Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.
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MAKER, partly in the hundred of East (Cornwall) and partly in that of Roborough, Devon, in the deanery of East, and in the archdeaconry of Cornwall. This parish is partly in Devonshire and partly in Cornwall. The town and manor of Inceworth are in the latter county; the village of Kingsand in Devonshire, together with the church and Mount Edgecumbe. The church lies about two miles and a half from Plymouth Dock.
Makerton was one of the ancient manors of the Valletorts, and passed in the same manner as Trematon to the earls and dukes of Cornwall. The tithing of Vaultersholme, in the Cornish part of the parish, derives its name from the family of Valletort or Vautort. (fn. n1)
Mount Edgecumbe, formerly called West Stonehouse, was the property of an ancient family of that name, whose heiress brought it to Durnford. Sir Piers Edgecumbe, who died in 1539, married the heiress of Durnford. His son, Sir Richard, built a castellated mansion at this place, to which he gave the name of Mount Edgecumbe. Richard Edgecumbe, Esq., the immediate descendant of Sir Richard, having filled several important public offices in the reign of George I. and II. was, in 1742, created Baron Edgecumbe. His grandson George, the third Baron Edgecumbe, was created Viscount Mount-Edgecumbe and Valletort in 1781, and in 1789 Earl Mount-Edgecumbe, to which titles Richard, the present Earl MountEdgecumbe, succeeded on the death of his father in 1795.
Mount Edgecumbe House was built by Sir Richard Edgecumbe, son of Sir Piers, who became possessed of the estate by marrying the heiress of Durnford. It is a square building, and had originally, at each corner, circular towers; the hall, in the centre, rising above the other parts of the building. It has, at various times, undergone considerable alterations: the towers, which have been much enlarged, are now octagonal.
The beautiful situation of this mansion, with that of the parks, and the fine and interesting views with which it abounds, have been frequently described. Mr. Carew, who calls it a most curious and noble mansion, says, that its appearance from the sea so affected the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the commander of the memorable Spanish Armada, that he determined to reserve it for his own possession, in the partage of the kingdom, which in hope and expectation he had already conquered. (fn. n2)
Mount Edgecumbe, which was occupied as one of the royal garrisons, to act as a check upon Plymouth, during the civil war, was surrendered to Colonel Hammond, on the 21st of April, 1646, being the last fortress in Devonshire, except Salcomb, that held out for the king.
In the parish-church are monuments of the Edgecumbe family (fn. n3); that of John Boger, Esq., 1783; and of the brave Joseph Hunt, master and commander in his majesty's navy, captain of the Unicorn, who was killed in an engagement with the Vestal French frigate, of superior force, which surrendered to his flag about an hour before he breathed his last, January 11, 1761.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of Mamhead was held by Ralph de Pomerai under Baldwin the sheriff; it afterwards belonged to the Peverells, from whom it passed by marriage to the Carews. Sir Peter Carew sold it, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to Giles Balle, father of Sir Peter Balle, Recorder of Exeter, and Attorney General to Queen Henrietta Maria, who rebuilt the manor-house. Thomas Balle, Esq., the last of this family, died in 1749: soon after which Mamhead was sold by his heir, Thomas Hussey Apreece, Esq., to Joseph Gascoyne Nightingale, Esq., whose sister brought it to her husband, Wilmot Vaughan, the first Earl of Lisburne. It now belongs to his son, John Earl of Lisburne, who, in 1820, succeeded his late brother, Wilmot.
The obelisk of Portland stone, on Mamhead point, about 100 feet high, was built by Thomas Balle, Esq., about the year 1742. Mamhead House, which commands one of the most beautiful views in the south of Devon, was, in great part, rebuilt by Wilmot, Earl of Lisburne, by whom the grounds were laid out, and the whole place greatly improved. Some of the fine trees were planted by Sir Peter Balle; others, by his son. The trees of the Quercus Ilex are uncommonly fine, and are remarkable as having been the first of the kind planted in England from acorns. The experiment was made by Mr. Balle, about the year 1696. Several of these trees are ten feet in circumference, at three feet from the ground; and one of them measures thirteen feet six inches in circumference.
It seems most probable that Mamhead House was the royal garrison spoken of by Whitelock as having been abandoned, on the approach of Sir Thomas Fairfax with his army, in the month of January, 1646. It appears to be called Sir Peter Byme's house, by mistake for Sir Peter Balle's, for it is spoken of as near Powderham.
Newhouse, in this parish, was some time the property and residence of the family of Long, whose heiress brought it to the Oxenhams. On the death of William Long Oxenham, Esq., in 1818, it became the property of John Acland, Esq., now Sir John Palmer Acland, Bart., whose mother was the heiress of Oxenham. The house is now occupied by the tenant of the farm.
In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Peter Balle, 1680; and that of Mary, relict of Sir Simon Leach, K.B., and daughter of Lord Clifford, ob. 1715. Sir Peter Balle had seventeen children by his wife, the daughter of Sir William Cook of Highnam, in Gloucestershire. His epitaph intimates that "he had suffered the usual fate of loyalty, at the return of Charles II.; and that, having disobliged the great favourite, he had no other recompence for his services and losses than being restored to his former places." The Earl of Lisburne is patron of the rectory. The parsonagehouse, a handsome mansion, and commanding a beautiful prospect, was built by the Rev. Stephen Weston, F.S.A., when rector of this parish.
Manadon, or Manaton
MANADON, or MANATON, in the hundred of Teignbridge and in the deanery of Moreton, lies about four miles from Moreton Hampstead, and about eight from Ashburton. Freeland and Water are villages in this parish.
The manor belonged, at an early period, to the family of Dennis of Blagdon, and having passed by successive marriages to Horton and Thorn, was sold by the latter to Dymock. From Dymock it passed through the family of Britricheston to Wivell, of whom it was purchased by Southcote. The manor of Great Manaton belongs now to the Rev. R. Lane of Coffleet. Lord Courtenay claims manerial jurisdiction over Little Manaton.
Hountor was, in the reign of Richard the First, the property of Sir Hugh de Hountor, and was then described as a tithing; his grandson sold it to Langdon; it passed afterwards by successive sales to Gervis and Dymock, and from the latter, with Great Manaton, to Southcote. It is now the property of Mr. William French.
The parish-church was much injured by a thunder-storm, December 13. 1779. The advowson of the rectory, which passed by marriage from Dennis to Kirkham, is now vested in the Rev. William Carwithen, the present incumbent. The great tithes of Little Manaton are appropriated to the church of Salisbury.
MARLBOROUGH, or, as it is usually written, MALBOROUGH, in the hundred of Stanborough and in the deanery of Woodleigh, lies near the sea-coast, about four miles from Kingsbridge. The principal villages in this parish are (exclusively of Malborough) Batson, Combe, Bolberry, and Salcombe. Malborough, in some ancient records, is called a borough.
The manor of Malborough, and seven other manors in this parish, Salcombe, Ilton, East Sewer, Bolberry Allen, Bolberry Beauchamp, Hope, and Collaton Prawle, belong to Lord Viscount Courtenay, who holds a court of Admiralty for an extensive line of coast.
Ilton, on which was a castellated mansion, belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the Bozuns, a co-heiress of which family brought it to Chiverston. From the last-mentioned family it came to the Courtenays, Sir John Chiverston having settled it, in case of his death without issue, on his father-in-law, Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon. Mr. Nicholas Adams has a lease of Ilton Castle under Lord Courtenay. The castellated mansion, of which there are now but small remains, was built by Sir John Chiverston, who had a grant from the crown for that purpose in 1335. (fn. n4)
Most of these manors came into the Courtenay family with Ilton. Salcombe, Sewer, and the two Bolberrys, are mentioned in the inquisition after the death of Sir William Courtenay, in 1624. (fn. n5) I find no mention of Malborough. It is evident, from the distinctive names, that the Bolberrys had belonged to the families of Allen and Beauchamp.
