POH Transcripts - 1885

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January 1. – New Year’s Day. North- east wind not very cold – that is to say, not freezing. The peculiar, or blighting, or deadly quality of the north east -wind, has never been satisfactorily explained by our scientific men. It is not mere cold, or low temperature; for there is a quality with which sick people are conscious of even in their warm rooms. Some say it is from its dryness, but I do not think that this alone would account for all the effects it produces on invalids. An excess of ozone, which is a “species of oxygen”, or “a variety of oxygen”, according to our chemists, is said to be very irritating when floating in the atmosphere, to the breathing apparatus of people with tender throats.

Some ascribe the searching quality of the north-east wind in England, to the supposed fact that it comes from the frozen mountains of Norway and Sweden; but when I was in America, to the best of my recollection the easterly winds there came across the unfrozen Atlantic ocean; with the same unpleasant properties. The north-west wind there is “enough to cut a snipe in two,” when it comes in winter and spring from the icy regions of Canada, but though sharp, it has not got the quality of the other. Some say that the east wind all round the Pole, or all round the northern hemisphere, has the same harsh feeling in it . This is rather curious if it is true, because the east in one place is the west in another: so that they have not got to the bottom of it yet.

Friday,2,- We have been startled here by seeing in the papers that Dr Stokes, several years resident in Sidmouth, and who went with his wife and niece a few weeks ago to Exeter, fell dead whilst he was playing a duett in his drawing room with Mr Moore yesterday. He was a good tenor player. It is said to have been a heart complaint. He lived at Sidmouth in the house that was burnt down, as mentioned Aug.9.1880.

Sat,3,- In the paper today, inquest on the young man Albert Withey, aged 25, who was run over and killed at Sidmouth Junction last Tuesday evening. He was incautiously crossing the line with a wheel-barrow.

Mon. Jan. 5. – Another shock ! Mr James Sutherland, Secretary and Agent for the Trustees of the Manor of Sidmouth, frequently here, though commonly resident in London, came down on business, and slept at the Hotel at Knowle, and this morning was found dead in his bed. There will be an inquest no doubt. For his second wife he married one of the Miss Pikes or Pykes, of Griggs, a farm on the slope of Salcombe Hill, a mile or more north- east of Sidmouth.

From the inquest we learn that the cause of death was “effusion of blood on the brain.”

Tu, 6, - Great alarm about small pox in the parish. The schools have been shut up and the other children are not to come back for a month. There have been only one or two deaths, but it has aroused the community. They are vaccinating all round, purifying the dirty cottages, and are now running up a temporary building a mile out of town at Lower Woolbrook, under the name of a Small-Pox Hospital, to which infected persons may be moved. I hear they are going to provide for six patients. The disease is said to prevail at Honiton, Ottery, and most parts of the county.

Th,8, -The eldest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and possibly the future King of England, came of age today. He has generally been called Prince Albert Victor, but as Edward is also one of his names, and as this name is more English, people think or hope he may in future be called Prince Edward. The Prince of Wales has made it known that he does not mean to ask for any money from the nation for an establishment for his son. His youngest sister the Princess Beatrice has just got engaged to be married to Prince Henry of Battenburg, and Parliament will soon be asked for a grant for them. Perhaps it was thought rather inopportune to talk of two grants at the same time.

Fri, 9.- White frost. Thermomet 26 last night. Wind northerly.

S, 10, - Wind changed to SW and mild, and 52 out of doors.

Sun, 11,- Wind north again, and down to 43 at noon.

M. Jan.12.- Is it worth while to paste in here a record of the National Debts of half the states of Europe? Some persons have the taste for enquiring into such subjects, and there are some who look with consternation at the amount of our own National Debt, and say, what a blessing and what an avantage it would be to us all if the National Debt could be swept away. I am not sure that it would. If it could be kept down to about three or four millions I should say that a National Debt of that amount had better remain and flourish. Who would not sooner have £10,000 in the funds than anywhere else? To lend our money to our government is to lend to the best known security. When people have got some money to invest, they never know now-a-days where to put it to have it safe, for the generality of investments are like bubbles on the water that are always bursting. I cannot imagine a happier condition for a man, than to have half his money in the funds , and half anywhere else in reasonable places. In such a state he might sleep quietly.

W, Jan,14, - My servant Ann Carslake Newton came into my service this day sixteen years ago. Frail in health, but honest, economical, and trustworthy.

T. 15. – My cousin William H., Vicar of Blurton, co. Staff. Made Prebendary of Lichfield a few days ago. – Prebendary of Curborough, near Litchfield.

Fri, 16, - A succession of earthquake shocks in Spain, which have damaged and shaken down buildings, and killed people, mostly near Malaga.

Sat, Jan,17. The north east wind continues – very searching, but no snow here, and once or twice some ice as thick as a penny. In the midland and northern counties rather severe. In Paris extremely cold: and strange to say, in north Italy and north Spain a great deal of snow.

Mon, 19 , -News arrived of a severe battle yesterday in Upper Egypt: making for Khartourn, to the relief of General Gordon: gone up the Nile to Korti, and then Lord Wolsley, chief in command, sent Gen. Stewart across the country in a SE direction towards Shendy and Metemneh on the upper bend of the Nile, a part of the country quite unknown to us. Gen, Stewart had 1500 men: attacked at The Wells of Abu Klea by 8 to 10,000 Arabs: formed square and kept them off: 40 odd killed, and 60 odd wounded, among whom was Lord St. Vincent: square surrounded by dead Arabs, and they withdrew. Left 400 to hold the Wells, and marched on: near Metemneh another battle: formed square: And about 7000 – charged furiously, led by Emirs in smart uniforms, could not come within 30 yards of the square before they were all shot down: 5 Emirs killed, when they retired. Gen Stewart badly wounded: Lord St. Vincent died of his wounds. They marched on, and encamped on the banks of the Nile. Some steamers have come down the river from Khartourn, and brought news of Gordon. We appear to be getting a strange hold upon Egypt. It is becoming necessary I understand, for two reasons :- First, our great interest in the Suez Canal, as the great road to India, make it imperative that no danger should assail it: and secondly, France has long had her eye upon Egypt, and has shown great irritation at our successes there, so that she will pounce upon the country and thereafter the Canal, if we lose our influence: and even Germany and Russia, have betrayed some designs upon that country, so we must be vigilant.

Sun, 25, - Telegrams announcing that three explosions of dynamite took place in London yesterday afternoon, supposed by Irish Fenians wishing to create a terror, and not caring who they kill – one in the White Tower, another in Westminster Hall, and the third a few minutes after in the “Aye” Division Lobby of The House of Commons. The Irish are strange mixture of good and bad.

Th, 29, _ Wind shifted from NE to S and SW. Thermometer 49 out of doors. Got a walk and did some shopping.

Fri, 30, _ Same temperature. Out again, and went to several places.

S, 31, _ Violent west wind; storms of rain; at 5 P>M> and after, several claps of thunder with occasional flashes of lightening. Much damage done in some places.

Tu, Feb, 3, _ Mild _ 49 _ out two hours.

Th, 5, _ Mr Ede of Landsdowne called and said Dr Pullin’s son in London has just sent down a telegram to his father, saying there is a report in London that Khartourn has been stormed by a multitude of Arabs in the absence of steamers, and taken. Two hours after, Dr Radford of Sidmount came in, and saidit was true. If so, it will cause a great outcry in this country. No news of Gordon’s fate. ( feb.6.)

M,2, _ (forgot) Finished to end of Ch.V. of Vol II. Of Gov. Hutchinson’s Diary and Letters, and began Ch. VI. This is an additional job I never expected to undertake; but as some of the higher class of my Reviews have said that the whole of the Diary ought to be given, and as I have a pleasant occupation for the winter evenings, and as the first vol. Has been done better than I expected, I may as well go on with the second.

W, 4, _ The trial of the young man John Lee, for the murder of Miss Keyse at Babbacombe in November (Feb. 24, see Nov.21.) after occupying the court in Exeter three days, terminated today in a verdict of guilty. He has shown much ingratitude to a good friend. He had been in her service as a boy – then was in several other places- in one of which he was punished for theft and was sent to prison - afterwards Miss Keyse took him again giving him a chance of retrieving his character. It might be asked what motive he could have for entertaining any ill-feeling against her? But that he did so may be inferred by his having said to his half sister, who was a servant in the house , and to the postman who called there, even 8 or 10 weeks before the commission of the deed, that “he would serve her out” or that “he would do for her” or words to that effect; and yet I think he had no other grievance against her, except that she had talked of reducing his wages six pence a week. I see no chance of reprieve for him.

Fri, Feb, 6, _ The news of the fall of Khartourn is fully confirmed. I know of nothing that has occurred for many years that has given such a shock to the country. We thought the campaign nearly ended. The steamers with troops, went up to Khartourn to complete the communication, and greet General Gordon, when, to their amazement they found the place in possession of thousands of fanatical Arabs, who opened fire on them and they had to retreat down the river with all expedition. Gordon went out on a mission of peace. Fully authorised by Mr Gladstone and his Ministry of trades and manufacturers, who have shown no capacity for statesmanship, but the Arabs were so hostile, that they soon blocked him up and besieged him in Khartourn. He left London January 18, 1884, and got to Khartourn Feb. 18. The point of honour, as a gentleman, or the duty of supporting or rescuing their Arab trader, “ a tin pot Ministry”, fresh from their workshops and counting-houses could not see. For eight or ten months they have been abused and bullied to their faces, in Parliament, and out for their neglect, and nothing but this outcry could move them to send out this too late expedition. Lord Wolseley is a clever General, and he will do the best he can. It is lucky for the Ministry that Parliament is not now sitting, but they meet on 19th, and there is a hard battle to fight, and they are likely to be turned out. Everybody is anxious to hear the fate of Gordon. If he is killed, the indignation in the country will be very great. He may have been killed in the assault, or he may have retired to the Citadel to defend himself there, or he may be a prisoner and carried into the desert.

Sat, Feb, 7, _ Wind SW, mild, 51. Enjoyed two walks.

Sun,8, _ Rain nearly all day.

M, 9, _ No news of the fate of Gordon yet. The Queen has sent to his sisters messages of sympathy. Never was a country in such a state of painful suspense. It appears now on ascertained fact that Khartourn fell by treachery. Two Pashas being Turks, got in league with the Arabs, who are in rebellion, opened the gates for them on the night of the 26th of January, and had committed great slaughter before the morning of the 27th and had full possession. The Mahdi, as he is called, or false prophet, is a t the head of this rebellion against the Turkish government in Egypt and Constantinople. There are two reasons why Turkish troops are no use –one is, that they have been great cowards in action, and cannot be depended on – and the other is, that they are as likely to go over to the Mahdi as not.

W,11,_ There is a report today that General Gordon is not alive, but that he was stabbed and killed.

The weather today was wonderfully mild, with the wind at the SW. It was 54 out of doors nearly all day. Walked over to the Glen, (where the queen’s father died) and called on Professor Griffith, who temporarily lodging there. Found Dr Radford of Sidmount there. We talked – how we talked! – de omnibus rebus, et de quibusdam aliis.

Th, 12, _ A force of 3000 men under Genera Earle, working their way from Korti up stream towards Berber, have had a gallant fight at a place whose name I forget, and carried it at the point of the bayonet, General Earle being killed. Further news say that General Gordon was killed a few days after the Pashar let in the enemy, and a dreadful slaughter ensued, but the Ministry do not seem very willing to say very much. Khartourn being taken on the 27th of January, he seems to have been a prisoner until the 4th of February, when it is said by some fugatives from the city that he was stabbed by some fanatic or assassin as he was coming out of a doorway, This is the account so far. The Ministry, as well they may be, are shaking in their shoes at this sudden collapse of their expedition to Upper Egypt. Great activity at our military depots and stations – 10,000 men, with the requisites, are to go to Suakin on the Red Sea, and march on Berber. When Parliament opens on the 19th we shall hear more.

Last Wednesday I sent my brass gun, which was taken by my late cousin Lieut. John Roberton from a pirate on the coast of Borneo, as a present to the Exeter Museum, having no children to leave it to. (Aug.24, 1854) and today I sent off three boxes of Greensand fossils of my own collecting in the cliffs east of Sidmouth, together with a number of the late Mr Heineken’s, which were given me after his death.

S, 14, _ Mild for the time of year, 53,. Went to the Reading Room. No trustworthy news. It is hard to get trustworthy news in Upper Egypt just now. Some fugitives who have come from Khartourn, cannot say that Gordon is really killed or no, owing to the confusion and the danger now reigning there, so that some cling to hope.

This morning an old man called Colesworthy, living in the High Street, opposite” The Myrtles, so called, took a pitcher, and went into Pike’s Court to draw some water at the public pump; and there he fell forward on the pump trough and expired.

Sun, Feb, 15, _ Since the wind shifted little more than a fortnight ago from N to SW it has been more or less mild. Today 54 in the shade, and quite warm in the sun.

Tu, 17, _ Persons who have escaped from Khartourn, bringing further and more authentic news. A man who was Gordon’s servant has reported to Lord Wolsley, who still keeps at the base of operations at Korti, that at daylight on 26th Jan. The traitor Ferah Pasha opened the southern gates of the city , when a body of the enemy’s troops rushed in: Gordon hearing confusion, came out of Government House, accompanied by about twenty officers and others with a sword in one hand and a hatchet in the other, and they were making their way to the Austrian Consulate, when they met a party of the enemy’s troops who immediately fired a volley into them, when Gordon and several others fell. The man who was held a prisoner, but he scraped together his earnings and savings – bribed his guards with £40, bought a camel, and getting clear of the city, was ten days reaching Korti. This story seems authentic.

W, 18, _ Called, by appointment, on Mr Scott of Blackmore Hall. He showed me a silver coin of Elizabeth, date 1590, dug up in the garden. He is a very good turner, carpenter, and mechanic, and has a capital work-shop. I asked him to come and look at my oak carving at the Old Chancel.

Mr Edward Chick called and stayed to tea with me.

