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The County of Cornwall     OS Grid Ref: ST675188

 The County of Cornwall

Maps from Multimap


Devon has been inhabitted by man very early in prehistoric times. After the departure of the Romans it was eventually conquered by the invading Saxons and became part of the Saxon kingdom of Wessex.

As in Cornwall, tin, copper, zinc and manganese were once mined in the county but the industry which relied on costly deep mining succumbed to cheaper ores from abroad.

Fishing was the county's largest industry in the early 20th century, trawlers landing large catches of pilchards, herring, mackerel, plaice, etc., but this is now much declined.

BibliographyCounty Records OfficeLinksLocallyMaps


BibliographyCounty Records OfficeLinksLocallyMaps

Joanna Southcott (1750-1814), English religious visionary born in Devon.

BibliographyCounty Records OfficeLinksLocallyMaps

This time-line has been generated for this page from our general time-line
which you can view by clicking here or on the dates in the left-hand column

circa 75Roman legions leave Exeter; civil settlement of Isca Dumnoniorum established
circa 150Exter fortified with a rampart
circa 475Inscribed memorial stones erected by Dumnonians from c.450 to c.650
550Constantine ruling in Dumnonia
circa 675Exeter area becomes part of kingdom of Wessex
682Centwine of Wessex drives Britons in flight as far as the sea
circa 700The Saxons reach the Bristol Channel cutting of the Celts of Cornwall from the Celts of Wales
705The Saxons under King Ine renew their westward advance into Devon and Cornwall
710The Saxons occupy Exeter in Devon
circa 710King Ina of the Wessex attempts to destroy the Celtic kingdom of Dumnonia
722Roderic, King of the Britons in Wales and Cornwall, repels Adelred, King of Wessex
722Saxons defeated at the battle of Hehil, probably near Jacobstowe
739Minster founded at Crediton
circa 780Saxons reach the river Tamar
787Viking Danes visit the coasts of Wessex
807Viking Danes form alliance alliance with the Cornish against the Saxons
825Egbert, king of Wessex, repels the Vikings in North Cornwall and returns to route the Mercians at the battle of Ellendune (modern Wroughton, Swindon) assuring the predominance of Wessex
The Cornish defeated by Ecgberht at Gafulford (modern Galford on the River Lew in West Devon) He also conquered Kent, Sussex and Essex Check out Nether Wroughton
838Egbert of Wessex wins a spectacular victory over the Danish/Cornish allies at Hingston Down (now in Cornwall)
851Devon first recorded as Defnascir in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle when Danes defeated at Wicganbeorg
876Danes occupy Exeter
893Danes attack Exeter and north Devon
974Foundation of the Benedictine abbey at Tavistock
1003Exeter sacked by the Danes (ASC)
circa 1050Diocese of Cornwall combined with Devon, with see at Exeter
See of Crediton transferred to Exeter
1068Exeter beseiged by the Normans
1068Building of Rougemont Castle
1086Compilation of the Exon Domesday
Abut 20,000 out of an estimated Devonshire population of 70,000 acounted for in the survey
1136.JulExeter beseiged by King Stephen and Baldwin de redvers exiled
1147Departure of the Second Crusade from Dartmouth
1156Earliest record of tin mining in Devon
1190Departure of the Third Crusade from Dartmouth
1196Foundation of Torre Abbey
1205First mayor of Exeter recorded
Winchester, the former capital of Wessex, was the only provincial city to already have a mayor
1211First recorded mention of Plymouth
1303First recorded mayor of Barnstaple
1315Bad weather causes total failure of the harvest in Cornwall
1346Devonshire ports provide 88 ships for the Crecy and Calais campaigns
1348Black Death reaches Devon killing about one third of the population of the county
1403Plymouth burnt by Breton (Spain) raiders
circa 1460Stone bridge built at Bideford, Devon
1496Devon rebels against taxation
1497Perkin Warbeck beseiges Exeter
1525Publication of Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, printed at Tavistock - the first record of printing in Devon
1536Dissolution of the monasteries commenes in Devon with the priories of Barstaple, Cornworthy, Exter, Frithelstock and Pilton
1549Appointment of John Lord Russell as the first Lord-Lieutenant of Devon
1549.Jun.09First English Book of Common Prayer
Causing the Prayerbook Rebellion
1564Work starts on the Exter Ship Canal - the first canal in England with locks
1575Christopher Saxton produces the first county map of Devon
1580.Sep.26Sir Francis Drake sails into Plymouth on the Golden Hinde ending its three-year voyage circumnavigating the Earth
He set off in 1577
1587Remigius Hogenberg produces the first engraved plan of Exter (after John Hooker)
1588.Jul.20Spanish Armada sighted off Plymouth
1599Tiverton clotheir Peter Blundell founds Blundells School
1603Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, created Earl of Devonshire
1606Death of the Earl of Devonshire (b.1563)
The title became extinct
1618William, Baron Cavendish, created Earl of Devonshire for his services in Ireland
1620.Sep.06The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America (New England) from Plymouth in the Mayflower
1628New Plymouth colony founded in America by Sir Ferdinando Gorges
1629Poet Robert Herrick appointed to the living of Dean Prior in Devon
1643.Sep.05Articles of surrender signed and Royalists take control of Exeter following a seige
1645Exeter beseiged by Parliamentarian forces
1646.JanJohn Fairfax captures Dartmouth
