Parishes: Kelly - Knowstone

Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1822.

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Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'Parishes: Kelly - Knowstone', in Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, (London, 1822) pp. 296-306. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "Parishes: Kelly - Knowstone", in Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, (London, 1822) 296-306. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "Parishes: Kelly - Knowstone", Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, (London, 1822). 296-306. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

In this section


KELLY, in the hundred of Lifton and in the deanery of Tavistock, lies on the borders of Cornwall, about six miles from Launceston, and about eight from Tavistock. The village of Medwell, or Meadwell, is in this parish.

The manor and advowson of the rectory have been in the family of Kelly at least from the time of Henry II. Kelly is now the seat of their descendant, Arthur Kelly, Esq. In the parish church are some memorials of this ancient family. (fn. n1)

Kenn, or Kenne

KENN, or KENNE, in the deanery of that name and in the hundred of Exminster, lies about four miles from Exeter. There are four tithings in this parish, Haldon, Thornton, Allertown, and Woodbrook. The principal villages are Kennetown and Kenneford.

A market at Kenneford, which is described in ancient records as a borough (fn. n2), was granted, in or about 1299, to Hugh de Courtenay, to be held on Thursday, and a fair for two days at the festival of St. Mary Magdalen. (fn. n3)

The manor of Kenne, which was one of the ancient estates of the earls of Devon, was forfeited by the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter. Of late years, it was in the Oxenham family, who, it is probable, inherited it with Newhouse from the Longs. Having passed by inheritance to Sir J. P. Ackland, Bart., it has been lately purchased of him by Sir L. V. Palk, Bart.

Haldon House, the seat of Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk, Bart., was built by Sir George Chudleigh, the last baronet of that family; one of whose co-heiresses brought it to Sir John Chichester, Bart. After intermediate sales to Mrs. Ann Basset, John Jones, Esq., and William Webber, Esq., it was purchased by Sir Robert Palk, Bart., grandfather of the present owner, by whom the house and demesnes were much improved. In the library, which is valuable and extensive, are Chapple's Collections, and other Devonshire MSS. The plantations are upon an extensive scale; several hundred acres having been inclosed for that purpose. On Penhill, Sir Robert Palk erected a triangular tower in memory of General Stringer Lawrence, with his statue, and an inscription in the Persian language. This tower forms a prominent feature in the views for many miles.

Trehill, in Kenne, belonged to the Walthams, whose heiress brought it to Savery: it afterwards passed to the Leys, by purchase, in the year 1745. It is now the property and residence of Henry Ley, Esq., who has a large landed property in this parish.

Bickham has been for a considerable time the property and residence of the Shorts. It now belongs to Francis Baring Short, Esq., and is in the occupation of his mother.

Carswell, in this parish, forms the corps of one of the prebends, formerly belonging to the ancient chapel of the Castle at Exeter: it is now held under the prebendary, subject to a small reserved rent, by Colonel Richard Colleton Dickinson, of the Royal Artillery, who is patron of the prebend.

In the parish-church are monuments of William Long, Esq., of Newhouse, 1728; John Geare, Gent., 1748; the Honourable Rev. Charles Bertie, LL. D., professor of natural history at Oxford, 1746; and William Gould, rector, who is spoken of in his epitaph as a poet and controversial writer (fn. n4), ob. 1686. There is also a handsome monument of Richard Waltham, Esq., of Trehill, some time recorder of Exeter, the inscription on which is obliterated. Lord Courtenay is patron of the rectory.

There was, in former times, a chantry chapel in this parish dedicated to St. John.

Kentisbeer, or Kentisbeare

KENTISBEER, or KENTISBEARE, in the hundred of Hayridge and in the deanery of Plymtree, lies about three miles from Collumpton. Aller, Wressin, Piswell, France, Orway, Sainthill, Stoford, and Punchadown, or Punchardon, are villages in this parish.

