POH Transcripts - 1880

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January 1880.


Th. Jan. 1. 1880. New Year’s day. The NE. wind and dry frost, which we have mostly had for nearly three months, has given place to two or three violent gales of wind with rain, from the south and west. Temperature mild. Dined again at Oakland. Mr. W.M. Floyd and self came way together.

Sat. Jan. 3. Beautiful mild sunshiny day like spring. There is already a perceptible increase in the length of the day.

Tu. Jan. 6. Great catch of Sprats. Herrings have been rather plenty of late. There are several communications this month in Lethaby’s Sidmouth Journal, and in Culvezwell’s Sidmouth Directory on the subject of the late fire, and suggesting remedies - by Mr. Heineken in the latter, and in the former I gave a list of 20 fires in this valley within my memory; but I am far short of the actual number. In Lethaby’s Journal there are long extracts from an American book - the Life of Curwen, an American Loyalist of 1774, who know Governor Hutchinson, who is there mentioned, and Curwen came to Sidmouth to see friends, and he describes the place in that day.

This morning, at Sidmouth parish church, Miss Addington, a daughter of Major the Hon. L.A. Addington, (the brother of Lord Sidmouth,) now residing with this family at Salcombe Hill House, was married to Lieutenant Coney of Sidcliffe.

Th. Jan. 15. This evening the winter concert of our Choral Society. After the Overture, (Cornelius,) Mr. Harding, Mus. Bac. The Conductor, and organist at the parish church, was presented with a baton, as a compliment to his acquirements as a musician, and his exertions in promoting the Choral Society. It was a present from Lord Sidney Osbourne, and was presented by the Rev. R.T. Thornton of Knowle. Harding was taken quite by surprise.

Tu. Jan. 20. Walked to Salcombe, and had an early dinner at Sunny Bank with Mrs. and Miss. Soulsby, and Miss Du Boulaye, whose mother was a Miss Cornish. Some time after dinner, whilst I was engaged in looking over an old folio edition of Gerard’s Herbal, Dr. Drummond of Sidmouth came in. Called at the Vicarage, and had half an hour’s talk with Mr. Morshead, the Vicar. He shewed me three fine paintings by Northcote. One a middle age man; another, his grandmother, who was a Miss Young, of Puslinch, signed at the back by Northcote 1777; and the third, Mr. Morshead, his grandfather, signed at the back by Northcote, 1781. Also, a lady by Hudson, very good. Also, his father, by some other artist - all full size and half length. In the first Vol. of my Hist. of Sidm, at pp, 188, 189, and 190, I have pedigrees of Yonge, Duke, Upton, &, with mention of Morshead.

Walked back - the roads frozen hard, and a cold northeaster blowing. It has suddenly become very cold again, - 23’ last night, I am told. It was only 40’ in the Oak Room at breakfast time. The fire had not then had time to warm it.

W. Jan. 21. Only 38’ in the Oak Room at nine this morning. When I got up, the window of my bedroom, (over the hall,) was covered inside with thick white hoar frost, and I recollected a story that I have more than once heard my late mother tell. When her father was appointed Commander in Chief of the North American Station in 1799, he took his family out with him, to Halifax in Nova Scotia, where it is very cold in winter. There was a ball at Government House one evening about Christmas time, and it was very warm in the ballroom. One of the young officers pulled the curtain of one of the windows aside, and the company were much surprised to see the frosty glass of the window stuck all over dollars and half dollars. The young men had been amusing themselves behind the curtain emptying their pockets, and sticking the coins to the glass. I tried the experiment this morning with shillings and sixpences, and found it answer perfectly, though I dare say the cold this morning was nothing like that of Halifax. If the coin is taken out of the pocket, it is slightly warm; and if it is placed against the frosty glass it will melt the frost, but a few seconds after, the cold freezes the melted part again, and there the coin sticks. So tight did they stick, that I had great difficulty in getting them off, and I was obliged to use the point of my pen-knife.

Dined with the Rev. Mr. Mrs. And Miss Beebe. There were also present the H.G.J. Clements and Mrs. E.W.M. Floyd Esq., and Miss Wolrige. We sat down at half past seven, and came away at eleven.

Sat. Jan. 24. 1880. After a space of five weeks, I observed that at about nine this morning the sun was much higher and further to the left than last month when I observed it; and at ten it was a good way from the tower.

When looking at drawings or at paintings in which either the sun or the moon is represented, I generally remark that in nine cases out of ten both sun and moon is drawn too large - far too large. Even our best artists are guilty of this fault. The diameter of either the sun or moon is about one half of a degree, and every artist ought to bear this in mind.

Tu. Jan. 27. Called on Miss Rastrick, at Sea View - the lady who has built that great stone excrescence outside her cliff opposite the Chit Rocks. Read her the legend of the White Bird and the Oxenham family from Dr. Theo. Mogridge’s Sidmouth Guide, of 1836. She ordered in some afternoon tea, as the fashion now is, of which I had one cup. She lent me Mrs. Bray’s books.

Spent the evening at Miss Wolrich’s and met Capt. Toup Nicolas and wife, and the Misses Johnson.

Th. Jan 29. Spent the evening with Mr. Heineken. We amused ourselves by examining under a magnifier, sundry specimens of live serpula Balanus, [baklavas = an acorn] and other marine creatures in the living state, which procured a day or two ago at low water far out on the Chit Rocks.

Fr. Jan. 30. Dined with Mr. and Mrs. Vane at Oakland, and M.W. Floyd.

February 1880.


Sun. Feb. 1. 1880. After nearly four months of dry cold weather, the wind has got away to the SE. and S. and brought a milder temperature. And the milder air coming in from the sea upon the cold and recently frozen earth, has caused a succession of dense fogs, sometimes thickening into drizzling rain.

Wed. Feb. 4. 1880. As I have now finished the fourth vol. of my Hist. of Sidmouth, I have a little breathing time, (until I can get another made) so I have been turning my attention to the collection of family papers, old letters,&. referring to American affairs a century ago, and ironing them out smooth, and repairing them, for the purpose of arranging and binding. I sometimes wish I had laid my Sidmouth History aside, and devoted my attention closely to the compilation of a book from these materials - a sort of fourth volume to Gov. H’s Hist. of Mass. - a book long talked of, and too long neglected.

Th. Feb. 5. Parliament meets to-day - being the 7th. Session. Great party struggles are expected. The Liberals, as they call themselves, (Who are too often very ill-liberal,) have lately displayed great imitation, at the long tenure of office enjoyed by the Conservatives, now more than six years, and are very impatient to turn them out, Mr. W.E. Gladstone, once Prime Minister, who hates Benjamin D’Israeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield and Prime Minister now, with the hatred of jealousy, has of late manifested so much excitability and eccentricity, (like some of his “cracky” relatives who used to live at Sidmouth) that some doubt whether he will long retain the equilibrium of his mind.

