EXETER, 1780 to 1799

Trewman's Flying Post Jan 29th 1879

Exeter and its neighbourhood under George 11 - 1V

Selected and annotated by Robert DYMOND, F.S.A.


March 10th, Great rejoicing at Exeter at the news of Admiral Sir George RODNEY'S victories. The Sussex Militia and the Exeter Volunteers fired volleys. The parish bells were rung but those of the Cathedral remained silent. There was a general illumination in the evening. We could wish to add that no mischief ensued, but that was not the case for a mob collected together, and paraded the streets, destroying the windows of such houses as were not lighted, some of which were untenanted, others the inhabitants were not at home, but the chief sufferers were the Quakers, whose religious principles have always restrained them from exhibitions of any kind."

June 9th, "No popery" riots in London under Lord George GORDON, from the 2nd to the 7th. Newgate Gaol burnt. The National Debt now amounts to 177,206,000.

Aug 18th, John PARKER and John ROLLE Esq'rs re-elected for Devon without contest.

Stephen HAWTREY Esq elected on the 7th Recorder of Exeter, in room of Serjeant John HEATH, elected to the bench of the Common Pleas [Mr HAWTREY continued in office till August 1794. He died of gout at his house in Bedford Circus, 26th Jan, 1799]

Sept 15th, Sir Charles Warwick BAMPFYLDE and John BARING Esq, re-elected for Exeter without opposition, Mr J. B. CHOLWICH who appeared as a candidate, declined a contest.

Sept 22nd, Sir Charles Warwick BAMPFYLDE presented to Exeter Library 44 volumes of the Journals of the House of Commons, with reports and indices from 1547 to 1778 [These are now in the D and E Institution]


May 11th, Sale advertised for the brick built house in Theatre Lane [now Waterbeet St] where the Exeter Flying Post is published. R. TREWMAN will treat for the sale.

May 25th, 15 advertisements of Sales by the Candle, appear in the paper, chiefly of Dutch prize vessels.

July 27th, Denys WALTER Esq, of Hudscot, Devon, obtains royal license to take the surname and bear the arms of ROLLE, pursuant to the will of the late John Rolle WALTER Esq, of Stevenstone [He was the father of John ROLLE Esq, then M.P, for Devon and afterwards the first and only Baron ROLLE]

Aug 17th, The freedom of Exeter presented to Rear Admiral Sir Samuel HOOD, Bart, and Vice-Admiral Hyde PARKER.

Sept 7th, Death on the 1st, in his 63rd year of William CHAPPLE, 40yrs Secretary of the D and E. Hospital from its foundation. [Mr C was steward of the Courtenay Estates and author of Review of Risdon's Survey of Devon and other works, which testified to his learning and research]

Sept 14, H.R.H, the Duke of Gloucester, with the Duchess and two children arrived in Exeter at 5pm, on the 13th on his way to Mamhead, the seat of Earl Lisburne. Soon after he reached the London Inn, the Mayor, Recorder, Town Clerk, Alderman and Council, and the several incorporated bodies "waited on" the Duke, who accompanied them on foot to the Guildhall, where the Recorder made him a speech and he was presented with the Freedom of the City. On the 17th he visited Plymouth Dockyard and afterwards returned to Mamhead. On their return journey to London on the 20th, the Duke and Duchess passed through Exeter without encountering a renewal of civic attention.

Oct 9th, The British Army under Earl Cornwallis capitulates to General Washington.

Oct 19th, On Sunday evening the 14th, a terrible fire broke out in West Town, Crediton, near the Church, consuming 12 houses containing 30 tenement inhabited by the poor. On Monday 15th, fire destroyed several houses in Tiverton, and James CONEYBEER was committed for trial as the suspected incendiary.

Nov 23rd, Mr Robert TREWMAN , the publisher of this paper, advertised his removal from Theatre Lane to "a house in High St, nearly opposite St Martin's Lane" [The paper continued to be published there until about 20yrs ago. Part of the house is now the Devon Weekly Times office, and it is a picturesque example of ancient street architecture]

Nov 23rd, Announcement of the marriage on the 19th of the Rev Mr ROUS, rector of Clyst St George to a daughter of Izaack Esq, of Exeter, "a young lady of a very genteel fortune, whose mental and personal qualities cannot fail of rendering the conjugal state truly happy." [We quote this as a sample of a kind of observation very frequently appended to wedding announcements. At a somewhat earlier date it was very usual to state the amount of the bride's fortune]

Dec 14th, The Freedom of Exeter presented to Lieutenant-General Earl Cornwallis on his way through Exeter.

Dec 21st, An advertisement announced the sale of the New Inn, held for the residue of 40yrs lease from the Dean and Chapter. The tenant Richard LLOYD, continues the business.


Jan 18th, A meeting of woollen manufacturers held at the Guildhall to oppose the powers sought by the wool growers to export wool.

Jan 25th, The Freedom of Exeter presented to Lieut-Colonel SIMEOS whose early life was spent in the city

April 5th, A letter addressed to Sir J. W. POLE, the High Sheriff, on behalf of the Grand Jury of Devon to John PARKER and John ROLLE, Esqrs, M.P.s for the county, urging them to oppose the intended bill to allow the exportation of wool and the importation of Irish yarn as prejudicial to the interests of local woollen manufacturers.

April 12th, The remains of Frances, Viscountess Courtenay [who died in Grosvenor Square, London on the 23rd ult] were brought to Exeter on the 4th and "lay in state at his lordship's house in St Peter's Churchyard [now the Devon and Exeter Institution] till the next morning when the funeral procession left in great state for Powderham, where the interment took place the same evening."

Admiral ROPNEY gained a complete victory over the French in the West Indies, capturing Admiral de Grasse and ten sail of the line. [This event was annually celebrated by a supper at the Anchor Inn, Exe Island, where a transparency representing the action was usually exhibited in one of the windows. The landlord George PAYNE and his son named George Rodney, after his hero]

July 31st, Amongst the persons capitally convicted at the Assizes was Rebecca DOWNING, sentenced to be burnt alive for the murder of Richard JARVIS. "Rebecca DOWNING was on Monday last, pursuant to her sentence drawn on a sledge to the place of execution [at Ringwell], attended by an amazing concourse of people, where, after being strangled, her body was burnt to ashes. While under sentence and at the place of execution she appeared totally ignorant of her situation and insensible to every kind of admonition".

Oct 15th, The Freedom of Exeter presented to Lord NORTH, the Prime Minister.

Nov 30th. Articles of peace signed at Paris between the British and American Commissioners, by which the Independence of the United States was acknowledged.


Jan 17th, The Corporation advertised that owing to the inconvenience arising from the obstruction of High St by holding the market for fish, vegetables, and oats, they had lately purchased a plot of ground near the Swan Inn, High St. [now absorbed by Queen St] and had thereon erected proper stalls and sheds, and they had ordered on the 9th January that henceforth should be held there the market for fish, now held in High St, near Martin's Lane, the market for vegetables heretofore held in High St, where the conduit formerly stood, and the market for oats heretofore held in High St, near St Olave's Church.

