The President’s Address: “Hands across the Sea”
Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1901, Vol. XXXIII, pp.39-67.
Sir Roper Lethbridge
Prepared by Michael Steer
This important Presidential Address was delivered at the Association’s July-August 1901 meeting at Exeter. Its author was an academic and initially a civil servant in India, later a Conservative Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1885 to 1892. His focus on the History and Distribution of Devonshire Families in the Colonies and America, entitled "Hands across the sea" is a cornucopia of Devon family surnames found in overseas records. Commencing his presentation the President “ventured to hope it may be thought appropriate in this year, when the death of the well-beloved Queen to whom we owe the consolidation of our empire, and the stress of the great war in South Africa, have combined to knit together with our hearts, the hearts of all our kith and kin in every quarter of the globe. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers. The original document used for this transcript is held at Devon Archives; reference Z19/29/22a-c.
Ladies and Gentlemen, - At our Totnes meeting twelve months ago, when I received from you the high honour of being' invited to become your President for the ensuing year, I must confess that my gratification was mingled with a very deep sense of my own unworthiness. And the consciousness that I could not hope that my presidential address would come up to the high standard that has been established by my predecessors in this honourable office was by no means diminished when I had listened to the admirable address of my immediate predecessor, Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. For, by the happiest possible inspiration, that speech dealt with the one subject that was nearest the hearts of all of us just at that moment - the history of our gallant "Fighting Devons"; and when the noble lord told us all about the doings of our Devon volunteers at a most critical moment of our nation's history, under the great Queen Elizabeth, he was able to do so, not only with all the enthusiasm of a loyal and gallant Devonian, but also with the peculiar aptitude of one who was at the time a distinguished leader of our Devon volunteers under an even greater queen, our late beloved Queen Victoria.
To that address of Lord Clifford I owe the inspiration of the remarks I am about to make to you, on the History and the Distribution of Devonshire Families in the Colonies and America. "Hands across the sea" is the text to which 1 wish to speak to-day, and I venture to hope it may be thought appropriate in this year, when the death of the well-beloved Queen to whom we owe the consolidation of our empire, and the stress of the great war in South Africa, have combined to knit together with our hearts the hearts of all our kith and kin in every quarter of the globe. I suppose there is not one among us whose pulse has not beat higher, and whose heart has not swelled with joy and pride, when we have heard or read of the splendid valour and hardihood of our brothers in South Africa - our brothers from Canada, from Australia, from Tasmania and New Zealand, from India and Ceylon, last, not least, from the Cape Colony itself and from gallant Natal. Our hearts have burned within us as we have thought that it is for the love of the dear old country, for the honour of our flag, and for the fame of our proud imperial race, that these brave boys have been eager to fight, and if necessary to die. And when we have seen that throughout the vast and mighty daughterland of America, too, there has passed a sob of sympathetic anguish when danger or sorrow seemed to threaten the old mother England, whether in our great war or in our grief for the loss of our Queen, we have felt that blood is indeed thicker than water, and thanked God for the sympathy of men of English race across the seas.
Now, alike in the planting of the American colonies and in the making and consolidation of this glorious empire of ours, it is no vain boast to say that Devonshire men have taken the foremost part from start to finish. One of my most distinguished predecessors as President of this Association, the late Charles Kingsley, writing of old Bideford in Westward Ho! said: -
"It was one of the chief ports of England: it furnished seven ships to fight the Armada: even more than a century afterwards, say the chroniclers, it sent more vessels to the northern trade than any port in England saving London and Topsham . . . and it is to the sea-life and labour of Bideford and Dartmouth, and Topsham, and Plymouth (then a petty place), and many another little Western town that England owes the foundation of her naval and commercial glory. It was the men of Devon, the Drakes and Hawkins, the Gilberts and Raleighs, Grenviles and Oxenhams, and a host more of forgotten worthies, whom we shall learn one day to honour as they deserve, to whom she owes her commerce, her colonies, her very existence. ... It is in memory of these men, their voyages and their battles, their faith and their valour, their heroic lives and no less heroic deaths, that I write this book."
And it is of the descendants of these men, many of them heroic too, that I wish to speak to-day.
In answer to a circular that I sent out towards the close of last year - I have to thank the Press of the colonies and of the United States of America for most generously giving it a very wide publicity - I have received a large number of replies giving me the names and addresses, and something of the history, of over three hundred families of Devonian descent now settled in those lands; and the Devonshire Association, in its Transactions this year, will put those names and addresses on permanent record, as an appendix to your President's Address.
We all know that the most ancient of our settled colonies, one of the most loyal, and one of the most robust as regards the character of its settlers, is Newfoundland; and we have it on the authority of the chief historian of the colony. Judge Prowse - himself belonging to one of our most ancient Devonshire families - that practically all the old families of Newfoundland are of Devonian origin, and that Newfoundland is a sort of New Devon. Discovered by West-country sailors under one of the Cabots only a few months, or a year or two, after the first great voyage of Columbus, it remained for a hundred and fifty years, as the Graphic well observed in a review of Judge Prowse's work, "the one patch of earth most particularly identified with the adventures and achievements of the seamen of Devon, who fill such a glorious page in naval history." And another writer shows that Judge Prowse has proved beyond all question that 'The effective beginning of England in the New World "dates from this period, long before the time when the Devon knight. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Raleigh's half-brother, whose mother was a Champemowne, landed at St. John's in Newfoundland, and on St John's Day, in the year of grace 1584, amid courtly pomp and with rod and turf in feudal fashion, laid claim to half the continent in the name of Elizabeth. This writer says: -
"Chronicles and Acts of Parliament show that from the time of Cabot's discovery onwards, England's dominion was a real and continuous dominion, based upon the surest of all foundations, that of prosperous trade. For nearly a century before any English colony was founded in North America - for more than a century before John Smith and his 'hundred dissolute persons' worked their wonders in Virginia - the men of Bideford, Barnstaple, and other West-country ports, set out each spring in their tiny crafts to share in the magnificent cod, whale, and seal fisheries of Newfoundland. They were too shrewd to say much about it, for prosperity meant king's taxes; but these fisheries were to them a veritable gold mine, and the trade so grew in importance that Raleigh declares in his time that an attack upon the Newfoundland fleet would be “the greatest misfortune that could befall England.' Holding their own at the fisheries against Portuguese, French, and Basques, and, worse than all, the mercenary sea-pirates, these West-countrymen learned lessons in seamanship to which Devon's part in defeating the Armada was a glorious sequel. Moreover, their success gave such an impetus to further English enterprises in North America, that it was of fish, not of religious freedom, that the Puritan agents spoke when they came from Leyden to beg James's gracious leave to go to the New Land."
Moreover, the hardships of the Newfoundland fishery, as well as its lucrative character, appealed to the sporting instincts of our Devonian ancestors. Judge Prowse says: -
"Devonshire, with its wonderful variety of hill and dale and moorland, has always been famous for game and hunting; and to the old West-countryman Newfoundland was a very sportsman's paradise, abounding in fin, fur, and feather."
And again: -
"Devonshire not only reared true men, but she built good ships. Every bit of timber and every nail and treenail that was driven was real honest work done by skilled hands in the sight of all the village critics. They were not built for yachting over summer seas, but for encounters with the ice and the hard knocks and rough voyages of the Atlantic. And they sailed the ships as well as they built them. . . In the whole eventful history of English adventure there are no events more remarkable than the doughty deeds of these Devon men, who for a hundred and fifty years kept this colony (Newfoundland) for England, and ruled over the thousands of foreign fishermen who resorted to the island. . . . About eight hundred Spanish and Dutch ships were destroyed or captured by us in the years immediately following the Armada year, 1588."
