Exeter and its neighbourhood under George 111-V1
Selected and annotated by Robert DYMOND, F.S.A.
On the library shelves of the Devon and Exeter Institution are four volumes of very early weekly newspapers embracing nearly the whole of the interval from 14th September 1714 to 6th June 1729, Besides these we have been favoured by fellow citizens with opportunities of inspecting some isolated numbers of other early Exeter newspapers in their possession of later dates in the reign of George 111. The following sections from some of them may prove interesting.
The Exeter Mercury or Weekly Intelligence of News
The first number contains references to the expected arrival of King George First from Holland, and to the Pretender's movements in the Highlands. The next number gives the loyal and spirited speech Sir Peter KING, Knight, Recorder of London, addressed to the first of the Georges on his entry into London on the 20th September 1714 [Sir Peter KING, afterwards Lord Chancellor, was the son of Jerome KING, a respectable grocer and salter, who lived in High St, opposite St Petrock's Church, his mother was one of the two sisters of John LOCKE the celebrated philosopher. He was knighted by Queen Anne on his appointment to the recordership of London in 1708. On the accession of George the First he was raised to the Chief Justiceship of the Common Pleas, and in 1725 was created Baron King of Ockham, in the County of Surrey, and Lord Chancellor. We shall find in the course of the following selections that Lord KING was received with great honour on his visit to his native city in 1726. He resigned the great seal in 1733, and died in his 65th year on the 23rd July 1734. Ockham Church contains a handsome monument, with an inscription to his memory.
Oct 1st, In an advertisement of a sale of a tenement in St Thomas we find, "If any person have a mind to purchase the said tenement, let him apply to Mr GANDY, Attorney at Law, who will treat with such person for the same" [This Attorney at Law was Henry GANDY, sometime Town Clerk, a member of a family of considerable repute in Exeter for several generations. His pedigree can be traced in the registers of St Paul's to Henry GANDY his great grandfather who was buried there in 1608. His father was the wealthy brewer who gave his name to Gandy Lane, where he lived. His great uncle John GANDY, the vicar of South Bre?t, has been immortalised as one of the Prince's Worthies of Devon. William GANDY the eminent painter, was of the same family.
In an advertisement of his trade Philip BISHOP, the printer of the newspaper, he mentions that he, "lives in the house in St Peter's Churchyard, Exon, where Mr QUASH lately kept the post-office" [The Post Office was long afterwards in a house [since pulled down] between Messers FOLLETT and Co's office and the west front of the cathedral, but this was probably not the one in which Philip BISHOP'S business was conducted. There are several entries relating to members of his family in the registers of St Martin's Church, and it is more likely that his house stood between the church and Broadgate]
Oct 15th, John, Earl POULETT, appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, but he was replaced by Sir William Courtenay in the following month.
Nov 19th, Advertisement of the publication of "Dartington" a poem inscribed to Arthur CHAMPERNOWNE Esq
Nov 26th, An advertisement by Humphrey BAWDEN, a prominent citizen in his day, and a mercer "Who lately lived two doors below Gandy's Lane," announces that he "is now removed next door to the Vintage Tavern"
Dec 17th, "This day we had certain advice from Oxon that the University, met in convocation, had taken into consideration the great service done to the Church of England as by law established by the Rev Mr John WALKER, Rector of St Mary's the More [St Mary Major's] in this city, in compiling and publishing his book entitled " An attempt towards recovering an Account of the numbers and sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England" and resolved as a reward to honour him with the Degree of Doctor of Divinity of their University" [The author of this well known and laborious, but often inaccurate and prejudiced, work was a member of a family of considerable prominence in Exeter during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He was the son of Endymion WALKER Esq, baptised at St Kerians on the 21st January 1673, and was married by Canon KENDALL at the Cathedral on the 17th December 1704, to Martha BROOKING of Exeter. After having been a fellow of Exeter College, Oxon, he was appointed to the rectory of St Mary Major in 1697, but exchanged it for that of Upton Pyne in 1720. He was buried in the churchyard of the latter parish in 1747]
