Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.
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A weekly market at Paignton, and a fair for three days, at the festival of the Holy Trinity, were granted to the Bishop of Exeter in 1294. (fn. n28) There is now a holiday-fair on the Tuesday in Whitsun-week.
Paignton was, from ancient times, parcel of the demesnes of the see of Exeter. The bishops had a palace here, a small remain of which is still to be seen. The manor was alienated from the see by Bishop Veysey, who conveyed it by royal requisition to William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Philip Earl of Pembroke sold it, in the year 1644, to Sir Henry Cary, of Cockington, who, having been ruined by the civil war, was obliged to dispose of it in 1654, and it was purchased the same year of the persons to whom he had conveyed it, by Samuel Kelland, Esq. The manor and borough of Paignton, including the manors of Goodrington and Westerland, after the death of Charles Kelland Courtenay, Esq., passed to his co-heiresses, married to the Earl of Cork, and Mr. Poyntz, of whose representatives the estate was purchased at several times by the Templer family, and the above-mentioned manors are now vested in George Templer, Esq., of Stover, and the Rev. John Templer, of Lindridge. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n29)
The manor of Collaton Kirkham, and the barton of Blagdon, belonged to the ancient family of Dacus, or Le Deneis. Sir Robert Le Deneis, in the reign of Edward I., bequeathed them to Sir Nicholas Kirkham, who had married one of his sisters. The heiress of Kirkham brought these estates to Sir George Blount, Bart., of Sodington, of whose representatives they were purchased by M. Parker, Esq., the present proprietor.
The manor of Preston belongs to the precentor of Exeter cathedral, to whom the great tithes of the parish belong, having been appropriated, by Bishop Quivil, in the reign of Edward I. (fn. n30)
In the parish-church are some ancient monuments of the Kirkham family; an escutcheon inscribed, "Here lyeth the heart and bowels of the Right Honourable, most worthy, and highly esteemed John Snellen, Rear Admiral of Holland, 1691;" and memorials for Matthew Finney, Esq., 1731; Protodorus Finney, Esq., of Blagdon, 1734; Allan Belfield, Esq., 1800; and Thomas Willes, M.D., 1809. Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., George Templer, Esq., and the Rev. John Templer, are patrons of the vicarage, having each a presentation in turn. Sir Henry Northcote purchased one-third of the advowson of Kelland Courtenay, Esq., in 1735: the remainder was purchased with the manor, &c.
John Kelland, Esq., in 1692, gave the sum of 100l. for instructing poor children of this parish in reading: this money having been laid out in land, is said to produce now only 4l. per annum. Mr. Allan Belfield above mentioned gave 1000l., 3 per cents., for the endowment of a school for 20 children, to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic.
William Adams, a native of this parish, buried at Paignton in 1687, was one of the five persons whose extraordinary escape from slavery at Algiers, and wonderful preservation in an open boat, in their passage to the coast of Spain, are related in Wanley's Wonders of the little World.
PANCRAS WEEK, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of Holsworthy, lies on the borders of Cornwall, about three miles and a half from Holsworthy. The small villages of Kingford, Dunsdon, and Dexbeer, are in this parish.
The manor belonged, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to William Brewer; it was afterwards in the family of Dennis, who had a seat here in the reign of Henry II., and continued to possess the manor for several descents. From them it passed, by successive female heirs, to Ferrers, Poinings, Bonville, and Copleston. The Peryams having purchased it of Copleston, this manor fell to the lot of the two younger daughters of Sir William Peryam, married to Dockwra and Williams. It is now the property of the Rev. Thomas Hooper Morrison, who inherits it from the Orchards. This manor is held under the duchy of Lancaster. The church of Pancras Week was given by William Lord Brewer to Tor Abbey, to which the great tithes were appropriated. They are now vested in the Rev. Roger Kingdon. Pancras Week is a daughter-church to Bradworthy: it was originally only a chapel.
PARKHAM, in the hundred of Shebbear and in the deanery of Hertland, lies about six miles from Bideford. The villages of Horn's Cross, Calbacot, East Goldsworthy, Broad Parkham, Holywell, Buckish Mills, and Ash, are in this parish.
The manor was anciently in the family of Belston, whose co-heiresses brought it in shares to Speccot, Fulford, and Chamberlain. Two parts, which became vested in Speccot, were sold to Sir John Beaumont in 1373: having descended by a female heir to Basset, these parts were sold to the Rolle family, and are now vested in the Right Honourable Lord Rolle. The other third continued in the Fulfords in Sir William Pole's time. It is probable that this formed a manor which was some time in the Molesworth family, and has been sold in parcels.
The barton of Halsbury gave name to a family whose heiress, in the reign of Edward I., brought it to the Giffards. It was purchased of that family by the Davies of Orleigh, and of them by the late Edward Lee, Esq.: under his bequest it is now the property of William Lee Hanning, Esq. who is to take the name of Lee.
Bableigh, in this parish, was the ancient residence of the Risdons, who possessed it till after the middle of the last century: it was sold in 1760, under a decree in Chancery, relating to the property of Mr. Giles Risdon, deceased, to Mr. Hiern, of whom it was purchased by the late John Trehawke, Esq., and is now the property of his devisee and heir-at-law, Samuel Kekewich, Esq., of Peamore. The manor of Goldsworthy, which had been for many descents the property and residence of the family of Gay, was conveyed by them to the Coffins before Risdon wrote his survey, and is now the property of Richard Pine Coffin, Esq.
In the parish-church are memorials of the families of Fortescue (fn. n1), Cholwill (fn. n2), Risdon (fn. n3), and Berry (fn. n4); A. Gifford, Esq., 1595, and Thomas Saltren, Esq., 1753. The Rev. Richard Walter is patron and incumbent of the rectory.
Parracombe belonged anciently to the barons of Barnstaple, under whom it was held by the St. Albyns in the reign of Edward I. This ancient family had then, and for some centuries, a seat at Parracombe, which still belongs to the family, being now the property of Lawrence St. Albyn, Esq., of Alfoxton, in Somersetshire, who is also patron of the rectory.
The manor of Rowley, which had been a considerable time in the family of Lock, now belongs to its heiress Mrs. Roach. The manor of Medland, or Middleton, belonged successively to the families of Bernefield and Weston; afterwards to the Courtenays, earls of Devon. It is now the property of Mr. William Dovell. On an estate called Holywell, now belonging to George A. Barbor, Esq., is a circular mound called the Castle.
