THE hither Country of the Danmonii, already mention’d, is now commonly call’d Denshire ⌈and Devonshire,⌉ by the Cornish-Britains Deunan, by the Welsh-Britains, Duffneint, that is, deep vallies, because they live every where low, in the bottoms; by the English Saxons * *. C. , from whence comes the Latin Devonia, and the contracted name, us’d by the vulgar, Denshire; and not from the Danes, as some who would be thought Antiquaries, do stiffly maintain. This Country, as it shoots out on both sides into a greater breadth than Cornwall, so has it more commodious harbours on each. ⌈It is 54 miles broad; and 61 long; and has in it abundance of rivers, more perhaps than any other County in England, and bridges to the number of 166, according to the general computation.⌉
† † Nor is it. C.Nor has it been less rich in tin-mines, especially towards the west part, ⌈an evidence whereof, are the four Stannaries or Jurisdictions, with as many Stannary-Courts and towns of Coynage, viz. Plympton, Tavistoke, Ashburton, and Chagford. By these, are chosen from time to time, at the direction of the Lord-Warden, certain Jurates to meet in a general Session of Parliament at Crockern-Torr, a high hill in the midst of Dartmore. This Parliament has power to make Laws touching the state of the Mines and Stannaries, a volume whereof was printed in Queen Elizabeth’s time, the Earl of Bedford being then Lord-Warden. Such regular Courts and Proceedings, give us an Estimate of the great quantities of tinn that must have been formerly dug-up here, the regulation whereof should require so much solemnity. Besides, it expresly appears (as was observ’d in Cornwall) that in King John’s time, Devonshire produced greater store of tinn, than that County; the Coynage of this being set to farm for 100 l. yearly, and that only for 100 marks. But now, Cornwall has almost the whole trade; and tho’ they still work in some parts of this County, it turns to no considerable Advantage: however, the Government remains, and the Devonshire Tinners are not under the Lord Lieutenant of the County, but form a separate Militia by themselves.
secundae dense blaes foeniculum Betonicae mannae ischaemi dilute
There were formerly, in Devonshire, mines also of gold and silver, ¦ ¦ Sir J. Pet. Fod. Reg.as appears from several Grants made by K. Edw. 3. and other Kings, with a reservation of the Tenths to the Church. Iron-mines have been discover’d too; but for want of fuel, and for some other reasons, they are not yet wrought to perfection. Mineral Chalybiate waters are at Cleave, Tavistoke, Lamerton, Lifton, Bampton, and other places in the County;⌉ which is also enamel’d with finer meadows, and shelter’d with more woods than Cornwall, and very full of towns and houses. But the soil in some places is again as poor and lean; which however makes a good return to the husbandman, if he has skill in husbandry, with diligence, and a good purse. For indeed there are not many places in England, where land requires greater charge in the tillage:A rich sand. it is well nigh barren in many parts, unless it be improv’d by a * * Vid. Cornwall; and Philos. Trans. N.103. p.29.certain sand from the sea, which renders it very fruitful, and as it were impregnates the glebe; and therefore in places more remote from the shore, it is dear: ⌈which dearness has, I suppose, in some places put them under a necessity of using marle, lime, and the turf of the ground skin’d off, and burnt to ashes, a method of Agriculture very agreeable to † † 1 Georg.Virgil’s rule,
Sæpe etiam steriles, &c.
With crackling flames to burn the barren earth,
Has oft produc’d an advantageous birth;
Whether an higher nutriment it get,
And secret vigour from the genial heat:
Or ’cause the noxious dregs being purg’d by fire,
The useless juices in moist fumes perspire:
Or that the heat relax the stubborn mass,
And find new ways for nourishment to pass,
And feed the tender plants: or make
It hard, so that it no impression take
From the soft Courtship of descending showers,
Or from the sun’s, or wind’s more active powers.
That the Romans were in possession of this County, appears from the Fosse-way crossing it, and from Roman Coyns dug-up in several places. As a gold Coyn of Nero in Exeter, and another of Theodosius at a place near Barnstaple; several silver Coyns also, as of Severus and other Emperors; and of brass a great many.
There were indeed two Roman ways, which led to Isca Danmoniorium; one from Durnovaria, by the Sea-side, taking in Moridunum; the other from Ischalis, now call’d Ilchester. The broken parts of both which Ways are still to be seen in several Places. The West-Saxons made this County for some time the seat of their Kingdom; and after their removal thence, committed it to the custody of the Earls, which were at that time Officiary. The Danes mightily infested it, and left behind them, on several high hills, a rude kind of fortification, commonly call’d Danes-castle.⌉
In describing this County, my way shall be, first along the west-side, bounded by the Tamar; then along the south, which lies upon the Ocean; from thence, along the eastern-bounds where it touches upon the Counties of Dorset, and Somerset, I will return to the north-coast, which is bounded by the Severn-Sea.
The Tamar (which divides these Counties,) first, on this side, receives the little river Lid from the East; upon which stands Lidston, a small market-town; and LidfordLidford. now a little village, but formerly a famous town; most grievously shatter’d by the Danes in the year 997. This town (as it appears from that book wherein William 1. took his survey of England) was wont to be taxed at the same time, and after the same manner, that London was. ⌈It had then in it 140 Burgesses; and, as an argument of what importance it was, the custody of the castle here was committed from time to time to persons of the greatest quality. Whatever were the causes of it’s decay, the Mayoralty of it is now lost; and whereas it sent Burgesses to Parliament, it was discharged from that obligation, propter paupertatem, in consideration of it’s poverty.⌉ This little river Lid,Lid. being here at the bridge pent up with rocks, has made it self so deep a fall into the ground by continual working, that the water is not to be seen, but only the murmur of it to be heard, to the no small Admiration of those that pass over.
⌈From Lidford, two or three miles Westward, stands Brent-Torr,Brent-Torr. a name signifying a high rocky place. On the top of this high hill, is a Parish-Church, dedicated to S. Michael, and a famous sea-mark. And hard by, there is a village nam’d the Gubbins,The Gubbins. the inhabitants whereof have been by mistake * * Fuller’s Worthies.represented as a lawless Scythian sort of people.⌉
Lower down, the Teave, a little river, runs into the Tamar; upon which flourishes Teavistoke, commonly Tavistoke,Tavistoke. formerly famous for an Abbey,The foundation-Charter. which Ordulph the son of Ordgar Earl of Devonshire, being admonish’d by a vision from heaven, built about the year of our Lord 961. The place (says Malmesbury) is pleasant for the convenience of wood, for fine fishing, and for an uniform Church: the banks of the river lie along just by the shops, which by the force of it’s current washes away all the rubbish cast into it. Saint Rumon a Bishop is much talk’d-of here, where he lies bury’d. And there is seen in the same Monastery the sepulcher of Ordgar; and the huge bulk of MausolæusMausolaeus his Son is look’d upon as a wonderful Sight: he is call’d Ordulf, of a gigantick growth, and prodigious strength: For he could break the bars of gates, and go along a little river ten foot broad, stride-wise, if we may credit the said William. But it had hardly continu’d thirty three years from the foundation, till it was burnt down by the Danes. Yet it flourish’d again, and, by a laudable Institution, here were Lectures of our old mother-tongue (I mean the Saxon-language,Saxon Lectures. which is now grown into disuse,) continu’d down to the last age, lest (that which hath almost now happen’d,) the knowledge of it should be quite lost. ⌈This School, in which the Saxon-Tongue was taught, is still in being; and (as I have heard) there was also in the beginning of the late Civil wars, a Saxon-Grammar printed, in Tavistoke. Upon the same design, to preserve that ancient Language, and to promote the Antiquities of our own kingdom, Sir Henry Spelman founded a Saxon-Lecture in Cambridge. This town has given several great Lawyers to the State; as, Sir John Glanvill a Judge, Serjeant Glanvill his son, and Sir John Maynard; and hath been further honoured by giving the title of Marquiss to the Dukes of Bedford. Two miles from hence, is Lamerton-parish,Lamerton. in the Church whereof is an ancient monument of the Tremaines, where may be seen the effigies of Nicholas and Andrew Tremaine, twins, who were alike in all lineaments, suffer’d like pain tho’ at a distance, desir’d to sleep, walk, eat, and drink together, and were slain together at New-haven in France, An. 1663. Nearer to the sea, is Beare-Ferris,Beare-Ferris. so nam’d from the family call’d De Ferrariis, anciently famous in this County. In this parish, were Silver-mines in the reign of K. Hen. 6; which were re-enter’d by Sir John Maynard, but have been since discontinu’d.