Feniton History Group held the 64th meeting in the Nog Inn

The talk by Jim Rider: the new date is Thursday 21st April at 7:30 pm.

We quickly discussed our current research, Food & Farming in WW1, Brenda’s school project, both with the Devon History Society. David has more on the dispute between the Rev. Head and the Bishop! George is looking at Nonconformists in the area. Geoff, through his volunteer work in the Devon Heritage Centre is working on maps from our local land agents, Whitton and Laing and a new deposit in from the Estate Agents Force, who were also Undertakers.

Maps were mentioned and Stanfords were mentioned as suppliers:

A good online source for  UK maps is at http://maps.nls.uk/

For the new season of history events in Devon I suggest you keep an eye on the link:

Thank you to Jenny and George for arranging the visit of Will Churcher to the meeting. It was the best evening we have had in a long time!  Fuelled by Landlord Mike’s ale!

Will was accompanied by his friend Chris, who joined in our conversations with a mind of an engineer.

So interesting and just amazing to hold the musket shot and bodkins found by Will with his metal detector.

The finds relate to the time of the Prayer Book Rebellion, 1549.  Will is working on a  Civil War project for a  hands on history collection to be put together for the Royal Albert Museum in Exeter.

Will urged everyone to be honest and responsible in their metal detecting and take finds to the museum for verification.

I was so enthralled by the artefacts, my notes taken on the night may be lacking! 

Sadly, nothing has ever been found in the fields where the Battle at Fenny Bridges took place, apart from an arrow head in a tree.

Clyst St Mary saw one of the important battles in the  Rebellion. After the battle at Woodbury Common on 4 August 1549, the rebels under the control of Humphrey Arundell had re-grouped with the main contingent of 6,000 at Clyst St Mary, but on 5 August were attacked by a central force led by Sir William Francis, under the control of John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford. After a ferocious battle Russell's troops gained the advantage leaving a thousand Cornish and Devonians dead and many more taken prisoner, 900 of whom were massacred later that day at Clyst Heath. Many of the soldiers and villagers were drowned in the river.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyst_St_Mary#Battle_of_Clyst_St_Mary

In the marshes at Clyst St. Mary finds include musket balls, and a Baldrick which is a  sword belt. The Bridge there is meant to be the oldest in Devon. A Gunner held the bridge with a canon by John Hammond. The area may have been flooded, so  they would have crossed at Bishops Clyst.

Tudor Bodkins arrow heads probably Devon made and could  pierce armour, they wore helmets,  and possibly  chain mail.   

 George modelling a “Lobster Pot Helmet”

Windmill Hill, Greendale, no musket balls found, but a  very early screw thread bolt was found . We chatted about the history of nuts and bolts

Will showed us a Culverin ball shot, size of a golf ball, from this sort of weapon, David pointed out this could well be that depicted in the wound carved into the cadaver in the church.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culverin

German and Italian mercenaries fought in the rebellion:

Feeding an army in 1549 must have been difficult, but the land owner would have feared for his safety had he not provided supplies.

Siege of Exeter was also part of this cruel era.

Will showed us two amulets relating to the time,  one marked Prides Rump Purge

We talked about other sieges, one being  of   Newark in  1645.

Will was asked whose side he would be on, the Rebels was Will’s reply!!!

Many thanks Will and Chris.

Next meeting in the Nog Inn 8:00 pm on Thursday 3rd March.

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