Wednesday, 2 December 2009


The Estuary port of Exmouth was busy in the year 1814. Below are listed just some of the cargoes reported in the Exeter Flying Post that were unladen in the spring of that year.

From Newport,coals; from Liverpool,salt; from London and Bristol,groceries ; from Teignmouth, slate and pipe clay; from Neath, culm; from Plymouth old junk; from Guernsey,cork and passengers; from Milford, stone; from Stockholm, deals and pitch tar; from Oporto, wine; from Lisbon, bale goods; from Portsmouth, potatoes; from Bridport, timber; from Portland, household furniture. And more, much more!

Culm, as well as being the river on which Culompton stands, is a secondrate coal. Junk is old rope, the hemp to be reworked, not smoked! Each of these many cargoes argues a business enterprise. And imagine, O glory, the tarry crews ashore!: the proud captains and the happygolucky sailors, Scots and Welshmen, Spaniards and Swedes. Not too many Frenchmen and Americans because we were still at war with them. Most of the ships that came to Exmouth sailed in convoy under the protection of the Royal Navy's gun brigs and therefore arrived in port at much the same time. The harbour must have been a lively, busy place with tall ships jostling for a place to land their cargoes.

Meanwhile at Topsham on 27th April 1814, Mr Pridham informed the nobility, gentry and others that his TEPID and COLD sea baths were ready for their Accommodation, and that he had the addition of a Pump, for such as required Warm or Cold bathing.

Now what was all that about? Rolling about in Topsham mud? Ugh!

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