'- 9 -
TWO BOOKS OF REMINISCENCES.
Grain or Chaff?
The Autobiography of a Police Magistrate.
By A. C. PI.OWDEN. Demy 8vo, cloth gilt, with
Photogravure Frontispiece. i6s. net.
Harry Furniss at Home.
By HIMSELF. Fully Illustrated by the Author. Demy
8vo, cloth gilt. i6s. net.
LONDON: T. FlSHER UNWIN.
OLD TIMES AND NEW
J. GEORGE TETLEY, D.D.
MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD
RESIDENTIARY CANON OF BRISTOL
T. FISHER UNWIN
(All rights reserved.)
TO THE MEMORY OF
LOYAL, LOVING, BRAVE.
IN the first part of this book I have collected some
fragments of family history as it was made in the
eventful years that closed the eighteenth century,
and during the earlier part of the century that
In the latter part I have told something of
various persons with whom the course of my life
has brought me into relation.
But I ask my readers very carefully to note
I have not written my own life, for indeed there is
nothing in the everyday story of an ordinary person
like myself to be told. Nor have I written of friends
that are alive. And this for an obvious reason.
To write of all would be impossible ; to make a
selection would be invidious. So scarcely anything
will be found as to those who are still with us. It
is most needful to emphasise this point, as I can
otherwise well fancy the amazement of any who
know me, and may chance to read these pages, at
the absence of names that are to me in life, through
their love and their unmerited kindness, surely as
" household words."
J. G. T.
WHILE OLD TIMES LAST
I. AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES . . . 3
II. AS THE NINETEENTH DAWNS ... 23
III. AN OLD-WORLD DIARY PARLIAMENTARY . . 43
IV. THE WYNYARD STORY .... 58
WITH CHANGE OF TIMES
I. TORQUAY IN THE FORTIES . . . -77
ii. AMONG MY FATHER'S FRIENDS ... 94
III. TIVERTON . . . . . . US
IV. MAGDALEN . . . . .130
V. OXFORD IN THE SIXTIES . . . .152
VI. LANHYDROCK . . . . .175
VII. CHARDSTOCK AND ELSEWHERE . . -193
VIII. BADMINTON . . . . , 204
IX. HENLEY , . . . . 222
X. HIGHNAM . . . . . , 233
xi. HIGHNAM (continued) . . . . .250
XII. NORTH WALES . . . . .264
XIII. BRISTOL ....*.. 279
XIV SUPPLEMENTARY . . . . .297
WHILE OLD TIMES LAST
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES
MY story begins with my great-grandfather, at one
time of Maisonette, on the banks of the Dart, and
of Catdown, 1 near Plymouth, who had lived chiefly,
I believe, at a house in the town itself, and there in
the year 1779 a very notable incident occurred,
with which I will begin my chapter of family
At that time England was in far greater peril
than any then knew. What was known was indeed
bad enough. In the month of August a fleet of
French and Spanish ships, numbering some eighty-
eight sail, lay off the Sound. The English frigate
Ardent was cut out within the sight of a powerless
population, and numerous captures took place of the
fishing craft in Cawsand Bay.
The larger danger, most providentially averted,
1 This house was burned in 1801, and never rebuilt.
4 OLD TIMES AND NEW
was this. 1 Mr. Wynne had received into his house
as a very pleasant guest a foreign gentleman who
had brought, beyond doubt, irreproachable creden-
tials with him. One fine morning he was missing.
A letter, it is said, was left, expressing his
gratitude for the kindness he had received, and
pledging a full respect for the rights of hospi-
tality. This guest was none other than the
Comte de Parades, euphemistically termed a
" diplomatic agent," in plain English a spy,
who had turned his visit to admirable account.
Somehow he had managed to elude the vigilance
of those in charge of the Citadel and learn
(what was only too literally true) that the
magazines were empty of ammunition. With this
certain information he effected his escape from my
great-grandfather's house, and taking an open boat,
pushed out boldly to sea, and acquainted the French
Admiral with the depleted state of the stores. Had
his advice been taken, nothing humanly speaking,
could have saved our western naval depot from a
This is, to the best of my recollection, the outline
of a very remarkable incident as I have heard it
related from my early childhood. It may be open
1 Waggons were prepared, and all was in readiness for a flight
to Dartmoor, in event of the anticipated landing of the invaders.
My mother's father, born in 1776, was, I think, actually conveyed
to a place of safety.