Dec 24th, Advertisement of "Choice Tent" to be purchased for 6s-6d a gallon, at John SECRE'S in Southgate St, Exon. [In these days we seldom hear of this ruddy Spanish wine. Its name is derived from the Spanish into, deep coloured. Our Exeter vintners enjoyed a reputation which they yet retain, for vending choice produce of the vineyards of Spain and Portugal, and the great export trade carried on with these countries by the cloth merchants of this city gave then special facilities for the import of wines that needed no bush]
Jan 21st, A reward of £500 was offered by Royal Proclamation for the discovery of the author "of a malicious and traitorous Libel entitled, English Advice to the Freeholders of England, reciting that great numbers were intercepted at our City of Exon, some being directed to Sir John CORTON, Sir Nicholas MORICE, Jonathan ELFORD Esq, Philip RASHLEIGH Esq, John WILLIAMS Esq, Mr Granville PIPER, Mr WELSHMAN, Mr William CARY, Mr PROWSE, Mr PHILLIPS, Mr Cornock KENDAL respectively in one County of Cornwall" [It is scarcely necessary that in those times of Jacobite plots the press did not enjoy its present liberty, and a timorous Government suppressed with severity, and even barbarity, the free expression of adverse political sentiments] Feb 4th and 11th, These papers contain the names of several newly elected members of Parliament, those marked * had not been members of the last parliament.
Penryn, Hon Hugh BOSCAWEN and Samuel TREFUSIS
Saltash, *Shilston CALMADY and William SHIPPEN
St Mawes, William LOWNDES and *CHETWYND
Launceston, Edward HEARLE and John ANSTIS
Tiverton, Sir Edward NORTHEY [Attorney General] and *Thomas BERE
Lyne Regis, John BREMRIDGE and John HENLEY
Okehampton, Christopher HARRIS and William NORTHMORE
St Germans, *John BACON and Jonathan KNIGHT
Tavistock, Sir John CAPE and *Francis Henry DRAKE
Callington, Sir John CORYTON, Bart and Samuel ROLLE
Exeter, John BAMPFYLDE and Francis DREWE
Honiton, Sir William COURTENAY and William YONGE
Barnstable, Sir Arthur CHICHESTER and John ROLLE
Totnes, Arthur CHAMPERNOWNE and Stephen NORTHLEIGH
Ashburton, Richard REYNELL and Roger TUCKFIELD
Plymouth, Sir John ROGERS and Sir George BYNG
Plympton, Richard EDGCUMBE and George TREBY
Dartmouth, Joseph HERN and John FOWNES
April 1st, Advertisement of letters patent granted to Sir Edward SEYMOUR Bart, for holding a yearly fair on the 28th April at Bridgetown, Totnes
April 29th, Advertisement "At the Blackmore's Head near Westgate any of the inhabitants of this city may have stout, ale and beer without doors for twopence per quart, and in his House for threepence per quart. N.B, As a gratuity the Landlord presents his house customers with pipes and tobacco, and such eatables as his House does afford, Gratis"
May 27th, Mr Richard DUKE advertises that stamped paper and parchment are supplied "at his office at Mr LUGGER'S, Perlwig maker, behind the Guildhall Exon" [Mr DUKE was a member of a county family resident at Otterton. The name became associated with the COLERIDGE family by the marriage of the grandfather of the present John DUKE, Lord Coleridge, with a co-heiress of Robert DUKE of Otterton]
Aug 19th, Address to the King by the Mayor Alderman etc, of Exeter, expressing their abhorrence of the tumults in other parts of the kingdom [meaning the Jacobite rebellion] there had been none here, they had received a sword from one of His Majesty's predecessors for having defended the city against a Popish Pretender, and they promised to do the like again if necessary.
Sept 30th, This paper contains a reference to preparations in anticipation of a possible landing at Devon by the Pretender.
