Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.
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The dean and chapter of Exeter have been, from time immemorial, lords of the manor, appropriators of the rectory, and patrons of the benefice, which is in their peculiar jurisdiction. Mrs. Holmes is lessee of the manor. The barton of Fordland belongs to James White, Esq.
Ideford, or Iddesford
The manor of Ideford belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the Boterells, afterwards to the Knovills, and at a later period to the Southcotes, of whom it was purchased, about the middle of the seventeenth century, by an ancestor of the Right Honourable Lord Clifford, who is the present proprietor. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n1)
The barton of Holdridge, which belonged to the Worths, passed, in 1702, to the Heles; from whom it descended to William Roberts, Esq.; it it was purchased, of Mr. Roberts, in 1806, by the Rev. John Templer, of Lindridge, the present proprietor. The Rev. John Heywood is patron of the rectory.
Iddesleigh, or Idsleigh
The manor, which had been a royal demesne and settled on Matilda, consort of William the Conqueror, belonged at a later period to the ancient equestrian family of Sully, who had a seat and two parks here. Sir John Sully, the last of the family, who distinguished himself in the Holy Land, is said to have been buried at Crediton, but the figure of a crusader in the church at Iddesleigh is also assigned to him. Iddesleigh is said to have passed by the gift of Sir John Sully to his cousin Lord Martyn, from whom a moiety passed by successive female heirs to Vowel, Smith, and Bingham. It is now the property of Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., by purchase from Sir Charles Bingham, Bart. Risdon speaks of the manor of Iddesleigh as having been given in exchange to St. Leger in the reign of Henry VIII. Perhaps this was the other moiety. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n2)
In the parish-church are monuments of James Veale, Esq., of Passaford, 1770; William Mallet, Esq., 1781; and the Rev. William Tasker (fn. n3), the late rector, 1800. The Rev. James Banister is the present patron and incumbent of the rectory.
Ilfracombe, or Ilfordcombe
ILFRACOMBE, or ILFORDCOMBE, a market-town on the north coast, in the hundred of Braunton and in the deanery of Shirwell, is situated nearly 10 miles from Barnstaple, 40 from Exeter, and 202 from London. It is described in ancient records as a borough. (fn. n4) The market, which is now held on Saturday, was granted in 1278 to Henry Champernowne, to be held on Monday (fn. n5), together with a fair for three days at the festival of the Holy Trinity. There are now two cattle-fairs, April 14. and the first Saturday after August 23. The town is governed by a portreeve.
Ilfracombe appears to have been formerly a considerable sea-port: it contributed six ships and 82 mariners to the fleet destined for the expedition to Calais in 1346. It has a very commodious and safe harbour, much resorted to, particularly in the winter season, by ships passing up and down the Channel from Ireland, &c., there being an excellent pier with a lighthouse. The pier, which is 850 feet in length, was repaired by an act of parliament in 1731, and was partly rebuilt by Sir Bourchier Wrey in 1761. Three large skiffs cruise here in the winter season for the express purpose of assisting vessels in distress. A considerable coasting trade is carried on at Ilfracombe, there being above 70 vessels belonging to the port. The only export is oats. The herring-fishery at this place is considerable. Packets sail hence to Swansea and Bristol.
Ilfracombe having been a garrison of the parliament, was taken in the month of September, 1644, for the King, by Sir Francis Doddington, with 20 pieces of ordnance, as many barrels of powder, and 200 stand of arms. (fn. n6)
The manor of Ilfracombe was parcel of the barony of Barnstaple, and passed through the baronial families of Martin and Audley to the Bourchiers. It is now the property of their descendant, Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bart., who has a house at Ilfracombe, at which he has occasionally resided. Sir William Pole gives the descent of another manor which belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the Champernownes. After some descents the heiress of Sir William Champernowne brought it to Polglass, and the heiress of Polglass to Sir William Herle, chief justice of the Common Pleas. Sir John Herle, having no issue, conveyed it to William Lord Bonville. Upon the attainder of his representative, the Duke of Suffolk, it fell to the crown. This manor of Ilfracombe appears to have been in the Gorges family in the middle of the seventeenth century. (fn. n7)
The manor of Lincombe, in this parish, which belonged formerly to the family of Witchalse, is now the property of John Mervin Cutcliffe, Esq. (fn. n8), who had for many generations their seat at Dammage, in this parish, now a farm-house belonging to the family. Johannes de Rupecissa, or Cutcliffe, a learned divine, who wrote against popery in the fourteenth century, was of this family, and is said to have been born at Dammage. The manor of Warcombe in Ilfracombe, is also part of the ancient possessions of the Cutcliffe family.
