The coastmen were expert smugglers and wreckers, the agriculturists were ignorant and drunken, the parish clergy were slothful, in many cases intemperate, and largely given to fox-hunting.
The general dissatisfaction received a somewhat unguarded and intemperate expression in a letter sent to the justices of Marlborough by a gentleman of the neighbourhood, named Oliver St John, 6 in which he denounced the attempt to raise funds in this way as contrary to law, reason and religion, as constituting in the king personally an act of perjury, involving in the same crime those who contributed, and thereby subjecting all parties to the curses levelled by the church at such offences.
As a rule they are ignorant, unprogressive and apathetic, intensely superstitious, cruel and intemperate, though individual strong characters have been produced.
Notwithstanding some rumours of violence it is probable that his death was natural and due to his own intemperate habits.
On the subject of temperance he held aloof from the intemperate methods of the violent prohibitionists.