Fri. Jan. 1st. The year commences with feasting. Three friendly Societies, or Clubs for supporting the sick and aged, have this day their Annual feasts, one at the Bell Inn, another at the Red Lion, and the third at the Ring of Bells, a most enormous quantity of meat is bought for these gormandizing gentry.
Wed. Jan. 6th. Mr. Hancock, at the London Inn, injudiciously drying about 6 ounces of Gunpowder, in a fire-pan that had been heated for that purpose, but heated too hot, it soon took fire and blew directly in his face and scald him in a shocking manner, his child (a little boy about 2 years old) standing by his side was carried by its force eight feet, and very much scald, it forced out a window into the street, but did no other material damage .
Thur. Jan. 7th. Last night a Villain or Villains broke into the House of Mr. Thomas Marwood Basket Maker, and broke open a chest that contained the old Gentleman’s treasure, and carried off thirteen Guineas, some silver and a few trinkets, the whole value about sixteen pounds, the earnings of industry and hard labour, Mr. Marwood and his Wife were at a neighbour’s to a feast at the time this Burglary was committed.
Thur. Jan. 28th. This day the Trustees of the Presbyterian Meeting House, contracted with Mr. Gideon Ware of Exeter, Builder, for rebuilding their Meeting-House. The out lines of the agreement were as follows (viz) The House to be 41 feet long, 29 feet wide, and 20 feet high in clear, with nine circular headed windows, to ascend it with two steps of 8 inches high each, the House to be Pew’d, a Crescent Gallery, and to be built nearly in the centre of the ground. Mr. Ware takes the Old House, and finds all materials for Building the new one, for which he is to have £269.15. The House is to be finished by Lammas next.
Fri. Jan. 29th. Mr. John Hawkins, some years since Clerk to the Vitifer Tin-mine on Dartmoor, returned from America, after four years absence, and is quite surfeited with a Republican Government. He went to America as an Agent for a great Mercantile House in London, and ’tis said has gained something very handsome by it.
Mon. Feb. 8th. Mr. Ware began taking down the Presbyterian Meeting-House.
Fri. Feb. 12th. Rev James Rowland laid the first stone of the new Presbyterian Meeting House. An auction at Mr. John Hawkins’ for his House-hold Goods and Furniture. He is going to remove, with his Family, to London.
Fri. Feb. 19th. Died suddenly aged 75 years, John Bowden, Woollcomber.
Tue. Feb. 23rd. Died after a lingering illness aged 66 years Edward Mardon Woollcomber.
Wed. Feb. 24th. Died suddenly of an apoplectic fit, in the 50th year of his age Mr. Boetius Wrayford. He was a man universally esteemed, and his death will be sensibly felt by a number labourers that he constantly employed in the Woollen line.
“Sudden, and therefore unexpected, came /“The stroke that brought this good man to the tomb/ No ling’ring illness prey’d upon his frame:/Cut off from life in its meridian bloom.”
Mon. Mar. 1st. Died in the 81st year of her age, my Grand mother Treleaven
Sun. Mar. 7th. Died in the 80th year of his age, Mr. Thos.. Pethybridge, and left property (which he could not take with him) to the amount of about £1400. His Executor is a Mr. Newcombe of Samford-Courtenay, his sister’s son. Mrs Neck has Arscot Estate, and Mr. Thos. Neck Junr. ten pounds, and half the income of Sutton, till the death of his Aunt, when he is to possess the whole of that Estate, which now is let for £25 pr. annum, all the rest of Mr. Neck’s children have handsome legacies. Mr. Wm. Smale’s three Daughters have £300 each and Susan the eldest has besides her legacy of £300 the two meadows opposite Batenberry and half the old Gentleman’s plate. He has left a legacy of three pounds to the poor – all his sisters Grand children have legacies left them. His Library consisted of no other books than a Bible, a Song Book, and a Moore’s Almanack, neither Picture, Print, or Map, in his House. Money was his whole delight.
Fri. Mar. 19th. Died Agness Hall aged 78.
Sun. Mar. 21st. Died Betty How, the washer woman, aged 73.
Wed. Mar. 31st. Intelligence received of the Definitive Treaty having been signed at Amiens 27th of this month, a vast number of people assembled on the occasion and expressed their approbation of this event with loud acclamations, the Bells were rung till a late hour.
