W. H Lindsey.

A season at Harwich, with excursions by land and water ... online

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SKBXYIS5T TO










SEASON AT HARWICH,



CitiiraintiD hj %m\ nnii Wnln:



TO WHICH IS ADDED



RESEARCHES,



HISTORICAL, NATURAL, AXD MISCELLANEOUS.



BY



W. 11. LINDSEY,



ARCHITECT.



LONDON :

SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & CO.
HARWICH: J. SMITH.



J. SMITH, PRISTEB., HARWICH.



TO

JOHN BAGSHAW^ ESQUIKE, M.P.,

THE TRIED, DEVOTED FRIEND,

AND

REPRESENTATIVE OF THE INTEREST AND WELFARE

OF THE

BOROUGH AND PORT OF HARWICH,

IS, BY PERMISSION, RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,
BY HIS HUMBLE, OBEDIENT,

AND OBLIGED SERA'ANT,

W. H. LINDSEY.



2090818



PHEFACE.



The first historical account of Harwich and Dovercourt, that
we have any knowledge of, was compiled about the year 1732,
by j\Ir. Samuel Dale, wdio took for the foundation of his work
the MS. notes of an author whom he thus introduces to the
public : —

" This MS. of collections was made about the ye£iv 1676, by one
Mr. Silas Domville, alias Taylor, keeper of the King-'s Stores at
Harwich, not long" before his death ; this his curiosity mig-ht prompt
him to, he living- at the place, and being- a lover of antiquities, a
person of leisure, and a member of the Corporation, whereby he
had access to the books and records, both of the church and boroug-h.
Whether he designed ever to publish these his collections, or only
writ them for the satisfaction of himself and friends, is to me mi-
known : but whatever were his intentions, they were prevented by
the thread of his life being-, not long' after, cut offj and dying in
debt, all lus MSS. and papers were, tog*ether with his g-oods, seized
on by his creditors, and so dispersed.

"This MS. coming- into my hands some years after, tliroug-h the
favour of a friend, the curiosity of it made me desirous of copying*
it, not only as it related to a place in the county in which I was an
inhabitant, but also because I had before been divers times at the
place, to observe the natural curiosities thereof, but especially the
cliff", whose various imbedded fossils I had there discovered ; the
first invention of which the late Dr. Woodward in public company
attributed to me. Afterwards, whatever I foimd in my reading-,



IV. PUEFACK.

relating" unto Ilnrwicli, 1 transcribed into tlie lett-hand l)ag'e of my
copy, (the original being- only written on the rig-ht,) and thus I con-
tinued to do for divers years, without any view or desig'n of publish-
ing- them myself, not being- without hopes tliat they mig-ht be of some
use to a better hand, who mig-ht undertake the jiublication either of
a g-eneral Histor}- of England, or particular one of this county, for
Avhicli cause I never declined lending- them to any of my acquaint-
ance, whose curiosity miglit lead them to desire a perusal. But
after a long- waiting- without effect, besides years increasing- upon
me, and being- loth that they should be altogether buried in oblivion,
by their being, after my decease, torn to pieces as waste papers, or
destroyed by mice and vermin, I resolved to send them abroad
myself, in the dress they now appear " (in.)

Between the time when Mr. Taylor's notes cease, and that
when Mr. Dale published his work, several publications were
issued from the press, toucliing incidentally on the affairs of
the Borough, of which this author availed himself largely, and
brought tlie Ilistory of Harwich and Dovercourt down to the
period when his work was first printed.

After this, no publication, exclusively devoted to Harwich,
seems to have been written, till, in the year 1808, appeared an
anonymous work, called " The Ilaricich Guided

]\Ir. WJiite, of Sheffield, a topographical writer, has furnished
matter of much interest, relatino; to Harwich and the neigh-
Lourhood, in his description of the County of Essex ; and the
same may be said of Courtney's History of Ipswich, whose
interests are inseparable from those of Harwich : Kirby, the
historian of Suffolk ; Morant's Essex ; and numerous other
authors have been consulted with advantage, and are acknow-
ledged in the body of the work. For much of the information
contained in these pages I am indebted to influential gentlemen
connected with the town, and others in the neighbourhood,
particularly to John Bagshaw, Esq., M.P. for Harwich, with-
out whose valuable assistance it is more than probable "A
Seasoji at Ilarxcich''' would not have been produced.