In the parish-church are some memorials of the family of Lock. (fn. n5)
Peahembury, or Peyhembury
PEAHEMBURY, or PEYHEMBURY, in the hundred of Hayridge and in the deanery of Plymtree, lies about six miles from Honiton. The villages of Cheriton, Upton, Tale, and part of Colstocks, are in this parish.
The manor of Peahembury belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of Gifford, from whom it passed, by female heirs, to those of Stanton and Crewkerne. It was afterwards in the family of Prous. The manor, or reputed manor, now belongs to John Venn, Esq. The manor of Upton Prudhome, in this parish, belonged anciently to the family of Prudhome, one of whose co-heiresses, in the reign of Edward II., brought it to the Whitings, and a co-heiress of Whiting to Ashford. The chief part of this estate belonged, in 1773, to the Venns: John Venn, Esq., is now considered as lord of the manor.
The manor of Cokesputt, now Coxpitt, which had belonged to the nuns of Polesloe, was granted by King Henry VIII. to Thomas Goodwin, whose daughter brought it to Stump. This manor and Morden were afterwards, for several generations, in the family of Wright. They are now the property of Sir John Kennaway, Bart., who possesses also the manor of Tale, which had belonged to Ford Abbey, having been given to that monastery by Joscelyn de Pomeray. After the dissolution, it was successively in the families of Goodwin, Sanders, Pyne, Wyndham, and Bampfylde, before it was purchased by the Kennaway family.
Leyhill, the seat of a branch of the Willoughby family, passed by marriage to Trevelyan. Having been purchased of Sir John Trevelyan, Bart., by Francis Rose Drewe, Esq., it is now the property of William Drewe, Esq. The mansion at Leyhill, with the chapel, was built by the Willoughbys: it was occasionally inhabited by the Trevelyans, and is now fitted up as a farm-house. The manor of Long Rewe is the property also of William Drewe, Esq.
In the parish-church, a handsome Gothic structure, with an elegant screen, is the monument of Mrs. Dorothy Goswell, 1745. The church of Peahembury was appropriated to the abbey of Ford. (fn. n6) The great tithes, except a portion with which the vicarage is endowed, are now vested in Wadham Wyndham, Esq., M.P. The Rev. Timothy Terry Jackson is patron and incumbent of the vicarage.
The ancient entrenchment, called Hembury Fort, is in this parish. A mansion near this spot, and bearing the same name, was built by the late Admiral Samuel Graves, a distinguished officer, inventor of the life-boat (fn. n7), who resided and died there in 1787. It is now the property of Admiral Richard Graves, but at present unoccupied.
Petersmarland, or Petermerland
The manor was, at an early period, in the family of Marshall, from which it passed successively to Northcote and Cervington. The only manor now known in the parish is called Twigbear, and is vested in the executors of the late Joseph Oldham, Esq. In the parish-church are memorials of the family of Stevens of Winscot. (fn. n8) Thomas Stevens, Esq., is impropriator of the tithes, which belonged formerly to the priory of Frithelstock, and patron of the curacy.
NORTH PETHERWYN, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of Trigg Major (being within the archdeaconry of Cornwall), lies surrounded by Cornwall on the west side of the Tamar, about five miles from Launceston. Holscot, Brassacot, and Maxworthy, are villages in this parish.
This parish lies within the manor of Werrington, belonging to the Duke of Northumberland. The barton of North Petherwin belonged to the Yeos, who resided there for many generations. The heiress of Leonard Yeo, Esq., who died in 1741, brought this estate to the family of Herring. It is now the property and residence of Dennis Kingdon, Esq., major of the 80th regiment of foot, who possesses it in right of his wife, only daughter and heir of Leonard Herring, Esq., who died in 1798.
In the parish-church are memorials of the family of Yeo (fn. n9); and a tablet for Grace, wife of Arthur Secomb, of Widworthy, Gent., (daughter of Bligh of Carnadon,) 1619: his second wife was daughter of Pomeroy of Ingsdon, by one of the co-heiresses of Hengescott. The Duke of Bedford is patron of the vicarage, and impropriator of the great tithes.
Petrockstow, or Stow St. Petrock
The manor of Petrockstow is recorded among the possessions of the abbot and convent of Buckfast, in the Domesday survey. They possessed it also in the reign of Edward I., when it is upon record, that, as lords of the manor, they had the power of inflicting capital punishment (fn. n10) : but I cannot find that there is now any manor of Petrockstow so called.
The manor of Heanton Sachville, in this parish, belonged to the ancient family of Sachville, from the reign of Richard I. to that of Henry III.: afterwards to the Killegrews; by an alliance with which family it came to the Yeos, in the beginning of the reign of Edward III. The heiress of Yeo brought this estate to a younger son of the Rolles of Stevenstone, the heiress of which branch was married, in 1724, to Robert Walpole, the second Earl of Orford. After the death of George, Earl of Orford, in 1791, Heanton Sachville passed, with the barony of Clinton and Say, to George William Trefusis, Esq., and is now the property of his son, the present Lord Clinton, who possesses also the manor of Hall, in this parish.
Heanton Sachville, which was some time a seat of the Rolles, and afterwards of the Earls of Orford, was burnt down several years ago: a farm-house has been fitted up out of the ruins. The deer-park is still kept up. Merland, in this parish, belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of Zoch; from whom it passed, by marriage, to the Fitzwarrens. The heiress of Aylmer Fitzwarren, who lived in the reign of Henry V., married William Davailes, or Davells, of Badeston, which family, in consequence, removed their residence to Merland. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the heiress of Davells brought this estate to the Harrisses. It is now the property and residence of Mr. James Bonifant.
In the parish-church are memorials of the Rolle family (fn. n11); Richard Eveleigh, rector of Peter Tavy and Bratton, 1637; and Catherine, wife of John Mallet, 1810. The advowson of the rectory, called in ecclesiastical records, Stow St. Petrock, alias Petrockstow, alias Heanton, has passed with the manor.
In the year 1345, a market on Tuesday, at Pilton, and a fair for two days at the festival of St. Matthew, was granted to the prior of Pilton. (fn. n12)
The manor of Pilton belonged to a priory of Benedictines at this place, which was a cell to Malmesbury Abbey. It is enumerated among the possessions of that monastery in Pope Innocent's confirmation, A.D. 1248. (fn. n13) The priory of Pilton had only three monks in it, besides the prior, at the time of the dissolution, when its revenues were estimated at 56l. 12s. 8¼d. per annum. The site of the priory and the manor were granted to the Chichester family, who continued to possess it for several generations: this estate was afterwards in the Sydenhams, whose heiress brought it to Northmore. Of late years it was in the Incledon family. The site of the priory is now, by purchase from Robert Newton Incledon, Esq., the property of John Whyte, Esq., who resides here in a modern-built mansion.
