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Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts
by Rosalind Northcote
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The lot of the French prisoners, however, was tempered by certain alleviations, and very many of them were allowed to live on parole in specified towns, most of which are near the moor. In 1813 a large number of American prisoners of war were added to the eight thousand French at Princetown, but for some reason were not at first allowed the same privileges. This may help to account for the aggrieved tone in which one of them refers to his French fellow-prisoners, as well as to the British. Andrews wrote a journal which was afterwards published. 'The Seigneurs,' he says, 'received remittances from their friends or had money of their own, and were able to support themselves in a genteel manner.' They were allowed to have plays with a stage and scenery once a month, and also 'had their schools for teaching the arts and sciences, dancing, fencing, and fiddling.' He criticises them severely: 'They drink, sing and dance,' and, with a fine allusion to emphasise his point, declares: 'But the Americans have not that careless volatility, like the cockle in the fable, to sing and dance when the house is on fire over them.' The French were released after the abdication of Napoleon; a year later, peace was signed between England and America, and then, till 1850, the buildings were unoccupied. In that year the decision was made that they should be used as a convict prison, and as a result, one must agree with Sir Frederick Pollock, it 'is the ugliest thing physically and morally on the moor.'

It is pleasanter to turn back to the moor itself—to topics less out of character with it. Foremost appear stories of magic, black and white, ancient beliefs and legends without end. Mr King, whose knowledge of the country was at once vast and minute, is quoted as having said 'that he believed almost every form of superstition or superstitious observances condemned in the Penitential of Bartholomew, Bishop of Exeter, 1161-1184, might be found sheltering itself under the Dartmoor Tors.' (This remark must have been made about the middle of the nineteenth century.) 'The same wild creed has been handed down from generation to generation; the same spots on the lonely moor, and the same gloomy pools in the river, that were shunned by his forefathers, are avoided as "critical" (to use his own word) by the Devonshire peasant now ... and whoever may find himself in the heart of its lonely wastes when daylight is closing, and the air seems to fill with

'"Undescribed sounds That come a-swooning over hollow ground, And wither drearily on barren moors,"

will scarcely wonder that the spirits of the elder world should not yet have been effectually dislodged from their ancient solitudes.... The Pixies, thoroughly mischievous elves, who delight to lead all wanderers astray, dwell in the clefts of broken granite, and dance on the green sward by the side of the hill streams; ... sometimes, but very rarely, they are seen dancing by the streams dressed in green, the true livery of the small people. They ride horses at night, and tangle their manes into inextricable knots. They may be heard pounding their cider and threshing their wheat far within the recesses of their "house" on Sheepstor—a cavern formed by overhanging blocks of granite. Deep river pools and deceitful morasses, over which the cotton grass flutters its white tassels, are thought to be the "gates" of their country, where they possess diminutive flocks and herds of their own. Malicious, yet hardly demoniacal, they are precisely Dryden's "spirits of a middle sort"—

"Too black for heaven, and yet too white for hell, Who just dropped half-way down, nor lower fell"

—a character which cannot, however, be assigned to their unearthly companions, the wish-hounds. These have no redeeming tinge of white, and belong to the gloomiest portion of the underworld.'

A true lover of the moor, and very sensitive to its element of mystery, Mr King has put what he has seen and imagined into verse that must be most appreciated by those who know the Forest best:

THE FOREST OF THE DARTMOORS.

The purple heather flowers are dark In the hollow of the hill, Though far along each rocky peak The sunlight lingers still; Dark hang the rushes o'er the stream— There is no sound below, Save when the fern, by the night's wind stirred. Waves gently to and fro.

Thou old wild forest! many a dream Of far-off glamoury, Of gentle knight and solemn sage, Is resting still on thee. Still float the mists across the fells, As when those barons bold, Sir Tristram and Sir Percival, Sped o'er the weary wold.

* * * * *

Then through the glens of the folding hills. And over the heath so brown, King Arthur leads his belted knights Homewards to Carlyoun; A goodly band, with long white spears, Upon their shoulders set, And first of all that Flower of Kings With his golden coronet.

And sometimes, by the clear hill streams, A knight rides on alone; He rideth ever beside the river, Although the day be done; For he looketh toward the western land Where watcheth his ladye, On the shore of the rocky Cornewayle, In the castle by the sea.

* * * * *

And now thy rocks are silent all, The kingly chase is o'er, Yet none may take from thee, old land, Thy memories of yore. In many a green and solemn place, Girt with the wild hills round, The shadow of the holy cross Yet sleepeth on the ground.

In many a glen where the ash keys hang All golden 'midst their leaves, The knights' dark strength is rising yet, Clad in its wild-flower wreaths. And yet along the mountain-paths Rides forth that stately band, A vision of the dim old days— A dream of fairyland.

'It is the wide extent of these solitary wastes which makes them so impressive, and gives them their influence over the imagination. Whether seen at mid-day, when the gleams of sunlight are chasing one another along the hill-side; or at sunset, when the long line of dusky moorland lifts itself against the fading light of the western sky, the same character of extent and freedom is impressed on the landscape, which carries the fancy from hill to hill, and from valley to valley, and leads it to imagine other scenes, of equal wildness, which the distant hills conceal

'"Beyond their utmost purple rim."'

Perhaps the scenery of Dartmoor is never more impressive than under those evening effects which have last been suggested. The singular shapes assumed by the granite cappings of the tors are strongly projected against the red light of the sunset, which gleams between the many openings in the huge piles of rock, making them look like passages into some unknown country beyond them, and suggesting that idea of infinity which is afforded by no other object of sight in equal degree. Meanwhile, the heather of the foreground is growing darker and darker; and the only sound which falls upon the ear is that of the river far below, or perhaps the flapping of some heron's wings, as he rises from his rock in the stream and disappears westward—

'Where, darkly painted on the blood-red sky, His figure floats along.'



CHAPTER V

The Teign

'Ting (whose banks were blest By her beloved nymph dear Leman) which addrest, And fully with herself determined before To sing the Danish spoils committed on her shore, When hither from the east they came in mighty swarms, Nor could their native earth contain their numerous arms, Their surcrease grew so great, as forced them at last To seek another soil, as bees do when they cast; And by their impious pride how hard she was bested, When all the country swam with blood of Saxons shed.'

DRAYTON: Poly-olbion.

The Teign rises, as do most of the rivers in Devon, on Dartmoor, and starts across the moorlands towards the north. After a few miles it is joined by the Wallabrook, and at that point turns eastwards.

The moorland country about it is very beautiful, but especially when the heather and furze are in flower together, and far and wide stretches a most royal display of rose-purple and gold. Ferns hang over the transparent brown water, with its glancing lights, and tiny ferns and polypodys peer out from the crannies and hollows of big grey boulders. Here and there bushy willows grow along the edge, or a mountain-ash shows its feathery, deep green foliage and clusters of scarlet berries. A clapper bridge—that is, a bridge formed out of a single slab of granite—over twelve feet long lies across the Wallabrook near the meeting of the streams. Beside it grows a mountain-ash, and the quivering and wavering leaves, and their shadows that quiver and waver in the ripples beneath, make a profound contrast to that massive, immovable stone, that from its look may certainly be included among those Dartmoor antiquities which Sir Frederick Pollock says 'may very well have been as great a mystery to the contemporaries of Julius Caesar as they are to ourselves.' Modern opinion, however, denies that these bridges on the moor are of a very great age. Close by on the north stands Scorhill Circle, one of those stone circles over the history of which antiquaries still differ.

A little farther down, on the north bank, is a tolmen, and there is a tradition that to creep through the hole brings luck. The rock has, of course, been associated with the Druids and their rites, but the hole is really a natural one.

About three miles farther down the river one arrives at Chagford, and perhaps the two things that a stranger will first notice about this little town are, that the air is very exhilarating and the people particularly courteous. For the rest, though not echoing Lord Clarendon's remark, that, but for the calamity of Sidney Godolphin's death, it is 'a place which could never otherwise have had a mention in this world,' one must admit that it is not very remarkable. The moment when Chagford came most violently into contact with public affairs was that mentioned by Lord Clarendon, and most heartily must the inhabitants have wished themselves back in their usual peaceful solitude. Sir John Berkeley, at that time, 'with a good party, volant, of horse and dragoons,' was descending in 'all places in the surrounding country where Parliamentarians were known to be assembled, "dissolving" them, and taking many prisoners.' Of one of these 'necessary and brisk expeditions' Chagford was the goal, and arriving very early in the morning, still in the dark, they fell upon it before day. The chilly January dawn broke over a much-discomforted town, ringing with shots, the trampling of horses, and the clash of steel, but the Royalist troops were sturdily resisted, and Godolphin was slain, it is said, in the porch of the Three Crowns Inn. Clarendon writes of him: 'There was never so great a mind and spirit contained in so little room;' and in his account of the skirmish he says: 'As his advice was of great authority with all the commanders ... so he exposed his person to all action, travel, and hazard; and by too forward engaging himself in this last received a mortal shot by a musket, a little above the knee, of which he died in the instant.' Sidney Godolphin, it will be remembered, was one of the celebrated 'four wheels of Charles's Wain, all Devonshire and Cornish men, and all slain at or near the same place, the same time, and in the same cause....

'"Th' four wheels of Charles's wain, Grenvill, Godolphin, Trevanion, Slanning slain."'

In early days Chagford was one of the four Stannary towns, the others being Ashburton, Tavistock, and Plympton. Risdon mentions that 'This place is priviledged with many immunities which tinners enjoy; and here is holden one of the courts for Stannary causes.'

The river flows from Chagford in a north-easterly direction till Drewsteignton stands due north, when it turns to the east. Drewsteignton is a large village, and has a granite church, the tower of which is Decorated, and the nave Perpendicular. In this parish was the barton of Drascombe, and in the reign of Edward I, Walter de Bromehall held it 'by the sergeanty of finding our Lord the King, whensoever he should hunt in the forest of Dartmoor, one bow and three barbed arrows. And it was let at five shillings a year rent.' One would imagine that King Edward I can seldom have found time to amuse himself so far west, and the tenant would not find the conditions a heavy tax.

