Parishes: Winkleigh - Zeal Monachorum

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

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Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons, 'Parishes: Winkleigh - Zeal Monachorum', Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, (London, 1822), pp. 562-579. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

Daniel Lysons. Samuel Lysons. "Parishes: Winkleigh - Zeal Monachorum", in Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, (London, 1822) 562-579. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

Lysons, Daniel. Lysons, Samuel. "Parishes: Winkleigh - Zeal Monachorum", Magna Britannia: Volume 6, Devonshire, (London, 1822). 562-579. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

In this section


WINKLEIGH, the only parish in the hundred of that name, lies in the deanery of Torrington, about six miles from Hatherleigh, and about five and a half from Chulmleigh. The village of Hollacombe is in this parish.

There is a cattle-fair at Winkleigh on the Monday after the 7th of July, unless that day should happen on a Sunday, in which case it is held on the Monday se'nnight.

The manor of Winkleigh belonged to the crown at the time of taking the Domesday survey; and it appears that it had been settled on Matilda, the Conqueror's consort. The survey mentions a park, and it is remarkable that it is the only park described in that survey for this county. The park-keeper had a virgate of land. Winkleigh is said to have been the chief seat of the honor of Gloucester, in this county; but it does not appear that either of the manors was attached to it. Risdon speaks of two castles at Winkleigh, of one of which there were some remains in his time. The manor appears to have been divided not long after the Conquest into two, which obtained the names of Winkly Keynes, and Winkly Tracey. The manor of Winkleigh Keynes belonged to the family of Keynes so early as the reign of Henry II. After a continuance of fifteen descents, it was sold by John Keynes, Esq., before Sir William Pole's time. It has been a considerable time in the Lethbridge family, and is now the property of Sir Thomas Buckler Lethbridge, Bart., whose family had a seat, called Court Barton (fn. n1), near the church, lately purchased by the Rev. John Tossell Johnson, and now occupied by a farmer. The manor of Winkleigh Tracey belonged to the family of Tracey. It afterwards was granted to the Hollands, dukes of Exeter, and passed to Thomas Marquis of Dorset: this also belongs now to Sir T. B. Lethbridge, Bart. The lords of the manor of Winkleigh Keynes had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n2)

The manor of Hollacombe, or Holcomb, in this parish, belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to William de Portu Mortuo (fn. n3), who, in the year 1260, had a charter for a market on Monday, and a fair for three days at the festival of the Ascension. (fn. n4) There are no traces of the market; but an annual revel is held at this village at Michaelmas.

Richard Inglish had the King's charter for castellating his mansion at Up-Holcombe, in or about the year 1361. (fn. n5) The manor of Holcombe was, at a later period in the Paulets: in or about the year 1567 Sir Amias Paulet conveyed it to Mr. Bernard Luxton (fn. n6), ancestor of the Rev. John Luxton, who is the present proprietor.

Southcote, in this parish, belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the Champernownes. It is probable that it was held under them by the ancestors of Michael de Southcote, who owned and resided at this place in the thirteenth century. This Michael was ancestor of the several branches of the ancient family of Southcote. The elder branch became extinct by the death of William Southcote, uncle of John Southcote, who was one of the Justices of the King's Bench in the reign of Queen Elizabeth: his heiress brought this place to the Callards. It is now the property of the Honourable Newton Fellowes, having been purchased, in 1718, by his ancestor, William Fellowes, Esq.

The dean and chapter of Exeter are appropriators of the great tithes, and patrons of the vicarage.

There is an almshouse at this place, founded by one of the Gidley family, in 1681, for four poor widows; but it has no endowment, except a small piece of land for keeping it in repair.


WITHERIDGE, in the hundred of that name and in the deanery of South Molton, lies about ten miles from Tiverton, and about the same distance from South Molton and Crediton.

