POH Transcripts - 1873

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Wednesday, Jan. 1 1873 – A beautiful morning: but they say – “A fine morning never lasts all day.” This rule has no exception.

Our Lifeboat returned from Beer, where the men had slept last night. Yesterday a bark was seen in the offing in distress, and our boat went off and took the crew into Beer. It was a French vessel. The wind had moderated, and veered from the southward to the westward, and the vessel is saved from a lee shore.

Th. Jan. 2 – There has been some dissatisfaction lately about the church choir. A motion was proposed, and seconded, and I believe would have been carried, for dismissing the organist, had I not stepped in and begged them to refrain from so summary a proceeding. My moderation was approved of, and the meeting was adjourned to this day week. I undertook to call on him as a friend, and advise him to send in his resignation. This I did.

At the adjourned meeting a letter from the organist was received, tendering his resignation, Dr Robert Staines-Wood is the son of a D.D. and I believe his father’s brother was late Dean of Ely Cathedral. He was born to £600 a year, but a dishonest trustee defrauded him. He is very sensitive if he is not treated with the respect due to a gentleman. But alas! People never remember what you were: they only know what you are: and if he has gone down in life, he will be treated accordingly be the unsympathising world. But owing to a natural impatience of temperament, he has had the misfortune of offending most of his choir, and several of the gentry – and there lies the whole secret.

Fri. Jan. 3 1872 – Spent the evening at Dr. and Mrs. Mackenzie’s at Belgrave House. The sea has knocked a hole in the Esplanade wall, just opposite the entrance gate of Belmont, and the boiling waves russing [sic] in and back again, have carried away a quantity of the esplanade, and excavated an immense hollow. They are putting in faggots and stones to stop it temporarily. About eleven years ago a similar hole was made a few yards west of this.

Sat. Jan. 4 – The following, from Lethaby’s Sidmouth Journal of this month, is a sequel to my former article on Names, Old and New. I think I am wrong in saying they got the Asherton Estates by marriage. I now think the Carslakes bought the Asherton property, but got the Colmaton Estates through Miss Bamfield.

Sidmouth. 1873

Tu. Jan. 7 – Took a walk on Salcombe Hill to look for worked flints. Observed the scattered-sling stones round the great stones. [June 1. 1871]

Noticed also several, (at least three) pieces of broken sling-stones. These had not been broken by the frost, but by a violent blow, as the strike at the point of impact shew’d. I think that these strengthen the idea that a contention occurred here. Brought back on to shew to Mr Heineken, Out over on the open heath to the north-west of this field, I found a large flake, having he “bulb of percussion” very strong. This gives hope for finding something more.

This evening I went to a ball at Mr. and Mrs. Bayley’s at Cotford. It was a cram. Some said there were 180n people there. The supper was splendid: the ladies still more so. Not home till quarter past three tomorrow morning.

Fri. Jan. 10. So the Ex-Emperor Napoleon is dead. He died quite unexpectedly to his medical men, If we take a broad view of his career, it must be allowed that France prospered under his rule.

Sidmouth. Jan. 1873

Sat. Jan. 18 – A lad called Selley brought me a fossil tooth, which had been found a little way outside the Esplanade wall, opposite Belmont, near the west end of the beach. By some carelessness they broke it in three pieces, but I can cement them together with shellac dissolved in some naptha. It is stained of a dark gray colour; probably from having lain in a bed of dark clay, which lied under the shingle, all along the opposite the Fort Field, This bed of clay had never been uncovered, and never seen by the oldest inhabitant, till this winter, I gave him two shillings for it.

Fri. Jan. 24 – Another tooth! A boy called Frederick Bartlett brought me a much worn tooth, also stained dark gray. He said he found it lying on the bed of clay. I gave him a shilling for it. Apposite the eastern verge of the Fort Field and Fort Cottage, the appearance of several stumps of trees, rising out of the sand or this stratum of gray or blue or variegated clay, has attracted considerable attention. I have noted their places down, and I have remarked that there seem to be lines of stratification in the clay. The trees appear to have been firs [added later: alder]. Must we suppose that there was a forest here, in which mammoths roamed, but which has gone down by the sinking of the land? The stumps are uncovered at half tide, and the furthest are from 55 to 60 feet outside the wall – [see March 18 1873]

Wed. Jan. 29. 1873 – Took a walk to High Peak Hill. The wind was from the east “and sharp enough to cut a snipe in two, “ but exercise soon made me warm. Hunted about some ploughed fields near the cliff, and found many flint flakes and cores. On the slope, near the top of High Peak, I found a jin tethered to a peg driven into the ground. The jin had gone off, and in its iron jaws it held half of the hind leg of some unfortunate rabbit. The cruelty of such an act cannot be expressed in words. I look upon jins as remnants of the barbarism of the dark ages and a disgrace to the period in which we live. If wild animals are wanted to be caught – catch them; or if they should be destroyed – destroy them: but don’t lacerate or mutilate them. On a piece of note paper I had in pocket, I wrote the words – “Think of the cruelty of setting jins” and fixed it to the jin. These words from an unknown hand, and the bleeding evidence, I hope may have their effect on the farmer or his labourer. When he comes to see what he has caught. In another place I found a looped wire set in a rabbit run; but I undid the loop, and went on.

Sun. Feb. 2 – A violent gale of wind last night from the north-east. It kept me awake for some time. About one I heard a loud noise. The Oak room chimney was blown down. It fell on the roof, but went no further, Never do I remember such a continuance of boisterous weather

Tu. 4 – Early this morning, about half past three, there was great fall of cliff opposite the Chit Rocks. Frost and rain are bringing them down. The owner of Sea View has got what I call a diminishing estate.

Wed. 5 – Went in a carriage with the Edes and called on the Bayleys at Cotford, beyond Sidbury; and then we drove along High Street to Harpford, and called on the Gattys at the Vicarage. The country is very much covered with snow, there being scarcely any at Sidmouth.

Tu. Feb. 11 – Attended the funeral of Miss Ridout at Powys. I think her mother was a Miss Floyd, an aunt of the late Sir Henry. There were at the funeral, Wm Floyd, Captn Robert, and Captn Henry, brothers of Sir John; Richard Kennet Dawson, whose younger brother married Miss Florence Floyd last year, and self. Miss Ridout was born Feb. 23 1780. I think it was so on the coffin plate. Polished oak coffin with brass handles, and a carved oak cross patée screwed on the top. I have heard she was at school in Paris at the breaking out of the French Revolution of 1789.

Sa. Feb. 18 – Attended at the office of Messrs Radford & Williams with the will and other papers of my late cousin William Oliver, Rector of Stapleford, near Hertford, who died January 25. His mother was my father’s sister. His widow and daughter sent them. His daughter Elizabeth Mary, and only child, is executrix, and I executor. Signed the papers, and made the necessary declaration. Estate estimated at £6971., 4.,10.

Mon. Feb. 24 – After a fortnight of steady north-east wind, which dried up the country most beneficially for the farmer, and even made the roads dusty, and during which I have taken several long country walks to look for flint implements, as at Sidbury Castle, Peak Hill, Salcombe Hill, but found nothing but a few flakes, a core or two, and such like, we have today a violent snow-storm. It did not cease all day. Went by appointment to Cottington, and Lord Sidney Osborne shewed me many new objects through his microscope – some from this neighbourhood. He also shewed me the photograph of a most powerful magnet, just contributed by his friend Lord Lindsay, in London. It is almost dangerous for incautious people to meddle with it.

Tu. Feb. 25 – So Spain is again in a state of anarchy. When Amadeus was elected king, two or three years ago, it was hoped that a better state of things was in store for that miserable country: but the minds of some men are so debased, that all his mild and constitutional measures were unappreciated by them. He quietly resigned on the 11th and has withdrawn to Portugal.

Sat. Mar 1 1873 – Sir John Kennaway of Escot, Bart, has just died. My late father bought the lease of my house No 4 Coburg Terrace of him in 1825, wh I turned afterwards into a freehold. I think he gave £600 by way of fine, and 3 or 4 guineas a year as ground rent, the lease was for 99 years, or three lives. House property now is not worth one half it was then in Sidmouth. In short, if I were to try and sell it now, I should probably have some difficulty in getting £400 for it, even as a freehold.

