Thur. Jan. 1st.  This being the first day of the Nineteenth Century. An Ode was performed in the Morning by about 30 Instrumental and Vocal Performers. On this memorable Day the Union between England and Ireland takes place. The King’s Title is now (in Latin) “Georgius Tertius, Dei Gratia, Britanniarum Rex, Fidei Defensor” (In English) George the Third, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith.

Mon. Jan 5th.  Yesterday Afternoon and all last night we had a most tremendous storm of Wind and Rain, but do not hear of any considerable damage done in consequence of it in this neighbourhood.

Tue. Jan. 13th.  This Day was Married Mr. John Hutchings (who was lately discharged from his Majesty’s Ship Lap-Wing) to Miss Sarah Crootc.

Sat. Jan 17th.  Yesterday Mr. Wm. Piller, Farmer of this place, being at Tavistock Fair, lost his Pocket Book (supposed to be picked out of his Pocket) containing Bank of England Notes to the amount of £46 and two Devonshire Bank Bills one of £10 the other £20.  Ten guineas reward is offered to any person that will restore the above Notes and Bills to the Owner.

Fri. Jan. 30th.  The martyrdom of good old King Charles nearly forgotten.

Thur. Feb. 5th.  Rev. Mr. Isaac taken Horn-hills  Nodmeadow the Gardens thereunto belonging &c. and enters on it at Lady Day next.

Sat. Feb. 7th  Mr.Richard Harvey, bought the House in Forder Street sometime since in the occupation of the late Mr. John Rowdon.

Mon. Feb. 9th.  Intellegence received of the death of Joseph Pethybridge of this Town, he died on board the Le-Tigre in September last, off the coast of Egypt.

Wed. Feb. 11th Wind N.E. sharp air.

Thur. Feb. 12th Severe Frost

Fri. Feb. 13th  A General Fast which was observed as usual.

Sat. Feb. 14th. E.N.E.  Very cold not a grain of wheat in the Market and only one bag of barley.  Beef and Mutton 8½d pr pound.  A general murmuring amongst all ranks of people except the Farmers.  A quantity of Salt Herrings sold out to the Poor for 4d pr. Dozen.  Valentine’s-Day, and according to the old adage the Feather’d Tribe choose their Mates, but from the sharpness of the air, their nuptials (we suppose) will be put off for a warmer day.

Tue. Feb. 17th.  Shrove Tuesday.  The great price of Flour and scarcity of Eggs, deprived the people of their favourite Pank. Cake meal and a salt herring was substituted in its stead.

Thur Mar. 5th.  Died aged 55 George Soper, Husbandman, ’tis supposed the want of the common necessaries of life hastened his dissolution.

Fri. Mar. 6th.  Died after a long & painful Illness aged 39 Ann Ellis.  She was a daughter of Nevill Matthews.

Thur. Mar. 12th.  Died after a month’s severe illness aged 39, John Liscombe, Thatcher, he has left a Wife and three Young Children.

Wed. Mar. 25th. This Evening a number of Women, and children assembled in the Shambles some of them rang the Fire Bell in order to collect a greater number, to consult of some method or other to find redress from their present calamity that they now laboured under, on account of the extreme high price of provisions, but by the interference of some well disposed persons they soon dispersed.

Mon. Mar. 30th  This morning the Inhabitants of this Town were in the greatest distress for want of Bread, scarce a family had a bit left, neither could they procure Meal or Flour to make any – About 10 in the morning Mr. Hemen’s Waggon passing thro’ the Town, the alarm was given that it was loaded with Flour, a number of Women assembled and stoped it, and demanded its contents (if Flour) at a raisonable price, for they and their children were starving.  The Waggoner said it was not loaded with Flour: but with different articles for Mr. Tyrwhitt of Tor Royal, the Women would not be satisfied with this Answer and said he should let them see, and if it was not Flour, they would permit the Waggon to proceede on, otherwise not, this he refused and left the Waggon to the Mob, and returned to call his Master. In about three hours Mr. Hemens came and convinced them of what the Waggoner had said, they then departed, with a kind of triumph, for they kept a regular guard over the Waggon for four hours, but never  attempted to take anything from it, their whole cry was “Bread, Bread”…

Tue. Mar. 31st. Last Evening a great number of Laubourers supposed to be between two and three Hundred, met in the Century, for the purpose of coming to some resolutions in order to get a reduction in the price of Corn and other necessaries of life, after some debate on their mode of proceeding they adjourned to this Evening.