PREPACK.



In addition to the free access to his valuable library, and
collection of Natural History, this gentleman has been kind
enough to furnish me with much original information resulting
from his personal knowledge, and intimate acquaintance with
the affairs of the town and the vicinity, which I could not
otherwise have obtained; and I consider it no small addition to
his past favours, that he has allowed me to dedicate the work
to him ; and thus securing for it an amount of consideration
which its intrinsic value would have failed to obtain.

I have also to acknowledge, with thanks, the contributions of
the Rev. Sir John Page Wood, of Glazenwood House, Bart.,
and of Wm. Colchester, Esq., for the short account of the
fossils, &c., found in the neighbouring shores ; I am obliged to
Professor Owen for kindly correcting this part of our subject,
and to Clarkson Stanfield for his valuable assistance. And
I am greatly indebted to that excellent man, and benefactor
to Harwich, Capt. Washington, R. N., for much valuable
information.

For permission to make the copy of the old map of
Harwich in the possession of the Corporation, I have to thank
Francis Hales, Esq., the respected ex-mayor of the Borough ;
and the Rev. R. Bull, M.A., for the use of his sketch of
Ramsey Church, and permission to inspect his valuable and
rare specimens of fossils. Nor can I pass over my obligations
to R. R. Barnes, Esq., for the use of his sketches of the
old Light-Houses and Church, as well as for other useful
memoranda of things long since passed away ; and I trust the
inhabitants of the Borough will accept my thanks for their
courtesy and general willingness to afford me assistance on all
occasions. Lastly, I have to acknowledge the favours received
from the Rev. George Burmester, M. A., for the use of a sketch
of Oakley Church Tower, with the Wood Engraving of the
National Schools, and in his permitting extracts from the early
Church Register. The other Drawings have all been made on
the spot expressly for this work.



PREFACE.



I may mention, that Dr. Bremmer — though his name, of
course, is a fictitious one — is the type of a worthy Physician,
who was for many years in the habit of recommending to his
patients the air of Harwich and its neighbourhood, on account
of his conviction of its salubrity and the benefit arising
from a sojourn in the locality; but, for solid reasons, I am
not allowed to give his real name : he has been heard
frequently to express regret, as many others have done, that
the accommodation at Harwich was so limited that but few,
comparatively, could participate in the advantages of the
situation ; an objection there is every reason to hope will soon
cease to exist.

In conclusion, I have to state that much delay has taken
place in the production of this book, occasioned by difficulties
almost inseparable from a local publication ; but it is less to be
regretted now, as it affords me the pleasing duty of announcing
that the Railway, so often mentioned in the following pages, is
to be immediately constructed, and which will thus open the
long-looked-for communication with the metropolis.



94, Gloucester Place,
Kentish Towx, Loxdox,
May, 1851.



CONTENTS.



INTRODUCTION.

PAGE

In -which the reader is introduced to several people with whom he was

previously unacquainted . . . . . . . 9

CHAPTER I.
In which the travellers begm their journey . . . . . . 12

CHAPTER II.

In which the travellers reach Colchester, and visit the principal objects

of interest m that to^^ia . . . . . . . . 23

CHAPTER III.

The portfolio, in which '^^'ill be found several objects of interest on the

Eastern Counties' Railway . . . . . . 30

CIL\PTER IV.

In which the joiuTiey is concluded .. ..43

CHAPTER V.

In which some of our party make their first acquaintance with Harwich 55

CHAPTER YI.
In which is determined the next day's visit ; and also an account given

of the Doctor's Museum . . 77

CHAPTER YU.

First excursion. — The party visit Dovercourt on their way to Walton

and the Sokens . . . . . . . . 82

CHAPTER Till.

The visit to the town, and showing how the Borough of Har^^-ich is

governed . . 97

CHAPTER IX.

In which vnll be found a description of the ^Mai'ket — a visit to Land-
guard Fort — and an excursion to Felixtow and the Trimleys 126

CHAPTER X.
The OrweU River — and excursions to Ipswich by land and water 152

CHAPTER XL
Excursion to Manningtree, Mistley, etc . . . . 179

CHAPTER XII.