Joel, son of Alured, Earl of Britanny, gave the manor of Pulchress, and the barton of Bradiford, to the priory of Barnstaple. This estate is now the property of Lord Rolle. Ralegh, in this parish, gave name to, and was the original seat of the ancient family of Ralegh. After eight descents, the heiress of the elder branch brought the manor of Ralegh to the Chichesters. From them it passed, by successive sales, to Champneys and Hooper. The heiress of the latter married Basset, of whose descendant it was purchased by Robert Newton Incledon, Esq., the present proprietor. Ralegh House is, or was lately, occupied as a woollen manufactory, for flannel, worsted stockings, &c. Little Ralegh belongs to George Acland Barbor, Esq., of Fremington.
Pilland, in this parish, belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the Clavells; afterwards to a family who took their name from this, the place of their residence. The heiress of Pilland, after a few descents, brought it to Brett. Sir Alexander Brett sold it to John Woolton, who was made Bishop of Exeter in 1579: his son, Dr. Woolton, resided at Pilland. It is now the property of Thomas Wrey Harding, Esq., of Upcott. Westaway, in this parish, was for a considerable time the property and residence of the Lethbridge family. It was sold in 1817, by Sir T. B. Lethbridge, Bart., to John Whyte, Esq., the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are monuments, or other memorials, of the families of Chichester (fn. n14), Rogers (fn. n15), Lethbridge (fn. n16), and Incledon (fn. n17); Alexander Brett, Esq., 1536; John Downe, Gent., 1627; George Hume, fifty years a schoolmaster, said to have sent 500 young men to the University, ob. 1693; William Powell Matthews, Esq., 1795; Robert Harding, Esq., 1804; and Josiah Crane, Esq., 1813. The tithes, which had been appropriated to the priory, passed with the priory estate: they have been, for the most part, sold to the land proprietors; Mr. Incledon having reserved those of his own estate, with the patronage of the curacy.
There was formerly a chantry chapel at Ralegh, founded by the Chichesters, which had an endowment of 4l. 12s. 4d. per annum. (fn. n18) An ancient hermitage, at Pilton, is mentioned in Mr. Oliver's History of Exeter.
The hospital of St. Margaret, at Pilton, which was founded for lepers, of both sexes, before the year 1191, still exists, although the benevolent purpose for which it was founded is happily become in a manner obsolete. This hospital having been too insignificant to attract particular notice at the Reformation, was disposed of as part of the possessions of the priory of Pilton; and having passed through various hands, is now vested in the parish feoffees. It has always been kept up as an hospital; the members are appointed by the name of prior, brethren, and sisters; they act as a corporate body, and grant leases of their little possessions, under their old seal, receiving the fines and conventionary rents, which amount to about 3l. per annum, to their own use. (fn. n19) The chapel of St. Margaret, which belonged to this hospital, has been converted into a dwelling-house.
PINHOE, in the hundred of Wonford and in the deanery of Aylesbeare, lies about two miles from Exeter. The villages of Monkton, or Monkerton, Pinpound, Langaton, Herrington, and Wotton, are in this parish.
A great battle was fought at Pinhoe, in the year 1001, in which King Ethelred's army was defeated with great slaughter; the Danes burnt Pinhoe, Broad Clist, and other neighbouring villages. (fn. n20)
The manor of Pinhoe, which had been part of the royal demesne, belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to Robert de Vallibus, or De Vaux, whose heiress brought it to Sir Robert Multon. The heiress of Sir John Multon, a younger son of this family, brought Pinhoe to Sir John Strech, from whose heirs it passed, by successive marriages, to Cheney and Walgrave. Sir William Pole speaks of the manor as having been in his time lately sold piecemeal. The manor-house was a seat successively of the families of Strech and Cheney. In 1655, the barton belonged to William Kirkham, Esq. (fn. n21) It was afterwards a seat of the Elwills, baronets, and is now the property of Mrs. Freemantle, daughter of the last baronet of that family.
In the church-yard is the tomb of the Rev. James Coneybeare, vicar, 1706. The vicarage-house commands a rich and extensive prospect over Exeter, with a distant sea-view. The great tithes of this parish are appropriated to the dean and chapter of Exeter. The bishop is patron of the vicarage.
PLYMOUTH, a large sea-port borough and market-town, in the hundred of Roborough and deanery of Plympton, is situated at the extreme southwest corner of the county, between the estuaries of the Tamar and the Plym, (from which it takes its name,) forty-three miles from Exeter, and two hundred and sixteen from London.
The old name of this town was Sutton, (i.e. the South-town,) and it was divided into the town of Sutton Prior, part of the hamlet of Sutton Valletort, and the tithing of Sutton Ralph. It had been occasionally called Plymouth, as early as the year 1383, as appears by a record of that date. The petition to parliament, of 1411, speaks of the town of Sutton as otherwise called Plymouth; and the subsequent act, of 1439, declares that the town, tithing, and part of the hamlet above mentioned, should constitute the borough of Plymouth.
Leland, who had the authority probably of some monastic record, says that, in the reign of Henry II., this town was "a mene thing as an inhabitation for fischars." Before the year 1253 it had grown to be of so much importance, that a market was established in it. The petition of 1411 describes Plymouth as a great port for the harbour of vessels, and speaks of the town as defenceless, and adds, that it had been frequently destroyed by the enemy in time of war. We have it on record that, in 1338, the French attacked Plymouth, and attempted to burn it, but that it was relieved, and the enemy put to flight with great loss, by Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon. In 1350 the French, after burning Teignmouth, attempted Plymouth, but finding it then well defended they destroyed "the farms and fair places" in the neighbourhood. (fn. n22) In 1377 the town was burnt by the French, plundered in 1400, and again plundered and burnt in 1403, when six hundred houses are said to have been destroyed. (fn. n23) After an interval of nearly 30 years, the petition of the townsmen was granted, and among other privileges they had the grant of a toll on all merchandize, to enable them to build walls and towers, and to fortify the town.
