Devonport in 1878
From Whites Directory of Devon*

Transcription of the Devonport section from White's Directory of Devon 1878.

DEVONPORT municipal borough is co-extensive with the parish of Stoke Damerel, and includes Morice Town on the north, and Higher and Lower Stoke on the north-east; but its Parliamentary borough also comprises the parish of East Stonehouse. Devonport is the most western of the three towns which form the port of Plymouth, and is bounded on the east by Stonehouse Pool and Creek, on the north by Morice Town, and on the south and west by the spacious harbour of Hamoaze ; and is situated 215 miles from London, 24 from Ashburton, 68 from Axminster, 57 from Barnstaple, 28 from Dartmouth, 44 from Exeter, and 30 from Newton Abbot. The municipal borough has a commission of the peace and a separate court of quarter sessions, supports its own poor under a local Act, and is in East Stonehouse county court district, Southern division of the county, Totnes archdeaconry, and rural deanery of the Three Towns.

DEVONPORT MUNICIPAL Borough — which is, as above stated, co-extensive with Stoke Damerel parish — was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1837, and had 49,449 inhabitants (25,208 males, 24,241 females) in 1871, living in 4269 houses; besides which there were 269 houses uninhabited and 34 building; the area is 1760 acres. Stoke Damerel parish had 23,747 inhabitants in 1801, 30,083 in 1811, 33,578 in 1821, 34,883 in 1831, 33,820 in 1841, 38,180 in 1851, and 50,440 in 1861.

The PARLIAMENTARY BOROUGH which was created by the Reform Act of 1832, and invested with the privilege of returning two members — had 64,034 inhabitants (32,052 males, 31,962 females) in 1871, living in 5609 houses, on 190 acres of land; and there were at that time 312 houses inhabited and 34 building. (See also ' Vital Statistics’ page 79, and East Stonehouse.)

The manor of Stoke Dameral at Domesday Survey belonged to the Damerels, and afterwards passed to the Courtenay and Wise families. One of the latter, Sir Edward Wise, sold the manor of Stoke Damerel, in 1667, to Sir William Moris (or Morice) for £11,000. On the death of Sir William Moris, Bart., in 1749, this now valuable estate passed to his nephew, the late Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart., and his descendant. Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart,, now owns it, and is lord of the manor.

The suburbs of Lowcr and Higher Stoke and Morice Town, which latter derives its name from the just-mentioned family of Morice (or Moris), are only separated from Devonport by the lines of fortifications and the government ground in front; and they comprise many streets, rows, and terraces of neat houses and villas, as well as some large mansions of more than ordinary architectural character. Higher Stoke occupies an elevated site, and both it and Lower Stoke have greatly increased in buildings and population during the last ten years. Many of the inhabitants in these pleasant adjoining suburbs are naval and military officers on retired or half-pay, and others are retired merchants and tradesmen. The Rowing Regatta, in summer, is a source of great attraction, and a large number of finely-built boats usually compete for the valuable prize cup presented by her Majesty.

l)evonport owes its origin as a town to the foundation of the Naval Dockyard, in the reign of William III., about 1690. So late as 1700 not a house was to be seen here, except the barton of Mount Wise, which stood at the spot now occupied by the Semaphore, and was built by Sir Thomas Wise in the 16th or 17th century. The first house in the town is said to have been a wooden building, at the landing place called North Corner; and the seat of business and the principal residences were for some years confined to that locality; but during the Napoleonic war the town increased rapidly, and it now occupies all the extensive space between the Dockyard and Gun Wharf on the west, and the lines of fortifications on the north, east and south.

In the reign of George II. immense barriers and fortifications around the town were raised, and in 1725 the town became the seat of the military as well as the naval government of the port of Plymouth. The 'King's Boundary Walls ' constitute lines of fortifications, 12 feet high, on the north and south-east. The walls of the Dock Wharf are in some places 30 feet high; and those of the Gun Wharf protect the town on the north-west. The heavy batteries on the delightful parade called Mount Wise were designed to protect the entrance from the sea, and the redoubt and block house on Mount Pleasant to command the capital of the lines, within which are extensive Barracks, the Government House, the Port-Admiral's House, &c.

There are other fortifications, among which, without the wall, is a breastwork, with a ditch from 12 to 20 feet deep, excavated from the solid slate and limestone rock. About 1810 Government commenced the expensive work of remodelling and strengthening these fortifications; but, on being inspected by the Duke of Wellington in 1816, he pronounced them to be useless as a means of defence, and they were consequently left in an unfinished state. In the lines are two barrier-gates, one leading to Morice Town and the floating-bridge which crosses the Tamar, and the other leading to Stoke. There are guard-houses and, there were formerly, draw-bridges at these gates; but the approach from Stonehouse, which is the principal thoroughfare, is without gates, being left unfinished when the works were relinquished, in 1816. The streets being all modern, are generally straight, spacious, and well-built. Fore Street, St. Aubyn Street, Duke Street, and many other of the principal thoroughfares are lined with good houses and neat and well-stocked shops ; and the footpaths being paved with limestone from the neighbouring quarries, the pedestrian literally walks on marble, which speedily becomes so much polished as to have a beautiful variegated appearance when washed by heavy rain.

The town was originally called Plymouth Dock, but in 1823 the inhabitants sent a petition to George IV., praying that its name might be changed to Devonport, or such other appellation as his Majesty might deem proper. In answer to this petition, the King directed that on and after January 1, 1824, the town should be called Devonport, and on that day the inhabitants paraded the streets in triumphal procession, and proclaimed the new name in all public places. A general subscription was also entered into, for the purpose of erecting a COLUMN, commemorative of the. event. This handsome column cost £2750, and stands near the Town Hall, upon a rock which rises 22 feet above the pavement, and is ascended by a flight of steps. Including the plinths and foundation rock, the entire elevation of the column is 125 feet. On the upper plinth, which is 9 feet high, are panels for inscriptions ; and within the shaft, which is fluted, and of the Grecian-Doric order, is a spiral staircase, leading to a balcony on the summit of the capital, which is surrounded by elegant iron railing, and commands extensive views over the town, the harbours, and the adjacent country. The whole is constructed of granite of a very superior quality, and was intended to have been crowned by a colossal statue of George IV., which would be a grand finish to the structure. The town is much higher than Stonehouse and Plymouth, but descends to the shore of the broad and extensive harbour of Hamoaze, through which the waters of the river Tamar fall into Plymouth Sound.

