Malcolm Billinge 2017
Following on from our test pitting project, the residents of East Street were enthusiastic to learn more about the history of the street. As a one-street study group we are covering various topics which you can read about below. These articles are all ‘works in progress’ and I welcome any contributions , corrections, additional ideas which can then be incorporated into future revisions.
- Social Deprivation and Philanthropy.
- Health, Education and Transport
- Religion and Social Order.
- Echoes of Empire
- Links with the Military
- Occupations on East Street
1.1.North side of East Street – Occupations
The census returns record the occupations of most heads of households and of some of the other occupants. These may be divided into approximate socio-economic groups allowing the following comparison between 1841 and 1911:
|East Street Occupations||1841||1911|
|Farmer/Merchant Chemist/Teacher/Doctor/Nurse/Royal Navy/Curate
House Agent/Lodgings Keeper
These figures show that the north side of East Street was home to a wide socio-economic spread. Throughout the Victorian period there was always a small number of better-off, ‘middle class’ residents living alongside an array of artisans and more general workers. The percentages indicate little real change between 1841 and 1911 except for the rising importance of the Bovey Pottery and Brickworks (at both the Bovey Pottery and also at Heathfield). These industries required a great deal of skilled and unskilled labour and no doubt some men transferred across from local farm work. In 1841 there were eleven agricultural labourers but in 1911 only one labourer was designated as being specifically ‘agricultural’.
We can use the census data to chart this rise of local industrialisation and the possible slight decline in agricultural prominence:
1841 North side of East Street – 30 households
12 Agricultural Labourers in 10 households but only 2 Potters in 2 households.
1861 North side – 33 households
8 Agricultural Labourers in 7 households whereas 10 Potters in 5 households.
1901 North side – 32 households
2 Agricultural Labourers in 2 households
8 Potters in 5 households
5 Brickyard Workers in 5 households.
2 Clay pit workers in 2 households
1911 North side – 32 households
1 Agricultural Labourer
7 Pottery workers in 3 households
4 Brickyard workers in 4 households
Despite the rise in local industrialisation farming remained a major feature of life in and around Bovey Tracey throughout the 19th century. Naturally most farmers lived on their farms on the outskirts of the town but several, mainly elderly and/or retired farmers are recorded as living on East Street (both sides):
1841 John Lamble, 76.
1841 John Skarden, 53.
1851 Richard Savery, 64.
1851 James Jewell, dairyman, 56.
1861 & 71 George Endacott, 42-52.
1861& 71 Robert French (retired/landowner), 43-53.
1891 Jabez Mugford (man of many parts!), 60
1891 & 1901 Hannah Strong (farmer’s widow), 60-76.
1906 Edwin Heath road contractor and farmer (Kelly’s)
1911 John Pethybridge (retired), 79.
James Jewell, a farmer of twenty acres, was probably related to John Jewell of Middle Coombe farm who, between 1847 and 1851, won several prizes at local ploughing competitions (eg Western Times 3 Nov 1847).
In 1908 G. German, aged 30, of East Street, was seeking work on a farm including taking a team of horses (Western Times 22 May 1908).
We know the names of the many agricultural labourers who lived on East Street in the earlier Victorian years but the census returns do not tell us on which farms they worked so their lives remain largely unknown to us.
1.3.Bovey’s mineral wealth
The 19th century saw many developments for utilising the mineral wealth around Bovey Tracey. In 1893 48 tons of iron ore valued at £100 came from the Bovey area and an additional 36 tons of shining ore (a particular iron ore) from a mine at Hawkmoor valued at £144. Lignite (an inferior coal) was dug from the Bluewaters Pit and in 1891 this had yielded 4664 tons with a value of £1360.
During Victorian times several mines operated within the area although all would have required a lengthy walk from East Street. Around Ilsington there was Silverbrook Mine producing zinc, lead and silver, and Haytor Mine, Atlas Mine and Smallacombe producing iron (and tin at Atlas). The Teign Valley was rich in lead and the nearest of its mines to Bovey Tracey were Hennock Mine and South Exmouth. Closer to home were the micaceous haematite mines including Kelly and Great Rock at Hennock (distinct from Hennock Mine, above). Smaller ‘shining ore’ mines including Plumley and Hawkmoor Mines were actually in Bovey Tracey parish as was the short-lived Yarner/Yarrow copper mine.
East Street miners, according to census records were:
1841 Philip Roberts, 42, iron miner, not born in Devon.
1841 Abraham Hayman, 35, lead miner from Devon.
1881 Athanasius Hooper, 40, iron miner from Tavistock.
1911 Sydney Batten, 28, iron ore miner from London.
Clay, pottery and bricks
The local exploitation of clay and the production of pottery dates back to the middle of the 18th century. In 1839 a newspaper article reported “Large quantities of earthenware from the potteries at South Bovey are now constantly bought to this port, from here it is conveyed in trading vessels to various ports on our southern … “ (London Evening Standard 18 Mar 1839).
The Bovey Tracey Pottery Company
In 1843 John Divett, younger brother of Edward Divett, a longstanding MP for Exeter, went into partnership with Capt. Thomas Wentworth Buller to reopen and revamp the Bovey Pottery. These two friends had married each other’s sisters so Henrietta Emma (nee Buller) was now living with John Divett in Bridge House (aka Riverside pub / Co-op). One of Emma Buller’s sisters lived on East Street in 1861 – Dame Lewin – see ‘Echoes of Empire’ article).
John Divett and Thomas Wentworth Buller were both Tithe commissioners and it is fortuitous that the inauguration of the Bovey Tracey Pottery Company coincided with both the Tithe map/apportionment and the first census in 1841.
Roles fulfilled in the Bovey Pottery by East Street residents in 1911 were:
Pottery dipper China painter Earthenware printer
Ware sorter General labourer Warehouse lad
The Great Western Potteries Brick, Tile and Clay Works was started, in Heathfield, by Frank Candy in the 1870s producing salt-glazed ware and, later, fireplaces, as well as bricks and tiles. The ‘Candy’ bricks are very pale and very distinctive in and around Bovey Tracey (eg Heathcot; Orchard Terrace).
The Bovey Pottery had been making bricks from earlier times and in 1864 “The BTPC showed fire and architectural bricks, terra cotta ware, vases etc of good design and make” at the Bath and West of England Society’s Exhibition (Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 17 June 1864).
Roles fulfilled in the Bovey Brick and Tile Works by East Street residents in 1911 were:
Glaze brick dipper Fireman in Brick and Tile Works Brickyard labourer
All industrial work is dangerous and in 1891 a worker at the Great Western (Heathfield) Brick and Tile Works, William Manning aged 30, was dragged into some machinery, crushed by rollers and killed. Dr Goodwyn from East Street gave evidence at the inquest into his death. Two years later T. Paddon, employed at the Bovey Pottery, was also assisted by Dr Goodwyn after his foot was crushed under a windlass lowering a concrete block (Western Times 27 Dec 1901).
