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. 1) 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. 2)
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. 3) It was
one of the principal quarters of Prince Maurice's army, whilst besieging
Plymouth, from October to December or January, 1643. (fn. 4) The King had
a garrison here, which was taken by the Earl of Essex in the month of
July, 1644 (fn. 5) : 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. 6) 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. 7) , 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. 8) , 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. 9)
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. 10)
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. 11) It was most probably never afterwards occupied as a fortress,
although some of the walls of the habitable part might have been suffered
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.
In the year 1715 there was a meeting-house of the Presbyterians at
Plympton: the congregation are now Independent Calvinists.
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.
Leland says there was, in his time, a fair on Midsummer-day at Plympton
St. Mary. There is now a cattle-fair at Underwood on the 5th of July.
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. 12) 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.
The old mansion at Boringdon has been in part dilapidated; what
remains is now occupied as a farm-house; the old hall is still standing:
adjoining to this old mansion is an extensive deer-park.
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. 13)
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. 14) 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. 15) ,
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.
There is a Sunday-school in this parish, for about 100 children.
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. 16)
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. 17)
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.
The manor of Goosewell, in this parish, belongs to John Harris, Esq.,
of Radford, in Plymstock, whose family have been settled there upwards
of 400 years.
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
The manor of West Hooe belongs to Sir John Rogers, Bart., and has
been a considerable time in his family.
The manor of Stoddiscombe, now the property of Edmund Pollexfen
Bastard, Esq., M. P., was purchased by the late Mr. Bastard of Sir William
Molesworth, Bart., who inherited it from the Morices.
Bell Vue, adjoining to Radford, the seat of the late Thomas Hillersdon
Bulteel, Esq., was built by his father-in-law, Christopher Harris, Esq. It
is now occupied by Mrs. Bulteel and her son.
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. 18) Leland speaks of it as existing in his time.
The Rev. Vincent Warren, who died in 1791, founded a school for
30 children, 20 of whom, 10 boys and as many girls, are annually clothed.
It is endowed with 2000l. 3 per cent. annuities.
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.
PLYMTREE, in the hundred of Hayridge and in the deanery of Plymtree,
lies about four miles from Collumpton, and about eight from Honiton.
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
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
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.
POLTIMORE, in the hundred of Wonford and in the deanery of Aylesbeare, lies about four miles from Exeter.
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. 19) The treaty for the
surrender of Exeter was begun at Poltimore House on the 3d of April,
1646. (fn. 20)
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. 21)
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
SOUTH POOL, or POLE, in the hundred of Coleridge and in the deanery
of Woodleigh, lies about four miles from Kingsbridge. The villages of
North Pool and Coombe are in this parish.
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
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. 22) ; 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. 23) ,
belongs to the trustees of Tiverton school, to whom it was given by Mr.
Blundell, the founder.
Portlemouth commands one of the most beautiful sea-views in the
county, with Kingsbridge and the estuaries, the harbour of Salcombe, &c.
The parish-church is dedicated to St. Onolaus.
Poughill, or Poghill
POUGHILL, or POGHILL, in the hundred of West Budleigh and in the
deanery of Cadbury, lies about eight miles from Tiverton, and about the
same distance from Crediton.
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
The rectory of Poughill is in the gift of the crown. There was formerly
a chapel at Poughill, dedicated to John the Baptist. (fn. 24) 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, in the hundred of Exminster and in the deanery of Kenne,
lies about seven miles from Exeter.
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. 25) On the 25th of January following, Powderham Castle was surrendered to Colonel Hammond. (fn. 26) 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. 27) 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
Robert Mandley, in 1708, gave 5l. for teaching children. Lord Courtenay's trustees support a charity-school on Dr. Bell's system.
PUDDINGTON, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South
Molton, lies about eight miles from Tiverton.
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. 28)
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
EAST PUTFORD, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery
of Holsworthy, lies about eight miles from Great Torrington.
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. 29)
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.
PYWORTHY, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of
Holsworthy, lies about two miles from Holsworthy.
The manor belonged, in the reign of Edward I., to Matthew Fitzjohn. (fn. 30)
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.
In the parish-church is a memorial for Roger Mapowder, 1722. The
Rev. Thomas Hockin Kingdon is patron and incumbent of the rectory.