From the Universal British Directory of 1798
Transcribed by "Dianne Young" <dianne_young[at]ntlworld[dot]com>
N.B. I have had to work from photocopies. Letters missing from the beginning of a row are signified by *. Individual or groups of letters which I have been unable to interpret with any certainty are signified by ?
The alphabetical order, as printed in the directory, has been adhered to.
- Officers of the castle
- Officers of the custom-house
- Principal inhabitants
- Traders A-D
- Traders E-H
- Traders I-P
- Traders O-S
- Traders T-W
- Description of the principal residences
Dartmouth is a sea-port town, situated on the declivity of a hill, which is now mostly in in tillage. It stands on the Western side of the river Dart, where it empties itself into the sea. It is 203 miles from London, 10 from Totnes and 12 from Kingsbridge, both market-towns, and 30 miles from Exeter, capital of this county. The harbour is very safe and capacious, and would contain 500 ships: it is guarded at the entrance by a castle and two platforms of guns.
This place was formerly called Clifton, from the cliffs on which most of the houses were founded; and out of which many of them dug. it was burnt in the reign of Richard I. by the French. and again in the reign of Hen. IV. They attempted it afterwards, but were repulsed; and chiefly by the bravery of the women, who fought like amazons, that beside a great slaughter which they made, they took M. Castel, the French general, three lords, and twenty-three knights, prisoners.
King Edward III. granted that the burgesses should be toll free throughout England, &c. Richard II. in consideration of their having assisted him with ammunition and provisions in his war with France, enacted that tin should only be exported from hence. King Edward IV. to reward their courage against the French, translated the port hither from Fowey, and gave them 20l. a-year in fee-farm; to which Richard III. and Henry VII. added 20 l. a-year more. The high-rents belonging to this corporation amount ot 69 l. a-year.
Dartmouth is an ancient incorporated borough, which consists of a mayor, recorder, ten aldermen or magistrates, with the usual officers. It sends two members to parliament, who are elected by the corporation, and about fifty freemen. This is one of those places termed government-boroughs. The corporation is formed out of Clifton, Dartmouth and Hardness, which were originally three distinct towns. This borough sent only once to parliament (viz. 26 Edward I.) before 24 Edward III. It was made a mayor and borough town by King John; but the present corporation was granted by Edward III. The mayor is the returning-officer.
Here is a court of session, and a water-bailiffwick court, holden by a lease from the Duchy of Cornwall, for three lives, for which they pay 14 l. a-year chief rent. The town, which is a mile long, stands on the side of a craggy hill, with streets very irregular, being sometimes two or three one above another; yet the houses are generally very high. Here is a large quay, and before it a spacious street, where live some considerable merchants, who trade to Portugal, Italy, Newfoundland, &c. and from the latter to Italy, &c. with fish. Here is the greatest pilchard fishery also of any place in the West, except Falmouth. The shipping and trade of this port and town was the most considerable of any in the county, except Exeter, till Plymouth's late increase in both. The number of vessels employed by the fishery &c. of this port amounts to 330, 200 of which are shallops, whose business is to catch the fish, and that of the others to convey it to foreign markets, when cured for that purpose; the returns for which generally consist of wine, oil, fruit, salt and remittances either of cash or bills of exchange. Dartmouth is esteemed a great nursery for seamen, as the fishery employs nearly 3000 men , a number of which the proprietors are, by an act of parliament, obliged to select from landmen. There is now a dry dock making, which will be large enough to repair an East-Indiaman.
It has a weekly market on Fridays, at which the produce of the country is exposed to sale; also a good fish-market, every day except Sunday.
There are in this town three churches, and one dissenting meeting-house. One of the churchres is situated on a hill, and its tower, which is 69 feet high, is a sea-mark. Here are three charity-schools.
The post comes in from London about eight o'clock in the morning, every day except Tuesday; and goes out every evening at seven o'clock. A diligence sets out every Wednesday morning for Plymouth, and returns on th following day, Fare 10s. 6d. - The principal inn is the Castle, kept by Ann Mainprize.
A waggon comes here from Exeter, on Mondays and Thursdays, and returns Tuesdays and Fridays; and one from Kingsbridge on Fridays which returns the same day.
There are twenty coasting vessels belonging to this port, six of which constantly trade to London, viz. the Constance, Mark Hill master; Mount Galpin, Henry *nity, John Salisbury; New London, Samuel Cole, jun. since-*; and Enterprise, John Bennet. These vessels take in their *on at Haye's wharf; the others frequent Plymouth, Portsmouth, *f this kingdom.