⌉The Tamar, having receiv’d the Teave, comes to it’s mouth; where the Plim, in conjunction with it, rolls into the sea, and gives name to the town PlimouthPlimouth. seated on it, which was formerly call’d Sutton. This seems to have been two Towns; for we find mention in the Records of Parliament,13 Hen. 4. of Sutton Vautort, and Sutton Prior, as it partly belong’d to the family of the Valletorts, and partly to the Priors. In the last age, from a small fisher-village it grew to a large town; and is not inferior to a City, in number of inhabitants, as we see it at this day. The convenience of the Harbour was the cause of this rise; which receives the greatest ships that are, without spreading the sails, and yields them safe harbour tho’ never so big, as well in the Tamar, as the Plim. ⌈Here are also two Docks, begun in 1691, and finish’d in 1693; and of late years, a new Yard was erected, 1200 foot square; and a dry-dock, capable of a first-rate ship, with a bason before it of above 200 foot square; as also dwelling-houses, store-houses, a Rope-house, and all other conveniences required to an Arsenal, calculated for the Service of so important a Place.⌉Besides, it is sufficiently fortify’d against an Enemy. For in the very middle, the Isle of S. * * S. Michael. C.Nicholas ⌈of 2 acres or more,⌉ lies before it; which is also fortify’d. And then the Harbour, at the town, is guarded on both sides, and shut up with a chain crossing it, upon occasion; being fortify’d on the south by a bastion; and by a castle, on the next hill, built, (as is thought) by the Valletorts.⌈They have also a Royal Citadel, built by King Charles the Second, consisting of five regular Bastions and 165 Guns; which, added to the numbers in the other Fortifications, make in all, 253.⌉ The whole town is divided into four Tribes, which we call Wards; and which are all govern’d by a Mayor, constituted by Henry 6: and under him, formerly, a † † Capitaners.Captain was appointed to every single ward; each of whom had also his inferior Officers. Corinaeus⌈It had anciently but one Church; till a new one was erectedStat. 16, 17. Car. 1. N.31. in the 16th year of K. Charles the first, and Consecrated in the reign of K. Charles the second.⌉As to the fable of Corinæus’s wrestling with GogmagogGogmagog. the giant, in this place; it may suffice to subjoin a verse or two from the Architrenius, concerning our giants:
Hos, avidum belli robur, Corinæus Averno
Præcipites misit; cubitis ter quatuor altum
Gogmagog Herculea suspendit in aëra lucta,
Anthæumque suum scopulo detrusit in æquor;
Potavitque dato Thetis ebria sanguine fluctus,
Divisumque tulit mare corpus, Cerberus umbram.
With those rude Monsters bred in wars and blood,
Brave Corinæus clogg’d the Stygian flood:
High in the air huge Gogmagog he shook,
And pitch’d the vile Antæus from his rock:
His hated carcass on the waves was tost,
And Cerberus started at his monstrous ghost.
That Rock, from which the Giant is reported to have been thrust, is now call’d the Haw,The Haw. a hill between the town and the sea; on the top whereof, which is a delicate plain, there is a very pleasant prospect on all sides, and a curious Compass, for the use of Sailors.The town is not very large, but it’s name and reputation is very great among all nations; and this, not so much for the convenience of the harbour, as for the valour and worth of the Inhabitants. For, to mention no more, this town gave being to Sir Francis DrakeSir Francis Drake. Knight, in maritim atchievements, without dispute, the greatest Captain of our age.Who first, to repair the losses he had suffer’d from the Spaniards, as I have heard himself say, did as it were, block up the Bay of Mexico for two years together, with continual defeats; and travell’d over the Straits of Darien; whence having descry’d the South-Sea (as the Spaniards call it,) it made such impression on his mind, that like Themistocles inflam’d with the trophies of Miltiades, he thought he should be wanting to himself, his country, and his own glory, if he did not complete the discovery. Therefore in the year 1577. setting sail from hence, and entring that sea by the Straits of Magellan; thro’ the assistance of God, and his own conduct, tho’ not without great change of fortune, he, next to Magellanus, sail’d quite round the world, in two years and ten months time. Whereupon a certain Author has thus complemented him,
Drake, pererrati novit quem terminus orbis,
Quemque semel mundi vidit uterque polus:
Si taceant homines, facient te sydera notum,
Sol nescit comitis immemor esse sui.
Drake, who in triumph round the world hast gone,
Whom both the Lines and both the Poles have known;
Should envious men their just applause deny,
Thy worth wou’d be the subject of the sky;
Phœbus himself wou’d sing thy deathless praise,
And grace his Fellow trav’ller with his rays.
But the rest of his exploits, and those of others born here, who have been famous for naval atchievements, being not within the compass of my design, are left to Historians.⌈I will only add, with reference to Sir Francis Drake, that as both he and Mr. Candish began their voyage from this town, for discovery of the unknown parts of the world; so by his contrivance and at his own proper charge, there was brought hither a large stream from a great distance, through many windings and turnings, which is a mighty benefit to the Place; carrying several Mills, and serving the other common uses of the Inhabitants.⌉ Nor have I any thing farther to say here, but that in the reign of William Rufus, Ealphege, a learned and a marry’d priest,The Clergy first restrained from marrying, in England. flourish’d in this place: for before the year 1102. the Clergy were not prohibited to marry, here in England. Then, Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury first introduced this violence to the Holy Scriptures and human nature, as our Historians of that age complain; and as Henry of Huntingdon expressly says of Anselm: He prohibited the Clergy of England to have wives, who before that were not prohibited.Some thought it a matter of great purity, others of great danger; lest affecting cleanness above the power of human nature, they should sink into horrible uncleannesses, to the great scandal of the Christian name.
⌈To conclude; This place hath given the title of Earl, first, to Charles Fitz-Charles, created Baron of Dartmouth, Viscount Totness, and Earl of Plimouth, in the year 1675; and since, to Thomas Lord Windsor, advanced to the higher honour of Earl of Plimouth, in the thirty fourth year of King Charles the second.
Off of Plimouth, is the Edystone,Edystone. a most dangerous Rock to Sailors; till a Light-house (begun in the year 1696.) was erected thereon; which being blown down by the dreadful Storm in November 1703, an Act of Parliament was passed in the fourth year of Queen Anne, for the erecting of a new one, by certain Duties upon all Vessels.⌉
Inward from Plimouth, and not far from the river Plim, stands Plimpton,Plimpton.] a pretty populous market-town, where are still the remains and deform’d ruins of a castle, of which many held by a Tenure, which our Lawyers call Castle-garde. For this was the chief seat of the Redversies or Riparii (it is written both ways) who were Barons of Plimpton and Earls of Devonshire. ⌈These were accounted The Head of the Honour of the County of Devon, having 89 Knights fees appendant. Afterwards, by marriage, the Castle, Manour, and Honour of Plimpton, together with the Earldom of Devonshire, and other large Estates, pass’d into the Family of the Courtneys.⌉ Next to this, stood Plimpton S. Mary, which lost its glory * * At the Dissolution.not long since, when the College of Canons there was dissolv’d, which William Warlewast, Bishop of Exeter, had formerly built. ⌈Here had been before, a Godw. Bishops.College of a Dean and four Prebendaries, founded by some of the Saxon Kings;Dudg. Monast. but because they would not part with their wives, they were displaced by the said Bishop, and a Priory of Canons-Regular erected in their stead.⌉ Angliae More Eastward, appears Modbery,Modbery. a small town which belongs to the famous and ancient family of the Campernulphs, who are also call’d De Campo Arnulphi, and by the vulgar Champernouns,Champernoun. Knights; and who received a great accession of honour by the heir of the Vautorts. ⌈From the Fortescues of Wimpston in this Parish, was descended Chancellour Fortescue, Author of the famous book De Laudibus Legum Angliæ. Between Modbery and Kings-bridge, is a fair bridge over the river Avon about a quarter of a mile long. At the mouth of the river, stands S. Michael’s Rock, several acres in circumference; in which are to be seen the remains of an old Chapel. This ancient Rhyme seems to refer to it:
Where Avon’s waters with the sea are mixt,
St. Michael firmly on a rock is fixt.