In 1781 an Act was obtained for paving, cleansing, and watching the streets, and for removing nuisances, and regulating coaches, &c., in the town and suburbs. This Act gave place to another Act, obtained in 1814, which vested the paving, cleansing, and lighting; the regulation of coaches, porters, &c. ; and also the maintenance of the poor of the parish of Stoke Damerel, in a body of 150 commissioners, to be chosen from amongst the inhabitants. The powers first named were transferred to the Town Council, in 1818, through the adoption of the Local Government Act. As already noticed, the Municipal Borough of Devonport was incorporated by royal charter in 1837, and divided into six wards, namely Clowance, Morice, St. Aubyn, St. John, Stoke and Tamar, which, in 1871, had 6448, 9134, 6408, 5679, 8804, 12,975 inhabitants respectively. The Corporation comprises a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 36 councillors, with a recorder, town clerk, and other officers, of whom the following is the present list; together with the borough magistrates :



John William Walters Ryder, Esq.

John W. W. Ryder,
J. May,
Charles Bearblock,
John C. Greaves,
John Robson,
and A. Norman, who retire in 1880;
and George T.Rolson,
Richard C. Smith,
William Peek,
John Weary,
Richard John Laity
and Richard B. Oram, who retire in 1883.


John Risdon 1878
William Waycott 1878
Thomas Honey 1879
Eleazer Emdon 1879
John T. Hobling 1880
Thomas Jenkin 1880
William H. Ching 1878
John H  ?ilmer 1878
Edward S Anster 1879
Alexander Ash 1879
Peter H Symons 1880
Isiah T Rutters 1880
William Crossing 1878
 E. G. L. Street 1878
H. Thomas 1879
F. G. Landon 1879
Thomas Edward Williams 1880
Walter Littleton 1880
John MacKay 1878
William Mogg 1878
John Dawe 1879
Robert Henry Burt 1879
William Edward Faull 1880
G Breeeze 1880
H Horton 1878
William Henry Symons 1878
Edward Sanders 1879
Samuel Hutchings 1879
James Poole 1880
 John William Pool 1880
John Beer 1878
Robert Williams 1878
G.Park 1879
James Thain 1879
John James Fedrick 1880
Albert Bennee 1880

Joseph May,
Thomas Crossing,
Richard John Laity,
James Bowen Somerville,
John Lane Cutcliffe,
Alfred Norman,
Frederick Row,
Paul William Swain,
Charles Row,
George Stephens Brown,
Timothy Carew,
William Oliver,
Edward St. Aubyn,
Richard Clarkson Smith,
William Peek,
John Rolston,
James Joll, Esqrs.

RECORDER — H. T. Cole, Esq.
TOWN CLERK — John James Edgcombe Venning.
CLERK OF THE PEACE — George Henry Ellery Rundle.
CORONER — James Vaughan.
BOROUGH TREASURER — John Philip Goldsmith.
BOROUGH SURVEYOR — William Edwards Bartlett.
SURGEON TO BOROUGH PRISON — Lorenzo Pastor Metham.
CHAPLAIN— Rev. W. T. Lang.

The Workhouse for the parish of Stoke Damerel, which includes Devonport, is under the control of the Commissioners of the local Act of Parliament, as noticed at page 270. A New Workhouse, at Ford, nearly 2 miles from the town, was built in 1854, and cost nearly £10,000. This building has room for 700 paupers. There have been as many as 470 paupers crowded in the old workhouse.

The expenditure of the parish for the maintenance of the poor was
  • £10,358 in 1838, and £9841 in 1848.

The cost of in-maintenance for the half-year ended Lady-day 1877, was
  • £1382 12s. 6½d.
  • and for the half-year ended Michaelmas 1877, £1621 6.s. 2¼d
  •  total, £3003 18s. 8¾d

  • Lady-day 1877, £2903 16s. 5¾ d.
  • Michaelmas-day, £2342 8s. 7½d.
  • total, £4546 5s. 1¼ d.

Maintenance in County Asylum, of lunatics,
  • Lady-day, £741 6s. 0d.
  • Michaelmas-day, £744 10s. 8d.
  • total, £1485 17s. 2d.

Other expenditure— namely, salaries, registration, and vaccination fees and establishment charges, £2507 11s. 6 ¼ d.

The Commissioners are numerous, as already stated, and Mr. John Beer, jun., is their clerk;
Mr James and Mrs. Lancaster are governor and matron of the workhouse;
James Babb, assistant overseer;
James Lancaster, jun., relieving officer;
and Miss A. C. Bone, treasurer.

The parish is under the provisions of the New Poor Law. Mr. R. B. Oram, is superintendent registrar; and E. Oram, and W. S. Littleton, are registrars of marriages.

The registrars of births and deaths are, Messrs. W. J. Lamb for Morice district, J. D. Littleton for Tamar, and E. Oram for St. Aubyn.

HAMOAZE, the great western harbour of the three towns, is completely land-locked, and extends northward from Mount Edgcumbe to Saltash, a distance of 4 miles. It is in some places about a mile broad, and has a number of pools and creeks for the reception of shipping, such as Stonehouse Pool, Barnpool, Mill brook Lake, Keyham Lake, &c. Stonehouse Pool branches out of it, between Stonehouse and Devonport, and the tides run up it from the pier called the Admiral's Hard, through Stonehouse Lake and Mill Pool, a distance of 1½ mile, Hamoaze is the estuary of the river Tamar, and falls into the sound below Devonport.