Th, Feb, 19, _ Parliament reassembles today. Much interest manifested. Some think the disaster in Egypt will turn out the Ministry. There will be some severe debating.

Fri, 20, _ Curious story going about Sidmouth, if it is true. Lethbridge, a grocer etc. of Exeter, has two branch shops in Sidmouth – one in Fore St. And the other in New St. Kept by a Mrs Casson, and other branch shops in other places. His man travels about in a van or covered light wagon, which I often see in Sidmouth. Returning to Exeter, I think last Monday the 16th and going up Aylesbeare Hill, he was hailed by a woman, who asked him for a lift in his van. He stopped and said she might get up, and while she was doing so, he saw a man’s trousers below her petticoats. Not liking the look of this, he dropped his whip on the footboard, as if he had lost it, and asked the strangers to be so good as to step down and pick it up for him. The stranger however, made excuses, but as the driver pretended he could not leave his horses, the suspicious passenger put a leather bag and a parcel in the van and got down. The man immediately urged his horses on to their best speed, leaving the stranger behind. On approaching that well known wayside inn, being half way between Sidmouth and Exeter, where all the coaches used to stop, and known as The Half way House, two men came out and tried to stop him, but he lashed his horses, knocked one of them down, and hurried on. Those men were supposed to be confederates of the other. On reaching Exeter with his van, he went to the Police Station at the Guildhall – told his story – and gave up the goods. The story says that there were tow “pig knives” in the parcel, and four pistols – revolvers – in the leather bag. Some say dynamite. How much of this may be true I know not, but perhaps I may hear in a few days. People are very fond of the marvellous.

S,21, _ Gen. Stewart, wounded near Metemnoh, dead of his wounds.

Tu, 24, _ Shocking news from Exeter. The young man John Lee. The murder of Miss Keyse (Feb. 4) was to have been executed yesterday morning. Three attempts to do it failed, as the drop would not act, and the convict was taken back to his cell. The executioner is Berry, the former man Binns having been dismissed as a low drunken fellow. A new drop and gallows have been erected in another place in Exeter Jail, and it is said the parts fit too close; they all worked very well on Saturday, when they were examined by the hangman. Lee was placed on the drop three successive times, but when the bolt or lever, or whatever it may be, was withdrawn, the trap or platform on which he stood, would not fall. Strange as it may seem, it has been ascertained by experiment since, that it acts very well when there is no weight upon it, but gets jammed or locked in some way when there is. The travelling joints are too fine, and the parts fit too close, and it was supposed that the wood had swollen by damp between Saturday and Monday, as the weather has been rainy and wet lately. Everybody was shocked and horrified at these occurrences. The Under-Sheriff lost no time, but immediately started for London, and laid all the particulars before Sir Wm Harcourt, the Home Secretary, and he laid them before the Queen. Not long afterwards it was made known that a respite and commutation of the sentence had been sent down. I insert a telegram announcing these things. Much excitement in Exeter, and people moved by various passions and opinions. Some assert that nothing ought to defeat the full carrying out of the sentence, while others feel that what he had to go through, together with the singularity of the case, may permit a leaning to the side of mercy. A searching enquiry will be made into the whole circumstances.

W. Feb, 25, _ Called on the Hine-Haycocks at Belmont, and found Dr Radford there, They have now a 99 years’ lease of it under the Manor, and have astonished their friends by spending some £2000improving the house and grounds, and it is beautifully furnished.

Th, 26, _ For more than 50 years I have had by me some early water colour drawings done by G> F> Williams when we were boys, when his father lived at Sidmouth, and he was learning drawing of Mr Haseler, a famous German Artist I believe. There is great merit in them, but old association enhanced their value in my eye. Feeling that their value would be further advanced if his name were put to them, I sent four over to Bath Cottage Bittern, near Southampton, and I received them back today duly signed and dated. I have also another early one of his, of which he took no account. It is a view of Sidmouth beach looking west, with the sun setting beyond High Peak Hill. I could not send this, for it is pasted into the fifth vol. Of my MS. Hist. Of Sidmouth, page 118. When returning my four drawings, I was much gratified at finding that he had sent me another dated 1880. The scene is a harvest field and landscape, with an ominous great black thunder cloud rising in the distance. The sky is beautifully stippled, giving a soft serial effect. When he was a lad, a soft effect in the distance was produced by 2 or 3 times nearly washing out, and doing it again; but now stippling is employed. I have some account of Williams at Oct, 8, 1872.

Fri, 27, _ Called again at Belmont, and about Mr William’s drawings. Gave one of his prospectuses to Miss Hine- Haycock. Called on Madame de Rosen at Rosemount. She says her house is on a curious tenure. A lease was granted some two or three centuries ago by John Harlewyn for 200 years, the acknowledgment being two nutmegs a year, if demanded. I said I was curious on points of Sidmouth history, and she said she would try to procure me more definite information.

News arrived of a terrible explosion at Shoeburyness. A group of officers and men were yesterday fixing a fuse into a shell, when the shell burst. Several had their limbs cut off, and their bodies much mutilated, among whom Col. Fox-Strangways of Rewe near Exeter, and others badly wounded.

Sat, 28, _ Today we get political news from London. Vote of censure introduced by the Marquis of Salisbury against the Ministry in the H. of Lords, and by Sir Stafford Northcot in the Commons. The division took place last night. The numbers in the Lords were – for the Vote of Censure 189, against 68: majority against the government 121. In the Commons the numbers were – for the vote 288, and against 302, giving a narrow majority of 14 to the Ministry. It was at first thought Mr Gladstone would resign, but the Ministry mean to hold on. A supporter “of this” Ministry, and a blind admirer of Mr Gladstone, told me a joke today. Some of his admirers, some time ago, hailed him as the

G. O. M. (Grand Old Man), which has been a good deal quizzed and laughed at by the Conservatives, but my friend said to me today that the letters had now been changed to GUM, because he sticks so fast.

Sunday, March 1, _ Wind SE and rain.

M, 2, _ The same, and rain. Col. Fox Strangways buried at Rewe.

Tu, 3, _ More south, and still rain.

W, 4, _ At Belmont. In the town. Beautiful day. Clear, bright, and mild.

Th, 5, _ Mrs and Miss Hine-Haycock called and looked at William’s drawings.

Fri, 6, _ On analysing the division in the H. of Com. It appears that the majority was made up by voting for themselves, Thus 8 Cabinet Ministers voted to keep themselves in, e.g. – Gladstone, Marg, Hartington, Childers, Harcourt, Chamberlain, Dilke, Trevelyan, & Shaw-Lefevre; 4 under-secretaries, e.g. –L E Fitzmaurice, Ashley, Cross, and Hibbert; and lastly 2 more to make up the 14, the two sons of Mr Gladstone voted to keep in their papa. The annexed are the joking lines alluded to above.

Sat. Mar, 7, _ Beatiful day – clear sky and warm sun, but a N wind “ enough to cut a snipe in two”. The targets for The Rifles having just been pitched , on the slopes of Core Hill, the company marched out to have the first shot at them. Being so fine, a number of ladies and gentlemen went, and made a gay scene. It was so cold that I refained.

M, 9, _ We seem to be getting a strange hold upon Egypt. Neither the Egyptian nor the Turkish troops can be trusted to send against the rebels in Upper Egypt, for fear they should go over to them, and as our interest in keeping open the Suez Canal is so great, and as the rightful people are unable to keep the country quiet or establish a firm government, we are doing it for them – and ourselves. Our men have fought some splendid battles during the cooler weather, but it is now becoming hot, and active operations will if possible be suspended during the great heats, and resumed in the autumn. Mean while a railroad is to be laid down from Suakim, on the Red Sea, westward to Berber, on the Nile.

Tu,10, _ Had the MS of Vol. 1. Of my book bound in Exeter. Got it back today. At first I was going to burn it all as useless, and then I thought I would save it.

Th, 12, _ Read the termination of Lord Durham’s case in the paper. He was a silly young man who married a Miss Milner, a pretty girl, for her good looks after a short acquaintance, but who had doubtless the seeds of madness in her, whose mother has destroyed herself, and become decidedly mad soon after she was married, and is now under restraint. Lord D. Sought to get the marriage annulled, on the ground that she was insane before the marriage took place, and consequently not capable of fully comprehending the nature of the contract, or entering upon it. It was just one of those very hard things to prove. Who shall say where eccentricity ends and madness begins ? He lost his cause, and keeps his wife. From what I see some people say and do nearly every day, I have long thought that there are more mad people out of Bedlam than there are in.

Fri, 13, _ Beautiful March weather – fine and clear, but cold N E wind.

Attended meeting of the Burial Board – little to do. Mr Collins, the Cemetery keeper, who lives at the Lodge, receives £50 a year. The Board to day voted him a pound a week - £2 more.

S, 14, _ Mrs Cresswell, widow of Rev. R. Cresswell, 35 years ago Curate of the adjoining parish of Salcombe, afterwards long tenants of a house in Bitten Street, in West Teignmouth, belonging to my late cousin Miss Robertson ( Ap, 18, 1881) and sister of Miss Creighton of No. 1 Coburg Terrace, has come for a week, with her youngest daughter. They had tea with me – talked of old times, looked over my fossils, Sidmouth pebbles cut & polished, books, sketches, etc.

M, 16,_ The Russians want to swallow up all Asia. They are most unscrupulous robbers that the world has ever produced, and therewithal the greatest liars. As to politics nobody now believes a word they say, or a promise they make. Let everyone look at old maps of the Russian Empire, and see how one state after another has been swallowed up on the west, north and east sides of the Caspian. The same in attacks upon Turkey. In 1854 they declared they had no designs against Turkey, and then almost immediately marched 2400 men across the frontiers; after that she was suspected of having an eye upon Kivah, which she tried to explain away; but she soon after laid her hands upon it; this brought her so much nearer to Merve, but she repudiated all idea of wishing to encroach upon that state; nevertheless she has passed it and is now attacking the north west corner of Afghanistan, and as this last is in alliance with England, and in some degree under our protection, and as it forms the protection to the N W frontier to our Indian Empire, England is beginning to bestir herself. Just at present things look rather serious, but negotiations are going on. It is very extraordinary that Mr Gladstone has always made excuses for Russia, so much so that some have asked whether he has not been in the pay of that country, and it has been understood that his coming into office was Russia’s opportunity, and when he came into office five years ago, Russia pushed forward her pilfering fingers very assiduously.

Fri, Mar, 20, _ , My great grandfather The Governor of Massachusetts, died in London, June 3, 1780, and was buried in a vault in Croydon Church on the 9th, the vault belonging to the Rev. D. Apthorpe, the Vicar, who had had church preferment in America, but was driven out for his loyalty. There the Governor has lain for more than 100 years, and I feel it a reproach that none of his descendants have yet put up any record of his death. I have long thought it over, and having recently sent up to Gawthorpe of Long Acre a design for a brass, today I have ordered for it.

(Transcribers’ comment: The following 3 items were photographed placed over the page of the diary entries for March 13th – 20th 1885 and were not stuck in.)

S, 21, _ Called on the Miss Parkers at Aurora, nieces of the Hine-Haycocks at Belmont, who were out, and on Mrs Treplin of Kenilworth, at Barton Cottage. Her husband has gone into dairy farming, and she told me he sent 2000 quarts of ilk to London every morning. I asked if it did not get churned into butter ? She said than new warm milk might turn during the two hour journey to London, but they chill it by passing it through tin tubes immersed in cold water. This process was new to me.

Sun, 22, _ Wind strong NW, and cold. At 8AM, rain with snow.

Tu, 24, _ New kitchen grate from Exeter put in No. 4 Coburg Terrace today. If you want to spit a friend, give him a house.

W, 25, _ Lady Day. Fine March weather. Mrs and Miss Cresswell at tea.

Th, 26, _ Called at Mr Ede’s at Landsdown, Elysian Fields. He has kept house for nine days with a serious cold. Rain walking home.

Called at the vicarage, and had a long talk with the Vicar on Brasses at Croydon and Sidmouth, church affairs, parish affairs, etc. etc.

Mrs Cresswell and her daughter left.

Fri, 27, _ The country was startled by it being stated in Parliament that a Royal Proclamation had been issued, calling out the Reserves and Militia. This will much add to our active military force, and it is done in view of the invasion of Afghanistan by Russia. We hear that 15000 troops are immediately to go to India: that the Indian gov. Are pushing 50,000 men into Afghan territory, at the SE corner via Quettah for Candahar, and Herat if necessary, for it is this last city that Russia wishes to seize. Never was there more bare-faced unprovoked robbery. In a military sense Russia is more powerful from numbers than physical superiority, for before Sebastopol in 1854-5, her soldiers never shewed themselves better men when matched against equal numbers of English, French, or Italians; and as for naval performances, she did worse than nothing, for she destroyed her own ships instead of allowing the enemy to come near them. Though our ships cruised off Sebastopol harbour, inviting the Russians to come out, they kept closely within, and under the guns of their numerous land batteries; and so fearful were they that we should force our way in, in spite of these formidable obstructions, that they sacrificed a number of their large ships by sinking them across the entrance. Pretty much the same in the Baltic: Our fleet there went as close to Cronstadt as the batteries would allow, but all the Russian ships were afraid to come out and try their strength. I should think however, that our modern iron clads and 80 or 100 ton guns, would soon knock all their batteries to pieces. They shewed their power at Alexandria in July 1882. (July 12, 1882.) Most likely the Russians would try to obstruct our advance by lining the channels with torpedoes – those modern unmanly contrivances, which have not done much yet in actual warfare.

Tu, Mar, 31, _ Called at the Vicarage, and shewed them a model in paper of a new vane, which I wanted them to put on the top of the church tower – anything, in short, rather than the presentold one, which is so rusted that it sometimes sticks in the same quarter for a month together. The fly of the present vane has the date 1809 cut through the metal, and this part I would retain, and utilise again.

Called to see Mr Avery, ex-churchwarden, in feeble health and 80 winters.

Called on the Rev. Jenkinson, the curate, and spent half an hour agreeably.

