Family History Federation

An Essay Towards a History of Bideford by John Watkins 1792

An essay towards A History of Bideford by John Watkins 1792

A facsimile of the original book

A fascinating book covering: Commerce, Churches and Rectors, Dissenters, Bideford Bridge and Quay, Bideford Charities and Charity Schools, The Granville family, Witches of Bideford.

Written in the style of the times, the spelling varies greatly and the original is full of long “S” which look like “f” without the cross bar. The whole book has been scanned and Optical Character Recognition used, with the above letters converted to the normal “s”. Original spelling has been left as it appeared, spelling of names and places can change, even on the same page.

Extract from:

The author, John Watkins was a Devon clergyman and writer. His concept of “History” does not limit itself to what we would currently consider history, but provides detailed descriptions of Bideford at the time of writing, for example, listing the different kinds of fish caught in the River Torridge and the prices at which they were sold. Even contemporary reviewers thought the book eccentric, since it had been padded with much that was originally an aside in a more general guide for historians of Devon: A description of Bideford, the state of its markets, births, marriages, and burials, the names of its rectors, the history of parish quarrels, of the bickering of various parsons with the established priests are the meat of this unusually entertaining publication. With Surname Index.


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