Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.
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Nobility resident in, or connected with, the County.
Seymour, Duke of Somerset. — This noble family first became connected with Devonshire in consequence of the Protector Somerset's purchase of the castle and manor of Berry Pomeroy, in the reign of Edward VI. Edward his son, by his first wife, the co-heiress of Fillol, having inherited this estate, under his father's will, resided at Berry Pomeroy, and was sheriff of Devonshire in 1582. In the inquisition taken after his death, in 1593, he is styled Edward Seymour, Knt., Lord Seymour. Edward his son, by the heiress of Welsh, was created a baronet in 1611, and died in 1613. Sir Edward Seymour, his great-grandson, the fourth baronet, was a distinguished member of the house of Commons, of which he was sometime speaker: he moved the impeachment of the Earl of Clarendon, and was one of the chief promoters of the Habeas Corpus act. Sir Edward at several times filled the offices of treasurer, and one of the commissioners of the navy, and comptroller of the Household. Francis his son, by his second wife, was created Lord Conway, and was ancestor of the marquis of Hertford. Sir Edward Seymour, the sixth baronet, grandson of the last-mentioned Sir Edward, upon the death of Algernon, Duke of Somerset, in 1750, succeeded to the titles of Baron Seymour and Duke of Somerset, and was grandfather of the present Duke (fn. n1) who occasionally resides at Berry Pomeroy.
Arms: — Quarterly, 1 and 4, Azure, three lions of England, (being an augmentation, granted by King Henry VIII. on his marriage with Jane Seymour,) 2 and 3, G. two wings conjoined in lure, the tips downwards, Or.
Supporters: — On the dexter side an unicorn, Arg. maned Or, and gorged with a ducal coronet Az., to which is affixed a chain, Or; on the sinister a bull, Az., maned, collared and chained, as the dexter supporter.
Russell, Duke of Bedford. — John Lord Russell, afterwards created Earl of Bedford, had a grant of the site of Tavistock abbey, with the whole of its rich demesnes, and other valuable estates in this county. William, the fifth Earl, was, in 1694, created Marquis of Tavistock and Duke of Bedford. Before the civil war, the Earls of Bedford had occasionally resided at Bedford House in Exeter, built on the site of the Blackfriers, of which Lord Russell had a grant. We do not find that this noble family had any residence in this county for more than a century past, till the present Duke built a spacious mansion in the cottage style, at Endsleigh, in the parish of Milton Abbot.
Percy, Duke of Northumberland. — Sir Hugh Smithson, who, on succeeding to the Earldom of Northumberland, at the death of his father-in-law, Algernon Duke of Somerset, took the name of Percy by act of parliament, and was afterwards created Duke of Northumberland, purchased Werrington, in this county, in the year 1775. It has since been the occasional residence of this noble family, and belongs to the present Duke.
Arms: — Quarterly, 1 and 4; quarterly, 1 and 4, Or, a lion rampant, Az., being the armorial bearing of the ancient family of Brabant, 2 and 3 G., 3 luces or pikes for Lucy: the second and third principal quarters, Az., five fusils in fesse for Percy.
Edgecumbe, Earl Mount Edgecumbe. — The ancestors of this noble family were originally of Eggescombe, now called Lower Edgecumbe, in the parish of Milton Abbot, where Richard Edgecumbe, Esq., the lineal descendant of the elder branch, still resides. In the reign of Edward III. William de Eggescombe married the heiress of Cothele, in consequence of which marriage the immediate ancestors of Lord Mount Edgecumbe resided some time at Cothele, or Coteel, in Cornwall. They became possessed of Mount Edgecumbe, their present seat, (then called East Stonehouse,) and a large landed property in the neighbourhood of Plymouth, by the marriage of Sir Piers Edgecumbe with the heiress of Durnford: Richard Edgecumbe, Esq., the immediate descendant of Sir Piers, was, in 1742, created Baron Edgecumbe, of Mount Edgecumbe. In 1781 his younger son, George, the third Lord Mount Edgecumbe, (having succeeded his elder brother in 1761) was created Viscount Mount Edgecumbe and Valletort, and, in 1789, Earl Mount Edgecumbe. Mount Edgecumbe is now the seat of his son Richard, Earl Mount Edgecumbe, Lord Lieutenant of the county of Cornwall.
