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Title: A Book of the West. Volume I Devon - Being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall
Author: Baring-Gould, S. (Sabine)
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Book of the West. Volume I Devon - Being an introduction to Devon and Cornwall" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *


  VOL. I.




[Illustration: SWEET HAY-MAKERS]




  VOL. I.





In this "Book of the West" I have not sought to say all that might
be said relative to Devon and Cornwall; nor have I attempted to
make of it a guide-book. I have rather endeavoured to convey to
the visitor to our western peninsula a general idea of what is
interesting, and what ought to attract his attention. The book is
not intended to supersede guide-books, but to prepare the mind to
use these latter with discretion.

In dealing with the history of the counties and of the towns, it
would have swelled the volumes unduly to have gone systematically
through their story from the beginning to the present; it would,
moreover, have made the book heavy reading, as well as heavy to
carry. I have chosen, therefore, to pick out some incident, or some
biography connected with the several towns described, and have
limited myself thereto.

My object then must not be misunderstood, and my book harshly judged
accordingly. There are ten thousand omissions, but I venture to
think a good many things have been admitted which will not be found
in guide-books, but which it is well for the visitor to know, if he
has a quick intelligence and eyes open to observe.

In the Cornish volume I have given rather fully the stories of the
saints who have impressed their names indelibly on the land. It has
seemed to me absurd to travel in Cornwall and have these names in
the mouth, and let them remain _nuda nomina_.

They have a history, and that is intimately associated with the
beginnings of that of Cornwall. But their history has not been
studied, and in books concerning Cornwall most of the statements
about them are wholly false.

I have not entered into any critical discussion concerning moot
points. I have left that for my "Catalogue of the Cornish Saints"
that is being issued in the _Journal of the Royal Institution of

There are places that might have been described more fully, others
that have been passed over without notice. This has been due to no
disregard for them on my part, but to a dread of making the volumes
too bulky and cumbrous.

Finally, I owe a debt of gratitude to many kind friends who have
assisted me with their local knowledge, as Mrs. Troup, of Offwell
House, Honiton; the Rev. J. B. Hughes, for some time Head Master
of Blundell's School, Tiverton, and now Vicar of Staverton; Mr. R.
Burnard, of Huckaby House, Dartmoor, and Hillsborough, Plymouth, my
_alter ego_ in all that concerns Dartmoor; Mr. J. D. Enys, whose
knowledge of things Cornish is encyclopædic; Messrs. Amery, of
Druid, Ashburton; Mr. J. D. Prickman, of Okehampton; and many others.


  _June, 1899_


  CHAPTER                             PAGE

  I. THE WESTERN FOLK                    1

  II. VILLAGES AND CHURCHES             30

  III. HONITON                          43

  IV. A LANDSLIP                        60

  V. EXETER                             68

  VI. CREDITON                          79

  VII. TIVERTON                        101

  VIII. BARNSTAPLE                     122

  IX. BIDEFORD                         134


  XI. DARTMOOR: ITS TENANTS            176

  XII. OKEHAMPTON                      208

  XIII. MORETON HAMPSTEAD              225

  XIV. ASHBURTON                       248

  XV. TAVISTOCK                        266

  XVI. TORQUAY                         289

  XVII. TOTNES                         310

  XVIII. DARTMOUTH                     323

  XIX. KINGSBRIDGE                     337

  XX. PLYMOUTH                         352


  SWEET HAY-MAKERS                              _Frontispiece_
  From a photograph by Mr. Chenhall, Tavistock.

  CLOVELLY FISHERMEN                         _To face page_ 16
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  SHEEPSTOR                                             "   30
  From a painting by A. B. Collier, Esq.

  HOLNE PULPIT AND SCREEN                               "   38
  From a photograph by J. Amery, Esq.

  HONITON LACE                                          "   51
  From specimens kindly lent by Miss Herbert, Exeter,
  and Mrs. Fowler, Honiton. Photographed by the Rev.
  F. Partridge.

  HIGH STREET, EXETER                                   "   68
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  A COB COTTAGE, SHEEPWASH                              "   80
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  "RESTORATION"                                         "   82
  From a sketch by F. Bligh Bond, Esq.

  TIVERTON                                              "  101
  From a photograph by Mr. Mudford, Tiverton.

  QUEEN ANNE'S WALK, BARNSTAPLE                         "  122
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  CHAPEL ROCK, ILFRACOMBE                               "  128
  From a photograph by Wellington and Ward, Elstree.

  HARTLAND SMITHY                                       "  134
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  CLOVELLY                                              "  151
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  STAPLE TOR                                            "  155
  From a photograph by James Shortridge, Esq.

  RIPPON TOR LOGAN STONE                                "  160
  From a photograph by J. Amery, Esq.

  BROADUN POUNDS                                        "  165

  BARROW ON CHAGFORD COMMON                             "  166
  Drawn by R. H. Worth, Esq.

  LAKEHEAD KISTVAEN                                     "  168
  From a photograph by R. Burnard, Esq.

  URN FROM KISTVAEN                                     "  172
  Drawn by R. H. Worth, Esq.

  VIXEN TOR                                             "  176
  From a painting by A. B. Collier, Esq.

  LOWER TARR                                            "  182
  From a photograph by J. Amery, Esq.

  TAVY CLEAVE                                           "  197
  From a painting by A. B. Collier, Esq.

  TAW MARSH                                             "  208
  From a painting by A. B. Collier, Esq.

  YES TOR                                               "  212
  From a painting by A. B. Collier, Esq.

  THE CALCULATING BOY                                   "  232
  From a miniature in the possession of Miss Bidder.

  GRIMSPOUND                                            "  239
  From a plan by R. H. Worth, Esq.

  J. DUNNING, LORD ASHBURTON                            "  252
  From a painting by Sir J. Reynolds.

  OLD OAK CARVING, ASHBURTON                            "  258
  From a photograph by J. Amery, Esq.

  BRENT TOR                                             "  266
  From a painting by A. B. Collier, Esq.

  ON THE DART                                           "  310
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  DARTMOUTH CASTLE                                      "  323
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  GRAMMAR SCHOOL, PLYMPTON                              "  354
  From a drawing by F. Bligh Bond, Esq.

  IN PLYMPTON                                           "  354
  From a drawing by F. Bligh Bond, Esq.

  SUTTON POOL                                           "  358
  From a photograph by the Rev. F. Partridge.

  ALMS-HOUSES, S. GERMANS                               "  366
  From a drawing by F. Bligh Bond, Esq.




     Ethnology of the Western Folk--The earliest men--The
     Ivernian race--The arrival of the Britons--Mixture of
     races in Ireland--The Attacottic revolt--The Dumnonii--The
     Scottic invasion of Dumnonia--The story of the Slave of the
     Haft--Athelstan drives the Britons across the Tamar--Growth of
     towns--The yeomen represent the Saxon element--The peasantry
     the earlier races--The Devonshire dialect--Courtesy--Use
     of Christian names--Love of funerals--Good looks among the
     girls--Dislike of "Foreigners"--The Cornish people--Mr. Havelock
     Ellis on them--The types--A Cornish girl--Religion--The
     unpardonable sin--Folk-music--Difference between that of Devon
     and Cornwall and that of Somersetshire.

It is commonly supposed that the bulk of the Devonshire people are
Saxons, and that the Cornish are almost pure Celts.

In my opinion neither supposition is correct.

Let us see who were the primitive occupants of the Dumnonian
peninsula. In the first place there were the men who left their
rude flint tools in the Brixham and Kent's caverns, the same people
who have deposited such vast accumulations in the lime and chalk
caves and shelters of the Vézère and Dordogne. Their remains are
not so abundant with us as there, because our conditions are not as
favourable for their preservation; and yet in the Drift we do find
an enormous number of their tools, though not _in situ_, with their
hearths, as in France; yet sufficient to show that either they were
very numerous, or what is more probable, that the time during which
they existed was long.

This people did not melt off the face of the earth like snow. They
remained on it.

We know that they were tall, that they had gentle faces--the
structure of their skulls shows this; and from the sketches they
have left of themselves, we conclude that they had straight hair,
and from their skeletons we learn that they were tall.

M. Massenat, the most experienced hunter after their remains, was
sitting talking with me one evening at Brives about their relics. He
had just received a volume of the transactions of the Smithsonian
Institute that contained photographs of Esquimaux implements. He
indicated one, and asked me to translate to him the passage relative
to its use. "Wonderful!" said he. "I have found this tool repeatedly
in our rock-shelters, and have never known its purport. It is a
remarkable fact, that to understand our reindeer hunters of the
Vézère we must question the Esquimaux of the Polar region. I firmly
hold that they were the same race."

A gentle, intelligent, artistic, unwarlike people got pressed into
corners by more energetic, military, and aggressive races. And,
accustomed to the reindeer, some doubtless migrated North with their
favourite beasts, and in a severer climate became somewhat stunted.

It is possible--I do not say that it is more than possible--that the
dark men and women found about Land's End, tall and handsome, found
also in the Western Isles of Scotland and in West Ireland, may be
the last relics of this infusion of blood.

But next to this doubtful element comes one of which no doubt at all
exists. The whole of England, as of France, and as of Spain, was
at one time held by a dusky, short-built race, which is variously
called Iberian, Ivernian, and Silurian, of which the Basque is the
representative so far as that he still speaks a very corrupted
form of the original tongue. In France successive waves of Gaul,
Visigoth, and Frank have swept over the land and have dominated it.
But the fair hair and blue eyes and the clear skin of the conquering
races have been submerged by the rising and overflow of the dusky
blood of the original population. The Berber, the Kabyle are of the
same race; dress one of them in a blue blouse, and put a peaked cap
on his head, and he would pass for a French peasant.

The Welsh have everywhere adopted the Cymric tongue, they hug
themselves in the belief that they are pure descendants of the
ancient Britons, but in fact they are rather Silurians than Celts.
Their build, their coloration, are not Celtic. In the fifth century
Cambria was invaded from Strathclyde by the sons of Cunedda;
fair-haired, white-skinned Britons, they conquered the North and
penetrated a certain way South; but the South was already occupied
by a body of invading Irish. When pressed by the Saxons, then the
retreating Britons poured into Wales; but the substratum of the
population was alien in tongue and in blood and in religion.

It was the same in Dumnonia--Devon and Cornwall. It was occupied
at some unknown time, perhaps four centuries before Christ, by the
Britons, who became lords and masters, but the original people did
not disappear, they became their "hewers of wood and drawers of

Then came the great scourge of the Saxon invasion. Devon remained
as a place of refuge for the Britons who fled before the weapons of
these barbarians, till happily the Saxons accepted Christianity,
when their methods became less ferocious. They did not exterminate
the subject people. But what had more to do with the mitigation of
their cruelty than their Christianity, was that they had ceased to
be mere wandering hordes, and had become colonists. As such they
needed serfs. They were not themselves experienced agriculturalists,
and they suffered the original population to remain in the land-the
dusky Ivernians as serfs, and the freemen, the conquered Britons,
were turned into tenant farmers.

This is precisely what took place in Ireland. The conquering
Gadhaels or Milesians, always spoken of as golden-haired, tall
and white-skinned, had subdued the former races, the Firbolgs and
others, and had welded them into one people whom they called the
Aithech Tuatha, _i.e._ the Rentpaying Tribes; the Classic writers
rendered this Attacotti.

In the first two centuries of our era there ensued an incessant
struggle between the tenant farmers and the lords; the former rose
in at least two great revolutions, which shows that they had by no
means been exterminated, and whole bodies of them, rather than be
crushed into submission and ground down by hard rents, left Ireland,
some as mercenaries, others, perhaps, to fall on the coasts of
Wales, Devon, and Brittany, and effect settlements there.

When brought into complete subjugation in Ireland, the Gadhelic
chiefs planted their _duns_ throughout the country in such a manner
as to form chains, by which they could communicate with one another
at the least token of a revival of discontent; and they distributed
the subject tribes throughout the island in such a manner as to keep
them under supervision, and to break up their clans. As Professor
Sullivan very truly says, "The Irish tenants of to-day are composed
of the descendants of Firbolgs and other British and Belgic races;
Milesians, ... Gauls, Norwegians, Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Normans, and
English, each successive dominant race having driven part at least
of its predecessors in power into the rent-paying and labouring
ranks beneath them, or gradually falling into them themselves, to be
there absorbed. This is a fact which should be remembered by those
who theorise over the qualities of the 'pure Celts,' whoever they
may be."[1]

  [1] Introduction to O'CURRY (E.), _Manners and Customs of the
  Ancient Irish_, 1873, I. xxiv.

The Dumnonii, whose city or fortress was at Exeter, were an
important people. They occupied the whole of the peninsula from the
river Parret to Land's End. East of the Tamar was Dyfnaint, the Deep
Vales; west of it Corneu, the horn of Britain.

The Dumnonii are thought to have invaded and occupied this territory
about four centuries before the Christian era. The language of the
previous dusky race was agglutinative, like that of the Tartars and
Basques, that is to say, they did not inflect their substantives.
Although there has been a vast influx of other blood, with fair hair
and white complexions, the earlier type may still be found in both
Devon and Cornwall.

Then came the Roman invasion; this affected our Dumnonian peninsula
very slightly; Cornwall hardly at all. When that came to an end, a
large portion of Britain had fallen under the sway of the Picts,
Saxons, and Scots. By Scots are meant the Irish, who after their
invasion of Alba gave the present name to Scotland. But it must be
distinctly understood that the only Scots known in the first ten or
eleven centuries, to writers on British affairs, were Irish.

In alliance with the Picts and Saxons, Niall of the Nine Hostages
poured down on Britain and exacted tribute from the conquered
people. In 388 he carried his arms further and plundered Brittany.
In 396 the Irish supremacy was resisted by Stilicho, and for a while
shaken; it was reimposed in 400. In 405, Niall invaded Gaul, and was
assassinated there on the shores of the English Channel.

In 406 Stilicho a second time endeavoured to repel the
Hiberno-Pictic allies, but, unable to do much by force of arms,
entered into terms with them, for Gildas speaks of the Romans as
making confederates of Irish. Doubtless Stilicho surrendered to them
their hold over and the tribute from the western part of Britain.
And now I must tell a funny story connected with the introduction of
lap-dogs into Ireland. It comes to us on the authority of Cormac,
king-bishop of Cashel, who died in 903, and who wrote a glossary of
old Irish words becoming obsolete even in his day.

"The slave of the Haft," says he, "was the name of the first lap-dog
that was known in Erin. Cairbre Musc was the man who first brought
it there out of Britain. At that time the power of the Gadhaels
(Scots or Irish) was great over the Britons; they had divided Albion
among them into farms, and each of them had a neighbour and friend
among the people." Then he goes on to say how that they established
fortresses through the land, and founded one at Glastonbury. "One
of those divisions of land is Dun Map Lethan, in the country of the
Britons of Cornwall." This lasted to A.D. 380.

Now Cairbre was wont to pass to and fro between Britain and Ireland.

At this time lap-dogs were great rarities, and were highly prized.
None had hitherto reached Ireland. And Cairbre was desirous of
introducing one there when he went to visit his friends. But the
possessors of lap-dogs would on no account part with their treasures.

Now it happened that Cairbre had a valuable knife, with the handle
gold-inlaid. One night he rubbed the haft over with bacon fat, and
placed it before the kennel of the lap-dog belonging to a friend.
The dog gnawed at the handle and sadly disfigured it.

Next morning Cairbre made a great outcry over his precious knife,
and showed his British host how that the dog had disfigured it. The
Briton apologised, but Cairbre promptly replied, "My good friend,
are you aware of the law that 'the transgressor is forfeit for his
transgression?' Accordingly I put in a legal claim to the dog." Thus
he became its owner, and gave it the name of Mogh-Eimh, or the Slave
of the Haft.

The dog was a bitch, and was with young when Cairbre carried her
over to Ireland. The news that the wonderful little beast had
arrived spread far and wide, and the king of Munster and the chief
king, Cormac Mac Airt (227-266) both laid claim to it; the only way
in which Cairbre could satisfy them was to give each a pup when
his lap-dog had littered. So general was the amazement over the
smallness and the beauty of the original dog, that some verses were
made on it, which have been preserved to this day.

    "Sweet was your drink in the house of Ailil (King of Munster)!
    Sweet was your meat in the house of Cormac!
    Fair was your bread in the house of Cairbre!
    O doggie, Slave of the Hilt!"

It was probably during the Irish domination that a large portion of
North Devon and East Cornwall was colonised from the Emerald Isle.

But to return to the Saxon conquest. When Athelstan drove the
Britons out of Exeter and made the Tamar their limit, it is not to
be supposed that he devastated and depopulated Devon; what he did
was to destroy the tribal organisation throughout Devon, banish the
princes and subjugate the people to Saxon rule.

The Saxon colonists planted themselves in "Stokes" mostly in the
valleys. The Celts had never been anything of a town-building
people; they had lived scattered over the land in their _treffs_ and
_boths_, and only the retainers of a chieftain had dwelt around his

But with the Saxons, the fact that they lived as a few surrounded
by an alien population that in no way loved them, obliged them to
huddle together in their "Stokes." Thus towns sprang into existence,
and bear Saxon names.

It is probable that the yeomen of the land at the present day
represent the Saxon; and most assuredly in the great body of the
agricultural labourers, the miners, and artisans, we have mainly a
mixture of British and Ivernian blood.

Throughout the Middle Ages, and indeed till this present century,
there can have been no easy, if possible, passage out of the
labouring community into that of the yeoman class--hardly into
that of tenant farmer; whereas the yeomen and the tradesmen, wool
merchants and the like, were incessantly feeding the class of
_armigeres_, squires; and their descendants supplied the nobility
with accretions.

There is, perhaps, in the east of Devon a preponderating element of
Saxon, but I have observed in the Seaton and Axminster district so
much of the dark hair and eye, that I believe there is less than is
supposed, and that there is a very large understratum of the earlier
Silurian. Perhaps in North Devon there may be more of the Saxon.
West of Okehampton there is really not much difference between the
Devonian and the Cornishman, but of this more presently.

It is remarkable that the Devonshire dialect prevails in Cornwall
above a diagonal line drawn from Padstow to Saltash, on the Tamar;
west of this and below it the dialect is different. This is probably
due to the Cornish tongue having been abandoned in the west and
south long subsequent to its disappearance in the north-east. But
this line also marks the limits of an Irish-Gwentian occupation.

The dialect is fast dying out, but the intonation of the voice will
remain long after peculiar words have ceased to be employed.

The "z" has a sound found nowhere else, due to the manner in which
the tongue is turned up to the palate for the production of the
sound; "ou" and "oo" in such words as "you" and "moon" is precisely
that of the French _u_ in "lune."

Gender is entirely disregarded; a cow is a "he," who runs dry, and
of a cock it is said "her crows in the morn." But then the male
rooster is never a cock, but a stag.

The late Mr. Arnold, inspector of schools, was much troubled about
the dialect when he came into the county. One day, when examining
the school at Kelly, he found the children whom he was questioning
very inattentive.

"What is the matter with you?" he asked testily.

"Plaaze, zur, us be a veared of the apple-drayne."

In fact, a wasp was playing in and out among their heavily oiled

"Apple-drayne!" exclaimed Mr. Arnold. "Good gracious! You children
do not seem to know the names of common objects. What is that bird
yonder seated on the wall?" And he pointed out of the window at a

"Plaaze, zur, her's a stag."

"I thought as much. You do not know the difference between a biped
and a quadruped."

I was present one day at the examination of a National School by
H.M. Inspector.

"Children," said he, "what form is that?"

"A dodecahedron."

"And that?"

"An isosceles triangle."

"And what is the highest peak in Africa?"

"Kilima Ndjaro."

"Its height?"

"Twenty thousand feet."

"And what are the rivers that drain Siberia?"

"The Obi, the Yenesei, and the Lena."

Now in going to the school I had plucked a little bunch of
speedwell, and I said to the inspector, "Would you mind inquiring of
the children the name of this plant?"

"What is this plant?" he demanded.

Not a child knew.

"What is the river that flows through your valley?"

Not a child knew.

"What is the name of the highest peak of Dartmoor you see yonder?"

Not a child knew.

And this is the rubbish in place of education that at great cost is
given to our children.

Education they do not get; stuffing they do.

They acquire a number of new words, which they do not understand and
which they persistently mispronounce.

"Aw my! isn't it hot? The prepositions be runin' all hover me."

"Ay! yü'm no schollard! I be breakin' out wi' presbeterians."

The "oo" when followed by an "r" has the sound "o" converted into
"oa"; thus "door" becomes "doar."

"Eau" takes the sound of the modified German "ü"; thus "beauty" is
pronounced "büty."

"Fe" and "g" take "y" to prolong and emphasise them; thus "fever"
becomes "feyver," and "meat" is pronounced "mayte."

"F" is frequently converted into "v"; "old father" is "ole vayther."
But on the other hand "v" is often changed to "f," as "view" into

The vowel "a" is always pronounced long; "landed" is "lānded,"
"plant" is "plānt." "H" is frequently changed into "y"; "heat" is
spoken of as "yett," "Heathfield" becomes "Yaffel," and "hall" is

"I" is interjected to give greater force, and "e" is sounded as
"a"; "flesh" is pronounced "flaish." "S" is pronounced "z," as in
examples already given. "O" has an "ou" sound in certain positions,
as "going," which is rendered "gou-en." "S" in the third person
singular of a verb is "th," as "he grows," "a grawth," "she does" is
"her düth."

Here is a form of the future perfect: "I shall 'ave a-bin an' gone
vur tü dü it."

There is a decided tendency to soften harsh syllabic conjunctions.
Thus Blackbrook is Blackabrook, and Matford is Mattaford; this is
the Celtic interjected _y_ and _ty_.

This is hardly a place for giving a list of peculiar words; they
may be found in Mrs. Hewett's book, referred to at the end of this
chapter, and collected by the committee on Devonshire provincialisms
in the _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_.

As a specimen of the dialect I will give a couple of verses of a
popular folk song.

    "The gügü es a purty burd,
      'Er zingeth as er vlieth;
    'Er bring'th güde tidin's,
      'Er tell'th naw lies;
    'Er zucketh swate vlowers
      Tu kaype 'er voice clear,
    An' whan 'er zingeth gügü
      Tha zummer drāeth near.

    "Naw āll yu vair maidens
      Wheriver yü be,
    Your 'earts dü nat 'ang 'em
      On a zicamore tree.
    The layfe it will wither,
      The mores (roots) will decay;
    Ah me, I be waistin'
      An' vaydin' away."

The Devonian and Cornishman will be found by the visitor to
be courteous and hospitable. There is no roughness of manner
where unspoiled by periodic influx of strangers; he is kindly,
tender-hearted, and somewhat suspicious. There is a lack of firmness
of purpose such as characterises the Scotchman; and a lively
imagination may explain a slackness in adhesion to the truth. He
is prone to see things as he would like them to be rather than as
they are. On the road passers-by always salute and have a bit of
a yarn, even though personally unacquainted; and to go by in the
dark without a greeting is a serious default in good manners. A
very marked trait especially noticeable in the Cornish is their
independence. Far more intimately than the inhabitants of any other
part of England, they are democrats. This they share with the Welsh;
and, like the Welsh, though politically they are Radicals, are
inherently the most conservative of people.

It is a peculiarity among them to address one another by the
Christian name, or to speak of a man by the Christian name along
with the surname, should there be need to distinguish him from
another. The term "Mr." is rarely employed. A gentleman is "Squire
So-and-so," but not a mister; and the trade is often prefixed to the
name, as Millard Horn, or Pass'n John, or Cap'n Zackie.

There is no form of enjoyment more relished by a West Country man
or woman than a "buryin'." Business occupations are cast aside when
there is to be a funeral. The pomp and circumstance of woe exercise
an extraordinary fascination on the Western mind, and that which
concerns the moribund person at the last is not how to prepare the
soul for the great change, but how to contrive to have a "proper
grand buryin'." "Get away, you rascal!" was the address of an irate
urchin to another, "if you gie' me more o' your saāce you shan't
come to my buryin'." "Us 'as enjoyed ourselves bravely," says a
mourner, wiping the crumbs from his beard and the whiskey-drops from
his lips; and no greater satisfaction could be given to the mourners
than this announcement.

On the other hand a wedding wakes comparatively little interest; the
parents rarely attend.

The looks of Devonshire and Cornish lasses are proverbial. This
is not due to complexion alone, which is cream and roses, but to
the well-proportioned limbs, the litheness of form, uprightness of
carriage, and to the good moulding of the features. The mouth and
chin are always well shaped, and the nose is straight; in shape the
faces are a long oval.

I am not sure that West Country women ever forget that they were
once comely. An old woman of seventy-five was brought forward to be
photographed by an amateur: no words of address could induce her to
speak till the operation was completed; then she put her finger into
her mouth: "You wouldn't ha' me took wi' my cheeks falled in? I just
stuffed the _Western Marnin' News_ into my mouth to fill'n out."

Although both in Devon and Cornwall there is great independence and
a total absence of that servility of manner which one meets with in
other parts of England, it would be a vast mistake to suppose that a
West Country man is disrespectful to those who are his superiors--if
he has reason to recognise their superiority; but he does not like
a "foreigner," especially one from the North Country. He does not
relish his manner, and this causes misunderstanding and mutual
dislike. He is pleased to have as his pass'n, as his squire, as a
resident in his neighbourhood, a man whom he knows all about, as to
who were his father and his grandfather, as also whence he hails. A
clergyman who comes from a town, or from any other part of England,
has to learn to understand the people before they will at all take
to him. "I have been here five years," said a rector one day to me,
a man transferred from far, "and I don't understand the people yet,
and until I understand them I am quite certain to be miscomprehended
by them."

The West Country man must be met and addressed as an equal. He
resents the slightest token of approach _de haut en bas_, but he
never presumes; he is always respectful and knows his place; he
values himself, and demands, and quite rightly, that you shall show
that you value him.

The other day a bicyclist was spinning down the road to Moreton
Hampstead. Not knowing quite where he was, and night approaching, he
drew up where he saw an old farmer leaning on a gate.

"I say, you Johnnie, where am I? I want a bed."

"You'm fourteen miles from Wonford Asylum," was the quiet response,
"and fourteen from Newton Work'us, and fourteen from Princetown
Prison, and I reckon you could find quarters in any o' they--and


With regard to the Cornish people, I can but reiterate what has
already been said relative to the Western folk generally. What
differences exist in character are not due to difference of race,
but to that of occupation. The bulk of Cornishmen in the middle and
west have been associated with mines and with the sea, and this is
calculated to give to the character a greater independence, and
also to confer a subtle colour, different in kind to that which is
produced by agricultural labour. If you take a Yorkshireman from
one side of the Calder or Aire, where factory life is prevalent,
and one from the other side, where he works in the fields, you will
find as great, if not a greater, difference than you will between
a Devonshire and a Cornish man. Compare the sailors and miners on
one side of the Tamar with those on the other, and you will find no
difference at all.

There will always be more independence in miners who travel
about the world, who are now in Brazil, then in the African
diamond-fields, next at home, than in the agricultural labourer, who
never goes further than the nearest market town. The mind is more
expanded in the one than in the other; but in race all may be one,
though differing in ideas, manners, views, speech.

I venture now to quote freely from an article on Cornishmen that is
written by an outsider, and which appeared in a review.

     "The dweller in Cornwall comes in time to perceive the constant
     recurrence of various types of man. Of these, two at least
     are well marked, very common, and probably of great antiquity
     and significance. The man of the first type is slender,
     lithe, graceful, usually rather short; the face is smooth and
     delicately outlined, without bony prominences, the eyebrows
     finely pencilled. The character is, on the whole, charming,
     volatile, vivacious, but not always reliable, and while
     quick-witted, rarely capable of notable achievement or strenuous
     endeavour. It is distinctly a feminine type. The other type is
     large and solid, often with much crispy hair on the face and
     shaggy eyebrows. The arches over the eyes are well marked and
     the jaws massive; the bones generally are developed in these
     persons, though they would scarcely be described as raw-boned;
     in its extreme form a face of this type has a rugged prognathous
     character which seems to belong to a lower race."

Usually the profile is fine, with straight noses; and a well-formed
mouth, with oval, rather long face is general, the chin and mouth
being small. I do not recall at any time meeting with the "rummagy"
faces, with no defined shape, and ill-formed noses that one
encounters in Scotland.

There is a want of the strength and force such as is encountered in
the North; but on the other hand there is remarkable refinement of

I had at one time some masons and workmen engaged upon a structure
just in front of my dining-room windows, and a friend from
Yorkshire was visiting me. The men working for me were perhaps fine
specimens, but nothing really extraordinary for the country. One,
a tall, fair-haired, blue-eyed mason, my friend at once designated
Lohengrin; and he was the typical knight of the swan--I suspect a
pure Celt. Another was not so tall, lithe, dark, and handsome. "King
Arthur" was what my friend called him.

The writer, Mr. Havelock Ellis, whom I have already quoted,

     "The women are solid and vigorous in appearance, with
     fully-developed breasts and hips, in marked contrast with the
     first type, but resembling women in Central and Western France.
     Indeed, the people of this type generally recall a certain
     French type, grave, self-possessed, deliberate in movement,
     capable and reliable in character. I mention these two types
     because they seem to me to represent the two oldest races of
     Cornwall, or, indeed, of England. The first corresponds to
     the British neolithic man, who held sway in England before
     the so-called Celts arrived, and who probably belonged to the
     so-called Iberian race; in pictures of Spanish women of the best
     period, indeed, and in some parts of modern Spain, we may still
     see the same type. The second corresponds to the more powerful,
     and as his remains show, the more cultured and æsthetic Celt,
     who came from France and Belgium.... When these types of
     individual are combined, the results are often very attractive.
     We then meet with what is practically a third type: large,
     dignified, handsome people, distinguished from the Anglo-Saxon
     not only by their prominent noses and well-formed chins, but
     also by their unaffected grace and refinement of manner. In many
     a little out-of-the-world Cornish farm I have met with the men
     of this type, and admired the distinction of their appearance
     and bearing, their natural instinctive courtesy, their kindly
     hospitality. It was surely of such men that Queen Elizabeth
     thought when she asserted that all Cornishmen are courtiers.

     "I do not wish to insist too strongly on these types which
     blend into one another, and may even be found in the same
     family. The Anglo-Saxon stranger, who has yet had no time to
     distinguish them, and who comes, let us say, from a typically
     English county like Lancashire, still finds much that is
     unfamiliar in the people he meets. They strike him as rather
     a dark race, lithe in movement, and their hands and feet are
     small. Their hair has a tendency to curl, and their complexions,
     even those of the men, are often incomparable. The last
     character is due to the extremely moist climate of Cornwall,
     swept on both sides by the sea-laden Atlantic. More than by
     this, however, the stranger accustomed to the heavy, awkward
     ways of the Anglo-Saxon clodhopper will be struck by the bright,
     independent intelligence and faculty of speech which he finds
     here. No disguise can cover the rusticity of the English rustic;
     on Cornish roads one may often meet a carman whose clear-cut
     face, bushy moustache, and general bearing might easily add
     distinction to Pall Mall."

There are parts of Devon and of Cornwall where the dark type
prevails. "A black grained man" is descriptive of one belonging to
the Veryan district, and dark hair and eyes, and singular beauty
are found about the Newlyn and St. Ives districts. The darkest type
has been thrust into corners. In a fold of Broadbury Down in Devon,
in the village of Germansweek, the type is mainly dark; in that of
North Lew, in another lap of the same down, it is light. It has
been noticed that a large patch of the dusky race has remained in

The existence of the dark eyes and hair and fine profiles has been
attempted to be explained by the fable that a Spanish vessel was
wrecked now here, now there, from the Armada, and that the sailors
remained and married the Cornish women. I believe that this is
purely a fable. The same attempt at solution of the existence of the
same type in Ireland and in Scotland has been made, because people
would not understand that there could be any other explanation of
the phenomenon.

I have been much struck in South Wales, on a market day, when
observing the people, to see how like they were in build, and
colour, and manner, and features to those one might encounter at a
fair in Tavistock, Launceston, or Bodmin.

I positively must again quote Mr. Havelock Ellis on the Cornish
woman, partly because his description is so charmingly put, but also
because it is so incontestably true.

     "The special characters of the race are often vividly shown
     in its women. I am not aware that they have ever played a
     large part in the world, whether in life or art. But they are
     memorable enough for their own qualities. Many years ago, as a
     student in a large London hospital, I had under my care a young
     girl who came from labour of the lowest and least skilled order.
     Yet there was an instinctive grace and charm in all her ways and
     speech which distinguished her utterly from the rough women of
     her class. I was puzzled then over that delightful anomaly. In
     after years, recalling her name and her appearance, I knew that
     she was Cornish, and I am puzzled no longer. I have since seen
     the same ways, the same soft, winning speech equally unimpaired
     by hard work and rude living. The Cornish woman possesses an
     adroitness and self-possession, a modulated readiness of speech,
     far removed from the awkward heartiness of the Anglo-Saxon
     woman, the emotional inexpressiveness of the Lancashire lass
     whose eyes wander around as she seeks for words, perhaps
     completing her unfinished sentence by a snap of the fingers.
     The Cornish woman--at all events while she is young and not
     submerged by the drudgery of life--exhibits a certain delightful
     volubility and effervescence. In this respect she has some
     affinity with the bewitching and distracting heroines of Thomas
     Hardy's novels, doubtless because the Wessex folk of the South
     Coast are akin to the Cornish. The Cornish girl is inconsistent
     without hypocrisy; she is not ashamed of work, but she is very
     fond of jaunts, and on such occasions she dresses herself, it
     would be rash to say with more zeal than the Anglo-Saxon maiden,
     but usually with more success. She is an assiduous chapel-goer,
     equally assiduous in flirtations when chapel is over. The pretty
     Sunday-school teacher and leader of the local Band of Hope
     cheerfully confesses as she drinks off the glass of claret you
     offer her that she is but a poor teetotaller. The Cornish woman
     will sometimes have a baby before she is legally married; it is
     only an old custom of the county, though less deeply rooted than
     the corresponding custom in Wales."[2]

  [2] _The New Century Review_, April, 1897.

The Cornish are, like the Welsh, intensely religious, but according
to their idea religion is emotionalism and has hardly enough to do
with morality.

     "So Mr. So-and-So is dead," in reference to a local preacher. "I
     fear he led a very loose life."

     "Ah! perhaps so, but he was a sweet Christian."

Here is something illustrative at once of West Country religion and
dialect. I quote from an amusing paper on the "Recollections of a
Parish Worker" in the _Cornish Magazine_ (1898):--

     "'How do you like the vicar?' I asked. 'Oh, he's a lovely man,'
     she answered, 'and a 'ansome praicher--and such a voice! But
     did 'ee hear how he lost un to-day? Iss, I thought he would
     have failed all to-wance, an' that wad have bin a gashly job.
     But I prayed for un an' the Lord guv it back to un again, twice
     as loud, an' dedn't 'ee holler! But 'ee dedn't convart me. I
     convarted meself. Iss a ded. I was a poor wisht bad woman. Never
     went to a place of worship. Not for thirty years a hadn't a
     bin. One day theer came word that my brother Willum was hurted
     to the mine. So I up an' went to un an' theer he was, all scat
     abroad an' laid out in scritches. He was in a purty stank, sure
     'nuff. But all my trouble was his poor sowl. I felt I must get
     he convarted before he passed. I went where he was to, an' I
     shut home the door, an' I hollered an' I rassled an' I prayed to
     him, an' he nivver spoke. I got no mouth spaich out of him at
     awl, but I screeched and screeched an' prayed until I convarted
     myself! An' then I be to go to church. Iss, we awl have to come
     to it, first an' last, though I used to say for christenings an'
     marryin's an' berrin's we must go to church, but for praichin'
     an' ennytheng for tha nex' wurld give me the chapel; still, I
     waanted to go to church an' laive everybody knaw I wur proper
     chaanged. So I pitched to put up my Senday go-to-mittun bonnet,
     an' I went. An' when I got theer aw! my blessed life 'twas
     Harvest Thanksgivin', an' when I saw the flowers an' the fruit
     an' the vegetables an' the cotton wool I was haived up on end!'
     And heaved up on the right end she was."

The table of Commandments is with the Cornish not precisely that
of Moses. It skips, or treats very lightly, the seventh, but it
comprises others not found in Scripture: "Thou shalt not drink any
alcohol," and "Thou shalt not dance."

On Old Christmas Day, in my neighbourhood, a great temperance
meeting was held. A noted speaker on teetotalism was present and
harangued. A temperance address is never relished without some
horrible example held up to scorn. Well, here it was. "At a certain
place called ----, last year, as Christmas drew on, the Guardians
met to decide what fare should be afforded to the paupers for
Christmas Day. Hitherto it had been customary for them to be given
for their dinner a glass of ale--a glass of ale. I repeat it--at
public cost--a glass of ale apiece. On that occasion the Guardians
unanimously agreed that the paupers should have cocoa, and not
ale. Then up stood the Rector--the Rector, I repeat--and in a loud
and angry voice declared: 'Gentlemen, if you will not give them
their drop of ale, I will.' And he--he, a minister of the gospel
or considering himself as such."--(A shudder and a groan.) "I tell
you more--I tell you something infinitely worse--he sent up to the
work-house a dozen of his old crusted port." (Cries of "Shame!
shame!" and hisses.)

_That_, if you please, was the unpardonable sin.

If we are to look anywhere for local characteristics in the music
of the people in any particular part of England, we may surely
expect to find them in the western counties of Somerset, Devon, and
Cornwall. These three counties have hitherto been out of the beaten
track; they are more encompassed by the sea than others, and lead
only to the Land's End.

And as a matter of fact, a large proportion of the melodies that
have been collected from the peasantry in this region seem to have
kept their habitation, and so to be unknown elsewhere.

I take it for granted that they are, as a rule, home productions.
The origin of folk-song has been much debated, and it need not
be gone into now. But it would be vain to search for local
characteristics in anything that has not a local origin.

In folk-song, then, we may expect to see reflected the
characteristics of the race from which it has sprung, and, as in the
counties of Devon and Cornwall on one side and Somersetshire on the
other, we are brought into contact with two, at least, races--the
British and the Saxon--we do find two types of melody very distinct.
Of course, as with their dialects, so with their melodies, the
distinctions are sometimes marked, and sometimes merged in each
other. The Devonshire melodies have some affinity with those
of Ireland, whilst the Somersetshire tunes exhibit a stubborn
individuality--a roughness, indeed, which is all their own.

Taking first the Devonshire songs, I think one cannot fail to
be struck with the exceeding grace and innate refinement which
distinguish them. These qualities are not always perceptible in the
performance of the songs by the untutored singers; nor do the words
convey, as a rule, any such impressions, but evident enough when
you come to adjust to their proper form the music which you have
succeeded in jotting down. It surprises you. You are not prepared
for anything like original melody, or for anything gentle or
tender. But the Devonshire songs are so. Their thought is idyllic.
Through shady groves melodious with song, the somewhat indolent
lover of Nature wanders forth without any apparent object save
that of "breathing the air," and (it must be added) of keeping an
open eye for nymphs, one of whom seldom fails to be seeking the
same seclusion. Mutual advances ensue; no explanations are needed;
constancy is neither vowed nor required. The casual lovers meet and
part, and no sequel is appended to the artless tale.

Sentiment is the staple of Devonshire folk-song; it is a trifle
unwholesome, but it is unmistakably graceful and charming. Take such
songs as "By chance it was," "The Forsaken Maiden," "The Gosshawk,"
"Golden Furze;" surely there is a gush of genuine melody and the
spirit of poetry in such tunes.

In some respects the folk-song of Devonshire is rather
disappointing. There is no commemoration, no appreciation, of her
heroes. The salt sea-breeze does not seem to reach inland, save to
whisper in a wailing tone of "The Drowned Lover," or the hapless
"Cabin Boy." Sea-songs may be in her ports, but they were not born

Nor are the joys of the chase proclaimed with such robustness as
elsewhere, any more than are the pleasures and excitements of the
flowing bowl. This may be attributed to the same refinement of
character of which I have spoken.

A pastoral and peace-loving community will not be expected to
develop any special sense of humour. Devonshire is by no means
deficient in it, but it is of a quiet sort, a sly humour something
allied to what the Scotch call "pawky," of which "Widicombe Fair"
is as good an example as can be had. Of what may be called the
religious element, save in Christmas and Easter carols, I have never
discovered any trace.

The Rev. H. Fleetwood Sheppard, who has spent ten years in
collecting the melodies of Devon and Cornwall, says of them, "I have
found them delightful, full of charm and melody. I never weary of
them. They are essentially poetical, but they are also essentially
the songs of sentiment, and their one pervading, almost unvarying
theme is--The Eternal Feminine."

When we pass into Somersetshire the folk-music assumes quite a
different character. The tenderness, the refinement have vanished.
Judging from their songs, we might expect to find the Somersetshire
folk bold, frank, noisy, independent, self-assertive; and this
view would be quite in keeping with their traditional character.
In Shakespeare's time bandogs and bull baiting were the special
delight of the country gentry,[3] and Fuller describes the natives
of Taunton Dean as "rude, rich, and conceited." If one turn to the
music, "Richard of Taunton Dean," or "Jan's Courtship," "George
Riddler's Oven," and the like, are in entire keeping with the
character of the people as thus depicted. There is vigour and _go_
in their songs, but no sweetness; ruggedness, no smoothness at all;
and it is precisely this latter quality that marks the Cornish and
Devonshire airs.

  [3] See M. DRAYTON'S _Polyolbion_ on this.

Take such a tune as that to which the well-known hunting song of
Devon, "Arscott of Tetcott," is wedded. The air is a couple of
centuries older than the words, for the Arscott whom the song
records died in 1788, though we can only trace the tune back
to D'Urfey at the end of the seventeenth century. The music is
impetuous, turbulent, excited, it might be the chasing the red
deer on Exmoor; the hunt goes by with a rush like a whirlwind to a
semi-barbarous melody, which resembles nothing so much as that of
the spectral chase in Der Freischütz.

But Somersetshire song can be tender at times, though not quite
with the bewitching grace of Devonia. There is a charming air which
found its way from the West up to London some sixty years ago, the
original words of which are lost, but the tune became immensely
popular under the title of "All round my hat," a vulgar ditty sung
by all little vulgar boys in the streets. The tune is well worth
preserving. It is old, and there is a kind of wail about it which is

But who were the composers of these folk-airs? In the old desks in
west galleries of churches remain here and there piles of MS. music:
anthems, and, above all, carols, the composition of local musicians
unknown beyond their immediate neighbourhood, and now unknown even
by name.

A few years ago I was shown such a pile from Lifton Church. I saw
another great library, as I may call it, that was preserved in the
rack in the ceiling of a cottage at Sheepstor, the property of
an old fiddler, now dead. I saw a third in Holne parish. I have
seen stray heaps elsewhere. Mr. Heath, of Redruth, published two
collections from Cornwall and one from Devon, the latter from
the Lifton store in part, to which I had directed his attention.
I cannot doubt that some of the popular tunes that are found
circulating among our old singers--or to be more exact, were
found--were the composition of these ancient village musicians.
Alas! the American organ and the strident harmonium came in and
routed out the venerable representatives of a musical past; and the
music-hall piece is now driving away all the sound old traditional
melody, and the last of the ancient conservators of folk-song makes
his bow, and says:--

    "I be going, I reckon, full mellow,
      To lay in the churchyard my head,
    So say--God be wi' you, old fellow!
      The last of the zingers is dead."

     NOTE.--For the history of Devon: WORTH (R. N.), _History of
     Devonshire_. London, 1886. For Devonshire dialect: HEWETT(S.),
     _The Peasant Speech of Devon_. E. Stock. London, 1892. For
     Devonshire folk-music: _Songs of the West_. Methuen. London,
     1895. (3rd ed.) _A Garland of Country Song_. Methuen. London,

     For most of what has been said above on the folk-songs of Devon
     I am indebted to the Rev. H. Fleetwood Sheppard, who has made it
     his special study.



     Devonshire villages not so picturesque as those of Sussex and
     Kent--Cob and stone--Slate--Thatch and whitewash--Churches
     mostly in the Perpendicular style--Characteristics of
     that style--Foliage in stone--Somerset towers--Cornish
     peculiarities of pinnacles--Waggon-headed roofs--Beer and
     Hatherleigh stone--Polyphant--Treatment of granite--Wood-work
     in Devon churches--Screens--How they have been treated by
     incumbents--Pulpits--Bench-ends--Norman fonts--Village
     crosses--How the Perpendicular style maintained itself in the
     West--Old mansions--Trees in Devon--Flora--The village revel.

A Devonshire village does not contrast favourably with those in
Essex, Kent, Sussex, and other parts of England, where brick or
timber and plaster are the materials used, and where the roofs are

But of cottages in the county there are two kinds. The first, always
charming, is of _cob_, clay, thatched. Such cottages are found
throughout North Devon, and wherever the red sandstone prevails.
They are low, with an upper storey, the windows to which are small,
and the brown thatch is lifted above these peepers like a heavy,
sleepy brow in a very picturesque manner. But near Dartmoor stone
is employed, and an old, imperishable granite house is delightful
when thatched. But thatch has given way everywhere to slate, and
when the roof is slated a great charm is gone. There is slate and
slate. The soft, silvery grey slate that is used in South Devon
is pleasing, and when a house is slated down its face against the
driving rains, and the slates are worked into patterns and are
small, they are vastly pretty. But architects are paid a percentage
on the outlay, and it is to their profit to use material from a
distance; they insist on Welsh or Delabole slate, and nothing can
be uglier than the pink of the former and the chill grey of the
other--like the tint of an overcast sky in a March wind.

[Illustration: SHEEPSTOR]

I once invited an architect to design a residence on a somewhat
large scale. He did so, and laid down that Delabole slate should be
employed with bands of Welsh slate of the colour of beetroot. "But,"
said I, "we have slate on the estate. It costs me nothing but the
raising and carting."

"I dislike the colour," said he. "If you employ an architect, you
must take the architect's opinion."

I was silenced. The same day, in the afternoon, this architect and I
were walking in a lane. I exclaimed suddenly, "Oh, what an effect of
colour! Do look at those crimson dock-leaves!"

"Let me see if I can find them," said the architect. "I am
colour-blind, and do not know red from green."

It was an incautious admission. He had forgotten about the slates,
and so gave himself away.

The real objection, of course, was that my own slates would cost me
nothing. But also of course he did not give me that reason.

Where the slate rocks are found, grauwacke and schist, there the
cottages are very ugly--could not well be uglier--and new cottages
and houses that are erected are, as a rule, eyesores.

However, we have in Devon some very pretty villages and clusters of
cottages, and the little group of roofs of thatch and glistening
whitewashed walls about the old church, the whole backed by limes
and beech and elm, and set in a green combe, is all that can be
desired for quiet beauty; although, individually, each cottage may
not be a subject for the pencil, nor the church itself pre-eminently

The churches of Devonshire belong mainly to the Perpendicular style;
that is to say, they were nearly all rebuilt between the end of the
fourteenth and the sixteenth centuries.

Of this style, this is what Mr. Parker says: "The name is derived
from the arrangement of the tracery, which consists of perpendicular
lines, and forms one of its most striking features. At its first
appearance the general effect was usually bold and good; the
mouldings, though not equal to the best of the Decorated style,
were well defined; the enrichments effective and ample without
exuberance, and the details delicate without extravagant minuteness.
Subsequently it underwent a gradual debasement: the arches became
depressed; the mouldings impoverished; the ornaments crowded, and
often coarsely executed; and the subordinate features confused
from the smallness and complexity of their parts. A leading
characteristic of the style, and one which prevails throughout its
continuance, is the square arrangement of the mouldings over the
heads of doorways, creating a spandrel on each side above the arch,
which is usually ornamented with tracery, foliage, or a shield. The
jambs of doorways are generally moulded, frequently with one or more
small shafts."

The style is one that did not allow of much variety in window
tracery. The object of the adoption of upright panels of glass was
to allow of stained figures in glass of angels filling the lights,
as there had been a difficulty found in suitably filling the
tracery of the heads of the windows with subjects when these heads
were occupied by geometrical figures composed of circles and arcs

In the west window of Exeter Cathedral may be seen a capital
example of "Decorated" tracery, and in the east window one in the
"Perpendicular" style.

Skill in glass staining and painting had become advanced, and the
windows were made much larger than before, so as to admit of the
introduction of more stained glass.

Pointed arches struck from two centres had succeeded round
arches struck from a single centre, and now the arches were made

Foliage in carving had, under Early English treatment, been
represented as just bursting, the leaves uncurling with the breath
of spring. In the Decorated style the foliage is in full summer
expansion, generally wreathed round a capital. Superb examples of
Decorated foliage may be seen in the corbels in the choir at Exeter.
In Perpendicular architecture the leaves are crisped and wrinkled
with frost.

In Devonshire the earlier towers had spires. When the great wave
of church building came over the land, after the conclusion of the
Wars of the Roses, then no more spires were erected, but towers with
buttresses, and battlemented and pinnacled square heads. In the
country there are no towers that come up to the splendid examples in
Somersetshire; but that of Chittlehampton is the nearest approach to
one of these.

In the Somerset towers the buttresses are frequently surmounted by
open-work pinnacles or small lanterns of elaborate tabernacle work,
and the parapets or battlements are of open tracery; but in Devon
these latter are plain with bold coping, and the pinnacles are well
developed and solid, and not overloaded with ornament. Bishop's
Nympton, South Molton, and Chittlehampton towers are locally
described as "Length," "Strength," and "Beauty."

A fine effect is produced when the turret by which the top of the
tower is reached is planted in the midst of one side, usually the
north; and it is carried up above the tower roof. There are many
examples. I need name but Totnes and Ashburton.

A curious effect is produced among the Cornish towers, and those
near the Tamar on the Devon side, of the pinnacles being cut so as
to curve outwards and not to be upright. The effect is not pleasant,
and the purpose is not easily discoverable; but it was possibly done
as being thought by this means to offer less resistance to the wind.

The roofs are usually "waggon-headed." The open timber roof, so
elaborated in Norfolk, is not common. A magnificent example is,
however, to be seen in Wear Gifford Hall. But cradle roofs do exist,
and in a good many cases the waggon roofs are but ceiled cradle
roofs. A good plain example of a cradle roof is in the chancel of
Ipplepen, and a very rich one at Beaford.

The mouldings of the timbers are often much enriched. A fine example
is Pancras Week. The portion of the roof over the rood-screen is
frequently very much more elaborately ornamented than the rest. An
example is King's Nympton, where, however, before the restoration,
it was even more gorgeous than at present. The waggon roof presents
immense advantages over the open timber roof; it is warmer; it is
better for sound; it is not, like the other, a makeshift. It carries
the eye up without the harsh and unpleasant break from the walling
to the barn-like timber structure overhead.

Wherever white Beer stone or rosy Hatherleigh stone could be had,
that was easily cut, there delicate moulding and tracery work was
possible; but in some parts of the county a suitable stone was
lacking. In the neighbourhood of Tavistock the doorways and windows
were cut out of Roborough stone, a volcanic tufa, full of pores,
and so coarse that nothing refined could be attempted with it.
Near Launceston, however, were the Polyphant quarries, the stone
also volcanic, but close-grained and of a delicate, beautiful grey
tone. This was employed for pillars and window tracery. The fine
Decorated columns of Bratton Clovelly Church, of a soft grey
colour, are of this stone. The run of the stone was, however,
limited, and was thought to be exhausted. It was not till the
Perpendicular style came in that an attempt was made to employ
granite. The experiment led to curious results. The tendency of
the style is to flimsiness, especially in the mouldings; but the
obduracy of the material would not allow of delicate treatment, and
the Perpendicular mouldings, especially noticeable in doorways, are
often singularly bold and effective. A _tour de force_ was effected
at Launceston Church, which is elaborately carved throughout in
granite, and in Probus tower, in Cornwall. For beauty in granite
work Widecombe-in-the-Moor tower cannot be surpassed; there the
tower is noble and the church to which it belongs is mean. In using
Ham Hill stone or Beer stone, that was extracted in blocks, the
pillars, the jambs of doors and windows were made of several pieces
laid in courses and cut to fit one another. But when the architects
of Perpendicular times had to deal with granite there was no need
for this; they made their pillars and jambs in single solid blocks.
A modern architect, bred to Caen stone or Bath oolite, sends down
a design for a church or house to be erected near Dartmoor, or in
Cornwall, and treats the granite as though it came out of the quarry
in small blocks; and the result is absurd. An instance of this
blundering in treatment is the new east window of Lanreath Church,
Cornwall, designed by such a "master in Israel" as Mr. Bodley. The
porch doorway is in six stones, one for each base, one for each
jamb, and two form the arch. The old windows are treated in a
similar fashion--each jamb is a single stone. But Mr. Bodley has
built up his new window of little pieces of granite one foot deep.
The effect is bad. Unhappily, local architects are as blind to local
characteristics as London architects are ignorant of them. So also,
when these gentry attempt to design hood mouldings, or indeed any
mouldings, for execution in granite, they cannot do it--the result
is grotesque, mean, and paltry: they think in Caen stone and Bath,
and to design in granite a man's mind must be made up in granite.

In Cornwall there are some good building materials capable of
ornamental treatment, more delicate than can be employed in granite.
Such are the Pentewan and Catacleuse stones. The latter is gloomy in
colour, but was used for the finest work, as the noble tomb of Prior
Vivian, in Bodmin Church.

As stone was an intractable material, the Devonshire men who desired
to decorate their churches directed their energies to oak carving,
and filled them with very finely sculptured bench-ends and screens
of the most elaborate and gorgeous description.

So rich and elaborate are these latter, that when a church has to be
restored the incumbent trembles at the prospect of the renovation of
his screen, and this has led to many of them being turned out and
destroyed. South Brent screen was thus wantonly ejected and allowed
to rot. Bridestowe was even worse treated: the tracery was cut in
half and turned upside down, and plastered against deal boarding--to
form a dwarf screen.

"What will my screen cost if it be restored?" asked a rector of Mr.
Harry Hems.

"About four hundred pounds."

"Four hundred pounds! Bless me! I think I had best have it removed."

"Very well, sir, be prepared for the consequences. Your name will go
down to posterity dyed in infamy and yourself steeped in obloquy."

"You don't mean to say so?"

"Fact, sir, I assure you."

That preserved the screen.

Then, again, some faddists have a prejudice against them. This has
caused the destruction of those in Davidstow and West Alvington.
Others, however, have known how to value what is the great treasure
in their churches entrusted to their custody, and they have
preserved and restored them. Such are Staverton, Dartmouth, Totnes,
Harberton, Wolborough. That there must have been in the sixteenth
century a school of quite first-class carvers cannot be doubted, in
face of such incomparable work as is seen in the pulpit and screen
of Kenton. But if there was good work by masters there was also some
poor stuff, formal and without individual character--such as the
screens at Kenn and Laneast.

The pulpits are also occasionally very rich and of the same date as
the screens. There are noble examples of stone pulpits elaborately
carved at South Molton, Bovey Tracey, Chittlehampton, and Harberton,
and others even finer in wood, as Holne, Kenton, Ipplepen, Torbrian.


Among churches which have fine bench-ends may be noted Braunton,
Lapford, Colebrook, Horwood, Broadwood Widger (dated 1529), North
Lew (also dated), Plymtree, Lew Trenchard, Peyhembury.

Several early fonts remain of Norman style, and even in some
cases perhaps earlier. The finest Norman fonts are Stoke Canon,
Alphington, S. Mary Steps (Exeter), Hartland, and Bere Ferrers. In
the west, about the Tamar, one particular pattern of Norman font was
reproduced repeatedly; and it is found in several churches. There
are a number of village crosses remaining, a very fine one at South
Zeal; also at Meavy, Mary Tavy, Staverton, Sampford Spiney, Holne,
Hele, and some extremely rude on Dartmoor.

There was a churchyard cross at Manaton. The Rev. C. Carwithen, who
was rector, found that the people carried a coffin thrice round it,
the way of the sun, at a funeral; although he preached against the
usage as superstitious, they persisted in doing so. One night he
broke up the cross, and removed and concealed the fragments. It is a
pity that the cross did not fall on and break his stupid head.

It is interesting to observe how late the Perpendicular style
maintained itself in the West. At Plymouth is Charles Church,
erected after the Restoration, of late Gothic character. So also
are there aisles to churches, erected after the Reformation, of
debased style, but nevertheless distinctly a degeneration of the

In domestic architecture this is even more noticeable.
Granite-mullioned windows and four-centred doorways under square
hoods, with shields and flowers in the spandrels, continued in use
till the beginning of the eighteenth century.

A very large number of old mansions, belonging to the squirearchy of
Elizabethan days, remain. The Devonshire gentry were very numerous,
and not extraordinarily wealthy. They built with cob, and with
oak windows, or else in stone with granite mullions, but neither
material allowed of great splendour. A house in granite cost about
three times as much as one of a like size in brick.

The mansions are too numerous to be mentioned. One who is desirous
of seeing old houses should provide himself with an inch to the
mile Ordnance Survey map, and visit such houses as are inserted
thereon in Old English characters. Unhappily, although this serves
as a guide in Cornwall, the county of Devon has been treated in a
slovenly manner, and in my own immediate neighbourhood, although
such a fine example existed as Sydenham House, it remained
unnoticed; and the only two mansions indicated in Old English were a
couple of ruins, uninhabited, that have since disappeared. Where the
one-inch fails recourse must be had to the six-inch map.

Devonshire villages and parks cannot show such magnificent trees as
the Midlands and Eastern counties. The elm grows to a considerable
size on the red land, but the elm is much exposed to be blown
over in a gale, especially when it has attained a great size. Oak
abounds, but never such oak as may be seen in Suffolk. The fact is
that when the tap-root of an oak tree touches rock the tree makes no
progress, and as the rock lies near the surface almost throughout
the county, an oak tree does not have the chance there that it does
in the Eastern counties, where it may burrow for a mile in depth
without touching stone.

Moreover, situated as the county is between two seas, it is
windblown, and the trees are disposed to bend away from the
prevailing south-westerly and westerly gales. But if trees do not
attain the size they do elsewhere, they are very numerous, and the
county is well wooded. Its rocks and its lanes are the homes of
the most beautiful ferns that grow with luxuriance, and in winter
the moors are tinted rainbow colours with the mosses. The flora is
varied with the soil. What thrives on the red land perishes on the
cold clay; the harebell, which loves the limestone, will not live on
the granite, and does not affect the schist.

The botanist may consult Miss Helen Saunders' "Botanical Notes" in
the _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_; Miss Chaunters'
_Ferny Combes_; and the appendix to Mr. Rowe's _Dartmoor_.

The village revel was till twenty years ago a great institution, and
a happy though not harmless one. But it has died out, and it is now
sometimes difficult to ascertain, and then only from old people,
the days of the revel in the several villages. In some parishes,
however, the clergy have endeavoured to give a better tone to the
old revel, which was discredited by drunkenness and riot, and their
efforts have not been unsuccessful. The clubs march to church on
that day, and a service is given to them.

One of the most curious revels was that at Kingsteignton, where a
ram was hunted, killed, roasted, and eaten. The parson there once
asked a lad in Sunday School, "How many Commandments are there?"
"Three, sir," was the prompt reply; "Easter, Whitsuntide, and the

Another, where a sheep was devoured after having been roasted whole,
was at Holne. At Morchard, the standing dish at farmhouses on Revel
day was a "pestle pie," which consisted of a raised paste, kept in
oval shape by means of iron hoops during the process of baking,
being too large to be made in a dish. It contained all kinds of
meat: a ham, a tongue, whole poultry and whole game, which had been
previously cooked and well seasoned.

The revel, held on the _réveil_ or wake of the saint of the parish,
was a relic of one of the earliest institutions of the Celts. It was
anciently always held in the cemetery, and was attended by funeral
rites in commemoration of the dead. This was followed by a fair, and
by a deliberative assembly of the clan, or subdivision of a clan, of
which the cemetery was the tribal centre. It was the dying request
of an old Celtic queen that her husband would institute a fair above
her grave.



     One long street--The debatable ground--Derivation of the
     name--Configuration of the East Devon border--Axminster--The
     Battle of Brunnaburgh--S. Margaret's Hospital--Old camps--S.
     Michael's Church--Colyton--Little Chokebone--Sir George
     Yonge--Honiton lace--Pillow-lace--Modern design--Ring in the

"This town," said Sir William Pole in 1630, "is near three-quarters
of a mile in length, lying East and West, and in the midst there is
one other street towards the South." The description applies to-day,
except only that the town has stretched itself during two hundred
and eighty years to one mile in place of three-quarters. A quarter
of a mile in about three centuries, which shows that Honiton is not
a place that stands still.

It is, in fact, a collection of country cottages that have run to
the roadside to see the coaches from London go by, and to offer the
passengers entertainment.

The coach-road occupies mainly the line of the British highway, the
Ikenild Street, a road that furnished the chief means of access to
the West, as the vast marshes of the Parret made an approach to the
peninsula from the North difficult and dangerous.

And the manner in which every prominent height has been fortified
shows that the whole eastern boundary of the county has been a
debated and fiercely contested land, into which invaders thrust
themselves, but from which they were hurled back.

Honiton is on the Otter (_y dwr_, W. the Water) a name that we find
farther west in the Attery, that flows into the Tamar. Honiton does
not derive from "honey," flowing with milk and honey though the land
may be, but from the Celtic _hen_ (old), softened in a way general
in the West into _hena_ before a hard consonant.

We have the same appellative in Hennacott, Honeychurch, and
Honeydykes, also in Hembury, properly Henbury, and in Hemyock.
Perhaps the old West Welsh name for the place was Dunhen, or
Hennadun, which the Saxons altered into Hennatun or Honeyton.

The singular configuration of the eastern confines of Devon and
Dorset has been ingeniously explained. Till 1832 the two parishes
of Stockland and Dalwood belonged to the county of Dorset, although
surrounded entirely by Devon. In 710 a great battle was fought by
Ina, King of the West Saxons, against Geraint, King of the Dumnonii,
the West Welsh, on the Black Down Hills, when Geraint was defeated
and fled. Then Ina built Taunton, and made it a border fortress
to keep the Britons in check. Simultaneously, there can be little
doubt, the men of Dorset took advantage of the situation, made an
inroad and secured a large slice of territory, possibly up to the

Ina was succeeded by inert princes, or such as had their hands
engaged elsewhere, and the Devonians thrust themselves forward,
retook Taunton, and advanced their borders to where they had been
before 710.

It has been supposed that on this occasion they were unable to
dispossess the Dorset men from their well-fortified positions at
Stockland and Dalwood, but swept round them and captured the two
camps of Membury and Musbury. The possession of these fortresses
would thrust back the Dorset frontier for some miles to the east of
the Axe. So matters would remain for a considerable period, such
as allowed the boundaries to become settled; and when the final
subjugation of Devon took place, this tract to the east of the Axe
remained as part of the lands of the Defnas, while the Dorsaetas
retained the islet which they had so long and so successfully
defended. It was not till eleven hundred and twenty years had
elapsed that the Devon folk could recover these points.[4]

  [4] DAVIDSON, "The Saxon Conquest of Devonshire," in the
  _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_, 1877.

Axminster was the scene of a great battle in the reign of Athelstan,
in which five kings and seven earls fell. The minster, as a monastic
colony, had been in existence before that, but Athelstan now endowed
a college there for six priests to pray for the souls of those who
fell in the battle.

Now, what battle can that have been? In the register of Newnham
Abbey is a statement made in the reign of Edward III., that the
battle took place "at Munt S. Calyxt en Devansyr," and that it
ended at Colecroft under Axminster. S. Calyxt is now Coaxdon.

The only great battle that answers to the description was that of
Brunanburgh, fought in 937.

It was fought between Athelstan and the Ethelings, Edmund, Elwin
and Ethelwin, on one side, and Anlaf the Dane, from Ireland, united
with Constantine, the Scottish king, on the other. It is this latter
point which has made modern historians suppose that the conflict
took place somewhere in the North.

But, on the other hand, there are grave reasons for placing it at

First, we know of no other battle that answers the description.
Then, during the night before it, the Bishop of Sherborne arrived
at the head of a contingent. The two younger Ethelings who fell
were transported to Malmesbury to be buried; clearly because it
was the nearest great monastery. And it seems most improbable that
Athelstan should have endowed Axminster that prayers might there be
offered for those who fell in the battle, if Brunanburgh were in
Northumberland. The difficulty about Constantine may thus be solved.
Constantine had been expelled his kingdom by Athelstan, and had
taken refuge in Ireland. He had, indeed, been restored, but when he
resolved on revolt, he may have gone to Dublin to Anlaf, and have
concerted with him an attack on the South, where the assistance
of the Britons in Devon and Cornwall might be reckoned on, whilst
the North British would rise, and the Welsh descend from their

The story of the battle is this, as given by William of Malmesbury.

The Danes from Dublin, together with Constantine and a party of
Scots (Irish), came by sea, and fell upon England. Athelstan and his
brother marched against them. Just before the battle Anlaf, desirous
of knowing the disposition of the English forces, entered the camp
in the garb of a gleeman, harp in hand. He sang and played before
Athelstan and the rest, and they did not recognise him. As they were
pleased with his song, they gave him a largess of gold. He took the
money, but as he left the camp, he put it under the earth, as it did
not behove a king to receive hire. This was observed by a soldier,
who at once went to Athelstan and informed him of it. The king
said angrily, "Why did you not at once arrest him and deliver him
into my hands?" "My lord king," answered the man, "I was formerly
with Anlaf, and I took oath of fidelity to him. Had I broken that,
would you have trusted me? Take my advice, O king, and shift your

This was good advice, and Athelstan acted on it, but scarcely had he
shifted his quarters than Werstan, Bishop of Sherborne, arrived, and
he took up the ground vacated by the king.

During the night Anlaf made an attack and broke through the
stockade, and directed his course towards the king's tent. There
he fell on and killed the bishop, and massacred the Sherborne
contingent. The tumult roused the king, and the fight became
general, and raged till day. Great numbers fell on both sides, but
in the end Anlaf was defeated, and fled to his ships. The only trace
of the name Brunanburgh is in Brinnacombe, under the height whereon
traditionally the fight raged; and Membury may be the place where
the king was fortified. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle calls the place
Brumby: _B_ and _M_ are permutable letters.

Honiton has not many relics of antiquity about it. Repeated fires
have destroyed the old houses; the High Street still retains its
runnel, confined within a conduit, with square dipping-places at
frequent intervals. The street runs straight down hill to the bridge
and across the Giseage, and up again on the road towards Exeter. The
town is completely surrounded by toll-gates; the tolls collected do
not go to pay for the maintenance of the roads, but to defray a debt
incurred by removing buildings, including the ancient shambles, from
the middle of the street early in the century. This accounts for the
street being particularly wide.

The Dolphin, the principal inn, is supposed to still possess some
portion of the ancient building once belonging to the Courtenays,
whose cognisance is the inn sign.

S. Margaret's Hospital is one of the points of interest, and is
picturesquely pretty. It was intended as a leper hospital, but is
now used as almshouses. It was built and endowed by Dr. Thomas
Chard, the last abbot of Ford.