In 1512 an act of parliament passed for fortifying Plymouth, and other sea-port towns in the west. In 1520 Bishop Lacey granted an indulgence to all such persons as should contribute to the fortifications at Plymouth. (fn. n24) Leland, who visited it in the reign of Henry VIII., says, "the mouth of the gulph, where the shippes of Plymmouth lyith, is waullid on eche side and chained over in tyme of necessitie; on the south-west side of the mouth is a block-house, and on a rocky hill hard by it is a strong castle quadrate, having on eche corner a great round tower. It seemeth to be no very old peace of worke." It is probable that it was first built soon after the act of 1439, but additional security having been deemed necessary, it appears that it was resolved to fortify the little adjoining island, and to convert an ancient chapel thereon into a bulwark. Camden calls this island St. Michael's; indeed it appears that although, in ancient histories, it is described as the island of St. Nicholas, yet the chapel was dedicated to St. Michael. It is stated in the proceedings of the privy council, that on the 28th of March, 1548, a letter was written to the mayor of Plymouth and his brethren, "mervelinge of their unwillingness to proceede in the fortifyinge of St. Michaelles chappelle to be made a bulwarke, and when they allege the pluckinge down of that chappelle to the foundacion, they were answered, the same beinge made upp againe with a wall of turfe, should neither be of less efecte or strength, nor yet of such great coste as they intended, and therefore eftsones the lordes desired them like good subjectes to goe in hande with that worke accordinglie, as they might therby be esteemed that they tender the Kinges Maties. pleasure, and their owne sureties and defence chiefeste." (fn. n25) Westcote says that the island of St. Nicholas was a place of refuge to divers gentlemen in the insurrection of 1549, when it seems that the insurgents plundered and set fire to Plymouth; for he observes that the evidences of the borough were burnt. (fn. n26)
The present citadel at Plymouth was built on the site of the old fort, at the east end of the Hoe, after the Restoration, by King Charles II., who went to see it in 1670. It consists of three regular and two irregular bastions, with ravelins and hornworks, and is inhabited by the Lieutenant-Governor and other officers, and a garrison of invalids. There are several block-houses and batteries in the neighbourhood of Plymouth; but the chief security of the harbour consists in the fortifications on the island of St. Nicholas.
The Spanish Armada appeared off Plymouth in 1588, when Don Medina, the Spanish Admiral, in the confidence of conquest, is said to have selected Mount Edgecumbe for his future residence. The port of Plymouth equipped seven ships against this formidable fleet and one flyboat, being a greater number than was furnished by any port except London. (fn. n27) Plymouth was the grand rendezvous of the fleet, previously to the successful expedition to Cadiz in 1596, when 150 sail assembled in this port; the land-forces being mustered and trained every day by their officers. The Earl of Essex and the Earl of Nottingham were in joint command of this expedition. Lord Thomas Howard was Vice-Admiral of the fleet, and Sir Walter Ralegh Rear-Admiral. (fn. n28) The Earl of Essex also sailed from hence on the unfortunate Irish expedition, which caused his disgrace and death.
During the whole of the civil war, Plymouth was in the hands of the parliament, who retained it even at a time when all the west was in the possession of the royal forces. Soon after the commencement of the war, the Earl of Ruthen was appointed governor, and Sir Alexander Carew had the command of the fort and the island of St. Nicholas. Various attempts were made by the royalists to gain possession of this important post. Sir Ralph Hopton appeared before it in the month of December, 1642, but was driven from his quarters by the Earl of Stamford. (fn. n29) It having been discovered in the September following, that Sir Alexander Carew was on the point of betraying his trust, he was sent a prisoner to London, and suffered death on Tower-hill.
About the beginning of September, 1643, Colonel Digby was sent with a considerable force of horse and foot to blockade Plymouth, and took up his quarters at Plymstock. The blockading army had batteries at Oreston and Mount Batten, and a guard at Hoo. (fn. n30) Early in October they planned an attack on Mount Stamford, a fort so called after the parliamentary General, the Earl of Stamford. Their guard at Hoo was defeated with much loss by a party from the garrison on the 8th (fn. n31); about which time Prince Maurice, having captured Dartmouth, advanced with his whole army to besiege Plymouth. The Prince's head-quarters were at Widey House, and his army was stationed at Plympton, Plymstock, Causand, Egg Buckland, Tamerton (fn. n32), &c. On the fifth of November Mount Stamford was taken by the besiegers, and the fort at Lipson attempted, but not with equal success. On this occasion it appears that Colonel James Wardlaw, then governor of Plymouth, took possession of the fort and island of St. Nicholas, with the castle and magazine, then under the charge of the mayor, and intrusted them to approved parliamentary officers. All the inhabitants of the town were then required to take a vow and protestation to defend the towns of Plymouth and Stonehouse, the fort and island to the uttermost, and this protestation was sent up and registered in parliament. (fn. n33) On the 3d of December the royalists took a fort at Lory Point, but were repulsed afterwards by the garrison in a sally, and the fort was retaken. (fn. n34) On the 18th of the same month an attempt was made to storm the town, but the besiegers appear to have been repulsed with great loss, and the siege was raised on the 25th. (fn. n35) The town and garrison had a day of fasting and humiliation on the taking of Mount Stamford; a thanksgiving after the affair of Lory Point, and another after the siege was raised. Among the Devonshire officers engaged in the siege, were the Earl of Marlborough, Sir Thomas Hele, Sir Edmund Fortescue, and Sir P. Courtenay. (fn. n36) About the middle of April, 1644, Sir Richard Grenville advanced with his forces towards Plymouth, when Colonel Martin, then governor of the town, marched out with the greater part of the garrison, defeated him at St. Budeaux (fn. n37), and took two companies prisoners: about three days after, Sir Richard advanced again, but as it appears with no better success. (fn. n38) He was again repulsed before Plymouth in the month of July. (fn. n39) Colonel Kerr was made governor of Plymouth in that month. (fn. n40) About this time Prince Maurice again attempted the capture of Plymouth, but not succeeding in his intention, left Sir Richard Grenville with his forces to blockade the town. (fn. n41) About the last day of this month, the Earl of Essex approaching Plymouth with his army, Sir Richard Grenville abandoned the blockade, and Mount Stamford, which had been occupied by the royalists since its capture in the preceding November, fell into the Earl's hands. (fn. n42) After the surrender of Essex's army in Cornwall, the King came before Plymouth in person, on the 9th of September, 1644, attended by Prince Maurice; the King's quarters were near Magdalen fort (fn. n43); he himself occupied Widey House; Prince Maurice's quarters were near Lipson (fn. n44) works. The town, of which Lord Roberts was then governor, was summoned on the 11th, but refusing to surrender, it was determined, at a council of war, not to undertake an assault or close siege; and the blockade was again entrusted to Sir Richard Grenville. The King, with his army, left the quarters before Plymouth on the 14th. (fn. n45) About the 10th of January, 1645, an assault was made on the town by Sir Richard Grenville, who is said to have had, at that time, a force of 6000 men. After having so far succeeded as to have gained possession of the four great outworks, the garrison rallied; they were repulsed with great loss, and the outworks retaken. (fn. n46) Mount Stamford, having been again fortified by the royalists, was taken on the 18th of February (fn. n47), with 300 stand of arms, &c. Grenville was again defeated by the garrison on the 24th. In the month of May the town of Plymouth petitioned parliament to have Lord Roberts continued their governor. The petition was refused, and it was ordered that five of the principal persons of the town and neighbourhood should have the government, and that Colonel Kerr should be the military governor. (fn. n48) In the month of June the command of the blockade of Plymouth was taken from Sir Richard Grenville, and entrusted to Sir John Berkeley. (fn. n49) In September it was again given to General Digby. (fn. n50) Colonel Welden was made governor of Plymouth in October. (fn. n51) On the first or second of January, 1646, Canterbury fort (fn. n52), near Plymouth, is said to have been taken by the garrison (fn. n53); on the 10th of that month the blockade of Plymouth was finally abandoned. (fn. n54)
When the combined fleet was in the Channel, in 1779, and the prisonships were crowded with French and Spanish prisoners, great apprehensions having been entertained for the safety of the place, a corps of volunteers was raised with great promptitude by William Bastard, Esq., then one of the county members (fn. n55), and under their escort the prisoners were marched to Exeter. During the alarms of invasion, in 1798, 1803, &c., great exertions were made for the defence of Plymouth town and dock, but they were not attempted by the enemy.
