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Online Auction Description
Great Britain, Scott's catalog # 758, 6½p violet & multicolor, Topical: Christmas angels with lute and harp, Town Cancel: Bideford. This stamp is without defects, and has no damage.
Bideford, Devon, England, Great Britain (located in South-Western England)
Bideford is a small port town on the estuary of the River Torridge in north Devon, south-west England.
The Grenville family were for many centuries lords of the manor of Bideford and played a major role in the town's development. The monument with effigy of Sir Thomas Grenville (d.1513) exists in St Mary's Church. Sir Richard Grenville (1542-1591) was born in the manor house in Bideford, formerly situated on the site of numbers 1-3 Bridge Street. He built himself a new mansion on the quayside in 1585. The family had another seat at Stow House, Kilkhampton, near Bude in Cornwall.
The River Torridge is spanned at Bideford by the Long Bridge, said to have been first built in the 14th century by Sir Theobald Grenville. The present structure is supposed to be of 15th century construction, but includes much later repairs, for example in 1638, and was widened in 1865. It has 24 arches all of different sizes. The traditional explanation is that each arch was funded by a different local guild, although there are no records to confirm this. Another theory is that the piers of the arches of the bridge were built on naturally existing and therefore randomly situated large stones in the river. A former New Year's Eve tradition was to try to run across the Long Bridge during the time taken for the bells of St. Mary's parish church to chime midnight.
By the 16th century Bideford had become Britain's third largest port. Sir Walter Raleigh landed his first shipment of tobacco here, although, contrary to popular belief, he was not the first to import tobacco to England. Several local roads and a hill have been named after Raleigh. Bideford was heavily involved in the transport of indentured servants to the New World colonies.
The Bideford witch trial in 1682 involved three women, Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles and Susannah Edwards, accused of witchcraft and resulted in one of the last hangings for witchcraft in England.
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