One thing no visitor should fail to see, and that is the superb
view from Honiton Hill. It commands the valley of the Otter,
with the town beneath, and the old earthworks of Hembury Fort,
Buckerell Knap, and Dumpdon towering above. The flat-topped hills
and the peculiar scarps are due to the formation being greensand.
These scarps may be observed in process of shaping at the head
of every combe. The church of S. Paul in the town is modern and
uninteresting. It occupies the site of an old chapel of All Hallows.
The parish church is S. Michael's on the hill, and this contains
points of interest. The fifteenth-century screen is of carved
oak, and stretches across nave and both aisles. The church was
formerly cruciform, but north and south aisles were added to nave
and chancel. Probably it formerly had a central tower. Four carved
beams now support the roof where the tower should be, and bear
sculptured bosses, representing an angel, a bishop, a priest, and a
man in armour. Two finely carved capitals in the chancel carry the
sentence, "Pray for ye souls of John Takel and Jone his wyffe." They
were liberal benefactors to the church and the town.

The view from the churchyard is magnificent. On a suitable day
Cosdon Beacon on Dartmoor is visible. A row of cypresses in the
churchyard was transplanted from the garden of Sir James Shepperd
(d. 1730).

In old times the parsons of Honiton were supposed to have been
addicted to field sports, perhaps unfairly, just as one hunting
abbot gave a bad name to all the abbots of Tavistock. Barclay, in
his _Ship of Fools_, says:--

    "For if any can flatter and beare a hawke on his fist,
    He shall be made parson of Honington or of Clist."

There is much deserving of visit within reach of Honiton, Colyton
with its fine church, and the tomb of "Little Chokebone," a good
monument, long supposed to be that of Margaret, daughter of William,
Earl of Devon, and Katherine his wife, seventh daughter of Edward
IV., who was supposed to have been choked by a fish-bone in 1512.
But there is evidence that the lady lived long after the date of her
presumed death. What also tells fatally against the identification
is that the arms of Courtenay are impaled with the royal arms,
surrounded by the bordering componée, the well-known token of
_bastardy_. Now this belonged to the Beauforts, and the tomb is
either that of Margaret Beaufort, wife of Thomas, first Earl of
Devon, of that name, or else of one of their daughters.

Of Colcombe House, the great Courtenay, and then the Pole seat,
but a fragment remains. At Colyton is the Great House, a fine old
building, once the residence of the Yonges. The last of the family,
Sir George Yonge, was wont to say that he came in for £80,000 family
property, received as much as his wife's jointure, obtained a
similar sum in the Government offices he enjoyed, but that Honiton
had "swallowed it all" in election expenses. And when he stood for
the last time there, in embarrassed circumstances; because he could
not bribe as heavily as formerly, one of the burgesses spat in his
face. He died in 1812, aged eighty, a pensioner in Hampton Court,
and his body was brought down very privately to Colyton from fear of
arrest for debt. Another old house is Sand, the seat of the Huyshe

[Illustration: HONITON LACE]

Honiton has become famous for its lace, although actually the
manufacture does not take place to any considerable extent in the
town, but in villages, as Beer, Branscombe, Ottery, etc.

In the beginning of the sixteenth century Honiton was a centre of
a flourishing trade in bone-lace, but how it was introduced is
very uncertain. It has been supposed, but not proved, that Flemish
refugees came to Honiton and introduced the art, but one does not
quite see why they should have come so far. There is an inscription
on a tombstone in Honiton churchyard to James Rodge, bone-lace
seller, who died July 27th, 1617, and bequeathed to the poor of the
parish the benefit of a hundred pounds. A similar bequest was made
in the same year by Mrs. Minifie, a lace maker, so that both lace
dealer and maker may have carried on their business for thirty years
before they died.

In the latter part of James I.'s reign Honiton lace is frequently
mentioned by contemporary writers. Westcote, in his _View of Devon_,
1620, says, "At Axminster you may be furnished with fine flax-thread
there spunne. At Hemington and Bradnich with bone-laces now greatly
in request." Acts were passed under Charles I. for the protection of
the bone-lace makers, "prohibiting foreign purles, cut works, and
bone-laces, or any commodities laced or edged therewith;" and these
benefited especially the Devonshire workers, their goods being close
imitations of the much-coveted Flemish pillow-laces.

Pillow-lace was preceded in England, as elsewhere, by darned netting
and cut-work. A fine example of the ancient English net embroidery
may be seen on the monument, in Exeter Cathedral, of Bishop
Stafford, who died in 1398.

The pillow was introduced in the early part of Elizabeth's reign,
and at first coarse thread-laces of geometrical design were worked
on to it. Plaited and embroidered edgings, or _purles_, for the
ruff, worked in silk, gold and silver wire, or thread came next, and
formed the staple article during the first half of the seventeenth
century. The patterns were imitated from Italian cut-work and
reticella, with some marked peculiarities of workmanship and detail,
such as the introduction of stars, wheels, and triangles, which are
only found on English laces. The sculptor of Lady Pole's monument in
Colyton Church (1623), evidently copied the bone-lace on her cape
from a specimen of Devonshire make, and equally characteristic of
the ancient patterns of the county is the probably plaited lace on a
tucker and cuffs that adorn the effigy of Lady Doddridge in Exeter
Cathedral (1614). Illustrations of these interesting examples of
early Devonshire workmanship are given in Mrs. Palliser's "History
of Lace."[5]

  [5] "Antique and Modern Lace," in the _Queen_, 1874. The last
  chapter is devoted to Honiton Lace.

There is another very fine specimen in Combe Martin Church, the
effigy of Judith Hancock (1637). The figure is life-size, and the
dress is covered with point-lace and looped with points of ribbon.

The reason of the coarseness of early lace was that pins were
rare and fetched a high price, and the humble workers in cottages
employed fish-bones about which to twist their threads, stuck into
the parchment in the shape of the pattern. The bobbins were made of
"sheeps' trotters." It is now very difficult to procure specimens of
this fishbone-lace.

The lace produced by James Rodge and his contemporaries had large
flowing guipure patterns, united by _bride_ picotees, the latter
worked in with the Brussels ground. _Brides_ are the small stripes
or connection of threads overcast with stitches which bind the
sprigs together. The English lace-makers could not make this
exquisite stitch with the thread that England produced, and the
thread was brought from Antwerp. At the end of last century it cost
from £70 to £100 per pound. Old Brussels lace was made on pillows,
while the modern Brussels is worked with needles.

The visitor to Honiton, Beer, or any village around may see
lace-making on pillows. The women have round or oval boards, stuffed
so as to form a cushion, and placed on the knees of the worker: a
piece of parchment is fixed over the pillow, with the pattern drawn
on it; into this the pins are stuck through holes marked for the
purpose. Often as many as four hundred bobbins are employed at a
time on a pillow. Many of the "bobbins" and "turns" to be seen in
Devonshire cottages are very old: the most ancient are inlaid with
silver. On some, dates are carved, such as 1678 or 1729. On some,
Christian names are cut, such as John and Nicholas; probably those
of the sweethearts of the girls who used them. Jingles, or strings
of glass beads, may be seen hanging to them, with a button at the
end, which came from the waistcoat of the John or the Nicholas who
had given the bobbin as a keepsake. What life-stories some of these
old bobbins could tell![6]

  [6] The _Devon and Exeter Gazette_, December 31st, 1885.

Children began to make lace as early as four years old; indeed,
unless early trained to the work their hands never acquire deftness.
Board schools and compulsory education are destroying the ability to
work as of old, as well as too often killing the desire for work in
the hearts of the children.

Boys and girls were formerly taught alike, and in some of the
seaside villages fishermen took up their pillows for lace-making
when ashore.

_Guipure à bride_ and scalloped-border laces in the Louis XIV. style
were followed by laces grounded with Brussels _vraie réseau_. In
the working of the latter, Devonshire hands were decidedly superior
to their Continental rivals. This beautiful ground, which sold at
the rate of a shilling the square inch, was either worked in on the
pillow after the pattern had been finished, or used as a substratum
for lace strips to be sewn on. The detached bouquets of the Rococo
period, and the Mechlin style of design towards the end of last
century, eminently suited the Devon lace-workers, as dividing the
labour. Each individual hand could be entrusted with the execution
of a floral design, which was repeated mechanically. The superior
finish of the Honiton sprigs between 1790 and 1815 was mainly due to
this, but it was fatal to all development of the artistic faculty
and to general deftness. During this period Honiton produced the
finest laces in Europe. What greatly conduced to the improvement of
Honiton lace was the arrival of Normandy refugees at the outbreak of
the French Revolution in 1793. The Normans were quicker and sharper
than the Devon workers, and they stirred them up to great advance in
their work. They taught them to make trolly lace, which is worked
round the pillow instead of on it; and through their example the
Devonshire women gave up the slovenly habit of working the ground
into which they had slipped, and returned to the old double-threaded
_réseau_, or ground like the old Flemish, the flowers worked into
the ground with the pillow, instead of being _appliqué_.

Honiton lace made in proper fashion with sprigs was formerly paid
for by covering the work with shillings.

There is a curious notice of Honiton lace in a note by Dr. James
Yonge; who "was again at Honiton, April 23rd, 1702," and witnessed
the rejoicings in celebration of the coronation of Queen Anne.

     "Saw a very pretty procession of three hundred girls in good
     order, two and two march with three women drummers beating, and
     a guard of twenty young men on horseback. Each of the females
     had a white rod in her hand, on the top of which was a tossil
     made of white and bleu ribband (which they said was the Queen's
     coleurs) and bone-lace, the great manufacture. Then they had
     wandered about the town from ten in the morning [it was eight in
     the evening when he saw them] huzzaing every now and then, and
     then wearing their rodds. Then they returned at nine, and then
     break up very weary and hungary."[7]

  [7] Quoted in "Some Seventeenth Century Topography," _Western
  Morning News_, May 9th, 1876.

Taste declined during the latter part of last century, and some
of the designs of Honiton lace were truly barbarous--frying-pans,
snails, drumsticks, and stiff flowers. But there were always some
who did better. At the beginning of this century all taste was
bad. Bald imitations of nature prevailed, without any regard to
the exigencies of art. Roses and other flowers were worked in
perspective; it was thought sufficient to servilely copy nature and
leave grouping to chance.

Queen Adelaide had a dress made of Honiton lace. By her desire all
the flowers were copied from nature, and the first letter of each
spelt her name.


The present Queen also had her wedding-dress of Honiton lace, and it
cost a thousand pounds.

Unhappily, design sank very low. Perhaps the lowest stage of
degradation in design was reached in 1867, when a Honiton lace
shawl sent to the Paris Exhibition from Exeter received a prize and
commendation. Nothing can be conceived worse. That it should have
been rewarded with a medal shows that either the judges pardoned
the ineptitude in design for the sake of the excellence of the
work, or else that they themselves stood on the same level of
artistic incompetence which then prevailed. Since then, happily,
design has been more studied. There is still a good deal of very
sorry stuff produced--as far as artistic design is concerned--but
at the same time there is much faithful copying of good antique
work. All old work is not good; there were bad artists in the past,
but the general taste was better than it is now. I was once in the
shop of one of our foremost furniture dealers and decorators in
town, when a young married couple came in to choose curtains and
carpets for their new home. I had been talking with the head of the
establishment about artistic furniture, and he had shown me carpets,
curtains, and wall-papers, such as no designer in the fifteenth,
sixteenth, or seventeenth centuries would have blushed to produce.
The young couple passed all these samples by--blind to their merits,
and pounced on and chose some atrocious stuff, bad in colour and
bad in art. When they were gone, the proprietor turned to me: "You
see," he said, "the public is still uncultivated; we are forced
to keep rubbish in our trade to satisfy those whose taste does
not rise above rubbish." Now it is the same with regard to lace.
There is badly designed lace as well as that which is as good as
anything drawn by a great master in the past. Let the public eye be
discerning to choose the good and reject the evil, and then the poor
lace-workers will not be set to produce stuff that never ought to
have time, labour, eyesight devoted to it.

There are some trades that are hurtful to those employed in them.
The lace-making by machinery at Nottingham is said to induce

The following letter I have received on the subject of the Honiton

     "They are most certainly not a short-lived lot--until within the
     last eight or nine years Mrs. Colley was the youngest worker
     I knew, and she is fifty-one; Mrs. Raymond is sixty-four.
     There are a good many over sixty, and several still at work
     over seventy. I have never had cases of decline come under my
     notice, and if there was any I must have known it. Until the
     fresh impetus was given to the trade by exhibitions, the younger
     workers stopped learning, and there was no school, so that the
     trade depended on the old ones, and all have to commence the
     work from five to seven years of age. I think it may fairly be
     assumed to be at any rate not injurious to health, and judging
     from the age to which they continue to work, not to the sight

Thus the buyers of lace can do it with a safe conscience.

There is a woman's name associated with Devon, who was a great
landed proprietress and an heiress, and this was Isabella de
Fortibus. She was sister of Baldwin, Earl of Devon, a De Redvers,
and on his death, without issue, she inherited the splendid estates
of the earls of Devon, and became Countess of Devon in her own
right. She, however, also died without issue in 1292.

On Farway Common, near Honiton, three parishes meet, and there were
incessant disputes as to the boundary. Isabella decided it thus. She
flung her ring into the air, and where it fell that was to be the
point of junction for Gittisham, Farway, and Honiton. The spot is
still called "Ring-in-the-Mere." Such at least is the local legend
accounting for the name.

In the neighbourhood of Honiton are the ruins of Dunkeswell Abbey,
but they are reduced to a gateway only. It belongs to Mrs. Simcoe,
of Walford Lodge, Dunkeswell, a handsome house built about the end
of last century by General Simcoe, famous in the American Revolution
as the commander of Simcoe's Rangers. He was Governor of San Domingo
at the time of the insurrection, and afterwards Governor-General
of Canada. Mrs. Simcoe possesses interesting relics connected with
him, as well as Napoleonic relics that belonged to her father,
Lieut.-General Jackson, _aide-de-camp_ to Sir Hudson Lowe at St.

Mohuns-Ottery, once a great seat of the Carews, was burnt down in
the beginning of this century, and all that remains of the mansion
are three arches. The Grange, Broadhembury, has been more fortunate;
it has a magnificent oak-panelled room, with ghost stories attached,
and there are those alive who declare that they have seen the ghost.
The church possesses, among other points of interest, a curious
window with projecting corbels that represent the spirits of the
good in happiness within, and the spirits of the bad without in
discomfort--not to put too fine a point on it, as Mr. Snagsby would

There are several fine fortifications, as already said: Dumpden,
accessible only on foot, and Hembury are the most important.

     Books to be consulted:--

     ROGERS (W. H. H.), _Memorials of the West_. Exeter, 1888.

     FARQUHARSON (A.), _The History of Honiton_. Exeter, _n.d._, but
     1868 (_scarce_).

     For the Axe Valley: PULMAN (G. P. R.), _The Book of the Axe_.
     London, 1875.



     The chalk beds on sand--The subsidence of 1839--The great
     chasm--Present conditions--The White Cliff--Beer quarries--Jack

There are a good many more curious things to be seen in England than
is generally supposed, if we will but go out of the highways to look
for them. Certainly one of the most extraordinary and impressive is
the great landslip between the mouth of the Axe and Lyme Regis; one
which even extended further west beyond the estuary. On this bit of
coast, where Devonshire passes into Dorset, the cliff scenery is
very fine. The White Cliff is a magnificent headland that possesses
the peculiarity of appearing to lean over preparing to slide into
the waves, owing to the inclination of the varicoloured strata of
which it is composed. To understand the phenomenon which occasioned
the subsidence of a whole tract of coast with the alteration of the
coastline, something must be said of the cause of the catastrophe.
The chalk bed striped with lines of glistening black flints is
superposed upon a bed of what is locally termed fox earth, a bed of
gravel or sand that intervenes between it and the clay beneath. Now
the rain that falls on the chalk downs infiltrates and, reaching the
sand and unable to sink through the clay, breaks out in land springs.

But where the chalk cliffs start sheer out of the sea, there the
springs ooze into the sea itself, and, dissolving the texture of
the sandy bed, resolve it into a quicksand, liable at the time of
great floods to be washed out from under the superincumbent chalk.
Should this take place, there is no help for it, but down the chalk
bed must go. If you were lying on a bed, and the mattress under your
feather bed were pulled away, you would descend, sinking to a depth
equivalent to the thickness of the subtracted mattress. That is
plain enough.

Now all along the coast to the east of Lyme Regis there is an
undercliff--evident tokens of a subsidence of this description which
has taken place at some time. When this undercliff has been eaten up
by the sea, and a fresh face of crag exposed, then again there will
occur a displacement, a pulling out of the mattress, and down will
go the chalk above with all the houses and fields upon it. But the
sea has not as yet done more than nibble at this undercliff.

It was not quite so to the west of Lyme. There sheer cliffs of
glistening white rose above the pebbly shore, so abruptly and with
such slight undulations, that several miles ensued before it was
possible for those on the height to descend to the beach. Naturally,
where the rain-water percolated through the chalk it formed no
valleys with streams.

Thus the cliffs stood--for no one knows how long--till the end of
December, 1839.

Previous symptoms of the approaching convulsion were not altogether
wanting. Cracks had been observed for more than a week opening along
the brow of the Downs, but they were not sufficiently remarkable to
attract much attention, as such fissures are by no means uncommon
on this bit of coast. However, about midnight of December 24th, the
labourers of Mr. Chappel, the farmer who occupied Dowlands (about a
quarter of a mile inland from the brow of the cliff, and over half
a mile from the nearest points of the approaching convulsion) were
returning from a supper given them by their employer, whereat the
ashen faggot had been burnt according to custom, and were making
their way to their cottages, situated near the cliff. Then they
noticed that a crack which crossed their path, and which they had
observed on their way to the Christmas Eve supper, had widened, and
that the land beyond had sunk slightly. Nevertheless they did not
consider the matter of great importance, and they went to their
homes and to bed. About four o'clock in the morning they were roused
by their houses reeling, by the concrete floors bursting and gaping,
and the walls being rent. They started from their beds in great
alarm, and about six o'clock arrived at the farm to rouse their
master; they had found their escape nearly cut off, as the crack had
widened and the land on the sea side had sunk considerably, so that
they had, with their wives and children, to scramble up--and that
with difficulty, and, in the darkness, with no little danger.

Happily all escaped in time.

During Christmas Day there was no great change; parties of the
coastguard were stationed on the Downs throughout the ensuing night
to watch what would happen.

About midnight a great fissure began to form which ran in almost
a direct line for three-quarters of a mile. This fissure rapidly
widened to 300 feet, descending, as it seemed at first, into the
very bowels of the earth, but as the sides fell in it finally was
choked at a depth of 150 feet.

One James Robertson and a companion were at that hour crossing the
fields which then extended over this tract, and stumbled across a
slight ridge of gravel, which at first they thought must have been
made by some boys, but one of them stepping on to it, down sank
his leg, and his companion had to pull him out of a yawning chasm.
Next moment they saw that the whole surface of turf was starred and
splitting in all directions, and they fled for their lives. The
sound of the rending of the rocks they described as being much like
that of the tearing of cloth or flannel. Two other members of the
coastguard, who were stationed on the beach, now saw something begin
to rise out of the sea like the back of a gigantic whale; at the
same time the shore of shingles on which they stood lifted and fell,
like the heaving of a breast in sleep. The water was thrown into
violent agitation, foaming and spouting, and great volumes of mud
rushed up from below. The great back rose higher and ever higher,
and extended further till at last it formed a huge reef at a little
distance from the beach. This ridge was composed of the more solid
matter, chert and other pebbles, that had been in the sand under
the chalk, and which by the sinking of the chalk was squeezed out
like so much dough. It remained as a reef for some years, but has
now totally disappeared, having been carried away by the waves.

As the great chasm was formed, the masses from the sides falling
in were, as it were, mumbled and chewed up in the depths, and to
the eyes of the frightened spectators sent forth flashes of light;
they also supposed that an intolerable stench was emitted from the
abyss. But this was no more than the odours given out by the violent
attrition of the cherty sandstone and chalk grinding against each
other as they descended.

Throughout the 26th the subsided masses of the great chasm continued
sinking, and the elevated reef gradually rising; but by the evening
of that day everything had settled very nearly into the position in
which it remains at present, although edges have since lost their
sharpness and minor rents have been choked.

A writer whose reminiscences have been recently published describes
briefly the aspect of the place after the sinkage.

     "I rode over to see this huge landslip. The greater part of a
     farm had subsided a hundred feet or more. Hedges and fields,
     with their crops of turnips, etc., were undisturbed by the fall,
     and broken off sharply from the ground a hundred feet above.
     There was a rather dislocated ridge on the shore, which formed
     a sort of moraine to the slip. On this part were some cottages
     twisted about, but still holding together, and having their
     gardens and even their wells attached; yet the shock of the
     falling mass had been so great as to cause the upheaval of an
     island off shore."

The aspect of the landslip on the farms of Bindon, Dowlands,
Rousdon, and Pinhay at present is full of interest and of
picturesque beauty. Ivy has grown luxuriantly and mantles the crags,
elder bushes have found the sunk masses of rock suitable to their
requirements, and in early summer the air is strong with the scent
of their trusses of flowers, and in autumn the whole subsidence is
hung with thousands on ten thousands of shining black clusters of
berries. Above a sea of foliage the white cliffs shoot out in the
boldest fashion, and out of the gorge start horns, pinnacles of
chalk of the most fantastic description. The whole is a labyrinth of
chasms, not to be ventured into with good clothing, as the brambles
grow in the wildest luxuriance and are clawed like the paws of a
panther. But, oh! what blackberries may be gathered there--large,
sweet, luscious as mulberries. Moreover, the whole sunk region is
a paradise for birds of every description, and not a step can be
taken that does not disturb jackdaws, magpies, warblers of every
kind. One of the cottages that went down has been rebuilt with the
old material. As already said, it descended at least a hundred feet
with its well. The well still flows with water; that, however, is
not now marvellous--how it was that it held water previously is the
extraordinary fact.

At the extremity of the landslip the visitor will see that there
is still movement going on, but on a small scale--cracks are still
forming and extending through the turf. It may be safely said that
the landslip between the mouth of the Axe and Lyme Regis is one of
the most interesting and picturesque scenes to be found in England.

There is a good deal more in the neighbourhood to be seen than the
landslip at Rousdon and Pinhay. If the cliffs be explored to the
west of the mouth of the Axe, they will be found to well repay the
visit. The splendid crag of the White Cliff towers above the sea,
showing the slanting beds of the cherty matter below the dazzling
white of the chalk, and from their inclination giving to the whole
cliff an appearance of lurching into the waves. Beyond this is Beer,
a narrow cleft in the hills, in which are fishermen's cottages, many
of them very picturesque, and above them rises a really excellently
designed modern church.

A walk up the valley leads to the famous Beer quarries that have
been worked for centuries. This splendid building-stone lies below
the chalk with flints. There are eight beds, forming a thickness
of twelve feet four inches, resting on a hard, white, calcareous
rock five or six feet thick, which reposes in turn on sandstones.
There is very little waste from these quarries, which are carried on
underground; and all that is seen of them are the yawning portals
in a face of white cliff. But a shout at the entrance will summon
a workman, who will conduct the visitor through the labyrinth
underground. The roof is sustained by large square pillars formed by
portions of the workable beds left standing.

The stone is nearly white, and chiefly composed of carbonate of
lime, with the addition of some argillaceous and silicious matter,
and a few scattered particles of green silicate of iron. When first
quarried this stone is somewhat soft, and is easily worked, but it
rapidly hardens on exposure.

Opposite the new quarry are the mounds that mark the site of the old
quarry, from which the stone was extracted for Exeter Cathedral. The
subterranean passages there are now blocked, but during the time of
the European war they were much used by smugglers, who abounded in
Beer. The _Memoirs of Jack Rattenbury_, the most notorious of these,
were published at Sidmouth in 1837, but are not of conspicuous
interest. Beer Head has suffered from landslips, and is broken into
spires of rock in consequence.

     Books on the Landslip, and on Seaton:--

     CONYBEARE and DAWSON, _Memoir and Views of Landslips on the
     Coast of East Devon_, 1840. A very scarce work.

     HUTCHINSON (P. O.), _Guide to the Landslip near Axmouth_.
     Sidmouth, 1840.

     DAVIDSON (J. B.), "Seaton before the Conquest," in _Transactions
     of Devonshire Association_, 1885.

     MUMFORD (G. F.), _Seaton, Beer, and Neighbourhood_. Yeovil,



     The river Exe--Roman roads--The Saxons in Devon and
     Exeter--Saxon and British Exeter--The Battle of
     Gavulford--S. Boniface at Exeter--His persecution of Celtic
     missionaries--S. Sidwell--Bishop's seat transferred to
     Exeter--S. Olave's Church--The Cathedral--Its merits and
     demerits--Ottery S. Mary--Excursions from Exeter--Fingle
     Bridge--Fulford--Ecclesiological excursions.

Exeter, the Isca Dumnoniorum of the Romans, was the Celtic Caer
Wisc; that is to say, the caer or fortress on the Usk. The
river-name has become Exe; it derives from the Celtic word which
signifies water, and which we have in whiskey and Usquebaugh, _i.e._

The same word has become also Ock. Thus the Ockment River at
Okehampton, a few miles down, becomes the Exe, at Exbourne; and a
tributary of the Exe is the Oke, that flows into it near Bampton.

There have been but few Roman remains found in Exeter, and it
can never have been an important settlement. Several Roman roads
converge on it and radiate from it.

The great Fosseway, that ran from Lincoln through Leicester,
reached it. It struck from Honiton, by Rockbeare and Clyst Honiton,
and shows its antiquity by being the bounds of Broadclyst
and Rockbeare, Sowton and Pinhoe parishes. It entered Exeter by
Heavitree. Another Roman road from Lyme Regis enters Exeter by
Wonford, where it joins the Fosseway. This road also proclaims
its high antiquity by being a parish boundary. From Exeter an
ancient road ran direct for Launceston: it is called in places the
Old Street. It branched at Okehampton, and a road ran thence to
Stratton, in Cornwall.

[Illustration: HIGH STREET, EXETER]

The Fosseway continued to Moreton Hampstead, and crossed Dartmoor,
where it has served as the equator of that desolate region; all
above it is esteemed the northern half, all below the southern half
of Dartmoor. Further it has not been traced.

Another road, the Ridgeway, ran from Exeter to Totnes, and thence
has been followed to Plympton Castle.

Whether these roads proceeded far in Cornwall cannot now be

That these ways were possibly pre-Roman, but improved by the
conquerors of the world, is probable. Hard by the roadside at
Okehampton, in 1898, was found a hoard of the smallest Roman coins,
all of the reign of Constantine the Great. It had probably formed
the store of a beggar who "sat by the wayside begging." He hid it
under a rock, and probably died without having removed it. About 200
coins were found, all dating from between A.D. 320 and 330.

The Saxons must have crept in without violent invasion, across
the Axe, rather than through the gaps in the Black Down and
Exmoor--for to the north, as already said, the vast morasses
were a hindrance--and have established themselves without violent
opposition by the riversides. Their manner of life was unlike that
of the Britons. The latter clung to the open highlands, their
_Gwents_ as they called them, clear of trees, breezy downs; whereas
the Saxons, accustomed to forests, made their stockades in the flat
_hams_ and _ings_ by the rivers, in _worths_ and on _hangers_.

Very probably the Dumnonii suffered their intrusion with reluctance,
but they did not venture on forcible resistance, lest they should
bring down on themselves the vengeance of Wessex.

When, however, the Saxons had established themselves in sufficient
numbers, they had their headquarters in Exeter; but there they did
not amalgamate with the natives. The Saxon town was quite apart
from that occupied by the Britons, or West Welsh, as they called
our Dumnonians. That part of Exeter which contains dedications to
Celtic saints was the British town, as was also Heavitree,[8] with
its daughter churches of S. Sidwell and S. David; but the Saxons
occupied where now stands the Cathedral; and each settlement was
governed by its own laws. It was not till 823 that Egbert, by a
decisive battle at Gavulford (_Gafl_ a holdfast, and _ffordd_
a road), established Saxon supremacy. He apparently drove the
Devonshire Celts back along the Old Street, or Roman road, past
Okehampton, till they made a stand at Coombow (_Cwm-bod_ = the
habitation in a combe). There the hills close in on the road on both
sides, and the way branched to Lydford. Commanding both roads is
Galford Down; there the Britons threw up formidable entrenchments,
or, what is more probable, occupied an earlier camp that remains
intact to the present day. Here they made a desperate stand, and
were defeated; after which the king, Egbert, cast up a _burgh_
beyond the old _dun_, which gives its second name to the place,
Burleigh, or Burgh-legh. The last relics of the independence of the
Dumnonian kingdom disappeared after Athelstan's visit in 926 and
928. A relic of this visit may be seen in Rougemont Castle, Exeter,
where the Anglo-Saxon work--notably some herring-bone masonry, and
windows rudely fashioned without arches--remains.

  [8] Names of places, as Heavitree, Langtree, Plymtree, take the
  "tree" from the Welsh "tref," a farm or habitation. Heavitree is
  Tre-hafod, the summer farm.

A Saxon school had been established in Exeter before A.D. 700, to
which S. Boniface, or Wynfrith as he was then called, had been sent.
He was a native of Crediton, then a Saxon stockaded settlement, and
over the palisades, as a boy, he had looked with scorn and hatred
at the native Britons occupying the country. When he was in Exeter
he, in like manner, regarded the native Christians with loathing as
heretics, because they did not observe Easter on the same day as
himself, and perhaps with accentuated hate, because he knew that
they had possessed Christian teachers and Christian privileges three
centuries before his own people had received the Gospel. Perhaps
also his German mind was offended at the freshness, vivacity, and
maybe as well the fickleness of purpose of the native Celt. This
early acquired aversion lasted through life, and when he went into
Germany and settled at Mainz, to posture as an apostle, he was
vexed to discover that Celtic missionaries had preceded him and had
worked successfully among his Teutonic forefathers in their old
homes. Thenceforth he attacked, insulted, and denounced them with
implacable animosity, and did his utmost to upset their missions and
supplannt them with his own. Virgilius, an Irishman, with a fellow
Paddy, Sidonius, was at Salzburg, and Virgilius was bishop there.
Boniface beat about for an excuse to get rid of them both. He found
that the bishop, having discovered that one of his priests had been
accustomed to baptise using a bad Latin formula, had acknowledged
this man's baptisms as valid, for the will was present: the fault
was due to ignorance of the Latin tongue. Boniface, hearing of this,
laid hold of it with enthusiasm, and denounced Virgilius at Rome.
Pope Boniface, however, took the side of the Irishman against his
over-zealous henchman.

Mortified at this rebuff, Boniface lay in wait to find another
excuse for ruining Virgilius. He ascertained presently that the
Irishman taught that the earth was round, and that there was an
antipodes to those living in Germany. Now the Irish schools were
the most learned in Europe, and Irish saints had sailed far into
the west over the Atlantic: they had formed their own opinions
concerning the shape of the world. Boniface wrote to the Pope to
denounce the doctrine of Virgilius as "perverse and unjust, uttered
against God and his own soul."

This doctrine Pope Zacharias hastened to condemn as heretical.[9]
Virgilius had to go to Rome to justify his opinion before ignorant
Latin ecclesiastics--with what results we do not know.

  [9] In my _Lives of the Saints_, written in 1874, I accepted M.
  Barthélemy's view, that Virgilius held that there were underground
  folk, gnomes; but I do not hold this now, knowing more than I then
  did of the learning of the great Irish scholars, and of the voyages
  made by the Irish. The earliest gloss on the _Senchus Mor_ says,
  "God formed the firmament around the earth; and the earth, in the
  form of a perfectly round ball, was fixed in the midst of the
  firmament."--I. p. 27.

Athelstan came to Exeter in 926, and drove out the British
inhabitants. He built towers and repaired the old Roman walls; he
it was who founded the monastery of SS. Mary and Peter, afterwards
to become the Cathedral; and, we are told, he gave to it relics of
S. Sidwell. This was a local saint, of whom very little is known,
save that she was the sister of Paul, who became abbot and bishop
of Léon, in Brittany. She had two sisters, Wulvella and Jutwara,
called also Jutwell and Eadware. Though the names seem Saxon, they
are corruptions of Celtic originals. Wulvella became an abbess at
Gulval, near Penzance, where she entertained her brother as he was
on his way to Armorica. Sidwell is supposed to have been a martyr,
possibly to Saxon brutality, but this is very uncertain, as her
story has not been preserved. She has as her symbols a scythe and
a well--"canting" symbols framed from her name. Her brother Paul
founded a church that still retains his name, in the British portion
of Exeter.

The bishop's seat had been at Crediton: the Saxon bishops did not
like it. There were no walls there, and the Danes made piratical
excursions. So Bishop Leofric induced Edward the Confessor to move
the seat to Exeter, and this was done by Edward in person, in 1050.

In Fore Street is an odd misshapen little church, S. Olave's. This
was endowed by Gytha, sister of Sweyn, the Danish king, and wife
of Earl Godwin. She was the mother of Harold. She is said to have
endowed it (1053) that prayer might be offered for the soul of her
husband, and in honour of Olaf, King of Norway, who had fallen in
battle in 1030. As S. Olaf fought against the Danes, and it was
through the machinations of Canute that he came to his end, it
is hard to see how a Danish lady should have felt any enthusiasm
about Olaf, who was regarded as a saint and martyr by the national
Norwegian party, which was bitterly opposed to the Danish. I suspect
that the church already existed, and was dedicated to S. Gwynllyw
of Gwent, who at Newport was also converted into Olave, by the
English-speaking colonists. Both Gwynllyw and Olaf were kings, and
it is noticeable that S. Olave's Church is in the British portion of
Exeter. When William the Conqueror arrived before the city, Gytha,
who was within the walls, escaped and took refuge in Flanders.
William gave the church, with her endowments, to Battle Abbey. But
I am not writing a history of Exeter. For those who desire to learn
its story in full, I must refer them to the work of Mr. Freeman.

The Cathedral is disappointing, and that because it is built, not of
the warm, red sandstone that abounds in the neighbourhood, and is
very good building material, but of Beer stone, which is cold and
grey. It has another defect: it is too low; but this was determined
by the towers. When it was resolved to rebuild the Cathedral, it was
decided to preserve the Norman towers, employing them as transepts.
This settled the business. The church could not be made lofty; and
on entering the western doors the visitor is at once disappointed.
He feels a lack of breathing-space; the vaulting depresses him.
The architectural details are not to be surpassed, but the whole
effect is marred by the one mistake made at the outstart. One cannot
wish that the towers had been removed, but one does regret that
they were allowed to determine the height of nave and choir. The
choir was begun by Bishop Quivil, in 1284, when also the great and
incomparably beautiful windows were inserted in the towers. The nave
was finished by Bishop Grandisson, in 1369, the year of his death.

Grandisson was a friend of the detestable John XXII., one of the
Avignon Popes; and John appointed his intimate to Exeter in total
disregard to the rights of the chapter to elect. He was consecrated
at Avignon. Hitherto almost all the bishops had been local men.

Grandisson was a man very Romanly inclined, and appointed to a see
that was redolent with Celtic reminiscences. He did not relish
these. Whenever he had the chance of rededicating a church he
endeavoured to substitute a patron from the Roman calendar in place
of the British founder. He drew up a Legendarium, a book of Lessons
on Saints' Feasts to be used in the Cathedral Church, and ignored
nearly every saint whose name was not approved by admission into the
Latin martyrology.

     "The Church of Exeter is a remarkable case of one general
     design being carried out through more than a hundred years.
     It was fixed once for all what the new Saint Peter's should
     be like, and it grew up after one general pattern, but with a
     certain advance in detail as the work went westward. Bishop
     Grandison, when the church was about half built, said that when
     it was finished it would surpass in beauty all churches of its
     own kind in England and France. Whatever he meant by '_genus
     suum_,' the prediction was safely risked. As far as outline
     and general effect goes, the Church of Exeter forms a class by

A more remarkable church than the Cathedral of Exeter is that of
Ottery S. Mary, also built by Grandisson. It is, of course, not by
any means so large. It gave, perhaps, the original type to Exeter,
for there also the towers have been employed as transepts, and was
begun in the Early English style. But there a stateliness and an
originality of effect are reached that Exeter cannot approach.

There the side aisles have but lancet windows, and a flood of light
pours down through the very original clerestory lights. There is
no east window. What the general effect must have been before the
levels were wantonly altered at the "restoration" one can now hardly
surmise. But the church, in spite of this and some odiously vulgar
woodwork, is one of the most striking in England, and perhaps the
boldest in originality of conception.

The Guildhall, in High Street, is a good example of Elizabethan
architecture, in bad stone.

A beautiful excursion may be made from Exeter to Fingle Bridge,[10]
on the Teign, where the river winds between the hills densely
wooded with coppice, that close in on each other like the fangs of
a rat-trap. With this may be combined Shilstone cromlech, the sole
perfect specimen of the kind remaining in the county, and once but a
single member in a series of very remarkable monuments.

  [10] _Ffin_--limit, _gal_--the level land, _i.e._ in comparison with
  the Dartmoor highlands.

The Teign is frowned down on by several strongly fortified camps.
Fingle should be seen when the hills are clothed in flowering
heather, as though raspberry cream had been spilt over them. White
heather may be picked there.

Fulford House is a quadrangle in a sad state of dilapidation;
originally of Tudor architecture, but disfigured by bad alterations
in the Prince Regent's days, when cockney Gothic was in vogue. In
the house is a bad portrait of the "Royal Martyr," presented by
Charles II., and one of "Red Ruin," a spendthrift Fulford. In the
hall is some superb carved panelling, early Tudor.

Exeter may be made a centre for ecclesiological excursions of no
ordinary interest. Dunchideock Church has a well-restored screen;
but by far the richest carved oak rood-screen in the county is
that of Kenton, where also the pulpit is of incomparable beauty.
The carver employed thereon was a man of no common talent, and the
work is one of brilliant execution. There is much difference in
the carving in the county--some is common, mechanical; that in the
Kenton screen and pulpit is of the very finest quality.

In the little church of S. Mary Steps, in Exeter, may be seen
a portion of the screen removed from S. Mary Major when that
monstrosity was erected. At Plymtree the screen bears on it
contemporary portraits of Prince Arthur (son of Henry VII.) and
Cardinal Morton. That of Bradninch has on it paintings of the
Sibyls, the Doctors of the Church, and the Legend of S. Francis.

Pinhoe was the scene of a great battle with the Danes in 1001. They
had come up the Exe, and burned Pinhoe, Broadclyst, and some of
the neighbouring villages. Levies in Devon and Somerset met them,
but were defeated with great slaughter. The church contains a fine
coloured screen with the vaulting-ribs and gallery. The alms-box is
curious: it represents a serving-man supporting himself with a stick
in one hand, the other extended soliciting alms.

East Budleigh should be visited for its fine bench-ends, some very
curious; one represents a cook roasting a goose; another a ship in
full sail. Their date is 1534. There is a screen, but not of first

Littleham, near Exmouth, has a good screen. Screens are the features
of Devonshire churches: a church was built to contain one. Without
it the proportions are faulty.

     Books on Exeter:--

     FREEMAN (E. A.), _Historic Towns: Exeter_. 1895.

     NORTHY (T. J.), _Popular History of Exeter_. 1886.

     JENKINS (A.), _History of Exeter_. 1841.



     Red stone and red cob--Cob walls--The river Creedy--Birthplace
     of S. Boniface--See of Crediton--The Church--Kirton
     serge--Apple orchards and cider-making--Francémass--Apple
     the basis of many jams--Song of the apple trees--The
     picking of apples--"Griggles"--Saluting the apple
     trees--The apple-crusher--Pomage--The cider-press--Apple
     cheese--Cider-matching--Racking--Cider for rheumatism--A
     Cornish cider song--John Davy--Seats near Crediton--Elizabeth
     Buller and Frances Tuckfield--The Coplestone--The North Devon
     savages--Lapford--Churches round Crediton--Rev. S. Rowe.

A curious, sleepy place, the houses like the great church built of
red sandstone, where not of the red clay or cob. But in the latter
case the cob is whitewashed. No house can be conceived more warm and
cosy than that built of cob, especially when thatched. It is warm
in winter and cool in summer, and I have known labourers bitterly
bewail their fate in being transferred from an old fifteenth or
sixteenth century cob cottage into a newly-built stone edifice of
the most approved style. As they said, it was like going out of warm
life into a cold grave.

The art of building with cob is nearly extinct. Clay is kneaded up
with straw by the feet, and then put on the rising walls that are
enclosed in a framework of boards, but this latter is not always
necessary as the clay is consistent enough to hold together, and
all that is required is to shave it down as the wall rises in
height. Such cob walls for garden fruit are incomparable. They
retain the warmth of the sun and give it out through the night, and
when protected on top by slates or thatch will last for centuries.
But let their top be exposed, and they dissolve in the rain and
flake away with the frost. They have, however, their compensating
disadvantage--they harbour vermin.

Crediton takes its name from the Creedy river that flows near
the town. The river is designated (_Crwydr_) from its straggling
character, crumbling its banks away at every flood and changing
its course. At a very early period the Saxons had succeeded in
establishing a settlement here, a _tun_, and here Wynfrith, better
known as S. Boniface, was born in 680. Willibald, a priest of
Mainz who wrote his life, tells us that his father was a great
householder, and of "eorl-kind," or noble birth. He loved his son
Wynfrith above all his other children, and for a long time withheld
his consent to his embracing the monastic life. During a serious
illness, however, when death seemed near at hand, he relented,
and Wynfrith was sent to school at Exeter. Thence he moved to
Nutschelle, where he assumed the name of Boniface. At the age of
thirty he was ordained. King Ina, of the West Saxons, honoured him
with his confidence, and he might have risen to a high office in
his native land, but other aspirations had taken possession of his
soul. No stories were listened to at his time in the Anglo-Saxon
monasteries with greater avidity than those connected with the
adventurous mission of Archbishop Willibrord among the heathen
Frisians, and Boniface longed to join the noble band beyond the sea.
The abbot opposed his design, but Boniface was obstinate, and with
three brethren left Nutschelle for London; there they took ship and
landed in Frisia in 716. But the time was unpropitious, and he was
forced to return to Nutschelle.


Next year he went to Rome, and then the Pope urged him to establish
papal authority in Germany, which had been converted by Celtic
missionaries, who had their own independent ways, that were not at
all relished at Rome. Boniface, who hated the Celts and all their
usages, eagerly undertook the task, and he went into Thuringia.
He did a double work. He converted, or attempted to convert, the
heathen, and he ripped up and undid what had been done independently
by the Irish missionaries. In his old age he resumed his attempt to
carry the Gospel into Frisia, and was there killed, A.D. 755.

A Saxon see was established at Crediton about 909, and was given
three estates in Cornwall--Poulton, Lawhitton, and Callington. The
Bishop was charged to visit the Cornish people year by year "to
drive away their errors," for up to that time "they had resisted
the truth with all their might, and had disobeyed the Apostolic
decrees," that is to say, they clung to their ecclesiastical
independence and some of their peculiar customs.

Crediton remained the seat of the Romano-Saxon bishops till 1046,
when Leofric got the see moved to Exeter, where his skin would be
safer behind walls than in exposed Crediton.

The church, dedicated to the Holy Cross, is a very stately
building; the tower is transition Norman at the base. The rest is
Perpendicular, and a fine effect is produced by the belt of shadow
under the tower, with the illumined choir behind, which has large
windows. The east window was mutilated at the "restoration." It
was very original and delightful; it has been reduced to the same
commonplace pattern as the west window.

Crediton was a great seat of the cloth trade, and many of those
whose sumptuous monuments decorate the church owed their wealth
to "Kirton serge." Westcote says that the "aptness and diligent
industry of the inhabitants" (in this branch of manufacture) "did
purchase it a pre-eminent name above all other towns, whereby grew
this common proverb, 'as fine as Kirton spinning' (for we call it
briefly Kirton), which spinning was very fine indeed, which to
express the better to gain your belief, it is very true that 140
threads for woollen yarn spun in that town were drawn together
through the eye of a taylor's needle, which needle and threads were
for many years together to be seen in Watling Street, in London, in
the shop of one Mr. Dunscombe, at 'The Sign of the Golden Bottle.'"

Crediton is now a great centre of apple culture and cider-making.
The rich red soil lends itself admirably to the production of
delicious apples.

[Illustration: East Window of Crediton Ch:
before "restoration"   FBB 1869

It is quite a mistake to suppose that any fruit serves for cider.
There are certain kinds that are vastly superior to others for this
purpose, as the Bitter-sweet, the Fox-whelp, the Kingston Black and
Cherry Pearmain; but the best all round is the Kingston Black.

When there is going up a general cry for legislation to ameliorate
in some way the condition of agriculture, it is a satisfaction to
think that one act of Government has had a beneficial effect on the
English farmer, if not throughout the land, at all events in the
West of England and in other cider-making counties, and that act was
the laying of heavy duty on foreign sparkling wines. Quite as much
champagne is drunk now as was before the duty was increased, but
unless we are very much mistaken some of that champagne comes from
the apple and not from the grape.

A story is told that a gentleman the other day applied to a large
apple-orchard farmer in the West of England for a hogshead or two of
his sparkling cider. The farmer replied that he was very sorry not
to be able to accommodate him as in previous years, but a certain
London firm had taken his whole year's "pounding." He gave the name
of the firm and assured his customer that he could get the cider
from that house. The gentleman applied, and received the answer:--

     "SIR,--We are not cider merchants. You have made some mistake.
     We are a firm of champagne-importing merchants from the
     celebrated vineyards of MM. So-and-so, at So-and-so."

Well, the money goes into English pockets, into those of the
hardly-pressed and pinched English farmers. And cider is the most
wholesome and sound of beverages. So all is well.

There are, as may have been noticed, three cold nights in May--not
always, but often. At Crediton, and throughout the apple-growing
districts in North Devon, these are called "Francémass" or "S.
Frankin's days;" they are the 19th, 20th, and 21st May. When a frost
comes then it injures the apple blossom. The story relative to this
frost varies slightly. According to one version there was an Exeter
brewer, of the name of Frankin, who found that cider ran his ale
so hard that he vowed his soul to the devil on the condition that
he would send three frosty nights in May to annually cut off the
apple blossom. The other version of the story is that the brewers in
North Devon entered into a compact with the Evil One, and promised
to put deleterious matter into their ale on condition that the
devil should help them by killing the blossom of the apple trees.
Accordingly, whenever these May frosts come we know that his majesty
is fulfilling _his_ part of the contract, because the brewers have
fulfilled _theirs_ by adulterating their beer. S. Frankin, according
to this version, is an euphemism for Satan.

Our dear old friend, the apple, not only serves as a kindly
assistant to help out the supply of wine, but also forms the basis
of a good many jams. With some assistance it is converted into
raspberry and plum, but no inducement will persuade it to become
strawberry. It is certainly instructive to pass a jam factory in
October and thence inhale the fragrance of raspberries.

For some twenty or thirty years the orchards were sadly neglected.
The old trees were not replaced, there was no pruning, no cleaning
of the trunks, the cattle were turned into the orchard to gnaw and
injure the bark and break down the branches, no dressing was given
to the roots, and the pounding of apples was generally abandoned.
But thanks to the increased demand for cider--largely, no doubt,
to be drunk as cider, also, it is more than suspected, to be drunk
under another name--the farmers in Somersetshire, Devonshire,
Hereford, and Worcestershire have begun to cultivate apple trees,
and care for them, as a means of revenue.

In former days there were many more orchards than at present; every
gentleman's house, every farmhouse had its well-stocked, carefully
pruned orchard. Beer ran cider hard, and nearly beat it out of the
field, and overthrew the apple trees, but the trees are having their
good times again.

There is a curious song of "The Apple Trees" that was formerly sung
in every West of England farmhouse. It was a sort of Georgic, giving
complete instructions how apples are to be grown and cider to be
made. It is now remembered only by very old men, and as it has, to
the best of my knowledge, never appeared in print, I will quote it
in full:--

    "An orchard fair, to please,
      And pleasure for your mind, sir,
    You'd have--then plant of trees
      The goodliest you can find, sir;

          In bark they must be clean,
            And finely grown in root, sir,
          Well trimmed in head, I ween,
            And sturdy in the shoot, sir.

    O the jovial days when the apple trees do bear,
    We'll drink and be merry all the gladsome year.

          "The pretty trees you plant,
            Attention now will need, sir,
          That nothing they may want,
            Which to mention I proceed, sir.
          You must not grudge a fence
            'Gainst cattle, tho't be trouble;
          They will repay the expense
            In measure over double.

                  O the jovial days, &c.

          "To give a man great joy,
            And see his orchard thrive, sir,
          A skilful hand employ
            To use the pruning knife, sir.
          To lop each wayward limb,
            That seemeth to offend, sir;
          Nor fail at Fall, to trim
            Until the tree's life end, sir.

                  O the jovial days, &c.

          "All in the month of May,
            The trees are clothed in bloom, sir,
          As posies bright and gay,
            Both morning, night and noon, sir.
          'Tis pleasant to the sight,
            'Tis sweet unto the smell, sir,
          And if there be no blight,
            The fruit will set and swell, sir.

                  O the jovial days, &c.

          "The summer oversped,
            October drawing on, sir;
          The apples gold and red
            Are glowing in the sun, sir.

    As the season doth advance,
      Your apples for to gather,
    I bid you catch the chance
      To pick them in fine weather.

              O the jovial days, &c.

    "When to a pummy ground,
      You squeeze out all the juice, sir,
    Then fill a cask well bound,
      And set it by for use, sir.
    O bid the cider flow
      In ploughing and in sowing,
    The healthiest drink I know
      In reaping and in mowing.

              O the jovial days, &c."

This fresh and quaint old song was taken down from an ancient sexton
of over eighty near Tiverton.

The young apple trees have a deadly enemy in the rabbit, which loves
their sweet bark, and in a night will ruin half a nursery, peeling
it off and devouring it all round. Young cattle will break over a
hedge and do terrible mischief to an orchard of hopeful trees that
promise to bear in another year or two. The bark cannot endure
bruising and breaking--injury to it produces that terrible scourge
the canker. Canker is also caused by the tap-root running down
into cold and sour soil; and it is very customary, where this is
likely, to place a slate or a tile immediately under the tree, so as
to force the roots to spread laterally. Apple trees hate standing
water, and like to be on a slope, whence the moisture rapidly drains
away. As the song says, the orchard apples when ripe glow "gold and
red," and the yellow and red apples make the best cider. The green
apple is not approved by the old-fashioned cider-apple growers.
The maxim laid down in the song, that the apples should be "the
goodliest you can find," was not much attended to some thirty years
ago when orchards were let down; farmers thought that any trees were
good enough, and that there was a positive advantage in selecting
sour apples, for that then the boys would not steal them. It is now
otherwise; they are well aware that the quality of the cider depends
largely on the goodness of the sort of apple grown. The picking of
apples takes place on a fine windy or sunny day. The apples to be
pounded are knocked down with a pole, but those for "hoarding" are
carefully picked, as a bruise is fatal. After that the fallen apples
have been gathered by women and children they are heaped up under
the trees and left to completely ripen and be touched with frost. It
is thought that they make better cider when they have begun to turn
brown. Whether this be actually the case, or the relic of a mistaken
custom of the past, the writer cannot say.

All apples are not usually struck down--the small ones, "griggles,"
are left for schoolboys. It is their privilege to glean in the
orchard, and such gleaning is termed "griggling."

What the vintage is in France, and the hop-picking is in Kent and
Bavaria, that the apple-picking and collecting is in the cider
counties of England. The autumn sun is shining, there is a crispness
in the air, the leaves are turned crimson and yellow, of the same
hues as the fruit. The grass of the orchard is bright with crimson
and gold as though it were studded with jewels, but the jewels
are the windfalls from the apple trees. Men, women, and children
are happy talking, laughing, singing snatches of songs--except
when eating. Eat they must--eat they will--and the farmer does not
object, for there is a limit to apple-eating. The apple is the most
filling of all fruit. And yet how unlimited seems the appetite of
the boy, especially when he gets into an orchard! The grandfather of
the writer of this book planted an orchard specially for the boys of
the parish, in the hope that they would glut themselves therein and
leave his cider orchard alone. It did not answer; they devoured all
the apples in their special orchard and carried their ravages into
his also.

The farmer knows that the apple is tempting, and the apple-pickers
and collectors are allowed to eat--within limits. But he can afford
to be generous. In a good year how abundant is the supply on every
tree! How every tree resembles those that Aladdin saw in the
enchanted world underground laden with topaz and ruby!

There was a curious custom in Devon, now completely gone out, which
consisted, on Old Christmas Day, in going at night into an orchard
and firing blank charges from fowling-pieces at the apple trees.
It was supposed that this ensured there being a good harvest of
apples the ensuing year. In Somersetshire the wassailing of the
trees continued till within the memory of old folk. Sir Thomas
Acland related to Mr. Brand, in 1790, that in his neighbourhood on
Christmas Eve it was customary for the country people to sing a
wassail or drinking song, and drink the toast from the wassail-bowl
to the apple trees in order to have a fruitful year. And Herrick
alludes to this when he enjoins:--

    "Wassaile the trees, that they may bear
    You many a plum, and many a peare;
    For more or lesse fruits they will bring,
    As you do give them wassailing."

The wassail song was as follows:--

    "Old Apple tree, we are come to wassail thee,
    All for to bloom, and to bear thy flowers and fruit so free.
    Wassail! wassail! all round our town;
    Our cups are white and our ale is brown.
    Our bowl is made of a good ashen tree,
    And here's kind fellows as will drink to thee.

        Hats full, caps full, five-bushel bags full,
        Barns full, floors full, stables full, tallats full,
        And the little hole under the stairs, three times three!
        Hip, hip, hurrah! shout we."

When the apples are considered fit to pound, which is usually in
November, they are taken to the crusher. This consists of a large
circular stone trough with a rim about it, and in this rolls a
great stone wheel, set in motion formerly by a horse attached to
a "roundabout." The great wheel revolved and crushed the apples
to a pulp. The crushing was, however, also done by the hand, in
small quantities. There is, however, a method of cutting them small
between rollers. The machine is now commonly set in motion by water.

The pounded apple pulp is called pomage, or apple-mock (mash). The
apples are ground to one consistence, with kernels and skins. The
kernels give flavour, and the skins colour; or are supposed so to do.

The pulp is next conveyed to the cider-press, where it is placed in
layers, with clean straw or haircloths between the layers. Below
is the vat; in Devonshire and Cornwall commonly called the "vate."
Above are planks with a lever beam weighted, so as to produce
great pressure, or else they are pressed by means of a screw. The
pressing-planks are locally termed the "sow." The cider now begins
to flow. The first flow is by no means the best.

The pulp thus squeezed is termed the "cheese." This is pared down,
and the parings added to the block and again subjected to pressure.

The cider as it flows away is received in "kieves." No water
whatever is added to the apples. What comes away is the pure
unadulterated juice. When, however, the cider has been wholly
pressed out, then it is customary to make a hole in the "cheese"
and pour in some water, which is left to be absorbed by the spongy
matter. This is afterwards pressed out, and goes by the name of
"beverage." It is not regarded as cider. It is sharper in taste, and
is appreciated by workmen.

Outside old farms is often to be seen a huge block of stone, with a
ring at the top. This was the weight formerly attached to the beam.
The pressing of the "cheese" was anciently performed by men pulling
the wooden beam, weighted with the great mass of granite or other
heavy substance that pressed down the "sow." A later contrivance
was a wheel with a screw, by means of which far more pressure could
be brought on the "cheese." The cider that oozed out under pressure
ran out of the trough by a lip into a flat tub called a "trin;" or
into the "kieve." The great scooped-out stones in which the apples
were crushed were often of great size, as much as ten or even
twelve feet in diameter. The stone that rolled in them was termed
the "runner." Where much pains was taken with the cider, there the
several kinds of apples were crushed separately, and also pressed
separately. But the usual custom was to throw in all together
into the "chase" or crushing basin. In a good many places small
discarded "chases" may be seen. These were employed not for making
cider, but cider spirit, which was distilled. This is indeed still
manufactured in some places on the sly. In Germany it is largely
distilled and sold as "schnaps," and very fiery, nasty stuff it is.
The manufacturers of British spirits know the use of cider spirit as
a base for some of their concoctions.

Formerly a duty of ten shillings a barrel was imposed on the making
of cider, but this was repealed in 1830.

The "cheese" of the apples is of little value. It is given to pigs.
Keepers are glad of it for the pheasants they rear; and made into
cakes it serves as fuel, smouldering and giving forth a not very
aromatic smoke.

The juice of the apples is left in the "kieves" for a period that
varies according to the weather and the temperature, but generally
is from three to four days.

During this period fermentation commences, and all the dirt and
impure matter come as a scum to the surface. This head is skimmed
off as it forms. If this be not done, after a time it sinks, and
spoils the quality of the cider. The liquid, by fermentation, not
only develops alcohol, but also cleanses itself. The fresh, sweet
cider is of a thick and muddy consistency. By fermentation it
purifies itself, and becomes perfectly clear.

The cider is now put into casks. In order to make _sweet_ cider the
cask is "matched." A bucketful of the new cider is put in, then
brimstone is lighted in an old iron pot, and a match of paper or
canvas is dipped in the melted brimstone and thrust into the cask
through the bung-hole, which is closed. The fumes of sulphur fill
the vessel, and when the barrel is afterwards filled with cider
all fermentation is arrested. Sweet cider, if new, is often rather
unpleasant from the taste of the sulphurous acid.

This may be avoided by "racking," that is to say, the cider when
made may be turned from one hogshead to another at intervals,
whenever it shows signs of fermenting. This continuous "racking"
will arrest the progress of fermentation as effectually as

The sweet cider is in far greater demand by the general public than
that which is "rough," but a West Country labourer will hardly thank
you for the cider that will be drunk with delight by the cockney. He
prefers it "rough," that is to say acid, the rougher the better,
till it almost cuts the throat as it passes down.

Unless bottled, cider is difficult to preserve owing to the
development of lactic acid. Moreover, in wood it turns dark in
colour, and if allowed to stand becomes of an inky black, which is
not inviting. This is due to having been in contact with iron.

It is bottled from Christmas on till Easter, and so is sold as
champagne cider; sometimes as champagne without the addition, we
strongly suspect.

The amount of alcohol produced by fermentation varies from five and
a half to nine per cent. In the sweet sparkling cider the amount
is very small, and it would take a great deal of it to make a man

Much difference of opinion exists as to the good of cider for
rheumatic subjects. The sweet cider is of course bad, but it is
certain that in the West of England a good many persons are able to
drink cider who dare not touch beer--not only so, but believe that
it is beneficial. Others, however, protest that they feel rheumatic
pains if they touch it.

The manufacturers of champagne cider very commonly add mustard to
the liquid for the purpose of stinging the tongue; but apart from
that, cider is the purest and least adulterated of all drinks.

In conclusion I will venture to quote another West of England song
concerning cider, only premising that by "sparkling" cider is not
meant that which goes by the name in commerce, but the homely
cask cider; and next, that the old man who sang it to the writer
of this article--a Cornish tanner--claimed (but the claim may be
questioned) to have composed both words and melody, so that the
song, though of country origin, is not very ancient:--

    "In a nice little village not far from the sea,
    Still lives my old uncle aged eighty and three,
    Of orchards and meadows he owns a good lot,
    Such cider as his--not another has got.

        Then fill up the jug, boys, and let it go round,
        Of drinks not the equal in England is found.
        So pass round the jug, boys, and pull at it free,
        There's nothing like cider, sparkling cider, for me.

    "My uncle is lusty, is nimble and spry (lively),
    As ribstons his cheeks, clear as crystal his eye,
    His head snowy white, as the flowering may,
    And he drinks only cider by night and by day.

        Then fill up the jug, &c.

    "O'er the wall of the churchyard the apple trees lean
    And ripen their burdens, red, golden, and green.
    In autumn the apples among the graves lie;
    'There I'll sleep well,' says uncle, 'when fated to die.'

        Then fill up the jug, &c.

    "'My heart as an apple, sound, juicy, has been,
    My limbs and my trunk have been sturdy and clean;
    Uncankered I've thriven, in heart and in head,
    So under the apple trees lay me when dead.'

        Then fill up the jug, &c."

Near Crediton, at Creedy Bridge, was born John Davy, the composer of
the popular song "The Bay of Biscay." He was baptised on Christmas
Day, 1763, at Upton Hellions, and was an illegitimate child; but
he was tenderly brought up by his uncle, a village blacksmith, who
played the violoncello in Upton Hellions Church choir.

When in Crediton one day as a child with his uncle, he saw some
soldiers at the roll-call, and was vastly delighted at the music of
the fifes; so much so that he borrowed one and very soon learned
to play it. After that he made fifes with his penknife of the
hollow-stalked weeds growing on the banks of the Creedy, locally
called "bitters," and sold them to his playfellows.

A year later the chimes of Crediton made such an impression on this
precocious child, that he purloined twenty or thirty horseshoes from
his uncle's smithy, and the old fellow was sadly perplexed as to
what had become of them, till he heard a mysterious chiming from the
garret, and on ascending to it, found that John had suspended eight
of the horseshoes from the rafters so as to form an octave, and with
a rod was striking them in imitation of the Crediton chimes.

This story getting to the ears of the rector of the parish,
Chancellor Carrington, he felt interested in the child and showed
him a harpsichord, on which he soon learned to play. Davy also at
this time applied himself to learn the violin.

When Davy was eleven years old the rector introduced him to another
parson, named Eastcott, who possessed a pianoforte, an instrument
of recent introduction. With this the boy soon became familiar. An
effort was now made by these two kindly clergymen, and they placed
him with Jackson, the organist of Exeter Cathedral, with whom he
remained some years and completed his musical education.

He then went to London, where he was employed to supply music for
the songs of the operas of that day, and was retained as a composer
by the managers of the Theatre Royal until infirmities, rather
than age, rendered him incapable of exertion, and he died, before
he was sixty-two, in penury. It was due only to a couple of London
tradesmen, one of whom was a native of Crediton, that he was not
consigned to a pauper's grave. He wrote some dramatic pieces for
the theatre at Sadler's Wells, and composed the music for Holman's
opera of _What a Blunder_, which was performed at the little theatre
in the Haymarket in 1800. In the following year he was engaged with
Moorhead in the music of _Perouse_, and with Mountain in that of
_The Brazen Mask_. His last opera was _Woman's Will_. Some of his
songs have obtained a firm hold, as "Just Like Love," "May we ne'er
want a Friend," "The Death of Will Watch the Smuggler," which I have
heard a village blacksmith sing, and "The Bay of Biscay."

He was buried in St. Martin's churchyard, February 28th, 1824.

There are some fine seats and parks near Crediton: Creedy Park,
that of Sir H. Fergusson Davie, Bart.; that of Shobrooke, the seat
of Sir I. Shelly, Bart.; and Downes, the property of Sir Redvers
Buller. This latter place takes its name from the _dun_ which
occupied the hill-top between the Yeo and Creedy, which unite below
it. All traces of the old ramparts have, however, disappeared
under cultivation. There is a somewhat pathetic story connected
with Shobrooke and Downes. The latter belonged to William Gould,
and James Buller, of Morval, obtained it by marrying his eldest
daughter and heiress Elizabeth, born in 1718. The younger and
only other sister, Frances, married John Tuckfield, of Shobrooke
Park, then known as Little Fulford. This was in 1740, when she was
only eighteen. The respective husbands quarrelled about money and
politics, and forbade their wives to meet and speak to each other.
John Tuckfield was member for Exeter 1747, 1754, 1760, when he died.
The sisters were wont to walk every day to a certain point in the
respective grounds and wave their handkerchiefs to each other, and
they never met in this world again, for Elizabeth died in 1742.

There is not much of great interest in the neighbourhood of
Crediton. Perhaps the church that most deserves a visit is
Colebrook, with its curious wood carving and a fine original and
late piece of screen-work. There is also Coplestone Cross, a very
remarkable piece of early Celtic interlaced work, such as is not to
be found elsewhere in England except in Northumbria. It is mentioned
in a charter in 974, but it is far older than that. It stands at the
junction of three parishes, and has given a name to a once noted
family in the county, that comes into an old local rhyme, which

    "Crocker, Cruwys, and Coplestone,
    When the Conqueror came were found at home."

But who the ancestors of these families were at the time of the
Conquest we have no means of knowing. Of the few English thegns who
retained their lands in Devonshire after the Conquest, not one is
recorded as holding any of the estates that later belonged to these
families. The cross is of granite, and stands 10 feet 6 inches high.
It is, unhappily, mutilated at the top.

At Nymet Rowland, near Crediton, the savages lived, to whom Mr.
Greenwood drew attention. They were dispersed by becoming a prey to
typhoid, when their hovel was torn down. The last of them, an old
man, lived the rest of his life and died in the parish of Whitstone
in a cask littered with straw, the cask chained to a post in an
outhouse. I have given an account of them in my _Old English Home_.

At Lapford is a fine screen, and the carved benches are deserving
of attention. Lapford was for long, too long, the place over
which "Pass'n Radford" brooded as an evil genius. I have told
several stories of him in my _Old Country Life_, under the name of
Hannaford. He has been sketched in Mr. Blackmore's _Maid of Sker_
beside Parson Froude, of Knowstone. The latter has been drawn
without excessive exaggeration.

At Down S. Mary the screen has been admirably completed from a
fragment by the village carpenter. There is a good screen at Bow.

A good walk through pretty scenery to Dowrish, an ancient mansion,
and once dating from King John's reign, but modernised in suburban
villa style. Though there is nothing remaining of interest in the
house, the view thence, stretching across the richly wooded land of
the new red sandstone to the heights of Dartmoor, will repay the
walk. For many years Crediton was the residence of the Rev. Samuel
Rowe, the Columbus of Dartmoor. He laboriously explored that region,
till then almost unvisited, and chronicled its prehistoric relics.
Although he was hopelessly involved in the pseudo-antiquarianism
of his period, and put everything prehistoric down to the Druids
and Phœnicians, yet his researches were most valuable, and he has
recorded the existence of many relics that have since disappeared.
His _Perambulation of Dartmoor_ was published in 1848. He had
indeed been preceded in 1832 by the Rev. Edward A. Bray, vicar
of Tavistock, but the visits of the latter to Dartmoor had been
confined to the immediate neighbourhood of the town of which he was

[Illustration: TIVERTON]



     Two-fords Town--The Seven Crosses--Numerous chapels--Tiverton
     Church--Blundell's School--Parson Russell--Washfield--Sampford
     Peverell Ghost--"Old Snow"--White Witches--Instance of
     evil done by them--The Four Quarters--Machine lace--John
     Heathcoat--Cullompton--Bampfylde Moore Carew--Bampton Pony
     Fair--The Exmoor ponies.