KingsbridgeKingsbridge. is a pretty market-town, pleasantly situated, and particularly deserves our notice for the benefaction of a † † Mr. Crispin.late charitable citizen of Exeter, who founded here a Free-school, and endow’d it. Near which is Dodbrooke,Dodbrooke. singular for a custom of paying tythe to the Parson for a certain sort of liquor, call’d White-Ale.⌉
From the mouth of the Plim, where the South shore of these parts begins, the Country goes on with a wide and large front as far as Stert,Stert, a tail, in High-dutch. ⌈in Saxon ⌉ a promontory, as the word signifies in that language; But assoon as the shore winds back again, the river Dert breaks through it, which flows from the inner part of the County, and runs swiftly through certain dirty and mountainous places, thence call’d Dertmore,Dertmore. where Load-stones have been found.lodestone Then the Dert very steep and strong (washing away with it the sands from the Stannaries, which by degrees choak up its channel,)Testa Nevilli. runs thro’ the forest of Dertmore, where David de Sciredun held lands in Sciredun and Siplegh by Knight-service, on condition that he should find two arrows, when our Lord the King came to hunt in that forest. ⌈It was first made a Forest by King John, and had anciently in it many Tin-works. It is very large; being 20 miles in length and 14 in breadth, and yielding pasture every Summer to near 100,000 Sheep, besides a proportionable number of other Cattle. It also supplies north, west, and south, with variety of pleasant Rivers.⌉ Then the Dert runs by Dertinton,Dertinton. the Barony heretofore of the Martins (who were Lords of Keims in Wales,) as far as Totness.Totness. This ancient little town, hanging from west to east upon the side of a hill, was formerly of great note. It did not geld (according to Domesday) but when Exeter gelded; and then, it yielded 40 pence, and was to serve upon any expedition either by land or sea. And Toteness, Barne-staple, and Lidford, serv’d, as much as Exeter paid. King John granted them the power of chusing a Mayor for their chief Magistrate; and Edward 1. endow’d it with many Privileges; and afterwards it was fortify’d with a castle by the Zouches; as the Inhabitants believe. It was formerly the Estate of Judeal sirnam’d de Totenais; afterwards of William Bruier a Person nobly descended, by one of whose daughters it came to the Breoses, and from them by a daughter likewise to George de Cantelupo Lord of Abergevenny; whose sister Melicent being marry’d to Eudo de la Zouche, brought it to the Barons Zouche; and in them it continu’d, till John Baron Zouche being banish’d for siding with Richard 3; Henry 7, gave it, as I have heard, to Peter Edgecomb, a person both wise and noble. ⌈In the reign of King Charles the first, it gave the title of Earl to George Lord Carew of Clopton, Son of Dr. George Carew Dean of Windsor; and in that of King Charles the second, the title of Viscount to Charles Fitz-Charles Earl of Plimouth.⌉
Hard by this town stands Bery-Pomery,Pomery. denominated from the Pomeries, one of the noblest families in these parts; who, somewhat more to the east, and a little further from the river, had a very neat Castle. They derive their pedigree from Radulph de Pomery, who, in William the Conqueror’s time, held Wich, Dunwinesdon, Brawerdine, Pudeford, Horewood, Toriland, Helecom, and this Berie, &c. ⌈The noble Lordship of Bery-Pomery, in the reign of King Edward the sixth, came into the family of the Seymours.⌉ From Totness, the neighbouring shore was heretofore call’d Totonese: and the British History tells us, that Brutus the founder of the British nation landed here; and Havillanus,In Architrenio. in the Poetical way, following the same Authority, writes thus:
Inde dato cursu, Brutus comitatus Achate,
Gallorum spoliis cumulatis navibus æquor
Exarat, & superis auraque faventibus usus,
Littora fœlices intrat Totonesia portus.
From hence great Brute with his Achates steer’d,
Full fraught with Gallic spoils their ships appear’d;
The winds and gods were all at their command,
And happy Totness shew’d them grateful land.
The river Dert (which I spoke of) being past Totness-bridge, where it heaps-up the sand brought along with it from the Stannaries; sees nothing on either side, but fertile grounds, till it comes at last, slowly, and as it were tired, to it’s mouth; where, upon a long hill, stands Dertmouth,Dertmouth. which by reason of the commodiousness of a harbour, defended by two Castles, is a town well-stor’d with merchants, and with the best ships. It has a Mayor, by the grant of King Edward 3. The Zouches, Nicholas de Teukesbury, and the Brients (according to several changes of the times,) were formerly owners of it; and it hath often stoutly resisted the French. In the year 1404. Monsieur de Castell a Frenchman, who had shut up the trade in these parts by his piracies, and had burnt Plimouth; whilst he attack’d this place,T. Walsingham. was set upon by the peasants and the women, and cut off with his whole party. ⌈In the year 1682, George Legg was advanced to the title of Baron of Dartmouth; and in the year 1710. William Legg, his only Son, being Principal Secretary of State to her Majesty Queen Anne, was advanced to the honour of Earl of Dartmouth.⌉ I must not here forget to mention Stoke-Fleming,Stoke-Fleming. which is hard by; and (taking it’s name from a nobleman of Flanders formerly Lord of it,) came by a daughter of Mohun to the Carews.
torquay The shore going back from hence, the sea presses after it, and by that great in-let makes a bay of about 12 miles in compass, call’d at this day Torbay,Torbay. which is a secure harbour for ships when the wind is at south-west; and has a small village situate upon it of the same name, the seat of the Bruiers heretofore, (who in Richard 1, and King John’s time, were men of great note;) but afterwards of the Wakes. ⌈Of late years, it has been memorable for the landing of the Prince of Orange, afterwards King William the third, for the deliverance of these Kingdoms, when they were upon the point to be destroyed and swallowed-up by Popery and Arbitrary Power. Mary-Church, in this place, was the first Church founded in the County, according to tradition. Near this bay, is a remarkable * * Philosophical Transact. N.204.well, call’d Lay-well, which ebbs and flows, and sometimes bubbles up like a boiling pot. The water (as clear as crystal, very cold in summer, and never freezing in winter,) is accounted by the neighbours, to be medicinal in some fevers: It appears not, to have any communication with the Sea, nor is the water brackish at all. The ebb and flow is every hour, and about 5 or 6 inches.
Farther up in the country is Moreley,Moreley. remarkable for it’s Church, built upon this occasion. In the time of Edward 1. Sir Peter Fishacre Knight (upon a controversie between him and the Parson of Woodley about tythes) kill’d the Parson in a rage; and, being constrain’d to answer the same at Rome, was by the Pope condemn’d to build this Church, where he lies bury’d. From hence towards Dertmore, lies Wythicombe;Wythicombe. where, in a violent storm of thunder and lightning, a ball of fire came into the Church14 Car. 1. in time of divine Service, kill’d three persons, wounded 62, turn’d the seats upside down, and did great damage. A like storm happen’d at Crews-MorchardCrews-Morchard. in this County, which rent the steeple,An. 1689. melted the bells, lead, and glass; and nothing escap’d but the Communion-Plate. But to return to the shore: Near Torbay, is a seat of the Ridgways, a family of good Antiquity in this Country;⌉ and near the same place stands Cockington,Cary of Cockington. where the family of the Carys, different from that of the Carews, have long flourish’d in great repute; from which the Barons of Hunsdon (of whom in their proper place) are descended, ⌈as also the noble Families of the Earls of Dover and Monmouth; and Viscount Falkland in North-Britain.⌉ A little higher stands Hacombe,Hacombe. where formerly liv’d Jordan Fitz-Stephens Knight, denominated, from this place, de Hacombe; by whose daughter Cecily it came to the family of the Archdeacons; from whom, likewise, by Hugh Courteney, it came at last to the Carews,The family of the Carews. whose family is very famous and numerous in these parts. For Jane the daughter of this Hugh and heir to her mother, being marry’d to Nicholas, Baron Carew, had many children; and their eldest son Thomas proving undutiful to his mother, she settled this fair inheritance upon the three younger sons (from whom are descended the three families, of Carews, de Hacombe, Anthony and Bery,) and upon John Vere her son by a second husband, from whom † † Are, C.were descended the Earls of Oxford ⌈of that name.⌉
Hence we come to Teignemouth,Teignemouth. a small village upon the mouth of the River Teigne, from which also it takes the name; where the Danes who were sent before to discover the situation of Britain and the harbours, first landedThe first landing of the Danes. about the year of Christ 800. and having kill’d the governour of the place, had that early presage of future victory; which afterwards they pursu’d with the greatest cruelty, thro’ the whole Island. ⌈Of late years also, the same Town was burnt by the French.⌉ More inward, near the rise of the Teigne, stands Chegford,Chegford. where formerly flourish’d the famous Family of the Prows: then ChidleyChidley. or Chidleigh, which gives name to the numerous family of the Chidleys, ⌈and the title of Baron to the noble Family of the Cliffords; of which family, Sir Thomas, Lord High Treasurer of England, was created Baron of Chudleigh by King Charles the 2d.⌉ Near the mouth of Teigne, is Bishops-Teignton,B. Teignton. so call’d because it belong’d to the Bishops; where, upon account of a sanctuary in it, John de Grandison a Burgundian, Bishop of Exeter, fore-seeing what might happen in after-times, built a very fine house, that his successors (as the words of his Will are) might have where to lay their heads, in case their Temporalties were at any time seiz’d into the King’s hands. Yet so far was this from answering his design, that his successors are now depriv’d of this house, and almost all the rest.
