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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 3

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0002-0001

Author: Adams, John
DateRange: 1787-07 - 1787-08

[Memoranda on a Tour from London to Plymouth, July–August 1787.]1

Michael Sawrey, at Plymouth2
Gillies St. Martins Lane. Garthshores
Sastres Edgware Road. No. 20.

fallitur egregio quisquis sub Principe credit,

Servitium: nunquam Libertas, gratior exit [extat]

quam sub Rege pio. Claud. Lib. 3. in Stillic.

quos praefecit ipsi [praeficit ipse], regendis rebus, ad arbitrium Plebis, Patrumque reducit.3

Mad. La Marquise de Champsenets au Chateau de Thuilleries.
To Epsom, Guilford, Farnham, Alton, Winchester, Salisbury. Blandford, Dorchester, Bridport, Axminster, Honniton (Valley), Exeter.
Niccolaides. Chambourgs Rhodes.
Gentlemans Pocket Farrier.
Truslers practical Husbandry. Baldwins P[ater] N[oster] Row.
O fair Columbia, hail.
An original Sir. W. Rawleigh, by Cornelius Jansen, at Mr. J. { 209 } Cranch's, Axminster.4 Sir W. was born at Hays in the Parish of Bodley, Devon.—John Bowering. Andrew Cranch.
Ingratitude thou marble hearted fiend, more hideous when thou shewest thee in a Child than a sea Monster. S'pear.
1. These highly miscellaneous jottings are on a loose folded sheet separated from the Diary and filed under its assigned date in the Adams Papers. On the fourth and last page is a list in JA's hand of six military companies in Boston, with their commanders, beginning “Boston Troop of Horse, Swan.” Possibly this list was put down from a newspaper account of forces mustered to deal with the Shays insurgents during the winter of 1786–1787. The notes printed here are mere scraps of information that JA wished to remember and were doubtless mainly taken down during the family excursion to the west of England. But from the fact that the name of Michael Sawrey of Plymouth heads the list they may have been begun in London, for some of the notes that follow pertain to persons and things encountered by JA before he reached Plymouth.
“At Plimouth we were visited by a Mr. and Mrs. Sawry; with whom we drank Tea one afternoon; Mr. Sawry is well known to many Americans, who were prisoners in Plimouth jail during the late war. The money which was raised for their relief, past through his Hands and he was very kind to them, assisting many in their escape” (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).
3. From Claudian's Consulship of Stilicho, book 3, lines 113–116, but carelessly copied by JA as usual. Corrections have been inserted from the Loeb Classical Library text of Claudian (London and N.Y., 1922). The Loeb translation is as follows: “He errs who thinks that submission to a noble prince is slavery; never does liberty show more fair than beneath a good king. Those he himself appoints to rule he in turn brings before the judgment-seat of people and senate.”
4. See note 3 on entry in AA's Diary for 26[–27] July, above.

Docno: ADMS-01-03-02-0006-0003-0001

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1787-08-06

1787. August 7 [i.e. 6?]1

At Kin[gsbridge, the southerly] Point of the County of Devonshire, the birth Place of my Brother Cranch. [Wen]t Y[ester]day to Church in the Morning, dined with Mr. Burnell, went to the Presbyterian Meeting afternoon, drank Tea with Mr. Trathan,2 and went to the Baptist Meeting in the Evening.—Lord Petre is the Lord of this mannor.—The Nephew of my Brother Cranch possesses the Family Estate, which I saw, very near the Church, four Lotts of very fine Land in high Cultivation. The Nephews and Nieces are married and settled here, all Tradesmen and Farmers in good Business and comfortable Circumstances and live in a harmony with each other, that is charming.—On Saturday We passed thro Plympton And Modbury. From the last Town emigrated my Brother Cranch with Mr. Palmer. It is a singular Village at the Bottom of a Valley formed by four high and steep hills. On Fryday We went out from Plymouth to Horsham, to see Mr. Palmer, the Nephew of our Acquaintance in America. His sister only was at home. This is a pleasant Situation.3 We had before seen Mr. Andrew Cranch at Exeter, the aged Brother of my friend, { 210 } and Mr. William Cranch, another Brother deprived by a Paralytick Stroke of all his faculties.
[Mr. Bowring, at Exe]ter, went with me to see Mr. Towg[ood, the au]thor of the dissenting Gentlemans answer [to] Mr. Whites three Letters, 87 years of age.4
Brook is next Door to Swainstone and Strachleigh, near Lee Mill Bridge, about two miles from Ivy Bridge.5 Strachleigh did belong to the Chudleighs the Dutchess of Kingstons Family.
Haytor Rock is at the Summit of the highest Mountain in Dartmore Forrest. Brentor is said by some to be higher.
1. Here begin the scraps of JA's Diary, nine paper booklets or folded sheets, of various sizes and shapes, which are collectively designated D/JA/46 in the Adams Papers and which complete the MS of the Diary as JA kept it, very intermittently, from 1787 to 1804.
As to the date of this entry, since JA says he attended church and meeting three times “Yesterday,” it can only be supposed that he was writing on Monday, 6 August.
The top edge of this sheet of the MS is charred. Some words and parts of words have been supplied, in brackets, from the text printed by CFA.
2. Both Burnell and Trathan were connections of the Cranches in Kingsbridge, a village which was so overwhelmingly “the Chief resort of the Cranch family” that bells were set ringing soon after the Adamses' arrival, and no fewer than fifteen members and connections of the family called on the travelers during their first evening there (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA).
3. In a letter to her niece Elizabeth Cranch, 1 Oct. 1787 (Dft, Adams Papers), AA furnished a detailed and vivid account of the expedition from Plymouth to Horsham on 3 August. Since “we were the first coach and four that ever attempted Horsham House,” the trip was full of difficulties and perils, which John Cranch proved himself a veritable Samson in overcoming.
4. Michaijah Towgood, a nonconformist clergyman and prolific writer of theological tracts (DNB).
5. These were places in Devon that the Adamses passed through or near on Saturday, 4 Aug., while traveling from Plymouth to Kingsbridge. They dined at Ivybridge, and JA made a side trip of several miles to Brook to visit William Cranch, another of Richard's brothers (AA to Mrs. Cranch, 15 Sept. 1787, MWA). In AA's Diary (M/AA/i) there is an undated, detached note on the final leaf: “Cadleigh, Brook, Strashleigh, Ivey Bridge, visited by Mr. A in company with Mr. J. Cranch.”
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.