Here are the public establishments and station for the Royal Navy; and a great number of ships of war, of all classes, may at all times be seen lying in ordinary, secured by immense chains, and covered with wooden roofs to protect them from the weather. These floating bulwarks, being stripped of their rigging, and having nothing standing but their lower masts, have a singular, though mngnificent, appearance. The depth of this extensive estuary is about 18 fathoms at high water, and 15 at low water. In this harbour upwards of one hundred sail of the line, besides frigates and small vessels, may safely ride at anchor in severe gales.

DEVONPORT DOCK YARD, one of the largest naval establishments in the kingdom, presents to the broad harbour of Hamoaze a semicircular wharf wall, more than 1160 yards in length. This Dock Yard, now one of the finest in Europe, is believed to have been commenced soon after the Revolution of 1688, under the auspices of Willinm III. The town of Devonport, to which the Dock Yard gave rise, was called Plymouth Dock till 1824, as noticed at page 270; and in official documents the arsenal retained the name of ‘Plymouth Yard' till the visit of her Majesty and Prince Albert, in September, 1843, when the Queen commanded that in future it should be styled in all documents Devonport Dock Yard. It was commenced on a comparatively small scale, and for a long period the officers and artisans resided at Plymouth, there being then no houses at Devonport.

In 1728 Government obtained from Sir William Morice a long lease of 40 acres of land, which was then occupied by the Dock Yard, and had been previously rented from year to year. The extent of the arsenal was then 54 acres, and the spot on which the great fire occurred in 1840 appears to have been the original site. William III. constructed the basin and two of the naval docks, and two others were made in 1768. Since then many extensions and improvements have taken place, and this extensive Dock Yard now comprises 72 acres, and gives employment to about 3000 men, as shipwrights, caulkers, joiners, smiths, sawyers, rope-makers, painters, riggers, sail-makers, labourers, &c., besides a large number of apprentices. In time of war its establishment would be augmented to about 5000.

The Dock Yard is separated from the town of Devonport by Dockwall Street, and they are encompassed on the land sides by a strongly fortified wall 12 feet high. Government own a large space of land on both sides of this long line of fortifications. On entering the Dock Yard from the gates at the end of Fore Street, we are struck by the absence of all appearance of labour ; but glancing the eye in the vista are perceived long ranges of buildings uniting strength with neatness. Passing hence in a gradual descent to the water's edge, we soon emerge into the bustle of several hundred mechanics.

On the right of the entrance is the residence of the director of police ; and the next object is a spacious and handsome CHAPEL, which was built in 1816-17, on the site of the old one, which was erected in 1700. The interior is handsomely fitted up and has a good organ, and in the tower are six musical bells. It contains some windows enriched with painted glass. The Rev. J. W. Bampfield is the chaplain, and has a yearly salary of £400. Near the chapel are two reservoirs, from which the establishment is supplied with pure water.

Passing from the guard- house and pay office, down a fine avenue, we arrive at the residences of the principal officers, in the centre of which is the mansion of the Admiral-Superintendent, approached by two flights of steps. We next arrive at the edge of a terrace or shelf, from whence flights of steps descend into the busy area below. Here almost the whole of the arsenal, before unseen, bursts into view. The noble ships in progress oi building, and under repair — the magnificent storehouses and workshops — the gigantic sheds protecting the docks; and the neatness and order everywhere apparent, excite the admiration of the stranger. From this point some conception of the vastness of the establishment may be formed. The portion of the yard occupied by locksmiths, carvers, plumbers, masons, &c., is near the smithery.

Proceeding to the north jetty, we view the noble Hamoaze, with its bosom dotted with men-of-war of various ratings, and in different states of equipment. The new north dock next claims attention. It is sufficiently capacious for building or repairing the largest man-of-war, and was first opened in 1789. The next is a large dock now in course of construction, capable of taking a ship of the largest dimensions, and 4 feet deeper in draft of water.

The next spot is memorable as the scene of the great fire, on September 27, 1840, when upwards of £80,000 worth of public property was destroyed. On the left are two ranges of buildings, containing the joiners' and carpenters' shops, &c., surmounted by a conspicuous clock, with four dials. We next approach a massive storehouse, which, together with the sail-loft, forms a square of nearly 400 feet, and is built entirely of stone and iron.

Near this is the large new basin, which was finished about 1850, and which affords space to float ten first rate men-of-war, exclusive of its two graving docks. On the anchor wharf are anchors of all sizes, some weighing 96 cwt. Adjoining the jetty is a graving slip, and near it is a weigh bridge for weighing heavy articles. A swivel bridge crosses the canal, which runs into the heart of the yard, and is called the 'Camber; ' and near it is another smithery, where the largest anchors are made, one of which occupies 36 men ten days. Just beyond are three slips, in which the largest men-of-war are built. The slips for building frigates and smaller craft are at a short distance. The boat and mast ponds and houses are extensive, and near them are the two large rope houses, each 1200 feet long, and built one of stone and wood, and one of stone and iron ; and cables 25 inches in circumference, and cordage for the navy, are manufactured here.

There is a pleasant little rocky eminence near the mast house, called the King's Hill, or Bunker's Hill. George III., on his visit to this yard, having been so pleased with the charming prospect seen from this rock, expressed a wish that it might be excepted from the general excavation to which the surrounding site was subjected. The sides of this rock are thickly covered with ivy and evergreens, and its summit is crowned by a beautiful temple, erected in 1822, in memory of the visit of George III. The docks, slips, canals, basins, &c., are mostly hewn out of the slate rock, and lined with Portland stone. The extent of the excavations and masonry may be judged of by the following dimensions of the 'New North Dock,' excavated from the solid rock : length, 254 feet 2 inches; extreme breadth, 97 feet; depth, 27 feet 8 inches.