Jan 20th, Preliminary articles of peace between Great Britain, France and Spain, signed at Versailles.

Feb 14th, Advertisement, "A main Cocks to be fought at Exeter between the Gentlemen of Somerset and the Gentlemen of Devon for 10 guineas a Battle and 200 the odd Battle, to weigh on Monday, the 17th of February, and fight the three following days. Hole and Wadling Feeders."

May 24th, The Rev Gilbert YARDE of Whiteway, aged 70, rector of Teigngrace was barbarously murdered by his discharged servant John GREENSLADE, who attacked him with a holly bludgeon whilst riding round his estate. The criminal was executed at Haldon, near the scene of the murder, on the 12th of the following August, and his body, according to custom was given for dissection.

July 10th, "A comparison between the years 1750 and 1783. "In the year 1750 Hackney Coaches were plain, awkward, clumsy things, hung by leathers, at present they are tasty and almost as handsome as those belonging to people of fashion. At the time country gentlemen and their families kept at home or made a journey once a year with a pair of dock-tailed black horses, whereas now they spend all their fortunes in London, and drive hunters of 100 guineas a pair. Fashions in the former period did not reach any place 50 miles from London till they were nearly out, now they travel down in coaches and diligences in a few hours. In the year 1750 farmers daughters carried butter and eggs to market in green Josephs fastened around with a leather girdle, now they wear riding habits and plumes of feathers. Formerly citizens wore round wigs and worsted stockings, now, nothing but queues and silk hose are worn by their apprentices and porters. In 1760 mutton was 3d per lb, now it is over 6d. Maids wages at the time were 3 to 6 pounds per annum, they are now from 8 to 10 pounds. The number of merchants at the time were very small, but those were in general wealthy and respectable, their daughters learned to work and make pastry, now merchants are as numerous as clerks, and their families emulous in dissipation. 40 years ago there were hardly any turnpike roads. Islington and Camberwell were then both distant villages, now they are almost united with London."

Aug 21st, On the 14th Admiral Lord HOED, with his wife, son and daughter, were met by a number of sailors at the foot of Paris St, where he left his carriage, and the horses being taken out, it was drawn with the ladies to his brother-in-laws Alderman WALKER, in the Circus. The Admiral and his son walked through the streets to the same place, escorted by the people with music, flags etc. The Cathedral and other bells rang. On the 16th he was received at the Guildhall by the Mayor and Chamber, and the Recorder addressed him a speech in presenting the freedom of the city.

Sept 4th, 7 malefactors executed at Ringwell Gallows, beyond Heavitree Bridge, all for robberies.


Jan 29th, A great fall of snow rendered the West Country roads almost impassable.

Feb 5th, A coach advertised to run from Exeter to London in 32 hrs.

March 11th, Death on the 6th from a severe illness, aged 51, Joseph FOOTE, comedian and proprietor of the Exeter and Plymouth theatres. Interred at St George's Church, Exeter.

April 8th, John ROLLE and John Pollexfen BASTARD, Esqrs, elected M.P,s for Devon without opposition, the latter in the room of John PARKER Esq, of Saltram, raised to the peerage with the title of Baron Boringdon. At the Exeter election John BARING Esq, polled 650 votes, Sir C. W. BAMPFYLDE, 580, and James BULLER, Esq, 503. The two former being elected, "were then mounted on a phaeton and drawn through the streets by the populace with colours flying, bells ringing, and preceded by a band of music"

Sept 9th, The remains of Sir Eyre COOTE, passed through Exeter, with a pompous funeral procession, on their way from Plymouth to the family seat in Hampshire.

Sept 15th, Lunardi makes the first aerial experiment in England, by ascending in a balloon from the Artillery ground in London. In the following January M. BLANCHARD and Dr JEFFRIES, crossed the straits from Dover to Calais in about 2 hrs.

Oct 21st, Labourers began to pull down East-gate, " the materials of which we hear are to be applied to the building of a new prison." [Part of the red stone materials were used in building the front of the adjacent house now tenanted by Mr Mark ROWE, where was re-erected the statue of Henry V11, which stood over the archway of the gate]


Jan 20th, At the County Sessions, Edmund BASTARD Esq, resigned the office of Clerk of the Peace and Mr Christopher GULLET that of Deputy, when the Lord Lieutenant conferred the Clerkship on Redmund KELLY Esq of Isleworth and Richard EALES Esq was sworn in Deputy.

Richard MAY convicted of an unnatural crime, was condemned to stand on the 19th in the pillory in front of the Guildhall. The crowd filled the streets from St Martin's Lane to the Conduit [the site of Carfoix] and, notwithstanding the efforts of the peace officers, pelted the culprit with rotten eggs etc, and "could have got near him he would not have escaped alive".

March 31st, Several letters to the Editor mention the probability of discovering coal near Exeter, particularly between Cowley-bridge and Stoke Canon.

April 7th, Six malefactors executed at Ringwell gallows Heavitree.

April 28th, The Rev Gilbert BURRINGTON, elected minister of Chudleigh, by 46 votes out of 53. There were great rejoicings on the occasion, the candidate providing the voters with dinner etc, and the populace with several hogsheads of cider. [The patronage was vested in the inhabitants]

May 19th, A great fire at West Exe, Tiverton, consumed 51 houses.

July 7th, Another fire at Ashburton, destroyed upwards of 30 dwellings.

Aug 18th, "Mail coaches are preparing, and will speedily bring the mail to this city and proceed to the Land's End, branching off to the various offices through the West of England. [Mail coaches were first established in London on the 2nd of this month. Many persons lived to see the first and the last of these vehicles]

Sept 8th, An advertisement signed by Richard EALES, Deputy Clerk of the Peace, mentions that John JUTSUM, Keeper of the Debtor's Prison in St Thomas, will apply to the Quarter Sessions for a salary in lieu of the profits derived from the sale of liquors in the prison, in pursuance of an Act enabling Justices to repair Gaols etc.

Oct 27th, An advertisement announces the establishment of mail coaches to run from Exeter to London in 24hrs carrying no outside passengers.


Jan 12th, A thaw, accompanied by rain, following on a heavy snow, caused a great flood in the Exe. The streets of St Thomas were inundated, the water being 4ft deep in Okehampton St. Vessels from the Quay broke away from their moorings.

Jan 12th, Several thatched houses destroyed by fire in Paris St. [The common use of thatch made it difficult to subdue the frequent conflagrations in Paris St and other parts of the suburb of St Sidwell's]

Jan 26th, 15 dwellings destroyed by fire which broke out in a small house adjoining the White Hart Inn, at Axminster.