The market at Plymouth was first granted in or about 1253, to be held on Thursday, with a fair for three days at the festival of St. John the Baptist. (fn. n56) In or about 1257 Baldwin de L'Isle had a grant for a market on Wednesday at Sutton, and a fair for three days at the festival of the Ascension. (fn. n57) In Westcote's time there were two market-days, Monday and Friday: there are now three, Monday and Thursday for corn, &c. &c., and Saturday for butchers' meat and other provisions. There are cattle-fairs on the first Monday in April, and the first Monday in November (fn. n58), and a great market on the second Thursday in every month.
Mr. William Cookworthy, of Plymouth, was the first person who found out the materials for manufacturing porcelain, as now practised at Worcester: his original experiments were made at Plymouth, where a manufacture was for a while established, but it was not at first successful (fn. n59), and it was not till after repeated trials at Plymouth and Bristol, nor till after its removal to Worcester, that it was brought to its present state of perfection. The principal manufactures now at Plymouth are those of sailcloth, soap, and Roman cement; the latter is of recent establishment.
Plymouth (by the name of Sutton) sent members to parliament in the reign of Edward I., but there was an intermission from the reign of Edward II. to that of Henry VI. The right of election is in the freemen, the present number of whom is supposed to be about 220. In 1570 the two celebrated naval officers and navigators, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir John Hawkins, were returned as burgesses in parliament for this borough. Sir John, who was a native of Plymouth, being son of Captain William Hawkins, himself a very gallant naval officer (fn. n60), was returned again the next year. Sir Francis Drake, who had been bred up under his patronage, and whose name became so distinguished, that the circumstance of his having sailed from this port, on his voyage round the world, is always spoken of as one of its claims to celebrity, was elected one of its burgesses in parliament in 1592. Sir Richard Hawkins (fn. n61), son of Sir John, who was also an eminent naval officer, and navigator to the South Seas, was returned one of the members for Plymouth, his native place, in 1603. Sergeant Maynard was one of the representatives for Plymouth during the whole of the reign of Charles II.
Plymouth was incorporated by the act of parliament of 1439. The corporation consists of a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 24 common-council-men, a recorder, town-clerk, &c. The mayor, his predecessor in office, and the two senior aldermen, are justices of the peace. By the above-mentioned act, the manor of Sutton Prior, which had belonged to the prior and convent of Plympton, by the gift probably of Walter de Valletort, (who bestowed on them the island of St. Nicholas,) was settled on the corporation with all its rights and jurisdictions, markets, &c. &c., subject to a payment of 40l. per annum to the convent, and 10 marks per annum to the prior and convent of Bath, pursuant to an arrangement made between them and the abbot and convent of Buckland, as lords of the hundred of Roborough. (fn. n62)
Plymouth has a large coasting trade, but no commercial concerns with foreign countries (fn. n63); the chief imports are coals, timber, wines, spirits, Irish provisions, grocery, corn, fruit, culme, tar, iron, glass, and earthen-ware; the exports consist of native produce, as lime, marble, granite, silver, copper, tin, and lead ores, slate, antimony, manganese, &c. Pilchards also, although there is no fishery at this town, are exported in great numbers, many of the inhabitants being concerned in the fisheries at Cawsand, Bigbury bay, and Port Wrinkle, a small fishing village in Whitsand bay.
Plymouth appears to have been a very populous town in the reign of Edward III. The Subsidy Roll of 1377, which was shortly after a great pestilence, records 4837 persons, of fourteen years or upwards, as having been then rated to a poll-tax, from which only mendicants and clergy were exempted. (fn. n64) It may fairly be supposed, therefore, that previously to the year of pestilence, Plymouth contained not less than 10,000 inhabitants. It could not have been so populous in 1547, when, as it appears by the Chantry Roll, there were only 2000 houseleyng inhabitants, that is capable of communicating, which, according to the usage of the church, they were supposed to be at fourteen years of age. The total number of inhabitants in the two parishes of Plymouth, in 1801, was 16,040; in 1811, 20,803 (fn. n65); and in 1821, 21,570.
As a sea-port Plymouth has, from an early period, been one of the principal places of rendezvous of the British navy. From this port Edward the Black Prince, after having been detained at Sutton by contrary winds 40 days, sailed, in 1355, on the successful expedition to France, which was crowned with the glorious battle of Poictiers; and here he landed on the first of May, 1357, with the French king, and his son, the Dauphin, as prisoners in his train. (fn. n66) Here landed, in 1470, the Earl of Warwick, with the Duke of Clarence, and the Earls of Pembroke and Oxford, to excite the revolt which caused the temporary restoration of King Henry VI. (fn. n67) The ill-fated Catherine of Arragon landed here in 1501; and from this port were fitted out the vessels of the Earl of Cumberland, Drake, Gilbert, Hawkins, Carlisle, Grenville, and Cavendish, when they set sail on their respective voyages of discovery. The celebrated Sir Martin Frobisher, who sailed also from this port, is said to have died and to have been buried at Plymouth, in 1594. (fn. n68) The much-injured Sir Walter Ralegh is said by some writers to have been arrested by Sir Lewis Stucly, the Vice-Admiral of Devon, on his landing at Plymouth, previously to the enforcing of the fatal but suspended sentence in 1618.