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 5
to correction or amplification, but there is no doubt
that in the main this is a true account.
My great-grandmother was Sarah Arthur, whose
charming face has been perpetuated in the portrait
which was undoubtedly painted by Sir Joshua Rey-
nolds, although (it is not a solitary instance) he did
not sign it. The marriage was one which was
destined to bring both, at the time and in far
distant days, a large measure of happiness with it.
Both their sons died unmarried, John Arthur, the
eldest, of the igth Light Dragoons, and Henry.
Thus the three daughters were eventual co-
heiresses, and of their families there is a good
deal to be told.
Here is a schoolboy's letter written from old
Blundell's by my great-uncle, as the eighteenth
century drew to a close :
" DEAR PAPA, I have sat down with a resolu-
tion to write a few lines to let you know that I am
well, and hope you and all the family are the same.
I left Mr. Herbert very well at Exeter, and I should
be glad if you will be so obliging as to send me a
couple of knots of twine. I should be glad if you
will desire Mr. Commins to write me a few lines.
I should be much obliged to you if you will write
me next Post. Remember me to all at Plymouth,
" YOUR DUTIFUL SON."
6 OLD TIMES AND NEW
How pathetic in its formal phrases, and how
child-like in its plea for twine !
Their eldest daughter, Mary Frances, married
Mr. John Hawker. A distinguished Peninsula
soldier, Sir Edmund Williams, K.C.B., became the
husband of her daughter Caroline, and of him the
following anecdote has been preserved.
He was in command, probably at Vittoria, of the
Fourth Cacadores (Portuguese). In the course of
the battle his favourite dun charger was struck by a
ball behind the ear. The horse fell with his rider,
who sprang off the ground, clear of the fallen animal,
and seized the horse of a French cavalry officer,
who had been thrown from his saddle. By his
main strength he succeeded in holding back his
new mount from answering the recall of the squad-
ron, and eventually got safely within the English
lines. " Oh, Colonel, where's the dun ? " was the
astonished greeting of his orderly, Nat Morgan,
who was greatly attached to the charger. " Left
him dead on the field," replied his master. The
following morning Nat appeared at the Colonel's
tent, with an invitation to follow him. He went,
and to his utter amazement there was the dun, as
well as ever. He had only been stunned after all,
and in the night had picked himself up and found
his way home. And when Nat was grooming him,
and pulling his ears, he discovered a bullet flattened
like a penny against the metal of his head-piece.
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 7
At the same battle Sir Edmund received a ball in
his shoulder. It was a very superficial wound, and
the skin formed rapidly over the ball. Many years
afterwards he was anxious to have it removed, as it
became an annoyance to him. He went to London
and consulted some eminent surgeon of the day,
who told him that the removal was a very slight
matter in itself, but that the greatest care would be
needed after the operation to avoid taking cold.
The ball was extracted, and all was progressing
favourably. Unfortunately on reaching Gloucester
during the return journey the weather was very wet
and stormy. In those days there was no railway
into South Wales, and the old campaigner, scorning
the inside of the coach, mounted the box, and so
travelled to Chepstow. A chill struck into the
newly-closed wound, and so the French bullet,
long after its discharge, was fatal in the end, for
the General died within a few months after much
Sir Edmund's only surviving son was for very
many years a prominent figure among the clergy of
South Wales, doing strong and lasting work in the
earlier days of a Church revival. He attained a
great age, but his natural force was little abated.
Up to within a very short time of his death he was
actively engaged in drilling the parochial Church
Lads' Brigade, a movement in which he took the
keenest interest. His first curacy was that of
8 OLD TIMES AND NEW
St. Pierre and Portskewett, under conditions
which have long since passed away. " The sur-
plice " was the special charge of the housekeeper
at St. Pierre, and on one occasion a failure in the
laundry arrangements brought about a curious
crisis. The funeral of a member of the family was
about to take place, and my cousin was to read the
service. To his dismay the housekeeper met him
with the news that the surplice was not forth-
coming. He saw from the window that the pro-
cession was being formed, and he knew that there
was not a moment to be lost. Always resourceful,
as his many friends knew well, he said, " Give
me one of the very best damask table-cloths."
She did so, and he folded it nattily around
him, covering the gaps and deficiencies to the
utmost by pinning a broad black scarf over
them. He then sallied forth, keeping as far
in front of the cortege as he possibly could.
