Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Plympton St. Maurice
PLYMPTON ST. MAURICE, commonly called Plympton Maurice, or Plympton Earls, a market and borough town, in the hundred and deanery of that name, lies about five miles from Plymouth, 39 from Exeter, and 212 from London.
The market, which is now held on Friday for corn, &c., with certain fairs, was confirmed, in 1284, to the burgesses of Plympton, to whom they had been granted by Baldwin de Rivers, Earl of Devon. (fn. n1) It was, till within a few years, held on Saturday, and it was customary for butchers to leave their shambles at an early hour, and proceed to the market at Plymouth. The present fairs, exclusively of that at Underwood, in the adjoining parish, are February 25. and August 12., under Queen Elizabeth's charter; the eve of the Ascension, and the eve of the Annunciation, O.S. and October 28., unless that day should fall after Thursday, in which case it is held on the Tuesday following. These are all cattle-fairs.
Plympton has sent members to parliament ever since the reign of Edward I. The right of election is in the freemen, now about 100 in number. Sir Christopher Wren was one of the members for this borough during the reign of James II. Plympton was made one of the stannary towns in 1328. (fn. n2)
At the commencement of the civil war, Plympton was the head-quarters of the small force which the royalists had then in the county. (fn. n3) It was one of the principal quarters of Prince Maurice's army, whilst besieging Plymouth, from October to December or January, 1643. (fn. n4) The King had a garrison here, which was taken by the Earl of Essex in the month of July, 1644 (fn. n5) : it had then 8 pieces of ordnance.
The barony of Plympton was given, by King Henry I., to Richard de Redvers, whom he created Earl of Devonshire. His son Baldwin, the second earl, rebelled against King Stephen, and was banished from England, but afterwards returned and died in possession of his earldom, to which his son, and his two grandsons, in their turns, succeeded. On the death of the last survivor, the earldom, with its great possessions, devolved on William de Vernon, a younger son of the first earl. This William, on the marriage of his daughter Jane with Hubert de Burgh, the King's chamberlain, settled on his elder daughter the castle and barony of Plympton, and on Jane, his younger daughter, the Isle of Wight, but it was settled, that if, by his then wife, the said William should have male heirs, then Hubert de Burgh should have in lieu land of 60l. per annum rent. (fn. n6) It so happened that he had male issue, for it appears that Baldwin, his grandson, was the last Earl of Devon of his family. On his death, the barony of Plympton and other possessions devolved on his sister Isabel, wife of William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle, who was called Countess of Devon and Albemarle. Upon the death of this lady, in 1292, Sir Hugh Courtenay, Baron of Oakhampton, succeeded to this and other estates of the family of De Redvers, but was not invested with the earldom of Devon till some years afterwards. The barony of Plympton, except during short intervals (fn. n7), when it was vested in the crown by attainder, continued in the earls of Devon till the death of the last earl, in 1566; when this and other large estates were divided between his four aunts or their representatives. In the year 1716, according to Brown Willis, the Vyvyans had one half (fn. n8), George Parker, Esq., one-fourth, by purchase from Lord Carteret and Mr. Yeo; and John Pollexfen, Esq., onefourth, purchased by his father of Christopher, Duke of Albemarle. The whole is now vested in the Earl of Morley, who purchased a considerable part from the family of Prideaux of Padstow. The lords of this barony had formerly the power of capital punishment. (fn. n9)
Leland speaks of Plympton as "a faire large castelle and dungeon, in it, whereof the waulles yet stonde, but the logginges within be decayed." Camden describes the ruins as the miserable remains of a castle; yet so lately as 1606 the office of constable of Plympton castle is reckoned among those belonging to the royal household, with a fee of 4l. 11s. 1d. per annum. (fn. n10) There are now scarcely any remains of the buildings, but the earth-works show it to have been a place of great strength. It appears from a cotemporary historian, that whilst Baldwin de Rivers was holding out Exeter castle against King Stephen, certain knights, to whom he had entrusted his castle of Plympton, being apprehensive of the Earl's danger, and careful for their own safety, treated with the King, then at Exeter, for the surrender of Plympton; and the historian says that the King sent a party of 200 men to whom it was delivered, and by his command levelled with the ground. (fn. n11) It was most probably never afterwards occupied as a fortress, although some of the walls of the habitable part might have been suffered to remain.