The establishment of the new mail coaches was evidently unpalatable to those who were interested in the sober-going Diligences and Coaches. The presumptuous attempts to attain a speed of 9 m.p.h, is thus forcibly condemned by a correspondent signing himself "Observator" He is "astonished [after the numerous accidents continually happening] that any rational person will venture a life in any of those destructive and dangerous vehicles ......., which, in so many instances, have proved fatal to passengers, one coach has been upset 15 times in 2 mths...... Notwithstanding those high flying giggs have been but a few weeks established between London and Exeter, yet we find they have been many times overset, and, in one instance, the poor coachman so terribly hurt that he has since been confined to his bed a long time, and perhaps will never be able to mount the dangerous box any more. That it was high time a new mode for expediting the mails with safety should be introduced, must be readily allowed, but could no line be drawn between melancholy and madness? no balance struck from moving to flying? What must we jump from 4 miles to 9 miles within the hour, and that in a manner too ridiculous and ill-fated for any man of common understanding to suppose for a moment its continuation, although this besom of destruction may to the short-sighted seem to sweep clear of the present. Can it be supposed that it is not greatly offending to the all-wise Disposer of things that those useful and beautiful creatures given for man's good are so cruelly butchered by the hands of barbarous, hardened, and unworthy beings, who glory in the cruelty towards the cattle employed in these pernicious conductors?"

Feb 9th, Death on the 5th, after a long and painful illness of Dr Thomas GLASS, in his 77th year. [Dr GLASS a member of an old Exeter family, had a large medical practice in Exeter for nearly half a century, and resided in the east side of Bartholomew Yard. Like many others of his profession, he had studied at Leyden under the celebrated Boerhaave. He was elected a physician to the Hospital in 1767, and his portrait painted by Opie, at the expense of his medical brethren, is in the Board room of that Institution. Ezekial's engraving of his portrait is still common in Exeter. Dr GLASS married Mary, daughter of Sir Nathaniel HODGES, he was buried in St David's Churchyard.]

A public meeting called by the Mayor, discussed the means of stopping the prevalent custom of smuggling wool into France to the great injury of the English manufacturer. The requisition to the Mayor was signed by HIRTZEL and Sons, Arundel PHILLIP, Robert KENNAWAY, Edmund JEFFREY, John and Charles BARING and SHORT, and other local traders.

March 2nd, A fire near the King's Arms, Crediton destroyed upwards of 20 dwellings

June 1st, Prince William Henry, who had been at Plymouth for some time, attended the races at Toines. He dined at the ordinary and danced at the Race Ball [The Duke of Clarence, afterwards King William 1V]

July 13th, The "Fly Waggons" of Thomas RUSSELL, advertised to travel from Exeter to London in 4 days.

Aug 3rd, Death on the 31st ult of Richard HAYNE, the city Swordbearer, of gout of the stomach. [his name does not occur in Dr Oliver's list of the Swordbearers].

Margaret NICHOLSON, a lunatic, attempted to stab the King.

Trewman's Flying Post Feb 5th, 1879

Exeter and its neighbourhood under George 111- V

Selected and annotated by Robert DYMOND, F.S.A.


Aug 17th, The High Sheriff, Alexander HAMILTON Esq, presided at a meeting of the Grand Jury of Devon, at which it was represented that, in consequence of an indictment preferred against the High Gaol [which then occupied the site of the late Independent Chapel in Castle Lane] Denys ROLLE Esq, who had the custody thereof, proposed either to bring the indictment to a speedy hearing or to obtain an Act at his own cost for assigning the Gaol to the public, he paying 1,000 to the County Treasurer to be laid out in improving the gaol in such manner as the public should direct. It was thereupon resolved that the proposal was highly beneficial and should be accepted on behalf of the County, and that the High Sheriff, Grand Jury, and gentlemen present be a committee to meet Mr ROLLE with the view of carrying out the proposition. [The custody of the High Gaol, "a sink of filth, pestilence and profligacy" devolved on Mr ROLLE as lord of the manor of Bicten, when John HOWARD the philanthropist, visited the gaol in 1770-82-87, he found the male and female felons herded together in one day room, where they gambled, drank, and swore. Underneath this, 7 or 8 feet below the ground level were three night dungeons. There was an offensive sewer in the court, and the dangerous condition of the place may be inferred from the fact that the surgeon was excused by his contract from attending any prisoners who might have the gaol fever. The Act for the erection of a new County Prison was passed in 1787, doubtless in pursuance of the above arrangement]

Sept 21st, "On Monday evening, the 18th, the felons confined in Southgate Prison had very nearly effected their escape. They had procured pick-axes and other instruments by which they had dug through the wall and would have got off in half-an-hour had they not been discovered. They are now doubly ironed and confined under a strong guard in Backgate until the prison is secured."

Oct 12th, A great fall of rain on the 7th, caused the Exe to rise 5 feet in 3 hours, inundating the lower parts of the city and St Thomas. The inhabitants of Alphington St resorted to boats, great numbers of sheep and cattle were drowned, and at Stoke Canon 15 houses were thrown down.

An advertisement signed by "Samuel MILFORD, Richard HALL CLARKE and Co" "informs the public that on Thursday, 28th December next, a bank will be opened under the name of the "City Bank" for transacting all business relative to money, bills, or the public funds, and every other branch in the banking line, on the most reasonable terms, and the same interest given for money as at the other banks" A later advertisement stated that the new bank would be opened "at a house near the Deanery."


Jan 4th, Death of John PATCH, surgeon, in his 64th year. [Mr PATCH'S residence and grounds, since the property of Edmund GRANGER Esq, and afterwards of the late R. S. GARD Esq, were advertised to be sold after his death. In the advertisement of the sale his widow mentions that her husband had made no entries of professional attendances, and therefore trusted to the honour of his patients for payment and referred them to his nephew, Mr Robert PATCH, who succeeded to his practice. Mr PATCH'S father of the same name, was elected a surgeon to the Devon and Exeter Hospital at its foundation in 1741, and his portrait by GANDY adorns the board room. He died in 1746. John PATCH the son was appointed to a similar post at the same time as his father, though then only 18 years of age, and his portrait by OPIE is to be found in the same place. He was a man of superior learning and kindly disposition.]

April 12th, Four convicted felons hung at Heavitree Gallows

June 14th, Mr Samuel KINGDON, ironmonger advertises the establishment of his warehouse in Theatre Lane [now called Waterbeer St]

Aug 4th, A mail coach advertised to perform the journey from Exeter to Plymouth in 7 hours, and another from Exeter to Falmouth in 16 hours.