Oct 7th, The publishers of the newspaper probably thought it safe and expedient to show their political colours for the title of their sheet in this week changed to "The Protestant Mercury or The Exeter Post Boy, now published by Samuel FARLEY and printed by Joseph BLISS, at his Printing House, near the London Inn, without Eastgate" [It must be remembered that the London Inn here referred to is now the Bude Haven Inn and chemist's shop occupying the space between Paris St and the entrance of Southernhay. Samuel FARLEY was of a Bristol family and had established himself as a printer in Exeter in the reign of William 111. He printed the first edition of Prince's Worthies of Devon in 1701. He afterwards retired to Bristol where in about 1735, he commenced the publication of a newspaper in conjunction with Felix FARLEY. This continued to be the leading journal of Bristol for more than a century, and many persons now living can well remember it as retaining the title of, Felix Farley's Bristol Journal]
Dec 15th, "The Lord Clifford who has been for some time in custody in Devonshire, is ordered up to Town"
Dec 23rd, "Sir Coplestone Warwick BAMPFYLDE, Bart, has surrendered himself into custody of one of His Majesty's Messengers"
Jan 6th, Sir C. W. BAMPFYLDE, Sir William CARY [CAREW] and Sir Richard VIVIAN are ordered out of custody. On the following
28th February it was announced that "Last Saturday Sir William CAREW, Sir Coplestone Warwick BAMPFYLDE and Sir John BLAND, Baronets, and yesterday, Corbet KYNESTON Esq, were admitted to bail" [These gentlemen were arrested on suspicion of treasonable correspondence with the Pretender, but were afterwards released]
Trewman's Flying Post Sept 17th, 1879
Exeter and its neighbourhood under George 111-V1
Selected and annotated by Robert DYMOND, F.S.A.
Jan 6th, Andrew BRICE, afterwards the eccentric printer and journalist of Exeter, was at this time an apprentice to the printer of this paper, which contains the following advertisement :-
"Friday Dec 30th, 1715, Whereas Andrew BRICE, who is my lawful apprentice, hath without any cause, in the midst of a flush of business, and when I was disabled by illness from working myself, roguishly absconded and deserted from my service, to my great loss of business and damage. This is to forbid all persons to entertain or employ the said Andrew BRICE in any business or upon any account whatsoever. For, acting by the advice of the learned in the law. I am resolved upon notice thereof, to prosecute such as shall do so. If he returns not to my business in a very short time. I shall apply to the magistrates of this city for justice in this case. N.B, I am informed his dependence is on Mr BISHOP, but I am greatly deceived if he is not a person of more sense, and better understands what belongs to an apprentice, than to encourage such a rascal, as shall so basely leave his master without least cause, Joseph BLISS.
Jan 17th, An advertisement warns off persons who trespass on the Warren, near Starcross, with hand guns or other engines to destroy the rabbits there.
Advertisement for letting the New Inn, High St, Exeter, then in the possession of Benjamin JOHNSON, and new Messers GREEN and Sons, well known establishment.
"These are to give notice that Joseph REYNELL, who lately lived at the Seven Stars, in St Thomas parish, nigh, Exon, is now removed to the New Inn, nigh to the Bridge End in the same parish, being the ancient dwelling house wherein Mr John BORDALL formerly lived, and where all people shall have very civil and honest entertainment"
April 20th, The usual space of a whole column of this paper is devoted to an account of the confession, dying behaviour and execution, at Heavitree gallows of Edmund HALL and John CHAVE, alias CHAFF, the former being convicted of stealing a horse and mare, and the latter of purloining three silver spoons and breaking into the house of, HARTLAND Esq.
May 4th, Lord Carteret, appointed Lord Lieutenant of Devon and of the City and County of Exeter.