The manor of Badeston, or Batson, belonged at an early period to a family of that name, a co-heiress of which brought it to Davels; from the latter it passed by marriage to Harris. It is now, by purchase, the property of Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., M. P.
Le Yard, in this parish, was the property and original residence of the family of Yard, or At-Yard. On their removal to Bradley, they sold this estate to the Dyers. In 1765, on the failure of male issue in that family, it passed to Samuel Savery, Esq., in right of his great-great-grandmother, who was a Dyer. On Mr. Savery's death, in 1790, it passed under his will to his daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Gillard.
Snape is the property of Peter Ilbert, Esq. by inheritance from his uncle, Lieutenant-Colonel Ilbert. Moult was, in 1792, the property and residence of Samuel Strode, Esq., now of William Jackson, Esq.
The parish-church is situated on high ground, and has rather a lofty spire. The only monument in it of note is that of James Francis Kelly, Esq., lieutenant, R. N., who was shipwrecked off this coast, September 3. 1802. (fn. n6)
Malborough is a daughter-church to West Allington. A portion of tithes in this parish, called Merrydole, belongs to the Rev. Roope Ilbert of Bowringsleigh, and another portion called Paul, or Pol, to Lord Courtenay.
Robert Dyer, Esq., of Yard, who died in 1730, gave a house, with a garden, &c., to this parish for the residence of a schoolmaster, to whom the feoffees of the parish make an allowance of 3l. per annum, out of lands given for charitable uses.
Salcombe, a fishing-town in this parish, has a chapel, built originally in 1401. This chapel had been gone to decay beyond the memory of any person living, when it was begun to be rebuilt in 1801, through the exertions, and chiefly at the expense, of John Yates, Esq., of Woodville (fn. n7), in this chapelry. Queen Anne's bounty has been obtained for the chapel, the perpetual curate of which is nominated by the vicar of West Allington.
In the parish of Malborough are the remains of an ancient castle, which, in the seventeenth century, was called the Bulwark. It was repaired at the commencement of the civil war, at the expense of above 3000l., and Sir Edmund Fortescue was appointed governor for the King. After having sustained two other sieges, (probably of no long duration,) it was summoned by General Fairfax on the 23d of January, 1645 (fn. n8), and after a long siege, of nearly four months, surrendered on honourable terms to Colonel Weldon, the governor of Plymouth, the governor and lieutenant-governor being allowed to march with their soldiers to the house of the former, at Fallopit. Mr. Hawkins, in his History of Kingsbridge, speaks of the surrender as having happened on the 7th of May: Whitelock says, the 1st of June; and Vicars, the parliamentary chronicler, the 3d of June.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of Compton (Contone) was held by Stephen, under Joel de Totnais: in the reign of Henry II. it was the property and seat of Sir Maurice de Pole. In the succeeding reign, Alice de Pole gave it to Peter, who took the name of Compton. After seven descents one of the co-heiresses of Compton brought Compton Castle and estate to the Gilberts. It was purchased of the latter, not many years ago, by the Templers; and the estate having been sold about 1808 in parcels, the old castellated mansion, now a farm-house, was purchased by Mr. John Bishop, the present proprietor.
The manor of Stantor, in this parish, belonged to the family of Cary, and, having passed by sale to the Mallocks, is now the property of the Rev. Roger Mallock, of Cockington. The manor of Aptor belonged to the Trists of Bowden, of whom it was purchased by the Baker family about the year 1799, and is now the property of Sir Frederick Baker, Bart.
Croscombe, in this parish, was the property and residence of a younger branch of the Berrys, who, after residing there for several generations, sold it to the Chichesters. This estate now belongs to George Acland Barbor, Esq.
MARWOOD, in the hundred of Braunton and in the deanery of Shirwell, lies about three miles from Barnstaple. The villages of Prixford, or Prixworthy, Mudford, and King's Heanton, are in this parish. A fair at Marwood for three days, at the festival of St. Michael, was granted to William Martin, in 1293. (fn. n13)
Church Marwood was in the family of the Lords Martyn, or Martin, from whom it passed to the Lords Audley, and descended to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath. A part of this parish is within the manor of Braunton Abbots: the remainder is freehold property, for the most part belonging to George Ley, Esq. of Lee House.
West Marwood, or Westcote, belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the Marwoods, who continued to possess it till the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when one of the co-heiresses brought it to the Chichesters of Hall, in which family it still remains. Westcote was originally the residence of the Westcote family, ancestors of the Lytteltons of Worcestershire, and of the Westcotes of Raddon: Thomas Westcote, the antiquary, was of the latter branch. Thomas Westcote, the head of the family, in the early part of the fifteenth century married the heiress of Lyttelton of Frankly, in Worcestershire, and removed hither. He took the name of Littleton, or Lyttelton, and was father of Sir Thomas Littleton, the learned judge, who, by some of his biographers, is said to have been born at Westcote.
Whitfield, in this parish, was the seat of a branch of the Bastard family, which took the name of Whitfield. They were succeeded by the Garlands, who were possessed of it in Risdon's time. John Garland, Esq., the last of the family, sold it about 1704 to the Parminters. It now belongs to George Ley, Esq., in whose family it has been nearly fifty years. The rectory is in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge, by purchase from Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bart. Mr. Harding, who was presented in 1714, was rector for 68 years, dying in 1782.
In the parish-church is a monument for William Parminter, Esq., Inquisitor-general for the South-Sea Company, in Terra Firma, who died in Panama, 1737; Mary, daughter of Parminter, and wife of George Ley, Esq., 1726; and the families of Garland (fn. n14), Mervin (fn. n15), Chichester (fn. n16), and Hartnoll. (fn. n17)
In the church-yard are some memorials for the family of Ley. (fn. n18) There was formerly a chapel at Westcote barton. The Liber Regis speaks of the chapels of Westcote and Whiteford, in this parish, both in ruins.
The Rev. Richard Harding gave by will, in 1782, the sum of 250l., with which was purchased 389l. 15s., 3 per cent. consols, three-fifths of the interest of which is appropriated to the purpose of a school for poor children.
Mary Ansleigh, or Mariansleigh
MARY ANSLEIGH, or MARIANSLEIGH (fn. n19), in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, lies about four miles from South Molton. The village of Alswear, is in this parish.
Risdon speaks of this place as having been at an early period in the Weinards, and afterwards in the Pollards. The manor is now the property of Sir John Davie, Bart.: it was purchased, in 1579, of Robert Dyllon, Esq., of Chymwell, by Mr. John Davy, of Exeter, together with the rectory and advowson.
The great tithes are vested in the corporation of Exeter, as trustees of John Davy, Esq., who, by his deed, in 1599, directed that the minister should enjoy all the profits, subject to the payment of 16l. 10s. per annum to the almshouse founded by him in Exeter.
MARY CHURCH, in the hundred of Haytor and in the deanery of Ipplepen, lies near the sea-coast, about two miles from Torquay, and about five from Newton Abbot. The village of Babicomb is in this parish.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of St. Mary Church was held under Earl Moreton, by Richard, ancestor, it is probable, of Robert de St. Mary Church, who possessed the manor in the reign of Henry II.: his heiress married de Rotomago. It was afterwards in the Lords Audley, and passed from them, by female heirs, to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath. From the latter it passed, by sale, to the Fords of Bagtor. It is now the property of George Cary, of Tor Abbey, whose family purchased it of the Fords.