Oct 25th, The New Theatre in the Circus "was opened on the 10th, with Mrs COWLEY'S "Belles Stratagem" under the patronage of Lord COURTENAY, "the audience was very large and brilliant, and testified their approbation of the elegance of the house by a continual applause, the front was illuminated with wax which added much to the lustre of the appearance" [The noble donor was Lord Viscount COURTENAY who had presented the new scenery. The "Bridges and Crescents" though multiplied by stage poetical license, referred to the recent erection of Exe Bridge and Bedford Crescent. It was not until a later date that the latter assumed the form of a circus by the erection of the western side. Notwithstanding the modest ambition of the manager, we shall presently find that "a SIDDONS" as well as others from the KEMBLE family did not disdain to display their talents on his stage]

Dec 6th, "On Monday 3rd, died Mrs WILDLER, who for many years has with great reputation kept the coffee house known by the name of Mol's Coffee House, in the Churchyard" [This house, now Mr WORTH'S picture gallery in the Cathedral Yard, and adjoining St Martin's Church, was in the last century, a place for resort for the country gentlemen in their visits to Exeter. In the oak-panelled rooms of this foreign-looking old building they sipped their chocolate as they discussed the latest gossip and news of the day]

An advertisement announces that, pursuant to a late Act, William SARELL, keeper of the High Gaol, intended to apply to the Quarter Sessions for a salary in lieu of the profits derived from the sale of liquors within the prison.

Dec 13th, Death on the 10th, at an advanced age of Edward DREWE Esq barrister at his house in the Churchyard [The town house of the family of DREWE of the Grange is a handsome red brick house [lately disfigured by being painted a stone colour] next to the official residence of the Archdeacon of Exeter, and now inhabited by Mrs TREADWIC, lacemaker]

Dec 27th, "On account of the heavy falls of snow and the severity of the frosts between this city and the metropolis, no mail coaches or expresses have been able to pass"


Jan 10th, On the 8th, H.R.H, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York passed through Exeter on their way to visit their brother Prince William Henry at Plymouth. There was a great concourse of people to see them, and the Cathedral and parish bells were rung, but they only remained long enough to dine at the London Inn [the Old London] and reached Plymouth in a coach and six at 11pm, amidst great popular demonstrations.

Jan 17th, The two princes returned from Plymouth on the 11th with their suite, but remained outside the London Inn while the horses were being changed. The populace again assembled in great crowds, the Cathedral and other bells were rung, and there was a general illumination.

Jan 31st, Mr and Mrs KEMBLE appeared in King Lear at the Exeter Theatre.

Feb 10th, The trial of Warren HASTINGS began at Westminster Hall.

March 6th, First public meeting in Exeter to condemn the Slave Trade, when it was resolved to petition Parliament for its abolition.

May 22nd, A fire in Peter St, Tiverton, consumed 10 houses in 3 hours.

July 17th, The names of Mr and Mrs THRALE and Mrs PIOZZI occur on the list of arrivals at Exmouth.

July 24th, A meeting of country gentlemen held at the Castle on the 17th, under the presidency of Sir John CHICHESTER, High Sheriff, discussed a plan for a new County Gaol. Mr John BARING stated that Mr BLACKBURNE, architect, considered the site proposed at or near the present Gaol [in Castle Lane] ineligible, as being near the Castle ditches there would be a difficulty in the foundations and in the supply of water, but he approved of "a spot at the back of Northernhay" Plans were produced providing a separate cell for each prisoner, at a cost of about 20,000. Mr HOWARD the Gaol philanthropist, had approved the site and offered advice and assistance.

Oct 2nd, Mr George SHORT, attorney, appointed Chapter Clerk, vice William WILLIAMS deceased.

Oct 23rd, Advertisement offering for sale the old established newspaper hitherto published by Richard THORN, lately deceased, and called The Old Exeter Journal and Weekly Advertiser for Devon and Cornwall, now in its 72nd year, and formerly published by Andrew BRICE. The purchaser could have the house opposite the Guildhall where the business was carried on]

Nov 14th, The King pronounced insane.

Dec 11th, A great fire on the 4th destroyed 26 houses in the upper part of St Sidwell's.

Dec 18th, Death on Sunday, 14th, "from the bursting of a blood vessel in a violent fit of coughing" at his house in Grosvenor Square, London, of the Right Hon Viscount COURTENAY, leaving a son and heir nearly of age. The remains were brought to Courtenay House, Exeter [the Devon and Exeter Institution] on the 26th, and the next day conveyed to Powderham accompanied by a procession of gentry and tenants nearly a mile long. The interment took place in the family vault at Powderham Church.

Dec 25th, Subscriptions entered into for the relief of the great distress amongst the poor of Exeter. Three per cent consols were quoted at 74, but the assize of wheat was only 5s-9d a bushel.


Jan 1st, A great fall of snow rendered the roads impassable. The Falmouth and Plymouth mail coaches had to be dug out.

Feb 5th, Destruction by fire of Clovelly Court the seat of J. HAMLYN Esq, nothing being saved but a small quantity of plate. Feb 17th, The King, pronounced convalescent, and on the 25th, quite recovered.

April 16th, Extract from an Exmouth letter :- "Yesterday being the 14th inst, April, a grand performance of "Skymmation" came in procession to this place from Woodbury and Lympston, it was such as was scarce ever before exhibited, consisting of two troupes of horsemen and two battalions of pedestrians, with their proper officers etc, drums beating fifes playing, and colours flying. In the middle of the procession was a cart drawn by one horse, in which were two people, representing a man and his wife fighting, after whom the Lord Mayor dressed in a crimson silk cloak, trimmed with fringe in imitation of gold lace, his horse was led by two footmen, and he was attended by his secreary etc and a very grand band of music. On there entering this place they were met by a large body of the inhabitants, with colours flying and music playing, who, after saluting them with repeated buzzas, conducted them into the town, where a genteel repast, consisting of buns, cakes and Devonia wine [cyder] was provided, with which they refreshed themselves, and were re-conducted with great pomp to the end of the quay, from whence they returned through Lympston to Woodbury in a most regular and exact manner. The whole made a very splendid appearance, being performed in a very masterly manner to the great satisfaction of vast quantities of spectators who flocked from all parts." [The custom of the "Skymmington" is believed to be of Scandinavian origin, but Hoefnagel in his "Views in Seville 1591, refers to a similar custom in Spain. It was practised in derision of a quarrelsome married pair, especially when the husband was henpecked. Gross tells us that the man rode behind the woman with his face to the tail of the horse or ass. The man held a distaff whilst the woman belaboured his jowls with a ladle, and Douce derives the name from skimming-ladle. As the procession passed a house where the wife was paramount, each gave the threshold a sweep. Sir Walter Scott refers to the custom in The Fortunes of Nigel. "Hark ye dame Ursley Saddlecup" said Jenkin, starting up his eyes flashing with anger, "remember, I am none of your husband, and if I were, you would do well not to forget whose threshold was swept when they last rode the skymmington upon such another scolding jade as yourself."

July 14th, Destruction of the Bastille in Paris and the governor De Launcey beheaded by the populace. The French revolution commences.

