Devon Session Rolls, Midsummer 1693: endorsed Hemyock fire

Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9 (1916-17) pp.165-157.


J. Manfield

Prepared by Michael Steer

The risk of fire was great in Stuart England. People used candles for light and open fires for cooking. Houses were built close together and were made out of wood. Tradesmen used large ovens and often kept supplies of fuel in their houses and the many inns had stables attached to them filled with hay and straw. Before the 20th century, fires were a major hazard to rural and urban areas and the cause of massive amounts of damage. For example, There were many fires in seventeenth century London. A fire in 1633 destroyed houses on London Bridge and in 1643 another fire caused £2,880 worth of damage. In 1650 seven barrels of gunpowder exploded in a fire in Tower Street that made 41 houses uninhabitable. People did not have house insurance and if their house was damaged by fire they had to rely on the charity of other people to replace their possessions. 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.


Mr. Rich: Forst, three dwellinghouses 73 foot long and 20 foot wide, besides barnes and stables and other out-houses, loss amount£1500s
Humphrey Moses, 3 dwelling-houses 97 foot long and 20 foot wide£9310s.
Robert Borrow, i dwelling-house 31 foot long and 20 foot wide£300s.
John Dalling, i dwelling-house 33 foot long and 14 foot wide£100s.
John Baillif, i dwelling-house 18 foot square Jeremiah Fetters, 2 dwelling-houses 54 foot long and 19 foot wide, besides out-houses£150s.
Jeremiah Peters, 2 dwelling houses 54 foot long and 19 foot wide, Besides out houses£60 
John Kelland, 1 dwelling-house 36 foot long and 18 foot wide, besides out-houses£350s.
John Scadding, 2 dwelling-houses 43 foot long and 22 foot wide, besides barnes, stables and John Scadding, 2 dwelling-houses 43 foot long and 22 foot wide, besides barnes, stables and other out-houses£1500s.
Susana Marcy, i dwelling-house 29 foot long, 19 foot wide£300s.
The Church house, 21 foot long, 20 foot wide£250s.
John Somerhaies, 8 dwelling-houses, besides barnes, stables, stalles, linidges {sic) and other out-houses£3960s.
Total is£1,0240s.
(Certified by)£1,71400s.
John Baker  
William Morgan, carpenters.  
Hugh Morgan,  
Lawrence Manfild, masons  
John Turke£300s
Barnard Hodge£150s.
John Scadding£2500s.
John Kelland£200s.
Samuel Clarke£50s.
John Somerhayes£1000s.
John Bayley£100s.
John Dulling£10s.
Humphrey Moses£300s.
Ezikiah Borrow£40s.
Thomas Borrow£10s.
Mary Moore£10s.
Robert Borrow£200s.
Ambrose Searle£50s.
James Clarke£30s.
Nicholas Wood£150s.
Susana Masy£30s.
Elizabeth Moore£30s
Aaron Scadding£30s.
Joan Clarke£110s
Parish goods£100s.
Total is£6900s.

(Note. - This is an exact copy - total is incorrect).

                                                  J. Manfield