Rear-Admiral George 0. Willes, C.B., is admiral-superintendent; and the following are the officers:—
C. L. Curry, secretary ;
Staff-Captain E. C. T. Youel, master-attendant;
Staff-Captain J. W. H. Harvey, assistant master-attendant;
A. Moore, chief constructor;
H. Herbert, constructor;
T. H. Crouch, storekeeper;
J. Beer, accountant;
A. P. Cooper, cashier;
F. Y. Toms, fleet surgeon;
R. J. McMorris, staff surgeon;
R. Sennett, assistant to chief engineer;
R. Jenkins, boatswain;
S. L. Churchward, clerk of works;
Rev. J. W. L. Bampfield, M.A., chaplain;
W. T. Archer, clerk in Admiral-Superintendent's office;
T. W. Sanders, admiralty writer;
C. Stribling, principal messenger.

The GUN WHARF is situated north of the Dock Yard, and occupies nearly 21 acres, fronting Hamoaze harbour, and enclosed by a high wall. It was planned about a century ago. After passing from the entrance through a fine avenue of trees, the houses, &c., of the officers are seen on the left. At the foot of a flight of steps are the armoury and storehouses. In the former immense piles of muskets, pistols, cutlasses, &c., are deposited in chests ; and others are arranged about the walls in the forms of stars, circles, fans, and crescents. Near the storehouses are buildings appropriated as depositories for gun-carriages, and implements of the field. On the wharves and around are a great number of cannon, of different calibre, which belong to the vessels of war moored in the harbour, and also numerous piles of shot, of every size.

At Morice Town, north of Gun Wharf, is the new GOVERNMENT STEAM YARD, skirted on the west by Hamoaze harbour, and on the north by Keyham Lake, and occupying about 72 acres. It has two extensive basins, entered from the estuary by a lock of such magnitude that some of the largest ships may enter three hours before high water. The south lock is so constructed as to be converted into a dry dock when a line of battle ship is brought in to have her bottom examined or cleansed. From the eastern side of the south basin three large dry docks are constructed, of such dimensions as to be capable of accommodating the largest steamers afloat. The north is the fitting basin, and east of it are ranged the storehouses, factories, foundries, smitheries, &c. It cost about £2,000,000. South of it is Moon's Cove and Ship Canal, and between the latter and Gun Wharf is New Passage, where the STEAM FLOATING BRIDGE, a ponderous vessel, conveys passengers, carriages, &c., to and from Torpoint, every half hour. The stage coaches are taken across the broad estuary without even unhorsing, or the coachmen and guards alighting.

Devonport is the seat of the military and naval government of the port, the former being removed here from the Citadel at Plymouth in 1725. The GOVERNMENT HOUSE, comprising the private residence and military offices of the Lieutenant-Governor of the garrison,, and the ADMIRAL'S HOUSE, the residence for the Port-Admiral, and offices belonging to his department, are pleasantly situated on the south-east side of the town, upon the fine, open, and spacious parade called MOUNT WISE, overlooking the harbour of Hamoaze. Here are held the military parades and inspections, and on rejoicing days the whole disposable force of the three towns is reviewed. At the east end stands, mounted, a brass cannon of immense size, taken from the Turks, in the Dardanelles. From the ramparts and the several batteries (mounted with heavy artillery) delightful views are seen ; and on the summit of the hill is the Semaphore, or Telegraph Station, where signals are made with the admiral of all ships that are passing up and down the Channel within sight of the coast.

The BARRACKS on the east side of Devonport, but within the lines, form four large squares, called George, Cumberland, Ligonier and Frederick Squares, and have room for 2000 soldiers. The Laboratory at Mount Wise is now used as barracks.

Devonport is the head-quarters of the Western district for the localisation of the forces. The district comprises Brecknockshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cornwall, Devonshire, Glamorganshire, Gloucester- shire, Haverfordwest, Herefordshire. Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Somersetshire, Trowbridge (as far as regards the regular forces), Worcestershire. The following is the district staff: —

Major-General — Lieut. General the Hon. Leicester Smyth, C.B.
Aide-de-Camp — Lieut, the Hon. Cospet D. Home.
Assistant Adjutant & Quartermaster-General — Colonel F. F. Hamilton, C.B.
Deputy-Assistant- Adjutant & Quartermaster-General — Captain F. W. Graham.
Garrison Instructor — Lieut.-Colonel F. J. Hutchinson.
Officer Commanding Royal Artillery (Colonel on Staff)— Colonel H. P. Newton, R.A.
Officers Commanding Auxiliary Artillery— Lieut.-Colonel Heberden, R.A., and Lieut. McCaffrey, R.A.
Commanding Royal Engineers — Colonel Sir A. H. Freeling, Bart., R.E.
District Commissary-General — Deputy-Commissary-General C. Palmer.
Commissary-General (Ordnance) — Deputy-Commissary-General W. H. H. Scott.
Principal Medical Officer — Deputy-Surgeon-General J. E. Clutterbuck, M.D.

MARKETS, TRADE, COMMERCE, &c. — The Market Place is in the heart of the town, and belongs to the lords of the manor, to whom it yields a considerable annual rent. It is abundantly supplied with butter, poultry, flesh, fish, fruit, vegetables, &c., especially on the three market days — Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; but it is not a mart for either corn or cattle, though the Market Act, passed in 1835, has a clause for the establishment of a grain market. The poultry and butter market is an extensive loft over the shambles. A pleasure fair is held in the town on Whit Monday.

The large Bonding Warehouses on the Quay at Mutton Cove were erected in 1846-7, by a company of merchants and traders, at the cost of about £1450. There are excellent wharves at Richmond Walk, North Corner, and Morice Town. A Coal Association has large stores here, and vessels are in constant communication with London, Wales, &c.

There are three banks in the town, namely, the National Provincial, the Devon and Cornwall Banking Company, and the Devonport Bank. Devonport is included in the port of Plymouth. The CUSTOM HOUSE is in Mutton Cove; Nicholas E. Browne, Esq., is collector of the port; Francis Brent, surveyor of the port; and Messrs. A. J. Kerswell and Henry W. Shorto, examining officers. The INLAND REVENUE Office is at the Crown Hotel, Cumberland Street, and James Harris, Esq., is collector.