Aug 6th, In anticipation of the expected visit of George 111 to Exeter, this paper gives the following account of Charles 1st visit to Devon from a journal kept by Sir Richard REYNELL, of Ford House, Newton Abbot :-

"1625 King Charles the Duke of Buckingham, with diverse other lords came from Mr Pawlets of Heynton, Wednesdaye the 16th September, 1625, to my unkell, Sir Richard Raynell's house of Forde, and the Thurdaye after dinner in the dinings chamber, which was then the Chamber of Presence, Knighted myself and my brother Sir Thomas Reynell, who was his Majesties Servant and Server in ordinary to his person, in the presence of our wifes and divers, lords and ladies, saying to ous, "God give you joye" which wordes he also used to our wifes and kiste them at his departure towards Plymouth, wheare having settled buisnesses concerning his fleete, which expedition for Cales, returned again unto my unkell's house, the 24th being Satterdaye, and the Sundaye was at Woolborough Church, and at my unkell's suite cured a child which was troubled with the King's Evil. The Mondaye his Majestie returned to Heynton. Mr Pawlet was shortly afterwards made a Lorde"

11 prisoners sentenced to death at the Castle by Mr Justice BULLER, all for crimes less than murder.

Aug 13th, At the Quarter Sessions held before John BARING, Richard Inglett FORTESCUE and John Burridge CHOLWICH, Esqrs, Sir Alexander HAMILTON, Bart, and other trustees, it was resolved to erect a new County Gaol, near Danes Castle, under Howell's Lane, on a piece of ground called The Snake Field.

King George 111, with Queen Charlotte and their three daughters, left their favourite Weymouth at 8am on the 12th, by 2pm they reached Escot, then the seat of Sir George YONGE, but now of Sir John H. KENNAWAY Bart, and after a stay of 3 hours proceeded to Exeter, where they were welcomed by the acclamation of thousands of people, the ringing of bells, the roar of cannon, and the blaze of fireworks. The municipal and ecclesiastical authorities presented the royal addresses. The royal visitors were quartered at the Deanery, and a levee at the Palace was attended by several of the county magistrates. They spent some time visiting the Cathedral, and at 9am on the 14th, left the city for a stay of several days at Saltram, the seat of Lord Boringdon. The Duke of York reached the city the same evening, slept at the London Inn, and at 4am proceeded to join his parents at Saltram.

Aug 27th, Mrs SIDDONS appeared at the Exeter Theatre as Isabella in the tragedy of that name.

William STEPHENS and Richard FORD, for highway robbery at Hatherleigh, and George TURNER for housebreaking at Sandford, were hung at Heavitree Gallows. Thomas DUDDERIDGE was to have shared their fate, but committed suicide with arsenic 3 hours previously.

Oct 8th, Mr Samuel Frederick MILFORD presides at a meeting of Exeter Dissenters to promote the effort to obtain the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act.

Sunday Schools first established in 1784, are now becoming general in England and Scotland.

Oct 15th, Tenders invited by advertisement for the erection of the new County Gaol.

Nov 6th, Death of Mrs VINICOMBE "who for some time past has kept Mol's Coffee House" [her successor Mrs Mary MURCH, died in November 1792, and the Coffee House was then taken by Mrs S. HEARD]


Jan 14th, George TEMPLER Esq of Stover, commenced the construction of the canal to join the Teign near Bovey Heathfield.

April 29th, The Very Rev Dr BULLER, Dean of Exeter, appointed Dean of Canterbury. He was succeeded in the following month by the Rev Charles HARWARD, Dean of Chichester.

June 24th, The polling for the election of members for Exeter lasted from the 17th to the 22nd, James BULLER Esq received 1,106 votes, John BARING Esq, 588, Sir C. W. BAMPFYLDE 550. The successful candidates underwent the ceremony of "chairing"

The erection of Courtenay Row on the Den at Teignmouth was commenced.

July 1st, John ROLLE and J. P. BASTARD Esqrs, elected members for Devon, Sir C. W. BAMPFYLDE retiring.

Sept 16th, Celebration at Honiton of laying the first stone for the new pavement. "The Cross was then demolished, a piece of antiquity at least 300 years standing, but since the glorious Reformation a standing nuisance. Contrary to general expectation and hope, no treasure was found under it."

Dec 2nd, A coach advertised to leave the London Inn, Exeter, for Falmouth every other day, starting at 6am, and reaching Falmouth "the following day" the hour not stated

. The National Debt, funded 542,000,000, unfunded, 42,000,000.


March 3rd, The foundation stone of the Public Rooms, Teignmouth, to be laid in a few days.

April 14th, On the 11th, the first stone of a new row of houses to be built on the Beacon at Exmouth was laid by John STAPLES, builder, by the direction of Samuel EYRE Esq.

July The "Priestley" riots broke out at Birmingham on an attempt to commemorate the French Revolution.

Nov 17th, "Lately died, at Plymouth, aged 83, Mr NORTHCOTE, a very worthy man, many years an eminent optician and watchmaker in this town, and father of that celebrated historical painter James NORTHCOTE Esq, of London."

Nov 24th, Resolutions adopted at a meeting held at Ivybridge, under the presidency of Paul Treby TREBY Esq for establishing a Devonshire Agricultural Society

A similar meeting was held the following February at the Oxford Inn, Exeter.

Dec 1st, Thomas BRICE advertised the disposal of the goodwill of The Old Exeter Journal, to Trewman and Son, printers of the Flying Post. E. GRIGG had also disposed of The New Exeter Journal to the same firm. Trewman and son will continue to publish the Flying Post on Thursdays and The New Exeter Journal on Sunday evenings


Jan 5th, The buckle makers of London and Westminster present a petition to the King beseeching his interference to prevent "so useful and industrious a class of his subjects from becoming a prey to indigence and want through the prevalence of a fashion absurd and unmanly" The change of fashion from buckles to shoe strings occasioned much distress among the buckle makers. In March these presented a similar petition to the Duke of Clarence [afterwards William 1V], when H.R.H, assured them that he thought the use of shoe strings ridiculous as well as injurious to an extensive manufacture, that he never wore them himself nor suffered his officers to wear them, and that he would do his utmost to support the buckle trade.

Jan 26th, Thomas HEATHFIELD Esq, of Nutwell, had 200 poor persons of the parish of Woodbury inoculated for the small pox, "in consequence of some persons having died of that disorder in the natural way."

Trewman's Flying Post Feb 12th, 1879

Exeter and its neighbourhood under George 111-V1

Selected and annotated by Robert DYMOND, F.S.A.


Feb 2nd, Joshua WILLIAMS, Joshua WILLIAMS, Junr, [of Perridge, lately returned with a fortune from India], Robert CROSS and Thomas SPARKES [all members of the Society of Friends] announced that on the 6th they intended to open a bank in Fore St, nearly opposite the North St, by the name of The General Bank. [The business of this bank was disposed off about the year 1836 to the Devon and Cornwall Banking Company]

Mr GRAY appointed by the Chamber their surveyor of buildings and works, vice, William HAYMAN resigned through ill health. [Mr HAYMAN died at Sockar's Bridge near Modbury, 6th Oct, 1793, aged 77]

March 15th, Several meetings held about this time for promoting the abolition of the Slave Trade.

April 19th, Execution at Heavitree Gallows of John RISDON and William CULLIVER for sheep stealing, William TREMLETT for burglary and William BATHE and James FULLARTON for highway robbery.