Nothing was remarked, and he wisely held his
Years afterwards at a dinner party he told the
story for the first time. A guest heard it through
and then said, " Well, I was at that funeral, and I
saw you come out and head the procession in what
seemed to me a very strange garment, and I whis-
pered to the man walking by me, ' Look at young
Williams he has brought down one of the new-
fangled Tractarian things from Oxford ! ' ' The
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 9
funeral must have taken place in 1840, or 1841 at
the very latest.
Their son John married Mary Harris, of
Radford. With regard to this family, I may here
relate a very remarkable incident that took place
Some labourers in the adjoining parish of Brix-
ton, in destroying an old hedge, came across several
large silver bowls or dishes. They were imme-
diately claimed by two of the neighbouring gentry.
But as in neither case the title to possession was
clearly established, they agreed to send the plate,
on which there was visible some armorial ensign, to
the Herald's College for identification. And there
the plate was adjudged to belong to Harris of
Radford. It was then in regular form claimed, and
eventually obtained by the late Mr. John Harris.
Thus far the simple facts of the episode. The pre-
sumption is, that a former member of the family in
the Civil Wars, had to make good his escape to
save his life, and buried the plate before his de-
parture. And this is upheld by the epitaph in
Tywardreath Churchyard, which certainly com-
bines pathos, affection, and humour to a remark-
able degree. Such an inscription is a real find for
those who are curious in compositions of this sort.
I give it in its entirety ; and I think all my
readers, especially Devonians, will thank me for
io OLD TIMES AND NEW
" In memory
Of ROBERT HARRIS Esquire fometimes
Major-Generall of His Magesties forces
before Plymouth who was buried heere
vnder, the zgth day of June 1655.
And of HONNOR HARRIS, his sister, who was
likewise heer vnderneath buried
the i yth day of November
in the year of Our Lord
Loyall, and Stout : thy Crime this, this thy Praise
thou'rt here with Honour laid, though without Bayes." '
Their next daughter, Sarah Anne, a famous
beauty of her day, married Ralph Gore, of Bar-
rowmount, in County Kilkenny, formerly of the
33rd Regiment, and aide-de-camp to the Duke
of Wellington. She was painted by Hoppner, who
chanced to see her wearing her hat, and leaning on
a gate at Maisonette. Prints of this picture are
very familiar, and not long since it formed the
subject of a Christmas card.
My great-grandfather was exceedingly annoyed
that a stranger should have taken a sketch of his
daughter, and without his permission. His subse-
quent endeavours to avoid an unwelcome publicity
only resulted in the inscription of the portrait as
Sophia Western the initials of the subject being
thus retained. This picture has disappeared, and,
1 I am indebted for the epitaph to the Rev. S. B. Baker, of
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 11
up to the time of writing, the inquiries that have
been set on foot have proved fruitless. I am not
altogether without hope that it may yet be traced.
It is a curious illustration of the rapidity with which
a true history may be lost, and a false version hold
the ground, that among picture dealers it has been
currently held that the portrait is one of Hoppner's
own wife, or daughter.
And here I will insert the account, in the exact
words transmitted to me, of a most remarkable
circumstance connected with my great-aunt's
"Colonel and Mrs. Gore had two sons in the
33rd Regiment, Arthur and Ralph. They were
both at the battle of Waterloo, where Arthur was
killed on the first day. As is well known, there
was no expectation in England of a great battle
at that time. Mrs. Gore was ill, and there had
been no news for some time, when one morning
she said to her husband, 'Arthur is dead he has
been killed.' Colonel Gore answered that there
had been no tidings, and it was not at all likely.
Then she described that in a dream she had seen a
white marble monument in Gore's Bridge church,
and the words ' To the memory of Arthur Gore,
who was killed at the battle of St. Jean, June 16,
"It is remarkable that when the news first came
to England, the battle was called St. Jean, from the
12 OLD TIMES AND NEW
place where the first fighting took place, though
Waterloo was its title afterwards.
"Arthur was killed almost at the first, and was
buried by his comrades where he fell. When the
actual news arrived, the family did not put on
mourning, or say anything of the matter to Mrs.
Gore, who died shortly afterwards. She said, that
although they would not tell her, she knew Arthur
was dead, and she was going to him. A monument
was put up, as she had described, in Gore's Bridge
The following details have been placed in my
hands since I began to collect these sketches of
bygone times :
" RECOLLECTIONS OF WATERLOO.
