castle, formed by a triple vallum with a fosse, enclosing an area about 280 paces in length from east to west, and 140 paces in average breadth from north to south, Davidson mentions a tradition that great treasure was found here by a sailor named Courd. Musbury Castle, of a long and irregular form, enclosing an area of about six acres, and surrounded by a single agger and fosse; here, again the gateways are defended by outworks. Axminster Castle now entirely destroyed. Menbury Castle, about three acres in extent, enclosed by a single vallum. Dumdun Castle, of a subovate form, 300 paces in length, and 60 paces in breadth, enclosed by a double agger of bold elevation. Stockland Great Castle, twelve acres in extent, about 300 paces in length, and as many in breadth, irregular in form, and enclosed by an agger in some cases more than 40 feet in perpendicular height, Stockland Little Castle, of nearly circular form, about120 paces in diameter, with a single vallum of great strength, and of about two acres in extent. Widworthy Castle, a small circular camp or fort, about 80 paves in diameter, almost destroyed. Hembury Fort, enclosed by a triple circumvallation, about 40 feet in perpendicular height, and divided unequally by a double agger of low elevation, extending across its area from east to west. Woodbury Castle, of an irregularly oval form, about 300 paces in length, and about 120 paces in width, surrounded by a single vallum, except on the north-west where the defence has been doubled. Belbury Castle, on the right bank of the river Otter, oval in shape, formed by a single intrenchment, about 130 paces in length, and 70 paces in breadth. Sidbury Castle, about 500 paces in length, and 150 paces in breadth at the widest part, surrounded by a double rampart 40 feet in height, and with an intervening fosse. These fortifications approximate more or less closely to a circular form, generally occupy an area of from three hundred to eight hundred feet in diameter, are inclosed within one or more trenches or ramparts of earth, and are monuments of the energy and industry, no less than of the military skill and strategy of early British workmanship. It will be noted that they are not simply circular hill-forts, wherein we trace the more rudimentary efforts of a people in the infancy of the art of defensive warfare; they display superior engineering skill both in the choice of site, and in the elaborate adaptation of the earth-works to the natural features of the ground. Though, undoubtedly, of native workmanship (as I have said), many of them having been possible strong-holds and places of retreat thrown up by the native Briton to withstand the encroachments of the Roman invader, in the course of time they have passed into the hands of the Conquerors, and have been probably occupied successively by Briton and Roman, by Saxon and Dane. But the subject has already been treated of with ample details, by Mr. Hutchinson, who super-added plans to his descriptions, by which a very perfect idea can be formed of their original design; his careful researches can therefore be supplemented by little worth recording. Mr. Strahan has lately called my attention to the remains of one of these strong holds situate on Peak-hill, about a mile and a half west of the town of Sidmouth. Its lofty site at an elevation of 500 feet above the sea-level has secured it against the inroads of the aggressive plough-share of the agriculturist; but the eroding action of the sea, ever exerted in undermining the base of the cliff, the summit of which is crowned by the fort, has secured for its fate no less inexorable. By this agency the destruction of the entire strong-hold has been effected with the exception of a small portion of the north agger, which is about 90 paces in length, 20 feet in perpendicular height on its northern escarpment, and averages 35 feet in breadth at the base. The remains of an outwork can be traced at the eastern extremity, which perhaps formed a redoubt to defend the gateway on that side. Beyond the rampart there is a plateau on the slope of the hill, about forty feet wide, formed by the removal of the earth used in filling up the vallum. So complete has been the demolition of the fort, that we have not sufficient material left to afford a conjecture of its probable size; we can only point to the skill, which in this instance also appears to have been shown in turning to the best account the natural aptitude for defensive purposes that the headland presents; the embankment or rampart which formed the wall of the fort on its northern side, and which stands on the crest of the hill, is sloped away so as almost exactly to conicide with the angle at which the latter rises from the valley, thereby securing a commanding defensive position with a relatively small expenditure of labour. I have said that the action of the sae, by wearing away the cliff beneath, the surviving portion of the vallum has been laid bare, whereby a deposit of charcoal, extending to a length of about fifty feet, and several inches in thickness has been exposed of view; this occurs at the eastern extremity of the rampart; it may be referred both to the remains of beacon-fires kindled as the signals of war and invasion, when perhaps the natives had already learnt to watch the horizon for the dreaded fleets of the Gaul or the rude Norse Viking. At such a period they would retreat within their stronghold as soon as the enemy was espied in the offing, and would lie there secure until the spoilers set sail again in quest of some less watchful prey. It is equally possible that the charcoal marks the remains of the bonfires which formed part of the festive or religious rejoicings of the tribe or clan by whom the stronghold was occupied. Following the line of charcoal towards the west, at a few paces distant from it, and at about the same horizontal level below the crest of the rampart there occurs a layer of bones interspersed with charcoal in dust and in small fragments, extending to a length of about thirty feet; in some places this bone-bed is nearly a feet in thickness, and is of unknown width. The bones which are thus numerous are generally well preserved, are more or less discoloured, and have lost a portion of there weight. They consist of the remains of hog (probably wild, from the size of the tusks), deer, and ox (possibly bos longifrons). Many of the bones are split longitudinally as if to facilitate the extraction of the marrow, Mr. Pengelly suggests that the object of fracturing the bones longitudinally was for the purpose of fabricating the fragment into awls, needles, harpoons and other implements. There is a peculiarity worth noticing here. This is the complete absence of the back bones of the Mammalia whose remains we are investigating. We may therefore infer that the animals, after being slaughtered by the aboriginal hunter, were cut up on the spot, and that only the extremities with there fleshy parts and marrow bones were carried away. The head appears also to have been brought home, probably for the sake of the brain, for the skulls are all broken and their fragments only have been met with. The presence of industrial products also was indicated by several rounded pebbles of various sizes, extraneous to the local formation, and doubtless collected from the neighbouring beach; some appeared to be sling-stones, Others bore marks of abrasion on their edges, and had probable been used as hammers or pounders, without a handle, for the purpose of cracking the bones. We also found nodules of flint, such as occur in abundance on the tops of the neighbouring hills; with them were cores of dark-coloured flint from which flakes had been struck, and also fragments or chips detached in the first dressing of these cores. Of these implements some show so little trace of design that, had they not been found intermixed with the bones of animals that mark the remains of feasts, they would certainly have been thrown aside as lacking sufficient proof of having been manufactured by man; others are more carefully clipped into shape, have a keen edge considering the nature of the material, and might well have been used in scraping hides or in cutting flesh, or even fresh bone. Of the bone implements many are of the rudest form, consisting of mere chips or fragments of bone, worked roughly to a point at one end. One, however, shows more careful construction; it is an incisor-tooth ingeniously shaped into the form of a pin or awl, and marks the progress which had been made from the first rude implements. We searched carefully among the debris and ashes for any grain or vegetable substance, but could find nothing but small pieces of wood-charcoal, which occurred in abundance. The presence of various pieces of red hematite covered with scratches, indicated the mode in which these primitive hunters scraped off a red powder - the favourite aboriginal colour - which, mixed with grease, would furnish as good means of personal ornament as are employed by many savages of the present day. Numerous fragments of pottery occurred also in the debris ; some of it is of a pale buff or burnt amber colour, while occasionally it is of a darker tint, varying from a dull red to a yellowish brown. The whole of it is rude, coarse, unglazed, and of the simplest description; some of it is home-made, whilst other portions bear marks of having been turned on a wheel. The paste of which it was compacted consists of clay tempered with sharp sand or small fragments of stone; owing to the circumstance the outer surface is generally rough. The decorations present considerable diversity; some of the fragments are plain, others are ornamented, by incised lines made with a toothed instrument. other by circular indented lines and bands impressed upon the soft clay; and others by raised hoop-like marks or ridges formed either by hand or the wheel. From the diversity of patterns presented by these specimens, it may be presumed that they represent a considerable number of specimens. The great abundance of charcoal that characterizes this Kjokkenmodding, as well as the very small proportion of bones which show the action of fire would lead to a doubt whether the flesh taken from the large mass of fractured bones that occurred, if indeed it has been cocked, has been cocked by roasting. In favour of the meat having been cocked is the abundant evidence of fire, more than in that rude condition of life could be supposed to be required merely for the purposes of warmth. If the meat were cocked by roasting it is not likely that so many of the bones would have escape traces of fire. He presence of the pottery would imply that these camp-dwellers cocked their food by boiling; but it is difficult to understand how they could effect this with vessels formed of ware too ill-compacted, and too imperfectly baked to stand the action of fire unless we suppose them to have employed means still in use among the Esquimaux, who boil their food without putting the vessel in which it is cocked on the fire. This is effected by means of stones heated in the fire, and then thrown into the vessels filled with water which is thus boiled from within. In order to recover some clue to the character and history of this primitive community, and a knowledge of the arts and rites which they practised, let us institute a comparison between the contents of the barrows at Broad Down and the accumulated refuse obtained from the remains of their feasts at Peak Hill, when we are struck with the general similarity that distinguished them. In both cases we observe an absence of relics that are distinctive of Roman art and civilisation; in both cases we have the evidence of a people living in primitive rudeness, and employing only the products of native art; the sepulchral pottery of the one corresponds also in material, character, and ornamentation with the simple domestic cocking vessels of the other; whilst also the conclusion naturally suggests itself that the strong-hold or ’Castle’ originated in the same laborious contrivance and skill as that which gave birth to the colossal proportions of the tumulus, by which the honours of the dead were rendered in the olden time to which they pretain. And without endeavouring to deduce from the evidence before us more than it seems fairly to warrant, we may gather also from the glimpses that are afforded by this comparative examination that the strongholds of the South of England were native British erections, which imply the existence of a numerous population, which are the work of a patient and ingenious race whose motto was defence rather than aggression, whose arts were still in their infancy, who subsisted by hunting and fishing, and by such natural products as man without agriculture can obtain, and who lived contemporaneously with, or under similar conditions of civilisation with the people to whom the sepulchral honours of the barrow and the cairn were raised. The connection that we are thus enabled to trace between the barrow-builder and the fort-builder is the important feature of the present discovery, for it enables us to add another link to the chain of evidence which is gradually uniting into one harmonious whole the scattered fragments relating to the early history of our forefathers. Thus also are we enabled to determine a relative if not a positive chronology. When treating of primitive antiquities the Archaeologist does not attempt to fix dates with precision; his object is rather to trace out events which are landmarks of reliative progress; relying on the proofs furnished by the similarity which characterises the rude products of primitive handicraft, he is led to infer an identity of race and period. Applying this test to the instance before us, he will probably not err if he attribute the era of the barrow-builder and the fort-builder to a period anterior to the time of the Roman Invasion, when the use of the working of iron was unknown, and when the armourer fashioned his weapons from the rare and costly copper and bronze, still supplying numerous deficiencies with implements of bone and flint.



