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stone; a ball of fire came in likewise at the window, and passed through the church, which so affrighted the congregation, that most of them fell down in their seats; some upon their knees, others on their faces, and some one upon another, crying out of burning and scalding, and all giving themselves up for dead. There were in all four persons killed, and sixty-two hurt, divers of them having their linen burnt, tho' their outward garments were not so much as singed. . . . The church itself was much torn and defaced with the thunder and lightning, a beam whereof, breaking in the midst, fell down between the minister and clerk, and hurt neither. The steeple was much wrent; and it was observed where the church was most torn, there the least hurt was done among the people. There was none hurted with the timber or stone; but one man, who, it was judged, was killed by the fall of a stone."
The monument of this man, Roger Hill, is in the church, as also an account in verse of the storm, composed by the village schoolmaster.
For many years the incumbent of Widdecombe was a man who was reputed to be the son of George IV. when Prince Regent. His sister, married to a captain, who deserted her, occupied a cottage, now in ruins, under Crockern Tor. She also was believed to be of blood-royal with a bar sinister. Both the parson and his sister had been brought up about Court. He, when given the living of Widdecombe—to get him out of sight and mind—brought with him a large consignment of excellent port, and that drew to his parsonage such rare men as would brave the moors and storms for the sake of a carouse.