The scenery by the river is very fine all about here, and Fingle Gorge is generally considered to be the most beautiful of the many beautiful glens through which the Teign passes. It is a deep ravine with high and steep sides, that are thickly wooded and broken by great boulders. At Fingle Bridge four winding valleys meet; that is, the combe down which the river sweeps from above curves one way, and the narrow opening into which it disappears twists sharply round in another. A cleft, half hidden in trees, divides the line of hills that shut in the tiny valley-meadow on the west, and a road and a small stream scramble down a less severe descent between the high sides, from the north-east. But from no point near the bridge would it be more possible to see far up any cleeve, than it would be for a ladybird, perched at one end, to trace all the lines of a stag's horn. If in one direction there was a gentle slope and smiling prospect beyond, the peculiar effect would be gone. There is a stillness, and almost a solemnity, in this little opening closed in narrowly on every side by the steep hills rising straight above it on every side, and looking as unchanging as if what they are to-day, that they have been since the beginning of time. Besides, there is a feeling of wildness and remoteness which cannot be exactly accounted for by the scenery. A living writer has said that there is that, in a beautiful landscape in a country inhabited from prehistoric time, that there is not in an equally lovely scene in a new country. Though no tangible marks of the presence of men may be left, there is an intangible something that makes itself felt though it cannot be defined, and the view is on that account the more interesting, and makes a deeper appeal to the spectator.

In Fingle Gorge, actual though not conspicuous traces of the Britons are easily found. Immediately above a precipitous ascent to the north are the remains of an old camp, which antiquaries have decided was British. On the opposite height is another camp, called Cranbrook Castle. 'This camp is of irregular form, circular towards the north-east and south-east, but almost square on other quarters. On its south side it has a high rampart and a deep ditch. On its northern side, the steepness of the hill formed the only defence.' It has been supposed that at this narrow pass the last struggle the Damnonians made against the Romans took place; but whether this were the case or not, the holders of the camp possessed a supreme coign of vantage, and could have chosen no better place for checking an enemy's advance.

As the crow flies, Moreton Hampstead is about three miles south of Fingle Gorge, but the roads are rambling. The name was originally Moor-Town, standing as it once did on the edge of the moor; and the manor, like the barton of Drascombe, was held on a curious tenure. 'Which manor was the Earls of Ulster in King Edward the first's age, who held it of the king for one sparrow-hawke yearly to be yielded.' Moreton is a small place, and in these days perhaps its most marked characteristic is the Dancing Tree, or Cross Tree, as it is sometimes called, for it has grown out of the steps that encircled the now broken village cross. This tree, an elm, was pollarded, and the branches so trained that it was possible to lay a dancing floor between them when it was wanted; the floor was then railed round, and a ladder placed to lead up to it. Mr Baring-Gould, in his 'Book of the West,' quotes some most interesting references to the tree from a journal kept by an old gentleman living at Moreton Hampstead, in the beginning of the nineteenth century:

'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 19th, 1807.—This night the French officers assembled in the Cross Tree with their band of music. They performed several airs with great taste.'

The 'French officers' were 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 1, 1891.'

About a mile to the north of Fingle stands Great Fulford, an estate mentioned in the Domesday Book, which belongs to the Fulford family. They have owned it continuously since the reign of Richard I. Many members of the family have distinguished themselves, but the most picturesque figure is that of Sir Baldwin, who was 'of so undaunted resolution,' says Prince, 'that, for the honor and liberty of a royal lady in a castle besieged by infidels, he fought a combat with a Sarazen; for bulk and bigness an unequal match (as the representation of him cut in the wainscot at Fulford-hall doth plainly show); whom yet he vanquished and rescued the lady.' Sir Baldwin's name must have been woven in many a romance and ballad in later days.

During the Civil War, Great Fulford was garrisoned for the King, but was eventually forced to surrender to Fairfax.

Leaving the river and walking north-east, the wayfarer will come in time to the parish of Whitstone, rather more than three miles from Exeter. The church has several interesting features. From the south transept a hagioscope slants through the wall to the chancel; and in one of the windows of the north aisle is a bit of very old, though not very beautiful, stained glass. A gallery at the west end bears a series of panels emblazoned with coats of arms. In the chancel is some Jacobean carving, and behind the altar there stand a double row of carved eagles, most of them drooping their heads to one side. Close to the church is a huge tithe barn, the date of which appears to be between 1450 and 1500. In a little entry-way joining the Rectory lie the old stocks, opposite carved panels, and the wood of which is so old that it has almost lost its grain.

In the early part of the nineteenth century, the rector of the parish, the Rev. Charles Brown, collected a large amount of varied information concerning the parish into a manuscript volume, and from this record the present rector has most kindly allowed me to make some extracts. Mr Brown begins by explaining the meaning of the name, derived from the Celtic Wad, a hill or ridge, which became in time Whit, and don, land—Whitstone, the hill land. Whitstone certainly deserves the name, as it is high, looking towards Dartmoor, but the Celtic form is more correctly kept by a hill in the parish, which is still called Wadaldon, or more commonly Waddlesdown.

Against the entries of burials in the parish register Mr Brown made biographical notes, pithy, and quite free from that too flattering note often sounded in epitaphs. Here are some examples:

'William Speare, D.D., buried 1812.... He formed a Paddock of 120 acres [of land left him in this parish]. His penuriousness was as remarkable as his taste. Often I have seen him in Exeter, whither he rode every day, with one spur only, and that tied to his boot with string.

'1814.—James Hammett, 39, was before he came to reside in Whitstone, a follower of Joanna Southcott, from whom he purchased for half a crown a piece of parchment, which was to entitle him to free admission into Heaven.

'1820.—James Sutton, 82, was for many years Sexton of the Parish, was buried according to his request near the Rectory Granary. He said that the Rector had been very kind to him; he would lie as near as possible to his house.

'1829.—Ann Hexter, School-mistress at home and Mistress of the Sunday School many years. Was for twenty years occasionally insane, and at last never free from lunacy.

'1832.—William Earls—poor—humble—honest—was made happy by my present of what he called "Multiplying Glasses."

'Thomas Lake, 85, said he had never taken medicine and would not begin at 85.

'1833.—John Coven, my carpenter, 26 years, never defrauded his employers of a minute's work; but his obstinacy was equal to his honesty. He spent all his gains, openly declaring that the Parish should maintain him when he could no longer work. At his death he had received L60, but he gave up to the Overseers a legacy of L30.

'1834.—John How, 73. Having a pension of 4.0 a week, as Serj. of Marines, once refused a shill. from me, saying he did not want it.'

The notes include a compressed but lurid tale:

'1835.—Thomas Snowden, 54. He died the day his son was christened, of apoplexy.' The curate, W. Ley, had been present at a festive christening dinner, and had left Mr Snowden still entertaining a fellow guest. The seizure took place while they were alone. 'Mrs S. sent for Ley, and, taking him into the room, said: "That's the man who has just killed my husband." That man she afterwards married.'

Some interesting memoranda from the overseers and churchwardens give a glimpse of hard days in the past. In 1811 an entry shows the churchwardens making an effort to relieve the acute distress caused by the high price of food. Wages were particularly low, and a succession of bad harvests raised the price of wheat to famine price, whilst the war with Napoleon prevented any grain coming into the country, from France or America. So we find rice and barley sold to poor parishioners cheaper than they could have bought it for themselves.

'Account of Barley bought for the use of the Poor.

April and May, 105 Bushels at 13d. per Bush.; June, 135 at 11d.; August, 20 at 9s. 6d.

Sold at 8d. per Bush. loss L57 11 2 1/2 Four Hogs. 12 Rice cost 8 15 9 Sold for 6 0 5 1/2 Loss 2 15 3 1/2'

In 1796 there is a cryptic entry:

'Paid for a man for the Navy L11 13 0.'

Nothing more, though a few words in reference to the matter would be very welcome. Possibly the best explanation is, that at a time when men were being impressed for the navy on every hand, and the Government was making immense efforts to get men and money, the parish provided the bounty-money for a man, perhaps a parishioner, who had just joined with or without his good-will. But this is insecure ground, and the meaning can but be guessed at. In 1807 there is a very different, but also unusual, item:

'Mr Sowden's huntsman for killing a fox, 3s. 4d.'

To return to Mr Brown's 'Record,' the memoranda are followed by a long and very interesting list of 'Parochial Superstitions,' some of which, but not all, are generally known. He also tells one or two stories with a caustic touch where he might have suggested a supernatural atmosphere.

'"The Parsonage is haunted." This has been asserted for 100 years, at least. It is still asserted, and proved too by the following story, invented by Jacob Wright, a lively servant of mine in 1814. "'Jacob,' said my master, 'come into my room. I am going to lay the ghost—don't be frightened.' Well, we went in, and frightened enough I was when I saw the ghost fly out of the window with Master's hat and wig."'

If only Mr Brown had had enough imagination to omit the word 'invented'! His eyes must have twinkled again while he was enjoying the following speech: 'It is reported that a calf with two heads has been seen in Hare Lane. Hannah Splatt says: "Though I have walked about as a nurse at all hours, I never saw anything more frightful than myself."' The italics in both cases are his. Superstitions are followed by a long list of words that strike him (who must have come from 'up the country') as peculiar, though many of them are commonly used to-day. And he makes one delightful quotation. In mentioning the fact that Devonshire people say 'to' where others say 'at'—far instance, 'working to blacksmith's,' or 'living to Exeter'—he writes: 'Dr Atterbury used to say that if he had been Bishop of Exeter, the Devonshire folks would have called him Dr To Terbury.'

