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Help and advice for Memorial Inscriptions Destroyed in the Fire

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Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 9 (1917) p. 253.



Prepared by Michael Steer

Honiton is a town that has been ravaged by fire throughout its history. In 1896, Honiton’s main church, St Michael’s, was renovated for the princely sum of £800. This investment appeared a subsequent waste of money when the building was gutted by fire on March 26, 1911. The Sexton arrived at the church at about 10.30am to prepare for that morning’s service, only to discover the roof was ablaze. He called to his wife who called the fire brigade and they rushed to the scene. But at that time they only had a manual pump and there was no water source near enough for them to use. They called for help from Exeter fire brigade which transported their steam engine to the town by train and were able to transport water from a nearby stream to the church. But their efforts were all in vain. The church was completely gutted with only the outer walls and tower remaining after the blaze. The church was restored in 1912 at the cost of £2,900. And this high profile incident no doubt prompted the town to purchase its first steam fire engine in 1911. 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.


On the floor of the north aisle of the chancel: -

Here lieth the body of
John Blagdon of this Town gent, who died
the 23 day of July 1694 aged 59 years.
Here lieth the body of
Margaret the daughter of John Blagdon Esq. and Margaret his wife
and granddaughter of the above named John Blagdon Gent,
who died the 8 day of May 1720 aged 23 years.

Large marble tablet N.E. corner of the same ; -

Here lye the Bodies of
John Blagdon Esq., buried 10 Dec. 1714, aged 46.
Margaret his wife buried 20 Apr. 1733, aged 64.
Margaret their daughter buried 13 May 1720 aged 23.
John their son buried 18 Aug. 1727 aged 29.
Sarah his wife buried 5 Oct. 1724 aged 21.
Rachel daughter of H. Blagdon Esq. buried 25 March 1733
aged 6 weeks.
Elizabeth daugther of H. Blagdon Esq. buried 1 April 1733
aged 12 months.
Elizabeth Maunder his sister buried 30 Aug. 1736.
The said Henry Blagdon buried 25 Jan. 1737 aged 34.
Rachel his wife buried Novbr- 15 1743 aged 39.

Marriage Licence, Exeter - 1696, April 4, John Blagdon, of Honiton, & Margaret Crossing, of Buckerell, sp.

Margaret Crossing, baptized at Gittisham, 12 May, 1658, was the daughter of Hugh Crossing and his wife Margaret, daughter of William Putt of Coombe.                      A.J.P.S.