Fri. Apr. 2nd. Died, John Britian, aged 74, he had been watchman of this Town for many years – had served King George 2nd and his present Majesty as a Soldier for 17 years, was at the taking of Havannah in 1762, he used to be fond of talking of his being in one of the Regts. that was ordered to storm the Morecastle &c &c. He had a soldierly appearance and walked upright to the last.
Mon. Apr. 26th. Died, William Dolbear, Weaver aged 73.
Sat. May 1st. Mr. John Gray, has taken the old Black Horse, lately occupied by Mr. R. Frost, and this day began to sell beer.
Sun May 2nd. This evening a man taken into Custody at Mr. George Jackson’s at Wray; he had behaved in a very rude and improper manner, and greatly alarmed several families in that neighbourhood, he was brought to the White Horse in this Town, where he was kept under a Guard all night.
Mon. May 3rd. The above disorderly fellow, carried before Justice Roberts at Drewsteignton, who committed him to Bridewell.
Wed. May 12th. Mr. Broad, Excise Man ordered to Yeovil in Somersetshire, and this day, Mr. Sarell from Cornwall succeeded him, to survey Moreton.
Fri. May 14th. Wind N. very cold.
Sat. May 15th. This day about 2 O’Clock pursuant to his Sentance at the last Exeter Assize, James Bird was publickly whipped from the Corn Market to the bottom of the Shambles, for assaulting James Holman of Drewsteignton on the High-way and taking from him a Hat.. Wind N.W. Severe Frost with showers of hail & snow.
Sun. May 16th. Very cold.
Mon. May 17th. Wind N. This morning the houses covered with snow.
Tue. May 18th. Departed this life, aged 71 years, Dame Jane Mardon, Housekeeper to Mr. Humphries, School-Master.
Fri. May 21st. The old Black Horse sign taken down, And the Golden Lion, hung up in its stead.
Mon. May 24th. Died aged 84, Wm. Cleft, the Razor Grinder, his faculties were strong at last, particularly his eyesight, for he could read very small print without the assistance of Glasses.
Tue. May 25th. A Company of Comedians came here from Crediton, and are going to act a few nights in Mr. Hancock’s Barn, in Pound Street, which is fitting up for said purpose. A Mr. Smith manager.
Wed. May 26th. A Public Cry for the Inhabitants to meet to appoint proper persons to make a collection to purchase Meat Cyder &c &c to give to the Poor on the ensuing Thanksgiving day. Mr. George Gray, and Mr James Tarr were appointed for the said purpose.
Fri. May 28th. The collection for the Poor amounts to upwards of £40-0-0.
Sat. May 29th. Ringing, and a few twigs of oak stuck up in honour of Charles the 2nd..A Fat Heifer (Bought of Mr. James Alway) intended to be given to the Poor on the Thanksgiving Day, was driven thro’ the different streets of the town decorated with ribbons &c &c. 2 Men (Mr. Thorn & Mr Richd. Snow) walked before with Violins playing “Peace and Plenty”. It was then killed in Mr. Peter’s slaughter house. Besides this Heifer, twenty five legs of Mutton two shoulders of Mutton and several pieces of Beef were bought, the whole amounted to about eight hundred pounds of meat, fourteen hundred cakes of ½ pound each were ordered to be baked by the different Bakers, Four Hogsheads of Cyder bought and 10s/- worth of Beer ordered to the different public Houses, and every thing arranged that the Afternoon of Tuesday next may be spent in the most convivial manner and with the greatest decorum.
Last night the Comedians acted for the first time in Mr. Hancock’s Barn, in Pound Street, which is fitted up for the purpose in a very decent manner. The Play was “The Farm House”, after which an Interlude called “The Village Barber”. To which was added the farce of “The Spoil’d Child”.