The manor of Comb Pafford, in this parish, belonging to Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk, Bart., was purchased by his father of John Savery, Esq., to whom it had been conveyed by the dean and chapter of Exeter, under the powers of the land-tax redemption-act.
The manor, or reputed manor, of Edginswell, belonged to the Southcotes. In 1773, a moiety of it was purchased of John Henry Southcote, Esq., by the father of the Rev. Aaron Neck, the present proprietor, who resides in the manor-house; the other moiety was purchased by Mr. Richard Codnor, and now belongs to his three grand-daughters, minors.
The manor of Colleton Sheephay, or Shiphay, was purchased, in 1742, of Sir John Lear, of Lindridge, by William Kitson, Esq.: it is now the property and residence of his grandson, the Rev. William Kitson.
The barton of Babicombe was formerly a seat of the Heles, with whose heiress it passed to Trelawney: having passed with Stapeldon and other estates to the daughters of the Honourable Rose Herring May, it was sold by them to the Right Honourable Lord Clifford, who is the present proprietor.
Cadwell, built by the late Sir Thomas Louis, Bart., is now the seat of his son, Sir John Louis, Bart. Hampton House, built by the late R. H. Anguin, Esq., is now the property and residence of Thomas Wilson France, Esq.
In the parish-church is the tomb of Margaret, wife of John Hobrine, 1526. The dean and chapter of Exeter are appropriators of the great tithes and patrons of the vicarage, which is in their peculiar jurisdiction.
Mary Stowe, or Maristow
The manor belonged, at an early period, to the family of Hampton, afterwards to the Trenchards. No manor is now known by that name; but the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, who is descended from the Trenchards, possesses the manor of Raddon Allerford, in this parish, as well as that of Sydenham, both of which he inherited under the will of the late Arthur Tremayne, Esq.
Sydenham gave name to a family who possessed it in the reign of Henry III., and who were succeeded by that of Mauris. In the reign of Henry IV., it was the property and residence of John Wise, Esq. The heiress of Wise brought it to the Tremaynes. Sydenham House, which occupies three sides of a quadrangle, was erected by Sir Thomas Wise, created K. B. at the coronation of James I., and was, as Risdon describes it, beautified with buildings of such height, that the very foundations were ready to reel under the burden. The hall appears to have been fitted up in 1658. In this old mansion are some portraits of the family of Wise, &c. Sydenham House, having been a garrison of the king's, was taken by Colonel Holbourn, for the parliament, in the month of January, 1645. (fn. n20)
In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Thomas Wise, above mentioned, supported by Corinthian columns. There are memorials also for the Lady Mary, daughter of Edward Viscount Carrickfergus, married, 1. to Thomas Wise, Esq.; 2. to John Harris, Esq.; and, 3. to Sir Henry Cary; ob. 1657; St. John, only son of Edward Wise, Esq., 16.. 8; and Zenobia, wife of Robert Stafford, Esq., 1608. Mr. Tremayne is patron of the benefice; which is a vicarage endowed with a portion of the great tithes accruing on the south side of the river Lyd. Mr. Tremayne continues a benefaction of 10l. per annum, long given by the family, for the education of twentyfive children.
The manor (fn. n21) belonged, at the time of the Domesday survey, to Robert Bastard; afterwards, to the family of Meavy. Sir William Strode was lord of the manor, and had a seat here in 1630. It is now the property of Sir Masseh Manasseh Lopes, Bart., having been purchased by him, in 1808, of Hugh Malet, Esq., in whose family it had been for many years.
The manor of Good-a-Meavy, anciently called God Mewy, which belonged formerly to the family of Pomeroy, is now the property of Joseph Scobell, Esq. The manors of Callisham and Durance belong to T. T. Fuller Elliott Drake, Esq.
Meeth, or Methe
Meeth belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the Giffards; and afterwards to the family of Dennis, whose heiress brought it to Giffard of Yeo. It now belongs to Richard Preston, Esq., M.P. The manor of Fryes Hele (erroneously called Hele Prior) belonged to the Fryes, whose heiress brought it to the Parkers, of North Molton, ancestors of the Earl of Morley, who is the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are memorials of the family of Ley. (fn. n22)
MEMBURY, in the hundred of Axminster, and in the deanery of Honiton, lies on the borders of Dorsetshire, about three miles and a half from Axminster. The villages, or hamlets, of East Membury, Longbridge, and North Membury, are in this parish.
At the time of the Domesday survey, William Chievre, or Capra, held the manor of Membury (Manburia) in demesne. King Henry I. granted the manors of East and West Membury to Robert de Chandos, who gave West Membury to a priory which he had founded at Goldcliffe, in Monmouthshire. This priory was made a cell to the abbey of Bec, in Normandy; the estates of which having been confiscated, as belonging to an alien monastery, the manor of Membury was, in 1474, given to the dean and chapter of Windsor (fn. n23), to which it still belongs. East Membury belonged, in the reign of Edward II., to the Heles, from whom it descended to Franceis, of Comb Flory, and was by that family sold to Hurde. It was afterwards in the Petres, and is now the property of the Right Honourable Lord Petre.
Yarty, in this parish, gave name to a family whose heiress, in the reign of Henry IV., brought it to Frye. It is now the property of the Right Hon. Lord King, whose great uncle, John Lord King, married the heiress of Robert Frye, Esq., who died in January, 1725–6. Yarty is now inhabited as a farm-house.
West Waters, in this parish, was the property and residence of the family of De la Water, whose heiress brought it to Hele, and the heiress of Hele to Perry: it continued in the last-mentioned family for six descents. The co-heiresses of the last heir male sold it to Frye. Having since passed with Yarty, it is now a farm belonging to Lord King.
The barton of Chaldanger, (now called Challenger,) belonged to a family of that name; afterwards to the Bonvilles. After the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, it was granted to Petre. It is now the property of Mr. B. C. Tucker, solicitor, of Chard.
In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Shilston Calmady, who is said to have been killed at the siege of Ford House, February 3. 1645–6. There are some memorials of the family of Frye of Yarty. (fn. n24) The cemetery at Membury was consecrated in 1316. (fn. n25)
MERTON, in the hundred of Shebbear, and in the deanery of Torrington, lies about seven miles from Hatherleigh, and about five from Torrington. The villages of Smithacott and Little Potheridge are in this parish.
The manor of Merton, which had belonged to Earl Harold, was one of the numerous estates, given by the Conqueror to Geoffry, Bishop of Constance; and this was one of the five manors held in demesne by that prelate, who was Chief Justiciary of England, and had been the Conqueror's Lieut.-General at the battle of Hastings. (fn. n26) Merton gave name to an equestrian family, who possessed the manor from the reign of Henry II. till that of Edward III., when the heiress brought it to the Stawells. It was afterwards in the Rolles, and has passed, by descent, to the Right Honourable Lord Clinton.
The manor of Potheridge, in this parish, belonged, for many descents, to the ancient family of Le Moyne, or Monk. The celebrated General Monk, being the representative of this family, was, for his good services in bringing about the restoration, created Duke of Albemarle, in 1660. He rebuilt the mansion of his ancestors at Potheridge, which was his principal country-seat. The title and the family became extinct, in 1687, by the death of his only son Christopher, Duke of Albemarle; his duchess survived him many years, dying in 1734. The manor of Potheridge now belongs to Lord Rolle. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of capital punishment. (fn. n27)
The greater part of Potheridge House, which appears to have been finished in 1672, was pulled down after the Duchess's death, in 1734. (fn. n28) The remainder has been fitted up as a farm-house. The chapel, which was of Grecian architecture, was in a ruinous state in 1770, and has since been taken down, except part of the western wall. The magnificent stables are still standing.