Before I leave this, the pioneering era of our colonial empire, of which you have seen that our Devonian ancestors had almost the monopoly, there are just two points of Devon interest to which I would draw your attention.
The first is, that in pioneering adventure, as in most other things in the Tudor and early Stuart times in Devon, all classes shared on not very unequal terms. We have just a few noble and knightly families naturally taking a leading part - Courtenays, Fulfords, Champernownes, Gorges, and others. But we have also men like Sir Richard Whitboume - he came from Widdecombe, so we might almost call him Uncle Tom Cobleigh - long the leading spirit of the Newfoundland settlements, and many others, who rose from the ranks. And the great majority of the Devon pioneers of those days - the glorious family of Hawkins, country gentlemen of Tavistock, ship-builders and master-mariners of Plymouth, and (I am afraid we must add) sometimes successful slave-traders and buccaneers ; the Drakes, Prings, Bartows, Bidgways, Holmans, Bagwells, Davises, Bowens, Coffins, Conants, Endicotts, Teos, Pepperrells, Hookers, Giffords, Tuckers, Yardes, Salters, Tothills, Andrews, Kings, Raymonds, Bastards, Frosts, Holcombes, Cabells, and innumerable other "Devon worthies " of this early period - belonged to families of whom, according to the custom of the time, some members were country squires or yeomen, some were merchants, or shipbuilders, or traders, or parsons, or doctors, or lawyers, in Exeter, in Tiverton, in Topsham, in Plymouth, in Dartmouth, in Totnes, in Bideford, and indeed in every Devon centre of population. Kingsley, in his Westward Ho!, well brings out this point, in his delightful picture of the friendly camaraderie between the great Sir Richard Grenville and the knightly Amyas Leigh with the bluff John Oxenham of South Tawton, "Franky Drake" of Tavistock, Mr. Justice Coffyn of Okehampton, or rather Inwardleigh, and Salvation Yeo of Hatherleigh.
And the second point is even more interesting. We are all of us agreed that the greatest political event of our time is the rallying of the young lion cubs from every clime on earth around the flag of the old lion in South Africa. May not we Devonians be proud of the undoubted fact that this movement was commenced, so long ago as the great peril of the Spanish Armada in 1588, by our first Devon colonists in Newfoundland? It is recorded that in that year the Newfoundland fleet threw up the gainful Newfoundland fishing, and sailed against the Spaniards under the command of Master Richard Whitbourne of Exmouth, who fought his own great ship and several others equipped at his charge, at the head of his Devon men, " who feared neither Don nor devil." And so well did they fight, that plain Master Whitbourne of Devon became Sir Richard, Judge and subsequently Governor of Newfoundland, and lived to retire to Exmouth and "fight his battles o’er again " in a learned Discourse on the riches and wonders of his beloved colony. Well has the Hon. Robert Bond, the Premier of Newfoundland since 1900, himself descended from an honourable Devonshire family, done in honouring this grand old Devon hero by giving his name to the chief railway centre of the colony. And it is an interesting coincidence that at this moment the parson of the Methodist Church at Whitbourne, Newfoundland, the Rev. Francis George Willey - to whom I am indebted for a delightful letter on this subject - is an Exeter man, educated at the St. John's Hospital School, High Street, and his mother a Lilycrapp, of Dawlish. He tells me his children are all loyal Newfoundlanders, who love old Devon.
The three generations of those typical sea-dogs, the Hawkinses of Plymouth, and the "circumnavigation" and other voyages of Sir Francis Drake, bring us to the spacious times of Great Queen Bess, with the beginning of organised colonisation under Baleigh, Gilbert, Gorges, and other “Founders of the British Empire in America." We are all familiar with the story of the Roanoke colony, and the foundation of the great colony of Virginia by the costly and untiring exertions of Raleigh; and to some extent with the adventures and tragic end of his half-brother. Sir Humphrey Gilbert. But equally great exertions, with even greater and more enduring results, were put forth by Sir Ferdinando Gorges and his associates of the Plymouth Company, in the establishment of the great New England colonies; and here, as in most other events connected with subsequent Devon enterprise in America, we are mainly indebted for full knowledge to the clan-feeling of our Devonian cousins in the United States. With a public spirit that deserves our highest admiration, they have not only worked out the history of those stirring times, but they have founded powerful associations, they have searched our British public and private records as well as their own, and in many instances they have erected, here in England, such memorials in honour of the founders of their States as that to Sir Walter Raleigh in Westminster Abbey, that to Sir Ferdinando Gorges in Butshead or St. Budeaux Church, near Plymouth, and that to Captain John Mason in the Domus Dei at Portsmouth.
And I should like here to point out that our American cousins, in making these researches into the history of their British ancestors, cannot be suspected of doing so from any vulgar desire of constructing an ostentatious pedigree, or to connect themselves with forbears more highly placed than themselves in the social scale. For be it remembered that many of the families of whom I am speaking trace back their ancestry in America as early as the year 1620 or 1630 - an antiquity that would be respected even in the more ancient countries of Europe; and there, their members have held high and honourable positions in the State. I think it should be gratifying to us Devonians that so many of our cousins in America, out of that pure and simple sentiment of family affection that is called "clannishness”, take pleasure in establishing the fact - a very real fact in my opinion - that the hereditary character which has produced such splendid results in the New World was founded in the dear old homes of Devon.
We owe to a fortunate accident - followed up and utilised by the American public spirit of which I have been speaking the discovery and publication of the Trelawny Papers, a collection that, I think, more than any other throws vivid light on the preponderant share taken by Devonshire in the making of America, Robert Trelawny, merchant of Plymouth - one of the Trelawnys of Ham, in Pennycross, near Plymouth, a junior branch of the Trelawneys of Trelawne, in Cornwall - took a part in the early colonisation and organisation of New England that was only second to that of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. The late distinguished American antiquarian, John Wingate Thornton, of Boston, Massachusetts, chanced to see advertised in the list of an English second-hand bookseller a document bearing the signature of Robert Trelawny. The document had most fortunately as it turned out - been already sold to the Rev. C. T. Collins Trelawny, of Ham; and this brought Mr. Thornton into communication with the latter gentleman, a direct descendant of the pioneer, who ultimately, with great liberality and public spirit, presented the Maine Historical Society with the great chest of " Robert Trelawny Papers" that had been hidden in the family house at Ham for nearly two and a half centuries. Robert Trelawny's father had been thrice mayor of Plymouth; and in his will he left lands in "New England " to his son Robert, as well as lands in "Hame," in "Motley" (these were occupied by the Widow Rowe and her son Abraham), and in " Lipsonne," all close to Plymouth, to his other sons. Robert Trelawny the younger evidently succeeded to his father's great civic position in Plymouth, for which he became M.P. in 1639, and obtained a patent from Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the Plymouth Company, granting him various territories in New England. The voluminous correspondence and the other historical documents have been edited for the Maine Historical Society by James Phinney Baxter, A.M., with a care and a thoroughness that leave nothing to be desired; and most of the Devon families that were pioneers in New England have here some light thrown on their history. Moses Goodyear, merchant of Plymouth, was Trelawny's partner in the original grant of lands. Elford (of Sheepstor) was his brother-in-law. We have here details of Jordan, Ridgway, Courtney, "George Luxton of Bittiford" (master of Trelawny's good ship Fellowship, of Barnstaple), and a great number more, all fellow-countrymen of Trelawny.