Tiverton, or, as it was originally called, Twyford, takes its
name from being planted between the Exe and the Loman (Gael.
_liomh_, smooth or sluggish[11]), which are here fordable. It rises
picturesquely above the Exe, and the height when crowned with castle
as well as church must have presented a remarkably fine group of
towers. The main castle tower was, however, pulled down and left as
a stump about thirty-five years ago.

  [11] The same in Loch Lomond and in Lake Leman, in the Lyme in
  Dorsetshire, and the Leam by Leamington.

The castle was a great Courtenay stronghold, and occupied a site
that had doubtless been previously fortified. There is, however, a
large and strong earthwork, Cranmore, that occupies the height above
Collipriest and looks down upon the town.

At Hensleigh, a hamlet to the west of the town, is a spot called
"The Seven Crosses." The origin of this name is, according to a
generally accepted tradition, as follows:--

One day the Countess of Devon was taking her walk abroad in the
direction of Hensleigh, when she met a tailor descending the hill,
laden with a large covered maund, or basket. As he passed, she heard
a cry from the hamper. She stayed her steps and inquired what he was

"Only seven puppies that I be going to drown in the Exe," was his

"I want a dog," said the Countess. "Open the hamper."

The tailor tried to excuse himself, but in vain. The Countess
insisted, and, on the lid being raised, seven little babes were

"Alas, my lady!" said the tailor. "My wife gave birth to all seven
at once, and I am poor, poor as a church mouse. What other could I
do than rid myself of them?--they are all boys."

The Countess saw that they were lovely and vigorous babes, and she
made the tailor take them back to his wife, and charged herself
with the cost of their bringing up and education. When they were
sufficiently old she had them all sent to Buckfast Abbey, to be
reared for the priesthood, and in due time they were ordained and
became--that is, four of them--rectors of Tiverton (for Tiverton had
four together), and the three others their curates. As they were all
of a birth, they loved each other, and never disagreed; and that
was--so it is averred--the only instance within a historic period
that the rectors of the four portions of Tiverton have agreed, and
have got on smoothly with each other and with their curates. As the
seven hung together in life, in death they were not parted. All died
in one day, and were buried on the spot where the Countess of Devon
saved their lives, and there above their heads seven crosses were
reared, but not one of these remains to the present day.

Formerly there were in Tiverton parish eighteen chapels, of which
the only remains are found in a cottage at Mere, and a restored
chapel at Cove. Tidcombe Rectory was built by a former rector, named
Newte, on the graveyard of one of these chapels, and it is pretended
that none of the eldest sons of the Newte family have ever since
come of age, as a punishment for this act of profanation.

Tiverton Church, dedicated to S. Peter, represents three periods of
architecture. In the north aisle is a Norman doorway, with zigzag
moulding. The tower, a hundred feet high, is the most beautiful
feature--Perpendicular. The nave, chancel, and north aisle are
of early Perpendicular work; the south aisle, with its Greenway
chapel, dates from early in the sixteenth century. It was built by
John Greenway, a rich merchant of Tiverton, and running round it,
represented in relief, are twenty scenes from the life of our Lord,
beginning with the Flight into Egypt, and ending with the Ascension.
The roof of the south porch is also Greenway's work, and is very
fine. He and his wife Joan are represented over the door kneeling
in adoration. He died in 1529, but the chapel was built in 1517.
The exterior is covered with lavish enrichments--representations
of ships, wool-packs, men, and horses. Formerly this chapel was
separated from the south aisle by a richly-carved, gilt and coloured
screen of stone, containing paintings in panels. This was wantonly
destroyed in 1830, but the fragments were happily rescued by the
Earl of Devon and removed to Powderham. At the "restoration" in 1854
the rood-screen was also removed, but was secured by the Rev. W.
Rayer, rector of Tidcombe Portion, who had just purchased the whole
of the Holcombe estate from the Blewett family, and his son had it
restored and erected in Holcombe Rogus Church.

The screen was in a very worm-eaten condition, and its restoration
was a very expensive matter.

Blundell's Grammar School was founded in 1604, and was for many
years the leading school of Devonshire. Under Dr. Richards it
contained the largest number of pupils, 200, ever within the walls,
until the new buildings were erected on a suitable spot to the east
of Tiverton, where there are now 250 boys.

Dr. Richards was a good teacher, but a very severe disciplinarian.
Perhaps the most famous of his pupils, both as a clergyman and
sportsman, was the late John Russell, "Parson Jack" as he was
called. He was a great favourite as a schoolboy, and always showed
a considerable amount of shrewdness. With another boy, named Bovey,
he kept a scratch pack of hounds. Having received a hint that this
had reached the ears of Dr. Richards, he collected his share of the
pack, and sent them off to his father. The next day he was summoned
to the master's desk.

"Russell," said the Doctor, "I hear that you have some hounds. Is it

"No, sir," answered Russell; "I have not a dog in the neighbourhood."

"You never told me a lie, so I believe you. Bovey, come here. You
have some hounds, I understand?"

"Well, sir, a few--but they are little ones."

"Oh! you have, have you? Then I shall expel you."

And expelled he was, Russell coming off scatheless. I tell the
following tale because it was told in Blundell's School of Russell,
during his lifetime, as one of his pranks, but I mistrust it. I
believe the story to be as old as the twelfth century; and if I
remember aright, it occurs in one of the French Fabliaux of that

Dr. Richards had some very fine grapes growing against his garden
wall, under the boys' bedroom windows. "Jack was as good as
his master," and the young scamp was wont to be let down in a
clothes-basket by night, by his mates, to the region of the grapes,
and to return with a supply when hauled up.

The Doctor noticed how rapidly his grapes disappeared, and learning
from his man John the cause, took his place under the vine along
with his gardener, who was ordered to lay hold of the boy in the
basket and muffle his mouth, lest he should cry out. This he did
when Russell descended; and Dr. Richards took his place in the
clothes-basket. The boys hauled away, wondering at the accession of
weight, but when they saw the Doctor's head level with the window,
panic-stricken they let go their hold of the rope, and away went
Doctor and basket to the bottom.

No bones were broken, and nothing came of it, the Doctor being
rather ashamed of the part he had played in the matter.

It was said of Russell, as Napoleon said of Ashton Smith, that he
was "le premier chasseur d'Angleterre." His love for sport made
him always a poor man. On one occasion he invited a young curate
to breakfast with him, and preach for him. After breakfast two
likely-looking hunters, perhaps a little screwy, were brought round
and steadily mounted.

"No time for going round by the road," said Parson Jack; "we will
ride to my church across country, and so save a couple of miles."

Off they rode. The curate presently remarked, "How bare of trees
your estate is," as they crossed lands belonging to Russell. "Ah!"
responded the sportsman "the hounds eat 'em." Coming to a stiff
gate, Russell, with his hand in his pocket, cleared it like a bird,
but looking round, he saw the curate on the other side crawling over
the gate, and crying out in piteous tones, "It won't open."

"Not it," was the reply, "and if you can't jump a gate like that,
I'm sure you can't preach a sermon. Good-bye."

But he was not only a mighty hunter, he was also an excellent parish
priest and a fine preacher, though not always depending on his own
sermons. He was ordered to preach at one of Bishop Phillpotts'
visitations. His sermon was good, and at the consequent dinner
the Bishop complimented him in almost exaggerated terms for "his
splendid sermon." Russell knew that the Bishop when most oily was
most dangerous, and suspected that he had recognised the sermon, so,
as always, ready, he said in returning thanks, "As to the sermon, my
lord, I quite agree with you. I have ever considered it as one of
Barrow's best." Needless to say, the Bishop collapsed.

I can cap that with another anecdote.

The late Dr. Cornish, of Ottery S. Mary, was pompous and
patronising. A curate under him, recently ordained, preached his
first sermon. In the vestry the vicar, swelling out, said, "For a
beginner it was not wholly bad." "Ah, Doctor, I must not take any
credit to myself. It is one of Bishop Andrews' finest discourses."
Needless to say that Doctor Cornish's stomach went in.

There have not been many conspicuous lights from Blundell's. Perhaps
the most famous of them is the present Archbishop of Canterbury.

The school has passed through many vicissitudes. By a Chancery
decision in 1846 all boarders were swept away and the school reduced
to seventeen boys. £10,000 were put into the lawyers' pockets in
defending the suit, whereby the school was reduced well-nigh to
bankruptcy. By another decision of the courts and at the cost of
another £10,000, boarders were restored, and new buildings were
erected. The old school has been altered into private dwellings.

Near Tiverton is Washfield, where there is a very fine Jacobean
screen with the arms of James I. upon it, and in the north aisle
those of Charles as Prince of Wales. It deserves a study. In this
church the old parish orchestra still performs on Sunday, or did so
till recently. There is here a curious church-house with an oriel

Outside the churchyard was buried a squire of the parish, so wicked
that he was denied a place in consecrated ground. Three times were
Acts of Parliament passed to enable either sale of property or the
management to be taken from successive squires as one after another
was mad. Worth House has now passed away from the family of that
name, which has died out in the male line.

In 1810 much public interest was excited by a report of spiritual
manifestations at Sampford Peverell, five miles from Tiverton, and
the Rev. C. Colton published an account of them. They consisted of
the usual rappings, dealing of heavy blows, and the throwing about
the room of heavy articles. That these were produced by some cunning
servant-maid cannot be doubted. Mr. Colton, who vouched for the
truth of the phenomena, did not bear a good character; he ended his
days by suicide, after having been "unfrocked," and his last years
spent in gambling-houses.

That these tricks were at one time not unfrequently resorted to
is probable. The Germans give them as the work of a Poltergeist.
In my own neighbourhood, in or about 1852, a precisely similar
exhibition took place. Stones, cups, pans flew about a room,
and strange knockings were heard. Many people went to witness
them, and came away convinced that they were the work of spirits;
especially was it so with one yeoman, whose hat was knocked off
his head by the spirit. My father investigated the matter, and
came to the conclusion that the whole was contrived by a girl of
low intelligence but of much cunning. It is now, with the advance
of education, persons of a superior grade who are the dupes of
spirit-mediums. Education will not give brains, but it will varnish

At Tiverton lived, till a few years ago, "Old Snow," a rather famous
"white witch," to whom many persons had recourse, among others a
farmer who was a churchwarden and a well-to-do man. I knew him well,
and in 1889 believed him to be a doomed man, with a hacking cough,
worn to a shred, and bent by weakness. Having consulted all the
prominent doctors in the south of the county, he went in desperation
to "Old Snow." What the white witch did to him I cannot say, but I
can testify he was a changed man from that day, and is at present a
robust, hale man, looking good for another twenty or thirty years.

In an article I wrote on "White Witches" for the _Daily Graphic_ I
mentioned this case. Some days after I met the farmer. "Why," said
he, "you have put me in the papers." "So I have," I answered, "but
what I told was literally true." "True--aye," he said, "every bit.
Old Snow cured me when the faculty gave me up. _How_ he did it,
neither you nor I know."

The white witch is an institution that has not been killed by board
schools in the West, nor, as far as can be judged from the favour
in which he is still regarded, is he likely to die. A witch is
generally supposed to be the feminine of wizard, but in the West of
England "witch" is of common gender, and those in highest repute are
men. Their trade consists in prescribing for the sick, in informing
those who have been "overlooked" whose evil eye has influenced them
for ill, where lost articles are to be found, and how spells cast on
their cattle are to be broken.

A white witch is one who repudiates utterly having any traffic
with the Evil One. His or her knowledge is derived from other
sources--what, not specified. I had for many years as a tenant in
one of my cottages a woman who was much consulted as a white witch.
She is now dead, and her decease is a matter of outspoken regret.

The village inn frequently had guests staying there to undergo
a course of "blessing" from this woman. She was an ill-favoured
person, with a wall-eye, and one eye higher in her head than the
other. She was bent, heavy-featured, and stoutly built. A worthy
woman, scrupulously neat in her person, and who kept her cottage in
beautiful order. She certainly believed in her own powers, and as
certainly performed very remarkable cures, which it was not possible
to deny, though they might be explained. For instance, in the
hayfield in a parish four miles distant as the crow flies, eight by
road, a young man cut his leg with the scythe, and the blood spurted
out. At once the farmer dipped the man's handkerchief in the blood,
mounted one of his men on a horse, and sent him galloping to the
white witch, who took the kerchief, blessed it, and simultaneously
four miles off as the crow flies, the blood was stanched. The son of
the largest farmer in the place, a man who is worth his thousands,
was suffering from glandular ulcerations in the neck. The village
doctor attended him and did him no good. He consulted the principal
medical man in the nearest market town, also to no advantage. Time
passed and he was no better; he gave up consulting doctors, who sent
him in bills and left him rather worse than when they began on him.
At last he went to the white witch. Whether she "struck" his glands
or prescribed some herbs I cannot say, but what I do know is that
within a month the young man was perfectly well.

The woman, who was my tenant, was no conscious impostor, of that
I am convinced. What her secret was she would not communicate,
but most earnestly did she deprecate any communication with evil
spirits. Not only did the village innkeeper derive a certain
revenue from patients lodging in his house to be under treatment
by her, but the postmen of the neighbourhood also earned their
crumbs by carrying kerchiefs blessed by her to sufferers within
their districts. It was no uncommon sight to see a walking postman
careering along with arms extended holding a kerchief in each hand,
fluttering as he walked. It is held that the blessing is drawn out
of the material if it be folded, put in a pocket, and handled other
than most gingerly between finger and thumb.

When among the educated, the cultivated classes, we find belief
in faith-healing, and so-called "Christian Science," is it to be
wondered at that in classes lower down in the scale there should be
credulous persons who not only believe in white witches, but believe
in their own powers as white witches?

It is the same as in the Lourdes miracles; the imagination acts
on the nervous system, and that stimulates the body to throw off
disease. That is the true secret.

I cannot doubt but that in many cases herbs are employed that have
been sadly neglected ever since our doctors have gone in for mineral
medicines. The latter act violently, but the herbs slowly, and, in
many instances, more surely.

However, in the majority of cases the white witches are mere
impostors, and may do much harm, as in that I will now record, which
took place three years ago only. I shall, for obvious reasons, not
give the true names, nor indicate the locality.

A cattle dealer in 1896 had a daughter, who two years previously had
been a victim to influenza. This had affected her head and produced
profound melancholy. As doctors proved unavailing, the man went to
Exeter and consulted a white witch there. According to his statement
the witch showed him the face of a neighbour, Mrs. Thomas, in a
glass of water, and told him that his daughter was "overlooked" by
the person he saw. The white witch further informed him that the
individual who had "ill wished" his daughter passed his door every
day, but had hitherto never entered it, but that on the following
Saturday she would do so. The cattle dealer returned home, and, sure
enough, next ensuing Saturday Mrs. Thomas entered his house and
asked if he would take of her a little meat she had to spare, as she
had been killing a pig.

Next night the Thomases' house was set on fire. It was thatched, and
six persons slept under the thatch. By the merest chance Mr. Thomas
woke in the night, and hearing a strange sound went outside his
house to see what was the matter, and found his roof in flames. He
had barely time to rouse and bring forth his wife and family before
the roof fell in.

It was ascertained by the police that the thatch had been
deliberately fired. The incendiary had struck two matches, which
had failed, and in drawing the matches from his pocket had dropped
two halfpenny stamps. He had climbed on to a hedge to effect his
object, and the third match had ignited the thatch. But it was never
ascertained _who_ had done the deed.

A few years ago I wrote the little account of "Devonshire White
Witches" for the _Daily Graphic_ already referred to. This brought
down on me a copious shower of letters from all parts of England,
entreating me to furnish the addresses of some of our white witches,
as the correspondents had found it profitless and expensive to apply
to medical practitioners, and they were anxious to try the cures of
these conscious or unconscious impostors.

Tiverton parish was ecclesiastically divided into four quarters,
each under an independent rector, and all co-equally regnant in the
parish church. The arrangement was not happy--and led to constant
ruffles and conflict of opinion. The condition was so unsatisfactory
that the late Bishop of Exeter and present Archbishop carried an Act
to alter it.

Tiverton is a seat of machine-lace manufacture, introduced by Mr.
John Heathcoat in 1816.

Lace is said to have been brought into France by Mary de Medici from
Venice; and the making of this beautiful work of art rapidly spread
and took root in the Low Countries. Refugees from Flanders brought
it into England, when they settled at Cranfield, in Bedfordshire.
The lace made was Brussels point; the network was formed by bone
bobbins on a pillow, which held the threads, and the sprigs were
worked with a needle.

The introduction of machinery told heavily on the commoner and
coarser lace-making.

In the reign of George II., or about a hundred and fifty years after
the introduction of the first knitting machines, many additions
and improvements were made in them, and the so-called "tickler,"
guided by mere accident, was now applied for the first time to the
manufacture of lace. This attempt was succeeded by a "point-net"
machine, an invention that was nearly, but not entirely, successful.

In 1768 a watchmaker, named Hammond, applied the stocking-frame
to the manufacture of lace, but it worked slowly and without
accuracy. Attempts were made in various parts of the kingdom to make
fishing-nets by machinery, and a workman discovered, by observing
a child at play, the secret of the "bobbin and carriage," which
was first applied to the manufacture of fishing-nets. It was not,
however, till 1809 that Mr. Heathcoat patented his machine, which
combined the discoveries of the past with immense improvements of
his own.

The point-net frame had been invented in the early years of the
century. Attempts were made to produce a twist mesh. Heathcoat
divided the warp threads and put them on a beam, apart from the
transverse threads, which latter he wound upon thin bobbins, and
arranged them so that they could pass around and amongst the former.

This machine was, however, complex, having twenty-four motions to
the series for twisting the mesh, and four for the pins to secure
the twist when unravelling, but after the expiration of the patent
it was simplified so as to require only six, with two motions to
prevent the unravelment.

The introduction of mechanism threatening the manufacture at home
provoked grave riots in the counties of Nottingham, Derby, and
Leicester, headed by a weaver named Ludd, who gave his name to
the riots. The man himself was really insane. Troops of men went
about breaking machines and intimidating workers in the factories.
William Horsfall, a Marsden manufacturer, they murdered. This
was in 1813. Although peremptory punishment fell on the rioters,
still insecurity to life and property continued for some years,
and induced Mr. Heathcoat to transfer his frames to and start as
a manufacturer in Tiverton in 1816, and abandon his factory at
Loughborough. He brought with him as a foreman Mr. Asher, who had
been shot at and wounded in the back of his head by the rioters.
This transfer was so much loss to Loughborough and gain to Tiverton,
and that not temporary, but lasting, for what was begun in 1816 is
continued to this day in full vigour, finding employment for 1400
hands and 130 children. John Heathcoat's only child and daughter
married a solicitor named Amory, and their son was made a baronet
by Mr. Gladstone in 1874, a well-deserved honour, as, but for the
introduction of the lace manufacture, Tiverton would have sunk to
the position of a stagnant county town.

The Exe valley below Tiverton presents pleasant scenery, but nothing
fine. An excursion should be made to Cullompton in the Culm (Welsh
_cûll_, Gael. _caol_, narrow, slender) valley to see the interesting
church with its fine restored screen in all the splendour of colour.
Cullompton had the wit to preserve and cherish what Tiverton cast
away. Uffculme has also a screen; near this is Bradfield House, a
rare treasury of old oak carving. Culmstock has a stone screen,
which has stupidly been converted into a reredos.

Holcombe Rogus is a very fine specimen of an Elizabethan house and
hall. In the church is some beautiful cinque-cento carved screenwork
to the manorial pew.

At Bickleigh was born Bampfylde Moore Carew in 1693. His father
was the rector, and the son was educated at Blundell's School at
Tiverton, where he showed considerable ability. He and other boys
kept a pack of hounds, and as these, with Carew and others behind
them, once gave chase to a deer strayed from Exmoor over standing
corn, so much damage was done that the farmers complained.

Bampfylde Moore Carew was too great a coward to wait and take
his whipping. He ran away from school, and sheltered among some
gipsies. He contracted such a love for their vagrant life, and such
satisfaction in getting their applause for thefts that manifested
low cunning, that nothing would induce him to abandon their mode
of life and return to civilisation. At one time he postured as a
non-juring parson who had been forced to leave his rectory, and
preyed on the sympathy of the Jacobite gentry. Then learning from a
newspaper that a cargo of Quakers bound for Philadelphia had been
wrecked on the Irish coast, he disguised himself as a Friend, and
traded on the charity of the Quakers by representing himself as one
of those who had been rescued from the sea.

He was elected King of the Beggars on the death of Clause Patch,
who had reigned previously over the mendicants. At last he was
arrested, tried at the quarter sessions at Exeter, and transported
to Maryland, where he was sold to a planter, and as he tried to
escape an iron collar was riveted about his neck. He again escaped;
this time succeeded in getting among the Indians, who relieved him
of his collar. He stole a canoe from his benefactors, and got on
board a vessel sailing for England. What became of him is not known,
but he is thought to have died in obscurity in 1770, aged 77, but
where buried is unknown. The fellow was a worthless rogue, without a
redeeming quality in him.

The Bampton Fair is an institution that should not be passed
by unsought by the visitor to North Devon, if he be a lover of
horseflesh or a student of mankind. He will see there choice
specimens alike of Exmoor ponies and of North Devon farmers, and
will catch many a waft of the broadest dialect of the borders of
Somerset and Devon.

A writer in _S. Paul's Magazine_, December 12th, 1896, says:--

     "As a dead-alive, archæologically interesting place, the Devon
     Bampton on the Exe is a more or less desirable centre for the
     angler and the hunting man, but ordinarily, in the eyes of the
     unsporting, sane person, it is a useful hole to strive to avoid.

     "Bampton Fair, however, is a celebration once to be seen by
     every woman or man who has eyes, ears, and nose for novelty.
     Such lowing of oxen, bleating of sheep, and assemblage of
     agrestics and congregation of ponies! The side shows are naught.
     Who cares for gingerbread, pasties, cockles, fairings, tipsy
     yokels, trolloping hussies, and other attributes of Bœotia
     let loose? The play's the thing--that is, the pony exhibition.
     Nijni Novgorod is all very well--quite unique in its way; Rugby,
     Barnet, and Brampton Brian fairs are things apart. But Bampton
     Fair is absolutely _sui generis_. Exmoor ponies throng the
     streets, flood the pavements, overflow the houses, pervade the
     place. Wild as hawks, active and lissom as goats, cajoled from
     the moors and tactfully manœuvred when penned, these indigenous
     quadrupeds will leap or escalade lofty barriers in a standing
     jump, or a cat-like scramble, whilst the very 'suckers' have to
     be cajoled with all the Dædalian adroitness with which the Irish
     pig has to be induced to go whither it would not."

The great sale of ponies formerly took place at Simonsbath, but it
was moved to Bampton in 1850, and is held on the last Thursday in

"Seventy years ago," said a bailiff, "there were only five men and
a woman and a little girl on Exmoor, and that little girl was my
mother. She drew beer at Simonsbath public-house. There were a rough
lot of customers then, I promise you."

The moor was the property of the Crown, and it was leased in part to
Sir Thomas Dyke Acland since 1818, and was used for the rearing of
ponies and the summering of sheep.

There was a good deal of horse stealing in the early days of this
century. In spite of the severe laws on this sort of theft, and of
the Acland brand of the anchor, a good many ponies were spirited
away by the shepherds and disposed of in Wiltshire. The Acland breed
is pure, and can only be obtained from the Baronet. All the rest are
the result of crossing. Sir Thomas moved his stock away from Exmoor
to the Winsford Hills, and left only a dozen mare ponies to preserve
the line, when the father of the late Sir Frederick Knight rented
10,000 acres of the moor and added 6000 subsequently.

     "An after-dinner conversation led Mr. Knight to consider the
     great pony question in all its bearings. The party met at Sir
     Joseph Banks's, the eminent naturalist. They discussed the
     merits of the Dongola horse, which had been described as an
     Arab of sixteen hands and peculiar to the regions round Nubia.
     Sir Joseph proposed to the party to get some of the breed, and
     accordingly Lords Headly, Morton, and Dundas, and Mr. Knight
     then and there gave him a joint £1000 cheque as a deposit for
     the expenses. The English consul in Egypt was applied to, and in
     due course the horses and mares which he sent bore out Bruce's
     description to the letter. In addition to their height, they
     were rather Roman-nosed, with a very fine texture of skin, well
     chiselled under the jowl, and as clean-winded as all their race.
     About ten or twelve arrived, and Mr. Knight was so pleased
     with them that he bought Lord Headly's share. His two sires
     and three mares were then brought to Simonsbath, where he had
     established a stud of seven or eight thoroughbred mares and
     thirty half-breeds of the coaching Cleveland sort.

     "The first cross knocked out the Roman nose as completely as
     the Leicester destroys the Exmoor horn, but the buffy stood
     true to its colour, and thus the type was never quite lost.
     The half Dongolas did wonderfully well with the West Somerset,
     which often came to Exmoor to draw for a fox, and they managed
     to get down the difficult hills so well, and crossed the brooks
     so close up with the hounds, that the vocation of the white-clad
     guides on chase days gradually fell into disuse."[12]

  [12] Condensed from "The Exmoor Ponies," by "DRUID," in _The
  Sporting Magazine_, October, 1860.

The average height is 12½ hands, and bays and buffy bays with
mealy noses prevail; in fact, are in a majority of at least three to

The older ponies live all through the winter on the hills, and seek
out sheltered spots for themselves during the continuance of wind
and rain. These favourite nooks are well known to the herdsmen,
who build up stacks of hay and straw, which are doled out to them
in times of snow. "Still, like honest, hard-working labourers, the
ponies never assemble at the wicket till they have exhausted every
means of self-support by scratching with their fore-feet in the snow
for the remnants of the summer tufts, and drag wearily behind them
an ever lengthening chain of snowballs."

A writer in _All The Year Round_ for May, 1866, says:--

     "Throughout North Devon and Somersetshire and wherever ponies
     are famed, the Exmoor breed have a great reputation, not without
     reason, for they are not only hardy and sure-footed, but from
     their earliest years the foals follow their dams at a gallop
     down the _crees_ of loose stones on the steep moorland sides;
     they are extraordinarily active and courageous. The writer once
     saw an Exmoor, only 44 inches high, jump out of a pound 5 feet 6
     inches in height, just touching the top bar with his hind feet."

Well, let a visitor go to Bampton Fair, and see the pranks of these
wild, beautiful creatures, and note as well the skill with which
they are managed by the men experienced in dealing with them. Such
a sight will remain in his memory, and when he gets back to town he
will have something to talk about at dinner, and if he has a bit of
descriptive power in him he will hold the ears of those who are near
him at table.

     NOTE.--HARDING (Lt.-Col.), _The History of Tiverton_. Tiverton,



     The _stapol_ of Branock's district--The Irish settlers--Branock
     badly received in South Wales--Situation of Barnstaple--Huguenot
     refugees--Samuel Pepys's wife--Jacques Fontaine--French names
     altered--Barnstaple the starting-point for Ilfracombe and
     Lynton--The coast road--Exmoor--Combe Martin--The Valley
     of Rocks--The Wichehalses of Lee--Brendon--S. Brendan's
     voyages--Churches near Barnstaple.

This town was the _stapol_, port or mart, of the district of Barum,
Braun, or Brannock, an Irish saint, confessor, and son-in-law to
Brychan, King of Brecknock, who settled at Braunton, formerly
Llan-Brynach, then Brannock-stow. The northern cheek of Barnstaple
Bay is formed by a peninsula, the centre of which is this same
Braunton, where Branock had his monastic establishment. As
intimately associated with this district, a few words on him may be

In the fifth century the whole of North Devon and North-east
Cornwall was invaded and occupied by Irish and half-Irish hordes.
Irish accounts relate that these invasions began about 378, and
continued till the reign of Dathi, 428.


The Irish had made themselves masters of Brecknock, where their
prince, Aulac or Amalghaid, claimed the throne in virtue of
his wife Marchell, daughter and heiress of the native Welsh king.
Brychan, the son, succeeded him; he had as tutor to his children
an Irishman named Brynach or Branock, who was his confessor, and
to whom he gave one of his daughters in marriage. Branock did not
have a pleasant time of it in South Wales, and he migrated to North
Devon, where, by some means, he obtained a grant of a considerable
tract of country.

His legend was extant at the time of the Reformation, and Leland,
Henry VIII.'s antiquary, who travelled in Devon and Cornwall, saw
it, and says it was full of fables about Branock's cow, his staff,
his well, and his serving-man, Abell.

Unhappily, this has been lost, and all we know concerning him is
from a Latin life, composed in Wales, that passes hurriedly over his
life elsewhere and relates mainly what took place when he returned
to South Wales. There he was very ill received, owing to the hatred
entertained towards the Irish. A woman--the author of the life does
not say as much, but we may suspect it, his wife--instigated a man
to assassinate him. Brynach was wounded, but not killed, and he had
to shift his quarters. He probably returned to Devon and died there.

Braunton Church contains some fine oak carving, and deserves a visit.

Barnstaple lies stretched along the bank of the Taw, and from the
river has a prepossessing appearance. There are, however, few
objects of interest in the town. The church of S. Peter, with a lead
spire that leans, is interesting internally from the many monuments
it contains of wealthy Barnstaple merchants.

A tall, good tower to Holy Trinity helps greatly to give dignity
to an otherwise unattractive town, made pre-eminently so by the
unsightliness of the ranges of suburban residences that line the
roads out of it.

But Barnstaple is important as having given shelter to a number
of refugees at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and their
descendants still live in the town, though under names that have
become much altered. Among these refugees was the family of St.
Michel, and Samuel Pepys married one of the daughters. The St.
Michels were of good family, of Anjou, but a son having taken up
with Huguenot religious notions, was disinherited, and came to
England. There he married the daughter of Sir Francis Kingsmill,
and had a son and daughter. He returned to France, but was in
very indigent circumstances, and during an absence from home his
children were removed to an Ursuline convent. St. Michel, however,
recovered them and fled with them and his wife to England, and
arrived at Barnstaple, but settled near Bideford. How Samuel Pepys
met Elizabeth St. Michel we do not know. He was married to her
before the justice of peace on December 1st, 1655, but as he always
observed October 10th as his wedding day it is probable that he,
like many another, had been secretly married by a priest of the
Church of England, and merely conformed to the law afterwards on
December 1st. She was fifteen only when Pepys married her, and the
young couple found an asylum in the family of Pepys's cousin, Sir
Edward Montagu, afterwards Earl of Sandwich. She was a pretty, but a
silly woman, and much inclined to jealousy, but indeed Sam gave her
good cause for that.

     "1668-9, Jan. 12. This evening I observed my wife mighty dull,
     and I myself was not mighty fond, because of some hard words
     she did give me at noon, out of a jealousy at my being abroad
     this morning, which, God knows, it was upon the business of the
     Office unexpectedly; but I to bed, not thinking but she would
     come after me. But waking by and by, out of a slumber, which
     I usually fall into presently after my coming into the bed, I
     found she did not prepare to come to bed, but got fresh candles,
     and more wood for her fire; it being mighty cold, too. At this
     being troubled, I after awhile prayed her to come to bed; so,
     after an hour or two, she silent, and I now and then praying her
     to come to bed, she fell out into a fury, that I was a rogue,
     and false to her. I did, as I might truly, deny it, and mighty
     troubled, but all would not serve. At last, about one o'clock,
     she came to my side of the bed, and drew the curtains open, and
     with the tongs red hot at the ends, made as if she did design to
     pinch me with them, at which, in dismay, I rose up, and with a
     few words she laid them down; and did by little and little, very
     sillily, let all discourse fall; and about two, but with much
     seeming difficulty, came to bed, and there lay well all night,
     and lay in bed talking together, with much pleasure, it being, I
     knew, nothing but her doubt at my going out yesterday, without
     telling her of my going, which did vex her, poor wretch! last
     night, and I cannot blame her jealousy, though it do vex me to
     the heart."

One of the Huguenot refugees was a pastor, Jacques Fontaine, who
came over with Mlle. de Boursaquotte, to whom he was affianced.

They were taken in and hospitably received. He kept a diary, which
has been published. At first he joined the communion of the Church,
but later on, when the Corporation placed S. Anne's Chapel at the
disposal of the French refugees, he became their minister. The diary
narrates his difficulties.

     "God had not conducted us to a haven there [at Barnstaple] to
     perish with hunger. The good people of Barnstaple were full of
     compassion, they took us into their houses, and treated us with
     the greatest kindness; thus God raised up for us fathers and
     mothers in a strange land. I was taken into the house of a most
     kind and charitable gentleman--a Mr. Downe. He was a bachelor,
     of some forty years of age, and had an unmarried sister living
     with him; they were kindness itself, and I was completely
     domesticated with them. My intended wife had been received into
     the house of a Mr. and Mrs. Fraine."

Unfortunately, Miss Downe, a short, thin, sallow old maid, marked
with small-pox, fell in love with the French refugee, and made
advances to him which were unmistakable. She plainly told him that
she thought that he and the Boursaquotte were a pair of fools to
think of being married, when they had not a penny between them to
bless themselves with; and finally, as M. Fontaine would take no
hints, she fairly threw herself at his head with an offer of her
person and fortune. The minister retired in dismay, and sought his

"What is to be done?" said he. "Your sister has shown me the honour
of offering herself to me, but--but I am engaged to Mlle. de

"Make yourself easy on that score," said Mr. Downe. "I am enamoured
of that lady, and I will relieve you of her."

The result was a hasty marriage between M. Fontaine and Mlle.
Boursaquotte; they were united by the vicar, in the parish church,
on February 8th, 1686, and in the register are entered as "James
Fountain and Elizabeth Buzzacott." This latter name is still common
in the town.

Other Huguenot names continue equally altered. L'Oiseau has been
translated into Bird, and Roches into Roach. I came across elsewhere
in the parish registers another Huguenot family, Blanchepied, which
has degenerated into Blampy.

Barnstaple is the starting-point for the grand and almost
unsurpassed coast line from Ilfracombe to Porlock. Other coasts may
have bolder cliffs, but none such a combination of boldness and
luxuriance of vegetation. It has, moreover, a great advantage--that
a good road runs along it from Ilfracombe to Combe Martin. But from
this point the coast is deserted, and the road climbs a thousand
feet to the Trentishoe Down, then dives into the Heddon valley to
the sweet and peaceful "Hunter's Inn," climbs again over moor,
and makes for Lynton. The road, however, should be deserted, the
Heddon stream followed to the mouth, when a good path will be found
skirting the cliffs to Wooda Bay, a lovely spot; and thence through
the grounds of Lee Abbey to the Valley of Rocks, and Lynton.

Lynton, and the same may be said of Wooda Bay, has the advantage
which Ilfracombe has not, of having had an architect to design
mansions and hotels for it that are no disfigurement to the place,
and are not a blot on the scenery.

From Lynton the road follows the coast to Countisbury, after which
it deserts it.

For Exmoor Mr. Blackmore's _Lorna Doone_ is a good preparation, but
the visitor who expects to find the Doone valley and the slide of
the waters at all equal to the description given in that book must
expect disappointment.

To return on our traces. Combe Martin is one long street of not
interesting or ancient houses, save "The Pack of Cards," but it has
a fine church, beautifully situated, with a good tower and a well
preserved screen. Saints are painted on the panels. There are fine
canopied niches for SS. Peter and Paul. The vaulting of the screen
was removed in 1727. The parvise over the porch is good, and there
are eight old carved bench-ends.

There is a curious double lock to the vestry; a small key has to be
turned before the lock can be made to act under the large key. An
Early English triplet is in the south aisle. Behind the brass in the
wall of William Hancock, Gent., 1587, is his skull in a recess.


Watermouth Castle, that was passed on the way to Combe Martin, is
modern and unsuccessful. A gateway into the gardens is made up of
carved armorial coats removed from Berrynarbor, and dating from
1525. The Berrynarbor Church tower is finer than that of Combe
Martin. There is a good deal to interest in the church. In the
Valley of Rocks are hut circles, but so mutilated and overgrown
with fern as not to be easily distinguishable. Lynton Church has
been well enlarged and is very pleasing. It is fabled that a band
of marauding Danes succeeded in landing at Lynmouth, ascended the
cliffs, and were surrounded and massacred in the Valley of Rocks,
which bears the name of "The Danes" or "Danes' Combe." But this is
one of those many legends invented to explain a name; the original
signification has been lost. It was called originally _Dinas_, the
castle or camp. Lee Abbey never was an abbey. It was the seat of
the De Wichehalse family, refugees, it is pretended, from the Low
Countries in or about 1570. But, as a matter of fact, the Wichehalse
family first turns up at Chudleigh nearly half a century before
their reputed flight from Flanders. They were cloth merchants
apparently, and one of the family, Nicholas Wychalse, the third
son of Nicholas of Chudleigh, having married a wife from Pilton,
settled at Barnstaple and died there in 1570. As merchants in the
wool trade the Barnstaple branch did well, and married into some of
the best county families. All the rigmarole about their being _De_
Wichehalse, and being of noble Flemish ancestry, and of their having
fled from Alva's persecution, may be dismissed as pure fable.

The story goes that in the reign of Charles II. Sir Edward de
Wichehalse was the head of the house and lived in splendour at Lee
Abbey. He had an only child, a daughter, who was wooed and proved
over-fond towards a nobleman high in the favour of James II. The
lover proved faithless, and the deserted damsel threw herself from
the cliffs at Duty Point. The father in vain sought redress by
petitioning the king, and when the Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme,
De Wichehalse raised levies and hasted to his support. After the
battle of Sedgemoor Sir Edward returned to Lee, but emissaries of
the king were sent to apprehend him, and when De Wichehalse learned
that they were approaching, he and his family embarked in Lee Bay
on board a small smack, intending to fly to Dutch William and the
land whence the ancestral noble had come. The night, however, proved
stormy, and the boat was lost with all on board.

Lee "Abbey" came into the possession of the "De" Wichalse family in
1620; there is a monument in Lynton Church to Hugh Wichalse, gent.,
in 1653. From the Wichalses it passed by _sale_ to the family of
Short. I can find no Sir Edward in the pedigree, as given by Colonel
Vivian, so it may be hoped that the story is altogether baseless, as
the fable of the noble origin of the wool merchant family.

At Lynton is the fine mansion of Sir George Newnes, the publisher of
_Tit-Bits_ and many kindred papers, who was created a baronet by Mr.
Gladstone for political services.

Exmoor in some respects is finer than Dartmoor, in others less fine.
It is finer in that it soars up out of the sea to its full height,
whereas the land rises some eight hundred feet to the roots of
Dartmoor. But Exmoor is rounded and lumpy, and has no tors.

It served as the great barrier to the Dumnonii, broken only by the
portal at Dulverton. The Black Down is its continuation. Indeed the
county has a natural frontier. The height of Exmoor never attains
the altitude of Dartmoor, and is not loftier than the Bodmin moors.

The long stretches of down without rocks and without bad bogs render
Exmoor a choice place for stag-hunting.

The valleys to the south of Exmoor that are watered by the Yeo, the
Bray, the Mole, contain scenery that is pleasing, but never rises to

Exmoor is interesting as harbouring a strong body of the earlier
dusky population that occupied the country before the invasion of
the Celts. But the river names savour of the Irish settlers rather
than of the Britons. Such are the Bray (Ir. _brag_, running water:
there is a Bray in Wicklow); the Mole (Ir. _malda_, gentle, slow);
Barle (Ir. _fuarlach_, _barlach_, chilly).

But the finest Exmoor scenery is on the Somersetshire side, where
the hills rise boldly above the sea, and where rich vegetation
clothes the shores of the Bristol Channel. From Exmoor, moreover,
a grand view is obtained of the Welsh mountains across the Severn
sea. One can quite understand S. Branock escaping from a population
that looked on him with an evil eye, to the blue hills that rose
above the sea not so far to the south, and easily reached in a
summer sail--and where, moreover, the land was occupied by his
countrymen--the Irish, as conquerors.

The road to Countisbury passes remarkable earthworks, the
Oldburrough, of uncertain, but probably prehistoric, date.

On the immediate outskirts of Exmoor is Brendon. The church itself
is of no particular interest, beyond its dedication to S. Brendan,
the Irish navigator, who spent seven years exploring the western
seas for the Isles of the Blessed, and who may perhaps have
reached America in the sixth century. The narrative of his voyage
is, however, full of fable; but the fact of his having made two
exploring expeditions is fairly well authenticated. The cause of his
undertaking the voyage was this. One day he and a couple of pupils,
brothers, went together in a boat to an islet off the west coast of
Ireland. Brendan left the younger lad with the boat, and ascended
into the island with the elder. Presently, as the wind rose, the
young man said to his master, "I do not think my brother can manage
the boat alone, with this wind and the rising tide."

"Be silent," said Brendan. "Do you not suppose I care for the boy as
much as you do yourself?"

And they went further. But the young man became more uneasy, and he
again remonstrated. Then Brendan lost his temper and swore at him.
"Begone--and be drowned to you!"

So the young man returned to the beach and found the boy struggling
with the boat. He rushed into the water--and was himself swept away
by a wave and perished.

Now when Brendan returned and found what had happened, he was full
of self-reproach, and hurried off to S. Itha, his nurse, to ask her
what was to be done.

"You will be in trouble," she said. "All his relatives will
take this up, and it will occasion a blood feud. Make yourself
scarce. Besides, you deserve punishment for your inconsiderate and
passionate conduct. Go to sea."

And to sea he went in three wicker-work vessels, each covered with
three coats of tanned hides, and each with a leather sail, and
thirty men in each boat.

In the immediate neighbourhood of Barnstaple is Pilton Church, that
should be seen for its fine screen and curious hour-glass; Tawstock
for its Bourcher tombs; Chittlehampton for its beautiful tower; and
Atherington for its screen, a fragment, but that fragment complete
in every member, a superb specimen. Hall, on the Taw, is the fine
mansion of the Chichester family.

Swymbridge Church should on no account be omitted. It possesses a
magnificent screen, and an ancient pulpit with figures in niches.
The modern reredos is bad.

The Chichester monuments are curious, notably one of a youthful
Chichester, whose portrait is given, and whom the bird of Jove is
represented as carrying off to serve as Ganymede in heaven.

Littleham possesses an ancient fresco of S. Swithun, and a rich
screen and benches, that have been carefully and judiciously

     NOTE.--Books on Barnstaple are:--

     CHANTER (J. R.), _Sketches of some Striking Incidents in the
     History of Barnstaple_. 1865.

     CHANTER (J. R.), _Memorials of the Church of S. Peter,
     Barnstaple_. 1887.

     CHANTER (R.), _Sketches of the Literary History of Barnstaple,
     with the Diary of Philip Wyott_. _n.d._



     Ugly modern buildings--"Westward Ho!"--Roman roads--The
     Torridge--The story of King Edmund--The ravages of the sons
     of Lodbrog--Hingvar and Hubba defeated at Appledore--Brictric
     the Golden-haired--Bideford Bridge--The herriot--Sir
     William Coffin--The Newfoundland Fisheries--Sir Richard
     Grenville--Colonisation of Wokohen--Captain White--The story
     of the life of Sir Richard Grenville--The _Revenge_--The
     north coast to Wellcombe--The Hobby Drive--Hartland--S.
     Nectan--The Promontory of Hercules--Wellcombe--Mutilation of the
     Church--Wear Gifford.

Barnstaple and Bideford are towns that the jerry-builders have
done their utmost to make hideous with white brick villas banded
with red. It is a curious fact, but fact it is, that a builder
without a grain of taste, if ambitious to make one of his domestic
monstrosities attractive, will look into the pattern-book of a maker
of terra-cotta, and select the most obtrusive ridge-tiles and, above
all, hip-knobs he can find, frizzle the spine of his roof with the
former, clap the latter on his gable, and think that the product is
stylish. The foliations of the ridge-tiles get broken after a frost,
and the roof acquires a mangy look, but not till after the villa has
been let as a handsome suburban residence.

[Illustration: SMITHY, HARTLAND]

When one encounters this sort of thing, repeated again and again,
the heart turns sick, and the visitor is impatient to fly from towns
thus vulgarised.

To Bideford he comes full of thoughts of "Westward Ho!" and expects
to find an Elizabethan flavour about the place, only to be woefully
disappointed. Even the church is new; only the bridge remains, and
that has been menaced with destruction.

Bideford has memories, but modern Bideford has made herself
æsthetically unworthy of them.

To begin with, the old Roman, or pre-Roman, road from North Cornwall
passing through Stratton, that takes its name from the street or
road, ran to the ford on the Torridge and passed on to Barnstaple.

At the beginning of the ninth century the estuary of the Taw and
Torridge (_Dur_, water, and _Dur-rhyd_, the water ford[13]) invited
the entry into the land of the Northmen.

  [13] The ford gave its distinctive appellation to the river above it.

A memorable incident in one of these incursions is connected with a
romantic story that shall be told in full.

Roger of Wendover gives the tale, founding it on old ballads.

     "There was, not long ago, in the kingdom of the Danes, a certain
     man named Lodbrog (Hairy-breeches), who was sprung from the
     royal race of that nation, and had by his wife two sons, Hingvar
     and Hubba. One day he took his hawk and went unattended in a
     little boat to catch small birds and wild-fowl on the seacoast
     and in the islands. While thus engaged he was surprised by a
     sudden storm, and carried out to sea, and after having been
     tossed about for several days and nights, was at last carried
     in sore distress to the English coast, and landed at Redham,
     in the province of Norfolk. The people of that country by
     chance found him with his hawk, and presented him as a sort
     of prodigy to Edmund, king of the East Angles, who, for the
     sake of his comely person, gave him an honourable reception.
     Lodbrog abode some time in the court of the monarch, and as
     the Danish tongue is very like English, he began to relate
     to the king by what chance he had been driven to the coast
     of England. The accomplished manners of King Edmund pleased
     Lodbrog, as well as his military discipline and the courtly
     manners of his attendants. Emulous of the like attainments,
     Lodbrog asked permission of the king to remain in his court,
     and having obtained his request, he attached himself to the
     king's huntsman, whose name was Bjorn, that he might with him
     exercise the hunter's art. But such was the skill of Lodbrog,
     that he was always successful in hunting or hawking, and being
     deservedly a favourite with the king, Bjorn became jealous of
     him, and giving way to deadly hatred, one day, when they were
     hunting together, he attacked him and slew him, and left his
     body in a thicket. This done, the wicked huntsman called off his
     dogs with his horn, and returned home. Now Lodbrog had reared a
     certain greyhound in King Edmund's court, which was very fond of
     him, and, as is natural, when the huntsman returned with his own
     dogs, remained watchful by his master's body.

     "Next day, as King Edmund sat at table, he missed Lodbrog
     from the company, and anxiously asked his attendants what had
     befallen him, on which Bjorn, the huntsman, answered that he had
     tarried behind in a wood, and he had seen no more of him. But as
     he was speaking, Lodbrog's dog came into the hall and began to
     wag his tail and fawn on all, and especially on the king, who,
     on seeing him, said to his attendants, 'Here comes Lodbrog's
     dog; his master is not far behind.' He then began to feed the
     dog, hoping soon to see his master. But he was disappointed, for
     when the greyhound had satisfied his appetite, he returned to
     keep his accustomed watch over his master's body. After three
     days he was compelled by hunger to return to the king's table,
     and Edmund, greatly wondering, gave orders to follow the dog
     when he left the hall, and watch whither he went. The king's
     servants fulfilled his commands, and followed the dog till it
     led them to Lodbrog's lifeless body. On being informed of this
     the king was greatly disturbed, and directed that the body
     should be committed to a more honourable sepulchre. King Edmund
     then caused diligent inquisition to be made touching the death
     of Lodbrog; and Bjorn, the huntsman, was convicted of the crime,
     and by order of the king, the captains and wise men of his court
     passed sentence on him. The judges unanimously agreed that the
     huntsman should be put into the boat in which Lodbrog had come
     to England, and should be exposed on the sea without sail or
     oar, that it might be proved whether God would deliver him."

Roger of Wendover goes on to tell how Bjorn was wafted across to
Denmark, and there was examined by torture by Hubba and Hingvar,
sons of Lodbrog, who recognised their father's boat. Bjorn, under
torture, declared that Lodbrog had been put to death by Edmund, king
of the East Angles. The Danes accordingly assembled an army and
invaded East Anglia to avenge on Edmund the murder of their father.

The Norse story does not agree with this at all. According to the
Sagas, Ragnar Lodbrog was seized by Ælla, king of the Northumbrians,
and was thrown into a dungeon full of serpents, in which he sang
his dying song, the famous Krakumal. His sons, they say, were
called Eirekr, Agnarr, Ivar, Bjorn Ironside, Hvitserkr, and Sigurd

Edmund encamped at the royal vill of Haelesdune (Hoxne), when
Hingvar and Hubba landed at Berwick-on-Tweed, and ravaged the
country on their march through Northumbria. In 870 Hingvar entered
East Anglia, and was attacked by Edmund whilst his force was divided
from that of Hubba. Both sides suffered severely. Hubba joined
Hingvar at Thetford, and the united army fought Edmund again. His
force was far outnumbered. He was routed, and he and Humbert,
bishop of Elmham, were taken in a church; Humbert was despatched
with the sword. Edmund was tied to a tree, and the Danes shot at
him with their arrows, till they were tired of the sport, when he
was decapitated, and his head flung into a thicket of the forest of

So far we have had nothing about Bideford. But now we come to this

Hingvar and Hubba (Agnarr and Ivar of the Norse version) were
provided by their sisters with an ensign before starting, on which,
with their needles, they had wrought the figure of a raven, in
symbol of the carnage that their brothers were to cause in revenge
for the death of their father. Hingvar and Hubba in 866 ravaged East
Anglia and Mercia; they wintered in Essex, and in 867 crossed the
Humber and took York. In 868 they devastated as far as Nottingham.
In 870 Edmund fell. Every successive year was marked by fire and
slaughter. In 876 the Danes were in Exeter, and again in 877. In the
winter of 878 Hubba came with twenty-three ships into the estuary
of the Taw and Torridge with the raven standard, and landed at
Appledore (_Aweddwr_, W. running water). Here the men of Devon were
encamped at Kenwith,[14] now Henny Castle, north-west of Bideford,
where earthworks remain to this day in the wood. The Danes attacked
the camp, and were repulsed, with the loss of twelve hundred men and
their raven banner. Hubba was also slain. He was buried on the shore
near his ships, and a pile of stones was thrown up over him. The
place bears the name of Whiblestone, or Hubbastone, but all traces
of the cairn have disappeared, swept away by the encroachment of the
sea. So the men of Devon avenged the blood of S. Edmund and of the
men of Mercia and East Anglia.

  [14] Observe the Goidelic for _Cen_ for the Brythonic _Pen_. Kenwith
  is "The Head of the Wood."

In the time of Edward the Confessor the manor of Bideford belonged
to Brictric the Golden-haired. He was sent by the king to the
court of Baldwin V., Count of Flanders, where Matilda, the Count's
daughter, cast on him an eye of affection. But Brictric did
not reciprocate, and Matilda felt all the rage and resentment
entertained by a flouted fair. Her chance came at last. She
was married to William the Bastard, who conquered England. For
fourteen years she had waited, nursing her wrath. Now, at last, the
opportunity had arrived for revenge. At her instigation Brictric was
made to surrender all his honours and lands, and was conveyed to
Winchester, where he died in prison, and was hurriedly buried.

William the Conqueror gave Bideford to the son of Hamo the Toothy,
Richard de Grenville, and the place has never since lost its
association with the Granville family.

Sir Theobald Granville in the fourteenth century was a large
benefactor to the town in assisting in the building of the bridge,
rendered advisable by the great loss of life at the ford or in
the ferry. It was, however, said to have been set on foot at the
prompting of Richard Gurney, the parish priest, who dreamed two
nights running that there was a rock below the ooze on which a pier
might rest. But one pier did not suffice, and how to sustain others
on mud was a puzzle. It was--so tradition says--solved by sinking
bags of wool and laying the bases of the piers on these, a story not
so improbable as appears on the face.

For a long time the vicars of Bideford had a herriot, that is, a
right to the second best horse or cow of any parishioner who died.
In 1529 this led to a scene. Sir William Coffin was passing one
day by the churchyard, when, seeing a crowd collected, he asked
the occasion, and learned that a corpse had been brought there to
be interred, but that the vicar refused to read the burial service
unless the dead man's cow were surrendered. But as the deceased had
left no other property whatever, the heirs demurred. On hearing
this Sir William sent for the priest, and reasoned with him on the
impropriety of his conduct; however, the vicar was obstinate and
would not give way.

"Very well, then," said the knight, "stick me in the grave, and
cover me up instead of the corpse, and you shall have my second best

He was proceeding to get into the grave, when the vicar thought
prudent to yield. I suppose that the matter became notorious by
the complaint of the parson, for Sir William was actually summoned
before Parliament on a charge of violating the rights and privileges
of the Church. But partly through his favour at court, and partly
by his being able to represent the mischievous consequences of the
arbitrary demand for "mortuaries," Parliament passed an act which
put a stop to them, or, at all events, in favour of the poor,
limited the extent of these claims.

Bideford was not a place of much importance till the reign of Queen
Elizabeth; it started into significance through the Newfoundland
cod-fisheries, which were almost entirely in the hands of the
Barnstaple, Bideford, and Bristol men as far as England was

As early as 1504 the Portuguese had begun to catch fish on those
coasts. In 1578 England had fifty vessels, Portugal as many, and
France and Spain together, a hundred and fifty, occupied in reaping
the harvest of the sea in the North Atlantic. From 1698 to 1700
Bideford had twenty-eight vessels engaged in the fishery, whilst
Barnstaple had only seven or eight; London sent out seventy-one, and
Topsham thirty-four.

But the raising of Bideford into a port of importance was due mainly
to the enterprise of the famous Elizabethan admiral, Sir Richard

     "Sir Richard was born most probably at Stowe, the Cornish seat
     of the family, in the parish of Kilkhampton, in the year 1546.
     His father, Roger, was a captain in the navy, and met with a
     watery grave at Portsmouth, in a ship called the _Mary Rose_, a
     vessel of 600 tons, and one of the finest in the navy, commanded
     by Sir George Carew. She sank with all on board, July 19th,
     1545, from a similar accident to that which happened to the
     _Royal George_ near the same place, June 28th, 1782. Being at
     anchor in calm weather with all ports open, a sudden breeze
     caused the ship to heel over, when the water entered through the
     lower ports and sank her. Some guns recovered many years after
     are preserved in Woolwich Arsenal. Richard Granville was early
     distinguished among his companions for his enthusiastic love
     of active exercises, and at the age of sixteen he, in company
     with several other chivalrous scions of our nobility, obtained
     a licence from Queen Elizabeth to enter into the service of the
     Emperor of Hungary against the Turks."[15]

  [15] GRANVILLE (R.), _History of Bideford_, _n.d._

He was engaged in the battle of Lepanto, in which Don Juan of
Austria, with the combined fleets of Christendom, destroyed the
Turkish galleys. One can but wish that a combined fleet would once
more try conclusions with the Turk.

Then Richard Granville in 1569 was made Sheriff of Cork, but he
remained in Ireland two years only. By his interest with Queen
Elizabeth he obtained for Bideford a charter of incorporation, 1574.
He was High Sheriff of Cornwall in 1578, and was then knighted. But
the bias of his mind was towards adventure at sea, and he united
with his relative, Sir Walter Raleigh, in the exploration which led
to the discovery of Virginia and Carolina in 1584.

     "Two ships belonging to Sir Walter's company, and in the
     command of Captain Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlow, brought
     home that important news. The magnitude and eligibility of the
     territory acquired by the Crown were on everyone's lips; for the
     accounts of those who had been eye-witnesses of the country,
     its productions and inhabitants, hastened onwards Raleigh's
     preparations for taking possession of his newly-found dominions.
     As soon as the good news spread among the country people in
     the west, hundreds of hardy adventurers offered themselves as
     the pioneers of colonisation in that quarter. A fleet of seven
     ships, of which Sir Richard took the command, was got ready
     with all possible despatch, and when the anchor was weighed at
     Plymouth on the 9th of April, 1585, there were none amongst
     the thousands there assembled but shared the belief that their
     relatives and friends were departing for a land flowing with
     milk and honey. The voyage was a pleasant one, being favoured
     with a prosperous wind, but the inveterate hostility of Sir
     Richard towards our national enemies, the Spaniards, led him
     to prolong its duration. He accordingly pursued his course by
     the roundabout way of the West India islands, and was rewarded
     by the capture of several valuable prizes during his cruise
     there. They did not reach the island of Wokohen, on the coast
     of Carolina, until the 26th of June, thus consuming valuable
     time on their passage. We are told they were in about 34 degrees
     North latitude, when, just as they were on the point of entering
     the roads, the admiral's ship, from some mischance or other,
     drove on a reef of rocks and went to pieces. It was fortunate
     that no loss of life heightened the gloom of this inauspicious
     opening. After great exertions the men rescued the crew of the
     doomed vessel, and proceeded for the island of Roanoke, a little
     farther to the northwards. The admiral went at once from that
     island to the continent, and, on his landing, proceeded to see
     what sort of country the promised land was. Whilst engaged in
     this survey, the natives, who were unaccustomed to the sight
     of beings so different from themselves in colour, costume, and
     bearing, crowded around, plying them with questions by signs
     and gestures. Sir Richard appeased their inquisitiveness with
     the few trifling articles he had designed for them as presents;
     but their appetites being rather sharpened than appeased by
     these acquisitions, one of the natives, instigated by the rest,
     entered Sir Richard's tent, and, attracted by a massive silver
     goblet belonging to that knight, without more ado walked off
     with it. The despoiled owner happened at the time to be employed
     in 'prospecting' the country, but on his return instantly
     missed the favourite piece of plate. Enraged at this mark of
     ingratitude when from his conciliatory kindness he had expected
     good faith, he adopted severe measures on the natives around.
     He soon after set sail to Roanoke, which all accounts concur
     in representing as an incommodious station, deficient in all
     the requisites for a good harbour, and all but uninhabited.
     Here, having founded a settlement, he left in it a company of
     180 men. Mr. Ralph Lane, a man of experienced judgment, was
     elected governor of the infant colony, which ranked among its
     members several names not unknown to fame. Men well skilled
     in the different sciences were there, to instruct and improve
     the growing intelligence of the colony. Of these, Hariot, a
     mathematician of first-rate eminence in his day, is especially
     mentioned. Sir Richard made for home with the avowed intention
     of procuring a reinforcement sufficiently powerful to subdue
     and colonise the continent of Virginia and Carolina. His good
     fortune led him in his homeward voyage to fall in with a Spanish
     register ship, almost as richly laden as the treasure ship the
     _Cacafuego_, which had enriched, by its capture, his relative
     Sir Francis Drake and his crew. In this vessel, which Sir
     Richard engaged and boarded, was stowed away a cargo worth more
     than £50,000 sterling."[16]

  [16] _Grenvilles of Stowe_, by "A BIDEFORDIAN."

When Sir Richard Granville had retired, the colonists wasted their
time in searching for gold in place of cultivating the soil.
Consequently they were in a condition of starvation when Sir Francis
Drake, touching there on his way to England, rescued them from their
impending fate.

     "Not long after, Sir Richard Granville with three ships hove
     in sight. Ignorant of what had happened he landed with the
     confident hope of adding vigour and strength to the infant
     colony for whose welfare he had toiled and sacrificed; but
     after making the most laborious searches for the absentees,
     without obtaining any indications of their fate, he set
     sail, leaving fifteen of his crew ashore for the purpose of
     retaining possession. This handful of men soon became involved
     in hostilities with the natives, and were by them destroyed
     to the last man. However disheartening this unlooked-for
     succession of disasters might have proved to men of ordinary
     stamp, they only incited the elastic dispositions of Raleigh
     and Granville to more vigorous operations. Early, therefore, in
     the following year (1587), they fitted out three more ships,
     which were entrusted to the command of Captain John White, a
     native of Devonshire, a man well versed in all the difficulties
     and trials attending enterprises of this nature. He brought
     together a more numerous and determined body of adventurers
     than had composed the former expedition under Lane; but upon
     their arrival the same disadvantages which had daunted their
     predecessors in the colony appeared so forcibly before their
     senses that, deeming the continuous mass of forest and the
     endless savannahs of the country only fit for the abode of
     savages, they with one accord solicited their leader, White, to
     return to England and bring a fresh supply of articles, that
     their uncomfortable position might at least be made tolerable.
     He accordingly retraced his footsteps, arriving in this country
     at a time when the eyes of the entire nation were intent upon
     warfare, and, receiving no encouragement from their patrons,
     the unfortunate colony in Roanoke obtained no assistance; and
     the painful fact must be repeated, that our first settlers in
     Virginia were suffered to perish miserably by a famine or to
     fall ignominiously from the savage hatred of the tribes who
     surrounded them."

Kingsley is wrong in stating that Sir Richard was at sea, and
assisted in the destruction of the Armada; at the time he was acting
under orders to remain in Cornwall.

Three years after, in 1591, he was in command of the _Revenge_,
as Vice-Admiral of England, in which he achieved the glorious
action off the Azores in which he met his death. His object was to
intercept the richly-laden fleet of the Spaniards, on its return
from the West Indies; a service of the utmost importance, as thereby
England stopped the sources of Philip's power.

Towards the end of August, the Admiral, Lord Thomas Howard, with six
of Her Majesty's ships and as many small vessels, was at anchor at
Flores, when news arrived of the near approach of the great Spanish
fleet. Many of the Englishmen were ill on shore, and others were
filling the ships with ballast. Imperfectly manned and ballasted as
they were, there was nothing for it but to make an attempt to escape
out of the trap in which they were caught, and the ships slipped
their cables. Sir Richard, as Vice-Admiral, was the last to start,
delaying to do so till the final moment, in order to collect those
of his sick crew who were on shore; and this delay was fatal.

The two great Spanish squadrons hove in sight and intercepted him.
However, he resolved to force his way through. The Spanish fleet
consisted of fifty-three vessels. Eleven out of the twelve English
ships had escaped. Sir Richard weighed, uncertain at first what to
do. The Spanish fleet were on his weather bow, and he was advised to
cut his mainsail, cast about, and run before the wind, trusting to
the fleetness of his ship. But Sir Richard utterly refused to turn
his back on the enemy, alleging that he would die rather than show
that to a Spaniard.

The wind was light. The _San Philip_, a huge high-cargoed ship of
1500 tons, hove to windward, took the wind out of the sails of the
_Revenge_, and attempted to board her. The Spanish vessels were
filled with soldiers: in some two hundred, in some five hundred, in
others eight hundred.

The _San Philip_ had three tiers of ordnance, with eleven pieces on
every tier.

Then, as Tennyson tells the tale:--

    "Sir Richard spoke and he laughed, and we roared a hurrah, and so
    The little _Revenge_ ran on sheer into the heart of the foe,
    With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick below,
    For half of their fleet to the right, and half to the left were seen,
    And the little _Revenge_ ran on thro' the long sea-lane between."

The fight began at three o'clock in the afternoon and continued
all that evening. The _San Philip_, having received the lower tier
of the _Revenge_, charged with cross-bar shot, was to some extent
disabled, and shifted her quarters. Repeated attempts made to board
the English vessel were repulsed. All that August night the fight
continued, the stars shining overhead, but eclipsed by the clouds of
smoke from the cannon. Ship after ship came in upon the _Revenge_,
so that she was continuously engaged with two mighty galleons,
one on each side, and with the enemy boarding her on both. Before
morning fifteen men-of-war had been engaged with her, but all in
vain; some had been sunk, the rest repulsed.

    "And the rest, they came aboard us, and they fought us hand to hand,
    For a dozen times they came with their pikes and musqeteers,
    And a dozen times we shook 'em off, as a dog that shakes his ears,
    When he leaps from the water to land."

All the powder at length in the _Revenge_ was spent, all her pikes
were broken, forty out of her hundred men were killed, and a great
number of the rest wounded.

Sir Richard, though badly hurt early in the battle, never forsook
the deck till an hour before midnight, and was then shot through the
body while his wounds were being dressed, and again in the head, and
his surgeon was killed while attending on him. The masts were lying
over the side, the rigging cut or broken, the upper work all shot in
pieces, and the ship herself, unable to move, was settling slowly in
the sea, the vast fleet of the Spaniards lying round her in a ring,
like dogs round a dying lion and wary of approaching him in his last
dying agony. Sir Richard, seeing it was past hope, having fought for
fifteen hours, ordered the master-gunner to sink the ship; but this
was a heroic sacrifice that the common seamen opposed. Two Spanish
ships had gone down, above fifteen hundred men had been killed, and
the Spanish admiral could not induce any of the rest of the fleet to
board the _Revenge_ again, as they feared lest Sir Richard should
blow himself and them up.

Sir Richard was lying disabled below, and too weak and wounded
to contest with those who opposed the sinking of the vessel. The
captain now entered into parley with the Spanish admiral, and
succeeded in obtaining for conditions that all their lives should
be saved, the crew sent to England, and the officers ransomed. Sir
Richard was now removed to the ship of Don Alfonso Barsano, the
Spanish admiral, and there died, saying in Spanish:--

     "Here die I, Richard Granville, with a joyful and quiet mind,
     for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do
     that hath fought for his country, queen, religion, and honour:
     whereby my soul most joyfully departeth out of this body, and
     shall always leave behind it an everlasting fame of a valiant
     and true soldier that hath done his duty as he was bound to do."

Froude well says:--[17]

  [17] _Forgotten Worthies._

     "Such was the fight at Flores in that August, 1591, without
     its equal in such of the annals of mankind as the thing which
     we call history has preserved to us. At the time England and
     all the world rang with it. It struck a deeper terror, though
     it was but the action of a single ship, into the hearts of the
     Spanish people, it dealt a more deadly blow upon their fame
     and naval strength, than the destruction of the Armada itself,
     and in the direct results which arose from it it was scarcely
     less disastrous to them. Hardly, as it seems to us, if the most
     glorious actions which are set like jewels in the history of
     mankind are weighed one against the other in the balance, hardly
     will those three hundred Spartans, who in the summer morning sat
     combing their long hair for death in the passes of Thermopylæ,
     have earned a more lofty estimate for themselves than this one
     crew of modern Englishmen. After the action there ensued a
     tempest so terrible as was never seen or heard the like before.
     A fleet of merchantmen joined the armada immediately after
     the battle, forming in all one hundred and forty sail; and of
     these one hundred and forty, only thirty-two ever saw Spanish
     harbour; the rest all foundered or were lost on the Azores. The
     men-of-war had been so shattered by shot as to be unable to
     carry sail; and the _Revenge_ herself, disdaining to survive her
     commander, or as if to complete his own last baffled purpose,
     like Samson, buried herself and her two hundred prize crew under
     the rocks of St. Michael's."

[Illustration: CLOVELLY]

Bideford is the starting-point for the north coast of Devon, from
the mouth of the Torridge to the Cornish border, and thence to Bude.

The beauty of this coast is almost unrivalled, equalled only by that
from Ilfracombe to Minehead.

Clovelly, with the Hobby Drive, is something to be seen, and one's
education is incomplete without it.