Mention is made, in Chapple's Collections, that a modus of 3l. per annum was paid out of the barton of Potheridge to the rector, who had formerly been entitled to a dinner every Sunday, and the keep of his grey mare; but that these emoluments had been long withholden.
Speccot was, in the reign of Henry II., the property of Fitz-Bernard, whose posterity took the name of Speccot, and possessed this estate for many generations. The co-heiresses of the last of the family sold it in 1661 to the Fortescues, from whom it passed, by sale, also to the Rolles. It was purchased of Lord Rolle's father by Richard Stevens, Esq., great uncle of Thomas Stevens, Esq., of Winscot, who is the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are memorials of the family of Yeo. (fn. n29) Lord Rolle is patron of the rectory.
The manor, which had belonged to the Avenells during the thirteenth and part of the fourteenth century, was afterwards in moieties between Fleming and Furneaux: it is now a divided property, the greater share of which belongs to Richard Preston, Esq., M.P.
In the parish-church is the monument of James Courtenay, Esq., of Meshaw House; buried at Molland, in 1683. The Rev. William Tanner is patron and incumbent of the rectory. The advowson belonged, formerly, to the priory of Cornworthy.
The manor was given, together with the barton of Leigh, to the abbot and convent of Tavistock, by its founder, Ordulph. After the dissolution, it was granted to John Lord Russell, ancestor of his Grace the Duke of Bedford, who is the present proprietor. The manor of Week Dabernon was given to the monastery of Tavistock by John Dabernon, of Bradford, in 1353; that of West Liditon (fn. n30), (partly in this parish,) by Odo le Arcedekne, in 1288; both these, together with the manor of Foghanger, passed to the Russell family, and are the property of the Duke of Bedford, who has built a spacious mansion, in the cottage style, in a beautiful situation, at Inneslegh, now called Endsleigh, where he occasionally resides. The abbot of Tavistock had a park at Inneslegh, in the reign of Richard II. (fn. n31) Leigh is said to have been one of the country residences of the abbots.
The manor of Ford, which had been in the family of Spooner, and the manor of Chillaton, belonged to the late John Phillips Carpenter, Esq., of Mount Tavy. Chillaton is now the property of his widow; Ford, of his son, John Carpenter, Esq. Mrs. Carpenter possesses also the barton of Combe.
Edgecomb, or Edgecumbe, in this parish, gave name to the ancient family of Edgecumbe, a younger branch of which has been ennobled, and is represented by Earl Mount Edgecumbe. Richard Edgecumbe, Esq., the representative of the elder branch, which has been settled here ever since the reign of Henry III., still possesses, and resides at Edgecumbe.
The manor belonged, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to Robert de Albemarle, ancestor of the Damarells, of whom it was purchased, in the reign of Edward II., by Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire. After this, it was held under the Courtenays, by the Stapeldons, and their successors, the Hankfords. It is now held under Lord Courtenay, by Earl Stanhope.
At an early period, the manor belonged to the family of Mohun, from which it passed, by marriage, to Carew. Sir James Bagg purchased it of the Carews: it was afterwards in the family of Moore; and is now the property of Walter Prideaux, Esq. Mr. Prideaux became possessed of it by marriage with the daughter of Thomas Trist, Esq., who purchased it of Sir William Molesworth, Bart.
In the parish-church are monuments of the family of Roope. (fn. n34) The dean and chapter of Salisbury are appropriators of the great tithes of South Milton, which is a daughter-church to West Allington.
Modbury sent members to parliament in the reign of Edward I. I find no record of the grant of the market. It is held on Thursday for corn, butchers' meat, and other provisions. There were formerly two fairs, at the festival of St. George and St. James. The former only is now kept up, and held on the fourth of May, if it fall on a Tuesday or Wednesday; otherwise, on the Tuesday following. It is a great fair for cattle, clothes, and other merchandize. There is a great market for cattle on the second Tuesday in every month. The principal villages in this parish are Brownston, Leigh, Caton, Penquit, and part of Ludbrook.
In the month of December, 1642, Modbury Castle, then held by its owner, Mr. Champernowne, was taken by a party of the parliamentary garrison at Plymouth; and he himself, with Sir Edmund Fortescue, the sheriff, Captain Peter Fortescue, Sir Edmund Seymour, his son, then knight of the shire, Mr. Pomeroy, and others, were taken prisoners. (fn. n35) In the month of February following, Sir Nicholas Slanning, who had entrenched himself at Modbury, with two thousand men, was defeated by the Devonshire clubmen. (fn. n36)
The manor of Modbury belonged to the Valletorts, barons of Harberton. Roger Valletort conveyed it to Sir Alexander de Okeston, who had married Joan, widow of Ralph de Valletort, supposed to have been a concubine of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and King of the Romans. They had issue, Sir John de Okeston, who died without issue, having, by the command of King Edward II., conveyed Modbury, and other lands, formerly given to his father by Roger de Valletort, to Sir Richard Champernowne. This Sir Richard was son of Richard Champernowne, by Joan, daughter of the above-mentioned Joan, whom Edmund Earl of Cornwall, in a deed, bearing date 12 Edward I., calls sister. Richard Champernowne, the father, was a younger son of Sir Henry Champernowne, of Clist Champernowne. The manor of Modbury continued in the Champernownes for many generations. Sir Arthur Champernowne, who died at Modbury in the reign of James I., was an eminent commander in Ireland, under the Earl of Essex, by whom he was knighted in 1599. In the year 1700, Arthur Champernowne, Esq., the last of this branch, sold the manor and borough to Nicholas Trist, Esq., of Bowden. In 1803, this estate was purchased of one of the co-heiresses of Trist, by Henry Legassicke, Esq., the present proprietor. Richard Champernowne had a licence for castellating his mansion at Modbury in 1334. (fn. n37) The remains of the castle were purchased of Arthur Champernowne, Esq., of Mr. Henry Legassicke, who, at the earnest request of Mrs. Sarah Champernowne, in 1698, conveyed its site to her; but it appears that, in 1705, she sold what remained of the old castle for the materials. A small part of the mansion, however, yet remains, said to have been a dining-room, now converted into a stable and hay-loft. (fn. n38)
In the reign of King Stephen, a priory was founded at Modbury, by an ancestor of the Champernownes, as a cell to the abbey of St. Peter sur Dive, in Normandy. This priory, with its lands, having been seised by the crown, as belonging to an alien monastery, was first granted, by King Henry VI., to Tavistock abbey; but afterwards was made part of the endowment of Eton College, to which the manor, of Priory still belongs, together with the manor of Penquit and Upton. Modbury priory was held some time under Eton College, by the Champernownes; and it was, in 1630, the seat of a younger brother of that family. The lease has been for several years vested in the family of Rhodes.
The manor of Orchardton, or Orcherton, at the time of the Domesday survey, was held under Earl Moreton by Regináld de Valletort: it belonged, in the reign of King John, to Jordan de la Warr; in the succeeding reign it was the property and seat of a younger branch of the Prideaux family. After continuing at Orcherton for thirteen descents, the last of this branch sold it to Sir John Hele, sergeant-at-law. Having since passed with the Fleet estate, it is now the property of John Bulteel, Esq. The old mansion is occupied as a farm-house.