Mr. P. O. HUTCHINSON delivered an interesting address on this subject. He began his remarks by stating that the limited space of time at their disposal would not permit that they should go very far into the subject of the camps and hill fortresses scattered over the south-eastern part of the county. To treat of fully, the subject was a large one; and would be necessary on the present occasion to touch only on the most prominent points. He exhibited a series of plans of hill fortresses, done with lampblack of Indian ink on white glazed calico, and recommended this material as very good to work upon. If the Indian ink were put on rather dry with a brush, very rapid and clear effects could be produced. The first exhibited shewed the remains of the camp on High Peak Hill, which the members had that day visited. So long ago as 1849 in the Gentleman’s Magazine, and in 1861 in the Public Rooms in Exeter, at the visit of the Archaeological Association, he had described that spot, and, therefore, he would now only speak of the find of bones which had been brought before their notice that day. They were pointed out to Mr. Kirwan by Mr. A. Strahan, who lost no time in prosecuting the search. The discovery, however, was not new; for Mr. Hutchinson produced a box containing both charcoal and similar bones, which he had extracted from the bank many years age. They were labelled 1848, and they had been in his custody ever since, now 23 years. In those days he was young and foolish, and did not pay much attention to old bones. He was young still, but he was now wiser grown. He gave great credit to Mr. Kirwan for the trouble he had taken, and he blamed himself for having neglected to follow up the first discovery. Of Woodbury Castle he would merely say that originally it appeared to have consisted of a small oval camp, but that, at some subsequent period, the southern portion was added. The detached earthworks outside are supposed to have been thrown up by the first Lord Russell in 1549, when he came down to raze the siege of Exeter, which was then invested by the Cornish rebels. Belbury Castle, two miles south-west from Ottery, is believed to have received its name from the great Pagan deity Bel, or Belus. This place was destroyed about the commencement of the present century, as an old man named Samuel White, residing at Castle Farm, close by, fully testified. He stated that when he was a boy he and his late father were employed to destroy the earthworks, and bring the land into cultivation. Sidbury Castle was a very interesting camp. At the west end there was a peculiar entrance, from which an avenue or sunk road led to the body of the work itself. It was here that a remarkable find of sling stones, stacked in a cavern, took place in March 1864. He would recur to this again. There was a great resemblance both in the size and the shape of Hembury Fort and of Dumpdon. They were both triangular in form, the long point being towards the south. The entrance to Hembury was of the most simple kind, being merely a gap in the aggers; whereas at Dumpdon the aggers at the entrance were inflected or led back into the camp, so as to form a road. From this more advanced form of construction, it might be argued that this was a later work, though he had himself formed no opinion on this point. The most striking form of entrance, however, occurred at Blackbury Castle, an oval camp five miles north-east of Sidmouth. Here there was a road jutting out 180 feet from the south side of the camp. From the end of this road a ditch, with aggers, is carried back diagonally against the surrounding works, so as to flank the road with two large triangles, a species of fortification quite unique in its character. Another circumstance has given rise to much speculation. This is the existence of large quantities of calcined flints lying on the tops of the aggers in different places. After mature consideration, he had come to the conclusion that there had once been a stone beacon in this camp constructed of flints, and similar to the still perfect one on the Blackdown Hills, above Cradock. The fire, acting on the stone wall of the beacon, would soon split and chip off the surface, and these chips would continually falling to the ground, and accumulate in heaps. He believed that the chips would now and then be cleared out, and thrown upon the agger to get rid of them. He had made red marks on the plan, to shew where they could be found. A man on the spot told him that many years ago he had assisted in carrying away seventy cartloads of them, some of the splinters being as small as sand, which were mixed with mortar when Wiscombe House was built. He wished to draw their attention to Stockland Great Castle, for it was here he first saw a sling stone. A short distance to the north of this was Stockland Little Castle. This was remarkable for having the inside of the agger encompassing it built up of dry flints like a wall. Within the area of Hawksdown Hill Camp. Above Axmouth, he had also picked up egg-shaped beach pebbles, identical in size and shape to those met with in other camps. The late Mr. Davidson, under the head Stockland, writes:- “Quantities of sling-stones have been found at various points just within the valium, and at one spot a number of these missiles were discovered in a rude earthenware pot, which soon fell to pieces.” This passage had indused him many years ago to re-visit the camp for the purpose of seeking them. He had had no difficulty in picking them up in various parts of the area. He was anxious to warn his neighbours to be on their guard. In places near the coast it was customary to manute the land with sea-weed, and beech pebbles might frequently be carried up along with it, but there was less danger of this in districts further from the sea. In March, 1864, a part of the south flank of Sidbury Castle was brought into cultivation. He went ar once to the spot and found two labouring men. On questioning them as to whether they had met with any old coins or other antiquities, they replied in the negative, but one of them added that they had found a cave packed full of round stones. Going with them to the place, he observed that the cave had been in the outside slope of the inner agger, that it had been rudely arched over with stone, that they had dug it down, and that the stones lay scattered about. There might have been several wheelbarrows full, and they covered a spot from fifteen to twenty feet in diameter. Whatever misgivings there might be in people’s minds as to whether similar pebbles found on barrows or in camps were really sling stones, at all events there could be no doubt as to the reality and geniuses of these in the cave at Sidbury Castle He therefore, confidently produced a box containing half a dozen, which he procured there at the time. On this subject he read a remark in a letter, written by the Rev. J. Kenrick, Curator of the York Museum, to Mr. Heineken, of Sidmouth. It was this:- “No one ancient author mentions the sling as used by the Britons.” As this statement is made by a gentleman of much archaeological information, it is worthy of all respect. To prove that the Britons employed the sling, we must find pebbles similar to these actually in the kist-vaen, along with the bones and flint weapons of the primary internments. To find them in the body of the tumulus is not close enough, for they may have got there by later interments.

On the motion of the President, seconded by Sir John Bowring, a cordial vote of thanks was passed to Mr. Kirwan and Mr. Hutchinson, both of whom, it was remarked, had done much towards making known the antiquities of Devon, and would no doubt do much more. The discussion turned principally upon the sources from which the ancient occupiers of these encampments drew their supplies of water. It was mentioned by the two lecturers that pools which never dried up existed on some of the hills, and Mr. Kirwan said he had in two instances detected traces of covered ways to the waters in the valleys below. A vote of thanks to the President terminated the proceedings.

The drive home was very enjoyable, and Exeter was reached at half-past nine o’clock, all agreeing that a pleasant and profitable day had been spent.

Mon. Sep. 4. 1871. Last Thursday Robert Webber, son of Webber the baker, was charged with poisoning. The following is the account.



Yesterday at the Sidmouth Town Hall Robert Webber, chemist, of Sidmouth, was charged with feloniously killing and slaying Wm Ellis Wall, Esquire, at Salcombe Regis, on 22nd. July last. There was a large number of persons in attendance at the court. An inquest was held on the deceased when a verdict was returned that he died from a overdose of morphia, but that there was not sufficient culpable neglect to justify the jury in returning a verdict of manslaughter. Since the inquest, communication had been made with the Secretary of State, and the result was that the magistrates ordered Mr. Supt. Dore to take proceedings against the defendant, and hence the present enquiry. Mr. Radford (Sidmouth) appeared on behalf of the widow of the deceased, and stated that the family did not prosecute; Mr. Tweed, of Honiton, defended. The defendant pleaded not guilty.

The widow of the deceased said - On Saturday, 22nd. Of July, about two o’clock in the afternoon, Mr. Wall wrote the prescription now produced, and later sent it by Jane Sheppard to Mr. Webber, chemist. Almost half-past nine in the evening Susan Osler gave me something in a paper, The bottle produced with this label on it (containing a reddish mixture) was the one she gave me. As the label directed, I gave my husband half the contents of the bottle. I had just done so when someone came and said the wrong medicine had been given; the party also left a message that if there was anything serious the boy would return. Directly afterwards I saw that Mr. Wall’s symptoms were unnatural, and I called the servants and sent for Dr. Mackenzie and Dr. Atkins, who both arrived within a few minutes. My husband, however, died between two and three o’clock the next morning. Dr. Mackenzie was our regular medical attendant, but as my husband had for four years studied for the medical profession, he used to proscribe for himself. The bottle now produced marked with the letter “B” (contained alight liquid) is the second bottle that was given me on the 22nd. This was the first time he ever had a prescription of this sort made up.