By the circular to which I have alluded I hoped to elicit some detailed information regarding the history and the distribution of the over-sea descendants of "Devon worthies." The response has been great and enthusiastic to an extent far in excess of my most sanguine hopes. But it will be an agreeable surprise, I think, to most of our members, as it certainly was to me, to learn that this task, at least so far as the United States of America (some of the most ancient of our colonies) are concerned, had already been to a great extent anticipated by efforts on a magnificent scale that afford the best possible proof of the deep love of the motherland that is implanted in Devonian hearts, no matter how long, or by how great distance, or by what political changes, they may have been sundered. It is a most remarkable, and to us a most gratifying fact that in the case of a considerable number of Devonshire families settled for centuries in the New World, the record of their connexion with the old country has been kept up or renewed, together with elaborate registers of their descent from the original settlers. And in some instances powerful family associations have been founded, and periodical clan meetings organised, with a spirit and a success that must command our warm admiration.
Take, for instance, the descendants of Tristram Coffyn, eminent as one of the founders and pioneers of New England, a typical Devonshire man of whom, and of whose American descendants, we Devonshire men and women may well be proud. He was born at Brixton, Devon, in 1605, emigrated to Massachusetts in 1642, and died at Nantucket, in that State, in 1681. We all know something of the history here in Devonshire of the family, which has been distinguished in our annals from the time of the Domesday Survey to the present day. But in America, alike in Canada and in the United States, the descendants of Tristram Coffyn afford us perhaps the finest specimen of tenacious, warmhearted, Devonshire "clannishness " on record. Some of them have returned to this country, and risen high in the British Service - one as a General, settled ultimately at St. John's, New Brunswick, was the father of two British Admirals, now or recently living; one as an Admiral, created a Baronet by George III. in 1804, as Sir Isaac Coffin of the Magdelaine Islands, North America; and others of high renown. But in America there are now some 5,000 of Tristram's descendants in various States of the Union, and some in the Dominion of Canada, who have formed themselves into a Family Association. They have their votes sacer in the person of Mr. Allen Coffin, LL.B., they have their registrar, they have other officers ; and, above all, in the year 1881 they organised a great three days' meeting of the clan, that was held at Nantucket, Massachusetts, the ancestral home of the family in America, on August 16, 17, and 18 in that year, and proved an event of the greatest interest and success, bringing together men, women, and children from every part of America, to the number of no less than 1,500 persons, all lineally descended from our ' “Devon worthy," Tristram Coffin! A pretty story is told, which I believe is strictly true, of at least one happy marriage that has resulted from that huge family gathering, and I am sure this Association will wish the happy couple all good luck; and beyond that, it is stated to have been fruitful in many warm friendships, and not a few valuable business connexions. In such a gathering as that, the position of the head of the senior branch of the family must be similar to that of the chief of a Highland clan; and the whole thing is clannish to a degree that would hardly be understood in any other English county than Devonshire. I have before me several records of that Family Association. Even to an outsider they are of considerable interest, so that I can readily imagine how delightful they must be to every intelligent member of the clan.
In Canada - as I learn from Burke's Colonial Gentry - the descendants of Tristram Coffyn have established as honourable a record as their kinsmen in the States. The representative of the brave old Admiral, Sir Isaac Coffin, Baronet, of the Magdelaine Islands, North America," appears to be Captain Isaac Tristram Coffin, who is to-day "of the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, British North America," and an officer of His Majesty's Army. And the Hod. Thomas Coffin (also a descendant of Tristram), of Barrington, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia, has been a nember of the Nova Scotia Assembly, a Privy Councillor, and Receiver-General of the colony.
The same may be said of the Tilleys, and doubtless of other families.
Like the Coffin family, the Tilley family has been equally distinguished in Canada and in the United States, as in each case part of the family threw in its lot with the Republicans, while a part remained " loyalists," and naturally gravitated towards Canada.
One branch of the Tilley family is descended from the two "Pilgrims” of that name who went out in the famous voyage of the Mayflower; and they probably came from Plymouth. The will of "Joseph Tilley, of Plymouth," was proved in the Bishop of Exeter's Court in 1665; and John Tilley was appointed "Overseer of Plantations" in Maine by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, from Plymouth, in the year 1623-4. The family took a prominent part in the early colonial history of New England. In the year 1783 Samuel Tilley was of Long Island, New York State; and with some other loyalists in that neighbourhood, when the troubles between the mother country and the colonies became acute, he moved northward to New Brunswick, and became a grantee of the city of St. John. His great-grandson at this day is the distinguished Canadian statesman, the Hon. Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, C.B., K.C.M.G., the Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick. There is a flourishing Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New York ; and I have also to thank their learned General Secretary, Mr. Richard Henry Greene - himself descended from William Greene, of the Maiiflower, who sailed in her from Plymouth, and probably came from South Molton, or Westleigh, or Great Torrington - for information about the Pilgrims and their New York descendants.
Another flourishing American branch of the Tilley family originated with John and William Tilley, of Ideford, near Exeter. They were living at Ideford before 1680; and William Tilley went out to Boston, Massachusetts, about that year, and was subsequently joined by his nephews, sons of John Tilley. This branch of the family intermarried in later times with the Devon families of Earle, Slocum, Nicoll - some of the Nicolls were, like the other branch of the Tilley family, noted loyalists in the Revolutionary period - and also with the Cornish family of Rogers. One of its present representatives is Mr. R Hammett Tilley, the Lands Commissioner of Rhode Island, to whose courtesy I am indebted for some interesting information regarding the early landowners in that State.
Of similar public and private interest is the Conant Family Association, consisting entirely of descendants of the famous Massachusetts pioneer, Roger Conant. The History of the Conant Family compiled by Mr. F. 0. Conant, A.M., of Portland, Maine, U.S.A., is the most elaborate and complete work of the kind I have ever seen, and is a monument of loving care, marvellous industry, and skilled genealogical research. It gives a detailed history of the family, both in England and in America, from the earliest times to the present day, and a biographical account of every member, with full dates and names of persons and places, illustrated by portraits and views; and the exhaustive nature of the work may be gathered from the fact that more than 4,000 members of the American branches alone are thus treated of.
Roger Conant was born at East Budleigh, very near the home of Raleigh. His mother was Agnes Clarke, of Colyton, and his grandmother Anne Macye of the same place. He went out as a leader of men to Massachusetts in 1623. Prince's Worthies of Devon has made us familiar with his brother and nephew, both called John Conant, who were distinguished graduates of Exeter College, Oxford, where they were contemporaries of Prideaux, Reynolds (whose daughter the younger Conant married), Lethbridge, and Endicott. The nephew became Rector of Exeter College and Vice-Chancellor of the University, held various high offices in the Church, and was a great theological writer, a moderate Puritan, who more than once resigned preferment
on account of his opinions, and yet was able to present the University address to Charles II. on his restoration, and ultimately became Archdeacon of Norwich and Prebendary of Worcester. Roger Conant's life in New England was a busy and most distinguished one, where he was a friend and associate of Governor John Endicott, the first Governor of Massachusetts Bay, and of all the other leading men of that notable community. There are but few Conants now left in their native county of Devon. The lineal representative of Dr. John Conant, Rector of Exeter, is now a Magistrate for Rutlandshire, Mr. E, N. Conant; and other descendants of the family are, I believe, Mr. Conant, of Lincolnshire, and the distinguished novelist. Dr. Conan Doyle, of Surrey. But in America they have flourished exceedingly, and held a very distinguished place in the annals of that land. To any Devonian who is so fortunate as to have access to a copy of the family history I cordially commend its study; for I can honestly say that I have derived a better, truer, and kindlier knowledge of our American cousins, of their magnificent country, and of their fine national character, from these simple annals of Devonian families there, than from all the more pretentious histories.