Rejoining the Teign, one descends a valley very beautiful, but less striking than Fingle Gorge, the sides wider apart and less high, but thickly wooded. It is especially lovely in late March or early April, when the woodbine wreaths give an earnest of what the spring's full touch will bring, and buds are bursting and tiny quilled leaves showing on the hazels scattered among the oaks that form the chief substance of the coppices. Near Dunsford lies a sea of blue-green daffodil spears, with the pale gold flowers showing among them. These flowers push up among the rustling brown leaves, under interlacing branches overhead, but at a turn of the river a large flat meadow spreads out before one, and here the daffodils indeed 'dance' in their myriads. Just beyond is the bridge below Dunsford, and here are several tiny islands, each about large enough to hold a sapling and a tangle of overflowing green that trails into the water; and rushing by on each side, after falling over a little weir, the river dashes itself into a line of foam and races on under the archway.

Some miles down the valley and east of the river is Doddiscombsleigh, whose chief feature is its church. The chancel is early Decorated, the nave and north aisle Perpendicular, and in the windows of this aisle, and more especially in the east window, is some good stained glass—a rarity in the churches in this neighbourhood. The subject, a rather uncommon one in England, is the Seven Sacraments, and, as the old glass was no longer intact, the window has been lately restored.

Farther south, and on the other side of the river, is Christow, with its granite Perpendicular church. In the porch is a tribute to long service—a stone to

NICHOLAS BUSSELL, 46 years clark Heere dyed xix Feb. 1631.

Tradition says that the stone marks the actual spot where he died, and the wording of the epitaph favours the idea. It may be that he went to church in a very feeble state, perhaps thinking that neither parson nor congregation could get on without him, and with a supreme effort crowned his many years of service.

The valley has a solitary look, as if it were very remote from hurry or turmoil, with the green, silent hills rising high towards Haldon's moorlands on one side, and to Dartmoor on the other. But when the tides of the Civil War surged backward and forward, the valley of the Teign had its full share of trouble. Those who lived there were too near Exeter for their peace and comfort, and must have been repeatedly harassed by the troops of one side or the other while they were clattering to or from the city, or quartered in the villages near, and the commotion must have been especially trying when Fairfax was beginning the siege of Exeter by hemming in the city with his outposts.

Canonteign House was garrisoned for the King, and was considered 'a strong fort'; but at the end of the year 1645, when the Royalist cause was lost, it was taken by a body of troops from the regiment of Colonel Okey, who after the Restoration was executed as one of the Regicides. A short account of the affair is given in 'Anglia Rediviva': 'Information being given that the house of one Mr Davis at Canonteen (being within four miles of Exeter) stood convenient for a garrison, and might bear a useful proportion towards the blocking up of Exeter, hindering of provision from the Southams, some more of Colonel Okey's dragoons were ordered thither to possess the same, who accordingly went and fulfilled their orders, December 21, and were no longer in the house; but Monday, December 22, in the morning, the enemy sent a force against it, who stormed the house, burnt the out-houses; yet Captain Woggan, who commanded the dragoons, behaved himself so gallantly that he beat the enemy off, killed four, desperately wounded a lieutenant-colonel, and took divers prisoners.'

The manor of Canonteign was bought by the first Lord Exmouth, who built a new Canonteign House near the old one. In Christow Church is a memorial of the great Admiral—the flag flown by his ship during the battle of Algiers. A broadside ballad commemorating that splendid fight has a fine disregard for the more pedantic rules of making verse, and the metre is a good example of what is called 'rugged'; but those who are superior to such details will appreciate the directness and air of enjoyment that are very appropriate to the song of a gallant sailor:

THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS.

'Come, all you Britons, stout and bold, that love your native land. Rejoicing in your victory, Lord Exmouth gave command. Lord Exmouth will your rights maintain, as you shall plainly see, How we all fought like lions bold, to set the Christians free.

Chorus.

'You British tars, be steady, and maintain your glorious name; You will ever find Lord Exmouth to lead you into fame.

'On the 17th July in Plymouth Sound we lay, Lord Exmouth made a signal our anchor for to weigh; We exercis'd our great guns, believe me what I say, That we might do the best we could on that glorious day.

'When we came to Gibraltar, for three days there we lay, Our cabins there we all knock'd down, our decks we cleared away. That nothing in our way might be, for we their batteries saw, Prepar'd to send their burning shot upon our decks below.'

Here follows a detailed account of the order of the ships going into battle and of the fight itself, finishing with:

'And there's one thing more I relate, which is to be admir'd, At five o'clock that afternoon we set their ships on fire. Our rocket-ships and fire-ships so well their parts did play, The Algerines from their batteries were forc'd to run away.

'Now this glorious action's over, and Christians are set free, The Algerines are bound down—there's here no slavery; But if they break their terms of peace, Lord Exmouth doth declare If he should visit them again, not one of them he spare.'

Chudleigh stands a little above, and to the east of the river. From very early times it has been specially connected with the bishops of Exeter, for Bishop Osbert built a palace here about 1080. In the third year of Richard II's reign the palace was fortified under a licence to Bishop Brantyngham, but now only a very few fragments of it are still to be seen. The manor of Chudleigh was bound to provide twelve woodcock for the bishop's table on the day of his election, but should they be unobtainable, twelve pence was considered a just equivalent! In 1547 Bishop Vesey alienated 'the manor, town, palace, and limekiln,' and rather more than a hundred years later it came into the possession of Lord Clifford. The present Lord Clifford is lord of the manor.

At the beginning of the fourteenth century there was a lively trade in woollen goods, which were made here in considerable quantities, and this industry was carried on with varying prosperity through several centuries. In the reign of James I the trade was particularly flourishing, and, though gradually lessening, it was in existence till the end of the reign of George II.

The people of Chudleigh are said to have been careful to favour neither side in the Civil War—a small and defenceless town, swept through by each party in turn, could hardly take any other course. In January, 1646, while Exeter was still holding out against the Parliament, Fairfax and his army were quartered here. The surrounding country is very pretty, and Chudleigh Rock and Chudleigh Glen are particularly delightful. The Rock is of blue limestone, and a deep cavern runs far into it, once supposed to be haunted by the pixies. It is still called the 'Pixies' Parlour.' A stream runs through the Glen, and joins the Teign just below the town.

Near Chudleigh is Ugbrooke Park, which, with its hills and valleys, streams, lakes, trees, and deer, has all that is wanted to make a park beautiful. 'Fair Rosamond' is so well known by that title alone that it is sometimes forgotten that she was a De Clifford. In her lifetime, their principal estate was in Herefordshire, but later the heiress of Ugbrooke brought this property by marriage to Antony Clifford.

Perhaps the member of the family who played the most important part in history is Sir Thomas Clifford, afterwards the Lord Clifford whose initial is the first of the five that together spell 'Cabal.' In its early days, he was the leading spirit of that famous council. One branch of the Cliffords had settled in Holland, and it was probably in staying there with his relations that Sir Thomas had been brought to the notice of Charles II and first gained his influence over him. Lord Macaulay is not complimentary in his references to any member of the Cabal, but such commendations as he has to give are bestowed on Clifford. Sir Thomas, he says, 'had greatly distinguished himself in the House of Commons. Of the members of the Cabal, he was the most respectable. For, with a fiery, imperious temper, he had a strong though a lamentably perverted sense of duty and honour.' Farther on he adds that Clifford 'alone of the five had any claim to be regarded as an honest man.' Sir Thomas started a scheme which was practically the origin of the National Debt. Several statesmen who enjoyed the King's favour greatly desired the Lord Treasurer's office, and here Charles displayed his usual astuteness; for, being, as always, in want of money, he said to them that the man who should be Lord Treasurer was the man who could show him a way of putting money into the Treasury. The plan that Sir Thomas proposed to the King, and which was put into execution, Lord Clifford has most kindly sketched out as follows: 'The first Lord Clifford of Chudleigh was made Lord Treasurer by Charles II, and recommended the King to seize the money deposited in the Exchequer and secured by the allocation of various revenues. These loans had always up to this been faithfully met. By seizing this money, nominally only for a year, he acquired the sum of L1,300,000 at 6 per cent. At the succession of William and Mary the Public Debt was L664,263, and this was probably part of the money so seized; but it was not till 5 William and Mary, c. 20, that the authority of Parliament was given for a loan to be raised by the then created Bank of England, from which period usually dates the National Debt. Evelyn ascribes the inception of this idea to Ashley Shaftesbury, who, foreseeing its illegality, and possibly its disastrous results (for many persons were ruined), left it to Clifford to propose it to the King. He gave 6 per cent. interest. When the Bank of England loan was raised (5 W. and M.) the interest was 8 per cent.'

There is a fine picture of the Lord High Treasurer, by Sir Peter Lely, at Ugbrooke, of which two replicas hang, one in the Treasury, and the other at Ham House, which belonged to the Duke of Lauderdale, who was the L of the Cabal. Lord Clifford is wearing a crimson robe, under a magnificent flowing mantle of ermine, and in his right hand is the white wand of office. His face shows shrewdness and determination, and a certain geniality, which suggests that, though on occasion he might not have scrupled to act as an oppressor, yet he would always have liked to do so as pleasantly as possible.

A remnant of former friendship was shown seven years after the Cabal was dissolved. In December, 1680, when the country was still seething against Popery, a Bill was brought before the House of Lords which provided, amongst other things, that all Papists of influence should be removed from their own estates to a far distant county. Lists of the gentlemen 'selected' in each county were made out (and have been reprinted among the manuscripts of the House of Lords), and after the last list is written: 'In addition to the above Lists, there was one for Devonshire, which appears to have been given to Earl Shaftesbury ... but which is not forthcoming.' A subsequent collection of the names of those 'selected' in this county follows this statement, but Lord Clifford's name does not appear among them; therefore Lord Shaftesbury's reason for 'mislaying' this one list is supposed to be that he had suppressed in it the name of his former friend's son; and no second formal list for Devonshire seems to have been made. The Bill never became law.

