Obrazy na stronie

moor to the borders of Cornwall and to the Channel, is remarkably hilly and broken.

The Soil of Devonshire is considerably intermixed, and the strata are in so confused a state as to lead to the conclusion that this County has, at some remote period, been the theatre of earthquakes or volcanos; the era of those tremendous convulsions it is impossible to ascertain, but the scientific investigations which have been made leave no rational doubt of the fact. The Mineral productions are various and rich: they comprise tin, lead, iron, and manganese; with small quantities of gold, silver, copper, antimony, bismuth, and cobalt. Granite, limestone (one species of which, when polished, is beautifully veined, and is called Devonshire marble), gypsum, and the fine clay used by potters and pipe-makers, are also found here. Slates, freestone, and ironstone. are likewise met with; and that remarkable substance called Bovey Coal, supposed to be formed from a compound of vast assemblages of trees (washed, in remote ages, from the surrounding hills into the marshy flat in which it is found) and the clayey soil with which they are intermingled. Many remarkable Fossils have been discovered in various parts of the County; and several Mineral Springs exist, which are chiefly chalybeate, but have not been used to any considerable extent.

Devonshire is watered by numerous Rivers, some of which fall into the Bristol, and others into the English, Channel: among the former is the Torridge, which rises in the northern part of the County, and after flowing south-easterly for a considerable distance, turns to the north, near Bideford becomes a considerable river, and, having formed a junction with the Taw, falls into Barnstaple Bay. The Taw rises in Dartmoor, and flowing in a direction nearly due north, passes Barnstaple, and joins the Torridge, as above stated. The Dart, one of the most picturesque and beautiful streams in the County, has its source in Dartmoor, and derives its name from the rapidity of its current; passing Ashburton and Totness, it rolls its majestic flood in a south-west direction, and falls into the English Channel a little below Dartmouth. The Teign rises also in Dartmoor, and, after a winding course, generally inclining to the east, is received by the English Channel. The Exe,

which originates in the wilds of Exmoor, on the western border of Somersetshire, is joined by several streams in its passage to Topsham, where it forms a fine estuary, extending to Exmouth; but its usefulness is much lessened by a vast sand-bank, which renders its navigation always dangerous, and sometimes impracticable, to vessels of large burthen. The Tamar rises in the northern part of Cornwall, and constitutes for a considerable distance the boundary between that county and Devon; it forms at length the noble harbour of Hamoaze, and falls into the sea at Mount Edgecumbe. Beside the rivers above enumerated, the Tavy, Oke, Plym, Yealme, Arme, Otter, Sid, and Axe, are considerable streams, which either join the larger rivers before described, or fall directly into the English Channel.

Agriculture is the principal occupation of the inhabitants of this County, and it is pursued with diligence and success. The principal crops are, wheat, barley, beans, pease, and, in some districts, flax. The Orchards are very numerous, and a considerable quantity of cider, of excellent quality, is made. Great attention is paid to the breeding of cattle and sheep, and to the produce of the dairy. The Cattle are con-sidered, by Mr. Marshall, to be a remnant of the native breed of this Island; the Horses found in the mountainous districts are very small, and much resemble the Welsh poneys. An Agricultural Society was formed in 1791, and has been of considerable utility. The principal Manufactures are of woollen cloths, serges, baize, and carpets; paper, earthenware, and some other articles, are produced in particular districts; and shipbuilding is carried on to a considerable extent, at several towns. The Fishery also, both in the rivers and on the coast, furnishes employment to many of the inhabitants, and large quantities of this delicate food are supplied to the Bath and London markets.


THE early history of this County is involved in the same obscurity that pervades that of nearly every other. Much controversy has arisen on the subject

of its primitive inhabitants, who by some authors are supposed to have passed over from the opposite shores of Gaul, and by others to have emigrated from the distant regions of the East. It would be impossible, even were it important, to decide the point here; all we can with certainty state is, that, previously to the Christian era, the Belge invaded this part of the Island, and forced great numbers of the natives, who are called Damnonii (corrupted from a British word signifying "dwellers in deep valleys") by the Romau writers, to retire to Ireland; the contest was still, however, continued by those who remained; and at the period of the Roman invasion the Britons in this district were still unsubdued. But even their valour was insufficient to defend them against the conquerors of the world; they bowed beneath the yoke, and their country formed a part of the province of Britannia


We are unacquainted with any incidents in the history of this County under the Roman domination; after their departure it enjoyed for a short period the blessings of liberty and peace; but early in the sixth century was invaded by the West Saxons, who had already made themselves masters of a great part of the adjoining country. The Britons defended themselves, during the greater part of a century, with a spirit and vigour, which, had it been earlier and more generally displayed, would have prevented the subjugation of this Island by the warriors of the North: at length, however, worn out by ceaseless contests, continually assailed by new hordes of the invaders, and perhaps weakened by domestic dissensions, they were compelled to submit; and in 614 Devonshire was incorporated with the Kingdom of Wessex by Kynegils, the seventh monarch of that state.