Thomas Rowe, also, is mentioned as a Devonian settler at Salem, a friend and associate of Roger Conant in 1637. Captain William Holberton sailed from a Devon port later in the seventeenth century. He married a daughter of Captain John Fayerweather, of Boston, Massachusetts, and there are many of the lineage still in New England, including Mrs. Ricketts, of Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania.
I have mentioned Governor Endicott as a friend and contemporary of Roger Conant and the earliest New England pioneers and Pilgrims. The first Governor of Massachusetts Bay, John Endicott, impresses me as perhaps the strongest morally and intellectually, of that band of giants. Before leaving England he was a follower and disciple of a notable pastor of Dorchester, the Rev. John White; and for this reason he has sometimes been spoken of as a Dorsetshire man, and the family founded by him in America, that has held a most distinguished position there both in Colonial and in Republican times, as Dorset folk. As a matter of fact, I believe there can be no doubt whatever that Governor Endicott came from the well-known tin-mining family, whose name was variously spelt Endicott, Endecott, and Endacott, that owned tin mines and other lands in Chagford, Throwleigh, and Moretonhampstead, and belonged to the Stannary of Chagford. They almost certainly took their origin and name from the farm called "Endacott" in the neighbouring parish of South Tawton. Among the yeomanry of those parishes and of the adjacent parts of Devon, there are still to be found many of the name, which in its form is quite typically Devonian. In the time of Queen Elizabeth there appear to have been four families of yeomen and country gentlemen in that part of Devon given to tin-mining - the Knapmans of Throwleigh (whose coat-of-arms, according to the Visitation of 1620, bore five blocks of tin marked W); the Whiddons of Chagford; the Lethbridges of Nymet Tracy; and the Endicotts of Throwleigh and Chagford. In the year 1636 John Endacott, of Chagford, by his will, which is in the Principal Registry of the Bishop of Exeter, left one of the Knapman tin mines, called South Tinnell, at Pafford in Moretonhampstead, to his son Robert; and also "all my Tynworkes & partes of Tynworkes in Devon, to hold to my said son Robert & his heires according to the Custome of the Stanyrie of Devon." All these families had sons at Exeter College at this period; and one of them, the Whiddons, had risen to considerable wealth and eminence in the person of Sir John Whiddon, Judge of the King's Bench. The present respected Mayor of Orangeville, in Ontario, Canada, is Mr. Henry Endacott, whose father was of Chagford, and whose aunt married a Lethbridge there. I may add that William Endicott had been a Fellow of Exeter College as far back as 1580; and Colonel Vivian's Visitations of Devonshire show that about the year 1620 a daughter of Henry Endicott, of Throwleigh or Chagford, was married to Edward Knapman, of Throwleigh, a near relation of Sir John Whiddon, of Chagford, and of Robert Lethbridge, of Nymet Tracy. And it is an interesting coincidence that at this moment the farm called “Endacott" in South Tawton - not far from the manor called Oxenham that gives name to another pioneer family - is occupied by Mr. Arthur Knapman. Gilbert Endicott, from Cockington, Devon, was another New England settler from this family. Another important New England family association of Devonshire origin is the Woodbury Genealogical Society; and to their clerk, Mrs. Lora (Woodbury) Underbill, I am indebted for much courtesy and some most interesting information about that distinguished family. They are the descendants of John and William Woodbury, who left Burlescombe, in Devon, and went to New England in the years 1623 and 1628 respectively. All those who know anything of the "beginnings of America" are familiar with the fact that John Woodbury, with Roger Conant and Governor John Endecott, did much to build up the Salem Colony. He returned to England on a mission in 1637, but only for a time; and ever since that time the family has occupied an honoured place both in Colonial and in Republican history.
Of all our Devonshire families there are three of whom our old Devonshire distich speaks as if they were almost autochthonous, children of the very soil. I expect we are dl familiar with the old saying : —
"Crocker, Cruwys, and Coplestone, When the Conqueror came, he found them at home."
It would be strange if we did not find these ancient families represented among the adventurous folk who were the pioneers of enterprise; and accordingly we find that there are Crockers, or Crokers, or Crookers, scattered all over America and probably in Australasia and elsewhere to the number of at least 3,000 in the United States alone. At this very time a courageous attempt is being made to collect a full history of the family, as well as a directory of its members, by two gentlemen of the family Mr. Z. S. Crooker, of 50, West 126th Street, New York, U.S A, and Mr. C. H. Crocker, of 36, Walnut Street, Neponset, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; and I venture, without any authority from them, to suggest to the numerous Crockers, Crokers, and Crookers of Devonshire that they might communicate to these gentlemen anything they may know of the home - staying branches of the family. To facilitate this, I will here give the circular letter which has been issued by these two gentlemen to their kinsmen in the States: -
"Three attempts towards a Crocker genealogy have been made "The first was in the year 1745, when Robert Crooker, of Rye New York, established the fact that Hugh Crooker, merchant, of the city of Exeter, England, died in the year 1660, leaving three sons in the province of Massachusetts Bay - Hugh, William, and Francis. William, the second son, married Ann Gregory, located first in the historic town of Wethersfield, Conn., from whence he moved to Stratford. He died at Oyster Bay, Long Island, in the year 1662, leaving a family from which the Crookers of Long Island are descendants.
"Secondly, in 1825 Mrs. Ruth (Crooker) Howland, of Bridgwater, Mass., compiled a modest record of the family. She, in her turn, began with Francis Crooker, of Marshfield, Mass., youngest son of Hugh Crooker. This Francis married Mary Gaunt, of Barnstable, Mass., in the year 1647. The descendants of this branch are very numerous, and are located all over the United States.
"The third and present compilation of the family now numbers about 3,000 names, and extends these branches of William and Francis through ten generations down to the present year. Hundreds of family Bibles have been consulted, and many town records have been copied to insure perfect reliability.
"It is our intention to record in book form any facts regarding this family that otherwise might be lost
"We believe that all those that bear this name are interested enough to send us their family record and lineage as far back as they can trace it.
“This would include descriptions of Old Homesteads, Personal Sketches, War Records, Public Services, Anecdotes of Family Interest; all these are suitable for our book.
"The Coat of Arms which heads this page has been in the family since the Revolution. The motto is Welsh, and indicates the early origin of the name, which dates back to the time of William the Conqueror, in 1066.
"Correspondence is solicited from all who are, in any way, connected with the Crooker family.
"In filling out the enclosed blanks please observe:
“1. Promptness - Do not throw the blank aside, but answer it as soon as it is received. Write in what you can, and then refer us to someone who may know more of your family.
“2. Fulness - Write all the middle names and places of births, marriages, and deaths. If dates are not known, get as near them as possible from memory."