The Royal Hotel and the London Hotel, in Fore Street, are large and commodious establishments; and the former has a spacious Assembly Room, in which balls, concerts, and exhibitions are frequently held. Here are also several other large and well-conducted inns, and many respectable lodging-houses.

The town is well supplied with water, in connection with Stonehouse, Stoke, &c., by the Plymouth Dock Water Works Company, which was incorporated by Act of Parliament, in 1733. It had been previously attempted to obtain water from the Plymouth Leat, but this being refused, the Devonport Leat was formed, and may occasionally be seen in close companionship with that of Plymouth, as it pursues its winding course of 37 miles, from its source in the wild region of Dartmoor. The capital of the company is now £80,000. The principal reservoir is at Higher Stoke, whence an abundant supply of water is sent in iron pipes to Devonport, Stonehouse, the Dock Yard, Gun Wharf, &c. The reservoirs hold about 20,000,000 of gallons. Filter beds are being constructed, which will be completed, it is expected, in a few months. A. B. Bone, Esq., is secretary and clerk to the board; and Mr. Harry Francis, manager.

The Devonport Gas Plant Leasing Company is now merged into the DEVONPORT GAS AND COKE COMPANY, who have their works at Keyham. An additional gas holder is being erected to hold 200,000 cubic feet of gas. Mr. John Willing is secretary, and Mr. Richard Clark, manager. There are 450 public lamps, and gas is supplied to private consumers for 3s. 3d. per 1000 cubic feet.

The TOWN HALL was erected in 1821-2, at the cost of nearly £3000, raised by subscription, in shares, which have been nearly all paid off by a sinking fund. It was designed by Mr. John Foulston, after the style of the Parthenon at Athens. The portico exhibits four massive columns of the Doric order; and on the entablature, over the entrance, has been placed a fine figure of Britannia. In the recess is a flight of steps, leading to the hall, which is 75 feet long, 45 broad, and 31 in height; and is finished by a handsome cornice, and provided with suitable benches, &c., for the magistrates, all of which can be removed when the room is required for any large public meeting. It is decorated with several fine portraits, including those of George I., II., and III.; Queens Charlotte and Caroline, William IV., and Sir Edward Codrington. The building is now used for petty and quarter sessions, and for Council meetings.

The Town Council erected in 1861 a large new PRISON, at Pennycomequick, at the cost of about £11,000, with cells, &c., for 44 male offenders, 12 females, and 14 debtors. The Prison, much enlarged, will probably be taken by the Lords of the Admiralty for a naval prison. The Devonport prisoners will in future be sent to Plymouth or Bodmin. The Stonehouse prisoners are all sent to Exeter.

  • From the 41st Report of the Inspectors of Prisons, it appears that on September 29, 1876, there were 88 cells certified for males, and 18 for females;
  • 2 punishment cells for males, and 2 for females;
  • and 2 reception cells for each sex.

  • The total population of the prison on September 29, 1875, exclusive of debtors and military prisoners, was 15 males, 7 females;
  • number admitted during the year, exclusive of debtors and military prisoners, 131 males, 49 females; total, 146 males, 56 females;
  • number discharged, removed, and died during the year ended September 29, 1876, 118 males, 47 females;
  • number remaining on September 29, 1876, 28 males, 9 females.
  • The average daily number of prisoners in custody during the year, 24 males, 6 females.

  • The total expenditure of the prison, including salaries of all officers, &c., for the year ended September 29, 1876, was £860 8s. 9d.;
  • the average annual cost per prisoner, without allowing for earnings of labour, £28 13s. 7½d.;
  •  average annual net profit on prisoner's labour, £10 4s. 3d,;
  • average weekly cost of food per prisoner, 1s. 9d.

The POST OFFICE, in Fore Street, is a chaste and handsome building, erected in 1849 from the designs of that eminent architect, G. Wightwick, Esq., to whose skill the three towns are indebted for the beauty and convenience of several other public edifices. This Post Office belongs to a company of shareholders, and cost only about £1700, though it has an elegant semicircular portico, or rotunda, after the Tivoli example of the Corinthian order, and forming a complete circle within.

The PARISH CHURCH is at Lower Stoke, near the Military Hospital, about three-quarters of a mile from Fore Street Devonport. It is an ancient structure, which seems to have originally consisted only of one aisle, with a tower of handsome workmanship. The increase of population occasioned a second aisle to be erected in the early part of last century, and a third aisle was added about 1750. By these additions, what was at first the breadth has now become the length of the building. The interior is conveniently fitted up for a large congregation, and seats 800, and on the west side is a spacious gallery, furnished with an organ. On the walls are many neat monuments, and the churchyard is crowded with grave-stones, &c., though it is very spacious, and was considerably enlarged about 55 years ago. A new chancel was built a few years ago, the cost of which was defrayed by subscription. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £18 8s. 9d. is in the patronage of the devisees of Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart., and incumbency of the Rev. William St. Aubyn, B.A., who has a good residence. The tithes were commuted in 1840 for £645 per annum. The advowson was granted by Charles II. to Sir William Morice, from whom it passed to the St. Aubyns.

St. AUBYN'S CHAPEL, in Chapel Street, is a large and handsome building, which was erected under the powers of an Act of Parliament, in 1771, at the cost of £7000, raised by subscription. It forms an oblong square, and contains three aisles, with galleries at the sides and west end. The entrance is beneath a well-designed portico, above which rises an octagonal spire. The interior is neatly fitted up, and most of the pews are private property. Various improvements have been effected during the last 25 years, including the building of a new organ, the addition of a new vestry, and the insertion of stained glass windows, the whole at a cost of about £1200, raised by subscription. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, valued at £200, in the patronage of the rector of Stoke Damerel, and incumbency of the Rev. Pitt Johnson, B.A.