The parish-church was originally founded, as the chantry chapel of St. Maurice, by John Brackley, Esq., and endowed with lands valued, in 1547, at 7l. 5s. 8d. per annum. In this church are monuments of Vice-Admiral Rowland Cotton, commander in Plymouth port, who died in 1794; Mrs. Francis Full, 1803; and Lieutenant Thomas William Jones, who was blown up in the Alphæea schooner, of 10 guns, with all his crew, whilst engaged with the French ship Le Renard, of 14 guns and 50 men, off the Stat Point, in the night of September 9. 1813. The dean and chapter of Windsor are impropriators and patrons of the perpetual curacy.
The grammar-school at Plympton was founded and endowed, in 1658, by Sergeant Maynard, as one of the trustees of the estates left by Mr. Elize Hele, to charitable uses. The sum appropriated to this school is said to have been 1800l., with which an estate called Holland, in Plympton St. Mary, was purchased, said by Prince to have been let at 120l. per annum, and to have been worth little less in his time. It is now let at 170l per annum. The school-house was built in 1664. The nomination of the master is vested in the representatives of Sergeant Maynard, being the co-heirs of the late Earl of Buckinghamshire. The father of the late Sir Joshua Reynolds was master of Plympton school, where this ornament of his country was born, on the 16th of July, 1723. Some of his sketches, whilst a boy, on the walls of the school, were preserved till a few years ago, when, during the absence of the present master, they were destroyed by the brush of a house-painter, ignorant of their value and interest.
Plympton St. Mary
PLYMPTON ST. MARY, in the hundred and deanery of Plympton, adjoins the parish of Plympton Earl. The principal villages in this parish are Underwood, Colebrook, and Ridgway; there are also the small villages of Hemerdon and Sparkwell.
At this place was a college, founded by one of the Saxon kings, for a dean and four prebendaries, or canons. This college was suppressed in the year 1121, by Bishop William Warlewast, he being displeased with the members of the chapter, because "they wold not leve their concubines;" some modern writers have given them a more homely name. (fn. n12) It is due, however, to the memory of this collegiate body, to observe, that the attempt to impose celibacy upon the English clergy, although it had been enjoined by papal authority, at an early period, and had been enforced by new edicts, procured by Archbishop Dunstan, in the reign of King Edgar, was not for two centuries afterwards generally obeyed; that the wives of such of the clergy as married in defiance of the papal injunction were deemed and called concubines. An edict to enforce more strictly the former injunctions was issued in 1125, four years after this college was dissolved; and two other edicts were found necessary, and were passed in 1138, and 1175, before the injunction of celibacy was universally complied with. We may, therefore, very fairly suppose that it was for their contumacy in marrying contrary to the papal edicts that the members of the college were ejected. After their ejection, Bishop Warlewast founded here a priory of black canons. Its revenues were so much improved by the benefactions of Baldwin de Rivers, Earl of Devon, Walter de Valletort, and others, that it became the most opulent monastery in the county, its rental being estimated, at the time of its suppression, at upwards of 912l. In 1534 it was surrendered by John Howe, the last prior, who, with 20 monks, subscribed to the King's supremacy. The site, with the demesnes, was granted to Arthur Champernowne, and passed to the Strodes by purchase. This estate was afterwards in the family of Fownes, and was sold, a few years ago, in parcels, by John Fownes Luttrell, Esq. The immediate site of the monastery belongs to a miller of the name of Deal. There are scarcely any remains of the monastic buildings. Bishop Warlewast, his nephew, and (after Bishop Chichester) successor in the see, and some of the Courtenay family, were buried in the priory-church.
The manor of Boringdon, in this parish, belonged to the family of Mayhew, whose heiress, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, brought it to the Parkers of North Molton. In consequence of this match, they removed their residence to Boringdon. By the marriage with Mayhew, they became possessed also of the barton of Woodford, which had been granted by King Henry II. to Beauchamp, and had passed successively to the families of Gavegan, Fitzjordan, Fitzrobert, Albamara, Bolhay, Cobham, and Bonville. After the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, it was purchased by Mayhew.
