History Group Talks August 2016


                                                                      Lost Devon by Felicity Goodall
Our August speaker was Felicity Goodall.  She has written a book called Lost Devon because she wants to keep lost trades and stories in people’s mind.
She gave us snippets from the book and started with Bishop Leofric in 1016.  He had come from Crediton with 60 books which grew in number to 100.  One of these books became the ‘Exeter Book’ which is incredibly rare.  There was a translation of the book from the medieval English and it was realised that the book mostly contained riddles (not always clean!).  The book survived because it was not read often.  It was used to store leaves of gold and the outside cover (wooden) shows signs of being used as a cutting board!  A large number of Bishop Leofric’s books went to the Bodleian Library.
Moving on to Queen Elizabeth I’s reign Felicity pointed out that in the Queen’s Psalter there is reference to rabbit warrens in Devon.  These were artificial rabbit warrens with stone chambers.   The first warrens were mentioned in the 13th century.  Records show that during this time at one King’s court during the Christmas period they consumed 1000 rabbits.
Charles Kingsley was the next snippet.  He wrote the book Westward Ho! and when people turned up to see the town there was next to nothing there.  Westward Ho! was then built.  One of the buildings was the United Services College formed by Capt. Molesworth as a school for the brightest

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