Parishes
Uffculme - Willand

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

Daniel and Samuel Lysons

Year published

1822

Pages

538-562

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'Parishes: Uffculme - Willand', Magna Britannia: volume 6: Devonshire (1822), pp. 538-562. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50595 Date accessed: 01 September 2014.


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Uffculme, or Uffculm

UFFCULME, or UFFCULM, a decayed market-town, in the hundred of Bampton and in the deanery of Tiverton, lies on the borders of Somersetshire, about five miles from Collumpton, 17 from Exeter, and about 189 from London.

A market at this place on Wednesday, and two fairs, one for three days at the festival of the apostles St. Peter and Paul, and the other, for the same period, at the festival of St. Peter ad vincula, were granted to John Cogan in 1266. (fn. 1) There was formerly a market on Wednesday for corn and other provisions, and it is still attended by one or two butchers. There was a fair also on Good Friday, which is now held on the Wednesday in Passion week, and there are two others, June 29., and the middle Wednesday of September, but they are all much declined.

Uffculm was a considerable manufacturing town: a great quantity of serges were made there, which were exported to Holland by the Tiverton merchants. The trade was at its height about the middle of the last century. Machinery, worked by water, was introduced about the year 1789. The woolcombers and weavers were at that time very numerous. In consequence of the total decay of trade, the parish-officers gave a bounty to some manufacturers at Collumpton for employing such of their poor as had been brought up to the woollen trade, and were incapable of other labour. A manufactory of worsted spinning was established at Cold Harbour in 1795, and some flannels were made at Uffculm for the East and West Indies. Flannels are now made at both manufactories.

The sweating sickness raged at this place in the year 1551. Out of 38 burials entered in that year, 27 were in the first 11 days of August, and 16 of them in three days. The disease of which these persons died is called, in the parish-register, "the hote sickness or stup-gallant." I have not been able to find this term in any account of the destructive malady, generally known by the name of the sweating sickness. The number of inhabitants in this town and parish was, in 1801, 1837; in 1811, 1564; and in 1821, 1979, according to the returns made to parliament at those periods.

The manor of Uffculm, which was held by Walter de Douay at the time of the Domesday survey, and became parcel of the barony of Bampton, has been dismembered. The royalty and waste now belong to Mr. William Hurley. It is probable that the lords of Bampton had a seat here: part of the estate is still called Cogan's Park. (fn. 2) The manor is now held of the Duchy of Lancaster.

The manor of Hackpen was held with Uffculm by the Bourchiers, Earls of Bath, from whom they passed by marriage to the Earl of Stamford. Both manors were sold and parcelled out before 1712. The royalty was for many years after that period in the family of Manley, and was held by the late Mr. Charles Leigh as mortgagee. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 3)

The manor of Leigh, or Goodleigh, belonged to the ancient family of Holway, most likely by inheritance from Fissacre, whose co-heiress married into that family. In 1771 it belonged to Fr. Wright, Esq., and is now the property of Mr. John Bishop.

The manor of Southill, or Sowill, was given by Fulk Paganell, or Paynell, Lord of Uffculm, to Adam, son of Ailward, whose descendants took the name of Sowill. The heiress of Sowill married Facy, whose descendant sold this manor in or about 1530 to Dennis. In Sir William Pole's time it was in the co-heiresses of Dennis; at a later period successively in the families of Dimond and Vaughan. It is now, in consequence of a family arrangement, the property of George Cornish, Esq., who married a niece of the widow of the late Windsor Vaughan, Esq.

Bradfield, in this parish, gave name to an ancient family, who possessed the manor and hall for several generations. They were succeeded by the Walronds as early as the reign of Henry III., and it has ever since continued in that family, being now the property and residence of William Henry Walrond, Esq. Bradfield Hall is an ancient mansion, the greater part of which remains in its original state: the hall has a wooden Gothic roof: on the outside of the house are numerous coats of arms of the Walronds and their alliances.

Mr. Walrond is proprietor also of Hurst, which belonged for some generations, at an early period, to the Hursts; Stenehall, which, in the reign of Henry III., belonged to the Corbyns; and Foxhall, or Foggeshall, which belonged for some descents to a family of that name, who alienated to Prudham, or Prudhome, in the reign of Edward II.: from the lastmentioned family it passed, by female descent, through the families of Whiting, of Wood, to the Walronds.

In the parish-church are monuments of Sir William Walrond, 1663; Nicholas Ayshford, 1701; and some ancient monuments without name or date. The rectory of Uffculm is a prebendal corps in the church of Sarum: the prebendary presents the vicar. The Rev. James Windsor, the present vicar, and Henry Blackmore Baker, Esq., of Collumpton, are joint lessees of this rectory. Uffculm is in the peculiar jurisdiction of the church of Salisbury.

There was formerly a chapel at Bradfield-hall, which has been pulled down; an ancient chapel, which was near the house of Mr. Clarke, at Bridwell, in the parish of Halberton, has also been taken down: a building near it, in this parish, fitted up by Mr. Clarke, and some time opened for Unitarian worship, is at present disused.

The Presbyterians and Particular Baptists have meeting-houses at Uffculm; the former existed in 1715.

Nicholas Ayshford, above mentioned, founded a grammar-school at this place, and endowed it with 800l. It was some time in litigation, but was recovered with accumulated interest, and after building a good schoolhouse, &c., there now remains the sum of 1400l., 3 per cent., for the endowment: the interest is received by the master, who has also a good house with a garden, &c. The management of the school is vested in twelve trustees, by whom the master is elected.

Ugborough

UGBOROUGH, in the hundred of Ermington and in the deanery of Plympton, lies about three miles from Modbury, nine from Kingsbridge, eight and a half from Totnes, 11 from Ashburton, and 14 from Plymouth. The villages of Ludbrooke, Nilham, Wrangaton, Cheston, and part of Ivybridge, are in this parish. A great cattle-market is held at Ugborough on the third Tuesday in every month.

The manor of Ugborough (Ulgeberge) belonged, at the time of the Domesday survey, to Alured Brito. It was afterwards in the baronial family of Briwere, or Brewer, from whom it passed by a female heir to the Mohuns. Sir Nigel Loring appears to have purchased it in the reign Edward III., and with his co-heiresses it passed in moieties to Broughton and Harington. Harington's moiety descended to Bonville and Grey. After the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, it was purchased of the crown, in the reign of Elizabeth, by Speaker Williams. This moiety continued many years in the family of Williams, and the other in that of Savery, who acquired it, most probably, by purchase. The whole was afterwards in Harris, and having been purchased of the devisees of Christopher Harris, Esq., by the late Walter Palk, Esq., is now, in right of his wife, the property of Sir Henry Carew, Bart., who married his only daughter and heir.