Fri. Feb. 5. 1880. Examined the grant of Arms conferred by the Heralds Collage on Hannah Bowerbank, Mr. Vane’s mother. Dined with Mr. and Mrs. Vane, where was also Mr. W.M. Floyd.

Sun. Feb. 8. 1880. To-day there was a sermon at the parish church, to plead the cause of the famishing Irish, and to solicit subscriptions. No doubt last summer was a very disastrous season for the produce of the country; but the common impression is that one half of the troubles of the Irish are of their own making. If you pay £10.000 for an estate in Ireland, you will be shot if you ask your tenants to pay their rent. Agitators and demagogues are always misleading the ignorant peasantry, and false teachers of religion palliate assassination and perjury. The murderers of the Earl of Leitrim, a year or two ago, have never been found out, and the Vicar, (a cousin,) told me the other day, he supposed they never would; and in his sermon to-day, he candidly said, that we must not look for either thanks or gratitude in return for our contributions. All that is done for the Irish people only seems to make them more turbulent and hostile than they were before. Twenty-four hours at the bottom of the sea, is the only cure for Ireland _ I heard a man say last week.

M. Feb. 9. Finished reading the History of the Siege of Boston, in Massachusetts, in 1775 and 1776. My grandfather Thomas H, and his wife were shut up there, and in March 1776, when they came away, my father was born in the ship, on the voyage to England. An interesting book to me. The Americans at last confiscated all their property.

Tu, Feb. 10. Much engaged lately looking over, smoothing, opening, and ironing, a great quantity of old and recent letters and papers about America, Australia, and South Africa, (where I have relatives,) but at present I am chiefly solicitous about the American ones. I must have these arranged and bound, to make them accessible.

Mr. Robert Dymond of Exeter called, and I presided him to have tea with me before he returned.

Sidmouth. Feb. 1880

Wed. Feb. 25. Terrible news from Russia. I fear the Emperor is hastening his own destruction. All civilised nations now have got a representative government; and even the Sultan of Turkey recently granted something like a constitution to his subjects – but Russia holds back. The world is now too enlightened and too well educated to suffer the uncertain will of one man to govern a country like Russia, composed of so many nationalities and so many millions of people. The Emperor, or Czar, (quasi Caesar,) has evaded granting the favour voluntarily, and now he declares in anger that he will not grant a constitution under compulsion. The country has for some time been in a dreadful state. Nothing but a gigantic military despotism has prevented his subjects from flying into open rebellion – and even that looks as though it were impending. In the meantime the assassination of official persons have been frequent, and attempts on the life of the Czar himself not unfrequent. The world is now startled at hearing that last night, or soon after six in the evening, an attempt was made to blow up the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, at a time when it was expected that the Emperor and a few others would be at dinner. The late arrival of one of the guests delayed the dinner. The Czar however and his guests were proceeding to the dining room, when a great explosion occurred, which shook the palace, put out the lights, and caused great alarm. Under the dining room was the Guard Room, full of soldiers in attendance, and under the Guard Room, in a cellar, an explosion of dynamite took place. Ten men in the Guard Room were killed outright, and 48 injured or wounded, and the dining room above much shattered.


Fri. Feb. 27. Went into Exeter to attend a meeting of the Council of the Devonshire Association. We met at the new Rougemont Hotel. On the landing, on the stairs, is a painted window, the central compartment of which represents the visit of Richard III. and the Mayor of Exeter with attendants to the Castle, as spoken of by Shakspere, the king mistaking between the words Richmond and Rougemont. Got back to the Old Chancel at about half past six.


Sat. Feb. 28. Miss Jenkins, niece of Captn. Thomas Jenkins, once Lord of the Manor, lent me some facsimile reprints of old newspapers: one giving the contemporary account of the approach of the Spanish Armada, (they print it Armado,) in the Channel, and the exploits of the English Admirals; in July 1588: another of the Gunpowder Plot, in January 1606: the trial and execution of Charles I. in January 1648: the death of Oliver Cromwell, and the appointment of his son Richard as his successor: and there is the contemporary account of the Great Fire of London of September 1666, in which 6 chapels, 87 churches, and 13200 houses were consumed, which is preceded by a narrative of the Plague. Also several original old Nos. of the Times newspaper, not reprints, where there are the then-written accounts of the Battles of the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar, and the death, and subsequent funeral of Lord Nelson: the hanging of Parker at the Nore for mutiny: and lastly, the funeral of Queen Caroline in 1815, and the riots that took place in London.


Sun. Feb. 29. 1880. – Being Leap Year, February has 29 days; but what is very extraordinary, is that there have been five Sundays in this, the shortest month of the year. I heard some one say that this has not occurred “for hundreds of years,” and will not happen again “for hundreds more.” Whether this is true or not, I have not time to enquire. The days on which Sunday fell were – 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29,

At 9 and 10 o’clock the the sun is getting higher and further away. Five weeks have elapsed since my last observation. [sketch]


Sidmouth. Mar 1880


Frid. Mar. 5. 1880. Parliament has sat six years today. It met Mar.5. 1874.


Tu.Mar.9.-- It was announced last night in both Houses that parliament would soon be dissolved. The Conservatives have held a long and successful tenure of office, uniformly commanding large majorities, and the opposition, the Liberals, as they call themselves, though they too often been very illiberal, have recently been very impatient to turn them out and get their places. We shall have a general Election in April, and as party feeling runs high, a hard fight is expected.


Wed.Mar.10.—Nothing can excede the confusion that now exists in Russia. Instead of measures of conciliation, the police and military are arresting and imprisoning on all sides. It is hard to say how all this will end.

[Newspaper cutting follows:]





A Standard’s Vienna telegram says that the Nihilists continue their efforts to maintain terror in St. Petersburg.

A Times’ Vienna telegram says:- News comes from St. Petersburg of important discoveries having been made there, and of the arrest, in consequence, of a large number of people, including, it is said, some officials, chiefly of the Home Department. The panic, which after the quiet and happy celebration of the anniversary had somewhat subsided, has therefore revived in a more acute form than before.

The Daily Telegraph’s Vienna correspondent sends an extract from the St. Petersburg intelligence of the Tagblant, stating that the late conspiracy against the life of the Czar has been traced by the secret police to the highest official circles, several Councillors of State being compromised. A vast number of arrests have made, and the panic in the Russian capital is stated to be indescribable.

The Daily Telegraph’s Paris correspondent forwards intelligence from St. Petersburg, according to which threats of assassination have been to the Ministers and several high dignitaries of the Imperial Court; but the most serious menace of all is that which the revolutionists have succeeded in sending to the Czar, whose murder is fixed for Monday next. Since the attack on General Melikoff, the Czar is reported to have been a prey to violent nervous attacks.


Tu.Mar.16.—Had a tête-à-tête dinner, (which is one way of saying us two only) with Mr. Vane at Oakland, formerly Greenbank, formerly Belle Vue; a house situated in All Saints Road, formerly Mill Lane. It is a pity people are so fond of changing the names of places. It makes confusion in title deeds, and difficulties in identifying localities.