Six miles from hence, the river Isca, mention’d by Ptolemy, which the British call Isc,The river Isc. and the Saxons Ex; flows out of a large Mouth into the Ocean. Whether it took this name from Iscaw, which signifies in British, Elders, I cannot tell. Some derive it from reeds, which the Britains call Hesk, and with which the northern nations (as did the Britains) thatch’d their houses, and fasten’d the joynts of their ships.Pliny. But seeing no reeds are found here, I cannot agree to it. The head of this river lies in Exmore, a filthy barren ground near the Severn-sea; the greatest part whereof is in Somersetshire. ⌈The River rises after a manner that is not very common, and which may be of use towards explaining the origin of Fountains. Some of the Hills in this Moor are very high; and on the top of one of the highest is a Plain, almost of a round figure, near a mile in diameter, which is full of little Springs; and there being no declivity nor easy passage for the Waters, they swell upon the Surface of the Earth. The perpetuity of which waters, without any regard to the Seasons of the year or the weather, seems to be an argument, that they are not condensed from Clouds or Mists, but brought hither by an Under-current.⌉
In Exmore,Exmore. some monuments of antiquity still remain; namely, stonesAncient Stones. set in the form of a triangle in some places; in others, of a circle; and one among them is inscrib’d with Saxon or rather Danish letters, for the direction of those, as it should seem, who travell’d that road. ⌈Also, of later years, several Urns, with Roman CoinsAubr. Mon. Brit. MS. in them (and some, Greek) have been found, in digging of the Barrows.⌉ Ex or Isc flows from hence southward, first by Twifordton, so called from the two fords, at present Teverton,Teverton. to which the woollen trade brings both gain and glory, ⌈and which, both Castle and Manour, by match with one of the coheirs of the Courtneys, came to the Trelawnies; but has been for some time in the family of the Wests. Here, Peter Blundell a Clothier built a free-school, and endow’d it with a liberal maintenance, for a school-master and usher. He gave also 2 fellowships and as many scholarships to Sidney College in Cambridge, and one fellowship and two scholarships to Baliol College in Oxford, for scholars bred-up in this school.⌉ Then it runs through pretty rich grounds, and is enlarg’d chiefly by two little rivers, Creden from the west, and Columb from the east. Upon Creden, in the time of the ancient Saxon Church, there flourish’d a Bishop’s See in a town of the same name, call’d Cridiantun, now contracted into Kirton, where was born that Winifrid,Winifrid the German Apostle. or Boniface, who converted the Hessians, Thuringers, and Frisians, of Germany, to the Christian Religion. ⌈He was Archbishop of Mentz, and having had the title of Legate of the Apostolical See under several Popes, was martyred by the Pagans ann. 354; and his day in the Roman Kalendar is the 5th of June.⌉ Now, it is only remarkable for a thin market. It had a house of the Bishops of Exeter; and within the memory of the † † Last C.last age save one, was much more noted for a College of twelve Prebendaries, who are now dissolv’d, ⌈and the house, together with the manour, having been alienated to the Killegrews, there do not remain the least footsteps of the Bishop’s having any concern there; except the name of a great meadow, call’d My Lord’s Meadow.⌉ The river ColumbColumb. which comes from the east, washes Columbton, a small town, that takes it’s name from it; which King Alfred by his last Will left to his younger son; and, near Poltimore,Poltimore. the seat of the famous and very ancient family of Bampfield, it runs into the river Isc. And now the Isc (grown bigger, but dividing it self into many streams, very convenient for mills,) flows to the City Isca, to which it leaves it’s name. Hence Alexander Necham ⌈(once Prior of S. Nicholas in this Place;)⌉
Exoniæ fama celeberrimus Iscia nomen
To Exeter the famous Ex gives its name.
The city is call’d Isca by Ptolemy, by Antoninus Isca Dunmoniorum for Danmoniorum, and by others falsly Augusta, as if the second Legion call’d Augusta had quarter’d here;Isca Danmoniorum, Excester. whereas that was garrison’d at the Isca Silurum, as shall be shown hereafter. It was call’d by the Saxons ⌈ and⌉ ; and Monketon, from the monks; at this day, it is called Excester, by the Latins Exonia, and by the Welsh, Caer-isk, Caer-uth and Pen-caer, that is, a chief city. For Caer (that I may note it once for all) signifies a CityCaer, what it signifies. in British; hence they call Jerusalem, Caer Salem; Paris, Caer Paris; Rome, Caer Ruffayne. So Carthage in the Punick tongue, as Solinus testifies, was call’d Cartheia, that is to say, a new City. Among the Syrians likewise, I have heard that Caer signify’d a city; and seeing it is taken for granted, that the whole world has been peopled by them, it seems very probable, that they also left their tongue to posterity, as the mother of all future languages. This city, (as Malmesbury says) tho’ the ground about it is wet and filthy, and will scarce bear a crop of bad oats, often yielding empty ears without grain; yet, by reason of it’s stately Buildings, as well as the richness of the citizens, and resort of Strangers, all kind of merchandise is so plentiful in it, that one need lack nothing there that is useful or necessary. It stands on the east side of the Isc, upon a hill, of an easie and gentle rise to the east, and steep to the west; encompass’d with a ditch, and very strong walls, with many towers. The City is a mile and half in circuit, with suburbs shooting out here and there, for a long way: It contains 15 Parish-Churches ⌈(several of which were, in the late Civil Wars, expos’d to publick Sale, by the Common Cryer)⌉ and in the highest part, near the East-gate, it has a castle call’d Rugemount,Rugemount. formerly the seat of the West-Saxon Kings, afterwards of the Earls of Cornwall; which now has nothing to recommend it, besides its antiquity and situation; ⌈being supposed to be the work of the Romans; and, as a place of great Trust and Importance, committed from time to time to persons of the best rank.⌉ For it commands the city under it, and the country on all sides; and has a very pleasant prospect to the sea. In the east part of the city, stands the Cathedral in the midst of fine houses quite round it; built by King Athelstan (as the private history of this place witnesses,) in honour to S. Peter, and fill’d by him with Monks; at last, the Monks being remov’d to Westminster, Edward the Confessor graced it with an Episcopal See, having transfer’d the Bishopricks of Cornwall and Kirton hither, and made Leofric a Britain, first Bishop of it: whose successors have much improv’d the Church, both in buildings and Revenues. ⌈It was, for a long time, no bigger than our Lady’s Chapel. In the year 1112, William Warlewast, Bishop, laid the foundation of the present Quire. Two hundred years after, Peter Quivell, another of the Bishops, begun the Nave of the present Church; to which John Grandison, also Bishop, added an Isle on each side. An. 1450. Bishop Lacy built the Chapter-house; and about the same time, the Dean and Chapter built the Cloyster. So that this Church was about 400 years in building: and yet the symmetry of it is such, as one might easily imagin the work of one single man. The organ here is accounted one of the largest in England, the greatest pipe being 15 inches diameter, which is two more than that of the celebrated Organ at Ulme.⌉1224. William Bruier, the ninth Bishop from Leofric, in lieu of the displaced Monks, brought in a Dean and twenty four Prebendaries. In that age, flourish’d Josephus Iscanus,Josephus Iscanus. who owes both birth and name to this place; a Poet of very lively wit, whose pieces were so highly approv’d, that they met with an applause equal to the ancients. For his poem of the Trojan war has been twice publish’d in Germany, under the name of Cornelius Nepos.Cornelius Nepos.