Wed. Apr. 1st.  Agreeably to adjournment the party (with increased numbers) met again last night in the Century, several respectable persons attended to hear their complaint who thought their request was nothing unreasonable, and the meeting was conducted without tumult or anything like riot, All they desired was to have provisions at such a price to enable them to maintain their Familes with the wages they then had got for labour,  one of the Church Wardens and one of the Overseers agreed to go round the Parish with six or eight of them, and desire the Farmers to bring their Corn to Market, and sell, Wheat at 12/s- per Bushel and Barley at 6s/- per Bushel, Which the principlel part of the Farmers agreed to.

Sat. Apr. 4th.  The Market pretty plentifully supplied.  Died this Morning aged 39 Margaret Frost wife of William Frost Woollcomber.

Tue. Apr. 21st.  A sale at Mr. Pinsent’s for Household Goods and Furniter.

Tue. Apr 28th.  A Sale at Miss Trend’s for Household Goods and Lumber.

Thur. Apr. 30th.  The two Miss Trends left Moreton for Chudleigh.

Sat. May 2nd.  Herrings Barley Meal, and Rice, sold out to the Poor by the Overseer

Fri. May 8th.  70 of the Royal Lancashier Militia march’d into this Town.  This day an account of the death of Mrs. Pethybridge (Widow of the late Mr. Jonathan Pethybridge) was received. She was on a visit to her Sister’s at Evercreech in Somersetshire.

Sat. May 9th.  The above 70 Men march’d off for Ashburton on their route to Plymouth.

Tue. May 12th.  A sale at the late Mrs. Pethybridge’s House, for Household Goods and Furniture. This day 50 fine fat oxen were drove thro’ Moreton in their way to Plymouth for the Navy they were bought at Crediton Fair.

Sat. May 16th.  Ann, Alias Stumpy Stonelake detected in stealing two Harrow Tines from Mr. George Gray, for which she consented, (in consideration of not being prosecuted) to stand upon a Stage for one Hour in the publick Market, holding the two tines in one hand, and a board in the other whereon was written “A Thief”.  She had not stood above a quarter an hour, when two Stallions passing, one of which got from his Leader and attacked the other in a most furious manner, the Leader in attempting to recover the Bridle was immediately trampled underfoot, and ‘tis thought he would have been killed, had it not been for the timely assistance of a number of persons who seized the Horse, and rescued the poor fellow from his perilous situation, with no other injury except dirting his White Frock.  In this hurry and bustle, Stump leaped from the eminence and took leave of the surrounding multitude !

Sat. May 23rd.  Moreton Great Market.  A great show of Cattle and prime Bullocks fetched a good price.

Tue. May 26th.  Being Tuesday in Whitsundweek a Revel on Mardown, Wrestling, Skittle playing, and Females racing for 2 Yards of Holland, three started but unfortunately for the Girl who depended on getting the prize, after running a few Land Yards triped in a Stone and fell with such violence that she exposed herself to vast numbers of Spectators who gave such shouts at the unfortunate young Woman’s accident that she got off the course and was not seen on the ground afterwards.

Fri. May 29th.  Anniversary of the Restoration of King Charles 2nd. Ringing and a very great dispay of Oak.

Tue. June 2nd.  Died aged 41 Mr. Daniel Harvey, Butcher, and Malster.  He was greatly and deservedly lamented by all who knew him.  He has left a Widow with 4 young children.

Thur. June 4th.  His Majesty’s Birth Day, who now enters 63rd year of his age.  The Ringers at an early hour knocked round the 120 doubles in a masterly stile.

Fri. June 5th.  The remains of Mr. Daniel Harvey interred.  A Funeral Sermon was preached on the occasion by the Rev Charles Davy, Text 20th Chapter 1st Samuel and the latter part 3rd Verse.  There is but a step between me and death.