Two East Street families with Bovey Pottery connections
William and Sarah Sampson
To gain some insight into the life of the Pottery workers we can turn to the 1861 census for some details of the Sampson family who were living close to Church Hill House. William, 48 and married to Sarah, 46, worked in the Pottery as did their son John, 19. They had three very young daughters, but also two step-daughters, Sarah aged 12 and Mary aged 11, and these two young girls worked with William in the Pottery making ‘spurs and stilts’. These ceramic pieces were used to separate vessels during firing in the kilns, and we shall return to them later when we come to Jabez Mugford, a prominent East Street resident (below).
The Pottery gave employment to about 300 local residents but this did not prevent some degree of poverty within Bovey Tracey’s community. In 1890 an order was made against (a) John Sampson, labourer/mason, of 1s per week. He was summoned by Newton Guardians (Poor Law officials) to show cause why he should not contribute to the support of his father (William, above?) who was receiving 3s per week from the Guardians – presumably in order to obviate the need for him to enter the Newton Abbot Workhouse.
As noted above, East Street, during Victorian times, had a wide socio-economic range of residents. The Sampsons were of relatively humble status whereas ‘down the road’ for a time, lived Dame Lewin (see ‘Echoes of Empire’ article) as did Dr Henry Goodwyn who was called upon to help employees injured at work. Jabez Hearn Mugford was also a wealthy man, prominent in several aspects of Bovey Tracey life, and he lived in Belmont on East Street.
Jabez H. Mugford
Jabez Mugford, one time owner of the Union Hotel and mayor of Bovey Tracey was an energetic entrepreneur and a major figure in Bovey over several decades. More latterly he lived at Belmont, now Ashwell.
In the 1852 Jabez Mugford went into partnership with Wentworth William Buller who was Capt. Thomas Wentworth Buller’s son. They patented new kiln furniture – the ‘spurs and stilts’ that William Sampson and his two young step-daughters made (above) – the manufacture of which was later transferred to Staffordshire where W.W. Bullers Ltd was to become one of the world’s foremost electrical insulator manufacturers.
A newspaper article from 1857 reported that a complete apparatus for manufacturing gas for lighting the ‘Spur works’ (or the Patent Cockspur Manufactory) had recently been installed under the superintendence of Jabez Mugford, “the indefatigable manager of the works”, and the first lighting was celebrated by Wentworth William Buller giving a tea for all his workmen (sic). The Bovey Tracey elite were there including Dame Lewin and her three daughters.
Pre 18th Century Population Growth?
The majority of East Street Victorian residents (north side) lived in two or three room dwellings many of which still exist today as a varied run of terraced houses. However, there is evidence that there used to be fewer, larger houses, dating back to the 16th century along the street (EH/HER Listed Buildings). The Devon Heritage Centre holds an 1812 document on one such dwelling which is described as “One messuage (ie house) now and for some time past divided into three dwellings with the buildings, curtilage and herb-garden, …” (4137M/T/1-2), and this building was probably replaced by what was to become the Liberal Club, now The Old Library.
A second example, next door to the above, is the Grade 2 Listed Building, now Nos. 20 – 24 East Street, which was also formerly a single house with central open hall with jettied two-storey sections on either side. This late medieval/early modern building retains several early features and is the subject of a separate article.
The division of houses on the north side of East Street suggests an increasing population at some stage. However, the total number of residents along this side of the street did not vary appreciably during Victorian times – 143 in 1841, 132 in 1871 and 133 in 1901. Indeed, with so many, small dwellings there would have been little room for additional people to move in
There was a 54% increase in the overall population of Bovey Tracey in the seventy years from 1841 to 1911, according to census figures.
Year B.T. population Year B. T. population
1841 1823 1891 2422
1851 2086 1901 2693
1861 2080 1911 2809
In later Victorian Bovey Tracey new terraced housing was being built to accommodate this increasing population overall. For instance, in 1893 tenders were invited for the building of nine cottages and a shop for the “Bovey Heathfield Pottery Company” (East & South Devon Advertiser 3 June 1893). But, as noted above, East Street itself did not witness a population increase.
Incoming Pottery Workers
There is evidence that the early Pottery enterprises at Indio and ‘Heathfield’ (ie Bovey), from c1760 onwards, attracted potters from Staffordshire (see ‘A Potwork in Devonshire’ by Brian Adams and Anthony Thomas 1996), and the census records allow us to see where residents on East Street were born.
In 1841 of the 71 adults (ie 20 years and over) living on the north side of East Street, 69 were born in Devon (NB Only the County of origin was recorded). Of the two men born elsewhere one was a potter (one of just two) and the other a miner.
With reference particularly to the Pottery and Bovey Brick Works, in 1911 of the eleven employees identified, nine were born in Bovey Tracey, one in Hennock and one in Ottery-St-Mary. The majority of adults on East Street in active employment were, therefore, ‘local born and bred’.
1.5.Other Non-‘Middle Class’ Occupations
Some of the teachers, doctors and curates will be described in a separate article, and the ‘Echoes of Empire’ article will touch upon some of the most well-to-do families that lived on East Street from time to time.
Between the manual workers and such ‘middle class’ employees and ‘independent residents’ were a large number of craftsmen and tradespersons. A few of these families are now considered.
There was a bakers/grocers shop, run by Samuel Murch, George Endacott and Mary Murch, at No 24 East Street between (at least) 1861 and 1881 and this will be discussed in a later article that describes Nos 20 – 24 which would originally have been a single 16th century house. Miss Kate Hayman was a shopkeeper in 1902, possibly also at No 24.
There were other shopkeepers but it is not known where their actual shops were located. For example, Christopher Pike was a chemist (1841) and Elizabeth Coish was a grocer (1851).
Edwin Heath was a shopkeeper in the first household on East Street’s north side (1891) and this may be connected to the Bovey Tracey and District Co-operative Society shop that we know was at the East Street/Mary Street juncture in 1910. Charles Kellaway was also a shopkeeper (1889).
The Tucker family lived on the south side of East Street from (at least) 1871 to 1911 and they developed a wheelwrights/coachbuilders facility. It would be interesting to know a lot more about this enterprising family. We do know that in 1878 the services they provided included undertaking and erecting greenhouses!
Mary Daymond was a milliner/dressmaker (1866) and Susan and John Hamlyn, and Reuban Harris were shoemakers (1850s-1890s). James Evans and Thomas Miles were watchmakers (1873 and 1883) and James Evans repaired umbrellas (1893).
John Wreyford was a painter/plumber (1871), William Cleave a builder (1878), John Heath and Walter Kelly, chimney sweepers (1889) and Joseph Daymond a blacksmith (1841-61).
Several butchers lived on East Street – James Edwards (1841-71), William Hamlyn (1873) and William Mann, retired butcher (1901/11).