Mr. Tweed said he did not wish to put any painful questions, and he would avoid them as far as possible. Mrs. Wall, examined by the advocate, said Mr. Wall had not been ailing just before his death more than usual. He had been taking opiates before, during the few weeks previous to his death, but not to any great extent; he might have taken opiates three times in six months. He had not taken any solid food on the 21st and 22nd. He had been taking intoxicating liquors on several previous days.

Some discussion took place here as to the need of Mr. Tweed putting such question to Mrs. Wall, the Bench saying they would not allow her to be questioned on things that did not bear immediately on the case, though they did not wish to interfere with the ends of justice.

Mr. TWEED said he only wished to ask questions he felt to be essential to his client’s defence. His contention would be that the effect of this dose on a healthy man, not in the state Mr. Wall was, would not have been fatal. Was not Mr. Wall much excited on the Saturday and the previous day from taking intoxicating liquors? A. No he was not excited; he was very nervous. Q.- Immediately after the medicine had been taken a message came from the chemist that the wrong medicine had been sent? A. - Yes, almost immediately. I sent for Dr. Mackenzie and Dr. Atkins, but they were met on the road. Q. - Have you not dealt at Mr. Webber’s shop since Mr. Wall died? A. - That is a lie; its an untruth. I have not been any party to this prosecution. The accused came before my husband died. I asked him if he had given my husband the wrong medicine. He said “No, Mr. Wall, I sent Mr. Wall’s own prescription.” I did not see whether or not he assisted in attending on Mr. Wall. As far as I know he rendered every assistance.

Jane Sheppard said she was a kitchen-maid at Mr. Wall’s. On 22nd. July she took a paper like the one produced to Mr. Webber’s, about half-past two. She saw the defendant and gave him the paper and left the shop. About nine o’clock the same evening she went there again and saw defendant, asking him if the medicine was ready. He said it was not and asked her to wait a minute. She did so, and saw him wrap a bottle in paper, and this he gave to her. She took it home and gave the bottle to Susan Osler in the same state as she received it from the defendant. Osler left the kitchen with the bottle and paper. A few minutes afterwards Walter Pinn, an apprentice to the defendant’s father, came to Mr. Wall’s house with another bottle and said Mr. Webber had sent the wrong medicine. Sarah Ann Tothill and Susan Osler were present, and the latter directly took the bottle Pinn brought. She came back to the kitchen a moment afterwards and Osler and witness went for Dr. Mackenzie; they met him in the drive with Dr. Atkins coming in the direction of the house, and all immediately returned there.

Cross-examined by Mr. TWEED - She did not know whether the defendant prepared the medicine whilst she was waiting at nine o’clock. She, however, saw him take a bottle and fill it from other bottles. Two persons came into the shop whilst she was there, but Webber continued to make up the medicine she was waiting for. She could not swear that the paper produced was the one she gave to the defendant. She had been home a little more than five minutes when Pinn arrived with the second bottle, and five minutes after that she went for the doctors.

In answer to Mr. Bayley, witness said she first saw defendant pour something into a measuring glass, and from that glass into the bottle given to her. She did not remember ever having taken any other prescription.

By Capt. Coleridge - Did not see defendant refer to a paper whilst he was filling the bottle.

Susan Osler said she was housemaid at Mr. Wall’s, and between nine and half-past on the evening of the 22nd July Jane Sheppard gave her a bottle wrapped in paper, which she took to Mrs. Wall without opening the paper. She corroborated the last witness’s evidence as to the arrival of Pinn, and she took the bottle he brought to Mrs. Wall, who gave witness another bottle half-full of some mixture, which she returned to Pinn, telling him that if there was anything wrong he was to come back again. Directly after Mrs. Wall sent for witness to come upstairs, as Mr. Wall was making such a noise. She did so, and directly afterwards was sent for Dr. Mackenzie. Deceased was making a moaning noise. Later in the evening witness saw defendant at the deceased’s.

Cross-examined by Mr. TWEED - She could not swear that the bottle produced was the one Mrs. Wall returned to her; it appeared to be the same. She read the small label at the bottom, “Shake the bottle.”

Walter Pinn, defendant’s father’s apprentice, said - On the evening of the 22nd of July, about five-and-twenty minutes to ten, defendant came to me and asked me to run as quick as I could to Mr. Wall’s, and say he had sent the wrong medicine. At the same time he gave me a bottle wrapped in paper and told me to take it to Mr. Wall’s. and if the other medicine had not been taken to bring it back to him again, and if any had been taken I was to bring back what was left. I went to Mr. Wall’s and saw Susan Osler. I gave her the bottle and the message. Within a minute after she came to me and gave me a bottle wrapped in paper saying “Go to Mr. Webber’s as fast as you can and send back a message if there is anything wrong.” I did return to defendant, gave him the bottle I had received from Osler, and he took it out of the paper. I think the bottle produced is the same one. As soon as defendant saw the bottle he told me to go to Dr. Mackenzie and tell him to come to him directly. Nothing further passed between defendant and myself.

Cross-examined - Dr. Mackenzie came to Mr. Webber. Dr. Mackenzie, practising in Sidmouth, said - Previous to 22nd of July I had not attended deceased since 21st of June. Shortly before ten on the evening of July 22nd I received a message that defendant wanted me directly. I went there, and met Dr. Atkins in the shop. Defendant told me he had made a mistake, I asked what it was, and he showed me the prescription produced. He said he had put in a scruple of morphia instead of the quantity ordered. I asked for materials for an emetic, and Dr. Atkins and myself agreed to go up to the house with the emetic. When we got to the drive leading to deceased’s house we met two servants coming to fetch me. I went to the house immediately, and found Mr. Wall lying in bed, breathing sterturous, pulse small and weak, and skin in cold perspiration. We made an attempt to arouse him, but unsuccessfully. We administered the emetic, put warm bottles to the extremities, applied ammonia to the nostrils, rubbed over the region of the heart with brandy and sent off for a stomach pump, which was used immediately on its arrival. I endeavoured to give him a small quantity of brandy at intervals. Later I sent for a galvanic battery, which was used for two hours, but all our efforts were without any effect of consequence. Between one and two o’clock the defendant came there, and sent to ask Dr. Hodge for his opinion. He came and repeated the same proceedings as before. Mr. Wall died at half-past two. The first line of the prescription reads as follows:- “Solution of the muriate of morphia, half a drachm.” The solution of the muriate of morphia is a liquid, but it is not a preparation according to the present pharmacopaea; the term now is “liquor,” and it is the same medicine, with a fractional difference. The muriate of morphia is a powder, and the defendant used the powder instead of the liquid. If the prescription had been followed, the label, “Shake the bottle,” need not have been affixed. After a person had taken ten grains of morphia I think there would be but little chance of his recovery. The symptoms of the deceased and his death arose, in my opinion, from an overdose of opium. Q.- Would it be very great carelessness to put in a solid instead of a liquid? A. - I cannot account for it in any other way, unless he was making a stock-bottle - that is, a bottle for future use.

Cross-examined - I examined Mr. Wall’s body after death. He was not suffering from a variety of diseases; his kidneys were diseased. The mucous membranes of the stomach were slightly congested - very possibly by the sulphate of zinc which we administered as an emetic. There was no solid food in the stomach. Q. - If there had been, would it probably have delayed the action of the morphia? A. - It would. Q. - Applying the remedies you did so rapidly, so soon after the morphia was taken, if there had been solid food in the stomach, is it probable that you might have saved his life? A. - Not with such a dose as he took. Q. - Why did you apply these remedies, then? A. - Because one is always bound to do something - to do all you can.

The CHAIRMAN - On a strong man would it probably have produced the same effect? A. - Yes, in my opinion.

In answer to Mr. HUYSHE, witness said - There are cases on record of men taking ten grains and recovering.

Cross-examination resumed - The defendant did all he could while at \Mr. Wall’s house on the 22nd. There was an inquest and I was present . The verdict was, I believe, that the deceased died from taking an overdose of morphia prepared in error by Robert Webber, but such error did not amount to gross negligence and did not constitute manslaughter.

Dr. Atkins. Now out of practice, said he was in defendant’s shop at half-past nine on the evening of July 22nd, when he said, “I have made a mistake in this mixture. I have put a scruple of morphia into the mixture I have sent to Mr. Wall’s.” Witness told him to send for Mr. Wall’s medical attendant, and he did so. Defendant showed him the prescription produced. With Dr. Mackenzie witness went to Mr. Wall’s and assisted in the using all the remedial agencies, but without success. The defendant was indefatigable in his exertions throughout the night; Dr. Mackenzie’s treatment was equally energetic.

Dr. Mackenzie was re-called by Rev. J. Hayshe. Q. - Was deceased’s life likely to be a very short one under any circumstances? A. - He might have lived some years, I should say from the post mortem examination.

Mr. TWEED - Did you before the coroner’s jury say “in all probability his life would have been very brief? A. - Not to my recollection. He had habits which might have accelerated his end. He had, however, no organic disease.

P. C. Bickford said between twelve and one o’clock in the morning of 23rd. Of July he saw the defendant in the streets, and after asking witness if he had seen Dr. Mackenzie, he told him he had made a mistake in some medicine he had sent to Mr. Wall. At four o’clock defendant told him that Mr. Wall was dead, and eventually witness communicated with the coroner. About nine o’clock the next day went to defendant’s shop and asked him for the bottle of medicine he had sent to Mr. Wall, and also for the prescription. He replied “Yes here it is; I have been persuaded to make it away, but here it is for you.”