Fri. June 12th.  A troop of the 6th or Inniskilling Dragoons marched in here, from Exeter.

Sat. June 13th.  The above Troop march’d for Tavistock And a second Troop arrived from Exeter .

Mon. June 15th.  The 2nd Troop march’d for Tavistock, and 100 of the Royal Cornwall Militia march’d into this Town.

Tue. June 16th.  The 100 Royal Cornwall Militia march’d for Tavistock on thcir route for Cornwall

Sun. June 21st.  longest Day, and exceeding fine Weather for Hay-Harvest, and for all kinds of grain .

Thur. July 2nd.  Mr. John Sillifant Saddler and Bridle-Cutter, has taken and opened a Shop adjoining Miss Dunsford’s opposite thc Shambles.

Wed. July 8th.  Died aged 87 years Mr. William Frost of Linscot. Died aged 49 years Mr. Daniel Berry, of Steward Mills.

Fri. July 10th.  Dorcas Nickols, Departed this life aged 52

Sat. July 11th.  A public Cry “Mardon Down Amusements”, see the Hand Bill fastened at the bottom .

Thur. July 16th.  Moreton Fair, Cattle in general sold high. This Day Lord Courtenay and Lord Geo. Thynne visited Moreton, Lord Courtenay gave two guineas to the Ringers and one Guinea towards Mardon Down Amusements.

Sat. July 18th.  Died in the 68th year of his age Mr. Edward Pethybridge of Sloncombe.

Mon. July 20th.  Great preparations making on Mardon Down to accommodate those who intend attending the Races. Mr. Hancock, London Inn, Mr. Thorn, Bell Inn, Mr. Cann, Red Lion, Mr. R. Frost, Black Horse, and Mr. Tozer, Dolphin Inn, are errecting large and commodious booths, Mr. Hancock’s is about 60 feet in length.

Tue. July 21st.  This Morning at an early hour the populace began to assemble on Mardondown, and by 10 A.M. the Town was nearly deserted, ‘tis generally supposed there were no less than 5000 persons collected to see this grand Race &c &c The Poneys started about ½ after 10, and afforded great sport, the Saddle was won by Mr. Geo .Wills (of South Moor in this Parish) Poney beating Mr. Hemen’s and Mr. Heldier. There being no asses produced to run, for the Bridle, it was trotted for by Horses not exceeding 14 Hands high, which was won by Mr. Hemen’s Horse beating five others. After the Races a handsome Ordinary consisting of excellent cold Roast Beef Chickens Pies, Tongues Hams &c &c was provided by Mr. Hancock, which for the neatness it was served up the goodness of his Wines, Spirits &c &c he recvd. the thanks of those (which were numerous) who favor’d him, with their Company, after the Cloth was removed appropriate Toasts went round and a subscription immediately began for next Year’s amusements which amounted to between 7 and 8 pounds.  About 3 P.M. the Bull was brought to the ring and after near two hours diversion the prize was declared in favor of Mr. Bartlett’s dog of Exeter. The company again repaired to the different Booths to regale themselves, but not one  tenth part of the company could find room to shelter themselves from the scorching sun. And had there been five times as much liquor on the ground it would all have been drank. 6 O’Clock the Wrestlers were summonsed to exert their sinewy strength, many of which had their shins broken from instep to knee, the prize was won by a person called “Lake”, From 6 to 8 O’Clock the Company began to fall off, but the Down was not cleared till next day. A Splened Ball at the London Inn concluded the evening.

Sat. Aug. 1st.  From 11, O’Clock A.M. to near 1 P.M. we had a deluge of rain, the middle of the Town was rendered nearly impassable for foot passengers for nearly an hour.

Sun. Aug. 2nd.  Died aged 28 years, Mr. Wm. Hamlin of Budleigh, a Man universally beloved and greatly lamented, ‘tis supposed that he brought on his disorder that removed him from this World to another, and we trust a better, by intemperance, he continually exhorted his friends and acquaintance on his death bed, to spend the remainder of their lives with temperance and in the fear of God.  He was a man that did not reach the middle stature, but from his great muscular strength and skill in the art of wrestling, he was the Champion of this Neighbourhood, in that athletic exercise. He hath left a Widow with two young chcildren to lament his loss.