Fortescue, Earl Fortescue. — The common ancestor of this ancient and widely spreading family, appears to have settled at Wymondeston, or Wimpston, in the parish of Modbury, at a period not much subsequent to the Conquest. (fn. n2) William Fortescue, the fourth in descent from the first possessor of Wimpston, married a co-heiress of Delaport; his grandson, of the same name, married a co-heiress of Beauchamp, of Ryme in Somersetshire, by whom he had two sons; William, and Sir John Fortescue, Captain of Meaux. William was ancestor of the Fortescues of Wimpston (fn. n3), Preston and Spriddleston, all extinct in the male line. Sir John Fortescue was ancestor of the Fortescues of Shipham, Wood, Fallopit (fn. n4), WeareGiffard, Filleigh, and Buckland Filleigh, all in Devonshire; and those of Pulesbourn, in Hertfordshire, Fulbourn, in Essex, and Salden, in Buckinghamshire. All these, except the Fortescues of Weare-Giffard and Filleigh, and those of Buckland Filleigh (fn. n5), are also extinct in the male line of the elder branch.
Hugh, Earl Fortescue, the present male representative of this ancient family, is descended from Sir John Fortescue, the learned chief justice and chancellor of England, in the reign of Henry VI. The Chancellor is in some pedigrees represented as the son of Sir Henry Fortescue, chief justice of Ireland, but in others, which seem to correspond better with dates, as younger brother of Sir Henry, and a younger son of Sir John Fortescue, Captain of Meaux. Martin Fortescue, son of the Chancellor, married the heiress of Denzell, or Densell, of Weare-Giffard, representative, through the Trewens, of the ancient family of Giffard. Arthur, the seventh in descent from Martin, married a co-heiress of Elford of Shipstor, by one of the co-heiresses of Copleston. His son and heir, Hugh, having married the only daughter of Hugh Boscawen, by Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Theophilus, Earl of Lincoln; Hugh, his son, succeeded to the barony of Clinton, in right of his mother, in 1721, and was, in 1746, created Earl of Clinton, and Baron Fortescue, of Castlehill, with remainder of the barony to his half brother, Matthew. Upon the Earl of Clinton's death, the barony of Clinton (fn. n6) devolved upon his sister, Margaret, who died without issue, and the barony of Fortescue on Matthew Fortescue above mentioned, whose son, Hugh, was created Earl Fortescue, and Viscount Ebrington in 1789, and is the present representative of the Fortescue family. His Lordship is Lord Lieutenant of the county, and resides at Castle-hill.
Edmund, a younger son of Hugh Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh, who died in 1661, having married the daughter of Henry Aland, Esq., of Waterford: his son, Sir John Fortescue Aland, one of the justices of the Common Pleas, was created Baron Fortescue of Credan, in the kingdom of Ireland, which title became extinct in 1781. The Fortescues of Penwarne in Cornwall, extinct by the death of John Fortescue, Esq., in 1776, were a younger branch of the Fortescues of Filleigh.
Parker, Earl of Morley. — The family of Parker resided for several generations at North Molton. Thomas, the first mentioned in the pedigree, married the heiress of Frye, of Frye's-hall in Hatherleigh: John, his son, married the heiress of Ellicott, of Bratton; Edmund, his grandson, the heiress of Smyth of Essex; John, son of Edmund, who married the heiress of Mewe, or Mayhew, of Boringdon, was sheriff of the county in 1575, and died in 1610. John Parker, Esq., the fifth in descent from the last-mentioned John, having several times represented the county of Devon in parliament, was, in 1784, created Baron Boringdon. His son John, the second and present Lord Boringdon, was, in 1815, advanced to the dignity of Viscount Boringdon of North Molton, and Earl of Morley, in this county. His Lordship's principal seat is at Saltram, in the parish of Plympton St. Mary.
Supporters: — On the dexter side a stag, Argent, on the sinister a greyhound regardant, Sable, each collared Or, and thereto antique shields appendant G., that on the dexter charged with a horse's head couped Arg. bridled, Or, that on the dexter with a ducal coronet, Or.