Wed.Mar.17. – Went down and saw the Life Boat launched. It was not well done. The man on shore who let go the catch, so as to free her, and let her run off her carriage into the water, was about five seconds too late to meet the wave properly. The wave had run back, so that that the boat came down upon the gravel, and the next wave nearly capsized her. I have seen this error committed before. There were ten oarsmen in the boat, one bow-man, two coxwains, and Mr. William Floyd, the Secretary. The wind was hard from the east, with large waves breaking on the beach. They merely went out for exercise. [Sketch]


Mon. Mar.22.—Sir John Kennaway and Lieut. Colonel Walrond (son of Sir John Walrond of Bradfield, Bart.), the two Conservative candidates at the general election soon to come off, came over and a large meeting was held at the Town Hall, and many speeches made.


Th. Mar.25.—Lady Day. Vestry meeting. So many people attended that we adjourned for more room to the London Hotel. Mr. R. Stone, now 80, retired from the office of Assistant Overseer, and Mr. James Hooke was a candidate for the office, salary £45 p.an. I proposed Mr. Hooke, and he was finally elected by a large majority. The other parish business took up an hour or more.

We hear that Parliament was dissolved yesterday. It has endured from March 5, 1874, being six years and eighteen days. Thus ended the seventh session of the ninth Parliament of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

The Empress Eugenie leaves by steamer to-day, to go to South Africa, to visit the place where her son was killed. – see June 20, 1879,


Fri. Mar.26.—Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns for breakfast and salt fish for dinner. My great black tom cat, who sleeps on my bed every night, and has every meal with me, for I never think of sitting down to a meal without him, and who is as affectionate as a child, thought the buns very good, and my rooks, that I feed under my window every day, considered them excellent.

The Queen embarked in her yacht to-day for the Continent, where she intends to sojourn for a few weeks.


Sun. Mar.28. – Easter Sunday. Easter is early this year.


Mon. Mar. 29.—Easter Monday. Sidmouth spring fair – or what remains of it.


Wed. Mar.31. – To-day Lieut. Colonel Sterling, the Liberal candidate for the representation of the Eastern Division of this county in Parliament, arrived and

(insertion at this point of POH’s ballot paper)

addressed the electors at the Town Hall. There was a great rabble there, and a great row, so that the speakers frequently could not be heard.

Th. April.1, 1880.-- Finished drawing a map of about six miles round Sidmth. on a smooth lithographic stone. It is a reference map to a Report on the Barrows or Tumuli on the hills near this place, for the Devonshire Association. Sent it to Exeter and ordered 575 copies.


Mon. Ap. 5.—Choral Society practice this evening, for the concert on Wednesday.


Tu. 6. – Full rehearsal this evening.


W.7. – Concert this evening at the London Hotel. Miss Pullin, eldest daughter of Dr. Pullin, is our best singer now. She sang “Bid me discourse” admirably.


Fri. Ap. 9. – Election for the Eastern Division of the county to-day. There has been no polling at Sidmouth since 1865, and that was the first time. The voting is now by Ballot papers. I received the annexed pattern and instructions by post, as the process is new. The polling was conducted at the schoolroom of All Saints Church. On going into the room, I found three clerks at a table. One was a Sidmouth man that I knew very well, and who was singing with me in the orchestra the other night. He was there to identify people. One of the strangers asked me my name. I gave it, and he looked me out in a book – stamped the foil and the counter-foil, tore out the foil, which was like the form of Ballot paper annexed, and gave it to me, directing me to go to a desk enclosed round with boards at the end of the room, and make my crosses as I liked. I found a black pencil, tied to a string on the desk; made my two crosses, one opposite Kennaway, and the other opposite Walrond, for whom I voted, and came back, but he told me to fold up the paper and drop it into a slit at the top of a box about 18 inches cube, which stood on the table, and this I did. I then went out at another door. On emerging from the building, a man with a memorandum book, asked me my name, which he wrote in his book, as a check against error, and as a list of all the voters that day in Sidmouth. Party feeling very strong.


Sat. Ap. 10.—To-day we learn the result. For Sir John Kennaway 4501: for Lieut. Colonel Walrond, 4457: and for Lieut. Colonel Sterling, 3487. This gives Kennaway 1014 more votes than Sterling, and Walrond 970 more than Sterling. In 1868, when Sir Lawrence Palk and Lord Courtenay, the two Conservative candidates were returned, Mr. Wade, the Liberal candidate, lost by 578. In 1874 Sir J. Kennaway was elected, unopposed, in the room of Lord Courtenay, who had got into difficulties, and resigned.

Besides the preceding Circular, issued in the Conservative interest, I also received another, which is annexed. Here the cross is opposite the central name. The voter has, in a manner, two votes, inasmuch as he can place his mark opposite the top and bottom name, who are both Conservatives, giving one to each. To give a vote to two candidates of opposite sides, (as some have done) would be useless to both, as they would neutralise each other.

In the Sidmouth district, containing the parishes of Sidmouth, Salcombe, Branscombe, Sidbury, and Harpford, there are 322 voters, of whome 254 voted.

The new parliament meets on the 28th.


Sat. May 1. 1880. – I heard a great talking outside, and I opened the front door, when I was greeted by a group of six children carrying boughs and branches hung with ribbons and flowers. Soon after than three others came: then four girls, very vociferous. They soon emptied my pockets of coppers.


M. May 3.—Wind north-east and cold, but a hot sun like March. This afternoon about two, there was thunder, lightening, and rain.

(insertion at this point of the sample ballot paper referred to)


Tu. May 4. – Two Devonshire men, among others, have been made G.C.B.

[the following two small newspaper cuttings attached]


At Windsor, on Tuesday, Mr. Stephen Cave, Mr. R.A. Cross (Home Secretary), Sir Stafford Northcote, and Lord John Manners were knighted and invested with the riband and badge of G.C.B. (April 20)

CAVE. – At Chambery, France, in the 60th year of his age, the Right Hon. Sir Stephen Cave, G.C.B.

Th. May 6.—Spied at the sun. There is a fine large spot and some small ones on it just now. People hope these spots will bring us a more genial and warmer summer than we have lately had. The penumbra is very great. [Sketch – Sun Spots]

To-day a three-mast vessel of good size, being a barque, came in and communicated with the shore, enquiring for beef. She had been a long time at sea, and was nearly out of provisions.


M. 17. – Some Sidmouth fishermen brought me a very beautiful little fish to look at, which they had drawn up with their mackerel net at sea. [Sketch] It had a large blunt head and tapered away gracefully to the tail – more gracefully than in this horrible sketch above. It was light green in colour, with specks of protuberances of dark green. The eyes were prominent, and it turned them perceptibly in different directions, and the pupil was very black. – June 11, 1883.

There was a luncheon to-day of gentlemen and tradesmen at the London Hotel, after which a testimonial, with many complimentary speeches were offered to Mr. Richard Stone, who has just retired, on account of the weight of 80 winters, from the humble offices of Assistant Overseer and collector of the taxes: but he has always behaved himself so well that he secured to himself many friends.