Fri. Aug. 7th.  Died aged 59 years George Hutchings, Sexton of this Parish, this office had been filled by him and his ancestors for above 150 years. Samuel Clark, alias Brimblecombe is appointed to succeed him as Sexton.

Mon. Aug. 10th.  The following melancholly Accident happened at Lustleigh, an apprentice girl (aged about 14) of Mr. Daniel’s of Knowle riding a spirited poney on a Hackny Saddle, with one of her feet in the Leather of the stirrup, the poney started and threw her off and dragged her about twenty Land-Yards, when the stirrup breaking she was liberated, but bruised in a most shocking manner, and expired in a few minutes, a Cororner’s inquest was taken on the Body, Verdict, “Accident”.

Fri. Aug. 28th.  Cross-Tree, floored and seated round with a platform railed on each side, from the top of Mr. Hancock’s Garden wall to the Tree, and a flight of steps in the Garden, for the Company to ascend, after passing the platform they enter under a grand arch formed with boughs – there is sufficient room for thirty persons to sit round and six couple to dance, besides the Orchestra. From the novelty of this rural apartment, it is expected much company will resort there during the summer.

Mon. Aug. 31st.  This morning from 12 to 2 we had a violent rain similar to that which fell on the 1st Inst. This day Susanna Langworthy (a poor Women) walking In cross street, fell with the slide of one of her feet, dislocated her ancle and broke the small bone of her leg.

Tue. Sep. 1st.  About Noon a fine Partridge nearly three parts grown flew into Mrs Soper’s kitchen, at the White Horse, and was taken alive, no Person could give any account from what quarter it came.

Sat. Sep. 5th.  The Harvest in this Neighbourhood is just compleated, and it has been one of the finest ever remembered. Grain of every kind, particularly Wheat, is most remarkably good and plenty.  Potatoes are an abundant crop. Wheat, this day, sold at 10s/6d pr. Bushel, Barley 5/- per Bushel, Potatoes 5d pr. Peck.

Mon. Sep. 7th.  Mr. John Mardon’s first and final dividend of 6s/9d of the Pound, paid.

Mon. Sep. 14th.  Dunsford fair, and the annual Holiday for Nut gatherers, Nuts were never remembered so plenty as they now are.

Tue. Sep. 22nd.  The anniversary of his Majesty’s Coronation. The Bells being out of repair, two peals only were rung.

Sun. Sep. 27th. Married at Exeter, Mr. James Alway, to Miss Herver, after a courtship of six weeks. They came here the evening – the Bells rang till a late hour.

Mon. Sep. 28th.  Mr. John Mann sat on the business of a Tallow Chandler, Mr. Robert Bates instructs him in the said art.

Tue. Sep. 29th.  Mr. John Berry, Son of Mrs.Steer of the Punch-Bowl, Married at Exeter, paid a visit to his Mother.

Sat. Oct. 3rd.  A report from Exeter that the Preliminaries of Peace between England and France were signed in London Thursday night last. This unexpected news gained but little Credit at first but a second person arriving from Exeter corroborating the above, great joy was expressed on the occasion.

Sun. Oct. 4th.  A Gentleman from Exeter confirming the above news, the Bells immediately were rung and continued except during divine service the whole Day.

Mon. Oct 5th The morning was ushered in with a Song, applicable to the long wished for and happy tidings of Peace, about 2 in the morning the different choirs united, accompanied with several Instruments, and a better and more pleasing performance perhaps was never heard in Moreton   at 8 O’Clock the post arrived, some hundreds of Men, Women, and Children, assembled in the Street before the post-office to hear the glad tidings, on  its being announced in the Gazette, one general shout of huzzas were powered forth, that the air resounded again, and ‘tis impossible to express the sensation felt on the occasion, the day was one scene of mirth.