Dec 7th, "Thursday, Nov 29th, died Dr Offspring BLACKALL, Bishop of Exeter. It is said that he will be succeeded by Dr BLACKBURN, Dean of Exeter. The said Bishop was interred the Sunday night following, being carried without much ceremony to his grave by six poor men, who had 10s a piece for their labour. He has left small legacies to the dignitaries of the Church within his Diocese" [Bishop BLACKALL, ancestor of a well known Exeter family, was the son of Thomas BLACKALL, a London Alderman. He was consecrated Bishop on the 8th February 1708 and was the founder of the Episcopal Charity Schools of Exeter. His death at the age of 66 was occasioned by a fall from his horse, he was succeeded by Dr Lancelot BLACKBURN, Dean of Exeter]
March 22nd, Andrew BRICE appears at this time to have started in the printing business in opposition to his old master, whose feelings find vent in the following remarkable language, "Having received reiterated assurances from several gentlemen that, not withstanding that Villain BRICE'S opposition against me, they are firmly resolved to continue in my interest. To oblige them, therefore, and the rest of my customers, I shall for the future publish my paper on no worse paper than this, Price one penny. I can't forbear remarking how that sorry rascal has opened his printing press with a most ridiculous and shabby advertisement, and a shameful, obscene, bawdy ballad, which deserves to be burnt. Curious specimens of rare genius and great capacity."
Sept 13th, "On Friday last Ralph EDMUNDS was executed at Heavitree for shooting at and killing one Mr William AYRES, of Kentisbeer. He confessed that he went with a design to pilfer, and that he aimed his piece directly at the said AYRES with a design to mischief him. About 6 the next morning a Reprieve came for him about 4 hours after execution. William FARREN condemned also for the said fact, is reprieved for 6 mths, which was obtained for him by the Lord du ROY"
The next volume contains "The Postmaster, or Loyal Mercury, Exon, printed by Andrew BRICE, at the head of the Serge Market, in Southgate St" These papers commence 11th November 1720, and many of them contain nothing whatever but extracts from the story of a voyage from some current publication.
June 23rd, Advertisement announcing the removal of William LANGHAM, from the Mitre Tavern to the Grape at the head of the Serge Market in Southgate St [The Mitre Tavern was the house next below the now occupied in South St by Messers H. BESLEY and Son, printers. It ceased to be a tavern in 1763, when the Exeter Flying Post was first established there by William ANDREWS and Robert TREWMAN]
Aug 18th, Hugh Lord Clinton, appointed Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of Devon in the room of Lord Carteret, resigned.
This paper contains an account of experiments of inoculation for the smallpox, performed on some prisoners in Newgate.
Aug 16th, "For the want of other news, the account of the following accident, which lately happened at Vincestow [Instow?] in the County of Devon, may not be ungrateful to the reader :-
Paschal SHAPLAND, his two daughters and one John LOCK, his next neighbour, were coming from Vincestow, their parish church, on Sunday after Evening Prayer, July 21st 1717. The church path lies through a wood, called Baples Wood. After some thundering and lightening it began to rain, Paschal SHAPLAND to shelter himself from the rain, goes and stands under an oak that stood near the church path, and bid them that were with him to make haste home, for [says he] you can go faster than I. They were about a quarter of a mile from home. John LOCK, not finding Paschal SHAPLAND to come home so soon as he expected, went back, in a very little time after he came home, to the wood where he had left him. When he came there he found him dead under an oak near the path. The right shoe, almost new, struck off his foot and almost the one half of it, on the inside torn and rent to pieces, and a piece of the quarter [as they call it] struck clearly off, and lying in a place by itself. The inside of his stocking, that was just over that part of his shoe was rent and torn into several holes, as if the rats ha' gnaw'd it. The right knee of his breeches shattered and torn, and his coat on the left shoulder torn and rent. There were two holes in the sole of his shoe near together, which seemed newly made, and were like what shoemakers call Tack Holes. The garter of his right knee was torn to pieces. His steel tobacco-box in his pocket had the bottom of it shattered and broken, but the sides and cover sound and whole. Yet after all not the least hurt appeared on his body, no, not in that leg of foot [which I myself viewed carefully], where the shoe and stocking were so shattered and torn. The tree under which he stood [an Oak not half grown] had the body on it from top to bottom, for about 4 or 5 inches broad, scraped on the bark as if it had been done with a scraping iron or addice, and just under the place in the tree so scraped, there was made a hole in the ground. I put in my fist it was about 4 or 5 inches deep. There was another tree about a land-rod or little more distant, that was so scraped too, from top to bottom 4 or 5 inches broad, and a hole in the ground under the scrape, and another in the ground about 2 feet distance, big enough to put in a man's fist.