And one can combine archæology with the quest of beauty, if a visit
to Clovelly be combined with one to the "Dykes," sadly mutilated by
roads cut through the embankments. Nevertheless, sufficient remains
of Clovelly Dykes to make it a fair representative of a British
king's _Dun_. Beyond Clovelly, somewhat spoiled by being a place of
resort, but always maintaining much picturesqueness, is Hartland,
the settlement of S. Nectan, reputed son, but probably grandson,
of King Brychan of Brecknock. He is represented in a niche on the
tower. His name is Irish; Nectans were not uncommon in the Green

Very little is known of S. Nectan. He is said to have been killed,
his head cut off--not improbably by the chief at Clovelly Dykes, who
cannot have relished having the country overrun and appropriated by
a horde of half Irish half Welsh adventurers. And this took place
precisely at the time when the Irish grip on Britain was relaxing.

A stone was marked with his blood where he was killed. He got up
and carried his head to where now stands the church. But "they all
did it." These Celtic saints had a remarkable faculty for not only
losing their heads, but finding them again.

There is a grand screen painted and gilt in the church.

At Hartland Point, the promontory of Hercules of the ancients, is
a lighthouse. When the wind is from the west the Atlantic thunders
and foams on one side of the headland, whilst on the other in the
bay the sea lies glassy, and reflects the purple-red slaty cliffs.
The point rises 300 feet out of the sea, and was probably at one
time occupied by a cliff-castle. A visit to Hartland Quay reveals
the most extraordinary contortions in the slate rock. The cliffs are
sombre, the strata thrust up at right angles to the sea, and over
them foam streamlets that discharge themselves into the ocean.

Hartland Abbey was founded by Gytha, the wife of Earl Godwin, and
mother of Harold, in honour of S. Nectan, who, she believed, had
come to the assistance of her husband in a storm and saved him from
shipwreck--as if a true Celtic saint would put out his little finger
to help a Saxon! But there was unquestionably a monastery here long
before--from the sixth century, when S. Nectan settled on this wild

The large parish was at one time studded with chapels, but these
have all disappeared, or been converted into barns. The church is
two miles from the village of Hartland.

A walk along the cliffs may be carried to Wellcombe, another
foundation of S. Nectan, where is his holy well, recently repaired.
The church contains a screen earlier in character than is usually
found. There were interesting bench-ends with very curious heads.
At the "restoration" a few of the ends were plastered against the
screen, and their unique heads sawn away so as to make them fit the
place into which they were thrust, but never designed to occupy.
Their places were taken by mean deal benches. I suppose as the
patron, S. Nectan, lost his head, these chief ornaments of the
church were doomed to the same fate.

Wellcombe Mouth is worth a visit; a narrow glen descending to the
sea, which here rages against precipitous cliffs.

Another excursion from Bideford should be made to Wear Gifford,
where is one of the finest oak-roofed halls in England.

The mansion stands on a slope, rising gently from the meadows near
the Torridge, yet rears itself into the semblance of a stronghold by
a scarped terrace, which extends along the south front.

Half concealed in luxuriant vegetation, on the right is the
embattled gateway tower, still one of the entrances. In approaching
the house we see two projecting gables, and between them is the
entrance and the hall, the latter with its massive chimney.

From the entrance the broad oak staircase, having a handsome
balustrade, is ascended. The walls are hung with tapestry. On
reaching the minstrels' gallery an excellent view is obtained of
the superb roof, "one of the most ornate and tasteful specimens of
Perpendicular woodwork to be met with in England. Every portion
is carved with the spirit and stroke of the true artist; and the
multiplied enrichments seen in detail from our elevated position
quite surprise the spectator."[18]

  [18] ASHWORTH: "The Ancient Manor House of Wear Gifford," in _Trans.
  of the Exeter Diocesan Architect. Soc._, vol. vi., 1852.

Elaborately carved wainscot panelling surrounds the walls, covering
about ten feet in height. It is adorned with heraldic shields, and
opposite the fireplace are the arms of Henry VII.

This small, perfect, and beautiful specimen of an old English
mansion was the cradle of one of the best of Devonshire families,
the Giffards, a branch of which was at Brightley. The last of the
Wear Gifford stock conveyed the estate and mansion with his daughter
and heiress to the Fortescues. But the Giffard race is by no means
extinct, it is now well represented by the Earl of Halsbury.

  NOTE.--Book on Bideford:--
  GRANVILLE (R.), _History of Bideford_. Bideford, 1883.

[Illustration: STAPLE TOR]



     Geological structure of Dartmoor--Granite--"Clitters"--Building
     with granite--The bogs--The rivers--Rock
     basins--Logan stones--Kaoline deposits--Hut
     of women in early times--Approximate period to which the relics
     belong--The cromlech--The kistvaen--The stone circle--The
     stone row--The menhir--Cairns--Modes of interment among the
     pagan Irish--Stone crosses--Tinners' burrows and stream

The great irregular tableland of Dartmoor, an upheaval of granite
over a thousand feet above the sea, and in places attaining to above
two thousand, occupies two hundred and twenty-five square miles of
country. Of that, however, less than one half is the "Forest" and
belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. Around the forest are the commons
belonging to the parishes contiguous to the moor.

The moor is almost throughout of granite. At the outskirts, indeed,
gabbro and trap exist, that have been forced up at the points where
the granite has burst through the slate, and these later uprushes of
molten matter have greatly altered the granite in contact with them,
and have produced an elvan.

The most extraordinary difference in kinds and composition exists
throughout the granitic area. Some granite is very coarse, full of
what are locally called "horse-teeth," crystals of felspar, other
is finely grained. Some is black with schorl, some, as that of Mill
Tor, white as statuary marble. Granite was not well stirred before
it was protruded to the surface. The constituents of granite are
quartz, felspar, and mica; the latter sometimes white, at others
usually black and glistering. The felspar may be recognised as being
a dead white. The black shining matter found near where are veins of
tin, is schorl.

It is the opinion of modern geologists that the granite never saw
daylight till cold and consolidated, and that granite when in fusion
and erupted to the surface resolves itself into trap. The pressure
of superincumbent beds prevented perfect fusion. In its altered
condition when perfectly fused it may be seen in Whit Tor, near Mary

But, it may be asked, what has become of the beds that overlay the
granite? They have been washed away. In Exmoor we do not meet with
the granite. It had heaved the slates, but not sufficiently to so
dislocate them as to enable the rains and floods to carry them away
and reveal the granite below. If Dartmoor granite could but have
retained its covering matter, the region would have been indeed
mountainous. In Shavercombe, a lateral valley of the upper Plym, may
be seen traces of the original coverlet of slate, much altered by

The granite looks as though stratified, but this is deceptive. It is
so unequally mixed that some flakes or layers are harder and more
resistant to atmospheric forces than are others, and where the
granite is soft it gives way, presenting a laminated appearance.
Moreover, the granite is full of joints. Where these joints are
vertical and numerous, there the rocky masses break into fragments.
Bellever Tor is a good instance. This imposing mass looks as though,
when rising out of the Flood, it had shaken itself, like a poodle,
to dry itself, and in so doing had shaken itself to bits. Lustleigh
Cleave is another instance. Every tor is surrounded by a "clitter"
(Welsh _clechir_), and these clitters are due to the disintegration
of the granite in horizontal beds, and then on account of their
joints horizontal and diagonal, falling into confused heaps. Where
the joints are not numerous and not close together, there the
rocks cohere and form tors. In many, as Vixen Tor and Mis Tor, the
pseudo-bedding lines are very distinct. Where the soft beds are
infrequent, there the granite forms great cake-like blocks as in
Hey Tor. The tors are, in fact, the more solid cores as yet not
overthrown by natural agencies. Such a core is Bowerman's Nose, and
around it is the "clitter" of rock that once encased it.

Granite is very pervious to water, as everyone knows who lives in a
house built of it by modern architect and masons.

The ancients were not such fools as we take them to have been. They
did condescend to consider the capabilities and the disadvantages
of their building material before employing it. The "old men,"
when they constructed a wall of granite, always gave it two faces,
and filled in with rubble between. By this means the rain did
not drive through, although they did not employ mortar; and the
ancient tenement houses on the moor are dry as snuff. But the modern
architect insists on having the walls built throughout with lime,
in courses, and the rain enters by these as by aqueducts. Then,
to remedy the evil, the whole face of the house is tarred over or
cemented, with what result to the prospect may well be conceived.
The granite, though pervious, is so to a very limited extent when
compared with limestone, and through a granite country there are
no springs that issue from subterranean reservoirs. All the rain
that falls on the surface runs off superficially, but not all at
once, for on the granite lie enormous beds of peat, the growth and
decomposition of moor plants through vast ages. These beds of peat
are like sponges; they absorb the rain, retain it, and slowly give
it up during the summer. In limestone districts the making of a
river goes on within the bowels of the mountain, but in a granite
district it takes place on its outside. Remove the beds of turf
and peat, and there will be torrents after a shower, and then dry
torrent beds.

To north and south of the equator of the moor lie vast tracts of bog
in which the rivers are nursed, and without which they could not be.
No visitor can realise what Dartmoor really is in the economy of
nature as the mother of the Devonshire rivers till he has visited
either Cranmere Pool, or the ridge on the south, where are the meres
from which spring the Avon, the Erme, the Yealm, and the Plym.

The granite being of unequal hardness, its constituent crystals
become separated by the action of the weather into an incoherent
gravel, which in Cornwall is called growan. The process may be seen
in full activity on any tor. Sometimes water lodges on a slab, and
finding a soft spot begins to decompose it; then, when this is the
case, the wind swirls the water about, and with it the grit is spun
round and round, and this continues the work of disintegration, and
finally a rock basin is produced.

Of these rock basins some fine samples exist: that on Caistor Rock
has had to be railed round, to prevent sheep from falling in and
being drowned. Mis Tor has another, the Devil's Frying-pan. There
are plenty of them to be seen in all conditions, from the rude
beginning to the complete bowl.

At one time it was supposed that they were Druidical vessels
employed for lustration, and archæologists talked long and learnedly
concerning them. But what is quite certain is that they were
produced by Nature unassisted.

When a hard bed of granite lies on one that is very soft, the latter
becomes disintegrated and eaten completely away. The hard bed is
left either balanced on one point or more, or else has its centre
of gravity so placed as to precipitate it from its position. Plenty
of rocks may be seen in all these conditions. If it should chance
that a rock remains poised on one point, then possibly a little
pressure at one end of the slab will set it in motion. This, then,
is known as a logan, or rocking stone, which antiquaries of old
pronounced to have been employed by the Druids as oracles, or for
purpose of divination. All this was bred out of the phantasy of the
antiquaries. There is absolutely not a particle of evidence to show
that they were supposed to be mysterious, or were employed in any
rites, and it is also absolutely certain that they were formed by
the hand of Nature alone.

There are many logan rocks on Dartmoor. One is on Black Tor, near
Princetown. It is instructive, as it not only shows the process of
weathering which made it what it is, but it has on top of it a rock
basin that decants by a lip over the edge of the stone when the
latter is made to vibrate.

The "Nutcracker" stone near Amicombe Hill above the West Ockment
rolls in a high wind like a boat that is anchored. There were two
very fine logans on Staple Tor above Merivale Bridge, but quarrymen
wantonly destroyed the whole of one of the steeples, together with
the finest logan on Dartmoor that was on it. The other remains. On
Rippon Tor is one, another in Lustleigh Cleave.

The felspar dissolved by the rain was carried away, and has been
deposited in many places, filling up an ancient lake-bed and forming
Bovey Heathfield, coating plains and hills with a deposit white
as snow; this is kaolin, and is worked as china clay at Lee Moor
and in Shaugh. The water flowing from the works is like milk, and,
curiously enough, cows relish it.

Having got rid of the rock basins and logan stones as
pseudo-antiques, we will now address ourselves to those which are


Such are the menhir, the kistvaen, the so-called "sacred" circle,
the stone rows, the hut circles, barrows, and cairns. All these
abound on Dartmoor. Nowhere else in England can be seen such an
extent of land undisturbed by cultivation, and carrying on its
surface so many hoary monuments of a prehistoric population. It
may be premised that all kinds of theories have been floated as to
their purport and as to the period to which these relics belong,
and the loudest and most positive have always been those who had no
experience with spade and pick, which can alone solve the problem
of their object and age. Systematic and persistent investigation
into these monumental remains has been carried on for six years by a
committee acting under the authority of the Devonshire Association
for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art, and five
reports of their proceedings have been already published in the
_Transactions_ of the Association.

It may be said that, at all events with regard to the hut circles,
their position in the order of civilisation has been made out almost
to a certainty, for something like a hundred and fifty of these have
been carefully examined. With these accordingly we will begin.

They are strewn in thousands over the surface of the moor, and
such as remain are but the merest fraction of those that must have
existed formerly, for incalculable numbers have been destroyed by
those who have made enclosures.

The hut circle is all that remains of the primitive dwelling of
a people that were pastoral, and were clothed mainly, though not
exclusively, in skins.

The foundations of the circular dwellings are formed of blocks of
granite, sometimes set vertically and sometimes placed in horizontal
layers, enclosing a space from eight to thirty feet in diameter. The
roof rested on the circular wall, which was never over four feet
high, and was doubtless of wood covered with rushes, heather, or
skins; a low doorway facing south or south-west gave access to the
interior; and a hole in the apex of the roof served as chimney. The
thorough exploration of the floors of these huts has resulted in
the discovery of fireplaces, cooking-holes, and raised platforms of
stones forming seats by day and beds at night, not so uncomfortable
as it sounds, when covered with rushes and dry fragrant heather.

That the inmates played games is probable, from the number of small
rounded quartz pebbles found that may have served for a game.
Cooking-pots rudely made by hand of coarse earthenware, imperfectly
baked, have been found, standing in the cooking-holes made in the
floor, with the "cooking-stones" in and around them. These are
river pebbles of dense, hard granite, which were placed in a fire
and heated to such a pitch that dropped into the pot containing
water they brought it to the boiling-point, and maintained it, by
fresh additions, until the cooking operation was complete. These
pots were fragile, and like modern crockery ware got broken; in
one prehistoric cooking-vessel it took the form of a fracture
in the bottom--perhaps due to the careless dropping in of the
cooking-stones by some inexperienced or impatient cook--but
somebody was equal to the occasion, for the bottom was neatly
mended with china clay. These vessels, or as much as stood in view
above the floor of the hut, were usually ornamented with patterns of
the herring-bone type, or merely with dots and lines conveying no
idea of consecutive pattern. Their interiors are much blackened with
cooking, and imprisoned in the shreds there may yet be found, by the
expert analyst, oily globules, remains of prehistoric fat from beef
and mutton. Cooking was performed in holes in the ground as well
as in pots, just as modern savages cook at the present time. Hot
stones in a pit, green grass, meat, more hot stones, and the whole
turfed in, and you have a result which an epicure would relish. Some
patience is necessary, perhaps twenty hours for a whole pig.

There is a curious passage in the life of S. Lugid, of Clonfert, who
died at the beginning of the seventh century. When a youth he served
in the monastery, and as his biographer says, at that time it was
customary to warm water by dropping into the vessel a ball of iron
that had previously been heated in the fire. Lugid had to put such
a ball into the drinking-vessel of the abbot, S. Coemgall, and he
took it out of the fire with a pair of tongs, but Coemgall for some
reason drew his hand back, and the ball fell on the table instead
of into his cup, and it was so hot that it burnt a hole through the

Most of the cooking-pots found in the Dartmoor hut circles have
rounded bottoms, and are of too poor a paste to resist the direct
action of the fire. An example of one such, removed from the hole
in which it was, is preserved in the Plymouth Municipal Museum.

One cooking-pot was found with a cross at the bottom of thicker
clay, the object being to strengthen it, as experience showed that
these pots always yielded first at the bottom. Some of the largest
hut circles, those presumedly used in summer, had their kitchens
separate from them, smaller huts, where the floors have been found
thick with charcoal and fragments of this wretched fragile pottery.

The larger huts had their roofs supported by a central pole, and
the socket-hole in which it stood has been found in some of them.
In many huts also a flat, smooth stone bedded in the floor has been
noticed, presumedly employed as a block on which to chop wood or
fashion bone implements.

It is remarkable that one specimen only of a spindle-whorl has been
discovered. No metal objects have so far been found in the Dartmoor
hut circles. Implements of flint, sandstone, and granite abound;
they are mostly scrapers, borers, knives, and rubbing or smoothing
tools; a few arrow-heads have turned up, but these are mostly
outside the huts, probably shot away in hunting.

The examination of the graves discloses the same kind of pottery,
but with better finish and more elaborate ornamentation. Implements
of stone and some bronze objects were yielded by the graves, and
the evidence of the exploration of the Dartmoor remains has thus
far connected them with the period of culture known as the late
Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, which means that the folk were
still using stone for their tools and weapons, but were just
beginning to employ bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. It is not
surprising that bronze has not hitherto been found in the dwellings;
it was far too valuable to be left about in such a manner as to be
lost, and no surprise need be expressed that it has been discovered
in sepulchral monuments appertaining to the same people, for nothing
was too good as an offering for the use of the dead in the happy
hunting-grounds above.

[Illustration: BROADUN POUNDS]

That at least some of these huts belonged to "medicine men" is
probable, from the finding in them of large, clear quartz crystals,
such as are employed by several savage races as mediums for
conjuring spirits.

Some of the hut circles are enclosed within "pounds." Many examples
exist. The most noteworthy is Grimspound. The circumference of the
wall measures 1500 feet, and it includes within it twenty-four hut
circles. The wall is double, with small openings as doors into the
space between, two of which are perfect; but for what purpose the
interspace between the walls was left is most uncertain. It can
hardly have been filled in with earth or rubble, as no traces of
such filling remain. The entrance to the pound is in a very perfect
condition. There is a hut circle outside the enclosing wall, just as
in the prehistoric forts of Ireland.

A curious passage may be quoted from the gloss to the Law of
Adamnan, which shows how women were treated among the early races.

In the hovels, very similar to our hut circles, a hole was dug in
the floor from the door to the hearth about three feet deep. In
this, in a condition of stark nudity, the women spent the day, and
the object of the hole was partly decency and partly to keep the
women in their places, so that--without joking--they were not on
the same level as man. They did all the cooking, turning the spits.
They made candles of fat, four hands'-breadth long. These they were
required to hold aloft whilst the men ate and drank. At night the
women were put to sleep in bothies like dog-kennels, _outside_ the
enclosure, so as to keep guard over their lords and masters, like

In Wales, Iltyd the knight sent his wife out stark naked in a bitter
wind to collect the horses and drive them into pound, whilst he lay
cuddled up in the blankets.

Verily men had the upper hand then. _Nous avons changé tout cela._

Near Post Bridge were numerous pounds containing hut circles; most
have been destroyed--one only remains intact, at Broadun. Adjoining
it was another, much larger; there the enclosing wall has been
destroyed, but not all the hut circles. At Archerton a plantation of
firs has been made within one of these enclosures, of course to the
destruction of the monuments it contained.

What we learn from the hut circles on Dartmoor is that they were
built and occupied by a people who, though they knew bronze, held it
in high value, as we do gold.





  SCALE 4 F^T to 1 I^N

  SCALE 8 F^T to 1 I^N ]

II. Of the characteristic dolmen, which we in England call cromlech,
we have but a single good example, that at Drewsteignton. Cornwall
possesses numerous and fine specimens; they abound in Wales and in
Ireland. But although we have one only remaining, it can hardly
be doubted that formerly there were others, wherever the name of
Shillstone (Shelfstone) remains, as near Modbury, and in Bridestowe.

The dolmen belonged to the period before bodies were burnt; it was
the family or tribal ossuary. As it became crowded with skeletons,
the earliest were unceremoniously thrust back to the rear, to make
room for the last comers. The _allée couverte_ in France, and the
chambered barrows of Denmark, North Germany, Scotland, Ireland, and
England, are but extensions of the dolmen to hold a larger number of
the dead. The dolmens usually have a hole at one end, or a footstone
that is removable at will, to allow for food to be passed in to the
dead, and for the introduction of fresh applicants for house-room in
the mansion of the departed.

Some of these holed dolmens have the stone plugs for closing the
holes still extant. On Dartmoor in the kistvaens a small stone at
foot or side was placed, to be removed at pleasure.

III. The kistvaen, or stone chest, is a modification of the dolmen,
and is usually of a later date; when incineration was become
customary, the need for such enormous mortuary chapels, or tombs,
as the dolmens and _allées couvertes_ ceased. The dead could be
packed into a much smaller space when reduced to a handful of ash.
Nevertheless, it is probable that some kistvaens belong to the
period of carnal interment, and were erected for the reception of
single bodies, which for some reason or other could not be conveyed
to the family mausoleum. In Derbyshire carnal interment is found in
cists, which are miniature dolmens, or kistvaens, sometimes standing
alone, sometimes congregated together like cells of a honeycomb,
each containing its crouched skeleton. On Dartmoor we have hundreds
of kistvaens. Most have been rifled, but such as have been explored
show that they belonged to the same people and period as those who
occupied the hut circles.

In the fine kistvaen at Merivale Bridge, plundered and mutilated
though it had been, a flint knife and a polishing stone were found;
and flint flakes have been picked out of the ploughed soil round
the Drewsteignton cromlech. At King's Oven is a ruined circle
surrounding a demolished kistvaen, of which, however, some of the
stones remain. A flint scraper was found wedged between two of the
encircling stones. Some fine specimens are to be seen near Post

IV. The stone circle is called by the French a cromlech. The purport
of this is conjectural. Undoubtedly interments have been found
within them, but none, so far, in those on Dartmoor. In the great
circle on Penmaen-mawr there were interments at the foot of several
of the monoliths, and, indeed, one of these served as the backstone
of a kistvaen. Stone uprights surround many cairns, in the midst of
which is a kistvaen; but such circles as the Grey Wethers,
Scaur Hill, and that on Langstone Moor, never enclosed cairns
or kistvaens, and must have had some other purpose. Among
semi-barbarous tribes it is customary that the tribe and the clan
shall have their places of assembly and consultation, and these are
marked round by either stones or posts set up in the ground. Among
some of these tribes, if one of the constituent clans fails to send
its representative, the stone set up where he should sit is thrown
down. It is possible that the circles of upright stones on Dartmoor,
not connected with cairns, may have served such a purpose. They are
usually placed on the neck of land between two rivers. There are on
Dartmoor about a dozen.

[Illustration: LAKEHEAD, KISTVAEN]

V. The stone row is almost invariably associated with cairns and
kistvaens, and clearly had some relation to funeral rites. The
stone settings are often single, sometimes double, or are as many
as eight. They do not always run parallel; they start from a cairn
and end with a blocking-stone set across the line. In Scotland
they are confined to Caithness. The finest known are at Carnac
in Brittany. It is probable that just as a Bedouin now erects a
stone near a fakir's tomb as a token of respect, so each of these
rude blocks was set up by a member of a tribe, or a household, in
honour of the chief buried in the cairn at the head of the row. It
is remarkable how greatly the set stones vary in size; some are
quite insignificant, and could be planted by a boy, while others
require the united efforts of three or four men, with modern
appliances of three legs and block to lift and place them. Usually
the largest stones are planted near the cairn, and they dwindle
to the blocking-stone, which is of respectable size. There is no
known district so rich as Dartmoor in stone rows. The number of
these still remaining in a more or less dilapidated condition is
surprising. Some five-and-twenty have been counted, and quantities
must have been destroyed, and these the very finest examples, as
the big upright stones lent themselves readily to be converted into
gate-posts. Indeed of those that have been allowed to remain many
have lost their largest stones.

The most important stone row is that on Stall Moor, a single range,
that can be discerned even from Cornwood Station, and looks like a
number of cricketers in flannels stalking over the brow of the hill.
A fine one is on Down Tor; here the largest stones had been thrown
down for the sake of removing them for gate-posts, and the marks of
the levers were visible. Happily the Dartmoor Preservation Society
interfered and re-erected the stones which had been cast down. At
Drizzlecombe are three sets of stone rows leading from tall menhirs.
The stone avenue that led from the Longstone, near Caistor Rock for
over a mile, was wantonly destroyed by a farmer a few years ago,
when building a new-take wall hard by. A good example is on the
brow of the hill opposite Grimspound, but the stones are not large.
The Merivale Bridge remains consist of two sets of double rows,
the stones very small, but the rows fairly intact. But the most
remarkable row of all is that near the Erme Valley, which, starting
from a great circle of upright stones, extends for two miles and
a quarter, descending a dip and crossing a stream to mount the
opposite hill.

VI. The menhir, or tall stone, is a rude, unwrought obelisk. In some
cases it is nothing other than the blocking-stone of a row which has
been destroyed. But such is not always the case. There were no rows
in connection with the menhir at Devil's Tor and the Whitmoor Stone.

That the upright stone is a memorial to the dead can hardly be
doubted; it was continued to be erected, with an inscription,
in Brito-Roman days, and its modern representative is in every
churchyard. The menhirs, locally termed longstones, or langstones,
must at one time have been numerous. Those round the moor have been
carried away to serve as window-sills, door-jambs, even church
pillars. Several places and moors, by their names, assure us that at
one time these monuments were there.

Menhirs are still erected by the dolmen builders on the
Brama-pootra, the Khassias, and always in commemoration of the
dead. The Chinese hold that the spirits of the deceased inhabit
the memorials set up in their honour; and the carved monoliths in
Abyssinia, erected by the same race when it passed from Arabia to
Africa, have carved in their faces little doors for the ingress and
egress of the spirits. Holed menhirs are found in many places.

There are several menhirs on Dartmoor, as the Beardown Man (_Maen_,
stone), near Devil Tor, in a wild and desolate spot far from the
haunts of man; the highest is at Drizzlecombe, height eighteen
feet, and weighing six tons.

It may well be doubted whether in any part of England such a
complete series of remains of a vanished population exists as on
Dartmoor, where we have their houses and their tombs. But the
monuments are not of great size.

VII. Cairns on Dartmoor are numerous, but all the large ones have
been opened and robbed at some unknown period. They would not
have been dug into at the cost of time and labour unless they had
rendered results of value. One ruined cairn with a kistvaen in it
is still called "The Crock of Gold," but probably bronze was the
metal chiefly found. A cairn opened on Hameldon yielded a bronze
knife with an amber handle with pins of gold. A cairn at Fernworthy
gave up an urn with a button of Kimmeridge coal, and a small bronze
knife, together with another of flint. But the cairns were not
always raised over the bodies of the dead. Sometimes, perhaps, only
over the head, which has long since disappeared; sometimes over the
place where the body was burnt, and sometimes as mere memorials.

What makes ancient Irish usage so valuable is that there we have
traditional pagan customs recorded, and after Christianity was
adopted the ancient usages were but slightly modified. I will quote
a passage from Professor Sulivan that explains the various methods
of interment. And it must be borne in mind that in Ireland the Celt
was superposed on the Ivernian just as in Devon and Cornwall, and
that in both the dominant race largely adopted the religious views
and customs of the subjugated people.

[Illustration: URN FROM KISTVAEN]

     "From the ancient laws and other sources we have direct evidence
     that the ritual of the dead varied with the rank, sex, and
     occupation of the deceased, and that it was more splendid and
     elaborate in the case of great men."[19]

  [19] Introduction to O'CURRY, _Manners and Customs of the Ancient
  Irish_, 1873, i., p. cccxxix.

The various kinds of monument were the _Derc_, the _Fert_, the
_Leacht_, the _Duma_, the _Cnoc_, and the _Carn_.

The _Derc_ was a hollow, a pit, or hole, dug in the ground; in fact,
a simple grave.

The _Fert_ was a rectangular chamber, composed of stones set
upright, and covered horizontally with flags; in a word, a kistvaen.

The _Leacht_ seems to have been a larger-sized kistvaen, a cromlech
or dolmen, but a single upright stone was also called a leacht. When
a number of persons were buried in a single mound, then a stone was
set up in commemoration of each round the tumulus or cairn. A good
specimen may be seen beside the road to Widecombe from Post Bridge.
The cairn has been almost levelled, but the ring of stones remains.

The _Cnoc_ was a rounded, sugar-loaf mound of earth, and the _Duma_
was a similar mound raised over a kistvaen.

The _Cairn_ or _Carn_ was a mere pile of stones, generally made over
a grave, but sometimes having no immediate connection with one. Here
is a curious passage which will explain why some cairns contain no

     "The plunderers started from the coast, and each man took with
     him a stone to make a carn, for such was the custom of the Fians
     when going to plunder or war. It was a pillar-stone they planted
     when going to give a general battle; and it was a cairn they
     made this time, because it was a plundering expedition.... Every
     man who survived used to remove his stone from the cairn, and
     the stones of those who were slain remained in place, and thus
     they were able to ascertain their losses."--_The Book of the Dun

Sometimes, after a battle, when it was not possible to carry away a
body, the head of the man who had fallen was buried by his friends
under a cairn, because the ancient Irish were wont to carry off
heads as trophies; but to violate a cairn, even when raised by a
foe, was regarded as sacrilege.

On Dartmoor, in addition to prehistoric antiquities, numerous rude
stone crosses remain; some of these, if not all, indicate ways, and
were employed as landmarks. Only one bears an inscription, "Crux

The whole of the moor, in the stream bottoms, is seamed with
streamers' "burrows" and deep workings. It is not possible to fix
their date. Throughout the Middle Ages stream tin was extracted from
Dartmoor. Fresh activity was shown in the reign of Elizabeth. Beside
the mounds may be seen the ruins of the old "blow-house," where the
tin was smelted, and very probably among the ruins will be found the
moulds into which the tin was run. I postpone what I have to say on
the tin-working to a chapter on that topic in the ensuing portion of
my book, on Cornwall.

     Books on Dartmoor:--

     ROWE (S.), _Perambulation of Dartmoor_ (new ed.). Exeter, 1896.
     A caution must be given that the original work was written in
     1848, when archæology was a matter of theorising, and when
     Druids and Phœnicians cut great figures. In reading Rowe's book
     the reader must pass over all this.

     CROSSING (W.), _Amid Devonia's Alps_. London and Plymouth, 1888.
     A pleasantly written little book, and free from the arrant
     nonsense of pseudo-antiquarians of fifty years ago, cooked up

     PAGE (J. L. W.), _An Exploration of Dartmoor_. London, 1889. All
     the archæologic lore in this book must be rejected. Otherwise it
     is good.

     CRESSWELL (B. F.), _Dartmoor and its Surroundings_. London,
     1898. A handy 6d. guide, very useful, and commendably free from
     false theorising on antiquarian topics.

     SPENCER (E.), _Dartmoor_. Plymouth, 1894. A fresh and pleasant
     book, trustworthy as to the geology, but wildly erroneous as to
     the antiquities.

     For the Archæology:--

     Reports of the Dartmoor Exploration Committee of the Devonshire
     Association, 1894-9.

     For the History of the moor:--

     Reports and publications of the Dartmoor Preservation Society.

     For the Crosses:--

     CROSSING (W.), _The Ancient Crosses of Dartmoor_. Exeter, 1887.

     CROSSING (W.), _The Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Border_.
     Exeter, 1892.

     For the Churches on the borders of Dartmoor:--

     Chapter xix. of ROWE'S _Perambulation_, new edition.

     For the Flora and Fauna of the moor:--

     Chapters xiv.-xvii. of the same.

     For the Geology of Dartmoor:--

     USSHER (W. A. G.), "The Granite of Dartmoor," in _Transactions
     of the Devonshire Association_, 1888.



     Forest rights exercised by the Duchy--Rights of the parishes of
     Devon to Dartmoor--Encroachments--Venville--Newtakes--Importance
     of the moor as common land--The four quarters--Drifts--A
     moorman's house--Vipers in the walls--Crockern Tor and Mr.
     Fowler--The "Wish Hounds"--The pixies--How an Ordnance surveyor
     was pixy-led--The moor in fog--Story of a pixy birth--Joe
     Leaman and the pixies--Notice on church gate--The boys and
     the plaster figures--The witch of Endor--Those born on the
     moor do not like to leave it--Freshets on Dartmoor rivers--The
     Dart--Ancient tenements--The Prisons--Story of an attempted
     escape--A successful escape--Cost to the country of the criminal
     class--Some effort should be made to prevent crime--Believer
     Day--Trout-fishing--Dartmoor in winter--The song of the moor.

Dartmoor consists of moorland running up to heights of over 2000
feet, a great deal of the area being enclosed, forming rough grazing
farms, but much of it remains to-day what it was thousands of years
ago, boulder-strewn ravines, through which rush impetuous streams,
rocky heights crowned with huge blocks of granite, so weather-worn
and piled up as to suggest to the stranger that some Titans had
so placed them to serve as castles or to add a romantic touch to
already wild scenery. Great sweeps of heather and furze-clad downs
run up to these elevations, and on many of these the rude stone
monuments lie scattered about in all directions.

[Illustration: VIXEN TOR]

The forest of Dartmoor became the property of the Princes of Wales
only so far that forest rights were granted to the Black Prince and
to the Princes of Wales for ever, without prejudice to such rights
as had belonged from time immemorial to all Devonshire parishes with
the exception of Barnstaple and Totnes. And the rights of Devonshire
parishes were to take off the moor whatever was wanted save venison
and vert, that is to say, not to cut down green trees. As of trees
there are none, or hardly any, this exception could not be very
greatly felt as a grievance, and as now there are no deer, one might
have supposed that Devonshire people could exercise an unlimited
right over Dartmoor. Such, however, is not the case. The Duchy of
Cornwall, vested in the Princes of Wales, has claimed and exercised
the power to cut away and reject the rights of every parish except
such as are immediately contiguous to the moor, and to enclose and
to shut out the good people of Devon from large tracts, one of
which is made over to the convicts, another to the artillery, to
fire across at long range. The tors also are given up to be hacked
and quarried; and ponies and bullocks that have found their way on
to the moors and do not belong to "Venville" parishes (that is to
say, such as are contiguous to the forest) are pounded, and their
owners fined for trespass. Thus the grant of forest rights, _i.e._,
rights to hunt the red deer, have been converted to very exclusive
rights to everything, and the Devonians, whose right was recognised
to everything save venison and vert, has been reduced to nothing
at all. But just as the Duchy encroached on the rights of all the
good people of Devon, so was it also encroached upon. Before that
the grant of forest rights was made to the Black Prince there were
certain ancient tenements on the moor; those occupying them held
under the king, and were absolutely independent otherwise. But
these tenants had certain traditional rights, which they could put
in force once only in their lives--on the death of the last holder
the incomer might enclose ten acres of moor land, and hold it at a
nominal rent. Thus these ancient tenements gradually expanded. But
besides this the holders made larger enclosures, locally termed
"new-takes," when the fancy came to them to do so, and they settled
matters easily with the Duchy agents, to the advantage of both.
Large landed proprietors managed to get slices by a little greasing
of palms, and some very odd transactions took place whereby great
tracts of land, and even farms, were transferred from the Duchy to
other hands without the Princes of Wales being in any way benefited,
or being aware that they were being robbed. But then--as the Duchy
had taken from the people--had not such of the people as could
contrive it a right to take back what they could?

All this is now so far a matter of the past that the Duchy is no
longer robbed, it robs instead--curtailing on all sides the rights
of those living in the low steamy lands to the pure air and wide
wastes of that great well-head of health and life--the ancient
Forest of Dartmoor.

During the abnormally dry summers of 1893 and 1897 Dartmoor proved
of incalculable advantage not to the County of Devon only, but
far further afield. When grass was burnt up everywhere, and water
failed, then the moor was green, and was twinkling with dancing
streams. From every quarter the starving cattle were driven there in
thousands and tens of thousands. Drovers came from so far east as
Kent, there to obtain food and drink unobtainable elsewhere.

Thousands and tens of thousands more might have been sustained there
but for the enclosures that have been suffered to be made--nay, have
been encouraged.

Dartmoor is divided into four regions, and over each region a
moorman is placed. In every quarter of the moor a special earmark is
required for the ponies that are turned out, a round hole punched
in the ear, through which is passed a piece of distinguishing tape,
red or blue, white or black. The ponies are much given to rambling;
they pass from one quarter to another in search of pasture; but
the moorman of each quarter can recognise those turned out on his
region by the earmark. Sheep also and bullocks are turned out on the
moor; but they have to be cared for at home in the winter, whereas
the ponies brave the storms and snow. The flocks and herds are
not driven on to the moor till summer, and are driven off at the
approach of winter.

Although every farmer round has a right to turn out his beasts,
yet the moorman expects a fee for each horse, bullock, or sheep
sent out on the downs. Cattle, horses, and sheep sent upon the
common lands that adjoin the forest are liable to stray on to the
broader expanse, and in order to detect these and exact a fine for
them certain drivings are ordered, locally called "drifts." The
day when a drift is to take place is kept a profound secret till
it is proclaimed early in the morning. Then a messenger on a fleet
horse is sent round very early to announce it. On certain tors are
holed stones, and through these horns were formerly passed and
blown on such occasions. There are drifts for ponies, and drifts
for bullocks. A drift is an animated and striking scene. Horsemen
and dogs are out, the farmers identifying their cattle, the drivers
and dogs sending the frightened beasts plunging, galloping in one
direction towards the place of gathering. When all the beasts have
been driven together, an officer of the Duchy mounts a stone and
reads a formal document that is supposed to authorise the moormen to
make their claim for fees. Then the Venville tenants carry off their
cattle without objection. All others are pounded, or else their
owners pay fines before being allowed to reclaim them.

Now and then the Duchy endeavours to extend its right over the
commons belonging to contiguous parishes. Nothing is lost by
asserting a right, and something may be gained. But when a drift
is carried over such commons the farmers of the parishes rise up
and repel the moormen, and battles with clubs and horsewhips ensue.
Blows are given and returned; it is felt, and felt rightly, that
encroachment must be resisted at all cost, lest it should serve as
a stepping-stone for deprivation of further rights.

An old moorman's house was a picturesque object: built up centuries
ago of granite blocks unshaped, set in earth, with no lime or cement
to fix them, low-browed, with the roof thatched with rushes, the
windows small, looking into a small court-yard, and this court-yard
entered through a door in a high blank wall. On one side the turf
stacked up, the saddles, the harness; on the other, a cow-house
and stable, the well-house accessible from the kitchen without
going from under cover, the well being nothing other than a limpid
moor stream diverted and made to flow into a basin of scooped-out
granite. The door into the house gives admission into an outer
chamber, where is every description of odds and ends; where are
potatoes, old barrels, infirm cartwheels, and the poultry hopping
over everything. On one side a door gives admission to the kitchen,
hall, parlour, all in one, lighted by a small window looking into
the court-yard. Or, again, on the one hand is the cattle-shed, on
the other the kitchen, all under one roof, and beyond the kitchen
the common sleeping-chamber. Rarely is there an upper storey. The
object of making these ancient houses so totally enclosed was to
protect the dwelling from the furious storms. They were castles, but
walled up against no other enemy than the wild weather. Nowadays
these ancient houses are rapidly disappearing, and new, vulgar,
staring edifices are taking their places--edifices that let in wind
and water at every joint and loophole.

The dry walls of these old tenements were snug places for vipers to
shelter through the winter, and I have heard many an old moorman
relate how, when the peat fire was glowing and the room was warm, he
has seen the heads and glittering eyes of the "long cripples" shoot
out from the crevices in the wall and sway, enjoying the warmth, but
too sluggish to do more.

One told me that his dog was bitten by a viper, and its head was
swollen shockingly. He at once got elder flowers, and put them in a
caldron to boil, and held the dog's head over the steam. It cured
the poor beast.

Many years ago a Manchester man with plenty of money came down to
Dartmoor, and declared that it was a shame so much land should lie
waste; he would show what could be done with it. So he soon came
to terms with the Duchy, which allowed him to enclose thousands of
acres--which means exclude the public--and to set up machine-houses
for steam-engines to thrash, and for steam-ploughs to turn the soil,
and so on. The whole not very far from Crockern Tor, the umbel, the
centre of the moor, the seat of the ancient stannary court, _sub
Dio_, under the open vault of heaven, on unhewn granite seats.

One day an old moorman met this new-fangled farmer, and said to him:
"How do 'y, Muster Vowler? I had a dream about yü last night."

"Did you, indeed? I am flattered."

"Hear what it is afore yü say that."

"Well, tell me."

[Illustration: LOWER TARR]

"Well, Muster Vowler, I falled asleep, and then I saw the gurt old
sperit of the moors, old Crockern himself, grey as granite, and his
eyebrows hanging down over his glimmering eyes like sedge, and his
eyes deep as peat water pools. Sez he to me, 'Do 'y know Muster
Vowler?' 'Well, sir,' sez I, 'I thinks I have that honour.' 'Then,'
sez he in turn, 'Bear him a message from me. Tell Muster Vowler if
he scratches my back, I'll tear out his pocket.'"

And sure enough old Crockern did it. After a few years Dartmoor
beat the scientific farmer. He had tried to drain its bogs, it had
drained his purse. He had scratched its back, and it had torn out
his pocket.

There existed formerly a belief on Dartmoor that it was hunted over
at night in storm by a black sportsman, with black fire-breathing
hounds, called the "Wish Hounds." They could be heard in full cry,
and occasionally the blast of the hunter's horn on stormy nights.

One night a moorman was riding home from Widecombe. There had been a
fair there; he had made money, and had taken something to keep out
the cold, for the night promised to be one of tempest. He started
on his homeward way. The moon shone out occasionally between the
whirling masses of thick vapour. The horse knew the way better
perhaps than his master. The rider had traversed the great ridge
of Hameldon, and was mounting a moor on which stands a circle of
upright stones--reputedly a Druid circle, and said to dance on
Christmas Eve--when he heard a sound that startled him--a horn, and
then past him swept without sound of footfall a pack of black dogs.

The moorman was not frightened--he had taken in too much Dutch
courage for that--and when a minute after the black hunter came up,
he shouted to him, "Hey! huntsman, what sport? Give us some of your

"Take that," answered the hunter, and flung him something which the
man caught and held in his arm. Then the mysterious rider passed
on. An hour elapsed before the moorman reached his home. As he had
jogged on he had wondered what sort of game he had been given. It
was too large for a hare, too small for a deer. Provokingly, not
once since the encounter had the moon flashed forth. Now that he was
at his door he swung himself from his horse, and still carrying the
game, shouted for a lantern.

The light was brought. With one hand the fellow took it, then raised
it to throw a ray on that which he held in his arm--the game hunted
and won by the Black Rider. It was his own baby, dead and cold.
This story was told by the blacksmith at Moreton Hampstead to G. P.
Bidder, the calculating boy, who as a lad was fond of playing about
the old man's forge. From one of Mr. Bidder's daughters I had the

It would be unjustifiable to pass over the Pixies, or Pysgies as
they are generally termed, who are the little spirits supposed
specially to haunt Dartmoor, although indeed they leave their
traces, and perform their pranks elsewhere. To be "pysgie-led" is
to go astray and become so bewildered as not to be able to find
the way at all. How entirely one may go wrong even with the best
appliances, the following experience will show.

One morning, my friend Mr. R. Burnard, with one of the officers of
the Ordnance Survey, another gentleman and myself, started from the
Duchy Hotel, Princetown, with the object of visiting an unregistered
stone row on Conies Down Tor, which at our request the Survey was
about to include in their map. We started at 9.30 a.m., of course
provided with compasses and surveying apparatus. There was a bit of
fog as we left the hotel door, but as we heard the larks singing
aloft we expected it to clear. Mr. Burnard and the officer got ahead
of us, and disappeared in the mist before we had gone a hundred
yards--and we saw them no more that day.

Beyond the Prisons there is a short cut across the enclosures made
by the convicts, into the main Tavistock and Moreton road; we took
that, and on reaching the road struck by Fitz's Well due north, or
nearly so, for Black Dunghill (Blackadun-hill). Then I knew that
by going due north we must strike the Lych Way, the track by which
corpses were formerly carried from the centre and east side of the
moor for interment at Lydford. This Lych Way is fairly well marked.

The mist became thicker; we walked on, hoping on reaching Conies
Down Tor to find our friends there. But after a bit I got completely
lost; we came on a dip or pan in which were sheep, but no stream;
that I could in no way account for, so we set our faces to the wind,
which I knew when we started blew from the south, and about one
o'clock we reached Princetown again, drenched to the skin. But the
Ordnance Survey officer and Mr. Burnard had taken another route,
had arrived at Mis Tor, and then by a swerve to the right along Mis
Tor pan--one ghastly, boggy tract to be avoided--essayed to strike
the Lych Way and reach Conies Down Tor. But in the mist they went
so absolutely astray, notwithstanding their scientific appliances,
that when about one o'clock they reached a stream flowing north they
supposed that they had hit on the Ockment and would come out at
Okehampton. Nor was it till a brawling stream came foaming down on
the right, and the river took a twist south-west, that it dawned on
them that they were on the Tavy. About five o'clock they reached,
sopped as sponges and utterly fagged, a little tavern at Mary Tavy,
where, in their prostration, they asked for a bottle of champagne.
The hostess stared. "Plaize, surs, be he sum'ut to ate? Us hav'n't
got nort but eggs and a rasher."

That was a case of Pixy-leading out of pure mischief, to show how
superior they were to all the last appliances of science.

Now, when the way is lost, there is one thing to be done, if
possible--aim at running water and follow the stream. It may lead
you out thirty miles from the spot you want to reach, but it will
eventually lead to a roof, and "wittles and drink," and better
still--dry clothes.

But there is another way--to make two marks and pace between them
till the fog rises. This is how an old farmer's wife did, living at
Sheberton. She had been to Princetown to get some groceries. On her
way back in the afternoon fog enveloped her, and she lost all sense
of her direction. Well, she set down her basket with the groceries
on the turf, and planted her gingham umbrella at ten strides from
it, and spent the night walking from one to the other, addressing
each now and then, so as to keep up her spirits.

_To the groceries_: "Be yu lyin' comf'able there, my dears? Keep dry
what iver yu dü, my büties."

_To the gingham_: "Now old neighbour, tesn't folded yu like to be in
this sort o' weather. But us can't alwez have what us likes i' this
wurld, and mebbe t'aint güde us should."

_To the groceries_: "Now my purties, yu'll be better bym-by. Won't
ee, shuggar, whan you'm put into a nice warm cup o' tay? That'll be
different from this drashy, dirty vog, I reckon."

_To the gingham_: "Never mind. It's for rain you'm spread. It
would be demeanin' of yourself to stretch out all your boans agin'
drizzlin' mist, for sure."

By morning the vapour rose, and the old lady took her direction,
came cheerily home, and comforted herself with a sugared cup of tea,
and spread the umbrella in the kitchen to "dry hisself."

But to return to the Pysgies themselves.

What I am now about to mention is a story I have received from Mr.
T. W. Whiteway, brother of Sir William Whiteway; he was brought up
on the confines of the moor. The story is of the Fairies' ointment,
as Nurse Warren told it.

"You have many times asked me to tell you about the Fairies'
ointment. Now I don't suppose you will believe me, but I have heard
Granny say that a very long time ago there were Pixies scattered all
over the country. The Pixies were good and kind to some people, but
to others they would play all sorts of tricks. You must never spy on
a Pixy, for they would be sure to pay you out if you did. Now the
story I am going to tell you was told to me by my grandmother, who
died in her eighty-seventh year, and she heard it from her mother.
So this all happened before there was any King George. Granny used
to say that she believed it was when there was a King Henry, who had
a number of wives.

"There was a wonderfully clever midwife, called Morada, who lived
a little way out of Holne village, close to Dartmoor. You know in
those days doctors were not so plentiful as they be now, nor so
clever; so the people all around used to send for Nurse Morada.
Now she was a widow woman and a foreigner. Folks did say she was a
witch, and a sight of money she got, for folks was afraid to offend

"One night just before harvest Nurse had gone to bed early, for it
was a dark, dismal evening, likely for a thunderstorm, and Nurse was
much afraid of lightning.

"She had not been long asleep when she was awakened by such a
clatter at the door as if it was being broken down, and it was
thundering and lightning frightful. Nurse was greatly frightened,
but lay still, hoping the knocking would cease, but it only got
worse and worse. At last she rose and opened the window, when she
saw by the lightning flashing, which almost blinded her, a little
man sitting on a big horse, hammering at the door.

"'Come down, woman,' he said; 'my wife is ill, and wants you.'

"'Do you think I'm mad?' she called out. 'I would not go out for
the queen herself such a night as this,' and was going to shut the

"'Stop!' he cried out; 'will you come with me for ten golden

"Now this was a sight of money in those days, and Nurse was very
greedy for money; so she told the man to wait, and she would be
dressed as soon as possible.

"The man jumped down from his horse, and pointing to a shed said two
words in a foreign language, whereupon the horse cleverly walked in
out of the rain. The man entered the house, and when Nurse saw him
she was that frightened she almost fainted away. He was not old at
all, but a very handsome young man. He was small, to be sure, but he
looked a real little gentleman, with such beautiful fine clothes,
and eyes that fairly looked through you. He laughed to see how
frightened the woman was.

"'Now listen to me,' he said in a voice as sweet as a thrush's, 'and
be sure that if you do what I tell you, and never speak of what
you may see or hear, no harm will happen to you, and I will give
you ten guineas now and ten more when you return home. If you keep
your promise all will be well, but if you do not I will punish you
very severely. Now to show you what power I have, I tell you that
although you say that you are a widow and call yourself Morada, that
is not your name, for you never were married. Shall I tell you some
more of your past life?'

"'No, sir, no!' she called out. 'I will do all that you tell me.'

"'That's right and sensible. Now the first thing I do is to
blindfold you, and you must not try to take off the bandage from
your eyes. Take these ten guineas and put them away.'

"This the woman did, and hid them behind the mantelpiece. They both
left the house, the woman locking the door. He took the woman behind
him on the horse, and tied her with a strap round her waist. Away
went the horse like the wind across the moor; Nurse thought from the
time they took they must have gone pretty near as far as Lydford.
When he got off from the horse he made sure that she had not moved
the handkerchief. Unlocking a door, he led her up through a long
passage, and, unlocking another door, pulled her inside.

"'Now take off your handkerchief,' said he, and she found herself
in a queer-looking place all lighted up with beautiful lamps. A
little squint-eyed man came and said something the Nurse could not
understand. The little gentleman then hurried off Nurse into another
room, where, lying on a beautiful velvet bed, was the prettiest
little lady anybody ever did see.

"Well, before many hours there was a sweet little dot of a boy born.
Then the gentleman brought the Nurse a box of ointment and told her
to rub some over the baby's eyelids. When nurse had done so she put
the box in her pocket and forgot all about it. This got her into
great trouble, as I 'll tell you about presently. Nurse stayed some
days with the little lady, and got to love her very much, she was
that kind and good. The little lady liked Nurse, and told her that
she herself was a princess; that her husband was a prince; that they
lived in a beautiful country where there was no frost or snow, and
that they were fairies, not Pixies. Her father was the king of all
the fairies, and he was very angry because she ran away and married
the prince, who was not of so high a rank as she was, although he
was her cousin, and that to punish them he sent 'em both to Dartmoor
for a year. That time was now up, and they were all going home in a
few days.

"The fairy prince took Nurse to her home blindfolded on the big
horse, in the same way as he brought her there, and on parting gave
her the other ten guineas as he had promised. The next morning
Nurse was in a great quandary when she found the box of ointment in
her pocket. 'Well,' she thought, 'he will be sure to come for this
ointment, as they will all be going away to-morrow or the next day.'

"Nurse stayed up all that night, but the prince did not come, and
the next day and night passed without seeing him. Then Nurse felt
certain that they were all gone, and had forgotten the ointment,
and she could scarcely eat, drink, or sleep for thinking what virtue
there might be in it.

"When the fourth night had passed without his coming Nurse could
wait no longer, but opened the box and rubbed in a little of the
ointment on her left eye; but she only felt the eye prick and sting
a bit, so the woman thought the ointment must be only good for fairy
babies, and she went to bed quite satisfied.

"The next morning she thought she must have died and awakened up
in another world. Everything about her looked as if it had grown
ever so much. The cat, which always slept in her room, looked as
large as a great dog. Then remembering the ointment, she covered
her left eye, and all was as it used to be. The woman now got very
frightened, and started off after breakfast to go to Ashburton to
consult a friend of hers, a Mr. Stranger, who was very clever about

"As she walked along she would now and again cover up her right eye,
and then everything would look so grand and beautiful; and looking
up, she saw stars, although the sun was shining brightly, she could
see that wonderfully far off. Now, she had not gone very far when
suddenly the fairy prince, sitting on his horse, appeared before her.

"'Good morning, sir,' she said, dropping a curtsy.

"'Ah!' he cried, 'the ointment! Which eye do you see me with?'

"'The left, sir.'

"Instantly she felt something like a blow on that eye. The fairy
prince vanished, and appeared again as the little man she had first

"'Nurse,' said he, 'you are blinded in your left eye as a punishment
for having used the ointment. I am sorry, for you were kind to my
wife. Here is a present she has sent you.'

"He then gave her ten guineas, and she returned him the box. He then
vanished. This is all the story that Granny told me about the fairy

A farmer on the west side of Dartmoor, having had sickness among his
cattle in 1879, sacrificed a sheep and burnt it on the moor above
his farm as an offering to the Pysgies. The cattle at once began
to recover, and did well after, nor were there any fresh cases of
sickness among them. He spoke of the matter as by no means anything
to be ashamed of, or that was likely to cause surprise.

There can be little doubt that many of the Pixy stories, as well as
those of ghosts, have their origin in practical jokes.

Old Joe Leaman, of Dartmeet, recently dead, had an experience with
Pysgies, as he supposed.

One day, having need of fuel, he went up the Dart to cut faggots of
wood in the Brimpts plantation. Whether he had leave to do so, or
took it, is not recorded.

He went among the trees, cut a faggot, bound it, and carried it to
a place where he purposed making a pile, which he would carry home
at his leisure. But he was observed by some young fellows, and after
he had deposited his faggot and had disappeared in the plantation,
they went to the spot, removed and concealed the faggot, and hid

Presently Joe came from out of the wood with a second faggot on his
back. On reaching the place where the first had been placed, he set
down the second, looked about, rubbed his eyes, shook his head, and
taking his staff drove it through the faggot, and pinned it firmly
to the ground. Then he went again to the wood.

No sooner was he gone than the young fellows crept from their
hiding-place and removed the second bundle, but planted his staff
where he had set it.

Back came Joe Leaman bowed under a third faggot, but when he saw
that the second had vanished like the first, and his stick remained,
this was too much for him; down went number three, and he took to
his heels, and did not halt till he reached his cottage.

Some hours later the mischievous youths came in, and saw the old
fellow crouched over his peat fire.

"Well, Joe, how bee'st a?"

"A b'aint well."

"What's the matter?"

"Umph! b'aint well."

Nothing more could be got out of him.

During the night the lads brought all three faggots and his stick,
and pegged them down at his door. Joe came out in the morning.

"Ah!" said he, "them Pysgies! They'm vriends wi' me again. Now I'm
all right. It ud niver do, us on the moor not to be on güde tarms
wi' they. I'm right as a trivet now."

The schools have pretty well banished superstition from Dartmoor;
none now remains, and I doubt whether the old stories are any longer
to be picked up there.

Education, however, is not in an advanced condition. The other day I
took down for preservation the following notice I saw affixed to the
church gate at Post Bridge. It was written on vermilion-red paper:--

    "Mary maze hencot as been and kellad
    John Webb Jack daw.
    and he got to pay 5^s for kellad a Jack daw."

The sense is not clear. As may be noticed, Mary is a _he_, just as a
cow is a _he_.

Here is a bit of conversation overheard between two Dartmoor boys:--

"I zay, Bill, 'ow many cows hev your vaither?"

"Mine--oh! dree and an oss. How many 'as yourn?"

"Mine! oh! my vaither--e's in heaven."

"Get out! mine ha' been there scöres o' times."

This is a sceptical age. The very foundations of faith in verities
and trust in authorities are shaken. How far may be instanced by
this anecdote:--

Two choir boys had been to a Christmas treat. There was a cake with
little plaster figures on it, and two of these were presented to
the aforesaid boys, Jack and Tom, by their pastor and spiritual
father, with strict injunctions not to eat them, as they would be
most injurious, might kill them. They took the images home, and
showed them to their mother, who at once perceived that they were of
plaster of Paris and not edible.

"Byes!" said she, "doant ey niver go for to ate of thickey drashey
things. They'll kill yu for zure-cartain, right off on end."

Here, pray note it, was the same thing inculcated by the material
as well as the spiritual parent. Some hours later the mother with a
shock perceived that one of the plaster figures was gone from the
mantelshelf on which she had placed it.

"Tom! Tom!" she cried to the only son who was then in the house,
"where be the plaister man to?"

"Plaise, mother, Jack hev aiten 'n--and if Jack be alive this
arternoon, I be goin' to ate the other wan."

When such a condition of mind exists among the young, can one expect
to find a belief in Pixies still present?

The only very modern case of spectres or their congeners on the moor
I have heard of is that of a moor farmer, who is wont to return from
market at Moreton in a hilarious condition.

"T' other day," said he, "just as I comed to a little dip in the
ground t' other side o' Merripit, who shu'd I meet but the witch
o' Endor. 'Muster,' sez she, 'Yu've been drinkin' and got liquor
o' board.' Now how cu'd a woman a' knawed that onless her'd been a
sperrit herself or a witch I'd like to knaw."

[Illustration: TAVY CLEAVE]

Some of those who have been brought up on the moor cannot endure to
leave it. One man named John Hamlyn, who died aged eighty years,
had never in all his life been off it. Another, Jacob Gorman, aged
seventy-five, had been from it only two months in all his life. At
a little cot near Birch Tor, it was said that the fire had not gone
out for a hundred years, as the women had never for a night left the

Some of the old cottages on the moor were wonderful abodes, like
Irish cabins. They are gradually disappearing, but a few still
remain. The influx of visitors to Dartmoor, and the money brought
there, tend to their effacement. A cot that could be run up between
sunrise and sunset and a fire lighted by nightfall, has been held to
constitute a right for ever to the place. Some of the hovels still
standing have been so erected.

The rivers on the moor are liable to freshets. In the notable storm
of 1890, Merivale Bridge on the Walla, and the old bridge leading
from Tavistock to Peter Tavy over the Tavy river, were swept away.
But the Dart is notorious for its sudden swelling. It was due to
this that the old couplet ran--

    "River of Dart, O river of Dart,
    Every year thou claimest a heart."

The river "cries" when there is to be a change of wind. "Us shall
have bad weather, maister; I hear the Broadstones a crying." The
Broadstones are boulders of granite lying in the bed of the river.
The cry, however, hardly comes from them, but from a piping of the
wind in the twists of the glen through which the turbulent river

In Dartington churchyard there is a tombstone to the memory of John
Edmonds, who was drowned in the river on August 17th, 1840. He and
his intended were coming from Staverton Church, where they had been
married, when a wave of water rolled down on them, and cart, horse,
and bride and bridegroom were swept away. Her body was found caught
in a tree a few hundred yards below, but the body of the man was not
recovered for nearly three weeks afterwards; the horse and cart were
carried over the weir near Totnes bridge.

About a hundred and fifty years ago there was no stone bridge at
Hexworthy, only a clapper (wooden bridge). Two men were coming down
the road when they heard the roar of a freshet. "Here cometh old
Dart--let's run," said one. They ran, but old Dart was too quick for
them; he caught them on the clapper and carried both off and drowned
them; so that year he had two hearts.

A few years ago the Meavy suddenly rose and caught a man and his
horse as they were crossing a ford below the village. The man was
not drowned, but died of the consequences.

Up to 1702 there were on Dartmoor but thirty-five tenements in
fifteen localities, some two or three being grouped together in
certain places. These ancient farms are situated in the best and
most favoured portions of the Forest of Dartmoor, and have been
occupied from prehistoric times, as is evidenced by the quantity of
flint tools that are turned up at these spots.

There is an account of the tenants of Dartmoor as early as 1344-5,
from which it appears that they were then forty-four in number. In
1346 the forty-four tenants depastured no less than 4700 oxen and
thirty-seven steers, a very respectable total, and one showing that
the favoured spots in the forest some five and a half centuries ago
carried considerable herds of cattle.

The names of the ancient tenements are: Hartland, Merripit,
Runnage, and Warner; Dury, Pizwell, Bellever, Reddon, and Babenay;
Princehall, Dunnabridge, Brounberry, Sherberton, Hexworthy, Huccaby,
and Brimpts.

Formerly all these tenements were held as customary freeholds or
copyholds, but many of them have been purchased by the Duchy.[20]

  [20] For a full account of them see BURNARD (R.), _Dartmoor
  Pictorial Records_. Plymouth, 1893.

Where the miners lived in the old times, when tin mining was
in vigour on the moor, is not very clear, as very few ruins of
quadrangular buildings remain that could have served as houses, and
it is quite certain that they did not inhabit the hut circles, as
they have not left their traces therein. They, in all likelihood,
lodged in the farmhouses and their outbuildings during the week, and
returned to their homes for the Sundays.

In 1806 the vast range of prisons was erected at Princetown, on
the bleakest and one of the loftiest sites on Dartmoor, for the
accommodation of French prisoners of war. From 1816, when peace
was proclaimed, the buildings stood empty till 1850, when they
were converted into a convict establishment, and since then the
prisoners have been employed in enclosing and reclaiming the moor.

As may well be imagined, many attempts at escape have been made. I
remember one, especially daring, which was nearly successful, some
forty years ago. A prisoner succeeded in creeping along one of the
beams sustaining the roof of the hall in which were the warders
eating their supper, without attracting their attention. He got
thence over the wall, and next broke into the doctor's house. There
he possessed himself of a suit of clothes, and left his convict suit
behind. Next he entered the doctor's stable, and took his horse out.
But he was unable to enter the harness-room, owing to the strength
of the lock, and so was obliged to escape, riding the horse, indeed,
but without saddle, and directing it not with a bridle, but with a

He rode along at a swinging pace till he reached Two Bridges, where
there is an ascent rather steep for a quarter of a mile, and then he
necessarily slackened his pace. To his great annoyance, as he passed
the Saracen's Head (the inn which constitutes the settlement of
Two Bridges) a man emerged from the public-house and jumped on his
horse. This was a moorman. The morrow was appointed for a drift, and
he was going to make preparations to drive his quarter of the moor.
He leaped on his horse and trotted after the convict, little knowing
who he was.

That night was one of moonlight. The moorman saw a gentleman in
black riding a good horse before him, and he pushed on to be
abreast with him and have a little talk.

"Whom have I the honour of riding with at night?" asked the moorman.

"I'm the new curate," said the convict, "going round on my pastoral

"Oh, indeed, without saddle and bridle?"

"I was called up to a dying person. My groom was away. For souls one
must do much."

"Indeed, and your clothes don't seem to fit you," observed the

Now the doctor was a fat man, and the man who wore his clothes was

"My duties are wearing to the carnal man," said the rider.

"And the horse. By ginger! it's the doctor's," exclaimed the moorman.

The convict kicked the flanks of his steed, and away he bounded. The
hill had been surmounted. The moorman gave chase.

Then he recollected that the doctor's horse was an old charger, and
he thundered out, "Halt! Right about face!"

Instantly the old charger stopped--instantly--stopped dead, and away
over his head like a rocket shot the _soi-disant_ curate.

In another moment the moorman was on him, had him fast, and said
grimly, "You're a five-pounder to me, my reverend party."

Five pounds is the reward for the apprehension of an escaped convict.

The moorman got his five pounds, and the convict got something he
didn't like. He forfeited all the years of his imprisonment past,
and got seven in addition for the theft of the horse and clothes.

Some years ago a convict escaped and concealed himself in a mine.
Impelled by hunger, he showed himself to the men there engaged. He
told them that he was, like them, a toiler underground. They agreed
to shelter him, and he was kept concealed in the mine till the
search for him was past. Then they gave him old clothes, and each
subscribed a sum of money to help him to leave the country. He got
away, and some year or two after he sent back all the money he had
been given, to be repaid to the men who had subscribed to get him
off, and a good present into the bargain.

A very different case was this.

A man got out, escaped from the moor, and made his way to his wife's
cottage. She gave him up and claimed the five pounds reward for her

A friend was spending some months at Beardown. One evening he
returned late from Tavistock, and to give notice that he was
arriving fired off a pistol as he crossed the little bridge over the
river below. Little did he then imagine, what he learned later, that
a couple of convicts who had escaped were hiding under the bridge;
they would have sprung out on him and despoiled him of his clothes
and money, possibly have murdered him, but were deterred by his
chance firing of the pistol. They were captured a day or two later,
and this was their confession.

It is not by any means easy for a convict to escape. When they are
at work there are two rings of warders about them armed with rifles,
and there is moreover a signal-station that commands where they are
at work, from which watch is kept upon them.

Our criminal class costs the nation a prodigious sum. The prison
population for England and Scotland is about 30,000, and the prison
expenditure last year (1898) was £604,696, so that the cost annually
to the country of each convict is about £20.

But there are indirect costs. If we put down:--

  Law courts at                   £3,757,960.
  Police at                        5,000,000.
  Loss of property by depredation
       of criminals not less than  1,000,000.
                           Total  £9,761,960.

and add to this the cost of the prisons, we reach the frightful
expenditure of over ten millions. Surely the nation is penny wise
and pound foolish. If instead of spending so much to get men _into_
prison, and keep them there, it would but concern itself with
keeping them _out_, there would be a great reduction in cost.

The convict is not such an utter black sheep as we might be disposed
to think him. That which forms the class is the sending back among
their fellows men who have been in prison. They cannot get out of
the association, and consequently they return again and again to
their cells.

There is indeed a society for helping prisoners on leaving to get
into situations, but this is a duty that should be undertaken
by the nation; and very often the only way to really give a poor
fellow a chance is to move him entirely away from this country. It
is a difficult problem, and we could not, of course, send them to
our colonies; but all social problems are difficult, yet should be
faced, and there is a solution to be found somewhere.

All that the convict really requires is a certain amount of
discipline, a strong hand, and a clear head in a leader or master,
and he may yet be made a man of, useful to his fellows.

"You don't think I'm such a fool as to like it, do you?" said a
convicted burglar to the chaplain. "I do it because I can't help
myself. When I leave prison I have nowhere else to go but to my old
pals and the old diggings."

If it could be contrived to give these fellows, after a first
conviction, a start in a new country, nine out of ten might be
reclaimed. They are like children, not wilfully given to evil, but
incapable of self-restraint, and cowards among their fellows, whose
opinions and persuasion they dare not oppose.

There is one institution connected with Dartmoor that must not be
passed over--Bellever Day.

When hare-hunting is over in the low country, then, some week or two
after Easter, the packs that surround Dartmoor assemble on it, and
a week is given up to hare-hunting. On the last day, Friday, there
is a grand gathering on Bellever Tor. All the towns and villages
neighbouring on Dartmoor send out carriages, traps, carts, riders;
the roads are full of men and women, ay, and children hurrying
to Bellever. Little girls with their baskets stuffed with saffron
cake for lunch desert school and trudge to the tor. Ladies go out
with champagne luncheons ready. Whether a hare be found and coursed
that day matters little. It is given up to merriment in the fresh
air and sparkling sun. And the roads that lead from Bellever in
the afternoon are careered over by riders, whose horses are so
exhilarated that they race, and the riders have a difficulty in
keeping their seats. Their faces are red, not those of the horses,
but their riders--from the sun and air--and they are so averse to
leave the moor, that they sometimes desert their saddles to roll on
the soft and springy turf.