Mr. Chapple, in his communications to Brice, says, that there was then a market (fn. n7) on Wednesday, but much declined: there were then two great markets yearly, and a fair on the 24th of June. The market had been wholly disused before 1774. (fn. n8) There is still a small cattle fair on the 24th of June (fn. n9), and there are great markets on the last Wednesday after September 21st, and the first Wednesday in November. Witheridge was, in former times, a borough, and was governed by a portreeve. (fn. n10)

The manor and hundred of Witheridge belonged, at an early period, to the family of Fitzpayne, under whom it was held successively by Poleyne, and Marchant. The manor and hundred passed, by female heirs, from Fitzpayne to the Lords Bottreaux. They were afterwards in Chichester, Lord Donegal, of whom they were purchased by William Fellowes, Esq., and are now the property of the Honourable Newton Fellowes. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n10)

The manor of Bradford Tracey belonged, in ancient times, to the family of Tracy; it was afterwards, successively, in the families of Stuckly, Mortimer, alias Tanner, and Shortridge. The heiress of the latter brought it to Melhuish; from whom it has passed in like manner to the Rev. William Proctor Thomas, of Drake's place, Wellington. (fn. n11) Bradford was the residence of the Melhuish family, who had some time resided also at Dart Ralph, in this parish, now the property of the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne. Mr. Thomas has lately built a hunting-seat at Bradford.

West Yeo, in this parish, belonged to the Coplestons, of Ottery St. Mary: it is now the property of Mr. William Adams. The rectory of this place belonged formerly to the prior and convent of Canington, in Somersetshire. (fn. n12) The rectorial manor (fn. n13) and advowson of the vicarage passed, with the manor of Bradford Tracey, to the Rev. W. P. Thomas.

William Chapple, the antiquary and editor of Risdon, was a native of this parish, having been born at West Yeo, as appears by his bequest of a prayer-book to the parish-church, which from its singularity is inserted in the note. (fn. n14) He was son of Mr. William Chapple, the parish clerk, who died in 1755, and to whose memory he put up a tablet, with an epitaph (fn. n15), written, as it appears, by himself.

Richard Melhuish, Esq., in 1799, gave a house for a charity-school, and 700l. three per cent. for its endowment. It has some other small benefactions. (fn. n16) Forty children are educated by this charity.

Woolborough, or Wolborough

WOOLBOROUGH, or WOLBOROUGH, in the hundred of Haytor, and in the deanery of Ipplepen, lies about one mile from Newton Abbot.

The manor was given to Tor abbey, by its founder, William Lord Brewer. Some time after the dissolution, in the reign of James I., it was purchased by Sir Richard Reynell, an officer of the Court of Exchequer, and a younger son of the Ogwell family, whose heiress brought it to Sir William Waller, the parliamentary general; and the heiress of Sir William Waller, to Sir William Courtenay. It is now the property of Lord Viscount Courtenay. Ford, the old mansion, which was built by Sir Richard Reynell, is now occupied by Ayshford Wise, Esq. It was here that Sir Richard Reynell entertained King Charles I., the Duke of Buckingham, and others of his court, on the 14th of September, 1625; and again, for two or three days, on his return from Plymouth, on the 21st. On the former occasion, Mr. Richard Reynell of Ogwell, and his brother Thomas, received the honour of knighthood. On the Sunday following the 21st, the King attended Divine service at Wolborough church. Among Mr. Chapple's collections is a copy of the steward's account of the provisions sent in for his Majesty's entertainment (fn. n17), a great proportion of which consisted of presents.

Ford House, which, during the protectorship of Cromwell, appears to have been the residence of Sir William Waller, was rendered again memorable, in 1688, by having been, for a short time, the abode of the Prince of Orange, between the interval of his landing at Torbay, and his advance to Exeter. (fn. n18)

In the parish-church is a monument (with their effigies) for Sir Richard Reynell, who died in 1633, and his wife Lucy Lady Reynell, who died in 1652. (fn. n19)

The borough-town of Newton Abbot belonged to Tor abbey. The market and borough rents are now vested in the Rev. Thomas Lane. The market and fair are spoken of in the reign of Edward I. The town seems to have been then newly established. (fn. n20) The market is now held on Wednesday. There are cattle fairs on Midsummer Day, or if it should happen on a Wednesday, the Wednesday following; on the 11th of September, with the same exception and rule; and on the 6th of November. There is a great cattle market on the last Wednesday of February.

At Newton is a chapel of ease, served by the minister of Wolborough.