Bawcombe, in this parish, gave name to an ancient family, who possessed it as late as the reign of Henry V. It is probable that this family ended in two co-heiresses, between whom the estate was divided. In Sir William Pole's time the Fountaines possessed one moiety, and Glass the other. The Fountaines were of Bawcombe for several descents. Higher Bawcombe is now the property of the Rev. James Lewis Gidoin; Lower Bawcombe is in the possession of Mr. John Edmonds, but there is a Chancery suit pending, relating to it, between him and Christopher Savery, Esq. Fowellscombe belonged for many descents to the family of Fowell. Sir William Pole says that the first on record was an attorney, in the reign of Henry IV. Sir Edmund Fowell, of this place, was created a baronet in 1661. After the death of his grandson, Sir John, the last baronet, in 1692, one of his sisters and co-heiresses brought this estate to the Champernownes. (fn. 4) In 1758 it was purchased of that family by the father of George Herbert, Esq., who sold it to Thomas King, Esq.: it is now the property and residence of John King, Esq. The manor of Ludbrooke belonged to a family of that name, whose heiress married Bawcombe; it passed with the heiress of one branch of that family to Mescheney. It was afterwards in the Fowells, and having passed with the other co-heiress of that family to the Parkers, was purchased of the Earl of Morley by Mr. King: the lands belonging to it were dismembered.

The manor of Stone was for many descents in the family of Damarell, a younger branch of which continued to reside there in Sir William Pole's time. It was afterwards in the Fowells, and having passed with Ludbrooke, was purchased with it by Mr. King. The manor of Langford Lister belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the family of Lister. That monarch afterwards gave it to Peter de Orival. King John granted it to William Lord Brewer, from whom it passed to Roger de Mules. (fn. 4) From the latter it descended to Henry Earl of Huntingdon, who sold it to Lord Chief Justice Popham. It was purchased of the Chief Justice by the Heles, and after some descents in that family, became the property of the Strodes, of whom it was purchased by Thomas Palk, Esq. It now belongs to Sir Henry Carew, Bart., in right of his wife as heiress of the late Walter Palk, Esq. The manor of Torpeake belonged successively to Fitzstephen, De la Tor, and Woodland. Having been purchased by Speaker Williams, it continued for some descents in his family. It is now the property of Mr. Robert Grant. The manor of Wrangaton belongs to the Rev. Jacob Ley of Ashsprington, and Mr. John Ley of Newton Abbot. Woodland belonged successively to the families of Woodland, Scobbahull, and Speccot. It is now the property of Herbert Cornish, Esq. Fileham, which belonged successively to the families of Fileham and Toppa, is now the property of Mr. John Pearce. Marridge, in this parish, was for six descents the property and residence of the family of Sture, of whom it was purchased in 1699 by an ancestor of the late Edward Taylor, Esq., by whose death it devolved to the only daughter of the late George Taylor, Esq., of Totnes, at present a minor. The house is now occupied by a farmer.

In the parish-church are memorials for Mr. Richard Fownes, 1680, and George Legassicke, Esq., of Modbury, 1789. The great tithes were appropriated to the priory of Plympton. The advowson, and a large portion of the great tithes, were purchased of Christopher Savery, Esq., in the year 1786, by the Grocer's company; the remainder, except such as form part of the endowment of the vicarage, were sold to the landowners. The vicarage has a glebe of nearly 70 acres. Sir John Kempthorn, an eminent naval commander, who died in 1679, was born at Witchcombe, or Widscombe, in this parish (fn. 5) , in the year 1620: he distinguished himself in the Dutch war, particularly in the action at Solebay.

Uplime

UPLIME, in the hundred of Axminster and in the deanery of Honiton, lies on the borders of Dorsetshire, about five miles from Axminster, and one from Lyme Regis, in Dorsetshire.

The manor belonged to the abbot and convent of Glastonbury. After the surrender of that monastery, it was purchased of the crown, by John Drake, Esq. It was sold in 1775, by the representatives of Drake, to George Tucker Esq., and is now vested in the trustees of Henry Tippetts Tucker, a minor. The manor of Weare Cleave has been many years in the family of the present proprietor, William Peer Williams, Esq., Admiral of the White. Rhodes is the property and residence of Sir John Talbot, K. C. B., Rear Admiral of the Blue.

The late Mr. Tucker's trustees are patrons of the rectory.

Up-Lowman, or Loman

UP-LOWMAN, or LOMAN, in the hundred and deanery of Tiverton, lies on the river Lomen, Loman, or Lowman, about four miles and a half from Tiverton. The hamlet of Whitninch is in this parish.

The manor of Up-Lowman, or Lomen, was the inheritance of the ancient family of Lomen, or De Lumine. Sir Richard de Lomen, the last of that name, was succeeded in the possession of this manor by Sir John de Willington; from whom it descended to the Beaumonts of Sherwell. Having been, for many generations, in the family of Pawlet, this estate was sold in parcels by the present Earl Pawlet. The manor, and a considerable portion of the lands, were purchased, in 1810, by Frederick White, Esq., of Wellington, to whom they now belong. The manor-house, a part of which only remains, is the property and residence of Thomas Pullen, Esq.,

Child Lomen, or Chil Lomen, now called Chief Lomen, belonged, anciently, to the family of Boys of Halberton. It is said, by Sir William Pole, to have belonged to the priory of Canonleigh, and to the abbey of St. Augustine, in Bristol; but I do not find any account of such donation to either monastery. The founder of Canonleigh, W. Clavil, gave to the monks of that monastery the tithe of all his rents in Lumene, (Lowman). (fn. 6) This estate, on which is an ancient stone building, belongs now to Richard Chave, Esq. Risdon speaks of Windheys, in this parish, as a house fairly built, and commodiously seated, belonging to Mr. Shee. It has since been in the family of Ham, and is now the property of R. H. Clarke, Esq., of Bridwell. The Rev. Simon Pidsley, lately deceased, was patron and incumbent of the rectory.

Upton Hellions

UPTON HELLIONS, more properly Helions, or Hilion, in the hundred of West Budleigh and in the deanery of Cadbury, lies about two miles from Crediton, and eight from Exeter.

The manor belonged to the ancient family of Hilion, or Helion, one of whose co-heiresses brought it to Dowrish. (fn. 7) Dr. George Carew, archdeacon of Exeter, became possessed of it by purchase, and built a house here for his own residence; his nephew George, Earl of Totnes, sold this estate to Walter Yonge, Esq., ancestor of the late Sir George Yonge, Bart., of whom it was purchased by Mr. Richard Read, the present proprietor. Creedy Hilion passed by the same title to the Yonges. Creedy Peytevin, afterwards called Creedy Wiger, passed by marriage from the family of Peytevin to that of Wiger. It passed, by sale, from Wiger to William Lord Martyn; by successive female heirs, to Lord Audley, Fitzwarren, and Bourchier, Earl of Bath; by sale, from the Earl of Bath to Prideaux; and from Prideaux to Sir William Periam. One of the co-heiresses of John Periam, Esq., brought it to Reynell. I cannot find that any estate in the parish is now known by the name of Creedy Hilions, or Creedy Peytevin. The barton of Husk has long been in the family of Mr. William Decker, the present proprietor. The barton of Merryvale, is the property of Thomas Chave, Esq.