Several people ran boarding houses:-
1891/01 Anna Loveys at Summerfield.
1866 Mrs Elizabeth Sandicott – uncertain location.
1883 James Harris – uncertain location.
1891/1901 Hannah Strong at Hillsboro.
1893 Caroline Mugford at Belmont.
1901 Eliza Walling at Bell House.
1910/14 Misses Bessie and Emily Fry at Hillsboro.
1911 Dr Henry Goodwyn – Rowardennan?
Servants on East Street
The larger houses on East Street usually had one, two or occasionally three servants. For instance in 1891 there were six servants between Front House, Summerfield and Manor House, and seven between Church Stile, Church Hill House and Rowardennan.
In 1884 Mrs R. Chichester at Church Stile advertised for a house and parlour maid (Western Morning News 18 June 1884) but it would appear that more usually arrangements were made without recourse to the local press.
Malcolm Billinge 13 february 2017
2. SOCIAL DEPRIVATION AND PHILANTHROPY ON EAST STREET
Between the eight census points from 1841 to 1911 there were 27 to 36 households on the north side of East Street but only 7 to 13 on the south side of the street. Housing on the two sides was, and still is appreciably different so with this in mind the demographics are best described separately.
2.2. Family size – north side
We tend to think of Victorian urban life as being characterised by large families living in overcrowded conditions. However, this is not the typical pattern on East Street.
In 1841 only 21 out of the 30 households included siblings (offspring of any age) with an average of only 2.7 siblings per household.
In 1871 23 out of 31 households included siblings – average 2.6 siblings per household.
In 1911 20 out of 32 households included siblings – average 2.3 siblings per household.
The most siblings per family in 1841 was 6, in 1871 only 5 and in 1911 also only 5. There was no significant family size change over time.
However, eight families between 1841 and 1911 were notably larger:-
Father Occupation Offspring
George Short Mason 10
William Hayman Brickworks 8
Henry Aggett Thatcher 8
Thomas Brealey Pottery worker 7
William Daymond Mason 7
Henry Payne Clay labourer 7
William Wyatt Potter 7
Philip Roberts Miner 6
In conclusion, there were only a few large, ‘Victorian’ families living on East Street and we can consider their circumstances in more detail after determining household (as opposed to family) size, and also the number of rooms available to each household.
2.3. Household size
As noted above, many households did not include sons or daughters. Some elderly people were living on their own or with a companion or servant, and other households, with or without siblings, included other relatives, lodgers, boarders and visitors. As an aside it is interesting to note that a good many siblings living with their parent(s) were of adult age, although, no doubt, other younger siblings had already left the family home to become formal apprentices.
In keeping with the surprisingly small average family size, the average household size was also quite low, and pretty consistent over time:
Year Number of Households Average Household
North side Occupancy
1841 30 4.3
1861 33 4.2
1881 36 3.8
1901 33 4.2
1911 32 3.5
2.4.The extent of overcrowding on the north side of East Street in 1911
The 1911 census alone recorded the number of rooms per household.
There were ten houses/apartments with five or more rooms – Church Hill House, Bell House, Rock Vale, The Liberal Club, Hillsboro, Rowardennan and four others. These properties could obviously accommodate more residents with relative ease, although the servants probably did not enjoy too much personal space. This list omits Belmont (Ashwell) because at the time it was divided into apartments.
In 1911 the average occupancy of the thirty-two households was only 3.5 persons per household which does not indicate general overcrowding.
However in 1911 fourteen households had only three rooms at their disposal with an average occupancy of 2.9 persons per household.
Furthermore an additional five households had only two rooms but a higher average occupancy of 3.2 persons per household.
In 1911 two of the two-room households had four and five occupants respectively, one three-room household had seven occupants, and one four-room household also had seven occupants. These were clearly four overcrowded households.
Two of these 1911 families living in overcrowded circumstances will be described in the article ‘Maintaining Social order’ but the other two are as follows:
Samuel Cox (51) blacksmith living with his wife and five children in four rooms.
Walter Kelly (36) mason/sweep living with his wife and three young children in only two rooms.
2.5.Overcrowded households on the north side of East Street during the Victorian years
We do not know how many rooms there were for each household from 1841 to 1901. Below are households with six or more occupants. The list may exaggerate overcrowding to a degree by including some households with four or more rooms at their disposal but by the same token it will probably also underestimate overcrowding to a degree by excluding a few households with four or five occupants living in only two rooms.
The number of probable overcrowded households per census year is given with two examples for each. Several families appear on consecutive census reports (‘repeats’) and this tends to exaggerate the perceived incidence of overcrowding:
1841 4 households
Joseph Daymond (45) blacksmith, his wife, six children aged 5 to 19 and two lodgers – a 21 year old blacksmith’s apprentice and a 21 year old agricultural labourer.
Daniel Reynolds (44) tailor with four children aged 9 to 20 and four others – a 15 year old tailor’s apprentice, and a mother with two young daughters.
1851 10 households (1 repeat)
James Hamish (29), his wife, 3 children aged 2 months to 7 and four lodgers – two male potters, one with his two sons aged 7 and 12.
Joseph Clampitt (49) farm labourer, his wife, five children aged 1month to 9 and four lodgers – a 55 and a 43 year old farm labourer, a 26 year old potter and a 10 year old errand boy.
1861 7 households (1 repeat)
Ann Sampson (68) widow of an agricultural labourer, one son aged 38, a step-daughter aged 36 and three grand-children aged 1 to 12.
William Daymond (47) mason, his wife and seven children aged 2 to 17.
1871 10 households (2 repeats)
John Shares (42) mason, his wife and four children age 9 months to 17 and two young boarders aged 8 and 16.
William Wyatt (53) potter, his wife and five daughters aged 7 to 18 and one male boarder, a 55 year old potter.
1881 5 households
Reuban Harris (40) bootmaker, his wife and two children aged 9 and 11 one 15 year old nephew and two boarders – both young female teachers.
Henry Aggett (38) thatcher, his wife and eight children aged 8 months to 15.
1891 7 households (2 repeats)
William Hayman (46) Brickworks provision dealer, his wife and eight children aged 3 to 24 and one boarder – a 24 year old male ‘working on his own account’.
John Dodd (37) general labourer, his wife, five children aged 4 to 14 and two step-sons aged 15 and 18 years.
1901 6 households (1 repeat)
William Wicks (49) mason, his wife, six children aged 1 to 15 and one boarder – a 21 year old clay pit labourer.
George Short (46) mason, his wife and ten children aged 1 to 19.
Four households as identified above.
Most men with large families were labourers, blacksmiths, masons and several worked at the Pottery and the Bovey Brickworks. However, it should be borne in mind that many similar manual workers raised smaller families. The varied occupations displayed on East Street is described further in the ‘Occupations’ article.