Mrs Knowles from Budleigh, with cat and kitten, came over for a few days to see her sister Ann Newton, my servant, who is seriously ill with a chill. I begin to think that chilles kill more people than anything else.

W, April 1, _ At 3 this afternoon, as I sat in the Oak Room of the Old Chancel, the shadow of one of the pinnacles on the tower and two battlements, fell upon the roof of the north transept, as represented in the sketch. It now wants 82 days to the summer solstice or longest day of the 31st of June; and perhaps at 82 days after the solstice, which will take us to Sep. 11, the shadow will be the same, but we shall see if we should live so long.

Th, Ap, 2, _ As an instance and the fanaticism and the hostile spirits of the Arabs the papers tell us that among repeated attacks made on Sunday the 22nd of March by the natives on our troops as they were moving near Tamai, one body of 50 or 60 Arabs made a fierce and violent rush at the soldiers, but volleys from the rifles immediately laid them all low. It was found afterwards that amongst the dead was one woman and four boys.

Fri, Ap, 3, _ Good Friday. This day is not kept as it should be. I doubt whether one half or three quarters of the lower orders have any idea of what the day means or what it commemorates. Morality and religion are never taught in our schools. It would be well if the Teachers would address the children once a month or so on the subject of their general behaviour out of doors, even if they went no further.

Yesterday Mr Noah Miller, carpenter, put up new gate to field.

Sat, 3, _ Fine clear day; hot sun, cold NE wind.

Sun, 5, _ Easter Sunday. Fine this morning; in the afternoon the wind veered to S with rain. Mrs Knowles, cat, and kitten went back to Budleigh about 4.30 in a closed fly, rain commencing.

M, 6, _ Easter Monday. Universal holyday, not kept as a holy-day.

Th, 9, _ Telegram received, saying that the Russian troops trespassing in Afghanistan, have attacked an Afghan garrison, and killed 500 of them. Russia seems determined to provoke a war. This has occurred at the very time the Ameer of Afghanistan was on a friendship visit to the Governor General of India at Rawul Pindi, to consult together on the threatening look of affairs, and to consider what steps should be taken for the protection of the frontier. This is indirectly a great insult to England. Parliament meets tonight after the Easter recess, and I shall be curious to know what turn things will take.

Fri, 10, _ Attended meeting of Burial Board. Very little to do. Signed 3 papers respecting sale of grave spaces, etc. My new proposed vane was discussed.

In the H. of C. Last night Sir Stafford Northcote enquired what news from the east ? The Prime Minister gave an epitome of the news as received by various telegrams and the Russian excuses and attempted explanations. All very unsatisfactory.

Sat, Ap, 11, _ The sixth edition of the Sidmouth Guide, printed in 1979, Mr Letheby, the book seller here, and owner of the copyright, tells me is exhausted. At his request I have looked it over, and made certain alterations, so as to bring it down and to accommodate it to the present time. I originally wrote it so long ago as 1887.

Sun, 12, _ Fine weather but the cold N E wind continues. At church P.M. Afterwards met two Miss Lords, who used to live here. They arrived yesterday on a visit.

W, 15, _ England is plying Russia with questions and enquires relative to the recent affair in Afghanistan. She is full of excuses, crafty arguments, and flimsy explanations just to gain time and collect her forces; and as both sides mistrust each other, both are arming as if something serious were impending.

Th, 16, _ A day or two before, or a day or two after the first of April, which which (sic) I forgot to note down, as I was going through the churchyard, I observed The Broad Arrow, or government mark recently cut on one of the buttresses of the tower. The tower is of Perpendicular date, and is beautifully built of large blocks of the Salcombe yellow sandstone, so generally used in this neighbourhood in a former day, and very good stone too, if the best beds are selected. Tradition says the quarry was on the east and south east of Salcombe church (where the rough ground is), and that much of the stone used in Exeter cathedral came from there. On enquiring at the sexton’s house, his wife told me she had seen some strangers looking round the church, and they had a spyglass on three legs. I said I was sorry I had not seen them. I should have liked to have some conversation with them. The mark is on the right hand buttress, going into the west door, about 3 feet from the ground. The tower is 75 feet, to the top of the battlements. The west door step is 10 feet one inch above the coping stone of the Esplanade opposite the Bedford Hotel, but I should have liked to have known the height of the mark above sea level. There is an old Ordinance mark on the buttress of Salcombe church, and one on the Salcombe Pound, and one ( and I think copper bolts) on the little church tower in Newtonpopple ford. There are many also, on the milestones in the neighbourhood. I have recorded most of them in my MS. Hist. Of Sidmouth, in green vellum.

Fri, 17, The discussion on the subject of a coat of arms for the county of Devon has been carried on in the papers, but none have gone sufficiently far back in their authorities, so that I have been indued (sic) to write the letter here in print. They will not get an older example than that of Vortigern.

Sun, Ap, 19, _ “Primrose Day”, as it is now popularly called. This day four years ago died the great statesman the Earl of Beaconsfield, under whose government England had “peace, with honour.” Under the present Ministry we have had nothing but turmoil, agitation, and quarrelling in nearly every quarter of the globe, and now apparently we are on the eve of a war with Russia. When Mr Gladstone was canvassing the electors in Midlothian in March 1880, he promised them “peace, retrenchment, and reform”; -peace we have had none: retrenchment we have had none, for he began office by raising the Income Tax, and has raised it once or twice since, and our expenses this year are greater I believe than they have ever before been known: and reform has consisted in attacking several of the safe old institutions of the country - in admitting as his colleagues in the Ministry, one or two into the cabinet who are avowed Republicans, who have openly declared their detestation against the Royal family and the House of Lords, and have encouraged some very unseemly aggitation (sic) in that direction; and has now got a Reform Bill which will admit to the franchise some two millions of the lowest and least educated, which is a manoeuvre to curry favour with the mob. Few things however, have been more remarkable than Mr Gladstone’s favourable countenance towards Russia, in her political and military movements in Asia, frequently pleading that Russia had no intention, as alleged, of advancing her conquests towards India, though an inspection of maps shews us the successive advances and encroachments she has never ceased to make towards India. Within my own memory she has walked on from the Caspian eastwards protesting at the same time that she had no intentions of conquest, and immediately after she picks a quarrel with and invades the next state in her path. And now she has invaded Afghanistan, the last state that protects the northwestern frontier of India. The power that Mr Gladstone has hitherto encouraged, he must now prepare himself to check, whether he has been in the secret pay of Russia, or no. “Primrose Day!” Well, it is said the Earl of Beaconsfield loved primroses; and whether this is true or no, the rage for wearing bouquets of primroses on the anniversary of his death has become very general, especially by his admirers,- so much so, that vast quantities of them are collected in the country and sent up to London and sold for the occasion. I put a modest few in my button hole before I went to church, and I remarked that many gentlemen and several ladies wore them.

During the last three days we have jumped suddenly from winter into hot weather. The wind continues to the NE, but it has nearly died away. The nights are rather cold; but the quiet weather by day, a clear sky, and broiling sun, makes it feel like midsummer. The sea is like a pond: people are boating: others are sitting reading on the benches; other are basking on the shingle, and the nursemaids are at needle work, whilst they are watching the children.

Had an early tea and a chat with the Miss Lords, who are lodging at Glen View in the Western Fields. Lady Salt, the manufacturer’s widow, son and daughter, are in the same house. The Duke of Newcastle is or was at the Bedford. He is a young man of 21, rather lame, and report says, it was caused by a careless nurse; and Lord Teynham, a man of 84, was here a short time ago.

M, 20, _ Saw the first swallow. I am told however, that swallows have been seen, and the cookoo heard some ten days ago. If so it is very early.

Tu, 21, _ A nice little bill! Eleven millions asked for in Parliament. Is this Mr Gladstone’s promised “retrenchment?” Four and a half millions for works in Egypt, and six and a half millions for “special preparations,” which means the naval and military preparations now actively going on in anticipation of a certain war with Russia, for she seems bent upon it. When she sees that England is not afraid of war, and determined to resist wanton aggression, it is still hoped she will withdraw her troops from Afghanistan, and come to reasonable accommodation. Owing to the heat the exertions of active warfare are for the present suspended in Egypt. £750,000 are told off for the Suakim and Berber railway on part of the way only, and £400,000 for the Wady Halfa rail, and other purposes in Egypt. As regards the £6,500,000 for the Russian affair, £400,000 is for military purposes, and £2,500,000 for naval. The Income tax raised by Mr Gladstone up to 6, as part of his “retrenchment,” is expected to be put at 9 in the £.

Th. Ap. 23. 1885. I dislike letter writing but I like working on my book. Am about two thirds through the second vol. My correspondence has fallen into arrears, and I have now the disagreeable duty of working up lee-way.

Fr. 24. Negotiations between England and Russia are busily going on. Rumour says Russia shows signs of giving in, now she sees England so resolute.

Sat. 25. The old vane of the church tower with the date 1809 cut in the metal, is now taken down, and I understand a new one is to be made. As far as I have advised, the old plate with the date I have expressed a strong hope may be preserved and use again. It is gilt, and I presume it is a sheet of copper; and if so it can be easily utilised again.

M. 27. Mrs. Knowles, who came over with her cat last Saturday week at 9.00 AM from Budleigh, left at 8 this morning, cat and all. The papers say Dr. Bickersteth was consecrated Bishop of Exeter on Saturday in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Tu. 28. Selley, my gardener, who worked for me yesterday, cut the grass, weeded the gravel roads, and appeared in good health, was working in a garden this morning, and was taken with some sort of parasitic attack, and was obliged to be sent home in a carriage, totally helpless. These astonishing and painful events ought to be a warning to us all.

The papers of today speak of the vote for the £11,000,000 in the H of C. Last night. Only one member, Mr. A. O’Connor raised a discussion. He wished to separate the gross sum and consider it under its two divisions; but though Mr. Gladstone explained that the forces in Egypt could be available against Russia if necessity, thereby making it one, he nevertheless pressed his amendment and divided the house, but it was rejected. The numbers were 186 for it and 299 against it - majority 43. After this vote was carried without different or discussion. The conduct of Russia has united all parties.

W. 29. Breakfasted first time in Old Chancel - rather chilly.

Th. 30. Breakfasted in oak room again, and had a fire. Mr. Girdlestone my tenant at No. 4. Coburg Terrace, has finished putting up a light iron gate and fence before the house.

May 1885.


Fri. May 1. A trifling little sort of guide book or account of Sidmouth, which might have been a joint property between Mr. W. Harding Warner and myself, as I wrote it and he illustrated it, if I had not often given him all my right, title, and ownership in it by word of mouth and by letter, as too small to care about, he nevertheless desired to be made over to him. What I have given already, I have no objection to confirm by law. I have received from him a regular conveyance, in which I sell, and convey to him all my right, title, ownership, etc., in the said book, in consideration of the sum of ten shillings, the receipt of which I now acknowledge, Etc., Etc. I signed it and a Mr. Ede of Landsdowne, Sidmouth, witnessed my signature. We were both much amused. I am glad to be free of what is worth nothing. I took the ten shillings as a proof I have sold it. If this book is not tampered with or altered, it will not clash with Mr. Lethaby’s Sidmouth Guide, which I wrote in 1857, the seventh edition of which is now in preparation. (Apr. 11) and which I gave away by word of mouth when I wrote it.

Sat. 2. Thomas Selley the gardener died this morning about 5 o’clock, never having rallied. He lay unconscious with his eyes shut. He had some of the failings common to his class, but he had redeeming qualities that made me like him.

M. 4. The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Childers) on Thursday evening produced his budget, and has startled the nation by the amount. I have had the curiosity to look back and see what the national income has been during the last ten years. The ups and downs have been great. This does not indicate seasons of prosperity or adversity in the condition of the nation, so much as it does the outbreak of wars, and thereby the sudden demand for more money. The present Ministry got into office by denouncing the Conservatives as extravagant at home and intermeddling abroad. At the end of their first year, in 1881, they began unhampered with 72 million, since which their promised “retrenchment” has run the sum up to 100 millions. This is 88 million as income, (with odd thousands) and 11 million just voted. England never saw the like before.

Tu. 5. I see it stated in the paper that all the letters of the Alphabet are contained in the following sentence - A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. So they are; but some of the letters occur more than once, as - a=2, e=2, o=4, u=2, and r=2. It might be possible to construct a sentence in which every letter is used, and none twice.

W. 6. Mackerel 10 for a shilling - dined off them. The first this year - not very large.

Th. 7. May. The Duke of Marlborough, who has been behaving in a very irregular way of late, also has been selling off some of his heir looms, and other things. There have lately been two or three great sales of books and works of art, but mostly owing to deaths and changes in families. Besides the “Hamilton Sale,” there was the “Syston Park Sale” last December. At this latter the “Mazarin Bible,” printed by Gutenburg & Fust, sold to Mr. Quaritch the great Bookseller, (doubtless for other parties,) for £3.900. Also the Psalmorum Codex printed in 1459, sold to the same for £4,950.

The Rev. Professor Griffiths having lent me “The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament,” something led us one day to talk about the signification of the word (!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or!!!), as it is differently written or pointed, pronounced Yum or yohm, and meaning a day of 24 hours, but having also an extended and an indefinite signification. I have put down opposite some of the passages in the Old Testament, where is used,

Gen. 40. 4. “and they continued a season in ward.”

Ex. 13. 10. “Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from

year to year.”

Levit. 25. 29. “If a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city then he

may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold: within

a full year, may he redeem it.”

Judges. 15. 1. “But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat

harvest,” &c.

2. Sam. 23. 30. “he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time

of snow.”

Ps. 137. 7. “Remember O Lord the children of Edom in the day of


Jer. 17. 17. “thou art me hope in the day of evil.”

Hosea. 7. 5.” In the day of our king the princes have made.”