In the parish-church is the monument of the Rev. James Carrington, chancellor of the diocese of Exeter, 1794. The advowson of the rectory is vested in the trustees of the children of the late rector, the Rev. William Wellington, who died in 1806.

Upton Pyne, or Bramford Pyne

UPTON PYNE, or BRAMFORD PYNE, lies in the hundred of Wonford and in the deanery of Cadbury, about six miles from Crediton, and about four from Exeter.

The manor belonged to the family of Pyne as early as the reign of Henry I. After ten descents, the heiress of this ancient family brought it to Larder: after five descents in that family, it passed by marriage to a branch of the Coplestons. Sir Henry Northcote, Bart. married the heiress of Stafford of Pynes, in this parish, whose ancestor, Hugh Stafford, Esq., had purchased this estate of John Copleston, Esq., (afterwards Sir John Copleston, Knight,) soon after the restoration of King Charles II. It is now the property of Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, Bart.; and Pynes is the principal seat of the family. Stephenston, Steventon, or Stenson, came into the family of Ashford, or Ayshford, by marriage with Bell, in the reign of Henry III., and continued to be their property in the early part of the seventeenth century. It now belongs to Sir S. H. Northcote, Bart., who purchased it, in 1806, of H. Sandford, Esq., a descendant of the Ayshfords.

Ley, or Leigh, in this parish, belonged to the family of Merchant, in the reign of Edward III. It is now the property of Mr. Joseph Roberts, of Newton St. Cyres.

In the south wall of the parish-church is an ancient monument of one of the Larder family, with the effigies of the deceased in armour. Over the altar-piece is a painting of the Lord's Supper, by an Italian artist, brought over by one of the Stafford family. (fn. 8) There are monuments of the families of Stafford (fn. 9) , Northcote (fn. 10) , and Slanning (fn. 11) ; and that of Melior, daughter of Edward Pyne, Esq., of East Downe, and relict of Nicholas Hooper, Esq., of Fulbrook, 1703. Sir S. H. Northcote, Bart., is patron of the rectory. Dr. John Walker, author of "The Sufferings of the Clergy," was inducted into this rectory in 1720, and died here in 1746.

Virginstow

VIRGINSTOW, in the hundred of Lifton and in the deanery of Tavistock, lies about fifteen miles from Oakhampton, and about six from Launceston, in Cornwall.

The manor belonged formerly to the Nevils, earls of Westmorland. I cannot learn that there is now any manor in the parish. Tutsho gave name to a family who possessed it for several generations: it was divided among co-heiresses.

In the parish-church is an altar-tomb, with his effigies on slate, in memory of William Crocker, 1624. The King is patron of the rectory.

Walkhampton

WALKHAMPTON, in the hundred of Roborough and in the deanery of Tamerton, lies about four miles from Tavistock, and 11 from Plymouth.

The manor was given by Amicia, Countess of Devon, to the abbot and convent of Buckland. (fn. 12) After the dissolution, it was purchased by Slanning, and having descended with the manor of Buckland, is the property of Sir Masseh Lopes, Bart., who possesses also the barton of Gnatham, and is impropriator of the rectory (fn. 13) , and patron of the vicarage.

The manor of Knowle, partly in this parish, belongs chiefly to Jonathan Elford, Esq.: a sixth part is the property of Thomas Trayton Fuller Elliot Drake, Esq.

Lady Modyford, in 1729, gave lands for the support of a charity-school, now producing a rent of nearly 140l. per annum; 1400l. in the stocks are said to have accumulated from the overplus of this charity 14 years ago. (fn. 14)

Ware Gifford, or Weare Giffard

WARE GIFFORD, or WEARE GIFFARD, in the hundred of Shebbear and in the deanery of Hartland, lies rather more than five miles from Bideford, and three from Torrington. The village of Clifft is in this parish.

At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of Weare was held in demesne by Ruald Adobed, whose lands appear to have passed by inheritance, sale, or royal grant, to the Giffards. An only daughter and heir of Sir Walter Giffard, of Weare, in the reign of Henry III., was thrice married: she had issue only by her second husband, Sir William Trewin, or Trewen, whose posterity were sometimes called Weare, from the place of their residence. The heiress of this family married Richard Densell, Esq., whose grand-daughter brought Weare Giffard to Martin Fortescue, son of the Chief Justice, and from him it has descended to his lineal representative, Matthew Earl Fortescue, who is patron of the rectory. Weare Giffard was, for several generations, a seat of the ancient family of Fortescue. The old mansion is now occupied as a farm-house.

In the parish-church are monuments of the Fortescue (fn. 15) family; and some memorials of those of Rolle (fn. 16) , and Greening. (fn. 17)

This parish has an interest in the school at Hunshaw.

Warkley, or Warkleigh

WARKLEY, or WARKLEIGH, in the hundred and deanery of South Molton, lies about five miles from South Molton, and about seven from Chulmleigh.

The manor was in the family of Ralegh as early as the reign of Henry II. In or about the year 1324, John Ralegh sold it with Satteregh, and the advowsons of both churches, to Lord Martyn, from whom it descended, through the Audleys, to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath. The manors of Warkleigh, and Satterleigh cum Roburrow, are now the property of James Gould, Esq., who is patron of the united rectories.

Washfield

WASHFIELD, in the hundred of West Budleigh (fn. 18) and in the deanery of of Tiverton, lies about two miles from Tiverton.

The manor was in the family of Le Abbe in the year 1242. Soon afterwards, it came to the family of Worth, who took their name from their ancient residence, Worth, in this parish, now the seat of their lineal descendant, John Worth, Esq., who is lord of the manor and patron of the rectory. In the parish-church is the monument of Henry Worth, Esq., 1630; and that of James Langford Nibbs, Esq., of Beauchamp Hall, 1795.

Washford Pyne, or Pine

WASHFORD PYNE, or PINE, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, lies about eight miles from Crediton, and about 12 from South Molton.

The manor belonged, for some descents, to the family of Pyne, who continued to possess it in the reign of Edward III. At a later period, the priory of Barnstaple, and the family of Horton, had estates in this parish. Since the Reformation, the manor of Washford Pyne was, for several descents, in the family of Hacche, who were succeeded by that of Hempton, in the last century. It is now the property of William Comyns, Esq., of Kenton. There was a chapel at Wenham, in this parish.