There were anciently two manors of Kentisbeer, one of which had been given by Reginald de Punchardon to the priory of Christ Church in Hampshire, and was conveyed by the prior of that house to Sir Hugh de Bolhay. The other was in the family of Furneaux, and afterwards successively in Frisell, Clopton, and Malloisell. Both these manors became eventually the property of the Bonvilles, and having been forfeited by the attainder of their representative, the Duke of Suffolk, were purchased of the crown by Sir John Wyndham, and are now the property of his descendant the Honourable Percy Wyndham.

The manor of Piswell belonged to the Orways of Orway, in this parish, as early as the reign of Henry II., and passed from them by successive marriages to Hampton, Farringdon, and Drake. The Drakes sold Orway to Fly, but retained this manor, which passed with their heiress to May, and from May by sale to Henley. Of late years it was in the Bampfylde family, but has been sold and dismembered.

The manor of Blackborough Boty, in this parish, including Punchardon, belonged at an early period to the family of Boty, (the descendants, probably, of Ralph Botina, who held it under William, the King's door-keeper, at the time of the Domesday survey,) and afterwards successively to Cobham and Bonville. After the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, it was purchased by the father of Sir William Pole. It is now the property of the Rev. James Winsor, having been purchased about the year 1790 of Sir J. W. De la Pole, Bart.

Wood, in this parish, was, in the reign of Edward III., the property and residence of the Whitings, from whom it passed by marriage to Walrond; it has continued in the last-mentioned family to the present day, being now vested in the sisters of W. H. Walrond, Esq., of Bradfield; the wife of Samuel Southwood, Esq.; and the widow of Captain Tristram Whitter.

In the parish-church is the tomb of John Whiting, Esq., 1529; and that of Mary, Lady Guldeford, wife, first, of Sir Henry Guldeford, K. G., and afterwards of Sir Gawen Carew, ob. 1558. She was daughter of Sir Robert Wotton. There are memorials also of the family of Eveleigh. (fn. n5) An ancient inscription in verse on the rood loft purports that it was built by Anstice Wescomb, who gave the profits of it to the poor. Mr. Wyndham is patron of the rectory.


KENTISBURY, in the hundred of Braunton and in the deanery of Shirwell, is situated in the north part of the county, between two and three miles from Comb Martin. Patehole is a village in this parish.

The manor belonged to the ancient family of Lupus or Wolfe. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the co-heiresses of Anthony Wolfe married Long and Randall, the former died without issue. Mr. Richard Richards, who died in 1632, purchased the manor and barton, with the advowson, of Humphrey Randall, Esq. The manor and barton are now the property of Henry Beavis, Esq., whose father purchased them of the Richards' family. The Rev. Charles Sweet, the present incumbent, is patron of the rectory. Three of the Richards' family were successively rectors of Kentisbury. The last of these held the rectory 52 years: he rebuilt the parsonage-house, and died in 1761.

Mrs. Mary Jones, in 1711, gave a portion (6/10) of the rent of lands, now let at 8l. 8s. per annum, for the instruction of poor children of this parish. Mrs. Jones was the last of the Randall family.


KENTON, in the hundred of Exminster and in the deanery of Kenne, is about seven miles from Exeter, and about eight from Chudleigh. It was anciently called a borough town. (fn. n6) Week, Cofford, Southbrook, Fenbridge, Staplake, Starcross, East Town, West Town, Lyston or Lyson, Heyton, Wilsworthy, and Cheverstone, are villages in this parish.

Risdon says that a market at this place, and a fair at the festival of All Saints, were granted by King Henry III. to the men of Kenton, at the desire of the Earl of Cornwall, his brother; but I cannot find any record of the charter. A tradition has prevailed, however, that there was formerly a market at Kenton on Wednesday. (fn. n7) Mr. Chapple says that a sort of great market was held (1773) on Shrove Tuesday, and another on the Wednesday in Whitsun-week.