Micah 7. 11. “In the day that thy walls are to be built.”

and it will be seen how various and indistinct are the spaces of time indicated. Thus we have - “a season,” - “year to year,”-”within a while,”-”in tome of wheat.”-”in time of snow,”-”in the day of Jerusalem,”-”in the day of evil,”-”in the day of our king,”-”in the day that walls are to be built,”-”not meaning a single day of 24 hours, but a space or period when something was to take place, or would be effected. As applied to Geology, it was always imagined that the Creation of the world took six days of 24 hours to begin and end, and people pointed the Bible as their authority; but when Geologists, as the result of their studies, declared that there was incontestable proof that it must have taken very much more time than the said six days of 24 hours each, they were denounced, as Galileo was, for going contrary to Divine writ. The Bible is right, and Geology is right, and both being Divine works they cannot contradict each other; but the Bible is in a foreign and an ancient language; and Geology, the history, changes, and construction of the earth, is a comparatively new study, and neither of them have been thoroughly well understood. The light is only beginning in some minds to dawn. Do we not sometimes use our English word “day” in a very different sense from the limited space of 24 hours? Do we? I should like to see an instance, cries Mr. Smith. Suppose someone ask the question - “When did the intended invasion of the Spanish Armada occur?” Answer - In Queen Elizabeth’s day. Or When did the plague rage in London? In Charles the Second’s day. Not a day of 24 hours, for these things were a long time in their action. It is necessary for people to understand a thing thoroughly before they can pronounce upon it.

The weather is now very showery, and chilly, only 44’ this afternoon, and quite a winter temperature. Yesterday at 3 P.M. a clap of thunder. Lightening occurred last night and this morning.

Received a rubbing of the Brass now being made by Gawthorpe of 16 Long Acre to be put in Croydon Church to the memory of my great-grandfather.

The Rev. N.A. Garland, Vicar of St. Mattew, Brixton, and Mrs. Garland, strangers here, called, being curious to know something of the Old Chancel. They seemed much interested.

Fri. 8. White frost on the ground at 5.45 this morning, and hail in the afternoon, but a hot sun, and I have on me a worse cold than I have had all the winter.

The Rev. Lawrence called. I did not know him. Thirty years ago he was a boy of 15 here, and we used to ramble over the hills together. He is now Rector of Closworth, near Yeovil, Somerset.

Young woman called Sarah Ann Hanley, having had a quarrel or dispute with her sweetheart, jumped from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a height of 250 feet. It happened that the tide was out, and she fell upon the mud, and not killed. She is the sixteenth person that has jumped over the bridge, and all killed but herself.

Tu. 12. Yesterday the hills of Monmouthshire and South Wales were covered with snow. The cold winds still continue.

Yesterday in the House of lords, whilst the Duke of Argyll was speaking, Lord Dormer was taken ill with some kind of fit, and the sitting was suspended. This reminded me of Lord Chathem illness in the House, and Copley’s picture.

Mr. Stephens, who was with Sir Peter Lumsden in Afghanistan at the time of the Russian attack, has been sent for by the Ministry, to give information. He has arrived over land in 19 days.

Fri. 15. The allowance of £15.000, and £6.000 p an. For the Princess Beatrice and her marriage, was proposed in the H. of C. yesterday. After some resistance on the part of several Radicals and Republicans, who are out of place in a constitutional government, the vote was carried by 337 to 38 - majority 299.

S. 16. Dr. Radford called. He spoke in terms of just admiration of the Rev. Mr. Creeny’s new book on the Continental Brasses of Europe, and excellent fac-simile illustrations. I was asked to subscribe, but having no wife or children to collect books for, I think if would be better not to buy. I was the means of his subscribing, for I handed my prospectus over to him. Like myself, and the same age, he has neither wife nor children to collect for, but he cannot resist pretty things, be they books or works of art, though he laments that at his death, all his collection will probably be scattered. I have just however received the Rev. Mr. Lukis’s folio volume devoted to the stone circles, cairns, cromlechs, and monoliths of Cornwall, entitled Prehistoric Cornwall, published under the auspices of the Society of Antiquaries of London. I have been one of their Local Secretaries for 20 years. It is profusely illustrated with plans, sections, and elevations, stamped in colours, apparently with lithographic stones.

He told me some curious anecdotes about the Earl of Dudley, who died a week or two ago. Dudley House in Park Lane is known to most people who walk through Hyde Park. It is said that the Earl used to be a little out of his head sometimes, or confused, or a subject of hallucinations, and one day he went to the celebrated Physician Sir Charles Locock, and said he was very much perplexed and troubled in mind, and should be glad of his advice. Having a title and great wealth to leave, it was a matter of great importance to him to know who his next heir would be, but it so happened that certain circumstances had arisen which had thrown him out of his calculations, and given him great trouble. He said his wife was in the family way, and he had discovered that he was so himself, and it was an anxious question with him which child might be born first, and which one would have the greatest right to succeed, and whether his would succeed if it was born first? Sir Charles enjoyed this story, and put the Earl off, and quieted his mind with some fine drawn and philosophical distinctions, but the story was too good to keep, and he made a joke of it, and amongst other persons, he told it to a friend of Dr. Radford, who told him. The Earl has died at 68, and he is succeeded by his son aged 18, and I have no doubt it is the son of his wife.

Recurring to Mr. Creeny’s book, I observed that there are one or two Brasses of very early date on the Continent. The earliest Brasses I believe in England, are those of Sir John d’Aubernon, ob. 1277, and Sir Roger de Trumpington, ob. 1280, which is preserved in Cambridgeshire. Plate armour came in about 1400, and solerets went out about 1480.

Th. 21. A new Life Boat arrived to day by Rail, and it was then got off the rails and brought down on a carriage by horses to the Life Boot House, at the east end of the beach.

Fri. 22. The new Vane put up on the tower to-day. They have not followed my model. They have regilt the fly with the date. The fly is soldered on to a tube, stopped at the top, either with a piece of brass, bronze, or gun metal, or with an agate, or some hard stone, with a shallow hole or depression, and supported on the hard point of a steel rod. The plug is at A, and I put a small ornament over it, so as not to make the Vane top heavy, and a rather long, though light, tube down to B, and hanging from the top like a pendulum, Wd would steady the Vane, and keep it from wobbling. As far as I can see with a telescope, there is no tube below the Vane, and there is a long rod over the plug in the new one.


Sat. May 23. A few days ago a small house called Eglantine, near Rosemount and Pebblestone Cottage, was put up for auction. The market value was from £450 to £500. Mr. Cox, brother of Mrs. Melhuish of Greenmount, near Seed or Sid, against the side of Salcombe Hill, has given £705 for it, but then he wanted it, and a friend of the seller bid against him to run it up.

Very cold air. Storms of wind and rain from the west. Yesterday in the afternoon only 47 - quite winter temperature; to-day 55. Finished digging up flower bed, and planted out geraniums and Lobelia.

Report says that the new cottages for the men of the Preventive Service are begun, on the side of Salcombe Hill. They have been talking about them for years.

Sun. 24. The Queen’s Birthday. No demonstration here, but a few peals on the church bells, and the National Anthem on the organ. Temperature improved - 59’.

M. 25. Whit Monday. A general holiday; but the holiday people were sadly disappointed, for there was a chilly rain nearly all day. No harm to the farmer.

Fri. 29. King Charles’s Day, as some call it. When I was a lad this used to be a great day at Tiverton. Men used to carry about a little boy seated in a bower made of oak branches and leaves, and sing loyal and patriotic songs, which group represented Monarchy and the King - the King of course being a young King Charles the Second. Then Cromwell and Republicanism, was represented by a rough looking man, with his face and hands blackened with soot and greece, with a long rope tied round his waist and dragging behind him, like the tail of the evil one, and he was called “Old Oliver.” He would now and then pretend to threaten or attack the young king in the oak, and have a hand to hand fight with sticks, with the group who carried him, and then “Old Oliver” would make a dash into the crowd who fled in horror and he would smut all he could catch. Such a mode of celebrating the day, I do not recollect to have heard of elsewhere.

Sat. 30. Went by rail into Honiton after breakfast, to look for lodgings for self and servant for a few weeks. Difficulty in getting any, as it is not the practice as it is by the sea side. Looked at 2 or 3 in the street, but the rooms are too much piled one over another. Was told of a house in the country, half a mile north, on the road to Awliscombe. More space - nice garden - much better. Think I shall go there. Returned. Orchards in full blossom every where.

Sun. 31. Mr. Jenkinson the Curate did the whole duty in the afternoon, and took part of the Revelation for his sermon.


June 1885.


M. June 1. I am informed by Mr. Gawthorp of Long Acre that the Brass to the memory of Governor Hutchinson is completed, and fixed in Croydon Church.

W. June 3. Paid for it, as follows, this day -

Brass, and engraving 10.. 10.. 0.

Gray marble slab 2.. 10.. 0.

Fixing, &c. 10.. 0.

Vicar’s fee 5.. 5.. 0.

£16.. 15.. 0.

Curiously enough it is 105 years to the very day since the Governor died.

He died June 3, 1780.












HE WAS BORN SEPr 9TH. 1711, AND DIED JUNE the 3RD. 1780,



Th. 4. Hot weather came in suddenly with the first of the month, and I left off fires entirely for the first time. Sitting still reading or writing all the evening, one’s feet get cold. Now fires can be dispensed with altogether. Changed my bedroom yesterday for the summer.

M. 8. At two this afternoon I started in a close carriage from Sidmouth to Honiton, and took my invalid servant. For the last 2 or 3 days the weather has changed to fog, mist, and rain - very good for vegetation, and making everything grow. The carriage was obliged to be shut, for it drizzled or rained all the way. The mist was so thick that nothing was visible beyond a few yards. On the wild top of Honiton Hill, the few furze bushes that were near enough to be seen, were one bright mass of yellow blossom. I had taken three of the best room’s in the house at Oakmount, Mr. and Mrs. Broom, where they only asked me 14/-s a week, I being much surprised, as the same would be at least double that amount at Sidmouth. The house is a quarter of a mile north-west of Honiton on the Awliscombe road, and just as we were nearing the house, such a deluge of rain came down suddenly, like a violent thunder storm, that the driver got down and got close to the hedge, leaving the carriage and horse, and it was ten minutes before we drew up to the house.

Tu. 9. Finished a little article on “Honey ditches,” which I hope to read at the meeting of the Devonshire Association at Seaton at the end of July.

Took a walk through some of the street of Honiton. Towards evening had a nice walk on the Awliscombe road, over the Otter river by the old stone bridge covered with ivy, and past the Lodge entrance to “Tracey, which I believe is the freehold of Mr. Newmann. The mansion and park had belonged to the family of Lot the Banker, but when the firm of Flood and Lot went smash some 30 years ago, and ruined hundreds, the estate was in the market. The only time I ever saw Mr. Newmann was at the meeting of the Devonshire Association in July 1868, when he read a very well delivered paper on Railways, he being a Civil Engineer as was said; but he married a lady with a very long purse, the daughter of a distiller or Cotton Lord I was told. Whose widowed mother for some time rented Mr. Marker’s place at Combe, and her money bought Tracey, and as money is the great power of this world, it got him seated on the Magistrate’s Bench, as well as housed in a comfortable manner.

W. June 10. A crash in Parliament! On Monday night the Gladstone Ministry was out-voted on a small matter, and are going to resign. They proposed to tax beer and spirits. An amendment proposed in the House of Commons by Sir M. Hicks-Beack not to tax beer and spirits without taxing wine, so as to equalise the principle and commercial policy of the impost. After a long debate, the numbers were 252 for the motion, and 264 for the Amendment - majority against the government 12.

W. 11. Ada Robins, aged eleven, daughter of Mrs. Robins, of Honiton, who is niece to my servant, comes to see her aunt, or rather great-aunt, every day. She has a talent for music. There is a piano in the house, and I have got her already to read her notes, and to play Rousseau’s Dream in C on the piano.

Fri. 13. Received the office copy of Governor Hutchinson’s Will from the Will Office Somerset House, London, for which I had written before I left Sidmouth.

S. 14. The sky has been clear all week, and the sun intensely hot.

Su. 15. I was at the new church, so called, built I believe some 40 years ago in the main street. It is an indifferent attempt at late Norman. There are 7 bays down the nave, and 14 clere-story windows. The bases of the large columns are too much like Roman Doric. The organ is at the east end of the north gallery. Circular apse -

half-dome ceiling painted blue, no stars; ribs of chroms patterns; two painted windows, between which a large oil painting of the dead Christ, dark in colour, in tall square gilt frame, covering the centre apsidal circular-headed window, by no means harmonising in general effect. Communion Table covered, to represent an Alter. It should be noted that this church has been built north and south, and not east and west, so that the points of the compass are all thrown out

In the afternoon there was a visit to Mr. Robins‘s grave, in the burial ground of the old church, and a tea at Mrs. Robins‘s.

M. 16. The Queen is at Balmoral. The Marquis of Salisbury was sent for and gone - has returned - and has been commissioned to form a Ministry.

The Rev. Wm. Downes, the new Rector of Combe Rawleigh, called on me. As a rising Geologist I have known him for some years at the annual meeting of the Devonshire Association.

Went down over the stone bridge, and turned into the meadow on the lift, and opposite the Lodge of Tracey, and made a watercolour sketch of the bridge.

Tu. June 17. Called on Mr. Macawley, whom I slightly know some years ago, and who has connexions in Sidmouth. He is a Surgeon, and is Mayor of Honiton this year.

Fri. 20. It is now announced that, after some delays, owing to the difficulty of exacting promises from retiring Ministers and their party that they would not try to annoy and obstruct the new Ministers by factious opposition, a Ministry has been formed. The Marquis of Salisbury is to be Prime Minister, and not Sir Stafford Northcote as most people expected. He has had hard work enough, and Her Majesty has offered him an Earldom, and he is to go to the House of Lords as Earl of Iddesleigh, of that Ilk, in the north of Devon, where he has much land, as well as near Exeter.

A battery of guns, with limbers, &c. were standing in the broad street, and going on to-morrow towards Okehampton, to practice on Dartmoor.