Th. May 20. – Parliament met to-day after the general election. Nothing could exceed the state of excitement in which the country has been placed. In some places there has been rather rough usage, but happily everything has been good humouredly conducted in Sidmouth.


Sidmouth. May, June, 1880


Tu. May 25. 1880.—Finished my Report on the Barrows or Tumuli on the hills that surround Sidmouth, for the next Vol. of Transactions of the Devonshire Association. I have a list of no less than 93, all within six miles. It has involved a great deal more work than I anticipated, for I soon saw that the Report would be worth nothing unless accompanied by illustrations. I am therefore busily engaged in making some lithographed sketches.


Th. May 27. – The spots on the sun have come round again. And they have increased in number and extent. This evening at half past six they had the appearance as here sketched. [Sketch]


Fri. 28.—A short time ago some children brought me a kitten with two perfect faces on one head as I have endeavoured to represent it in the margin. It was in a bottle of spirits. They were the children of Stretchley Churchill, who made for me the stone work round the entrance of the Old Chancel, and the fan tracery of the Hall ceiling. They said that the kitten had lived for a short time after it was born. Such lusus naturae, however, are too common to excite wonder. [Sketch]


Sat. 29. – After a month of unusually dry weather, with a clear sky and a burning hot sun, we have got rain and very chilly weather. The rain was much needed. For the last fortnight I have left off fires, and left off winter clothing, but to-day I am glad to fly to both again.


Sun. 30. – This afternoon I took a walk up to Mutter’s Moor and on Bulverton Hill. I find that the cairn of flints in the plantation has been taken away since my last visit to this hill.


Fri. June 18. – Went into Exeter to attend a meeting of the Barrow Committee, when my report was approved and accepted. Spent a good hour in the museum, and deposited there some tessellated pavement and other things from the Roman villa at Uplyme, [July 14, 1857.] I hope this Museum is properly appreciated by the Exeter people, as well as by strangers.


Sat. June 19, 1880. – The new ministry, with Mr. Gladstone as Prime Minister, has astonished all parties.

Inserted: printed list of Prime Ministers from 1783-1874,

with handwritten additions to 1892

I wish polititions would be truthful, and not so abusive as they are to each other. No doubt the Liberal party (as they call themselves), take them as a whole, are composed of lower materials than the other party, once called Tories, but now usually styled Conservatives; and so we must make allowances for low education, low manners, absence of good breeding, and indifference to the sense of honour and honesty, as we find it among gentlemen. A few months ago the Liberals denounced the Berlin Treaty in vehement terms; and yet, now they are in office, they have decided to uphold it, and enforce its provisions even more stringently than those who framed it: the subject of flogging in the army was hotly discussed in parliament; and the then ministry was abused in gross language for not immediately abolishing it; but now, the present ministry retain it: the annexation of that part South Africa called the Transvaal was strongly opposed, but now it is approved of, and retained: the recall of Sir Bartle Freer was demanded, but now he is confirmed in his post: the acquisition of Cyprus was denounced as a job, a mistake, and a useless appendage; but now

(the following page has been written around a sketch of two positions of the sun in relation to Sidmouth church)

it is to be cherished, improved, and colonised:- and so on with twenty other things. In 1874, when Mr. Gladstone went out of office as Prime Minister, he made great efforts to recover popularity, and he held out a promise, that if he were reinstated, he would abolish the Income Tax. And he is now in office again, and he has begun his administration by putting a penny on the Income Tax, wch. is enough to bring in about a million and a half a year. For more than 20 years we have had several of his near relatives residing here at Sidmouth. They have all been more or less clever: but as they advanced in years, they have become self-willed, unsteady, excentric, and even flighty.


M. June 21. 1880.—Where is the sun now? Every day since the shortest, and we have now arrived at the longest, it has been climbing higher & higher, and rising further and further and further to the eastward. At nine in the morning on the shortest day the sun was just over the chancel of the church, looking from my Oak Room window, and at ten, just over the tower. Now indeed, it is “sky high”, and by a rough observation, somewhere about where I have endeavoured to place it on this page. I delight in long days and plenty of sunshine; and notwithstanding the serious risk of tarnishing the brightness of my complexion, I like to be out in it, and without the use of a lady’s parasol.


Tu. June 22. 1880.—The spots on the sun have come round again. [see May 27.] They are more numerous than before. All Great Britain, if not all the world, could drop through some of them easily. Sir John Hershall estimated the diameter of some he saw at 50.000 miles. [Sketch]


Wed. June 23.—Having wished to go to Otterton to see an old man called John White, I made the trip light and agreeable by getting into a public vehicle that left Sidmouth this afternoon on its return to Exmouth. Did not start till late in the afternoon. We went by the old Exeter road to avoid Peak Hill. We passed on by Woolbrook, down Newtonpoppleford Hill, all through Ntnpfd, then short round to the left to Colyton Rawley, then Bicton, then Bicton Cross – where I got down. Came back towards Otterton. Seven o’clock sounded. Found John White. He remembers the former Druidical monumt. or circle on Peak Hill, which I first saw on the old map of 1789, belonging to the Lord of the Manor of Sidmouth. I have copied this circle into my Sidmouth Guide, at p.61 of the Edition of May 1879. It was six great blocks of stone placed in a circle, with a seventh in the middle. From his description I understood that they were blocks of breccia of flints and silicified clay, so common in this neighbourhood; that the stones were set “in open order,” as he phrased it; that the circle was about 40 feet or more in diameter; and that when the Rockery was made in Bicton Park, these stones, with many others, were used. He was working at Bicton at the time. I once went over to Bicton grounds, and visited the Rockery – a beautiful dell, with a stream running through it, stopped back by many large blocks of stone. – July 7. [Sketch of stone circle]


Sidmouth. June 1880.


Sat. June 26. –A thunder storm and rain. Foundation stone of Blundel’s School laid at Horsden.


M. 28. – Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. No loyal demonstration of any kind took place at Sidmouth.


Tu. 29.—The annexed shews how an item grows. [Newspaper article attached] The Princess was turned over on the ice near Ottawa last winter in her sleigh, and the jewel is said to have been lost on that occasion.


W.30. – The new parliament is thus classified in the margin. --- [Newspaper article attached] There is a man called Chs. Bradlaugh, a notorious and avowed atheist, and who has published several pamphlets of a disgracefully immoral character, who has got elected for Northampton; but as he cannot legally take the oath, and as he is a republican, and has often declared his hatred of the Royal family, the contentions in the House have recently been of a very violent nature. He forcibly tried to take his seat; but he was committed a prisoner to the Clock Tower. For the sake of not losing the support of his friends, the ministry are wavering and playing a double game, and it is even proposed to alter the oath, or adopt a simple affirmation. We live in strange times. ---- It has been done.


