Extracts from 18th and 19th-century newspapers
Transcribed by Debbie Kennett
London Evening Post - 3rd October 1789
A SUPERNATURAL PIGGERY.
An extraordinary discovery was lately made in a courtlege, upon a rising ground belonging to Chapel Farm, in the parish of Cruwys Minchard [sic], near Tiverton, in Devon. The house and estate are the property of Mr. Brooks, a wealthy and respectable farmer, who resides there; it was formerly a monastery belonging to the Augustine Friars, and at the dissolution of the religious houses, fell into the hands of the Cruwys's, from whom, by various alienations, it came to the present possessor. In order to convert a very fine spring into a pond, to water the meadows below, and for the use of the cattle, Mr. Brooks dismantled the courtlege, the linneys, sheds, &c. and began to sink an extensive pond. When the workmen had sunk about ten feet from the surface, the strata appearing in its natural state, they came to a spungy matter; it appeared to be a very thick cuticle of a brown colour, covered with hogs bristles; they soon found bits of bones, and lumps of solid fat of the same colour. Astonished at this discovery, one of them ran for his master, who, upon viewing the place, sent for Dr. Sharland, a person of great experience and practice as a farrier, in the neighbourhood: it was then resolved, cautiously to work round the carcase, when at last the compleat body of a hog was found, reduced to the colour and substance of an Egyptian Mummy; the flesh was six inches thick, and the hair upon the skin very long and elastick.
As the workmen went on farther, a considerable number of hogs, of various sizes, were found in different positions; in some places two and three together, in other places singly, at a short distance. Upon the bodies being exposed in contact with the open air, they did not macerate or reduce to powder, as is usually the case with the animal economy, after lying two or three centuries, divested of air; perhaps this might be occasioned by the mucilage of the bacon. This Piggery continued to the depth of twelve feet, when the workmen stopped for the season, and the pond was filled with water; consequently, in the course of this winter, further remarks will be made. The oldest man in the parish never heard that the ground had ever been broken; and indeed the several strata being entire, renders it impossible to conjecture from what causes this extraordinary phenomenon proceeded. The family of the Cruwys have a complete journal of remarkable events which have happened in the parish for three centuries, and not the least mention is made of any disorder which could occasion such a number of swine to be buried in such a situation; and the state of the strata leaves a great doubt, that they must have been placed there by some supernatural cause; perhaps an eruption of nature in the earth, might reconcile this very curious circumstance of natural history.
The same story was also published in the Public Advertiser on 6th October 1789.
Trewman's Flying Post - 1st December 1831
The King has been pleased to grant to the Rev. George Sharland, M.A., of Cruwys Morchard House, his Royal Licence to take and use the Surname and Arms of the ancient family of the Cruwys, of Cruwys Morchard, upon his succeeding (as Devisee under the will of his Great-Grandfather the Rev. John Cruwys) to the Cruwys Morchard Estate, which has been in the possession of that family ever since the reign of Richard the First.
Trewman's Flying Post - 13th March 1834
To be SOLD by Public Survey, at Lower Yedbury Farm House, in the Parish of Cruwys Morchard, on Monday the 17th of March instant, at three o'clock in the afternoon, 17 capital OAK TREES, 243 OAK POLLARDS, 40 ASH TREES, 1 ELM, 1 BEECH, and 8 ALDERS, with their Tops, Lops and Bark, now standing on Lower Yedbury Farm, situated in the Parish of Cruwys Morchard, distant about 6 miles from Tiverton, and 7 from Crediton.
The above Timber is marked numerically with a raze-iron, and divided into lots, for the accommodation of Purchasers.
For viewing the same, apply to Mr. JOHN THORNE, on the Farm, and further information may be obtained of Messrs. THOS. and WM. COMINS, Witheridge; or of Mr. CROOTE, Lapford, near Crediton. Dated 8th March, 1834
Trewman's Flying Post - 1st April 1885
SHOCKING DEATH OF A BOY
Yesterday afternoon an inquest was held at the Cruwys Inn, Cruwys Morchard, by Mr. F. Burrow, County Coroner, on the body of a lad named Reed, ten years of age, living with his parents, who met with a shocking death on Saturday last. In the evening Reed was asked by a man named Frankpitt to hold a horse that had been detached from a waggon. He did so. Whilst Frankpittt was absent for a short time he got upon the back of the animal and trotted it about. It is believed that some chains attached to its harness irritated the animal and caused it to bolt. Reed was unseated, and becoming entangled in the chains was dragged for about a mile. When he was picked up he was found to be dead, his head being stated to have been literally smashed to pieces; and the course the horse had taken was indicated by traces of the unfortunate lad's blood and brains. - The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
Trewman's Flying Post - 11th February 1897
The Rev. Arthur Henry Cruwys, who for more than 20 years was Rector of Cruwys Morchard, died suddenly yesterday afternoon from failure of the heart's action, at the age of 59. He was a noted sportsman, and only yesterday morning cheered the hounds as they passed Cruwys Morchard. He leaves a widow and three sons.