Sun. 21. Longest day. This morning I found the street full of soldiers and guns, on their way back from Dartmoor. They arrived last night, and go on early tomorrow morning. There are two batteries of some six guns each, and of different patterns. One pattern had the fore sight over the muzzle, and the back behind the vent, and the other had two sets of sights to each gun, one, half way down on each side of the vent, with the fore sights no further forward than the trunnions. And the uniforms of the men differed. Those of one battery had busbies, and the others had dark helmets set of with brass. They fell in in the street - were inspected - the Volunteer band preceded them, and they all marched to the church. I had intended to go there myself, but it was doubtful whether I could have got in.

Scarcely had the band stopped, when I heard a big drum in another direction, and I waited to see. This was the “Salvation Army,” a new sect started about ten years ago by a man called Booth, in which they copy the general arrangements of a military body, having their Generals, Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, and non-commissioned officers, women as well as men, and they have now got detachments in many towns in Great Britain, and on the Continent. They have in a great degree sought publicity and notoriety - perhaps it is a part of their system, and they may think that it will make them better known and gain converts - and a part of their military display is, to march through the streets before they hold their service, with flags, music, and singing, as in the sketch above, and all this has given opportunity to the evil disposed among the mob to jeer at them, and even to obstruct and to hustle them, so that there have been on end of cases of assault and battery before the Magistrates, and Honiton has frequently been in an uproar. The procession above is as I saw it this morning; and I had never seen a part of the Salvation Army before, for they have not been to Sidmouth. First, there marched a man carrying a flag. It was a red flag with a blue border, and a large eight pointed star in the middle. Next followed two men dressed with some slight additions to their every day dress, to look like uniforms, and they appeared to have on scarlet shirts or Jerceys, with their coats over, but the fronts looked like scarlet waistcoats. The man who appeared to be the Captain or leader came next and he frequently turned round and walked backwards, singing and clapping his hands to keep time. Many of the others joined also in clapping the hands. This man had on a scarlet Jersey, and nothing over it, and I think a military cap. The words “Salvation Army” were worked on the fronts of them in yellow worsted. Then a man with a big drum, and I think one with a cornopean. Then four young women, one rather tall, with tambourines, playing and singing. They were all dressed alike in blue dresses of serge or cloth, and queer shaped bonnets of wheat looked to me like black straw, and with a dark blue ribbon. They conducted themselves modestly enough. After them came friends and supporters marching 2 and 2, being actual members, who had been duly admitted. They require certain promises from candidates, one being to forswear strong drink.

I had a curiosity to go to their service. They met in King Street. It is hard to describe what it is, it was so irregular, - made up of singing hymns, addresses not only from the chief members, as of the Band &c., but from some sitting among the congregation - then a hymn - then a chapter in the New Testament, read and expounded by the man in the scarlet Jersey, and his expounding seemed to be orthodox and scriptural - then one of the young women would get up and give out, and lead the voices in a hymn, without music, or commence an address herself. In making these addresses, which consisted in a revelation of their own religious thoughts, convictions, and experiences, the speakers generally began in quiet tones, but soon warming in their subject, they ran on with the greatest volubility, and sometimes with eyes shut, and their voice increasing almost to a scream, and then rather abruptly, and sit down. During a hymn a man went round with a money box. I put in a shilling, which was probably the largest coin there, for the worshipers were of the poorer classes. After singing, the service ended with a Blessing, given something like that at church.

I am glad I went, because they have made a noise, and have caused great disturbances. All they want however is - to be let alone. Disturbers have often gone to their services to jeer, laugh, smoke, read newspaper, and interrupt them, and collisions frequently occur in the street. There were no disturbers at the service to-day. If they are let alone, I am persuaded they can do no harm. Their style of worship would not suit the high bred or educated, but among a certain class they may catch those who never go anywhere, and consequently may do good in that direction.

Mon. June. 22. A man called Arthurs missing from his home in Honiton since last Wednesday. Police enquiring every where, dragging the river, &c, &c.

Tu. 23. Took a walk to Clapper Lane Bridge. Mr. Heineken and several times passed over it in driving to Dunkeswell, Hemyock, &c.

Still searching for the missing man. He has a wife and family here. His affairs and accounts are said to be satisfactory. He was Agent for some Company here, but has paid up all accounts. Report to-day that he was seen on the Tiverton road.

Rev. W. Downes called. Walked with him down over “Stoney Bridge.”

W. 24. Midsummer Day. Warm, but fog, and occasional drizzle. Gave the day to the disagreeable duty of writing letters - to cousin Rev. Preb. H., Dr. Oliver, Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Ed. Walford, Mr. J.B. Davidson, and Mr. Scrivens.

I dislike letter writing, but enjoy book writing or articles on science, art, &c,

Man turned up in London! His conduct is a mystery.

Enquired for Farquarson’s History of Honiton. It is now scarce and out of print. With some difficulty got a sight of a copy with Clark, Bookseller but was not for sale. It is a thin small, square quarto, on toned paper.

Th. 25. The members of the Forester’s Club held their yearly celebration at Tracey, by permission of Mr. Neuman. I saw their picturesque procession, but not go into Tracey grounds. There were three flags on Tracey house - English, French, and American.

Fri. 26. Wrote a good deal at my book, having more leisure here than at home. Got a letter since I have been here, from Dr. Oliver of Boston, Massachusetts, who hopes I shall print a second vol. and to whom I wrote on Wednesday.

Called, and had a long chat with Mr. and Mrs. Macawley.

S.27. Took a run down to Seaton by rail;- 33 minutes from Honiton to Seaton. As the Devonshire Association meets there in three weeks, made some enquiry relating to lodgings. Walked out to the church. Years ago I was here with Mr. Ellacombe, Rector of Clyst St. George, and I think we went up among the bells. The tower is low, and the trees out-top it, so that the tower is not seen at a distance. Since I was here, the interior of the church, as I perceived on entering, has been all altered, restored, and new seated. The reredos, and glass in E. and S.E. windows are new; two hagioscopes, of different sizes; no handsome monuments, but everything clean and neat. A widow lady about 45 was in the entrance under the tower arranging some flowers to put on a grave, according to the new fashion imported from the continent. Sauntered some time round the churchyard. There are a number of handsome monuments in it. The ground is large and very well kept, and it is situated at the edge, and on the west side of the great estuary of the river Axe, or what was once so, and possibly the water at an early period washed the east side of the burial ground, which is 10 to 15 feet above the flat meadows. Sand and mud have accumulated where once was water; and the sexton told me that ribs and other pieces of old ship timber, have, more than once been dug up, and further away from the sea than we then were, and more towards Axmouth, which is on the other side, and a good mile off.

I found a style at the SE. corner of the church yard, and a pretty walk along the edge of the meadows back to the beach, and came out in the road behind the grass mound on which it is said a battery was erected in the time of Hen. VIII. Or Eliz. to keep off pirates.

Being broiled in a hot sun, thirsty, and hungry, I went to a Coffee Tavern with beautiful views from a bow window, and had coffee, bread, butter, and ham. Then I went and called on Mr. Merrington, at the Castle, so called. He was four years tenant of my house No 4 Coburg Terrace, Sidmouth. He lost his first wife there, and has now a second.

Sauntered about the beach eastward; paid a penny toll, and went over the new bridge that spans the Axe, and which is built of concrete. A fine fish - a Salmon nearly a yard long - leapt out of the water. The tide was coming in, and the river running upwards. At 5 P.M. I took the rail to return; was at Honiton at 5.40, and at Oakmount by 6.

Sun. June 28. Walked up to town - a little stiff in the legs. The bells of the church not having been begun, I sauntered about the shady side of the street. But the time approached and nearly arrived, whilst I waited - and no bells. I asked the reason - “The service is up at the old church above the Station this morning Sir.” Oh indeed - well, I started off to walk up New Street - but it was near half a mile up hill, with a blazing sun in my face, and I was late. I knew I should get hot, and perhaps I should sit in a draught with doors open, and get a cold or a chill. Better be prudent, and I went into the Wesleyan Chapel in New Street, where I was shewn a seat, and a hymn book was given to me. It may be 25 feet wide, 35 long, and 20 high. The congregation was not large. They had a harmonium. The leading female voice good and strong. They sang a hymn - them an interval - a prayer - a hymn - another prayer - chapters in the Bible read, alternating with psalms and hymns - then a very good extempore sermon about 20 minutes long by quite a young man very fluently delivered, - a hymn - and the Blessing. I think Wesley did not intend his followers to leave the Established church. In the three Sundays I have been at Honiton, I have been at three different places of worship. If they are all orthodox, and all take their stand upon the Bible, why not be one body, and worship together? People differ on a few external and immaterial forms, as if they were of the greatest importance, and then they separate.

M. 29. Walked up to Honiton old church, half a mile south of the town. Curious that the parish church should be so far from the town. They tell you that the town was once up there, and that the chief thoroughfare east and west was then near the church. The stream that rises in Ring-in-the-mire on the hill south, and passes under the street at the lower part of the town in its way northwards, and falls into the Otter just below “Stoney Bridge,” near Tracey, is called Giseage, from Gitt’s hedge by Gittisham parish, as in Farquharson’s Hist. of Honiton. The lower portion of it they say was once a public road, but now a water course.

But I went up to see the inside of the church. The woman at the neat and pretty cottage (the cottage was prettier as a cottage than the woman as a woman) went with me and opened the door. I fancied that the flag stone floor of the middle aisle gradually ascended from west to east. I think Payhembury and some others do the same. The Font, in the Tower, is a somewhat curious structure, built up of Beer stone and Purbeck apparently. The church was partly restored 3 or 4 years ago. New glass in east window, and SE. window, of better quality. The great beauty is the oak screen across the church. The design & the carving are first-class when examined critically. I have carved oak enough myself to know how to appreciate this and despise my own. The horizontal string courses all over the upper font are gilt; but not to bright, but only enough to enrich the oak and improve the general effect. This splendid skreen used to be blue or gray, if I remember right, having had plenty of coats of lead colour oil paint with white veins, to imitate stone or marble. I copied a few coats of arms. On the floor, towards the south-east, incised in the flay-stone, an old one to John Blagdon, 1694. Some say Blagdon is only a contraction of Black-down. The name of Marwood is an old one here about, which has merged into that of Tucker and others. On the one or more monuments, are the coats of arms, which I took down; and also that of Honywood, in which last the tincture of the Bird’s heads is faded out, and indistinct. There is a monument at the SE corner to Sir James Shepherd. He gave the yew trees from his garden, that make such a beautiful avenue in the churchyard. Glanced at the tomb of James Rodge, “Bone-lace Siller,” [seller] 1617; alter tomb at 24 feet NE of Chancel to Nathaniel Knott, 1684; ditto Edward Searle, 1607, N. of N. Porch, 20 feet. &c. Very pretty churchyard.


Tu. 30. Set off from Oakmount to walk through the fields, to call on the Rev. W. Downes, at the Rectory, Combe Rawley. Went down the road, over Stoney Bridge, so called, then near Tracey, up the river through the meadows, where they were hay making, then over a stile or two, and when I saw the house above me on the hill side, I wanted to steer direct for it, but could see no path; and though I went to the top of a large field, could find no gate, stile, or opening, so I came down again. The air was sultry, the sun burning, and all too hot for continued rambling, but I went on to a farm house, though leaving the Rectory on my left, and getting further away from it, in order that I might enquire; but though I got into the farm yard, and reconnoitred the house, and knocked at the door, I could find nothing and nobody but ducks and chickens. I suppose they were all in the fields. Had I been a few summers younger, perhaps I should have gone on and persevered, regardless of circuits, wanderings, and entanglements, but as it was, I sauntered quietly back.


July 1885.


Fri. July 3. Dog days begin, the Almanac says. It is time to be thinking of a place called home. I have decided on returning to Sidmouth on Monday next. I have done as much work at my second vol. as if I had been in the Old Chancel, and perhaps more; but now I shall put away my papers preparatory to packing.

Sat. 4. Finished reading A Farquarson’s “History of Honiton”, lent me by Mr. Macauley, Mayor of Honiton this year. It is a thin and a small size quarto. It is a book that well deserves commendation, for it contains many facts in history that have been industriously collected, and which ought to be preserved. It was brought out in the autumn of the year 1868, now 17 years ago. Of course a great deal more might be collected on the subject of a place like Honiton, and as I am told the author contemplates working at a second Edition, I hope he will do it thoroughly.

And also finished skimming through “Wanderings in Devon,” by W.H.H. Rogers, of Colyton. This little book contains amusing descriptions of visits to ruins and places of interest in the SE quarter of the county - not very deep and historical, but amusing to general readers. It was published in 1869. About 1880 Mr. Rogers brought out a large and valuable work on the old recumbent figures and monuments in the churches in one section of the county, duly illustrated, and of 4to size. He shewed me a copy at Chard, Sep. 20, 1881. He would deal in the same way with the other sections of the county, but I am told the expense of the illustrations is very considerable.

In the Wanderings in Devon, there are many specimens of verse scattered through the book, I presume by Mr. Rogers himself. Most are good and some are better than good. Two stanzas in the style of “Childe Harolde”, at pages 165 and 166, are extremely pleasing.

Sun. July 5. At St. Paul’s church, in the town of Honiton - the Rector, Mr. Sadler, and a Curate. I am told that Mr. Sadler is not an old man, but his style, appearance, manner, and movements, are those of a very old one. The Royal Arms have a more prominent and permanent place than is usual in most churches, they being represented commonly in an old painting, which the Ritualistic or ultra High Church party are trying to push out of our churches altogether, wishing, like the Roman Catholics, that the supremacy of the Crown should not interfere with their own. In this church, over the semicircular chancel arch, there is a large circular disc, some five feet in diameter, coeval with the building of the church, surrounded by a bold moulding, all within being occupied by the Royal Arms, Supporters, &., deeply carved in Beer stone. Being all white, this medallion is not glaring or obtrusive, and it looks solid and architectural.