⌈This city also gave birth to Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter to K. Charles 1; to William Petre, who was Secretary and Privy-Counsellor to King Henry 8. Edward 6. Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, and seven times Ambassador in foreign parts; and lastly to Sir Thomas Bodley, employ’d by Queen Elizabeth to several foreign Courts; but especially famous for his founding the Publick Library in the University of Oxford, call’d after his own name.⌉
When Isca first fell under the Roman Jurisdiction, does not plainly appear; I am so far from affirming that it was conquer’d by Vespasian (as Geoffery of Monmouth asserts,) when, in the time of Claudius the Emperor, Suetonius tells us he was first shown to the world; that I rather think it was scarce built so early. Yet in the time of the Antonines it was probably of good note; for Antoninus continues his Itinerary to this City, and no further. It fell not absolutely under the dominion of the Saxons, before the 465th year after their coming into Britain. Will. Malm. For then, Athelstan forced the Britains out of it (who, before that, liv’d in the city, in equal power with the Saxons,) and drove them beyond the river Tamar, and encompass’d the city with a ditch, a wall of square stone, and bulwarks. Since that time, our Kings have granted it many privileges; and among the rest (as we read in the book of William the Conqueror), This city did not geld when London, York, and Winchester gelded; that was half a mark of silver for a Knight’s fee. And in case of an expedition by land or by sea, it serv’d after the rate of five hides. It hath also, from time to time, suffered many and great Disasters; once spoil’d by the out-rage of the Danes in the year of our Lord 875; but, most dismally, by Sueno the Dane, in the year 1003 (being betray’d by one Hugh a Norman, the governour:) when it was laid level from the east to the west-gate. And it had scarce begun to recruit, when William the Conqueror laid close siege to it; at which time, the Citizens not only shut their gates against him, but gall’d him with many bitter reflections. However, part of their wall happening to fall down (which the Historians of that age attribute to the hand of Providence,) a surrender quickly follow’d. At that time (as it is in the said Survey) the King had in this city 300 houses: it paid 15 pounds a year. Eight and forty houses were destroy’d after the King came into England. After this, it was press’d by three sieges; yet easily escap’d them all. First by Hugh Courtney Earl of Devonshire, in the civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster: again, by Perkin Warbeck, a sham counterfeit Prince, who tho’ a young man and of mean descent; yet, pretending to be Richard Duke of York, the second son of King Edward 4, rais’d a very dangerous war, ⌈for their opposition to whom, the King gave great commendation to the Citizens; and bestow’d upon them the Sword he then wore, to be born before the Mayor, and also a Cap of maintenance:⌉ thirdly, by the seditious Cornish, in the year 1549, when the citizens, tho’ in extreme want of all sorts of provisions, continu’d loyal, till John Baron Russel rais’d the siege. ⌈For which deliverance, the 6th of August was appointed to be, and is still, annually observed, as a day of Thanksgiving, and commonly called Jesus-day. As a reward of their Loyalty on this occasion, King Edward the sixth gave them the rich manour of Ex-Island.⌉
But Exeter has not suffer’d so much by these enemies, as by certain heaps (Wears, as they call them) which * * Edward. C.Hugh Courtney Earl of Devonshire, in a Difference that he had with the citizens, threw into the chanel of the river Isc, whereby ships are hinder’d from coming to the town; so that all merchandise † † Is, C.was brought thither by land from Topesham, a little village three miles from the city, ⌈that belong’d to him; for which one of the Hughs of this Family (perhaps the same,) procured a weekly Market and a yearly Fair; and for the improvement whereof, this obstruction was probably made.⌉ Nor are these heaps ¦ ¦ Removed. C.quite removed, tho’ it has been commanded by Act of Parliament, ⌈and several Attempts have been made for that end; but none with so good Success, as the new Works in the time of King Charles the second; by the benefit of which (however vastly expensive to the City,) Lighters of the greatest burden do now come up to the City-key.⌉ From these Wears, a small village hard by, is call’d Weare,Weare. but formerly Heneaton, which belong’d heretofore to Austin de Baa, from whom by right of inheritance it came to John Holand,Ch.24 Ed.3. who in a seal that I have seen, bore a lion rampant gardant among flower-deluces. The government of this City ⌈(incorporated by King John,)⌉ is administer’d by 24; of whom one yearly is chosen Mayor, who with four Bayliffs manages all publick affairs, ⌈and it was also made a distinct County by King Henry 8.⌉ As for the Position, the old Oxford-Tables have defin’d it’s longitude to be 19 degrees, 11 minutes; and it’s latitude, 50 degrees, 40 minutes.
This City (that I may not be guilty of an omission) has had it’s Dukes.Dukes of Exeter. For Richard the 2d King of England of that name, made John Holand Earl of Huntingdon, his brother by the mother’s side, first Duke of Exeter. Henry 4. depriv’d him of this honour, and left him only the title of Earl of Huntingdon; which (being beheaded soon after) he lost, together with his life. Some few years after, Henry 5. bestowed this Dukedom upon Thomas Beaufort Earl of Dorset, descended from the house of Lancaster, and an accomplish’d Soldier. He dying without issue, John Holand, the son of John already mention’d, (as heir to Richard his brother who dy’d without issue, and to his father,) was restor’d to all again, having his Father’s honours bestow’d on him by the bounty of Henry 6; and left the same to his son Henry, who, whilst the Lancastrians stood, flourish’d in great Renown; but after, when the house of York came to the Crown, he became a melancholy instance, how unsafe it is to rely upon the smiles of fortune. For this was that Henry Duke of Exeter, who, notwithstanding his marriagePhil. Cominaus, cap.50. with the sister of Edward 4, was reduced to such misery, that he was seen to beg his bread, in rags, and bare-footed, in the Low-countries. And at last, after Barnet-fight, where he behav’d himself gallantly against Edward 4, he never was seen more, till his body was cast upon the shore of Kent, as if he had been shipwrack’d. Long after this, Exeter had it’s Marquess, namely Henry Courtney, descended from Catharine, Daughter of Edward 4, and rais’d to that honour by Henry 8. But to this Marquess, as well as to the first Duke, a great fortune did but raise great storms; which also quickly sunk him, while he endeavour’d Innovations in Government. For, among other things, because with money and counsel he had assisted Reginald Poole (who was afterwards Cardinal, and had left England, to intriegue with the Emperor and the Pope against his King and Country, who had withdrawn from the Romish Communion;) he was arraign’d, found guilty, and beheaded, with some others. By the Bounty of K. James ⌈the 1st,⌉ Thomas Cecil Lord Burghley enjoy’d the titleEarls of Exeter. of Earl of Exeter, a person truly good,1605. and the worthy son of a most excellent father; being the eldest son of William Cecil, Baron Burghley, Lord Treasurer of England, whose wisdom did long support and maintain the peace of this Kingdom. ⌈He was succeeded by William his son and heir; who dying without issue-male, left that honour to David Cecil, Son of Sir Richard Cecil (who was second son to Thomas Earl of Exeter.) Which David was succeeded by John his son and heir; who had issue John the late Earl, father of John, the present Earl of Exeter.