The manor of Shilveston, or Shilston, was held in demesne at the time of the Domesday survey by Osbern de Salceid. In the reign of Henry III. it was in a family who took their name from this, the place of their residence. From them it passed, by marriage, to Ashleigh. In the fourteenth century it belonged to the family of Goneton, from whom it passed, either by purchase or alliance, to Robert Hill, made one of the justices of the Common Pleas in 1408. Judge Hill's posterity continued here for eight generations, after which the manor of Shilston was purchased by Christopher Savery, Esq., ancestor of Christopher Savery, Esq., of South Efford, the present proprietor, who possesses also the manor of Spriddlescombe in this parish. Shilston House was rebuilt about the year 1813; Spriddlescombe is now a farm-house.
The manor of Wimpston, or Wymston, was granted by King John to John Fortescue in 1209, and appears to have been the first residence of that ancient and noble family in the county. It was alienated, not long before the year 1600, and in 1620 was in the family of Trobridge. It was afterwards successively in the families of Champernowne and Ourry. Paul Treby Treby, Esq., (some time Ourry,) sold it to W. L. Prettyjohn, Esq., who has built a new house on the estate, and is the present proprietor.
The manor of Leigh Durant, in this parish, belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of De Leigh. After five descents, the heiress of this family married Revell. The co-heiresses of Revell married Hurst, Hill, and Fountayne. Two parts of this estate became vested in Hurst, and passed to Martyn; the other third passed from Hill to Rouse. The manor of Leigh Durant now belongs to Mrs. Ann Fortye.
The manor of South Ludbrook, belonging to the Rev. N. A. Bartlett, is partly in this parish, and partly in Ermington: the manor of North Ludbrook is partly in this parish and partly in that of Ugborough.
The manor of Brownston, or Bromston, belonged formerly to the Valletorts, and was given by Reginald de Valletort to Ralph de Morville, whose son Adam conveyed it to the abbot and convent of Buckfastleigh. After the dissolution of that monastery, it was granted to Sir Thomas Dennis of Holcombe, whose grandson dismembered it, and sold the royalties to the several tenants. The manor of Boyshele belonged to the ancient family of De Bosco or Boys, whose heiress brought it to Speccot. Sir John Speccot was possessed of it in the reign of Charles I. No estate in Modbury is now known by this name. I suspect it to be the same which, by the name of the manor of Modbury, passed by successive female heirs from Speccot to Hals and Trelawney, and, under the same title as Stapeldon (fn. n39), is now vested in the daughters of the late Honourable Rose Herring May, of the island of Jamaica.
The manor of Edmerston belonged, at an early period, to a family to whom it gave name: after five descents the heiress of Edmerston married Rous, whose descendants continued to possess Edmerston, and to reside there, for many generations. William Rous, Esq., was the possessor when Sir William Pole made his collections, about 1630. It seems not long afterwards to have passed to the family of Noseworthy: in 1684 Edward Noseworthy, Esq., mortgaged it to Sir John Maynard, sergeant-at-law, by whom it was probably foreclosed. In 1703, Henry Earl of Suffolk, who married the sergeant's widow, joined with that lady in selling it to Mr. John Ford, of Kingsbridge; of whom it was purchased by Mr. Robert Froude, great-grandfather of the Rev. Robert Hurrel Froude, archdeacon of Totnes, who is the present proprietor. Mr. Froude possesses also the adjoining manor of Gutsford, which has passed by the same title.
Little Modbury was, in the reign of Henry III., the seat of Sir Ralph Rous. After five descents, the heiress of this branch brought Little Modbury to Dymock. By virtue of an entail, it passed to Bonville, and became vested in the crown by the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk. It was purchased of the crown by Challons, and passed, by sale, to Hele. There is no estate of any consequence now at Little Modbury, which is divided into small farms.
The barton of Old Port is said to have taken its name from an old fort which stood on the river Erme. In the reign of Henry III. it belonged to the family of De la Port, one of the co-heiresses of which, after a few descents, brought it to Heanton, and the heiress of Heanton to Somaster. The last-mentioned family continued to possess it for several descents. Sir Samuel Somaster sold it, in or about the reign of James I., to Sir Warwick Hele. Old Port is now a farm belonging to Lord Ashburton.
The barton of Yarnacombe belonged to the Harts for many generations. Samuel Hart, Esq., the last of that family, sold it to William Mackworth Praed, Esq., the present proprietor, who possesses also the barton of West Leigh. Risdon says that East and West Leigh formerly belonged to the family of Challons, and that their estate was called Leigh Challons. He tells us that Hardwinus, son of the Earl of Challons, married the heiress of De la Leigh; that there were divers knights of the Challons family, and that Henry Challons, one of their descendants, made a voyage for the discovery of Virginia, and New England, in which he was taken by the Spaniards and inhumanly treated. The heiress of Challons married into the St. Aubyn family. The greater part of East and West Leigh is now divided into small farms.
Trewin, now called Trayne, or Traine, gave name to a family who possessed it for several descents. John Terry possessed it in the reign of Henry IV. After this the family of Scoos, who owned Colemore also in this parish, possessed and resided at Trayne for several generations. About the middle of the sixteenth century the heiress of Scoos brought it to the Swetes. Adrian Swete, Esq., the last of this family, died in 1755, having bequeathed all his estates to his mother, Mrs. Esther Swete, who died in 1771, having devised them to her relation the Rev. John Tripe of Ashburton, (now of Oxton,) who took the name of Swete, and is the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are monuments of Mr. Oliver Hill, 1573 (fn. n40); John, son of John Swete, Esq., of Traine, 1690; and Garnet Loving, captain of the 13th regiment of foot, 1801. There are also some ancient mutilated monuments, which probably were for the Champernowne family.
Two-thirds of the great tithes are appropriated to Eton College; and the vicarage is endowed with one-third, with the exception that the College have the whole of the great tithes of Penquit, and the vicar the whole of those of West Leigh. The vicarage is in the gift of the college.
A charity-school was founded at Modbury in the year 1731, by a contribution of the principal inhabitants: a fund of 260l. was then raised, from the interest of which 12l. per annum is given by the treasurer Christopher Savery, Esq., to a schoolmaster for teaching 12 boys reading, writing, and arithmetic.
The manor of Molland Bottreaux, which had been Earl Harold's (fn. n41), belonged to the baronial family of Bottreaux from nearly the time of the Conquest till the reign of Henry VI.: the heiress of Bottreaux having married Hungerford, it passed with a daughter of Lord Hungerford to Sir Philip Courtenay, a younger son of Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham, whose posterity possessed and resided at Molland till the extinction of this branch by the death of John Courtenay, Esq., in 1732: his sisters and co-heirs married Chichester and Paston; and a daughter of the latter brought this estate to the Throkmortons. It is now the property of Charles Courtenay, Esq., a younger brother of Sir George Throkmorton (fn. n42), Bart. The Bottreaux family had a mansion and park here. The manor-house is now inhabited by the tenant of the farm. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n43)
Molland Sarazen, or Molland Champeaux, belonged successively to the families of Sarazen and Champeaux. The latter were succeeded by Lutterell. In Sir William Pole's time it had been five or six descents in the family of Columb. It is now the property of Mr. Courtenay. The manor-house, now called Molland Champion, is occupied by a farmer.