Dr. Hodge, of Sidmouth, corroborated Dr. Mackenzie’s evidence as to the remedies used &c. He also attributed death to an overdose of morphia. On the same day he saw the prescription produced and - he continued - it is written so badly and so carelessly that I should not be surprised at a mistake being made. I don’t say that I should have made the mistake, but it was quite possible that any one reading the first line of the prescription hastily, been read “sal.” A person following the prescription with the word “sal” would have given a dose of the “salt muriate of morphia” half a drachm, which would have been enough to kill any one; he would have given thirty grains of mophia and according to the directions on the bottle would have ordered one half to be taken at a dose. A chemist ought to know better than make up such a mixture as that which witness had now described and ordered half to be taken at once.. Defendant was very attentive to Mr. Wall and did all he could after the dose had been taken.

This concluded the evidence for the prosecution.

In answer to the question if he had anything to say, and the caution that if he did it might be used against him at his trial at another court, the defendant replied, “I am not guilty.”

Mr. TWEED briefly addressed the Bench, contending that there was not a sufficient prima facia case to justify then in sending defendant for trial. The deceased met with his death through an accident. How was that accident the result of any criminal negligence on the part of the defendant? Was this a case of manslaughter or misadventure? He quoted the law on the point, and argued that if a chemist gave a man a poison in mistake for something else, it would only be a case of homicide by misadventure, even if there was some degree of culpable negligence or recklessness. Would a jury convict if they sent the case for trial? One jury had already come to the conclusion that the defendant was not guilty of manslaughter, and a similar conclusion would, he contended, be arrived at by a jury at Sessions ot Assizes. No one pretended to say that there was any malice on the part of the defendant, but it was evidently an accident to which any young man in a similar position was liable. He commented on the fact of defendant doing all he could to advert the fatal consequences as soon as he discovered the mistake, and also referred to the fact that the family of deceased was not proceeding against defendant. The object of sending defendant to trial would be to punish him, but he had done nothing deserving punishment. He had been guilty of an indiscretion no doubt, and he regretted it as much as any one possible could. If they send him for trial it would only be letting a terrible charge hang over his head for six months; there had been no public wrong done, the public did not require him to be punished, and no public good would result from his committal. As the relatives did not feel justified in taking any proceedings, there was no case for anyone else to do so. The public journals had taken up this case, and no doubt that was the reason why these proceedings had been instituted; there was really no case of gross culpable neglect proven against defendant. [Some applause followed the conclusion of the learned advocate’s address].

After a brief deliberation the Chairman said the Bench had unanimously come to the conclusion that there had been great neglect and dereliction of duty, and they therefore committed prisoner for trial. They accepted bail - himself in £100 and two sureties of £50 each. We are requested to state that the defendant is not the owner of the chemist’s business, but was merely acting on the 22nd for his brother, who was away in London.

(The proceedings were conducted in such a quiet and confidential manner, that many answers of several of the witnesses could not be heard by persons beyond the magistrates and their clerk].

Sat. Sep. 9. 1871. Walked to High Peak and deliberately examined the spot where the bones were found. There was too much hurry-skurry last Saturday. Grieved to see that the excavations have been concluded in too hurried a manner. Made a careful drawing of the section of the deposit, to shew the order in which the objects lay. Found the lower leg bone of a fowl or other bird, with the bone core of the spur attached to it complete. [My MS. Hist. of Sidmouth. I.32.]

Mon. Sep. 11. 1871. Went again to high Peak. Dug as little as possible, for the deposit is more valuable here than if removed. By picking my way carefully, I got another section of the vociferous bed about a foot thick, made up of bones, charcoal, broken pottery, and earth all mixed together. Made another careful drawing. Important deductions may be drawn from this.

Wed. Sep. 13. Again at High Peak. See Sep. 29. 1871.

Fri. Sep. 15. Mr. Heineken and myself revisited Bury Camp, after a long interval. Mr. Chick drove over in another carriage, and took two labourers. Our object was to dig in the bottom of the fosse, remembering that when the quarrymen were digging away the fosse of what appeared to have been a camp at Castle Close, they came upon bones, pottery, and old metal. [July 9. 1861.] We sunk four different holes in the bottom of the fosse, at the figures 1. 2. 3. 4. At the depth of nearly three feet the tough yellow clay was reached. In 1. 2. 3 some beach pebbles like sling stones, one here, another there, at depth’s in one or two instances, nearly down to the maiden soil, or original bottom, were met with. Four of them, from different places, had been broken as if by the force with which they had struck something hard - perhaps a large flint in the agger of the camp. It may be inferred that they had been hurled at the camp, and having hit some obstacle, had fallen into the ditch. They are likely to be genuine. Some 50 or more yards on the Sidmouth side of the camp, running from the cliff inwards to the three great stones, there are traces of a double bank, 35 feet wide, and about the same as the in and outside aggers of the camp. They may have been an advanced work for protection or defence. The number of stone heaps along this part of the hill are remarkably like genuine tumuli. The one we examined on the 8th. Of September 1858 produced nothing conclusive, but perhaps the examination was not complete. [my MS.Hist. of Sidm, 1. 58.]

Mon. Sep. 18. Again on High Peak Hill. I scrambled down the face of the cliff below the bone bed, as I heard that some bones had been found there, which had fallen down. Picked up the femur of a small animal like a hare, and also the core of the hoof of an animal about the size of a red deer.

Sat. Sep. 23. Railway meeting at the Town Hall, Mr. Kennaway, M.P. in the chair. The trustees of the manor, who are mainly promoting it, were present. The terms seen fair and liberal, and I trust that the project may be carried out. The authorised Capital is £66.000 in 6600 shares if £10 each. The greater part of the money is already secured. The line will leave the London and south-western near Feniton, and come down by Ottery, Tipton, Harpford Wood, Bowd, and Bulverton, to near Broadway.

Mon. Sep. 25. Last Wednesday week 113,000,000 francs received in Berlin from France, as part of the war indemnity. 98 ½ millions were in gold. And the Prussian troops are withdrawing from around Paris.

Tu. Sep. 26. Last Sunday week the Mont Cenis tunnel was opened. It is seven miles and a half long.


Fri. Sep. 29. 1871. The subjoined letter of mine, on the subject of the deposit on High Peak Hill, appeared in the Exeter Gazette this morning.




Since the pleasant visit of the Exeter Naturalist’s Club to Sidmouth, on the 2nd instant. I have mentally recurring to the subjects that occupied the attention of the members and their friends on that occasion. Although I had extracted both charcoal and bones from the agger of High Peak Hill camp twenty-three years ago, and exhibited specimens of both to the meeting, which I had kept by me, the re-discovery of the deposit by Mr. Strahan, and the prosecution of the search by Mr. Kirwan, awakened a new interest to a well-known spot. It is a well-remembered circumstance in Sidmouth, that about the commencement of the present century, on the occasion of some peace rejoicing or of some great victory, the late Lord Rolle gave two bullocks and four sheep to be roasted and given away to all comers on the summit of that hill. There are still old people surviving who recollect the event. The story has been related to me by the Messrs. Heffer, of Clifton Place, who went up and witnessed the proceedings as boys. They are both above eighty now. They say that a sort of rude fireplace, with supports for the spit, was built of rough stone found close at hand; and that when the carcases were dressed, they were cut up and distributed. The pieces were eaten in rather primitive fashion, and the bones thrown about the hill. There is a mass of stones nearly overgrown with turf towards the Ladram Bay end of the platform, on the land-side of the great agger - the platform, which in fact occupies the place of the old foss - and on a former occasion (Gentleman’s Magazine, Feb. 1849) I pointed this out as an apparent tumulus. I now, however, incline to think that this is merely the site of this fireplace. When it was recently announced in Sidmouth that bones had been found on High Peak Hill, people naturally recurred to the circumstances related in the above story. But as soon as I had an opportunity of examining the bones which had been dug out of the bank the story was put aside, for there could be no doubt as to their antiquity. The next thing was, to learn the lesson which these ancient tokens could teach. At the period of the meeting there had scarcely been time for a deliberate consideration of the whole bearings of the case, or for the arrival at conclusions from the appearances exhibited. There had been a digging out of materials - bones, pottery, flint flakes - necessarily hurried of course; but what order of succession had these objects occupied, and what historical facts did their relative positions demonstrate? To examine them in a room after they had been removed from their original place was not enough. Only half the lesson could be learnt from this. If the inhabitants of the camp had thrown the various objects on top of the agger, and had thereby formed a sort of rubbish heap, it is certain that objects thrown first would lie lowest. It appeared therefore, from such a consideration, that on close examination a lesson in there chronology might be got at. With this view I begged that Mr. Heineken, with whom I had worked in kindred subjects, would accompany me to the top of the hill - not to dig, for I would not be the destroyer who would thoughtlessly scatter and obliterate valuable evidence which might serve to interest and instruct future enquirers. What has once been heedlessly disturbed can never be put back again by the ancient Britons, as the ancient Britons left it. What is required, in examining such places, is a careful and even a reluctant hand. The weather turned out boisterous and unsettled, and I was obliged to go alone. The first thing was to get a perpendicular section of the deposit, like a geological section of a cliff. I took a small light tool and cautiously picked away at the surface, so as to dig round the bones or pottery without disturbing them. Having got a tolerably clear view of a certain portion, I made a careful sketch of the picture thus presented to view. Not having obtained so far all the evidence I required, I picked away at another part, and then made a drawing of that also. I was particularly anxious to meet with a flint flake in situ, but in this I was disappointed. I bore the disappointment rather than proceed to displace any more; and every bit of bone which came down that I did not need, I carefully buried at the foot of the section, that they may not be lost to others who may wish to examine them. I had taken note of the positions of various kinds of bones; some of bones of a bird, about the size of a pheasant, I found in the debris made by former diggers, but which they had overlooked, among which the lower right leg bone with the osseous core of the spur attached, very interesting; one or two pieces of pottery; a small spherical white quarts pebble, part of a sling stone, like those of Sidbury Castle, discoloured and split as if it had been in the fire; and a portion of a hammer or pounder of stone, blackened by smoke and also split by heat. It is certain that the flint flakes, if made by the Danmonii in the stone age, were long anterior in date to the period of the pottery. In this view Mr. Heineken and myself are agreed. The two were never produced by the same people in the same age. The pottery seems to be either Roman or Saxon, but apparently the latter. I had wished to ascertain whether the flakes lay lowest, as being the oldest; but Mr. Kirwan kindly informs me that there was no order in their disposition in respect of the other objects; and as I remarked that the other objects were mixed promiscously together, I am driven to adept a different theory from the one with which I at first started, and which I will mention presently. Besides fragments of plain pottery, Mr. Kirwan produced at the meeting a variety of specimens exhibiting no less than fourteen different patterns, to which I can add two more. These sixteen patterns, though dissimilar in themselves, all resemble each other in style. They were evidently made by the same tribe at about the same period. There are none of the zig-zags, or the impressed twisted cords, or the cuts, or the dots, or such like devices so common on British pottery. The whole of the ornamentation consists uniformly in rings, which have been produced by holding a tool or the end of a stick against the outside of the vessel whilst it was revolving on the wheel. Some of these rings lap over another like the planks of a boat; others consist of narrow bands or half rounds, with undulating irregular, ogee like, or broad flat bands between them; and others of several squire indented or ploughed-out small channels placed close together. In all the cases the patterns have been obtained in the same way, the only difference being in the size and shape of the point of the tool. Some of the fragments are so flat, or are, in other words, segments of such large circles, as to appear to have belonged rather to dishes than to vases. I need scarcely say that they never formed parts of sepulchral urns, nor could human bones be expected among them. They belonged to utensils made use of by their owners for culinary or other domestic purposes. In some of the specimens the clay is red, and in others of a light ochre or buff colour, and made, very likely, at no great distance from the spot. Perhaps the traces of an ancient pottery may some day be discovered between this hill and Otterton. [See Intellectual Observer, Sept. 1864. P. 119, on Saxon Pottery, by T. Wright.]