On the east of Exeter is a parish call’d Heavy-tree,Heavy-tree. memorable for the birth of Richard Hooker, the judicious Author of the Ecclesiastical Polity, and of that great Civilian, Dr. Arthur Duck. The next parish is Pinhoe,Pinhoe. remarkable for bringing forth the two Rainolds (John and William, brothers) zealous maintainers both of the Reform’d and the Popish Religion, in their turns. Not far from whence is Stoke-Canon,Stoke-Canon. given by King Canute to the Church of Exeter; a representation of which gift was to be seen not long since in a window of the Parish-Church there, viz. a King with a triple Crown, and this Inscription, Canutus Rex donat hoc Manerium Eccles. Exon. i.e. King Canutus gives this Manour to the Church of Exeter. Four miles east of Exeter, we pass the river Clyst, near which upon Clyst-heath,Clyst-heath. the Cornish rebels were totally defeated An. 1549. by John Lord Russel, afterwards Earl of Bedford.⌉
From Exeter, to the mouth of the river, there is nothing of antiquity, besides Exminster,Exminster. formerly Exanminster, bequeath’d by King Alfred to his younger son: and Pouderham,Pouderham. a castle built by Isabel de Ripariis, which has a long time been the seat of a very noble family, the Courtneys, Knights; who, being descended from the Earls of Devonshire, and ally’d to many great Families, are flourishing to this day, and are most worthy of such noble ancestors. Upon the very mouth on the other side (as the name it self speaks,) stands Exanmouth;Exanmouth. known for nothing, but the bare name, and the fisher-hutts there.
More eastward, Otterey,Otterey. that is, a river of Otters or water-dogs, as the name it self implies, runs into the sea: It passes by Honniton,
Honniton. a town well known to such as travel these parts. ⌈Here, the market was anciently kept on Sundays, as it was also in Exeter, Launceston, and divers other places; till in the reign of King John they were alter’d to other days. Over the river Otterey, is Vennyton-bridge,Vennyton-bridge. at which in the time of Edward 6, a battle was fought against the Cornish rebels.⌉ Otterey gives name to divers places. Of which, the most remarkable above Honniton, is Mohuns-otterey, which belong’d formerly to the Mohuns, from whom it came by marriage to the Carews; and below Honniton, (near Holdcombe, the Seat of the family of Le Denis, Knights, who derive their original and name from the Danes,) S. Mary’s Otterey, so call’d from the College of S. Mary, which John de Grandison Bishop of Exeter founded, who had got the wealth of all the Clergy of the Diocese, into his own hands. For he had persuaded them to leave him all they had, when they dy’d; as intending to lay it out in charitable uses, in endowing Churches, and building Hospitals and Colleges; which, they say, he perform’d very Religiously. ⌈This College was afterwards suppressed by a Parliament held at Leicester in the reign of Henry 5.⌉
From the mouth of this Otterey, the shore with many windings goes on to the east, by Budly,Budly. ⌈famous for being the birth-place of that great States-man and Historian Sir Walter Rawleigh; Sidmouth,Sidmouth. now one of the chiefest Fisher-towns in those parts;⌉ and Seaton,Seaton. formerly, as the other two, a fine harbour, but now so choak’d with sand, heap’d before the mouth of them by the ebbing and flowing of the sea, that this benefit is almost quite lost. ⌈Here, at Seaton, the inhabitants formerly endeavour’d to cut out a harbour, and procur’d a Collection under the Great Seal for that purpose; but now there remain no footsteps of that work.⌉ That this is the MoridunumMoridunum. of Antoninus which is seated between Durnovaria and Isca (if the book be not faulty,) and is maimed, and written Ridunum, in the Peutengerian Table; I should conjecture, both from the Distances, and the signification of the name. For Moridunum is the same in British, that Seaton is in English, namely, a town upon a hill by the sea. Near this, stands Wiscombe,Wiscombe. memorable on account of William Baron Bonevill who liv’d there; whose heir Cecily brought by marriage the titles of Lord Bonevill and Harrington, with a fair estateSee this in the County of Somerset. in those parts, to Thomas Grey Marquess of Dorset.
Below these, the river Ax empties it self from a very small chanel; after it has passed by ⌈ Ford,Ford. to which Abbey the Courtneys were great benefactours. Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the reign of King Richard 1, was first Monk, and afterwards Abbot here. Then it runs to⌉ Axanminster,Axanminster. a town famous only in ancient histories for the tombs of those Saxon princes who were slain in the bloody battle at Brunaburg, and brought hither: it stands on the very edge of this County. Below this place, Reginald Mohun of Dunster, to whom the manour of Axminster came hereditarily by the fourth daughter of William de Bruier, built the Abbey of Newenham,Newenham Register. in the year 1246. ⌈The river Ax, after a short course in this County, runs into the Sea at Axmouth,Axmouth. formerly a good harbour for Ships; and several attempts have been made by the family of the Earls to repair it, but hitherto without Success.⌉
From hence, the Eastern bound runs in a crooked line by villages of little note, to the Severn-sea, which we will now coast.
The first shore after we leave Cornwall, lying for a long way upon the Severn-sea, is call’d by Ptolemy Hercules’s Promontory.Hercules’s Promontory. It retains something of that name in the present one of Hertypoint; and hath on it two small towns, Herton, and Hertlond, formerly famous for the reliques of Nectan a holy man, to whose honour a small monastery was here built by Githa,W. Malmes. Earl Godwin’s wife, who had a particular Veneration for Nectan, upon a conceit that her husband had escap’d shipwrack in virtue of his merits. Yet, afterwards, the Dinants, call’d also Dinhams, who came originally from Britaine in Armorica, and possessed this place, were accounted the Founders; from whom descended Baron Dinham,Dinham. High Treasurer of England in Henry the 7th’s time, by whose sisters and heirs this Estate was divided between Zouche, Fitzwarin, Carew, and Arundel. ⌈The possessions of the foresaid Monastery were confirm’d by Richard 1, with the grant of great Immunities; particularly of a Court holding plea of all matters, saving life and member, arising within their own lands. In the time of Queen Elizabeth, a Bill was preferr’d in the house of Commons, for the finishing of this port.⌉
The name of the foresaid Promontory has given credit to a very formal story,Whether Hercules came into Britain. that Hercules came into Britain, and kill’d I know not what Giants. Whether that be true, which the Mythologists affirm, that there was no such man as Hercules,V. Sammes, Brit. p.56. but that it is a meer fiction to denote the strength of human prudence, whereby we subdue pride, lust, envy, and such like monsters; or whether by Hercules be meant the Sun, according to the Gentile Theology, and those twelve labours undergone by him be an emblem only of the Zodiack and it’s twelve signs, which the sun runs thro’ yearly; as to these, let them that have asserted them, look to the truth of them. For my part, I readily believe there was a Hercules, nay, if you please, that there were 43 of them, as Varro does; all whose Actions were ascrib’d to that one, the son of Alcmena. Yet I cannot imagin, that ever Hercules was here, unless he was wafted over in that cup which Nereus gave him, and of which Athenæus makes mention.Athenaeus But you’ll object, that Franciscus Philelphus in his Epistles, and Lilius Giraldus in his Hercules, affirm this very thing. With submission, these later writers may move me, but they will not convince me; when Diodorus Siculus, who has writ the history of Greece from the first known ages of it, expresly tells us, that neither Hercules nor Bacchus ever went into Britain. And therefore I take it for granted, that the name of Hercules was given this place, either by some Greeks out of vanity, or some Britains upon a Religious account. These, being a warlike People, had brave men in great admiration; such especially as had destroy’d monsters: the Greeks, on the other hand, dedicated every thing they found magnificent in any place, to the glory of Hercules; and because he was a great traveller they who travell’d, were wont to offer sacrifices, and consecrate the places where they arriv’d, to him. Hence comes Hercules’s Rock in Campania, Hercules’s Haven in Liguria, Hercules’s Grove in Germany, and Hercules’s Promontories in Mauritania, Galatia, and Britain.