At Newton Abbot the river reaches its most southerly point and again turns east. Lysons says that its 'market and fair were spoken of in the reign of Edward I;' but there are not many old buildings, and those that there are seem completely swamped by numerous modern ones. The parish church, to the south of the town, contains much that is most interesting; and Forde House, a fine Jacobean building, welcomed under its roof Charles I on two occasions, and, having changed owners meanwhile, greeted William of Orange, when, thirty-three years later, he was on his way from Torbay.

Along the northern bank of the estuary lie the two villages of Kingsteignton and Bishopsteignton, the manor of the first being part of the ancient demesnes of the Crown, as that of the second was of the See of Exeter. At the Kingsteignton 'revel' a curious custom used to be observed, for a part of the proceedings was that 'a ram was hunted, killed, roasted, and eaten.' Mr Baring-Gould gives these details, and adds a village anecdote. '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 Revel."'

Bishopsteignton has a church in which there are portions of Norman work, and in the parish lie the remains of a Bishop's palace, 'From ancient times,' says Lysons, 'one of the country seats of the bishops.' It was practically rebuilt by Bishop Grandisson.

I was once given an interesting piece of information relating to Bishopsteignton by an old man living near Newton St Cyres. He said that in a general way the women there used to be very small, and folks said that was because they had been changed by the pixies when they were babies.

It is unnecessary to dwell on the fact that Teignmouth, besides being a port, is a most flourishing watering-place. The colouring is very rich, and especially lovely when set off by a brilliant sky and glittering blue water. Blood-red cliffs lead north and south, and the green of grass and plants, broken by masses of wild-flowers of all tints, here scattered thinly, there in clumps, overlaps and creeps down the face of the rock wherever there is foothold. Between Teignmouth and Dawlish an 'island-rock' of the warmest red runs out into the sea, and through an arch in it the rippling water may be seen beyond. Looking down at Teignmouth from the hill on the opposite side, the town seems to run very flatly into the angle between sea and river. In the estuary, at low tide, the ships and boats lie in pools among the sand-banks, with the gulls circling and screaming about them.

It has been said that 'the cliffs of Teignmouth owe their deep-red hue to the slaughter of the inhabitants by the Danes in 970, when "the very rocks streamed with blood"'; and the old people confidently assert that the dwarf-elder (called hereabouts 'Danes-elder') grows only upon the site of old battle-fields 'where the Danes' blood was spilt!' These legends are not altogether baseless, for there is no doubt as to the pitiless brutality which the Danes showed in their various incursions into Devon between the years 894 and 1013. Drayton's image is bold and gruesome:

'When all the country swam with blood of Saxons shed.'

Teignmouth was last troubled by an enemy in 1690, when Admiral de Tourville, having defeated the united English and Dutch fleets off Beachy Head, sailed down the Channel and anchored one night in Tor Bay. The Devonshire militia flew to arms. 'In twenty-four hours all Devonshire was up. Every road in the county from sea to sea was covered by multitudes of fighting men, all with their faces set towards Torbay.' De Tourville, upon this discouraging reception, gave up any ideas he may have had of disembarking, and merely sent some galleys to Teignmouth, who first turned their cannon on the town and afterwards landed and burned it.

The general excitement that this attack created found voice in a ballad called 'The Devonshire Boys' Courage, 1690.' It is utter doggerel, but expresses the contemporary views of the people, and was sung to a tune called 'Liggan Water,' a title that, according to Mr William Chappell, refers to an Irish stream. I give only a few verses:



'Brave Devonshire Boys made haste away When news did come from Tinmouth-bay, The French were landed in that town And Treacherously had burnt it down.

'When to the Town they did draw near, The French did straightways disappear; Because that they had then beat down And basely burnt poor Tinmouth-town.

'On Haldon-Hill they did design To draw their men up in a line; But Devonshire Boys did make them run; When once they did discharge a Gun.

'Brave Blew coat Boys did watch them so, They to no other place dare go; For if they had returned again, I'm sure the Frenchmen had been slain.

* * * * *

'Let Monsieur then do what he can, We'll still Reign Masters o'er the Main; Old England's Right upon the Sea In spight of France maintain'd shall be.

'No Seaman fears to lose his Blood, To justifie a Cause so good; To fight the French, who have begun With burning down poor Tinmouth-town.

'The Cornish Lads will lend a hand, And Devonshire Boys will with them Band, To pull the pride of Monsieur down, Who basely burn'd poor Tinmouth-town.'



CHAPTER VI

Torbay

'Torbay, unknown to the Aonian Quire, Nothing oblig'd to any Poet's lyre ... The Muses had no Matter from thy Bay, To make thee famous till great William's Day.... To Orange only and Batavia's Seed Remain'd this glory, as of old decreed, To make thy Name immortal, and thy Shore More famous and renown'd than heretofore.... O happy, happy Bay! All future times Shall speak of thee renown'd in foreign Climes!... Muses have matter now, enough to make Poets of Peasants for Torbaia's sake.... King David's Deeds were sung, and Triumphs too, And why should not Great Orange have his due? Supream in Earth, Dread Sovereign thou art; Long may'st thou reign, we pray with all our heart.'

AVANT: Torbaia digna Camoensis.

It is impossible for those who have had no better fortune than to see Torbay only in prints or photographs to gather more than a very imperfect idea of what its best can be. The cliffs near Paignton are red, nearer Torquay they are a warm russet, alternating with a rosy grey where limestone comes to the surface; and some of the rocks beneath, shining with salt water, are pink, interlined with white veins. In fair weather the warm tints of these cliffs, chequered by a green lattice-work of plants and bushes, and the rich, full colours of the sea, make a picture that is more easily remembered than described.

The great promontories of Hope's Nose and Berry Head stand between three and four miles apart at the northern and southern points of this rounded, shallow bay. Torquay itself is a new town, and only developed into being one in the early part of the last century. At the time that there was real fear of Napoleon making a descent on this coast, fortifications were built on Berry Head, and houses were wanted for the officers in charge. One authority suggests that Torquay was brought into general notice by serving as a lodging for the families of officers in the Channel Fleet under Lord St Vincent, who used Torbay as an anchorage. But in any case its existence is really due to Napoleon. Certainly the growth was rapid, for Lysons, writing about 1820, speaks of Torquay as having been till lately a hamlet,—and even its name is modern.

The one important building was the Abbey, founded in 1196 by William, Lord Briwere, and endowed by him with the whole of the Manor of Wolborough and part of the Manor of Torre. The probable origin of this great gift is interesting. The Abbey was founded soon after the return from Austria of the hostages who had been kept there till the ransom of King Richard I was paid, and it has been generally supposed that, as the eldest sons of the greatest noblemen were sent, Lord Briwere's only son was among the number, and that the Abbey was a thank-offering, the fruit of a vow made by the father in regard to his son's happy return. Lord Briwere installed in the Abbey seven monks of the Premonstratensian Order. Alicia, daughter of Lord Briwere, married Reginald de Mohun, and as, on the death of her brother, she inherited the Torre property, it is easily seen how Tor-Mohun came to be the name of the parish. Successive bequests to the monastery made it the richest house of the Order in England, though at the time of its dissolution there were only fifteen monks besides the Abbot. The peace and prosperity of the Abbey were once broken, Dr Oliver tells us in his 'Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis,' by a painful incident: 'In 1390, notwithstanding the Abbot's irreproachable life and manners, some malicious person spread a rumour that he had beheaded one of the Canons of Tor called Simon Hastings.' The Abbot was 'greatly distressed,' and the Bishop pronounced the accusation to be a falsehood of the 'blackest dye,' and, besides, declared that he, the said Canon, was alive and well. But that it should be possible to bring such a charge against an 'irreproachable' Abbot in this casual way, and that the accusation should for a moment be listened to, is a view of those days not often opened to one.

After changing hands several times, the Abbey became the property of the Carys (in 1662), and their descendants still live in it. Many alterations have been inevitable, but much of the character of the building still remains. Parts of the walls of the original church are still standing, and enough of the masonry is left to show the exact plan. It was longer than any other church that has since been built in Torquay, and wanted only seven feet to equal the length of Exeter Cathedral between the west end and the organ-screen. The refectory stretches towards the west; it has been converted into a chapel, and a stone cross rises from the roof. The embattled gateway and the whole of the building near it are of a soft rose colour; beyond stands a tower, duller in tint, and at right angles the old grange, known since Elizabethan days as the Spanish Barn. For the Capitana, the first ship of the Armada to be taken, fell to Sir Francis Drake off Torbay, and the four hundred men captured on her were brought to Tor Abbey and imprisoned in the grange.

Leaving Torquay, and going some miles to the north, and slightly inland, one arrives at Haccombe, the smallest parish in England. This year (1908) the population numbers nine. It is also conspicuous for having as its Rector the sole 'Arch-priest' in the kingdom, and for its independence, for though Haccombe Church is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bishop, it claims to be free from any ruling of the Archdeacon. A college or arch-presbytery was founded there in 1341, 'which college,' says Lysons, 'consisted of an arch-priest and five other priests, who lived together in community.' The Arch-priest, or Rector, as he is usually called, is the only remaining member of the college.

Haccombe passed by a succession of heiresses from the Haccombes, who held it in the time of William I, to the Carews, during the fourteenth century, to which family it still belongs. On the church door hang two horseshoes, commemorating a victory that George Carew, Earl of Totnes, wrested from his cousin, Sir Arthur Champernowne. A wager was laid as to whose horse could swim farthest into the sea, and the horse of 'the bold Carew' won. The story is told in the following ballad:

'The feast was over in Haccombe Hall, And the wassail-cup had been served to all, When the Earl of Totnes rose in his place, And the chanters came in to say the grace.

'But scarce was ended the holy rite, When there stepped from the crowd a valiant knight; His armour bright and his visage brown, And his name Sir Arthur Champernowne.

'"Good Earl of Totnes, I've brought with me My fleetest courser of Barbary; And whether good or ill betide, A wager with thee I mean to ride."

'"No Barbary courser do I own; But I have," quoth the Earl, "a Devonshire roan; And I'll ride for a wager by land or sea, The roan 'gainst the courser of Barbary."