Family size, as noted above, was not excessive with only eight families recorded as having six or more offspring. Household size, and hence potential overcrowding, was more a result of the many boarders/lodgers, visitors and other relatives living alongside the nuclear families. No doubt the taking-in of lodgers was for financial reasons whereas the inclusion of relatives suggests family reliance. The Welfare State as we know it did not exist and other means had to be found to stave off poverty and deprivation.
2.6. Poverty and Philanthropy
There were, inevitably, some very poor people living on East Street and under the Poor Law provisions some were officially deemed to be ‘paupers’. Margary Howard, 72, in 1851 and William Daymond, 89, in 1871 were so described on census returns. William Courtenay, 11th Earl of Devon and our previous Lord of the Manor was president of the Poor Law Board during 1867/8.
Prior to the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, local ‘Overseers of the Poor’ administered poor relief but the new Act replaced them with Boards of Guardians that included local representative. In 1881 (a) Mr Mann was elected on to the Board on behalf of Bovey Tracey – William Mann, butcher, was living at Heath View (Heathcot) by 1881.
In 1844 “The Guardians of the Poor of the said (Newton Abbot) Union are desirous of contracting with a duly qualified practitioner for the medical and surgical care of, and attendance on, the Paupers of the Bovey Tracey district, which comprise the town and Parish of Bovey Tracey and the contiguous parish of Hennock.” At least two of the doctors who lived, at different times, on East Street appear to have fulfilled this contract.
In 1856 Dr Haydon was to report medically on John Ponsford, Bovey Tracey pauper, “now chargeable to Bovey Tracey as Mr Soper wished to have him removed from the parish of Bovey Tracey to the common fund.” This alludes to the complex inter-parish Poor Law arrangements and responsibilities.
In 1883 Dr Hodson, medical officer of the poor for Bovey Tracey tendered his resignation as he was leaving the area.
Fortunately the Victorian era was a time of considerable philanthropy and the Community of St John the Baptist (The Clewer Sisters – an Anglian Sisterhood) was founded in the time of William Gladstone because of the concern over the number of prostitutes in London, Exeter and elsewhere. It was situated at Windsor. Our vicar the Rev. and Hon. Charles Leslie Courtenay was Canon of Saint George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and he instigated the transfer of some Clewer Sisters to Bovey Tracey.
In 1863 at Chapple farm three Clewer Sisters operated a laundry to give work to twenty girls who had been placed there for moral as well as employment training. Chapple farm was the home of George Divett, nephew of John Divett and future owner of the Pottery and the nearby Bluewaters lignite mine. The Chapple farm laundry was replaced by the far more ambitious Devon House of Mercy in c1868 and the Clewer sisters also opened the St Gabriel’s Mission House in Fore Street in 1879 for the people of Bovey Tracey, offering religious instruction and practical assistance to the sick and needy. One needy family well known to the Clewer Sisters lived on East Street – it was the Mission House Sisters who had been trying to improve family life for Thomas and Clara – see below.
In 1888 a serious fire destroyed two or three cottages on East Street leaving at least one family (Payne) without clothes or furniture. A committee for relief of the fire sufferers was immediately convened by the Rev. and Hon. Canon Courtenay on which served two churchwardens, Messers (John Lamble?) Joll (retired proprietor of the Dolphin Hotel, probably living at West Teign) and (William?) Mann (butcher living at Heath View), Mission House (Clewer) Sisters Lucy, Edith and Frances, Miss Chichester (Church Stile), Mrs Fox-Strangeways (Front House) and Miss Tracey (Pitt Tenement-later Manor House), and Mr Westwood (Hon. Treas.). £19 18s 6d plus parcels of clothes were collected for relief. The ladies Chichester, Fox-Strangways and Tracey were ‘district visitors’ – an official role under the Poor Law, by which less fortunate members of the community were cared for (Western Times 28 June 1888).
That there was a number of overcrowded households on East Street has been demonstrated above, and no doubt there was an, as yet unquantified, degree of poverty and hardship as well. We know of one struggling family which probably required more assistance than was available at the time
A Case in Question – Thomas and Clara B.
In 1881 Thomas, only 23, and Clara lived near Hillsboro with three sons and one daughter. By 1891 they were living near the Mary Street/East Street juncture and they now had three sons and four daughters. Thomas was a clay cutter in 1881 but he was working in the Pottery by 1891. Their son Norman, 16, was also working at the Pottery and so earning a small wage, but the other six children were aged eleven years and under.
Some of these younger children would have gone to school and by this time attendance was compulsory. In 1891 Thomas was fined for not sending one of their children to school regularly – only five attendances out of a possible thirty.
One year before, in 1890, Mr Hacker, coroner, presided over an inquiry at the Mission House in Bovey Tracey. One of Thomas and Clara’s children had died – “Death from natural causes” (Western Times 1 May 1890).
Worse was to come and in 1892 at the Police Court/Newton Petty Sessions, the NSPCC summoned Thomas and Clara. Their two year old daughter, Rose, had been taken to Dr Goodwyn but she had died. Sister Frances Ruth of the Mission House knew the child well and gave evidence. Inspector Witham/Wetham NSPCC and PC Slee, who had known the family for 14 or 15 years did likewise. Apparently Thomas and Clara had twelve children of whom five had by now died. Two sons were said to be working and bringing in money, but Clara had a history of drinking. Rose is said to have died from neglect and her coffin was taken to the Mission House (1892 Western Times 8 Jan 1892).
Theirs is a sad story that reflects a less happy reality about life on East Street in Victorian times.
The family could only afford to live in a house with one bedroom. Mother, father and a baby slept in one bed and three girls slept in a second bed in that bedroom. The three boys slept in a box on the landing. The box had been provided by the Clewer Sisters at the Mission House. The house was described as ‘squalid’ at the Court hearing.
It is interesting to note that Dr Henry Goodwyn who attended the child lived just a few doors away, along the street at Rowardennan.
Malcolm Billinge 13 February 2017
3. HEALTH, EDUCATION AND TRANSPORT ON EAST STREET
During Victorian times country-life was being promoted as a healthy alternative to town and city life and despite the use of lignite from Bluewaters as fuel at the Bovey Pottery (and less so latterly as domestic fuel), moving into Bovey Tracey was promoted on health grounds. An advert for Front House in 1853 stated that “the air is bracing and healthful”, and one in 1855 for Belmont (Ashwell) praised the “Salubrity of its air and the healthfulness of its locality”.
Jabez Mugford, one-time mayor and entertaining after-dinner speaker won applause when he told the guests that Bovey Tracey would always be a better place to live than Chudleigh because fresh air off Dartmoor reaches Bovey first before then passing on to Chudleigh.
Despite this ‘fresh air’ there was an outbreak of scarlet fever in 1877 and the disease spread rapidly into ten houses in East Street and Fore Street. There were ten fatalities, mainly children. Three children died in one cottage “where the disease seemed to be aggravated by overcrowding, dirt, and want of ventilation” There was a call for better ventilation of the main sewer and more water for flushing the sewer (Medical report read to the Rural Sanitary Authority of the Newton Abbot Union which met weekly).