King's Weare, or Kingsware

KING'S WEARE, or KINGSWARE, in the hundred of Haytor and in the deanery of Ipplepen, lies near the mouth of the Dart, opposite to the town of Dartmouth.

The manor of King's Weare, originally royal demesne, was at an early period in the family of Fleming, from whom it passed by a female heir to Carew. Sir George Carew was lord of the manor and owner of the castle; yet Sir William Pole speaks of the manor as having been, for some time, in the family of Gale. It is now the property of John Fownes Luttrell, Esq., in whose family it has been for several descents.

The walls of King's Weare castle, a small fortress, are still perfect. It lies more to the south than Dartmouth castle: opposite to the castle at Dartmouth are the ruins of another fort, where, tradition says, the chain was fixed to prevent the entrance of hostile ships to the harbour. There are some embankments on the brow of the hill which overhangs the village of King's Weare, said to have been occupied by Sir Thomas Fairfax, when he attacked Dartmouth castle; but it is an erroneous tradition. They were thrown up as an additional defence by Sir Henry Cary, who had the command of King's Weare fort, under King Charles, and had his regiment there during the siege of Dartmouth. It was taken with that town by Sir Thomas Fairfax, January 19. 1646. (fn. 19)

King's Weare is a daughter-church to Brixham.

Week St. German's

WEEK ST. GERMAN'S. See German's Week.

Welcombe

WELCOMBE, near the north coast, on the borders of Cornwall, lies about five miles and a half from Harton, in the hundred and deanery of Hartland.

The manor of Welcombe was held in demesne, at the time of the Domesday survey, by William Chievre, or Capra: it belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of Fitz-Richard, and afterwards successively to those of Merton, Stowell, and Rolle. It is now, by inheritance from the latter, the property of the Right Honourable Lord Clinton; he is impropriator also of the tithes, which had belonged to Hartland abbey, and patron of the benefice. Welcombe was made a separate parish in 1508, having before that period been an appendage of Stoke Nectan or Hartland.

Wembury

WEMBURY, in the hundred and deanery of Plympton, lies about five miles from Plympton and Plymouth. The villages of Knighton and Downe Thomas are in this parish.

The manor of Wembury belonged to the prior and convent of Plympton. After the dissolution of that monastery, it was granted, in 1541, to Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, whose son Henry, the second earl, sold it, in 1579, to Robert Chamberleyne, Esq. It was purchased of the latter, in 1592, by John Hele, Esq., afterwards Sir John Hele, sergeant-at-law, who built here what was then esteemed the most magnificent mansion in the county, at the expense, as Prince supposes, of more than 20,000l.; even the gate-house leading to it he describes as fit for the accommodation of a large and genteel family. There was a park adjoining the house, and among other conveniences described by Prince was a salt-water pond, ingeniously contrived so as to be stored with fish by the influx of the tide, and closed by flood-gates, which prevented their return to the ocean. (fn. 20)

After the death of Sir John Hele, Bart., the manor of Wembury was sold with other estates by his son-in-law, Sir Edward Hungerford, (pursuant to an act of parliament obtained for that purpose,) towards the discharging of debts contracted by Sir John Hele, and his father Anthony Hungerford, Esq., during the civil war. This estate was purchased, in 1686, by John Pollexfen, a merchant of Plymouth (fn. 21) , brother of Chief Justice Pollexfen. John Pollexfen, Esq., his son, bequeathed it with other estates, in 1744, to Dame Frances Chudleigh, on whose death, in 1748, they devolved to her daughters and co-heirs. This manor was on partition allotted to Elizabeth Chudleigh, who, in 1757, sold it to William Molesworth, Esq. Mr. Molesworth's heiress brought it to Earl Camden. In 1803, the manor of Wembury was purchased of Lord Camden by Thomas Lockyer, Esq., and it is now the property of his son of the same name. The manor and royalty of the river was sold by Mr. Lockyer in 1811 to the late Mr. Bastard, and is now the property of his nephew, Edward Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., M. P., who is sole lord of the river from Kitley to Plymouth Sound. Mr. Lockyer pulled down Wembury House, which had been the seat of Sergeant Hele, and sold the materials, which are said to have produced 800l.: he built a mansion on the site for his own residence.

The manor of Langdon belonged anciently to the Pipards, whose coheiresses married Hamlyn, or Hamely, and De Lisle: it has been for several generations in the family of Calmady, and is now the property, and Langdon the residence, of Mrs. Pollexfen Calmady, the heiress of that family. Her late husband, Charles Holmes Everitt Calmady, Esq., who was Admiral of the Blue, had taken that name, his own familyname having been Everitt. Mrs. Calmady possesses also, by purchase from the Lockyers, West Wembury, which had been parcel of the manor, and the barton of Downe Thomas. The manor of Downe Thomas belongs to Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq. M. P.

In the parish-church are the monuments of Sir John Hele, sergeant-at law to Queen Elizabeth and James I., who died in 1608 (the inscription partly obliterated); of Dame Elizabeth, wife of the brave Admiral Sir John Narborough, 1678; and that of the late Admiral Calmady, who died in 1807. The church belonged to the priory of Plympton. The tithes are now appropriated to the dean and chapter of Exeter, who are patrons of the benefice.

Wemworthy, or Wembworthy

WEMWORTHY, or WEMBWORTHY (fn. 22) , in the hundred of North Tawton and in the deanery of Chulmleigh, lies about three miles from Chulmleigh.

The manor of Wemworthy belonged to the ancient family of Espeke, or Speke, who resided at Heywood in this parish, till they removed into Somersetshire. Sir George Speke leased Heywood to Sir John Doddridge the celebrated lawyer, one of the justices of the King's Bench in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. The manor was sold about the end of the seventeenth century to Mr. Foote, a merchant, of Tiverton, who left five daughters co-heiresses, married to Newte, Cockram, Glynn, Burridge, and Cruwys. This manor was divided between the four former. William Fellowes, Esq., about 1718, purchased Newte and Burridge's shares; the former included Heywood. Cockram's share passed to Raynor. Glynn's share continued in that family a considerable time. The Honourable Newton Fellowes is the present proprietor of the whole. Heywood is now a farm-house. Rashleigh, in this parish, gave name to the ancient family of Rashleigh. The heiress of the elder branch brought this estate in marriage to Clotworthy, and it is now the property of the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, representative of both families. The old mansion is now a farm-house.

In the parish-church are memorials for Mary, wife of Arthur Bury, Esq., and daughter of John Clotworthy, Esq., 1651; and Lawrence Clotworthy, Esq., 1655. The advowson of the rectory was divided between the co-heiresses of Foote, and still continues in five parts, of which the Rev. J. Tossell Johnson, the present incumbent, has four shares, and the Honourable Newton Fellowes the remaining fifth. The learned Dr. John Burton was born at Wemworthy, of which his father was rector in 1686.