Fri. Mar. 14 – Took a walk on Peak Hill and on the slope of Pin Beacon beyond to hunt over some ploughed fields for worked flints. Passed over several fields and found nothing and began to despair. At last I got to a field on the further side of the dip between Peak and Pin Beacon. Near the top I found a space, over which I observed many flakes and other pieces, evidently fashioned, though rudely, by the hand of man. In short, I here and in some other places, picked up a core, five scrapers of the thumb-flint type, more or less discoidal or oval; four scrapers of longer form, used at the rounded ends and some at the sides; two hollow scrapers; a half circle scraper; and some others, and flakes – in all twenty. I must go there again.

Tu. Mar. 18 - Cut the annexed out of the Exeter Gazette Telegram

Th. Mar. 20 – Went again to the inland slope of Pin Beacon Hill, where I was on the 14th. Brought away nothing but a rough and jagged lump of flint, about two inches in diameter, which had evidently been knocked out on purpose. It is of black flint, whereas the flints of the hill are light coloured: and therefore it has probably been brought from the chalk at Beer Head. Such lumps of flint are likely to have been made for sling-stones or other missiles. I have now found nine of them in different places, in this neighbourhood.

Returned by striking across the hill to Mutter’s Moor. I remember the hollow of Mutter’s Moor when it was a picturesque dell all heath and furze, with a spring of water at the bottom. It is now in two fields of about seven acres each. It struck me that the old Britons of the Stone Age might possibly have resorted to the brook, and have chipped flints by the side of it. So I took a hasty turn up and down the lower field, which was in turnips and bare, for I had no time to go today to the upper. I saw several flakes in different places, and a beach pebble or two – very likely to have been slung at some wild animal, and I was gratified at finding a pick or perhaps gouge, nearly four inches long, and one and three quarters in diameter at the butt end. I must go there again.

Fr. Mar. 21 1873 – Went to Cottington at eleven A.M. and made a drawing of the jaws of one of the Rotifers, as seen through the microscope, for Lord Sidney Osborne. Had an early dinner with him and the Misses Osborne, and then made another.

Th. Mar. 27 – Could not get away on our first archaeological expedition until to-day. Last year we managed it on the 21st – Mr Heineken and myself went to examine the long earthwork opposite Hangman’s Stone. (see back Augt. 9. – 23, Oct. 8. 1872) We ascended by Trow Hill. There is a large triangular field on the right, towards the upper part, belonging to the Lord of the Manor of Sidmouth. I got over the hedge, and met the carriage at the top. Saw two or three beach pebbles like sling-stones. I do not see how beach pebbles could get there, unless they were really sling-stones, sling perhaps at some wild animal, for they were exactly the pattern of the undoubted sling-stones found in the cave at Sidbury Castle. [Mar. 28. 1864] We then went on to the Three Horseshoes, where we alighted. We wanted further to examine the southern half of the Cross Dyke, so we walked down the red line A, and returned by B, as shown in the plan at Aug. 23 1872. We observed many sling-stones and flint flakes, and secured one or two scrapers. At C there is something like a return or angle of the Dyke, but it is too faint to be quite certain about. We then proceeded to explore all along the north side of the road, nearly following the red line D, which I had traced last August by myself. The west point E of the earthwork is very faint, as it is in a field long under the plough, but the eastern end is plainer, as the land has only recently been taken in. The N end E almost looks as if it curved round towards the road. If it did, it may have proceeded across the road, in the direction of the hedge F, but it is impossible to say with certainty. This earthwork furnishes food for consideration. After taking all the points of the case into account, it appears to me (and to Mr Heineken) that the Cross Dyke, 2000 feet long, drawn across the ridge of the hill, and with its ditch on the east side, was constructed by the inhabitants of the country, and probably by those who occupied Blackbury Castle, to keep back an enemy, expected from the east, and possible some invader entering the mouth of the Axe. The earthwork, on the other hand, flanks the road, and perhaps the west end crossed the road and followed the hedge F, its ditch was on the north side, which was not without its meaning; and hence it seems that this work, which we can still trace for nearly 1000 feet, was thrown up by the invader, who was pushing his way westward – who had made the ditch on the north side, pointing to Blackbury Castle, and who, in case of need, could secure a retreat to the coast, under its protection, The two tumuli near its east end, the British sepulchral won in Crossway Close [Sep. 26. 1859] and the number of sling-stones and flint flakes which we found all about from the Cross-Dyke to Hangman’s Stone, shew plainly that this spot was much occupied with the early tribes, and is likely to have been a field of some contention.

We took our refreshment in the open carriage, on the down across the road opposite Hangman’s Stone, looking northward, up the valley towards Northleigh, for a good view enhances the relish, and in order to be consistent, we cut up our sandwiches with flint flakes.

We went and looked at Hangman’s Stone, which Mr Heineken thinks may have been one leg of a cromlech – quasi Hanging Stone – and close beside it I picked up a large beach pebble of gray flint about five or six inches long. On examining it, I observed that both ends shew abrasion, as if it had been used as a hammer or pounder. Mr H. has it.

We then decided on returning. My fellow labourer is not the man he was a few years ago, and he has passed his three score and ten, so we kept to the road with the carriage, now and then going into a field to look about, whilst I, who am still a boy, turned in at Hangman’s Stone, and followed the red line back over hedge and ditch, and joined him near the . I made this rough walk to examine the fields, to see if I could discover any earthworks on the south side of the road, but could not see any. I found him filling a bottle out of a pond, providing diatoms and rotifers for Lord S. G. Osborne’s microscope. We got home by seven P.M.

The Countess of Buckinghamshire was buried today. As I went down to Mr Heineken’s. I passed through the churchyard and looked in the new vault just made. It was about five feet wide, and seven feet long, and seven or eight deep, outside the south door of the chancel.

Tu. Ap. 1 1873 – Went to Cottington at 11 A.M. and made two coloured sketches of the jaws of rotifers. Had an early dinner with Lord and Lady Sidney, and the Misses Osborne.

Wed, Ap. 2 - Accompanied Miss G Osborne to Mutter’s Moor to search for flint implements. We found a few but nothing very valuable.

Wed Ap. 9 – Took a drive with Mr, Mrs and Miss Ede, of Lansdowne, and Mr W. Till, of 2, Seafield, to look at the railway, now making. The station, between Broadway and Bulverton, is to be made on a field called Worland, the same spot, I presume, with the Wourlonde mentioned in the Cartulary of Otterton, and quoted in the second volume of my History of Sidmouth, under the head RADWAY. Wingerewe or Dingerewe, another place mentioned, I have not yet identified. They have diverted the public road through the field, so as apparently to skirt the station, (when it is built) round its eastern side. We drove on past Bulverton to Bowd, where nothing is yet done: then a mile further on the Ottery road, and turned down towards the Otter, a mile above Harpford. Here, Mr and Miss Ede and myself alighted, to walk back along the line where made. They are diverting the course of the river, by cutting across the elbow under a high bank. We walked up the line into Harpford Wood; and a rough walk it was, for the cuttings and embankments are only half formed, and in some places they are very high and deep. We came out at Bowd, and walked home by the road.

Fri. Ap. 11 – Good Friday. At the parish church. Received the sacrament

Sat. Ap. 12 – Went to the Ottery Road Station with two of Mrs Maitland’s nieces, B. and Lilly Ritchie, she not being very well. Saw them safely in the train for London.

The carriage back to Sidmouth was not to start for two hours, so I would not wait, Got into an omnibus that was going three miles to Ottery; the remaining six I walked.

Sun. Ap. 13 – I saw the first swallows of the season to-day. In about a week we can expect to hear the cuckoo.

Tu. Ap. 15 – Walked along the banks of the Sid, as far up as Burnt Oak and back, to look for mammoth teeth and paleolithic flint implements. Found a piece of chert about six inches long in the bed of the river, one end of which seems to have been chipped round. If this should prove to be the case, and if it had have been washed out of the bed of alluvium through which the river as cut its way, it would be a paleolith. But the best proof would be, to see it dug out of a gravel pit.