In the parish-church are memorials for the family of Courtenay (fn. n44), and a tablet for Daniel Berry, the sequestered minister of Molland, who died in 1654, put up in 1664 by his youngest son, Sir John Berry, the eminent naval officer. The church of Molland was given by William de Bottreaux to Hartland abbey. The great tithes were given by the widow of the last Mr. Courtenay to endow a lectureship at Molland. The benefice is united to Knoweston. The Rev. John Froude is lessee of the advowson under the Courtenays.
NORTH MOLTON, in the hundred and deanery of South Molton, lies about 2½ miles from South Molton. North and South Radworthy, North and South Heasley, Ben Twitchen, Hunston, Walscott, Upcott, and Flitton, are villages in this parish.
A market at this place on Thursdays, and a fair for three days at the festival of All Saints, were granted to Roger le Zouch in the year 1270. (fn. n45) There are now two cattle-fairs, the Tuesday after May 11. and November 12.
The manor having been parcel of the demesne of the crown was settled on Editha, consort of Edward the Confessor: it was given by King John to Roger le Zouch. A co-heiress of Zouch brought it to St. Maur, and a co-heiress of the latter to Bampfylde. It is now the property of Sir C. W. Bampfylde, Bart. The Bampfyldes had formerly a seat at North Molton. Court House (fn. n46) is now inhabited by a bailiff. Sir C. Bampfylde possesses also part of the manor of South Radworthy, which belonged to the ancient family of De Rotomago, and at a later period to the Sydenhams. (fn. n47) The remainder of this manor belongs to the Earl of Morley, who possesses also the manors of Hunston and Flitton, together with the rectorial manor.
The church of North Molton, with a manor annexed, was given by Alan le Zouch, in or about 1313, to the monastery of Lilleshull, in Shropshire. It is probable that the Parker family, who have resided from a very early period at North Molton, were, before the Reformation, tenants to that monastery. The Earl of Morley is impropriator and patron of the vicarage. An old mansion called Court is kept by his Lordship in his own hands, but not inhabited.
In 1715 the Presbyterians had a meeting-house at North Molton. (fn. n48)
A market at this place, to be held on Sunday, and a fair for five days at the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, were granted to Nicholas Fitz Martin in 1357. (fn. n49) There is now a considerable market for corn, provisions, &c., on Saturday; and there are small markets for butchers' meat only on Tuesday and Thursday. The fair days are the Wednesday before June 22.; and the Wednesday after August 26., for horses and cattle. There are great markets on the Saturday after February 13., and March 25.; before April 23., August 1., October 10., and December 12.
The chief manufactures at this place were formerly serges, shalloons, and felts (fn. n50): coarse woollen cloths are made here for the East Indies and Spain.
South Molton sent burgesses to parliament once in the reign of Edward I. (fn. n51)
The manor of South Molton was part of the ancient demesne of the crown. In the reign of Edward I. it was held by Lord Martin, under the Earl of Gloucester, by the service of finding a bow with three arrows to attend the Earl when he should hunt in Gower. It was afterwards in the Lords Audley (fn. n52), and passed to the crown under an entail in default of male issue. It was some time, by royal grant, in the Hollands, dukes of Exeter. (fn. n53) Margaret Countess of Richmond had a grant of it for life in 1487. Queen Elizabeth granted the manor to Thomas Whitmore, who conveyed it to Hugh Squier. In 1700 it was purchased by the corporation of the executors of Mr. William Squier, subject to the life-interest of Hugh Squier, Esq., who died in 1710. The lord of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n54)
Hache, in this parish, belonged to a family of that name, whose heiress married Worlington in the reign of Henry III.: the grand-daughter of Worlington married Atwater, who took the name of Hache. His posterity continued to possess it and reside here for many generations till the death of the last heir male, about the middle of the last century, or somewhat earlier; it was then purchased by the Acland family, and is now the property of Sir T. D. Acland, Bart.
North Aller, or Aure, belonged to the family of Aller, or Aure, whose heiress married Hache in the reign of Edward III. After the death of John Hache, in 1731, it was purchased by the Fortescue family, and is now the property of Earl Fortescue. In the reign of Henry III. Clotworthy belonged to the family of Furlong, which about that time assumed the name of Clotworthy, and continued to possess it for many generations. It is now, by inheritance, the property of the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne. Bremridge, in this parish, which belonged anciently to the Tracies, was the seat of Sir John Dodderidge, the judge, and was built about 1622. Having passed, under his will, to his brother, it descended by female heirs to Crossing and Blundell, and is now, by purchase, the property of Earl Fortescue.
In the parish-church at South Molton are monuments of Humphrey Shobrooke, 1642; several children of John Hache, Esq. (1682—1713); John Cruse, first master of the school, 1691; John Molford, Esq., 1692; Peter Pierce, of Molland, 1713; Hannah, wife of Thomas Nott, of Irishcombe, and daughter of Thomas Deane, 1718; Thomas Nott, 1735; John Hutchinson (fn. n55), Gent., 1728; Richard Bawden, 1746; and his two wives, Joan, daughter of Arthur Pollard, 1709; Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Pierce, 1745; and the family of Karslake; Henry Karslake, Sarah his wife, and their two sons, "were destroyed by fire in their own house (fn. n56)," at South Molton, January 30, 1749.
About two miles from South Molton, at a place called Honiton barton, belonging to the Rev. Lewis Southcomb, is a chapel called Trinity chapel, built, and very handsomely decorated, in 1730, on the site of an ancient chapel, by his grandfather the Rev. Lewis Southcomb, at the expense of above 500l. It is floored with black and white marble, and fitted up with cedar and mahogany, with an organ, &c. Over the altarpiece is a picture of our Saviour baptized by John the Baptist. Choir service was performed here in the lifetime of the founder, who had daily prayers in it for his family. He endowed it with 40l. per annum, and directed that it should never be made a sinecure; that the stipend should be paid every Lord's day; and that if service was ever omitted, the stipend of that day should go to the repairs of the chapel. There is now only monthly service in it. The founder, and his father of the same name, were both buried in this chapel.
The church of South Molton, was given by King Henry VIII., in 1547, to the dean and chapter of Windsor, in exchange for the manor of Iver, in Buckinghamshire, &c. The tithes are now appropriated to the dean and chapter, who are patrons of the curacy.
In the parish register occurs the following instance of longevity: — William Lake (fn. n57), aged 104 years; buried September 2. 1754.
In 1715, the Independents and Baptists had congregations at South Molton. (fn. n58) There is now a meeting-house of the Independent Calvinists, and another of the Wesleyan Methodists. Samuel Badcock, already mentioned, was born at South Molton, in 1749, and was some time pastor of the independent congregation at this place, before he conformed to the Establishment. The late Mr. Lavington was also some time pastor of the congregation here.
Hugh Squier, the last of that family, in his lifetime built and endowed a school at this place, appropriating the sum of 50l. per annum for its support; of which, 20l. was given to a grammar master, and 20l. to a master for teaching writing and arithmetic. By his will, bearing date 1709, he somewhat altered the endowment, and gave the rectory of Northam, held under the church of Windsor, and the tenement of Upcot, in Swimbridge, to the corporation of South Molton, charged with 40l. per annum for the school; which is thus allotted: 25l. per annum to the master, (one only being mentioned,) 5l. to the trustees, 3l. for two annual dinners, and the remaining 7l., for the repairs of the school-house, or the highway between that and Molebridge; the residue of the profits of the estate, to be thus appropriated: one half to the mayor of South Molton, for his expences during his mayoralty, and the other half for repairing highways in and near the town of South Molton. The late Judge Buller and Mr. Badcock received their education at South Molton school.