The manor of Kenton was anciently part of the demesne of the crown, and had been settled on Editha, the consort of Edward the Confessor. It was part of Queen Isabel's dower in the reign of King John, and enjoyed by her after her marriage to the Earl of March. After her death, King Henry III. gave it to his brother Richard Earl of Cornwall, and King of the Romans. (fn. n8) It was afterwards in the Courtenays, Earls of Devon. Having been forfeited by the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter, it continued in the crown till the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who granted it to Lord Clifton. By him it was conveyed to Sir Warwick Hele. The heiress of Sir John Hele brought it to Sir Edward Hungerford, by whom it was sold to the Duke of Albemarle. John Lord Grenville possessed this manor in the beginning of the last century, and of him or his heirs it was purchased about 1712 by Sir William Courtenay, ancestor of Lord Viscount Courtenay, the present proprietor. The manors of Kenton Courtenay, and of Cheverstone, have long been in the Courtenay family.

Oxton, in this parish, the seat of the Rev. John Swete, belonged originally to a family who took their name from this, the place of their residence. Having passed throngh various hands, this estate was sold by Hurst to William Martyn, Esq., descended from a branch of the ancient family of the Lords Martyn of Dartington. William Clifford Martyn, Esq., the last of this family, devised it to the present proprietor, then the Rev. John Tripe, of Ashburton, who took the name of Swete by act of parliament. Oxton is beautifully situated; and the extensive pleasuregrounds have been laid out with much taste.

In the parish-church are monuments of Dulcibella, wife of Thomas Hodges, Esq., of Shipton Moigne, (Gloucestershire,) 1628; Sir Nicholas Martyn, 1653; Elizabeth, wife of William Martyn, Esq., (daughter of Sir Shilston Calmady,) 1695; and John Rashleigh, eldest son of Jonathan Rashleigh of Menabilly, 1651.

The rectory, manor, and great tithes, belong to the dean and chapter of Windsor, who are patrons of the vicarage.

There was anciently an endowment of 2l. 13s. 8d. per annum for a stipendiary priest to officiate in this church one quarter of a year in every three years. (fn. n9) Dr. George Kendall, an eminent non-conformist divine, was rector of Kenton.

In the tithing of West Town is the dilapidated chapel of St. Anne, now a dwelling-house. Richard Teage, the lessee, offered, some years ago, to surrender it for the purpose of a school-house, if an endowment, then in contemplation, could be procured; but Lord Courtenay's death, in 1762, put a stop to the intention. (fn. n10)

There is a charity-school in this parish on the Madras system, supported by voluntary contribution, in which are about 100 children.

Kennerly, or Kennerleigh

KENNERLY, or KENNERLEIGH, in the hundred of Crediton, and in the deanery of Cadbury, lies about five miles from Crediton.

The manor belonged anciently to the Hidons, in which family it continued several descents, after which it passed by marriage to Saint Clere, and at a later period, by successive sales, to Dowrish and Northcote. It is now the property of Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, Bart. The corporators of Crediton are patrons of the benefice; they used formerly to allow the minister a stipend, but as the stipend was nearly equivalent to the tithes accruing in the chapelry, they settled those tithes upon the minister, in consequence of which, since the year 1775, Kennerleigh has been presented to as a rectory.


KILMINGTON, in the hundred of Axminster and in the deanery of Honiton, lies about two miles from Axminster on the road to Honiton.

There is a cattle-fair at this place on the first Wednesday in September.

The manor belonged anciently to the barons of Torrington, and was divided among the five co-heiresses of that family. The Mertons possessed two shares, one by inheritance, the other by purchase; these passed to Kirkham, and were sold to the grandfather of Gideon Haydon, who possessed them in Sir William Pole's time. Martyn's share passed to the Audleys, came to the crown by virtue of an entail, and was purchased by Dennis. The two other shares passed from Bryan and Sully to Prous, Warre, and Gould. The whole has been dismembered and divided among the several freeholders.

Dovileshays, since corrupted to Dulcehays and Dulcis, was in the ancient family of Dovile, the last of whom, Sir Thomas Dovile, was attainted in the reign of Edward III. It was afterwards in the Bonvilles. After the attainder of their representative, the Duke of Suffolk, it was purchased by an ancestor of Lord Petre: it was afterwards in the Fryes, whose heiress brought it to George Southcote, Esq. It now belongs to the Rev. Thomas Heberden, B. D., one of the canons of Exeter.