Courtenay, Viscount Courtenay. — This ancient and noble family took its name from the town of Courtenay in France, and had been from a very remote period connected with the royal family of that kingdom. Reginald de Courtenay, the immediate ancestor of the English branch, came over into this country with King Henry II., in the year 1151, and having married the heiress of Robert de Abrincis, or Averinches, hereditary sheriff of Devon, Baron of Oakhampton, and governor of the castle of Exeter, his eldest son Robert succeeded to these honours of his maternal grandfather, and married a daughter (and eventually heiress) of William de Redvers, Earl of Devon. His son and grandson did not enjoy the title, although it was their inheritance, but were only Barons of Oakhampton. Hugh, his great-grandson, was summoned to parliament, in 1335, as Earl of Devonshire, by reason of his descent from the daughter of William de Redvers.
Sir Hugh Courtenay, eldest son of the second earl, was a distinguished military character, and one of the original Knights of the Garter; his younger brother, Sir Peter, was distinguished also as a military officer; another brother, William, was Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Sir Hugh Courtenay, and his son of the same name, who grew up to manhood, having died before the second Earl; Edward Courtenay, elder son of Edward, the next brother of Sir Hugh, succeeded as third Earl of Devonshire.
Thomas, sixth Earl of Devonshire, was taken prisoner at the battle of Towton, and beheaded at York in 1462; his brother Henry, the succeeding earl, was attainted and beheaded at Salisbury in 1466. John, a younger brother, who had been restored to the title in 1470, was slain at the battle of Tewksbury: dying without issue, the elder branch of this noble family became extinct.
In 1485 Sir Edward Courtenay, grandson of Sir Hugh, a younger brother of Edward, the third Earl of Devonshire, was created Earl of Devonshire, and was the ninth Earl of that family. William, his son, the tenth Earl, married Catherine, youngest daughter of King Edward IV. Henry, his son, the eleventh Earl, was, in 1525, created Marquis of Exeter. In 1538 he was tried for high treason, convicted and executed: his son Edward, who, in 1553, had been restored to the Earldom of Devonshire, died without issue in 1556, on which event the descendants of the four daughters (fn. n7) of Sir Hugh Courtenay, of Boconnoc in Cornwall, sisters of Edward, the ninth Earl of Devonshire, became heirs general of the elder branch of this noble family.
The immediate ancestor of the Powderham branch was Sir Philip Courtenay, sixth son of Hugh, second Earl of Devonshire. Richard, the eldest son of Philip, was Bishop of Norwich, and Chancellor of the University of Oxford. Sir Philip Courtenay, nephew and heir of the Bishop, was born in 1404: he had several sons (fn. n8), the elder of whom, Sir William, was of Powderham. Sir William, his great grandson, died in 1535: Sir William Courtenay, the sixth in descent from the last-mentioned Sir William, was created a baronet before the Restoration, but never assumed the title. Sir William Courtenay, the third baronet, was, in 1762, created Viscount Courtenay of Powderham, and was grandfather of William, the present Viscount, who resides abroad. Powderham castle, the seat of the family, is kept up.
Addington, Viscout Sidmouth. — The Right Honourable Henry Addington, who was created Viscount Sidmouth in 1805, possesses the manor of Up-Ottery in this county, and occasionally resides in the manorhouse. There was an ancient family of this name at High Bickington in Devon, extinct in its principal branch in 1668, which bore arms nearly similar to those now borne by Lord Sidmouth.
Pellew, Viscount Exmouth. — Sir Edward Pellew, who had been long distinguished for his gallant services, was, in 1814, created Baron Exmouth, of Canon-Teign, and in 1816, after his glorious and successful expedition against Algiers, Viscount Exmouth. His Lordship, who is G. C. B., resides at Teignmouth: the old mansion of Canon-Teign, purchased in 1812, is occupied by the tenant of the demesne, but a few rooms are kept for the occasional residence of the family.
Arms, with the augmentation, as granted after the expedition to Algiers in 1816: — Gules, a lion passant gardant; in chief two civic wreaths, Or. On a chief wavy A. in front of a city, intended to represent that of Algiers; a range of batteries flanked on the sinister by a circular fortified castle, with triple battlements, Proper; thereon two flags displayed, the one barry wavy, Or, and G., (indicative of the presence of the Dey of Algiers within the said castle,) and the other of the last; on the dexter and abreast of the said batteries, a ship of the line, bearing the flag of an Admiral of the Blue squadron moored, also Proper, in allusion to the situation of His Majesty's ship, the Charlotte, at the moment of the attack upon the said city, with the motto Algiers.