Trout-fishing on Dartmoor is to be had, and on very easy terms, but
the rivers are far less stocked than they were a few years ago, as
they are so persistently whipped. The trout are small and dark, but
delicious eating.

There would be more birds but for the mischievous practice of
"swaling" or burning the heather and gorse, which is persisted in
till well into the summer, and, walking over a fresh-burned patch
of moor, one may tread on roasted eggs or the burned young of some
unhappy birds that fondly deemed there was protection for them in

The "swaling" is carried on upon the commons round the forest as
well as on the forest itself, so that the blame is not wholly due to
the representatives of the Duchy.

One is disposed to think that the moor must be a desolate and
altogether uninhabitable region in the winter. It is not so--at no
time do the mosses show in such variety of colour, and when the sun
shines the sense of exhilaration is beyond restraint.

To all lovers of Dartmoor I dedicate the song with which I conclude
this chapter.


    'Tis merry in the spring time,
      'Tis blithe on Dartimoor,
    Where every man is equal,
      For every man is poor.
    I do what I'm a minded,
      And none will say me nay,
    I go where I'm inclinèd,
      On all sides--right of way.

            O the merry Dartimoor,
            O the bonny Dartimoor,
              I would not be where I'm not free
            As I am upon the moor.

    'Tis merry in the summer,
      When furze be flowering sweet;
    The bees about it humming,
      In honey bathe their feet.
    The plover and the peewit,
      How cheerily they pipe,
    And underfoot the whortle
      Is turning blue and ripe.

            O the merry Dartimoor, etc.

    'Tis merry in the autumn,
      When snipe and cock appear,
    And never see a keeper
      To say, No shooting here!
    We stack the peat for fuel,
      We ask no better fire,
    And never pay a farden
      For all that we require.

            O the merry Dartimoor, etc.

    'Tis merry in the winter,
      The wind is on the moor,
    For twenty miles to leeward
      The people hear it roar.
    'Tis merry in the ingle,
      Beside a moorland lass,
    As watching turves a-glowing,
      The brimming bumpers pass.

            O the merry Dartimoor,
            O the bonny Dartimoor,
              I would not be where I'm not free
            As I am upon the moor.

     NOTE.--Articles to be consulted:--

     COLLIER (W. F.), "Dartmoor," in _Transactions of the Devonshire
     Association_ for 1876.

  COLLIER (W. F.), "Venville Rights on Dartmoor," _ibid._, 1887.
       "          "Dartmoor for Devonshire," _ibid._, 1894.
       "          "Sport on Dartmoor," _ibid._, 1895.



     Origin of Okehampton obscure--The Ockments--Moor
     seekers--Okehampton Castle--French prisoners--Church--Belstone
     and Taw Marsh--Cranmere Pool--Tavy Cleave--South
     Zeal--Prehistoric monuments--An evening at the "Oxenham
     Arms"--The Oxenham white bird--Mining misadventures--"Old
     vayther"--Ecclesiological excursions--Early Christian monuments.

What brought Okehampton into existence? It is not fathered by
the castle, nor mothered by the church. Both have withdrawn to a
distance and repudiated responsibility in the stunted bantling. It
"growed not of itself," like Topsy, for it did not grow at all; it

Sourton Down on the west, Whiddon Down on the east--where the devil,
it is reported, caught cold--Dartmoor on the south, shut Okehampton
in. It was open only to the wintry north, where population is sparse.

Formerly, once in the day, once only did the mail coach traverse
the one long street, ever on the yawn, and this was the one throb
of life that ran through it. No passenger descended from the coach,
no meals were taken, no lodging for the night was sought. The mails
were dropped and the coach passed away.

[Illustration: TAW MARSH]

There were, in Okehampton, no manufacture, no business, no
pleasure even, for it had no assembly balls, no neighbourhood.
Okehampton was among towns what the earth-worm is in the order
of animated nature, a digestive tube, but with digestive faculty
undeveloped. Now all is changed. The War Office has established
a summer barrack on the heights above it, and life--in some
particulars in undesirable excess--has manifested itself. Trade has
sprung up: a lesson in life--never to despair of any place, any more
than of any man. It has an office to fill, a function to perform,
if only patience be exercised and time allowed. But if Okehampton
in itself considered as a town be ugly and uninteresting, the
neighbourhood abounds in objects of interest, and the situation is
full of beauty.

Two brawling rivers, the East and the West Ockments, dance down from
the moors and unite at the town; and if each be followed upwards
scenes of rare wildness and picturesque beauty will be found.

It is towered over by Yes Tor and Cosdon, two of the highest points
on Dartmoor, and some of the moor scenery, with its tumbled ranges
of rocky height, is as fine as anything in the county of Devon.

The Ockment (_uisg-maenic_)[21] or stony water, gives its name
to the place; the Saxon planted his _tun_ at the junction of the
streams, whereas the earlier _dun_ of the Briton was on the height
above the East Ockment. Baldwin the Sheriff was given a manor
there, and he set to work to build a castle, in the days of the
Conqueror. Some of his work may be seen in the foundations of the
keep. He took rolled granite blocks out of the river bed and built
with them. But later, when the neck of slate rock was cut through on
which the castle stands, so as to isolate it from the hill to which
it was once connected, then the stone thus excavated was employed
to complete the castle keep. Baldwin de Moels, or Moules, was the
sheriff, and his descendants bore _mules_ on their coat armour. The
castle and manor remained in the hands of the de Moels and Avenells
till the reign of Henry II., when they were given to Matilda
d'Avranches, whose daughter brought it into the Courtenay family.

  [21] The Ock (_uisg_, water) occurs elsewhere. The Oke-brook flows
  into the West Dart below Huckaby Bridge; and Huckaby is Ock-a-boe.
  The earlier name of the Blackabrook must have been Ock, for the
  bridge over it is Okery.

The castle stands half a mile from the town. "Okehampton Castle,"
says Mr. Worth, "differs from the other ancient castles of Devon
in several noteworthy features. Most of the Norman fortalices,
whether in this county or in Cornwall, have round shell keeps, as at
Plympton and Totnes, Restormel and Launceston, may be seen to this
day. The typical Norman castles, with the true square keeps, were
fewer in number, but, as a rule, of greater comparative importance.
Among them, that of Okehampton occupies what may be regarded as a
middle position. More important than Lydford in its adjuncts, it
must have been much inferior to Exeter--Rougemont; nor in its later
phases can it ever have compared with the other Courtenay hold at
Tiverton, as a residence, with their present seat at Powderham, or
in extent and defensive power with the stronghold of the Pomeroys
at Berry. Nevertheless, in the early Middle Ages it must have been
regarded as a place of no little strength and dignity, when the
Courtenays had completed what the Redverses began."

The keep is planted on a mound that has been artificially formed by
paring away of a natural spur of hill; it is approached by a gradual
slope from the east, along which, connected with the mound by
curtain walls, are the remains of two ranges of buildings, north and
south. On the north is the hall, and adjoining it the cellar; on the
south guard-rooms and chapel, and above the former were the lord's
rooms. A barbican remains at the foot of the hill. The whole is
small and somewhat wanting in dignity and picturesqueness. All the
buildings except the keep were erected at the end of the thirteenth

In the chapel may be seen, cut in the Hatherleigh freestone, "Hic
V...t fuit captivus belli, 1809." In the churchyard are graves of
other French prisoners. Many were buried, or supposed to have been
buried, at Princetown, where the prisons were erected for their
accommodation. Recently, in making alterations and enlarging the
churchyard there, several of their graves have been opened, and the
coffins were discovered to be _empty_. Either the escape of the
prisoners of war was connived at, and they were reported as dead and
buried, or else their bodies were given, privately, for dissection.

Okehampton Church was burnt down in 1842, with the exception of
the fine tower. It was rebuilt immediately after, and, considering
the period when this was done, it is better than might have been
expected. The chapel of S. James in the town was "restored" in a
barbarous manner some thirty years later.

Finely situated, with its back against rich woods, is Oaklands
House, built by a timber merchant named Atkyns, who made his fortune
in the European war, and who changed his name to Saville. It is now
the property of Colonel Holley. On the ridge above the station is
a camp. The East Ockment should be followed up to Cullever Steps.
On the slope of the Belstone Common is a circle called the Nine
Maidens, but there are a good many more than nine stones. These are
said to dance on Midsummer night, and to be petrified damsels who
insisted on dancing on a Sunday when they ought to have been at
church. The circle is no true "sacred circle," but the remains of a
hut circle consisting of double facing of upright slabs, formerly
filled in with smaller stone between.

One of the most interesting excursions that can be made from
Okehampton is to Belstone and the Taw Marsh. This was once a fine
lake, but has been filled up with rubble brought down from the tors.
At the head of the marsh stands Steeperton Tor, 1739 feet, rising
boldly above the marsh, with the Taw brawling down a slide of rock
and rubble on the right. This is one way by which Cranmere Pool may
be reached. Cranmere is popularly supposed to derive its name from
the cranes that it is conjectured may have resorted to it, but as
no such birds have been seen there, or would be likely to go where
there is neither fish nor spawn, the derivation must be abandoned.

[Illustration: YES TOR]

It is more probably derived from _cren_, Cornish "round," or from
_crenne_, to quake, as the pool is in the heart of bogs. It lies
at the height of over 1750 feet, in the midst of utter desolation,
where the peat is chapped and seamed and is of apparently great
depth. But the pool itself is nothing. Gradually the peat has
encroached upon it, till almost nothing but a puddle remains.

In this vast boggy district rise the Tavy, the two Ockments, the
Taw, the North Teign, and the two Darts. The nearest elevation is
Cut Hill, that reaches 1981 feet, and Whitehorse Hill, 1974. Across
this desolate waste there is but one track from Two Bridges to
Lydford, narrow, and only to be taken by one, if on horseback, who
knows the way. On each hand is unfathomed bog. Cut Hill takes its
name from a cleft cut through the walls of peat to admit a passage
to Fur Tor.

Even in this wilderness there are cairns covering the dead. One is
led to suppose that they cover peculiarly restless beings, who were
taken as far as possible from the habitations of men. I remember
seeing a cairn in Iceland in a howling waste that in historic times
was raised over one Glâmr who would not lie quiet in his grave, but
walked about and broke the backs of the living, or frightened them
to death. He was dug up and transported as far as could be into the
wilderness, his head cut off and placed as a cushion for his trunk
to sit on, and then reburied.

Cranmere Pool, though but a puddle, deserves a visit. The intense
desolation of the spot is impressive. On such solitary stretches,
where not a sound of life, not the cry of a curlew, nor the hum of
an insect is heard, I have known a horse stand still and tremble and
sweat with fear. Here a few plants becoming rare elsewhere may still
be found.

There is a story told in Okehampton of a certain Benjamin Gayer,
who was mayor there in 1673 and 1678, and died in 1701, that he is
condemned nightly to go from Okehampton to Cranmere to bale out the
pond with a thimble that has a hole in it.

Tavy Cleave may be visited from Okehampton or from Tavistock. There
is but one way in which it ought to be visited to see it in its
glory. Take the train to Bridestowe and walk thence to the "Dartmoor
Inn." Strike thence due east, cross the brawling Lyd by steps to
Doe Tor Farm, and thence aim for Hare Tor: keep to the right of
the head of the tor and strike for some prongs of rock that appear
south-east, and when you reach these you have beneath you 1000 feet,
the ravine of the Tavy as it comes brawling down from the moor and
plunges over a bar of red granite into a dark pool below. Far away
to the north comes the Rattle Brook, dancing down trout-laden from
Amicombe Hill and Lynx Tor, and to the east in like desolation rises
Fur Tor, set in almost impassable bogs.

Between the Cleave rocks and Ger Tor is a settlement with hut
circles well preserved, but one in a far better condition lies
beyond the Tavy on Standon.

Tavy Cleave is fine from below, but incomparably finer when seen
from above.

In June it is a veritable pixy fruit garden for luxuriance and
abundance of purple whortleberries.

All the veins of water forming depressions have been at some remote
period laboriously streamed.

Another interesting excursion may be made to South Zeal. The old
coach-road ran through this quaint place, but the new road leaves
it on one side. A few years ago it was more interesting than it
is now, as some of the old houses have recently been removed. It,
however, repays a visit. Situated at the opening of the Taw Cleave,
under Cosdon Beacon, it is a little world to itself. The well-to-do
community have extensive rights of common, and of late have been
ruthlessly enclosing. None can oppose them, as all are agreed to
grab and appropriate what they can. This has led to much destruction
of prehistoric remains. There was at one time a circle of standing
stones from eight to nine feet high. This has gone; so has an
avenue of upright stones on the common leading to West Week. But
another of stones, that are, however, small, starting from a cairn
that contains two small kistvaens, is beside and indeed crosses
the moor-track leading towards Rayborough Pool; and on Whitmoor is
a circle still fairly intact, though three or four of the largest
uprights have been broken and removed to serve as gate-posts. Near
this is the Whitmoor Stone, a menhir, spared as it constitutes a
parish boundary.

In South Zeal is a little granite chapel, and before it is a very
stately cross. The inn, the "Oxenham Arms," was formerly the
mansion of the Burgoynes. I spent there an amusing evening a few
winters ago. I had gone there with my friend Mr., now Dr., Bussell
collecting folk-songs, for I remembered hearing many sung there when
I was a boy some forty years before. I had worked the place for
two or three days previously, visiting and "yarning" with some of
the old singers, till shyness was broken down and good-fellowship
established. Then I invited them to meet me at the "Oxenham Arms" in
the evening.

But when the evening arrived the inn was crowded with men. The
women--wives and daughters--were dense in the passage, and outside
boys stood on each other's shoulders flattening their noses, so that
they looked like dabs of putty, against the window-panes. Evidently
a grand concert was expected, and the old men rose to the occasion,
and stood up in order and sang--but only modern songs--to suit the

However, the ice was broken, and during the next few days we had
them in separately to sup with us, and after supper and a glass,
over a roaring fire, they sang lustily some of the old songs drawn
up from the bottom-most depths of their memory. There were "Lucky"
Fewins, and old Charles Arscott, and lame Radmore, James Glanville,
and Samuel Westaway, the cobbler. I remember one of them was
stubborn; he would not allow me to take down the words of a song
of his--not a very ancient one either--but did not object to the
"pricking" of the tune. It was not till two years after that he gave
way and surrendered the words.

The old house of the Oxenham family is in the neighbourhood, but
has passed away into other hands. To this family belonged, there
can be little doubt, the John Oxenham who was such an adventurous
seaman and explorer in the Elizabethan days. He was one of those who
accompanied Francis Drake in the expedition to Nombre de Dios in
1572, and afterwards, in an adventure on his own account, was the
first Englishman who launched a keel on the Pacific Ocean, or South
Sea, as it was then called. He fell into the hands of the Spaniards,
and was carried to Lima, where he was executed as a pirate. His
story has been worked into Kingsley's _Westward Ho!_ The omen of the
appearance of a white bird before death, supposed to belong to the
family, is there effectively introduced.

The house of Oxenham is of the last century, and was built about
the year 1714, the date which is sculptured on one of the granite
pillars of the entrance gates. The family does not seem to have
been qualified to bear arms in 1620, the last Herald's visitation,
but the coat borne by the family is _ar. a fess embattled between 3
oxen sa._ The story is told that once upon a time a certain Margaret
Oxenham was about to be married to the man of her choice. In the
midst of the preparations on the wedding morn, when all was going
merrily, the white bird appeared and hovered over the bride-elect.
The ceremony, however, proceeded, and at the altar of South Tawton
the hapless bride was stabbed to death by a rejected lover.

There is a remarkably circumstantial printed account of some
appearances of the family omen in the year 1635 in a very rare
tract, entitled, _A True Relation of an Apparition in the likenesse
of a Bird with a white brest, that appeared hovering over the
Death-Beds of some of the children of Mr. James Oxenham, of Sale
Monachorum, Devon, Gent._ Prefixed to the tract is a quaint engraved
frontispiece. It is in four compartments; in each of the first three
is a representation of a person lying in a bed of the four-post
type, and in the fourth is a child in a wicker cradle. Over each
individual is a bird on the wing, hovering. At the foot of these
pictorial compartments are the names of those above whom the bird
appears: John Oxenham, aged 21; Thomasine, wife of James Oxenham the
younger, aged 22; Rebecca Oxenham, aged 8, and Thomasine, a babe.

This tract may have been provoked by a letter of James Howell to
"Mr. E. D.," dated 3rd July, 1632, and written from Westminster:--

     "I can tell you of a strange thing I saw lately here, and I
     believe 't is true. As I pass'd by St. Dunstans in Fleet-street
     the last Saturday, I stepp'd into a Lapidary, or stone-cutter's
     shop, to treat with the Master for a stone to be put upon my
     Father's Tomb; and casting my eyes up and down, I might spie a
     huge Marble with a large inscription upon 't, which was thus to
     my best remembrance:--

     "'_Here lies_ John Oxenham, _a goodly young man, in whose
     chamber, as he was struggling with the Pangs of Death, a Bird
     with a white brest was seen fluttering about his Bed, and so

     "'_Here lies_ Mary Oxenham, _the sister of the said_ John, _who
     died the next day, and the same Apparition was seen in the

     "Then another sister is spoke of. Then:--

     "'_Here lies hard by_ James Oxenham, _the son of the said_ John,
     _who dyed a Child in his Cradel a little after, and such a Bird
     was seen fluttering about his head, a little before he expir'd,
     which vanish'd afterwards_.'

     "At the bottome of the Stone ther is:--

     "'_Here lies_ Elizabeth Oxenham, _the Mother of the said_ John,
     _who died sixteen years since, when such a Bird with a white
     Brest was seen about her bed before her death_.'

     "To all these ther be divers Witnesses, both Squires and Ladies,
     whose names are engraven upon the Stone. This Stone is to be
     sent to a Town hard by Exeter, wher it happen 'it."[22]

  [22] _Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ_, 5th edition, p. 232. London, 1678.

There are several suspicious points about the story. No such a
monument exists or has existed in South Tawton Church, nor is one
such known to have been set up in any other in the county. The stone
was of marble, and therefore not for the graveyard, but for the
interior of the church.

According to the registers there was a John Oxenham, _senior_, died,
and was buried May 2nd, 1630, but not one of the others mentioned.
There were two John Oxenhams in the parish: John, son of James and
Elizabeth, born in 1613; and John, son of William and Mary, born in
1614. Mary was the sister of the latter, and their father was the
village doctor. But it was Elizabeth, according to Howell, who was
the mother. No James, son of John, was baptised at the time at South
Tawton. Elizabeth, the mother, according to Howell, died about 1616.
No such a person was buried at South Tawton at any date near that.

The persons named in the tract of 1635--three years after Howell's
letter--are also four, but they are of Zeal Monachorum. But the name
of Oxenham does not occur at all in the registers of that parish,
and in the tract, apparently, South Zeal has been mistaken for Zeal
Monachorum.[23] In the first edition of Howell's epistles there is
no date to the letter; that was supplied later, probably by the
publisher. Now it is curious that in 1635 the name John Oxenham
does occur as having been buried at South Tawton on July 31st,
aged twenty-one. He was baptised July 10th, 1614. But there are no
entries of Thomasine, wife of James, nor of Rebecca, aged eight,
either baptised or buried; nor of Thomasine the babe.

  [23] The author of the tract could not find any _parish_ of Zeal
  in Devonshire except Zeal Monachorum, where, as he did _not_ know,
  there were no Oxenhams, and so he converted the hamlet of Zeal in
  South Tawton, where the Oxenhams _were_ at home, into the Zeal where
  they were not.

In the tract we are informed that the white-breasted bird appeared
when Grace, the grandmother of John Oxenham, died, in 1618.

And in fact we do find in the South Tawton registers for that date,
September 2nd, 1618, Grace, the wife of John Oxenham, was buried.

That Howell's quotation from memory refers to the same four as are
named in the tract is, I think, probable. He had not seen the tract,
or he would have quoted the names correctly. The letter was not
written at the date added to it at a later period, but in the same
year as the tract appeared, when he was a prisoner in the Fleet for
debt. Whether he ever saw the monument may be doubted, and he may
have merely written for publication with mention of the story which
he had from hearsay. As to the tract, it was one of those pious
frauds by no means uncommon among the "goody-goody" writers of that
and other days, and the incident of the white-breasted bird was an
invention employed to "catch" the attention of readers, and lead on
to the moral and pious sentiments that stuff the remainder of the
tract. The trick of giving a list of witnesses was one resorted to
by the ballad and tract mongers of the period, and it is noticeable
that those whose names are appended as witnesses never existed at
South Zeal, in South Tawton parish.

When once this pious fraud had been launched, it rolled on by its
own weight, and it became a point of honour in the family to uphold
it; and plenty of after-apparitions were feigned or fancied to have
been seen.

The whole story of the alleged appearances of the white bird has
been gone into with thoroughness by Mr. Cotton, of Exeter, who to
some extent credits it; that is to say, he thinks that some real
instances of birds fluttering at the window may have given rise
to the story. But the basis is rotten, and the superstructure
accordingly will not stand.[24]

  [24] COTTON (R. W.), "The Oxenham Omen," in _Transactions of the
  Devonshire Association_, 1882.

A mine had been worked formerly above South Zeal. It had been under
a "captain," of practical experience but no scientific knowledge.
It yielded a small but steady profit. Then the directors and
shareholders became impatient. They discharged the old captain,
and sent down a fellow who had passed through the mining college,
had scientific geology and mineralogy at his fingers' ends. He
scouted the machinery that had been hitherto in use, sneered at the
old-fashioned methods that had been pursued, boasted of what he was
going to do, revolutionised the mine, reorganised the plant, had all
the old machinery cast aside, or sold for old iron; had down new and
costly apparatus--then came heavy calls on the shareholders--renewed
calls--and there was an end of profits, and as _finis_ a general

Some years ago a great fraud was committed in the neighbourhood. It
was rumoured that gold was to be found in the gozen--the refuse from
the mines. All who had old mines on their land sent up specimens
to London, and received reports that there was a specified amount
of gold in what was forwarded. Some, to be sure that there was no
deception, went up with their specimens and saw them ground, washed,
and analysed, and the gold extracted. So large orders were sent up
for gozen-crushing machines. These came down, were set to work, and
no gold was then found. The makers of the machines had introduced
gold-dust into the water that was used in the washing of the crushed
stone. I made use of this incident in my novel _John Herring_.

But to return to the singers. Here is a song of local origin, which,
however, I did not obtain from these South Zeal singers. I must
premise that the local pronunciation of Okehampton is Ockington.

    At Ockington, in Devonshire,
    Old vayther lived vor many a year.
    And I along wi' he did dwell
    Nigh Dartimoor 'tes knawed vull well.


    It happ'nd on a zartain day,
    Vour score o' sheep--they rinned astray.
    Zeth vayther, Jack go arter'n, yū.
    Zez I--Be darned if ee'r I dū.


    Purvokèd at my sāacy tongue,
    A dish o' brāath at me he flung.
    Then fu' o' wrath, as poppy red
    I knacked old vayther on the head.


    Then drayed wor I to Ex't'r jail,
    There to be tried--allowed no bail,
    And at next Easter 'zizes I
    Condemnèd was therefor to die.


    Young men and maydens all, I pray
    Take warnin' by my tragedy.
    Rin arter sheep when they are strayed,
    And don't knack vaythers on the 'ead.


South Tawton Church is fine. The restorer has taken the monumental
slabs, sawn them in half, and employed them for lining the drain
round the church, thus destroying the historical records of the
parish. This is the more to be regretted, as a fire that occurred in
the parsonage has seriously damaged the old registers. There is a
fine Wyke monument in the church.

But by far the most interesting church within an excursion of
Okehampton is Bratton Clovelly, which, although not large, has a
stately grandeur internally that is very impressive. Much money
has been spent in "restoring" this church. The glass is good,
but the new work in wood and alabaster is barely passable. North
Lew Church contains very fine old oak, beside modern woodwork of
poverty-stricken design.

There are some early Christian monuments near Okehampton, a well at
Sticklepath with an inscribed stone by it, and another inscribed
stone by the roadside from Okehampton to Exeter.

     NOTE.--Books that may be consulted:--

     BRIDGES (M. B.), _Some Account of the Barony and Town of
     Okehampton_. New edition, Tiverton, 1889.

     WORTH (R. N.), "Okehampton Castle," in _Transactions of the
     Devonshire Association_, 1895.



     Moreton Church--The almshouse--The dancing tree--Other dancing
     trees--The vintner's bush--The calculating boy--Life of Mr.
     Bidder--The ravens of Brennan--Grimspound--The Great Central
     Trackway--Stone rows--The Lych Way--Churches--Bowerman's
     Nose--Ashton--The Duchess of Kingston--Hennock--The Loveys
     family--Parson Harris--John Cann's Rocks--Lustleigh
     Cleave--Hound Tor and Hey Tor Rocks--Widecombe--The Ballad of
     Tom Pearse.

Moreton, with its whitewashed cottages and thatched roofs, has a
primitive appearance, and withal a look of cleanliness. It is now
the fashion to go to Chagford, which has been much puffed, but
Moreton makes quite as good a headquarters for Dartmoor excursions.

It has a fine church of the usual type, that was gutted at its
so-called restoration, and a remarkably fine carved oak screen was
turned out, but happily secured by the late Earl of Devon, who gave
it to Whitchurch, near Tavistock. A few years ago the fine screen of
South Brent was thrown out when the church was made naked under the
pretence of restoration, and allowed to rot in an outhouse.

Moreton undoubtedly at one time was a town in the moors, and the
bold ridge that runs from Hell Tor to Hennock to the east was till
comparatively recently furze-and-heather-clad moor.

An object of singular picturesqueness in Moreton is the almshouse,
with the date of 1637, with a charming arcade of granite stunted
pillars. Opposite another almshouse has been erected in modern
times, to show how badly we can do things now when our forefathers
did things well.

In the same street is the base of the old village cross and the head
of the same broken off. In the place of the cross the "Dancing Tree"
has sprung up, that has been made use of by Mr. Blackmore in his
novel of _Christowel_. The tree in question is unhappily now in a
condition to be danced round, not any longer to be danced upon.

The tree is an elm, and it grows out of the basement of the old
village cross, the lower steps of which engirdle the trunk; and a
fragment of the head of the cross lies just below. The tree must
have sprung up after the destruction of the cross, or, possibly
enough, it was itself the cause of destruction, much in the same way
as trees have destroyed and rent in sunder the tomb of Lady Anne
Grimstone, in Tewin churchyard.

Of this latter the story goes that Lady Anne on her deathbed
declared that she could not and would not believe in the
resurrection of the body. Rather, she was reported to have said,
will I hold that nine trees shall spring out of my dead body.

Now in process of time the great stone sepulchral mass placed over
her grave split asunder, and through the rents issued the shoots
of nine trees, six ash and three sycamores, together with great
trunks and coils of ivy, that among them have tossed up and hold in
suspense the fragments of Lady Anne's tomb. The story is of course
made to account for the phenomenon.

But to return to the Cross Tree, Moreton Hampstead. The elm, grown
to a considerable size, was pollarded and had its branches curiously
trained, so that the upper portion was given the shape of a table.
On this tree-top it was customary on certain occasions to lay a
platform, railed round, access to which was obtained by a ladder,
and on this tree-top dancing took place.

The following extracts taken from a journal kept by an old
gentleman, a native and inhabitant of Moreton Hampstead at the
beginning of this century, are interesting as giving us some actual
dates upon which festivities took place on the tree.

     "June 4th, 1800.--His Majesty's birthday. Every mark of loyalty
     was shown. In the afternoon a concert of instrumental music was
     held on the Cross Tree.

     "August 28th, 1801.--The Cross Tree floored and seated round,
     with a platform, railed on each side, from the top of an
     adjoining garden wall to the tree, and a flight of steps
     in the garden for the company to ascend. After passing the
     platform they enter under a grand arch formed of boughs. There
     is sufficient room for thirty persons to sit around, and six
     couples to dance, besides the orchestra. From the novelty of
     this rural apartment it is expected much company will resort
     there during the summer.

     "August 19th, 1807.--This night the French officers[25]
     assembled on the Cross Tree with their band of music. They
     performed several airs with great taste."

  [25] Prisoners of war staying on parole at Moreton Hampstead.

Unfortunately, and to the great regret of the inhabitants of
Moreton, the tree was wrecked by a gale on October 1st, 1891, when
the force of the wind was so great that the ancient elm could
not withstand it, and at about a quarter past two o'clock in the
afternoon most of the upper part was blown down, carrying with it
a large piece of the trunk, which is quite hollow. This latter has
been replaced and securely fastened.

A recent visit to the Cross Tree shows that the old elm is not
prepared to die yet; it has thrown forth vigorous spray and has
tufted its crown with green leaves.

Moreton tree is not the only dancing tree in the West of England. On
the high road from Exeter to Okehampton, near Dunsford, is a similar
tree, but an oak, and this was woven and extended and fashioned into
a flat surface.

The story in the neighbourhood used to be that the Fulfords, of
Great Fulford, held their lands on the singular tenure that they
should dine once a year on the top of the tree, and give a dance
there to their tenants. But this usage has long been discontinued.
The Fulfords are at Great Fulford still, notwithstanding.

Again another dancing tree is at Trebursaye, near Launceston. This
also is an oak, but is now in a neglected condition and has lost
most of its original form, looking merely as a peculiarly crabbed
and tortured old tree. Here anciently a ghost was wont to be seen,
that of a woman who had fallen from it during a dance and broken her
neck, and many stories were afloat relative to horses taking fright
at night and running away with the riders, or of passers-by on foot
who were so scared as to be unable to pursue their journey, through
seeing the dead woman dancing on the tree. At length matters became
so serious that Parson Ruddle, vicar of Launceston, a notable man
in his way, and famous as a ghost-layer, was induced to go to the
tree at nightfall and exorcise the unquiet spirit. The ghost had so
effectually frightened people that the dances on the top of the tree
had been discontinued. They were never resumed.

According to tradition there was again another dancing tree on the
road from Okehampton to Launceston, near the village of Lifton.
This tree was held to be the earliest to put forth leaves in all
the country round. Entertainments were given on it, but it has
disappeared, and the only reminiscence of it remained till recently
in "The Royal Oak" Inn, hard by which the old dancing tree stood.

There is yet another, the Meavy Oak, sometimes called the Gospel
Oak, for it is supposed that preaching was made from the steps of
the village cross that stands before it. The oak, however, is of
vast age. It is referred to in deeds almost to the Conquest, and
that it was a sacred tree to which a certain amount of reverence
was given is probable enough. The cross was set up under its shadow
to consecrate it, and probably to put an end to superstitious rites
done there. Anyhow this tree till within this century was, on the
village festival, surrounded with poles, a platform was erected
above the tree, the top of which was kept clipped flat like a
table, and a set of stairs erected, by means of which the platform
could be reached.

On the top a table and chairs were set, and feasting took place.
Whether dancing I cannot say, but in all probability in former
generations there was dancing there as well as feeding and drinking.
These trees where dancing took place are precisely the May-pole in
a more primitive form. The May-pole is a makeshift for an actual
tree; a pole was brought and set up and adorned with flowers and
green boughs, and then danced round. There was in Cornwall, and
indeed elsewhere, a grand exodus from the towns and villages to the
greenwood on May Day, when the lads and lasses at a very early hour
went in quest of May bushes, green boughs and flowers wherewith to
decorate the improvised May tree. This was then decorated profusely,
and the merry-makers danced about it; ate, drank, and rose up to
play, precisely as of old did the Israelites about the Golden Calf
in the wilderness of Sinai.

And most assuredly in early times, before Christianity had been
established, those dances and revels about a sacred tree, whether
naturally grown or whether manufactured as a May-pole, were an
act of religious worship addressed to the spirit of vegetation
manifesting itself in full vigour in spring.

When S. Boniface strove to bring the Saxons to the knowledge of the
truth, he cast down the great oak of Fritzlar which had received
divine honours. In this lived the spirit of fertility, and till it
fell beneath his axe, Boniface was well aware that he could not
triumph over the popular superstition.

S. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, who visited Britain to expose the
Pelagian heresy, was himself guilty before his ordination of paying
superstitious reverence to a pear tree. He had been a hunter, and
it was customary for those who returned from the chase to suspend
in the tree the heads and antlers of the game killed, as an act
of homage to the spirit that inhabited it. The Bishop Amator
remonstrated, but in vain. Then one day, when Germanus was out
hunting, Amator cut the tree down.

That some lingering notion of veneration due to trees hung on, and
was regarded as savouring of something not orthodox, is perhaps
shown by the following incident, which is perfectly true. It was
told me by the person concerned. A new parson had been appointed to
a remote parish in one of the north-western dales of Yorkshire under
the Fells. Not being a native of Yorkshire, but a southerner, he
was eyed with suspicion, and his movements were watched. Now in the
parsonage garden was a large tree, and about the roots was a bed of
violets. The suspicious villagers observed the pastor as he walked
round the tree and every now and then bowed to pick a violet. This
proceeding took place daily. Why he bowed they could not understand,
unless it were in homage to the tree, and they actually drew up a
memorial to the Archbishop of York complaining of their parson as
guilty of idolatrous tree-worship.

The bush hung out of a wine-shop signified that within were
drinking and dancing. The bush is but the sacred tree reduced to its
smallest dimensions, and the drinking and dancing that in former
times took place around the tree are now relegated to within the
house, but the bush is retained to symbolise roystering and mirth.
I remember the case of a gentleman who "went off his head;" his
family were reluctant to allow it to transpire. But one day a climax
was put to his eccentricities by his thrusting the stable broom out
at an upper window, and proclaiming, "This bush is to give notice,
that within I have got two marriageable daughters on sale. Sherry
stood all round. Going to the highest bidder. Going--going----" His
wife caught him by the shoulders, twisted him about, and said: "Gone
completely--and off to the asylum you shall pack at once."

Moreton Hampstead was the birthplace of that remarkable genius
George Parker Bidder. He was born in very humble circumstances,
his father having been a stonemason; and at the age of seven, when
his talent first became apparent, he did not know the meaning of
the word "multiplication," nor could he read the common numerical


An elder brother had taught him to count to one hundred. His great
haunt was the forge of the village blacksmith, a kindly old man,
about whom more presently. In his workshop neighbours would gather
to prove the boy with hard questions involving figures, as it soon
became known that he had an extraordinary faculty for calculation.
The earliest public notice of this that has been met with is in a
letter dated January 19th, 1814, and signed "I. Isaac," printed
in the _Monthly Magazine_ (xxxvii. 104).

     "SIR,--Having heard that George Parker Bidder, seven years of
     age," (he was really seven months over the seven years, as he
     was born June 14th, 1806) "has a peculiar talent for combining
     numbers, I sent for him, desired him to read a few verses of
     the New Testament, and found he could scarcely do it even by
     spelling many words; and knew not the numbers of the letters
     from one to ten." (Mr. Isaac then asked him several questions in
     the first four rules of arithmetic, to each of which he replied
     correctly and readily. He then proceeds to say): "I then asked
     him how many days are in two years. But here he was at a stand,
     did not know what a year is, or how many hours are in a day,
     but having the terms explained, he soon made out the hours in a
     week, in a month, in twelve months. When asked how many inches
     are in a square foot, he soon signified that he knew neither of
     the terms, nor how many inches a foot contains, but with the
     aid of explanation he soon made out the number 1728; and when
     desired to multiply this by twelve, he complained the number was
     too large, but having time, about two minutes, he made out the
     number 20,738."

His father now took him over the country to exhibit his wonderful
powers. In 1815 he was presented to Queen Charlotte. He is said to
have been a singularly bright and prepossessing boy. In a memoir in
the _Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers_ (lvii. pp.
294) we read:--

     "Travelling about the country, for the purpose of exhibiting his
     son's powers, proved so agreeable and profitable to his father,
     that the boy's education was entirely neglected. Fortunately,
     however, amongst those who witnessed his public performances
     were some gentlemen who thought they discerned qualities worthy
     of a better career than that of a mere arithmetical prodigy.
     The Rev. Thomas Jephson and the late Sir John Herschel visited
     Moreton in the autumn of 1817, to see the 'Calculating Boy,'
     and they were so much impressed by his talent and general
     intelligence that before the vacation was over Mr. Jephson and
     his Cambridge friends agreed to defray the expenses of his
     education, and he was placed with the master of the grammar
     school at Camberwell. There he remained for about a twelvemonth,
     when his father insisted on removing him, for the purpose of
     resuming the exhibition of his talents. Among other places, he
     was taken to Edinburgh, where he attracted the notice of Sir
     Henry Jardine, who, with the assistance of some friends, became
     responsible for his education. Bidder was then placed with a
     private tutor, and afterwards, in 1819, he attended the classes
     at the University of Edinburgh."

He quitted Edinburgh in 1824, and was given a post in the Ordnance
Survey. In April, 1825, he quitted the Ordnance Survey and was
engaged as assistant to Mr. H. R. Palmer, a civil engineer.

It is deserving of remembrance that George Bidder's first care when
starting in the world was to provide for the education of his two
younger brothers, and for that purpose this lad of eighteen stinted
and saved, denying himself all but the barest necessities.

In 1833 he superintended the construction of the Blackwall Wharf,
and in 1834 joined George and Robert Stephenson, whom he had known
in Edinburgh.

Experience showed him the importance of electric communication
between stations; he introduced it on the Blackwall and Yarmouth
railways, and became one of the principal founders of the Electric
Telegraph Company.

In hydraulic engineering his chief works were the construction of
Lowestoft Harbour and the Victoria Docks at North Woolwich.

     "Mr. Bidder took a distinguished part in the great parliamentary
     contests which attended the establishment of railways. His
     wonderful memory, his power of instantaneous calculation, his
     quick perception and readiness at repartee, caused him to
     be dreaded by hostile lawyers, one of whom made a fruitless
     application before a committee in the House of Lords that Mr.
     Bidder should not be allowed to remain in the room, because
     'Nature,' he said, 'had endowed him with qualities that did not
     place his opponents on a fair footing.'

     "A remarkable instance of Mr. Bidder's wonderful readiness
     and power of mental numeration occurred in connexion with the
     passing of the Act for the North Staffordshire Railway.

     "There were several competing lines, and the object of Mr.
     Bidder's party was to get rid of as many as possible on Standing
     Orders. They had challenged the accuracy of the levels of one of
     the rival lines, but upon the examination before the Committee
     on Standing Orders their opponents' witnesses were as positive
     as those of the North Staffordshire, and apparently were likely
     to command greater credence.

     "Fortunately Mr. Bidder was present, and when the surveyors of
     the opposing lines were called to prove the levels at various
     points he asked to see their field-books, which he looked at
     apparently in the most cursory manner, and quietly put down
     without making a note or any observation, and as though he
     had seen nothing worthy of notice. When the surveyors had
     completed their proofs Mr. Bidder, who had carried on in his
     own mind a calculation of the heights noted in all the books,
     not merely of the salient points upon which the witnesses had
     been examined, but also of the intermediate rises and falls
     noted in the several books, suddenly exclaimed that he would
     demonstrate to the Committee that the section was wrong. He then
     went rapidly through a calculation which took all by surprise,
     and clearly proved that if the levels were as represented at one
     point they could not possibly be as represented at another and
     distant point. The result was that the errors in the levels were
     reported, and the Bill was not allowed to proceed."[26]

  [26] Obituary Notice in _Transactions of the Devonshire
  Association_, 1879. See also that for 1886, pp. 309-15.

Some of his extraordinary achievements have been reported, but they
are somewhat doubtful. It will be best to quote only one that is
well authenticated from the _Proceedings of the Institute of Civil
Engineers_ (lvii. 309).

     "On 26 September, 1878, being in his 73rd year, he was
     conversing with a mathematical friend on the subject of Light,
     when, it having been remarked that '36,918 pulses or waves of
     light, which only occupy 1 inch in length, are requisite to
     give the impression of red,' the friend 'suggested the query
     that, taking the velocity of light at 190,000 miles per second,
     how many of its waves must strike the eye and be registered in
     one second to give the colour red, and, producing a pencil,
     he was about to calculate the result, when Mr. Bidder said,
     'You need not work it; the number of vibrations will be

Mr. Bidder died suddenly from disease of the heart on September
20th, 1878, aged seventy-two years.

Mr. Bidder remembered many of the old stories of the moor told him
by the blacksmith in whose forge he spent so many hours.

I have given one in my chapter on Dartmoor and its tenants. Here is
another, as recorded by Miss Bidder, the daughter of Mr. George P.

There was a woman, and she lived at Brennan[27] on the moor. And
she had a baby. And one day she left her baby on the moor to play
and pick "urts" (whortleberries), and she hasted to Moreton town.
Now as she went she saw three ravens flying over her head from
Blackiston. And she said, "Where be you a goin' to, Ravens cruel?"
They answered, "Up to Brennan! up to Brennan!" She had not gone far
before she saw three more flying in the same direction. And again
she asked, "Where be you a goin' to, Ravens cruel? "And these three
likewise answered her, "Up to Brennan! up to Brennan!" Now when she
had gone somewhat further, and was drawing nigh to Moreton, again
she saw three ravens fly over her head, and for the third time she
put the same question and received the same answer. When in the
evening she returned to Brennan Moor, there no little baby's voice
welcomed her, for all that remained of her child was a heap of
well-picked white bones.

  [27] _Bran_, pl. _bryny_, Cornish, a crow.

Brennan is what is marked on the Ordnance Survey as Brinning, a
lonely spot south of Moreton Hampstead, and between it and North
Bovey. It seems to me that the story needs but a touch, and it
resolves itself into a ballad.


    Three ravens, they flew over Blackistone,
        Down-a-down, hey and hey!
    And loudly they laughed over Moreton town,
        Over Moreton town,
    Saying, Where and O where shall we dine to-day?
    On the moor, for sure, where runneth no way.

    As I sat a-swaying all in a tree,
        Down-a-down, hey and hey!
    I saw a sweet mother and her babie,
        And her babie,
    Saying, Sleep, O sleep. I'm to Moreton fair,
    For Babie and me to buy trinkets rare.

    As I was a-flying o'er Brennan Down,
        Down-a-down, hey and hey!
    I saw her a-wending her way to town,
        Away to town.
    Our dinners are ready, our feasting free,
    Away to Brennan, black brothers, with me.

    The babe upon Brennan, so cold and bare,
        Down-a-down, hey and hey!
    The mother a-gadding to Moreton fair,
        To Moreton fair.
    We'll laugh and we'll quaff the red blood free,
    There is plenty for all of us, brothers three.

    Three ravens flew over Blackistone,
        Down-a-down, hey and hey!
    And loudly they laughed over Moreton town,
        Over Moreton town.
    With an armful of toys, came mother, to none
    Save a little white huddle of well-picked bone.

[Illustration: GRIMSPOUND


From Moreton an expedition may be made to Grimspound.

This is an enclosure, prehistoric, on the slope between Hookner Tor
and Hameldon.

The circumference wall measures over 1500 feet, and was not for
defence against human foes, but served as a protection against
wolves. Grimslake, a small stream that dries up only in very hot
summers, flows through the enclosure at its northern extremity. It
passes under the wall, percolates through it for some way, and then
emerges three-quarters of the way down.

The pound was constructed where it is for two reasons: one, to take
advantage of the outcrop of granite that divides the waterways, and
which was largely exploited for the construction of the enclosure
wall and of the huts within; and the other, so as to have the
advantage of the stream flowing through the pound.

The entrance is to the south-south-east, and is paved in steps.
There are twenty-one huts within the pound; most of these have been
explored, and have revealed cooking-holes, beds of stone, and in
some a flat stone in the centre, apparently for the support of the
central pole sustaining the roof. Flints and rare potsherds have
been recovered.

The most perfect of the huts has been railed round, and not filled
in after clearing, that visitors may obtain some idea of these
structures in their original condition. This one has a sort of
vestibule walled against the prevailing wind. On the hill-top above
Grimspound, a little distance from the source of Grimslake, is a
cairn surrounded by a ring of stones; it contains a kistvaen in
the centre. On the hill opposite, the _col_ between Birch Tor and
Challacombe Common is a collection of stone rows leading to a menhir.

By ascending Hameldon, and walking along the ridge due south, the
Great Central Trackway is crossed, in very good condition, and a
cross stands beyond it.

On the left-hand side of the road under Shapley Tor, above a little
hollow and stream, before reaching the main road from Tavistock to
Moreton, may be seen a remarkably fine hut circle composed of very
large slabs of stone. On Watern Hill, at the back of the "Warren
Inn," or to be more exact, on that portion called Chagford Common,
are two double rows of upright stones leading from a cairn and small
menhir. The stones are small, but the rows are very perfect.

The Central Trackway to which I have alluded is a paved causeway,
the continuation of the Fosseway. It runs across Dartmoor. It can
be traced from Wray Barton, in Moreton Hampstead, where it crosses
the railway and the Moreton and Newton road. Thence a lane runs
on it to a cross-road; this it traverses, and is continued as a
practicable road by Langstone--where, as the name implies, there
was once a menhir--by Ford to Heytree, where is a cluster of hut
circles. Then it ascends Hameldon by Berry Pound, and becomes quite
distinct. From the cross on Hameldon it descends into the valley,
mounts Challacombe, and aims across the upper waters of the Webburn
for Merripit; on the marshy ground above the little field planted
round with beech at Post Bridge it can be seen. Road-menders have
broken up a portion of it, thus exposing a section. It traverses the
East Dart, and can be distinctly traced above Archerton, whence it
aims for Lower White Tor. It has been thought to be distinguished on
Mis Tor, and striking for Cox Tor, but I mistrust this portion, and
am inclined to think that the old Lych Way is its continuation from
Lidaford Tor, where it disappears. The Lych Way, or Corpse Road, is
that by which the dead were borne to burial at Lydford, till licence
was granted by Bishop Bronescombe in 1260 to such people on the moor
as were distant from their parish church, to recur to Widecombe
for their baptisms and interments. The Lych Way is still much used
for bringing in turf, and for the driving out and back of cattle.
The paved causeway is fine, but in parts it has been resolved by
centuries of use to a deep-cut furrow. It was said formerly that of
a night ghostly trains of mourners might be seen flitting along it.

There are extensive, and in some cases very ancient, stream works
at the head of the two Web-burns. Chaw Gully is an early effort in
mining. The rocks were not blasted, but cut by driving wedges or
cutting grooves into the stone, then filling the holes with lime and
pouring water over the quicklime, when the expansion split the rock.

Great quantities of tin have been extracted from these rude works;
how early and how late these are none can say. The same heaps have
been turned and turned again.

There are good screens in the churches of Bridford, Manaton,
Lustleigh--where is also an inscribed stone--Bovey Tracey, and North
Bovey; and beautiful scenery in Lustleigh Cleave and about Manaton.

Bowerman's Nose is a singular core of hard granite, left standing
on a hillside in the midst of a "clitter." The way in which it was
fashioned has been already described.

The valley of the Teign is beautiful throughout; it deserves a visit
both above and below Dunsford Bridge. Fingle has been spoken of in
the chapter devoted to Exeter. Below Dunsford the river should be
left to ascend a picturesque combe to Bridford, in order to visit
the very fine screen and pulpit.

Christow Church is good, and there is in the porch a stone, on which
is inscribed, "Nathaniel Busell, aet. 48 yeers, clark heere, dyed
19th Feb., 1631." Tradition asserts that he was shot where he lies
buried by the soldiers of the Parliament, who desired to enter and
deface the church; but Busell refused to deliver up the keys. In the
churchyard are some stately yews.

Ashton possesses a screen with paintings on it in admirable
preservation. Here was the seat of the family of that name from
which came Sir George, who, after the battle of Stratton, passed
over from the side of the Parliament to that of the king. Hence also
sprang the notorious Duchess of Kingston, the lovely Miss Chudleigh,
who was tried for bigamy in Westminster Hall by the peers in 1776,
and who was the original from whom Thackeray drew his detailed
portrait of Beatrice Esmond, both as young Trix and as the old
Baroness Bernstein. She has had hard measure dealt out to her, and
cruellest of all was that John Dunning, a native of her own part of
Devon, should have acted in the prosecution against her and insulted
her before the peers, so as to wring tears from her eyes. There can
be no question but that when she married the Duke of Kingston she
believed that her former clandestine marriage was invalid.[28]

  [28] I have told her story in my _Historic Oddities and Strange
  Events_. Methuen, 1889.

Further down the Teign, in a beautiful situation, is Canonteign,
an old mansion of the Davie family, well preserved. Hence Hennock
may be visited, lying high on the ridge between the Bovey and the
Teign. Of this place Murray in his _Handbook_ told the following
story:--"It is said that when a vicar of Hennock, one Anthony
Lovitt, died, his son, of the same name, took his place, although
not in orders. The parishioners made no objections, and it was not
until some years afterwards, when he tried to raise their tithes,
that they denounced him, thinking that, 'if they were to pay all
that money they might as well have a real parson.'" The story,
however, is not true. There _was_ a vicar, Anthony Loveys, and he
had a son of the same name whom he appointed parish clerk, and the
second Anthony remained on as clerk after his father's death and the
appointment of a new vicar. The name continues in the place, and has
become that of a yeoman family. There was a very locally-famous
parson of Hennock, named Harris, not yet forgotten. He was a wizard.
Those who had lost goods went to him, and he recovered them for the
true owners. One day Farmer Loveys went to him. "Pass'n," said he,
"last night my fine gander was stolen. How can 'y help me?"

So Parson Harris went to his books, drew a circle, muttered some
words, then opened his window, and in through the casement came the
gander, plucked, trussed, and on the spit, and fell at his feet.

On another occasion someone else came to him with a similar
complaint, only on this occasion several geese had been carried off.

"You be aisy," said the vicar. "The man as has a done this shall be
put to open shame." So next Sunday, when he got up in the pulpit,
he proclaimed:--"I give you all to know that Farmer Tuckett has had
three geese stolen. Now I've read my books and drawn my figures,
and I have so conjured that three feathers of thickey geese shall
now--this instant--stick to the nose of the thief."

Up went the hand of one in the congregation to his nose. At once
Parson Harris saw the movement, pointed to him, and thundered forth,
"There is the man as stole the geese."

His maid, Polly, had a lover, as the manner of maids is. The young
man took service in Exeter. Polly was inconsolable. He left on
Saturday, and the girl did nothing but sob all day. "You be easy,
Polly," said her master; "I'll conjure him home to you."

So he began his abracadabra, but Sunday came and Sunday passed, and
no John appeared. Polly went to bed much shaken in her belief in the
powers of the master.

However, about the first glimmer of dawn there came a clatter of
feet and a rapping at the door, and lo! outside was John, in his
best suit, except the coat, bathed in perspiration and out of
breath. The spell had not taken effect on him all day because he had
worn his best coat _with the Prayer Book in the pocket_. But so soon
as ever at night he took off his coat, then it operated, and he had
run all the way from Exeter to Hennock.

At Hennock are Bottor Rocks and also those of John Cann. A path at
the side is called "John Cann's path." John Cann is said to have
been a staunch Royalist, who was hunted by the Round-heads. He took
refuge among these rocks, to which provisions were secretly conveyed
for his use, and there he secreted his treasure. The "path" was worn
by his pacing at night. He was finally tracked to his hiding-place
by bloodhounds, taken and hanged, but his treasure, the secret of
which he would not reveal, lies concealed among the rocks, and a
little blue flame is thought to dance along the track and hover over
the place where lies the gold.

Lustleigh Cleave is a fine rocky valley, so strewn with rocks
that the river for a considerable distance worms its way beneath,
unseen. From hence an ascent may be made to Becky Falls, a dribble
except in very wet weather, and higher still to Manaton and to Hey
Tor Rocks, bold masses of hard granite. More picturesque, though
not so massive, are Hound Tor Rocks, that take their name from the
extraordinary shapes, as of dogs' heads formed by the granite spires
and projections.

Widecombe is a valley shut in by moor; where the people are much
of a law to themselves, having no resident manorial lords over
them, and having no neighbours. A sturdy and headstrong race has
grown up there, doing what is right in their own eyes, and somewhat
indifferent to the opinions and feelings of the outer world. In
winter they are as much closed in as was Noah in the ark.

This was the scene of a terrible thunderstorm, a record of which
is preserved in the church. Mr. Blackmore has worked it into his
novel of _Christowel_. The tower is very fine, but the church
does not come up to one's expectations. Widecombe is walled up to
heaven on the west by Hameldon, and the morning sun is excluded by
a bold chain of tors on the east. It was for the purpose of going
to Widecombe Fair that Tom Pearse was induced to lend his old mare,
which is the topic of the most popular of Devonshire songs.

    "Tom Pearse, Tom Pearse, lend me your grey mare,
      All along, down along, out along, lee.
    For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
      Wi' Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan'l Whiddon,
      Harry Hawk, old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all."

        _Chorus._--Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

    "And when shall I see again my grey mare?"
      All along, etc.
    "By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,
      Wi' Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer," etc.

    Then Friday came, and Saturday noon,
      All along, etc.
    But Tom Pearse's old mare hath not trotted home,
      Wi' Bill Brewer, etc.

    So Tom Pearse he got up to the top o' the hill,
      All along, etc.
    And he seed his old mare down a making her will
      Wi' Bill Brewer, etc.

    So Tom Pearse's old mare, her took sick and died,
      All along, etc.
    And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
      Wi' Bill Brewer, etc.

    But this isn't the end o' this shocking affair,
      All along, etc.
    Nor, though they be dead, of the horrid career
      Of Bill Brewer, etc.

    When the wind whistles cold on the moor of a night,
      All along, etc.
    Tom Pearse's old mare doth appear, gashly white,
      Wi' Bill Brewer, etc.

    And all the long night be heard skirling and groans,
      All along, etc.
    From Tom Pearse's old mare in her rattling bones,
      And from Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Peter Davy,
            Dan'l Whiddon,
      Harry Hawk, old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

        _Chorus._--Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.



     Ashburton manors--The Ashburn--The cloth-workers--The
     tucking-mills--County families sprung from the woollen
     trade--Introduction of machinery--John Dunning--Created
     Baron Ashburton--Wood-carving in Ashburton--The Oldham
     owl--Screen destroyed--Ilsington--The Pomeroys--Holne--Dean
     Prior and Herrick--Abbey of Buckfast--A foundation of S.
     Petrock--Staverton Church--Screens in Devon--Dr. Blackall's
     Drive--Holne Chase--Bovey Tracey--William de Tracy--Chudleigh.

A pleasant, sleepy, country town, hardly able to maintain its
old-world dignity against the ruffling, modern, manufacturing
Buckfastleigh. A pleasant centre, whence delightful excursions may
be made, and with an old-world aroma about it, as though preserved
in _pot-pourri_.

It has a beautiful church. Ashburton consisted of a royal and an
episcopal manor, each with its several municipal officers. A stream
divided the manors. Ashburton is the _tun_ on the Ashburn. _Ash_ is
but another form of _Exe_, from _usk_, water. It owed its growth
and prosperity to the wool trade. The proximity to Dartmoor, an
unrivalled run for sheep, and the water of the stream to turn the
mills, gave to Ashburton a great significance as a centre of cloth
manufacture. Added to which it was a stannary town.

The old chapel of S. Laurence in the town, now converted into a
grammar school, belonged to the guild of the cloth-workers, and
their seal became the arms of the borough: On a mount vert, a chapel
with spire, in dexter chief the sun in splendour, in sinister a
crescent moon, in dexter base a teasel, in sinister a saltire. The
teasel and sun and moon were emblematical of the chief staples of
the place; the woollen trade and the mining interests.

The old fulling-mills were locally termed tucking-mills, and the
extent to which cloth-working was carried on in South Devon is shown
by the prevalence of the surname Tucker.[29]

  [29] For what follows on the woollen trade I am greatly indebted to
  a paper by Mr. P. F. S. Amery in the _Transactions of the Devonshire
  Association_, 1879.

The process of manufacture given by Westcote, in 1630, is as

     "First, the gentleman farmer, or husbandman, sends his wool to
     the market, which is bought either by the comber or spinster,
     and they, the next week, bring it hither again in yarn, which
     the weaver buys, and the market following brings that hither
     again in cloth, when it is sold, either to the clothier,
     who sends it to London, or to the merchant, who, after it
     hath passed the fuller's mill, and sometimes the dyer's vat,
     transports it. The large quantities whereof cannot be well
     guessed, but best known to the custom-book, whereunto it yields
     no small commodity, and this is continued all the year through."

The clothier was a man of some means, that bought the yarn or
_abb_ in the Tuesday's market from Cornish and Tavistock spinners,
who kept this branch of the trade pretty much to themselves. The
worsted was spun into "tops"--and the name Toop is common now in the
neighbourhood. Tops, the combed wool so called by poor cottagers,
was made by them into chains to form the warp or framework of the

One day a week the serge-maker assumed a long apron and met his
weavers, the poor folk of the neighbourhood, who frequently hired
their looms from him, paying him a shilling quarterly. He served out
to them the proper proportions of _abb_ and worsted, with a certain
quantity of glue to size the chain before tying it to the loom. This
they took home with them, and wove at leisure, returning it the
following week and receiving the price of their labour.

These serges were then fulled at the borough tucking-mill. This was
supplied with a water-wheel that gave motion to the tree or spindle,
whose teeth communicated it to the stampers, which were made to
rise and fall. The stampers or pestles worked in troughs in which
was laid the stuff that was intended to be fulled. The cloth had
already been saturated in various unsavoury liquids to prepare it
for the stampers. For raising the nap after dying the dipsacus, or
common teasel, was extensively grown. The heads were fixed round the
circumference of a large, broad wheel which was made to revolve, and
the cloth was held against it.

The cloths were then ready.

It is evident that no large capital was needed in this mode of doing
business; the clothier had no operatives to look after, and only
a small portion of his time was occupied in his business. A day
set apart to "tend" his weavers, and an hour in the yarn market on
Tuesdays was about all that was regularly required of him. Yet the
business done was large, and he expended his capital in purchasing
land, in enclosing commons, and in starting tanneries, above all in
acting as banker to the neighbourhood.

It is really surprising to see how many of the notable heraldic
families of Devon rose from being clothiers. But then the serges
of the West were in request not in England only, but also abroad.
Westcote says:--

     "The stuff of serges or perpetuanos is now in great use and
     request with us, wherewith the market at Exeter is abundantly
     furnished of all sorts and prices; the number will hardly be
     credited. Tiverton hath also such a store in kersies as will
     not be believed. Crediton yields many of the finest sorts of
     kersies. Totnes and some places near it hath had besides these
     a sort of coarse cloth, which they call _narrow-pin-whites_,
     not elsewhere made. Barnstaple and Torrington furnish us with
     bays, single and double frizados. At Tavistock there is a good
     market. Ottery St. Mary hath mixed kersies; Cullompton, kersey

The introduction of worsted spinning-frames in the North of England
early in the present century revolutionised the trade, and in 1817
Mr. Caunter started the first worsted spinning-frames in Ashburton,
charging 10_d._ a pound for spinning. For a while he held the
monopoly. But the Dart was now called into requisition at Buckfast,
and on the site and out of the materials of the abbey a spinning
factory was established.

     "The next great change," says Mr. Amery, "was brought about by
     the fact that all the weaving was carried on in the houses of
     the poor. Perhaps in a social point of view it was a good thing,
     as the mother was always occupied at home, and had her eye on
     the family; but to the manufacturer it was bad, as the materials
     entrusted by him to the weaver were open to great peculations,
     for weavers could always supply themselves with yarn or _abb_
     sufficient to provide their families with stockings, and joiners
     could purchase the best glue at half price in the little shops,
     where it had been bartered for small goods. So great was the
     loss of yarn, worsted, and glue, and so various were the means
     taken to make up the short weight by the use of oil, water,
     etc., that a remedy was sought and found in the expedient of
     erecting large factories, fitted with the newest _spring looms_;
     here the weavers came and worked, and nothing was allowed to be
     carried off the premises."

More wool is now worked up by the aid of the power-looms and combing
machines at Ashburton and Buckfastleigh than in the old prosperous


Ashburton's most distinguished son was John Dunning, first Baron
Ashburton. He belonged to a respectable family, originally seated
in Walkhampton parish, which, though not bearing an armorial coat,
was yet above the class of yeomen. His father, John Dunning, settled
as an attorney at Ashburton, where the future Lord Ashburton was
born in 1731.[30] John Dunning the elder had as one of his clients
Sir Thomas Clarke, Master of the Rolls, who owned a good deal
of property about Ashburton. A legal instrument drawn up by the
young Dunning when only nineteen, and sent to Sir Thomas, struck
the Master of the Rolls as being so well done that he undertook
the charge of fitting him for a career at the bar; and under this
patron's auspices young Dunning, in the twenty-first year of his
age, entered the Middle Temple in 1752.

  [30] For a memoir of John Dunning, see that by Mr. R. DYMOND, in the
  _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_, 1876.

It was whilst keeping his terms that Dunning made acquaintance
with Horne Tooke, who addressed to him in 1778 his _Letter on the
English Particle_, which was later expanded into _The Diversions of
Purley_. After four years of study Dunning was called to the bar,
and for five weary years after that his prospects remained in a most
unpromising condition. He was a very ugly man, stunted in growth,
his limbs misshapen, and his features mean. Horne Tooke used to tell
a story illustrative of his personal appearance. On one occasion
Thurlow wished to see him privately, and going to the coffee-house
he frequented, asked the waiter if Mr. Dunning were there. The
waiter, who was new to the place, said he did not know him. "Not
know him!" exclaimed Thurlow with his usual volley of oaths. "Go
into the room upstairs, and if you see a gentleman like the knave
of clubs, call him down." The waiter departed, and returned with

On one occasion he was retained in an assault case, and his object
was to disprove the identity of the person named by an old woman as
the aggressor. Abandoning his usual overbearing demeanour towards
witnesses, he commenced his cross-examination thus, mildly:--

"Pray, my good woman, what sized man was he?"

"Short and stumpy, sir; almost as small as your honour."

"Humph! What sort of a nose had he?"

"Well now, what I should ca' a snubby nose, like your own, sir, only
not quite so cocked up like."

"Humph! His eyes?"

"He'd gotten a bit o' a cast in 'em, sir, like your honour's squint."

"Go down, woman. That will do."

Presently affairs took a turn. Dunning worked his way into notice
by adopting violent radical or democratical views, and became the
friend of the notorious Wilkes, who also had a squint, and he acted
as junior counsel in the famous prosecution of the publishers of No.
45 of the _North Briton_, which contained strictures on the speech
from the throne, at the close of the session of 1763. It was in this
case that Dunning firmly established his reputation as a close and
subtle reasoner, and he could ever calculate on being employed by
his party. From this date no member of the bar obtained a larger
number of briefs. I have already told, in my _Old Country Life_, a
story illustrative of the way in which he managed the defence of a
man on trial for murder. In 1766 he won the recordership of Bristol,
he was appointed Solicitor-General in 1767, and in the general
election of 1768 he was elected member for Caine.

"Among the new accessions to the House of Commons at this
juncture," writes Lord Mahon, "by far the most eminent in ability
was John Dunning.... He was a man both of quick parts and strong
passions; in his politics a zealous Whig. As an orator, none ever
laboured under greater disadvantages of voice and manner; but these
disadvantages were most successfully retrieved by his wondrous
powers of reasoning, his keen invective, and his ready wit. At
the trial of the Duchess of Kingston for bigamy, when he appeared
as counsel against her Grace, Hannah More, who was present, thus
describes him: 'His manner is insufferably bad, coughing and
spitting at every word, but his sense and expression pointed to the
last degree. He made her Grace shed bitter tears.'" The mode in
which he used his hands was absurd as it was peculiar. He drew them
whilst speaking up close together to the height of his breast, where
he rested his wrists, and kept up a continual paddling with his
outspread palms, moving them with a rapidity corresponding to the
motion of his tongue. It was said that he looked on such occasions
like a flat fish hung up in a fishmonger's shop, the body rigid, but
the fins in front vibrating up and down unceasingly.

In 1769 Dunning bought the manors of Spitchwick and Widecombe.
"Manors in Devonshire!" exclaimed Jack Lee. "A pity, Dunning, you
should have them there, and should bring no manners with you to

In 1770 he resigned his position as Solicitor-General, and resumed
his old position outside the bar, but with a professional income
estimated at the then unprecedented sum of £10,000 per annum.

He was now on the Opposition benches in the House. In the hot
debates on the American War, Dunning steadfastly advocated a policy
of conciliation. An instance of Dunning's sharpness of repartee
was afforded when Chatham moved an address to the Crown in favour
of this policy. The motion was upheld by Lords Shelburne, Camden,
and Rockingham, and they were supported by the vote of the Duke of
Cumberland. His Royal Highness was one day complimenting Dr. Price
on a pamphlet he had written in favour of the Americans. "I sat up
reading it last night," said he, "till it had almost blinded me."
"On the rest of the nation, your Royal Highness," said Dunning, who
stood by, "the pamphlet has had the opposite effect. It has opened
their eyes."

John Dunning was nearly fifty years old when he married. His choice
was Elizabeth Baring, daughter of John Baring, of Larkbeare, one of
the many woollen merchants then flourishing in Exeter, and sister of
the founders of the great house of Baring Brothers. He was married
to her in 1780.

His honeymoon must have been short, for exactly one week after
his marriage Dunning brought forward in Committee of the House of
Commons his famous motion, "That it is the opinion of this Committee
that the influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and
ought to be diminished." After a fierce debate he succeeded in
carrying his motion by a majority of eighteen.

On the 15th March, 1782, a motion of want of confidence, though
negatived by a majority of nine, proved fatal to the Administration,
and the Premier resigned. Then, after twelve years passed in "the
cold shade of opposition," the Whigs were again in power; and one
of the first steps taken by the Marquess of Rockingham, who now
became Prime Minister, was to reward John Dunning with a coronet.
His patent of nobility bore date April 8th, 1782, and thus the
misshapen but clever son of the little Ashburton attorney became the
first Baron Ashburton. None when in opposition had denounced more
vigorously, and with greater display of righteous indignation, the
bestowal of pensions on a large scale; but no sooner had he passed
out of the Opposition into place than he exacted for himself the
enormous pension of £4000 per annum, a sum to him quite unnecessary,
as he had amassed a huge fortune.

By this time, however, his health had begun to fail, and he died
on August 18th, 1783, of paralysis, leaving a son, Richard Barré
Dunning, to succeed him in the title, and to inherit a fortune of
£180,000. The second Lord Ashburton married a daughter of William
Cunninghame, of Lambshaw, and through her became allied with the
Cranstoun family, to whom a large portion of his ample possessions
passed at his death without issue in 1823.