M. 6. W. Spencer’s carriage came over from Sidmouth to Honiton, and took me and my servant back. The weather was fine, the views all round when passing over the great intervening hill, known as Gittisham Hill, and Honiton Hill, were beautiful, and I wished the journey of 9 miles had been doubled. The foxgloves in blossoms of crimson, were most abundant. I have often brought these home, and put them in vases for there showy beauty; but when taken out of the bright light, they soon fade out, becoming whiter every day. Some 30 years ago, when railways were being promoted in Devonshire, I have been told that an Engineer levelled from the Esplanade, Sidmouth, over this hill to Honiton, that Honiton was 200 feet above the Esplanade, and that the hill, near the 6-mile stone, was 800 feet above the level of the sea.

There is a long descent of nearly two miles, at the bottom of which is Cotford, where Mrs. Brayley lives, and then soon after pass through Sidbury. On driving through I caught sight of the church tower, which has just been so strangely metamorphosed in the hands of the restorer that I did not recognise it. From a plain Norman tower, with a pyramidal roof covered with shingles, we have now got an ornamental battlement, pinnacles, and the top half of a spire, but I do not see how it is supported, unless it is made of very light wood. The circular headed Norman windows of the bell chamber remain.

I reached home by five in the afternoon.

Tu. 7. The Conservative Parliament has now met, and the first Division took place last night. The atheist Bradlaugh again attempted to take his seat, Motion made (as before) that he was incapable of taking the oath. Amendment - that he be allowed to affirm. Division taken. For the Amendment - 219; against - 263; Majority against the Amendment 44. On the original motion being put it was agreed to, which gave the majority of 44 to the Ministry, and Bradlaugh retired.

Wed. July 8. The greater part of the day drawing a map of the valley of the river Axe, from Seaton to Axminster, to illustrate a paper on “Honeyditches,” which I intend to read at Seaton about the 22nd. It is going to London to be lithographed, and 700 copies taken.

Th. 9. Went to Miss Radford, lace dealer, to see a lace fan, subscribed for by the ladies of Sidmouth, and made here, to be given ti the Princess Beatrice for a wedding present. The lace was certainly very beautiful, looking so fine, and white, and delicate, with very graceful designs. The handle was mother-of-pearl, glowing with prismatic colours. There was also a long box to keep it in, of lavender gray enameled, with an oblong silver plate engraved, stating that it was from the Ladies of Sidmouth.

Fri. 10. Had the Oak Room turned out, dusted, and cleaned. Some of the Artillery I saw in Honiton on the longest day, came here to-day varying the route from Okehampton.

Sat. July 11. Went to Mr. Bray this morning, and he took a photograph of the old coat of arms on vellum. If I publish the second vol. I think of giving this coat of arms, and printed in colour if not too expensive.

The cholera has been very bad in Spain lately; for some weeks hundred of cases and scores of deaths daily. The worst now seens to be past. On Sunday July 5, the numbers reached 1539 cases, and 825 deaths.

The first Jewish Peer has been made, in the person of Lord de Rothschild, who took his seat July 9, introduced by the Earl of Roseberry and Baron Carrington.

Sun. July 12. At the Parish Church - the curate, Mr. Jenkinson preached. This afternoon there was a stir on the beach among the fishermen. They saw the back fin of a great fish above the water moving about, and thought it belonged to a shark. They put nets round it and got it on shore. It did not resist much. They put boat sails round it, and admitted such of the public as gave them a few pence. They sent up to me. I went down and made a sketch of it. There is a large one now preserved in the Exeter Museum, but not so large as this. It is 6.f,, 6.in. long, and 3.f,, 8.in high, and from 12 to 15 inches thick. The sun-fish, though not common on this coast, is occasionally met with.

Mon. 13. I did not hear of the Sunfish till this morning, or go down to see it, though I have put the particulars under yesterday. And what I did yester-evening, I will put down to-day. At 7 in the evening I walked up the Salcombe Fields by the river to see Mr. Scrivens, and a Mr. Stone, an architect, staying with him. They had gone to see Sidbury Church, but they soon returned. Stayed and had tea with them. They are as astonished as I am at strange liberties taken with the tower, the more so as the work is in the hands of Mr. Christian, who is Architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

Walked back about nine miles, in the dusk of the evening.

And this day, Monday, I drove out to Core Hill and had an afternoon party with several friends, to see Captain Christy’s roses.

Tu. July 14. Went down to the beach after breakfast to put what may be termed a few finishing touches to my sketch of the Sunfish, when I learnt that he had been too strong for his guardians. They reminded me of the present heat of the weather - that he was a fish out of water - that the sun was bright and hot - that so far from attracting visitors near him, they rather preferred making a wide circuit round him - that, as regarded themselves, they didn’t want to be poisoned - so they once more launched him into the deep, and set him adrift.

W. 15. Called on Mr. Kennet-Were, Cotlands, and had a long talk with him on various subjects - America among them, in which he is interested, as he claims to be connected with General Pownall’s second wife, Mrs. Astell, who had been a Miss Kennet.

While there Col. Stansfield of “The Lodge,” closeby, came in.

Th. 16. My landlord and Landlady, Mr. and Mrs. Broom, of Oakmount, beyond Honiton, came over to Sidmouth, and had tea at the Old Chancel before they left.

Fri. 17. Called on Col. Stansfield, and paid him a long visit.

Sat. 18. This morning some fishermen drove up something covered over with a cloth. To was a shark nearly six feet long, and the thickest part of the body near as thick as my own body. It got entangled in a drift mackerel net, and with some trouble the men secured it. Very rarely do sharks come so far north, but for the last six weeks the weather has been fine and hot. Many years ago I think I saw a dead shark on the beach, but nothing like so large as this. I should think this one very dangerous to life and limb, if met with in the water by bathers or others.

Called on Mr. Jenkinson, the Curate. His eldest daughter, her husband, and some young children, have just come from Zulu land, S. Africa for a few months. They have brought with them a young nurse in the person of a Zulu girl of eleven, who wears her native dress, the outer coverings being of skins cured or tanned, and embroidered with different colour beads, &c., and no shoes or stockings. She was sitting on the grass under a tree with the youngest children, and I went to her. I talked to her, and shook hands with her, and examined her hands and arms, and as I had some sugar plums for the children, I gave her some, at which she laughed, and was much pleased. She knows nothing of English, but she and the children talk Zulu together.

Mon. July 20. Went to attend the meeting of the Devonshire Association at Seaton. There was great difficulty in getting a lodging at Seaton, as we are now at the period of the year when people are enjoying their summer “outings,” as they term them, so I lodged in Honiton, and went down by rail every morning. An intelligent man in the train told me that the tunnel through the hill east of Honiton is a mile and a quarter long. Great difficulty was encountered by the breaking in of copious springs of water whilst the work was in progress. I was also told that the eastern end of the tunnel is 30 feet lower than the western end.

Tu. 21. Though I took up my quarters yesterday at Honiton, I did not go down to Seaton till to-day, when work begins. Attended a meeting of the Council at two, The General Meeting at four I did not care about, so I sauntered about the beach. Went and looked at and laughed at the word MORIDUNUM inserted in black flints out side the concrete wall, outside the earth mound on the eastern half of the beach. The old motion that Moridunum was at Seaton is quite exploded. In Roberts’s History of Lyme, or one of his amusing books, he says that this is an artificial mound, which was thrown up, and a battery with guns erected on the top of it, in or about (I think) the reign of Henry VIII., to keep off the pirates. Walked half a mile westward of the town, and made a rough coloured sketch of the cliffs looking westward towards Beer. Last Friday 17th., a quantity of the “White Cliff” fell down into the sea, and there it lies at the base. Returned to Honiton in the evening.

W. 22. Went down again. Read my paper on “Honeyditches”, a word supposed to have been corrupted from Hanna, the name of a Danish Chieftain who landed on the coast, and ditches, in allusion to the earthworks he threw up to fortify himself on Little Cooch Hill, where a camp remained down to Stukely’s time. It was a roundish oval, containing three acres in area. - Returned.

Th. 23. Down again. The programme of Papers was finished to-day; but some excursions to places of interest in the neighbourhood had been organised, but I did not go, as I know most of them already; - so I returned.

Fri. 24. Honiton Fair this week. I did not think there was a fair in the country kept up as this one is. The noise - the crowds of people, the shows, the booths, and the excesses in eating and drinking - would be much better put an end to. The fair is proclaimed on the morning about eleven or 12 o’clock, by a man who carries a large glove, nearly half a yard long, tied on a pole in a bunch of laurels, or such like evergreen, and is accompanied by a man who rings a bell, or does it himself. He is generally followed by a bevy of children, and he occasionally stops, rings his bell, and proclaims the fair open in the following words, or wards to their effect:-

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! - the Fair’s begun;

No man can be arrested till the Fair is done.

The old Norman French word oyez = the Imperative second person plural of ouir, to hear, they now pronounce as in English O yes! We are told that by virtue of an old charter, all felons and debtors can come freely and without fear of arrest as long as the fair lasts, which is until noon on Friday: a Policeman however, told me, to whom I was talking on the subject, that a soldier had, at all events, been arrested for desertion. The glove is said to typify open-handed and fair dealing.

There is one custom at Honiton fair that ought to be put down, because it encourages to unconscionable gormandising and drinking. Most of the tradesmen have a good and substantial meal of joints of meat, vegetables, bread, &c., laid out, and when a customer has paid his bill, he goes into the back parlour “to take a little refreshment.” I have been told of cases where a man will go and spend sixpence in goods, and then eat two shillings worth of dinner. Some customers are so dishonest

as to bring friends with them to feast, who have spent nothing; and what I am informed is often the case - after they have feasted at one house, they will go and do the same thing at another. In primitive times the hospitality may have been kind and commendable, but now they stuff from one house to another until some of them can scarcely move, so that it has become a monstrous abuse, which everybody acknowledges, but which nobody has courage to resist. - Returned to Sidmouth.

Sat. 25. The papers say that on Friday the 17th. Instant, Miss Constance Kent, who was convicted, after a long and difficult investigation, of murdering the infant child of her father’s second wife, and there were some doubts about her entire sanity, she was sentenced to penal servitude for life, or confinement during her Majesty’s pleasure. The papers say that she is now let out “on ticket of leave,” after 25 years. The family lived at Sidmouth some years during the life of the first wife. It was said that the first wife was not free from symptoms of insanity. The children were then young, and were under the care of a governess. Report whispered that Mr. Kent paid her too much attention. One or two of his first family died at Sidmouth, and are buried near the north west portion of the churchyard. He was an Inspector of Factories, with a good salary, and lived in comfortable style. He lived part of the time at Sea View, then belonging to Mr. Lousada, of Peak House, and now the property of Miss Rastrick. I think he lost his wife after he left Sidmouth, and after this event he married the said Governess. I did not much admire his appearance, and never cultivated his acquaintance. They were living at Rhode at the time of the murder, a solitary house, I suppose near the village of Rhode or Rode, I think three miles from Dunster in Somerset. The case went by the name of the “Rode Murder.” Some imagined that she had a strong dislike to her Governess and step-mother, and revenged herself upon the child.

Mon. 27. To-day 72 in the Oak room about noon - at three 74. Out of doors in the shade 78. Cholera still very bad in Spain. On Tuesday 21, there were 2327 cases, and 971 deaths. On Thursday 23 there were 2278 cases, and 943 deaths.

I am told it was two or three degrees above 80 at Sidmouth yesterday.

I never heard of its reaching 80 at Sidmouth before.

The papers say that two convicts have been overpowered by the sun when mowing at Princetown, on Dartmoor; - 112 in the sun, and 94 in the shade, Princetown is said to be 1430 feet above sea level.

W. 29. Sir Moses Montefiore diad yesterday, aged 101, a well authenticated case. Batallion of Rifle Volunteers assembling at Sidmouth for a week’s drill, some 600 or 700 strong. They encamp in some fields on Manstone Farm, a mile out.

Th. 30. Rev. H.T. Fillacombe, Rector of Clyst St. George died, aged 95.

August 1885.


Sun. Aug. 2. At church in the morning, and remained to the sacrament. There were a large number of Communicants. After the afternoon service, there was a service for they Volunteers, who marched in from camp.

Tu. 4. The north-east wind continues. I never remember so much of it at this season of the year. It is dry and hot. The grass burnt almost every where.

Yesterday the Benefit Society called The Foresters, held their annual feast, and what with the attractions of the Volunteers, and equally so of the Foresters, the place never was so full of people. I am told the Railway conveyed in 3000, and several hundreds more must have come in vehicles of all sorts. The population of the parish in 1881 was 3471, so that the population was just doubled by the influx of an equal amount yesterday. The eating and drinking houses could not supply food enough. My baker, who called this morning, said that their baking is commonly all over and ended by time, but yesterday they were continuously making cakes, buns, and bread all day through, till 8 o’clock in the evening, and they could not make it all quick enough to supply demand. They are all very tiered to-day, but they consoled themselves with having taken more cash in a day than they ever did before.

W. Aug. 5. After the Inspection, &c., the Camp breaks up to-day. Received 700 copies of my one-page Map of Seaton and neighbourhood, which is to illustrate my paper on Honeyditches, read at Seaton.

Th. 6. Some of the Volunteers have remained to have a shooting match at the Targets below Core Hill. Finding 600 Maps enough for the printer, Mr. Brendon at Plymouth, I sent him 600 to-day, and shall retain the rest myself.

Wind strong from the east, sea rough, the pleasure steamer from Weymouth, could not communicate with the shore, but went on. Thunder, and two hours refreshing rain. Quite a novelty.

Sun. 9. At the parish church. Wind southerly, with showers. Air feels chilly after the dry hot weather.

M. 10. Cholera still raging in Spain - great consternation there. Papers say that Wed. Aug. 5 there were 4294 cases, and 1638 deaths. A few cases are said to have occurred at Marseilles, casing much alarm in France, and there is a report current that a case occurred in Bristol.

Remained in doors writing the greater part of the day. I have just received a new, or renewed appointment as Local Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries of London. The appointments are renewed every four years by a fresh Diploma, signed by the President, and stamped with their seal. I forget how long since my first Diploma, but I think 20 years.

