Whereas, Elizabeth, the Wife of Ambrose Shere, of Cullompton, Devon, did on the 29th day of August last, (being the Twentieth time), Elope from her said Husband without any other provocation than her own procuring, and that she thought her said Husband was too old to supply her desires (being 78) and she being lost to duty and virtue, and also insensible to shame and brutality, and her adviser hath occasioned her disgrace and ruin:- This is to caution all persons not to trust her on my account, as all such debt or debts will not be paid by me. And the said Elizabeth Shere may assume some other Name, it is therefore proper to observe that she is about 34 years of age, short in stature, thin in face, flattish nose, watery eyes, bad teeth, squints a little and cannot read or sew without spectacles; she continued about Cullompton until the 14th September, and then left the Town.
Witness my hand, Ambrose Shere.
Cullompton, 9th October, 1821.
I could make a wicked comment about women marrying men old enough to be their grandfather and expecting a good sex life, but I shall refrain . . .
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, Thursday, August 5, 1813; Issue 2500 - Gale Document Number Y3200653002
Whereas, Susannah Huxtable, the wife of Anthony Huxtable, farmer of Instow, in the county of Devon, left her home and family on Wednesday the 14th instant, under the influence of a mental affection, and has not been since been heard of.
The said Susannah Huxtable is about 30 years of age, of a middle stature in height, thin habit; wore away a dark cloth pelisse, trimmed with black velvet and black silk bonnet. Has lately had all her hair cut off. It is hoped that all head borough and parish officers will cause such search to be made as will insure notice of her safety to her afflicted family, who will gladly pay all reasonable expenses attendant on her conveyance to the parish of Instow, or send for her upon receiving any information where she may be found.
Dated Instow, July 30th, 1813.
Do you think that they shaved her hair off in the vain hope of restoring her addled wits?
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, Thursday, September 29, 1814; Issue 2560 - Gale Document Number Y3200653591
Whereas William Pittwood, of the parish of Ringsash, near Chulmleigh, Devon, did on Friday last, the 18th of this instant, September, leave his brother's house without any provocation, and has not since been heard of, this is to give notice, that whoever may have seen the said William Pittwood, or can give any information of him, so as he may be found, shall receive a handsome Reward, from his brother, John Pittwood, of Ringsash aforesaid.
William Pittwood is 49 years of age, light hair, fair complexion, about 5 feet 6 inches high, is lame in his left pinbone and limps in his walk. He wore a nankeen jacket, corduroy breeches and lightish colour waistcoat, laced shoes and worsted stockings. Is supposed by his friends to be a little touched in his mind.
Perhaps his friends were right!
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, Thursday, July 4, 1811; Issue 2387 - Gale Document Number Y3200651949
To the Public
On June 29th, 1811, John, the Son of George Moase, Tanner, of the parish of Petrockstow, near Hatherleigh, Devon, went from his father's house, in a state of insanity, the cause of it is supposed to be an intense application to the study of mechanism. He is 19 years of age, about five feet eight inches high, dark hair, thin features and of a pale complexion. He wore off a light nankeen jacket, calf-skin waistcoat an old hat, a red silk handkerchief, dark corduroy breeches, worsted stockings, nailed shoes, and a canvas apron, dyed tan-colour. He is perfectly inoffensive to every one, and during the intervals of reason, remarkably pious and conscientious. It is therefore hoped, that all persons who shall meet with him, will treat him with kindness and compassion, and whoever will conduct him back to his father, or give information where he may be found, shall be handsomely rewarded.
I hope they found him, poor lad . . .
This is a rich source of information about ordinary people, who got fed up with their lot, or had breakdowns or whatever. Abandoned husbands lost no time in saying, she's nothing to do with me, I don't want her debts. Others were genuinely concerned about family members wandering off. Others sought to warn other people about debtors, horse-thieves or whoever, roaming the roads lest they pass themselves off as ordinary mortals . . . .
The full transcription can be read HERE.