'"'Tis done," said Sir Arthur, "already I've won; And I'll stake my manor of Dartington 'Gainst Haccombe Hall and its rich domain." So the Earl of Totnes the wager hath ta'en.

* * * * *

The land is for men of low degree; But the knight and the Earl they ride by sea.

'"To horse! to horse!" resounds through the hall Each warrior steed is led from its stall; And with gallant train over Milburn Down Ride the bold Carew and the Champernowne.

'But when they came to the Abbey of Tor, The Abbot came forth from the western door, And much he prayed them to stay and dine, But the Earl took naught save a goblet of wine.

'Sir Arthur he raised the bowl on high, And prayed to the Giver of victory; Then drank success to himself in the course, And the sops of the wine he gave to his horse.

'Away they rode from the Abbey of Tor, Till they reached the inlet's curving shore; The Earl plunged first in the foaming wave, And was followed straight by Sir Arthur the brave.

'The wind blew hard and the waves beat high, And the horses strove for the mastery; Till Sir Arthur cried, "Help, thou bold Carew! Help, if thou art a Christian true!

'"Oh, save for the sake of that lady of mine! Good Earl of Totnes, the manor is thine; The Barbary courser must yield to the roan, And thou art the Lord of Dartington."

'The Earl his steed began to restrain, And he seized Sir Arthur's horse by the rein; He cheered him with words, and gave him his hand, And he brought Sir Arthur safe to land.

'Then Sir Arthur, with sickness and grief oppressed, Lay down in the Abbey chambers to rest; But the Earl he rode from the Abbey of Tor Straight forward to Haccombe Chapel door.

'And there he fell on his knees and prayed, And many an Ave Maria he said; Bread and money he gave to the poor, And he nailed the roan's shoes to the chapel door.'

How far this account is accurate it is difficult to say, but the Champernownes are still at Dartington.

Some miles south, and a little to the west, about midway between Haccombe and Torquay, lies Kingskerswell, a village not very much heard of nowadays, but once the property of a very distinguished soldier and statesman. 'The Lord Nicolas de Mules (or Meoles, or Molis), a counsellor of estate, had this manor in the time of Henry III, to whom the King granted other lands to hold by knightly service.... He was Sheriff of Hampshire and Governor of Winchester Castle, and held the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Serke, and Aureney committed to his trust. In 23 Henry III he was Sheriff of Yorkshire, and afterwards sent Ambassador to denounce war against France, and, being an expert soldier, was upon the King's return to England appointed Seneschal of Gascoigne, being held in such esteem by Henry III that he admitted James, his son and heir, to have education with Prince Edward at the King's charge. Continuing still in Gascoigne, he obtained a signal victory over the King of Navarre.' Risdon adds the information that Sir Nicolas took the King 'prisoner in the field.' On his return he took part in the 'War against the Welsh,' and must have acquitted himself brilliantly, since hereafter honours were showered upon him. He was made Governor of the Castles of Carmarthen and Cardigan, then 'Constable of Dover Castle and Warden of the Cinque-ports, and the same year Sheriff of Kent, also Governor of the Castles of Canterbury and Rochester; and of Sherborne and Corfe Castle,' in the county of Dorset. It is almost bewildering to follow his rapid plunges from one sphere of action to another, and it certainly emphasizes the fact that the strenuous life is no novelty. It contradicts, too, a view rather generally held, that the spirit of restless daring and love of adventure that have distinguished innumerable men of Devon belonged solely to Elizabethan days—a view that has, no doubt, sprung up because the great lights that shone in that glorious reign have eclipsed all lesser ones.

But the poppy of oblivion has fallen on the name of Sir Nicolas, and he is no conspicuous figure in the most local histories; even Prince does not count him among his 'Worthies.'

From Kingskerswell one passes through a fertile and pleasant country, which suggests to the passer-by that the time and labour needed in weeding and chopping down must be almost greater than that spent in sowing and growing plants. The number of orchards here has perhaps given rise to a proverb, said to be peculiar to South Devon, but calling to mind Tusser's treatise on Husbandry:

'If good apples you would have, The leaves must go into the grave.'

This explanation of the rhyme has been suggested: 'Rather, perhaps, be in the grave—i.e., You must plant your leaves in the fall of the leaf.'

A road leading south, then to the east, reaches Paignton, which stands almost midway between north and south in the bay. The old town was at a little distance from the sea, but latterly new houses have been built in all directions, and have brought it close to the water's edge. Paignton has a fine church, chiefly Perpendicular, but parts are of earlier work, and there is a most beautiful carved screen.

The adventures of a native of Paignton—a certain Will Adams, born about 1612, 'of mean and obscure parentage'—are not to be forgotten. He was, says Mr Norway, 'one of those "Turkish captives" of whom so many were languishing in Algiers two centuries ago, and who, there is little doubt, were specially in the minds of the authors of the petition in our Litany, "For all poor prisoners and captives" ... and it may very well be that Adams' name was coupled with this prayer on many a Sunday in Paignton Church, for the agony of his captivity lasted full five years.' At the end of that time he and his companions, despairing of rescue, set to work on what would indeed have seemed to most people a hopeless venture. They began to make a boat with a keel twelve feet long, but 'because it was impossible to convey a piece that length out of the city, but it must be seen and suspected, they cut it in two and fitted it for joyning, just in the middle.' Then 'because boards would require much hammering and that noise would be like to betray them, they bought as much canvas as would cover their boat twice over.' With as much 'pitch, tar, and tallow, as would serve to make a kind of tarpauling cloth, two pipe staves saw'd across ... for oars, a little bread and two leather bottles full of fresh water, and as much canvas as would serve for a sail,' their preparations before 'launching out into the deep' were complete. But even their courage was not the most splendid in the affair. When the prisoners had actually started, they found that the boat was overloaded, so 'two were content to stay on shore.' They were 'content' to return to toil and slavery indefinitely, and to face the bitter wrath and vengeance of their captors, enraged by the loss of so many prisoners.

Those who escaped had much to endure. Their boat leaked, and the salt water spoiled their bread. 'Pale famine stared them in the face' writes Prince, and they suffered even greater tortures from thirst and heat. 'On the fifth day, as they lay hulling up and down, God sent them some relief, viz., a tortois,' which they came upon asleep in the sea and caught. With strength almost gone, they reached Majorca, where, luckily, the Viceroy was kindly disposed towards them, and they started home in one of 'the King of Spain's gallies.'

Adams died at a good old age in his native place.

The fine cliff called Berry Head runs far out into the sea at the southern edge of Tor Bay, and standing back, within the bay, is the small and pretty town of Brixham—celebrated for its trawlers, and for being the landing-place of William III. The red and brown sails of 'Brixham trawlers' scattered over the blue-grey waters of the bay seem very familiar, and it is a question for consideration how many exhibitions at the Royal Academy have not included a picture bearing that title. The fishery is an old one, and in the reign of Henry VIII the Vicar could claim personal tithes in fish equal in value to L340 of our money.

Fishermen and others gave a very cordial welcome to the Prince of Orange when he arrived on November 5, 1688. But by no one can he have been more vehemently applauded than by the author of the lines I have quoted at the head of the present chapter—the Rev Philip Avant, Vicar of Salcombe. The poem, originally written in Latin, and translated by the author, takes up almost the whole of his small and rather rare volume, Torbaia digna Camoensis. It is in parts unintentionally amusing, and is interesting as showing how far the frenzied fervour of bigotry may carry a naturally amiable person, for in the narrow intervals between his torrents of denunciation it is clear that Mr Avant was, in ordinary matters, a kindly-disposed man.

A pamphlet graphically describing the 'Expedition from Torbay to Whitehall' was written by another clergyman, John Whittle by name, a 'Minister Chaplain in the Army,' and from this pamphlet long extracts are given in a paper on this subject by the late Mr Windeatt. Some of these quotations I am now venturing to repeat: 'The morning was very obscure with the Fog and Mist, and withal it was so calm that the Vessels now as 'twere touch'd each other, every ship coming as near unto the ship wherein the Prince of Orange was, as the Schipper thereof would permit them.... His Highness the Prince of Orange gave orders that his Standard should be put up, and accordingly it was done, the White Flag being put uppermost, signifying his most gracious offer of Peace unto all such as would live peaceably. And under that, the Red or Bloody Flag was set up, signifying War unto all such as did oppose his designs. The Sun, recovering strength, soon dissipated the Fog, and dispers'd the Mist, insomuch that it prov'd a very pleasant Day. By this time the people of Devonshire thereabout had discovered the Fleet, the one telling the other thereof; they came flocking in droves to the side or brow of the Hills to view us. Some guess'd we were French because they saw divers White Flags; but the standard of the Prince, the Motto of which was, For the Protestant Religion and Liberty, soon undeceived them.... Bells were ringing as we were sailing towards the Bay, and as we landed, which many judged to be a good omen.' A little later, when they had landed, people 'came running out at their doors to see this happy sight. So the Prince with Marschal Schomberg, and divers Lords, Knights and Gentlemen, marched up the Hill, which all the Fleet could see over the Houses, the Colours flying and flourishing before his Highness, the Trumpets sounding, the Haut-boys played, the Drums beat, and the Lords, Knights and Gentlemen shouted; and sundry Huzzas did now echo in the Fleet, from off the Hill, insomuch that our very hearts below in the water were even ravish'd for going thereof.'

There is an absurd story, here quoted with mild ridicule, that on the Prince's landing he was received by the inhabitants of Brixham with this address:

'And please your Majesty King William, You're welcome to Brixham Quay, To eat buck-horn and drink bohea, Along with me, And please your Majesty King William.'