The history of this division of the Heptarchy has been already related (see pp. 310-312); and_little remains to be added, peculiar to this County. In the ninth century it suffered from the predatory incursions of the Danes, who at length obtained so complete a mastery, that Alfred was compelled to seek in the woods a temporary retreat, while his beloved country was exposed to the ravages of these merciless barbarians. In this crisis the people of Devonshire had the honour of striking the first blow for liberty;

under the conduct of their Earl, Oddune, they defeated a large body of the invaders, killed their leader Hubba, and captured the Reafen, or enchanted Standard, in the possession of which the Danes believed their good fortune to be involved. This victory so elated the Saxons, that, commanded by their heroic monarch, they soon attacked and routed the enemy in every direction, and placed their country in a state of peace and security to which it had been a stranger during nearly a century.

The subsequent history of this County is principally included in that of Exeter, under which head it will be found. It may be mentioned, however, that, during the Civil War, several encounters took place here between the Royal and Parliamentary forces, which will be more particularly adverted to hereafter; and here William, Prince of Orange, landed, in November, 1688, and commenced that Revolution, which proclaimed the important truth, so recently acted on in another country, that when Kings neglect their duty, or abuse the trust reposed in them, they may be dismissed, and replaced by those to whom the nation looks with more confidence.


This city is pleasantly situated on an eminence rising from the eastern bank of the river Exe, which encompasses its south-west side, and over which it has a handsome stone Bridge, erected about fifty years ago, at an expense of nearly £20,000. It is 173 miles from London, and about 10 from the English Channel, with which it communicates by its river, assisted by a canal extending to Topsham, which was constructed in 1675, and by which vessels of 150 tons burthen are now enabled to come up to a Quay, formed near the walls of the city*.

Exeter is a place of great antiquity; it is believed

* The tide formerly flowed beyond the city; but the citizens having offended Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, in a dispute about some "potted fish," that nobleman, in order to punish their insolence, caused "great trees, timber, and stones," to be thrown into the river, "in such sort that no vessel could pass or repass;" and the tide thenceforward reached only to Topsham, which was greatly benefited by the change; and :as this town belonged to the Earl, it may be concluded that interest influenced his conduct at least as much as dignified wrath. By this measure the trade of Exeter received a fatal blow, as some centuries elapsed before -it was found practicable to apply the imperfect remedy above mentioned.

to owe its origin to the Britons, and to have been the capital of the Damnonii. That it was occupied by the Romans can scarcely admit of doubt, although not any vestiges of buildings erected by them remain here; this is explained by the destructive sieges to which it has been exposed; its desolation, at various periods, by the Saxons, Danes, and other enemies; and the probable demolition of any ancient edifices which it might have contained, to make room for the erection of some of the numerous religious foundations with which, previously to the Reformation, the city was crowded, and which procured for it the appellation of Monktown: many remains of Roman sculpture, coins, &c. have been found here, and in 1778 five bronze figures of the Penates, or Household Gods, were discovered under the pavement of a cellar in High Street.

To the Romans this city was known as Isca Damnoniorum, and it is said to have received from them the title of Augusta, significative of its importance. When it was subjected to the Saxons its name was altered into Exan-Ceaster, from its situation on the river Exe, and the Castle which was erected here: the transition from this to its present appellation has been insensibly effected in the course of twelve hundred years.

In the reign of Alfred Exeter was seized by the Danes, but was shortly after delivered by the King. In the following century it fell into the hands of the Britons, who still maintained their independence amidst the wilds of Cornwall, and in those distracted times frequently made incursions into parts of the country which had long before submitted to the Saxons. How long they retained possession of this city is uncertain; but they were at length defeated by Athelstan, who drove them across the Tamar; and to secure Exeter from future attacks, surrounded it with a wall, strengthened by towers; he also founded a monastery here, repaired the city, and conferred so many privileges on it, that, says Malmsbury, "it became such a place of trade, that it abounded with opulence."

Its prosperity was, however, of short continuance: in 1003 Sweyn, King of Denmark, landed in England. to revenge the barbarous and impolitic massacre of

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