Elizabethan evening in East Budleigh celebrates famous past residents

Guests in costume <i>(Image: Peter Bowler)</i>
Guests in costume (Image: Peter Bowler)

Residents of East Budleigh dressed in Elizabethan costumes for an evening celebrating the village's two famous sons, Sir Walter Raleigh and Roger Conant.

Sir Walter's life and exploits are well known. Roger Conant is a less familiar name, but he is famous in the US for having founded the city of Salem, Massachusetts. Because of this, East Budleigh attracts visitors from Salem who want to see his birthplace.

Roger Conant was born in East Budleigh in 1592. His family lived in Mill House, and there is a ‘Conant Stone’ outside the church hall, said to have come from the mill. He crossed the Atlantic in 1623, just a few years after the sailing of the Mayflower. But he was unhappy with the strict Puritan way of life in the Plymouth colony and led a group of settlers to a new location, which became the city of Salem.

The Elizabethan evening was organised by the Roger Conant Group and took place on Saturday, May 18. Most of the 83 attendees wore period costume, and they had a meal based on the food and drink people enjoyed in Elizabethan times. They were entertained by a lute player and a conjuror.

The event raised funds for various charities including Medicins sans Frontieres.