Tue June 1st. This being the Day appointed by Royal Proclamation for a national thanksgiving to God for the return of peace – The Ringers assembled just after midnight and rung several lively peals – about 2 O’Clock A.M. A Choir of singers (accompanied with a good band) Sung thro’ the different Streets the following Song “The din of war is heard no more” &c and considering the unfavourableness of the weather it went off in good stile. at 10 in the morning the Singers with the Band were joined by many hundreds of men women and children and walk’d in procession to Church Singing and playing “God Save the King”. The Church was perhaps more filled than at any time within the memory of man: The Rev Charles Davy preached, from the 26th verse of the 2nd Chapter 2nd Samuel. The Sermon was delivered with great animation on this just subject of Joy, – The sight was truly grand and interesting! To view such a number of human beings of so many different capacities, and to consider them all, as come there. To bend their minds in humble adoration before the Most High God, acknowledging thereby, his supreme and universal government. and to offer the tribute of grateful praise, to the great Ruler of the Nations, for restoring the blessings of peace after a long and tremendous war! About 2 in the afternoon the populous assembled round the shambles, where a large quantity of Beef and Mutton, all well dressed was arranged on the different stalls, and the principal Inhabitants attended, and with the greatest pleasure divided the meat and drink in that good order, about one Thousand persons dined in a comfortable manner, after dinner the procession was re-marshalled and marched through the different streets, Beer and Cyder flowed plentifully and the innocent public expression of joy and gratitude which beamed in every countenance is worthy of perpetual remembrance in the annals of Moretonhampstead.
There were a few that illuminated, in the evening but it was far from being general, Mr. George Gray had a good transparency, the Subject was, John Bull in the character of a Free Mason, exulting on the return of Peace, with several Masonic emblems. The Ladies and Gentlemen had a Ball and supper at the London Inn, in the Evening. There was likewise a Play (George Barnwell) and the House was crowded.
Thur. June 3rd. The Church and Altar newly painted and Gilded, and the King’s arms alter’d as ordered at the Union with Ireland.
Fri. June 4th. The anniversary of his Majesty’s Birth-day, a few peals were rung on the occasion.
Sat. June 5th. Great Market, a good shew of cattle which sold off tolerably well, in the forenoon a cry of “A Mad Dog”, it was pursued and shot in the Century, by His Right worshipful the Mayor (Mr. Thomas Cornish) and St George when he slew the Dragon never claimed more merit than his Worship did on this heroic exploit.
Sun. June 20th. Rev Charles Davy, preached his last Sermon as Curate of Moreton, and a Choir of Singers from Withecombe in the Moor, consisting of nearly sixty in number and performed several pieces of Music in a superior stile then country Choirs in general perform, they are under the tuition of a Mr. Cullender, Singing Master of Ivy Bridge who attended with them .
Wed. June 23rd. Rev Charles Davy left Moreton, to serve a Parish in Bedford-shire.
Tue. June 29th. Mardon Down Amusements. The Saddle was won by a Grey Pony (belonging to a Gentleman of Ken) beating four others. Five Asses. started for the Bridle, which was likewise won by one belonging to a person of Ken. The Bull was brought to the ring about 3 O’Clock, and after three hours baiting, the Prize was awarded to a person of Exeter and Mr. Waycott of Moreton. The Dogs were all admired for their game, and shewed good sport, to the lovers of this barbarous amusement, five of the dogs each had a leg broken. From the unfavourableness of the weather the principal part of the company (which were by no means numerous) left the Down at an early hour. There was a Play in the Evening for the benefit of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, they had a full House, and the Play went off with great applause.
Fri. July 2nd. A troop of the Inniskilling Reigt. of Dragoons came here from Exeter to remain during the Election.
Sun. July 4th. The Banns of Marriage between Mr. Thos. White & Miss Susan Dunsford, published for the first time.
Thur. July 8th. 260 of Col. Hall’s Reigt. March’d in here from Crediton, and march’d for Tavistock the next morning.
Thur July 15th. Fair Day, Wet and Cold weather for the season, not much cattle, and the Afternoon had scarce any appearance of a Fair.
Wed. July 28th. Married, Mr. Thos. White to Miss Susan Dunsford. First marriage this year in Moreton.
Fri. Aug. 6th. A Person came here from Churston Ferrers, a Parish near Brixham, with a Special Warrant to apprehend Richard Dony and John Holman, (two retailers of Fish) for Stealing different Iron Utensils from a Stone Quarry in the above Parish. They are both absconded. A deserter from the Inniskilling Dragoons taken at the Red Lion, and conveyed back to the Reigt.
Tue. Aug. 10th. About ½ after 4 P.M. A tremendous Storm of Thunder, Lightning and Rain, which continued for above an hour. The Lightning was vivid and the flashes succeeded each other with little intermission, the claps of Thunder were louder than had been remembered. Two Horses belonging to Mr. Lightfoot, of Arscot, were killed with the Lightning, a Boy that was in the Field with them was struck down and remained insensible for sometime.
