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Devon's history

Messages  41 - 51 of 51

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Message 41 - posted by Fulup le Breton, Feb 24, 2006

Well said Bob, i do sympathise!



So what Devon history do you know? I bet you didn't know anything about Devon's tin extraction industry.

If you stick around, you might actually learn something.


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Message 42 - posted by U2379384 - alt id 3, Feb 25, 2006

Pity no one bothers to read back the thread.
You're right not much. My late teenage boyfriend was involved in the ressurection of Morwellham Quay, I spent my first University vacation assisting in an excavation of the Devon Great Consols site, my present partner is involved in a post-doctoral thesis on the effects of heavy metal pollution in the higher navigable reaches of the Tamar and my late uncle was involved in the legal case against the self proclaimed cornish 'stannator' from St Austell who failed in his fanciful claim to be immune from UK taxation by being outside the jurisdiction.But as a 'janner maid' I am by definition a yokel airhead.

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Message 43 - posted by Ozzie Exile, Mar 1, 2006

We can all imagine places where rebellions could start over a religious book, and thousands would die in bloody conflict as a result. But here? in Devon? But it happened in what is called The Western Rebellion (or Prayer Book Rebellion) in 1549.

The government of Edward VI had attempted to introduce a new prayerbook in English, to replace the old Latin version. This change was not uniformly popular, and so to enforce the change from Whitsunday 1549 it became illegal to use the old prayer book.

This enraged many people, particularly those in the southwest. The people of Sampford Courtenay compared the new English prayer book to 'a Christmas game', and convinced their local priest to revert to the old service on Whitmonday. Justices arrived at the next service to enforce the change. A physical confrontation ensued outside the church which resulted in a William Hellyons being run through with a pitchfork.

Following this the ‘rebels’ from Sampford Courtenay were joined by thousands of supporters from neighbouring towns and villages in Devon, and also by others from Cornwall. The rebels marched east to Crediton growing in number as they went, and after a successful skirmish against a small detechment of soldiers outside Crediton they lay siege to Exeter demanding the withdrawal of all the English manuscripts.

Many in Exeter supported the rebels, but were unwilling to open their gates because they feared the government’s response. Their fears were well founded.

Hearing of the rebellion the government ordered Lord John Russell to march an army into Devon to confront the rebels.

The rebels were largely farmers armed with little more than pitchforks and were militarily outmatched by the (largely mercenary) army, but they were undaunted.

After some initial posturing the forces clashed at Fenny Bridges in a hardfought battle where over 300 rebels were killed.

The rebels regrouped and the forces clashed again at Clyst St Mary where an additional 1,000 rebels died. This time the result was decisive and the rebels retreated.

However a final and bloody stand was made back at Sampford Courtenay, and here another 1,300 lives were lost.

The rebellion was over, but the retribution was not.

Under instruction from the Lord Protector, Earl of Somerset the army moved throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset and executed many people, including a number of priests, before the bloodshed finally ceased.

In total 4,000 people lost their lives in the rebellion.

It is difficult to imagine that such conflicts could arise in Devon, and over something as seemingly innocuous as a change to use the English language, but clearly local cultural values were threatened, and it was no trivial thing.

This is one of a number of rebellions that are also a part of Devon’s history that is often overlooked – unless you come from Sampford Courtenay.

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Message 44 - posted by Mistontheriver, Mar 2, 2006

Perhaps Mel Gibson could star in the movie??
Something between "Braveheart" and "the passion of Christ"??
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Message 45 - posted by U2487692, Mar 2, 2006

Or perhaps something with Wallace and Grommit made bt Aardman?
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Message 46 - posted by Mistontheriver, Mar 7, 2006

Does anybody know of any pictures of the impact of WW2 on Devon.

I know there were many air raids and that Plymouth especially was a target.

I think there were some maps of Plymouth showing the 'blitz'. Any ideas?
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Message 47 - posted by aussie_bill, Mar 7, 2006

Maybe a light hearted version with Dawn French

Perhaps Mel Gibson could star in the movie??
Something between "Braveheart" and "the passion of Christ"??

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Message 48 - posted by John of Paddington, Mar 7, 2006

Visit the South Hams, a whole area was depopulated and handed over to the Yanks as a practice battle ground. Visit Exeter, bombed because it was featured in a tourist guide. Visit Torquay and you can still see the slipways were they launched the landing craft for D day. Pictures are not needed, the countryside and buildings still tell their story, you have but to look.
Does anybody know of any pictures of the impact. Any ideas?

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Message 49 - posted by Ozzie Exile, Mar 11, 2006

The following link to a Devon County Council website may be a useful, and possibly disconcerting, view on how the Germans viewed the Devonians (and Cornish) during WW2.

It does seem that the Nazis' attempted a racial analysis!! I wonder why??
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Message 50 - posted by U3508276 - alt id 4, Mar 17, 2006

We've recently moved to Plymouth. There seem few remaining signs of actual history. Can any one recommend?
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Message 51 - posted by BostonPeter, Mar 5, 2007

Re: Maverick heritage -
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Messages  41 - 51 of 51


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