Landlords could also be held to account and in 1902 Edward Endacott was reprimanded for not complying with an order to improve sanitary provision at his three dwellings on East Street where thirteen occupants shared a single pit privy which was 50 yards away. He claimed insufficient water! (Western Times 5 March 1902/East & South Devon Advertiser 8 March 1902). The three heads of household were John Harris Snr (most probably), John Harris Jnr and Mrs Lucy Slatterley. NB the water main in East Street had been broken by a steam roller in 1901, but this probably had no bearing on the case.
Remedial work was not undertaken and the dwellings were condemned (Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 17 June 1902). Endacott was still refusing to let officers from Newton Rural Council inspect the properties (Western Times 19 June 1908). In 1909 Endacott, now aged 81 and partially crippled, was assaulted by Mrs Lucy Satterley, one of his tenants, when he tried to evict her, apparently in order to allow him to, at last, improve the property. However the Newton Sessions magistrates found against him and he was fined 10s for ‘assault’ (Western Times 17 Feb 1902).
East Street was home to several doctors over the years and their involvement in local accidents and other incidents is well documented in the local press of the time.
1861/71 Nathaniel Haydon at Front House
1866 John Hurd Wood
1870 William Haydon
1881 Henry Hodson at Front House
1891/01 Henry Goodwyn at Rowardennan (South Down House)
1902 Murray Babbington Steuart at Rowardennan
1906 Mrs Kate Coombes, midwife.
1906/11 Henry Goodwyn at Church Stile
1910 Richard Mossiter Huxtable at Rowardennan.
1914 Alfred Dallas at Rowardennan
1911 Neville Parker, retired physician at Moorlands.
1928 T. Frank Arnott at Moorlands.
1946 “Dr T. Frank Arnott, having returned from military service, has resumed practice with his partner Dr J. C. Harrison, at Moorlands”.
These (mainly) Victorian doctors fulfilled several roles which are strange to us with our NHS familiarity. In 1893 the Kelly Directory listed Dr Goodwyn’s roles as including Certifying surgeon for Bovey Tracey and Chudleigh; Medical Officer and Public Vaccinator for Bovey Tracey and Ilsington Districts; Newton Abbot Union (ie Poor Law) doctor; and Certifying Factory Surgeon for Bovey Tracey and Chudleigh.
In 1888 William East, head gardener to Mr. W. R. Hole of Parke, fell dead in a hay field and in 1889 Mrs Dymond died suddenly in church – two incidents attended to by Dr Goodwyn. In 1901
Concealment of illegitimate births was not uncommon. In 1866 Dr Haydon attended Miss Frost of Lustcombe Farm in this connection (Western Times Aug 10) and in 1889 Dr Goodwyn was involved when a newborn baby drowned in the River Bovey and her mother, a domestic servant, was accused of its deliberate death.
Several teachers are recorded as living on East Street:
1841 Eliza Langdon, 20, school mistress.
1851 Charlotte G Rolls, 21, mistress of Bovey School.
1861 Mary Ann, 15, public teacher in National school. Check
1861 Frederick Noad?, 21, National Schoolmaster (certificated). Check
1881 Louise Winsor, 29, music teacher.
1878/9 William Westwood, national schoolmaster and secretary to the Working Man’s Club, living at Church Hill.
1881 William Westwood, 36, Headteacher at Bovey Tracey grammar school.
1881 Edith Chapman, school teacher.
1881 Mary Stephenson, school teacher.
1881 Mr H. J. Clatworthy who died in 1906 at the age of 45 became the headmaster of Highweek Council Schools. As a boy he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mr & Mrs Walling, at Bell House and was educated at Bovey Tracey grammar school from the age of eight, under William Westwood (above).
1911 Ellen Mary Pethybridge, 22, school teacher County Council.
During Victorian Times and before the Education Act 1870 there were nine schools in Bovey Tracey.
One school, on East Street, was run by Mrs Susan Loveys at Church Hill House and is recorded in census returns from 1861 to 1881. Mrs Loveys as school mistress was later aided by her two daughters Anna and Caroline as governesses. There were five female, boarding pupils in 1881, three of whom were quite local (Christow and Torquay) but two had been born in India. The pupils were aged between 12 and 17 years. There are records of the school being open as early as 1856/57.
Kelly’s Directory of 1914 reports a second school on East Street, open from 1868 – actually this was held in the parish church rooms and also across the road where ‘Panorama’ is now situated. It was an Elementary School with room for 240 pupils but an average attendance of 44 boys and 55 girls and infants. Charles Wood is named as master with Miss M. Kallaway, mistress.
The 1911 census records Miss Mary Kallaway, 51, ‘Principal teacher Public Elementary School’ living as a lodger at Hillsboro.
In Victorian times better-off people living in the more opulent houses owned their own horse and carriage and men employed to manage such transport often lived in close proximity as can be seen in these four examples from East Street.
1861 George Winsor 38 Chaise driver – next door to Dame Lewin near/at Rowardennan.
1871 Joseph Gribble, 41, coachman next door to Mary Langley at Manor House.
1891 Henry Thurston, 32, coachman next door to Dr Goodwyn at Rowardennan.
1891 William Wood, 57, groom next door to Harriett Fox-Strangways at Front Houss.
Houses such as Front House and Rowardennan had their own stabling as these advertisemets demonstrate:
1902 Summerfield was for sale and the premises included a two-stall stable, coach house and harness room with loft over (East & South Advertiser 27 Sept 1902).
1885 When accommodation was offered in Belmont by Mrs Mugford the advertisement included “Good stabling for four horses and carriage house if required” (Western Morning News 11 Sept 1885).
‘Horse and carriage’ transport was also used for leisure purposes. Jabez Mugford was for many years proprietor of the Union ‘Family’ Hotel. He was active in pushing for the Newton Abbot to Moretonhampstead railway extension (opened in 1866) partly because of the need for coal to replace local lignite at the Pottery where he had an interest (see Farm vs Factory section in ’Demographic Change article’) but also because this would bring visitors to Bovey, and hence to his hotel. In 1869 the entrepreneurial Jabez was “offering four-in-hand, breaks, wagonettes and carriages for pleasure parties visiting the scenery of Dartmoor Hills” with the railway station being only a short distance down the road. ‘Horse and cart’ transport was also the mainstay for commercial purposes and two other East Street men were employed to transport goods rather than people:
1901 Alfred Steer, 24, builder’s carter.
1901 William Sampson, 32, miller’s horse driver.
Victorian transport had its dangers. In 1901 George Martin Dodd (East Street), coachman for John Beer of the Railway Hotel was sent to fetch Mr Hussey and his party from Southcott Farm. He was driving a pair of horses and a large wagonette. George was instructed to return to Bovey via Deal farm instead of the main road, but en route, the horses bolted, the driver fell off, the wagonette overturned and Mr Hussey of Torquay later died from pneumonia following the accident. Dr Goodwyn was involved in the case (East & South Devon Advertiser 14 Sept 1901).