Saltram, where is now the seat of the Earl of Morley, was, in the reign of Charles I., the property and residence of Sir James Bagg, Knight, of Plymouth. Having been forfeited to the crown under an extent, it became afterwards the property of Lord Carteret, and Mr. Wolstenholme, of whom it was purchased, in 1712, by George Parker, Esq., great-grandfather of the present Earl of Morley. John Parker, Esq., of Saltram was, in 1774, created Baron Boringdon, and his son, in 1815, Viscount Boringdon of North Molton, and Earl of Morley. The noble mansion of Saltram was built by the late Lord Boringdon's father. Part of the former house remains. Saltram House, which is the largest in the county, extends 170 feet on the western side, the south and eastern sides being 135 feet in length. In this mansion is a valuable collection of paintings by the old masters: the Bolingbroke family by Vandyke; and portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Northcote, and other artists. Saltram House stands on a lawn of 300 acres, surrounded by extensive plantations. Not far from the house a piece of land, of 175 acres, has been recovered from the sea by an embankment 2910 feet in length, and about sixteen feet perpendicular height above the surface of the mud, at the expence of 9000l., for which a gold medal was adjudged to Lord Boringdon, by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts.
In the year 1789, the late Lord Boringdon was honoured by having their late Majesties and the Princesses, as his guests, for twelve days. They arrived at Saltram on the 15th of September, and quitted it on the 27th, during which time they attended the grand naval review, and visited Plymouth, Mount Edgecumbe, Cuteele, Maristow, &c.
The manor of Colebrook, belonging to the Earl of Morley, came into his Lordship's family by the marriage with the heiress of Mayhew. It had been part of the original endowment of Plympton Priory. (fn. n13)
The manor of Hemerdon gave name to an ancient family, who possessed it till the year 1296: it afterwards passed successively to the families of Makarell, Harwell, &c. In 1396, John Crocker, Esq., of Lyneham, became possessed of it by marriage with the heiress of Corim. This family were proprietors also of the manor of Bickford (fn. n14) town, which had belonged to the Bickfords; and continued possessed of both till the year 1632, when John Crocker, Esq., sold them to Peter Ryder, and Tristram Avent, Esq. A moiety of Hemerdon was sold, in 1687, by the co-heirs of Ryder, to Hurrel: having been conveyed, in 1719, by Hurrel to the Parkers, it was purchased, a few years ago, of Lord Boringdon, by George Woollcombe, Esq., who inherits from the Avents the other moiety of Hemerdon, and the manor of Bickford-town. Hemerdon has been, for many generations, a seat of the Woollcombes. The manor-house at Bickford, which was, for five generations, the seat of the Avents, has been taken down. The manor of Veale Holme, in this parish, which had been successively in the families of Bowdage, Northmore, Weston, and Spurrell, was lately purchased of John Spurrell Pode, Esq., by William Hales Symons, Esq.
Newenham, the seat of the Strodes, belonged, in the reign of Edward I., to Simon de Plympton, whose grandson, of the same name, took the name of Newenham: one of the co-heiresses of a grandson of the last-mentioned Simon brought it to the Strodes, and it is now the property of their representative, George Strode, Esq. The old seat of the Strodes is now a farmhouse. The house at Newenham park, their present residence, was built about the beginning of the last century, upon the adjoining manor of Loughtor, which, at an early period, had belonged, for some descents, to the family of Le Abbe, and afterwards to a younger branch of the Courtenays, whose heiress brought it to the Strodes. Several of this family have been, from time to time, representatives of the borough of Plympton, from the reign of Henry VI. till the Revolution. Richard Strode, Esq., who was one of the members for Plympton in the year 1512, having rendered himself obnoxious to his brother-tinners, (for it appears that he himself was concerned in the tin-works,) by his patriotic exertions in parliament towards the procuring the act for protecting the western harbours from the injuries caused by the stream-works, was prosecuted for imputed crimes against the stannary laws, in the Tinners' Court, at Crokerne Tor, and fined in heavy penalties; which refusing to pay, he was thrown into the dungeon of the stannary prison at Lidford, described in the act of parliament, by which he obtained redress for his ill treatment, as "one of the most hanious, contagious, and detestable places in the realm." Here he was kept for more than three weeks in irons, and fed upon bread and water. As good frequently springs out of evil, this case of daring outrage gave occasion to the establishment and maintenance of some of the most important privileges of parliament. William Strode, Esq., who was then one of the representatives for Beer Alston, became a distinguished speaker in the House of Commons, in the reign of Charles I., and was one of the members sentenced to imprisonment for their opposition to the measures of the crown, in 1629, and he was one of the five demanded by the King, when he went in person to the house for that purpose, in 1641. Prince has given an article in his Worthies to another member of this family, Dr. William Strode, a poet and divine, who died in the year 1644.