Werrington

WERRINGTON lies on the west side of the Tamar, about two miles from Launceston, and surrounded by Cornwall; it is in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of Trigge Major, in the archdeaconry of Cornwall. The villages of Yeolmbridge, Bridgetown, Druxen, and Eggbeer, are in this parish.

The manor was given by Ordulph, the founder of Tavistock abbey, to that monastery, and it is said to have been the principal manor of the honor belonging to its abbot. After the dissolution it was given, with other possessions of that house, to John Lord Russell, ancestor of the Duke of Bedford, who is the present proprietor. The barton of Werrington was formerly possessed by Sir Francis Drake, who sold it in 1651 to Sir William Morice, afterwards Secretary of State to King Charles II. Sir William, who resided at Werrington House, had a fine library, was himself a learned man, and author of some religious treatises. In 1775, Werrington House was purchased of the representatives of Morice, by the grandfather of the present Duke of Northumberland, and it has been, of late years, an occasional residence of this noble family. The park has some fine scenery.

The manor of Poolapit Tamar belonged formerly to the Arscotts, and is now the property of Thomas John Philipps, Esq., of Newport House, near Launceston, having been purchased for him in his minority, of Sir Arscott Molesworth, Bart.

In the parish-church, which was rebuilt in 1742, is the burial-place of the Morice family, but there is no monument, except a tablet for William Morice, Esq., 1688. The tithes were appropriated to the abbey of Tavistock: the benefice, which is a donative, exempt from ecclesiastical jurisdiction, has been endowed with all the tithes of the parish, except those of the barton of Werrington. (fn. 23) The Earl of Buckinghamshire is patron.

Westleigh

WESTLEIGH, in the hundred of Fremington and in the deanery of Barnstaple, lies about three miles and a half from Bideford.

The manor of Westleigh, at the time of the Domesday survey, was held in demesne by Robert de Albemarle, or Damarell, whose descendant sold it to the Courtenays. It was some time held under the Courtenays by the family of Grant, whose heiress married Monk. It was afterwards in the Wilmers, by whom it was sold to Berry. Eastleigh belonged to the family of Barry, or Berry, by marriage (at an early period) with the heiress of De Legh. Thomas Berry, Esq., the last of the family, who died in 1802, devised it to his nephew Mr. William Tuplin, and his two daughters, one of whom brought it to the Rev. John Torr, the present proprietor of the barton of Eastleigh, and the manor of Westleigh.

Taplegh, or Tapelegh, belonged at an early period to the family of Bauderope, afterwards, in the reign of Edward I., to a family who took their name from this, the place of their residence. The heiress of Tapelegh married Grant, from whom it descended, by successive female heirs, to Cobleigh and Giffard. William Clevland, Esq., purchased it of the Giffards about the beginning of the last century. It is now, under the will of John Clevland, Esq., M. P. who died in 1817, the property of Augustus Saltren Willett, Esq. Tapelegh is at present uninhabited. The barton of Weach, which belonged to the Challocombes, was devised by the last heir male of that family to his half-brother, the great-grandfather of John Mervin Cutcliffe, Esq., the present proprietor.

In the parish-church are some monuments of the Clevland family (fn. 24) , and several memorials for those of Fleming (fn. 25) , Berry (fn. 26) , Cutcliffe (fn. 27) , and Challocombe. (fn. 28) The college of vicars choral at Exeter are appropriators of the great tithes, and the dean and chapter patrons of the vicarage.

Whimple

WHIMPLE, in the hundred of Cliston and in the deanery of Aylesbeare, lies about eight miles and a half from Exeter, on the road to Honiton. The small villages of Perreton and Slewtown are in this parish. There is an annual fair at Whimple, chiefly for sheep, on the Monday before Michaelmas.

The manor of Whimple passed by the same title as that of Aylesbeare, till it became the property of Sir Francis Englefield and Sir William Cordall. Sir Francis's share passed also in the same manner as his share of Aylesheare, and was sold to the tenants. Cordall's share, after one or two intermediate alienations, was purchased, about the year 1590, by the Yonges, who sold it to the Buller family. It is now the property of Thomas Wentworth Buller, Esq., of Northamptonshire.

The manor of Cobdon, or Cob Whimple, belonged to the Clists. William Tremenet, who had married the heiress of that family, conveyed it, in the beginning of Edward the First's reign, to Richard Pudding. In 1295 it was the property of Peter Pudding. It afterwards passed, by successive female heirs, to Denband and Paulet. Sir Amias Paulet sold it, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to Walter Yonge, Esq., ancestor of the late Sir George Yonge, Bart., and K. B., of whom it was purchased, in 1794, by the Buller family. It is now the property of T. W. Buller, Esq., of Northamptonshire, who possesses also the manor of Street Ralegh in this parish. (fn. 29) This manor belonged to the ancient family of Ralegh, from whom it passed, by successive female heirs, through St. Aubyn and Trethurfe, to Vyvyan and Courtenay: by the latter it was sold to William Gould, Esq., maternal ancestor of the present proprietor.

In the parish-church is the monument of the wife of Dr. Daniel Newcome, Dean of Gloucester, and rector of this parish; and of Daniel Newcome, M. A. rector, 1781. The Duke of Bedford is patron of the rectory.

Whitechurch

WHITECHURCH, in the hundred of Roborough and in the deanery of Tamerton, lies about a mile from Tavistock.

The manor of Whitechurch belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the Giffards, from whom it passed, by female descent, to Widworthy and Dinham. In the early part of the fourteenth century it was successively in Le Abbe and Trewin: from the latter it passed by successive female heirs to Densell and Fortescue. It now belongs to John Harris, Esq., of Radford. The manor of Walreddon, within that of Whitechurch, has been for a considerable time in a younger branch of the Courtenay family, and is now the property and residence of William Courtenay, Esq.

Moortown, in this parish, was for many generations in the family of De Mora, Mooringe, or Morwen. The learned John Morwen, who was some time tutor to Bishop Jewell, was of this family. Moortown is now the property and residence of John Ridout, Esq., whose father purchased it of Mr. Manby of Plymouth.

Greenofen was many years in the family of Pollard of Treleigh near Redruth, from whom it descended to the late J. M. Knighton, Esq. Mr. Knighton rebuilt the house, which is beautifully situated among romantic scenery. It is now the property of George Drake, Esq., who married Mr. Knighton's elder daughter and co-heiress, and has much improved the place.

Halwell House, in this parish, was an ancient seat of the Glanvilles, in which family it continued more than 300 years. Judge Glanville removed thence to Kilworthy in Tavistock, but the family continued possessed of Halwell till about 1700. It was lately the property of John Taylor, Esq., by whom it was sold to Mr. John Scobell, the present proprietor.