The day on which Paschal SHAPLAND was buried, which was the Wednesday after, his son Andrew SHAPLAND, who is a rational and sensible man, told me the following story :- He, Andrew SHAPLAND [Paschal's son] lives in the town of Barnstable about 15 miles from his father's house and he says, "That on the Sunday on which his father was struck dead, he was in Barnstable, and about ten o'clock in the forenoon, which was 6 or 7 hours before his father's death, he was sitting alone in a room writing, going out of the room he says he saw his father near him and clearly and perfectly as ever he saw him in his life. I was asking him whether he saw him at length [or to that purpose] He says he looked so earnestly on his face, and his father so upon him, that he had no opportunity to take notice of anything but his face. Andrew passed out of the room, and after some time resolved to go in again and speak to him, but saw nothing. He was so disturbed at this all the Sunday that his wife observed it, but he discovered nothing to her presently of what he had seen, till about midnight, that his brother came to Barnstable to bring the tidings of his father's death. He was so affected with what he saw of his father, that he was about to borrow a horse that day, upon this [fancied or real] apparition to come home and see his father"
April 23rd, John HINSTON a tailor of Blackawton, committed to the High Gaol on a charge of murdering his wife. He is aged 43, and a man of gigantic stature, weighing 3 to 4 cwt. He could scarcely get through the wicket of the prison and had irons made on purpose for him.
July 5th, "Exon. On Friday last, being the 28th June, about 2pm, happened a terrible fire on the middle of Palace [Paris?] St, without the East Gate of the city. How it was caused was not positively known, but it was first discovered breaking through the Thatch of the House of one Mr MARKS, and some say it came by a blink of fire that issued from some adjoining chimney, and lodged in the thatch. Be it how it will, it got to a head before help could be found and raged for 4 hours, burning backward and forward about 30 houses. It was a great mercy no more damage was done considering the dryness of the season, the scarceness of water, and the highness of the wind. There are abundance of poor sufferers, some of whom have lost all they had in the world, the fire becoming so fierce, they had scarce time to save anything but their lives. And had the wind been easterly, as it was westerly, it might have endangered the whole city. Note - Upon a strict enquiry into the casual circumstances of the late fire in Palace [sic] St, I am assured from credible persons that the same first broke out near the chimney of one BROWN, an old pye-woman, and not in the house of Mr MARKS, as has through mistake bean inserted" [Paris St, like other parts of the suburb of St Sidwell's then consisted for the most part of inflammable thatched dwellings. It was this very fire which Andrew BRICE had in his mind when he satirized the rubicund features of some tipsy fellow citizen in his eccentric poem The Mobiad. He describes him as rushing
"Through Eastgate redder then an Austrian rose;
Then turned from London Inn towards Liverydole,
Makes Paris Street to dread a flaming coal,
That each poor dweller, anxious eyes his thatch
Lost reaching sparks new conflagrations hatch"]
Sept 15th, Advertisement "If any person is minded to purchase the house wherein Mr Frederick GULIKER, merchant, lately lived, situate in Bedford, within the City of Exeter, for about three years being the remainder of a term, let him apply to Mr Andrew LAVINGTON of the parish of St Leonard, in the county of Devon, merchant, or to Mr Esayah BROADMEAD, Attorney-at-law, in St Peter's churchyard, Exon. N.B The same is a large dwelling house to which appertain all manner of convenient outhouses, a large stable, courtlage and 3 gardens containing near an acre of ground, and was formerly in the possession of the late Sir John ELWILL" [This was probably Bedford House. Andrew LAVINGTON then lived at Larkbeare House, at the bottom of Holloway St, which was settled on his marriage to Jane COOK. A vane on the summit of the roof still bears his initials A. L, with the date 1714 pierced through the metal]
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1760 to 1779