The barton of Chaddlewood belonged to the ancient family of Snelling, whose heiress brought it to Martyn. After a few descents, in the lastmentioned family, it was divided among co-heirs. Several of the shares were for some time in the Trevanions, from whom they passed to Elford Sparke, Esq., descended from one of the co-heiresses of Martyn. After the death of Mr. Sparke, in 1789, his co-heirs sold this estate to William Symons, Esq., alderman of Plymouth. Chaddlewood is now the property and residence of his son, William Hales Symons, Esq. The barton of Challons Leigh, in this parish, belonged to the family of Challons, by marriage with the heiress of De Leigh. After ten descents in the Challons family, it passed by marriage to St. Albyn, one of whose co-heiresses brought it to Trethurfe and a co-heiress of Trethurfe, to Vyvyan; of which family it was purchased, in 1584, by John Woollcombe, Esq., of Holland. This barton was for several generations a seat of the Woollcombe family. It was sold by William Woollcombe, Esq., in the early part of the last century, and now belongs to the grand-daughters and co-heiresses of the late John Culme, Esq., who died in 1804. The barton of Tuxton is the property of Thomas Woollcombe, Esq., by inheritance from his grandfather, who married one of the co-heiresses of Robert Winston of this place. Mr. Winston had purchased a moiety of this estate of the Strodes; the other moiety had been in the Burgoynes, of North Tawton. The barton of Smithale, and Highwoods, a farm in this parish, are the property of John Morth Woollcombe, Esq. Elford Leigh was the seat of Richard Doidge, Esq., sheriff of Devon in 1771. By his bequest it became the property of his niece Elizabeth, (daughter of the Rev. John Yonge,) who married Philip Morshead, Esq. It was lately the property and residence of Henry Morshead, Esq., (late Anderson,) who having married their only child, Elizabeth, took the name of Morshead in 1804. It is now, by purchase, the property of William Langmead, Esq., who possesses also Lower Elford Leigh and the barton of Heath. Mr. Langmead has built a mansion at Elford Leigh for his own residence. Torridge, in this parish, belonged to the family of Rous, by whom it was given to Stockhay; after a few descents it reverted to the heirs general of Rous, and passed successively to Dymock and Bonville. By the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, it became vested in the crown. This estate is now the property of George Treby Treby, Esq., who has a seat at Goodamore, in this parish, purchased by his father, the late commissioner Ourry. The barton of Holland, some time a seat of the Woollcombes, is now a farm belonging to the grammar-school at Plympton Earls. Beechwood, in this parish, a new-built mansion, with ornamental pleasure-grounds, &c., is the seat of Richard Rosdew, Esq. (fn. n15), built in the year 1797.
The parish-church at Plympton, which was anciently the chapel of St. Mary, standing within the cemetery of the conventual church, is a handsome Gothic structure. In this church are some ancient monuments, with the effigies of knights in plate-armour, without inscriptions; that of Sir William Strode (1637), with effigies of the knight and his two ladies; George Parker, Esq., (son of John,) 1740; and William Symons, Esq., of Chaddlewood, 1801: the church of Plympton was appropriated to the priory. After the dissolution, the rectory was granted to the dean and chapter of Windsor, under whom the Earl of Morley is lessee. The dean and chapter appoint a perpetual curate, whose ancient stipend, of 39l. 13s. 4d., payable out of the great tithes, has lately been increased to 54l. 12s.; the benefice has been augmented by Queen Anne's bounty of 300l., and a parliamentary grant of 1000l.