One of the most interesting family associations of Devonshire origin in the United States is that of Pepperrell, that held its first general meeting at Kittery, Maine, in 1898. Kittery was the place where William Pepperrell, born at Tavistock in 1646, founded this very distinguished American family. Here he married Margery Bray, a name that at once recalls to us Tavistock and the literature of the Tamar and Tavy region. Their son, Colonel William Pepperrell, commanded the New England troops from Massachusetts (then including Maine), Connecticut, and New Hampshire, that gained the splendid victory over the French at Louisburg on June 15th, 1745 - when that powerful fortress was captured, with the co-operation of an English fleet under Commodore Warren; and Pepperrell, who had contributed a large sum towards the expenses of the expedition, and had led in person the gallant militia of Maine, was created a Baronet by George II. And Fortescue, in his History of the British Army, tells us that so great was the appreciation at some of the generalship of Sir William Pepperrell and the valour of his New England troops, that an order was passed in 1754 for the embodiment of two regiments of these gallant Colonial levies "under the colonelcy respectively of the veterans Shirley (Governor of Massachusetts) and Pepperrell, to be taken into the pay of Great Britain"; and these regiments ranked as the 51st and the 52nd of the line. Mr. Watkins informs me that William Cole, of Plymouth, had a daughter, Amias, who married David Thompson, and this couple settled in New England; their name is perpetuated in Boston by an island owned by them, still called Thompson's Island. Amias Thompson married as her second husband Samuel Maverick, also from Plymouth, England - an ancestor of Mayor Van Wich, of New York City. Mr. Watkins also lAentions that the Hatherleighs (or Hatherleys) and Hannafords of Devon are still well represented in New England; and the Sopers, and the Sowdons, of St. Marychurch. John Cogan, the first merchant in Boston, came from Honiton, where he still had interests in lands; and Elbridge Gerry, Vice-President of the United States, was born at Newton Abbot
The evening paper of Taunton, Massachusetts, of December 22nd last, has the following interesting editorial paragraph: -
"In Taunton there are many descendants of families who lived in Devonshire, and who came across the ocean with the Pilgrims in the seventeenth century.
"Among the first and foremost may be mentioned, Elizabeth Poole, founder of Taunton, who came from Colyton. The name of this famous woman is commemorated upon our city seal. From the next village, Axmouth, came Rev. William Hooke, the first minister of Taunton. Some of the first original purchasers of the land now embodied within the limits of this city came from Plymouth, Honiton, and other towns in Devon. County Devon includes the well-known names of Plymouth, Honiton, Exeter, Kingsbridge, Brixham, Axminster, Okehampton, Tavistock, and Ashburton."
I mentioned just now Amias Thompson as marrying Samuel Maverick, of the West Country. We get some interesting information about the Maverick family beginnings from an ancient history of the town of Dorchester in New England, written by James Blake in 1750, as follows: -
"In ye yeare of our Lord 1629, Divers Godly Persons in Devonshire, Somersetshire, Dorcetshire and other places Proposed a Remove to New England, among whom were two famous Ministers, viz. Mr. John Maverick, (who I suppose was somewhat advanced in Age), and Mr. John Warham (I suppose a Younger' Man), then a preacher in ye Citye of Exon or Exeter, in ye county of Devon. These good people met together at Plymouth, a sea-port town in ye said county of Devon, in order to ship themselves and families for New England; and because they designed to live together after they should arrive here, they met together in the New Hospital in Plymouth, and Associated into Church Fellowship, and chose ye said Mr. Maverick and Mr. Warham to be their ministers and officers, keeping ye day as a day of solemn Fasting and prayer, and ye said Ministers accepted of ye call and expressed ye same; the Rev. Mr. John White of Dorchester in Dorcet (who was an active Instrument to promote ye settlement of New England, and I think a means of procuring ye charter) being present and preaching ye fore part of the day, and in ye latter part of ye day they performed ye work aforesaid."
The Tothill or Tuttle family - I have no doubt whatever that the two names are identical - is one that is also widespread in America, having come originally from Ideford, near Exeter. The family name is still found in various parts of Devonshire; and it is also a place name, Tothill (locally pronounced Total) being close to Plymouth. Mr. William Tuttle went to New England in the ship Planter, in 1635; and it is interesting to note that at that time the two Devon families of Endacott and Tothill, afterwards to become famous in America, were already allied by marriage in the old country, for the "Inventory" of the will of John Endacott, of Chagford, proved in 1636, was taken by his son-in-law, Edward Tothill, the husband of Johane Endacott. The late Dr. Charles W. Tuttle, a distinguished antiquarian of Boston, was a member of this family, and his works, some of which were prepared for the Prince Society, have done much to elucidate the early connexion between Devonshire, the English cradle of his family, and the New England States. In his book on Captain John Mason, one of the greatest of the pioneers of New Hampshire - edited by John Ward Dean, M.A. - he quotes some words of the Archdeacon of Portsmouth, England, regarding a beautiful tablet to
Captain Mason's memory in the Domus Dei church of Portsmouth, set up by some of his American descendants and their friends, which I venture to quote here once more, they exactly express the spirit in which I am asking the Association to approach this subject. Writing to Hia Excellency the Governor of New Hampshire, the Archdeacon said: -
"Sir Hastings Doyle, our present General and Governor, and the President of our committee, will gladly communicate your desire, and our Secretary of State for War will, I am sure, rejoice in accepting so gratifying an offer. I need hardly observe that it is not the money we seek, for had we a hundred memorials they would be speedily applied for. No; what I want is a holy link between old Hampshire and New Hampshire, old Portsmouth and New Portsmouth, old England and a new and mighty people whom I have learned to honour and esteem."
That is the spirit in which we Devonians have accepted, with gratitude and enthusiasm, the American monuments commemorative of our Walter Raleigh and our Ferdinando Gorges. I ask you to admire the reverent spirit in which our American kith and kin have worked out these memorials. I ask you to remember that they have long been foremost in dwelling on what Archdeacon Wright well called these "holy links." It is a remarkable fact that it was an American, and presumably a Devonian American, who wrote that touching ballad, "Home! sweet home!" that still appeals to the hearts of all of us. It was an American orator who gave that most inspiring description of our beloved empire as “a Power that has dotted over the surface of the whole
globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat, following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England." To kindred who can thus speak and think of us we may joyfully hold out our hands across the sea.
The historic name of the family of Champernowne, of Modbury and Dartington - “De Campo Arnulphi," as it was formerly written - has adorned the annals of Devon from the earliest times, and Dr. Tuttle has given a most valuable account of its American descendants. Mr. Dean, in his edition of Dr. Tuttle's Life of Captain John Mason, furnishes us with the following note: -
"Captain Francis Champernowne was the ninth child and youngest son of Arthur Champernowne by his wife Bridget, daughter of Sir Thomas Fulford. He was born in the parish of Dartington, Devonshire, where he was baptised in October, 1614. He was a relative of Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Walter Raleigh, whose mother was Katharine, sister of Sir Arthur Champernowne, the great-grandfather of Francis. He came to New England, and settled at Kittery, Maine. He died between November, 1686, and September 20th, 1687. His will is printed in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, vol. xxvii. pp. 146-8. Mr. Tuttle contributed a series of articles on Francis Champernowne and his ancestry to the above-named periodical, vol. xxviii. pp. 75-82, 318-23, 403-9. He left in manuscript a work on The Life and Times of Captain Francis Champernowne, now in the possession of his widow, Mrs. Mary P. Tuttle, which it is hoped may before long be published."
I am deeply indebted to the courtesy of Mr. W. K. Watkins, the learned President of the Society of Colonial Wars, for a copy of Mr. Tuttle’s most interesting paper on Captain Francis Champernowne, as well as for other valuable notes, including a paper on Roger Garde, who was in 164L nominated Recorder of Maine by Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Roger Garde's parentage is not given ; but a letter regarding his death in 1645, from one James Parker, speaks of him as having grown "maz’d," an expression which certainly suggests a Devonshire origin. Moreover, John Gard, his heir (probably his brother), of Newport, Rhode Island, writing in 1670, spoke of "William Titherly, of Devon, England, now in Boston," as his brother-in-law. And further, his successor as Registrar of Maine was William Waldron, or Walrond, certainly a Devonian.