In the reign of Henry VIII. the inhabitants of Plymouth, Dartmouth, and other sea-ports in Cornwall and Devonshire, represented to parliament that their harbours were utterly ruined by the stream-works of the tinners, in consequence of immense quantities of rubbish having been carried down by the rivers on whose banks the said works were situated; that the mouths of the rivers were choked up, so that whereas formerly ships of 800 tons could enter the harbour at low water, ships of 100 tons could then scarcely enter. In consequence of this representation an act of parliament passed, in 1531, imposing heavy penalties on tinners who should carry on their works in the neighbourhood of any river communicating with the aforesaid sea-ports, without taking certain precautions for preventing the injury complained of. This act appears not to have been effective; for we find that in consequence of the harbour being still choked up with sand, &c., from the tin-mines, and on account of the great scarcity of fresh water at Plymouth, an act of parliament was obtained, in 1584, for making a canal from the river Meavy, for the purpose of cleansing the channel of the haven, and for a copious supply of fresh water, both for the use of the town and of the ships frequenting the harbour. The act is said to have been obtained by the influence and at the expense of Sir Francis Drake. (fn. n69) This canal, or as it is called leat of water, is vested in the corporation.
The famous harbour for the British navy is at Plymouth Dock, and is known by the name of Hamoaze. This harbour is four miles in length, and its depth, at low water, fifteen fathoms. Here is stationed the PortAdmiral's ship. In time of war, Hamoaze is the station of numerous hospital and prison ships; in time of peace, it is one of the principal depôts in which ships are laid up in ordinary. There are moorings in this harbour for ninety-two line of battle ships. At Plymouth are two harbours for merchant ships, called Catwater and Sutton Pool; and there is another at Stonehouse, called Stonehouse Pool. Catwater is at the confluence of the Plym, or rather the Plym passes through it to the sea; it is a large harbour, capable of receiving 1000 sail of ships; and in time of war is frequently filled with transports, captured vessels, and merchantmen detained by contrary winds, or waiting for convoy. The corporations of Plymouth and Saltash exercise jurisdiction in this harbour. A few years ago mooring chains were laid down by Lord Boringdon, now Earl of Morley, in this harbour, of which he is proprietor. His Lordship has also a wet dock, for the reception of ships of large burden, when requiring repair. Ships of war have occasionally been built there by the lessee. Sutton Pool harbour, which is nearly surrounded by the town of Plymouth, belongs to the duchy of Cornwall. The entrance to it from Catwater is between two large piers, erected between 1790 and 1800, ninety feet apart. This harbour is in the hands of lessees. On its side are several public and private quays. The fishing trawlers, upwards of forty in number, usually anchor in this harbour. These trawlers supply Plymouth with fish, great quantities of which are conveyed to the Bath market. Westcote speaks of the fishing-trade as having been carried on to a great extent in his time: he says that very often 100 sail of fishing vessels, and sometimes double that number, were to be seen in the harbour. (fn. n70)
The great national work of the Breakwater, for the protection of the British navy in Plymouth Sound, was begun is 1812, under the direction of Mr. Joseph Whidbey, who, in 1799, had projected a similar undertaking at Torbay. The first stone was laid on the 12th of August, 1812, since which period, to the month of July, 1821, there have been used in the work 1,930,000 tons of rock, procured from the neighbouring quarries at Oreston. The Breakwater is to extend 1000 yards in a straight line, with a kant at each end, of 350 yards in length, each taking an inclination from the straight line to the northward, or in-shore, of 10° of the great circle. The base will be about 290 feet, the breadth at the top 48 feet, and the length at the top 1700 yards. The whole is expected to be finished by the end of 1825.
The average depth of water, on the line where the Breakwater is placed, is 36 feet, at low water spring-tides: it is carried 20 feet in height above that, which is something higher than the general rise of spring tides. The Breakwater has a slope to seawards, of 22° from the horizontal line, and one of 33° towards the land. It is situated seaward, from the citadel of Plymouth, 1850 fathoms, with a good channel to sea at either end for the largest ships at any time of tide, and when completed, will make a good harbour for forty sail of the line, besides many smaller ships.
On the east side of the bay, at Staddon Point, there is erecting a pier, for the purpose of watering ships of war; and about 1200 yards inland (fn. n71) is a reservoir, containing 12,000 tons of water, which is carried in pipes to the pier, and from thence conveyed to the ships at anchor in the Sound. (fn. n72)
Plymouth gave the title of Earl to Charles Fitz Charles, a natural son of King Charles II., who died without issue in 1680. In 1682, the title was bestowed on Henry, Lord Windsor, ancestor of the present Earl of Plymouth.
There were convents both of White and Grey Friers at Plymouth, of which scarcely any thing is known, but their existence. The site of the Grey Friers, of which a very small part remains, was in Woolster-street; that of the White Friers was at the east end of the town, where some remains of the buildings are to be seen.
Plymouth was divided into two parishes, by virtue of an act of parliament passed in 1640. The new parish has since acquired the name of Charles. Its church, which was built after the Restoration, having been so called in honour of King Charles I.
In the old church of St. Andrew, are monuments of Jonathan Sparke, Esq., 1640; Jane, daughter of Sir Anthony Barker, of Sunning, Berks, wife of Edmund Fowell, Esq., 1640; Sir John Skelton, Lieut.-Governor of Plymouth, 1672; Captain Edmund Lechmere (fn. n73), 1703; James Yonge (fn. n74), M. D. F. R. S., 1721; Captain Philip de Saumarez (fn. n75), 1747; John Morshed, Esq., 1771; Digory Tonkin, Esq., 1788; Samuel Northcote, Esq., (father of the eminent artist of that name, who is a native of Plymouth,) 1791; John Mudge, M.D., 1793; Frances, daughter of Captain Thomas Troubridge, (afterwards Sir Thomas Troubridge, Bart.,) 1798; &c. &c. There is a memorial also for James Vernon, Esq., (only son of Admiral Vernon,) who died in 1753. The tower of this church was built by Thomas Yogge, merchant, in 1440.