May 21st, A proclamation issued against seditions meetings

May 24th, "We are happy to inform our readers that the ground called the Barnfield adjoining Southernhay is contacted for by Mr Matthew NORSWORTHY, architect for building as new Crescent consisting of at least 27 houses, which are to have a south-eastern aspect, and an extensive view of the country round. This information must afford great pleasure to the gentry who frequent this city as they will no longer be deprived of an accommodation the want of which has so often occasioned complaint" [ The first stage of the Barnfield Crescent was laid 13th September, but the original extensive design has not been carried out]

July 12th, Erection by Mr BURTON, of Bella Vista House Teignmouth, and construction by subscription of a new gravel walk on the beach, 15ft wide and 1,600 ft long, from Bella Vista to the Fort.

Aug, The revolution in France breaks out afresh. The Swiss Guards massacred and the National Assembly declare the abolition of Royalty.

Oct 18th, An advertisement announced that on the 1st January next a new bank to be called The Western Bank would be opened in the house lately belonging to Mr Robert PRUDOM, deceased in Fore St, by a firm consisting of Sir Stafford Henry NORTHCOTE, Bart, and Messers, Richard KENNAWAY, Henry WAYMOUTH, and William KENNAWAY Jnr.

Nov 1st, A public meeting held at Cullompton under the presidency of Sir George YONGE, Bart, to promote the formation of a canal from Taunton to Topsham [This was the project afterwards known as the Grand Western Canal, by which it was intended to unite the Bristol and English Channels. The Act passed in 1796. The work stopped short at Tiverton, and having been acquired by the Bristol and Exeter Railway Company, a great portion of the site has been disposed of to adjacent landowners.]

Nov 15th, A meeting held at the Chapel of St Laurence [the Grammar School] at Ashburton, John SEALE Esq, in the chair to promote the construction of a canal from thence to Totnes [This project was never executed]

Dec 20th, Great alarm existed throughout the country lest England should be infected with the revolutionary doctrines of France. Meetings on the subject were held in many Devonshire towns, and an advertisement in this paper signed, "Zephaniah] HOLWELL, Secretary, " published resolutions passed at a general meeting of the Philanthropic Society, assembled at the White Hart Inn, Exeter, declaring a unanimous resolve" to support to the utmost of our power . . . that precious Constitution of our Country" and to be "true and loyal subjects to our most gracious King and invaluable CONSTITUTION" [Louis XV1, is now under trial at Paris. On the 17th of the following month he was sentenced and on the 21st beheaded]

The erection of the Cavalry Barracks near the County Gaol, in this year, is not mentioned in this paper.


Jan 3rd, Reception of the new Bishop, Dr BULLER, at Eastgate, by the Mayor and Chamber, who escorted him to the west door of the Cathedral, where he was received by the Dean and clergy.

Effigies of Tom PAINE, burnt at Chagford, Newton St, Cyres, Okehampton, Exmouth, and many other Devonshire towns. At Heavitree after hanging for some time, the effigy was taken to Southernhay Green to be burnt.

Jan 24th, A meeting of subscribers to the fund for constructing a canal from Exeter to Crediton was held in Exeter, James BULLER Esq, in the chair. The plan was explained by Mr GRAY, city surveyor.

Feb 14th, War was declared with France on the 11th, the French Convention retorted by declaring war with Great Britain and her ally Holland.

Three prisoners under sentence of transportation broke out of Southgate Prison.

April 4th, "Thursday 28th ult, was executed at Haldon, Francis MARTIN for robbing the mail. He confessed the robbery, and related some imperfect sketches of his life, that he was born in a village near Petersfield Hants, and that he was very active in Paris on the memorable 10th August, but quitted on being taken for a Swiss. Some days before his execution he delivered to Mr SARELL [the jailor] a bank note taken from the mail, which he had concealed in his coat collar, and at the place of execution he delivered a letter to the Sheriff containing another bank note, and describing where he had hid the other bag, but this could not be found there. His real name appears to have been Francis Andrew GARNET, and he wrote for several attorneys in London" MARTIN was convicted of robbing the postboy carrying the mail from Ashburton to Exeter, about half a mile on the east of Chudleigh. He was captured at Moretonhampstead, and was described as " about 5ft 6ins high, dark complexion, black hair tied behind, wears a blue coat with brass metal buttons, scarlet waistcoat, corduroy breeches, has remarkably small hands and feet, and appears to be about thirty years of age" He was sentenced to death at the Lent Assizes. He afterwards confessed his crime and returned to the owner, Mr FARWELL, of Totnes, a 10 bank note which he had concealed in his coat collar. He offered that if the judge would spare his life he would declare the place of concealment of the Dartmouth bag and other property not found.

May 16th, The Red Robert BARTHOLOMEW elected master of Exeter Grammar School, on the 18th, on the resignation of the Rev John MARSHALL, who had been master for upwards of 30 years. [The latter who was rector of St George and St John, died at his house in the Circus, 2nd April 1799]

June 20th, A duel fought in the North Walk, Barnstable, between Mr B, surgeon and Mr S, druggist, when the latter received a bullet in his groin. The seconds then interfered and settled the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties. The ball was afterwards extracted and Mr S, was in a fair way of recovery.

July 18th, The Chamber ordered the removal of Lammas Fair from Southernhay, on account of the new buildings in course of erection there, but the Horse Fair was to be continued at the upper end of Southernhay. The Cattle Fair is to be held at Bartholomew Yard, the Linen and Woollen Fair at St John's Hospital, the shoe Fair to be removed from the Bristol Inn [now the Public Rooms] to Northernhay Gate, and the fair for other goods to be held in Fore St.

Aug 8th, William ROBERTS of North Bovey, who had been sentenced at the Assizes to a years imprisonment "for speaking treasonable and seditious words against his present Majesty" stood in the pillory at Moretonhampstead on the 3rd. This part of his punishment was to be inflicted thrice at the same place.

Aug 22nd, "The Water Works of Exeter" advertised to be sold by private contract, for the residue of a term of 200 yrs, of which 100 were unexpired. "The works are capable of great improvement, and with a little expense may be very advantageous to a purchaser"

Aug 22nd, The Freedom of the City, presented "last week" to Bishop BULLER, Toulon surrendered to Lord HOOD on the 27th.

Oct 16th, Queen Marie Antoinette beheaded at Paris.

Nov 21st, This paper contains a very long report produced at the meeting held at Kingswood House near Holsworthy [Earl STANHOPE in the chair] on the intended Bude Canal. The report discussed the question over-coming the inequalities of level by locks, steam engines etc, and decided in favour of iron railroad inclines.


Feb 6th, The Marquis Cornwallis, having landed from India at Brixham on the 3rd, arrived at the London Inn, Exeter, with his suite on the 4th. The Mayor and Chamber waited on him with congratulations, and the Cathedral and parish bells were rung in his honour. He proceeded towards London at 9am on the 5th.