* a list of the Corporation, Officers of the Castle and Custom-house, and principal inhabitants, &c. of the town:
|Robert Newman Esq||Mayor|
|Thomas Taylor Esq||Recorder|
*ove list of the Justices was printed there were two vacancies.)
|Walter Prideaux||Town Clerk|
|Thomas Maddock||King's Bailiff|
|Abraham Heath||Town's Bailiff|
Mayor, Bailiffs, and Coroner are annually elected.
|Arthur Holdsworth Esq||Governer|
|Marshall Wright||Lieutenant and Fort Major|
|Nicholas Brooking Esq||Collector|
|Thomas Skinner||Deputy Customer|
|*rgeon and Apothecary|
|*Apothecary and Druggist|
|Hunt William and son||Surgeons and Apothecaries|
|Hoyles William||Surgeon and Apothecary|
|Perry Arthur||Surgeon and Apothecary|
|Puddicomb Jonathan||Surgeon and Apothecary|
|Perring and Gretton||Attornies|
|Bamfield Edm. Pierce||Ship-carpenter|
|Bear John||Victualler (Sun)|
|Churchill William||Organist & Teacher of Music|
|Crews Isaac||Tea-Dealer &c.|
|Coleton John||Victualler (Jolly Sailor)|
|Chenick Rob.||Victualler (Black Lion)|
|Davis Charles||Draper & Post-master|
|Foram Eliz.||Victualler (Union Flag)|
|Geaves William & Co.||Merchants|
|How & Lambwood||Glaziers, Painters, &c. &c.|
|Hutchings||Richard and Co. Merchants|
|Jackson James||Printer and Stationer|
|King John||Bookseller, Bookbinder, Stationer and Land Surveyor|
|Morey and Co.||Merchants|
|Mainprize Ann||Innkeeper (Castle)|
|Northcote William||Victualler (Globe)|
|Newman Robert and Co.||Merchants|
|Ould H.||Mathematical Instrument-maker|
|Pinson Andrew and Co.||Merchants|
|Roope, Harris, and Roope||Merchants|
|Sparke Geo. Yarde||Brewer|
|Searl William||Victualler (Boot)|
|S??dgel E||Victualler (Fishing-boats)|
|Thomas William and Co.||Merchants|
|Waye William||Glazier, Painter, &c.|
Near the entrance of this town, is Mount Boon House, the residence of John Seal Esq. Which commands a beautiful view of the sea, together with the harbour's mouth, and the opposite town of Kingsware, with a full view of the shipping, and a part of the river Dart. - About eight miles from the town lies Sharpham, the residence of Edmond Bastard, Esq. M.P. for this borough. This house is pleasantly situated near the river Dart; and has a fine prospect of the opposite shores, and the serpentine part of the river. - Four miles from town, and one from the village of Dittisham, lies Bramble Torr House, the summer residence of Mr. Robert Holdsworth, a pleasant retreat, situated on a branch of the river Dart. - About four miles from Dartmouth on the Plymouth road, lies Westry House, the summer residence of Mr Andrew pinson, which affords an extensive land and sea prospect. - Near Westry is Cottebury House, the seat of Mr. Peter Ougier, it is pleasantly situated, and has a good view of the village of Blackauton and the country adjacent. - Two miles distant, is Norton House, the seat of Mr. John Heine, which commands a view of the Start-point with part of the sea, and a considerable land prospect. - Five miles distant, is an elegant mansion, the residence of Charles Hayne, Esq. - Two miles distant, is the village of Stoke Fleming, where occasionally reside John Henry Southcote, Esq. whose house commands a fine view of the sea, &c. during the summer season, Mr. John Teague, in a pleasant neat house, from which is a beautiful prospect of of the Start-point, with the adjacent bay, the land to the Eastward, and an extensive view of the sea; also Mr. Thomas Tremlett, in a commodious house with a good prospect. - A little to the Northward of this town, and to the ? of the port, is Torbay; and in the bottom of this bay is a beautiful, well-built and finely-situated, house, called Torr Abbey, formerly a religious house. And from this bay, and in the parish of Tor, is a very remarkable place, c? Kent's Hole, not mentioned, as we can find, by the writers on this cou? Though, perhaps the greatest natural curiosity therein. It consists of many ?verns, into which you are led by following subterraneous passages; but I? onl of the caverns are very la? and through one of them runs a rivulet of water. The distance from the ?ward entrance to this rivulet is three or four hundred feet, and beyond this th? Are still more passages and caverns.
Brian Randell, 12 Sep 2002