Plymouth, or rather Sutton, was anciently a prebend in the collegiate church of Plympton. After that church was converted into a priory, the church of Sutton was appropriated to it. Since the Reformation, the impropriate tithes, together with the advowson of the vicarage, have been vested in the corporation. Zachary Mudge, vicar of St. Andrew's, who died in 1769, was author of a volume of sermons much admired; and an essay towards a new version of the Psalms; his son, Dr. John Mudge, who died in 1793, was for many years an eminent physician at Plymouth (fn. n76); he distinguished himself as well for his skill in mathematics as in medicine; he improved the construction of the reflecting telescope, and published treatises on the inoculated small pox, and on catarrhous coughs. His son, the late Major-General William Mudge, of the royal artillery, was a native of this place: inheriting the mathematical talents of his family, he had an opportunity of displaying them most conspicuously whilst conducting the great trigonometrical survey of the kingdom, under the auspices of government. General Mudge contributed several valuable scientific papers to the Philosophical Transactions; and to him, as Lieut.-Governor of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, the public are indebted for the excellent regulations by which that establishment is conducted.
A new church was begun to be built at Plymouth on the eve of the civil war, pursuant to an act of parliament passed in 1640. The building was suspended during the time of the troubles: on its completion, after the Restoration, it was dedicated to the memory of King Charles. The spire was added in 1765. A new parish was constituted by the above-mentioned act, comprising a considerable part of the town, the village of Lipson, and the tithing of Compton Giffard, so called from the ancient family of Giffard, to whom the manor belonged in the thirteenth century: it was afterwards in the Whitleghs of Efford. In 1770, it belonged to Mrs. Mary Coxe, of Peamore, by inheritance, probably, from the families of Northleigh and Tothill: it is now the property of the Earl of Morley.
In the year 1715, the Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists, had each a meeting-house at Plymouth; and there was a French church. (fn. n77) I find it extremely difficult, generally speaking, to give any thing like a correct account of the dissenting congregations of the present day; the dissenters, themselves, being by no means agreed as to the denominations of the several sects; it is by all allowed, however, that those of Presbyterians and Independents are grown obsolete, together with the circumstances which gave rise to them. I have, nevertheless, in most instances, been under the necessity of retaining them, from not knowing what names to substitute: indeed some very respectable persons among the dissenters approve of retaining the old names. Most of the Presbyterian congregations are become Unitarians, and some of the Independents; others, abandoning the name of Independents, call themselves moderate Calvinists; whilst many of the people who were called Methodists, not liking that appellation, and not belonging to any of the leading connections of the people so called, denominate themselves Independent Calvinists: of the latter description, there are several congregations at Plymouth Dock. I am indebted to the Rev. Mr. Worsley, the Unitarian minister, for being enabled to speak with accuracy of the several congregations of dissenters at Plymouth and the adjoining towns. One of the Presbyterian congregations now consists of Unitarians; the other of moderate Calvinists: the Baptists are divided into two congregations, Particular and Calvinistic. The Quakers have a meeting-house here, and the Wesleyan Methodists: the congregations of the old and new Tabernacle call themselves Independent Calvinists: the former was, originally, in Whitfield's connection, and the latter has generally been supplied by ministers from Lady Huntingdon's, and since, from Lady Erskine's College. Besides the above mentioned, there are meeting-houses of the Bryanites (fn. n78), and Baringites (fn. n79), and a Jews' synagogue.
Besides the eminent natives of Plymouth already mentioned, may be enumerated Sir Thomas Edmondes, the ambassador and political writer; John Glanville, author of the well-known "Treatise on Witchcraft," and various philosophical and other works; John Quick, an eminent non-conformist divine, author of a "History of the Reformation in France," and other works; Mrs. Parsons, author of above sixty volumes of novels, some of which were well received; the Rev. John Bidlake, D.D., master of the grammar-school, and the author of a volume of poems, and several volumes of sermons; and the learned Jacob Bryant, the mythologist. Camden speaks of Ealphegus, a learned priest, who flourished at Plymouth in the reign of William II.
There was an ancient hospital at Plymouth, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St. Mary Magdalen, of which nothing is now known, but that it existed in 1374. (fn. n80) Leland says that it stood on the north side of the church. The Chantry Roll, of 1547, describes an almshouse in Plymouth, called God's House, the founder unknown, endowed with lands given by divers persons, the rent of which then amounted to 14l. 7s. per annum. This was, most probably, the church almshouse, in St. Andrew's parish, for twelve widows and a nurse, the income of which now consists of rents of about 25l. per annum, besides 3l. per annum given by Captain Rawlins, in 1626, for butter on fish-days. The widows' incomes are augmented by the corporation. In a court at the back of this is another almshouse for twelve poor single women, who are placed in it by the corporation; but it does not appear that it has any endowment. There were three set of almshouses, which have been pulled down, founded by Ann Prynne-Fownes, and Alice Miller; the two former had no endowment; the latter was, in 1660, endowed with a rent-charge of 10l. per annum, for twenty poor people.
There was also an hospital, called the Hospital of the Poor's Portion, founded by John Gayer, Abraham Colmer, and Edmund Fowell, in 1630, to which John Lanyon gave 2000l., in 1674, laid out in houses, now producing 229l. 10s. per annum. (fn. n81) This is applied to the maintenance and education of children. The hospital of the Poor's Portion has, under an act of parliament, passed in 1708, been converted into a workhouse. This workhouse, under the act of Queen Anne, is governed by a corporation of fifty-two guardians, including a governor, deputy-governor, and ten assistants, a treasurer and receiver; which officers are elective. The building is spacious, containing wards for men, women, and infant children; the women's division containing separate wards for reputable women, disorderly, or disreputable, and lying-in women; there are, also, a dispensary, a workshop, cells for disorderly persons, commodious places of confinement for insane persons, school-rooms, and apartments for the boys belonging to Hele's and Lanyon's charities. The whole appears to be under excellent regulations. Two other acts of parliament relating to it were passed in 1754 and in 1786.
The grammar-school at Plymouth was established in the reign of Henry VII. by the corporation, who allowed the master a salary of 10l. per annum, and apartments over the ancient chapel. The master has now a salary of 70l. per annum, besides a house, garden, &c., allowed him by the corporation, who claim the privilege of sending to the school the sons of poor freemen, to be instructed gratuitously. When Mr. Carlisle published his account of grammar-schools, in 1818, there were but two of this description. The late Dr. Bidlake, Bampton lecturer at Oxford, was master of this school. Dr. Nathaniel Forster was educated there. Mr. Henry Kelway, of Plymouth, having bequeathed, in 1732, all his freehold and personal estates for charitable uses, they were sold and converted into bank stock, amounting to 4860l. 17s. 3d. The income was directed to be applied to the maintenance, clothing, and education, of boys in Plymouth grammar-school; to be elected by the master of the school and the lecturer of St. Andrew's, who have given the preference to those related to the founder; some of whom, as the funds have been found sufficient, have been sent to the University, and educated for holy orders.