Horses and horse-drawn transport require the attention of blacksmiths / wheelwrights and although the main business was Bowden’s at Town Hall Place/Mary Street, other services were provided by East Street residents:
In 1841 John Coniam, 40, is described as a blacksmith but between 1851 and 1861 Joseph and William Daymond appear to take over. It is not clear whether they carried out their work on East Street or merely lived there.
Between 1881 and 1901 the extended Tucker family operated a blacksmiths / wheelwrights business and ‘Wheelwrights’ is with us today with its wide carriage opening between two substantial ranges. Also in 1901 Samuel Cox, 42, is recorded as a blacksmith in the first house on East Street’s north side. This may or may not have been part of Bowden’s enterprise which certainly occupied both sides of the street in that area.
1903 Widening of East Street to good effect (East and South Devon Advertiser 15 Aug 1903).
From time to time horses and related paraphernalia were for sale on East Street:
1878 Mr W. H. Cleave was selling a cob mare, all sorts of harness, hay, carts (and builder’s implements and tools) (Western Times 13 April 1878).
1915 The owner of Virginia Cottage, on East Street was selling two Bay carriage horses with single and double harnesses (Cornishman 9/16 Dec 1915).
Motorised transport came to the fore in the early 20th century and local newspapers report the
Inevitable incidents and accidents. In 1916 Percy Parks-Smith of Front House pleaded guilty to driving
a car with two electric sidelights showing white, unobscured lights in Newton Abbot. P.C. Hill asked
why they were not shaded with tissue paper! The case was dismissed on payment of costs. When
war broke out Percy had offered Front House for use as a hospital and Dr Goodwyn (and Dr
Dallas) were conducting first-aid classes. Percy was described as a skilled engineer but in poor health
(he couldn’t eat meat or potatoes) when he sought exemption from active service during World War1.
He was classified as C3 – only medically fit for sedentary work – but he managed to obtain work in an
aeroplane factory (Where?) (Western Times 29 March).
In 1931 John Payne from East Street fell off the back of a lorry that was giving him a lift back from Chudleigh Knighton (Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 28 Sept 1931).
In 1927 Mr Powlesland of East Street witnessed a lorry crash on the bend near Kelly mine (Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 28 July 1927).
Malcolm Billinge 13 February 2017
4. RELIGION AND SOCIAL ORDER ON EAST STREET
The Rev. and Hon. Charles Leslie Courtenay was the vicar of Bovey Tracey from 1849 until his death in 1894. He was the brother of William Courtenay, 11th earl of Devon who was our Lord of the Manor in 1855 when Charles Aldenburgh Bentinck, of Indio, bought the title. The Rev. Courtenay was an important figure in Bovey Tracey life and religion was more prominent than today. Rev. Courtenay established a Chapel of Ease dedicated to St John the Evangelist in 1853 to meet the spiritual needs of Pottery workers. There was considerable disquiet as this was high Anglican at a time when there was widespread resistance to Tractarianism and ‘back-door papacy’. In 1862 a letter to the local press at the time of St. John’s dedication anniversary included the derogatory phrase “The tractarian priesthood, and the silly sheep who follow the tinkle of their bell …” Rev. Courtenay and his wife lived in the vicarage beyond the parish church at the end of East Street but a succession of curates lived, as lodgers, along East Street itself:
1856 Rev Robert Francis Scott, curate.
1861 Rev Joseph Ball Anstice, 33, clergyman from Somerset.
1866 Thomas Williams Pearce, parish church organist.
1871 Rev Edward Urquart, 32, curate from Edinburgh.
1870/1 Rev George Frederick Bullock, 43, curate, from London.
1873 Rev J. R. Milne, curate at Church Hill Villa.
1881 John Field, 40 clerk ‘in holy orders’.
1902 Rev Vaughan at Bell House.
1910 Rev Arthur Vernon Housman, curate.
No doubt many East Street residents attended services at the parish church but they also had the option of the Baptist Chapel from the late 1700s, , and the Wesleyan Chapel from early in the 1800s.
Local newspapers inevitably recorded instances when East Street residents fell foul of the law, but these are rather few and far between.
In 1856 Charles Otway, police officer, lived at Redgate (Front |House) (P. O. Directory 1856). Two of his cases are referred to in the local press:
1855 At the Petty Sessions Edward Barren was fined £2 16s 6d or 21 days’ imprisonment for assaulting P.C. Otway. His son had been questioned about riding his waggon whilst asleep and without reins and Edward “threw himself into a great passion, and severely handled the officer”. Edward didn’t take the Court appearance too seriously and offered to drive his horses and waggon, without reins, “round the inside of the court for five guineas” (Western Times 1 Sept 1855).
1856 When John Pinsent, 32, and Thomas Ware, 25, stole six pecks of chaff and bran and were seen acting suspiciously in the Union Inn P.C. Otway was involved in their prosecution. Both men had good character references and so where found guilty but recommended “to mercy”. Despite this they were still sentenced to ten weeks’ imprisonment. Thomas Pinsent, 75 in 1851 lived on East Street but any familial connection to John has not as yet been established (Western Times 1 March 1856).
In 1902 John Wallen was fined 7s 6d for being drunk in East Street. A letter signed “A Friend of the Fallen” was read out in court suggesting that John was well known for his drink problem which was hardly surprising as he had 27 previous convictions. In 1901 Alfred Wallen lived with his wife and son on East Street and a few doors down the road Mahala Wallen lived with her four young sons. However, in 1841 John Wallen (senior) lived with his wife and three young children on East Street, and John (junior) was then aged 9 years – a possible contender (East & South Devon Advertiser 24 May 1902).
In 1905 Frederick Daymond was accused of stealing a bicycle in Weston-super-Mare (Western Daily Press 13 Sept 1905). In 1913 he stole another bicycle, this time in Okehampton and this time he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment with hard labour (Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 15 Oct 1913). Frederick was captured during WW1 but returned “to his home, East Street” safely (Western Times 3 Jan 1919). Unfortunately he was not a completely reformed character and in 1927, now aged 40, he was charged with attempting to steal money from a green-grocer’s shop in Bristol (Shepton Mallet Journal 23 Sept 1927).
1866 The following the alleged rape of Ellen Heath’s daughter by three youths she apparently attempted suicide by hanging herself in the cart linhay. The alleged incident occurred when Mr and Mrs Widlake of Little Bovey went out leaving Miss Endacott in charge of the house (Western Times 22 June 1866). At the Lammas Assizes, the ”bill for rape” against Philip Mugford, George Buffett and James Moist was thrown out by the Grand Jury. Residents named Heath, Endacott, Mugford and Moist have appeared on different census returns but no connection to them has been confirmed (Western Times 20 July 1866).