St. MARY'S DISTRICT CHURCH, in James Street, was built in 1850 at a cost of over £6000, defrayed by subscription and grants. It is in the Decorated style, and consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and tower and spire, rising at the west end of the south aisle to the height of 150 feet. The church was designed by Mr. P. St. Aubyn, and will seat 600 persons. The living is a vicarage, valued at £280, with house, in the patronage of the Crown and Bishop alternately, and now in the incumbency of the Rev. Franklin Bellamy. Commodious Schools have since been added.

St PAUL’S DISTRICT CHURCH was built in 1850 in Morice Square, by subscription and grants, and is smaller than St. James's, but in the same style. The first stone was laid July 25, 1849, and the building has sittings for about 750 persons. The living is a vicarage, valued at £265, in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Bishop, and the Rev. Francis Talbot O'Donoghue, B.A., is the incumbent, and the Rev. J. J. Nicholson, curate.

ST. JAMES THE GREATER, Morice Town, is a new district church, situated at the west end of Albert Road. The first stone was laid July 25, 1849, and the building cost about £6000, of which £4000 has been contributed by the Lords of the Admiralty, in consideration of a great number of sittings being appropriated for the use of the numerous workmen employed in the Government Steam Yard, &c. All the seats are free. It consists of a nave, two aisles, and a porch, with a handsome tower and spire on the south side ; and is in the Decorated Pointed style, from designs by James Piers St. Aubyn, Esq., the architect. Three windows are filled with stained glass, two of them being in memory of former incumbents. The perpetual curacy was established by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1846, and is in the patronage of the Crown and Bishop alternately, and is valued at £300, with house. The Rev. J. A. Bullen, M.A., is incumbent and surrogate.

ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL is a large fabric, in Duke Street, and ranks as the second Episcopal place of worship erected in Devonport. It was built under the authority of an Act of Parliament, in 1779, at the cost of about £7700, raised by subscription. The tower, which is surmounted by a cupola on granite pillars, is heavy and disproportioned; but the neatness and elegance of the interior in a great measure compensate for these defects. It has about 1500 sittings, mostly private property. The ceiling, 90 feet long and 70 broad, is remarkable for its ingenious construction, being unsupported by a single pillar. A new organ has been added, at the cost of £400, and the church was repaired at a cost of £500, in 1869. The rector of Stoke Damarel is patron of the perpetual curacy, valued at £250 ; the Rev. R. Mildren, B. A., is the incumbent.

ST. MICHAEL'S DISTRICT CHAPEL stands near the junction of Stoke and Morice Town, at Navy Row, and is a handsome structure, in the lancet Gothic style, erected in 1845, at the cost of £4000, raised by subscription, aided by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The stone was given by Government. The interior is neatly fitted up with 1200 sittings, many of which are free. The church was repaired in 1874, at a cost of £700, raised by subscription. The living is endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with £200, and is in the patronage of the rector, and incumbency of the Rev. H. J. R. Rathbone, B.A.

ST. MARK'S CHURCH, for the modern but populous district of Ford, is now in course of erection. The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of the diocese, in January, 1874, but from want of means the building was not commenced until October, 1875. The site cost £520, and the estimated cost of the whole structure is £5000; it is at present proposed to erect two sections, at an expense of about £3500. The Three Towns Church Extension Society contributed £1000, and other societies promised help. The east end of the church, consisting of the chancel and parts of the side aisles, with vestries and organ chamber, in which a new organ has been erected by Mr. Speechly, of London, has been completed. The whole of the sittings will be free. The Rev. J. W. Gaud is vicar-designate.

ST. STEPHEN'S DISTRICT is the fourth ecclesiastical district formed in the parish of Stoke Damerel in 1846, under the statute 6 & 7 Vict. c. 37, and the church, in George Street, was consecrated in 1858. It has chancel, nave, north aisle, and spire, and was erected at a cost of £10,000, raised by subscription, and aided by grants from church building societies. It will accommodate 400 persons. The living is a vicarage, valued at £160, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop alternately, and incumbency of the Rev. Arthur Dixon.

WYCLIFFE INDEPENDENT CHAPEL, Albert Road, Morice Town, was built in the Gothic style, in 1855-6, at a cost of upwards of £2000, raised by subscription, in lieu of the old chapel in Mount Street, Devonport. The foundation stone was laid on May 7, 1855, and the building opened for worship on June 26, 1856. Connected with the chapel is a large and lofty schoolroom, with a suite of classrooms, and a substantial and well-built manse for the minister. The Rev. W. Hooper is the pastor. There is another Independent Chapel in Princes Street, of which the Rev. J. C. Palmer is the pastor.

was erected in 1788, for the Rev. J. Birt, then pastor of Pembroke Street Baptist Chapel; it was enlarged in 1875, at a cost of £1000, and now has 620 sittings. Schools, accommodating 350 children, were built in 1871, at an outlay of £1120, from designs by Mr. St. Aubyn.

There are other BAPTIST CHAPELS in Fore Street (built 1854), Pembroke Road, Ford, and in Gloucester Street. The UNITED METHODIST FREE CHURCHES CHAPEL, in Albert Road, was built in 1866.

The following are the WESLEYAN CHAPELS, with the date of erection of each and their cost : Gloucester Street, 1811, £4500 ; Morice Street (1808) and Ker Street (1787), cost of both, £5066; Belmont, 1876, £3282; Ford, 1872, £1308; Torpoint, 1795, £1200; Kingsland, 1800, £350 ; Wesley Millbrook, 1874, £1500 ; Wilcove, 1806, £250. Schools were built in Morice Street, at a cost of £500, in 1851, and in Ker Street, at an expense of £730, in 1873. The Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Herbert Street, was built in 1859, and that in Granby Street, in 1828.

The BIBLE CHRISTIANS have a chapel in Haddington Road, Morice Town, which was opened on April 14, 1865, at a total cost of £2325 ; it has three galleries, and will seat 450 persons. Adjoining are commodious schools, capable of holding 450 children. They have another place of worship in King Street, erected in 1845.