In 1715, there were two meeting-houses of the Presbyterians at Newton Abbot, or Newton Bushel; one of these still exists at Newton Abbot. There is a meeting-house also for the Particular Baptists, and one for the Independent Calvinists. (fn. n21)

The number of inhabitants in the parish of Wolborough, including the town of Newton Abbot, was, in 1801, 1623; in 1811, 1627; and in 1821, 1859.

In this parish is an hospital founded by Lucy Lady Reynell, in 1638, for four clergymen's widows, and endowed with a rent-charge of 20l. per annum. The pensions being so small, when the hospital was rebuilt by the late Lord Courtenay, it was adapted for the residence of two widows only, by whom it is now occupied, and they receive 10l. per annum each. Over the door is the following inscription: —
"The Widowes House, 1638.
"Is't strange a prophet's widowe poore should be?
Yf strange, then is the Scripture strange to thee."

A charity-school was founded at this place, pursuant to his dying request, by the widow of Mr. Robert Bearne, who deceased in 1787. Mrs. Bearne gave a sum of money, now accumulated to 4471l. 12s. three per cent., for the purpose of endowing a school, and the Presbyterian meeting. A reading and a writing school, in the former of which are forty, and in the latter fifty children, are instructed and supported by the trustees, who purpose to build a school-house, as soon as the funds will allow of it. The schools attend the Presbyterian meeting; but children of all religious denominations are admitted.

At this place lived Mr. John Lethbridge, not so well known as he deserves to be, as the ingenious inventor of a diving machine, by which he was enabled to recover goods from wrecks at the bottom of the sea, without any communication of air from above. This gentleman appears to have been of the ancient family of his name. In a letter printed in the Gentleman's Magazine (fn. n22), he states, that, being much reduced in circumstances, and having a large family, he turned his thoughts to some extraordinary method of improving his fortune; and being prepossessed with the notion that it would be practicable to invent a machine to recover goods from wrecks lost in the sea, he made his first experiment in his orchard, at Newton Abbot, on the day of the great eclipse, in 1715, by going into a hogshead bunged up tight, in which he continued half an hour without any communication of air; he then contrived to place the hogshead under water, and found that he could remain longer without air under water than on land. His first experiment having been thus encouraging, he constructed his machine, with the assistance of a cooper in London. It was of wainscot well secured with iron hoops, with holes for the arms, and a glass of about four inches in diameter. It required 500 lbs. weight to sink it, lead being fixed to the bottom of the machine for that purpose; and the removal of 15 lbs. would bring it to the surface of the water. With this machine, Mr. Lethbridge says, he could move about twelve feet square at the bottom of the sea, where he frequently staid thirty-four minutes: he had frequently been for six hours at a time in the engine, being frequently brought up to the surface, where he was refreshed with a pair of bellows. Many hundred times, he states, he had been ten fathom deep, and sometimes twelve fathom with difficulty. When his machine was finished, he offered his services to some merchants of London, to adventure on the wrecks of some treasure ships then lately lost; but it was some time before he found any who had sufficient confidence in the success of his experiments to offer him terms at all adequate to his deserts and expectations: but after his success had been proved, he was employed to dive on wrecks in various parts of the world, both for his own countrymen and for the Dutch and the Spaniards. He mentions, in his letter already quoted, that he had dived on wrecks in the West Indies, at the Isle of May, at Porto Santo, near Madeira, and at the Cape of Good Hope. His most laudable endeavours were so far crowned with success, that he was enabled not only to maintain his family, but to purchase the estate of Odicknoll, in the parish of King's Carswell, near Newton Abbot. At the house of his grandson, John Lethbridge, Esq., at Newton, is a board on which is an inscription in gold letters, dated 1736, stating, that John Lethbridge, by the blessing of God, had dived on the wrecks of four English men of war, one English East Indiaman, two Dutch men of war, five Dutch East Indiamen, two Spanish galleons, and two London galleys, all lost in the space of twenty years; on many of them with good success; but that he had been very near drowning in the engine five times. The apparatus, about twenty years ago, was at Governor Holdsworth's, at Dartmouth, but it was then in a decaying state. Mr. Lethbridge is thus noticed in the register of the parish of Wolborough: "December 11, 1759, Buried Mr. John Lethbridge, inventor of a most famous diving-engine, by which he recovered from the bottom of the sea, in different parts of the globe, almost 100,000l. for the English and Dutch merchants, which had been lost by shipwreck." There is reason to suppose, that Mr. Lethbridge was the first person, who, by his ingenuity and intrepidity, succeeded in recovering goods from wrecked vessels: there is, I believe, no record of Phipps's bell, which was a prior invention, having been used successfully for that purpose. (fn. n23)

Woolfardisworthy, or Wolfardisworthy

WOOLFARDISWORTHY, or WOLFARDISWORTHY, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, lies about six miles from Tiverton, and about ten from Crediton.