One East Street family clearly found itself in more pervasive difficulties:
The P. family
Henry and Elizabeth P (senior) had 11 (known) children at least one of whom died as two daughters were named Elizabeth like their mother. They moved at least twice on East Street coming across from the south side to 7 Belmont Cottages just below Bell House before settling into a crowded, two room household just above Belmont (now Ashwell).
John P, his wife and five children were living in a three-room household and his brother Henry and his three children were living in a nearby two-room household in 1911 – two of the four clearly overcrowded households identified in the ‘Social Deprivation and Philanthropy’ article..
John was born c1868. In 1899 John, 31, appeared at the Newton Police Court for threatening to murder his wife Sarah, “a disgraceful family row”. John apparently hit her and threatened her and the baby with a razor. Younger brother Frank and their father, Henry, intervened and John was later bound over by the magistrates. John, according to the police constable who was called to the house and arrested him “found him in a very wild and excited state” but not drunk. The reporter added “Prisoner, who presented a most disreputable appearance, and bore traces of severe ill-usage, alleged that a contused and incised wound at the back of his head, was the result of a kick by his own brother”. They had been fighting in the street (East & South Devon Advertiser 14 Jan 1899).
In 1901 John, his wife Sarah and two young children were living in 7 Belmont Cottages, now vacated by his parents. He began work as a tailor but later became a labourer/gardener.
In 1909 John and another younger brother James (living, like Frank, with their parents just down the road) assaulted Mr Clark, a potter who lived next door-but-one. Mr Clark was experiencing paranoid delusions – “They played some kind of slow music and influenced me. They have a kind of electric battery” and “… they had been blowing some kind of stuff into my house …”. Herbert Hayman, living just up from the Liberal Club gave evidence and the magistrates, recognising Mr Clark’s mental problems, dismissed the case although the Bench thought the two brothers “had treated Clarke with undue severity” (East & South Devon Advertiser 14th April 1909).
In 1911 John, now 43 was living with Sarah and their five children in the same three room dwelling.
Despite the obvious deprivation John and Sarah’s 13 year old son Henry won a commendation for his drawing ‘Railway Guard’ in a local newspaper competition (Western Times 6th May 1910).
Tragedy struck this family when in 1929 John and Sarah’s son Edwin, aged 26, died (Western Times 12 Apr 1929), and in the same year John was imprisoned for assaulting John Brailey in the Bell Inn – he by then had a history of “repeated felonies” (Western Morning News 9 May 1929).
Finally, in 1931, at the age of 63, John suffered spinal injuries after falling off a lorry that was giving him a lift back from Chudleigh Knighton. He died leaving Sarah a widow and a grown-up family (Exeter & Plymouth Gazette 11 May 1931).
Malcolm Billinge. Updated 19 September 2017
5. ECHOES OF EMPIRE ON EAST STREET
During the middle to late 19th century there were about 40 households along East Street but 30 of these were on the northern side where most of the houses were smaller and more compact. There was a very broad social spectrum ranging from minor members of the aristocracy to paupers. There were, and still are today, a smaller number of larger properties and families living in these quite often had strong Empire as well as military connections (see ‘East Street Links with the Military’ article for the latter topic).
1911 Dr Henry Goodwyn was born into an army family in India in 1859.
1881 Just beyond East Street, behind the parish church, lies Church Stile where Henry Bennett Edwards lived having retired from the ‘India Company’.
Church Hill House
1881 Two pupils attending Mrs Susan Loveys school in the house were born in India and it is possible that the parents of Maud (17) and Georgina (14) Moore were working abroad at the time.
1901 Charlotte Vallings, aged 70 and living on her own means, visiting with her niece, Violet Vallings (27) who had been born in India.
No links to Empire noted.
1891/1901 Dr Henry Goodwyn (see also above).
1913 Funeral of Miss A. S. M. Ramsay, 73, a daughter of Major-General John Skardon Ramsay,
Bombay Army (Western Times 3 June 1913).
1904 Charles Stewart, 63, lieutenant general in HMS Indian (Madras) army lived at
Anna Loveys’ boarding house where he died in 1904 (Western Times 4 May).
1841-1851 Census for Dartmouth shows that Harry Tracey, surgeon, was born in Antigua as a British Subject in 1809. After he died his widow Maria came to live at Pitt Tenement, later called The Manor House. The Tracey family while living in East Street were of independent means.
1911 Marcella Tracey (17) niece of Maria Tracey, was born in South Africa.
1901 John Patteson, 38, probably living in West Teign was a retired manager of a tobacco estate. John was born in Sussex and his wife, Josephine, 44, was born in Gloucester. Their son Harold, 14, was born in the East Indies.
It would be most interesting In due course, to learn more about these families.
Two ‘upper class’ families with both military and Empire connections that we have been able to trace to some degree are:
Dame Elizabeth Caroline Lewin and her three daughters
The Victorian era was the time of Empire and many of our socially higher-standing families derived status and wealth from their involvements oversees and through employment in the Forces. The Lewin family were originally farmers but one son became a captain of an East India Company ship and this helped to raise the wealth and status of the family. Sir Gregory Lewin joined the Royal Navy just three years after Trafalgar and saw active service helping to maintain Britain’s mastery of the high seas. Elizabeth Caroline, being a Buller by birth, was connected to an illustrious military and colonial family.
John Divett married Henrietta Emma Buller in 1833 and they set up home at Bridge House, Bovey Tracey. Dame Elizabeth Caroline Lewin was Henrietta’s sister and in 1861 she, aged 60, was living somewhere around Rowardennan (now South Down House) together with her three daughters, another sister, Frances Buller, and three servants. Dame Lewin, was a widow, and we suspect that her financial circumstances were really quite strained.
Dame Lewin had been married to Sir Gregory Allnutt Lewin, ex-RN and a well-published Queen’s Counsel. What should have been an illustrious family story fell apart due to Sir Gregory’s financial mishandlings and probable misdeeds which saw him die in debt, in Exeter, in 1845 at the young age of 51.
At the time of his death Dame Lewin and their three daughters were living in the village of Lympstone but they shortly moved to Bovey, possibly because her sister Henrietta was already living there with her husband John Divett. Sadly, further misfortune befell the Lewin family when in 1862 Adelaide Henrietta, aged 36, died in Bovey.
By 1871 Dame Lewin was living in Abingdon St Helen, Berkshire with her daughters Georgina, 45
and Caroline, 28. Dame Lewin died aged 89 in 1890 and was buried in Whimple, Devon. Her estate
was £3,288. Daughter Caroline died in 1923 aged 80 and her funeral took place in Exeter. She had
only been three when her father, back in 1845 had died, also in Exeter.