Sorteridge has been for some descents the property and residence of the family of Pengelly, now of the Rev. Henry Pengelly. Britsworthy, in this parish, belonged for several descents to the family of Mewy.

In the parish-church are monuments for the families of Mooringe (fn. 30) and Pengelly. (fn. 31)

Robert Champeaux, or Campell, abbot of Tavistock, about the year 1300, founded a collegiate chantry, or arch-presbytery at Whitechurch for an arch-priest and three fellows (fn. 32) : the arch-priest was rector of the parish. It does not appear that this college continued till the Reformation: I find no mention of it in the Chantry Roll. The Rev. Richard Sleeman is patron of the rectory. Francis Pengelly, Esq., in 1719, gave a rent-charge of 6l. per annum for teaching poor children of this parish.

Whitestone, or Whitstone

WHITESTONE, or WHITSTONE, in the hundred of Wonford and in the deanery of Dunsford, lies about three miles and a half from Exeter.

The manor of Whitestone was held, at the time of the Domesday survey, by Robert de Beaumont, under Baldwin the sheriff. It afterwards belonged to the family of Powderham. On the attainder of John de Powderham it was granted to Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and has since passed with Powderham Castle to Lord Viscount Courtenay.

The manor of Hallesford, or Halsford, belonged, in the reign of Edward I., to the family of Novant. (fn. 33) It appears that in 1649 Mrs. Rebecca Borough gave to St. John's Hospital a tenement called Naddir, then reputed to be parcel of this manor. This manor appears to have been long ago annihilated. A portion of the parish, still called Hallesford Ward, is divided into very small freeholds.

There was also a manor of Rohorn, which, in the reign of Edward I., was in the Torrington family, and afterwards in the Bonvilles. It escheated to the crown on the attainder of Lord Bonville. No such manor has been known of late years. A farm of that name, near the N. E. boundary of the parish, lately sold, had been for two centuries in a family of the name of Townsend.

Heath barton was successively in the families of Langdon, Hill, Dowrish, and Pollard. It is now the property of James White, Esq. The Rev. Charles Brown, the present incumbent, is patron of the rectory.

About the year 1747, Mr. John Splatt gave, by deed, an almshouse of five rooms for poor persons, and lands for the endowment, and for a school for teaching 18 poor children. The present rent of the land is 33l. The allowance to almsmen, under the deed, is only 5s. each at Christmas. There is a school-room under the same roof as the almshouse, and a chamber over it for the residence of the master or mistress of the school.

Widdecombe, or Withecombe in the Moors

WIDECOMBE, or WITHECOMBE IN THE MOORS, in the hundred of Haytor, or High Tor (fn. 34) , and in the deanery of Moreton, lies on the borders of Dartmoor, about five miles from Ashburton, and eight from Moreton Hampsted. The villages of Ponsworthy and Poundsgate are in this parish.

The manor belonged, at an early period, to the Shillingfords, from whom it passed to Southcote. (fn. 35) It was afterwards for several years in the family of Wotton of Ingleburne, whose heiress married Estcourt Cresswell, Esq., of Pinkney, Wilts. The late Lord Ashburton purchased, under a decree of Chancery, a long term in this and the manor of Speechwick (fn. 36) , where he built a house for his occasional residence, in a romantic situation, and made extensive plantations. The lease of these estates, which will expire in 1845, is now vested in the present Lord Ashburton. The house is occupied by George Leach, Esq. The reversion of the manors of Widdecombe and Speechwick is vested in Mr. Cresswell and his heirs. Speechwick belonged, in the seventeenth century, to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath.

The manor of Notsworthy, which was sold a few years ago to George Templer, Esq., of Stover, by Miss Filmore of Ilsington, had been for a considerable time in her family: it is supposed to have been formerly in the Fords of Bagtor. Another manor of Notsworthy, intermixed with this, belongs to Fitzwilliam Young, Esq., of Ashburton; this manor had been in the family of Fownes of Dorsetshire, who acquired it by marriage with the heiress of Cabell.

The manor of Blackslade, which belongs to Mr. Norrish, of Buckland in the Moors, was purchased, about 1785, of Mr. William Hamlyn.

Deaudon, in this parish, gave name to an ancient family, from whom it passed by female heirs to the Malets, in the reign of Henry III. Sir John Malet, K.B., sold it about the year 1600. In 1748 Rawlin Mallock, Esq., purchased the royalty of Dutton, (no doubt corrupted from Deaudon,) Malet, and Dunston, in this parish, which royalty is now the property of the Rev. Roger Mallock of Cockington.

The parish-church was much damaged by lightning on the 21st of October, 1638, during the time of Divine service, by which awful event some of the congregation then assembled were killed. The particulars are recorded in some verses, still remaining in the church. They were written by a person, who was present at the time, and are printed in the note (fn. 37) , it being presumed that the circumstantial detail which they give of this remarkable event may be some apology for the badness of the poetry. Prince in his account of George Lyde, who was vicar at the time, and who surviving the Restoration of King Charles II., died at an advanced age in 1673, gives various particulars, some of which differ from the account in these verses: he speaks of four persons killed, and 62 wounded, and mentions the courage shown by Mr. Lyde, and his providential escape, a beam of the church having fallen between him and the clerk, and other similar providential circumstances. Mr. Lyde's wife was much burnt by the lightning; one woman died from the burning of her clothes, which were set on fire by the lightning; another was killed by the fall of a stone: one of the pinnacles of the tower being thrown down, fell through the roof into the church. The dean and chapter of Exeter are appropriators of the great tithes and patrons of the vicarage. There was formerly a chapel at Speechwick. (fn. 38)

Miss White, in or about the year 1797, vested the sum of 142l. in the 5 per cents, in trustees for the education of poor children of this parish. With this benefaction, aided by annual subscriptions, four schools are supported, in which 50 children are instructed, the boys being taught to read, and the girls to knit and sew.

Widecombe, or Withecombe Ralegh

WIDCOMBE, or WITHECOMBE RALEGH (fn. 39) , in the hundred of East Budleigh and in the deanery of Aylesbeare, adjoins the parish of Exmouth, and comprises part of that town, called Withecombe Exmouth.