It is, of course, evident at a glance that, at some unknown period, the old agger of the camp had been repaired and heightened, and that when this heightening was effected by throwing up new earth, the bones and other things found with them were buried. At that time we may assume that the camp was in its perfect state; but such has been the encroachment of the waves and the removal of the soil, that nothing now remains but the great earthworks on the land side. The work must originally have been of a very bold character, for even now it measures 50 feet in one place from the crown of the agger to the middle of the foss below, and the agger opposite the bones is from four to five yards thick. The hill is 513 feet and nine-tenths high, reduced to mean tide at St. George’s Dock, Liverpool. For geological reasons, which I need not detail here, I do not think that the hill was ever very much higher than it is now - perhaps not above 20 feet. It was the wearing away of the cliff that exposed the bones to view, and led to the examination. But I wish to draw the reader’s attention to the materials with which the old agger was heightened. Upon the Foxmould (a stratum of yellow sand of loose coherence) of the Greensand formation, there lies a bed of sandy earth stained black with charcoal, and containing numerous pieces of charcoal of various sizes, in which the grain of the oak and the fir are discernible. It is this bed, which in some places is nearly a foot thick, that contains the bones, flints, pottery, and other things. It was from the Ladram Bay end of this bed that I draw some bones many years ago, but neglected to follow up the search. Incumbent upon it there is a layer of yellow Foxmould mixed with red earth, red sandstone, and apparently burnt earth, about two inches thick. On top of this there lies, to the thickness of 18 to 20 inches, a quantity of brown surface earth. The sling-stone (for such it appears to be) was found near the middle of this, about a foot below the top surface. My first idea was, that the flint flakes, being the oldest, would lie the lowest in the black bed, and the more recent objects would successively be found upon them: but Mr. Kirwan affirms that there was no regular order of chronological succession upwards, and this agrees with my own observations made on the spot, where all the various objects appear to have been thrown promiscously together. From this I infer that the deposit consists of an old rubbish heap, which had been removed from somewhere else. Remembering that some years ago, at the examination of a place called Castle Close near Branscombe, quantities of bones, pottery, and old metal were found at the bottom of the ditch, as if thrown over the agger as refuse, it seemed reasonable to suppose that at High Peak, too , the rubbish heap had originally been in the ditch outside the agger, and that it had been brought from that place. But, subsequently remarking that the deposit seemed to be rather on the inside (or sea side) slope of the agger, I infer that it had come from the inside of the camp. I should say there had been a fire of long standing used for culinary purposes inside the camp, near which the maker of the flint flakes had sat and performed his work - where the different animals (I have detected vertebrae of animals of three or four various sizes) were cooked, and the large bones broken across to get out the marrow, and then thrown away - where the hammer and sling-stone fell among the embers and got split by the heat - and where the vessels, which had been used when the occupiers took their food, having got broken, were cast down with the rest. The whole of this, together with a quantity of earth which had been stained black with charcoal, was removal to the agger. Collected from other places were - first the thin layer of Foxmould and lumps of red earth, and lastly a great mass of brown soil, all together, originally, to the thickness of from three to four feet. The several small quartz pebbles that were met with may have been used as counters to play some game with. In the Int. Ob. Jan. 1868, p. 470, there is an account of the finding of 28 pieces of bone of a like size and shape, which appear to have been so employed. No fish-bones or sea-shells have yet been detected. Some of the bones are scarred with cuts and bruises, not of recent date. I have not noticed any burnt or calcined bones.

I will not particularize further, for I hope that Mr. Kirwan, and perhaps some others, may some day favour us with their experiences. I merely wish to learn a lesson and form a theory on the facts revealed. Perhaps they may be good enough to confirm or refute it.

From the circumstances above related I deduce the following points:-

1. That there is nothing sepulebral in the deposit.

2. That the materials of the deposit were not originally thrown by little and little where we now see them, but were brought at once from some other place.

3. That they were brought from some spot within the area of the camp, and not from the ditch without.

4. That the flint flakes (if made in the stone age) and the pottery are not contemporary.

5. That the pottery much resembles pottery of known Saxon manufacture.


Sidmouth, Sep. 22, 1871.

Sat. Sep. 30. Dined at Cotford House beyond Sidbury, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Bayley. Eighteen people at Dinner.

October 1871


Mon. Oct. 2. 1871. Attended another railway meeting at the Town Hall, the Vicar in the chair. The chief business was to appoint a committee to canvass the inhabitants for shares. I was asked if I would join the committee, I excused myself, first because I have come to the conclusion that the less people have to do with parish affairs, the better for their peace and comfort, and secondly, my studies and other occupations at home keep me fully employed, and suit me better.

Wed. Oct. 4. Dined at Fortfield House, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Rashleigh and their family. Mr. Rashleigh has bought Feniton Court, and is getting it in order to go there soon. There were eighteen at dinner:- Mr. and Miss. Bayley, of Cotford; Miss. Rastrick and her nephew of Seaview; two Misses Jefferys, of Roseneath Cottage; Mr. and Mrs. Clements, and Miss Quin, the Vicarage, Radfords; Mr. and Mrs. Baring Baring-Gould, (Incumbent of All Saints) High Bank; Rev. G. Gordon, the Curate; and myself with the family made up the remainder. Conversation and music filled up the time after we returned to the drawing room, and Mr. Rashleigh amused us with some very good conjuring amongst other things, taking a dozen and a half of eggs from an empty bag.

Mon. Oct. 9. Walked to Cotford, beyond Sidbury, and called on Mr. and Mrs. Bayley. Fell in with the Rev. G. Gordon, and we went together.