Mrs Harriett Fox-Strangways and her two daughters
Like the Lewins, the Fox-Strangways have an aristocratic pedigree and their 19th century predecessors included The Rt. Hon. Henry Thomas Fox-Strangways who was Lord Stavordale and Earl of Ilchester.
Harriett was married to Walter Aston Fox-Strangways who rose in rank to become Colonel, Commandant of the School of Gunnery at Shoeburyness. In 1885 an artillery shell exploded prematurely during an artillery training event and Walter died of his injuries, aged 52.
Queen Victoria sent a message of condolence to the widowed Mrs Fox-Strangways, and a report in the press reported one well-wisher saying ‘Col. Fox-Strangways’ widow has been left in poor circumstances, and I am glad to hear that her case has been brought under the notice of the Queen, with a view to her getting apartments in Hampton Court Palace’
However, Mrs Harriett Fox-Strangways in 1891, aged 50, was living in Front House with her daughters Violet and Mary. The family’s financial circumstances were no-doubt reduced and they may have been living in so-called ‘genteel poverty’. However, the two daughters appear to have taken an active part in the local social life – attending the annual ball at the Dolphin Hotel, giving an organ recital in Silverton church where a relative was reverend, and taking part in the Chudleigh Knighton debating Society.
Mary married but Violet, now 40, was still with her mother in Front House at the time of the 1901 census. Harriett died suddenly at home in early 1903 and her daughter Violet, aged only 42, died later that same year.
It is not clear why Harriett chose to bring her family to Bovey Tracey after their bereavement in 1885 but there were relatives living in the South-West. We do not know to what extent the extended family lent support, but Violet’s estate was valued at over £5,000 which was substantial even though not exactly a fortune.
As with the Lewin family, the Fox-Strangways had a strong connection to the military, and colonial involvement is also indicated by daughter Mary being born in Canada and a grandson, also living with Harriett in Front House, having been born in India in about 1888. Also, as in the Lewin household Harriett employed three servants.
Malcolm Billinge 13 February 2017
6. EAST STREET LINKS WITH THE MILITARY
Smitten Down yet Not Destroyed , written by Mark Bailey of East Street and published by Bovey Tracey Heritage Trust (2016), gives a full account of Bovey Tracey military personnel in the two World Wars. A good many men from East Street fought in these wars and there were several earlier links to the army and navy.
1911 Dr Henry Goodwyn was born to an army family in India, see Rowardennan below.
Church Hill House
1891 William Healey, 40, naval instructor (RN), a visitor from Portsea.
1891 Frederick Cleaver,16, naval cadet (RN), a visitor from Liverpool.
1892 Death of Fanny Caroline (Lena) Gregory (27). Caroline was the daughter of Col J. Fitzgerald
BSC (?) (London Evening Standard 15 Oct).
1861 Dame Lewin’s deceased husband, Sir Gregory Allnutt Lewin, was ex-RN having joined the navy three years after Trafalgar.
1891/1901 Dr Henry Goodwyn was born in Lucknow, Bengal in 1859. His father, also Henry, was a lieutenant in the Bengal Engineers and in all probability was active in the relief of Delhi in 1857 during the ‘Indian Mutiny’ (British India Office Ecclesiastical Returns). Aspects of Dr Goodwyn’s work is described in ’Social Improvement’ and also in ‘Demographic Change – Farm vs Factory’.
1891 Mrs Harriett Fox-Strangways’ deceased husband was Walter Aston Fox-Strangways who had
risen in rank to become Colonel, Commandant of the School of Gunnery at Shoeburyness.
1906 Maj. John Mosse was living at Front House.
1913 Funeral of Miss A. S. M. Ramsay, 73, a daughter of Major-General John Skardon Ramsay,
Bombay Army (Western Times 3 June 1913).
1901 Thomas White, 64, retired colonel Royal Engineers and his son Richard, 22, lieutenant in the Royal Marines in Summerfield boarding house.
1901 Thomas Dear (staying with Thomas White), 40, Chief Petty Officer (RN), from Bovey.
1904 Charles Stewart, 63, lieutenant general in HMS Indian (Madras) army lived at
Anna Loveys’ boarding house where he died in 1904 (Western Times 4 May).
The Boer War 1899-1902
In 1900 two reservists, Henry Payne and William Wallen “were given a great reception at Heathfield station on their way to the Exeter Depot. The whole of the reservists’ workmates, numbering about 250, at the works of Candy and Co. (Ltd), glazed brick and sanitary ware manufacturers, which adjoin the station, awaited the arrival of the train from Bovey to say “good bye” and to wish their mates “God speed and a safe return””. A collection had been made to give to the families of the married men (Western Times 16 Feb 1900).
Henry Payne is probably identified as a 34 year old father of three living on East Street in 1901. William Wallen did not appear to live on East Street but a probable relative Alfred, aged 34 and also an employee at the Brickworks in 1901 did, with Mahala Wallen, aged 28, living a few doors lower down. In 1884 Privates Wallen won recruits’ prizes at the annual shooting match of the 5th Devon Rifle Volunteers (Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 25 Nov 1884) which confirms a family commitment to the military. As a sad aside, in 1902, shortly after William Wallen had returned from the Boer War, his 2½ year old son died and an inquest was held at the Mission House, Fore Street (East & South Devon Advertiser 22 Feb 1902).
The First World War
At the outbreak of war in 1914 the Territorial Force 5th (Prince of Wales’s) Battalion Devonshire Regiment was based at the Town Hall with Lieut. W. G. Loveys as commander.
East Street combatants who survived the war
Henry Bere Summerfield
Albert Blackmore No 12
William Blackmore No 20
William Courtier No 24
William Crook No 44
Albert Curtis Summerfield
George Endacott No 2
Walter Kelly No 38
Dr Alfred McCabe-Dallas No 10 Rowardennan
Edwin and Harry Payne No 48
Henry Payne No 40
John Payne Belmont Cottage, No 7
Fred Peerless No 32
George and John Prescott No 34
Albert Rowe No 40
John Short No 4
William Smale No 46
James Stoneman No 54
Tom Willis No 24
John Wombwell No 22
Four men who died in the war
1916 Mr and Mrs Prescott of 34 East Street lost their son Percy, Grenadier Guards, in France. Two other sons were also serving their country (Western Times 29 Sept 1916).
1917 Harold Watts of Heathcot was killed in the war.
1918 Mr and Mrs Weeks of Virginia Cottage, 6 East Street heard that their son Private Arthur Weeks, Berkshire Regiment, had been killed in France. They had several other sons (eg Edward) serving their country (Western Times 1 May 1918). Brother Sidney died in India in 1918 (BTHT).
1919 Private Frederick Daymond “returned to his home, East Street” having been held a prisoner of war (Western Times 3 Jan 1919).
1921 Wedding between Miss Dorothy May Croote, East Street, and Leading Stoker William Evans, HMS Woolwich.
Malcom Billinge 16 February 2017