⌈Not far from this Promontory, is Clovelly-harbour,
Clovelly. secured with a Piere, erected at great charges by the Carys, who have had their seats here from the time of Richard 2. It is now the most noted place in those parts for herring-fishing. At a little distance, lies Hole or South-hold,South-hold. the native place of Dr. John Moreman, Vicar of Maynhennet in Cornwall, towards the latter end of Henry 8; memorable upon this account, that he was the first who taught his Parishioners the Lord’s Prayer, Creed, and ten Commandments, in the English tongue. By which we learn, in how short a time this language did entirely prevail against the native Cornish.⌉
As the shore goes back from the Promontory of Hercules; two rivers, the Towridge and Taw, which are the only rivers in this north-part of the County, fall from one mouth into the sea. The Towridge rising not far from the Promontory of Hercules already mention’d, runs towards the east; and receiving the Ocke, which has given name to OckhamptonOckhampton. ⌈formerly but⌉ a little market-town; where Baldwin the Viscount had his castle in William the Conqueror’s time, as appears from Domesday.Domesday. ⌈It had 92 Knights-fees belonging to it; and is at present a good market-town, incorporated by K. James ⌈the 1st;⌉ sends Burgesses to Parliament, and gives the title of Baron to the family of the Mohuns; of whom, John, son of Sir Reginald Mohun, Baronet, was first advanced to this honour in the fourth year of King Charles the first, by the title of Lord Mohun of Ockhampton. More to the north, lies Stamford-Courtney,Stamford-Courtney. where began a great insurrection in the time of King Edward 6, by two of the Inhabitants; one of whom would have no Gentlemen, the other no Justices of Peace. At a little distance, is North-Tawton,North-Tawton. where is a pit of large circumference, 10 foot deep; out of which sometimes springs up a little brook or bourn, and continues for many days. It is taken by the common people to be a fore-runner of publick Calamity; like that Bourn in Herefordshire, call’d Woobournmore. Directly to the north, upon the river Moule, lieth South-moulton,South-Moulton. an ancient town incorporate, formerly call’d Snow-moulton; at which time it was held by the Martyns, by Sergeanty, to find a man with a bow and three arrows to attend the Earl of Gloucester, when he should hunt thereabouts.⌉
The Towridge turns it’s course suddenly toward the north, by Tourington,Tourington. to which it gives name; seated on the side of a hill, and hanging over it for a good way. ⌈In old Records it is called Chepan-Torrington; an ancient Borough, which sent Burgesses to Parliament. But that privilege hath been long discontinu’d, both here, and in other places of this County. It was incorporated by Queen Mary, by the name of Mayor, Aldermen and Burgesses; and yielded the title of Earl to George Duke of Albemarle, the great Instrument in the Restoring of King Charles 2; and after him, to Christopher his only son. By whose death, this, among the other titles, became extinct, and was bestowed upon Arthur Herbert, Admiral; and he also dying without issue, this place hath given the title of Baron, to the Honourable Thomas Newport, a younger branch of the Family of the Earls of Bradford.⌉ Thence, it runs by Bediford,Bediford. pretty famous, for the resort of People to it, and for an arched stone bridge. ⌈This is so high, that a ship of 50 or 60 tun may sail under it. For which, and for number of arches, it equals, if not exceeds all others in England. It was begun by Sir Theobald Granvill; and for the finishing of it, the Bishop of the Diocese granted out Indulgences, to move the people to liberal contributions; and accordingly, great sums of money were collected. This place hath been in the possession of the Granvills,Granvills. ever since the Conquest; a family famous for Sir Richard Granvill’s behaviour in Glamorganshire, in the reign of William Rufus; and for another of the same name under Queen Elizabeth, who with one ship maintain’d a sea-fight for 24 hours against 50 of the Spanish Galleons; and at last yielded upon honourable terms, after his powder was spent, having slain above 1000 of the Spaniards, and sunk 4 of their greatest vessels. Which family hath since been honour’d with the titles of Baron of Bediford and Kilhampton, Viscount Lansdown, and Earl of Bath.⌉ Below Bediford, the Towridge joins the Taw, which, rising in the very heart of the County, is first carry’d by Chimligh,Chimligh. a little market-town; not far from Chettelhampton,Chettelhampton. a small village, where Hierytha, kalendar’d among the She-saints, was bury’d.J. Hooker, of the Bishops of Exeter. From thence, flowing by Tawton, where Werstan and Putta, the first Bishops of Devonshire, had their See about the year 906; and by Tawstoke which stands over-against it, and * * Is, C.was the seat of the right honourable the Bourchiers, Earls of Bath; it hastens to Berstable.Berstable. This is accounted an ancient town, and for neatness and populousness far surpasses all upon this coast; situated among hills in the form of a semicircle, and upon the river, which makes, as it were, the diameter to it. This river, upon a spring-tide at every new and full moon, overflows the fields to that degree, that the town it self seems a Peninsula: but then, as the Poet says,Se æquor refundit in æquor. when the sea returns into the sea, ’tis so small, that it will hardly carry little vessels; being diffus’d, in a winding Current, among the sands. On the south, there is a stately bridge, built by one Stamford a citizen of London; on the north, near the confluence of the little river North-Ewe, are the remains of a Castle, which is commonly said to have been built by King Athelstan; but some ascribe it to Judael de Totenais. For the defence of it, certain lands hereabouts are held in Castle-garde. It had formerly walls quite round, whereof there is hardly the least sign remaining. This Judael de Totenais had it given him, to hold by ¦ ¦ Clientelari jure.Tenure of King William 1; and, after that, the Tracyes held it a considerable time: next to them the Martyns; and then, in the reign of Richard 2, it came to John Holand Earl of Huntingdon, who was afterwards Duke of Exeter; and last of all, to the Crown. But Queen Mary gave this manour to Thomas Marrow; whose son sold it. In the reign of William 1, (as it is in Domesday,) it had forty burgesses within the Burg, and nine without. Henry 1. endowed it with many privileges, and King John with more. It was govern’d a long time by a Mayor and two Bailiffs; but Queen Mary granted it a Mayor, two Aldermen, and a Common-Council of four and twenty. The inhabitants, for the most part, are merchants, who drive a considerable trade with France and Spain. Nor must I forget to take notice of two very learned men and most famous Divines educated in this School; John JewelJohn Jewell. Bishop of Salisbury, and Thomas HardingTho. Harding. Professor in Lovain; who very warmly, and very acutely engag’d each other, upon the subject of Religion.
From hence, the Taw (passing by Ralegh,Ralegh. which formerly belong’d to it’s noble lords of the same name, and after, to the famous family sirnam’d de Chichester; and then being enlarg’d by the river Towridge;) runs into the Severn-sea, but finds not the Kinuith-castle,Kinuith. mention’d by Asserius. Yet there was upon this coast a castle of that name; and so situated, that there was no approaching it on any side but the east; where in the year 879, Hubba the Dane, who had harass’d the English, and cut off great numbers of them, was himself cut off; and the place, from thence-forward, call’d HubbestowHubbestow. by our Historians. At the same time, the Danish standard called Reasan, was taken by the English. Which I the rather observe, because from a little story in Asser Menevensis, who has recorded these things, it may be gather’d, that the Danes had a Crow in their standard, which is said to have been wrought in needle-work by the daughters of Lothbroc the Dane; and, as they conceived, made them invincible.
There is nothing, hence-forward, to be seen on this Northern shore but ⌈Braunton,Braunton. where many hundred acres of land are overflown by the sands; and the place, from them, is called Santon: tall Trees, some of 30 foot in length, have been dug-up here. And Mort,Mort. to which Sir William Tracye, one of the murtherers of Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, retir’d, 23 years after the fact; contrary to what the vulgar Chronicles say, that all who were concerned in that murder, dy’d miserably, in three years after: and⌉ Ilfarcombe,Ilfarcombe. which is a pretty safe harbour for ships; ⌈and remarkable for the lights kept here for the direction of Sailors; and much more, for Mr. Camden’s being Prebendary hereof; which Preferment belongs to the Church of Salisbury, and might then be enjoy’d by Lay-men.⌉ To this joins Combmarton, below which have been * * Lately opened. C.opened some old lead-mines, not without veins of silver also. Now Combe,Combe, what it signifies. (that I may observe it once for all) which is frequently added to the names of places in these parts, Nicotius.signifies a low situation, or a vale, and perhaps may come from the British word Kum, which has the same meaning; and the French also retain it in the same sense to this day. ⌈The addition of Martin,Martin de Tours. is from Martin de Tours a Norman Lord, who had great possessions here in the time of Henry 1. The silver-mines just now mentioned, were first discover’d in Edward 1st’s days, when 337 Men were brought from the Peake in Derbyshire, to work here. In the reign of King Edward 3, they yielded that King great profits, towards carrying on the French war. After they had been long neglected, they were re-enter’d in Q. Elizabeth’s time, who presented a Cup made here, to the then Earl of Bath, with this Inscription:
In Martyn’s combe I long lay hid,
Obscure, depress’d with grosser soyl,
Debased much with mixed lead
Till Bulmer came, whose skill and toyl
Reformed me so pure and clean,
As richer no where else is seen.