From the names of Champernowne, Fulford, Gilbert, and Raleigh, it is an easy transition to that of Drake. Francis Drake - for us Devonians truly a venerabile nomcn - went out as one of the earliest pioneers to New England; and he and his family were settled on the banks of the Pascataqua, in New Hampshire, as early as 1635. Now his descendants are to be found in every part of the States and Canada.
Another Pascataqua pioneer from Devon, whose posterity have borne a part in the history of their adopted country, was Nicholas Frost, of Tiverton, who arrived there in 1634. From him, and from John Salter, who went out to New Hampshire from near Exeter about the year 1680, are descended the Salter and other families of New York, Chicago, and Burlington in Iowa; and some of these are proud also to claim descent from Mary Pepperrell, sister of the hero of Louisburg, Sir William Pepperrell, of whom I have already spoken as a Tavistock man born in Kittery. And the Salters and Conants had intermarried before leaving Devonshire.
The Cabell family has an interesting and honourable record in America, though their common ancestor. Dr. William Cabell, only left Devonshire at a comparatively late period, in 1720. The family tree contains several hundred names, many of them of great distinction - including a Vice-President of the United States, an American Ambassador to Paris, a State Governor, sundry Members of Senate and Congress, and others. I would fain dwell at length on their inspiring lives, and many American Devonians like them, but 1 must be content with the briefest mention. Thomas Andrews came out to Hingham, Massachusetts, from Devonshire, about the year 1630; his son, Joseph Andrews, born in Devon before the emigration, died at Hingham in 1680; and their descendants - including Professor Edward J. James, of the University of Chicago - are found in many States.
Francis Champernowne's partner in the good ship Benediction, of Dartmouth, as well as other ships trading to Pascataqua, was Alexander Shapleigh, of Totnes, who was also Sir Ferdinando Gorges' agent in New England. His sons were the famous Major Nicholas Shapleigh, of Kittery, Treasurer of the Province in 1649, and Alexander Shapleigh; and his son-in-law was Mr. James Treworgy, whose name bewrayeth his origin sufficiently. Their male descendants in the direct line still occupy ancestral possessions in Kittery, Maine, a tenure thus extending over two hundred and fifty fears; and their descendants through females are found in many parts of America.
Of the early Devon settlers in Maine under the auspices of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and his Plymouth Company, Mr. W. M. Sargent, A.M., of Portland, Maine, published an important list in the Western Antiquary of December, 1885. I can only quote here a few of the names : John Winter, of Plymouth, and his son-in-law, the Kev. John Jordan; John Amory, of Chudleigh; Marke Gawde, of St. John's; William Allen, Edward Best, Henry Edmunds, Thomas Lyssen (or Lidstone ?), William Harn (Hearn or Hiern?), George Bearing, Richard Martin, all of Millbrook, near Plymouth; Tristram and Thomas Alger, both from Newton Ferrers; Francis Martin, son of John Martin, Mayor of Plymouth; two ex-Mayors of Plymouth, Ceeley of Ceeley, and Jope; Nicholas and John White; Thomas Shepherd; Edward and John Mills; Richard Cummings; Peter and Roger Hill; Nicholas Edgcomb, said to have been of Mount Edgcumbe (many years afterwards, in 1714, one of this New England family, named John Edgcomb, appeare4 as a claimant to be the heir of Sir Richard Edgcumbe, of Mount Edgcumbe); Richard Bradshaw; George Cleaver; Richard Tucker; Michael Mitton ; George Lewis; Thomas Wise; John Cad; Arthur Browne; Gilbert Paige, of Barnstaple (belonging to a wellknown family there); Richard and John Foxwell, of Exeter; Stephen Sargent (he owned an estate in the Isle of Shoals, in partnership with Captain Francis Champernowne and Mr. John Manning); Henry and John Watts; Joseph Dowles; Arthur Mackworth; Samuel Oakman; William Cole; John West; John Smith; John Baker; William Scadlock; Henry Boade (related to Samuel Winsley, Governor John Winthrop, and the Rev. Timothy Dalton); John Cousins; John Wilkinson; Michael Maddiver (Maddaford ?); Ambrose and John Boaden (Bowden?); John Taylor; Nicholas Rowse, of Wembury; Thomas Purchase; John Burridge, of Thorne Coombe; Edward Andrews, blacksmith, of Yealmpton; Robert Saunders, of Plymouth; Philip and Peter Hinkson; Thomas Hammett; Thomas Greenslade; Edward Rishworth; William Royall (Ryall or Ryle); Robert Eliot; Nathaniel Fryer; Robert Corbin ; John Bray.
Mr. Franklin B. Dexter, the accomplished Foreign Secretary of the American Antiquarian Society, in an interesting and courteous letter to me on this subject, supplements this list. He writes: -
"A considerable number of the early New England settlers came from Devon, among whom I recall the following: Arthur Abbot, from Totnes; Henry Adams, the ancestor of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; Matthew Grant, the ancestor of General and President Grant; Edward Brock, from Ashton ; Roger Clap, from Salcombe Regis; Roger Conant, from East Budleigh; Godfrey Dearborn, from Exeter; Robert Drake ; Reginald Foster, from Exeter; Edmund Freeman; the Rev. William Hooke, Vicar of Axmouth; Thomas Loving, from Axminster; the Rev. John Maverick, from Plymouth; Thomas Paris, from Ugborough; Benjamin Parsons, from Torrington ; Daniel Turell, from Instow; the Rev. William Walton, from Seaion; the Rev. John Warham, from Exeter ; and John Strong, from Plymouth."
Commander Edward Hooker, of the United States Navy, himself doubtless a Devonian, very kindly sends me an interesting cutting from the editorial columns of The Press, of Bristol, Connecticut, October 17th, 1895, which strongly bears out Mr. Watkins's statement with especial reference to Exeter. And I may remark upon it that our Exeter newspapers may learn from it the piecing fact that their columns are carefully perused on the other side of the Atlantic : -
"A few days ago a gentleman received a newspaper from Exeter, England, and looking through its advertising columns was surprised to see so many familiar Connecticut names. Gathering from the business columns of the paper a list of sixty names, he turned to the Hartford City Directory to see how many of these names he could find there, and every name on the list was a Hartford family name, not one name was missing, and they were names of well known old Connecticut families, as Adams, Andrews, Bailey, Butler, Barnes, Clarke, Cole, Collins, Dudley, Easton, Edwards, Elliot, Flint, Ford, Hart, Harris, Hamlin, Hooker, Jones, Leach, Lee, Moore, Mason, Newberry, Newton, North, Norton, Peck, Robinson, Seymour, Skinner, Strong, Thomas, Tucker, Ward, Warren, Williams, Wilson, etc. This wems somewhat suggestive that the old families of Hartford may originally have come from the vicinity of Exeter."
So, too, the Ridgways of America are descended from Sir Thomas Ridgway, of Torquay; the Bastards, of Kitley, «B represented by Dodge and Heath, in Brooklyn, New York; the Raymonds, of Sidbury, represented in the States And also in Canada by families named Raymond, Eager, and several more. The Bartow family might claim a more extended mention, for the family history and genealogy have been compiled in an admirable way by the Rev. Evelyn P. Bartow, of Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.; so might the Pomeroys, descended from Eltweed Pomeroy, who came from Berry Pomeroy, near Totnes, now represented by Mr. Eltweed Pomeroy, A.M., President of the National Direct Legislation League, of Newark, New Jersey. Again, William King, born in Ugborough in 1643, emigrated to New England; and his descendants are numerous under the name of King, Wood, Green, and other important families in Connecticut, Ohio, and elsewhere.