Thomas and Nicholas Sherwell, in 1617, gave land on which to build an hospital for orphans, to contain not more than forty, and not less than three boys natives of Plymouth. The said Thomas Sherwell, in 1629, gave a rentcharge of 8l. per annum towards the endowment. Some persons, now unknown, gave 13l. 7s. per annum, in conventionary rents. Sir John Gayer, in 1626, gave land now producing 55l. per annum, on condition that his heirs, if resident in Plymouth, should always recommend one boy. John Fownes, in 1628, gave 100l., with which was purchased a rent-charge of 8l. 6s. 8d. Twelve boys are now clothed, maintained, and educated, by this charity. The annual average revenue for the last twenty years, has been nearly 200l.
Mr. Elize Hele, who died in 1635, having bequeathed the whole of his estates to charitable uses, Sir John Maynard and Mr. Elize Stert, his trustees, gave certain lands to the town of Plymouth, to be thus appropriated: one half to the governors and guardians of the poor, for the benefit of the poor, at their discretion; the other half to such charitable purposes as the heirs of Sir John Maynard should appoint. The rents of this estate vary according to the dropping in of lives. In 1786, it was estimated at 168l. 11s. per annum, and now at 340l.
An uncertain number of the most deserving boys (fn. n82), to be preferred from the workhouse, or hospital of the Poor's Portion, are maintained, clothed, and educated, out of the funds of this charity, and being dressed in red, are called red boys; others are selected in the same manner, and maintained, clothed, and educated, by the benefaction of John Lanyon, before mentioned, and being dressed in blue, are called blue boys. Part of Hele's fund arises from an annuity of 30l. on the market, purchased of the corporation, out of the savings of the Hele estate.
Dame Hannah Rogers gave by will, in 1764, 10,000l., which being laid out in the funds, and the savings having been also funded, now produces an income of 806l. 12s. 6d. per annum, for the maintenance and education of poor children of Devon and Cornwall, or other charitable uses. The whole of this is applied to the clothing, maintaining, and educating thirty poor girls of Plymouth.
In this parish is a school for the clothing and educating of poor boys and girls, founded in the year 1713. The present amount of subscriptions to this school is 100l. per annum; the funded property consists of 2506l. O.S.S., and 1140l. three per cents. (fn. n83), besides about 522l. O.S.S., and 200l. three per cents., for apprenticing children. There are now 100 boys in this school, and sixty girls: twenty-five of the boys, and twenty of the girls, are clothed. This is called the Grey and Yellow School. The Dissenters have a school in the parish of St. Andrew.
The chapelry, or tithing, of Weston Peverell, or Pennycross, is in the parish of St. Andrew, Plymouth. The manor was the ancient inheritance of the Peverells; whose heiress brought it to Sir Nicholas Carew, of Carew Castle, the first of the family who resided in Devonshire, and father of Sir John Carew, who married the heiress of Mohun. Having become vested in the crown, it was granted by Edward VI. to Richard Reynell, Esq., for his services in the western rebellion. Some years ago, it belonged to the family of Hewer; from whom it passed to Hall, and is now vested, together with Manadon, which is the seat of the Hewers, in the co-heiresses of the late Humphrey Hall, Esq. Manadon was lately occupied by the widow of Colonel Waldron, one of the above-mentioned co-heiresses, recently married to Sir William Elford, Bart.
Burrington, in this chapelry, belonged to the family of Weare, or Were, and is now, by inheritance, the property of Richard Hall Clarke, Esq., of Bridwell: it is the residence of his son, John Were Clarke, Esq. Ham was, for nearly two centuries, the seat of a branch of the Trelawneys; now of George Collins, Esq., who married the heiress of that branch.
The beauty of the situation and views has been the occasion of the building numerous villas in this parish, the principal of which are, Prospect, Mrs. Hotchkys's; Boxhill, William Delacour, Esq.; Bellair, Captain Elphinstone; Torr, the Rev. J. Strode Foot; Manhelian, George Herbert, Esq.; Burleigh, George Hunt, Esq.; Meetley, Mrs. Mangles; and Pounds, Mrs. Carswell.
The chapel of Weston Peverell, or St. Pancras, corruptly called Pennycross chapel, is annexed to the church of St. Budeaux, which is a daughter-church to St. Andrew, Plymouth. Divine service is performed in this chapel once a fortnight in the afternoon, and four times in the year in the morning, by the minister of St. Budeaux. This chapelry maintains its own poor, and pays all its assessments separately: it is not esteemed a separate parish, but a tithing in the parish of St. Andrew: it is about three miles from Plymouth.
Nearly fourteen miles (fn. n84) S. W. of Plymouth Sound are the Edystone rocks, which had proved so fatal to mariners before the construction of a lighthouse to warn them of their danger. This important work was first undertaken by the celebrated mechanic Mr. Henry Winstanley, of Littlebury, in Essex, in the year 1696: it had scarcely been completed three years, when it was destroyed by the storm of 1703, the most tremendous which had ever been experienced in England, and its ingenious architect, who was then superintending some repairs, perished in its ruins. The building was thought to have been too much ornamented; but it is said that Mr. Winstanley was so well assured of its strength, that he declared he should wish to be in it during the greatest storm that ever blew under the face of the heavens, that he might see what effect it would have upon the structure. Soon after the demolition of the lighthouse, a vessel was wrecked on the Edystone rocks, and the whole of the crew perished. In 1706 a new lighthouse was begun by Mr. John Rudyerd, a simple structure of a conical form; the whole building was 92 feet in height; the lantern was an octagon of 10 feet 6 inches diameter. This lighthouse, after resisting the fury of the waves for 46 years, was destroyed by fire on the 22d of August, 1755; one of the light-keepers, Henry Hall, an old man 94 years of age, lost his life in consequence of melted lead falling down his throat whilst endeavouring to extinguish the flames, as was apparent by dissection after his death; he survived the accident 12 days. Until the circumstance had been proved, it was thought incredible that the lead had been received into his stomach. An account of this extraordinary case was sent, by the attending surgeon, to the Royal Society. The present lighthouse was constructed, upon an improved plan, by the celebrated Mr. Smeaton; the first stone was laid on the 12th of June, 1757, and it was completed August 24. 1759. The outside and basement are of granite; the interior of Portland stone. The height of the main column is 70 feet.