The manor of Withecombe Ralegh, formerly called Withecombe Clavill, belonged anciently to the Clavills, who held it at the time of the Domesday survey, and afterwards, for many descents, to the Raleghs. In 1756 it was in the family of Bassett, from whom it passed, by successive sales, to Jackson and Cutler. It is now the property of Edward Divett, Esq., whose father purchased it in the year 1801. Westcote says that this manor was held by the service of finding the King two good arrows stuck in an oaten cake whenever he should hunt in Dartmoor. (fn. 40)

The Drakes possessed considerable property in this parish. Sir William Pole describes Rill in Withecombe Ralegh as having been in a family of that name, whose heiress married Duke, and the co-heiresses of Duke, Sokespitch, and Cole. A moiety of this estate continued, in Sir William Pole's time, in the family of Sokespitch: Cole's share had passed, by successive female heirs, to Drake and Raymond. Sir William Pole speaks also of a manor of Withecombe, which the Raymonds had inherited from Drake. The Drakes had, in 1628, the manor, or nominal manor, of Hulham, in this parish, which moiety Robert Drake, Esq., by his will of that date, gave, together with the rectory of Withecombe Ralegh, towards the maintenance of preaching ministers in the parishes of East Budleigh, Littleham, and Withecombe Ralegh, and other charitable uses. The other moiety was then in the family of Warren: it now belongs to the widow of Mr. John Warren. The manor of Broadham and Rill, within the manor of Withecombe Ralegh belongs to W. T. Hull, Esq., who resides at Marpool in this parish. Courtland, in this parish, by a late purchase, became the seat of Sir Walter Roberts, Bart. It was some time the property and residence of Charles Baring, Esq. Whimsey is the property and residence of Edward Payne, Esq.

The old church of Withecombe Ralegh stands in a sequestered spot about two miles and a half from Exmouth. The greater part of it was taken down by a faculty before the year 1748, on account of its inconvenient situation, one aisle only and the tower being left remaining. A new chapel was then built about half a mile from Exmouth. In the old church is the monument of Joseph Hucks, Esq., 1800. In the chapel are the monuments of Edward Holwell, Esq., 1793; and the Honourable Alexander Abercrombie, one of the Lords of Council and Session, and Lord Commissioner of Justice in Scotland, 1795. In the chapel-yard are the tombs of Sir John Colleton, Bart., 1754, and others. (fn. 41) The rectory, as before mentioned, is appropriated to charitable uses. The vicarage, which is consolidated with East Budleigh, is in the gift of Lord Rolle. There was formerly a chapel in that part of Exmouth which is in this parish: it has been converted into a dwelling-house.

There is an almshouse in this parish, which has no other endowment than 1l. per annum, under the will of Robert Drake, Esq., before mentioned.

Widworthy

WIDWORTHY, in the hundred of Colyton and in the deanery of Honiton, lies about three miles from Honiton, and six from Axminster. The village of Wilmington, or Willington, on the great western road, is partly in this parish, and partly in that of Offwell.

There is a fair at Wilmington on the Monday after St. Matthew's day.

Widworthy gave name to an ancient family who possessed the manor, and whose heiress married Dinham, in the reign of Edward I. After passing through some other families, by sale, it became the property of the Wottons, whose heiress brought it to Chichester. In consequence of this match, Widworthy became for some descents the seat of a branch of the Chichesters. Benedictus Marwood, Esq., purchased the manor of the Chichesters. It now belongs to Mrs. Fortescue and Mrs. Woolcott, two of the sisters and co-heirs of the late J. T. B. Marwood, Esq., of Avishayes in Somersetshire. Sutton Lucy, and Lucy Hayes, in this parish, belonged to the family of Lucy in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. These estates were some time afterwards in the Courtenays, from whom they passed, by female heirs, through Peverell and Hungerford, to Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, who sold them to Franklyn. About the year 1600 Peter Franklyn, Esq., dismembered this estate, retaining the demesnes. The Marwood family purchased it about 20 years before they bought the manor of Widworthy, and built two mansions, one at Sutton, and the other at Cookshayes, which, till of late years, were inhabited by the family: they are now farm-houses. Cookshayes had been in the family of Damarell, from whom it had passed, by successive sales, to Thomas and Putt.

In the parish-church are monuments of the families of Izaak (fn. 42) , Marwood (fn. 43) , and Somaster (fn. 44) ; and an ancient monument of a knight in armour. Mrs. Fortescue, wife of J. Inglett Fortescue, Esq., and one of the co-heiresses of Marwood, is patroness of the rectory. John Bury, rector of Widworthy, who died in 1667, was author of some religious tracts.

Benedictus Marwood, Esq., in 1742, gave 100l. 4 per cent. to a parish schoolmaster. James Marwood, Esq., in 1767, gave a tenement for a school-room, and 40s. per annum to the schoolmaster (fn. 45) , and the Rev. Joseph Somaster, in 1770, a moiety of the interest of 100l. 4 per cent. for the same purpose.

Willand

WILLAND, in the hundred of Halberton and in the deanery of Tiverton, lies two miles and a half from Collumpton, on the road to Taunton.

The manor was given with the advowson of the church, by William, son of Odo, to the prior and convent of Taunton. (fn. 46) After the Reformation it was purchased by the family of Moore, and has been since dismembered. The advowson, which had been a considerable time in the Walrond family, was sold, a few years ago, and is now the property of the Rev. John Taylor.