Crest: — The stern of a ship with part of the foremast and bowsprit standing and appearing as a wreck, on a rock, the waves breaking round her, Proper; on the stern the word Dutton, to commemorate the circumstance of Lord Exmouth having saved the Dutton East Indiaman, off Plymouth.
Supporters: — On the dexter side a lion gardant, Or, navally crowned Azure, his sinister paw resting on an increscent Arg., and on the sinister side a figure, designed to represent a Christian slave, naked from the waist upwards, holding in his dexter hand a cross, Or; and in his sinister hand his fetters broken, Proper.
Trefusis, Baron Clinton and Say. — It has been already stated, in the History of Cornwall, that the ancient barony of Clinton was, in 1794, adjudged to George William Trefusis, Esq., he being the fourth in descent from Francis Trefusis, Esq., who married the heiress of Robert Rolle, Esq., of Heanton Sachville, in this county, by the elder co-heiress of Theophilus, Earl of Lincoln, and Baron Clinton and Say. The barony being in abeyance between the daughters of this Earl, was given by King George I. in 1721, to Hugh Fortescue, son and heir of Hugh Fortescue, Esq., of Filleigh, by Bridget, sole heiress of Hugh Boscawen, Esq., who had married another of the Earl of Lincoln's co-heiresses, and, in 1746, the said Hugh Fortescue, was created Baron Fortescue and Earl Clinton. On his Lordship's decease without issue, in 1751, the Barony of Clinton and Say devolved to Margaret, only daughter of Samuel Rolle, Esq., then recently become the widow of Robert Walpole, the second Earl of Orford. After the death of her son, George, Earl of Orford, in 1791, without issue, the barony of Clinton was claimed by Mr. Trefusis, and adjudged as above mentioned. It is now vested in his son, Robert Cotton St. John Trefusis. Lord Clinton has lately purchased Huish, some time the seat of Sir James Norcliffe Innes, Bart. (now Duke of Roxburgh); Heanton, which was the seat of the Countess of Orford, and of the last Earl, is in a dilapidated state.
Petre, Baron Petre. — Sir John Petre, created Baron Petre, of Writtle, in Essex, in 1603, was son of Sir William Petre, Secretary of State, a younger brother of John Petre, or Peter, of Tor-Bryan, in Devonshire. The Secretary, who was a native of Exeter, died seised of seven manors in Devonshire. The greater part of the Devonshire estate has been sold by his descendant, William Francis Henry, the present Lord Petre, but he still retains the manor of Axminster and other landed property in this county.
Clifford, Baron Clifford, of Chudleigh. — This noble house is descended from Sir Lewis Clifford, K. G., a younger brother of Thomas Lord Clifford (fn. n9), ancestor of the Earls of Cumberland. The family appears to have become first connected with Devonshire, by the marriage of Thomas Clifford, great grandson of Sir Lewis, who died in 1404, with a daughter of John Thorpe of Kings Teignton. Anthony Clifford, Esq., great grandson of Thomas, married a co-heiress of Sir Peter Courtenay of Ugbrook. His eldest son, Henry, was ancestor of the Cliffords of Kings Teignton, whose heiress married Colonel Hugh Bamfylde. Thomas, younger son of Anthony Clifford, settled at Ugbrook, and married the heiress of Staplehill. His grandson, Sir Thomas Clifford, was, in 1672, created Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, and the same year made Lord High Treasurer of England: he married a co-heiress of Martyn of Lindridge. The Lord Treasurer was a patron of Dryden, who is said to have been a frequent visitor at Ugbrook. (fn. n10) Hugh, third Lord Clifford, (who succeeded an elder brother,) married a coheiress of Sir Thomas Preston, a Lancashire baronet, and was grandfather of Charles, the present and seventh Lord Clifford, who resides at Ugbrook.
King, Baron King. — Peter King, some time Lord High Chancellor of England, created Baron King, in 1725, was a native of Exeter, and on the mother's side nephew of the celebrated John Locke. He had four sons who successively inherited the title: the elder married the heiress of Frye of Yarty, in Devon, who brought that estate into the family. Peter, the present Lord King, possesses Yarty, but the mansion has not been for some time inhabited by the family.
Dunning, Baron Ashburton. — John Dunning, Esq., a native of Ashburton, having distinguished himself by great professional abilities, was in 1767 made Solicitor-General, and in 1782, created Baron Ashburton. His Lordship resided chiefly at Speechwick, in the parish of Withecombin-the-Moor, having taken a long lease of that estate, which will expire in 1845. His widow built a mansion at Sandridge, in Stoke Gabriel, now the property of his son, Richard Barré, the present Lord Ashburton, who resides in Scotland.