The manor and barton of Hill belonged to the family of De la Hill, afterwards to the Haydons, who were of Hill when Sir William Pole made his collections. This estate is now the property of William Tucker, Esq.

Ballehayes was given in marriage by Matthew, Baron of Torrington, in the reign of Richard I., with his daughter Alice, to John de Balle, whose descendant, in the fourteenth century, sold it to the Bonvilles. From this family it passed by marriage to the Wests, Lords de la Warre, and by successive alienations to the families of Drake and Frye. I have not been able to learn who is the present possessor of this estate.

Coryton, in this parish, the seat of William Tucker, Esq., was rebuilt by his father, Benedictus Marwood Tucker, Esq., in 1756.

In the parish-church is the monument of Thomas Southcote, Esq., of Dulcis, who died in 1715 (put up by George Southcote, Esq., in 1735). This Thomas was grandson of George Southcote, who married the heiress of Frye of Dulcis. George was second son of Southcote of Calverley. There is a monument also of Mrs. Agnes Tucker, daughter of William Tucker, Esq., of Coryton, 1788.


KINGSBRIDGE, a market-town, in the hundred of Stanborough and in the deanery of Woodleigh, lies near an estuary of the sea, 19 miles from Plymouth, 36 from Exeter, and 212 from London, by the way of Totnes, but 220 by the mail-coach road.

The market was confirmed (fn. n11), about the year 1461, to Buckfast Abbey, to be held on Saturday, together with a fair for three days at the festival of St. Margaret. (fn. n12) The market is still held on Saturday for corn, butchers' meat, and other provisions. The old market-house, which stood very incommodiously in the middle of the street, was pulled down about the close of the last century. The fair is now held on the 20th of July and the two following days, if the 20th happen on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday; otherwise it commences on the Tuesday after the 20th. Cattle and horses are sold only on the first day; cloth, crockery, trinkets, &c., during the whole continuance; and some stalls are kept up for nine days. A stuffed glove is hung out at the market-house during the fair, as at Chester, and as it is said also to have been at Gold Sithney, in Cornwall.

Large quantities of woollen-cloths are made at the town-mills. This manufacture was introduced in 1798: there is a manufacture of serges in the town of later establishment. Ships of burden come up to Kingsbridge at high-water: there are two quays, one of which is in the adjoining parish of Dodbrook, and the other in the parish of West Allington. The chief exports are cyder, corn, malt, and slate; the imports, chiefly coals from Sunderland, &c.

The number of inhabitants in the parish of Kingsbridge was, in 1801, 1117; in 1811, 1242, according to the returns made to parliament at those periods.

The manor of Kingsbridge, which belonged to the abbot and convent of Buckfastleigh, as parcel of the manor of Churchstow, was granted by Philip and Mary to John and Barnard Drake: it was conveyed by them almost immediately to Sir John Petre, ancestor of Edward Lord Petre, who, in 1793, sold it to John Scobell, Esq., the present proprietor.

Knowle House, which stands just above the town, belongs to Sir Edwin Baynton Sandys, Bart. It was occupied for several years by the late George Montague, Esq., an eminent naturalist, and author of some esteemed works in that science, who died there in 1815. His valuable collection of preserved birds, &c. has been purchased since his death by the trustees of the British Museum.

In the parish-church are memorials for George Geffery, 1641; and George Hughes, 1667, successively ministers of Kingsbridge; Grace, wife of Alexander Blanch Flower, Gent., daughter and heir of John Thomas, Esq., by a co-heiress of Pomeroy of Ingsdon, 1683; and Mr. William Duncombe, 1698.

The church of Kingsbridge is supposed to have been originally built by permission of the rector of Churchstow, about the reign of Edward I. (fn. n13) It was rebuilt and dedicated to St. Edmund in 1414. The parishes of Churchstow and Kingsbridge form an united vicarage; the parish of Kingsbridge, which was taken out of Churchstow, is indeed of very small extent, not much exceeding 30 acres.