Footnotes

1 Cart. Rot. 51 Hen. III. m. 3.
2 Richard Cogan had the royal license for enclosing a park at Uffculm. Cart. Rot. 10 Edw. III.
3 Hundred Roll.
4 Roger de Mules possessed it, temp. Edw. I., and had the power of life and death in this manor. Hundred Roll.
5 Prince.
6 Dugdale's Monast. ii. 205
7 Westcote says, that Dowrish gave it with his daughter to Snytishill.
8 Chapple.
9 Lucy, wife of Hugh Stafford, Esq., 1693.
10 Dame Anne Slanning, relict of Sir Nicholas Slanning, Bart., and third wife of Hugh Stafford, 1697.
11 Dame Catherine, relict of Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., 1802.
12 Except the portion of Ditsham Rowe, which is annexed to the vicarage of Bickleigh. The great tithes had been appropriated to Buckland abbey.
13 The rectory was appropriated to the abbey of Buckland in 34 Geo. I. Rot. Originalia.
14 Education Report.
15 A handsome monument of Hugh Fortescue, who married Mary Rolle: the latter died in 1648; Hugh Fortescue, Esq., 1661; Margaret Fortescue, 1694.
Extract from the epitaph of the first-mentioned Hugh: —
"Here is in brief presented to thy view,
The long-lin'd race of honour'd Fortescue,
Combin'd in holy rites, in time's fair scrole,
With Chichester, then Speccot, last with Rolle;
And long and wide may sacred grace and fame,
Produce and propagate this generous name,
That it may brooke what honour gave in field,
Le Fort-escue, the strong and lasting shield;
A shield not only their own right to fence,
But also to repel wrong's violence,
Which, that it may accordingly be done,
Pray, reader, pray, God be their shield and sunne.
"Hugo Fortescue, scutifer superstes."
16 Valentine Rolle, eighth son of Robert Rolle, Esq., of Heanton, 1645.
17 Gasper Greening, a native of Gloucester, 1674; Richard Greening, jun., 1797.
Mr. Incledon's Church Notes, taken about 1774, add Hugh Fortescue, Esq., 1600; Valentine Rolle, Esq., 1605; and Samuel Rolle, 1646.
18 Although surrounded by that of Tiverton.
19 Sprigge's England's Recovery, p. 169.
20 Westcote also speaks of this pond.
21 Some accounts say that George Duke of Albemarle purchased it of Sir Edward Hungerford, and that his son, the second duke, sold it to Mr. Pollexfen.
22 Now so written in county records, but improperly.
23 It is probable that both this benefice and that of St. Giles were endowed by Sir John Maynard.
24 William Clevland, Esq., "a commander in the navy, in every memorable action in the reigns of King William, Queen Anne, and George I., afterwards a commissioner of the navy, ob. 1734; John Clevland, Esq., Secretary of the Admiralty, with his portrait on a medallion, 1763.
25 Major Robert Fleming, of Southcote, 1686.
26 Ralph Berry, Esq., 1650; George Betry, of Instow, 1655; Anthony Berry, of Instow, 1685; Achilles Berry, 1669. Mr. Incledon's Notes, taken in 1785, mention the tomb of Anthony Berry, of East Leigh, 1553.
27 Charles Cutcliffe, Esq., 1745.
28 Thomas Challocombe, Gent., 1681.
29 It was formerly esteemed to lie partly in Aylesbeare. See Sir William Pole.
30 Paschaw, wife of John Allyn, sometime wife of Richard Mooringe, 1626; Alice, wife of Anthony Mooringe, 1639; Gertrude, John, Anthony, and Mary, his children, 1617—1632.
31 Francis Pengelly, Esq., barrister-at-law, 1722.
32 Oliver's Historic Collections, relating to the Devonshire monasteries.
33 Hundred Roll.
34 The hundred takes its name from the high tor or rock in this parish, from which there is a remarkably fine and extensive view.
35 It continued in the Southcotes in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
36 Speechwick (then written Spicewite) was, at the time of taking the Domesday survey, part of the royal demesne. The lords of this manor had the power of capital punishment. See the Hundred Roll.
37 "It is of the Lord's mercies — fail not." Lam. iii. 22. "The merciful — in remembrance." Psalm cxi. 4.
In token of our thanks to God these tables were erected,
Who, in a dreadful thunder-storm, our persons here protected,
Within this church of Widecombe, 'mongst many fearful signs,
The manner of it is declared in these ensuing lines:
In sixteen hundred thirty-eight, October twenty-first,
On the Lord's day, at afternoon, when people were addressed
To their devotion, in this church, while singing here they were
A psalm, distrusting nothing of the danger then so near,
A crack of thunder suddenly, with lightning, hail, and fire,
Fell on the church and tower here, and ran into the choir,
A sulphureous smell came with it, and the tower strangely rent,
The stones abroad into the air with violence were sent,
Some broken small as dust, or sand, some whole as they came out
From of the building, and here lay in places round about,
Some fell upon the church, and brake the roof in many places:
Men so perplexed were they knew not one another's faces:
They all or most were stupified, that with so strange a smell,
Or other force, whate'er it was, which at that time befell,
One man was struck dead, two wounded, so they died few hours after.
No father could think on his son, nor mother mind her daughter.
One man was scorched so that he lived but fourteen days and died,
Whose clothes were very little burnt, but many there beside
Were wounded, scorched, and stupified in that so strange a storm,
Which who had seen would say 'twas hard to have preserved a worm.
The different affections of people then were such
That, touching some particulars, we have omitted much,
But what we here related have is truth in most men's mouths,
Some had their skin all over scorched, yet no harm in their clothes.
One man had money in his purse which melted was in part,
A key likewise, which hung thereto, and yet the purse not hurt,
Save only some black holes, so small as with a needle made.
Lightning, some say, no scabbard hurts, but breaks and melts the blade.
One man there was sat on the bier that stood fast by the wall,
The bier was tore with stones that fell, he had no harm at all,
Not knowing how he thence came forth, nor how the bier was torn.
Thus in this doleful accident great numbers were forborne,
Amongst the rest a little child, which scarce knew good from ill,
Was seen to walk amidst the church and yet preserved still.
The greatest admiration was that most men should be free
Among so many dangers here which we did hear and see.
The church within so filled was with timber, stones, and fire,
That scarce a vacant place was seen in church or in the choir;
Nor had we memory to strive from those things to be gone,
Which would have been but work in vain all was so quickly done.
The wit of man could not cast down so much from off the steeple,
From off the churches roof, and not destroy much of the people;
But he who rules both air and fire, and other forces all,
Hath us preserv'd, bless'd be his name, in that most dreadful fall.
If ever people had a cause to serve the Lord and pray
For judgment and deliverance, then surely we are they;
Which, that we may perform by the assistance of his grace,
That we at last in time may have with him a dwelling-place,
All you that look upon these lines of this so sad a story,
Remember who hath you preserved, ascribe unto his glory
The preservation of your lives, who might have lost your breath
When others did, if mercy had not step'd 'twixt you and death.
We hope that they were well prepared, although we know not how
'Twas then with them, it's well with you if you are ready now.
Amos, iv. 11. "Ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning —"
"An exact Relation of those sad and lamentable Accidents, which happened in and about the Parish-church of Wydecombe, near the Dartmoors, in Devon, on Sunday the 21st of October last, 1638," was published that year in a quarto pamphlet, and has been reprinted in the third volume of the Harleian Miscellany.
38 Liber Regis.
39 In county records written Rawleigh.
40 Manuscript Survey, in the British Museum.
41 Elizabeth, wife of Nicholas Dennys, Esq., of Barnstaple, and daughter of Sergeant Belfield, 1783; Dorothea, wife of John Freston Scrivener, Esq., of Sibbon Abbey, Suffolk, 1794; William Swinney Neligan, Esq., of Teddington, Middlesex, 1795; James Ford, M.D., 1799; and Louisa, daughter of the Right Honourable William Brownlow, of Ireland, 1799.
42 Alice, wife of Sebastian Izaak, 1685.
43 James Marwood, Esq., 1722; Robert Marwood, Esq., 1733; Benedictus Marwood, Esq., 1745; Thomas Marwood, Esq., of Sutton, (a handsome monument of white marble, with figures of Justice and Temperance); James Marwood, Esq., 1767; Sarah, his widow, daughter of Samuel Sealy, Esq., of Avishayes, Somersetshire, æt. 85, 1797; and J. T. B. Marwood, Esq., 1811, (a very handsome marble monument). Mr. Incledon's Notes add, Sebastian Izaak, 1681; Thomas Izaac, 1683; and John Chichester, Esq., 1661.
44 James Somaster, M. D., 1748.
45 In 1819 the sum of 6l. per annum was charged, by a deed, on Widworthy barton, by Mrs. Woolcott, one of the co-heiresses of the Marwood family.
46 Dug. Mon. ii. 83.