The 'And please' must be a corruption of 'An it please,' which does make sense, but the rhyme cannot have been invented until later, for it certainly was not within the power of a fisherman to offer 'bohea,' or any other kind of tea, in those days. 'Buck-horn' is rather puzzling, for it gives no clue as to what it might be. Anybody who has heard of edible buck-horn (or buck's-horn) at all, would probably think of an obscure and humble salad herb, now practically forgotten, and at no time a dainty to be pressed on 'King William's' notice in this manner. The English Dialect Dictionary comes to the rescue by explaining that in Cornwall, Devon, and Cumberland, 'buck-horn' is a name for 'salted and dried whiting.' 'Bok horn' also appears in the Receiver's accounts at Exeter (about 1488), when the citizens, having a quarrel with the Bishop, tactfully sent successive presents of fish to the Lord Chancellor while the case lay before him. Buck-horn is still sold in Brixham.

The soldiers' first experiences in England were not agreeable, as 'they were marching into Camp all hours in the Night'; and some having been unlucky enough to get astray from their companies, 'it was no easy matter to find them in the dark amongst so many thousands. 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 Souldiers were to stand to their arms the whole Night, at least to be in readiness if anything should happen, or the enemy make an Assault, and therefore sundry Souldiers were to fetch some old Hedges and cut down green Wood to burn these with, to make some Fire.'

Mr Windeatt, writing in 1880, gives an astonishing instance of how few links a chain may sometimes need in order to stretch from century to century. He says a gentleman gave him the following account: 'There are few now left who can say, as I can, that they have heard their father and their wife's father talking together of the men who saw the landing of William III 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 saw a shipload of horses hauled up 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"; and another would describe the rigging and build of the ships, but all appeared to welcome them as friends.

'My father remembered only one—"Gaffer Will Webber," of Staverton, who served his apprenticeship with one of his ancestors, and 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 "Godspeed."'

The gentlemen of the county were more tardy in their welcome, and perhaps this is not very surprising, when one considers that they can scarcely have recovered from the terrible vengeance that seared all who had followed Monmouth only three years before.

Sir Edward Seymour, formerly Speaker of the House of Commons, was one of the first and, says Macaulay, the most important of the great landowners who joined the Prince at Exeter. He was 'in birth, in political influence, and in parliamentary abilities ... beyond comparison the foremost among the Tory gentlemen of England.'

Sir Edward evidently rode in great state, for the Duke of Somerset, his descendant, still has a very imposing red velvet saddle, elaborately embroidered with heraldic and other designs in silver, that 'Mr Speaker Seymour' used on this occasion.

The march was continued in the most miserable discomfort. Six hundred horses had died either at sea or from the effects of the storm, and the men, still suffering from a 'dissiness in the Heads after they had been so long toss'd at Sea,' had extra burdens to carry. The weather was wet and stormy, the roads were 'extreme rough and stony,' and when they encamped and lay down for the night, 'their Heads, Backs and Arms sank deep into the Clay.' Further, their rations were so spare that when they came on an inclosure with turnips they felt they had found a feast. 'Some roasted them and others eat them raw, and made a brave Banquet.' However, matters improved the next day as they drew nearer to Newton Abbot. People came in crowds to see them. 'Now they began to give us applause and pray for our Success.' Hitherto they had but wavered as they said, 'the Irish would come and cut them in pieces if it should be known.' On approaching Newton, 'a certain Divine went before the Army, and finding 'twas their Market day, he went unto the Cross, or Town hall,' and read the Declaration of the Prince of Orange. 'To which the people with one Heart and Voice answered Amen: Amen, and forthwith shouted for Joy, and made the Town ring with their echoing Huzzas.'

Such was the auspicious reception of the 'Deliverer of the Nation from Popery, Slavery, Brass Money and Wooden Shoes.'

A very different note, jarring against this triumphal strain, is struck by a Jacobite ballad on the same event, too long to quote entirely here. It bears the conciliatory title of

THE BELGICK BOAR.

God prosper long our noble King, Our hopes and wishes all: A fatal landing late there did In Devonshire befall.

To drive our Monarch from his throne Prince Naso took his way. The babe may rue that's newly-born The landing at Torbay.

The stubborn Tarquin, void of grace, A vow to Hell does make, To force his father abdicate And then his crown to take.

* * * * *

Then declarations flew about, As thick as any hail, Who, tho' no word was e'er made good, Did mightily prevail.

We must be Papists or be slaves, Was then the gen'ral cry, But we'll do anything to save Our darling liberty.

We'll all join with a foreign prince, Against our lawful king; For he from all our fancy'd fears Deliverance doth bring.

* * * * *

Then our allegiance let's cast off, James shall no longer guide us; And tho' the French would bridle us, None but the Dutch shall ride us.



CHAPTER VII

The Dart

'I cannot tell what you say, green leaves, I cannot tell what you say; But I know that there is a spirit in you, And a word in you this day.

'I cannot tell what you say, rosy rocks, I cannot tell what you say; But I know that there is a spirit in you, And a word in you this day.

'I cannot tell what you say, brown streams, I cannot tell what you say; But I know that in you too a spirit doth live, And a word doth speak this day.

'Oh! green is the colour of faith and truth, And rose the colour of love and youth, And brown of the fruitful clay. Sweet Earth is faithful, and fruitful and young, And her bridal day shall come ere long, And you shall know what the rocks and the streams And the whispering woodlands say.'

KINGSLEY: Dartside.

Of all the rivers of Devonshire, the Dart claims the first place, both for beauty and for interesting associations; and between the lonely wastes about its source on Dartmoor, and the calm, broad reaches above Dartmouth, the scenery is not only always beautiful, but adds the great charm of being beautiful in quite different ways.

Drayton recognises the claim, for in the Poly-olbion, speaking of the 'mother of rivers,' Dartmoor, he says:

'From all the other floods that only takes her name And as her eld'st in right the heir of all her fame.'

And a few lines later he makes Dart declaim:

' ... There's not the proudest flood That falls betwixt the Mount and Exmore shall make good Her royalty with mine, with me nor can compare; I challenge anyone to answer me that dare.'

The East Dart rises about a mile south of Cranmere Pool, and at first makes its way through bare bogs, with great black holes gaping open here and there in the peat, tussocks of coarse grass and dry, rustling bents, isolated tufts of heather, and now and again wide spaces of waving cotton-grass. All around is 'an everlasting wash of air' and a sense of spaciousness, which it is to be hoped no cynically named 'improvements' may ever diminish. Westcote comments on the name. 'Of some it is supposed that the river takes name of the swiftness of the current; the like is thought of the river Arrow in Warwickshire, and of the Tygris in Mesopotamia, which among the Persians doth import a shaft.'

There is a saying that '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 writhes.'

Many tales on the Moor speak of the amazing swiftness with which a freshet will suddenly swell and sweep down, an overwhelming flood. Only a few years ago a farmer was crossing a very safe ford when he saw the freshet coming, and tried to hurry his horse, but before he could reach the bank the torrent caught his cart and overturned it, and he and his horse were drowned.

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

The ominous couplet springs from no misty legend, but from melancholy experience.

The East Dart runs throughout its course in a south-easterly direction, and at Post Bridge just below the road from Moreton Hampstead to Tavistock it is crossed by an old bridge, one of the many rugged witnesses to unwritten history scattered all over Dartmoor. It is a massive structure, built of rough granite blocks; the 'table-stones' that rest on the piers are each about fifteen feet long.

The West Dart rises farther south than the East Dart, and runs almost due south as far as Two Bridges, and then, in many curves to the east—sometimes almost hidden in the depths of the hollow that has been worn between the high bare sides of the valley—till about five miles from Two Bridges it reaches Dartmeet. From the top of a tor close to the point where the two streams meet the effect is rather curious, for sunk deep between the wide barren stretches of moor and desolate tors, broad green ribbons of trees and undergrowth, broken by tufts and uneven edges, mark the course of the rivers till they wind away out of sight. Their darker green makes them stand out against the sides of the valleys, and they are the only trees in sight. In summer the river is often very low, and then masses of great boulders in the river-bed are seen, and some of the biggest are crowned with ferns, high tufts of grass, or little bushes, with the clearest water streams between them. The bridge is over the East Dart, above the meeting of the waters, and from just below it is possible to get a charming view of the arches thrown up against a sunlit mass of shimmering leaves.

From here the Dart runs south almost to Holne, the birthplace of that true lover of Devon, Charles Kingsley. At this point it makes a great loop to the north, flowing among lovely scenery along a steep and narrow valley, where great rocks break through the woods; then curving round in Holne Chase, it turns south again to Holne Bridge, which is crossed by the Ashburton road. The town is about three miles to the east.

Ashburton is one of the old stannary towns, and besides mining, it was known for its trade in woollen goods, especially serges. In fact, 'the seal of the Port-reeve bears a church between a teasel and a saltire, with the sun and moon above.' The teasel was used to raise the nap in making cloth, and was a symbol of that industry, as the sun and moon were symbols of mining. In 1697 the manufacturers felt foreign competition so keenly that the Port-reeve, traders, and inhabitants of Ashburton signed a petition to Parliament, begging that an Act might be passed to discourage the importation of Irish and other foreign woollen goods.

This borough sent members to Parliament from the reign of Edward I, but in time its representation ceased. The privilege was given back to the borough after the Restoration, through the intervention of Sir John Northcote, and was held until Ashburton was disfranchised in 1868.

A few miles farther down the river is Buckfastleigh, a small but very flourishing town, and one of the very few that still produce the serges and woollen goods for which the county was once famous, in the sixteenth century especially, for then, as Green tells us, 'the broadcloths of the West claimed the palm among the woollen stuffs of England.' The church stands apart on a height overlooking the town, and the tapering spire adds to the effect given by its commanding position. By far the most interesting building here is Buckfast Abbey, founded in the reign of Henry II, on the site of a Benedictine abbey of Saxon days. The place must have been very remote and inaccessible when the Benedictines first settled there, and the Saxon name given in Bishop AElfwold's charter in 1016 was 'Buckfaesten, i.e., Deer-fastness,' which would seem to argue that the Abbey was surrounded by thick woods, and was particularly lonely, even for those times. Sable, a crozier in pale, argent, the crook or, surmounted by a buck's head, caboshed of the second, horned gules, were the ancient arms of the Abbey, as they are still, though now impaled with the Clifford arms, by permission of Lord Clifford.