Tue. Aug. 24th. Married with a Licence Mr. Edward Pethybridge of Sloncombe, to his Housekeeper Miss Mary Cornish.
Mon. Sep 13th. Dunsford Fair, and the annual Holiday for Apprentices in this Town, before they begin to work by candle – the day is generally spent in gathering Nuts, but there is scarce a Nut grown this year. Lord Boringdon passed thro’ Moreton, he dined at the White Hart.
The Harvest nearly all got in, and a greater abundance of all kinds of Grain, it is supposed, never blessed the Land!
Sun. Sep. 19th. The Rev Mr. Trinnick preaches here for the first time as Curate of this Parish.
Wed. Sep. 22nd. In honour of his Majesty’s Coronation, several good peals were rung.
Wed. Sep. 29th. Lord Somerville and Sir Lawrence Palk, passed thro’ this Town, they had been on a visit to Tor Royal on Dartmoor, the seat of Thomas Tyrrwhitt Esqr.
Thur. Sep. 30th. The Rev Mr. Rowland gave notice of resigning his School by the following advertisement which appeared in Trewmans Exeter Flying Post, this Day :
“Moretonhampstead Devon – J.Rowland presents his most grateful Thanks to his numerous Friends for the very generous and liberal Patronage which he has experienced during his last eighteen years. He is very sorry to inform them that he is compelled by imperious Circumstances to resign his School at Christmas next – Moretonhampstead 27th Sept 1802”
Mon. Oct. 4th. Last Saturday Evening, Two Children of Grace Dayment and a Child of John Ash were seized with a violent sickness in a very sudden manner, which was immediately followed with a delerium, and strong convulsions – Their Parents greatly alarmed, began to enquire what they had eaten, and found they had been gathering Berries from a Plant called the “Deadly Nightshade” and had eaten many of them. Medical assistance was immediately procured and the Children are in a fair way of recovery. The Berries of this Plant are a strong Poison, and from their resembling Whorts and the sweetness of their taste, Children are often enticed to eat them, which has sometimes been attended with fatal consequences.
The Plant does not appear to be of use in modern Medicine therefore it seems a pity but it was totally destroyed.
Wed Oct. 6th. Departed this life after a lingering illness aged 50, Ann Snow; she had lived a Servant with Miss Ann Whitefield 26 years.
Tue. Oct. 12th. Died this Day aged 73 Mrs Parr, widow of the late Mr. Wm. Parr. About 11 this morning she was seized with the Palsy in the right side, and in a few minutes became insensible and never spoke afterwards. She was quite well and cheerful when she was taken ill.
Mon. Oct 25th. Anniversary of his Majesty’s Ascension, it was observed as usual.
The jolly Sons of Crispin, met this Evening at the Red l.ion, where a handsome supper was provided, and a plenty of Brown Stout – The Crafts sat till a late hour, talking over ancient stories and of their honourable profession. Capt, Weir (Navy) Bought Court, late Mr. Jonathan Pethybridge’s, he is going to make considerable alterations and intends to reside here ?
John Austin Senr. Shoemaker, seized in the Palsy.
Suny Oct 31st. The new dissenting Chapel opened. The Rev Mr. Manning of Exeter preached in the morning and afternoon, his Text in the morning 5th Chapter Ecclesiastes 1st Verse Afternoon 13th Chapter St John 35th Verse, a great number attended, and the Sermons generally approved of – The House was admired for its neatness and simplicity and will seat 320 persons. A Collection was made at the door after the evening service.
Tue. Nov 2nd. Lord Courtenay’s Court held at the White Hart, and the usual business transacted .
Thur. Nov. 4th. Mr. Westlake Senr. had a violent Paralytic seizure, and ’tis supposed will not recover
Fri. Nov. 5th. This morning we were awakened at an early hour by the ringing of Bells which puts us in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot. Wet weather, no fireworks but the boys found wood to make a small bonfire.
Sat. Nov 6th. A Sale for the late Mrs.Parr’s household goods and furniture.
Wed. Nov. 10th. Nurse Clefts [?] by the slip of her foot, fell dislocated one of her ancles and broke the small bone of the same leg.