Sidmouth. Ap. 1873

Tu. Ap. 22 – Meeting of the committee at the London Hotel, to discuss arrangements for the Devonshire Association, next July, as it is arranged, to meet at Sidmouth. Most people look upon this as a mistake. In this small place, there are neither resources nor accommodation nor public spirit for such a meeting.

Th. Ap. 24 – Mr Heineken and myself made our second antiquarian excursion this year, by going to Harcombe and Blackbury Castle. We drove to Stephen’s Cross, Snogbrook, Harcombe, and then up Harcombe Hill, where we hoped to find tumuli, but we were disappointed. On the open heath I picked up a smooth beach pebble, perhaps slung at some wild animal. Further on, in the ploughed fields, I found two or three of those jagged lumps of flint, met with on the Sussex Downs, and on the Yorkshire Wolds, and supposed to be manufactured sling-stones or hand missiles. A blow from one of these would give a very serious wound. In another field I met with a scraper of the “thumb-flint” type. We pushed on to the farm called Long Chimney, a corruption of the words Longue Cheminée, a road, alluding to the long, and once dreary Lyme road, or the track over Broad Down. We passed Rakeway Bridge, as some think, from rhac, British, a ridge, as the Ridge-way, and took another look at the Lovehayne tumulus, in Stone-burrow-plot. Then to Blackbury Castle. Never saw the interior so bare. Nearly all the trees have been felled. The field on the west has been recently ploughed for the first time. Hunted over this and the field on the south. Observed some sling-stones and some flakes, but the day has not been prolific.

Returning home it was very cold, though I heard the cuckoo on Harcombe Hill. The N.E. wing blew sharp, with a slight fall of snow. Stopped and measured the great-stones in a curved line in a field on Salcombe Hill. The line is 30 feet 8 inches, and from the side stone to the hole inclusive, is 20 feet. It is to be much wished that the others will be let alone. I am at a loss to know what this was, if anything.

Sat. Ap. 26 1873 – Made an experiment this morning at flint drilling, I drilled a hole through one end of an oval eye-glass, as in the sketch, I did it with sharp points or splinters of flint; but it was better not to have the point too sharp, as it splintered back and became blunt. One point of a cube I found to work best. It occupied more than an hour.

Had luncheon at one with Mr, Mrs and Miss Ede at Lansdowne. Drove with Mr and Miss Ede and the two Misses Osborne to the lane under Sidbury Castle. We all climbed the east end of the hill: examined the “Treasury,” a cairn so called because money is supposed to be under it: then the interior of the camp: the place where the deposit of sling-stones was found [Mar. 28 1864] and lastly the original entrance. We descended the south side of the hill to Brook Farm, and then to Sidford. There is an immense block of flint conglomerate on the south side of the lane, between the farm and the village – nine or ten feet long, and larger than any I recollect to have seen, though there are many large ones on the hills. We go back by half past six. I dined at Lansdowne.

Tu. Ap. 29 1873 – Went for the third time to Pin Beacon Hill, where I was on the 14th and 20th of last month, Found a roughly worked piece of brown chert 6 ½ inches long, like a pick, some scrapers, and many flakes, Went by Mutter’s Moor and returned down Stintway Hill.

Tu. May 6 – Took a walk to the top of High Peak Hill. The rains and storms of the past winter have saturated the earth, and there have been two falls of the soil. From the exposed end of one of the aggers, at the north-eastern end, being the second from the most northern one, I extracted one of those angular lumps of flint, evidently knocked out on purpose, though roughly, and supposed to have been used for sling-stones or missiles of some kind. I saw a portion of it exposed in the perpendicular face of the end of the agger towards the sea, and fancied I discerned the flaking. This made me determined to get at it, though I had to climb outside, I was about two feet below the surface.

The above sketch of the hill, looking at it from Sidmouth, exhibits the aggers in an enlarged or exaggerated form. The first or outer agger is like a short outwork: the second, where I got the missile, the same: the third is larger and longer: the fourth is the inner agger of the camp, all the camp having fallen into the sea, except these remnants. The stone was two feet below the surface, and must have been buried there when the agger was made. This is interesting, as shewing that this worked flint is as old as the camp. The charcoal bed, [Sep. 13 1848] is almost all gone by the falling away of the cliff; and the bone bed [Sep. 29 1871] is fast going.

Wed. May 7 1873 – As I am thinking of making a new will and of leaving my MS., History of Sidmouth, Diary, Sketch-books and some printed books to the Free Library attached to the Exeter Museum, I wrote to know the form of bequest, and annexed letter is the reply.

Sidmouth, May 1873

Tu. May 13 – Mr Heineken and myself took a walk on Salcombe Hill. We went to the field of the Great Stone. [Jan. 7] O got on the stone, and ascertained that, elevated in this way, I got a panoramic view, and could see the old camps to the east and north, as well as to the west. We looked at the tumuli, and decided on attacking the southern, or most perfect one, having got leave. Near there, on each side of the trackway, (where I have put small circles in the plan, Jan. 7) Mr Heineken called attention to a number of rings about 10 or 12 feet in diameter on the open down. First and last we made out nearly fifty. The furze formed the ring, but the area inside was mostly heath. At first we thought they were iron pits. [Oct, 10 1862, July 26 1865, July 5 1872] This idea, however, we at length abandoned, because they were not pits at all, for their interior areas were flat and level. In short, we at last came to the conclusion that the group more resembled the traces of an ancient British village than anything else we could name. we determined on visiting this spot again. [Added in 1879] Not a British village. Places where peat had been burnt for the ashes. Oct 28 79

Tu. May 20 – The Vicar and Mrs Clements drove me over to Hayes Farm and back. We went over Peak Hill. As we passed “Fox’s Corner” I told them the story of my seeing the open grave of the first Mr Lousada at the top corner of the garden, inside where the roads meet – that is, the road up Peak Hill, and the lane behind Peak House. When we were lads, I was one day in the garden with George Gutteres – to whom there is a memorial window on the south side of the church. We were slowly sauntering up the path, looking for strawberries that grew on each side. This path at last led us to the corner; and the strawberries having ended, I looked up, when to my surprise, I saw before me an open grave. There were boards round it, if not over it, just like a new-made grave in a churchyard, and I involuntarily gave vent to some exclamation. My companion, however, stopped me by saying, rather mysteriously – “Uncle means to be buried there.” Some time afterwards “uncle” died, I was, I think, on a 29th of February, being a leap year; but what leap year, I cannot now remember. The relations, however, did not comply with his whim. The pit was filled up, and his body was removed to London to be interred in some Jewish burial ground, He was a very kind old man, and though I was but a mere boy, he would invite me up there to dinner, without my father and mother. His late wife I never saw: she was removed before my time. They used to give large balls at Sidmouth, sometimes not very select, according to common report. Once when Mr and Mrs Lousada were at an evening entertainment in London, where they spent a portion of their time, I have been told that some gentleman among the company came up to Mrs Lousada and entered into conversation with her. She, however, was rather distant, for she did not recognise him: so he began to explain that he had the pleasure of being at one of her grand balls at Sidmouth – “Perhaps so” replied she “but we invite rag-tag-and bobtail down there.”

On we went over the hill – through Otterton to Bicton Cross, where we turned down to the left, and soon arrived at Budleigh. We went and looked at the church. On opening the south gate of the churchyard, I missed the old slab that used to lie on the grass on the east or right hand side of the path, some six or eight yards above the gate. The tradition informs us that one Radulphus Node made himself a pair of wings and tried to fly. He launched himself into the air from the top of the church tower but flew no further than the spot where the slab lay, which marked the place where he fell – where he was killed – and where he was buried. It is said that the slab bore the inscription – ORATE PRO ANIMA RADULPHI NODE. I could not see any inscription on the top, but there might have been one underneath. However, the slab is gone. The sexton’s wife told me that it had been used in some part of the grave of a person of the name of WILLIAMS, across the path and higher up. I remarked that there was such a grave there, made in 1855. Another bit of carelessness was committed a few years ago in the church, when a portion was re-seated. The old date 1537, carved on one of the fine bench ends, for which this church is celebrated, used to be on the north side of the middle aisle, opposite the Raleigh or Rawley tomb, but it has now been moved to the north transept, or a portion of the interior, which answers to the north transept. This is the more to be condemned, because was close to the Rawley slab, and it is said that the family occupied that seat. How few clergymen there are who are fit to take care of the property entrusted to their care. They seem to think that they have a freehold, and that they may do as they like. They forget that in reality they have only a short leasehold; and that they stand in the place of trustees, to hold the property for the good of their successors. The name of the present defaulter is Adams. Let his name be known. Went on to Hayes.