Tu. Oct. 10. Though there was a cold NE. wind blowing Mr. Heineken and myself drove to the top of Ottery east hill, first to see if we could discover any outwork to Sidbury Castle, as a protection against surprise on the Ottery side; and secondly, to search the top of the hill for more tumuli. We went to Sidford, then west along High Street, then north along the lane behind Core Hill, till we attained the ridge at A. We discovered three small barrows where the heath and furze had been burnt off a portion of the hill at B, the nearest at 73 paces from the road, is five yards in diameter, the next, touching it, is eight in diameter, and the furthest, twenty-three paces further, only three yards in diameter. They are low and small and made of the soil of the spot. They have the appearance of being tumuli, though this could not be proved without examination. At C, down on the slope of the hill, we were told of a cairn of dry flints, or “stone-borrough,” as they are commonly called, and some others in the neighbourhood are said to have been destroyed. Going down the lane below A, we were shewn the remains of the cairn D, on the steep side of the hill, but above the cultivated land, among the heath and furze. From A proceeding northward along the high ridge, from which a splendid view towards the west is obtained, and which every body ought to go and look at, we looked for some outwork, where the lane from Sidbury Castle comes up, but in vain. Further north, a large grass field called “The Plain” was pointed out to us, on which the soldiers at one period used to exercise. We walked over this, and remarked seven low mounds rather oval in figure. At first we thought they might be tumuli; but from their form, and from the order in which they are placed, being three on the south side of the field, and four on the north, we gave up the idea. The cairn E, we had discovered before. [July 20. 1869.] It is apparently of dry flints, and a little on the side west the road has been dug down. The next F, on the open heath, was a new discovery. It’es also of flints, and on the west side, unfortunately some of it has been dug down and taken away. The Iron pits over Lincombe Farm, I had visited before, but I was anxious to take Mr. Heineken to them. I think these cannot be less than from 80 to 100 in two or three groups. They are however, much smaller pits than those which we examined near Wolford Lodge - October 1862 and July 24, 1965. We then passed the two tumuli G and H, and turned eastward down the steep lane, passing Lincombe Farm. A mile further, at a fork in the roads, we stopped to examine “Grey Stone” as it is called. I made a sketch of this somewhere about 1863, but I see that some Goth with a heavy hammer has struck off the north-east corner. It is a block of sandstone, five feet by four, and of unascertained thickness, of the greenstone Formation. The country people look at these great stones with a superstitious feeling, and they tell you that at midnight they go down into the valleys to drink. It may be remarked that a similar tradition exists in Britany in respect of the blocks of stone about Carnac and other places. We drove through Sidbury and Sidford home, much pleased at having added five tumuli to our list.

Th. Oct. 19. Went to the Agricultural Dinner at Sidbury. Mr. S. Carn, M.P., and Mr. Kennaway, M. P. were there, and several of the gentry of the neighbourhood, besides more than 100 farmers. I was selected to return thanks for the toast of the Army, Navy, and Volunteers.

Tu. Oct. 24, 1871. The Rev. Mr. Parker, Curate of Sidbury, came to me with part of the burnt Parish Register, and began to tell me a long story about its destruction 20 years ago. I told him I know all about it - that I lamented over it at the time - that I urged the late Vicar to try and get it repaired - that I had written one or two articals in Notes & Queries in 1854 explaining how singed vellum could be restored - and that I had corresponded with the late Dean of Exeter on the subject. If the Sidbury people would undertake the work, I said I would write to Mr. Haydon of the Record office (son of Haydon, the Painter) and enquire for a competent person, who would smooth out the injured leaves and rebind the two volumes.

Th. Oct. 26. 1871. Some new question relative to the antiquities of this neighbourhood, is perpetually starting up, and although Mr. Heineken and myself had visited Sidbury Castle times out of number, we resolved to go again. Sidbury Castle occupies the crown of a hill semi-detached from a spur of Ottery East Hill, to which it is attached, called I believe The Clump, or The Mump, A. or more commonly The Bunch. We thought that if Sidbury Castle had ever been besieged, an enemy might have posted himself on A opposite the entrance to watch the occupiers of the camp. We found A an admissible position. At B there is a long hollow like a foss, partly natural but perhaps utilised as a protection. All along at C there is a steep bank perhaps50 feet deep, with swampy ground at the bottom. This is natural, but may have been improved by artificial means. It is easy to imagine that this place had been fortified. We found two beach pebbles in the lane near C, exactly like the sling-stones of the camp, and probable the same thing. In field D, in front of entrance, we picked up seven sling-stones, one split and broken by the violence with which it had been hurled, and two, were large, one a Budleigh pebble, much larger than the usual size. At E, on the outside of the outer agger, I measured the steep bank, and made it 42 feet. F is the spot where the cavern full of sling-stones was found in March 1864, and where many still lie about. It is 52 feet from the hedge. In the steep field G, only partly cultivated, we picked up eight sling-stones, one starred and fractured. I also met with two flint flakes, each shewing “The bulb of percussion..”

We then went on Ottery East Hill; drove northward and once more examined the iron pits. I dug in the bottom of one, and came to yellow clay and flints. By some mistake the man drove the carriage away out of sight, and we walked nearly a mile, and full of uncertainty, before we found him. We got in and went further north to examine the hill, though it was getting dusk. We passed along Chineway Head to Hunters Lodge or Hare and Hounds, and then returned via Sidbury and Sidford.

Such an abundant catch of sprats occurred to-day, as is rarely equalled. I am told £200 worth has been taken.

Sat. Oct. 28, 1871. Received £302..19..0, from Adelaide, S.A., being money of mine which my late brother took out with him in 1851.

November 1871


Wed. Nov. 1. Miss. Crlighton, of No. 1 Coburn Terrace, took me into Exeter in her phaeton. We went to see Col. And Mrs. Church and Arthur, and Mr. and Mrs. Grey, of Heavitree. Mrs Church was youngest daughter of General Walker, formerly of Lime Park, (now Sidbrook) and Mrs. Grey was daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Obrien, late of Somerdon, Elysian Fields, Sidmouth. We got back by 9.30 P.M.

Mon. Nov. 6. For several years past the rioting of the lower orders on the evening of the 5th has been a disgrace to the place. They have taken the occasion as an excuse for carrying about tar barrels and fire balls, and have used these dangerous things to alarm, and even threaten any persona against whom they had any supposed cause of offence. The fire ball is made of tarred cord or old rope, dipped in pitch, and bound together with wire. It is about as large as a man’s head. A chain about a yard long is attached to it , by which it is held. When this is lighted and swung about, it becomes a formidable weapon; and when a dozen rough fellows in masks parade the streets with then, striking at doors and shutters and destroying the paint with hot pitch, and striking at people if they interfere with them, they make rather a striking show. Fifty policemen were had down from Exeter, and 100 special constables were sworn in. This force over-awed them. They however, burnt a linhay in a field a short distance from the town.

Fri. Nov. 10. Had luncheon with Mr. Wm. Floyd at Powys, where the alterations and repairs are now nearly completed. He then returned with me to the Old Chancel, where we played a game of croquet on the grass, and then adjoined to the Oak Room and had some hot coffee, for it was rather cold.

This evening, from nine to eleven there was a finer aurora borealis then I ever saw in England. All the north-west horizon was a beautiful light green, and from this there shot up streams of white light varying in length, nearly to the zenith. Whilst I was looking at it, a crimson patch appeared, and this soon spread over a large extent of the display, continually changing its locality and its shape.

Sat. Nov. 10.(?). On the 4th during a SW. gale of wind, the Margaret, of Goole, a Dutch-built cutter, was driven on shore a mile east of Sidmouth. Crew, two men and a boy, who took to the rigging when she struck. The men got to land, but a heavy sea shook the boy out of the rigging on the beach, much hurt by the fall. She lay there high and dry. On the 12th I walked over and looked at her. She was laden with wheat, which was saved. Subsequently she was sold at auction. Mess. Ellice and Maeer bought her for £50. To-day they launched her. The steam tug came and towed her to Teignmouth. The tug came three times - £5 a time. This and her launching I am told, cost £30. Report says that £120 was offered for her at Teignmouth, but refused.

Tu. Nov. 28. Finished reading Nilsson’s “Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia,” edited in English by Sir John Lubbock, Bart. Very interesting. There are a few points which I wish to bear in mind, and I may as well jot them down here. From the Introduction - The Stone Age divided into the Palaeolithic and Neolithic. The antiquities found in the first, usualy occur in the beds of gravel or loam (loess) extending along our valleys, and reaching sometimes to the height of 200 above the present water level.

About the time this alluvium was deposited, the fauna of Europe comprised the mammoth, the wooly-haired rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the wrus, the musk ox, &c., as well as most of the existing animals.

The climate then was much colder than at present.

Man then inhabited western Europe.

He used rude stone implements, which were never polished.

He was ignorant of pottery and of metals.

The period of the St. Acheul gravels was probably still more ancient than the “Reindeer period,” and that of the cave men in southern Europe.


The Neolithic period.

The flint implements are ground and polished.

These objects are not found in the river gravels or alluvium.

Nor with the mammoth and other extinct mammalia.

The Danish shell mounds belong to this period.

And the Swiss Lake dwellings in this, and later.

And also the tumuli or burial mounds.

Hand-made pottery was in use, but not made on the wheel.

In central Europe the ox, sheep, goat, pig, and dog were already domesticated.

Agriculture had commenced

Flax was cultivated and woven into tissues.

At least two distinct races occupied western Europe.

No Palaeolithic implements have been met with in Denmark and Sweden, but only the Neolithic.

In the stone age the bodies of the dead were either buried in a sitting posture, or burnt, or in England, on the left side.

The barn-door fowl and the cat were unknown in the stone age. There is some doubt about the horse.

The Bronze age.

Flint implements of some kinds, specially for arrow heads and flakes for cutting, were used after the discovery of bronze.

Gold, amber, and glass became known.

Silver, lead, and zinc, appear not to have been known.

Coins were not in use.

The ornamentation of this consisted in geometrical markings.

The handles of implements indicate a small race.

Writing seems to have been unknown; perhaps one exception.

Some of the pottery seens to bear traces of the potters wheel.

Cornwall, and the island of Banca, were most productive of tin, of which bronze is made. It occurs also in Spain, Saxony and Brittany. With respect to Iron, it appears to have been generally known and used in northern Europe before the Christian era.

As regards cairns (p.215; and Note 10) these heaps were not made all at once; but it appears to have been held as a sacred duty to cast a stone upon the heap made over a deceased person. The custom lingered in Scandinavia down to Nilsson’s time, as he often saw the country people do it if they passed that way. They thought that some mischance would befall them if they neglected this duty. Sir John, in Note 10 quotes the Gaelic proverb - Curri mi clach er do cuirn, - a proof that in Scotland the expression, “I will add a stone to your cairn,” denoted a mark of honour to the dead.

