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Home > Devon > Barnstaple > Golden Fleece

Golden Fleece

Picture source: Clive Schneidau


The Golden Fleece was situated on Tuly Street. This pub closed c.1990 and is now used as a restaurant.
I thought you might be interested in a reference I came across in the Navy Board Minutes which are held at the National Archive at Kew. It concerns an incident when a press gang from His Majesty's Brigantine the Post Boy, met up at the Golden Fleece in Barnstable;
Captain John Carleton of the Post Boy met up with a local Justice, Captain Kinnick & Lieutenant Hyatt for dinner there on Friday the 5th of March 1697. On the Saturday the Captains together with 15 of Lieutenant Hyatts soldiers and 13 or 14 of the Post Boys men set off for Conne{?}. To avoid any accidents, Captain Carleton cautioned the men only to load their weapons with powder, they all having muskets. On entering the town of Conne{?} they met with a Captain Stocker, whose crew were the intended target for the press gang. Captain Stocker drew up his men in their way, and declared if any should run from him he would run them through, he having drawn his sword. Carleton tried to reason with him, urging him to let the men join the navy as volunteers, only to receive a blow from Stocker (presumably not with the blade of the sword). At this, Carleton drew his sword and urged his men to secure as many seamen for His Majesty's service as they could. In the ensuing mle, Stockers men attempted to grab the muskets, one or two of which were discharged, and Captain Stocker was shot, (I presume fatally).

Source
Copy of a letter from Captain John Carleton, Commander of the Postboy brigantine, dated from the Golden Fleece at Barnstable, the 7th of March 1696/7 Admiralty Secretary, letters from the Navy Board, Adm 1/3580, p 971 & 975
Patrick Gosset (August 2017)

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Name Dates Comments
Dr Patrick Oates 1970-1978 In the 1970's, Patrick Horgan was the marvellous Landlord of this Pub. I was an Archaeologist working many sites & Patrick supplied us with a Hot Bath for 6 pence, and hot pasties after a day's toil. An educated man of wit & humour along with his wife Cynthia, he kept the perfect Pub. Staying open long after 'closing time', he'd Retire to bed & leave the bar, trusting our honesty It was NEVER abused, and we locked up 'Last man out'.