Sat. May 24 – The Queen’s birthday. Flags flying on the staff at the front of the cliff over the mouth of the river Sid; at the Preventive Station, Old Chancel, and on one or two private houses; with the bells in the church tower ringing merrily.

Took a walk to Core Hill. The place where the Railway Station is to be is now a great brick yard, where they are making bricks for their own works. Made for the point of Core Hill over the fields and the hedges, after passing High Street. There are traces of an old pond or else some sort of earth work on the top of the hill at A. It looks something like a ditch and agger, as of a cross dyke, only it does not descend down the sides of the hill, with the agger towards the point of the hill. Near this work I saw two beach pebble sling-stones, and picked up five jagged lumps of flint, a scraper, and one or two flakes. I had not been on this hill since we “beat the bounds.”

Mon. May 26 – There was a partial eclipse of the sun this morning between 8 & 9. Though the light of the day was not much obscured, there was that peculiar soft colour in it, generally accompanying eclipses.

Mr Heineken and myself drove to the top of Salcombe Hill. He first took a photograph of the megaliths or great stones on the south side of the road; then another of the great stone in the field on the north side [Jan. 7]. Then we examined two of the circular patches out the many on each side of the track way. We had to men with spades and pickaxes, and they dug and cleared out two. We wanted to find traces of ancient occupation – whether indeed there had ever been a village here – but nothing whatever was discovered. [May 13] A new idea suggested itself. Query – whether General Simcoe, when he had his army encamped on Woodbury Hill, at the commencement of the century, may have posted a detachment here, to watch the valley of the Sid? [June 14 1861] We propose to examine these places again.

We then set the men on the south side of the most southerly of the two tumuli. The northern one has been cleared away, all but a ring of flints. A trench was opened and run inwards. It was all flints. There appeared to be a pavement of large flints, with traces of charcoal: but we were driven away by showers and violent wind. – See June 6.

Fri. June 6 = Salcombe was again the object of a visit, as we were not satisfied at the last. [May 26] The weather was dull and hazy, and unfit for photographing. We examined two more of the circular patches, but did not discover any evidence of occupation or habitation. It is true, in one we turned up half of an ancient flint flake and a sling-stone, but there was nothing conclusive on this, for both flint flakes and sling-stones are to be met with on the open heath, left there by the ancient inhabitants. IN each case we dug a trench about 18 inches wide, and down deep enough to reach the original soil that had never been disturbed. There was about 3 inches of black mould, 6 of mould with angular flints, and we then penetrated 9 more into the yellow clay with flints. These circular patches still continue a great puzzle. If they mark the places of ancient huts or wigwams, surely some traces of occupation would be found, such as traces of fire, or flint chips, or rude pottery; or if they occupy the sites of soldiers tents, in more modern times, one might expect to meet with traces of fire also, and perhaps cinders, pieces of broken plates or dishes, cups or saucers, or fragments of tobacco pipes. Nothing of the sort however presented itself in any of the four circles which we examined. Several old men who have been questioned, all declare that they never recollect soldiers being encamped on the hill, and never heard of such a thing. Some remember hearing of the alarm that existed in Sidmouth about the commencement of the present century, when invasion from France was imminent, at which time General Simcoe had his army on Woodbury Hill. Mr Richard Stone, the worthy tax gatherer of Sidmouth, (whom everybody is glad to see, for he always walks into the house so smiling) says he has heard his late father describe the consternation, and preparations that were made for removing all the women and children inland and away from the coast: and Frederick Smith, one of the men working for us, said his grandfather (whom I remember) told him that soldiers were direct to be ready to lie in ambush in a natural chasm or hollow that flanks the upper part of the road, where it is steepest, on the right or higher side. This chasm is now in a cultivated field, but then all open heath. The other man working for us broached an idea that is worthy of attention. He said that perhaps those round places are spots where they had been burning turf. It is sometimes the custom, though not very common, for the turf to be pared off to the depth of three or four inches, where the land is going to be brought into cultivation, and to burn this turf in heaps. This plan was adopted in the Albert close so called, belonging to the Feoffees, close by, though I think it was not done in the field where the great stone is, also close by, where the sling-stones abound.

This process is called “cutting and burning” though Chappel, in his observations on Risdon, speaks of it as den-shiring or shearing, and implies that the name of the county Denshire, or Devonshire, originated from the words, as if the practice so exclusively belonged to this county. All this we may smile at and put aside. The circular patches are scattered over a space through which the trackway runs, over the top of “Mill Town Lane”, above Sid (pronounced Seed) measuring about 450 paces by 467. In diameter they vary from six feet to twelve. The interior is either grass or heath; and it is curious to see how thick the furze grows in a ring all round, and yet how persistently absent it is from the middle. As the root of the furze runs so deep in the ground, and is very difficult under ordinary circumstances to destroy. I still fund it hard to understand how the fire should have killed it so effectually, or why it should refuse to return to these spots, though grass and heath do so readily. The case is still somewhat mysterious.

About this time the Misses Osborne came up. I had put a branch of a tree on the barrow, with they could see with a glass from Cottington, as mark. The trench was proceeded with, and carried beyond the centre at A in the plan. At this point Miss Georgina Osborne found an egg-shaped beach pebble like the sling-stones in the cave at Sidbury Castle.

This was not met within a vase or kist-vaen, or with the bones or other remains, but loose among the flints. If it had been found with the remains it would have been important; for down to the present time no sling-stones have been met with in these mounds with the actual interment, which is one circumstance that has left antiquaries to assert that the ancient Britons did not use the sling. The case stands in this way – There is not proof that they did: but there is no proof that they did not. Mr Heineken found another in another place, but as this barrow appears to have been tampered with on the crown, or possibly opened, the sling-stones may have been thrown in then, as they are met with about the hill.

A large Budleigh pebble was picked up at B, and here there occurred a bed of charcoal 3 or 4 inches thick, under a sort of pavement of larger flints than the rest of the barrow, This charcoal was not in the centre, but several feet south of it. Apparently it had been swept up in a heap, for it only covered a space of about two feet in diameter. This had never been disturbed, for the disturbed part was in the centre. The great pebble had two pieces split out, perhaps by heat. We could not discover and remains of bones or bone dust among the charcoal. The charcoal was of oak and fir. Two white quartz pebbles were met with near the charcoal – one about an inch in diameter, and a quarter thick, and the other spherical, half an inch through, with a small fragment split out, and blackened on one side with the fire. Some white quartz pebbles were found in the bone bed or refuse heap at High Peak Hill [Sept. 29 1871] and other places, but their purpose or uses are a mystery.

A few yards north of this mound is a tumulus destroyed. [Jan. 7] We set the mend to dig in the centre of it, to see if there was anything beneath the surface, but we only met with the soil of the hill.

Sat. June 14 1873 – The Honble the Lord S.G. Osborne invited me to dinner with him today, and when dinner was over, he asked me to go into the next room with him. Here he uncovered a profile medallion of my own face and head, looking to the dexter side, about half life size, which he had been modelling in clay at different times without my knowing it. I confess I was considerably surprised. He then made me give him a regular sitting, in order to perfect some of the uncertain touches. I did not know my nose was so long. My father had a large nose; and I presume some of my ancestors had. One of them, perhaps my great-grandfather the Governor, had been away on some official business, and was expected in Boston in Massachusetts on his return by water, on which occasion some American joker put the following lines in the paper –

To-day the North-west pinnacle was finally fixed on the church tower. All the other three being ready, they will be proceeded with at once.

Tu. June 17 1873 – Woodbury Hill; and the first trip there this year. Mr Heineken and myself started this morning at ten. Our last visit was May 3, 1872. Having ascended Peak Hill and attained Otterton, we stopped to look at the new church, which was erected on the foundations of the old one a couple of years ago.