These silver-mines were again wrought in, not many years since.⌉
More to the south-east, and adjoyning to Somersetshire, stands Bampton,Bampton. formerly Baentun, which in William the Conqueror’s time fell to Walter de Doway or Duacensis, with other very large estates elsewhere; of whose posterity Juliana an heiress (marry’d to William Paganell, commonly Paynell)Paganell or Paynell. had issue Fulco de Bampton: he also had a son, William, and Christiana the wife of Cogan an Irishman, whose posterity came to the estate; the heir of William dying without issue. From the Cogans it came by Inheritance to the Bourchiers Earls of Bath, through the hands of Hancford, and the Fitz-warins. ⌈This place brought forth John de Bampton in the time of King Henry 6, a Carmelite Monk and a learned man, who first read Aristotle publickly in the University of Cambridge, where he commenced Doctor, and writ divers Books; and it hath been noted, of late years, for an excellent Chalybeate Spring.⌉
Earls of Devonshire. In the beginning of the Norman Government (not to mention Hugh the Norman, whom Queen Emma had formerly set over this County) King William 1. made one Baldwin hereditary Viscount of Devonshire, and Baron of Ockhampton: and he was succeeded in this honour of Viscount by his son Richard, who dy’d without issue-male. King Henry 1. afterwards conferr’d upon Richard de Redveriis, first, Tiverton, and after that the honour of Plimpton, with other places appertaining to it; and then made him Earl of Devonshire, granting him the third penny of the yearly revenue of this County. Ford-Abbey Register. But the revenues belonging to the King, did not, at most, exceed 30 marks; out of which the said Earl was to deduct ten, yearly, for his own share. After these, he obtain’d the Isle of Wight of the said King, and thence was stil’d Earl of Devonshire, and Lord of the Isle. He had a son, Baldwin, who was banish’d for siding with Mawd the Empress against Stephen. Yet Richard, the son, recover’d this his Father’s honour; and left two sons, Baldwin and Richard, successively Earls of Devonshire, who dy’d without issue; and then this honour fell to their Uncle, William, sirnam’d de Vernon. He had a son, Baldwin, who dy’d in the life-time of his father; having first (by Margaret, daughter of Guarin Fitz-Gerold) had Baldwin, the third of that name, who was Earl of Devonshire. He had two children; Baldwin, the last Earl of this family, who dy’d without issue (and chang’d the Gryphon clenching a little beast, which his ancestors us’d in their seal, into a scutcheon or, a lion rampant azure;) and Isabel, who was married to William de Fortibus Earl of Albemarle, and had a son, Thomas, who dy’d young; and Avellina, marry’d to Edmund Earl of Lancaster, whom she very much enriched. But she soon dying without issue, Hugh Courtney, descended (as it is deliver’d down to us) from the Royal line of France, and ally’d to the former Earls, was by King Edward 3, by his Letter only, without any other ceremony, created Earl of Devonshire: For so he commanded him, to use that title. Claus.9 Ed.3. m.35. in dorso. He was succeeded by his son Hugh; after whom Edward, his grand-child by his son Edward, enjoy’d it; and dying, left it to his son Hugh. He likewise to a son, Thomas, who dy’d in the 36th year of King Henry 6. This Thomas had three sons, Thomas, Henry, and John; whose Condition, during the bloody wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, was very uncertain; they still resolutely adhering to the Lancastrians. Thomas was beheaded at York; and Henry his brother, who succeeded, underwent the same fate 7 years after at Salisbury. And altho’ King Edward 4.9 Edw. 4. created Humfrey Stafford Lord Stafford of Suthwick, Earl of Devonshire, who dy’d that same year; yet John Courtney, the youngest brother, would never part with this Title, till he lost his life in Tewkesbury-fight. From hence-forward this family for a long time lay, in a manner, extinct; yet it flourished again under Henry 7, who restored Edward Courtney, the next heir male, to the honour of his Ancestors. He had a son, William, Earl of Devonshire, who marry’d Catharine daughter of Edward 4, by whom he had Henry Earl of Devonshire, who was also Marquess of Exeter, and was beheaded in Henry 8th’s time. His son Edward, a noble young Gentleman of great hopes, being restor’d to all by Queen Mary, dy’d at Padua in Italy: for, to use the words of Quadrigarius, The better the Man, the shorter the life. In the 46th year after his death, Charles Blunt Lord Montjoye, Vice-Roy of Ireland ( a person not only of ancient and noble extraction, but famous for Conduct, and Learning;) as a reward for having recover’d Ireland, and reduc’d it to its former state, by driving out the Spaniard, and either defeating the rebels, or forcing them to submit, was by K. James ⌈1st,⌉ created1603. Earl of Devonshire, advanc’d to many other honours, and by the bounty of the King rais’d to great riches: but death soon put an end to the enjoyment of all this wealth and honour. ⌈Whereupon, the same King in the 16th year of his reign, created William Lord Cavendish of Hardwick, Earl of Devonshire; whose son and grandson, both Williams, successively enjoy’d that dignity; as did also his great grandson, of the same name, till by the special favour of King William and Queen Mary, he was, in the sixth year of their reign, created Marquiss of Hartington and Duke of Devonshire; which Titles are now enjoyed by William, his Son and heir, a person of great Virtue, and Honour.⌉
There are in this County 394 Parish-Churches.
More rare Plants growing wild in Devonshire.
Avena nuda Ger. J. B. C. B. Park. Naked Oats or Pillis. This by report is sown in some places of this County, as well as in Cornwall.
Saxifragae aureae Cymbalariae C. Alsine spuria pusilla repens, foliis Saxifragæ aureæ. Small round-leaved creeping bastard chick-weed. This is no less frequent in this County than in Cornwall, on the like watery banks.
Ascyrum supinum villosum palustre: Marsh round-leaved S. Peter’s wort. On moist boggy grounds and about shallow pools of water. See the Synonyma in Cornwall.
C. Campanula Cymbalariæ foliis. Ivy-leaved Bell-flower. No less common in this County than in Cornwall, in the like places.
Eryngium vulgare J. B. vulgare & Camerarii C. B. mediterraneum Ger. mediterraneum sive campestre Park. On the rock which you descend to the Ferry from Plimouth over into Cornwall. This plant, probably, groweth not wild any where in England save here, near Daventry in Northamptonshire, and on the shore call’d Friar-goose near Newcastle upon Tine.
Gramen junceum maritimum exile Plimostii Park. p. 1271. Small sea Rush-grass of Plimouth. Near Plimouth on the wet grounds.
Juncus acutus maritimus capitulis rotundis C. B. acutus maritimus alter Park. Sea-rush with globular heads. Found by Mr. Stephens in Braunton-boroughs in this County.
Caesalpini Melissae quae Lichen seu muscus marinus variegatus. Fungus auricularis Cæsalpini J. B. Fucus maritimus Gallo-pavonis pennas referens C. B. The Turkeys feather. Found by the same Mr. Stephens on the rocks near Exmouth, plentifully.
Lamium montanum Melissæ folio C. B. Melissa Fuchsii Ger. Melissophyllon Fuchsii Park. Melissa adulterina quorundam, amplis foliis, & floribus non grati odoris J. B. Baulm-leaved Archangel, Bastard-Baulm. In many woods in this County, and particularly near Totnes. This is the Plant, I suppose, that the authors of Phytologia Britannica meant by Melissa Moldavica, which they say grew in Mr. Champernon’s wood by his house on the hill-side near Totnes. For Melissa Moldavica is a plant so far from growing wild with us, that it continueth not long in gardens self-sown.
Rubia sylvestris Park. sylv. aspera, quæ sylvestris Dioscoridis C. B. sylvestris Monspessulana major J. B. nonnullis Rubia hexaphyllos. Wild Madder. It grows on the rocks near the bridge at Bediford, and all along the hedges on both sides the way between Westly and Bediford, and in many other places of this County.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52