Descendants of Sir Ralph Freeman, of Ashburton, through Edmund Freeman of Mr. Dester's list, are found in the Hambleton family, now settled in Chicago, and probably in some other American families ; I believe the great George Washington was in some way connected with this family.
I have already mentioned some of the Hingham pioneers in New England. The most notable settlement there was the company of a reverend pastor, the Rev. Peter Hobart, who landed there in 1635. With him came John Otis, born at Barnstaple in 1581, with a wife and child, and Thomas Loring, also with a wife and family; and there are few families in America that have borne a more honourable part in the public life of their adopted country than those of Otis and Loring. John Otis founded the town of Barnstable in New England in honour of his native place. I believe one of the most distinguished soldiers in the recent Spanish War was a general of this name ; and I know that the Registrar of the Governor Dudley Family Association of Connecticut, Mrs. Dudley-Bramble, is not only a descendant of Governor Thomas Dudley, but also a representative of the two considerable clans descended from John Otis and Thomas Loring, the Devonian emigrants.
I might also mention the Hills Family Association, which, though not entirely Devonian, includes the descendants of John Drew, who was born in Exeter in 1642, and went to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1660. He died there in 1721, and his descendants are flourishing in many parts of the Union, among them Mrs. Thomas Hills, of Boston.
The Cranford family, formerly of the Court Barton in Dittisham, on the Dart near Dartmouth, were in Newfoundland at the beginning of the last century, and subsequently in Prince Edward Island. Many of them are now in the United States; and they too have been in the habit of holding large periodical family gatherings - recently in the house of Mr. J. P. Cranford, of Wakefield, New York City.
John Perrott sailed for America from Broadhempston parish in this county about the time of the capture of Quebec by General Wolfe ; and his descendants are numerous under the names of I*errott, Parker, Parrott, and Spalding.
Abraham Lethbridge, of Zeal Monachorum, landed at Boston in 1677. His nephew, Richard Lethbridge, who was baptised at Nymet Tracy in 1690, with his wife Sarah Lethbridge, née Fisher, settled at Roxbury, New England, in 1721 ; and their descendants are to be found in various parts of the States, the representative of the family in Boston being Miss Catharine A. Lethbridge, of 88, Waltham Street, in that city.
Another representative of the same, or an allied family, is Mrs. Lethbridge-Gulich, of Brooklyn, New York; and altogether I have received from the various colonies and the United States the names of thirty-four families named Lethbridge, mostly relations of my own, as well as at least five other descendants of the same family, though bearing another name. Many of my correspondents are themselves heads of families; and the large number is doubtless due to the accident of my name being appended to the circular, thereby attracting the notice of those of the same name. And I hope the Association will kindly pardon the little egotism, if I venture to point out with some pride that these families are to be found in nearly every one of our chief colonies - in Canada, in New South Wales, in Victoria, in Queensland, in South Australia, in Western Australia, in Tasmania, in New Zealand, and even in the Ultima Thule of Norfolk Island, where the present chief magistrate is Mr. King, a descendant of the same family. And another point I would venture to notice is that, besides all these families, whose ancestors came originally from the Devonshire parish of Exbourne or the adjacent district, there are many others in my list who hail from the same neighbourhood: Brock in Natal and Canada; Belfield in New South Wales and Barbados; Bridgman in Canada; Durnford in Nova Scotia; Ellacott in Chicago; Endicott in Ontario and the United States; Hatherley in the United States and in New Zealand; Madge in New York; White in Connecticut; Norsworthy (or Nosworthy) in New York and in Ontario; Oxenham in the United States, in Prince Edward Island, and in New Zealand; Palmer in Manitoba; Prowse in Newfoundland; Symms in Ontario; Vanstone in New Jersey; Ward in Connecticut; Yeo in New South Wales; Belfield Woollcombe, of Ashbury, in New Zealand; Fisher in Ohio.
It is of course obvious that the Devonian families settled
in our great Australasian colonies can only have a brief colonial record compared with that of many in Newfoundland and some other parts of Canada, and in the United States. Moreover, the enormously increased facility of locomotion in modern times, and especially the ease with which a return to the old country can be effected, must have largely diminished the tendency for the whole family permanently to settle itself in one district of its adopted country. What has generally happened is this - that one or two branches of the family have remained on their first colonial location, whilst other branches have migrated to other parts of the colony, and others have returned to England. Let me offer, as an example of this, the history of the family with which I am best acquainted, my own relatives. Commander Robert Lethbridge, of the Royal Navy, son of Christopher Lethbridge, of Okehampton, having rendered good service during the great French war, found his occupation gone after the Peace of 1815; so he married, and emigrated to New South Wales in the year 1822. There are still to be found flourishing, on the old location in New South Wales, some of his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. Two of his sons returned to England - one entered the Navy, and became Admiral commanding at the Nore before his lamented death not long ago, and the other went to Cambridge, and is now vicar of an English parish - and other of his descendants are to be found in England, and in various parts of the Australasian colonies. As the Dean of Ripon wrote the other day to the Times, "colonisation now no longer means expatriation."
A similar history might be related of many of the other colonial families represented in the list which will form the appendix to this paper. Perhaps the most successful attempt at organised emigration on a large scale that has been made since the time of Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges, was that of which the Duke of Cornwall and York spoke in such warmly sympathetic terms in the admirable speech he delivered at Christ Church on June 22nd. His Royal Highness said: “It is a great pleasure to us to come among you and see for ourselves the remarkable progress which has been made by this city and district since the Canterbury Pilgrims landed here fifty years ago." He went on to speak of ''the courage and perseverance of the pioneers who had here established a new England bound to the old by the cords of love and affection." And His Royal Highness very aptly added a hearty tribute to "the feats of their sons in South Africa, who had proved that they had nobly learned the lessons of loyalty taught by their fathers and mothers." After this, you will not be surprised to hear that these brave pioneers came mainly from Devon; and they founded a flourishing Church of England settlement in the province of Canterbury, New Zealand. The late Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, the then Earl of Devon, and Mr. Tripp, took a great interest in this scheme, of which I believe Mr. Godley was the leading spirit ; and as a natural result, a large number of the first settlers came from this country, including several members of the Acland family. I learn from Burke's Colonial Gentry that the Hon. J. B. A. Acland, of Holnicote, New Zealand, a member of the Legislative Council of the Colony, landed at Lyttelton, in the Canterbury Province, in 1854; and there are still many families of importance in New Zealand who date from that settlement.
Canon Boyce, the Rector of St. Paul's, Sydney, New South Wales - a Tiverton man, whose father was an old Blundellian, who went out in 1853 — declares that "there are no colonists that have done so much in the making of Australia as those who came from the West of England, and the men from Devon and their descendants have been most prominent among them." He mentions the Badgery family from Exeter, who have founded the thriving town of Exeter, in New South Wales; the Lethbridges, the Kings, the Drews (equally well known in America), the Dales, the Hawkinses, the Ways the Rowes, and many others.
Mr. Evans, of Bockhampton, in Queensland, a member of the Defence Force of that colony and of two rifle clubs, belongs to a Crediton family, among whose members (he tells me) there is a warm remembrance of the great name of Buller, their Crediton neighbours. "How I should have liked to have fought under such a man as Redvers Buller," says Mr. Evans. And this sentiment is expressed, in various forms, by many of my correspondents.