Mon. Oct. 12th.  on the news arriving of the Preliminaries being ratified, the Bells were rung the whole day, collection made to purchase a Hogshead of Cyder to give to the poor. Mcn, Women, and Children decorated themselves with Gilded Laurel and blue Ribbands, parading the streets, congratulating each other on the happy event, in the evening there was the largest Bonfire ever seen here, and a general illumination. The Bonfire was lighted, half after 6 O’Clock amidst the acclamations of many Hundred’s Spectators, who  were assembled to testify their approbation of an event, that they hoped to derive the  greatest benefits from, and if it had not taken place, they looked forward to the greatest calamity that ever befel the human race, (viz) Starvation. While the Bonfire was consuming the Populace were supplied with Cyder. Half after 7 the Illumination commenced  scarce a window, but had light, several had sentances, At the post office was the following “Peace and Plenty” with “G.R.” over. Mr. Pinsents “Britons Rejoice” Mr. Ponsfords “Success to Trade”. Some of the Illumination were done with great taste, such as Pyramids Arches, Ovals and Circles ornamented with wreaths of Laurel, the Shambles was likewise illuminated with several Hundred lights, the whole from the darkness and stilness of the night had a very pleasing effects.

Fri. Oct. 16th.  Died in the Workhouse aged 84 Harry Hunt, an inoffensive man, and noted for chewing a large quantity of tobacco.

Sat. Oct. 17th.  Sale at Mr. Pinhey’s, Attorney, for his Household Goods and Furniture. He is going to reside at Crediton.

Sat. Oct. 24th.  Above 30 Bags of Wheat and Barley in the Market the top price of Wheat 9s/ per Bushel Barley 4 per Bushel. A sale at the Miss Christophers’ for their Household Goods and furniture.’tis reported they are going to purchase Furniture more fashionable.

Sun. Oct. 25th.  King George 3rd enters the 42nd year of his reign, several peals rung in the morning, in good stile.

Mon. Oct. 26th.  Died in the 74 year of her age, Honor Hutchings, Sister to Mr. John Hutchings, Woollcomber .

Mon. Nov. 2nd.  Lord Courtenay’s Court, held at the White Hart, Constables, portreve, Ale Taster, Bailiff sworn in to their respective Offices, and other business transacted as usual

Thur. Nov 5th.  On account of the Rev Charles Davy being ill, the Bells are ordered not to be moved, and the weather being showery, the Boys lossed the diversion of a Bonfire, so  that the Gunpowder Plot passed by unnoticed, and the poor Pope without the least persecution .

Mon. Nov. 9th.  Mr. Geo. Gray, Mr. Geo.Mardon, Mr.Hancock, and Mr. John Sillifant Junr. are sat off for Exeter to be made Free Masons.

Tue. Nov. 10th.  The new made Masons return’d early this morning, and from copious drafts

[ The top of a page of the diary has been torn off and nearly three lines of text on the top of two pages are lost]

  certain ………

in the dumps, a vast…….

deal of fun on the occasion and we hear nothing but “how are ye Brother”, Pass the word, “Jakin, Boaz”, and other Masonic Words and Phrases.  These new Architects seem a little hurted at the joke, or for parting with near three guineas, to know this grand secret .

Died aged 70 years the Rev Charles Lock 26 years Rector of North Bovey. He was universally esteemed by his Parishioners, and by all who knew him.  This day march’d in here from Tavistock the Royal Merioneth Regt. of Militia, consisting of about 150 Men they had a small Band, and the Men appeared well proportioned, and remarkable for their dexterity with the Knife and Fork, respecting the quantity of Meat devoured by them.

cf above

…………..r, and

                                                         ………… ey will never

   …………….. return here again..creating a famine.

Thur. Nov. 26th.  Moreton Fair. 2074 Sheep were produced for sale, out of which 1328 were sold. No amusements.

Fri. Nov. 27th.  A great fall of Snow, and the Town had more the appearance of a Fast day, then the day after the Fair.

Wed. Dec. 9th.  Yesterday was married at St. Peter’s Exeter, the Rev Mr. Holland to Miss Clack, eldest daughter of the Rev. Thomas Clack, rector of Moretonhampstead and Kenn .

Fri. Dec. 18th. The Rev Mr. & Mrs. Holland arrived at the Parsonage House here, several merry peals were rung. The ringers had a present of a Guinea..

Fri. Dec. 25th. Christmas Day. The morning was ushered in with Carols, by the Church and Meeting Choirs.