What a coup! I’ve found the earliest poetic reference to Teignmouth so far.
This was written by the Reverend Philip Avant in 1690 in sympathy with the people of Teignmouth following the sacking of the town by the French fleet in July of that year.
I have just referred to it as “Upon Tingmouth” but its full title is:
Upon Tingmouth, a Sea-Port Town in Devon;
lately burnt by the French (viz.) in the Month of July, 1690
O Doleful July! Welcome heretofore,
When fraught with joys thou didst approach each door;
Fatal of late to Tingmouth! Now thou hast
Remov’d those Joys vouchsaf’d in Ages past.
A grateful Season, when the the joyful field
Afforded Food, plenty each house did yield,
The Seas vouchsaf’d Provisions heretofore,
But now the French have wasted all her store.
She which once flourish’d, now in ashes lies,
Not like these many days again to rise;
What was the fate of Troy in ruins laid,
When Priam’s Palace was to Greeks betrayed?
Sad without doubt, o’erwhelmed with grief and tears,
Devour’d by Flames, a doleful sight appears.
Such was the face of Tingmouth, such her fate,
When she sustain’d devouring flames of late;
Whenas she felt the Fury of the Gauls,
Sad is our Fate, when flames devour our walls.
Alas! how many destitute of Home
Wander that they under some roof do come!
Want to know more? Checkout Philip Avant