S. July 3. – Violent thunder showers occasionally.


Sun. 4. – Took a quiet and solitary walk this afternoon up by Bickwell, and Mutter’s Moor, to the top of Peak Hill. Walked half a mile south, and came down Stintwell Lane towards Bickwell Farm, and thence by Cotmaton – home.


M. 5. – Mr. Edward Chick called, and I went up on Peak Hill with him by the same route. He wanted to see where the Seven Stones had been. We watched a passenger steamer from the west, land visitors at Sidmouth.


Wed. July 7. – Went over to Otterton by the same vehicle and same route as a fortnight ago. Got down this time at Bicton Church and followed a very beautiful path across the meadows which brought me out near Otterton bridge. Went to John White’s cottage. Whilst I was talking to him, a man some ten years younger came in. Both of them said they could remember the Seven Stones in their entirety. I gathered from them that the Rockery was made in 1830, or within a year or two after – that a man and his son called Budd or Budge, (both since dead,) were employed to collect blocks of stone about the hills and bring them to Bickton – and that no orders had been issued for the preservation of objects of antiquity, and in short, that nobody seemed to know anything about such objects, or care anything about them.


Tu. July 13. – Meeting of the Rural Deanery of Ottery at Sidmouth, to ptest. agst. the Burials Bill, now before Parliament.


Fri. July 16. – Mr. Heineken and myself got in a carriage at one and went to Sidbury to examine the church more fully than we had hitherto done. Passing on through Sidford we noticed the old square chimneys of the houses, some of which have dates upon them. Getting through Sidford, we turned short round to the left up the Buscombe valley to look at the largest block of stone I have seen in this neighbourhood. It lies on the south side of the lane, and within 200 or 300 yards of Brook Farm house. I wanted Mr. H. to see it. Obtained a sketch of it in my sketchbook. It is rather irregular in shape, and not only somewhat sunk in the soil, but a hedge with bushes has been carried up against the eastern side, and partly over the top; but it measured about 10 feet, by 7, by 4 feet. The flint is the same flint breccias like the Seven Stones, and is very compact and heavy. If we multiply 10 by 7 by 4, we get 280 cubic feet, as the solid contents of the stone; and if we allow 14 cubic feet to the ton, we find the weight of the stone to be 20 tons.

We then went on to Sidbury; and having walked round the church, to refresh our memories on the exterior, we commenced operations by eating our sandwiches in the south porch. [The margin of this page is completely filled with sketches of details of the church.] Apparently there was at one time a stoup for holy water outside, on the right on entering, as a place like a niche has been walled up: and inside the porch, high up, on the left of the door going in, is a small niche of irregular shape, but for what purpose is uncertain. The ceiling of the porch is supported by four ribs springing from the capitals of for small shafts in the corners. There is a large boss in the centre. I mounted to the room above the porch. The floor is covered with fragments of old oak seats and paneling; and the elements have free entry into two windows, where there is no glass. This porch and the turrets beside it are of Perpendicular work, and they have been built up against the older church and tower. Inside E buttress of S transept, outside, used to be an old inscription, as noted under A, but the letters have now all decayed away: and under the long arched recess between the Priests’ door and the SE corner there was once an inscription, under B, but that has also well nigh vanished. The checker work pattern under the east window, at C, and the most curious corbel in the corbel table round the outside, I give at D. On going inside, it will be seen that the columns of the nave lean outwards, owing to the thrust of the roof; and I remark this in most churches, There are two squints or hagioscopes E and F. The north one, F, seen on the west side, has has a small arch on the outside G. In the chancel there are two small circular headed windows, one north and the other south. [The margin of this page is filled with sketches of details of the church.] There is a tablet on the north side of the chancel, over the Vestry door, to Huyshe: on east wall to Cheek; and to Rev. Bourke Fellowes’s first wife, née Rooks: on south wall brasses to Parsons and Fellowes, and tablet to Babington: on north wall to J. Walcott: to Hunt in south transept: to Warren at Tower arch. In the corners of the tower, the corbels from which the ribs spring, are sculptured with four subjects in the margin. The nave is barrel roofed. The chancel arch is pointed. The south wall of the chancel was leaning out, but in 1860 or 1861 it was pulled up. The upper half of the tower was rebuilt about 1855[?]. The two circular arches at the east end of the north and south aisles, are beautiful specimens of late Norman work – if they are so early. I have drawings of them in my sketchbook. The Font is of Perpendicular work. There is a pewter flagon, I believe for the water. Mr. Heineken remembers a leather black jack, some 30 or more years ago, but the present sexton knows nothing of such a thing now.

Being at Sidbury, I am reminded of a quattrain in doggrel verse, addressed to the fleas and called The Sidbury Anthem. It was thus: -

Why do those flays torment me zo?

I never did mun wrong.

I catch them with my vore vinger,

An’ kill um with my thumb.

As I do not wish to get my head broken, I did not repeat them in Sidbury.


Th. July 22. 1880. – Being in Exeter, I went to examine St. Ann’s chapel. [Sketch map in margin.] The triangular piece of ground is now occupied by eight Alms Houses. The chapel remains, but it is divided by two cross walls into three portions. The eastern division is still used as chapel, and the two western divisions are converted into abodes for two poor families. Went on to Dawlish.


Fri. 23. – Walked out to look at the operations at the new Reservoir. The works for supplying the town with water from the Haldon hills are in progress. [Sketch in margin] They have excavated a great pit about 100 feet long, 70 wide, and 10 or 12 deep, and I presume it will be bricked up all round. It is close on the east side of a barrow, which is an old acquaintance of mine. [


Mon. July 26. – Rain. Started for Totnes to attend the annual meeting of the Devonshire Association. Visited the remains of Totnes Castle. They are too much encumbered with trees and surrounding buildings. The plan of the keep is like the annexed, [Sketch in margin] the spectator supposed to be looking towards the north. The circular area, surrounded by the enclosing battlemented wall, and now in grass, is about 24 yards in diameter. There are steps in the wall to go up on the circular walk all round. The walk is about four feet wide, and about 12 above the grass plat. The partly decayed parapet wall is pierced for loopholes. A. Entrance. B. blocked up. C. Steps up to walk. D. Doorway into a small chamber in the wall, about 7 feet long and 6 wide.



Tu. July 27. – Attended Council meeting. The Mayor and Corporation gave the Devonshire Association an official reception. We assembled at the Gate House, where the arch spans the Fore Street. The chamber over the arch is now used as a Reading Room. Over the fireplace is a small bust of Henry VIII, and another of Anne Boleyn, in a coloured embossed border, some 8 or 9 inches wide, that runs all round near the ceiling. A procession was formed in the street. The Mayor, in his scarlet robe and gold chain, preceded by the two mace bearers, surrounded by civic officers, and followed by the members, then walked up the street, through the church, according to an old custom, entering by the south porch, and going out at the north, and then to the Guild Hall. After a formal reception, the Mayor gave us a handsome cold collation in an adjoining room. At 8 in the evening we assembled at the Seven Stars Hotel to hear the President’s address read.


