"On the south-east coast of Devon, about twelve miles from Exeter, lies the picturesque town of Dawlish. It possesses a long stretch of sandy beach, which encloses a small bay of the English Channel. At the southern extremity may be seen two rocks, lying a short distance from the mainland, known as the Parson and Clerk. The story of these rocks, as told by the gossips of Dawlish is as follows :
A certain bishop of Exeter fell sick, and thinking that the pure air of this charming village would restore his lost energy took up for a time his residence there.
An ambitious priest, whose aim was to succeed to the See in the event of his superior's demise, frequently rode to Dawlish accompanied by his clerk to make enquiries after the condition of the dying bishop. The clerk was usually the priest's guide; but one night, in a tremendous storm, while crossing Haldon they lost their way, and worn out with the long journey found themselves miles out of the beaten track, The priest boiled over with rage. He abused the clerk, and exclaimed " I would rather have the Devil himself, than you, for a guide." At this moment a horseman rode by and volunteered to pioneer them to Dawlish. They thanked him and jogged comfortably along at his side, unmindful of time, distance, or invalid. The storm still raged and the long ride had sharpened their appetites, therefore, as they approached a brilliantly-lighted mansion, they gladly accepted the stranger's invitation to partake of his hospitality. They enjoyed a sumptuous repast, and indulged freely in the good wine provided so lavishly by their host.
In the midst of their merriment news was brought that the bishop was dead. The priest was eager to be off to secure the first chance of promotion, now that the bishop was out of the way. So master and man mounted their steeds and made ready to depart. But the horses were not anxious to go. They were whipped and spurred but all in vain. "Devil take the brutes," exclaimed the priest in his rage. "Thank you, sir," said their host, "Gee up." The horses did "gee up ! "with a vengeance, and galloped madly for the cliffs : then over they went, that of the clerk first, then followed the parson and his steed plump on their backs and there they are to this day looking see-ward (sea), monuments of disappointed ambition."