John BARING Esq, member of the city, presented a petition to the House of Commons from the Woolcombers of Exeter, praying relief from the oppressive consequences of a new machine of combing wool "whereby the greater part of them are deprived of employment" [It does not appear to have occurred to the petitioners that the whole population of England, except the woolcombers, would be benefited by the cheaper production of cloth]

March 6th, John Pollexfen BASTARD, Esq, M.P, for Devon, offered to raise a corps of the Militia at his own cost.

July 3rd, On the 29th, ult, a fire which broke out in a hot pressers shop in West Exe, Tiverton, raged for several hours, burning down the whole of West Exe St, from the Southmolton Rd to the corn mills in the Exeter Rd. A stormy wind carried the flames across the bridge where they destroyed several houses, with some in Peter and Fore Streets. Altogether 130 houses were burnt and 2,000 inhabitants rendered houseless and impoverished. A subscription resolved on at meeting at the Town Hall for the relief of the distressed. The loss was estimated at 15,000, of which 10,000 was covered by insurance

Mr John LAND, advertised his removal to the New London Inn which he had just erected on the site of the Oxford Inn. [Mr LAND was succeeded at what was thence forward called the Old London Inn by Thomas PRATT, who died 24th December 1798, Mrs Elizabeth PRATT, his widow continued the business, which remained in the family until the inn was transformed on the supercession of stage coaches by railways]

July 28th, Robespierre and many of his party guillotined at Paris.

Aug 7th, A public meeting called to consider the condition of the pavement of Exeter. "The shameful situation of our streets and the nuisances which abound therein have already too long existed."

Aug 28th, "On Thursday last [21st] Sir John KENNAWAY, Bart, arrived in this city after an absence of 20 yrs, during which period he had filled offices of the highest trust and importance in the East Indies with equal honour to himself and his country. The Cathedral and parochial bells were rung and other demonstrations of joy displayed to welcome his return to his native city" [John a younger son of William KENNAWAY Esq, an eminent Exeter merchant, entered the service of the East India Company in early life and greatly distinguished himself by his diplomatic services. He was created a baronet on the 25th January 1791, for his gallantry in the wars with Hyder Ali and Tippoo Sultan. He married in 1797, Charlotte, 2nd daughter of James AMYATT Esq, and purchased the Escot Estate from Sir George YONGE Bart. He was the grandfather of the present respected baronet]


Feb 19th, The remains of Earl Mount EDGCUMBE lay in state for the night of the 17th, at the New London Inn, and were conveyed the next morning towards Plymouth.

Feb 26th, Upwards of 15 houses burnt down near the church at Crediton on the 23rd.

Owing to the high price of forage the rates for posting with a chaise and four were raised to 2s per mile, with a chaise and pair to 1s-2d, and 6d, per mile for a saddle and horse. The Assize of wheat was 11s, per bushel at this time.

March 19th, William MARTINBOROUGH, condemned to death for murder was the first man executed "on the drop at the New County Gaol" The execution took place on the 20th.

April 8th, The Prince of Wales made his unfortunate marriage with his 1st cousin Caroline, Princess of Brunswick.

April 16th, At a meeting of the citizens held at the Guildhall, it was received that the scheme for obtaining an Act for paving, lighting, and improving the city should be postponed till more favourable time.

An attempt at a bread riot at Crediton was appeased by the arguments of James BULLER Esq, and the arrival of Sir S. H. NORTHCOTE'S troop of Yeomanry.

A great riot, stated to have originated at Ilsington, Bickington and other neighbouring villages, took place at Chudleigh. The mob plundered and attempted to destroy Bellamarch Mills, near Chudleigh bridge and partially succeeded. Two ringleaders Thomas CAMPION, a blacksmith of Drewsteignton, and William NORTHWAY, were secured and committed to the High Gaol. They were condemned to death at the next Lammas Assizes and "it having been intimated that some attempt would be made at a rescue, the several companies of the Exeter and Devon Volunteers, infantry and cavalry, and a part of the 25th Light Dragoons, will attend the execution" CAMPION was taken in a mourning coach to Bovey Heathfield, where he was executed on the 6th August, the military attending.

April 13th, The Londonderry regiment of foot, which had arrived at Exeter on the 5th, were assembled on the 6th in the Church Yard [Cathedral Yard], to be drafted into the 43rd, when the men refused to submit, and after an ineffectual attempt to persuade them one man levelled his musket at some of the officers but it fortunately blew in the foot. The ringleader being secured in the Guard-house, the others with arms loaded, and bayonets fixed attempted his release, when the officers ordered the Castle Gates to be shut. They were again drawn up on parade and the Colonel promised protection to those who returned to duty, and punishment to the mutinous. Their behaviour growing worse they were ordered to their quarters. On their refusal they were charged by the 25th Light Dragoons, who cut down opponents and drove them to quarters, and a court martial being held on one of the ringleaders he was severely punished in their presence [In the narrative of this event JENKINS severely condemns the conduct of the Light Dragoons, alleging that they "behaved with the greatest insolence, not only insulting the peaceable citizens, but riding over many who were incapable of getting out of their way" It is related that on this occasion a dragoon in pursuit of one of the mutineers, actually rode on horseback up the flight of steps from Exe Island to Bridge St]

Oct 1st, A contest for the election of Mayor between John BALLE and John PINHEY resulted in a poll, when the former was elected by a majority of 62.

Oct 8th, H.R.H, the Duke of York passed through Exeter on his way to Plymouth.

Nov 19th, Edward GATTEY, appointed Chamberlain of Exeter on the 17th, in the room of Adam PIERCE, deceased.


Jan 28th, Mr William Spicer DIX advertised his readiness to lease or sell building sites on his field in Southernhay [now called DIX'S Field, Mr DIX was an Exeter merchant and died at Sampford Peverell, 20th September 1804, aged 68]

The dearness of provisions occasioned great distress amongst the poor at this time.

Feb 18th, The old County Gaol of Devon [in Castle Lane] advertised to be sold.

Feb 23rd, Napoleon Bonaparte takes command of the French Army in Italy.

April 28th, Tenders invited by advertisement for erecting the stone walls of "a place of worship" on the site of the Old Gaol [The Independent Chapel]

May 19th, Therverton Bridge to be taken down to make room for a new structure.

June 2nd, John BARING Esq, and Sir C. W. BAMPFYLDE elected members of Exeter on the 27th ult, without a contest. Mr James BULLER having retired. J. P. BASTARD and Lawrence PALK Esqr's elected for Devon without opposition

Sept 18th, Spain declares war against Great Britain

Dec 21st, "The inclemency of the weather and the immense quantities of snow which have fallen in the neighbourhood since Thursday last have entirely stopped every kind of travelling. The posts from Plymouth which ought to have reached this city on Sunday last did not arrive till today [Wednesday 28th] at noon, nor has the Falmouth mail due on Sunday, yet arrived. It is not only on the western road but also betwixt this and London a similar delay has taken place"

A vessel 300 tons, built by Mr RISING, launched in the Exe opposite Exeter Quay.