December 1871


Mon. Dec. 4. 1871. Went down to the beach, west of Sidmouth, and made a drawing of the old Limekilns, most of which has fallen into the sea, together with much cliff and the steep road, up which the limestone from Babbicombe used to be drawn in carts, and burnt into lime. We have had no lime burnt at Sidmouth since 1855. All the lime I used in building the Old Chancel, I was obliged to get from kilns at Budleigh Salterton.

Sat. Dec. 9. For the last three weeks the Prince of Wales has been so ill with typhoid fever, that his life has once or twice been despaired of. The last accounts are of a very serious kind.

Th. Dec. 14. 1871. Lord Courtenay’s affairs are again sub judice. It is stated that the unsecured debts amount to £215,293, and that the secured debts amount to £502,368. Secured on what? - on the Powderham estates? Is Powderham Castle to go? Is the great Courtenay family to go to the dogs?

Sat. Dec. 23. 1871. Cut the following from the Exeter Gazette. On this I made the remarks in a letter dated the 21st which I subjoin.



The special commissioners for English Fisheries - James Paterson, Esq. (chairman), Captain Spratt, R.N., and Major Scott - sat at the Honiton Assembly Room yesterday, to enquire into the legality of fishing weirs, fishing milldams, and fixed engines in the Otter and Exe Fishery districts. The Secretary of the Commission, T. F. Brady, Esq., was also in attendance. The first matter was one in which the fishery at Otterton Mill, forming part of the Rolle estate, came in question. Mr. Dawson appeared in support of the claim to the fishery, which includes a weir, hutch, &c. He said they had to prove their title to the fishing weir under the provisions of the Act of 1861. He should have no difficulty in showing that it was lawfully in use by grant or charter and by immemorial usage. Secondly he would show that the fishing weir was further lawfully in use by having in it a free gap as required by the Act he had mentioned. The fishery of the river Otter throughout its entire course in the county of Devon belong to the manor of Otterton, under grants from the Crown. The first mention of Otterton was in Doomsday, where, however, there was no specific statement as to the fisheries. At the time of the conquest, the property was granted to the religious order of St. Michael’s Mount. The river flowed entirely through the manor. A fishery existed and was part of the grant. - In answer to the Chairman, Mr. Dawson said the river, which was not now navigable, ran for about twenty-five miles in Devonshire, and for part of that distance through the Rolle estate. At Budleigh Salterton, it got into the sea with great difficulty, being almost entirely barred by a large stone bank. Leland, the historian of Devonshire, writing in the time of Henry VIII., mentioned that 100 years before his time, vessels of some burden used to lie in the mouth of the Otter, and go up some distance, but it was then clean barred and had been almost entirely closed. A great silting-up of stone and sand had taken place, and the obstruction still remained, a very small boat with difficulty getting over the bar. The river was nothing more than a trout stream. Mr. Dawson then proceeded with his argument as to the title possessed by immemorial usage. He said it was almost, if not quite, unique of its kind, and he went on, with great lucidness, to explain, by quotations and production of documents, his various points. In later years the order of St. Michael’s Mount was deprived of the grant made to it at the Conquest, and the record of the transaction showed that the original grant had included the fishery, which, as various entries made in ancient documents showed, was let by the order. That grant included the fishery of the river throughout the whole of its course in the county, though, as a matter of fact, within late years they had only enjoyed it over six miles from Topton. They had, however, undivided portions in the land higher up. Continuing his argument, Mr. Dawson said the manor continued in the possession of Mount St. Michael for many years, till a time when the property of alien religious houses in England were confiscated , and was in a subsequent reign conferred as an endowment on the convent of Syon. The fishing rights as of old continued to be enjoyed. In after years the property was granted to Richard Duke, a lineal ancestor of the present Attorney-General, the deed of gift containing mention of the fishery rights in the river appertaining thereto as formerly, which rights he (Mr. Dawson) contended extended to the whole of the Otter in Devonshire. The manor of Otterton remained in the possession of the Duke family till 1786, when it was conveyed to Mr. Denis Rolle, the father of the late Lord Rolle. Thus the title had been proved for a period of 800 years, and there would not be much difficulty in saying that the first provision of the Act of 1861, named by him, had been complied with. To satisfy the requirements of immemorial usage and the other provisions of the Act, he had witnesses present whom he would call. In passing, he might mention that, in the admirable Bill to be introduced next Session, it would be well to insert a proviso exempting cases which had been already investigated from further inquiry. - The Chairman: Nothing that we have enquired into will be enquired into again. - Stephen Westcott, aged76 years, was then examined, He had known the river 70 years, and could say that during that time there had been no substantial alteration in the weir and hutch. He had seen salmon go over the weir as cleanly as possible. - Isaac Halse, 66 years old, gave similar evidence. The tide came up to within a quarter of a mile of the spot. - Thomas Joslin, aged 84, gamekeeper to Lady Rolle, said he had had to do with the fishery of the Otter for 43 years. He had known no change made in the lower weir except “the Queen’s gap.” The salmon were not caught in the hutch: trout and white bait were principally taken. None of the fish caught was sold. It was supplied to the table of Lady Rolle or sent away as presents. Early last year a fish 24lbs. was found near the Newton Poppleford Bridge. Fish mostly went up the Otter to breed at the latter end of October and the beginning of November. - Mr. Tedbury, the occupier of the hill, also gave evidence stating that there was some water always running over the weir. - Mr. Lipscomb (steward of the Rolle estates) proved the correctness of his measurements in the plans produced. - The chairman expressed the satisfaction of himself and his brother Commissioners with Mr. Dawson’s case, and agreed that it was a very unique one; it was certainly unsurpassed. - On the recommendation of the Chairman, it was arranged that a pass should be erected if possible near the mill wheel.

As to a weir on the River Exe, to close which a notice had been given, Messrs. Tremlett, who used to have a fixed net close to the weir and in connection with it, had written to say that they desired to abandon the net. The consequence was, said the Chairman, that the Commissioners would make a formal order declaring the net illegal, which would prevent any similar net being employed in future.

There were three applications with reference to the River Otter, and evidence was given thereon. - Mr. Stamp appeared for Mr. Manley, miller, and asked for permission to use a box for the purpose of taking eels, with which a few trout sometimes become mixed. There were also applications from Mr. Coombe, of Feniton, in respect to a fish box; and from Mr. William Smith, with regard to a contrivance on his premises, both such contrivances being used for the taking of eels. It appeared that the contrivances were not employed to take salmon or sea trout, and the Chairman said that accordingly the matter did not come within the province of the Commission. The boxes, &c., could be used in the future as hitherto.

Original Correspondence.



To the Editor of the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette.


Sir,- In your impression of the 15th instant, page 7, caput Honiton, a report is given of a meeting held at Honiton on the subject of the Salmon Fishery Acts, before the Special Commissioners, James Paterson, Esq., (Chairman), Captain Spratt, (a very fishy name), and Major Scott. It was apparently not the business of the Commissioners to ascertain the historical accuracy of every statement that was placed before them, but only to look after the interests of the salmon - as if it had, they would not have accepted everything so complacently as they dad. Mr. Dawson will have no difficulty, from old documents and from long usage, to prove the right of the owners of Otterton and Budleigh to the fishery of the Otter as far as those manors extend; but he is reported to have said:- “The fishery of the river Otter throughout its entire course in the county of Devon belonged to the manor of Otterton, under grants from the crown.” And further on, in alluding to the original grant by which William the Conqueror conveyed Otterton to the monks of St. Michael’s Mount in Normandy, and a recapitulation of it by the Act of Henry V., in 1415, when that King seized the possessions of the Alien Priories in England, and included the fishery of the river throughout the whole of its course in the county, though, as a matter of fact, within late years they had only enjoyed it over six miles from Tipton.” I must beg to deny the accuracy of these accretions - first, because they are not borne out by any ancient charter whatever; and secondly, because they would amount to a trespass upon the estates of neighbouring owners, and a usurpation of their own peculiar rights. They are about as true as the foolish and absurd story, which tells us that the county jail was once at Harpford and afterwards at Bicton; a story which has somehow crept into the pages of some of our historical writers, and which has been swallowed by some who “open their mouths and shut their eyes.”

The grant, which he so familiarly expounds, I will give him five guineas if he can produce. I will do more - I will defy him to produce it; for some men, who are not to be bought, are not to be defied. For more than twenty years I have meself been looking for that grant, in connexion with certain historical researches bearing on the manor of Sidmouth; and having made two visits to France (in 1852 and 1855) for the purpose of finding it, after having more than once consulted the late Dr. Oliver as to the best course to pursue to ensure success, and having failed to find it or to get any intelligence of it either at the Mount (where I slep upon it, to ponder the matter more maturely), or in the archives of two or three towns on Normandy where the old documents of the monks lie scattered, or lastly in Paris, I have come to the conclusion that it is no longer in existence, and I am sure it is not in the Rolle Deed Box. There is no mention of the fishery in Domesday Book. No. The records there, though of infinite importance, are very concise, and might be taken as a style worthy of adoption by lawyers of the present day. It will be remembered that the date of this book is after that of the Conqueror’s grant, touching which infuriation has been made. In Exeter Domesday the entry, on ff. 194 and 195, and p. 177 of the printed edition, runs thus:-

Abbas sei michaelis de monte ht’ I. mansione’ q: vocat’ Otritona. &c.