Sat. Nov. 13th. Mr. Samuel Gray, aged 63 married with Licence to Miss Mary Frost aged 25. By this morning’s post a Letter was received from Mr. James Mardon from London, giving an account of the death of my Uncle Robert Hutchings Carpenter, he departed this life on Tuesday 9th Inst. After being in Guy’s Hospital one Year wanting one day, a wound in one of his Legs occasioned his death.
Sun. Nov. 14th. Jane the wife of Wm. Hole, woolcomber seized with the Palsy, and is entirely dead all the left side.
Mon. Nov. 15th. Departed this life aged 73 Elizabeth Sess
Thur. Nov. 18th. Came here on the Trigonometrical Survey . . . .Budgen Esqr. and Hewitt Esqr they are going to remain in this neighbourhood for some Months, Mr. and Mrs. Budgen Board and Lodge at Mr. George Gray’s and Mr. and Mrs Hewitt at Mrs. Davys.
Sat. Nov. 10th [sic, 20th] Mr. John Lang had a Watch stoln from his house, Makers name, Ed Hemmen, London No 15758
Thur. Nov. 25th. Fair Day. Remarkable fine weather, a pretty large quantity of Cattle, great prices were asked, but the selling rather dull. 1900 Sheep, out of which 1439 were sold – A Puppet Show &c at the Golden Lion.
Mon. Nov. 29th. This Evening a melancholy accident happened at One Mill, Mr. Wm. White’s factory. A Girl of Richard Hutchings’ aged 12 working at the Mill going too near the Axle of the great Cylinder, it caught the sleeve of her apron and broke her left arm in a most shocking rnanner, the flesh and bones of her arm were broken from the elbow to the shoulder to such a degree, that at first an amputation was thought necessary, and Mr. Patch, of Exeter Surgeon, was sent for, but on consultation they thought there might be a possibility of saving the arm and every method that could be devised was taken for that purpose .
Tue. Nov. 30th. Died, aged 67, Mrs. Brockdon, wife of Mr. Brockdon, Shoemaker.
Fri. Dec. 3rd. A general draught for the Mitilia this day at the Castle of Exeter, when the following Persons were drawn for this Parish (viz) John Dingle Shoemaker, John Mardon, Husbandman, John Amery, Labourer, William Withecombe Taylor, and Thomas Barns Paper Maker. 13 were the No always drawn for this Parish, but by a late Act of Parliament it is regulated to draw one out of seventeen in consequence of which only five are drawn from Moreton .
Thur. Dec. 5th. Died aged 54 Jane the Wife of William Hole, Woolcomber.
Sun. Dec. 12th. This afternoon about 2 O’Clock the Remains of Jane Hole was interred in the Buring ground of the New Dissenting Chapel. It being the first Remains deposited there, a great number attended the Funeral, the Burial service was performed in a very pathetic manner, by the Rev Mr. Rowland and a suitable sermon was preached by him from the 19th Chapter 2nd Samuel 34th verse. After the sermon a Child of William and Elizabeth Browne was baptized “Mary” .
Mon. Dec. 13th. Birth. Mrs Samuel Gray, a daughter.
Thur. Dec. 16th. The Rev Mr. Trinnick, and Mr. Elias Bishop quarrelled over a Bottle, at the London Inn from words The Bishop proceeded to blows, and the law was threatened.
Fri. Dec. 17th. The Curate applied to Justice Roberts, for a summons, which was granted. This day the new drawn Militia Men appeared at the Castle of Exeter to be sworn when Wm.Withecombe, and Thos. Barns were refused on account of not being the proper height, and George Lang Carpenter and — were drawn in their stead
Sat. Dec.18th. A Reference was agreed to, on the aforesaid assault, and the Bishop was ordered to give a guinea to the Poor
Sun. Dec. 19th. The Guinea bestow’d in Bread and given to the Poor, in the Church, after the Morning service.
Tue. Dec. 21st. Last night some Person or Persons, stole from Mr. Germon’s Drying Loft at Leign, Leather to the value of near twenty pounds. Mr. Germon by public cry, has offered a reward of ten guineas to any Person who shall discover the offender or offenders so that they may be brought to Justice.
Thur. Dec. 23rd. Market Day in consequence of Christmas Day falling on a Saturday.
Sat. Dec. 25th. Christmas Day, the morn was ushered in with Carols as usual.
Fri. Dec. 31st. George Lang was refused in the Militia on account of his not being a proper height, and a small defect in one of his arms, and ——- Northcot Husbandman was drawn in his stead .