In the parish-church are monuments of the Cutcliffes (fn. n9) and Parminters (fn. n10); Joan, wife of Nicholas Killiowe, Esq., 1686; Elizabeth, wife of Leonard Prince, (mother of John Prince, author of "the Worthies,") 1657; and a sarcophagus with naval trophies in memory of Captain Richard Bowen, of the navy (fn. n11), 1797. There are some memorials also in the chancel of the family of J'Ans. (fn. n12)
Ilfracombe is a prebend in the church of Salisbury. It was held by the learned Camden as a lay prebend; and there is a tradition of his having resided at Ilfracombe. The prebendary is patron of the vicarage.
Mrs. Gertrude Pyncomb gave 6l. per annum for a boy's school, and 4l. per annum for a girl's school in this parish. Ten boys are instructed by Mrs. Pyncomb's benefaction, and 30 by voluntary contributions. Fourteen girls are instructed by Mrs. Pyncomb's charity. There are also a school of industry, in which 44 girls are instructed; a Sunday-school for 50 boys and 70 girls, on Dr. Bell's plan, and another for 100 boys and 25 girls, supported by the dissenters.
ILSINGTON, in the hundred of Teignbridge and in the deanery of Moreton, lies about five miles from Ashburton, and between six and seven from Newton Abbot. Knighton-Beaumont, Leveton, Brimley, and Sigford, are villages in this parish.
The manor of Ilsington belonged at an early period to the family of Beaumont; in the reign of Edward I. to the Dinhams. After the death of John Lord Dinham, in 1477, it was divided among his representatives. It appears that three shares became eventually vested in the Arundells, who had possessed one share by descent. From Arundell they passed to the Fords of Bagtor, and were conveyed by the devisees of Sir Henry Ford, who died in 1684, to Egerton Filmore, Esq. This estate is now the property of George Templer, Esq., of Stover, who purchased it of the Filmores in or about 1818. The other fourth share has passed with Ingsdon to Charles Hale Monro, a minor, who has the court barton. The lord of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n13)
The manor of Aynkesdon, now called Ingsdon, was settled upon a younger branch of the Beaumonts, which continued there till the reign of Edward IV., when the heiress brought it to the Pomeroy family, in whom it continued many years. About or soon after the year 1662, it passed from this family to Sir John Stawell, of whose devisees it was purchased about 1672 by James Rodd, Esq., of Weare. From the Rodds it passed by successive alienations to Tapson and Hale. This estate is now, under the will of the late Charles Hale, Esq., the property of Charles Hale Monro above mentioned. Lord Courtenay has a small manor in Ilsington.
Bagtor belonged to the family of Beare, afterwards to the Fords. John Ford, a popular dramatic writer of the seventeenth century, was of this family, and born at Bagtor in 1586. Sir Henry Ford, secretary for Ireland in the reign of Charles II., is supposed to have been his grandson. He sold Bagtor to the Tothills, of whose descendants it was purchased by the late Lord Ashburton. It is now the property of his son, the present lord.
The great tithes of Ilsington were appropriated to the church of Ottery St. Mary, afterwards to the priory of Plympton, now to the dean and chapter of Windsor, who are patrons of the vicarage. The tithes are held on lease, under the church of Windsor, by Miss Filmore. Mr. John Petvin, vicar of Ilsington, published (1750) "Letters on Mind," highly spoken of by Harris in his Hermes.
After the defeat of Lord Wentworth's brigade by Cromwell, on the night of the 9th of January, 1646, Ilsington church was occupied for a while as a place of retreat by some of the fugitives, who quitted it on the approach of Cromwell's army. (fn. n14)
The manor of Instow (fn. n15) belonged, in the reign of Henry III., and till the year 1345, if not later, to the family of St. John. It was afterwards the property of Sir Richard Hankford. (fn. n16) It was granted to William Lord Howard in 1586: at a later period it was in the Coplestons, a branch of which family was for some time settled here. In the early part of the last century it belonged to the family of Gibbes, one of the co-heiresses of which was the second wife of Humphrey Sibthorpe, M.D., some time professor of botany in the university of Oxford. His son, in whose favour he had resigned the professorship, became possessed of this manor in right of his mother, and dying before his father, bequeathed this estate to him. This manor, with the manors of Bickleton and Fullingcote, was sold in 1819 by his grandson Coningsby Waldo Sibthorpe, Esq., M. P., to Augustus Saltren Willett, Esq.: Fullingcote belonged to the priory of Barnstaple, and was afterwards in the Coplestons. Wolrington, in this parish, belonged to the family of Chantery, afterwards to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath.
