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Harberton & Harbertonford 

History Society

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Tuesday October 5th 7.30pm (Zoom)


Dr Todd Gray: ‘Devon's Slave Owners in 1834'




Todd Gray was born and grew up in New England, USA and first visited Devon on a school trip in 1973. He undertook a degree in London and then studied for a PhD at the University of Exeter and since then has been a research fellow at the university. In 1992 he became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2014, Todd was awarded the MBE for voluntary services to Devon’s history and has been involved on the committees of many local organisations.

Todd has published over 40 books, 14 of which are about Exeter. In 2018 Todd was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of Exeter.

Todd delivered our very first zoom talk in December 2020 on Exeter and Devon’s Cloth Trade in the 18th Century!




Tuesday November 16th 7.30pm (Zoom)


Sue Knox: ‘General Lawrence and his Tower - The History of the Haldon Belvedere’


Sue is a retired doctor and has also been a Red Coat Guide for the City of Exeter for 15 years. She has lived in the Teign Valley for 30 years and is now a Trustee of the Stringer Lawrence Memorial Trust which owns the Haldon Belvedere.

Sue’s illustrated talk tells the story of General Stringer Lawrence, who became known as the Father of the Indian Army, and his friendship with Robert Palk. The two men met in India while working for the East India Company. On retirement, Palk moved back to Devon (he was born in Ashburton) and spent his enormous fortune establishing a huge estate which included most of Torquay, The Teign Valley and the Haldon Hills. Lawrence spent much of his retirement staying with the Palk family in their mansion in Dunchideock. When the General died, Palk built the Belvedere as a memorial to his friend. The Tower is now owned by the Stringer Memorial Trust and is open to the public on Sundays during the summer.