This paper addresses the town's history as it was written by Mr J S Short, though mainly concerning the life of his friend Thomas Roberts who, though handless, lead an active life as schoolmaster of Hatherleigh for nearly 50 years. Born at Tor Point, Cornwall in 1771, his godfather Lord Graves entered him in the Royal Navy as a midshipman. Roberts joined the 98 gun London in 1780 and saw action during the War of American Independence. During an engagement he was about to throw a grenade when it exploded destroying both of his hands and wounding him in 17 places. He survived. The ship's carpenter made a wooden hand which held a pen and Roberts learned to write again becoming the Captain's clerk. Aged 21, Sir James Hamlyn of Clovelly hired him as tutor to his children. In 1797 he moved to Hatherleigh as schoolmaster and married Mary Ann Brent at Clovely. Google with the Archive Organization has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. The Internet Archive makes available, in its Community Texts Collection (originally known as Open Source Books), books that have been digitised by Google from a number of libraries. These are books on which copyright has expired, and are available free for educational and research use. This rare book was produced from a copy held by the New York Public Library, and is available from the Internet Archive.