A charity-school was instituted at South Molton by subscription, in the year 1711, originally for thirty boys. In 1714, it was extended to ten girls. There are now thirty-five boys and fifteen girls, who are clothed and educated; the boys, in reading, writing, and arithmetic; the girls, in reading, sewing, &c. Various benefactions (fn. n59) have been given to this school, which has now a stock of about 1800l. five per cents., besides subscriptions and collections at annual sermons.
This parish was called Monkleigh, as having belonged to the priory of Montacute, in Somersetshire, to which the manor of Leigh, in Devonshire, was given by William, Earl Moreton, its founder, in the reign of Henry I. After the Reformation, it came to the family of Coffin; and is now the property of the Rev. John Pine Coffin.
Annery, in this parish, was the seat of the Stapledons, whose heiress brought the manor to Hankford. Sir William Hankford, Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, resided here; and dying in 1422, was buried in Monkleigh church, where is a monument to his memory, the inscription of which was visible when Westcote wrote his survey, in the reign of Charles I. Sir William Hankford, who had been appointed one of the Barons of the Exchequer, in 1398, is said to have been the judge who committed Prince Henry, for striking him a blow on the bench; but traditions related as such, even by the most respectable historians, are not much to be relied on; some have ascribed the honor of this transaction to Sir John Hody, who was not on the bench till many years afterwards. Sir William Hankford, was made Chief Justice by King Henry V., soon after his accession, and re-appointed to that high office by his successor; a few months after which he died. A strange story is told relating to the Chief Justice, which, probably, is wholly without foundation. It is said, that he was so overwhelmed by the troubles of the times, that he wished for death; but not choosing to die by his own hands, he devised this extraordinary scheme to hasten his end. Sending for the keeper of his park at Annery, he scolded him for not being more vigilant, and gave him strict orders to shoot any man whom he should meet with in the park at night, if he refused to answer, or to give a satisfactory account of himself. Having given this charge, he walked out in his park the same night, it being then very dark, and met, as he intended, his certain destruction. So much is this tradition, as told by different writers, at variance with the real history of this learned judge, that Westcote relates it, as having happened about the time of the accession of Henry IV.; Risdon tells it as the consequence of his fear of having offended Henry V., as above related, when Prince; and Holinshed, as having happened in 1470, during the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, nearly fifty years after Sir William Hankford's death, which, it may be observed, really happened when the kingdom was in perfect tranquillity. One of the co-heiresses of Sir Richard Hankford, grandson of the Chief Justice, married Boteler, Earl of Ormond, one of whose co-heiresses brought Annery to Sir James St. Leger. Sir James St. Leger, the grandson, sold it to Tristram Arscott, whose descendant, of the same name, died seised of the capital messuage of Annery, and the manor of Half Annery, in 1621. The heiress of this branch of Arscott married Johnson. Annery was afterwards in the Prusts: it has of late passed through various hands, and is now the property of William Tardrew, Esq. The old mansion of Annery is said to have been famous for a long gallery, in which thirty beds might be placed on each side, in alcoves, so as not to be seen (fn. n60): this gallery was taken down about 1800. The house has been modernized by Mr. Tardrew.
In the parish-church are monuments of the families of Coffin (fn. n61), Prust (fn. n62), Andrew (fn. n63), and Saltren. (fn. n64) Mr. Incledon's notes mention also memorials of James St. Leger, Esq., 1509; and Henry Hastings, Esq., 1627. Miss Saltren, of Petticombe, is impropriator of the great tithes, which had belonged to the priory of Montacute, in Somersetshire; this estate was purchased by her ancestors, the Saltrens of Petticombe, in 1646; Miss Saltren has the perpetual advowson of the vicarage also, which was purchased by her family in 1700.
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to Thomas Marcey; in the following reign, the relict of Sir William Bonville had one moiety. The Mohuns were afterwards possessed of the whole; and it descended from them by successive female heirs to Carew and Southcote. In 1773, it belonged to Mr. Hall of Bristol, and is now the property of Christopher Flood, Esq., who purchased of Hall. In the parish-church is a memorial of Thomas Southcote, Esq., of Mohuns Ottery, 1699. Monkton is a daughter-church to Colyton, and in the same patronage.
MORCHARD BISHOP'S, in the hundred of Crediton and in the deanery of Cadbury, lies about six miles and a half from Crediton, and about seven from Chulmleigh. The villages of Middlecote, Frost, Oldborough, and Knightstone, are in this parish.
The manor belonged, from ancient times, to the bishops of Exeter. It is probable, that it was alienated, with other manors of the see, in the reign of Henry VIII., or that of Edward VI. Sir Peter Carew conveyed it to Southcote, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In Risdon's time it belonged to Boucher, of London. It is now the property of R. H. Tuckfield, Esq. Rolston and Week belong to John Quick, Esq., of Newton St. Cyres. Easton gave name to a family who possessed it for many generations: it is now the property of John Hann, Esq., in whose family it has been for a considerable time.
CRUWYS MORCHARD, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, lies about seven miles from Tiverton, and about nine from Crediton. The villages of Cotton and Way are in this parish.
The manor had long been in the ancient family of Cruwys, at least as early as the reign of King John, soon after which it acquired the name of Cruwys Morchard. It is now the property and residence of Mrs. Sharland, one of the co-heiresses of Dr. Henry Shortrudge Cruwys, the last of the family, who died in 1804. The lord of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n65)
The parish-church, which had been built in 1529, was much injured by lightning in 1689: it was repaired, and the upper part of the tower rebuilt in 1702. There is a memorial in the church for Robert Averay, Esq., of Hookers, in this parish, who died in 1745. Mrs. Sharland, and Mrs. Melhuish, daughter of Dr. Cruwys, are patrons of the rectory, with alternate right of presentation. Robert Gay, in 1725, gave a rent-charge of 1l. 15s. 4d. per annum to this parish, one half of which was for the purpose of teaching poor children.
MOREBATH, in the hundred of Bampton and in the deanery of Tiverton, lies about two miles from Bampton, and nine from Tiverton. The small village of Exebridge is partly in this parish, and partly in that of Brushfield, in Somersetshire.
The manor of Morebath was in the crown at the time of taking the Domesday survey: Warin de Bassingbourn gave it to the abbey of Berlinch or Barlynch. (fn. n66) After the Reformation it was granted, with other possessions of that monastery to Sir John Wallop, by whose family it was sold, in 1658, to Thomas Bere, Esq., of Huntsham. It is now the property of his descendant Montagu Baker Bere, Esq. The old manor-house is dilapidated. The late Mr. Bere fitted up a farm-house, for his occasional residence, in the cottage style: it is now occupied by a farmer. The Rev. John Bere built a house on an estate called West Timewell, now inhabited by his widow. Ashdown, in this parish, was the property and residence of the Sayers, a co-heiress of which family having married Davy Bere, Esq., it is now the property of Montagu Baker Bere, Esq. Burston was, about 1700, the residence of Sir John Thorold, who became possessed of it by marriage with Chamberlain: it is now a farm belonging to Mr. Lowdell of Leatherhead, in Surrey.
In the parish-church are some small remains of a window of Barlynch abbey, given to the parish by John Dysse in 1537: there are monuments in this church of Nicholas Sayer, Esq., 1733, (his daughter married Bere); Davy Bere, Esq., 1774; Anne, wife of Montagu Bere Baker Bere, Esq., 1802; Thomas Frederick Musgrave, Esq., (of a younger branch of the Edenhall family,) 1780; he married a co-heiress of Bere; Robert Pearse, Esq., 1777.