Ashburton, in the Tudor period, seems to have possessed a school of
wood-carving. The Churchwardens' Book shows that much work was done
in the church between 1515 and 1525. An Exeter man named John Mayne
was then employed in wood-carving, but there were Ashburton workmen
as well. There was then erected a very fine screen. The rood-loft
was removed in 1539, but not the screen itself till last century,
when portions of it became the property of private persons, and
others were laid as foundations to the galleries.

The side chapels seem also to have been screened in; and there
was one Thomas Prideaux who was a liberal contributor to the
beautification of the church. In one of the side chapels was a rich,
canopied altar-piece with wings. When the chantries and chapels were
destroyed, this was carried away by the son, Robert Prideaux, and
employed for the decoration of his room. The central piece of the
triptych has been lost, but the wings and the canopy remain. Some of
the wood-carving of Henry the Seventh's reign in and about Ashburton
is of the very finest quality, quite unsurpassed in its style. Work
by apparently the same hand may be seen at Fulford in the hall.

In Ashburton stands a quaint slated house-front with the pips on
cards cut in slate ornamenting the front. The old ring to which the
bull was attached for baiting still remains where was the ancient
bull-ring of the town. Ashburton was, as already said, originally
composed of two manors--one royal, the other episcopal--and each
had its portreeve. The King's Bridge united them, and the river
divided one from the other. This was a relic of pre-Saxon times,
when the chief of the land and the ecclesiastical chief had their
separate establishments. At a later period Ashburton passed wholly
into the hands of the Bishop of Exeter. Bishop Oldham, 1504-1519,
was a benefactor to the church, and gave it a lectern with an owl,
his symbol, supporting the desk. This owl was sold to Bigbury, along
with the handsome pulpit. Holne pulpit is very similar to that
formerly in Ashburton.


The church of Ashburton has been renovated, and is now very
stately and beautiful. It is to be regretted that the architect,
the late Mr. Street, was superior to restoring the screen from
the fragments that remained, and instead evolved one out of his
inner consciousness, quite out of character with the church, and
entirely different in feeling from the work common throughout the
neighbourhood, which is exquisite in beauty of design and in detail.
But such is the way with architects. The Arlers of Gmünd designed
Milan Cathedral, but were not allowed to complete it; it was given
to sixteen different Italian architects to meddle with and to muddle
it; the result is that the exterior is a bit of miserable frippery
in marble. Happily the original design for the interior was not
interfered with.

But something incomparably worse may be seen near Ashburton, in the
interior of Bickington.

Ilsington Church retains a few poppy-head benches of rich work,
unique in the county.

In Ilsington is Ingsdon, once the seat of the Pomeroy family, but
no relics of the ancient house remain. According to tradition, the
Pomeroy ancestor was jester to Robert the Magnificent, father of
William the Conqueror. He was a dwarf, full of comical movements as
well as of quips and quirks. As he came in with the dessert he was
called Pomme-roy, the Apple King. His son became a faithful servant
of William, and was rewarded by him with large manors in Devon and
Somersetshire. A junior branch was settled at Ingsdon. The tradition
is of course groundless, as the family derived from a place Pomeraye
in Normandy, near Bayeux. It probably originated with a family
tendency to jest, and to a certain grotesqueness of appearance.
It is told by Miss Strickland in her _History of the Queens of
England_. But the odd circumstance about it is that there are
Pomeroys now in and about Ashburton of humble degree--the children,
the plague of the schoolmaster and mistresses, as they are born
humourists, and withal have such a droll appearance and expression
as to inevitably provoke mirth.

Holne Church has a good painted screen, and the parsonage is the
house in which Charles Kingsley was born. The view of the winding of
the Dart from the parsonage garden is beautiful.

Dean Prior was long the place to which poor Robert Herrick was
banished. He did not love it, nor did he relish the rude ways of
his parishioners. It is to be feared he did not labour very hard to
better them. He was buried here in the churchyard in 1674. Here also
was laid his servant "Prue," recorded in his poems. Her burial is
entered in the register as that of "Prudence Balden, an olde maid,"
and Herrick's trust that the violet might blossom on her grave is
perhaps not unfulfilled, although her grassy mound is not now known.

The Abbey of Buckfast is within an easy walk, and should on all
accounts be visited. It is the earliest foundation in Devon, going
back to long before the Conquest, in fact no documents exist to show
when it was founded. "Mr. Brooking Rowe has suggested that Buckfast
Abbey probably existed before the coming of the Northmen; that would
be before A.D. 787. It may be so, but, at least, it must be grouped
with Bodmin and Glastonbury Abbey as one of a trio of monastic
churches which had property in Devon before King Edgar's time,
and is probably, with the exception of Exeter, the only monastery
before that time existing in the county. Its extreme antiquity may
be inferred from the fact that Buckfast itself was never assessed."
That is, at the taking of Domesday.

Now I have an idea concerning it. Two of its churches were Harford
and South Brent, and both are dedicated to S. Petrock. We find S.
Petrock again, further down the Dart, at its mouth. Where we find
a Celtic dedication, there we may be pretty certain that either
the saint founded the church, or that it was given to him, not
necessarily in his lifetime.

In Celtic monasteries, when a grant was made, it was not made
to the community, but to the saint personally, who was supposed
never to die, and all the lands and churches granted became his
personal property. Now, as we find two of the churches belonging
to this venerable abbey bearing S. Petrock's name, I think it
quite possible that the original abbey may have been, like that
of Padstow, a foundation of S. Petrock. When, however, the abbey
was re-endowed and recast, and occupied by monks belonging to the
Latin orders, S. Petrock would be ignored at Buckfast, and the
only indication left of his having once owned the whole territory
of Buckfast would be the lingering on of his name in some of the
churches that belonged to that same territory.

I am not sure that we have not hard by traces of other Celtic
saints, S. Wulvella in Gulwell, a Holywell at Ashburton, and her
brother S. Paul of Leon at Staverton, though now supplanted by Paul
the Apostle.

Buckfast Abbey, after having been given over to the wreckers,
has been purchased by French Benedictines, expelled from France
in 1882, and they are carefully rebuilding the abbey on its old
lines, following all the details as turned up among the ruins. The
foundations of the church have been uncovered, and show that it
was of great size. It was pulled down in 1806, and the materials
employed in the construction of a factory.

Staverton Church is deserving a visit because of its superb screen,
that has been most carefully restored. It exhibits a screen complete
in all its parts, a thing very rare. Most of these lack what was
their crowning glory, the upper member. Indeed there is but one
completely intact in the county--Atherington, if we except the stone
screen at Exeter.

There are other screens in the neighbourhood; that of Buckland has
on it some unexplained paintings.

The Celt was never a builder. His churches were rude to the last
degree of rudeness. But what he delighted in was wattle-work,
interlacing osiers into the most intricate and beautiful and varied
designs. We may conjecture that our Celtic forefathers did not
concern themselves much about the stonework of their churches, and
concentrated all their efforts on a screen dividing chancel from
nave, which with platting and interweaving they made into a miracle
of loveliness. And this direction given to decoration hung on in
Devon and Cornwall, and resulted in the glorious screens. For them,
to contain them, the shells were built. Everything was sacrificed
to them, and when they are swept away what remains is nakedness,
disproportion, and desolation.

Of the excursions in the neighbourhood of Ashburton to scenes of
loveliness I will say but little. Yet let me recommend one of
singular beauty--it is called Dr. Blackall's Drive. The Tavistock
road is taken till the Dart is passed at New Bridge, then after a
steep ascent the highway is abandoned before Pound Gate is reached,
and a turf drive runs above the Dart commanding its gorge, the Holne
coppice, and Benjie Tor, and the high road is rejoined between Bell
Tor and Sharp Tor. This excursion may be combined with a drive
through Holne Chase, if taken on a day when the latter is open to
the public.

Holne Chase, however, should be seen from both sides of the Dart, as
the aspects are very different on the two sides.

Hembury and Holne Chase camps are both fine, and deserve
investigation. They commanded and defended the entrance to the moor
from this side. Widecombe has been spoken of under the head of

Bovey should be visited, with its fine church and screen and painted
and gilt stone pulpit, and with the Bovey Heathfield potteries.

Bovey was one of the manors of the De Tracy who was a principal
hand in the murder of Thomas à Becket, and it is to this ambitious
and turbulent prelate that the church is dedicated. The story goes
that William de Tracy built the church at Bovey as penance for his
part in the murder; but the church constructed by him was burnt
about 1300, and was rebuilt in the Perpendicular style. The story
was diligently propagated that De Tracy died on his way to the Holy
Land, in a frenzy, tearing his flesh off his bones with his teeth
and nails, and shrieking, "Mercy, Thomas, mercy!" But, as a matter
of fact, no judgment of God fell on the murderers. Within four
years after the murder, De Tracy was justiciary of Normandy. The
present Lord Wemyss and Lord Sudeley are his lineal descendants.
The pedigree, contrary to all received opinions on the subject of
"judgments" on sacrilege, exhibits the very singular instance of an
estate descending for upwards of seven hundred years in the male
line of the same family. Fitzurse, another of the murderers, went to
Ireland, and became the ancestor of the McMahon family.

There are some curious pictures on the Bovey screen which are
supposed to have reference to the story of Becket and his quarrels
with the king.

Chudleigh is at some distance, but it is worth a visit, partly
because of the good screen in the church, but mainly because of the
very pretty ravine through which the Kate (_Cad_, fall) tumbles.
The rock here is of limestone, a fine and beautiful marble, and in
its face is a cavern supposed to be haunted by the Pixies, with
a stalagmite floor that was broken up by Dr. Buckland in 1825,
and the soil beneath it examined in the slip-shod, happy-go-lucky
style usual with explorers of that period. It deserves to be
reinvestigated systematically.

     NOTE.--Books and articles on Ashburton:--

     WORTHY (C.), _Ashburton and its Neighbourhood_. Ashburton, 1875.

     AMERY (P. F. S.), Articles already noticed in the _Transactions
     of the Devonshire Association_, 1876 and 1896.



     Origin of Tavistock--Foundation of the Abbey--S.
     Rumon--Edgar and Elfrida--Abbot Aylmer--Aldred--The Parish
     Church--Glanville--The Story of Mrs. Page--John Fitz--The
     Story of Sir John Fitz--The Story of Lady Howard--Sir Richard
     Grenville--Early inscribed stones--Statue of Sir Francis
     Drake--Buckland Abbey--Morwell--Lydford, its castle, ravine, and
     waterfall--Brent Tor--Endsleigh--Mary and Peter Tavy--Whit Tor.

Certain towns tell you at a glance what was their _raison d'être_;
Tavistock has clustered about its abbey, that lay low near its
fish-ponds, whereas Launceston clings about its castle, that stood
high to command the country round.

Very possibly the original Saxon stockade was where still some
earthworks remain, above the South Western Railway, but the centre
of life moved thence on account of the fancy coming into the head
of Ordulf, Earl of Devon, to found an abbey by the waterside in the
valley beneath him. The legend, as told in a cartulary summarised
in Dugdale's _Monasticon_, is that, in the reign of Edgar, Ordulf
was one night praying in the open air, when he saw a pillar of fire
brighter than the sun at noon hovering where now anyone, on any day,
may see a lowering cloud of smoke. That same night an angel bade
him go forth at dawn and explore the spot where he had seen the
fire, and then build an oratory to the four evangelists. I think
I can explain the vision. The farmer was "swaling." At a certain
period a good many pillars of fire may be seen about Tavistock,
when either the furze is being burnt, or the farmers are consuming
the "stroil"--the weeds from their fields. So I do not reject the
story as altogether fabulous, but as "improved." What Ordulf had a
mind to do was to establish a monastery for the comfort of his soul,
having, I doubt not, bullied and maltreated the poor Britons without
compunction. His father had had a mind the same way, but had died
without performing what was his intent.

[Illustration: BRENT TOR]

Next day Ordulf went to the spot where he had seen the fire, and
there beheld four stakes, marking out the ground, and this fact
confirms me in my opinion. For it was the custom of the natives
thus to indicate the bounds of their fields. The stakes were called
_termons_. In like manner miners indicated their setts by cutting
four turves annually at the limits of their grounds.

Ordulf now set to work and erected an oratory with buildings for an
abbot and brethren, and he gave them of his inheritance Tavistock,
Milton, Hatherleigh, Burrington, Rumonsleigh, Linkinhorne, Dunethem,
and Chuvelin, which I cannot identify. He also bestowed on the
monastery his wife's dower.

When the monastic church was built he moved to it the bones of his
father, mother, and brother, and after his death was there laid

However, before he graced it with his own relics, he transferred to
it the remains of S. Rumon or Ruan (960), who, if we may judge from
some place-names, had been there at a considerably earlier period as
a missionary; for there is near Meavy a Roman's cross, and between
Tavistock and Bere Ferrers is Romansleigh, and on the Tamar Rumleigh.

The saint reposed in the church of Ruan Lanihorne (Llan-ruan) in
Cornwall, but Ordulf did not scruple to rob a mere West Welsh church
to give honour and glory to one of his own founding.

Rumon was by no means a saint with a name and not a story. He had
been a convert of S. Patrick, a Scot of Ireland. As I shall say
something concerning him when we come to his field of labours in the
Lizard district, I will say no more about them here.

Ordgar, Earl of Devon, was father of the beautiful Elfrida, who
accordingly was sister of Ordulf. Her story, though tolerably well
known, must not be passed over here.

King Edgar was a little man, but thought a good deal of himself--a
merciful dispensation of Providence accorded to little men to make
up for their lack of inches. He was of a warm complexion. He once
carried off a nun from her convent, and was reprimanded for it by
S. Dunstan, who forbade him for this disreputable act to wear his
crown for seven years. His first wife was Ethelfleda, called the
Duck--Duckie, doubtless, by her husband--and after her death he
looked out for another, as is an infirm way that widowers have.

Edgar, hearing that Elfrida, daughter of Ordgar, was the loveliest
woman in England, with a true Devonshire complexion of cream and
heather-bloom, sent Ethelwald, Earl of the East Angles, to interview
her before he committed himself. Ethelwald no sooner saw her than
he was a "gone coon," and he asked the hand of Elfrida from her
brother. Having received his consent, he hurried back to the king
and told him that the lady was much over-rated, that her chief
beauty lay in her wealth; as her only brother Ordulf was childless,
she had expectations of coming in for his fortune when it should
please Providence, and so on.

So, as though looking only to her expectations, Ethelwald asked
the king to give him the lady. Edgar yielded his consent, and
Ethelwald married Elfrida, and became by her the father of a boy
whom he persuaded the king to take as his god-child, and to whom he
gave the name of Edgar. Then Ethelwald was glad, for he knew that
according to the laws of the Church, they had contracted a spiritual
relationship which would prevent the king from ever marrying Elfrida
and removing himself, the obstacle which stood in the way should he
contemplate an union.

Now the report reached the king that he had been "done," done out of
the loveliest woman in Christendom, and the little man ruffled up
and became fiery red, and vowed he would a-hunting go, and hunt in
the royal chase of Dartmoor. So he sent word to Ethelwald that he
purposed visiting him at his Castle of Harewood, and solicited a bed
and breakfast.

Harewood is situated on a tongue of land about which the Tamar
makes a great loop--at one time assuredly a very strong camp; then
it became a gentleman's place, now it is a ruin.

Ethelwald felt uneasy. He told his wife the story of the deception
he had practised, which shows how soft and incapable of dealing
with women he was. Then he went on to ask of her the impossible--to
disguise her beauty. As if any woman would do that!

But when Elfrida knew the story she also ruffled up, not a little,
and made a point of dressing herself in her most costly array,
braiding her lovely hair with jewels, and washing her pretty face in
milk and _eau de_--elder-flowers. Edgar became madly enamoured, and
to boot furious with the man who had deceived him.

As they were together one day hunting, and were alone, the king
smote Ethelwald with a javelin so that he died, and he took Elfrida
to be his wife; and to expiate his peccadillo, erected a convent in
the Harewood forest.

Edgar died in 975, and he was but thirty-two years old when he died.

Now, is there any truth in this story?

The tale comes to us from Geoffrey Gaimar and from William of
Malmesbury, and their accounts do not quite tally, for Gaimar makes
the king send off the obnoxious husband to the wars, to fall by the
hand of the rebels in Yorkshire, and this looks like a cooking-up
of the story of David and Uriah. On the other hand, William of
Malmesbury's tale smells somewhat of an English version of the story
in the Nibelungenlied of Sigurd and Kriemhild.

Both historians certainly drew from ballads, but these ballads were
the vehicle through which history in early times was preserved. It
has been supposed that the Harewood in question was Harewood near
Leeds, in Yorkshire, but surely Elfrida would be on her inheritance
in the West. Another difficulty is that there was no convent of nuns
near the place. But this may have been thrown in as a sort of moral
to the tale--if kings or other men do naughty things, they will have
to pay for it.

Tavistock Abbey had some men of rare ability to rule over it.
One was Aylmer, chosen in 981, who lived in difficult times,
when the Vikings came and harried the coasts, ran up the rivers,
and plundered and burned wherever they went. When the Danes were
spoiling the land, driving off the cattle and burning the farms,
he gave out of the revenues of the abbey a double danegeld or
contribution for the relief of those in distress. But presently his
own abbey was surrounded, pillaged, and burnt. This was in 997, by a
horde that had first landed at Watchet, and then returned round the
Land's End, and had run up the Tamar. They went as far as Lydford,
and burnt and slew everything and every person they could lay hands

But a far abler man was Lyfing, afterwards Bishop of Worcester, and
at the same time of Devon and Cornwall.

Another admirable man was Aldred, who succeeded Lyfing in the see
of Worcester in 1046, after having been Abbot of Tavistock fourteen
years; and he was made Archbishop of York in 1060, and died in
1069, broken-hearted at the misery that came in the wake of the
Conquest. The lives of both these men, showing how to steer a
difficult course in a troubled sea among many rocks, are worth a
study, and for that I refer the reader to Mr. Alford's _Abbots of
Tavistock_. (Plymouth, 1891.)

The Abbey Church of Tavistock was second only to Exeter for size and
dignity in the West. It has completely disappeared, and the road in
front of the Bedford Hotel now runs over what was the nave of the
great church.

Where now stands the hotel was in ancient days the Saxon school; it
was pulled down in 1736, when the inn, then the house of the Dukes
of Bedford, was erected on its site and out of its materials.

The parish church is large, in the Perpendicular style, and somewhat
uninteresting. But it must be remembered that the Devon and Cornish
churches were built with intent to have their chancels and side
chapels cut off by a very rich screen. Such a screen did once exist
at Tavistock, and were it in place and complete, the church would
at once appear well proportioned. It looks now unfurnished, like a
railway station. It was repaired in 1845, and for the period the
work was really marvellously well done. The carved oak benches were
faithful copies of those in Bere Ferrers Church, and there was no
scamping in the material. The new glass in the windows ranges from
very good to execrably bad. Some objects of interest connected with
the history of the church, among these the reputed thigh-bones of
Ordgar and Ordulf, are preserved.

There is a fine monument to John Fitz, who died in 1590. Opposite it
is one of Judge Glanville, Serjeant-at-Law in 1589 and Justice of
Common Pleas in 1598. He died July 27th, 1600. He had by his wife a
fair family. Now here comes in a question of some interest.

The current tradition is that one of Glanville's daughters, Eulalia
by name, was married to a John Page, whom she murdered, and for
the crime she was sentenced to be burned alive; which sentence was
carried into effect in 1590 at Barnstaple.

I will give the story as contained in a letter by Mr. Daniel Lysons,
author of the _Magna Britannia_, in 1827:--

     "The Judge's daughter was attached to George Stanwich, a young
     man of Tavistock, lieutenant of a man-of-war, whose letters,
     the father disapproving of the attachment, were intercepted. An
     old miser of Plymouth, of the name of Page, wishing to have an
     heir to disappoint his relatives, who perhaps were too confident
     in calculating upon sharing his wealth, availed himself of
     this apparent neglect of the young sailor, and settling on
     her a good jointure, obtained her hand. She took with her a
     maidservant from Tavistock, but her husband was so penurious
     that he dismissed all the other servants, and caused his wife
     and her maid to do all the work themselves. On an interview
     subsequently taking place between her and Stanwich, she accused
     him of neglecting to write to her, and then discovered that
     his letters had been intercepted. The maid advised them to get
     rid of the old gentleman, and Stanwich at length, with great
     reluctance, consented to their putting an end to him. Page
     lived in what was afterwards the Mayoralty House (at Plymouth),
     and a woman who lived opposite hearing at night some sand thrown
     against a window, thinking it was her own, arose, and looking
     out, saw a young gentleman near Page's window, and heard him
     say, 'For God's sake stay your hand!' A female replied, ''Tis
     too late; the deed is done.' On the following morning it was
     given out that Page had died suddenly in the night, and as soon
     as possible he was buried. On the testimony, however, of his
     neighbour, the body was taken up again, and it appearing that he
     had been strangled, his wife, Stanwich, and the maid were tried
     and executed. It is current among the common people here that
     Judge Glanville, her own father, pronounced the sentence."

That sentence would be one for petty treason, burning alive. It
was not till 1790 that the law requiring women to be burnt alive
for putting to death their husbands or their masters was repealed.
A woman was so burnt in 1789. A poor girl of fifteen was burnt
at Heavitree, near Exeter, on July 29th, 1782, for poisoning her
master. Eulalia Page and her servant were actually executed at
Barnstaple and George Stanwich was hanged. All that is certain.
But the question about which a difficulty arises is--Was Eulalia a
daughter of Judge Glanville?

There is a contemporary tract that contains an account of the
transaction, which was reprinted by Payne Collier.[31] From this
we learn that Mrs. Page having failed in an attempt to poison her
husband, prevailed on one of her servants, named Robert Priddis
(Prideaux), to assist her, and on the other side Strangwich
(Standwich) hired one Tom Stone to assist in the murder.

  [31] _Bibliographical Catalogue of Early English Literature_, 1865,
  ii. pp. 83-6.

The deed was accomplished about ten o'clock on the night of February
11th, 1591, and all four were tried at Barnstaple, whither the
assizes had been moved from Exeter because the plague was raging in
the latter city, and were executed on March 20th following. Philip
Wyot, town clerk of Barnstaple, kept a diary at the time, extracts
from which have been printed. He gives some particulars:--"The
gibbet was sat up on the Castle Green and xviij prisoners hanged,
whereof iiij of Plimouth for a murder." These four were the
murderers of Page. How it was that Ulalia was hanged instead of
being burnt, in contravention of the law, does not appear, and
we may doubt the statement. Three of those hanged were buried in
the churchyard at Barnstaple, but Ulalia Page was laid in that
of Bishops Tawton. Now as to the statement that Judge Glanville
sentenced his own daughter.

In the first place, _was_ she his daughter? It appears not; for from
the tract already referred to, "in the town of Testock (Tavistock)
... there dwelled one Mr. Glandfield (Glanville), a man of good
wealth and account as any occupier in that cuntrie," whose daughter
Eulalia was; and she set her affections on George Strangwich, who
was in her father's employ. Mr. Glanville, of Tavistock, almost
certainly was a near relative of the judge. The Glanvilles were
tanners of Whitchurch, in trade, but the family was respectable.
They have been given a fanciful pedigree from a Norman Lord of
Glanville near Caen, but it is deficient in proof. What is clear
is that the family occupied a respectable position near Tavistock
in the reign of Elizabeth; they had their tan pits, and they went
into trade without scruple. In fact, John Glanville, father of the
judge, was himself a merchant, _i.e._, shopkeeper in Tavistock. That
Eulalia was a _sister_ of the judge is possible enough. That her
name was not inserted in the pedigree as recorded in the Herald's
Visitation may easily be understood.[32]

  [32] Glandfeelde is the same as Glanville; so in the Tavistock
  register, Grenville is entered as Greenfeelde.

The next point is--Did Judge Glanville preside at the trial?

Now we are informed by E. Foss (_Biographia Juridica_, 1870, p.
303) that Glanville "was promoted to the bench as a Justice of the
Common Pleas on June 30th, 1598." Consequently he was not a judge at
the time that Eulalia Page was tried. The judge who tried the case,
as we learn from Wyot's diary, was Lord Anderson. Nevertheless,
Glanville was present at Barnstaple at the assizes, for Wyot
mentions him as Serjeant Glandye, who was one of the principal
lawyers present, and he had been "called to the degree of the coif,"
Ford records, two years before. So, as far as we can discover:--

     1. Eulalia was very probably _sister_ of Judge Glanville, she
     being daughter of a merchant Glanville, of Tavistock, as he was
     son of one.

     2. That she really was executed for the murder of her husband,
     Page, along with her lover, George Strangwich, and two

     3. That Strangwich had not been in the Navy, but was a shop
     assistant of Mr. Glanville.

     4. That John Glanville, Serjeant-at-Law, presumably her brother,
     was present at the trial, but was not judge at the time.

The tragic story was not only turned into ballads, but also was
dramatised by Ben Jonson and Decker. In Halliwell's _Dictionary of
Old English Plays_ (1860) is this entry:--

     "Page, of Plymouth. A play by Ben Johnson and Decker, written in
     1599, upon the story of the murder of one Page at Plymouth."[33]

  [33] Dr. Brushfield has sifted the whole story in the pages of _The
  Western Antiquary_, ix., p. 35.

A little way out of the town on the Plymouth road, by the Drake
statue, is the gateway of old Fitzford House. About this a good deal
of both history and legend hangs.

The house was that of old John Fitz, whose splendid monument is
in Tavistock Church. Late in life he had a son of the name also
of John, an only child, whose story is tragical. The heir was
fourteen only when he lost his father. John Fitz, who was "a very
comely person," was married before he had attained his majority to
a daughter of Sir William Courtenay. Of this marriage one child,
Mary, was born in 1596, when her father was just twenty-one years
old.[34] The young gentleman being now of age, and finding himself
free from all restraint, began to live a very rackety life for three
years, when an incident happened that ought to have sobered him.
What follows is quoted, condensed, from _The Bloudie Booke: or The
Tragical End of Sir John Fitz._ London, 1605.

  [34] The story of John Fitz and of Lady Howard has been worked
  out very carefully by Mrs. George Radford, to whose paper in the
  _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_, 1890, I am much
  indebted for what follows.

     "Meeting (June 4th, 1599) at Tavistocke a dinner wyth manie of
     his neighbors and friends, with great varietie of merriments
     and discourse they outstript the noontide. Amongst other their
     table-talk Sir John (he was not knighted at the time) was
     vanting his free Tenure in holding his lande, boasting that he
     helde not a foote of any but the Queene in England; to whoome
     Mayster Slanninge replyed, that although of ceurtesie it were
     neglected, yet of dewe hee was to paye him so muche by the yeere
     for some small lande helde of him; uppon which wordes Sir John
     told him with a great oath he lyed, and withall gave fuell to
     his rage, offering to stab him. But Maister Slanning with a
     great knife warded the hazard."

Friends intervened and the quarrel was patched up, so that presently
Slanning left and departed for his home at Bickleigh. He had not
gone very far before, dismounting, he bade his man take the horses
along the road, whilst he walked by a short cut across the fields.

At that moment he heard the tramp of horses, and saw John Fitz and
four more galloping after him. So as not to seem to be running
away Slanning remained on the spot, and on John Fitz coming up
asked what he wanted. Fitz drew his sword and raved that he would
revenge the insult offered him, and Slanning was forced to defend
himself. He was wounded, and someone struck Slanning from behind,
whereupon he staggered forwards and Fitz ran him through the body.
Local tradition, and Prince in his _Worthies_, will have it that the
affray took place at Fitzford Gate.

Nicolas Slanning was buried in Bickleigh Church, which, when
"restored" and made desperately uninteresting, lost the great
feature of Slanning's monument, which was fine, though of plaster.
Now the inscription alone remains:

     "Great was the lamentation that the country side made for the
     death of so beloved a Gentleman as Maister Slanning was."

John Fitz, then aged twenty-four, fled to France, where he remained
until, by his wife's exertions, a pardon was procured for him,
December 16th, 1599.

He returned home, and for a year or two led a blameless life--at
least he did not murder any more of his friends--and at the
coronation of King James I. was knighted.

Whether the honour conferred on him was too much for him, or whether
there was a mad strain in his blood, cannot be said, but on his
return from London he broke out into wild ways again. Finding the
presence of his wife and only child a restraint on him, he turned
them out of the house, and surrounded himself with dissolute
companions, chief among whom was "Lusty Jacke, one whose deedes were
indeed meane, whose good qualities altogether none."

In the summer of 1605 he received a summons to London to appear
before the courts, in answer to a claim of compensation for their
father's death made by the children of Nicolas Slanning. He set out
attended by a single servant. He was a prey to terrors, particularly
afraid of his father-in-law, Sir William Courtenay, who he knew was
very incensed with him because of his behaviour to his wife, the
daughter of Sir William. He had moreover been squandering money
which had been settled on her by deed. Every day his fancies got
more disordered, till he put up at Kingston-on-Thames, his last
resting-place before reaching London; but there, a prey to alarms
and fancies, he would not lie, and rode on to Twickenham, where he
stopped at "The Anchor," a small hostelry kept by one Daniel Alley,
whom he roused out of his bed about 2 a.m. The host, to accommodate
him, was forced to surrender to him his own bed, and send his wife
to sleep with the children. But the knight could not rest after
he had lain down, and was heard crying out that he was pursued by

Very early, the host rose that he might go out and mow a field, but
his wife entreated him not to leave the house. He laughed at her
alarms, but she persisted, and a neighbour who was going to help in
the mowing came in. Sir John Fitz started out of sleep on hearing
voices, and persuaded that his fears were verified, rushed from his
room in his nightgown, with his sword, and ran Alley through the
body. He then wounded the unhappy wife, and finding the error into
which he had fallen, finally mortally wounded himself. A doctor was
sent for, but he tore off the bandages, and so died, lamented of
none save Lusty Jack.

No sooner was he dead than the Earl of Northumberland hastened
to buy the wardship of the little heiress, Mary Fitz, then nine
years and one week old. At the time the Crown became the guardian
of orphans whose lands were held _in capite_ or direct from the
Crown, and was wont to sell the wardships to the highest bidders.
The guardian had complete control, to the exclusion of the mother,
over the ward, and he could marry the ward as he liked, this also
being generally an affair of money. As soon as Mary Fitz was twelve,
the Earl, as she was a desirable heiress, disposed of her to his
brother, Sir Allan Percy, aged thirty-one; she did not, however,
live with her husband, but was placed under the charge of Lady
Hatton. Sir Allan died in November, 1611, three years after, and
then it was said:--"Sir Allan Percy is gone the way of all flesh,
dying, his lady the way of all quicke flesh, having stolen out of
my Lady Eliz. Hatton's house in London, in the edge of an evening,
and coupled herself in marriage with Mr. Darcy, my lord Darcye's
eldest son." This was on December 18th, 1611, just about a month
after the death of husband number one. He was of her own age, and
no doubt she found him to her liking; however, he lived only a few
months after his marriage, and Lady Mary was again a widow, and was
imposed (1612), hardly by her own choice, on Sir Charles Howard,
fourth son of Thomas, Earl of Suffolk. So she had number three
when scarcely sixteen. Sir Charles died in 1622; consequently they
were together for ten years. She had two daughters by Sir Charles
Howard, and a son, George Howard, is mentioned, but there is some
doubt as to his parentage. In 1628 she took a fourth, Sir Richard
Grenville, the younger brother of the gallant Sir Bevil. He was a
very disreputable, bad-tempered, altogether ill-conditioned fellow.
Lady Howard took good care, before accepting number four, to have
her property well tied up to herself, so that he could not touch
it. When he discovered this he was furious, and treated her with
insolence and violence. By him she had two daughters, Elizabeth, who
died early, and Mary.

The condition of family broil became at last so intolerable that
she was forced to appeal to the justices of peace against him, and
finally to endeavour to obtain a divorce, 1631-2. The revelations
then made on both sides are not pleasant reading. If he was abusive,
she did not keep her tongue shut behind her teeth.

The story of her further troubles during the Civil War, of Sir
Richard's playing fast and loose with one party and then the
other, of his masterful seizure of her house at Fitzford and her
estates in Devon, need not here be told at length. She lived in
London, and was put to desperate shifts for money. At last Sir
Richard was thrown into prison, but escaped to France, 1646. Lady
Grenville, or as she now called herself--for she held herself to be
divorced--Lady Howard, at once returned to Fitzford, found it gutted
and in a wretched condition, and set to work to cleanse, repair,
and refurnish. Her son, George Howard, managed her business for her
till his death in September, 1671, without issue. His mother, at
this date very old, was probably bedridden; the shock of her son's
death was too much for her, and she died a month later. Knowing
her to be ill, her first cousin, Sir William Courtenay, hastened
to her bedside, and, probably with the connivance of a trusted
maid, Thomasine Wills, persuaded the old lady to make over to him
all her landed estates, to the exclusion of her two daughters, who
were alive and married. It was an infamous piece of roguery, and it
brought no luck on the Courtenays.

Popular feeling was outraged and has revenged itself on her, who
really was not so much to blame as Sir William Courtenay, in
painting her in the blackest colours. She is popularly represented
as having murdered her first three husbands, as conceiving a deadly
hatred against her daughter Elizabeth, who apparently died early,
but cannot be traced, and as not exactly _walking_ but _riding_
after death. When the clock strikes twelve every night she is
supposed to start in a coach made of bones from the gateway of
Fitzford House, drawn by headless horses; before the carriage runs a
sable hound with one eye in the middle of his forehead. The spectral
coach makes its way to Okehampton, where the hound plucks a blade
of grass from the castle mound, and then the _cortège_ returns to
Fitzford, where the blade is laid on the threshold of the gate. This
is Lady Howard's penance, and it will last till every blade of grass
on the mound of Okehampton Castle hill has been plucked, which will
not be till the crack of doom, as the grass grows faster than the
hound can carry it off.

I frequently heard of the coach going from Okehampton to Tavistock
when I was a boy; and there was a ballad about it, of which I was
able to recall a few fragments, which I completed and published
along with the original air in my _Songs of the West_. As a child I
remember the deadly fear that I felt lest I should be on the road at
night, and my nurse was wont to comfort me by saying there was no
fear of the "Lady's Coach," except after midnight.

In the vicarage garden are some very early inscribed stones
collected from the neighbourhood. There is no token on them that
they are Christian. Their inscriptions are:--

  1. Neprani fili Condevi
  2. Sabini fili Maccodecheti
  3. Dobunii Fabri fili Enabarri.

This latter has on it also in oghans _Enabarr_. The second has the
test word _Mac_ for _Map_ or _Mab_, indicative of Irish occupation.
Moreover Dechet was a name, probably of a _sept_ or tribe in Kerry,
where several stones inscribed with the same name are found.[35]

  [35] A member of the same clan or tribe was buried at Penrhos
  Llygwyin, Anglesea--"_Hic jacet Maccudecheti_."

The third is interesting, for Dobun was a _faber_ or smith. In
Celtic organisation every _tuatha_ or tribe had its chief smith,
and every _fine_ or clan had its smith and forge as well, all whose
rights and dues were determined by law; moreover, the head smith of
the tribe was a man of very considerable consequence, social and

_Dobuni_, in the third, is the Latin for the genitive _Douvinias_,
also a Kerry name. A stone at Ballintaggart bears an inscription to
a son of Dobunus, MUCCOIDOVVINIAS. Another stone of another son is
at Burnham, also in Kerry, in Lord Ventry's collection. Here, then,
we have written and engraven in stone for our learning the record of
an Irish settlement from Kerry in the neighbourhood of Tavistock. If
S. Rumon preached there he could preach in Gaelic and be understood.

Of the abbey of Tavistock there are but poor remains. Betsy
Grimbal's tower in the vicarage garden was a gate-house, and
takes its name from a woman who was murdered there by a soldier.
A porch into the refectory or abbot's hall is the dairy of the
"Bedford Inn." Some fragments of the monastic buildings are united
and converted into library and municipal buildings, but they are
dominated and oppressed by an architectural monstrosity--an absurd
Town Hall in nondescript style.

The Drake statue is of bronze, and fine, in front of the Fitzford
gate, and possesses the bas-reliefs on the base, in which the
_replica_ on Plymouth Hoe is deficient. Sir Francis Drake was born
at Crowndale, the first farm down the Tavy valley. The old house
has been destroyed. The Drakes were of yeoman origin in Whitchurch,
nothing more. They laboured to prove a kinship to the ancient family
of Drake of Ash, but failed, and Sir Francis Drake was granted an
entirely new coat of arms.

The story is told that Sir Francis and Sir Bernard,--the latter the
head of the Ash family--had a heated quarrel over the matter in the
presence of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Bernard objecting to the navigator
assuming the wyvern gules.

"Well," said Bess, "I will give Sir Francis a new coat, a ship in
full sail, with the wyvern turned head over heels at the poop."

But Sir Bernard was too important a man to be offended; she thought
better of it, and gave Sir Francis the noble coat of a fess wavy
between two pole stars.

The story is pronounced to be apocryphal.

Sir Francis became possessor by purchase of Buckland Abbey (1581),
which is not only beautifully situated, but is interesting. It is,
in fact, the cruciform abbey church converted into an Elizabethan
mansion. The nave has been floored, and the drawing-room upstairs is
in it; the hall below is also in part therein. There is here some
splendid plaster-work. The choir was pulled down and a kitchen wing
built at right angles. In the grounds are some remarkably fine tulip

Buckland Monachorum Church is large, Perpendicular, but cold, and
has a naked, unfurnished look internally from being without its

There are two points on no account to be missed by a visitor to
Tavistock, and both can be combined in one drive or walk--the Raven
Rock above the Virtuous Lady Mine, opposite the point where the
Walla falls into the Tavy; the other the better known Morwell Rocks.
The former, hardly inferior to the other, but less known, is reached
from the Bere Alston road.

At Morwell is the hunting-lodge of Abbot Courtenay, cousin of Bishop
Grandisson, and appointed by him to Tavistock Abbey. It was a very
unsatisfactory appointment. He alienated the property of the abbey,
and allowed its buildings and discipline to fall into decay, and
got the monastery into a debt equivalent to twenty thousand pounds
of our money. All he cared for was sport, like the jolly monk in
Chaucer's _Prologue_.

The quadrangle, which was in a singularly untouched condition, with
hall and butteries and kitchens, was somewhat wantonly mutilated
some fifty years ago and turned into farmhouse and cottages.

From Tavistock Lydford can be visited with ease. This was a very
strong place at one time, a sort of inland cliff-castle, situated
in a fork between ravines, with mounds and trenches drawn across
the neck. The castle, an uninteresting ruin, occupies a natural
mound artificially shaped; it was long the Stannary prison. The
waterfall is graceful rather than fine, a steep slide of seventy
feet in height in the midst of woods. From this the river Lyd should
be ascended for three miles by a path through a ravine that grows
in grandeur till it is spanned by a bridge. The ascent may well
be continued to Kits Steps, another fall of a totally different
character, much spoiled by refuse-heaps from an abandoned mine. From
Lydford a visitor should take a walk across the shoulder of Hare Tor
to the rocks of Tavy Cleave, perhaps the grandest scene on Dartmoor.

Another excursion is to be made to Brent Tor, a subaqueous volcanic
cone, crowned by a little church. The base of the hill has been
fortified. The banks are most perfect on the east. The view from
the top of the tor is remarkably extensive and fine. Endsleigh,
the country seat of the Duke of Bedford, is almost unsurpassed in
England for beauty of scenery. Mary Tavy Church has a good new
screen, and Peter Tavy a scrap of an old one and remains of a
magnificent early Tudor pew, wantonly demolished.

From either Whit Tor may be ascended, a tor of gabbro, or volcanic
traplike formation. The summit has been fortified. On Peter Tavy
Moor is a fine circle of upright stones, and a menhir. Peter Tavy
Combe should on no account be passed over unseen.

     NOTE.--Books on Tavistock:--

     ALFORD (Rev. D.), _The Abbots of Tavistock_. Plymouth, 1891.

     BRAY (Mrs.), _The Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy_, 2 vols.
     new edition. London: Kent and Co., 1879. A valuable book for
     old stories and superstitions. Mr. Bray was also the first to
     explore Dartmoor for its antiquities. But all the rubbish about
     Druids must be put aside. When written in 1832 antiquaries knew
     no better; they talked and wrote nonsense on such subjects.

     EVANS (R.), _Home Scenes; or, Tavistock and its Vicinity_.
     Tavistock, 1846; now not easily procured.



     As a health resort--The Palk family--Myths concerning the
     family--Its real history--The Cary family--Landing at Brixham
     of William of Orange--Kent's Cavern--Order of deposits
     therein--Churches in the neighbourhood--Haccombe--The Teign-head
     combes--Wolborough--The Three Wells--Aller pottery--Its
     story--Red mud.

This pleasant winter residence is now stretched from Paignton on
one side to Marychurch on the other, with different climates in its
several parts. Torquay is backed by a high ridge against the east,
and consequently is sheltered from cutting winds from that quarter.
S. Marychurch is on the top of the cliffs, and catches every wind.
Paignton looks across the bay due east, and is therefore exposed to
the most bracing of all winds. In Frying Pan Row, Torquay, one may
be grilled the same day that at Paignton one may have one's nose and
fingers turned blue.

A century ago Torquay was a little fishing village, numbering but a
few poor cottages.

Torquay has benefited largely from the Palk family, but then the
Palks also have benefited largely by Torquay.

A cloud of dust has been stirred up to disguise the humble, but
respectable, origin of the family; and even Foster in his _Peerage_
(1882), who is always accurate when he had facts placed before
him, commences with "Sir Robert Palk, descended from Henry Palk,
of Ambrook, Devon (Henry VII., 1493-4)." But Ambrook, which is
in Staverton, never did belong to the Palks; it was the property
first of the Shapcotes, and then of the Nayles. Sir Bernard Burke,
in addition to the Ambrook myth, states that Walter, seventh in
descent, married Miss Abraham, and had Robert, Walter (who was
member for Ashburton), and Grace. The late Sir Bernard Burke was
not remarkable for accuracy, and here he has floundered into a
succession of blunders. The descent from Henry Palk, of Ambrook, is
apocryphal; and Walter Palk never was member for Ashburton, or for
anywhere else. Another false assertion made has been that the family
are descended from a Rev. Thomas Palk, of Staverton, a "celebrated"
Nonconformist divine, who died in 1693. Wills proved in the Court of
the Dean and Chapter of Exeter disprove this.

The real facts are these.

Walter Palk, of Ashburton, married Grace Ryder, and by her means
came in for a petty farm called Lower Headborough, close to
Ashburton. He died in 1707, when his personal estate was valued at
£160 10_s._ 5½_d._ His son Walter married Frances, daughter of
Robert Abraham, a farmer in Woodland, and his pack-horses carried
serge from Ashburton over Haldon to Exeter. This is probably the
origin of the story commonly told that the first Palk was a carrier
between Exeter and Ashburton. He had two sons: Walter, whose son,
the Rev. Jonathan Palk, vicar of Ilsington, described his father as
a "little farmer with a large family." The second son, Robert, born
in 1717, was sent as a sizar to Oxford, by the assistance of his
uncle Abraham. He was ordained deacon, and became a poor curate in
Cornwall. On Christmastide he walked to Ashburton to see his father,
and as he was returning on his way home, he stood on Dart Bridge,
looking down on the river, when a gentleman riding by recognised
him, drew up, and said, "Is that you, Palk?" He had been a
fellow-student at Oxford. Palk had a sad story to tell of privation
and vexation. The other suggested to him to seek his fortune under
John Company in India, and volunteered an introduction. He went out,
acting as chaplain to the _Stirling Castle_, and during the time
he was in India, attracted the attention of General Lawrence, who
in 1752 obtained for him an appointment as paymaster to the army,
of which he had then assumed the command. But already by clever
speculation Mr. Palk had done well; the new position enabled him to
vastly enlarge his profits.

He next embarked in trade, and this also proved remunerative. He
came back to England for the first time in 1759. Subsequently a
difficulty arose in India. The Company were debating it at the old
East India House in Leadenhall Street. What capable man could they
find to do the difficult work before them? At last one of them
exclaimed, "Gentlemen, you forget that we have Mr. Palk at home."
"The very man!" He was sent out as Governor of Madras in 1763. In
1775 General Lawrence died, and left £80,000 to his old _protégé_.

The acquisition of the property about Torquay, at the time when it
was a place of no consideration, was a shrewd stroke of business.
Mr. Palk was created a baronet, and elected to represent Devon in
Parliament. Subsequently, when the Rev. John Horne Tooke, a Jacobin,
as it was the fashion to call Radicals of that day, was returned to
Parliament, the House settled that it would not allow of clerical
members being admitted, and this would have excluded Sir Robert Palk
as well as Horne Tooke, but that Palk was only in deacon's orders.

Sir Robert did much for Torquay. Sir Lawrence continued to promote
the material welfare of the place in every way available.

He constructed the outer harbour and new pier, which were completed
in 1870, at an outlay of £70,000. Further attractions were afforded
to visitors by the provision of recreation grounds and public walks.
He also gave sites for new churches, and the modern town of Torquay
has risen into a place full of beauty and attraction.

     "Robert Palk's touch seemed to turn everything into gold. He
     realised it for himself, for his children, for his relatives,
     for his friends, and for his surroundings. He was an ancestor to
     look back upon, a forefather of whom any family might reasonably
     be proud."[36]

  [36] WORTHY, _Devonshire Parishes_, 1889, vol. ii., p. 335. Mr.
  Worthy has worked out the Palk pedigree from extant wills and

The other family attached to Torquay to which it must look is that
of Cary, as ancient and noble as that of Palk is modern and humble.
The nest of the family is Cary, on the river of the same name in S.
Giles-in-the-Heath, Devon, but on the borders of Cornwall. It can be
traced back like those of most men to an Adam--but an Adam Cary in

Torbay is noted as the place where Dutch William arrived in 1688.
He landed at Brixham on November 4th, and, as the tide was out, he
called for someone to carry him ashore, whereupon a little man named
Varwell volunteered.

The local story is that the good folk of Brixham presented their
illustrious visitor with the following address:--

    "An' please your Majesty, King William,
    You're welcome to Brixham Quay,
    To eat buckhorn and drink Bohea
    Along wi' we,
    An' please your Majesty, King William."

But the story is of course apocryphal, as the prince was not a king,
and tea was at a fabulous price.

The subsequent history of the "little man" who carried the king
ashore is rather singular. Having a short ambling pony, he rode
bare-headed before the prince to Newton and afterwards to Exeter,
and so pleased him with his zeal that the prince bade him come to
court, when he should be seated on the throne, and that then he
would reward Varwell. The prince also gave him a line under his
hand, which was to serve as a passport to the royal presence. In
due time accordingly the little man took his course to London,
promising his townsmen that he would come back among them a lord at
least. When, however, he arrived there, some sharpers, who learned
his errand at the tavern where he put up, made Varwell gloriously
drunk, and kept him in this condition for several successive
weeks. During this time one of the party, having obtained the
passport, went to court, with the "little man's" tale in his mouth,
and received a handsome present from the king. Our adventurer,
recovering himself afterwards, went to the palace without his card
of admission and was repulsed as an impostor, and returned to
Brixham never to hold up his head again.

It is fair to say that the Varwell family entirely repudiate the
latter part of the tale, and say that the "little man" did see the
king and got a hundred pounds out of him.

The troops with the prince were obliged to encamp in the open air,
but William got a lodging in one of the cottages.

Whitter, who was one of the attendants on the Dutch adventurer, has
left a graphic account of the landing and subsequent march:--

     "It was a cold, frosty night, and the stars twinkl'd
     exceedingly; besides, the ground was very wet after so much rain
     and ill weather; the soldiers were to stand to their arms the
     whole night; and therefore sundry soldiers went to fetch some
     old hedges and cut down green wood to burn therewith and make
     some fire. Those who had provision in their gnap-sacks did broil
     it at the fire, and others went into the villages thereabouts to
     buy some fresh provisions for their officers, but, alas! there
     was little to be gotten. There was a little ale-house among the
     fishermen's houses, which was so extremely thronged that a man
     could not thrust in his head, nor get bread or ale for money.
     It was a happy time for the landlord, who strutted about as if
     indeed he had been a lord himself."

The little ale-house is probably that now entitled the "Buller
Arms." It was there William is said to have slept, and to have left
behind him a ring that remained in the possession of the taverner's
family till it came to one Mary Churchward, who died about 1860. It
was stolen from her one night by a thief who entered her room whilst
she slept, and it was never recovered.

On the morrow William and his Dutchmen with a few Scots and English
marched to Paignton, and many people, mostly Nonconformists,
welcomed him.

A gentleman, very advanced in age, in 1880 says:--

     "There are few now left who can say as I can, that they have
     heard their fathers and their wives' fathers talking together
     of the men who saw the landing of William the Third at Torbay.
     I have heard Captain Clements say he, as a boy, heard as many
     as seven or eight old men each giving the particulars of what
     he saw; then one said a shipload of horses hawled to the Quay,
     and the horses walked out all harnessed, and the quickness with
     which each man knew his horse and mounted it surprised them.
     Another old man said, 'I helped to get on shore the horses
     that were thrown overboard, and swam on shore, guided by only
     a single rope running from the ship to the shore.' My father
     remembered one Gaffer Will Webber, of Staverton, who lived to a
     great age, say that he went from Staverton as a boy with his
     father, who took a cartload of apples from Staverton to the
     highroad from Brixham to Exeter, that the soldiers might help
     themselves to them, and to wish them 'God-speed.'

     "I merely mention this to show how easily tradition can be
     handed down, requiring only three or four individuals for two

  [37] WINDEATT (T. W.), "The Landing of the Prince of Orange," in
  _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_, 1880.

What was done by the country folk was to roll apples down the slopes
from the orchards to the troops as they passed.

The prince spent the second night at Paignton in a house near the
"Crown and Anchor Inn," where his room is still shown.

Next day he with his troops marched to Newton, and he took up his
quarters in Ford House, belonging to Sir William Courtenay, who
prudently decamped so as not to compromise himself. A room there
is called the Orange Room, and is now always papered and hung with
that colour. At Newton the prince's proclamation was read on the
steps of the old market cross, not by the Rev. John Reynell, rector
of Wolborough, as is stated on a stone erected on the spot, but by
a chaplain, no doubt the fussy and pushing Burnet. Reynell had also
made himself scarce. From Newton the prince marched to Exeter.

One can tell pretty well what were the political leanings of squires
and parsons at the period of the Jacobite troubles, for where there
was zeal for the House of Stuart, there Scotch pines were planted;
where, however, the Dutchman was in favour, there lime trees were
set in avenues.

In Torquay Museum is an interesting collection of relics from
Kent's Cavern. This is a cave in the limestone rocks that was first
explored in 1824, when Mr. Northmore, of Cleve, near Exeter, visited
it with the double object, as he stated, "of discovering organic
remains, and of ascertaining the existence of a temple of Mithras,"
and he declared himself happy to say that he was "successful in both
objects." An amusing example this of the egregious nonsense that was
regarded as antiquarianism at the beginning of this century. He was
followed by Mr. (afterwards Sir) W. C. Trevelyan, who was the first
to have obtained any results of scientific value.

The Rev. J. MacEnery, a Roman Catholic priest, whose name must be
for ever associated with the Cavern, visited it in the summer of
1825. The visit was a memorable one, for, devoting himself to what
he conjectured to be a favourable spot, he found several teeth and
bones; and he thus sums up his feelings on the occasion:--

"They were the first fossil teeth I had ever seen, and as I laid my
hands on them, relics of extinct races and witnesses of an order of
things which passed away with them, I shrank back involuntarily.
Though not insensible to the excitement attending new discoveries, I
am not ashamed to own that in the presence of these remains I felt
more of awe than joy."

He communicated his discovery to Dr. Buckland, and from time to time
dug into the deposits. At that and a long subsequent period the
proper method of studying deposits of this kind was not understood,
and the several layers were not distinguished. Trenches were cut
that went through beds separated in age by many centuries, perhaps
thousands of years, and no distinction was made between what lay
near the surface and what was found in the lowermost strata. A
proper examination began in March, 1866, and was continued without
intermission through the summer of 1880 under the able direction of
Mr. W. Pengelly, at a cost of nearly two thousand pounds.

Kent's Cavern gives evidence of a double occupation by man at a
remote distance of time the one from the other. The upper beds are
of cave-earth. Below that is the breccia, and in the upper alone
are traces of the hyena found. In the lowest strata of crystalline
breccia are rude flint and chert implements of the same type as that
found elsewhere in the river-drift. In association with these were
the remains of the cave-bear, and a tool was found manufactured out
of an already fossilised tooth of this animal. The chert and flint
employed were from the gravels that lie between Newton Abbot and

Above the breccia is the cave-earth, in which flint implements are
by far more numerous, and are of a higher form, some being carefully
chipped all round. The earlier tool was fashioned by heavy blows
dealt against the core of flint, detaching large flakes. But the
tools of the second period are neatly trimmed. The flakes were
detached, very often by pressure and a jerk, and then the edges
were delicately worked with a small tool. A bone needle was also met
with, and bone awls, and two harpoons of reindeer antler, the one
barbed on one side and the other on both.

Rude, coarse pottery has also been found, but only quite near the
surface, and this belongs to a later period.

There are other caves in the same formation, at Anstis and at
Brixham, that have rendered good results when explored.

The two deposits are separated from each other by a sheet of
crystalline stalagmite, in some places nearly twelve feet thick,
formed after the breccia was deposited, and before the cave-earth
was introduced. After the stalagmite had been formed, it was broken
up by some unknown natural agency, and much of it, along with some
of the breccia, was carried out by water from the cave, before the
deposition of the cave-earth began.

     "From these observations it is evident that the Riverdrift
     men inhabited the caves of Devonshire, Derbyshire, and
     Nottinghamshire in an early stage of the history of caverns,
     and that after an interval, to be measured in Kent's Hole by
     the above-mentioned physical changes, the Cave-men (those of
     the Second Period) found shelter in the same places. The former
     also followed the chase in the valley of the Elwy and the vale
     of Clwydd in North Wales, and the latter found ample food in
     the numerous reindeer, horses, and bisons then wandering over
     the plains extending from the Mendip Hills to the Quantocks,
     and the low, fertile tract now covered by the estuary of the
     Severn and the Irish Sea. When all these facts are taken into
     consideration, it is difficult to escape Mr. Pengelly's
     conclusion that the two sets of implements represent two
     distinct social states, of which the ruder is by far the most

  [38] BOYD DAWKINS, _Early Man in Britain_, 1880, p. 197.

We have, in the caves of France, evidence of the successive layers
of civilisation, one superposed on the other, down to the reindeer
hunter, who ate horses, represented by the cave-earth man of Kent's
Hole; and in this latter we have this same man superposed on the
traces of the still earlier man of the river-drift. To make all
plainer, I will add here a summary of the deposits.

                { Modern, Roman, etc.                  }
                { Iron Age, Celtic, bronze ornaments.  } Fauna, as
  Neolithic     { Bronze weapons, Ivernian, flint      } at present.
                { tools.                               }
                { Flint and pottery.                   }

                { Flint and bone tools, cave-men.      } Hyena,
  Palaeolithic  { Rudest flint tools, river-drift      } cave-bear,
                { men.                                 } reindeer,
                                                       } mammoth.

There are remains of a cliff castle at Long Quarry Point; from its
name one may conjecture that a church stood in Celtic times on
Kilmarie. Almost certainly this was a cliff castle, but the traces
have disappeared.

The old church of Tor Mohun is dedicated to S. Petrock, as is shown
by a Bartlett will in Somerset House, in 1517. Tor Abbey has been
crowded into a narrow space by encroaching buildings. Cockington
House and church deserve a visit, as forming a charming group.
Paignton Church contains a very fine but mutilated tomb with rich
canopy and screenwork, showing that there must have been in the
fifteenth century a native school of good figure sculptors. Marldon
Church is also interesting, and in that parish is the curious
Compton Castle, of which history has little to say. Haccombe, the
seat of the Carews, has a church crowded with fine monumental
effigies. The mansion is about the most hideous that could be
conceived. It is said that a Carew pulled down his fine Elizabethan
mansion and went to Italy, leaving instructions to an architect to
build him a handsome house in the Georgian style.

When he returned and saw what had been erected: "Well," said he, "I
believe that now I may take to myself the credit of possessing the
very ugliest house in the county." The situation is of exquisite
beauty. How lovely must have been the scene with a grave old
Elizabethan manor-house, mottled with white and yellow lichen,
embowered in trees, above which rose the hills, the evening sun
glittering in its many mullioned windows, while the rooks wheeled
and cawed about it.

The little combes that dip into the estuary of the Teign, rich
with vegetation growing rank out of the red soil, are very
lovely. Stoke-in-Teignhead not only has a good screen, but it
is a parish that has never had a squire, but has been occupied
from the sixteenth century by substantial yeomen, who have
maintained themselves there against encroaching men of many acres.
Combe-in-Teignhead has a very fine screen and equally good old

Wolborough has a good church occupying a site that was once a camp,
and contains an excellent screen, well restored and glittering with
gold and colour. East Ogwell has also a screen, and the old manor
mill is a picturesque object for the pencil. Denbury is a strong

Torbrian, situated in a lovely spot, has fine screenwork
and monuments of the Petres. The three Wells, Coffinswell,
Kingskerswell, and Abbotskerswell, lie together. At Kingskerswell
are some old monumental effigies of the Prowse family. At
Abbotskerswell are a screen, and a large statue of the Blessed
Virgin in a niche of the window splay. This latter had been
plastered over into one great bulk; when the plaster was removed
the statue was revealed. The very fine Jacobean altar-rails were
removed at the "restoration," to make place for something utterly
uninteresting. Here there is an early and interesting church-house.
The church-house was the building in which the parishioners from a
distance spent a rainy time between morning service and vespers. The
house was divided by a floor into two storeys, that above for women,
that below for the men. Here were also held the church ales, that
is to say, the ale brewed by the wardens and sold to defray church
expenses. The ale was also supplied on Sundays by the clerk to those
who tarried for evensong, and so, little by little, most of these
old church-houses degenerated into taverns.

Abbotskerswell is the seat of the Aller pottery art manufacture,
started by the late Mr. John Phillips, with the object of providing
the village young men with remunerative work at their own homes.
But about this presently. The story of the inception of the work is

Coffinswell still possesses its holy well, that is called the "Lady
Well," used by young girls for fortune-telling.

At some little distance from this spring lies a nameless grave in
unconsecrated ground, where is buried a lady banished holy ground
for her sins. Every New Year's morn, after the stroke of midnight,
she rises and takes "one cock's stride" towards the churchyard,
which, when she reaches, she will find rest, and her hope is to be
found therein--at the crack of doom.

The three well-parishes lie about the stream of the Aller (W.
_allwy_, to pour forth, to stream), that flows into the Teign below
Newton Abbot. But it was not always so. At some remote period,
when the great Dartmoor peaks "stood up and took the morning,"
far higher than they do now, the mountain torrents that swept the
detritus of quartz from Hey Tor and Rippon Tor not only filled the
lake of Bovey with pure white china clay, till they had converted
a basin into a plain, but they also poured between red sandstone
and limestone cliffs into the sea at Torbay. Then came a convulsion
of nature; these latter formations rose as a wall across the
bed of the torrent, and the spill of the granite upland passed
down the Teign valley. Then the little Aller was formed of the
drainage of the combes of the upraised barrier, and, blushing at
its insignificance, it stole through the ancient bottom, cutting
its modest way through the beds of quartz clay left by the former
occupant of the valley, and, of course, flowing in a direction
precisely the reverse of the former flood. The deposits of the
earlier stream remain in all the laps of the hills and folds of the
valley. They consist of quartz clay, somewhat coloured by admixture
of the later rocks that have been fretted by lateral streams.

The first to discover these beds were the gipsies. They were our
early potters. These wandering people were wont to camp wherever
there was clay, and wood suitable for baking the clay. They set
their rude wheels to work, and erected their equally primitive
kilns, and spent one half the year in making pots, and the other
half in vending them from place to place. When the wood supply was
exhausted, then the Bohemians set up their potteries on another spot
that commended itself to them, to be again deserted when the wood
supplies failed once more.

The reason why the potteries at Burslem and elsewhere in
Staffordshire have become permanent is, that there the coal is
ready at hand, and that there the native population has taken the
trade out of the desultory hands of the gipsies, and has worked at
it persistently, instead of intermittently. The old stations, the
rude kilns, the heaps of broken and imperfectly baked crocks of the
ancient potters, are often come upon in the woods of Aller vale, and
among the heather and gorse brakes of Bovey Heathfield.

The Aller vale opens into the Teign, as already said, below Newton
Abbot, and extends about four miles south to the village of
Kingskerswell, that stands on the crest of the red rocky barrier
which diverted the course of the flood from Dartmoor. A branch of
the valley to the west terminates at a distance of two miles at the
picturesque village of Abbotskerswell, and another branch to the
east leads up to the village of Coffinswell. The deepest deposit of
clay is at the point where the three parishes converge.

Just nineteen years ago the idea of an art school was mooted in the
district. It was enthusiastically taken up by the village doctor at
Kingskerswell, in association with an institute for the labourers
and young men of the parish, and after a little difficulty he
succeeded in getting hold of some premises for the purpose. This
earnest-hearted and energetic man, Dr. Symons, did not live to see
more than the initiation of his scheme. By many the idea of an art
school among village bumpkins was viewed with mistrust, even with
disfavour. It was argued, and with truth, that art schools had been
started in country towns, and had failed to reach a class below the
middle order. Sons and daughters of artisans and labourers would
have none of it. Such had been the experience in Newton, such in
Torquay. If the intelligent artisan of the town turned his back
on the art school, was it likely that Hodge would favour it? When
people have satisfied their minds that a certain venture is doomed
to failure, they are very careful not to lend their names to it,
nor to put out their finger-tips to help it in any way. It was so in
this case.

The managers of the Board School, when asked to lend the room for
the purpose, refused it. The promoters, failing in every other
direction, turned to a poor widow left with two sons, struggling
hard to keep soul and body together in a modest "cob" (clay-walled)
cottage with thatched roof. She was asked the loan of her kitchen,
a room measuring 21 feet by 18 feet, lighted by two small latticed
windows, with low open-boarded and raftered ceiling of unhewn
timber. Glad to earn a few pence, she consented, and the art classes
were started on a career of unexpected success.

The school of art began with a few pupils. A Sunday-school teacher
persuaded his class to go to the art school, and perhaps to humour
him, rather than with any anticipation of profit, the boys accepted
the invitation. The widow's kitchen was whitewashed and clean. On
the hearth a log fire blazed. A few simple pictures hung on the
walls, and a scarlet geranium glowed in a pot in the window. A
couple of trestles supported a plank for a table, and a pair of
forms served to seat the pupils. The ploughboy, with his stiff
fingers, was set to draw straight lines, and wonderful were his
productions. The lines danced, trembled, wriggled, halted, then
rushed off the page. They were crackers in their gyrations at first,
and then rockets. By degrees the lines became less random, more
subdued and purposeful, and finally a crow of delight proclaimed to
the whole class that the curly-headed ploughboy had succeeded in
producing a musical bar of five fairly parallel lines. Then, with
both hands plunged into his pockets, young Hodge leaned back and
went off into a roar of laughter. It had dawned on his mind that he
could draw a line with a pencil on paper as true as he could with
a ploughshare in a field. He had come to the school for a lark,
and had found that the self-satisfaction acquired by the discovery
of his powers was a lark better than he had expected. The question
presented itself from the outset--How was the art school to be
maintained? The fires must be kept in full glow, the lamps must be
supplied with oil, the widow must be paid to clean her floor after
the boys had brought over it the red mud from the lanes. As so much
mistrust as to the advantage and prospect of success of the classes
was entertained, it was from the first resolved by the promoters not
to solicit subscriptions. The whole thing was to be self-supporting.
This was represented to the pupils, and they readily accepted the
situation. They undertook to organise and keep going through the
winter a series of fortnightly entertainments; they would invite
some outsiders, but for the most part they would do their best
themselves to entertain. The evenings would be made lively with
recitations, readings, and songs. Doubtful whether such performance
would deserve a fixed charge for admission, the young fellows on
putting their heads together determined to make none, but to hold a
cap at the door when the "pleasant evening" was over, and let those
who had been entertained show their appreciation as they chose.

These fortnightly cottage entertainments became a recognised
institution and a source of profit, besides serving as a means of
interesting and occupying the pupils. A thing that begins in a small
way on right principles, a thing that "hath the seed in itself," is
bound to succeed.

Adjoining the widow's cottage was another untenanted, like it
consisting of a single apartment on the ground floor. It became
necessary to rent this, knock a door through the wall, and combine
the cottages. The second room was turned into a workshop, with a
carpenter's bench and a chest of tools.

Out of the first art school in the one well-parish grew two others,
one in each of the other well-parishes. Coffinswell has but a
population of a hundred souls, nevertheless its art school has been
frequented by as many as twelve pupils. Sixty is the highest number
reached by the three together, which are now combined to maintain an
efficient art instructor.

It fell out that a stoneware pottery in the Aller vale was burnt
down in 1881, and when reconstructed the proprietor, who had
cordially promoted the art classes, resolved on converting what
had been a factory of drain and ridge tiles into a terra-cotta
manufactory, in which some of the more promising pupils might
find employ, and in which the knowledge and dexterity acquired in
the class might be turned to practical uses. A single experienced
potter was engaged, a gipsy, to start the affair, as there was no
local tradition as to the manufacture of crocks upon which to go.

The classes were from the outset for boys and girls together, and
though recently there has been a change in this arrangement, the
young women coming in the afternoon, and the young men in the
evening, this alteration has been made owing to increase of numbers,
not in consequence of any rudeness or impropriety, for such there
had not been in the ten years of the career of the school. In this
case the experience has been precisely the same as that of the mixed
schools and colleges of the United States.

There is one thing that a visitor to Torquay is certain to carry
away with him if he has made excursions on foot about it--some of
its red soil. The roads, in spite of the County Council, are bad,
for the material of which they are made is soft. But what a soil
it is for flowers and for fruit! Anything and everything will grow
there and run wild. Stick a twig into the earth, and it is bound to
grow. As for roses and violets, they run riot there. And, taken on
the whole, the visitor who has been to Torquay is almost sure to
carry away with him something beside the red mud, something quite as
adhesive--pleasant memories of the place and its balmy air.



     The legend of Brutus--Derivation of the name--Castle--The
     charter--Old houses--Piazzas--The church--The screen--Dartington
     Hall--Little Hempston Rectory--Old gate--Priory--Berry Pomeroy.

What a pity it is that the dear old legends that lie at the root
of history have been dissipated! That we can no longer believe in
Romulus and Remus and the she-wolf--no, not even when the Lupercale
remains on the side of the Palatine Hill, after the palaces of
Augustus, of Tiberius, of Caligula, of Septimius Severus, have been
levelled with the dust.

How cruel, too, that the delightful story of Alfred and the cakes,
that also of Edwin and Elgiva, are relegated to the region of
fables; that we are told there never was such a person as King
Arthur, and that S. George for Merry England never was a gallant
knight, and certainly slew no dragon, nor delivered fair maid!