Pleasure-trips by land and water — the Regatta — and conclusion of the

Narrative 191

*#* For Contents to Part II, see Inde.v.



LIST OF PLATES.



1.


Map of Harwich, and the surrounding Country


Frontispiece.


2.


The Title Page.


PACE


3.


Map of Eastern Counties' Railways and Lines in


CONNECTION 12*


4.


View of the Breakwater


52


0.


Mr. Bagshaw's House


.56


6.


Mr. Bagshaw's Hall


64


7.


Upper Light-house


70


8.


Map of Harwich in 1709 . .


68


9.


DovERCouRT Church


.82


10.


Church Street . .


108


11.


The Harbour


112


12.


The Ship Yard


117


13.


The Club House and Jetty


127


14.


The Trimleys


141


1.5.


Ramsey Church . .


170


16.


The Esplanade .vnd Lower Light-house . .


195



■» We have been favoured with the Map of the various Railways in the East-Anglian district,
which is considered a valuable addition to the work.



PART I.



"OGSasS^^"^^



SI $tMm at 33antiirli.




IN WHICH THE READER IS INTRODUCED TO SEVERAL PEOPLE WITH
WHOM HE WAS PREVIOUSLY UNACQUAINTED.




R. BENSON was a g-entleman who, eng-ag-ed in tlie
early portion of" his hfe in mercantile affairs, and for-
tunate enoug'li to realize a larg-e amount of money by his
sjieculations, had just determined to embark in still more
gigantic operations, when domestic misfortunes induced him
to alter his views, and eventually to abandon altogether the
pursuits of commerce. He had been, early in life, united to au
amiable and accomplished woman, whose affection soothed the
daily anxieties inseparable from his course of business, and whose
tender solicitude for theii" children, and diligent attention to all the
duties of a wife and mother, promised liim a life of comfort and an
old ag'e of jjeace.

The wisdom of Providence, however, which has appointed change
as the characteristic of all sublunary affairs, de^i'eed that this state
of things should underg-o an alteration. Mrs, Benson was attacked
with a ling-ering disease, and, notAvithstanding all the cares of her
husband and the skill of the most eminent physicians, whom he
summoned to attend her, she expired in tht; arms of her heart-
stricken partner.

For many weeks after her death, Jlr. Benson was absorbed in
grief 5 but time, which destroys and scatters our joys, also mitigates
our sorrows and heals the Avounds of the henrt, tliouu-h caused by



10 A SEASON AT HARWICH.

the sharpest afllictioiis : a tciuli'r melanclioly succeeded, and lie tlu'ii
detenuiiicd to abandon hi8 comnicrcial occupations, and devote his
wliole time to th(! care and instruction of his family. He ]irocured
the assistance of Miss Arclier, a hidy who, thoug-h still yount^-, was
in every respect (pialified to conduct the education of his only
daughter, who had been named Elizabeth, after his lamented wife,
at the time of whose death she had nearly reached the interesting'
ag"e of sixteen. He resolved to undertake himself the tuition of
his two sons — Henry and Charles — the former being* fourteen, the
latter twelve years of age ; and for this task he was eminently fitted,
both by extensive and varied knowledge, and })ractical experience
of the world.

Elizabeth, while she inherited from her mother an unrivalled
gracefulness of form and loveliness of person, seemed, to the anxious
eyes of her father, to have also derived a fragility of constitution
which was a source of constant alarm and anxiety to him ; and, to a
certain extent, his fears were soon afterwards realized. The same
insidious disease which had carried off his wife in the })rime of her
existence, now threatened to de})rive him of liis beloved daughter ;
the vigour of youth, however, proved sufficient, with the aid of the
consummate skill of Dr. Bremmer, to combat the disease Avith suc-
cess 5 and although she still remained languid from the effects of the
disorder, the fond father felt that his child was preserved to him ;
and as he held her in his arms, he fervently and reverently thanketl
that Power which had left him in the possession of the treasure he
had feared was about to be lost to him for ever.

It was in the month of June that Dr. Bremmer pronounced the
young lady to be " out of danger 5" but, at the same time he en-
joined the greatest care, and suggested the propriety of change of
air and sea-bathing, as a meiius of perfecting the cur



Online LibraryW. H LindseyA season at Harwich, with excursions by land and water ... → online text (page 1 of 34)