We were told that the church cost Lady Rolle £13,000. Ham Hill stone is used a great deal in the exterior. There is a nave, chancel, and two side aisles; and the tower is curiously placed at the south-east corner of the building, or on the south side of the chancel. The lower portion is now the vestry. At this part of the church, formerly , there was an old altar tomb to a member of the Courtenay family. This tomb has disappeared. From a sketch taken by Mr H there was a recess or piscina over it.

The two brasses, once in front of the communion rails, fixed in the floor, where I took rubbings of them, are now in the parish chest. They ought to be refixed. One recorded the death of Sarah the wife of Robert Duke, Fen 2, 1641 and the other that of Richard Duke, April 19 1641. Both the work and the materials of the new church are very good. The columns down each side of the nave are black veined Plymouth marble, some 18 or 20 inches in diameter, very handsome and of one piece. The capitals are of white stone; the subjects being very well carved. One her the north door represents “The Four Ages of Woman” being four female faces, one a face covered with a veil or shroud, with the features seen through. I was much delighted with the execution of the pulpit in white stone: the correctness of the forms, the accuracy of the outlines, and the sharpness of the angles, are much to be praised. The roof is of pine, stained and varnished; but there is a pleasing absence of those long stiff straight lines that offend the eye in some churches I could name. All the work is good, and of the second Pointed or Decorated. In the churchyard, (which has been enlarged towards the east end) there are ten yew trees, the largest and oldest near the S.E. corner, measures 9f 1in at a foot above the ground. A piece is decayed out on the west side of the trunk. Had it not been for this, the trunk would have been more than ten feet, and would have been nearly as large as the yew on the lawn at Hills’ cottage, near Salcombe House. In trying to calculate the age of trees by counting the rings of yearly growth, Mr Heineken and myself a short time ago examined two sections of limbs or main stems of the yew, and being a slow growing tree, with very thin rings, we counted as many as from 30 to 33 rings in an inch. The rings must only be counted from the centre to the circumference, as from the pith to the bark at A, in the diagram; for if they were taken all through the diameter, from A to B, the same rings would be counted twice over.

A tree of nine feet circumference, or three feet diameter, or 18 inches the semi-diameter, at 30 layers or rings to the inch, would be 30 time 18 , or 540. If there were 33 to the inch, it would be 33 times 18, or 594 – very nearly 600, the age of the tree. But this one at the S.E. corner was above ten feet; and that at Hills Cottage is 10,, 6, whose semi-diameter is 1,,9, which at 33 to the inch is 693, for the age of the tree. The most westerly tree is 8,, 6, one foot from the ground. So much for trees. I looked again at the altar tomb of Richard Green the ship-builder, represented at work at one end of the tomb, and a ship at the other. I have a sketch of him taken in 1849, but he has much decayed since. Saw elsewhere an inscription to Richard Abbott, drowned in “the great flood” in 1753.

We then went on to East Budleigh, and took another look at the church. The slab over Radulphus Node [see May 20] according to the Sexton’s wife was about 12 feet above the top step, or 16 from its centre. The yew tree near the south porch is 7f, 1 in at a foot above the ground. Inside the church there is a handsome tablet in white marble to the name of Reade. I regret I did not copy all the coats of arms on the bench ends. I observed Dennis, Courtenay, and some others. There is an ancient ship at the S.E corner.

We also stopped at Hayes Farm as we passed along. The farmer complains bitterly of the trouble and interruption, and annoyance that visitors cause him and his family by calling when they are busy, and demanding to go up to see Sir Walter’s room. They want to deny everybody, and put a stop to it. I told him that it was impossible to destroy the fame of Sir Walter Rawley, and that the best way would be to make a profit out of it, and charge so much a head for admission. They ought to have busts and portraits of Sir Walter, pictures of his exploits, some of the potatoes that he brought from South America, and the very baccy pipe that he smoked.

After than we proceeded to the open heath, and discussed our sandwiches on the small conical hill near the road. I did the same here April 20, 1864.

This mound has been dug into on the top. No one, I imagine, could have mistaken it for a tumulus: it is a natural hill. It was a beautiful situation for luncheon, with the wild heath all round. In a little valley with some damp ground to the east, there was an abundance of the drosera rotundifolia or sundew, and of the Eriphorum angustifolium or Cotton grass. Attempts I believe have been made to spin this cotton into thread, but the fillaments are too short, or otherwise unfit. We discovered four barrows which we had not seen before. The two on the west of the mound were each about 20 feet in diameter, and three feet high. No 3 had a trench run in from the north margin; but it looked more as if they had been digging for a fox, or for rabbits, than for a kist-vaen. No 4 is doubtful.

After this we proceeded to the three copses [See May3, 1872] and then south to the three barrows. These three barrows seem to be composed of pebbles and earth. They have been tampered with on the top. I dug on the middle one, and was surprised to find that most of the pebbles I turned out were split and blackened as if by fire. A careful search has also discovered pieces of oak charcoal on, in, or about most of the disturbed barrows on these hills, and it is worthy of remark that in the present day, the oak does not grow here, or is amongst the rarest of trees. We then espied another a little to the west of south of them; and then another, just across the road on the east. This last is 44 in diameter, and three feet high.

We have long desired to look for British villages or hut circles, or the remains of refuse heaps, or other traces of ancient habitation on these wild hills, and this was one of our points of investigation to-day. We therefore turned northward and followed an old trackway all across the moor, but could not see any circles, or circular spots of different vegetation, that might indicate wigwams or huts. We were rather surprised at not discerning, either by the eye or glass, any traces of the sort. The ancient tribes must have abounded here. Wood bury Castle is at hand, and if their burial places lie scattered about. Neither could we anywhere discover anything like a flint flake, though the Sidmouth Hills abound with them. It is true, this hill is not on the flint district; but flint implements must have been used here. Any flint implement found here, especially if black, would be interesting, as it must have been brought from a distance. The geological maps shew patches of greensand at Black Hill and Woodbury Castle; but the only flints are white chart. On the west side of the trackway, at about 357 yards south of the cross roads (Woodbury road) we noted down an new barrow, apparently untouched.

We pushed on to Woodbury Castle and walked about it, but discovered nothing new. I cannot learn that any antiquities of any value have been found here. We turned south to the Carfoix (where the four tumuli covered with trees are) and then returned home through Yettington, We saw Portland light very bright when coming down Peak Hill, for it was getting dusk.

W. June 18 – “Waterloo Day.” The Sidmouth Benefit Club held their festival and Mr Thornton allowed them to resort to his grounds at the Knowle.

Went down to the stonemason’s yard, and had eight of the bosses at the corners of the pinnacles photographed. These eight I believe will comprise all the patterns, though there are sixteen bosses in all. Miss Osborne carved one of them, the subject being dry leaves – I doing the rest. I intend that hers should be at the SW corner of the tower. [added later – It is there)

Today the Shah of Persia arrives in England, This is a noteable event, as it is the first time in the history of the world that a successor of Darius ever came to Europe. May it enlighten his mind, and do his country good.

Friday, July 4 – North east pinnacle put up.

Sunday 6 – Last Spring, twelvemonth a young sparrow, having fallen out of its nest into Mr Heineken’s garden, in the High Street, opposite Warwick House, the servant picked it up and brought it in. With small hopes of its living they fed it, but it survived, and became wonderfully tame. It slept out of doors, but all day long, when a door or window was open, it was continually in and out. It would follow its benefactor everywhere – flying after her, and perching on her head, or a shoulder, or eating out of her mouth. Mr Heineken had one of the panes of glass in the kitchen taken out, and made to open like a door. This year “Jackie”, as they call him, has a family of his own, and as long as this little window is open, he is continually in and out after food. To-day they left the window open, and noted down how many times he came in, and made it 237, though this did not include a number of times when they were not there.

Tu. July 8 – Mr Heineken and myself went to have another examination of the cairn or barrow on Salcombe Hill. [The same as June 6] We merely went on in an easterly direction from B to the point C, as in the former plan. We met with a flint flake or two, but they may have rolled down from the top, though found at the bottom.