One instance of the affection for their native land, that is habitually carried with them by Devonians to the land of their adoption, may be seen in the names given by them to the homes where they have settled. If you take the great index to the London or other complete modern atlas of the world, you will find there, in the colonies or in America, the Dames of nearly every parish in Devonshire, and nearly every old Devonshire family. Elihu Burritt, apostrophising Plymouth in his Walk from London to Lands End, wrote: -
"Plymouth! Old Plymouth! Mother of full forty Plymouths up and down the wide world, that wear her memory in their names, write it in baptismal records of all their children, and Wore the date of every outward letter! This is the Mother Plymouth sitting by the sea!"
There are great townships named Exeter in New Hampshire, U.S.A., in Canada, and in Tasmania, beside innumerable smaller places called after our Ever Faithful city, her port Topsham, and her various suburbs. And so, too, of Dartmouth Bideford, Barnstaple, Tavistock, Holsworthy, Torrington Tiverton, Hartland, and other Devon towns, and of man] villages and even farms. The memory of the old home ii thus kept green in the daily life of the new country. So too, with the old customary christened names habitual in some families - as Tristram in the Coffin, and several other Devon families, Boger among the Conants, Eltweed among the Pomeroys - they are continued in the same way, and have the same honourable use of preserving the memories of old times. A correspondent writes me from Australis whose forbears three or four generations ago went there, on from Tregeare, near Launceston, another from Werrington on the Tamar, to say: "I was greatly delighted and interested to read in the home papers" - it is always "home" - "a few years ago an account of a marriage between Tregeare and Werrington, and both side with the same old names of which we had heard from my grandfather."
Indeed, it not unusually happens that both the family names and the place names of the old home are thus found united in the new home. For instance, here in Devon during the past year the bench of county magistrates had had to mourn the loss of a valued colleague in the person of the late Mr. Belfield Woollcombe, of Ashbury; but in New Zealand, as I have noticed, there is another Justice of the Peace named Belfield Woollcombe, of Ashbury, New Zealand.
Among the earliest families to settle permanently in New South Wales was one bearing the honoured Devon name of Davey, which, as we all know, is spelt in diverse ways in various parts of the county. The earliest of this family to land in Australia was Peter Clibbot Davey, of Bideford, born there in September, 1800. At the present moment his descendants are flourishing in many parts of New South Wales - at Dubbo, at Parramatta, at Newcastle at Belmore, near Sydney, and in the town of Sydney itself and one of them writes me an eloquent letter, in which he says: -
"We have a delight in our ancestry, a love for our source that the home-born cannot know; over 10,000 miles of land and sea, and over fifty years, Devonshire calls to us, even to us who were but in the loins of our fathers when they left the fatherland."
I have spoken of the many townships named Exeter. We have seen that Exeter in the United States was founded by a Devonian, and mainly inhabited by our kinsfolk. Mr. W. L. Wicketts, B.A., a barrister of St Thomas's, Ontario, whose family came from Pancrassweek, tells me something of another Exeter in Canada. He says of Devonshire: -
"Since my visit I have been more deeply attached than ever to the associations of that more than beautiful country"; and he adds, “There are a very great number of Devonshire people in this locality, and no matter where you go in Canada, particularly in the province of Ontario, you find native Devonians. In the county of Middlesex, adjoining this county (Elgin), there is the town of Exeter, the inhabitants of which, including the adjoining townships, are almost exclusively Devonshire people or their descendants."
And an American, Mr. Barrett, of Pennsylvania, whose family came from Tavistock, writes in a similar strain: -
"We have had our ups and downs, but I have always looked forward to the time when we should be able to make a visit to our dear old home, Tavistock. It is a long time to live in hopes, forty years, but I think I can see the blue sky at last
One of the earliest pioneers of Western Australia was John Frederick Hancock, of Devon, who about a century ago married an Ellridge, of Liskeard, and settled at Ashburton Downs, in that colony; and his great-grandson is still resident there.
In Prince Edward Island, Mr. Isaac Oxenham, whose father came from Milton Damerel - but the family originally came from South Tawton - is now the head of a college in Charlottetown. And there are a large number of other Devonian families in the island - the Brimacombes, Darbys, Ways, Furzes, Harrises, Pounds, Cooks, Rattenburys, Esserys, Nichols, Brooks.
I have been favoured by Mr. F. Cundall, the Secretary of Institute of Jamaica at Kingston, with the following note on Devonians in Jamaica: -
"From the names of several of the estates, such as ‘Barnstable,' 'Biddeford,' and *Lynton Park,' in Trelawny, 'Devon' in St. Mary, and ‘Torrington ' in St. Elizabeth, there must have been a fair number of Devonians amongst the early settlers.
"Amongst Devonians living in Jamaica at present are: -
"1. Mr. B. de S. Heaven (who came from Lundy Island), of 'Whitfield Hair in St. Thomas, and 'Ramble’ in Hanover, planter and pen-keeper.
"2. Mr. J, A. Stevens (from Ilfracombe), of 'Radnor,’ in St Thomas, a coffee planter.
"3. Mr. Wm. Hill (also from Ilfracombe), of ‘Appleton,' in St. Elizabeth, a sugar planter.
"4. Mr. Anthony Charley (who came, it is said, from Combe Martin), of ‘Kew’ Estate, Lucca, one of the most successful sugar planters in the island. He is owner of some of the principal estates in Hanover and Westmoreland.
"5. Mr. Arthur Townend (who was born at Lifton Rectory, S. Devon), of ‘Pantrepant’ in Trelawny, and ‘Devonside' in St. Ann, a planter and pen-keeper.
" 6. Mr. R. S. Goodrich (who came from Exeter), of ‘Levgan ' Estate, in St. James.
"7. Mr. J. H. Parkm, of 'Anchovy,' 'Eden,' 'Tryall,' and 'Catherine Mount’ Estates, in St. James.
" 8. The Hon. and Rev. C. B. Berry, member of the Legislative Council for St. Andrew, was born at Culmstock.
" 9. Mr. F. Hopkins (from Westward Ho), in St. Catherine.
" 10. Mr. Burgess, of ‘Mount Eagle ' Estate, in Westmoreland, is also from Devonshire.
"11. John Codner came to Jamaica from Dartmouth about 1771. His descendants are still living here.
" 12. Samuel Nugent Squire came from Devonshire in the fifties. His son is living here.
" 13. The father of Miss Land, of 'Half-way Tree,' was born at Tiverton. He was a solicitor.
" 14. Inspector Church and Lttspector McCrea (from Instow), both of the Jamaica Constabulary, and Major Loveband (from Listow), of the West India Regiment, are three other Devonians."
Thus we might go on from one colony to another, even to remote Fiji and the ultima Thule of Norfolk Island, and still we should hear the accents of the Devon tongue, and find the hearty Devon welcome. In the slight sketch I have here given of the correspondence with which I have been favoured, I have not been able to deal with scores and hundreds of points of interest, or even to mention the names of many of those who have kindly written. To these latter I desire to tender my heartiest thanks, and to assure them that it is only lack of time and space that has prevented me from referring to their communications. The amount of permanently valuable genealogical and topographical information that has been brought together is so considerable, 'that I propose to ask the authorities of the Albert Memorial Museum to accept the custody of the whole of the correspondence - to which the names and addresses of my correspondents, to be published in our Transactions, will form a sort of index. And I venture to express an earnest hope that the sentiments of filial love and devotion to " Old Devon at home," so warmly expressed by "Young Devon” and “Greater Devon" across the sea in these papers, may always be reciprocated by us, and may result in helping forward that close union of all English-speaking peoples, which will be at once a fulfilment of the aspirations of most of us, and the best possible guarantee for the peace and the future progress and prosperity of civilised humanity.