Mr. John Brook, of Ashdown, in 1688, gave the sum of 100l. for building an almshouse for two poor persons, and a school-house over it, and charged his estate with 12s. a month for the almshouse, and 10l. per annum to the schoolmaster for the parishes of Morebath in Devon, and Skillgate in Somersetshire; he directed also that a gown of the value of 1l. should be given to each of the poor persons once in five years, and appropriated 4l. per annum for repairs, and the expenses of the trustees.
Moreleigh, or Morley
A market at this place on Tuesday, and a fair for two days at the festival of St. Mary Magdalen, were granted to Martin Fishacre in 1315. (fn. n67)
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of De Morley, afterwards to that of Fissacre, or Fishacre, the co-heiresses of which brought it in moieties to Ufflete and Maynard. Ufflete's moiety passed by marriage to Walrond; Maynard's moiety by marriage to Holway, and by sale to Champernowne. At a later period, this manor belonged to the family of Shapleigh. John Shapleigh, Esq., sold it, about the year 1778, to John Seale, Esq., of Mount Boone, of whom it was purchased by Lord Boringdon. When the present Lord Boringdon was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1815, he took the title of Morley from this place. The barton of Place, which was for many years the residence of the Shapleighs, now belongs to the Rev. John Swete, of Oxton.
MORETON HAMPSTEAD (fn. n68), a market-town, in the hundred of Teignbridge and in the deanery of Moreton, is 12 miles from Exeter, and 185 from London.
A market on Saturday at this place, and two fairs, each for six days, at the festival of St. Andrew and St. Margaret, were granted, in 1335, to Hugh de Courtenay. (fn. n69) The market is still held on Saturday for corn and various provisions. There are two cattle-fairs, the third Thursday in July, and the last Thursday in November, and there is a great market for cattle on the Saturday before Whitsun-week. There was formerly a considerable manufacture of serges at this place, which has long since very much declined.
The number of inhabitants in the town and parish of Moreton Hampstead, in 1801, was 1768; in 1811, 1653, according to the returns made to parliament at those periods. The villages of Daccombe (or Dockham) and Houghton are in this parish.
Sir Thomas Fairfax was at Moreton with his army on the 8th of January, 1646. (fn. n70)
The manor of Moreton, to which belonged the third penny of the hundred of Teignbridge, was in the crown at the time of taking the Domesday survey. In the reign of Edward I. it belonged to the Earl of Ulster, who held it by the render of a sparrow-hawk. It was afterwards in the Courtenay family, some of whom had formerly a seat here. It is still the property of Lord Viscount Courtenay, who is patron of the rectory. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n71)
The manor of Daccombe, in this parish, held under the dean and chapter of Canterbury by the Rev. George Gregory, of Dunsford, has the custom of free bench, and the lord of the manor is obliged to keep a cucking-stool for the punishment of scolding women. Wray, in this parish, was successively in the families of Chiverstone, Abbot, Wray, Laford, and Corslet; the heiress of the last mentioned family brought it to the Southmeads, who have possessed it for several generations. This barton, and the manor of High Hayne, are now the property of John Rowe Southmead, Esq. Moor-barton belongs to Sir L. V. Palk, Bart.
There are meeting-houses of the Unitarians, (formerly Presbyterians,) Particular Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, and Independent Calvinists, at Moreton Hampstead. The congregations of Presbyterians and Baptists existed in 1715. (fn. n72) Micaiah Towgood, the late eminent Presbyterian divine, was pastor of the congregation at Moreton Hampstead from 1722 to 1736.
The manor, at the time of the Domesday survey, was held by Aluric under Ralph de Limesi, the Conqueror's nephew. At an early period, it was in the family of Bray, afterwards in that of De Lancelles. It now belongs to John Palmer Chichester, Esq., of Arlington.
Wollacombe Tracy, in this parish, was the property and residence of the ancient family of Tracy. Sir William Tracy is said to have lived secluded from the world here after the murder of Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the tomb of William de Tracy in Morthoe church is erroneously said to have been his. The heiress of Sir William married Courtenay, who took the name of Tracy. This branch ended in females after a few descents. The manor of Wollacombe Tracy was afterwards in the family of Stowford, who conveyed it to Fitzwarren. It was in the Chichester family as early as the year 1620 (fn. n73), and is now the property of John Palmer Chichester, Esq.
Over Wollacombe, in this parish, seems to have been mistaken by Risdon and his late editor for a place of the same name in Roborough, which was the ancient property and residence of the Wollacombe family. This manor of Over Wollacombe is the property of Earl Fortescue, whose ancestor, Hugh Boscawen, Esq., purchased it of Humphrey Courtenay, Esq., in 1706.
In the parish-church is the tomb of William de Tracy, rector of Morthoe, who died in 1322 (fn. n74): this has been erroneously attributed to Sir William de Tracy as before mentioned. William de Tracy, the rector, founded a chantry in the parish-church of Morthoe, in the year 1308 (fn. n75), and endowed it with lands in Morthoe and West Downe, valued, in 1547, at 5l. 12s. per annum. In this church is also the monument of Mary, wife of Mr. T. Newell, of Eastacott, daughter of John Cutcliffe, Esq., of Damage, 1700. The dean and chapter of Exeter are appropriators of the great tithes, and patrons of the vicarage. A school, on the Madras system, in which about 70 children are instructed on Sundays and Wednesdays, is supported by the curate.
The manor of Musbury belonged, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to Baldwin de Sap, or de Brioniis, from whom it passed, by successive female heirs, to the Courtenays, by the same title as the castle of Exeter. After the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter, it was given to Sir Edward North, who sold it to John Drake, Esq., of Ash. This place gave name to the family of De Esse, or Ash, who possessed it, by gift of the Courtenays, at an early period. Henry de Esse gave it to Julian, wife of John Orwey. It was afterwards successively in the families of Street and Hampton, in consequence of marriages with the co-heiresses of Orwey. A co-heiress of Hampton brought it to Billet, whose heiress married Drake, and afterwards Frankcheyney. The Drakes eventually became possessed of this place, which continued to be their chief seat for many generations. Sir Bernard Drake, born at Ash, became an eminent military character in the reign of Queen Elizabeth: he died in 1585, of a pestilential fever caught at the assizes at Exeter. Sir John Drake, his greatgrandson, was created a baronet in 1660; he rebuilt the old mansion at Ash, which had been demolished in the civil wars. The title became extinct on the death of Sir William Drake, the sixth baronet, in 1733: his widow survived till 1782. The manor of Musbury is now vested in the trustees of George Tucker, a minor, having been purchased by his grandfather of Captain William Peer Williams, (now admiral of the Red,) nephew of Lady Drake. Ash is occupied as a farm-house, and belongs to Mrs. Gatcomb, of Shovel-house, near North Petherton, in Somersetshire. This house is celebrated as having been the birth-place of John Churchill, the great Duke of Marlborough: he was born on Midsummerday, 1650, his mother being then on a visit to her father, Sir John Drake. Ash was many years the residence of the last Lady Drake. In 1778, being then in the occupation of Sir John Pole, the stables were burned down, and 13 coach-horses and hunters perished in the flames: the dwelling-house was not much injured.
The manor of Ford belonged to the family of De la Ford, from whom it passed, by successive female heirs, to Bonville and Pole. It is now the property of Sir William Templer Pole, Bart. The manor of Little Musbury belongs to John Hallett, Esq., of Stedcomb, in Axmouth.
In the parish-church are monuments of the family of Drake (fn. n76), and that of Nathaniel Gundry, one of the justices of the Common Pleas, who died at Launceston, of the jail-fever, in 1754. The patronage of the rectory is held with the manor of Musbury.