Wed. 28. –The reading of papers continued during the day. There was a garden party on the Island this evening; but a drizzling rain spoilt it. Here at Totnes bridge, the tide rises and falls some 6 to 8 feet.

I received good praise for my Report on the Barrows near Sidmouth, which is consolation for a good deal of trouble. [May 25, & June 18, 1880.] The annexed i xut from the Totnes Times. [transcribed in full, as it is such a nice article!]


Mr. R.G. Worth, F.G.S., presented the second report of the Committee on Barrows, enclosing a thoroughly exhaustive report from Mr. Hutchinson, of discoveries he had made iin the neighbourhood of Sidmouth. The committee hoped to be able to extend their operations, but at present they had only received reports from Mr. Parfitt and Mr. Doe. Mr. Hutchinson’s papers, extending over a work of 30 years, was one of the most valuable papers ever presented to the society, and its value was enhanced by the beautiful illustrations, prepared with very great care and presented free of cost to the association, by Mr. Hutchinson, to whom they owed a deep debt of gratitude.”


Th. 29. – The reading of papers was continued to the end. Excursions had been organised to Dartington Hall, and to Berry Pomeroy Castle. I went with the party to the latter. It is lamentable to see how the owners of this, and of other magnificent ruins, leave them to damp, weeds, brambles, overgrown ivy, and forest trees. People seem to think that ruins are preserved by neglect. How long would our houses last if they were treated in the same way? I observed several oak lintels over doorways and windows; and it is wonderful that they have thus lasted ever since the place was habitable, some two or three centuries ago. Then we went a mile to Berry Pomeroy church, where there is a fine stone screen, coloured and gilt, which has been restored simply by washing; and when dry, a coat of oil. We then went to the old house adjoining, on the north-east, where J. Mitchelmore, the Mayor of Totnes, and agent of the Duke of Somerset, and his family live. They entertained us with a handsome collation in the dining room, the chimney piece and one of the doorways in which are of gray granite, and the effect is not bad. We got back to Totnes before dark.


Fri. 30.—One party went in carriages among the wilds of Dartmoor, and another by steam down the Dart. I joined the latter. We had a steam launch, and a large boat or barge lashed to it, and started from the Seymour Hotel stairs at half past ten in the morning. The last time I was down the Dart was October 2, 1847, as I see by my Sketchbook. This Diary does not go back so far, as I destroyed all before 1848. We got down in due time, admiring the beautiful scenery all the way, and stopping in one place to shout and listen to the echo. We made for the Britannia, Training Ship, and went all over her, together with the two decker, attacked to her. She is indeed an immense fabric. The cadets were home for the holidays. We then landed at Dartmouth – visited the church – most elaborately decorated – some old houses, and a private Museum. We embarked, and returned well pleased; and I agreed in opinion with one of my friends, in being surprised so few gentlemen’s residences are seen on the banks of the Dart.


Sat. July 31. 1880. – Took the rail at Totnes and went to Buckfastleigh. The colour of the Dart, and of all the streams about Dartmoor, strikes me as very brown, and quite different from that of the rivers nearer Exeter. Seeing the spire of the church tower, I made for it by the shortest cut up to the top of a high hill. There is a small square chamber, looking like a dead-house, in the churchyard, near the south porch. At the east end of the yard, about 100 yards from the church, there are the ruined walls of a small building, looking like the remains of a chapel. The south wall, with small doorway and window, remains, and about 32 feet long, but once longer: the east wall, with remains of a window, but no tracery, some 31 feet wide: part of north wall: and no west wall. A mass of ivy is destroying it. I was unable to see a habitation or find the town when I got out of the churchyard. I walked some distance, and meeting three boys, they told me to keep down hill towards the southwest and I shd. find it. The houses are old fashioned and heavy, and built of stone, being the Devonian slate. There is a limestone quarry east of the church. Towards evening I returned.


Sun. Aug. 1. 1880. – Parish Church. There are eight fine toned bells. There is a very curious archway diagonally across the north-east corner, and behind the buttress outside. Sketching from memory, it is something like the annexed. [Sketch]

There was apparently once an entrance into the chancel at that corner. Within a year or two it has been stopped.


M. Aug. 2. – Decided on an excursion round Dartmoor. Went down to Plymouth, and enjoyed two hours on the Hoe, where I had not been for many years. Then took the rail for Lidford, where I stopped for four hours. Looking sw. from Lidford stations some three miles, the conical hill of Brent Tor, with its solitary church on the top of it, stands out against the sky. [Sketch] It reminded me of Glastonbury Tor in its style and general appearance. Lidford is a mile and a half from the station. The Waterfall is three quarters of a mile. I started off to see it: came to a few houses: went under an arch of the branch rail to Launceston, and through a farmyard. The farmer here claimed two pence a head on visitors. I descended a steep path to the level of the Lyd, and doubled back up stream some 300 yards. Here a tributary comes rushing down a chasm in the dark slate rock, all foam and spray. I met plenty of visitors rambling about. The wild hills here are every where covered with oak coppice. Came up the same way, and walked on to Lidford, now looking like a poor village. I passed over the celebrated Lidford Bridge. I have pasted in an old view opposite. I wish the chasm could be as well seen now, as it could in 1810. I looked down over the bridge, and heard the rushing water, but the whole chasm is choked up with trees and foliage. There is a limit to this kind of beauty. If the foliage obstructs the sight of other beauties, it is plain that an advantage would be gained if a portion were judiciously thinned out. The chasm is deep and beautiful: but what is its beauty if you cannot see it? Some years ago a gentleman [Mr. D. Radford] bought the land on the left, below the bridge, (opposite your right in the picture,) [illustration inserted] but he allows visitors to scramble down and examine the chasm from below. I had not time to go down. I was anxious to get on to Lidford Castle. To do this I walked nearly another half mile. On entering the village, town, or city from the south, first, there is the church on the left, close to the road in its churchyard; and then close to it on the north-east, the small enclosures containing what remains of the castle. Sketching merely from memory, the arrangements are like the annexed. [Sketch] I was wofully disappointed to see so little; and still more so, to see such utter neglect. Who has the care of Lidford Castle? or is it purposely consigned utter extinction? It is now nothing but a plain massive keep about sixteen yards square outside, with the walls about six feet thick. [Diagram] The masonry is not in courses, and the stones are rough pieces of slate of the district, or stray fragments of granite. The entrance doorway is in the north west front. There are three chambers within: a large one, and two small; and under one of the small is the dungeon. The large chamber is paved with small stones; and some ducks seemed quite at home there in a pool of water, that had collected from the recent rains. There are no floors or roof; but I was told in the village that there were both within memory, and dances on festive occasions. The stairs, immediately on the right of entering, are in the thickness of the wall; at the top of which there is a short chamber or passage, and a doorway on the floor, when it was there. By means of a ladder, access can be had to the upper flight, and thence to the top of the walls. The amount of rain that settles upon and soaks into the tops of walls some six feet wide, and the quantity of snow that lodges upon them in winter, and melts and percolates all through them in spring, is a source of destruction that is always at work. There is a mass of the casing at the top of the north-east wall that is bulging out from this cause, and will come down before long. Such wilful neglect is much to be lamented and much to be blamed. Walked back to the station – took the train – and got to Okehampton before dark. Drove to the Hotel and ordered tea.


