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Russian Hemp Bale Seals from

The Torpoint Site in Cornwall

with details of the flax mill at Crediton in Devon

 (14 seals found to date with 0 seals awaiting upload as of 13th September 2018)

 

   

Discovered by Dean Stephen Marriott in 2016 on the foreshores

surrounding Torpoint and others in a channel after a massive tide!

 The first mention of Torpoint in known records is on an old print of the harbour dated 1734. There are records dated 1745 of masons and carpenters from Torpoint repairing Antony church. Torpoint developed apace after 1750 due to the Dockyard. Expansion was driven by the need to expand the Navy. Ship building and repair required workers from the Torpoint side of the river as Plymouth at that time was a difficult place to reach directly from the Dockyard and housing was limited nearby. Other factors which speeded the development of Torpoint were the construction of Lime Kilns, wharf, a warehouse and a quay. By 1774 as well as Lime Kilns there were a ropewalk, shops and a place for spinning.  The next ten years saw even more development. Warehouses had been built and ships came in from foreign countries with their goods. Goods to and from East Cornwall were more easily shipped from the Torpoint side of the river rather than making the journey from Plymouth via Gunnislake. This development however was stopped by the customs and excise because they were not able to police this trade sufficiently.  see Torpoint Town Council link http://www.torpointtowncouncil.gov.uk/menu_page.php?id=2

 

 

One seal found at Torpoint was a very rare Kronstadt seal 

Kronstadt was the Port for St Petersburg.

There was a shallow 8' to 9' depth barrier on the Neva river up to St Petersburg so large vessels were loaded and unloaded at Kronstadt (St Petersburg Port) and then shipped up the river on a light draught barge. It is important to note that although the hemp seals have SPB on them this does not mean the seals were shipped from St Petersburg as the ports of Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva, Pernau, Revel, Riga, Tilsit and St Petersburg all used SPB as an indication of a hemp seal before the year 1829. And they all used NP for flax.   Kronstadt also had its own seal with a crossed anchor and grappnel  which could well have been a Customs Tax or Military Seal for the Fortress...

 КРЖД belt buckle

 Кронштадская

крепостная

Kronstadt Fortress

 КРЖД Kronstadt Fortress Railway is the railway network that existed on the island of Kotlin from the 1860s until the end of the 20th century and performed transport functions on the territory of the Kronstadt fortress. Railroad tracks on the island appeared in the 1860s. There was a very strange feature: the Port and the factory warehouses were different gauge from 600 mm to 1250 mm between the forts.  Originally the railway track was narrow gauge with trolleys moved manually.  Since 1891, at the city port there was a narrow gauge railway length of 26 kilometres. The Fortress RailRoad had a length of 16.5 kilometres with four stations and four locomotives.  By 1917, there were 11 stations on both roads.

 Click on the thumbnail to enlarge

 The RailRoad inside the city

 in the Northern Barracks

Konshtadt Seal 1779

The Vicinity of St Petersburg

The crossed anchor and grapnel of

St Petersburg appears to be used by

other associated districts of the oblast.

 

The crescent shape has nothing to do with

Islam but is the bottom of an anchor

wherein the Christians anchored their faith

in Jesus Christ .. meaning these were

Christian seals or associated with the

administrative region of St Petersburg.

----------------------------

 

Seal 1782 T04 has an unusual

*T* notation under the date.

The reason for this is not clear

but it may be a Customs Tax seal.

T = TAMOЖHЯ (Tamozhnya)

 

--------------------------------

Inspectors and Posts
from Torpoint, Cornwall

 

   ..

  I.Azonov          1782  161

    Churokov        1782  371

    Eroslavtsov     1780  127

    Kudryaev        1798   22

    Luchnikov       1781  126

    Nosatov         1782  183

    Ormanov         1781   30

  T.Retlekov        1782  400

    Shaliv          1782   22

    Sushinkov       1782 N354 

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

 

Posts / Inspectors / #
from Torpoint, Cornwall

 

  ..