Th. July 10 1873 – The south-west pinnacle was put up.

Sat. July 12 – The Shah of Persia leaves to-day. He has almost been killed with kindness. It would take a volume to record all the places and buildings he has visited, or enumerate all the splendid entertainments that have been given to him. He and his prime minister will take back with them much valuable information.

Th. July 17 – The south-east and last pinnacle put up. It is close to the turret. The old pinnacles, now removed, were put up 60 or 70 years ago by the churchwardens’ stone mason, in place of the original ones, which were decayed and partly destroyed. These temporary ones were of no known style of architecture.

There was a touch of Roman, if anything; but they were contemptible on a Gothic tower; and yet I was very much abused when I first proposed to remove them, and put up new ones of more correct pattern. And those who talked loudest were those who were the most ignorant of the subject. The four new ones were to cost twelve guineas each, but the bases were found to be so rotten, that new stone was required, which will increase the expense. They measure, from the lower side of the boss A, to the bottom of the embrasure B, on the average, 4f,,3in and from the lower side of the boss to the summit C, 9f,,1in.

These measurements may however vary and inch in different pinnacles. They have been given by four residents – the Earl of Buckinghamshire; the Rev, H.G. Clements, the Vicar; Dr Radford; and Mr Thornton. There is an iron tube down through the centre of each, about an inch and a quarter in diameter, and eleven or twelve feet long. I doubt the policy of so long or so thick a tube. The hole at the top is stopped. Some people suggest four small vanes, stuck in these holes, and the removal of the present ugly weathercock (dated 1809) from the turret. The patterns of the bosses consist in ivy leave, oak leaves and acorns, vine leaves and grapes, &c. The last I did, which is on the same block of stone with Miss Osborne’s at the SW. corner, and over the clock face, is a cat with a mouse in his mouth. The subject was suggested by a somewhat similar one in the Chapter House at Lichfield. [Sketchbook, Oct, 28, 1864] The height of the tower to the top of the battlements is about 75 feet. I once made it 75,,6, but perhaps the cord stretched. The Ordnance Level is 99.4 above mean tide, reduced to the datum at Liverpool.

Mon. July 21 1873 – Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester, died on Saturday, killed by a fall from his horse.

Tu. July 22 – The Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, &c, met at Sidmouth to-day, the Right Hon. Steph. Cave, President. He read his address.

W. 23 – Reading papers. We converted the large upper room of the Town Hall into a Museum, which was a great success. The house at Broadway, called the Manor House, was open to exhibit pictures, &c. The annual dinner was held at the London Hotel. In the evening the Vicar had a soiree at the Vicarage.

Th. 24 – Reading papers. Read one on Submerged Forest, and Fossil Teeth. A brilliant luncheon at Mr Thornton’s at Knowle, and beautiful weather.

Fri. 25 – A few excursions were made in the neighbourhood, All the particulars are in the volume for the year.

M. Aug. 4 1873 – Went with Lord S.G.O. to Miss Radford the Lace dealer, who lives on the south side of New Street, so called, to see some lace. It consists of a flounce, which is being made for some lady of high degree. It is about 14 or 15 inches deep and is several yards long. It is valued at fifty guineas a yard. It is the most beautiful I ever saw. I like it better than a flounce made for one of the Royal family a few years ago, and which I was at Mrs Hayman’s. I do not know how many yards long that was, but the whole was valued at three hundred guineas. It was for the Queen.

Th. Aug 7 – Edward Bartlett the fisherman is again in trouble. He has been frequently before the magistrates for being drunk and disorderly. This time he has got a sentence of two months imprisonment with hard labour, for violent conduct and assaulting the police. He managed to get to the beach, when he launched his boat, and stood off the town to watch events. The police went down and wanted to follow him, but none of the fishermen would launch their boats. Towards evening he went right off, and it is believed he was steering for Guernsey.

Sat. Aug. 23 1873 – I never saw a tailor’s yacht before. I have seen a tailor’s goose and a tailor’s shears – but a tailor’s yacht, floating on the water, no never. I was at the Coast Guard Station, in the upper room, where the commander was shewing me a rather curious belt containing pockets for money and ammunition, and the outside covered with Spanish and American silver and gold coins, fixed there partly as a reserve fund, and partly as a protection against a pistol shot, to be worn under the waistcoat out of sight, and two knives or daggers with solid silver hilts and scabbards, highly embossed – the whole belonging to an English gentleman, just returned from a long residence in central America, and for a short time in Sidmouth. He happened to come up whilst I was looking at his things, and we had a chat about America – I telling him however that I had only been in the northern part. And then I saw a vessel on the horizon in the direction of Portland, and steam was issuing from her, and she seemed to making for Sidmouth. And what was she? She was a steam yacht belonging to Mr Hill, a tailor of Bond Street, London, who in his younger days, when he was a poor fellow, married a sister of my tailor Mr Edwin Barratt, of Church Street, Sidmouth, who is a son of my former tailor, and my father’s tailor, and who was Clark in the parish church, as the said Edwin is now. Mr Hill’s mother, I am told by old people, kept a little huckster’s shop in Cullompton. Somewhere between 1844 and 1846, when I was a good deal in London, he was living in a small house in a back street near Portland Road and Clare Market, and I think one of his wife’s brothers lodged with them, who used now and then to do a tailoring job for me. These two tailors worked first at one place and then at another.

Fri. Aug. 29 – About six weeks ago a troop of the Army Service Corps arrived in Sidmouth with their waggons and horses from Aldershot, on their way to take part in the Autumn manoeuvres on Dartmoor. They left their waggons on the open triangular piece of ground between the church and the Fort Field, and the men and horses were billeted on the public house keepers. To please and accommodate Mr Piper, who keeps a public house in Western Town, and who did the mason work of the Old Chancel, I gave him the use of my stable at No 4 Coburg Terrace. To-day I did the same thing again, and two horses were placed there for the night, the troop being on its way back to Aldershot, towards which place they resume their march tomorrow. They have had a good deal of very boisterous weather on Dartmoor.

Lady Sydney and Miss Osborne, with the Hon Mrs Portman called, and looked around the Old Chancel. They were there an hour or more, and expressed themselves much amused at what they saw.

Tues. Sep. 2 -  Had an early dinner at Cottington. Afterwards went fishing in a boat with Lord S.G.B. The wind was N.W. and squally, but the sea pretty smooth. The boatman first pulled us over to Ladram Bay, when we let out our lines for whiting Pollock, but my lord pulled up a mackerel and I did the same. Thinking this fish abounded most, we took in these lines and threw out others baited for mackerel, and then I caught three young gurnards, one after another. We went on to Chizzlebury or Chesilbury Bay, beyond Ladram bay; and then we sae the “two-penny loaf”, a solitary rock on the reef at the back of the cliff, which I had not seen for many years; and passing that we approached Otterton Head, or rather the point this side called “Brandy Point”, because in former days it was one of the usual places where the smugglers loaded brandy kegs. It is the point seen from Sidmouth beach. Returned after having been out nearly four hours.

Thurs. Sep. 4 – Went into the ham of field near the river to see what Mr Dunning was doing in the matter of the new gas house and coal depot and got into conversation with him. Whilst there, we were much amused at seeing a cow walk out of a neighbouring carpenter’s yard with a chair ipon her head. She had strayed into the yard through a gap in the fence, and whilst examining the various articles she met with, she had thrust her nose down through a hole in the seat of an old rush-bottomed chair. In lifting her head, her left horn got caught under the top bar of the back, so that the higher she lifted her head the higher she lifted the chair along with it, and consequently she could not extricate her nose. The workmen turned out and had a good laugh at her and then took it off.

Sat Sep 6 – the papers say that at last, after many efforts, the French yesterday paid to the Germans the last instalment of the £200.000.000, the war indemnity. This great sum has been raised in about two years and a half by taxes and loans. The Germans have also got Alsace and part of Lorraine, with 1.500.000 of people. This is a bitter dose for the French and they have been vowing vengeance accordingly – at which the Germans smile.