Rolle, Baron Rolle. — The ancestor of Lord Rolle, settled in Devonshire, in the reign of Henry VIII., having made considerable purchases of abbey lands, and among others the manor of Stevenstone, which he fixed on for his residence. Sir Henry Rolle, grandson of George Rolle, Esq., who purchased Stevenstone, married the heiress of Watts, of Somersetshire; his son, Sir Henry, married the heiress of Dennis, of Bicton and Holcombe Burnell, in this county, and had a son, Dennis Rolle, Esq., who died in 1638, leaving an only son, who died in his infancy. Henry Rolle, Esq. of Beam, near Torrington, being a nephew of the first-mentioned Sir Henry, inherited the family estates, but died without issue in 1647, when they devolved on John Rolle, Esq. of Marrais in Cornwall, grandson of George Rolle, (second son of George first mentioned,) who married the heiress of Marrais, of Marrais, and settled at that place. This John Rolle, was afterwards K. B., and many years one of the representatives for this county: he married one of the co-heiresses of his relation, Dennis Rolle, Esq. of Bicton, and at the time of his death, in 1706, was possessed of upwards of forty manors in Devonshire, besides large estates in Cornwall, Somersetshire, and Northamptonshire. His great grandson, Henry Rolle, Esq. was, in 1748, created Baron Rolle, of Stevenstone: dying unmarried, in 1759, the title became extinct: it was revived in 1796, when his nephew, John Rolle, Esq. was created a Peer, by the same style and title. His Lordship's principal seats are at Stevenstone, near Great Torrington, and at Bicton.
Henry, a younger son of George Rolle, Esq., first mentioned, having married the heiress of Yeo of Heanton-Sachville, settled at Heanton, and was ancestor of the Rolles of that place. Robert Rolle, great grandson of Henry, and son of Sir Samuel Rolle of Heanton, married one of the coheiresses of Theophilus, Earl of Lincoln, in consequence of which marriage, Margaret, the only daughter of his son Samuel, who had married Robert Walpole, the second Earl of Orford, became Baroness Clinton in her own right.
Dennis Rolle, younger brother of Robert above mentioned, was settled at Hudscot, in Chittlehampton; his grandson died without issue, and bequeathed Hudscot to the present Lord Rolle's father. Henry, a younger brother of Sir Samuel Rolle above mentioned, was Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, at the time of King Charles the First's death, and continued in that high office during the government of the Commonwealth; his posterity became extinct after three generations.
The earls of Dartmouth and Plymouth take their titles from those celebrated sea-ports, but the families have no other connection with the county. The Earl of Ilchester possesses estates in this county, by descent from the Wadhams, and Earl Stanhope, by inheritance from the earls of Londonderry, but neither of them have any residence in the county.
Irish Peers connected with Devonshire.
Vaughan, Earl of Lisburne. — The father of the present Earl became possessed of Mamhead, in consequence of having married to his first wife the heiress of Nightingale. The property of Mamhead devolved to the present owner, John, Earl of Lisburne, on the death of his half-brother Wilmot, the fourth Earl, in 1820. Wilmot, the third Earl, resided at Mamhead: it is now in the occupation of a tenant.
Supporters: — On the dexter side, a dragon, with wings expanded, regardant, Vert, gorged with a plain collar, Sable, edged, Argent, charged with three fleurs-de-lis, as in the coat, having a gold chain thereto affixed; on the sinister side an unicorn regardant, Argent, the mane, horn, tufts, and hoofs, Or, gorged and chained as the dexter.
Graves, Baron Graves. — The present Lord Graves, who resides at Bishops Court, in the parish of Farringdon, is son of Thomas Graves, Admiral of the Blue, who was created a Peer of Ireland, in 1794, for his services in Earl Howe's victory over the French fleet.
Shore, Baron Teignmouth. — Sir John Shore, some time GovernorGeneral of Bengal, when created a Peer of Ireland, in 1797, took the title of Teignmouth. He is son of Thomas Shore, Esq. of Melton, in the county of Suffolk, and descended from Sir John Shore, an eminent physician at Derby, in the reign of Charles II.