   22  Kudryaev      1798#01

   22  Shaliv        1781#02

   30  Ormanov       1781#03 

  126  Lunchikov     1781#01

  127  Eroslavstov   1780#01

  161  Azonov.I      1782#04

  183  Nosatov       1782#02

 N354  Sushinov      1782#05

  371  Churakov      1782#03

  400  Retlekov.T    1782#01

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

How the seals got

into the fields

 

The discarded stalks of the flax with

a bale seal still attached were highly

prized as fertilizer by local farmers

and they were spread on to the land

mixed in human & animal excrement.

 

 

 

 

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

KX

01

KPOHШTДT

(KRONSHTDT)

crossed anchor

and grapnel 1779

unreadable

blank

    there are other letters on the obverse which are unreadable 

KX

02

 НОВГOPOДCKOИ

(NOVGORODSKOI)

crossed anchor

 and grapnel 1780

 Christian anchor base

unreadable

blank

  Novgorodskoi is a trading region upstream of St Petersburg

The crescent shape is the bottom of an anchor ..wherein

the Christians anchored their faith in Jesus Christ.

 
Lead Hemp Bale Seals

#

OBVERSE  click thumbnail

REVERSE click thumbnail

.

 1780

1780

T01

IDS
908

ДП = DP
 ЕРОСЛАВЦОВЬ
(EROSLAVTSOV)
H127

SPB
HPRH
1780

127

post

Rein

Hemp

 1781

1781

T01

IDS
909

ДП = DP

ЛУЧKOB

(LUCHNIKOV)

H126

SPB
ПCRH
1781

126

post

Rein

Hemp

1781

T02

IDS
961

AЛ = AL

ШAЛИВЬ

(SHALKOV)

H22

SPB
AHRH
1781

Anchor

22

post

Rein

Hemp

1781

T03

ДП = DP
OPMAHOBЬ
(ORMANOV)
H30

SPB
OFRRH
1781

Anchor

30

post

Rein

Hemp

 1782 

1782

T01

IDS
910

ДC = DS

Т.РЕТЛЕКОВЬ

(T.RETLEKOV)

H400

SPB
ПCRH
1782

400

post

Rein

Hemp

1782

T02

IDS
911

ДП = DP

НОСАТОВЬ

(NOSATOV)

H183

SPB
MMAH
1782

183

post

Hemp

1782
T03

ДП = DP

ЧУРАКОВЪ

(CHURAKOV)

H371

SPB
IMRH
1782

371

post

Rein

Hemp

1782
T04

ДП = DP
И.АЗОНОВЬ
(I.AZONOV)
H161

SPB
HPRH
1782

*T*

161

post

Rein

Hemp

1782
T05

ДП = DP
СУШИНKОВ
(SUSHINKOV)
N354

SPB
MMRH
1782

N354

post

Rein

Hemp

1782

T06

ДП = DP
СУШИНKОВ
(SUSHINKOV)
N354

SPB

IBRH

1788

N354

post

Rein

Hemp

178?

178?

T01

IDS
938

distorted

SPB
BORH
178?

??

post

Rein Hemp

1798 1798

1798

T01

IDS
962

A:C = AS

ДPЯEBЬ

(KUDRYAEV)

H22

SPB

HKRH

1798

22

post

Rein

Hemp

           

 

 

Modern Cyrillic Alphabet

A=A,  B=V,  Б=B,   C=S,  Ч=CH,  Д=D,   E=A,  И=E,

Ё=O,  Э=EH,  Ф=F,  Г=G,  H=N,  K=K,  Л=L,  M=M,

O=O, Ө=F,Th.  П=P, Р=R,  Ж=ZH,  Ш=SH,  Щ=SHCH,

T=T,  Ц=TS,  У=U,  Ю=YU, Я= YA, ѣ=YE,  Х= KH,

З = Z,  Ы = Y,  Ь Ъ= ' "end of a male name

Here is an archaic Cyrillic letter U used on some seals which we can not find on any Cyrillic alphabet .. meaning that we have to print the modern У=U

 

 

 

 

 

Related History

of Torpoint

 

Early clay pipes c1650-1750. Notice the small bowls, as the tobacco price was very high back then! Also a nice shard of Bellamine jug (c1650) these are very valuable when found complete. All found on the foreshores of Torpoint!

 - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Found at Torpoint .. An inner disc from a four-disc armorial seal -  "crown over triple rose, flowering plant motifs to sides ....... A series of these seals, with inner discs c.40mm or just under in diameter, which are integrally cast with the devices (one with the arms of the realm and the other with a large, crowned rose), was in use from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of George I. The inner discs occasionally retain traces of gilding, which may well have originally been present on all these seals. The precise function of this series of large, well-produced seals, presumably issued as part of the alnage system, and its relation to the much commoner, smaller four-disc series remain enigmatic."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Flax Mill in Crediton, Devon  by Michael Patrick

A promising location of a new flax seal site for someone to uncover

    Crediton in Devon has a long history of the manufacture of woollen cloth. What is less-known is that in the early nineteenth century a factory was developed for the manufacture of flax yarn.  John Cadlick Davy was a successful Devon clothier who had a serge manufactory at Crediton.  Following his death in 1783, a partnership was formed between two of his older sons, William and Samuel who carried on business under as, by mutual consent dissolved on the 24th Day of June 1795, after which date the business was carried on by Samuel Davy and Isaac Davy, under, the same Firm of J.C. Davy and Sons, on their sole Account. The eldest son, William Davy, had married Susanna Broom, in 1780, and fathered several children before moving to the U.S.A. He arrived, with his family, in Philadelphia and was naturalized in 1796. He became a merchant in Philadelphia, where he remained until about 1812. In 1807, he was appointed Principal Agent of the Indian Department in the Jefferson government. Later, in 1816, he was appointed Consul of the U.S.A. in Leeds, England, where he stayed until his death in 1827. On a June day at the end of 1805, between two and three o'clock in the morning, a fire broke out at Messrs Davy and Co.'s woollen manufactory, at Fordton, near Crediton, which burnt with great fury for two hours, and entirely consumed the machinery and mills .. Interestingly, Samuel Davy became a Director of the West of England Fire Insurance Company in December 1807 By 1811 a guide to Devon announced that, At Fordton, near Crediton, a considerable woollen factory has been converted into a mill for spinning flax, where this process is carried on in a very extensive and complete manner; and some of the thread is made into linen cloth, and bleached at the same place A decade later, the Lysons wrote that At Fordton, near Crediton, in the extensive buildings formerly occupied by the woollen manufacture of Messrs. Davy, dowlas, and other coarse linens, are now made.         click on a thumb nail.

       

  Extract from 1839 tithe-map of Crediton, showing “Four Mills”.

  Salisbury and Winchester Journal - Monday 01 July 1805 .   Exeter Flying Post - Thursday 17 December 1807. 

  A chorographical description or survey of the county of Devon. By Tristram Risdon, (revised edition) 1811.

  Magna Britannia: volume 6: Devonshire, Authors Daniel and Samuel Lysons, 1822

 

The location of the factory can be seen on the above 1839 Tithe Map of Crediton, but by the time of the Ordnance Survey map of 1890-1891, the factory has been demolished and is shown as the “Four-Mills (ruins).” Four Mills had been the name of the original mill used for fulling serge (a pair of “twin” fulling stocks). O.S. Map of 1890-91 (1:2500) It is known that in the early part of the 19th century, the adjacent port of Topsham, 12 miles away, received a number of shipments each year of naval stores from the Baltic (hemp, flax, pitch, tar and tallow). Hemp was used in the rope manufactory at Topsham and although a little flax was grown in East Devon, it is quite possible that some of this imported flax was used to make sail-cloth at Crediton.

. A challenge remains for Devon metal-detectorists. Are there unexplored fields near Crediton which may be hiding Lead Flax Seals from the Baltic? Some Hemp seals have been found at Topsham not far from the old Rope-Walk.

 

 

 

   About PeaceHavens - This database is an ongoing project involving the daily finding and identification of Russian Lead Flax Bale Seals from the old disused 18th/19th century Flax Mills of the Industrial Revolution in the UK.    For many decades in the 18th & 19th centuries, Russia was by far the world's greatest exporter of these flax stems via Archangel, Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva, Pernau, Revel, Riga, St Petersburg, Tilsit, Windau and Great Britain was Russia's major customer. Every bale of flax stems was fastened together with a lead seal by a quality control inspector. The discarded stems of the flax with seals still attached were prized as fertilizer by local farmers and were spread onto the land mixed with night soil manure.

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