Tu. 11. Called on Mr. Havill, and the Miss Lords formerly of Sidmouth, and now staying at the Glen - the house where the Queen’s father died. Afterwards I called on Mrs. Hoppus, and her Sister-in-law Miss Hoppus - very well educated, literary people - new comers for a short time.

W. 12. Stormy and showery - doing good to vegetation.

Fri. 14. Parliament prorogued, the Conservatives having only been in since the Liberals were defeated, and resigned a few months ago. Next comes the General Election in November.

Sun. 16. At the parish church; - the Vicar and Curate. In the evening had a quiet tea with Mrs. Havill and her relatives at the Glen.


Tu. 18. The weather fine, dry, and hot, everybody seems disposed to be on the move. I had a succession of visitors to-day. During the forenoon Mr. Ede and Mr. Ed. Chick came in and talked away nearly all the whole morning. Others in the afternoon, among whom Dr. and Mrs. Baker and a grandchild, drove over from Ottery, where they are now living, having left Dawlish. They had tea with me. After they had left came Mrs Havill and party. However pleasant, all this utterly destroys all possibility of occupation,

I forgot to say that yesterday the Rev. Mr. Proby, and Rev. A.H. Hamilton lunched and tea’d with me

W. 19. Drove to Budleigh. Took my servant, and stopped at the house of her sister Mrs. Knowles. Went and had another look at Budleigh church, which was open, for work was going on in the tower. Again looked over the oak bench ends. Besides the Raleigh arms in the centre aisle, I observed the St. Clair arms with its quartering in two places in the south transcript. Outside, I examined the new vestry and organ chamber at the north-east corner. Sauntered about the large and beautiful situated burial ground, having an unusually large number of handsome monuments. The slab of Radulphus Node, I remarked some years ago, has been reprehensibly destroyed, which was near the south iron gates.

After early dinner walked to the Vicarage of Bicton, and called on the Rev. A. Kempe, who was at home. Then examined Bicton Cross, W’ch. I made an outline of some years ago in one of my Sketchbooks. The texts of scripture at the upper part are worm and illegible from the ground; the lower division has square stones inserted in the brickwork on the four faces, that on the eastern towards Sidmouth being here sketched in the margin, with the date. All these serve to direct travellers. Then proceeded to the field where the Obelisk is. Some 30 or 40 years ago the upper portion was struck with lightening and some stones displaced. I remember it in that condition. It was subsequently repaired, and an iron conductor placed down the north side. It is built of white Beer stone - at all events the outer casing; not very correct architecture - an Egyptian shaft with a Roman base and mouldings.

Returned to Mrs. Knowles’s at Budleigh, where I found the two Misses Kempe.

They had taken a long walk, and had called in there when returning, and had tea.

Left before six, and got home about seven. Both enjoyed the journey.

Th. 20. Called on Mrs. King and Mrs. Vibart, Beach House.

Fri. 21. Coloured a photograph of the old H. arms on vellum - the photo being one half the height and one half the width of the original. I have some thought of having a chromo-lithograph, stamped in colours, of it in Vol. 2 of Gov. H’s Diary and Letters, but have not decided as yet. Went to Ottery. See below, Aug. 15.

S. 22. Mrs. Walker, now of Salisbury, surprised me this forenoon with a visit, and stayed to an early dinner. She was Miss Gardiner, formerly of Harpford and Dawlish, and the second wife of the Rev. Saml Walker, only S. of Gen. Walker of Lime Park, now Sidbrook, Sidmouth. I was at the wedding at Harpford. He was Vicar of St. Einodue in Cornwal. His only son died of heart complaint suddenly. He married, but I believe had no children. Two daughters married, but are dead.

I forgot to record that I went by rail Friday afternoon to Ottery to see Dr. and Mrs. Baker. They are comfortably settled in a large house, and plenty of ground behind,

on the left going up the street, and is said to occupy the site of Sir W. Raleigh’s house. As Lord Coleridge married his second wife a few days ago, I wished to go to the church to see the white marble statue of his first. Went with the Bakers. I was a little disappointed, it not being so fine a work of art as I have seen in some of our cathedrals. It is a life size recumbent figure with hands crossed on the breast, and lies on the east of the south transept. The walls near it are covered with tesserce in patterns. Many sinister stories are being freely circulated about the neighbourhood in respect to the second wife, some of them impugning her moral character. The truth is now asserted to be that some years ago she eloped to Gretna Green with a gentleman to be married - that, on getting there they became aware that the law had been altered, so that they could not now be married without residing 21 days in Scotland. They therefore remained, and then were married. They returned to England and lived as man and wife. After a time he began to illuse her, when some of her friends, looking into her case, discovered a flaw. The day that they arrived was only part of a day, and therefore did not count, and the day they were married and left, was only part of a day, and did not count, so that there were only 19 clear or whole days, instead of 21, as the law I am told, requires. The case was taken into court, and was declared to be no marriage. She assumed her maiden name, Miss Lawford, and is so called in the papers. Fortunately there were no children. He is 64, and she is said to be 35. They were married by Special licence in the drawing room of her mother. It is reported that none of his family were present or know anything about it. They do not seem to be a very united family, and they gained no honour in the Adams affair. [Nov. 24.] They say he has settled £17,000 on her. People are perplexed to know how she will be received in society

M. Aug. 24. Went to Beer in an open 4 wheel. Beautiful day. My old friend C.F. Williams the Artist, is there. I am one month older than he. As boys we used to go out Sketching together. Much pleased at looking at some of his Latter works; some of which represented misty and hazy scenes of great beauty. Drove back in the evening.

Tu. 25. Called on Miss Acraman, who is a good amateur artist, and told her she ought to go and look at William’s drawings:- on Miss Hoppus, who has been correcting press of her last new work since she has been here.

W. 26. Went to London, chiefly to see the Publishers; and by chance I went very near the day I went last year. Took port-manteau from Old Chancel up the Blackmore Field to Mill Lane - bus to Station - at 5.P.M. Station to Junction with ticket to London - got out - crossed main line by bridge to north side - got in train and proceeded on journey - wind NE, chilly, rainy - eat meat sandwiches I had in my pocket near Salisbury - glanced at Salisbury cathedral on the south - the leaning of the spire to the SW, is not perceptible - and at the bold earthworks of Old Sarum on the north - at Basingstoke glanced at the ruins of the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, in the Cemetery - went on, and did not arrive at Waterloo terminus till near 11, tho’ due 10.9, the trains so full. Took ticket at E of Station for Charing Cross over the river, and dived under railroads and houses by underground passages, very puzzling at first, and came on a platform where I caught the train from London Bridge to Charing Cross. Ensconced myself at the Charing Cross Hotel - room No. 258.

Th. Aug. 27. After breakfast in the handsome Coffee Room, which was very full of company, as all the world is now travelling, I took the “Underground Railway” to South Kensington, and spent all the remainder of the day in the Museum and in the Exhibition buildings, till nearly 10 at night. The application of the rays of electric light turned upon the spray of the fountain in the ground, was very beautiful, changing the different jets of water through all the colours of the rainbow.

Fri. 28. Called on Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston, & Co., to confer on the prospects of a second vol. Mr. Marston is going for a month to America, which I am Glad of, as he will feel the American pulse. My second vol, is not quite finished, so I will work while he is away,

Then took the rail at London Bridge, and went down to Croydon. I had not as yet seen the Brass erected to commemorate the name of Governor Hutchinson, recently affixed against the north wall of the so called north transept. [See June 3.] I say “so called north transept,” for the north and south aisles are as wide as the transepts, so is rather dark, but it was put there as being near the vault where he was buried. In the same vault were placed his youngest daughter Peggy or Margaret, (before him), his youngest son William, (also before him), and his Eldest daughter Sarah, the wife of Dr. Peter Oliver, three weeks after him. Further in or near this vault was also interned the bodies of Miss Kate or Catherine Hutchinson, daughter of his cousin Eliakim, if not another, and Mrs. Elisabeth H. his widow, nee’ Shirley. I copied the inscriptions to some of these Oct. 2. 1864. Croydon church, all I believe but the tower and the outer walls, was burnt by the overheating of a flue, Jan. 5. 1867, and the Clerk told me that the flags were split and the inscriptions destroyed.

I then made a sketch of Copley’s white marble monument, against the north wall of the nave. The medallion portrait in my Sketch above, has no pretensions to be a likeness - in truth, it is not the least like. I should guess the monument to be some two feet six or eight high. Copley married (in America) a or niece of Mary Clarke, wife of Chief Justice Peter Oliver, as I am told that Copley’s wife was called Mary.

I was disappointed in seeing Mr. Braithwaite, the Vicar, or Mr. Hobart-Hampdon, his Curate, though I saw his mother the Hon, Mrs. Hobart, formerly Miss Mary Ann Kennet-Dawson, whom I know as a girl at Sidmouth, or Mr. Kempe of St. Saviours, son of the Vicar of Otter ton - so I returned to London Bridge, and then by rail right up to the Charing Cross Hotel.

S. 29. Wrote letters in the Reading Room of the Hotel. Walked to Burlington House, Piccadilly, and found Mr. Watson and Mr. Ireland in the Library of the Society of Antiquaries, where I had a chat on sundry matters.

Caught an omnibus in Regent Street and was carried to the top of Portland Road; then by the “Underground” to Kings Cross; then rail to Hatfield and Hertford; and then walked half a mile to Benges, and called on my cousin Mrs. Oliver, who at 79, seems wonderfully well. Took a walk about Benges. Looked at the new church, then walked to the old one. It is very dilapidated, and shut up, and doubts exist, at to weather it can be preserved. When Mrs. O’s late husband was Curate here, I sketched the Norman chancel arch may years ago inside. There is a round apse, with one or two small Norman windows. The walls outside are mostly plastered; where off, it appears that the walls are only constructed of rough flints and friable mortar. Returned, and had tea with Mrs. Oliver and the cat. Then to London.


Sun. Aug. 30. At St. Martin’s church, being near the Hotel. The architecture is Roman, set off with colour and gilding.

In the afternoon took the “Underground” to Victoria, then to Wandsworth Rd, then walked to Clapham Common to enquire for Mr. Scrivens. He was away, out of town. Called next door, and had tea with Miss Scrivens and her friend. Got back the same way, in the reverse order.

M. 31. Went to the National Gallery to see some of Copley’s pictures, after a very long interval, “The Siege of Giberaltar,” and some others, are at one end of the room, and “The Death of Lord Chatham.” in the House of Lords, is at the other. This last I came chiefly to reconsider, for my great-grandfather was in London at the time the circumstances took place, as he mentions in his Diary. After an interval of more years than I can now recollect, the same points in it offend me now that annoyed me then. Well, there is only one that really may be said to displease, and that always did. I mean the attitude of the Duke of Cumberland, in the sky blue dress, and especially the pose of the left arm, which always struck me as awkward. This picture is well known to have been dressed up for effect. The Peers, in reality, were not in their scarlet robes at all, as they are here represented, but in their every-day clothes; and there are persons introduced who were not present at the time. But the painting is interesting as commemorating a great event, and valuable, as containing portraits of many of the leading man of the day.

Owing to the Peers being in their robes the predominant colour is red; but this skilfully subdued, except where the chief interest of the scene centres; and it is judiciously balanced by the light blue dress of the Duke of Cumberland at Lord Chatham’s shoulders, the beeper blue of the costume of Lord Viscount Mahon, who is supporting his feet, and the black and dull green of the Hon. James Pitt, and his relative, which persons, and the stricken Earl, are placed in the strongest light of the picture, so that the eye of the spectator naturally falls upon that spot. Lord Chatham did not die in the House. The excitement of debate was too much for his enfeebled frame. He swooned in the House on the 7th. of April 1778 - was removed to Hayes, and died on the 11th. of May. The annexed sketch (done from memory) may give an idea of the positions of the persons mentioned.

One thing more. Having got through a tolerable fair inspection of the National Gallery, I had one thing more to do. If not too obtrusive, I wish to add a sort of supplementary Chapter at the end of my book, and give in it some account of Governor Hutchinson’s family, and I think of having a chromolithograph facsimile of the old coat of arms on vellum, reduced by photographing to half the length and half the width, by which it will come in an 8 vol. Took it to Messrs Leighton Bro’s for an estimate.

September 1885.


Tu. Sep. 1. Having got through all the little matters of business I went up for, and having filled up the intervals in London, except to spend money. Though I would willingly have done and seen a good deal more, I resisted all temptations - paid my bill - left the Hotel - took the 11.45 train at Waterloo Station - Basingstoke at 1.26 - Salisbury Junction 5.49 - changed trains - Sidmouth at 6.19 nominally, but always late. Put portmanteau and self in omnibus, and was at the Old Chancel about half past six.

W. 2. Fine day yesterday. Rain all day to-day.

Th. 3. Beautiful day. Called on Dr. Radford at Sidmount, and gave him some account of my visit to London.

Fri. 4. Went by rail to Ottery, chiefly to look for a servant to fill up a blank for a few weeks. Saw Rose Cross at Miss Wheaton’s and engaged her. Passed half an hour or more in the churchyard. I cannot admire the new additions to Lord Coleridge’s house, being bright red brick, with a red tile roof, and the drawing-room storey done in the old Flemish style of timber framing filled in with brick noggins; and the confined approach road round the south and west sides of the churchyard, is very objectionable, though unavoidable. He has not brought the new Lady Coleridge to Otter yet. Society is much divided and much perplexed what to do about receiving her. Some are inclined to be lenient - some are afraid to be otherwise - some are going to wait “to see what others do” - some say that when the flaw was discovered, the two ought to have taken steps to have been at once re-married in England in an orthodox way, (only they wanted to separate) - and some declare they look upon her as another man’s wife.

Called at Dr. Baker’s. He walked with me down to the Station. We talked about the terrible event that happened at Dawlish on Saturday the 29th. of August, when the cliff on the west fell on a number of people - Watson, keen, Matthews - of Awliscombe, killing three, and injuring others.