"By a Staff Officer.
" I was returning towards Headquarters, as the
Commander of the Army and his Staff are termed
in military language, when my attention being
attracted to a group of persons near the wood of
Bossu, I crossed over to see what they were about.
On getting near I recognised the red facings of the
33rd, and having some acquaintance with that
regiment, I at once rode up to the party, and
became witness of a most affecting and impressive
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 13
scene. On the ground was extended the tall form
of a departed comrade, covered by his military
cloak, round which were standing, bareheaded,
three or four officers. Two soldiers were leaning
on their spades, wherewith a shallow grave had
been dug. One of the officers was endeavouring
in broken accents to read our beautiful Burial
service. Another, the elder Gore, stood motionless
as a statue with eyes fixed on the cloaked mass at
his feet ; young Haigh, a boy of eighteen summers,
was crying like a child ; even the hard soldiers were
powerfully affected. I needed not to be told whose
body lay shrouded by the mantle its length, the
mourners, their grief, all told the tale but too
plainly. When the reader ceased, I cast an in-
quiring look towards Haigh, who, stooping, drew
back from the face a portion of its covering, and
as I expected, disclosed to my sight the pale and
beautifully chiselled features of Arthur Gore. Poor
fellow ! But two short weeks before, chancing to
pass through a village in which the 33rd Regiment
cantoned, I fell in with my old and valued
Marlow acquaintance, one of the finest and hand-
somest samples of the British youth in the service."
" That evening we had a joyous and harmless
carouse. We were all Marlow men the eldest
of whom was scarcely twenty who only three
years before were contending at football in the
college field. Alas ! how changed the scene, when
14 OLD TIMES AND NEW
between two great and hostile armies, the same
individuals were engaged in committing to the
earth the body of him, who had once been the life
of the party. What must the anguish of that fine
lad's mother have been, when the sad tidings
reached her, that all her fond hopes had thus been
nipped in the bud. I waited to see the last shovel-
ful of earth piled over his remains, dropped a tear
upon the grave, and departed. This melancholy
incident not only affected me greatly at the time,
but made a lasting impression on my mind hence,
whenever Quatre Bras is mentioned, I always see
before me most vividly depicted the touching scene
I witnessed by the side of the Bois de Bossu."
(From the Albion of November 13, 1847.)
" Alas ! my brothers ! Ralph never spoke of the
above scene with calmness, and always described
his first seeing his brother lying dead covered with
his cloak, just as if asleep, as the greatest shock he
ever had for Arthur had been left behind the
regiment in charge of the baggage and sick, and
Ralph did not know he was on the field on the
1 6th until he saw him dead. Arthur, on hearing
the firing, had got a horse and galloped up in time
to form in square with the regiment and receive his
death-shot in the brain, which did not even displace
his grenadier's cap, and he lay perfectly unaltered.
I recollect their talking frequently of young Haigh
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 15
to an old officer of the 33rd. Our poor mother
never lived, as you know, to hear the news from
human lips, and yet she told me Arthur was killed
before she died. Little did I expect after so many
years to meet the scene so vividly described in a
newspaper. What a beautiful drawing might be
made of it ! Our brothers were both so very hand-
some. Arthur was not nineteen, Ralph not quite
twenty at the time. S. A. GORE."
The late Miss Longley once gave me the follow-
ing account of a chance meeting with a near
relation of Colonel Gore. It was certainly a
strange coincidence that under the circumstances
they should have been thus thrown together.
"In the year 1863 my father, my sister, and
myself were at the Schweizerhof at Lucerne. A
lady sitting next my father at the table d'hote intro-
duced herself as having been born in the same
house in which he was born. She then explained
that she was a daughter of Sir John Gore, who
lived at the time of her birth at Rochester, in a
house called Satis House, which had belonged
formerly to my grandfather, John Longley, then
Recorder of Rochester, where my father was born
"The house was called 'Satis House' because it
was said that Queen Elizabeth had once dined
there, and having finished she said ' Satis ! '
16 OLD TIMES AND NEW
" The lady who thus introduced herself was Mrs.
Powys-Keck, then a widow travelling with her
" 'Satis House' is still, I believe, to be seen near
the old bridge at Rochester, but now divided into
Colonel and Mrs. Gore had a considerable family.
One of the daughters, Mary Pitt, became Mrs.
