Mr. Robert Brinsmead, who has for the last 32 years, been employed as managing clerk to the Rolle Canal under G. Braginton Esq. has determined on account of the infirmities of age to retire from active life. In doing so he leaves his situation regretted by all the men under his control. As soon as his intention was known, all the men willing to show respect for him opened a subscription to purchase a handsome 4 to Bible. Friday, being the last day on which the presentation took place, early in the morning, banners and flags were floating in the breeze and a beautiful arch spanned the entrance to one of the large lofts, where a tea was provided for the workmen and their wives at the expense of Mr. Braginton. 110 persons sat down to tea. Mr. Braginton, with his two daughters, and Messrs Holwill and Pidgeon, the new partners in the Rolle Canal, occupied the head of the tables. Over the chair Mr. Brinsmead was to have occupied, the workmen placed a neat banner with the following inscription “Thus it shall be done unto the man whom the labourer delighted to honour” But the individual to whom the men wished to pay respect was prevented from being present on account of sickness. After the tea, Mr. Braginton, who was engaged to present the Bible rose and spoke with great emotion on the occasion. He was sorry that Mr. Brinsmead was not present, but felt pleased at what the men has done and it gratified him to know that there existed such a good feeling between him and the men. He thought they had made a good choice – the bible, the best gift they could have offered him on the occasion. He should have great pleasure in carrying it to Mr. Brinsmead and he hoped the reading of the book would prove a comfort and a solace to him. He always looked upon him as a man of intelligence, sobriety, honesty and industry and he had placed the greatest confidence in him and he had never had reason to find fault with him. He was pleased with the gift and the respect paid to Mr. Brinsmead he should consider as paid to himself. Mr. Braginton then retired to the house of Mr. Brinsmead and presented him with the Bible and on his return thanked the workmen in his behalf for their kindness. On the outset of the cover was an inscription in gilt letters on scarlet morocco “Presented to Robert Brinsmead by the Labourers on the Rolle Canal, 1858” and on the inside was another inscription written “Mr. Robert Brinsmead, having filed the situation of managing clerk, on the Rolle Canal for 32 years, the workmen under his control cannot allow him to retire from his labourers without expressing regret and their loss and at the same time as a proof of their kindly feeling and having him, as a memorial, this Bible. Dec 31st, 1858”.

(first published - Jan 6th, 1859)

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Letter to the editor


MR. BRINSMEAD, farmer, of St. Giles, has a cow that has had twin calves. both calves are doing well, as is also the mother.

(first published  September 23rd, 1883.)

ST. GILES, North Devon


TO BE LET BY TENDER, for a Term of Years, from Lady-day next, A DWELLING HOUSE AND PREMISES, conveniently arranged, and containing the complete Plant for Chandlery and Malting, late in the occupation of MR. JOHN BRINSMEAD, situate in the Parish of St. Giles aforesaid, and near the market towns of Torrington, Bideford, and Barnstaple.

Tenders to be sent, free of Postage, to Mrs. BRINSMEAD, at Ebberly Farm, Roborough, on or before the 20th day of February next, to whom application may be made for viewing the Premises.

Dated Roborough, 11th January, 1858. 


TOWN HALL, June 5th.

[BEFORE:- John Pyke Esq., justice]

MASTER AND APPRENTICE. - Cosmo Perry Gordon, of St. Giles in the Wood, was summoned by his master, Mr. Thomas Brinsmead, Machine Maker, charged with misconduct. It appeared from the evidence that on the 25th ult. defendant (who is an apprentice to Mr. Brinsmead) was engaged finishing a plough which was wanted on that day. His master, thinking defendant was not capable of completing the work, put another more competent person to finish it. Defendant then told his master that, if requested, he would not again do any work in that department. _ The Bench were of the opinion that defendant's merely saying he would not do a certain thing in future, did not constitute an offence for which he had been summoned. They therefore dismissed the case.

(first published: June 6th, 1861) 

Torrington: Australia - Many families of this town and vicinity are making preparations to emigrate to the land of gold immediately, so flattering are the accounts recently received from those already emigrated from this neibourhood.

(first published July 29th, 1852)


DIVISIONAL PETTY SESSIONS, Saturday, March 31. [Before Sir Trevor Wheler, Bart., and A.R. Hole, Esq.

BROTHERLY. Henry Brinsmead was summoned by his brother , Thomas Brinsmead, for entering his workshop and maliciously damaging certain property belonging to him to the value of 10s. The complainant and defendant are both machine makers , of the Parish of St. Giles, and have been in partnership from the commencement of their business until very recently. A few months since a misunderstanding arose between them on the defendant securing to himself a patent for a straw shaking machine, to which the plaintiff considered he had an equal right. On the 29th ult. the plaintiff set his boy to the defendant's shop for a set of coulters he owed him; defendant was not at home, but the man working in the shop let him have them. They were to be part of a corn drill. On defendant's return he sent his man for them but he would not spare them. Afterwards, defendant went to his brothers shop in his absence, and carried them away, separating the iron that had been put to them, which he returned the next morning. The plaintiff contended that the coulters were his own property; that his brother had no right to take them, and his man had no right to lend them; and that he did not owe them to him, but he was always willing to lend him anything he wanted. The bench said they were sorry the case should have been brought before them; they considered the manner in which the coulters had been taken away was very improper, and contrary to law; they should, therefore, fine the defendant 1£ and 11s. 6d. expenses.

(first published Dec 4th, 1855)



T.BRINSMEAD will EXHIBIT A COMBINED THRASHING MACHINE at the Barnstable show in JUNE next, the principle of which is simple and efficient, and will be found adapted for general purposes.

St. Giles, near Torrington, May 23rd, 1859.

Next Edition:

Brinsmead Agricultural Machinery

Agricultural Implement Dispute

History of John Brinsmead and Sons

Council rent Quay to William H. Hookway, barge owner.

Thomas Brinsmead - pigs on roads.

Emigration, Australia Henry and Betty Brinsmead.