In the Exchequer Domesday, f. 104. Which I extracted from the original; then in the Chapter House, Westminster, Sept. 10. 1851, it is thus:-

Eccia’ s’ Michaelis de Monte ten’ de rege Otritone, &c.

The Monks’ Copy in the Otterton Cartulary, circa 1260 f. 18, is the following:-

Eccia’ sti’ michis’ de monte tenz de Rege Ot ton, &c., with so mant pigs and villains. The land had belonged to the Countess Ghyda or Gutda, the mother of the hapless Harold, who fell at the battle of Hastings. Further on we have:-

Ipsa eccla’ tenz Donitone, - noe Datton, Also-

Ipsa eccla’ ten’ Herticome - Now Yarcombe.

As entry in the Testa de Neville, f. 836, of the time of Henry III. And Edw. I., which I took from the original in London, twenty years ago, corroborates the foregoing, as thus:-

Rex Willus p’mus dedit in puram elemosinam manerium de Ot’iton cum p’tineneiis Abbacie de p’iculo maris in Norm Montis sti michis. Again

Rex Henr p’mus dedit in puram elemosinam man iu’ de Buddelegh cum p’tin predte abbie in escambiam ecclie Chausie’quam ide Rex dedit abbie de Radinges qudo cam fundavit.

Nothing is said of the fisheries in the charter of Free Warren by Edward III. The heads of the grant are these:-

Rex….saltm, sciatis nos….concessisse….Abbit conventui de monte sti michis in p’icule maris qd….h’eant libam Garennam in omibz dictis t’ris suis sc. Oteryton Sydemue Buddelegh Yardecombe t herdelond in Com Deuon, &c. Charter Rolls, 2 Ed. III. No. 52 Copied from the original in the Tower of London, April 27th, 1855.

Although the rights of the sea-fishery were not under investigation by the Commissioners, perhaps I may be allowed to linger a moment just to allude to them, as they are so closely connected with those of the river.

In the Close Rolls, 6 Edw. III. m. 19, there is a Praeceptum touching the detention of two ferlings of land with the fishery at Otterymouth, with a view to a settlement of the transaction. Dr. Oliver has a draft of this document at page 249 of his Monasticon; but the most careful books are liable to misprints, and I am never content without going to the originals. I made my copy in the Tower, October 18, 1851. The heads are:-

Rex dil’to sibi Henr le Gulden Esc’ suo in com’ Somerst Dors’ Deuon t Cornub’ saltm cum nos nup c’cior volentes sup modo et causa captois t detentois duar ferlingor ter’prioris de Ot’tyon cump tin in Buddele, necnon portus de Ot’ymuth eiusdem Prioris vna cu’ piscaria ipius Prioris in aqua ibidem, &c,…Will’…esc’ nost’ .. liberavit….duos ferlingos t’re in Buddele et porthu’ de Ot’ymuth cum piscaria, asserns unum ferlingum…necnon pdtm portum cum piscaria esse in manu nra occasione transgressionis quam Abbas….p’ priorem suum, de Ot’yton fecit, &c.

The above is enough to shew the allusion to the fishery at the mouth of the Otter. The next, from the Otterton Cartulary, f. 63, names the species of fish.

Preterea, p’or dz h’re [debet habere] porpesium a quocumq captu ad portu’…..reddendo inde xii denar p’qlz et culz Naute Unum pane’ albu magro a’ [autem] duos…..Et dz hre medietatem dalfini.

P.’ debemus hre congeros, &c. [Conger eels?]

Henry II granted a tenth of the fish caught in the Diocese of Exeter to the Bishop; and Edward I confirmed it in 1280. Thomas, Bishop of Exeter, acknowledged it in 1376. The grant is of the “decimam omnium craspesiorum.” The craspesium or craspeis, was the same with crassus, or grossus piscis.

The taking of the sixth part of the tithe of fish from Sidmouth to Otterton is mentioned in a compotus (not a drinking together, mind) which I copied twenty years ago at the old Record Office at Carlton Ride. It is labelled J. E. G. 5445. The sale of these tenths for one year, from St. Stephen’s Day 1425 to the same the year after, amounted to £12.4s. 11 ½ d. The passage is:-

Et de xij. iiij. xj. ob. de xs pisc’ tenent’ ibm in die sti stephi apud Ott’ton. Again - alloc’ est scdm quant sume xme pisc xls.’ Et solut p expn div’s Paroch’ibm venient’ usq’ Ott’ton in die sti stephi p’demrs’ de suis xs pisc.’

In coming to the fresh water of the river, I wish to point to the Otterton Cartulary, f.51, where there is a grant made to the Prior by one Britellus Jowas of some land, together with certain fishing privileges on certain parts of the Otter. The date is about 1220. This is proof enough that at that period, at all events, the King had not made the Lord of Otterton Manor supreme over the whole of the river, as more recently alleged. If he had so been supreme he would not have sought to share the fishing with Jowas, and have paid him four silver marks and a half for the favour. Thus, the deed says, that Britellus quite clams his rights in - “t’ra que vocat’ bisakenlone (wherever that may have been) jux’ aqua’ de otri.” Also he says - “Concessi eciam quod t’re de brigeham sit communis t’seuntibus.” And again - “Volo ecia qued aqua de oteri sit divisa int’ pdcos monichos t me t hideos meos a bgeha’ (Brigeham) t sic inferius vers bukenton.” (Bicton.) Further - “Concessi simir ut piscaria sit communis,” &c. So that he dose not relinquish his right, but only permits that the fishing shall be common to the monks and himself.

The different manors lying about the middle and upper waters of the river, to its sources at Otterford under the Blackdown Hills, as Gittisham, Feniton, Honiton, Monkton, Up-Ottery, &c. were bestowed by the crown on various influential vassals in feodal tenure. Was the fishery of the Otter, which ran through their lands, withheld from them in order to reserve it for Otteron alone? I should like to know where that is recorded. The Conqueror gave Bicton to William Janitor, Gittisham to Goscelm, Honiton to the Earl of Moreton, Up-Ottery to Ralph de Pomeroi; and Malherbe had Feniton in the time of Henry II., and Marcey had Monkton under Henry III. Lysons says- “The Lord of Feniton had formerly the singular privilege of beheading criminels.” Did the Otterton people venture to go and fish up there? Those great barons were little kings on their own territories; proud of their power, jealous of their privileges, and unrelenting upon those who interfered with them. The pillory and the gallows would have made short work with the monk who might have been caught poaching on their manors. And I should like to have seen the adventurous fisherman, who, at a somewhat later period, would have pulled a trout or a salmon out of the stream washing the broad acres of that strong-minded woman Isabella de Fortibus. She in not forgotten in Exeter yet. He had better have fallen into the hands of the baroms. And still later,- what if Mr. Duke, of Otterton and Budleigh, had walked up to Colaton Rawley and tried his skill in the stream, whilst Sir. Walter was planting his first potatoes in the garden on the north side of the old house at Place, as they tell you he did? And what if Sir Walter had espied him? Would he not have forgotten his courtly manners? As well might an Ottery man in our day, without a card, go and throw a line into the river, anywhere between Tipton and Otterton weir, and see how short a time it would take to bring my Lady Rolle down upon him; and yet, she is meek. Mild, and forbearing, compared with Isabella, if history speaks true. In short, let us know what individual, and at what period since the Conquest, ever enjoyed the right of fishing the Otter from its sources to the sea, and also at what date such assumed right was relinquished.

The visit of Captain Waddington is not forgotten in Budleigh Salterton, nor the meeting presided over by the late G. K. Holmes, Esq., J.P. The enclosures of the marshes or estuary, which was effected about sixty years ago, caused some dissatisfaction. Before then, the water rushed in and rushed out with great force as the tide rose and fell, and at high water there was an immense lake extending north and south from near Otterton bridge, were mr. Duke had his mills, as Sir William Pole tells us, to the sea, and east and west from the present river across the meadows to Kersbrook and the limekilns. The silting up of the estuary, so much complained of, no doubt would have gone on even if the embankment had not been made, for the mouths of all the small rivers on this coats have gone the same way, as witness [those of the Sid and the Axe, but the enclosure probably hastened it. Even the Exe cannot keep itself clear. I was on the special jury in Exeter in 1858, in the case “Lord Clinton and others v. Beavis and others,” when the evidence relating to some part of the bed of the river, went to prove that the filling up or accumulation of slime and sand round the mud-banks was progressive and constant, so that, with the exception perhaps of the channel, the depth of water every year was becoming less.

Doubtless as alleged, the Solicitor, or Attorney General had the last Mr. Duke for an ancestor; but he comes of Mr. Duke’s youngest representative. Captain Coleridge, of Salston, comes befor him; but first and oldest representative of the Duke family now living, is the Rev. J. Yonge, of Puslinch, near Plymouth. He represents several of the oldest families of this county, as Le Poer, Duke, and Upton of Upton.


Old Chancel, Sidmouth, Dec. 21, 1871.

Th. Dec. 28. Dined at Powys - The first dinner after the extensive alterations. Present - Lady Floyd, who, though rather advanced in years, was able to take the head of the table; her son Walter at the other end; The Vicar and Mrs. Clements; Richard Kennet Dawson; his brother Benjamin; his sister Miss Ellen; Dr. Radford; Miss Quin; Miss Wolrige, Miss Florence Floyd, the only daughter now.

< Go back to the previous page

Contact Us

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

Tel: 01404 46663

Email : info@eastdevonaonb.org.uk

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

Follow Us:twitter logo

'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson' outputs

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

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

About 'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson'

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

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

Find out more >