The second colony of monks here were Cistercians, and the monastery became very prosperous and the richest house of that order in the county. King John deposited some of his jewels, gold and silver in their keeping, and in 1297 Edward I visited the Abbey. The Cistercians were great wool-traders, and did much for both trade and agriculture in the districts near them. It has been supposed that the sunken track called the Abbot's Way was used in carrying the wool from the moorland farms belonging to the monastery towards Plymouth and Tavistock. In the thirteenth century the monks showed their interest in trading by joining the 'Gild Merchant' of Totnes. A memorandum on the back of one of the 'membership rolls' in 1236 records an agreement between the burgesses of Totnes and the abbot and convent of Buckfast; that the monks might be able 'to make all their purchases in like manner with the burgesses, the abbot and monks agree to pay twenty-two pence on the Saturday before Christmas day.'[4]

[Footnote 4: Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1873.]

The buildings at the time of the Dissolution were very large, and there was a fine church, but of these only a Perpendicular tower adjoining the cloisters, and a large tithe-barn, are in a state of good preservation at the present day. A modern house was built on the western side of the vanished cloisters, but in 1882 the Abbey was bought for a colony of Benedictine monks from Pierrequivire in Burgundy, who have partly rebuilt the monastery on its ancient lines, and are restoring the Abbey church.

A few miles away to the south-west is Dean Prior, and the living that Herrick held when he poured out his grumbles and complaints about 'dull Devonshire.' Herrick was a true Cockney, and the earliest part of his life was spent in a house in Cheapside. When he grew up, he had the good luck to come into the brilliant and witty company that gathered round Ben Jonson, so it must be allowed that he had an excuse for sometimes thinking that life in an obscure hamlet, two hundred miles from London, was a dreary exile. But, as Mr R. J. King remarks, in spite of all his grievances, he had in him a sense that responded very readily to the pretty customs and observances of the village, that marked, here with a handful of flowers, there with a sheaf of wheat or a branch of holly, the different festivals of the year.

Herrick's poem 'Christmas Eve' refers to a local custom that appealed to him:

'Come, guard this night the Christmas-pie, That the thief, though ne'er so sly, With his flesh-hooks, don't come nigh, To catch it

From him, who all alone sits there, Having his eyes still in his ear, And a deal of mighty fear, To watch it.'

Mr King makes this interesting note on it: 'This custom, so far as I know, is unnoticed by anyone but Herrick.

'A solitary watcher,

'"Having his eyes still in his ear, And a deal of mighty fear,"

guarded the pie through the night before Christmas.

'The pie represented the manger of Bethlehem, and its contents the wise men's offerings. The Devonshire "Christmas play" has had a curious fate. Except, perhaps, in some of the moorland parishes, it has disappeared at home. But the Newfoundland fisheries were long carried on for the most part by sailors from the neighbourhood of Dartmouth and Tor Bay, and Mr Jukes tells us that the streets of St John's at Christmas-time continue to exhibit St George, the Turkish Knight, and all their companions, in full vigour.'

The charm of Herrick's verses on country joys is deepened—to the folk-lorist in particular—by remembering that the rustic ceremonies he commemorates were probably the usual customs observed at Dean Prior in his time. On a hot August evening he may have watched the happy and excited children who are described in the poem 'The Hock-Cart, or Harvest-Home.'

'About the cart, hear how the rout Of rurall youngling raise the shout. Pressing before, some coming after, These with a shout, and those with laughter. Some blesse the carte, some kisse the sheaves, Some prank them up with oaken leaves; Some cross the fill-horse, some with great Devotion stroake the home-borne wheat.'

And many lines point to his acquaintance with all kinds of village festivals, as, for instance, those which he addresses to 'Master Endymion Porter.'

'Thy wakes, thy quintels, here them hast, Thy May-poles too, with garlands grac't, Thy morris-dance, thy Whitsun-ale, Thy sheering feast, which never faile, Thy harvest home, thy wassaile bowle, That's tost up after Foxi'th'hole, Thy mummeries, thy twelfth-tide kings, And quenes, thy Christmas revellings, Thy nut-browne mirth, thy russet wit, And no man pays too deare for it.'

('Foxi'th'hole' is a hopping game, in which boys beat each other with gloves.)

Herrick was fortunate in having a kind and hospitable neighbour. Sir Edward Giles was famed for his uprightness and generous disposition, and was looked up to by all the neighbourhood. He succeeded to 'a large park and very handsome house,' whose existence was partly due to the problem of the unemployed that was perplexing the benevolent more than three hundred years ago; for John Giles, 'to the honour of his memory ... began building of the house, and setting up the walls about his park, in the time of a very great dearth; whereby hundreds of poor men ... were daily fed at his table, who else together with their families in probability would have perished for want.' Sir Edward succeeded immediately to his father, who was 'a good old gentleman,' with a taste for small jokes that must have been sometimes a little tedious. The son had too 'active and vigorous a spirit' to rest 'within the compass of an island, wherefore ... he travelled beyond the seas,' and in the Low Countries 'trayl'd a pike in her Majesty's service, Queen Elizabeth of glorious memory.' Having carved for himself a high reputation, he came to the court of King James, to find that his fame had preceded him, and he received the honour of knighthood at the time of the King's coronation. This gave the old knight a chance for a little jest, which his son must have found rather exasperating. When he came home, his father received him with all ceremony, though 'more jocularly than seriously ... saluted him with his title of Sir Edward Giles at every word, and by all means would place him above him, as one dignified with the more honourable degree; until at length inquiring of him: "Sir Edward, pray tell me," said the old gentleman, "who must discharge the fees and charges of your knighthood and honour?" Being answered, "That he hoped he would be pleased to do that," "Nay, then," says the old gentleman, "come down, Sir Edward Giles, and sit beneath me again, if I am he that must pay for thy honour."' One can imagine his beaming satisfaction over it all!

Among Sir Edward's friends was the 'eminent and pious and learned Divine,' Dr Barnabas Potter, whom he presented with the living of Dean Prior. Herrick and his predecessor were indeed a contrast to one another, for Dr Potter was 'melancholy, lean, and a hard student.' He was afterwards transplanted from his peaceful solitude to Court, where he was appointed Chaplain in Ordinary to Prince Charles, and was known as the Penitential Preacher. Afterwards, when preferred to the bishopric of Carlisle, 'he was commonly called the Puritanical Bishop, and they said of him in the time of king James, that Organs would blow him out of the church, which I do not believe, the rather because he lov'd Vocal Music, and could bear his own part therein.' Altogether, he and the future Merry Monarch must have been very congenial companions.

Going farther south, and still keeping to the west of the river, the traveller comes to Rattery, close to which is Venton House, once owned by the Gibbses. In the reign of Edward III John Gibbs was chosen to undertake important work, for he was called to serve on several Commissions appointed to carry out the King's business in the county. The most interesting of these Commissions seems to have been the one appointed in 1462, for the purpose of collecting ships for the King's fleet from those ports—the Commissioners to be responsible for furnishing them completely, from 'Masters and Mariners' to 'bows and bowstrings, wheat, beans, and ale.'

The members of the family whose doings were the most amusing, though not the most to be admired, were William Gibbs and his son Thomas, who were proceeded against in the Star Chamber by the Chaplain and Curate of Rattre (Rattery) Church. Some manuscript notes very kindly sent to me by Mr Herbert Gibbs give a good instance of the light-hearted manner in which it was possible to break and make the peace in a country district about the year 1517. The Church of Rattery claimed that William Gibbs owed L21 2s. 8d., and he claimed that the church owed him sixty-three shillings, and, putting into practice the adage that Possession is nine points of the law, he boldly took out of the church 'a yron boxe locked with two lockes,' and helped himself to the money. The complainants brought their case to be tried before the Bishop of Exeter and several justices, but Andrew Hillersdon, son-in-law to William Gibbs, was among them, with the result that the only penalty imposed was to find surety for his good 'aberying' (bearing) of 100 marks. Although this was a very mild verdict, it infuriated the culprit, whose next step was to shear the Church lambs, and carry off '11 youes with their lambs'; and on the Thursday night before the Feast of St. Matthew he, with his son Thomas and many others, did 'then and there ryottusly assemble theym togeders to kyll your said orators, leyin awayte,' and the said 'Thomas Gybbys with a swarde and a bokeler made a sawte' upon John Hals, ' ... so as the said John Hals was in danger of his lyf and toke the church and church yerde for his savegard and kept the same by the space of two hours.' His enforced vigil had the added bitterness that, according to the complainants, he had had no previous quarrel of any kind with his assailant. But this demonstration was not enough to satisfy the Gibbses, and the next Sunday they came again to Rattery 'in manner of a new insurrection with twenty-three persons and above,' and with such a fierce aspect that they caused 'great feer and dreed' to their neighbours, who in alarm of worse to come warned 'your said orators ... to kepe them absent from their said church and from their divine service, and so they dyd.' The complainants now evidently felt that the time for definite action on their part had come, and the case was eventually carried before the 'Lord Cardinall, Chancellor of England,' but the account of the proceedings does not give his verdict.

Returning to the river, Dartington Hall, the beautiful home of the Champernownes, is soon reached. Dartington was originally the gift of the Conqueror to William de Falaise, and passed through the hands of the Lords Audley and of John Holland, Duke of Exeter, half-brother of Richard II, before Sir Arthur Champernowne exchanged for it the lordship of Polslo, and settled here in the reign of Elizabeth. And now, says Westcote, 'it glories in the knightly tribe of Champernowne.' Originally Dartington consisted of two large quadrangles, but one has long been in ruins. The most striking feature is the hall, which is seventy feet long and forty feet wide, and has pointed windows, a huge old fireplace, and a porch with a groined ceiling. This dates from the fourteenth century, and part of the quadrangle, together with the gateway at the south end, is early fourteenth-century work.

