Plymouth was apparently called Sutton and seems to have consisted of 2 villages, Sutton Vautort and Sutton Prior and has gradually risen from the condition of an obscure fishing village to be a place of very great consequence, and the largest town in the county. Its port which properly speaking consists of 3 harbours is capable of containing 2000 sail. It is extremely well fortified, being defended by several forts and a strong citadel erected in the reign of Charles II, before the mouth of the harbour. This citadel comprehends at least 4 acres of ground, has 5 regular bastions, contains a large magazine of stores and mounts 15 guns. The Catwater affords a safe and commodious harbour for merchant ships but is seldom entered by ships of war. The 2nd harbour called Sutton Pool, is frequented by merchant ships only and is almost surrounded by the houses of the town. It is, in itself, well calculated to afford compleat protection to such ships as are moored in it and it has lately been further secured by an extensive pier on the West side erected in 1790. The 3rd division of the inlet, Hamoaze is the harbour for the reception of the British Navy; being fitted out with moorings for more than a hundred sail, and having good anchorage for a much greater number. What is called the Dock is a separate town, situated about 2 miles up the Hamoaze, it is now as populous as Plymouth itself. Here are 4 docks, one wet the other three dry, 2 built in the reign of William III and 2 of them in the reign of his present majesty, hewn out of a mine of slate and lined with Portland stone. Plymouth Dock is furnished with large magazines, storehouses etc., containing arms, stores and all things necessary to equip a fleet. There are also spacious and commodious barracks for the marines, with houses for the officers, clerks etc. The Town is well supplied with fresh water, first brought hither from a spring, at a distance of 12 miles, at the sole expense of Sir Francis Drake. The inhabitants are concerned in the pilchard fishery and have a considerable trade to the Streights and to Newfoundland. The corporate body, which was constituted in the reign of Henry VI consists of a mayor,12 aldermen,24 common councilmen a recorder and town clerk. Besides the 2 large churches, here are several meeting houses, likewise a charity school,4 hospitals and a workhouse. The Guildhall has been lately rebuilt and is a spacious structure. The theatre is large and handsome building. Opposite to the town and in the middle of the harbour is a small island called St Nicholas. It is surrounded with rocks and has a strong castle with fortification, with furnaces for heating cannon balls upon it. These fortifications command the entrance into Hamoaze and Catwater. On the opposite shore over against St Nicholas Island stands the citadel nearly surrounded with a deep ditch out of which all the stone used for the works has been procured. The number of inhabitants appears to be nearly 20,000.
Conveyances: A coach sets out every morning for Exeter, Bristol ,Bath and London form the Kings Arm's Plymouth. Also a diligence sets out every morning at 6 o'clock for London Bath Bristol and Portsmouth from the Fountain Inn Plymouth Dock.
Inns : King's Arms, Prince George and Globe..
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