There was an ancient hospital of Lazars at this place, on the site of which is built the parish-workhouse. The lands belonging to the hospital are vested in the parish-officers, and produce a rent of about 40l. per annum, applied in aid of the poor's rates.
Plymstock, or Plympstock
PLYMSTOCK, or PLYMPSTOCK, in the hundred and deanery of Plympton, lies about three miles from Plympton, and two from Plymouth. The large village of Oreston, formerly Harston, and the villages of Hooe, Elburton, and Stoddescombe, are in this parish. The latter was the birth-place of Dr. Nathaniel Forster, the editor of Plato, and the author of other learned works. (fn. n16)
Plymstock was the head-quarters of the besieging army, when Plymouth was invested by Colonel Digby, in September, 1643; and it continued to be one of the principal stations after Prince Maurice arrived with his army. The royalists had batteries at Oreston and Mount Batten, in this parish, and a guard at Hooe. (fn. n17)
The manor of Plymstock belonged to the abbot and convent of Tavistock. It was not part of the original endowment, nor does it appear by whom it was given, but it was parcel of the possessions of that monastery when the Domesday survey was taken. Having been granted, with other possessions of Tavistock abbey, to John Lord Russell, it has descended with them to the Duke of Bedford.
We are informed, by the editor of the last edition of Prince's Worthies, that the ill-fated Sir Walter Ralegh was some time a prisoner at Radford, under the charge of Sir Christopher Harris, after his arrival at Plymouth, in 1618, and it is said that several of his letters were long preserved in the Harris family.
The church was formerly a chapel belonging to the priory of Plympton, to which the tithes were appropriated. The benefice is now a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the dean and chapter of Windsor, in whom the tithes are vested. At Hooe, or Howe, in this parish, was a chapel of St. Catherine, mentioned as an ancient chapel in Bishop Stafford's register, 1413. (fn. n18) Leland speaks of it as existing in his time.
At Turnchapel, in this parish, is a wet-dock belonging to the Earl of Morley, sufficiently capacious for the reception of frigates. Adjoining it is a ship-yard, in which ships of the line are occasionally built. The Armada, of 74, was launched from it in 1810, and the Clarence, of 74, has been since built there.
On the Stoddiscombe estate is a reservoir for 12,000 tons of water, conveyed by iron pipes to the shore, where is a pier constructed for the protection of tank-vessels, stationed for the purpose of carrying a supply of water to ships as soon as they enter Breakwater, avoiding thereby a most inconvenient and tedious delay, whilst waiting for changes of wind. This desirable object has been attained by the activity and ingenuity of Joseph Whidbey, Esq., who resides at a new-built house called Bovysand Lodge, overlooking the reservoir.
The manor was, at an early period, in the family of Fitzpayne; afterwards in a younger branch of the Courtenays, one of whose co-heiresses brought it to Peverell; from the latter it passed, by successive female heirs, to Hungerford and Hastings. Henry Earl of Huntingdon sold it to Thomas Goodwyn, by whose co-heiresses most of the lands were dismembered. It was held under the honor of Plympton.
Fordmore, in this parish, was, from the reign of Henry II., the property and residence of the family of Ford, which became extinct in 1702. Ann, (the wife of William Chave,) one of his co-heiresses, having become (partly by purchase) possessed of the whole, bequeathed it to her cousin, Mr. William Wright of Collumpton. It is now a farm, the property of Charles Phillott, Esq., of Bath, in right of his wife, who was a niece of Mr. Wright. Woodbeare, in this parish, gave name to a family, from whom it descended to Julian and Dauney. In the reign of Henry IV. it was vested in the co-heiresses of the latter, and was afterwards successively in the families of Tye, Land, and Jope, having passed chiefly by female heirs. It now belongs to Mrs. Young. The old mansion has been converted into a farm-house.
