Holbeton Fire 16 September 1754 - petition at Devon Quarter Sessions 15 July 1755

The petitioners were seeking permission to raise a charitable appeal for help after losing their homes and possessions after a disastrous fire. Named in the record are Ann and Honor Algar, Richard Berry, James and Ralph Hingston, John Husk, William Lake,Susanna Langley, William Macy, William Pike, Andrew Popplestone, Andrew and John Tarring, as having suffered losses, and James Algar and Francis Burrows as local builders.

Ralph Hingston may be the son of John Hingston of Scotscombe. The James Hingston referred to cannot be the one who made a will the following month bequeathing his house and considerable property.

To the Right Honourable Philip Earl of Hardwick Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

We whose names are hereunder subscribed his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of Devon assembled (with others) at the Generall Quarter Sessions of the peace held at the Castle of Exon. in and for the said County upon tuesday the fifteenth day of July in the twenty ninth year of the Reign of his most sacred Majesty King George the second. Do humbly make bold to certify your Lordship it was made appear unto us in Open Court upon the Oaths of several Credible Witnesses that upon the sixteenth day of September last past between the hours of eleven and twelve in the forenoon there happened a sudden and terrible fire at Holbeton in this County which by the Violence thereof in a short space of time burnt down and consumed to the Ground the Dwellinghouses of James Hingston Andrew Tarring Andrew Popplestone William Pike William Lake William Macy and Ralph Hingston together with their Household and other Goods and also the Household Goods of Honour Algar John Tarring Richard Berry Susanna Langley John Husk and Ann Algar and that the loss of the said Poor sufferers amounted in the whole to the Sum of four hundred and three pounds and twelve shillings which was made appear to us as well on the Oaths of the said Poor sufferers as also on the Oaths of Francis Barrows and James Algar Able and Experienced workmen who have carefully viewed the loss sustained in the said Buildings and made a moderate estimate thereof. By which said accident the said Poor Sufferers are reduced into very low circumstances. We therefore most humbly recommend the deplorable condition of the said Poor Sufferers to your Lordships charitable consideration to the end and intent that your Lordship would be pleased to grant unto them his Majesty's most Gracious Letters Patents made under the Great Seal of Great Britain to enable them to ask and receive the Charitable Contributions of his loving subjects towards their relief and support throughout such part of Great Britain as to your Lordship shall seem most moot and convenient. We are may it please your Lordship

your Lordships most humble and Obedient Servants

Extracted from the records of the Devon Quarter Sessions for Midsummer 1755. [Devon RO ref QS 1/19 p237/8] - AJH April 1998