Mon. Sep. 8 – Went to Belmont Villa, Dawlish

Tues. Sep. 9 – After breakfast took a walk to the Bishop’s parlour, now called Coryton’s cove. Tradition says that one of the former bishops of Exeter delayed too long and got caught by the tide here – and hence the name. Why are the Dawlish people so silly as to change an old name which has a legend attached to it, for a new one which only has the name of an evanescent dweller near the spot.

Wed. Sep. 10 – Walked to Little Haldon, by way of Luscombe and so up the hill. Examined the camp. See no alteration since I was there last. [June 30 1871] Hunted the camp over to try and find some flint implement but could not. Also hunted the ground around and near it, to no purpose. It is however, still all heath, not having been ploughed. Examined some gravel pits south of the head of Smallacombe Goyle close by.  Observed that the top stratum of angular flints and yellow clay resembles the capping on the Sidmouth hills, but in addition to which, mixed bodily with it, I picked in situ, many white quartz pebbles, black ?shortaceous pebbles, and fragments from the breccias of the red formation underneath as if all stirred up together.

Th. Sep. 11 – Walked to the warren by way of the beach. Observed the damage done to the railway wall last winter. And the Dawlish station was burnt a month ago, supposed to have been set on fire by the luggage train about ten in the evening.

Fri. Sep 12 – Took a walk along the ridge of the hill pointing from Dawlish church towards Mamhead, to see whether the barrow which I have visited before was still untouched. It is on the left or west side of the lane, and a quarter of a mile south of Langdon. The field is this year in potatoes. They have been digging round the barrow too close, and thereby encroaching on it. Its diameter is now 40 feet and its height 7 or 8. There is a depression on the top as if it had been tampered with; but I doubt whether the centre has been reached or disturbed.

I hunted over all the fallow bare fields for flint flakes struck from a core, but could not detect a trace of a single one. To find anything of the sort here, made of black flint, would be interesting; because the chalk district, from which they must be derived, is so many miles distant. Beer head is the nearest chalk, the chert or white flint on Haldon would supply them at need but the black flint splits or flakes the best.

Returned the same way; that is by taking the path fields along the ridge of the hill above the strand at Dawlish. “The twenty six fir trees” on the highest part of the hill, are now only twenty three.

Sat. Sep. 13 – Strolled about and called on several friends

Sun. Sep 14 -  At the parish church in the morning. This church is now under “restoration” as it is called. I hope it won’t be destruction, as it is too commonly the case. The north and south sides of the chancel are all open to the weather, and they have been throwing out north and south transepts. In the afternoon there was an examination of the school children in Bible history and other things by the vicar, the Rev Orlando Marley, at St Mark’s chapel of ease, to which I went.

Mon. Sep. 15 1873 - Returned to Sidmouth through Exeter.

Thurs. Sep. 18 – Having let my house, No 4 Coburg Terrace, Sidmouth, to Mr and Mrs Merrington for 3,5 or 7 years, commencing on the 29th, I had a sale of my furniture today, the tenants recovering some of the articles, and I taking one or two out into the Old Chancel. Thus reduced the proceeds were £88 15 0.

Fri. Sep. 19 – Some visitors here went out in a boat for the purpose of catching blin, a species of rock whiting. It so happened however, that they pulled up one of those cephalopods, the octopus, or eight-footed creature. It hopped about so much in the boat, that the sailors put their coats upon it to keep it down. The party were very much frightened, not knowing what awful looking creature they had got, the sailors never having seen one before, so they hurried back to Sidmouth and got on shore. It is furnished with eight legs, (and hence its name) or rather arms, which rise from its head; and these are set or studded with a double row of circular hollows or pits which act as suckers. In the middle is the mouth, having mandibles like a parrot’s beak. With these it is able to break through the shell of a crab. This specimen, which was about 18 or 20 inches long, is rather smaller than one that was caught here in 1845, and which I saw dissected by Lady Dowling, a friend of Mrs Maitland, who then occupied my house. She dissected out the mandibles, and as far as I recollect they were like the sketch I have made above. Some of the large specimens of the octopus within the tropics are said to attain 20 feet in length, and terrible stories are told of their catching human beings within their long arms.

Tues. Sep.23 -  Branscombe was the place to which Mr Heineken and self went today. Warm and summery was the weather. Mounted Salcombe hill: stopped at Slade to examine the hydraulic ram recently erected. It is down in the valley in an orchard, more than 200 feet below the level of the house; but by little and little it sends the water and fills all the tanks. The only other hydraulic ram I have seen was at Caverswall Castle in Staffordshire: May 6, 1865. After leaving Slade we proceeded to Bury Camp, where we had so often been before. – Ma7 1858

Examined the earthworks again all round. The most perfect part of the foss is at the West or rather North-West end, at A. At B also it is very perfect, though less deep, and both A and B are overgrown with bushes. At D a modern hedge occupies the dotted line, and the foss near filled up. At E the vallum is all in grass like the camp, with several breaks and all ploughed down. We went beyond the hedge F and looked into the chasm leading to the chalk quarries, now recently abandoned. On returning through the camp , we gathered a few mushrooms, but I refrained from eating them, as I do not wish to be poisoned before my time. But we also gathered and took home a number of large brown puffballs, some nearly as large as my fist. I have heard that they make artificial lightening at theatres with the dust of these things, by puffing it over the flame of a candle – (I must try) – and the country people use the soft interior as a styptic to stop the bleeding when they cut themselves. Then drove on through Branscombe without stopping and on rearching the lower part of the village we wheeled round to the left, and climbed the hills towards the North. We were in search of an earthwork, some said an ancient camp, on one of the hills, but our directions had not been sufficiently definite, so we stopped like lost sheep. And in one of the lanes we met a fine sheep  covered with beautiful clean wool, which we concluded had broken out of some field. To our surprise it ran up to us and allowed us to stroke its head and play with it, for it was quite tame. Some of the views amongst these steep hills and deep dells were worth coming a long way to see. We followed the red line in the annexed map. Failing to discover what we came for, we got into the great road and returned home, passing near the western end of the earthwork A (see Aug. 23. 1872) and through the Cross Dyke B.

Mon. Sep. 29 – Michaelmas day. Cold North-East wind. Mr and Mrs Merrington took my house No 4 Coburg Terrace, Sidmouth, for three years.

Wed. Sep. 30 -  Had dinner at Cottington. In addition to the usual party, the Rev. R. Godolphin Osborne was there. After dinner, in the drawing room, his lordship showed me the top half of a skull that had been taken from a barrow in Dorsetshire. It was of very low type: receding forehead, and boney ridge over the eyes. Its particularity is that it has an open suture down the middle of the forehead. This peculiarity is more common than some assert. Some say that not one skull in 1000 has it: but research has shown that one in 30 may have it in certain catacombs, and one in even less in others. It is however, rare.

Th. Oct. 1 – Spent the evening at Mr Heineken’s.

Fr. 2. – spent the evening at Radway, Miss Jenkins niece of the Lord of the Manor.

Sat. 3 – Having obtained more information, we started again for the hills above Branscombe. We went by the Three Horseshoes and followed the blue line to D. We took another look at the earthwork A, and then stopped at C, where an ancient British sepulchral urn was ploughed up many years ago. (Sep 26. 1859; Aug 23 1872). We went into the field, which is called Crossway Close. The plough probably destroyed the remains of a tumulus. The spot was close to the hedge of the lane, where there is a rise in the ground; and on pacing, I made it 57 paces above the lower hedge. The pieces of the urn were scattered, and the only fragment I saw, I made a cast of. Mr Power of Elverway had it. We found eleven beach pebbles, like sling stoned in this field, but only brought some away.  Of course we must always bear in mind that such pebbles might be brought in manure, or on seaweed from the beach, when that is used – but this spot is rather far for sea weed, and a labourer said they never brought it there. We also found a few flint flakes.