The great tithes, which were appropriated to the abbey of Buckfastleigh, belong to the corporation of Exeter, to which they were given, in 1613, by Sir John Acland for charitable uses. The King is patron of the vicarage. The vicar has a stipend of 20l., payable out of the great tithes, and a small glebe in Churchstow. The stipend has been augmented with 6l. per annum, bequeathed by the Rev. Francis Kingston, rector of Newton Ferrers, who died in 1725, and by Queen Anne's bounty, with which the great tithes of the manor of Stanscombe and certain lands in the parish of Sherford have been purchased.

Mr. William Duncombe, who died in 1698, founded a lecture in this church, and endowed it with 50l. per annum, the lecturer being to supply the place of the vicar on that part of each Sunday when his duty should require his attendance at Churchstow, and to preach once a month on a week-day; the lecturer to be chosen by his trustees with the consent of the inhabitants, and not to be either the vicar or the master of the freeschool.

The Quakers have had a meeting at Kingsbridge ever since the year 1659, if not before. The Baptists, Independent Calvinists, and Wesleyan Methodists, have also meeting-houses at Kingsbridge. The meeting-house of the Baptists was originally built in 1702, and rebuilt in 1799. It is endowed with 20s. per annum, given by Mr. Robert Hammick: there was also a benefaction of 40l. given by Mr. David Trathan, which has been expended by the trustees in building. The Independent Calvinists occupy the meeting which formerly belonged to the Presbyterians. Thomas Burnell, of Kingsbridge, gave the interest of 400l. three per cents. to the pastor of this meeting. The meeting-house of the Wesleyan Methodists was built in 1814.

The grammar-school, in this town, was built by Mr. Thomas Crispin, fuller, a native of Kingsbridge, in 1670. Mr. Crispin, by his will, charged an estate in Bradninch with an annuity of 30l., one half of which he appropriated to the master of the school, for teaching fifteen boys, of Kingsbridge, grammar; 5l. for teaching twenty-five poor boys English; and 5l. per annum for teaching them to write. He bequeathed also the sum of 20l. to be laid out in land, or put out to interest, for buying books, &c. for the school; but this is said never to have been paid by his executor.

Mr. Duncombe, who founded the lecture, and bequeathed lands for that and other purposes, now producing an income of about 500l. per annum (fn. n14), directed that 10l. per annum, if the estate would permit it, should be given, for four years, to one, two, or three poor scholars, educated at the freeschool, as an exhibition at Oxford or Cambridge; the surplus to be given in apprentice-fees of 8l., and the same sums for setting them up in business. The exhibitions have not of late years been applied for. In the schoolroom is a portrait of the founder, with a large hat, grey hair, and a crutchstick. In the Education-report, printed by the House of Commons in 1818, it is stated, that there have been no boys in the school for several years past.

John Gore, in 1528, gave lands to trustees, charged with the buying of cakes, and wine, and ale, to be spread on a table in the chancel for the priests and other attendants, who were to proceed thence to the font, and there pray for the souls of the donor, his wife, father, mother, &c., who there lay buried: further, to pay on every Good Friday, to ten poor people, one penny each, in honour of the Passion, when it should be sung or said, five Paternosters, five Ave-marias, and one Credo; and one halfpenny each, to twenty other poor persons, for purposes nearly similar. There are several lands given for the repairs of the church, and other purposes; the feoffees of which have an ancient seal, with a bridge of three arches, and a crown over it, with this legend, Sigillum Regis Pontis.

David Tally, or Talley, an eminent grammarian, educated at St. Mary's Hall, in Oxford, in the sixteenth century, was a native of Kingsbridge.


KINGSTON, in the hundred of Ermington and in the deanery of Plympton, lies about three miles from Modbury.

The manor was given, by King Henry I., to Matilda Peverell, and continued some descents in that family. John Peverell (fn. n15) held it in 1274. Soon afterwards it belonged to William, Lord Martin; from whom it passed successively to the Audleys, Bourchiers, and Wreys. The late Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bart., sold it, about the year 1744, to John Julian, Esq., of Plymouth; from whom it descended to Richard Julian, Esq., the present proprietor. The manor of Scobbescombe belongs to Thomas Hillersdon Bulteel, Esq.