Tu. Aug. 3. – After breakfast I was impatient to go and see the ruins of the castle. At the Hotel door my landlady was talking to a gentleman, whom I afterwards learnt, bore the name of Saville, and was son of a former large


Okehampton. Aug. 1880. Dawlish.

Landowner in the neighbourhood, and builder of that large square mansion a mile northward from Okehampton, and owner of the Castle away westward. He offered to take me to the ruins of the Castle, and I went. He told me that about forty years ago his late father sold the remains of Okehampton Castle, with about five acres of ground, to Sir Richard Vyvyan, for £2000. Sir Richard died a year or two ago, and his nephew Sir Vyal is now the owner. During all this forty years the place has been abandoned to the most utter neglect. The old walls are smothered with weeks, bushes, brambles, and a mass of lanky overgrown trees; and their roots, together with the uncared-for rain, are doing their best to loosen and bring down everything very shortly. Mr. Saville, I believe at his own expense, has had several places repaired and supported with masonry where the massive walls were cracking and opening from these very causes. It is lamentable to see the condition of most of the ruins, and the indifference to them manifested by their owners. Then walked to the Station and took the train. Passed by Crediton, forgetting that I wanted to copy Sir William Peryam’s monument in the church. In Queen Elizabeth’s time Sir W. had a good deal to do with Sidmouth, and I have got his coat of arms in the ceiling of the Oak Room. Arrived at Exeter; and finally to Sidmouth at half past six.


Fri. Aug. 6. 1880. – Made lithographic sketch of the old Font at Christ Church, Ilfracombe, for the current vol. of the Trans. Dev. Assoc. to illustrate a paper on it by Miss Price.


M. Aug. 9. – Between 9 and 10 this morning, Rose Cottage, or as they now call it, “Rose Lawn”, (though you might reasonably enquire where the Lawn is,) was discovered to be on fire. The fire first came out of the thatch near the western dormer window, and I watched the fire all through until the whole building was destroyed. As the fire began at the top and burnt downwards, there was time to get the furniture out. The house was occupied by Dr. Stokes and his family. As to the origin of the fire, one story ran to the effect that one of the ladies sealed a letter at one of the upper windows, and thoughtlessly threw the remains of the still burning match out on the thatch. Another declared that it arose from defect in the kitchen chimney.


Tu. Aug. 10. – Walked to Salcombe, and called on Mrs. and Miss Soulsby.


Fri. 20. – Rode to the Station. Walked to Sidford. Very hot sun and dusty roads. Made a sketch of some old houses with stone chimneys, on the Sidbury side of the village. Then walked on to the great stone near Brook Farm. [July 16.] Got into the field: took out my colour box: sat on the grass, and put in the details of the sketch began a month ago. Walked back.

Millions of black flies are setting on everything on the beach.


Sat. Aug. 21.—We learn from the other side of the Herring Pond that a certain Dr. Tanner has completed his long fast. [Newspaper cutting attached] He however, drank any amount of water - and perhaps something more. There are various ways of getting one’s name up. [He died from a fall. Aug. 1881.]


Sun. Aug. 29. – In the afternoon walked over Salcombe Hill and back by the edge of the cliff. Bright sun – very hot – on the top a gentle breeze from the eastward. The air was full of black flies, coming from the east. I have written to Mr. Parfitt of Exeter about the black flies. He informs me that the creature belongs to the East – that the prevailing easterly winds have driven them over from the Continent – and that the name is Dilophus spinatus.


M. 30. – At private theatricals at Knowle.


Sat. Sep. 4.—Called on Mr. Fisher at Blackmore Hall. [Mar.19. Ap. 15. 1879.] He has now got some etchings by Felix Buhot. The effect is very beautiful, I must say, but an art critic would scarcely pronounce them legitimate etchings. Half the depth of colour in the shadows is produced by smearing ink on the surface of the plate. This is done by the printer: not the etcher. There is also a great deal of dry point work, with the burr left.


Sidmouth. Sep. 1880.


M. Sep. 6. ­­-- The weather has become showery, after a beautifully dry and hot month of August, during which the wheat, at all events in the south of England, has been got in. On the 11th the thermometer reached 80o in the open air, and 135o in the sun on the 5th.

Sent out to Dr. Fitch Edward Oliver, of Boston, Massachusetts, the seal that had belonged to his ancestor, Lieut-Governor Oliver, more than a century ago. My grandmother was the Lieut-Gov.’s daughter. I etched an inscription on a silver label, and attach it to the seal by two silver rings. The stone is amethyst. The arms are Oliver of Lewes, Sussex, England, e.g. – Ar. a naked arm issuing from a cloud on the sinister side, holding a hand cut off, and dropping blood. Crest – a dove ar. holding in its beak an olive branch vert. I don’t know however, whether the family can be traced to Sussex. The descendants of the Lt. Gov.’s younger son, who came to England at the time of the Revolution, have now all died out, and hence the reason for sending the seal to the representative of the other.

The second in date grant of arms to Hutchinson that I know of is this: - Per pale gu. & az, a Lion rampant ar. within an orle of 16 cross-crosslets or. Crest – A demi wyvern ar. scaled azure, beaked, crested & wattled gu. issuant from a ducal coronet or. Granted by T. Flower, Norrey, July 4, 1581, to – Hutchinson of Wykeham Abbey, co. York. [sketch of coat of arms]

In the Heralds Visitations of Nottinghamshire, 1569 and 1614, the arms of the Owthorpe branch are given thus: - The pedigree is in Per pale gu. & az, seme of cross-crosslets or, a Lion rampant guardant ar. Crest – a cockatrice az. legged and combed or. the 1st Edition of the Life of Col. Hutchinson. [sketch of coat of arms]

My own branch thus: - Per pale gu. & az, a Lion rampant ar. ye feild charged with cross-crosslets of ye 4th. Crest – A cockatrice az. weloped, and armed gu. issuing out of a ducall crown or; & is Borne by the name of Hutchinson of Lincolnshire. The number of cross-crosslets, by the wording, is not fixed. [sketch of coat of arms]

The Earls of Donoughmore are descended from Richard Hutchinson, (who bought Knocklofty, &c.) a younger brother of William H. who went to Massachusetts in 1634. The elder branch, (mine) was ruined by the American Revolution. [sketch of coat of arms]

Hutchinson of Cornforth and Whitton is described in Burke’s Landed Gentry. The Pedigree begins with Elizabeth. Wordsworth, the Poet Laureate married Mary H. of this branch. The Lion is here altered to gold. William H. the Historian of Durham, and Thomas H. the Editor of Xenophon, were of this branch. – I have put the cross-crosslets too much in the form of an orle, which I think is not intended to be so. [sketch of coat of arms]

Hutchinson of Carsington, Durham, is also in Burke. The pedigree begins with Henry VIII. This branch, from failure of male heirs, has now merged into the family of Hutchinson-Synge, of Syngefield, co. Cork. [sketch of coat of arms] Crosslets too much like an orle.