The MORAVIAN CHAPEL is in James Street, and was built in 1771. The CALVINISTS have a chapel in Ker Street, erected in 1824. The unitarian chapel (Christ Church) is in Duke Street, and was built in the Geometrical style, in 1860, at a cost of £2000, raised by subscription. It will accommodate 400 persons, contains a good organ, by Bamfield, of Birmingham, built at a cost of £200, and has three windows enriched with stained glass.

The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHAPEL is in James Street.

SCHOOLS. — The School Board for the borough of Devonport was formed on January 24, 1871, and consists of
Mr. Joseph May (chairman),
Mr. John W. Ryder (vice-chairman),
the Rev. John D. Bullen,
Mr. Lorenzo P. Metham,
the Rev. Pitt Johnson,
Mr. Henrv M. Daly,
Dr. John Rolston,
Mr. John Fredrick,
Mr. Henry Moorshead,
the Rev. Henry Holmes,
and Mr. Charles Henry Benett.
Mr. J. J. E. Venning is their clerk.

The Board have five schools under their control, the lease of building of one of which (St. Paul's National School) was transferred to them by the managers, in August, 1876, and they, by agreement with Sir John St. Aubyn, purchased the reversion of the site in fee-simple; the other four they built as shown in the following table : — Name of Board School Accommodation Area in square feet Total cost of Buildings, ?? and Architects ??? £ s. d. Cost per Child
£ s. d. Date of Opening of Each School Ford 609 5,619 3,005 12 7 5 3 7 May, 1873
Morice Town 720 7,069 4,045 15 5 5 13 4 March, 1874
Cherry Garden Street 660 6,711 3,216 19 5 4 17 6 July, 1874
Stoke 540 5,232 3,753 6 3 6 19 0 January, 1875
2,529 24,631 14,021 13 8 5 12 4 N.B. – The alteration and addition to the Cornwall Street School, providing additional accommodation for 54 children - cost 637 14 3
August, 1875 £14,659 7 11

The other Public elementary Schools besides the Board Schools are Devonport British School, Devonport National School, St. Stephen’s School, and St. James’s School; St. Mary’s School is now conducted as a Voluntary School.

The ROYAL NAVAL AND MILITARY FREE SCHOOLS, for the education of the children of seamen and soldiers, are in King Street, and are in three departments for boys, girls, and infants. They are liberally supported by subscription, under the patronage of Her Majesty. Mr. John F. Carlyon is headmaster.

STOKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS were established in 1819 for the education of 40 boys of Stoke Damerel. It has been extended three times within the last sixteen years, and now has accommodation for 350 boys and 220 girls. Each school is divided into Higher and Lower departments : in the former mathematics, French, Latin, natural science, and drawing are taught, in addition to the ordinary work of the Lower School. Five-sixths of the scholars are children of persons in the employ of the Admiralty. Mr. Alonzo J. Rider, F.C.S., is head master; and Major-General Tripe, treasurer and secretary.

DEVONPORT, STOKE, AND STONEHOUSE HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS was established in 1875, to give a high class education to girls, irrespective of their position in society. The school is conducted on the same principle as the schools founded by the Girls Public Day School Company in London and other parts of England.

New schools have been erected, in Albert Road, at a cost of £6000. The subjects taught in the regular school course are : English grammar and language, literature, writing, arithmetic, elements of geometry, ancient and modern history, geography, Latin, French, drawing, and drill; with the following, as optional subjects : religious instruction, German, Greek, algebra, book-keeping. In the senior division, there are also advanced classes for ancient and modern languages, literature and history, mathematics, the elements of moral science, and of logic, physical science — especially physiology as applied to health — and of social and domestic economy. Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart., is chairman, and Joseph May, Esq., vice-chairman ; Mr. R. Stephenson, and Lieut-Col. Dowell, V.C, honorary secretaries; Miss McCallum is head mistress. In connection with the school are Kinder-Garten classes.

DEVONPORT MECHANICS INSTITUTE The was established in 1825, for the advancement of science, literature, and art. The library contains about 10,000 volumes, and the news-room is supplied with the leading periodicals and newspapers. Mr. J. Clark is secretary. The TEMPERANCE HALL, in Fore Street, was built in 1849.

The UNION SAVINGS BANK was established in 1818, and now occupies a handsome building in Chapel Street. On November 20, 1877, there were deposits amounting to £535,728 18s. 3d. belonging to 17,986 depositors, 2 penny banks, 172 charitable societies, and 80 friendly societies; besides which, there was a balance of £6200 invested with the Commissioners on the surplus fund account. Mr. W. Gard is actuary.

The ROYAL BRITISH FEMALE ORPHAN ASYLUM for the female orphans of sailors, soldiers and royal marines, especially of those who have lost their lives in the public service, was established at Devonport in 1839. The institution was commenced on the Queen's birthday, in May 1840, and removed on June 18, 1846, to a new building erected on a site presented by the lord of the manor, at a cost of £4000. The Committee of Lloyd's Patriotic Fund endowed the Asylum with £15,000, reserving to themselves the right to nominate 30 orphans. To provide for 50 children to be supported by the Admiralty, it became necessary, in 1875, to enlarge the institution : new wings were added at a cost of £4000, raising the accommodation to 200 beds. The Queen is patroness, Lieut-General H. Smyth, C.B. president, Capt J. K. Martyn, R.N., treasurer, Mr. Lorenzo P. Metham, secretary. Miss F. Ord, secretary to the ladies' committee, and Mrs. Catchpool, matron.

The DEVONPORT MERCANTILE ASSOCIATION, established in 1870, is an association of professional and commercial men for discussing and promoting any matter of interest to the inhabitants. Quarterly meetings are held in the Council Chamber of the Guildhall. The Mayor is president, W. P. Swain, Esq., F.R.C.S., vice-president, Mr. W. Mogg, hon. treasurer, and Mr. T. Holt Mogg, hon. secretary.