Leaving this spot we proceeded to Woodhead, where the view is beautiful towards the sea; and then to the east side of the work D, where we enter on the level. We had been assured that this was and ancient British camp of great importance, but the result of two journeys only convinced us that we had come to discover what is called a ‘mare’s nest’.  There is a perpendicular wall of rock, being yellow sandstone of the Greensand formation, about eight or ten feet high, running round the south point and west flank of the hill. If this had been a camp or hill fortress, this work ought to have been carried all round, so as to have made an enclosed area: but this does not. It is all open on the north and east sides. A labouring man told us he believed it to be only an old stone quarry, and appearance seems to confirm the assertion. We lay in the grass field on the crown of the hill and discussed our mid-day meal – we discussed the situation and the nature of the work – we walked round it and examined it – we picked up a sling-stone or two and a flint flake or two – and then, not a little disappointed, returned home by the same route as we went.

Th. Oct. 9 -  Spending the evening with Mr Heineken and remembering that we had measured the perpendicular wall of rock at Branscombe by reaching up with a stick, we made some experiments in measuring. I believe I am 5 feet 9 and ½ inches, and by standing with my face to the wall I could stretch sideways 5.10, which is a little more than my height. I could reach up 7 2  ½ to the top of my middle finger. And I could reach 9 8 ½ with a three feet walking stick in my hand, as in the lower figure. This last however might vary, according to how much one might grasp in the hand. This of course is not very accurate measuring, but it might do upon some certain occasions. In measuring upwards the heels must bear on the ground. Mr Heineken I believe is an inch taller than I am.

Sat. Oct 18 – This afternoon we took a walk out on the Exeter road for half a mile or more to look for the site of the ancient Asherton mansion – the Ascerton of the Otterton Cartulary six centuries ago, and for a length of time the seat of the Harlewyn family. The late Captain Carslake of Cotmaton  told me that Asherton was situated between Brewery Lane to the South and Cox’s Lane on the north, though it may not have comprised the whole of this ground. He said there was a rough place in one of the fields where he thought the old house may have stood. Mr Heineken and myself hunted over two or three fields on the crown of the hill but could not discover any indications. We came out on the west side where the railway station is making.

Fri. Oct.24 – Went over to Beer to see C. J. Williams who is again there. It was a journey similar to that of October 8, last year. Left Sidmouth about ten; mounted Sidmouth Hill; got into the great road at Trow; pulled up at the Three Horsehoes and gave the driver a glass of ale, though I daresay he would have been just as well without it, and proceeded to the Dolphin Inn. Learnt here that he was on the beach, - where I soon found him. The sun was bright and it was quite warm. Saw Mr Rattenbury, son of the great smuggler, whose biography was published many years ago. A life of this one is in contemplation. Spent a pleasant day. Left about six. Stopped at the Horsehoes to light the lamps. Got back to the Old Chancel about quarter past seven.

Tue. Oct. 29. – Spent the morning at Mr Heineken’s.

Th. Oct. 30 – Dined at the Vicarage. Besides the vicar and Mrs Clements, there were her brother Col. Clements, from the north of Ireland, and his wife (nee Markham, decended from the former Archbishop of York of that name), Miss Clements of Sidlands, Miss Quinn (daughter of the late Admiral Quinn), Col. And Mrs Hawker of 2 Eaglehurst, Dr Radford of Sidmount, Miss Lousada of Peak House, Rev. B. And Mrs Baring-Gould.

Fri. Oct. 31 – At home writing my ‘History of Sidmouth’, which, however, goes on too slowly, there are so many interruptions. Visiting runs away with too much valuable time. I have only now got as far as the account of the ‘BOUNDARIES’.

Sat. Nov. 1 – Dined at Mrs Mackintoshs’ at Villa Verde. Present Miss Mackintosh, two Misses Gwynne, Captain and Mrs Hamilton, Aurora Cottage and their niece Miss Macdonald.

Music in the evening.

Mon. Nov. 3. 1873. – The following is an abstract of the will of the late Mr Rd Thornton of Cannon Hill, Merton, Surrey. I took it from the Illustrated London News of August 5, 1865 (See forward Aug. 19.1887 for Will of his son at Sidmouth)

Personalty                          £2.800.000

To his nephew Thos Thornton, all his freeholds and lease holds.

To his nephew Rd Thornton, West of Duryard and near Exeter, appointed residuary legatee 300.000

To Mrs Simpson, sister                                                  100.000

To Mrs Pulford (daughter)                                           300.000

To his son Rd Napoleon lee of Knowle, Sidmouth, who dropped his mother’s name and took that of Thornton. Rumour says that Napoleon III was his godfather.       400.000

To his daughter, Margaret Lee, m                             100.000

To his daughter Eliza Lee, m                                        100.000

To nieces and Ellen Thornton, each                          30.000

To widow of his nephew Robert West                    20.000

To nephew Edward Thornton                                     10.000

To nephew Richard Thornton                                     10.000

To William Devry                                                              10.000

To Joseph Devry                                                               10.000

To his clerks, each                                                            20.000

To the nurse                                                                      1,000

To the servants, each                                                     500

To 24 Charities, each £2.000, in all                             48.000

[Newspaper article pasted in: 07.11.1873 ‘Sidmouth breach of promise case’]

The congregation of the Independent chapel held a meeting on the 10th to consider whether he should not be dismissed; but by a large majority (especially amongst the women he had flattered) they voted to return him. He continued in Sidmouth until July 1878.


Sidmkouth Mon. Nov. 24. 1873 – Yesterday morning about three or four o’clock, a Coastguard-man called Russell, returning from Ladram Bay, fell over the cliff where it is nearly perpendicular and went down 154 feet to the beach. It was on the Ladram Bay side of Peak Hill. When he came to his senses he found that the waves were approaching him, and he was afraid of being drowned. He dragged himself nearer the cliff and called for help. At last he was found by another coastguard-man who was on the Natural Arch. A boat was got out and the unfortunate man was rescued, and brought to Sidmouth before daylight. Wonderful he was not killed on the spot. Besides having one leg broken, he does not seem to be much hurt, and is likely to recover.

Tu. Dec. 2. – An attempt is being made to found a new Choral Society here. Delivered nearly 50 circulars, inviting people to join. Spent the evening at Radway.

Wed. Dec. 3. – Dined at Cottington with Lord and Lady S. G. O., Miss E.G.O and Miss G. G. O.

Th. Dec. 4. – Received a fine pheasant from Lady S. G. O. Spent the evening with Mr Heineken. Made several rubbings from two crosses from Dunkeswell Church, and which are going to be re-fixed there. One records the death of some members of the Vicary family, from about 1596 to 1604, the names being Richard the Elder and younger, Lawrence and Wenefred. The other is a coat of arms, the tinctures not given, as in the margin. I am told that these arms belong to the name of Vicary.

Fri. Dec. 5. – Spent the evening at Landsdowne, with Mr and Mrs Ede, and Miss Swan, whose sister is the wife of an English clergyman, who serves a protestant church in Paris.

Sat. Dec. 6. 1873 – The following is the abstract of the Will of George Edmond Balfour, (of the firm of Heugh, Balfour and Co. Manchester) Lord of the Manor of Sidmouth, dated 23 Nov. 1868, Deceased 29 July 1869: Proved in London Sep. 17. 1869 [Illustrated London News 2.10.1869, p.338 -See scans 0756-8]

Mon. Dec. 8. 1873. – There was the first meeting for practice of the new Choral Society this evening, in the schoolroom of All Saints Church. Present 39. I hope it will hold together better than the old one did ten years ago. That one was broken up because everyone wanted to play first fiddle: - which failing in human nature made some witty person to say that there was no instrument in the world so difficult to play as a second fiddle.

Fri. Dec. 12. -  After breakfast walked out to Packham, or Packcombe, as some think it should be written, and paid Mrs Mitchell for some of that stuff that the Phoenicians are said to have introduced into Domnonia, peradventure 1000 years before the Christian era – to wit Devonshire cream – and which is said still to be found in the Lebanon, as it is found here round Dartmoor.

Wed. Dec. 24. – Had luncheon at one o’clock at Cottington off venison. After which the misses Osborne accompanied me down to the Old Chancel, where the afternoon was spent in carving oak by the one and drawing by the other. When it was too dark to see to work, we wound up with coffee and cake. A very pleasant afternoon truly. Such are the bright spots in life.

Th. Dec. 25. 1873. – Christmas Day. Wore a white rose in my coat which I picked this morning in the garden. Except one or two short spells of cold, the autumn has been mild.

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