The manor, or reputed manor, of Hayne, has been for more than three centuries in the family of Harward. It is now the property, and Hayne House the residence, of the Rev. Charles Harward, grandson of the late dean of Exeter.
Clist William, formerly belonging to the Salters, is now the property of Sir John Kennaway, Bart. A large mansion to the south-west of the church, called Green End, was formerly the property and residence of the Pratts, ancestors of Earl Camden. It was given by one of that family to the uncle of Mr. Thomas Blake, who is the present proprietor and occupier.
In the parish-church, which is a handsome Gothic structure, with an elegant screen painted and gilt, are the monuments of William James Arnold, Esq., 1814; and the Rev. C. Harward, dean of Exeter, who died at Hayne House, in this parish, in 1802. Mr. Incledon's Notes mention memorials of Roger Forde, Esq., 1631; and Thomasine, wife of Charles Forde, 1690.
The advowson of the rectory was purchased of the Mundy family by the provost and fellows of Oriel College, in Oxford, with a sum of money given by Dr. Carter, some time provost, for the purchase of advowsons for the benefit of actual resident fellows.
The manor, which, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, had belonged to Brictritius, the sheriff, was held in demesne, at the time of the Domesday survey, by Haimerius de Arcis: it belonged, at an early period, to the family of Poltimore, who possessed it for several descents. Sir Richard Poltimore, the last of the family, conveyed it, in the reign of Edward I., to Simon Lord Montacute, who sold it to William Pointington, a canon of Exeter, for 200l. Pointington gave it to his pupil, John Bampfylde, ancestor of John Bampfylde, Esq., who was created a baronet in 1641; his son, Sir Coplestone, was an active promoter of the interests of Charles II., for which, a short time previously to his restoration, he was imprisoned in the Tower. Upon the happy turn of events, which shortly afterwards took place, he was released, and was the first sheriff of Devon after the King's return to his throne. Poltimore is now the property of Sir C. W. Bampfylde, Bart. The house is only occupied by servants, Sir C. Bampfylde residing in Somersetshire.
Lord Goring, who had been quartered at Poltimore with 1500 horse, retired into Exeter on the approach of Sir Thomas Fairfax, with his army, in the month of October, 1645. Poltimore House was soon afterwards garrisoned by Sir Thomas Fairfax, with the consent of its owner, Sir John Bampfylde, then on the side of the Parliament. (fn. n19) The treaty for the surrender of Exeter was begun at Poltimore House on the 3d of April, 1646. (fn. n20)
The manor of Cutton formed the corps of one of the prebends in the collegiate chapel within the castle of Exeter, now no longer existing. The prebendary of Cutton was to assist the prebendary of Hayes in that chapel, and to say mass once a year in the chapel of St. John at Poltimore. It is now a sinecure, in the gift of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, Bart. (fn. n21)
In the parish-church is a grave-stone inscribed to the memory of John Bampfylde, who built the church, and gave the great bell, (ob. 1390,) and Agnes his wife, daughter of John Pederton; and a memorial of Sir John Bampfylde, the first baronet, who died in 1650.
Near the church-yard is an almshouse for four poor persons, founded by Mrs. Elizabeth Bampfylde (widow of Richard), who died in 1599; and Sir Amias, her son. John Bampfylde, Esq., in 1631, gave some land for the endowment of this house, which now produces 10l. 10s. per annum. Sir Richard Bampfylde, Bart., in 1775, gave a sum of money to the poor of this house, and two other poor persons, the interest of which produces 7l. 7s. 2d. per annum. Mrs. Bradford gave to the poor of the almshouse 100l. 5 per cent.
South Pool, or Pole
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry I., to Nicholas de Pola. The co-heiresses of this family married Pipard and Clavell. In the fourteenth century it belonged, for a few descents, to the family of De Cirencester, or Chichester. Sir Thomas Courtenay was afterwards possessed of it: having passed by inheritance through the Peverells and Hungerfords to Henry Earl of Huntingdon, it was sold by him to the Heles of Gnaton, and is now the property of Treby Hele Hayes, Esq., one of the representatives of that family, who resides at Dallamore, in the parish of Cornwood. Halwell, in this parish, which was a seat of the Heles, is unoccupied. The manor of North Pool belonged to the Punchardons, of whom it was purchased by Hugh Courtenay, the first Earl of Devon, of that family. It is now the property of his descendant, Lord Viscount Courtenay.