Devonport and Stonehouse General Dispensary and Institution for Diseases of the Eye and Ear. The ROYAL ALBERT HOSPITAL and the Eye Infirmary and Children's ward for Devonport, Stonehouse, Cornwall and West Devon was built in 1861, at a cost of £11,500, raised by subscription, aided by grants from the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the Secretary of State for War. The hospital stands on an elevated position, overlooking the Hamoaze. The original building, of which the cost is given above consists of a central portion, and two wings running E. and W. On the basement are the out-patient department, dispensary, operating theatre, museum, kitchen,, &c. On the first floor the wings are occupied by the male ward and chapel; in the centre are the board rooms, a special ward, matron's rooms, and office. On the first floor the female ward occupies one wing, and one lock ward the other.

In the main building are the two children's wards. Above are small wards for special cases, and two ophthalmic wards; and above again the resident medical officers' quarters.

To the eastward of the original building have, since the hospital was first erected, been built four large lock wards, the property of the Admiralty, but administered by the Hospital Committee. The whole of the wards are built on the most approved principles, with windows on each side, securing thorough ventilation. The baths, lavatories, &c., attached to each ward are in towers at the angles. There are sixty-two beds in the civil department, and accommodation on the lock side for 160 patients, the average of whom is fifty; the Government pay for each bed occupied.

There is now a large Provident Dispensary attached to the hospital. There is also an out-patient ophthalmic department, endowed by the members of the family of the late Sir Edward St. Aubyn, Bart. The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is president ; Messrs. J. May, Thomas Crossing and Frederick Row, M.D., are the consulting surgeons ; Messrs. R. J. Laity, Christopher Bulteel, Wm. P. Swain, surgeons ; Mr. G. Thom, resident medical officer; Miss Farrow, matron, and Mr. Frederick J. Ford, clerk and house steward.

The DEVONPORT AND WESTERN COUNTIES ASSOCIATION, for promoting the general welfare of the blind, was established in 1868, and occupied a building in Fore Street. A legacy of £4000, left by Miss Berryman, enabled the committee to build its present handsome premises in St. Aubyn Street, the cost of which was £3600. There are now 20 inmates in the institution; but there is ample room for 15 more. The income from subscriptions is about £120 a year; from the property in Fore Street and Princes Street a further rental of about £60 will be received; but this £180 is completely absorbed in the expenses of the inmates and staff. J. May and W. C. Wilson, Esqrs., are honorary medical officers, Wm. Peek, Esq., hon. treasurer, and the Rev. R. Mildren, hon. secretary.

In 1824 Mr. R. T. Spearman left £12,000 to be applied, after the death of certain parties, in founding an Almshouse for poor women above the age of 60, and members of the Established Church. Four poor widows of shipwrights have the dividends of £600 Three per Cent. Consols, left by J. Chambers in 1787. The poor parishioners have 10s. yearly from Rawlin's Charity, and also the dividends of £555 Three per Cent. Consols, purchased with £500 left by John Williams, for a distribution of food and clothing at Christmas. In 1829 Mr. T. Crapp left £5000 to be vested in trust, after the death of certain persons (some of whom are still living), for the following uses, viz. the interest of £4000 to be divided yearly among six poor men and six poor women ; the interest of £500 to be applied in aid of the Lancastrian School ; and the interest of the other £500 to be applied at the discretion of the trustees.

POST, MONEY ORDER, TELEGRAPH, GOVERNMENT ANNUITY AND INSURANCE OFFICE AND SAVINGS BANK is in Fore Street. Mr. Henry M. Daly is postmaster, and Mr. William Symons is chief clerk.

here addd image of the table

  • There are Wall Letter Boxes at Dockyard Gates, cleared on week days 8.45 a.m., 1, 6.15 and 9 p.m.; and on Sundays 6,15 and 9 p.m.;
  • Market, week days at 8.45 a.m., 1, 5, 6.20, and 9; and Sundays at 6.20, and 9 p.m.;
  • L.S.W. Railway Station, week days at 8.45 a.m., 1.20, 6.30, and 9 p.m.; and on Sundays at 6.30 and 9 p.m.;
  • PILLAR LETTER BOXES at George Street cleared on week days at 8.45 a.m., 1.15, 6.25, and 9 p.m.; and Sundays at 6.25 and 9p.m. and Ordnance Street, week days at 8.45 a.m., 12.55, 6.10. and 9 p.m.; and Sundays at 6.10 and 9 p.m.
  • There are four town deliveries on week days at 7 a.m., 12 noon, 3.40, and 8 p.m. ; and one on Sunday, commencing at 7 a.m. Letters are delivered at the counter from 7 until 10 a.m. only.
  • Money Order, Savings Bank, Government Annuity and Insurance business is transacted, and Inland Revenue Licences are issued on week days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; and on Saturdays to 8 p.m.
  • The Telegraph Office is open on week days from 7.30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and on Sundays from 7.30 to 10 a.m., and 5 to 6 p.m. The office is open for the transaction of ordinary postal business from 7 a.m. to p.m. on week days; and on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas-day from 7 to 10 a.m.only.
    (L.& S.W.) Devonport Terminus; John Veazey, superintendent; James Shute, inspector.

    * The full title of the directory is:- History, Gazetteer and Directory of the county of Devon, including the City of Exeter; and comprising a General Survey of the county, and separate historical, statistical, and topographical descriptions of all the Hundreds, Unions, Parishes, Townships, Chapelries, Towns, Ports, Villages and Hamlets; The Diocese of Exeter; the seats of the Nobility and Gentry; Magistrates and Public Officers... etc. published by William White, Limited, Sheffield 1878-9

    Add my note at end…Note: The additions, which look wrong in today’s decimal currency, are correct within the old £ s. d. currency which used a different base – excepting the Cost Per Child total which appears to be a simple ‘average’ across the four schools (but the ink was blurred so I may have transcribed it incorrectly). (The remainder of the Devonport section comprises an alphabetical listing of residents with their roles/business in the town. This is currently being transcribed and may be added here at some future date

    (Page uploaded December 2013) .