Dust we are, but is it absolutely necessary that all human history,
and the history of nature, should spring out of dust? that the
events of the childhood of our race should have been all orderly
and unromantic, as if every nationality had been bred in trimness
as a Board School scholar? Now, what if we could believe that
old gossiping--I am afraid I must add lying--historian, Geoffrey
of Monmouth! Why, the transformation scene at a pantomime would be
nothing to the blaze of wonders and romance in the midst of which
the England of history steps on to the stage.

[Illustration: ON THE DART]

Ah! if we could but believe old Geoffrey, or the British book which
he saw and translated, why, then, Totnes would be the most revered
spot in England, as that where the first man set his foot when he
landed in an uncultivated, unpeopled island. Is there not on the
Palatine the Lupercale, the very den in which the she-wolf suckled
Romulus and Remus, to prove the tale? Are there not Arthur's Seats
enough in Cornwall, Wales, Cumberland, Scotland, to show that there
must have been an Arthur to sit in them? And is there not the stone
in the high street of Totnes on which Brut, when he landed, set his
foot to establish against all doubters the existence of Brut and the
fact of his landing there?

The story is this.

As it fell upon a day there was a certain king called Sylvius in
Italy, and when he was about to become a father he consulted a
magician, who by the stars could tell all that was to be. Now this
magician read that the child that was to be born to Sylvius would be
the death of his father and mother.

In course of time the child was born, and at his birth his mother
died. "He's a Brute," said King Sylvius, and so that was his name.

But King Sylvius did not have his child exposed to wild beasts; he
gave it to be nursed by a good woman, who reared the "Brute" till he
was fifteen.

Now it fell out that one day King Sylvius went a-hunting in the
merry greenwood with horn and hounds, and the little "Brute,"
hearing the winding of the horn and the music of the hounds, picked
up the bow he himself had made, and with the arrows he himself also
had winged, forth he went to the chase. Alas! it so fell out that
the first arrow he shot pierced his father's heart.

On this account Brute had to fly the country.

    "And away he fared to the Grecian land,
      With a hey! with a ho! and a nonny O!
    And there he gathered a stalwart band,
      And the ships they sail on the blue sea O!"

Now the mother of Brute had been a Trojan, so all the refugees,
after the destruction of Troy, gathered about the young prince, and
formed a large body of men. Brute took to wife Ignogne, daughter of
Pandrasos, King of the Greeks, and resolved to sail away in quest of
a new country. So the king, his father-in-law, gave him ships and
lading, and he started. A fair wind swelled his sails, and he sailed
over the deep blue sea till he reached a certain island called
Loegria, which was all solitary, for it had been wasted by pirates.
But Brute went on shore, and found an old deserted and ruinous
temple, and there he lit three fires, and he sacrificed a white
hart, and poured the blood mingled with wine on the broken altar,
and he sang:--

    "Sweet goddess above, in the light of love,
      That high through the blue doth sail,
    O tell me who rove in the woodland grove,
      O tell me, and do not fail,
    Where I shall rest--and thine altar dressed,
      Shall finish this wandering tale."

These words he repeated nine times, after which he took four turns
round the altar, and laid himself down on the skin of the white
hart and fell asleep. About the third hour of the night he saw a
beautiful form appear with the new moon in her hair, and a sceptre
with the morning star shining on its point, and she said to him:--

    "Far, far away in the ocean blue,
      There lieth an island fair,
    Which giants possessed, but of them are few
      That linger to haunt it there.
    O there shalt thou reign, in a pleasant plain
      Shalt found thee a city rare,
    From thee shall a line of heroes divine
      Carry triumph everywhere."

When Brute woke he was much encouraged by the vision, and he
returned to his ship, hoisted the mainsail, and away, away, before
the wind the ship flew, throwing up foam from her bows, and leaving
a track as milk in the sea behind. He passed through the Straits
of Gibraltar and coasted up Aquitaine, and rounded the Cape of
Finisterre, and at length, with a fair wind, crossed the sea, and
came to the marble cliffs of Dunan Dyffnaint, the land of deep
vales, and in the cliffs opened a great rift, down which flowed a
beautiful river, and he sailed up it. And lo! on either side were
green pastures spangled with buttercups, and forests of mighty oaks
and beech, and over his head the white gulls screamed, and in the
water the broad-winged herons dipped; and so he sailed, and before
him rose a red cliff; and now the tide began to fall. So he ran his
ship up against the cliff and leapt ashore, and where he leaped
there his foot made its impress on the red rock, which remains even
unto this day. Then, when Brute had landed, he sat himself down and

    "Here I sit, and here I rest,
    And this town shall be called Totnes."

Which shows that Brute had not much idea of rhyme, nor of measure in
his rhyme.

It must be told that the very spot where Brute sprang ashore is
half-way up the hill from the river Dart, up which he sailed; but
then the river was much fuller in those days, or men's legs were

Totnes, in fact, occupies a promontory of red sandstone rock, round
which the river not only winds, but anciently swept up a creek that
ran for two miles. In fact there was a labyrinth of creeks there;
one between Totnes and the sea, another between Totnes and the
mainland, so that the town was accessible on one side only, and that
side was strongly fortified by castle and earthworks. The creek
to the south still fills with water; its mouth is below Sharpham,
and the tide now rises only as far as Bow Bridge. Formerly it ran
quite a mile further up. The town of Totnes, in fact, occupies one
point alone in a ness or promontory that was formerly, when the tide
rose, flushed with water on the three sides. It has, however, been
supposed that the term Totnes applies to the whole of that portion
of South Devon to the coast; some even assert to the whole peninsula
of Devon and Cornwall. The creeks have silted up with the rich red
mud, and with the washings from the tin mines on Dartmoor, to such
an extent that the true ness character of the little district of
Totnes and the villages of Ashprington and Harberton has not been
recognised. It is a hilly district, and the clefts which formerly
filled with water are natural dykes fortifying it.

The Ikenild Street, which was a British trackway, passed through
Totnes, which is the old Durium of the Itineraries. The river Dart
is the Dour, that comes out as Durium in Latin, and is simply the
Celtic word for water. We have it again in Dorovernia, Dover, and in
Dorchester, the castle or camp on the water.

The name Totnes is probably Saxon, from _tot_, _toten_, "to
project," as in Tothill, Tottenham; and we have it again in a
promontory on the coast, as Dodman's Nose, which is peculiar, for
this is a combination of three languages. _Dod_ is the Saxon, _man_
is the Celtic _maen_, stone or rock, and _ness_ is the Scandinavian
nose or headland.

The railway station and line to Plymouth now occupy the old
creek, up which barges, and undoubtedly smuggled spirits, went to
Dartington. Anyone standing on the Dartington side and looking
across at Totnes will see at once what was the old character of this
headland. The town occupies a long ridge, which reached to the river
by one street that ran its entire length. The magnificent church
of red sandstone, with its grand tower and pinnacles, occupies the
centre, and on the land side, the only side assailable, towered up
the castle on a mound that was thrown up in prehistoric times.

The castle is now ruined; the circular "mote" remains, and a few
crumbling walls and great elm trees full of rooks' nests rise in the
place of towers and battlements. The grounds about the ruins have
been nicely laid out, and what remains of the castle is saved from
further disintegration. The character was very much that of other
castles in the West, as Rougemont, Plympton, and Launceston. There
was no square keep, but a circular drum, and a large yard surrounded
by walls that stood on earlier earthworks. A picturesque gate gives
access to the town near the castle. The town itself is quaint and
full of interesting relics. A great number of the houses date from
Elizabethan times, and belonged to the wealthy merchants of Totnes,
which was a great place for the manufacture of woollen cloth. Indeed
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it was already famous.

Totnes is one of the oldest boroughs in the country. Its earliest
charter dates from 1205, and I believe I am right in saying that at
a dinner at the Mansion House given by a Lord Mayor of London within
the last few years to the mayors of England, precedence was given to
the representative of the borough of Totnes over all others.

The houses of the merchants of Totnes have been sadly tampered with.
The requirements of modern trade exact large shop-fronts, and to
satisfy the demand of the public to see at a glance what is to be
sold within, the venerable houses have been transformed externally,
at all events on the ground-floor. But let anyone interested in
such things go within and ask to be shown the panelled rooms and
plaster ceilings, and he will see much to interest and delight. A
peculiarly fine piece of plaster-work is in the parlour of the local
bookseller, and if the visitor desires to have his hair cut he can
have it done in a chamber of the local barber, where the woodwork is
of the sixteenth century.

Totnes preserves its old piazzas, or covered ways in High Street,
very much like those of Berne or an Italian city, or, indeed, of
the _bastides_ or free cities built by our Edward I. in his duchy
of Guyenne, of which Montpazier, Beaumont, St. Foye are notable
examples, and seem to show that piazzas were a common feature of
English towns and of towns built under English influence in the
thirteenth century. The same sort of thing is found at Chester, but
not, that I am aware, in any other English towns. If in Italy these
covered ways are an advantage, in that it allows those who walk
along the streets to look in at the shop windows with comfort when
the sun is shining, in Totnes it allows them the same advantage when
the rain is falling;

  "And the rain it raineth every day."

One unpardonable outrage has been committed at Totnes. There existed
in front of the churchyard and in continuation of the piazza, a
butter market, which consisted of an enlarged piazza, supported on
granite pillars of the beginning of the seventeenth century. The
vulgar craving to show off the parish church when so many pounds,
shillings, and pence had been spent on its restoration; the fear
lest visitors should fail to see that the shopkeepers of Totnes had
put their hands into their pockets to do up their church, made them
destroy this picturesque and unique feature.

The church itself is a very fine building. It was originally a
Norman structure of the eleventh century, but was rebuilt in the
thirteenth, and is, as it now stands, a structure of Perpendicular
work of the fifteenth century. It is of red sandstone, of a warm
and pleasant colour. In the tower are niches containing figures
of saints of lighter colour. The church has gone through a
restoration more or less satisfactory, or unsatisfactory, at the
hands of the late Sir G. Gilbert Scott, who had no feeling for
Perpendicular work. It is a stately church; its chief glory is a
superb rood-screen of carved stone, erected in 1460, and richly
coloured and gilt. This supported a wide gallery that extended
over half the chancel, and access to this gallery was obtained by
a splendid carved and gilt newel staircase in the chancel. The
top of the screen is delicately spread into fan-work, intended to
sustain the beam of the gallery. In the so-called restoration of
the church the entire gallery was removed, consequently the stair
leads to vacancy and the screen supports nothing. Moreover, one of
the most striking effects of the church was destroyed. A broad belt
of shadow was designed to cross the chancel, behind the screen,
throwing up, on one side, the gilded tracery of the screen, and on
the other, the flood of light that bathed the sanctuary and altar.
All this is gone, and the effect is now absolutely commonplace.
There are screens near Totnes of extraordinary richness--at Great
Hempston, Ipplepen, Harberton, and Berry Pomeroy--covered with gold
and adorned with paintings. But none are perfect. A screen consisted
of three parts. The lower was the sustaining arcade, then came the
fan-groining to support the gallery, above that, the most splendid
feature of all, the gallery back, which consisted of a series of
canopied compartments containing paintings representing the gospel
story. This still exists in Exeter Cathedral; the uppermost member
is also to be seen at Atherington, as has been already stated, but
everywhere else it has disappeared.

Formerly there stood a reredos at the east end of the chancel of
Grecian design, singularly out of character with the building, but
hardly worse than the contemptible concern that has been erected in
its place.

At the east end of the church, on the outside, the apprentices
of Totnes were wont to sharpen their knives, and the stones are
curiously rubbed away in the process.

The registers of Totnes are very early and of great interest, as
containing much information concerning the old merchant families and
the landed gentry of the neighbourhood with whom they married.

The nearest great manorial house is that of Dartington, which was
a mansion of the Hollands, Dukes of Exeter, and now belongs to the
Champernownes. It possesses ruins of the splendid hall, of the date
of Richard II., whose device, a white hart chained, appears repeated
several times. On the opposite side of the river is the most
interesting and unique parsonage of Little Hempston, a perfectly
untouched building of the fourteenth century, exactly the priest's
house of the time of Chaucer. The house consists of a structure
occupying four sides of a tiny quadrangle. It has a hall, buttery,
kitchen, and solar. Every window, except that of the hall, looks
into the little court, which is just twenty feet square, and the
rooms accordingly are gloomy. The late John Keble, who was often
a visitor at Dartington Parsonage, would, when missing, be found
there, dreaming over the life of the parish priest in the Middle

A very singular circumstance is connected with the old Champernownes
of Dartington. Gawaine Champernowne was married to the Lady Roberta,
daughter of the Count de Montgomeri, leader of the Huguenots. On
account of her misconduct she was divorced in 1582, by Act of
Parliament passed for the purpose. However, oddly to relate, no
sooner were they divorced than they patched up their quarrel and
continued to live together as husband and wife, and had a large
family. Happily the eldest son and heir was born before the Act was
passed, or in all certainty he would have been illegitimate in the
eye of the law. But the two younger sons and three daughters were
the issue after the divorce.

The old south gate of Totnes still remains, and at one time the
chamber over it was a public-house. It has since been converted into
a reading-room, and contains some good wood-carving of the Tudor age
and a fine plaster cornice.

On the north side of the church are the remains of the old priory of
S. Mary, founded by Judael, Earl of Totnes, at the Conquest. These
have been transformed into guildhall, prisons, and sexton's houses.
The priory must have been a modest building. It stood just within
the old town walls, which may be traced in fairly good preservation
thence to the south gate. The church of Totnes is a vicarial church,
as Judael granted it to the Benedictine Abbey of Saints Sergius and
Bacchus at Angers.

The priors had the right of presentation to the parish church up to
the time of the dissolution of the religious houses, except during
the wars with France, when the Crown appointed, this being an alien

In 1414 there was a quarrel in the church between the prior and one
John Southam, what about we do not know. They seem to have punched
each other's nose, so as to bring blood; whereupon the church was
closed till the bishop could hold investigation whether the sacred
edifice had been desecrated thereby. Bishop Stafford did hold
inquiry, and in ecclesiastical language, and with proper gravity,
pronounced that the case was "fudge," that the matter had been made
a great deal more of than there was occasion, and that the vicar was
to recommence services in the church.

Torbrian Church, picturesquely situated in a glen, has been already
alluded to. This parish is the cradle of Lord Petre's family.

The splendid ruins of Berry Pomeroy Castle are within a walk or
drive, and will repay a visit, not only from the interest of the
remains, but also from the beauty of the situation on the brow of
rock overhanging the water.

Below the town of Totnes is the quay, at which the steamboat may be
entered for the beautiful descent of the Dart to Dartmouth.

On all sides, peeping out of woods, above smooth lawns, backed by
orchards, appear numerous smiling villas. It would seem that many
well-to-do people have come to the same conclusion as did Brute, and
have made Totnes their seat, saying:--

  "Here I sit--and here I rest."

And the visitor will think that old Brute was no fool when he said
that, and will wish that he could do the same.

  NOTE.--Books on Totnes:--

  COTTON (W.), _Graphic and Historical Sketch of the Antiquities of
  Totnes_. London: Longman, 1850.

  WINDEATT (E.), "An Historical Sketch of Totnes," in the _Transactions
  of the Devonshire Association_, 1880.

  DYMOND (R.), "Ancient Documents relating to the Civil History of
  Totnes," in the _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_, 1880.

[Illustration: DARTMOUTH CASTLE]



  A first visit to Dartmouth--Descent of the Dart--The Church of S.
  Saviour--John Hawley--The Butter Row--Slate-covered houses--The
  Ship Inn--Walk to the sea--Warfleet--S. Petrock's--The
  Castle--Attacks on Dartmouth--The Golden Strand--Kingswear--Burying
  under foundations--Newcomen--Sir Walter Raleigh
  and his pipe--Slapton Lea--Dame Juliana Hawkins--Visits to be
  made--What not to be done.

I will tell you how I first saw Dartmouth before I proceed to say
anything about it, and then the reader will perhaps understand the
peculiar affection with which I write about it.

It happened early one June that I had made every arrangement to go
with a friend a walking tour among the Dolomite Alps. We were to
meet in town and cross the Channel together to Antwerp.

At the last moment some particularly vexatious business cropped
up which detained me, and I had to wire to my friend that I could
not be with him on the day fixed, but would, if possible, meet him
in Cologne. In two days I saw it was all up with my Continental
excursion, and I was obliged to telegraph to Cologne that my friend
must go on his way by himself.

Now when a man has been slaving at his desk all winter, and has
been planning out every stage of his tour, and has thought, talked,
written, dreamed of it for months--then to see his hope blasted
is enough to make him cross. Cross accordingly I was; so cross,
that the best and most long-suffering of wives advised me to go
somewhere. "Somewhere," thought I; "why, I have never been down the
Dart, have never seen Dartmouth." So I took the advice given me and

What a day that was when I spun along the Great Western Railway from
Plymouth to Totnes. The day was resplendent with sun, and yet not
too hot. The orchards everywhere were a mass of flowers, from white
to pink. I had hit precisely on the time and train whereby a number
of English officers, just landed from the Soudan at Plymouth, were
dispersing to their homes. In the same carriage with me was a young
officer who had bought a number of _Funny Folks_ and was immersed
in it. A brother officer came to the carriage-window, after we had
reached a second station, and addressing my fellow-traveller through
the window exclaimed, "I say, did you ever see the like of this,
old chap? We are going through waves of colour, a sea of flowers. I
never saw anything to equal it--and after the sands of Egypt, old
boy!" The bell rang and he had to run back to his carriage. "Yes;
all right," was the response of the man in my compartment, and down
went his head and thoughts among _Funny Folks_.

At the next station the second officer was again at our window,
and again addressing the reader of the periodical, "I say, Jones!
talk of Araby the Blessed, it isn't worth mention in the same day
with ten thousand times more lovely, blessed, dear old England.
By George! old chap, I want to look out of both windows at once.
I can't see enough of it. I feel as if I could cry, it is so

"Ah! indeed," responded the reader, and down went his head into his
paper, and did not look off it again. "Truly," I thought, "what a
blessing to publishers that all men have not the sense of beauty;
and what a blessing it is to men like myself that we are not
addicted to the grotesque."

The descent of the Dart should be made as I made it then, on an
early summer evening when the sun is in decline, and the lawns are
yellow with buttercups, when the mighty oaks and beeches are casting
long shadows, and the reaches of the river are alternately sheets of
quivering gold and of purple ink.

As I went down the river, all dissatisfaction at my lot passed away,
and by the time Dartmouth came in view I could no longer refrain
myself, but threw my cap into the air, and barely caught it from
falling overboard as I shouted, "Hurrah for merry England! Verily it
has scenes that are unrivalled in the whole world."

Indeed now, in gravity, as I write this, I cannot think that I
have ever seen any sight lovelier than Dartmouth on an evening in
early summer, with Kingswear opposite, the one bathed in soft sweet
shadow, and the other glittering and golden in the sun's declining

The sea is not visible from Dartmouth, which is hemmed in by hills
that rise to a great height on every side, shutting in the basin of
water that is the port of Dartmouth, and shutting out all winds.
The town itself is full of picturesque bits. The church, dedicated
to S. Saviour, is really a chapelry in the parish of Townstal, the
church of which, set as a beacon on a hill, is two miles distant,
and reached by a scramble. The church of Dartmouth was built at
the end of the fourteenth century, and has happily escaped the
reckless restoration which has befallen Totnes. What has been done
has been reparative, and all in the best taste. The church contains
a magnificent painted and gilt wood screen, and a pulpit of the
same character, with the royal badges of later date on its sides.
A gallery runs round three sides of the church, over the aisles;
that is of Elizabethan date, and the panels in front are emblazoned
with the arms of the merchant princes of the town at the time of
its prosperity. A curious door, covered with iron-work of very
rich description, representing lions impaled on an oak tree, bears
the date 1631, but this merely represents the restoration of the
woodwork of the door. In the floor of the church is the brass of
John Hawley, merchant, who died in 1408, and his two wives, Joan,
who died in 1394, and Alice, who died in 1403; there can be little
doubt as to which of the wives he loved best, for he is represented
holding the hand of the first. This is the Hawley, merchant of
Dartmouth, mentioned by old Stow in his _Annals_, who, in 1390,
"waged the navie of shippes of the ports of his own charges, and
took 34 shippes laden with wyne to the sum of fifteen hundred
tunnes." The visitor may compare the costume worn by the ladies on
the brass with the description given by Stow of the fashion that
then set in: "This time was used exceeding pride in garments, gownes
with deepe and broad sleeves, commonly called peake sleeves, whereof
some hung downe to their feete, and at least to the knees, ful of
cuts and jagges."

Among the old houses in the town, unhappily fast disappearing, must
be noted those in Butter Row, a short piazza like that at Totnes,
and in one of these is a very fine carved oak chimney-piece, that
merits examination.

Other old houses are in Fosse Street and the Shambles. A peculiarity
of the old Dartmouth houses is that they are covered with small
slates, cut into various devices, and forming elegant patterns, that
cover them as a coat of mail against the rain. Forty years ago there
were many of these picturesque old houses, they are now woefully
reduced in numbers.

The "Ship Inn" is an old-fashioned hostel, very comfortable, and
though modernised externally, yet has much that is characteristic
of an old inn in the inside. I was dining there one evening when
the train from town had arrived, and launched its passengers into
Dartmouth. Among these happened to be a German, who was on his way
by the Donald Currie boat to the Cape. He came into the dining-room
of the "Ship," seated himself at a table at a little distance from
me, and signed that he wanted something to eat.

The courteous, elderly waiter bowed and said, "What will you have,
sir, soup?"

"Yesh! yesh!"

"There is vermicelli."

"Yesh! yesh!"

"And Julienne."

"Yesh! yesh!"

"And ox-tail."

"Yesh! yesh!"

"And mulligatawny."

"Yesh! yesh!"

"And fish, sir. Would you like some?"

"Oh, yesh! yesh!"

"There is some turbot."

"Yesh! yesh!"

"And a nice pair of soles."

"Yesh! yesh!"

"And some brill."

"Oh, yesh! yesh!"

"And perhaps you would like, sir, a mayonnaise of lobster?"

"Oh, yesh! yesh!"

It was time for me to interfere. I jumped up and hastened to the
assistance of the poor German, and said in his own tongue: "I beg
your pardon for my interference, sir, but _are_ you ordering dinner
for yourself or for the entire crew? You will, I know, excuse me,
but I thought it advisable to speak before it came to the wine list."

"Ach, du lieber Herr!" gasped the German. "I know but one English
word, and that is Yesh. Will you be so merciful as to order dinner
for me?"

I at once entered into consultation with the waiter, and settled all
matters agreeably.

A charming walk may--no, must, be taken from Dartmouth to the sea;
the street, very narrow, runs between houses for a long way, giving
glimpses of the water, of old bastions and towers, of gardens
hanging on the steep slopes, of fuchsias and pelargoniums running
riot in the warm, damp air, of red rock and green foliage, jumbled
together in the wildest picturesqueness, of the blue, still water
below, with gulls, living foam-flakes swaying, chattering over the
surface. Then the road has to bend round Warfleet, a lovely bay
bowered in woods, with an old mill and a limekiln, and barges lying
by, waiting for lime or for flour. When this has been passed, and,
alas! a very ugly modern house that disfigures one of the loveliest
scenes in South Devon, a headland is reached by a walk under trees,
and all at once a corner is turned, and a venerable church and a
castle are revealed, occupying the rocky points that command the
entrance of Dartmouth Harbour.

The church undoubtedly served as chapel to the castle, but is far
older in dedication than any portion of the castle, for it is
dedicated to the purely British Saint Petrock, who lived in the
sixth century.

The church is small, much mutilated, and contains a number of old
monuments, and some brasses to the Roope and Plumleigh families. On
the opposite side of the estuary is another castle.

The castle that adjoins is supposed to date from the reign of Henry
VII., but one existed in the same spot at an earlier date. Edward
IV., in 1481, covenanted with the men of Dartmouth to pay them
annually £30 from the customs of Exeter and Dartmouth, on condition
of their building a "stronge and myghtye and defensyve new tower,"
and of their protecting the harbour with a chain. Certainly, the men
of Dartmouth earned their money cheaply, for "the myghtye tower" is
a very small affair.

For their own interest one would have supposed they would have
erected a greater fortress, as Dartmouth suffered severely at times
from pirates and French fleets. In 1377 it was plundered by the
French, who in the same year swept our shores from Rye to Plymouth.
In 1403 it returned the visit of the French; in 1404 a French fleet
succeeded in putting into Black Pool, a little to the right of the
entrance to the Dart, but the Dartmouth men armed and came down the
steep sides of the bay upon the French, killed their leader, and
forced them to regain their vessels and put off to sea. The French
lost four hundred men and two hundred prisoners in the engagement.

On the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada, in 1588, two
vessels, the _Crescent_ and the _Haste_, were fitted out, and the
former is said to have been engaged with one of the Spanish vessels.
In 1592, the _Madre de Dios_, one of the great Indian "carracks" or
plate ships, was taken on her way to Spain, and was brought into
Dartmouth. She was a floating castle of seven decks, and was laden
with silver, spices, rare woods, and tapestries. The neighbouring
gentry and townsmen of Dartmouth began to clear the prize for the
adornment of their own houses, and commissioners were sent from
London to recover as much of the spoil as was possible.

There is a bay near Black Pool which goes by the name of the Golden
Strand, because a vessel was wrecked there laden with treasure, and
to this day gold coins are occasionally picked up on the beach. In
the basement of the tower of Dartmouth Castle are still the traces
of where the iron chain or boom was fastened that could be stretched
across the entrance to the harbour in time of war.

That smuggling was carried on to a very large extent on this coast
in former times cannot be doubted. Indeed, the caves artificially
constructed for the purpose of holding "run" goods still exist in
several places; and many capital stories are told of the good old
smuggling days, and the way in which the revenue officers were

Immediately opposite Dartmouth is Kingswear, situated on the
steep slope of rock that runs precipitously to the sea. There is
a curious circumstance connected with the church. In 1845, the
church was pulled down, when under the foundation was discovered
a cavity cut in the rock filled with infant bones and quicklime.
There is but too much reason to believe that we have here one of
the many instances that remain of the old heathen belief that no
building would stand unless a man or child were buried under the
foundation. A few years ago, when the parish church of Wickersley,
Lincolnshire, was rebuilt by Sir G. Gilbert Scott, on raising the
foundations the complete skeleton of a man was found laid lengthwise
under the masonry. At Holsworthy, North Devon, in the same way, a
skeleton was discovered with much lime about it in the wall, as if
to hasten decomposition. The custom still exists in the East. In
1860, the King of Burmah (father of Theebaw) rebuilt Mandalay. On
that occasion fifty-three individuals were buried alive, three under
each of the twelve gates, one under each of the palace gates, and
four under the throne itself. In 1880 the virtue was supposed to
have evaporated, and Theebaw proposed to repeat the ceremony with
one hundred victims, but I believe the actual number sacrificed was
about twenty-five. The Burmans believe that the nals or spirits of
the persons buried guard the gates and attack persons approaching
with hostile intentions. Precisely similar convictions were common
all over Europe.

In S. Saviour's, Dartmouth, in the chancel, is buried the skull of
Sir Charles McCarthy, who was for a while Governor of Sierra Leone,
and was killed at Accra, in an encounter with the Ashantees, January
21st, 1824; the skull was greatly prized by the Ashantees, who had
possessed themselves of it, and with it they decorated the war-drum
of the king. The skull was happily recovered in 1829, and was
brought to Dartmouth, where it was buried with some ceremony.

Dartmouth was the birthplace of Newcomen, who introduced a notable
improvement in steam engines. According to the first form of his
discovery, the steam was condensed by sending a current of cold
water on the outside of the cylinder, an arrangement that required a
boy to be always at hand with a bucket of water. Watt's improvement
of employing steam to drive down the piston was invented whilst
he was repairing one of Newcomen's engines. Newcomen was baptised
at Dartmouth in 1663; he died in 1729. His house was removed in
1864, but some of the old carved oak has been utilised in Newcomen
Cottage, Townstal, as well as the "clovel" or wooden lintel over the
fireplace at which Newcomen sat watching the steam puffing from his
mother's kettle, and first conceived the idea of employing steam
as a force for propelling engines. A chimney-piece of plaster,
representing Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before Nebuchadnezzar,
is at Brookhill House, on the Kingswear side of the river. This same
handsome chimney-piece, of oak, came from Greenway, up the Dart,
where lived Sir Walter Raleigh, and it is said that it was before
the fire kindled under this chimney-piece that the great navigator
indulged in the first pipe of tobacco he ever smoked in England.
There is a story told of Sir Walter being called in with his pipe
for a very novel purpose at Littleham. There lived there a gentleman
of Dutch or German extraction, named Creveldt, who had been at
deadly feud with a neighbour, Sir Roger de Wheelingham, and the
latter died without any reconciliation. Thenceforth, Creveldt was
tormented from sunset to sunrise by the ghost of his enemy. He could
not rest; he could not eat, and, worst of all, he could not drink.
The days for exorcising ghosts were over. He called in the parson,
but the parson could do nothing. Matters were in this condition when
an Exeter trading vessel, commanded by Captain Izaaks, anchored
near Exmouth. The captain heard of Creveldt's trouble; he was under
some obligation to him, and he at once visited him. He heard his
piteous tale, and said: "In ancient times I have been told that
incense was used against stubborn ghosts. I have heard that now Sir
Walter Raleigh has introduced a novel sort of incense much more
efficacious. Let us send for him."

Accordingly, Sir Walter was invited. He instructed Creveldt how to
smoke tobacco; and the fumes of the pipe proved too much for the
ghost The spirit departed, coughing and sneezing, to the tobaccoless

No visitor should fail to visit Slapton Lea--a bar of pebble and
sand tossed up by the sea, over which runs the coach-road to
Kingsbridge--an excursion well meriting being made. The streams
descending from the land are held back from entering the sea by this
ridge, and form a lake that not only abounds in fish, and attracts
water birds, but also contains water plants.

At Slapton lived Sir Richard and Dame Juliana Hawkins, in a house
called Pool.

Dame Juliana was a haughty woman, and the story is told that she
would not go to church except on a carpet. Accordingly, when she
went to Slapton Church to pay her devotions, a couple of negro
servants proceeded before her unrolling a carpet of red velvet.

On the river is Dittisham, and how the salmon do congregate in the
pool there! It is a great place for figs and plums, and should be
seen when the plum trees are in flower. The view from the parsonage
garden, commanding two reaches of the river, is exquisite. But for
loveliness of situation, Stoke Gabriel in a lap or creek, facing the
sun, shut away from every wind, is the most perfect.

A good picturesque modern house has been erected at a point
commanding Dartmouth, on the opposite side at Maypool (F. C.
Simpson, Esq.), that is a real feature of beauty in the landscape.

At Stoke Fleming is a fine brass.

The time when Dartmouth may be seen to advantage--I am not speaking
now of the river--is at the autumn regatta. Then the quaint old
place is _en fête_. The little square that opens on to the quay is
devoted to dancing. Lights flare, flags wave, music peals forth, and
the Mayor opens the ball in the open air. It is a sight not to be
seen elsewhere in England--when viewed from the river it is like a
scene on the stage.

There is one thing you must do at Dartmouth, because you cannot help
doing so--enjoy yourself. But there is one thing you must on no
account do--offend a single, though the most insignificant, member
of the town. If you do, the whole population is out on you like a
hive of angry bees--for in a place so shut in by hills and water
everyone is related.

Sir Charles McCarthy, as already related, has left his head at
Dartmouth. As the visitor leaves by the little steamer to remount
the Dart, and looks at the lovely estuary, the hills embowered in
trees, the picturesque old town--he feels, perhaps, like myself, as
if he had left his heart there.

     NOTE.--Works on Dartmouth:--

     KARKEEK (P. Q.), "Notes on the Early History of Dartmouth," in
     the _Transactions of the Devonshire Association_, 1880.

     KARKEEK (P. Q.), "The Shipping and Commerce of Dartmouth in the
     Reign of Richard II.," _ibid._, 1881.

     NEWMAN (Dr.), "On the Antiquity of Dartmouth," _ibid._, 1869.



     Kingsbridge a misnomer--The estuary--The church--"Farewell
     to Kingsbridge"--Numerous screens in the
     neighbourhood--Portlemouth--S. Onolaus--Master John Schorn--Old
     houses--The Fortescues--Defence of Salcombe Castle--Lea
     Priory--Stokenham--Slapton--Bolt Head--The Avon--Oldaport on
     the Erme--Modbury--The Champernownes--Bigbury--The Owl--S.
     Anne's Well--Parson Lane--Aveton Gifford--Bishop Stapledon--His

Kingsbridge is a curious town, having a name that is a misnomer,
for it possesses no bridge, there being no river. The estuary that
runs some five to six miles in, at the head of which Kingsbridge
stands, is a creek into which no river discharges, only brooks. It
has several lateral branches--to Gerston, Frogmore, and South Pool,
and at the mouth is Salcombe, a flourishing place, much in resort on
account of the mildness of the climate, surpassing Torquay in this
respect, and nearly as warm as Falmouth. The drawback to Salcombe is
its distance from a railway.

In Kingsbridge itself there is not much to be seen. The church is
interesting, with a central tower and spire, and is curious as
having been enlarged at various times, making the interior very
inconvenient for the hearing of the preacher.

Kingsbridge is actually in Churchstow. The town has drifted down
from the high ground where was the fortified "stoke" to the quay,
the "brig." The church in the town is a chapelry, and the erection
took place in 1310. It is dedicated to S. Edmund the king and
martyr, but why in the world they should have gone to the East
Saxons for a patron I am at a loss to know. Churchstow belonged to
the Abbey of Buckfast.

One half of Kingsbridge is in the parish of Dodbrooke, where there
is a good church with a fine old screen.

There is a local ballad preserved relative to the departure of some
troops for America quartered in the place in 1778-80, and there are
old men in Kingsbridge who can recall the time when a detachment of
military was there. The ballad runs:--

    "On the ninth day of November, at the dawning in the sky,
    Ere we sailed away to New York, we at anchor here did lie.
    O'er the meadows fair of Kingsbridge, there the mist was lying grey;
    We were bound against the rebels, in the North America.

    "O so mournful was the parting of the soldiers and their wives,
    For that none could say for certain, they'd return home with
          their lives.
    Then the women they were weeping, and they curs'd the cruel day
    That we sailed against the rebels in the North America.

    "O the little babes were stretching out their arms with saddest cries,
    And the bitter tears were falling from their pretty, simple eyes,
    That their scarlet-coated daddies must be hurrying away,
    For to fight against the rebels in the North America.

    "Now God preserve our Monarch, I will finish up my strain;
    Be his subjects ever loyal, and his honour all maintain.
    May the Lord our voyage prosper, and our arms across the sea,
    And put down the wicked rebels in the North America."

There are a good many objects of interest in the neighbourhood.
Combe Royal is an old house much modernised, where lemons and
oranges are golden in the open air, and the blue hydrangeas lie in
masses under the trees.

Fallapit has been entirely rebuilt. It was the seat of the
Fortescues, and their monuments crowd the parish church of East
Allington. During the civil wars, the castle at Salcombe was held
for the king by Sir Edmund Fortescue. After having sustained two
sieges, probably of short duration, it was summoned by General
Fairfax on January 23rd, 1645, and after a long siege of nearly
four months, surrendered on honourable terms to Colonel Weldon, the
governor of Plymouth. Sir Edmund was allowed to march out with the
garrison, bearing their arms, to Fallapit, and take with him the key
of the castle he had so gallantly defended.

When Fallapit was sold, among other things put up by the auctioneer
was this very key, and it was knocked down for half a crown.

A charming excursion may be made to the cell of Lee Priory, an
almost perfect monastic building. The chapel has been destroyed, but
the gateway and refectory and the dormitories remain intact. It is
situated in a peaceful, umbrageous dell away from the world among
green lawns and pleasant woods, an idyllic spot.

At South Milton in the church is an interesting rood-screen, with
paintings of saints on the panels. Screens are, indeed, numerous in
this district, some very fine. Crass stupidity has occasioned the
destruction of those of Malborough and West Alvington. The clergy
should be the guardians, not the ravagers, of their churches, but
_quis custodiet custodes_?

A delightful row down the estuary will take to Salcombe, a modern
place. Opposite, up a tremendous scramble, is Portlemouth, a
settlement of S. Winwaloe, the great Brittany saint. He is locally
called Onolaus or Onslow. Winwaloe was the son of Gwen of the Three
Breasts, and her husband, Fragan or Brechan, cousin of Cado, Duke
of Cornwall. Although Gwen is represented on monuments in Brittany
as a woman with three breasts, yet in Celtic the epithet means no
more than that she was twice married, and had children by both
husbands. Winwaloe was educated by S. Budoc, and founded Landevenec
in Finisterre. At one time, fired with enthusiasm at what he had
heard of the achievements of S. Patrick in Ireland, he desired to go
there, but was advised to remain and devote himself to the education
of his own people. He accordingly gave up his life to ministering
to the spiritual necessities of the Britons who came to Armorica,
either as a place for expansion, finding Britain too strait for
them, or driven there by dynastic revolutions.

Whether Winwaloe ever came into Devon and Cornwall we are not told
in his Life, but it is not improbable, as he was closely related to
the reigning princes.

His biographer gives us a somewhat minute account of his personal
appearance and habits. He was of a moderate height, with a bright,
smiling countenance; he was very patient with the perverse, and
gentle in his dealings with all men. He was usually clothed in a
goat's skin. He never seated himself in church, but always stood or

He died about 532. In Portlemouth Church, which has been barbarously
"restored," he is represented on the screen holding the church in
his hand. He is the third figure from the north. The first is partly
effaced; the second is probably his sister, Creirwy; the sixth
is Sir John Schorne, a Buckinghamshire rector, who died in 1308,
and was supposed to have conjured the devil into a boot. He was
venerated greatly as a patron against ague and the gout. There is a
jingle relative to him:--

    "To Maister John Schorne, that blessed man born,
      For the ague to him we apply,
    Which judgeth with a bote; I beshrew his heart's rote
      That will trust him, and it be I."

His shrine was at North Marston in Bucks, and was a great resort up
to the time of the Reformation. At one time the monks of Windsor
contrived to get his body removed to their church, but though they
advertised him well he did not "take on" in that quarter, and they
returned the body to North Marston. There are representations of
him on the screens of Wolborough and Alphington, and one or two in
Norfolk. The screen at Portlemouth is of a richer and better design
than is general in the county. In the "restoration" of the church
the level of the chancel has been raised to an excessive height,
so as to give a ludicrous appearance to those occupying the stalls.
But altogether the restoration has been a piece of wanton barbarity.
The carving of the screen is of a high quality. At South Huish was
another beautiful little screen. This has been saved from the hand
of desecration by being removed to the Chapel of Bowringslea, a
grand old Tudor mansion that has been carefully and conscientiously
restored by Mr. Ilbert, the proprietor.

At South Pool is a screen with arabesques on it, well restored; also
an Easter sepulchre.

Stokenham Church stands up boldly above a spring that gushes forth
and forms a pool below the churchyard wall. This, there can be
little doubt, must have at one time been regarded as a holy well.
The church within is stately, and contains a good screen with
paintings of saints on it, and a stone pulpit absurdly painted
with Freemason symbols. What stained glass there is, is mediocre.
Sherford, attached as a benefice to Stokenham, has another good
screen, with apostles painted on it. Slapton has a very fine screen,
but without paintings. The church was originally attached to a
college founded in 1350 by Sir Guy de Brian, standard-bearer to
Edward III.; the gate tower alone remains.

Some fine rocky headlands and pleasant coves are to be visited,
notably Bolt Head and Bolt Tail, and Prawle Point, with the sweet
nooks where the brooks descend to the sea, or the cliffs give
way to form a sunny, sleepy lap, lined with sand. At Bolt Tail
is a prehistoric cliff castle. At Portlemouth may be traced the
entrenchments cast up by the Parliamentarians in the siege of
Salcombe Castle.

The river Avon, that runs down from Dartmoor, is followed by the
branch line of the Great Western Railway to Kingsbridge. A station
is at Gara Bridge (_Garw_, Celtic for rough). The river passes under
Loddiswell (Lady's Well), and then, unable to reach the Kingsbridge
estuary on account of an intervening hill 370 feet high, turns
sulkily to the right and enters Bigbury Bay far away to the west.
Clearly Kingsbridge Harbour was made to receive it, but the river,
like the life of many a man, has taken a twist and gone astray. But
where the river went not, there goes the train by a tunnel.

The Avon enters the sea under Thirlstone, a parish that takes its
name from a rock that has been "thirled" or drilled by the waves, on
the beach. The church contains a few fragments of the screen worked
up to form an altar.

An interesting expedition may be made from Kingsbridge to the
mouth of the Erme. Above where the river debouches into the sea is
Oldaport, the remains, supposed to be Roman, of a harbour commanded
by two towers. One of the latter has of late years been destroyed.

The ancient port occupying two creeks remains silted up. There is
absolutely no record of its having been used in mediæval times, and
this leads to the supposition that it is considerably earlier. It is
a very interesting relic; but the two towers have been destroyed,
and all that remains is a wall that cut off the spit of land, and a
deep moat.

Modbury, a little market town, was a great seat of the Champernowne
family. It has always been a musical centre. In the reign of Henry
VIII. Sir Philip Champernowne, of Modbury, went up to Windsor,
taking with him his company of musicians on rote and tabor and
psaltery and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, and they performed
before King Henry, to that huge monarch's huge content. So pleased
was he with their "consort of fine musicke," that he bade Sir Philip
remain with his company at Windsor, to play to him whenever the evil
spirit was on him; but forgot to say that this was to be at royal
charges. The entertaining of his band of musicians at court by Sir
Philip during many months proved so great an expense that when he
returned to Modbury he was a wiser and a much poorer man, and had to
sell a manor or two to meet his liabilities.

In 1558 good Queen Bess mounted her father's throne; and one day
bethought her of the Modbury orchestra. So with her royal hand she
wrote down to Henry Champernowne, grandson of Sir Philip, to bid
him bring up to court his "consort of fine musicke," for that she
desired greatly to hear it.

Henry was tactless, and he replied that the visit to Windsor
previously had cost his grandfather two of his best manors, and that
he really could not afford it. Queen Bess was highly incensed, and
found occasion against Henry Champernowne to mulct him of four or
five fine manors, as a lesson to him not to return such an answer
to a royal mistress again. This marked the beginning of the decline
of the Champernowne family at Modbury. The manor passed from them
in 1700. But although the Champernownes are gone, the band is still
there. It has never ceased to renew itself, and Modbury prides
itself as of old on its "consort of fine musicke."

Bigbury takes its name from some great camp or bury that has
disappeared under the plough. In the church is a very fine carved
oak pulpit, like that of Holne, given by Bishop Oldham to Ashburton
Church in or about 1510. At the same time he presented an owl as
lectern to Ashburton Church, the owl being his badge. In 1777 the
wiseacres of Ashburton sold pulpit and owl to Bigbury for eleven
guineas. When the Bigbury folk saw that they had got an owl instead
of an eagle, they were disgusted, sawed off the head and sent it to
Plymouth, with an order for an eagle's head of the same dimensions.
Accordingly, now the lessons are read in the church from a lectern
that has an owl's body with an eagle's head. But really--as in the
puzzle pictures--one is disposed to ask, "Where is the owl?" and
to look for it first among the Ashburton folk who sold their bird,
and secondly among the Bigbury folk who objected because he was an
owl. There are some brasses in the church to the Burton family, into
which married the De Bigburys.

At S. Anne's there are an old chapel and a holy well. S. Anne did
not come into fashion as a saint till the fifteenth century, and
there are no early representations of her, or dedications to her.
But Anne was the mother of the gods among the Celts, and the name
was given to several notable women, as the mother of S. Samson, and
the daughter of Vortimer, king of the Britons, mother of S. Wenn,
who married Solomon, king of the Dumnonii; and a suppressed cult of
the old goddess went on under the plea of being directed to these
historic women, till the great explosion of devotion to Anne, mother
of the Blessed Virgin--known to us only through the apocryphal

Ane or Anne was the mythical mother of the Tuatha de Danan, the race
found in our peninsula, in Scotland from the Clyde to the Firth
of Forth, and throughout Ireland, called by the classic writers
Dumnonii. They were subdued in Ireland by the Gaels or Scots.
Undoubtedly throughout Devon and Cornwall there must have been a
cult of the great ancestress. She has given her name to the Paps
of Ane in Kerry and to S. Anne's (Agnes') Head in Cornwall, and
as surely the holy wells now attributed to S. Anne were formerly
regarded as sacred fountains of the great mother of the race, whose
first fathers were gods.

There is a rock at sea, reached at low tide, called Borough Island,
on which is a little inn. It was formerly, judging by the name, a
cliff fortress.

Ringmore, the adjoining parish to Bigbury, has a church and village
nestling into a pleasant, wooded combe. The church has a small
spire, and the basement serves as a porch. Anent this tower is a

During the civil wars, a Mr. Lane was rector, as also incumbent of
the adjoining parish of Aveton Gifford. He mustered the able-bodied
men of his parish, drilled them, obtained some cannon, and formed
a battery manned by his fellows, to command the bridge below
Loddiswell, by which Parliamentary troops were marching to the siege
of Salcombe Castle, and caused them such annoyance that during the
siege of Plymouth by the Parliamentary forces, several boats full
of armed men were despatched from Plymouth to capture and shoot the
sturdy rector. Forewarned, Mr. Lane took refuge in a small chamber,
provided with a fireplace, in the tower of the church, and there
he remained in concealment for three months, secretly nourished by
his parishioners. His most painful experience at the time was on
the Sundays, when the minister intruded by the Parliament harangued
from the pulpit in terms audible in his secret chamber. Then Mr.
Lane could hardly contain himself from bursting forth to refute his
heresies and denounce his disloyalty.

The soldiers are said to have landed at Ayrmer Cove and proceeded
to the rectory, which they thoroughly ransacked, but although they
searched the neighbourhood, they were unable to find the man they
were sent to capture.

The old historic parsonage has been demolished, and its site is
marked by a walled garden, but the secret chamber in the tower

At Aveton Gifford is a fine screen, carefully restored. Walter de
Stapledon was rector of this parish, and was raised thence to be
Bishop of Exeter in 1307, and in 1314 he was the founder of Exeter
College, Oxford. He was for several years High Treasurer to Edward
II. His story is really worth giving in short. On the vacancy of the
see, the king sent down _congé d'élire_ on October 6th, 1307. The
chapter sat. Of twenty-three canons fifteen chose Stapledon, three
selected the Dean, three the Archdeacon of Totnes, and two voted for
the Dean of Wells. When the result of the counting was announced,
then another voting was proceeded with, and Stapledon was elected

The result was announced to the king and he gave his assent on
December 6th. But meanwhile a troublesome fellow, Richard Plymstoke,
Rector of Exminster, had sent an appeal to the Pope against nine of
the canons, whom he pronounced to be disqualified for election, and
one of these was Stapledon. Here was an unpleasant intervention,
only too sure to be eagerly seized on by the Roman _curia_ for
the sake of extorting money. To make matters worse, the Pope had
suspended the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he had gone to France,
to Poitiers, to meet the Pope and solicit, and buy, his relief. On
January 18th the Archbishop, who had been restored and empowered to
investigate the complaint of Plymstoke, issued his commission; and
on March 10th poor Stapledon wrote a bitter letter to the Cardinal,
Thomas Joce, to complain of the condition of poverty into which he
had been reduced. "It is hard on me; at the present moment I am
destitute even to nakedness."

To make matters worse, the queen, Isabella, wrote to him requiring
him to find a prebendal stall and a revenue for her chaplain--a
foreigner with an outlandish name--Jargono. He replied that he
could not give a canonry to this stranger, and as to finding him an
income, he said that he was overwhelmed with debt, on account of the
intolerable burden of costs incurred by the appeal to Rome, and in
preparing for his consecration.

And it was not till October 13th, 1308, nearly a year after his
election, that he was consecrated. His registers, carefully
preserved at Exeter, prove him to have been a hard-working,
high-principled, and altogether estimable prelate. He it was who
erected that masterpiece of woodwork, the bishop's throne, in Exeter

Stapledon was one of the foremost statesmen of his day, and he was
the trusted friend and adviser of King Edward II. Hence his frequent
and prolonged sojourns in the Metropolis, and his occasional
absences from England on missions of importance.

In 1323 the troubles with the Despensers, the king's favourites,

Charles IV., king of France, seized the Agenois and threatened
Guienne. Edward sent his queen, Isabella, to Paris to negotiate
with her brother. The treaty which she made was so humiliating for
England that the king's council refused to discuss it. Another
suggestion was then made from the French court, that if Edward would
bestow Guienne on his eldest son, the king himself would not be
required to do homage to the Crown of France. The Despensers urged
Edward to accept this. The queen now refused to return to England;
she had made a favourite and paramour of Lord Mortimer, and, out of
spite against the king, favoured the Lancastrian party. Charles IV.
was at last obliged to send her out of his dominions. She retired to
the court of Hainault, where, under the direction of Mortimer, she
prepared for the invasion of England. At the close of 1326 Isabella
landed at Orwell in Suffolk, with a small but well-appointed army
of Hainaulters and exiles. The Lancastrians immediately hastened to
her standard. It was generally supposed that her object was simply
the removal of the Despensers. After a vain attempt to rouse the
Londoners in his cause, Edward fled with the two Despensers to the
Welsh marches.

The king's flight and the successful advance of the queen's forces
towards London encouraged the citizens to break out into open
rebellion against the Government. Before leaving, Edward had made
Stapledon guardian of the city. Walsingham, in his _History_, says:--

     "Continuing their rage, the citizens made a rush for the house
     of the Bishop of Exeter, and, setting fire to the gates, quickly
     forced an entrance. Not finding the bishop they carried off his
     jewels, plate, and furniture. It happened, however, that in an
     evil hour the bishop returned from the country, who, although he
     had been forewarned, felt no manner of dread of the citizens. So
     he rode on with all boldness, till he reached the north door of
     St. Paul's, where he was forthwith seized by the raging people,
     who struck at and wounded him, and finally, having dragged him
     from his horse, hurried him away to the place of execution.
     Now the bishop wore a kind of armour, which we commonly calle
     _aketone_; and having stripped him of that, and of all his
     other garments, they cut off his head. Two others, members of
     his household, suffered the same fate. Having perpetrated this
     sacrilegious deed, they fixed the bishop's head on a stake.
     As to the corpse, they flung it into a small pit in a disused

Another chronicler says:--

     "The naked body, with only a rag given by charity of a woman,
     was laid on a spot called _le lawles chirche_, and, without any
     grave, lay there, with those of his two esquires."

     "Those," says Dr. Oliver, "who attend to the springs and
     principles of actions must award the tribute of praise and
     admiration to this high-minded bishop and minister; they will
     appreciate his zeal and energy to sustain the declining fortunes
     of his royal master, and venerate him for his disregard of
     self, and for his incorruptible honour and loyalty under every

His body was finally brought to Exeter, where it lies in the
Cathedral under a beautiful canopied tomb in the north-east bay of
the choir, close to the high altar.

And now, one word to the angler.

What streams these are that flow through the South Hams! What pools
under deep banks, in which the trout lurk! To him who can obtain
permission to fish the Erme, the Avon, can be assured days to be
never forgotten, of excellent sport in lovely scenery.



     Plymouth Sound--The river Plym--Its real
     name--Sutton--Plympton--A cradle of naval adventure--The Hawkins
     family--Sir John Hawkins--Sir Francis Drake--"Singeing the
     King of Spain's beard"--The invincible Armada--Song of--Statue
     of Drake--The Eddystone--Its lighthouses--The neighbourhood
     of Plymouth--Hamoaze--The Lynher--S. Germans--Cawsand
     Bay--Smuggling--Lady's Rock--Millbrook--Landrake--S.
     Indract--Sir Joshua Reynolds--Dewerstone--Peacock Bridge--Childe
     the Hunter.

When a sailor heard the song sung, to which this is the refrain:--

    "O dear Plymouth town! and O blue Plymouth Sound,
    O where is your equal on earth to be found?"

he said, "Them's my opinions, to the turn of a hair."

About Plymouth town I am not so confident, but as to the Sound it
is not easily surpassed. The Bay of Naples has Vesuvius, and above
an Italian sky, but lacks the wealth of verdure of Mount Edgcumbe,
and has none of those wondrous inlets that make of Plymouth Sound a
figure of a watery hand displayed, and of the Three Towns a problem
in topography which it requires long experience to solve.

The name of the place is a misnomer.

Plym is not the name of the river which has its mouth where the
town squats. Plym is the contraction for Pen-lynn, the head of the
lake, and was given originally to Plympton, where are the remains
of a castle, and where are still to be seen the iron rings to
which vessels were moored. But just as the Taw-ford (_ridd_) has
contributed a name to the river Torridge, above the ford, so has
Pen-lynn sent its name down the stream and given it to Plymouth.
Pelynt in Cornwall is likewise a Pen-lynn.

What the original name of the river was is doubtful. Higher up,
where it comes rioting down from the moor, above the Dewerstone is
Cadover Bridge, not the bridge _over_ the Cad, but Cadworthy Bridge.
Perhaps the river was the Cad, so called from _caed_, contracted,
shut within banks, very suitable to a river emerging from a ravine.
A witty friend referring to "the brawling Cad," the epithet applied
to it by the poet Carrington, said that it was not till the
institution of chars-a-bancs and early-closing days in Plymouth that
_he_ ever saw "the brawling cad" upon Dartmoor; since then he has
seen a great deal too much of the article.

Plymouth as a town is comparatively modern. When Domesday was
compiled nothing was known of it, but there was a Sutton--South
Town--near the pool, which eventually became the port of old

It first acquired some consequence when the Valletorts had a house
near where is now the church of S. Andrew.

There was, however, a _lis_ or enclosed residence of a chief, if we
may accept the Domesday manor of Lisistone[39] as thence derived.
And there have been early relics turned up occasionally. But no real
consequence accrued to the place till the Valletorts set up house
there in the reign of Henry I.

  [39] Now Lipson.

The old couplet, applied with variations to so many places in the
kingdom, and locally running:

    "Plympton was a borough town
    When Plymouth was a vuzzy down,"

was true enough. Plympton at the time of the Conquest was head of
the district, and there were then canons there in the monastery,
which dates back at least to the reign of Edgar, probably to a
much earlier period. The priors of Plympton got a grant of land in
Sutton, which they held as lords of the manor till 1439. It was not
till the end of the thirteenth century that the name of Plymouth
came to knowledge and the place began to acquire consequence. But it
was not till the days of good Queen Bess that the place became one
of prime importance.

     "In the latter half of the sixteenth century," says Mr. Worth,
     "Devonshire was the foremost county in England, and Plymouth its
     foremost town. Elizabeth called the men of Devonshire her right
     hand, and so far carried her liking for matters Devonian, that
     one of the earliest passports of Raleigh to her favour was the
     fact that he talked the broadest dialect of the shire, and never
     abandoned it for the affected speech current at court."[40]

  [40] WORTH (R. N.), _History of Plymouth_, 1890, p. 39. I shall
  quote much from this admirable work, not only full of information,
  but written in a charming style.

[Illustration: GRAMMAR SCHOOL]

[Illustration: IN PLYMPTON]

The importance of Plymouth as a starting-point for discovery, and as
the cradle of our maritime power, must never be forgotten.

Old Carew says:--

     "Here have the troops of adventurers made their _rendezvous_ for
     attempting new discoveries or inhabitances, as Thomas Stukeleigh
     for Florida, Sir Humfrey Gilbert for Newfoundland, Sir Richard
     Grenville for Virginia, Sir Martin Frobisher and Master Davies
     for the North-West Passage, Sir Walter Raleigh for Guiana."

It is indeed no exaggeration to say that in the reign of Elizabeth
Plymouth had become the foremost port in England.

     "If any person desired to see her English worthies, Plymouth
     was the likeliest place to seek them. All were in some fashion
     associated with the old town. These were days when men were
     indifferent whether they fought upon land or water, when the
     fact that a man was a good general was considered the best of
     all reasons why he should be a good admiral likewise. '_Per mare
     per terram_' was the motto of Elizabeth's true-born Englishmen,
     and familiar and dear to them was Plymouth, with its narrow
     streets, its dwarfish quays, its broad waters, and its glorious

The roll of Plymouth's naval heroes begins with the Hawkins family,
and one looks in vain in modern Plymouth for some statue to
commemorate the most illustrious of her sons.

These Hawkinses were a remarkable race. "Gentlemen," as Prince says,
"of worshipful extraction for several descents," they were made more
worshipful by their deeds.

     "For three generations in succession they were the
     master-spirits of Plymouth in its most illustrious days; its
     leading merchants, its bravest sailors, serving oft and well
     in the civic chair and the Commons House of Parliament. For
     three generations they were in the van of English seamanship,
     founders of England's commerce in South, West, and East, stout
     in fight, of quenchless spirit in adventure--a family of
     merchant statesmen and heroes to whom our country affords no

  [41] WORTH.

The early voyages of Sir John Hawkins were to the Canary Isles. In
1562 he made his first expedition in search of negroes to sell in
Hispaniola, so that he was not squeamish in the matter of the trade
in human flesh. But in 1567 he made an expedition ever memorable,
for his were the first English keels to furrow that hitherto unknown
sea, the Bay of Mexico. He had with him a fleet of six ships, two
of which were royal vessels, the rest were his own, and one of
these, the _Judith_, was commanded by his kinsman, Francis Drake.
Whilst in the port of S. Juan de Ulloa Hawkins was treacherously
assailed, and lost all the vessels, with the exception of two, of
which one was the _Judith_. When his brother William heard of the
disaster he begged Elizabeth to allow him to make reprisals on his
own account; and on the return of John "it may fairly be said that
Plymouth declared war against Spain. Hawkins and Drake thereafter
never missed a chance of making good their losses. The treachery of
San Juan de Ulloa was the moving cause of the series of harassments
which culminated in the destruction of the Armada. For every English
life then lost, for every pound of English treasure then taken,
Spain paid a hundred and a thousand fold."

In the following year, at Rio de la Flacho, whilst getting in
supplies, he was attacked by Michael de Castiliano with a thousand
men. Hawkins had but two hundred under his command; however, he
drove the Spaniards back, entered the town, and carried off the
ensign, for which, on his return, he was granted an addition to his
arms--on a canton, gold, an escalop between two palmers' staves,

In 1573 Hawkins was chosen by the queen "as the fittest person in
her dominions to manage her naval affairs," and for twenty-one years
served as Controller of the Navy. It was through his wise provision,
by his resolution, in spite of the niggardliness wherewith Elizabeth
doled out money, that "when the moment of trial came," says Froude,
"he sent her ships to sea in such condition--hull, rigging, spars,
and running rope--that they had no match in the world."

About the Armada presently.

In 1595 Hawkins and Drake were together sent to the West Indies in
command of an expedition. But they could not agree. Hawkins wanted
at once to sail for America, Drake to hover about the Canaries to
intercept Spanish galleons. The disagreement greatly irritated old
Sir John, unaccustomed to have his will opposed. Then he learned
that one of his vessels, named the _Francis_, had been taken by
the Spaniards. Grief at this, and annoyance caused by the double
command, brought on a fever, and he died at sea, November 15th, 1595.

Old Prince says, in drawing a parallel between him and Drake, "In
their deaths they were not divided, either in respect of the cause
thereof, for they died both heart-broken; the one, for that being
in joint commission with the other, his advice and counsel was
neglected; the other, for the ill success with which his last voyage
was attended. Alike they were also in their deaths; as to the place,
for they both died on the sea; as to the time, they both expired
in the same voyage, the one a little before the other, about the
interspace of a few months; and lastly, as to their funerals, for
they were both buried in the ocean, over which they had both so
often rid in triumph."

The elder brother of Sir John, William, the patriarch of the port,
was Mayor of Plymouth in the Armada year. William's son, Sir Richard
Hawkins, sailed in 1593 from Plymouth with five vessels to the
South Seas, and was taken by the Spaniards. From various causes
the fleet was reduced to the single vessel the _Dainty_, which he
himself commanded. Manned by seventy-five men only, she was assailed
by eight Spanish vessels with crews of 1300. Nevertheless, like
Sir Richard Grenville, of the _Revenge_, he showed lusty fight,
which was kept up for three days, and he did not surrender till
he had himself been wounded six times, and then only when he had
secured honourable terms, which the false scoundrels broke, by
sending their prisoners to Spain, instead of allowing them, as
was undertaken, to return to England.

[Illustration: SUTTON POOL]

He is one of those to whom the ballad is supposed to relate:--

    "Would you hear of a Spanish lady,
      How she wooed an English man?"

But it is also told of a member of the Popham family, by whom the
lady's picture, and her chain and bracelets, mentioned in the
ballad, were preserved.

Next to the Hawkins heroes we have Drake, a Plymothian by adoption,
the son of a yeoman near Tavistock. Camden calls him, "without
dispute the greatest captain of the age."

Many strange stories are told of him, as that he brought water to
Plymouth by pronouncing an incantation over a spring on Dartmoor,
and then riding direct to the seaport, whereupon the water followed
him, docile as a dog. When he was building Buckland Abbey, every
night the devils carried away the stones. Drake got up into a tree
and watched. When he saw the devils at work he crowed like a cock.
"Dawn coming?" exclaimed a devil. "And there comes the sun!" cried
out another, for Drake had lit his pipe; and away they scampered.

Another story is, that he left his wife at Lynton, and was away for
so long that she believed him dead, and was about to be married
again, when Sir Francis, who was in the Bristol Channel, fired a
cannon-ball, that flew in at the church window and fell between
her and her intended "second." "None could have done that but
Sir Francis," said the lady with a sigh, and so the ceremony was
abruptly broken off.

Drake was brought up at sea under Hawkins, and accompanied him
on the voyage of 1567, which ended so disastrously. His first
independent expedition was in 1572, when he made his memorable
expedition to Nombre de Dios.

Four years later Drake started on his voyage of circumnavigation,
with five vessels. Disaster and disaffection broke up the little
fleet, but he persevered, and on September 26th, 1580, brought the
_Pelican_ safely back to Plymouth again; the first English captain
who had sailed round the world. Plymouth turned out to welcome him,
headed by the Mayor, and S. Andrew's bells rang a merry peal.

The _Pelican_ was crammed with treasure. Drake went to the Thames
in her, and was received graciously by the queen. "His ship," says
Camden, "she caused to be drawn up in a little creek near Deptford,
as a monument of his so lucky sailing round the world. And having,
as it were, consecrated it as a memorial with great ceremony,
she was banqueted in it, and conferred on Drake the honour of

Singularly enough the Spanish Ambassador complained, on the part
of his Government, of Drake having ventured into the Pacific; but
the queen spiritedly replied that she did not acknowledge grants
of strange lands, much less of foreign seas made by the Pope, and
that, sail where they might, her good mariners should enjoy her

In 1585 Drake, with a fleet of twenty-five sail, made another
expedition to the West Indies; and his next exploit, performed in
1587, was what he called "singeing the King of Spain's beard." With
his fleet he ravaged the coast of Spain, and delayed the sailing
of the Armada for a year. The Invincible Armada, as the Spaniards
designated it in their pride, set sail from the Tagus on May 29th.
It consisted of 130 vessels of all sizes, mounting 2431 guns, and
carrying, in addition to the mariners, nearly 20,000 land troops,
among whom were 2000 volunteers of the noblest families in Spain.
But the fleet was overtaken by a storm off Coruña, and four large
ships foundered at sea; on hearing which, that stingy old cat,
Elizabeth, at once ordered the admiral, Lord Howard of Effingham,
to lay up four of his largest vessels, and discharge their crews.
The admiral had the spirit to disobey, saying that rather than do
that he would maintain the crews at his own cost. On July 19th, one
named Fleming, a Scottish privateer, sailed into Plymouth, with
intelligence that he had seen the Spanish fleet off the Lizard. At
the moment most of the captains and officers were on shore playing
bowls on the Hoe. There was instant bustle, and a call to man the
boats. "There is time enough," said Drake, "to play the game out
first, and thrash the Spaniards afterwards."

Unfortunately the wind was from the south, but the captains
contrived to warp out their ships. On the following day, being
Saturday, the 20th of July, they got a full sight of the Armada
standing majestically on, the vessels drawn up in the form of a
crescent, which, from horn to horn, measured some seven miles.

Their great height and bulk, though imposing to the unskilled, gave
confidence to the English seamen, who reckoned at once upon having
the advantage in tacking and manœuvring their lighter craft. The
miserable parsimony of Elizabeth, who did not allow a sufficiency
of ammunition to the fleet, interfered sadly with the proceedings
of the defenders of the English shores. But the story of the Armada
belongs to general English history, and need not be detailed here.
It is a story, read it often as we may, that makes the blood dance
in one's veins.

It has served as the topic of many lines. I will give some not
usually quoted, by John O'Keefe, which were set to music by Dr.

    "In May fifteen hundred and eighty-eight,
      Cries Philip, 'The English I'll humble;
    I've taken it into my Majesty's pate,
      And the lion, Oh! down he shall tumble.
    The lords of the sea!' Then his sceptre he shook;
      'I'll prove it all arrant bravado,
    By Neptune! I'll sweep 'em all into a nook,
      With th' Invincible Spanish Armado.'

    "This fleet started out, and the winds they did blow;
      Their guns made a terrible clatter.
    Our noble Queen Bess, 'cos her wanted to know,
      Quill'd her ruff, and cried, 'Pray what's the matter?'
    'They say, my good Queen,' replies Howard so stout,
      'The Spaniard has drawn his toledo.
    Odds bobbins! he'll thump us, and kick us about,
      With th' Invincible Spanish Armado.'

    "The Lord Mayor of London, a very wise man,
      What to do in the case vastly wondered.
    Says the Queen, 'Send in fifty good ships, if you can,'
      Says the Lord Mayor, 'I'll send you a hundred!'
    Our fire ships soon struck every cannon all dumb,
      For the Dons ran to _Ave_ and _Credo_;
    Don Medina roars out, 'Sure the foul fiend is come,
      For th' Invincible Spanish Armado.'

    "On Effingham's squadron, tho' all in abreast,
      Like open-mouth'd curs they came bowling;
    His sugar-plums finding they could not digest,
      Away they ran yelping and howling.
    When Britain's foe shall, all with envy agog,
      In our Channel make such a tornado,
    Huzza! my brave boys! we're still lusty to flog
      An Invincible ... Armado."

And here the dotted line will allow of Gallic, Russian, or German to
be inserted. Of Spanish there need be no fear. Spain is played out.

A fine bronze statue of Sir Francis by Boehm is on the Hoe, the
traditional site of the bowling match, but it is only a _replica_
of that at Tavistock, and lacks the fine bas-reliefs representing
incidents in the life of Drake; among others, the game of bowls,
and his burial at sea. On the Hoe is also a ridiculous tercentenary
monument commemorative of the Armada, and the upper portion of
Smeaton's Eddystone lighthouse.