The Champernownes are a very ancient and distinguished family, though Prince complains that their 'actions and exploits for the greatest part is devoured by time.' Sir Arthur Champernowne was 'a good soldier and an eminent commander in the Irish wars' of the sixteenth century, and was conspicuous for his zeal and valour. Prince gives an odd little bit of gossip about an heiress of this family. He says she was 'a frolic lady,' and no unusual epithet could be more descriptive; for the lady 'married William Polglas, within three days after her father's death; and within two days after her husband Polglas's death, she was married again unto John Cergeaux!'

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth Mr Henry Champernowne headed one hundred gentleman volunteers, who, with the Queen's permission, went to help the cause of the 'Protestant Princes' in France; and it is interesting to learn that Sir Walter Raleigh, then seventeen years old, was one of this company.

The Champernownes of Dartington were, however, only a younger branch of the family. The elder branch lived 'in great splendour' at Modbury. A story is told about them of which, perhaps, the most accurate version may be found in Britton and Brayley's 'Beauties of England and Wales': 'Tradition speaks very highly ... of the magnificent manner in which the Champernownes lived, and particularly of their keeping a very fine band of singers and musicians, which band, if report may be credited, was the occasion of the family's ruin, "for that Mr Champernowne taking it on the Thames in the time of Queen Elizabeth, her Majesty was so delighted with the music, that she requested the loan of it for a month; to which Mr Champernowne, aware of the improbability of its ever returning, would not consent, saying that he 'hoped her Majesty would allow him to keep his fancy.' The Queen was so highly exasperated at this refusal, that she found some pretence to sue him at law, and ruin him, by obliging him, in the course of the proceedings, to sell no fewer than nineteen manors." This anecdote, at least the circumstance of the sale of the nineteen manors about the above period, is in a great degree confirmed by the title-deeds of some lands in and about Modbury.'

A very short distance to the south lies the ancient and very picturesque town of Totnes, in which, from the round Norman keep at its crown, to the river winding round the foot of the hill, witnesses to the past are jostling against tokens of the present time.

When Leland journeyed through it, the town already gave the idea of having passed its meridian, and his words are clear and concise: 'The Castelle of Totnes standith on the hille North West of the Towne. The Castell waulis and the stronge Dungeon be maintained. The Loggingis of the Castelle be clene in Ruine.'

The early chroniclers go back gloriously into the dim mists of antiquity for the origin of Totnes, and when no carping critics insisted on analyzing popular history and distilling all the romance out of it, the story of the town was very fine indeed. The founder of Totnes, then, was Brutus of Troy, who after long wanderings arrived in this charming bit of country, and on this hill made the great announcement:

'Here I stand, and here I rest, And this place shall be called Totnes.'

Moreover, the stone that he stepped ashore upon is still here, and the Mayor stands on it whenever it is his duty to proclaim a new Sovereign.

The claims of Totnes have been set forth with no undue modesty. 'It hath flourished, and felt also the storms of affliction, under Britons, Romans, Saxons, and Normans. To speak somewhat of the antiquity thereof, I hope I shall take no great pains to prove it (and that without opposition) the prime town of Great Britain.' Its history is taken in grand strides. Having explained that the coming of Brutus was held by some to be contemporary with the rule of Eli as high-priest in Israel, the writer continues: 'The first conqueror Brutus gave this town and the two provinces, Devon and Cornwall, then but one, to his cousin and great assistant, Corinoeus, as is well known; whereof the western part is (as they say) called Cornwall; who peopled it with his own regiment; and being an excellent wrestler, as you have heard, trained his following in the same exercises; whereof it comes that the western men in that sport win the mastery and game wheresoever they come.... The second conqueror, William of Normandy, bestowed this town, together with Dartmouth and Barnstaple, on a worthy man named Judaeel.'

The space of time between the first and second 'conquerors' does not seem to strike the historian as a rather wide gap, and the doings of the one and the other are related with almost equal confidence and with the same air of authority.

Judhael de Totnes is supposed to have built the castle, and although only the walls of the round keep now remain, the trouble of the long climb up to it is well repaid by the lovely view that is gained from the ruin. Fertility and abundance seem to be the characteristics of the land, and the ridiculous suggestion that the town's name has been corrupted from Toute-a-l'aise is one shade less absurd, because that title would be so very appropriate. Here and there a silver gleam shows where the river runs between heavily wooded banks. To the east a green and smiling country of gentle hills and valleys leads to that shade of past splendour, the Castle of Berry Pomeroy; and far away to the north-west, it is possible to see the high, sharp tors on Dartmoor. Looking straight down, the uneven roofs seem tumbled over one another in a way that suggests that different ages have casually showered them into the little town.

Totnes received its first charter from King John, and there are few older boroughs in the country. Originally a walled town, Fore Street is still crossed by the East Gate, which has been rebuilt in comparatively modern times. Within is a room decorated by an early Renaissance frieze and 'linen-pattern' panelling. The upper stories of some of the old houses project over the lower ones, and in the High Street they jut quite across the pavements, and rest upon columns, making piazzas or covered ways along the street. Such piazzas are very uncommon in England, but there is a short one, called the Butter Walk, at Dartmouth.

The church is a very fine Perpendicular building, of a warm rose colour, and it has a high battlemented tower from which three figures look out of their niches. Some very grotesque gargoyles peer down from the roof at intervals. The great treasure of the church is its screen, carved so finely that the pattern seems like lacework, and it is difficult to realize that it can be of stone. The main lines of the carving curve and spread upwards almost like the lines of palm-leaves, and the screen is coloured and gilded. There is another beautiful and delicate, though less elaborate, bit of carving which divides a little chapel from the south side of the chancel. Under the tower arch is a curious monument to Christopher Blackhall, who died in 1635, and his four wives, who are kneeling one behind the other. The dates of their deaths are very clearly marked by the different fashions of their dresses—a compact and upstanding ruff adds to the stiff precision of the first wife's appearance; while the sloping lines of a 'Vandyke' collar embellish the dress of the fourth.

On the north side of the church stands the old Guildhall, and in front of it another tiny piazza, bordered by granite pillars. Inside 'linen-pattern' panelling lines the walls; there are carved seats all round the upper end, and in the council-chamber beyond are some fragments of fine moulding.

Before leaving the town, a curious custom practised in the eighteenth century must be mentioned—that of taking dogs to help in catching salmon. Defoe came here in his travels in the West, and saw the fish being caught. The fish, he says, in the flowing tide swim into a 'cut, or channel,' which has a 'grating of wood, the cross-bars of which ... stand pointing inward towards one another.... We were carried thither at low water, where we saw about fifty or sixty small salmon, about seventeen to twenty inches long, which the country people call salmon-peel,' caught by putting in a net at the end of a pole. 'The net being fixed at one end of the place, they put in a dog (who was taught his trade beforehand) at the other end of the place, and he drives all the fish into the net, so that, only holding the net still in its place, the man took up two or three and thirty salmon-peel at the first time.' He finishes the story by saying that they bought some for dinner at twopence apiece. 'And for such fish, not at all bigger, and not so fresh, I have seen six and sixpence each given at a London fish-market.'

The river leaves Totnes in broad, sweeping curves between the hills, and rolls on past the lovely woods of Sharpham, and on its course to Dartmouth passes the early homes of two men who each played a part in English history. At Sandridge, close to the river, lived Captain John Davies, or Davis, whose name is familiar as the discoverer of Davis's Straits. Prince, who himself lived not far away, takes the fascination of Dartmouth, and the longing for the sea that Dartmouth seemed to inspire, as quite natural, and says casually that, living so near this town, 'Mr Davis had ... a kind of invitation, to put himself early to sea.'

These were in the days when the Merchant Adventurers were at the height of their importance and prosperity, and it was in the hope of opening up a trade for the woollen goods of the West-country with India and China that Captain Davis set out to look for the North-West Passage.

To face all the hazards of this journey, so very far away from civilization, and the perils and shocks that might await him in the frozen North, he fitted out a little fleet which consisted of the 'Barke Sunneshine, of London, fifty tunnes, and the Moonshine, of Dartmouth, thirty-five tunnes, the ship Mermayd, of a hundred and twenty tunnes, and a pinesse of tenne tunnes named the North Starre.'[5] But in spite of this name of good augury the little pinnace never came home again, and one can only admire with awe the daring that ventured to sail a boat of ten tons across the boisterous Atlantic into the unknown Arctic Seas. Traces of Davis's wanderings along the coasts of North America may still be found in the names he bestowed on different points. 'On sighting first the land, he named the bay which he entered after his friend, Gilbert Sound; we find also Exeter Sound, Totnes Roads, Mount Raleigh, and other familiar titles. A few years later John Davis found the right course to India and China, and introduced the trade from this country which exists to the present time.'

[Footnote 5: 'An Elizabethan Guild of the City of Exeter,' by William Cotton.]

A greater man than Davis lived farther down the river at Greenaway, opposite the pretty village of Dittisham, which, with its strip of beach and ferry, looks as if it had been 'made for a picture.' Sir Humphrey Gilbert, stepbrother to Sir Walter Raleigh, was a great man to whom Fortune was not overkind, but his 'virtues and pious intentions may be read ... shining too gloriously to be dusked by misfortune.' His aims were higher than the hopes that stirred most of his contemporaries, and of his 'noble enterprizes the great design ... was to discover the remote countries of America, and to bring off those savages from their diabolical superstitions, to the embracing the gospel.' He made two efforts to graft a colony with little success, but his third effort was rather happier; and having left Devonshire in June, 1583, he 'sailed to Newfoundland and the great river of St Laurence in Canada; which he took possession of, and seized the same to the crown of England, and invested the Queen in an estate for two hundred leagues in length by cutting a turf and rod after the antient custom of England.' From the developments of that great country that are now taking place, it cannot but be interesting to look back along the vista of years to this very simple ceremony.

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