1682First Quaker Meeting House in Devon built at Spiceland nr. Uffculme
Built 9 years before the Act of Toleration, 7 of the trustees were imprisoned at Exeter goal
1682.Aug.14Three Bideford women tried for witchcraft at Exeter convicted and sentenced to death
1685The Devonshire Regiment raised
1685.Sep.14Rebels of the Monmouth rebellion tried at Exeter
1688.Jun.30Seven Bishops objecting to the reading of James II\\\'s Declaration of Indulgence charged with sedititious libel before the Kings Bench
1688.Nov.05Prince William of Orange lands at Brixham to take the English throne
1688.Nov.11Prince William of Orange enters Exeter amidst public jubilation
1689Royal Naval Dockyard established at Devonport
1690French ships bombard Teignmouth
1694The first Duke of Devonshire created
1698Samuel Darker sets up first permanent printing press in Exeter
1698Thomas Newcomen of Dartmouth invents the atmospheric steam pumping engine
1723Birth of the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds at Plympton
1731Great fire of Tiverton
1741.Aug.27Laying of the foundation stone of the Devon and Exeter Hospital
1743.Aug.14460 houses destroyed by fire at Crediton
1753Establishment of the first turnpike trust in Devon - Exeter, Honiton and Axminster
1755Thomas Whitty begins carpet manufacture at Axminster
1759John Smeaton completes the third lighthouse on Eddystone Rock
1761A nonconformist academy established in Exeter
1768William Cookworthy obtains an English patent for \'Making porcelain from Moorstone, Growan and Growan Clay\'
He established the first British porcelain factory at Plymouth
1782.Jul.29Rebecca Downing burned at Exeter for poisoning her master
1792Erection of fashionable houses on The Beacon in Exmouth
1793.Jan.11Effigy of the radical Tom Paine burned in Exeter
1801First national census in England to count manpower for the Napoleonic Wars
Parish overseers and clergy responsible for collecting the data. Populations; Devon, 340,308
1803Landscaping of the Lawns at Dawlish begins
1806Dartmoor Prison constructed at Princetown to house French prisoners of war
1812Rennie begins construction of the breakwater at Plymouth
1814Prophetess Joanna Southcott of Devon claims to be pregnant with Shiloh, the second Messiah
1815Napoleon moored off Plymouth before sailing to exile on St Helena
1816Establishment of the lace manufactory in Tiverton by John Heathcoat
1823.Jul.19First cholera case reported in Exeter - the ensuing epedemic killed 440 people
1824.Jan.01Plymouth Dock renamed Devonport
1839.Dec.253 million tons of soil slip into the sea near Axmouth
1844.May.01Opening of the Bristol to Exeter Railway - the first steam locomotive arrives at Exeter
1848The railway reaches Torquay
1849.Apr.02Completion of The South Devon Railway to Plymouth
1855Publication of Charles Kingsley\'s novel Westward Ho!
1855.Oct.20Opening of the North Devon Railway from Bideford to Barnstaple
1860.Jan.03Publication of Devon\'s 1st newspaper, the Western Morning News
1862First meeting of the Devonshire Association
1863Devonshire copper productionpeaks at 41,513 tons
1869.May.06Public Libraries Act adopted at a public meeting in Exeter, Devon
1872Formation of the Devon County Agricultural Association
1874Building of the Meldon Viaduct, Devon to carry express steam London Waterloo to Plymouth over the West Okement Valley (120 ft below)
1884John Babbacombe Lee unsuccessfully hanged three times for the murder of Mrs Keyes
1887.Sep.05Theatre Royal, Exeter destroyed by fire with the loss of 160 lives
1889.Jan.16First county council elections held
1889.Jan.24Meeting of the provisional Devon County Council
1892.May.20Last of Brunel\'s broad guage railways converted to standard guage over the weekend (Devon)
1892.Aug.15Torquay granted a royal charter for incorporation as a municipal borough
1904Motor cars first registered in Exeter
1905The Royal Naval College built at Dartmouth
1914The Three Towns, Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse amalgamated to form the modern Plymouth
The USA declared its neutrality
1918.Nov.11Armistice signed by Germany
1922University College of the South West of England established
1925the Elimhirsts acquire the Dartington Estate
1926Devon County Council granted a coat of arms
1931First female county councillor elected in Devon
1941.Mar.20The Plymouth blitz at its worst; 336 civilians killed on the 20th and 21st
1942.May.0410,000 incendiary bombs dropped on Exeter
1943Evacuation of South Hams in Devon for invasion exercises
1951.Oct.30Dartmoor designated a national park
1952.Aug.159 inches of rainfall creates a 20-foot wave in Lynmouth, Devon. 34 people are killed
DCC time-line gives the number of fead as 31
1955University of Exeter recieves a royal charter
1961Opening of the Tamar Bridge carrying the A38 from Plymouth in Devon to Saltash in Cornwall
1974Local government reorganisation abolishes county boroughs in Devon
1977M5 motorway reaches Exeter
1987North Devon linkroad opens
1992University of Plymouth recieves a royal charter
1996First cybercafe in the south west opens in Exeter
1998Local government reorganisation; Plymouth and Torbay in Devon become unitary authorities
2001Foot and mouth epidemic in Devon
2003.Oct.14BAE Systems (employing 590 in Plymouth) announces the loss of 280 jobs at its site in Southway in Plymouth because of a downturn in its military business
2003.Oct.16DML (which runs Devonport Dockyard) announces it has submitted a bid to buy Devon shipyard Appledore Shipbuilders

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