Feb 22nd, The mischievous or accidental firing of a furze brake at Berry Head occasioned a false alarm of the landing of the French. The Kenten Volunteers under Captain DREWE flew to arms, and marched to Teignmouth to resist the invader.

Feb 22nd, In this month Sir John JERVIS defeated the Spanish Fleet of Cape St Vincent, and received the title Earl St Vincent

April 6th, By an advertisement in this paper " The Public is respectfully informed that by the new Hat Duty Act, no person after 5th April 1797, can use or wear a hat without having the proper stamp worked in the lining, under the penalty of ten pounds.

April 13th, At this time there is abundant evidence in the papers of the prevalence of distress amongst the poor. The above advertisement proves the difficulty of finding new subjects of taxation. Consols stood at fifty two and a half, provisions were inordinately dear, and the country was longing for peace. At this juncture the Mayor received the following requisition signed by the citizens of the best standing and repute :-

"We whose names are hereunto subscribed, request that you will be pleased to convene, as soon as conveniently may be a meeting of the inhabitants of the said city, in order to consider of the propriety of presenting an humble address and petition to His Majesty upon the present distressing state of public affairs, and praying him to dismiss his present Ministers from his Counsels for ever, as the first and most effacious step towards obtaining a speedy, honourable, and permanent peace. Signed by, Samuel Frederick MILFORD, W. KENNAWAY, Henry WAYMOUTH, R. KENNAWAY, Thomas KENNAWAY, John MILFORD, George HIRTZEL, John SHELDON, F.R.S, William NATION, John SKUTE, J. D. WORTHY, Joseph HUNT, Abraham KENNAWAY, Richard DAVEY, Philip MOOR, Sydenham PEPPIN, John CRESSWELL, Samuel MILFORD, John LAND, William KENDALL, Gilbert DYER, W. LINNINGTON"

The Mayor and Chamber being all staunch adherents of the party in power, were evidently greatly stirred by this requisition emanating from members of a party then excluded by the Test and Corporation. Acts from any share in municipal government. On the Mayor raising an objection to call a meeting for what he regarded as an unconstitutional object one of the requisitionists reminded him that, all the time Mr FOX was in power, the Chamber had not entertained the same scruples for they had then petitioned the King for his dismissal. The right of the people to present such a petition was also strongly urged, but the Mayor and Chamber would not yield. They passed a resolution declining compliance with the requisition on the grounds that the Ministers were responsible to Parliament alone, that Parliament had sanctioned their proceedings, that such a petition would be improper, disrespectful to the sovereign and would tend "to destroy the unanimity which it is the first duty and interest of every subject, to preserve, and which alone can secure to them the continuance of our envied Constitution" signed by "Charles UPHAM, Mayor"

June 1st, John SHELDON, F.R.S, elected surgeon and Dr John BLACKALL elected physician to the Devon and Exeter Hospital.

June 23rd, Newspapers had to endure their full share of the war taxation, and an additional duty, now amounting to three and a half pence, obliged the publishers to raise the price of The Flying Post from 4d to 6d.

Sept 14th, The remains of the late Right Hon R. C. W. TREFUSIS, Lord Clinton, were brought through Exeter "in funeral pomp" on the 11th, on their way to the family vault in Cornwall.

Oct 19th, Great demonstration of joy in Exeter on the arrival of the news of the total defeat, by Admiral DUNCAN, of the Dutch fleet, off Texel, and the capture of Admiral de WINTER and Vice-Admiral RUYTER. The Cathedral and parish bells were rung, and there was a general illumination and lighting of bonfires and fireworks. The Volunteers, adorned with laurel, paraded the Cathedral yard, firing vollies, and the Wiltshire Militia did the same in the Circus.

Nov 30th, A fire broke out on the 24th in St Peters St, Tiverton, consuming 10 or 12 houses. More would have been destroyed but for the exertions of the French prisoners on their parole, who received the public thanks of the Mayor.


Feb 1st, At the request of Earl Fortescue, Lord Lieutenant, a meeting of County Justices was held at the Castle on the 30th ult, " to consider of the measures necessary to be adopted in case of actual invasion for removing the live and dead stock, so as to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy" Subscriptions for defence were being raised in all parts of Devon. The Exeter parishes contributed upwards of 2,000.

April 26th, This paper contains the first of the eccentric John COOKE'S manifestations or bulletins, which afterwards appeared at frequent intervals "This singular person, better known to a later generation as Captain COOKE, was for 50 years the leader of the County Sheriff's javelin men at Assize times. He was born at Ashburton in 1765, and died about 1841. An excellent likeness of him can be seen in the Albert Memorial Museum.

May 24th, Much of the small space devoted to local intelligence is occupied at this time by accounts of the enrolment and movements of the volunteer corps, the presentation of colours, and repeated in various forms, that Britons never would be slaves!

July 5th, The Flying Post which has hitherto been issued with four columns in each page, henceforward contains five, but the size of the paper remains as before.

July 26th, John KEMBLE advertised to appear at the Exeter Theatre.

Oct 4th, The news of Nelson's victory of the Nile occasioned rejoicings and illuminations at Exeter and other places in Devon.


Feb 7th, Travelling much impeded during the past fortnight by frost and snow. The London Mail arrived in Exeter 12 hours late.

Feb 28th, A great thunderstorm did much damage to Totnes Church on the 21st. The pinnacles of the tower falling through the roof greatly injured the interior, which exhibited a scene of ruin and confusion. The west side of the tower was rent from top to bottom. The damage was estimated at about 1,000.

Trewman's Flying Post Feb 19th, 1879

Exeter and its neighbourhood under George 111- V11

Selected and annotated by Robert DYMOND, F.S.A.


May 2nd, Great crowds welcomed the arrival of Admiral Lord Duncan, at the Hotel [now Clarence] Exeter. A deputation of magistrates conducted him to the Guildhall, where he was congratulated on his great victory in a speech by the Chamberlain and presented with the freedom of the city.

July 31st, Lord ROLLE'S regiment of South Devon Militia, marched into Exeter on their return from Ireland. Corps of Volunteers and a great crowd of people met them on the Tiverton Rd, 2 miles from Exeter [on the old Tiverton Rd]. On their arrival at St Ann's Chapel the military presented arms, and the Cathedral bells rang out. As they marched down High St, preceded by the populace shouting and waving branches of trees, the 3rd corps filed off into the Circus and fired three vollies.

Sept 12th, The news of the surrender of the Dutch fleet welcomed in Exeter by bells ringing, bonfires and fireworks.

Nov 21st, Mrs Elizabeth PRATT of the London Inn, Mr John LAND of the New London, and Mr J. PHILLIPS of the Hotel [now Clarence] advertised that the increased cost of forage obliged them to raise the price of pair-horse posting from 14d to 16d per mile.

The first income tax levied. The National Debt now amounts to 451,609,000.

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