Foster of Aylesbury in Berkshire, 1650, Went to Boston, Massachusetts. My great-great-grandfather, Thomas H. married Sarah, eldest daughter of Col. John Foster. There was a younger daughter Lydia, married another H., but the name has died out. These arms are on a silver tankard in Boston. They were sent me by Dr. F. E. Oliver. I have a right to quarter them. [sketch of coat of arms]

Sanford, of Boston, Lincolnshire, went early to America. Governor H., my great-grandfather married Margaret, eldest second daughter of Wm. Sanford. Lieut. Gov. Oliver married Mary, second eldest daughter, as second wife. All the issue is extinct. Grizzle, the third, died single. No brothers. I have a right to quarter these arms. They are in Berry’s Heraldry, as thus: - Argent, a chief gules. No crest recorded. [sketch of coat of arms]


Wed. Sep. 15.—I may as well preserve the Ogham alphabet, without being compelled to use it when writing to my friends. [alphabet written out in the margin] I took it from a book called Our Ancient Monuments, by C.P. Kains-Jackson. He, however, has put at the bottom, the end I have put at the top. Sir John Lubbock wrote the Preface, and I extract his remarks on the ancient races of Europe. He says -

In the Paleolithic, a Drift Gravel period, man was clothed in the skins of beasts. Implements were of wood, bone, horn, or of stone chipped out, but not polished. No pottery. Two distinct races inhabited Europe.

In the next, or Neolithic period, a small advance had been made. The stone implements are ground smooth and polished, and they are different in shape from the first. Rude, hand-made pottery is first met with. The dog, ox, sheep, goat, and pig had been domesticated. Flax clothing used. Tilled the ground. Gold unknown.

In the Bronze Age, this metal was employed for cutting purposes. Pottery of better make. Gold, amber, and glass had become known. No traces of coins or of letters.

In the Age of iron this metal had been discovered; and if smelted with charcoal, as of course they did it, it is malleable at once. Silver, lead, and zinc had been discovered. Letters had been invented.


Wed. Sep. 22. – Wrote to my nephew Parker Oliver H. near Adelaide, S. Australia, and sent him a sketch of the H. arms.


Th. Sep. 23. – Mr. and Mrs. Stirling came and took a lodging for a week, wishing to see me before they go to Naples for the winter. He is the sole representative of my great-grandfather’s younger brother.


Th. Sep. 30.—The Stirlings left; the weather having been beautiful during their stay.


Fri. Oct. 1.—Finished binding five large volumes, in blue leather backs and corners, and marble paper sides. The large folio one contains old newspapers: and the four small folio vols. are old letters; all referring to America and the Revolution.


Wed. Nov. 17.—On this day of the month, in the year 1810, I was born at Winchester. My father was Physician to Winchester Hospital, as he had been before to Exeter; and I was baptised at Heavitree the year afterwards. By temperance and regular living I have gone on, and I have not had a day’s illness for thirty years: and I feel as young as I always did, except that my limbs are not quite so elastic as they were.


Sat. Nov. 20.—It has suddenly become mild. We have passed through the severest fortnight I ever remember in November. The wind north-east, the frost very hard, and on the 18th a strong snowstorm,


Wed. Nov. 24. – The arrival of a number of French Jesuits at Sidmouth has taken most people by surprise. Peak House has been for some time empty, and tenants were desirable. The tradesmen, who can see nothing beyond how much money they can make of every new arrival, are delighted; but the gentry and the educated classes, look at this with eyes of a different kind. [newspaper cutting attached]


Sidmouth. Dec. 1880.


Wed. Dec. 1. –Looking over a portfolio of old papers, I came across the Commission appointing me to be a Lieutenant in the Sidmouth Volunteer Artillery, when the corps was first formed in 1859. It is signed by the late Earl Fortescue. I insert it here. [document attached to opposite page]


Tu. Dec. 21. – Shortest day. Very fine for the time of year. Clear sky and a bright sunshine, and therewithall mild. And at nine this morning, there is the sun exactly over the chancel of the parish church, and at ten just over the pinnacles of the tower, as it was this day last year, according to my sketch then taken. The solar system must be a wonderful piece of machinery. Many millions of miles I have travelled since then. The earth has carried me 366 times round its own axis, being Leap year, and once round the orbit of the sun. Let us see – the circumference of the earth at the equator is about 24,000 miles; but as I am at 50o and a little more north, say 20,000 every day. The distance of the sun, according to the last transit of Venus, was 93,373,000 of miles, say 93,500,000. Twice that the diameter of his own = 187,000,000. Then 20,000 x 366 – 7,320,000: and the diameter of the sun’s orbit 187,000,000 x 3, the circumference = 561,000,000 + 7,320,000 = 568,000,000 miles, or thereabout – a journey that any lazy fellow may take in a year, while lying in his bed.


Th. Dec. 23.—Turning over a portfolio, I came upon my old commission, by which I was appointed a Lieutenant when the Sidmouth Volunteer Artillery corps was formed. I have placed it opposite. – You forgot you entered it above, old fellow.


Fri. Dec. 24.—Mr. Gladstone, now Prime Minister, is very excitable and flighty, just as his cousins used to be, who formerly lived at Sidmouth. People have doubted his consistency and his stability, and some looker-on has amused himself and his readers by putting forward the anagram here annexed. [newspaper cutting reads: A SURPRISE ANAGRAM. – For the benefit of those likely to be surprised. – The Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone. – I am the Whig who’ll be a traitor to England’s rule. – Judy]


Sat. Dec. 25.—Christmas Day, and very mild.


Mon. Dec. 27.—T he following account of Sir Stephen Cave’s new house at Sidbury recently appeared in the papers. [two long articles appended, one being a description of the new house at Sidbury, the other an account of the Will of Sir Stephen Cave]


Tu. Dec. 28.—Executed a new Will. Owing to my nearest relations, my brother’s children, being in South Australia, I find it very difficult to arrange my affairs and houses and odds and ends to my satisfaction. In spite of the bother and expenses and anxieties of wives and children, as I hear married men say, it is better on the whole for people to marry and make the best of it. They then have somebody to live for and take an interest in: and they have somebody near them to hand their property over to without trouble. Had ladies not been such costly people, I would never have remained as I am. Not my last Will.

[Newspaper cutting: letter from POH to the Editor of the Exeter and Plymouth Express, on ‘Old Verses’]


Fri. Dec. 31. 1880.—Last day of the year. Fine and clear, but rather cold. There was an eclipse of the sun this afternoon. It began about a quarter before 2: at its fullest about a quarter before 3: and in another hour it was pretty well over. Being clear, I had a good view of it. [sketch]

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