Wonwell, in this parish, gave name to a family who possessed it from an early period, till the reign of Henry VI. They were succeeded by the Hingestons. A co-heiress of Hingeston brought it to the Ayshfords; and the heiress of Ayshford, about the middle of the last century, to Wise. It is now the property of John Wise, Esq., of Totnes. The barton of Langston, in this parish, belongs to Arthur Wise, Esq.

In the parish-church is a monument for John Wise, Esq., who died in 1807. Kingston is a daughter-church to Ermington, and included in the same presentation.

Knowstone, or Knoweston

KNOWSTONE, or KNOWESTON, in the hundred and deanery of South Molton, lies about seven miles from the town of South Molton. East and West Knoweston, are the two principal villages in this parish.

At the time of the Domesday survey, it appears that there were two manors of Knoweston (Chenudestane) one belonging to Alfhilla, a Saxon lady, who had held it in the reign of Edward the Confessor; the other to Algar. The manor of Knoweston belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the family of Brett, who conveyed it to Beaple. It was, for some descents, the property and residence of this ancient family, whose heiress married Sir Nigel Loring. One of Sir Nigel's co-heiresses brought this manor to Lord Harington: having passed by successive female heirs to Bonville and Grey, it was forfeited by the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk. The Pollards became possessed of it by grant, and Knoweston Beaple was for some descents the residence of a younger branch of that family. It was afterwards in the Shapcotes, who sold it to Courtenay, in the early part of the last century. (fn. n16) It is now the property of Charles Courtenay, Esq.

The manor of Wadham, belonged, at the time of the Domesday survey, to an old Saxon, of the name of Ulf, who had held it in demesne ever since the time of Edward the Confessor. It is not improbable, that he might have been the ancestor of the ancient family of Wadham, of whom this was the original residence. After the death of Nicholas Wadham, Esq., founder of Wadham College, in Oxford, this and other estates passed to the heirs general. Wadham is now, in part, the property of the Honourable Percy Wyndham, one of his descendants.

Shapcote, in this parish, gave name to the family of Shapcote, the last of whom died at Exeter, about the year 1770. This estate was purchased of the Shapcotes by the grandfather of Mr. James Handford, the present proprietor.

The great tithes of Knoweston, were appropriated to the abbot and convent of Hartland, to whom the church was given by William de Bottreaux. They have been of late sold off by the impropriator to the land-owners. Mr. Courtenay is patron of the vicarage.

Sir John Berry, an eminent naval officer in the reign of King Charles II., James II., and King William, was born at Knoweston, of which parish his father, Daniel Berry, was vicar, in 1635. This gentleman, who was of a younger branch of the family of Berry, of Berry Narber, was ejected from his vicarage, and, with his family, suffered great distress in Cromwell's time.


  • n1. Oliver Kelly, Esq., 1594; Thomas Kelly, Esq., 1605; and William Kelly, Esq., 1627.
  • n2. Willis's Notitia Parliamentaria.
  • n3. Cart. Rot. 28 Edward I.
  • n4. Several of his sermons of that description were published. A. Wood's Athen. Oxon.
  • n5. William Eveleigh, Gent., 1671; William Eveleigh, rector of Wolborough, 1700.
  • n6. Chantry Roll.
  • n7. Chapple's Collections.
  • n8. Hundred Roll.
  • n9. Chantry Roll, in the Augmentation-office.
  • n10. Chapple's Collections.
  • n11. The market at the novus burgus, within the manor of Churchstow, is mentioned in the Hundred Roll, temp. Edw. I. It was then held on Friday.
  • n12. Cart. Rot. 39 Hen. VI., No. 4.
  • n13. The deed of permission has no date.
  • n14. Including about 80l. funded property.
  • n15. Hundred Roll.
  • n16. Between 1700 and 1716.