Scobbahull, Scobhull, or Scobell, in this parish, gave name to an ancient family, still in existence, whose original residence and property it was for many descents: a co-heiress of Scobhull brought it to Speccot. It is now the property and residence of Thomas Coruish, Esq., who purchased it of the co-heiresses of the late Richard Lake, Esq.
In the parish-church, on the north side of the chancel, is an altar-tomb with a representation, in front, of the resurrection, which serves also as a monument for Thomas Briant, rector of South Pool and Portlemouth (fn. n22); there are monuments also for Leonard Darre, Esq., 1615, (he married a daughter of Sir George Bond, Lord Mayor of London, in 1588); Robert Lake, Esq., of Scobel, 1778; and Robert, his only son, 1780.
PORTLEMOUTH, in the hundred of Coleridge and in the deanery of Woodleigh, lies on the sea-coast, about eight miles from Kingsbridge by land; about five by crossing a passage over the estuary, between Salcombe and Kingsbridge; and only three by water. Rickham, Holset, and Goodshelter, are villages in this parish.
The manor belonged, at an early period, to Alan Fitz Roald, who became possessed of it by marrying the heiress of De Dodbrooke. His posterity, being called Fitzalan, possessed this manor for several descents. The heiress of Fitzalan brought it to Champernowne, of Modbury, which family continued in possesion in 1630. It was afterwards in the Pawlets, and is now vested in the representatives of the late Duke of Bolton, who are patrons of the rectory. The manor of West Praul, with a considerable estate (fn. n23), belongs to the trustees of Tiverton school, to whom it was given by Mr. Blundell, the founder.
Poughill, or Poghill
Poughill gave name to a family, who possessed the manor for many descents. In or about the year 1429, Robert de Poughill conveyed it to Nicholas Radford, from whose family it passed, by successive female heirs, to Prous and Gay. It is now the property of Richard Melhuish, Esq., of Bremridge, in the parish of Sandford, by whose grandfather it was purchased of the Gays. The manor of Broadridge is a divided property; two-thirds of it, which had been in the Pyncombes, are now vested in the trustees of Mrs. Pyncombe's charities; the remaining third belongs to George Henry Carew, Esq., of Crowcomb, in Somersetshire. The barton of Woolster, in this parish, was the old seat of the Pyncombes. One of the co-heiresses of that family had been a maid of honour in the reign of James II.
The rectory of Poughill is in the gift of the crown. There was formerly a chapel at Poughill, dedicated to John the Baptist. (fn. n24) Mr. Robert Gay, in 1725, gave 1l. per annum for teaching poor children. Mrs. Gertrude Pyncombe, in 1730, gave 5l. per annum for the same purpose.
Powderham belonged, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to William Earl of Ow, who forfeited it in the next reign. After this, the manor belonged, for some descents, to a family to whom it gave name. On the attainder of John Powderham, the last of this family, it became the property of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, who gave it in marriage with his daughter Margaret to Hugh Earl of Devon. The Earl settled it, about the year 1350, on his younger son, Sir Philip, immediate ancestor of Lord Viscount Courtenay, the present proprietor. Richard Courtenay, eldest son of Sir Philip, was bishop of Norwich, and possessed this and other estates, which on his death passed to his nephew Philip. The bishop died at Harfleurs, having accompanied King Henry V. on his expedition to France. Sir William Courtenay, the representative of this branch, was created a baronet by King Charles II., some years before his restoration. Sir William Courtenay, his descendant, was, in 1762, created Viscount Courtenay, and was grandfather of the present viscount.