S. 5. Lunched at Mr. Ede’s at Lansdowne, where I met Miss Ede, Miss Swan, and a Miss Shepherd, besides himself, - Rose Cross came by the week, from Ottery.

M. Sep. 7. The unfortunate affair at Dawlish on Saturday forenoon the 29th. Of August, when the cliff fell down on a group of people, who were enjoying themselves on the sand at half low tide, seems to have made a profound sensasion all over the country. I know the place where it happened well of course, having been familiar with the town and beach from my childhood. From what the papers say, the ladies, the nursemaid and children were at A, in front of the wall and the Cavern, as shown in the Plan or first figure. The strata are considerably inclined, and the red rock is a hard and course conglomerate at the lower half of the cliff, which is about 170 feet high at this place, but the upper part is lose sandstone and earth. The Railway Tunnel is only about 30 feet from the Cavern, and when I have been walking on the wall, which is 2 or 3 feet wide, I could hear a train pass, and feel the cliff tremble. I never felt myself safe there. The second figure is an imaginary Section shewing the strata, the Cavern, now half full of sand, which the rough waves have at times washed over the wall, also the Tunnel of the Railway. The small tunnel C was made some 10 years ago for the convenience of bathers. The low Hole E used to be closed at top, but not now. From this tunnel C, the papers say a bridge or gangway has been made, but since I was last there. Everybody is abusing everybody at Dawlish and casting blame pretty freely.

Tu. 8. Yesterday a boat going off to a steamer, got some holes knocked in her bottom, there being several man and women in her. When they neared the steamer she was near gunnel down. One man jumped over, and lightened the boat. Assistance came from the steamer and the shore, and they were picked up. The names of the people were Constable, Alexander, and McDonnell, visitors at Sidmouth.

Th. 10. Sidbury church opened after having being restored, I did not go. I care very little about hearing bad intoning. - Gale and rain. Blew down zinc chimney.


Fri. Sep. 11. There now! The shadow on the church roof seems exactly the same as it was on the first of last April.- School feast at Vicarage. Rev. J.B. Reynardson left.

Sat. Sep. 19. Called at the Ede’s, Lansdowne, and at the Sampson’s, Ascerton, up on Land.

Mon. 21. Sidmouth fair - third Monday in September. It has become very small.

Th. 24. Suddenly very cold - wind N. For nearly a week unusually Cold. Fires at eve.

S. 26. Mrs. Knowles came to live as my servant.

M. 28. Wind at SW. and milder. Took a return ticket to the Junction. There I met

Mr. Stirling from Naples, and last from London, and we came to Sidmouth together.


W. 30. The new Act of Parliament, passes by the Radicals shortly before the last Ministry went out, will cause a great revolution in the representation of the people, as the lowering of the qualification will add about two million voters to the list. As they are among the lowest and most ignorant in the country, the effect may be guessed. In Sidmouth there used to be 144 voters, and now 445; in Harpford 35, now 78; Sidbury 65, now 220; Salcombe Regis 42, and now 90.

October 1885.


Th. Oct. 1. The new arrangment of sixpenny telegrame of 12 words, instead of shilling ones of 20 words, comes in force to-day.


Fri. 2. Mrs. Knowles came in Rose Cross’s place, last Saturday, and Rose left to-day - and some people would call her the last rose of summer.

Tu. Oct. 6. Mr. Stirling left to-day, and I went with him as far as the Juntion, the distance being some eight miles. In going from Sidmouth Station, the line slightly rises for a mile, till we get to Bowde, and then descends through Harpford Wood, a glimpse being got of Mr. Peppin’s house on the left, which might have been made a picuresque object, and so down an incline of 1 in 41, as I have heard, to tipton; then along the flat meadows by the river, Tipton Mill on the right, and the Picsey Caves further on, being some holes dug in the whitish sandstone rock - on the left a large stone ball lying in the field, then the chimneys of Salstone, the residence of Mr. W.R. Coleridge, above the trees, and then Ottery on the right, just over the bridge. Starting again, we see the old Silk factory with its long rows of windows, now disused, and recently bought by Lord Coleridge, and now he has got it he doesent know what to do with it; then the ugly red tile roof of the new additions to his Lordship’s house; then Thorne farm house on the left, once the property of the ancient family of “Cooke of Thorne,” of which the life size figure in the N. aisle of Ottery Church was a number, said to come down at night and walk about the church, troubled about a murder at Thorne; Then a passing glimpse of Cadhay on the left, an Elizabethan mansion built round a square court; then the target and the Ottery Rifle range; and lastly, a mile or two further to the Junction.

Sat. Oct. 10. Attended Burial Board meeting, Mr. Morshead of Salcombe called, and afterwards went to a political meeting.

Tu. Oct. 20. This morning about twelve I was amusing myself in the Oak Room so called, of the Old Chancel, writing at my second vol. of Gov. H’s Diary, &c, when there was a ring at the bell, and three ladies and a gentleman came into the hall. The lady who spoke to my servant was not willing to give her name, but made excuses, and indeed, I should not have been the wiser, as she had changed it. A sister if hers came, and a lady whose name I did not learn. I immediately went out to them, and begged they would come in. One of the ladies was a good six feet high or nearly. I know by my own height. I am approaching 5,,10, and I was obliged to look up wards when I spoke to her. They came in and sat down, and the tall lady said -”Do you know who I am?” I said I was taken by surprise, and hesitated, She enjoyed my plexity, and wouldn’t tell. She was sitting with her back to the light, with a thin veil over the upper part of her face. At last I guessed from her height as much as anything, and said -”I suppose you cannot be Miss Annie Jones?” - “Yes I am,” was her answer. I had not seen her since June 1852.


Th. Oct. 29. 1885. Beautiful clear day. Called at Oakland, (though you look in vain for the oaks), and left my card, Mr. W. Toller, died two days ago. Caught cold in my head - I am so very susceptible now.


November 1885.

Th. Nov. 5. Windy, Stormy weather. Guy Fawkes day. A figure representing a disgraceful old Clergy man residing here, was paraded about, to be burnt this evening at the bonfire - also a young man dressed up in woman’s clothes, with a veil on, and carrying the effigies of a baby.

This evening the bell tolled from ½ past 6, to ½ past 7, announcing that the boby of the Earl had arrived. The coffin was placed in the church.

Fri. 6. The funeral of the Earl took place this afternoon. Most of his family were here. His successor is, I think, the son of his second son Frederick, with whon I used sometimes to sit in church. The forenoon was drizzly and cold, and I cannot stand exposure as I used to, so I did not go, as most of the resident gentry did, ostensibly to pay respect to his memory, but partly out of curiosity.

Fri. Nov. 13. A quiet day. Went out and called on Mr. Cox at Eglantine.


Sat. 14. Had an early dinner with Mr. and Miss Ede at Lansdowne.

In the evening finished the concluding chapter of my second vol, of Diary and Letters of Governor Hutchinson. This nominally, brings my work to an end; but it will take a month or two to put the finishing touches, for I must read the whole through carefully, and revise, and probably rewrite certain parts of it.

Sun. 15. Cold NE wind - did not venture to church, I am not the boy I was.

Tu. 17. My birthday. I belive I am 75, though I scarcely know how to credit it, feeling so well and boyant, and nothing to make me keep house but a recent tendency to bronchitis. My digestion is as good as when I was 20 years old, and I “sleep like a top.” As a young man I never thought I should ever attain anything like the age. Truly I have much to be thankful for, and cannot expect a much further extension of life.

Th. 19. As an event in Sidmouth, in which I took no part, not knowing the parties, I may mention that Miss Duff, daughter of Mr. & Mrs Duff, good old Scotch family, who have for some months rented the so-called Manor House at Broadway, was married to the Rev. G.O.K. O’Neill.


Sat. 21. It is reported in Sidmouth that Lady Rolle died last night at Bicton, or as the corrected says - about four in the afternoon. This will probably make some difference at Bicton. She would be more regretted if she had had a more heavenly temper.

W. 25. The Rev. Wm. Downes, of Combe Rawleigh, has a paper on the geology of the district between Honiton and Axminster, and I am making him some pen-and-ink drawings to illustrate it. He came over to-day - we had an early dinner together - and then a conference on the drawings. They are a Section from near the Honiton Tunnel eastward to Trinity Hill, Axminster, and a coast Section from Beer to near Lyme.

Th. 26. The General Election for the new Parliament has now fairly begun, and I never remember the country in such a political excitement as it is now. The gross falsehoods circulated by the low liberals and Radicals, in order to catch votes, and especially from the 2 million new Electors, whose ignorance makes them an easy prey (which was the reason for admitting them), are quite disgraceful in those who utter them. The late Prime Minister, Mr. Gladstone, is again specifying in Midlothian - and with as much truth - as he was fire years ago. He is one of the most dangerous of men that ever had power in this Country. He appears to be utterly without principle - intent only on political power, and on the emoluments belonging to it.

Sun. 29. Mild and damp. At the parish church.

Mon. 30. The poling for the Honiton Division of the County, according to the new Redisposition of Seats Bill, passed a few months ago, took place to-day. This Divistion comprises the south-eastern corner of the county, Sidmouth being the poling place for the three adjoining parishes of Sidbury, Salcumbe, Salcombe & Sidmouth, so that the Voters have not far to come. The number of voters in these 3 parishes I believe is now 755, and I was told afterwards 719 voted. The mode of voting was by making a X opposite the name of the Candidate voted for, precisely as was done in March 1880. The voting again took place at All Saints Schoolroom, but the owners were drafted into one room, and the occupiers into another. It is now made illegal to distribute or give party badges, but people may decorate themselves. The Conservative colour was blue, and the Liberal colour yellow. A few wore Rosettes, but not many, and everything was orderly. The Primrose has become Conservative badge, as the late great Conservative leader, the Earl of Beaconsfield, is said to have had a partiality for the flower.

December 1885.


Tu. Dec. 1. We hear that Sir John Kennaway, Bart., has beat Sir John Phear, Kt. By 1583.

Wed. Dec. 2. The papers mention a horrible occurrence at Norwich. A man named Robert Goodale was condemned to be hanged for the murder of his wife. The attempt was made yesterday, but the jirk of the drop pulled off his head in an instant, and his body and his head both fell to the ground together. Goodale stood 5,,11 high, weighed 15 stone, and the drop was 6 feet.


Fri. 4. Finished a small wood cut of the outline of the appearance of the land off Halifax, Nova Scotia, for my 2nd. vol., and also a black profile of head and sholders of my greadfather who died in 1811, and printed 6 or 8 impressions of them.

Finished the Index of the 16th. vol., of the Transactions of the Devonshire Association, which met last August at Seaton.

Tu. 8. Weather very cold pese last 3 or 4 days; pmomet only 46 pis morning in my room at breakfast, but 54 by noon; only 23 I am told out of doors last night. Ice on the gutts. Wind NE.

Sat. 12. All the week very cold; pump frozen two days; tied a jacket of matting round it.

Tu. 15. Milder - went to several shops in the town.

W. 16. Called at Radway Place, and saw our former Churchwarden, Mr. Avery, who feels the cold. I think he is 82. Called on Mr. W. Floyed, at No. 13 Cambridge Terrace, and stayed a quarter of an hour; went over the bridge and on some 500 yards to Sid House, and called on Mr. Knapp. He is a good amateur wood carver. He tool me up to his workshop. He is now doing an oval looking glass frame. It is of dark walnut, with a slice of sycamore (white wood) ¼ in thick glued upon it. He cuts his flowers and and leaves out of the white wood, and they appear with good effect on the dark ground. Besides the ordinary English carpenters tools, he uses a Swiss knife, employed by the Swiss carvers, as in the margin, the cutting edge being inside. He has three different sizes.

Th. 17. Boy robbed his grand-parents, called Paine, of 16 sovereigns, a gold watch, and a piece of cloth, and taking a nother boy with him, absconded, for the purpose of getting to Plymouth. The loss was soom discovered - the police were put on the alert, and captured them at Tipton, the first station on the rail, - brought them back - put in the “Lock-up,” brought be for the Magistrates, when the thief was told to be a better boy in future, and has now been sent to a Reformatory for three years, where he will be better off than he was before. Happy boy! Nothing to pay. Board, lodging, and education - all found.

Mon. 26. Shortest day; but a brighter and a lighter day than we have had for some time. Sun rises 6 minutes after 8, and sets 51m, after 3.

Thermometer 48 out of doors at noon. Called at the Vicarage, and found Mr. and Mrs. Clements at home. Mrs. Mogridge, eldest daughter by 2nd wife, of Gen. Rumley, of Arcot House, in this parish, who d, on the 16th aged 78, was buried to-day in the family vault about yards of the church. Her eldest half brother Cap. Ch. Rumley, married my sister.

Called on my tenant Mrs. Girdlestone, and Miss Damant her sister, at No. 4 Coburg Terrace. While there, Mr. & Mrs. Clements came in.

This evening I finished the 2nd vol, of Gov. Hutchinson’s Diary and Letters. I got to the end a month ago, but I have been going over it again to revise, and put finishing touches, and fill in a few blanks left unfilled for verification. The labour has been pleasant amusement of about 15 months.

Tu.22. Spent great part of the evening paging my MS., the whole being 375.

W. 23. Finished paging it. Without title page

Preface, or index, I think this will be equal to about 2/ 375 = MS. Pages

562 printed pages. Two of my MS. Foolscap pages are 187 -1

Equal to about 3 printed - that is, one half more. 562= printed pages

Upon that I have made the calculation annexed.

Tu. Dec. 29. Wrapped up my MS. in brown paper. The packet weighed 7lbs, 3oz. Sent it to the Publishers, having written to say it was coming.

Th. 31. Finished writing out for the Vicar some account of the ancient endowments of the church of England, as establisherd in the Norman & Saxon times, which certain destructive parties in the country want to persuade us were effected or contributed by taxes levied on the people, or by acts of Parliament - as an excuse for laying their hands on them. These endowments were made centuries before Parliament had an existence. Sent it to the Vicarage.

Last day of the year. Had a quiet evening at home.

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