This dangerous reef had occasioned so many wrecks and such loss of
life, that Mr. Henry Winstanley, a gentleman of property in Essex,
a self-taught mechanician, resolved to devote his attention and
his money to the erection of a lighthouse upon the reef, called
Eddystone probably because of the swirl of water about it. He
commenced the erection in 1696, and completed it in four years. The
structure was eminently picturesque, so much so that a local artist
at Launceston thought he could not do better than make a painting of
it to decorate a house there then in construction (Dockacre), and
set it up as a portion of the chimney-piece. The edifice certainly
was not calculated to withstand such seas as roll in the Channel,
but Winstanley knew only that second-hand wash which flows over
miles of mud on the Essex coast, which it submerges, but above which
it cannot heap itself into billows.

Winstanley had implicit confidence in his work, and frequently
expressed the wish that he might be in his lighthouse when tested
by a severe storm from the west. He had his desire. One morning in
November, 1703, he left the Barbican to superintend repairs. An
old seaman standing there warned him that dirty weather was coming
on. Nevertheless, strong in his confidence, he went. That night,
whilst he remained at the lighthouse, a hurricane sprang up, and
when morning broke no lighthouse was visible; the erection and its
occupants had been swept away. Three years elapsed before another
attempt was made to rear a beacon. At length a silk mercer of
London, named Rudyard, undertook the work. He determined to imitate
as closely as might be the trunk of a Scotch pine, and to give
to wind and wave as little surface as possible on which to take
effect. Winstanley's edifice had been polygonal; Rudyard's was to
be circular. Commenced in 1706 and completed in 1709, entirely of
timber, the shaft weathered the storms of nearly fifty years in
safety, and might have defied them longer but that it was built of
combustible materials. It caught fire on the 2nd December, 1755. The
three keepers in it did their utmost to extinguish the flames, but
their efforts were ineffectual. The lead wherewith it was roofed
ran off in molten streams, and the men had to take refuge in a hole
of the rock. When they were rescued one of the men went raving mad,
broke away, and was never seen again. Another solemnly averred that
some of the molten lead, as he stood looking up agape at the fire,
had run down his throat as it spouted from the roof. He died within
twelve days, and actually lodged within his stomach was found a mass
of lead weighing nearly eight ounces. How he had lived so long was a

Twelve months were not suffered to pass before a third lighthouse
was commenced--that of Smeaton. This was of stone, dovetailed
together. It was commenced in June, 1757, and completed by October,
1759. This lighthouse might have lasted to the present, had it not
been that the rocky foundation began to yield under the incessant
beat of the waves.

This necessitated a fourth, from the designs of Mr. (now Sir J.)
Douglass, which was begun in 1879 and completed in 1882. The total
height is 148 feet.

The Breakwater was begun in 1812, but was not completed till 1841.

The neighbourhood of Plymouth abounds in objects of interest and
scenes of great beauty. The Hamoaze, the estuary of the Tamar and
Tavy combined, is a noble sheet of water. The name (_am-uisge_),
Round about the water, describes it as an almost landlocked tract of
glittering tide and effluent rivers, with woods and hills sloping
down to the surface. Mount Edgcumbe, with its sub-tropical shrubs
and trees, shows how warm the air is even in winter, in spots where
not exposed to the sea breeze.

Up the creek of the Lynher (_Lyn-hir_, the long creek) boats
pass to S. Germans, where is a noble church, on the site of a
pre-Saxon monastery founded by S. Germanus of Auxerre. The little
disfranchised borough contains many objects to engage the artist's
pencil, notably the eminently picturesque alms-houses.

The noble church has been very badly "restored." The Norman work is

Cawsand, with its bay, makes a pleasant excursion. This was at one
time a great nest for smugglers. An old woman named Borlase had a
cottage with a window looking towards Plymouth, and she kept her eye
on the water. When a preventive boat was visible she went down the
street giving information. There was another old woman, only lately
deceased, who went by the name of Granny Grylls. When a young woman
she was wont to walk to the beach and back carrying a baby that was
never heard to wail.

One day a customs officer said to her, "Well, Mrs. Grylls, that baby
of yours is very quiet."

"Quiet her may be," answered she, "but I reckon her's got a deal o'
sperit in her."

[Illustration: ALMS HOUSES, S. GERMANS]

And so she had, for the baby was no other than a jar of brandy.
She was wont by this means to remove "run" liquor from its _cache_
in the sand. A man named Trist had been a notorious smuggler. At
last he was caught and given over to the press-gang to be sent on
board a man-of-war. Trist bore his capture quietly enough, but as
the vessel lay off Cawsand he suddenly slipped overboard and made
for a boat that was at anchor, shipped that, and hoisted sail. His
Majesty's vessel at once lowered a boat and made in pursuit. After a
hard row the sailing smack was come up with and found to be empty.
Trist had gone overboard again and swum to a Cawsand fishing-smack,
where he lay hid for some days. As there was quite a fleet of these
boats on the water, the men in His Majesty's service did not know
which to search. So Trist got off and was never secured again.

Near Cawsand is a rock with a white sparry formation on it, like the
figure of a woman. This is called Lady's Rock, and the fishermen on
returning always cast an offering of a few mackerels or herrings to
the ledge before the figure.

A curious custom on May Day exists at Millbrook, once a rotten
borough, of the boatmen carrying a dressed ship about the streets
with music.

An excursion up the Tamar may be made by steamer to the Weir Head.
The river scenery is very fine, especially at the Morwell Rocks. On
the way Cothele is passed, the ancient and unaltered mansion of the
Edgcumbes, rich in carved wood, tapestry, and ancient furniture. It
is the most perfect and characteristic mansion of the fifteenth
century in Cornwall. Lower down the river is S. Dominic.

Early in the eighth century Indract, with his sister Dominica, Irish
pilgrims, and attendants arrived there, and settled on the Tamar.
A little headland, Halton, marks a spot where Indract had a chapel
and a holy well. The latter is in good condition; the former is
represented by an ivy-covered wall. However, the church of Landrake
(Llan-Indract) was his main settlement, and his sister Dominica
founded that now bearing her name. In the river Indract made a
salmon weir and trapped fish for his party. But one of these was
a thief and greedy, and carried off fish for his own consumption,
regardless of his comrades. There were "ructions," and Indract
packed his portmanteau and started for Rome. Whether Dominica
accompanied him is not stated, but it is probable that she would not
care to be left alone in a strange land, though I am certain she
would have met with nothing but kindly courtesy from Cornishmen. The
party--all but the thief and those who were in the intrigue with
him--reached Rome, and returning through Britain came as far as
Skapwith, near Glastonbury, where a Saxon hanger-on upon King Ina's
court, hearing that a party of travellers was at hand, basely went
to their lodgings and murdered them at night in the hopes of getting
loot. Ina, his master, who was then at Glastonbury, came to hear
of what had been done, and he had the bodies moved to the abbey.
Whether he scolded the man who murdered them, or even proceeded to
punish him, we are not told.

Bere Ferrers has a fine church, with some old glass in it and a
very singular font, that looks almost as if it had been constructed
out of a still earlier capital. Bere Alston was once a borough,
returning two members.

On the east side of Plymouth is the interesting Plympton S. Mary,
with a noble church; Plympton S. Maurice, with a fine modern screen,
and the remains of a castle. Here is the old grammar school where
Sir Joshua Reynolds received his instruction, and here also is the
house in which he was born. He gave his own portrait to the town
hall of the little place--for it also was a borough, and, to the
lasting disgrace of Plympton be it recorded, the municipality sold
it. The old house of Boringdon has a fine hall. The house has twice
been altered, and the last alterations are incongruous. One half of
the house has been pulled down. Above it is a well-preserved camp.
Ermington Church deserves a visit; it has been well restored. It
has a bold post-Reformation screen. Holbeton has also been restored
in excellent taste. On Revelstoke a vast amount of money has been
lavished unsatisfactorily. Near Cornwood station is Fardell, an old
mansion of Sir Walter Raleigh, with a chapel.

The same station serves for the Awns and Dendles cascade, and for
a visit to the Stall Moor with its long stone row, also the more
than two-mile-long row, leading from the Staldon circle, and the
old blowing-houses on the Yealm at Yealm Steps. There the old
moulds for the tin lie among the ruins of two of these houses,
one above the steps, the other below. A further excursion may be
made into the Erme valley, with its numerous prehistoric remains,
and to the blowing-house at the junction of the Hook Lake. This is
comparatively late, as there is a wheel-pit.

North of Plymouth interesting excursions may be made to the
Dewerstone, perhaps the finest bit of rock scenery on Dartmoor, or
rather at its edge, where the so-called Plym bursts forth from its
moorland cradle. The summit of the Dewerstone has been fortified
by a double line of walls. A walk thence up the river will take a
visitor into some wild country. He will pass Legis Tor with its
hut circles in very fair preservation, Ditsworthy Warren, and at
Drizzlecombe, coming in from the north, he will see avenues of
stones and menhirs and the Giant's Grave, a large cairn, and a
well-preserved kistvaen. By the stream bed below is a blowing-house
with its tin moulds. Shavercombe stream comes down on the right, and
there may be found traces of the slate that overlay the granite,
much altered by heat. From Trowlesworthy Warren a wall, fallen,
extends, in connection with numerous hut circles, as far as the
Yealm. For what purpose it was erected, unless it were a tribal
boundary, it is impossible to discover.

A visitor to the Dewerstone should not fail to descend through the
wood to the Meavy river, and follow it down to Shaugh Bridge.

An interesting house is Old Newnham, the ancient seat of the Strode

Hard by is Peacock Bridge. Here a fight took place, according to
tradition, between a Parker and a Strode, with their retainers,
relative to a peacock, and Strode had his thumb cut off in the fray.

Buckland Monachorum also is within reach, the church converted into
a mansion.

Meavy Church contains early and rude carving. Sheepstor stands above
an artificial lake, the reservoir that supplies Plymouth with water.
This occupies the site of an ancient lake, that had been filled with
rubble brought down by the torrents from the moor.

A delightful walk may be taken by branching from the Princetown
road to Nosworthy Bridge, passing under Leather Tor and following
Deancombe, then ascending Combshead Tor to an interesting group of
prehistoric remains, a cairn surrounded by a circle of stones, and
a stone row leading to a chambered cairn. By continuing the line
north-east Nun's or Siward's Cross will be reached in the midst of
utter desolation. Far away east is Childe's Tomb, a kistvaen.

The story is that Childe, a hunter, lost himself on the moor. Snow
came on, and he cut open his horse, and crept within the carcass to
keep himself warm. But even this did not avail.

    So with his finger dipp'd in blood,
      He scrabbled on the stones:
    "This is my will, God it fulfil,
      And buried be my bones.
    Whoe'er he be that findeth me,
      And brings me to a grave,
    The lands that now to me belong
      In Plymstock he shall have."

The story goes on to say that while the men of Plymstock were
preparing to transport the body thither, the monks of Tavistock
whipped it off, threw a bridge of planks, since called Guile Bridge,
over the Tavy, and interred the hunter in their cemetery, thereby
obtaining possession of his lands.






  FORTHCOMING BOOKS,                       3

  POETRY,                                  9


  ILLUSTRATED BOOKS,                      11

  HISTORY,                                11

  BIOGRAPHY,                              14


  NAVAL AND MILITARY,                     17

  GENERAL LITERATURE,                     18

  SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,                 20

  PHILOSOPHY,                             20

  THEOLOGY,                               21

  FICTION,                                24

  BOOKS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS,               33

  THE PEACOCK LIBRARY,                    33


  SOCIAL QUESTIONS OF TO-DAY,             35

  CLASSICAL TRANSLATIONS,                 35

  EDUCATIONAL BOOKS,                      36


                               FEBRUARY 1899.


Travel and Adventure

     THE HIGHEST ANDES. By E. A. FITZGERALD. With 40 Illustrations,
     10 of which are Photogravures, and a Large Map. _Royal 8vo. 30s.

Also, a Small Edition on Handmade Paper, limited to 50 Copies, _4to.
£5, 5s._

     A narrative of the highest climb yet accomplished. The
     illustrations have been reproduced with the greatest care, and
     the book, in addition to its adventurous interest, contains
     appendices of great scientific value.

     Illustrations. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     The narrative of a bicycle ride right round the world, which
     covered over 19,000 miles and occupied 774 days. The book is
     full of adventure and incident, and contains as much matter as
     the ordinary book of travel published at six times the price.

     THE HEART OF ASIA. By F. H. SKRINE and E. D. ROSS. With Maps and
     many Illustrations. _Large crown 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     This is an account, historical, political, economical, and
     descriptive of Russian Central Asia. The first part of the work
     contains a concise history of Turkestan, etc. from the earliest
     times. No such history has hitherto appeared in any European
     language, and many untranslated Oriental works have been put
     under contribution by Professor Ross. In the second part Mr.
     Skrine gives a complete account of Russian Central Asia, with
     all the latest statistics. Great attention has been paid to the
     production of accurate maps, and the information contained in
     this part of the book may be regarded as semi-official.

     THROUGH ASIA. By SVEN HEDIN. With 300 Illustrations from
     Photographs and Sketches by the Author, and 3 Maps. _Two
     volumes. Royal 8vo. 36s. net._

     Extracts from reviews of this great book, which _The Times_ has
     called 'one of the greatest books of the century,' will be found
     on p. 15.

     CHITRAL: The Story of a Minor Siege. By SIR G. S. ROBERTSON,
     K.C.S.I. With 22 Illustrations, 4 Plans, and a Map. A New and
     Cheaper Edition. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     Extracts from reviews of this remarkable book will be found on
     page 15.

     Illustrations and 5 Maps. Second and cheaper Edition. _Demy 8vo.
     10s. 6d. net._

     THE CAROLINE ISLANDS By F. W. CHRISTIAN. With many Illustrations
     and Maps. _Large crown 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     This book contains a history and complete description of these
     islands--their physical features, fauna, flora; the habits, and
     religious beliefs of the inhabitants. It is the result of many
     years' residence among the natives, and is the only worthy work
     on the subject.

History and Biography

     the Royal Academy. By his Son, J. G. MILLAIS. With nearly 300
     Illustrations, of which 10 are in photogravure. _Two volumes.
     Royal 8vo. 32s. net._

A limited edition will also be printed. This will contain 22 of
Millais' great paintings reproduced in photogravure, with a case
containing an extra set of these Photogravures pulled on India
paper. The price of this edition will be £4, 4_s. net._

     In these two magnificent volumes is contained the authoritative
     biography of the most distinguished and popular painter of
     the last half of the century. They contain the story of his
     extraordinary boyhood, of his early struggles and triumphs, of
     the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, now first given
     to the world in authentic detail, of the painting of most of
     his famous pictures, of his friendships with many of the most
     distinguished men of the day in art, letters, and politics, of
     his home life, and of his sporting tastes. There are a large
     number of letters to his wife describing the circumstances
     under which his pictures were painted, letters from Her Majesty
     the Queen, Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Watts, Sir
     William Harcourt, Lord Rosebery, Lord Leighton, etc., etc.
     Among them are several illustrated letters from Landseer,
     Leech, Du Maurier, and Mike Halliday. The last letter that Lord
     Beaconsfield wrote before his death is reproduced in fac-simile.
     Sir William Harcourt contributes his reminiscences of Millais,
     and Mr. Val Prinsep has written a long and most interesting
     chapter to the same purpose.

     Not the least attractive and remarkable feature of this book
     will be the magnificence of its illustrations. No more complete
     representation of the art any painter has ever been produced
     on the same scale. The owners of Sir John Millais' most famous
     pictures and their copyrights have generously given their
     consent to their reproduction in his biography, and, in addition
     to those pictures with which the public is familiar, over two
     hundred pictures and sketches which have never been reproduced
     before, and which, in all probability, will never be seen again
     by the general public, will appear in these pages. The early
     chapters contain sketches made by Millais at the age of seven.
     There follow some exquisite drawings made by him during his
     Pre-Raphaelite period, a large number of sketches and studies
     made for his great pictures, water colour sketches, pen-and-ink
     sketches, and drawings, humorous and serious. There are ten
     portraits of Millais himself, including two by Mr. Watts and Sir
     Edward Burne Jones. There is a portrait of Dickens, taken after
     death, and a sketch of D. G. Rossetti. Thus the book will be not
     only a biography of high interest and an important contribution
     to the history of English art, but in the best sense of the
     word, a beautiful picture book.

     A New Edition, edited with Notes, Appendices, and Maps by J.
     B. BURY, LL.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. _In Seven
     Volumes. Demy 8vo, gilt top. 8s. 6d. each. Crown 8vo. 6s. each.
     Vol. VII._

     The concluding Volume of this Edition.

     EVAGRIUS. Edited by Professor LÉON PARMENTIER of Liége and M.
     BIDEZ of Gand. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

  [_Byzantine Texts._


  [_Byzantine Texts._

     M.A., Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Senior
     Chancellor's Medallist for Classics, Porson University Scholar,
     etc., etc. _Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d._

     An account of the origin and growth of the Roman Institutions,
     and a discussion of the various political movements in Rome from
     the earliest times to the death of Augustus.

     Edited by W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE, D.C.L., LL.D., Professor of
     Egyptology at University College. Fully Illustrated. _In Six
     Volumes. Crown 8vo. 6s. each._


     Master. With Numerous Illustrations. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     many Illustrations. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     Uniform with Mr. Grinling's 'History of the Great Northern

     8vo. 12s. 6d._


     Keble College. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     An attempt to popularise the recent additions to our knowledge
     of St. Paul as a missionary, a statesman and an ethical teacher.

     M.A., and W. F. ADENEY, M.A. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

Oxford Commentaries.

General Editor, WALTER LOCK, D.D., Warden of Keble College Dean
Ireland's Professor of Exegesis in the University of Oxford.

Messrs. METHUEN propose to issue a series of Commentaries upon such
Books of the Bible as still seem to need further explanation.

The object of each Commentary is primarily exegetical, to interpret
the author's meaning to the present generation. The editors will
not deal, except very subordinately, with questions of textual
criticism or philology; but taking the English text in the
Revised Version as their basis, they will try to combine a hearty
acceptance of critical principles with loyalty to the Catholic
Faith. It is hoped that in this way the series may be of use both
to theological students and to the clergy, and also to the growing
number of educated laymen and laywomen who wish to read the Bible
intelligently and reverently.

     THE BOOK OF JOB. Edited, with Introduction and Notes, by E. C.
     S. GIBSON, D.D., Vicar of Leeds. _Demy 8vo. 6s._

The Churchman's Bible.

General Editor, J. H. BURN, B.D., Examining Chaplain to the Bishop
of Aberdeen.

Messrs. METHUEN propose to issue a series of expositions upon
most of the books of the Bible. The volumes will be practical and
devotional rather than critical in their purpose, and the text of
the authorised version will be explained in sections or paragraphs,
which will correspond as far as possible with the divisions of the
Church Lectionary.

The volumes will be produced in a very handy and tasteful form, and
may be obtained in cloth or leather bindings.

The first volume will be:

     ROBINSON, B.D., Vicar of All Hallows, Barking. _Fcap. 8vo. 2s._
     Leather, _3s. net._

Handbooks of Theology.

General Editor, A. ROBERTSON, D.D., Principal of King's College,

     Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Lichfield. _Demy 8vo. 10s.

The Library of Devotion.

_Pott 8vo. Cloth 2s.; leather 2s. 6d. net._


     Edited, with an Introduction by C. BIGG, D.D., late Student of
     Christ Church.

     This is a reprint, word for word and line for line, of the
     _Editio Princeps_.

     LYRA INNOCENTIUM. By JOHN KEBLE. Edited, with Introduction and
     Notes, by WALTER LOCK, D.D., Warden of Keble College, Oxford.

     This is edited on the same scale as 'The Christian Year.' Dr.
     Lock has corrected the printed text by collating it with the MS.
     in the Keble College Library, and has added an Introduction, and
     an analysis and explanatory notes to each of the more difficult

General Literature

The Arden Shakespeare.

General Editor, EDWARD DOWDEN, Litt. D.

MESSRS. METHUEN have in preparation an Edition of Shakespeare in
single Plays. Each play will be edited with a full Introduction,
Notes on the text, and a Commentary at the foot of the page.

     The first volume will be:

     HAMLET. Edited by EDWARD DOWDEN. _Demy 8vo. 2s. 6d._

The Novels of Charles Dickens.

_Crown 8vo. Each Volume, cloth 3s., leather 4s. net._

Messrs. METHUEN have in preparation an edition of those novels of
Charles Dickens which have now passed out of copyright. Mr. George
Gissing, whose critical study of Dickens is both sympathetic and
acute, has written an Introduction to each of the books, and a very
attractive feature of this edition will be the illustrations of
the old houses, inns, and buildings, which Dickens described, and
which have now in many instances disappeared under the touch of
modern civilisation. Another valuable feature will be a series of
topographical notes to each book by Mr. F. G. Kitton. The books will
be produced with the greatest care as to printing, paper and binding.

     The first volumes will be:

     THE PICKWICK PAPERS. With Illustrations by E. H. NEW. _Two

     NICHOLAS NICKLEBY. With Illustrations by R. J. WILLIAMS. _Two

     BLEAK HOUSE. With Illustrations by BEATRICE ALCOCK. _Two

     OLIVER TWIST. With Illustrations by E. H. NEW. _Two Volumes._

The Little Library.

_Pott 8vo. Each Volume, cloth 2s.; leather 2s. 6d. net._

Messrs. METHUEN intend to produce a series of small books under the
above title, containing some of the famous books in English and
other literatures, in the domains of fiction, poetry, and belles
lettres. The series will also contain several volumes of selections
in prose and verse.

The books will be edited with the most sympathetic and scholarly
care. Each one will contain an Introduction which will give (1) a
short biography of the author, (2) a critical estimate of the book,
(3) short bibliographical details. Where they are necessary, short
notes will be added at the foot of the page.

The Little Library will ultimately contain complete sets of the
novels of W. M. Thackeray, Jane Austen, the sisters Bronté, Mrs.
Gaskell and others. It will also contain the best work of many
other novelists whose names are household words.

Each book will have a portrait or frontispiece in photogravure, and
the volumes will be produced with great care in a style uniform with
that of 'The Library of Devotion.'

     The first volumes will be:


     PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. By JANE AUSTEN. With an Introduction by E.
     V. LUCAS. _Two Volumes._

     VANITY FAIR. By W. M. THACKERAY. With an Introduction by S.
     GWYNN. _Three Volumes._

     EOTHEN. By A. W. KINGLAKE. With an Introduction.

     CRANFORD. By Mrs. GASKELL. With an Introduction by E. V. LUCAS.

     JANE EYRE. By CHARLOTTE BRONTÉ. With an Introduction by R.
     BAYNE. _Two Volumes._

The Little Guides.

_Pott 8vo, cloth 3s.; leather 3s. 6d. net._


     SHAKESPEARE'S COUNTRY. By B. C. WINDLE, M.A. Illustrated by E.
     H. NEW.

     Uniform with Mr. Wells' 'Oxford' and Mr. Thomson's 'Cambridge.'



Messrs. METHUEN contemplate a very interesting experiment in
publishing. They are about to issue at Sixpence, under the general
title of 'Methuen's Library of Fiction,' stories by some of the best
known writers of the day. A few books will be reprints, but most
will be new works hitherto unpublished in book form.

A considerable number of Sixpenny Editions of old books have already
been issued by various publishers, but in no case has the work of an
author of high repute been published in the first instance at that
price. This Messrs. Methuen will attempt, and the first book thus
published will be by E. W. Hornung. Mr. Robert Barr and Mr. Cutliffe
Hyne will follow, and later will be published books by Mr. Baring
Gould and others. In some cases the same book will be published
simultaneously both at Sixpence and at a higher price. Messrs.
Methuen recognise the inevitable tendencies of an age of cheap
literature. The theatre has its stalls and its pit, the railway its
first and its third classes: so the novelist may well have a double
audience, and while the wealthy will still pay Six Shillings for
their novels, those of limited means will be able to purchase the
same book in a decent but less luxurious form.

     A NEW NOVEL. By E. W. HORNUNG. _Demy 8vo. 6d._

     JENNY BAXTER. By ROBERT BARR. _Demy 8vo. 6d._

     THE COUNTESS TEKLA. By ROBERT BARR, Author of 'The Mutable
     Many.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     A romance of adventure.

     THE CAPSINA. By E. F. BENSON, Author of 'Dodo.' With
     Illustrations by G. P. JACOMB-HOOD. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     THE HUMAN BOY. By EDEN PHILPOTTS, Author of 'Children of the
     Mist.' _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     A series of studies of the English schoolboy, the result of keen
     observation, and of a most engaging wit.

     ANNE MAULEVERER. By Mrs. CAFFYN (Iota). Author of 'The Yellow
     Aster.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     RACHEL. By JANE HELEN FINDLATER, Author of 'The Green Graves of
     Balgowrie.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     BETTY MUSGRAVE. By MARY FINDLATER, Author of 'Over the Hills.'
     _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     of Consolation.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     THE AMATEUR CRACKSMAN. By E. W. HORNUNG, Author of 'Young
     Blood.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     Charles I. was King.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     GILES INGILBY. By W. E. NORRIS. _Crown 8vo. 6s._


     A romantic story of Acadie.

     ADRIAN ROME. By E. DOWSON and A. MOORE, Authors of 'A Comedy of
     Masks.' _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     Baby,' 'Orthodox,' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     LONE PINE. By R. B. TOWNSHEND. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     A romance of Mexican life.

     TALES OF NORTHUMBRIA. By HOWARD PEASE. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._





     =Rudyard Kipling.= BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS. By RUDYARD
     KIPLING. _47th Thousand. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'Mr. Kipling's verse is strong, vivid, full of character....
     Unmistakeable genius rings in every line.'--_Times._

     'The ballads teem with imagination, they palpitate with emotion.
     We read them with laughter and tears; the metres throb in our
     pulses, the cunningly ordered words tingle with life; and if
     this be not poetry, what is?'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     =Rudyard Kipling.= THE SEVEN SEAS. By RUDYARD KIPLING.
     _41st Thousand. Cr. 8vo. Buckram, gilt top. 6s._

     'The new poems of Mr. Rudyard Kipling have all the spirit and
     swing of their predecessors. Patriotism is the solid concrete
     foundation on which Mr. Kipling has built the whole of his

     'The Empire has found a singer; it is no depreciation of the
     songs to say that statesmen may have, one way or other, to take
     account of them.'--_Manchester Guardian._

     'Animated through and through with indubitable genius.'--_Daily

     "=Q.=" POEMS AND BALLADS. By "Q." _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     'This work has just the faint, ineffable touch and glow that
     make poetry.'--_Speaker._

     "=Q.=" GREEN BAYS: Verses and Parodies. By "Q." _Second
     Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     =E. Mackay.= A SONG OF THE SEA. By ERIC MACKAY. _Second
     Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5s._

     'Everywhere Mr. Mackay displays himself the master of
     a style marked by all the characteristics of the best

     =H. Ibsen.= BRAND. A Drama by HENRIK IBSEN. Translated by
     WILLIAM WILSON. _Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     'The greatest world-poem of the nineteenth century next to
     "Faust." It is in the same set with "Agamemnon," with "Lear,"
     with the literature that we now instinctively regard as high and
     holy.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     "=A. G.=" VERSES TO ORDER. By "A. G." _Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d.

     'A capital specimen of light academic poetry.'--_St. James's

     Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     'In matter and manner the book is admirable.'--_Glasgow Herald._

     =J. G. Cordery.= THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER. A Translation by J.
     G. CORDERY. _Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d._

     'A spirited, accurate, and scholarly piece of work.'--_Glasgow

Belles Lettres, Anthologies, etc.

     STEVENSON. With an Etched Portrait by WILLIAM STRANG. _Second
     Edition. Crown 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

  'A fascinating book.'--_Standard._
  'Full of charm and brightness.'--_Spectator._
  'A gift almost priceless.'--_Speaker._
  'Unique in Literature.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     =G. Wyndham.= THE POEMS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. Edited with
     an Introduction and Notes by GEORGE WYNDHAM, M.P. _Demy 8vo.
     Buckram, gilt top. 10s. 6d._

     This edition contains the 'Venus,' 'Lucrece,' and Sonnets, and
     is prefaced with an elaborate introduction of over 140 pp.

     'One of the most serious contributions to Shakespearian
     criticism that have been published for some time.'--_Times._

     'A scholarly and interesting contribution to

     'We have no hesitation in describing Mr. George Wyndham's
     introduction as a masterly piece of criticism, and all who love
     our Elizabethan literature will find a very garden of delight in

     'Mr. Wyndham's notes are admirable, even
     indispensable.'--_Westminster Gazette._

     =W. E. Henley.= ENGLISH LYRICS. Selected and Edited by W.
     E. HENLEY. _Crown 8vo. Buckram, gilt top. 6s._

     'It is a body of choice and lovely poetry.--_Birmingham Gazette._

     =Henley and Whibley.= A BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE. Collected by
     W. E. HENLEY and CHARLES WHIBLEY. _Crown 8vo. Buckram, gilt top.

     'Quite delightful. A greater treat for those not well acquainted
     with pre-Restoration prose could not be imagined.--_Athenæum._

     =H. C. Beeching.= LYRA SACRA: An Anthology of Sacred Verse.
     Edited by H. C. BEECHING, M.A. _Crown 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

     'A charming selection, which maintains a lofty standard of

     "=Q.=" THE GOLDEN POMP. A Procession of English Lyrics.
     Arranged by A. T. QUILLER COUCH. _Crown 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

     'A delightful volume: a really golden "Pomp."'--_Spectator._

     =W. B. Yeats.= AN ANTHOLOGY OF IRISH VERSE. Edited by W. B.
     YEATS. _Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     'An attractive and catholic selection.'--_Times._

     =G. W. Steevens.= MONOLOGUES OF THE DEAD. By G. W.
     STEEVENS. _Foolscap 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     'The effect is sometimes splendid, sometimes bizarre, but always
     amazingly clever.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     =W. M. Dixon.= A PRIMER OF TENNYSON. By W. M. DIXON, M.A.
     _Cr. 8vo. 2s. 6d._

     'Much sound and well-expressed criticism. The bibliography is a

     =W. A. Craigie.= A PRIMER OF BURNS. By W. A. CRAIGIE.
     _Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d._

     'A valuable addition to the literature of the poet.'--_Times._

     _Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d._

     'A valuable contribution to Wordsworthian

     LAWRENCE STERNE. With an Introduction by CHARLES WHIBLEY, and a
     Portrait. _2 vols. 7s._

     'Very dainty volumes are these: the paper, type, and light-green
     binding are all very agreeable to the eye.'--_Globe._

     Introduction by G. S. STREET, and a Portrait. _2 vols. 7s._

     JAMES MORIER. With an Introduction by E. G. BROWNE, M.A., and a
     Portrait. _2 vols. 7s._

     SANDERSON. By IZAAK WALTON. With an Introduction by VERNON
     BLACKBURN, and a Portrait. _3s. 6d._

     JOHNSON, LL.D. With an Introduction by J. H. MILLAR, and a
     Portrait. _3 vols. 10s. 6d._

     and W. A. CRAIGIE. With Portrait. _Second Edition. Demy 8vo,
     gilt top. 6s._

     This edition contains a carefully collated Text, numerous Notes,
     critical and textual, a critical and biographical Introduction,
     and a Glossary.

     'Among editions in one volume, this will take the place of

     =F. Langbridge.= BALLADS OF THE BRAVE; Poems of Chivalry,
     Enterprise, Courage, and Constancy. Edited by Rev. F.
     LANGBRIDGE. _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d. School Edition.
     2s. 6d._

     'A very happy conception happily carried out. These "Ballads of
     the Brave" are intended to suit the real tastes of boys, and
     will suit the taste of the great majority.'--_Spectator._

     'The book is full of splendid things.'--_World._

Illustrated Books

     Edited, with an Introduction, by C. H. FIRTH, M.A. With 39
     Illustrations by R. ANNING BELL. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     This book contains a long Introduction by Mr. Firth, whose
     knowledge of the period is unrivalled; and it is lavishly

     'The best "Pilgrim's Progress."'--_Educational Times._

     'A choice edition.'--_Westminster Gazette._

     =F. D. Bedford.= NURSERY RHYMES. With many Coloured
     Pictures by F. D. BEDFORD. _Super Royal 8vo. 5s._

     'An excellent selection of the best known rhymes, with
     beautifully coloured pictures exquisitely printed.'--_Pall Mall

     =S. Baring Gould.= A BOOK OF FAIRY TALES retold by S.
     BARING GOULD. With numerous Illustrations and Initial Letters by
     ARTHUR J. GASKIN. _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

     'Mr. Baring Gould is deserving of gratitude, in re-writing in
     simple style the old stories that delighted our fathers and
     grandfathers.'--_Saturday Review._

     =S. Baring Gould.= OLD ENGLISH FAIRY TALES. Collected and
     edited by S. BARING GOULD. With Numerous Illustrations by F. D.
     BEDFORD. _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. Buckram. 6s._

     'A charming volume.'--_Guardian._

     Edited by S. BARING GOULD, and Illustrated by the Birmingham Art
     School. _Buckram, gilt top. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     =H. C. Beeching.= A BOOK OF CHRISTMAS VERSE. Edited by H.
     C. BEECHING, M.A., and Illustrated by WALTER CRANE. _Cr. 8vo,
     gilt top. 3s. 6d._

     'An anthology which, from its unity of aim and high poetic
     excellence, has a better right to exist than most of its


     EDWARD GIBBON. A New Edition, Edited with Notes, Appendices, and
     Maps, by J. B. BURY, LL.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.
     _In Seven Volumes. Demy 8vo. Gilt top. 8s. 6d. each. Also Cr.
     8vo. 6s. each. Vols. I., II., III., IV., V., and VI._

     'The time has certainly arrived for a new edition of Gibbon's
     great work.... Professor Bury is the right man to undertake this
     task. His learning is amazing, both in extent and accuracy. The
     book is issued in a handy form, and at a moderate price, and it
     is admirably printed.'--_Times._

     'This edition is a marvel of erudition and critical skill, and
     it is the very minimum of praise to predict that the seven
     volumes of it will supersede Dean Milman's as the standard
     edition of our great historical classic.'--_Glasgow Herald._

     'At last there is an adequate modern edition of Gibbon.... The
     best edition the nineteenth century could produce.'--_Manchester

     D.C.L., LL.D., Professor of Egyptology at University College.
     _Fully Illustrated. In Six Volumes. Cr. 8vo. 6s. each._

     _Third Edition._

     _Second Edition._

     'A history written in the spirit of scientific precision so
     worthily represented by Dr. Petrie and his school cannot but
     promote sound and accurate study, and supply a vacant place in
     the English literature of Egyptology.'--_Times._

     Illustrated. _Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d._

     'The lectures will afford a fund of valuable information for
     students of ancient ethics.'--_Manchester Guardian._

     TABLETS. By W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE, D.C.L., LL.D. _Crown 8vo. 2s.

     'A marvellous record. The addition made to our knowledge is
     nothing short of amazing.'--_Times._

     =Flinders Petrie.= EGYPTIAN TALES. Edited by W. M. FLINDERS
     PETRIE. Illustrated by TRISTRAM ELLIS. _In Two Volumes. Cr. 8vo.
     3s. 6d. each._

     'Invaluable as a picture of life in Palestine and
     Egypt.'--_Daily News._

     =Flinders Petrie.= EGYPTIAN DECORATIVE ART. By W. M.
     FLINDERS PETRIE. With 120 Illustrations. _Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     'In these lectures he displays rare skill in elucidating the
     development of decorative art in Egypt.'--_Times._

     =C. W. Oman.= A HISTORY OF THE ART OF WAR. Vol. 11.: The
     Middle Ages, from the Fourth to the Fourteenth Century. By C.
     W. OMAN, M.A., Fellow of All Souls', Oxford. Illustrated. _Demy
     8vo. 21s._

     'The book is based throughout upon a thorough study of the
     original sources, and will be an indispensable aid to all
     students of mediæval history.'--_Athenæum._

     'The whole art of war in its historic evolution has never
     been treated on such an ample and comprehensive scale, and we
     question if any recent contribution to the exact history of the
     world has possessed more enduring value.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     =S. Baring Gould.= THE TRAGEDY OF THE CÆSARS. With numerous
     Illustrations from Busts, Gems, Cameos, etc. By S. BARING GOULD.
     _Fourth Edition, Royal 8vo. 15s._

     'A most splendid and fascinating book on a subject of undying
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     and the illustrations are supplied on a scale of profuse
     magnificence.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     =F. W. Maitland.= CANON LAW IN ENGLAND. By F. W. MAITLAND,
     LL.D., Downing Professor of the Laws of England in the
     University of Cambridge. _Royal 8vo. 7s. 6d._

     'Professor Maitland has put students of English law under a
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     history of Canon Law.'--_Times._

     OUTLINES. By H. DE B. GIBBINS, M.A., D. Litt. With 5 Maps.
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     H. E. EGERTON, M.A. _Demy 8vo. 12s. 6d._

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     CENTURY. By ALBERT SOREL, of the French Academy. Translated by
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     SARGEAUNT, M.A., Assistant Master. With numerous Illustrations.
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     =Perrens.= THE HISTORY OF FLORENCE FROM 1434 TO 1492. By F.
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     1250-1530. By OSCAR BROWNING, Fellow and Tutor of King's
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     Admiral P. H. COLOMB. With a Portrait. _Demy 8vo. 16s._

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Travel, Adventure and Topography

     =Sven Hedin.= THROUGH ASIA. By SVEN HEDIN, Gold Medallist
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     'One of the greatest books of the kind issued during the
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     'In these magnificent volumes we have the most important
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     'The whole story of the desert adventure is worthy to be added
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     'These volumes are of absorbing and fascinating interest, their
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     'One of the most remarkable books of travel of the
     century.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     'Profoundly interesting.'--_Academy._

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     century.'--_Black and White._

     'Let any one who is desirous to learn about the wonderful
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     this work.'--_Vanity Fair._

     PEARY, Gold Medallist of the Royal Geographical Society. With
     over 800 Illustrations. _2 vols. Royal 8vo. 32s. net._

     'The book is full of interesting matter--a tale of brave
     deeds simply told; abundantly illustrated with prints and

     'His book will take its place among the permanent literature of
     Arctic exploration.'--_Times._

     It yields neither in interest nor in ability to Nansen's
     "Farthest North," while its results are no less
     valuable.'--_Glasgow Herald._

     'Crowded with adventures and intensely interesting.'--_World._

     'An exciting and thoroughly well-arranged book.'--_St. James's

     =G. S. Robertson.= CHITRAL: The Story of a Minor Siege. By
     Sir G. S. ROBERTSON, K.C.S.I. With numerous Illustrations and a
     Map. _Second Edition. Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     'It is difficult to imagine the kind of person who could
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     great book.'--_Illustrated London News._

     'A book which the Elizabethans would have thought wonderful.
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     novel.'--_Newcastle Chronicle._

     'One of the most stirring military narratives written in our

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     'As fascinating as Sir Walter Scott's best fiction.'--_Daily

     'Full of dashing feats of courage as any romance.'--_Pall Mall

     'Not since the appearance of Lord Roberts's "Forty-one Years"
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     'The enthusiastic admiration of the reader cannot fail to be
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     'A classic of frontier literature.'--_Scotsman._

     'Any one proud of his name as Englishman may read in
     these stirring chapters abundant justification for his

     'A very fascinating, a singularly delightful book.'--_Glasgow

     'A noble story, nobly told.'--_Punch._

     'Every page is quick with heroism.'--_Outlook._

     =H. H. Johnston.= BRITISH CENTRAL AFRICA. By Sir H. H.
     JOHNSTON, K.C.B. With nearly Two Hundred Illustrations, and Six
     Maps. _Second Edition. Crown 4to. 18s. net._

     'A fascinating book, written with equal skill and charm--the
     work at once of a literary artist and of a man of action who is
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     'A delightful book ... collecting within the covers of a single
     volume all that is known of this part of our African domains.
     The voluminous appendices are of extreme value.'--_Manchester

     With 100 Illustrations and 5 Maps. _Second Edition. Demy 8vo.
     10s. 6d. net._

     'A fine, full book.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     'Abounding in thrilling adventures.--_Daily Telegraph._

     'Its bright pages give a better general survey of Africa from
     the Cape to the Equator than any single volume that has yet been

     'A delightful book.'--_Academy._

     'Unquestionably one of the most interesting books of travel
     which have recently appeared.'--_Standard._

     =A. Hulme Beaman.= TWENTY YEARS IN THE NEAR EAST. By A.
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     'One of the most entertaining books that we have had in our
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     is written with sagacious humour; it is full of adventures and
     anecdotes.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     'Packed with incident and eminently readable.'--_Critic._

     =Henri of Orleans.= FROM TONKIN TO INDIA. By PRINCE
     HENRI OF ORLEANS. Translated by HAMLEY BENT, M.A. With 100
     Illustrations and a Map. _Cr. 4to, gilt top. 25s._

     =R. S. S. Baden-Powell.= THE DOWNFALL OF PREMPEH. A Diary
     of Life in Ashanti, 1895. By Colonel BADEN-POWELL. With 21
     Illustrations and a Map. _Cheaper Edition. Large Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A compact, faithful, most readable record of the
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     =R. S. S. Baden-Powell.= THE MATABELE CAMPAIGN, 1896. By
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     'A straightforward account of a great deal of plucky

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     AFRICA. By Major A. ST. H. GIBBONS. With full-page Illustrations
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     'His book is a grand record of quiet, unassuming, tactful
     resolution. His adventures were as various as his sporting
     exploits were exciting.'--_Times._

     =E. H. Alderson.= WITH THE MASHONALAND FIELD FORCE, 1896.
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     'A clear, vigorous, and soldier-like narrative.'--_Scotsman._

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     _Large Crown 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     'Upon the African question there is no book procurable which
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     =Lord Fincastle.= A FRONTIER CAMPAIGN. By Viscount
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     'An admirable book, and a really valuable treatise on frontier

     =E. N. Bennett.= THE DOWNFALL OF THE DERVISHES: A Sketch of
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     Sirdar. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

     =J. K. Trotter.= THE NIGER SOURCES. By Colonel J. K.
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     MICHAEL DAVITT, M.P. With 2 Maps. _Crown 8vo. 6s._ 500 pp.

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     Illustrations. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

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     _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 3s._ 6_d_.

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Naval and Military

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     TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY. By DAVID HANNAY. Illustrated. _2 Vols.
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     =C. Cooper King.= THE STORY OF THE BRITISH ARMY. By Colonel
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     'An authoritative and accurate story of England's military
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     =R. Southey.= ENGLISH SEAMEN (Howard, Clifford, Hawkins,
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     =E. L. S. Horsburgh.= THE CAMPAIGN OF WATERLOO. By E. L. S.
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     GEORGE, M.A., Fellow of New College, Oxford. With numerous
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General Literature

     =S. Baring Gould.= OLD COUNTRY LIFE. By S. BARING GOULD.
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     S. BARING GOULD. _Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

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     =S. Baring Gould.= FREAKS OF FANATICISM. By S. BARING
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     =S. Baring Gould.= A GARLAND OF COUNTRY SONG: English Folk
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     _Parts I., II., III., 3s. each. Part IV., 5s. In one Vol.,
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     By S. BARING GOULD. _Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     S. BARING GOULD. _Cr. 8vo. Second Edition. 6s._

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     =W. E. Gladstone.= THE SPEECHES OF THE RT. HON. W. E.
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     M.A. With Portraits, _Demy 8vo. Vols. IX. and X. 12s. 6d. each._

     =E. V. Zenker.= ANARCHISM. By E. V. ZENKER. _Demy 8vo. 7s.

     'Herr Zenker has succeeded in producing a careful and critical
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     =H. G. Hutchinson.= THE GOLFING PILGRIM. By HORACE G.
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     'Full of useful information with plenty of good

     'Without this book the golfer's library will be
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     'It will charm all golfers.'--_Times._

     =J. Wells.= OXFORD AND OXFORD LIFE. By Members of the
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     Fellow and Tutor of Wadham College. Illustrated by E. H. NEW.
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     'An admirable and accurate little treatise, attractively

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     =A. H. Thompson.= CAMBRIDGE AND ITS COLLEGES. By A.
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     This book is uniform with Mr. Wells' very successful book,
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     =Rosemary Cotes.= DANTE'S GARDEN. By ROSEMARY COTES. With a
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     =Clifford Harrison.= READING AND READERS. By CLIFFORD
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     PRICE, M.A., Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     =J. S. Shedlock.= THE PIANOFORTE SONATA: Its Origin and
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     =E. M. Bowden.= THE EXAMPLE OF BUDDHA: Being Quotations
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Science and Technology

     =Freudenreich.= DAIRY BACTERIOLOGY. A Short Manual for the
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     =Chalmers Mitchell.= OUTLINES OF BIOLOGY. By P. CHALMERS
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     A text-book designed to cover the new Schedule issued by the
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     MASSEE. With 12 Coloured Plates. _Royal 8vo. 18s. net._

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     =Stephenson and Suddards.= ORNAMENTAL DESIGN FOR WOVEN
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     'The book is very ably done, displaying an intimate knowledge
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     HOW TO MAKE A DRESS. By J. A. E. WOOD. _Illustrated. Cr. 8vo.
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     A text-book for students preparing for the City and Guilds
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     CARPENTRY AND JOINERY. By F. C. WEBBER. With many Illustrations.
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     PRACTICAL MECHANICS. By SIDNEY H. WELLS. With 75 Illustrations
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     =L. T. Hobhouse.= THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE. By L. T.
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     'The most important contribution to English philosophy
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     =W. H. Fairbrother.= THE PHILOSOPHY OF T. H. GREEN. By W.
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     =F. W. Bussell.= THE SCHOOL OF PLATO. By F. W. BUSSELL,
     D.D., Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. _Demy 8vo. 10s. 6d._

     'A clever and stimulating book.'--_Manchester Guardian._

     =F. S. Granger.= THE WORSHIP OF THE ROMANS. By F. S.
     GRANGER, M.A., Litt.D. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     A scholarly analysis of the religious ceremonies, beliefs, and
     superstitions of ancient Rome, conducted in the new light of
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     TESTAMENT. By S. R. DRIVER, D.D., Canon of Christ Church, Regius
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     'A welcome companion to the author's famous

     K. CHEYNE, D.D., Oriel Professor at Oxford. _Large Crown 8vo.
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     A historical sketch of O. T. Criticism.

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     RASHDALL, M.A., Fellow and Tutor of New College, Oxford. _Cr.
     8vo. 6s._

     'An attempt to translate into the language of modern
     thought some of the leading ideas of Christian Theology and

     'A very interesting attempt to restate some of the principal
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     us to have achieved a high measure of success. He is often
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     lucid.--_Manchester Guardian._

     =H. H. Henson.= APOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITY: As Illustrated by
     the Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians. By H. H. HENSON,
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     'A worthy contribution towards same solution of the great
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     B.D., Fellow of All Souls', Oxford. _Fcap. 8vo. 2s. 6d._

     'An admirable little volume of Lent addresses.'--_Guardian._

     SERMONS. By H. H. HENSON, M.A. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

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     =W. H. Bennett.= A PRIMER OF THE BIBLE. By W. H. BENNETT.
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     'The work of an honest, fearless, and sound critic, and
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     =C. H. Prior.= CAMBRIDGE SERMONS. Edited by C. H. PRIOR,
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     A volume of sermons preached before the University of Cambridge
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     M.A., late Rector of Clovelly. With a Preface by 'LUCAS MALET.'
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     =E. B. Layard.= RELIGION IN BOYHOOD. Notes on the Religious
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     AUGUSTINE. Edited, with Introduction, Notes, etc., by W. YORKE
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     An edition of a Treatise on the Essentials of Christian
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     =J. Keble.= THE CHRISTIAN YEAR. By JOHN KEBLE. With an
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     College, Ireland Professor at Oxford. Illus. by R. ANNING BELL.
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     and another giving the order in which the poems were written.
     A "Short Analysis of the Thought" is prefixed to each, and any
     difficulty in the text is explained in a note.'--_Guardian._

Handbooks of Theology.

General Editor, A. ROBERTSON, D.D., Principal of King's College,

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     book is pre-eminently honest.'--_Times._

     'We welcome with the utmost satisfaction a new, cheaper, and
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     M.A., Litt. D., Principal of Bishop Hatfield's Hall. _Demy 8vo.
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     'Dr. Jevons has written a notable work, which we can strongly
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     'The merit of this book lies in the penetration, the singular
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     fellow of Magdalen College, Oxon., and Principal of Pusey House.
     _In Two Volumes. Demy 8vo. 15s._

     'Learned and reverent: lucid and well arranged.'--_Record._

     'A clear and remarkably full account of the main currents
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The Churchman's Library.

Edited by J. H. BURN, B.D.

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     'An excellent example of thorough and fresh historical

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     M.A., B.Sc., LL.B. _Cr. 8vo. 3s. 6d._

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The Library of Devotion

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     'The new "Library of Devotion" is excellent.'--THE BISHOP OF


     'Delightful.'--_Church Bells._

     THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE. Newly Translated, with an
     Introduction and Notes, by C. BIGG, D.D., late Student of Christ
     Church. _Second Edition._

     'The translation is an excellent piece of English, and the
     introduction is a masterly exposition. We augur well of a series
     which begins so satisfactorily.'--_Times._

     THE CHRISTIAN YEAR. By JOHN KEBLE. With Introduction and Notes
     by WALTER LOCK, D.D., Warden of Keble College, Ireland Professor
     at Oxford.

     'The volume is very prettily bound and printed, and may fairly
     claim to be an advance on any previous editions.'--_Guardian._

     THE IMITATION OF CHRIST. A Revised Translation, with an
     Introduction, by C. BIGG, D.D., late Student of Christ Church.

     A practically new translation of this book, which the reader
     has, almost for the first time, exactly in the shape in which it
     left the hands of the author.

     'The text is at once scholarly in its faithful reproduction in
     English of the sonorous Church Latin in which the original is
     composed, and popular.'--_Scotsman._

     'A beautiful and scholarly production.'--_Speaker._

     'A nearer approach to the original than has yet existed in

     Bainton, Canon of York, and sometime Fellow of St. John's
     College, Oxford.

     'It is probably the best book of its kind. It deserves high
     commendation.'--_Church Gazette._

Leaders of Religion

Edited by H.C. BEECHING, M.A. _With Portraits, Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d._

A series of short biographies of the most prominent leaders of
religious life and thought of all ages and countries.

     The following are ready--

















Other volumes will be announced in due course.



=Marie Corelli's Novels=

=_Large crown 8vo. 6s. each._=

     A ROMANCE OF TWO WORLDS. _Eighteenth Edition._

     VENDETTA. _Fourteenth Edition._

     THELMA. _Twentieth Edition._

     ARDATH: THE STORY OF A DEAD SELF. _Eleventh Edition._

     THE SOUL OF LILITH. _Ninth Edition._

     WORMWOOD. _Eighth Edition._

     BARABBAS: A DREAM OF THE WORLD'S TRAGEDY. _Thirty-third Edition._

     'The tender reverence of the treatment and the imaginative
     beauty of the writing have reconciled us to the daring of the
     conception, and the conviction is forced on us that even so
     exalted a subject cannot be made too familiar to us, provided
     it be presented in the true spirit of Christian faith. The
     amplifications of the Scripture narrative are often conceived
     with high poetic insight, and this "Dream of the World's
     Tragedy" is a lofty and not inadequate paraphrase of the supreme
     climax of the inspired narrative.'--_Dublin Review._

     THE SORROWS OF SATAN. _Thirty-ninth Edition._

     'A very powerful piece of work.... The conception is
     magnificent, and is likely to win an abiding place within the
     memory of man.... The author has immense command of language,
     and a limitless audacity.... This interesting and remarkable
     romance will live long after much of the ephemeral literature of
     the day is forgotten.... A literary phenomenon ... novel, and
     even sublime.'--W. T. STEAD in the _Review of Reviews_.

=Anthony Hope's Novels=

_Crown 8vo. 6s. each._

     THE GOD IN THE CAR. _Eighth Edition._

     'A very remarkable book, deserving of critical analysis
     impossible within our limit; brilliant, but not superficial;
     well considered, but not elaborated; constructed with the
     proverbial art that conceals, but yet allows itself to be
     enjoyed by readers to whom fine literary method is a keen
     pleasure.'--_The World._

     A CHANGE OF AIR. _Fifth Edition._

     'A graceful, vivacious comedy, true to human nature. The
     characters are traced with a masterly hand.'--_Times._

     A MAN OF MARK. _Fourth Edition._

     'Of all Mr. Hope's books, "A Man of Mark" is the one which best
     compares with "The Prisoner of Zenda."'--_National Observer._


     'It is a perfectly enchanting story of love and chivalry, and
     pure romance. The Count is the most constant, desperate, and
     modest and tender of lovers, a peerless gentleman, an intrepid
     fighter, a faithful friend, and a magnanimous foe.'--_Guardian._

     PHROSO. Illustrated by H. R. MILLAR. _Third Edition._

     'The tale is thoroughly fresh, quick with vitality, stirring the
     blood.'--_St. James's Gazette._

     'A story of adventure, every page of which is palpitating with

     'From cover to cover "Phroso" not only engages the attention,
     but carries the reader in little whirls of delight from
     adventure to adventure.'--_Academy._

     SIMON DALE. Illustrated. _Third Edition._

     '"Simon Dale" is one of the best historical romances that have
     been written for a long while.'--_St. James's Gazette._

     'A brilliant novel. The story is rapid and most
     excellently told. As for the hero, he is a perfect hero of

     'There is searching analysis of human nature, with a most
     ingeniously constructed plot. Mr. Hope has drawn the contrasts
     of his women with marvellous subtlety and delicacy.'--_Times._

=Gilbert Parker's Novels=

_Crown 8vo. 6s. each._

     PIERRE AND HIS PEOPLE. _Fifth Edition._

     'Stories happily conceived and finely executed. There is
     strength and genius in Mr. Parker's style.'--_Daily Telegraph._

     MRS. FALCHION. _Fourth Edition._

     'A splendid study of character.'--_Athenæum._

     'But little behind anything that has been done by any writer of
     our time.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     'A very striking and admirable novel.'--_St. James's Gazette._


     'The plot is original and one difficult to work out; but Mr.
     Parker has done it with great skill and delicacy. The reader who
     is not interested in this original, fresh, and well-told tale
     must be a dull person indeed.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     THE TRAIL OF THE SWORD. Illustrated. _Sixth Edition._

     'A rousing and dramatic tale. A book like this, in which swords
     flash, great surprises are undertaken, and daring deeds done, in
     which men and women live and love in the old passionate way, is
     a joy inexpressible.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     WHEN VALMOND CAME TO PONTIAC: The Story of a Lost Napoleon.
     _Fourth Edition._

     'Here we find romance--real, breathing, living romance. The
     character of Valmond is drawn unerringly. The book must
     be read, we may say re-read, for any one thoroughly to
     appreciate Mr. Parker's delicate touch and innate sympathy with
     humanity.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     AN ADVENTURER OF THE NORTH: The Last Adventures of 'Pretty
     Pierre.' _Second Edition._

     'The present book is full of fine and moving stories of the
     great North, and it will add to Mr. Parker's already high
     reputation.'--_Glasgow Herald._

     THE SEATS OF THE MIGHTY. Illustrated. _Ninth Edition._

     'The best thing he has done; one of the best things that any one
     has done lately.'--_St. James's Gazette._

     'Mr. Parker seems to become stronger and easier with every
     serious novel that he attempts. He shows the matured power which
     his former novels have led us to expect, and has produced a
     really fine historical novel.'--_Athenæum._

     'A great book.'--_Black and White._

     'One of the strongest stories of historical interest and
     adventure that we have read for many a day.... A notable and
     successful book.'--_Speaker._

     THE POMP OF THE LAVILETTES. _Second Edition. 3s. 6d._

     'Living, breathing romance, genuine and unforced pathos, and a
     deeper and more subtle knowledge of human nature than Mr. Parker
     has ever displayed before. It is, in a word, the work of a true
     artist.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     THE BATTLE OF THE STRONG: a Romance of Two Kingdoms.
     Illustrated. _Fourth Edition._

     'Mr. Gilbert Parker has a master's hand in weaving the threads
     of romantic fiction. There is scarcely a single character which
     does not convince us.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     'Such a splendid story, so splendidly told, will be read
     with avidity, and will add new honour even to Mr. Parker's
     reputation.'--_St. James's Gazette._

     'No one who takes a pleasure in literature but will read Mr.
     Gilbert Parker's latest romance with keen enjoyment. The
     mere writing is so good as to be a delight in itself, apart
     altogether from the interest of the tale.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     'Nothing more vigorous or more human has come from Mr. Gilbert
     Parker than this novel. It has all the graphic power of his
     last book, with truer feeling for the romance, both of human
     life and wild nature. There is no character without its unique
     and picturesque interest. Mr. Parker's style, especially his
     descriptive style, has in this book, perhaps even more than
     elsewhere, aptness and vitality.'--_Literature._

=S. Baring Gould's Novels=

_Crown 8vo. 6s. each._

     'To say that a book is by the author of "Mehalah" is to imply
     that it contains a story cast on strong lines, containing
     dramatic possibilities, vivid and sympathetic descriptions of
     Nature, and a wealth of ingenious imagery.'--_Speaker._

     'That whatever Mr. Baring Gould writes is well worth reading,
     is a conclusion that may be very generally accepted. His
     views of life are fresh and vigorous, his language pointed
     and characteristic, the incidents of which he makes use are
     striking and original, his characters are life-like, and though
     somewhat exceptional people, are drawn and coloured with
     artistic force. Add to this that his descriptions of scenes and
     scenery are painted with the loving eyes and skilled hands of
     a master of his art, that he is always fresh and never dull,
     and it is no wonder that readers have gained confidence in his
     power of amusing and satisfying them, and that year by year his
     popularity widens.'--_Court Circular._

     ARMINELL. _Fourth Edition._

     URITH. _Fifth Edition._

     IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA. _Sixth Edition._

     MRS. CURGENVEN OF CURGENVEN. _Fourth Edition._

     CHEAP JACK ZITA. _Fourth Edition._

     THE QUEEN OF LOVE. _Fourth Edition._

     MARGERY OF QUETHER. _Third Edition._

     JACQUETTA. _Third Edition._

     KITTY ALONE. _Fifth Edition._

     NOÉMI. Illustrated. _Third Edition._

     THE BROOM-SQUIRE. Illustrated. _Fourth Edition._

     THE PENNYCOMEQUICKS. _Third Edition._


     GUAVAS THE TINNER. Illustrated. _Second Edition._

     BLADYS. Illustrated. _Second Edition._

     DOMITIA. Illustrated. _Second Edition._

     'There is a wealth of incident, and a lively picture of Rome in
     the early days of the Empire.'--_Scotsman._

     'Mr. Baring Gould, by virtue of his lurid imagination, has
     given a forcible picture of the horrors and heroism of Imperial

       *       *       *       *       *

     =Conan Doyle.= ROUND THE RED LAMP. By A. CONAN DOYLE.
     _Sixth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'The book is far and away the best view that has been vouchsafed
     us behind the scenes of the consulting-room.'--_Illustrated
     London News._

     Author of 'A Gentleman of France.' With Illustrations by R. C.
     WOODVILLE. _Fourteenth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A book of which we have read every word for the sheer pleasure
     of reading, and which we put down with a pang.'--_Westminster

     'Every one who reads books at all must read this thrilling
     romance, from the first page of which to the last the breathless
     reader is haled along. An inspiration of manliness and
     courage.'--_Daily Chronicle._

     =Lucas Malet.= THE WAGES OF SIN. By LUCAS MALET.
     _Thirteenth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     =Lucas Malet.= THE CARISSIMA. By LUCAS MALET, Author of
     'The Wages of Sin,' etc. _Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     Author of 'Demos,' 'In the Year of Jubilee,' etc. _Second
     Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'Not only a story with a happy ending, but one which is in the
     main suffused with cheerfulness, and occasionally mounts to the
     plane of positive hilarity.'--_Spectator._

     'An admirable novel.'--_Truth._

     'It is a bright and witty book above all things. Polly Sparkes
     is a splendid bit of work. A book which contains Polly, the
     glorious row in the lodging-house, and such a brisk plot, moving
     so smartly, lightly, and easily, will not detract from Mr.
     Gissing's reputation.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     'The spirit of Dickens is in it; his delight in good nature, his
     understanding of the feelings.'--_Bookman._

     =S. R. Crockett.= LOCHINVAR. By S. R. CROCKETT, Author of
     'The Raiders,' etc. Illustrated. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'Full of gallantry and pathos, of the clash of arms, and
     brightened by episodes of humour and love....'--_Westminster

     =S. R. Crockett.= THE STANDARD BEARER. By S. R. CROCKETT.
     _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A delightful tale in his best style.'--_Speaker._

     'Mr. Crockett at his best.'--_Literature._

     'Enjoyable and of absorbing interest.'--_Scotsman._

     =Arthur Morrison.= TALES OF MEAN STREETS. By ARTHUR
     MORRISON. _Fifth Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'Told with consummate art and extraordinary detail. In the true
     humanity of the book lies its justification, the permanence of
     its interest, and its indubitable triumph.'--_Athenæum._

     'A great book. The author's method is amazingly effective, and
     produces a thrilling sense of reality. The writer lays upon us
     a master hand. The book is simply appalling and irresistible in
     its interest. It is humorous also; without humour it would not
     make the mark it is certain to make.'--_World._

     =Arthur Morrison.= A CHILD OF THE JAGO. By ARTHUR MORRISON.
     _Third Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'The book is a masterpiece.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     'Told with great vigour and powerful simplicity.'--_Athenæum._

     =Mrs. Clifford.= A FLASH OF SUMMER. By Mrs. W. K. CLIFFORD,
     Author of 'Aunt Anne,' etc. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'The story is a very beautiful one, exquisitely

     =Emily Lawless.= HURRISH. By the Honble. EMILY LAWLESS,
     Author of 'Maelcho,' etc. _Fifth Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     =Emily Lawless.= MAELCHO: a Sixteenth Century Romance. By
     the Honble. EMILY LAWLESS. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A really great book.'--_Spectator._

     'There is no keener pleasure in life than the recognition of
     genius. A piece of work of the first order, which we do not
     hesitate to describe as one of the most remarkable literary
     achievements of this generation.'--_Manchester Guardian._

     =Emily Lawless.= TRAITS AND CONFIDENCES. By the Honble.
     EMILY LAWLESS. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A very charming little volume. A book which cannot be read
     without pleasure and profit, written in excellent English, full
     of delicate spirit, and a keen appreciation of nature, human and
     inanimate.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     Author of 'Irish Idylls.' _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'Vivid and singularly real.'--_Scotsman._

     Author of 'Irish Idylls.' etc. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'The genial humour and never-failing sympathy recommend the book
     to those who like healthy fiction.'--_Scotsman._

     H. FINDLATER. _Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A powerful and vivid story.'--_Standard._

     'A beautiful story, sad and strange as truth itself.'--_Vanity

     'A very charming and pathetic tale.'--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     'A singularly original, clever, and beautiful

     'Reveals to us a new writer of undoubted faculty and reserve

     'An exquisite idyll, delicate, affecting, and
     beautiful.'--_Black and White._

     FINDLATER. _Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'A story of strong human interest.'--_Scotsman._

     'Her thought has solidity and maturity.'--_Daily Mail._

     =Mary Findlater.= OVER THE HILLS. By MARY FINDLATER.
     _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'A strong and fascinating piece of work.'--_Scotsman._

     'A charming romance, and full of incident. The book is fresh and

     'Will make the author's name loved in many a
     household.'--_Literary World._

     'A strong and wise book of deep insight and unflinching
     truth.'--_Birmingham Post._

     =Alfred Ollivant.= OWD BOB, THE GREY DOG OF KENMUIR. By
     ALFRED OLLIVANT. _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'Of breathless interest.'--_British Weekly._

     'Weird, thrilling, strikingly graphic.'--_Punch._

     'This fine romance of dogs and men.'--_Outlook._

     'We admire this book extremely for its originality, for its
     virile and expressive English, above all for its grit. The book
     is to our mind the most powerful of its class that we have
     read. It is one to read with admiration and to praise with

     'It is a fine, open-air, blood-stirring book, to be enjoyed by
     every man and woman to whom a dog is dear.'--_Literature._

     =B. M. Croker.= PEGGY OF THE BARTONS. By B. M. CROKER,
     Author of 'Diana Barrington.' _Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'Mrs. Croker excels in the admirably simple, easy, and direct
     flow of her narrative, the briskness of her dialogue, and the
     geniality of her portraiture.'--_Spectator._

     'All the characters, indeed, are drawn with clearness and
     certainty; and it would be hard to name any quality essential to
     first-class work which is lacking from this book.'--_Saturday

     =H. G. Wells.= THE STOLEN BACILLUS, and other Stories. By
     H. G. WELLS. _Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s._

     'They are the impressions of a very striking imagination, which,
     it would seem, has a great deal within its reach.'--_Saturday

     =H. G. Wells.= THE PLATTNER STORY and Others. By H. G.
     WELLS. _Second Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'Weird and mysterious, they seem to hold the reader as by a
     magic spell.'--_Scotsman._

     'No volume has appeared for a long time so likely to give equal
     pleasure to the simplest reader and to the most fastidious

     =Sara Jeanette Duncan.= A VOYAGE OF CONSOLATION. By SARA
     JEANETTE DUNCAN, Author of 'An American Girl in London.'
     Illustrated. _Third Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'Humour, pure and spontaneous and irresistible.'--_Daily Mail._

     'A most delightfully bright book.'--_Daily Telegraph._

     'Eminently amusing and entertaining.'--_Outlook._

     'The dialogue is full of wit.'--_Globe._

     'Laughter lurks in every page.'--_Daily News._

     =C. F. Keary.= THE JOURNALIST. By C. F. KEARY. _Cr. 8vo.

     'An excellently written story, told with a sobriety and
     restrained force which are worthy of all praise.'--_Standard._

     'It is rare indeed to find such poetical sympathy with Nature
     joined to close study of character and singularly truthful
     dialogue: but then "The Journalist" is altogether a rare

     'Full of intellectual vigour.'--_St. James's Gazette._

     =E. F. Benson.= DODO: A DETAIL OF THE DAY. By E. F. BENSON.
     _Sixteenth Edition. Cr. 8vo. 6s._

     'A delightfully witty sketch of society.'--_Spectator._

     'A perpetual feast of epigram and paradox.'--_Speaker._

     =E. F. Benson.= THE VINTAGE. By E. F. BENSON. Author of
     'Dodo.' Illustrated by G. P. JACOMB-HOOD. _Third Edition. Crown
     8vo. 6s._

     'An excellent piece of romantic literature; a very graceful and
     moving story. We are struck with the close observation of life
     in Greece.'--_Saturday Review._

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Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected
without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have
been retained as printed.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs, thus the page number of the illustration might not match
the page number in the List of Illustrations.

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear where
the missing quote should be placed.

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