Leland describes Powderham as a strong castle, with a barbican, or bulwark, for the protection of the haven. Powderham Castle having been garrisoned for King Charles I., Fairfax sent a party of horse and foot to attack it, on the 14th of December, 1645; the garrison having been in the mean time reinforced with 150 men, Fairfax's party desisted from the attempt, but took possession of Powderham church. The church is said to have been attacked by a detachment from the King's garrison at Exeter, who were obliged to retreat, not without loss. The next day, Sir Hardress Waller marched to Exminster, and sent a force to cover the retreat of the parliamentary garrison from the church. (fn. n25) On the 25th of January following, Powderham Castle was surrendered to Colonel Hammond. (fn. n26) Vicars says that there were 120 men in the castle, and four pieces of ordnance. Among Chapple's MSS. I find an account, but the authority is not stated, which says that the garrison consisted of 300 men, and that Sir— Meredith was governor. It appears that after this, Powderham Castle was, for a short time, repossessed by the royalists, and more strongly fortified; for Vicars, in his Chronicle, relates a capture of Powderham Castle by Sir Hardress Waller, about the 21st of March, 1646, at which time it was fortified with eighteen pieces of ordnance. (fn. n27) The castle has since undergone various alterations, but retains, in some degree, its castellated appearance. In the north wing was a chapel, rebuilt in 1717, which was converted into a drawing-room by the late Lord Courtenay. On the hill above the castle is a triangular building, with three hexagonal towers, called the Belvidere, constructed for the purpose of commanding the rich and diversified prospects of the sea, the river Exe, and surrounding country. This building is above sixty feet in height, including the towers. The deer-park, plantations, and pleasure-grounds, are extensive; and there is a large and beautiful flower-garden.
In the parish-church is the monument of Lady Mary Bertie, daughter of James Earl of Abingdon, who died in 1718. In the window of the north aisle is a female effigies in stone; probably the lady of Sir Philip Courtenay, founder of the Powderham branch, about the middle of the fourteenth century.
The manor of Podington, or Puddington, belonged, at an early period, to the Sachvilles, and afterwards, for some descents, to the family of Walrond. In Sir William Pole's time it belonged to a family of the name of Hays, who had acquired it by purchase, probably from the Atmores. (fn. n28) Afterwards, it was, for a few descents, in the Tristrams, one of the coheiresses of which family brought it to Welman. It is now the property of Thomas Welman, Esq., of Pauncefort Park, near Taunton, who is patron of the rectory. In the parish-church are memorials of Robert Tristram, 1716; and John Patch, 1783. There is an old Presbyterian meeting in this parish, with an endowment in land of about 30l. per annum. George Davy, in 1746, gave a small benefaction, producing 12s. per annum, for a school.
The manor of East Putford belonged to the family of Poteford, or Putford, whose co-heiresses married Stockey and Pollard. I cannot learn that there is now any manor of this name. Mambury, in this parish, now the property and residence of the Rev. John Phillips, was, at an early period, in the family of Mambury, from which it passed, by successive female heirs, to Barnfield and Phillips. Winslade was the original property and residence of the Winslade family. It is now the property of the Rev. William Walter, rector of Bideford.
In East Putford church, or chapel, which is considered as a daughterchurch to Buckland Brewer, are monuments of Fry, Barnfield, and Phillips. (fn. n29)
WEST PUTFORD, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of Holsworthy, lies about eleven miles from Bideford, near the Torridge. Wedfield, Colscot, and Thriverden, are villages in this parish.
The manor was, at an early period, successively in the families of Morton and Cary. Lord Rolle and Lord Clinton have each a manor in this parish, called the manor of West Putford. Lord Clinton is patron of the rectory. The barton of Cory, in this parish, gave name to the family of Cory: it is now a divided property.
Mr. Incledon's Church Notes mention a memorial in the parish-church for Mary, daughter of — Casielis, wife first of E. Morden, and afterwards of Sir Nicholas Prideaux, 1647. Other monuments of the Prideaux family have been removed to Padstow, in Cornwall.
The manor belonged, in the reign of Edward I., to Matthew Fitzjohn. (fn. n30) It was afterwards, for many generations, in the family of Boniface; afterwards, in the Arscots. It is now the property of Sir Arscot Ourry Molesworth, Bart. The manor of Moor, now the property of Miss Kingdon, was purchased by her father, of John Bulteel, Esq.