Today’s post may have tenuous links with Teignmouth but they are of interest as part of the history of the time. Once again I am indebted to Stuart Drabble for this poem. Stuart is a local historian and aficionado of all things George Templer.
This Templer poem is about a “Mr Arscott” who hunted in South Devon. There are the obvious connections that we have already seen through George Templer; and the members of the Hunt would have taken part in society functions of the day in Teignmouth – the Balls and Theatre.
Who the actual ‘Mr Arscott’ is is unclear but the name seems to have been a common one of this area – James Arscott is mentioned on the list of men who fought at Trafalgar (on the board on the wall of the Ship Inn). Thomas Arscott and another James Arscott (brothers) of Teignmouth, sons of a Teignmouth doctor Thomas Arscott, were both naval officers. Most likely though is a ‘Mr Arscott of Tetcott’ who kept hounds and is apparently immortalised in an old Devonshire ballad
Whoever he was, George Templer wrote these few lines in his memory.
The Late Mr Arscott
New to my sight thou black unwelcome leaf,
I know thee now, pale harbinger of grief
Ungraced by sportive scene or lyric lore;
Thy silence whispers – Arscott is no more!
The hand is motionless that loved to trace
The hard-earned glories of the daily chase!
The tongue that cher’d us with the death-note shrill,
And charmed us at the festive board, is still!
The wit that in meridian splendour shone
All but the memory of his worth is gone!
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