Ryland. Her son, together with his bride, was
lost in that mysterious and awful calamity, the
utter vanishing of the City of Boston from the
face of the deep, so that none to this hour know
what befell her.
It is worth noting at this point that a relation of
my wife's, Roger Eykyn, who was at one time in
the House of Commons, and well versed in all
political chat, told me a few years ago that the first
news of Waterloo was published in St. James's
Square, where the house of the Minister then was.
I much regret to say I have forgotten the number.
The same account is given in Mrs. Bagot's most
interesting " Links with the Past."
Prince William Henry, afterwards Duke of
Clarence, and eventually William IV., was a very
frequent guest in one or other of my great-grand-
father's houses during his times of residence at
Plymouth. I have in my possession the first
frank he wrote as Duke of Clarence. It is on a
letter addressed to my grandmother when a girl
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 17
at school. His special admiration was given to
her sister, afterwards Mrs. Gore, whom he con-
stantly honoured by selecting as his partner at
the various assemblies. His Royal Highness's
room at Maisonette is still pointed out.
Amongst the papers that fell to my share is the
following holograph addressed by Admiral Lord
Nelson to the Prince. It was in very poor condi-
tion, and I have to express my grateful recognition
of the courtesy shown me by the Curator of MSS.
at the British Museum, under whose direction the
document has been admirably restored.
"ExMOUTH, April 22nd,
" MY PRINCE, I arrived here a few days ago,
and purpose, no accident happening, paying my
humble duty to your Royal Highness on Friday
next. I hope to see you in that good health which
I most sincerely wish. Report says the Andro-
meda is very soon to sail for the Newfoundland
Station, but the westerly wind, even if report says
true, will (not ?) permit me to be in good time, nor
indeed do I see what good end can be answered
by your arrival at Newfoundland or America when
all the harbours are froze up. The latter end of
May is full time enough, I think, for any business
to be done. We are here in the height of summer.
No fires and all the windows open. Captain Pole,
who I saw at Bath, has promised me a bed. I
i8 OLD TIMES AND NEW
take for granted he is arrived before this time.
Pringle, I fear, has been unsuccessful. He was
two days at Bath, but meant to attack Mr. Herbert
again on his getting to London, but " Hold fast" is
his motto, therefore nothing can be done ; but
indeed, my Good Prince, my sense of your kind-
ness is to full as much as if successful, being with
the sincerest esteem,
" Your faithful
" HORATIO NELSON.
"His Royal Highness
" Prince William Henry."
I may here remark that battle and fire have both
done considerable damage to the records of our
branch of the Wynns, and altogether I may
congratulate myself on what has been preserved
from almost wholesale destruction.
The child to whom the future King sent his
first frank as a Royal Duke was destined to a
series of crushing and tragic sorrows which she
bore with a beautiful resignation. After terrible
reverses of fortune, she died in 1842. Her hus-
band, William Langmead, was the son of Philip
Langmead, at one time Member for Plymouth, of
whom I shall have more to say later on. My
grandfather's mother was Elizabeth Clark, of the
(now) Efford family. Her son was born in 1776,
when she was in her forty-second year, and he lived
AS THE EIGHTEENTH WANES 19
till 1872 thus the lives of mother and child covered
a continuous space of 138 years ! Years, too, it may
be noted, of the most signal interest in European
history. He was, as I have said, amongst those
who were conveyed out of Plymouth to Dartmoor
in the invasion panic of 1779. The authoress of
"John Halifax, Gentleman," was a guest in his
house on the day that he reached the age of ninety.
She wrote the following exquisite lines in com-
memoration of the day. By the courtesy of
Mr. G. Lillie Craik, and the publishers of Good
Words, I am able to present them here to my
" Ninety years ninety years !
We, smooth travelling 'midst our peers,
With a careless onward tread,
Look at you, so far ahead,
And wonder how life's road appears
At ninety years, at ninety years :
If the journey had seemed long,
If the days when you were young
(Nigh a century ago ! )
Ever come in silent show,
With their forgotten smiles and tears,
To the calm eye of ninety years.
Little the young mother knew
On the day she welcomed you
To our old, new, wondrous world,
How your hair, then softly curl'd,
Would whiten neath the hopes and fears
Of ninety years full ninety years !
20 OLD TIMES AND NEW
Yet that unknown lady sweet,
Who once guided your small feet,
Watch'd the dawning soul arise