In the parish-church is the monument of Humphrey Sibthorpe, M.D., who died in 1797. In the chancel are memorials for the Rev. John Downe, rector of Instow, 1631; and John Downe, his son, 1640. The former, who was a nephew of Bishop Jewell's, wrote several religious tracts, published after his death by Dr. William Hakewill: he is said to have been a native of Holsworthy. The advowson of the rectory has passed with the manor.
The manor belonged anciently to the family of Coffin, and was divided among the co-heiresses of a branch of that family in the reign of Edward III. The Coffins had a deer-park and a mansion near the church, of which there were no remains in Risdon's time. At a later period it was in the family of Dennis: about 1771 it passed, by sale, from Champion to Morris, and is now the property of W. C. Morris, Esq., who is possessed also of the manor of Cleeve, and part of that of Gorhuish in this parish: the other moiety of Gorhuish belongs to John Morth Woollcombe, Esq.: the manor of Curnorthy to Albany Savile, Esq., M. P.
Northleigh, in this parish, was the original property and residence of the family of that name, who continued to possess it in Risdon's time. This barton now belongs to W. C. Morris, Esq. Northcote also gave name to a family, whose heiress married Lutterell in the reign of Henry VI. (fn. n17)
IPPLEPEN, in the deanery of that name and in the hundred of Haytor, lies about five miles from Totnes, and about three from Newton Abbot. The small villages of Daignton, or Doignton, Combe-Fishacre, and Asstor, are in this parish.
A market at this place, on Thursday, was granted in or about 1317, to John de St. Amand, together with two fairs; one for three days at the festival of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and the other for the same time at the festival of St. Andrew the Apostle. (fn. n18)
The manor was given by William the Conqueror to Ralph de Fulgeriis. A descendant of this Ralph gave a manor in this parish to the monastery of St. Peter, at Fulgers, which had a cell at Ipplepen. (fn. n19) It appears by Sir William Pole's notes, that the Fulgers family retained a manor which passed by marriage to St. Amand. A somewhat different, but, perhaps, a reconcileable account of St. Amand's title, appears in the Hundred Roll, where it is stated, that the first lord of the manor of Ipplepen after the Conquest was Ralph de Mullond: he might, however, have been the same person as Ralph de Fulgers. After continuing some time in the descendants of this person, it was seized by the crown for some transgression. Sir William Pole speaks of one of the Fulgers family having been in rebellion in the reign of King John. The Hundred Roll adds, that King John having seized this manor granted it to Nicholas de Lettres; and that on his death, without issue, King Henry III. granted it to Almeric de St. Amand, who was the heir of Fulgers. After the Reformation, Sir Thomas Kitson purchased this manor, which passed with his grand-daughter to Lord Darcye, afterwards Earl Rivers, who was lord of the manor in Sir William Pole's time. It afterwards belonged to Sir John Pettus, by whom it was sold, in 1658, in parcels, the manerial rights being attached to the several portions. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of capital punishment. (fn. n20)
Ambrook, the property and residence of Mr. William Neyle, has been nearly 200 years in his family. In the church-yard at this place is the tomb of Richard Ham, vicar, who died in 1672, with some Latin verses, containing a play upon his name.
The church was given, at an early period, to the abbey of St. Peter, at Fulgers. Having been seized by the crown as the possession of an alien priory, in the reign of Edward III., it appears to have continued in the crown till 1438, when it was appropriated to the college of St. Mary Ottery. After the dissolution of that college, it was given to the dean and chapter of Windsor, under which it has been held about 150 years, by the family of George Drake, Esq., the present lessee. The ancestor of Mr. Drake married a co-heiress of Sir Henry Ford, of Nutwell, who held the lease in the reign of Charles II. The dean and chapter of Windsor are patrons of the vicarage, which has lately been augmented by Queen Anne's bounty.
This parish has some romantic scenery, abounding in tors or rocks; particularly a small valley called Stony Coombs. There are several subterraneous rivulets: one of these, beneath the place of its emerging, fertilizes a meadow to such a degree, that without any other manure it produces three crops of grass between March and September. (fn. n21)
I cannot find that any manor of Jacobstow is now known; yet it seems probable that the manor of Jacobescherche, which at the time of taking the Domesday survey was held in demesne by Alveva, a Saxon lady, to whom it had belonged in the reign of Edward the Confessor, was the chief manor of this parish.
The manor of Bromford, in Jacobstow, belonged to the family of Leigh, whose heiress married Beare. This branch of the last-mentioned family took the name of Bromford; and from them it passed by successive female heirs to Prideaux, Strechleigh and Chudleigh. One of the co-heiresses of Chudleigh appears to have brought it to Oxendon, from whom it passed to the Burtons. It is now the property of Charles Burton, Esq., who is patron of the rectory. In the parish-church are memorials of Henry Oxendon, Esq., 1758; John Burton, Esq., 1776; and John Burton, Esq., 1804.