The manor was, at an early period, for some descents, in the family of Spencer, who sold it in the reign of Edward II., to Sir Robert Stockey, and Walter Molland. Having been for nearly two centuries in the family of Walrond, this estate was sold, piecemeal, in 1788. The manor and advowson were purchased by the Rev. John Hole, who is the present lord of the manor, and the patron and incumbent of the rectory.

Woolfardisworthy, or Wolfardisworthy

WOOLFARDISWORTHY, or WOLFARDISWORTHY, in the hundred and deanery of Hertland, commonly called Wolsworthy, lies about four miles and a half from Hartland, and about ten from Bideford.

The manor of Bokish, commonly called Bucks, was successively in the families of Wallen and Cole; upon the death of the last heir male, the Rev. Potter Cole, who died at the advanced age of 97, having been 73 years incumbent of Hawksbury, in Gloucestershire, it passed to the Rev. Wm. Loggin, who took the name of Cole, and is now the property of his son, the Rev. William Loggin. Leworth gave name to a family, from whom it passed, successively, to Chauntrell and Docton: it is now the property of Thomas Stevens, Esq. The barton of Duerdon belongs to — Trathen; and that of Lane to the Rev. J. Prust.

In the parish-church are memorials of the families of Cole, (without date); Hamlyn (fn. n24); Saltren (fn. n25); of Duredon, or Duerdon, in this parish; and Whitlock. (fn. n26) The great tithes, which had been given by Hugh Peverell to the abbot and convent of Hartland (fn. n27), are vested in the Rev. William Loggin, who is patron and incumbent of the vicarage. The benefice, which consisted only of a stipend of 20l. per annum, and a small glebe, has lately been augmented by Queen Anne's bounty.


WOODBURY, in the deanery of Aylesbeare and hundred of East Budleigh, lies about seven miles from Exeter. The villages of Grindle or Grindell, Salterton, Woodmanton, Gulliford, Higher Nutwell, Exton, and Ebford, are in this parish.

A market at Woodbury on Tuesday, and a fair for three days at the festival of St. Swithin, were granted, in 1285, to William de Albemarle, or Damarell. (fn. n28)

The manor of Woodbury was part of the royal demesne, and had been settled on Editha, consort of Edward the Confessor. King Henry I. gave it to Roger de Mandeville, castellan of Exeter. William his son conveyed it to William Carbonell, from whose family it passed by successive female heirs to De Albemarle, or Damarell, and Bonville. After the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk, (the representative of the latter,) it was purchased by Sir John Prideaux, Sergeant-at-Law. Sir Hugh Ford became possessed of it by purchase, in the reign of Charles II. It is now the property of Lord Rolle, whose ancestor, Sir John Rolle, died seised of it in 1708: it is probable that he purchased it of the co-heiresses of Sir Henry Ford.

The manor of Nutwell was given, at an early period, by the Dinham family (fn. n29) (it having been parcel of their barony of Hartland (fn. n30),) to the priory of Dinham, in Brittany. After the suppression of alien priories, the Dinhams became again possessed of this manor; and Sir John Dinham, who was treasurer to King Henry VII., and afterwards Lord Dinham, built here a castellated mansion, for his own residence, which Risdon calls a fair and stately dwelling. Sergeant Prideaux purchased this estate of the heirs of Dinham. In Sir William Pole's time, it was the seat of Sir Thomas Prideaux; afterwards, successively, of Sir Henry Ford, and the Pollexfens. Of late years, it was the property and seat of Sir Francis Drake, Bart., who made great alterations in the house and grounds; the chapel was converted into a handsome library. From Sir Francis Drake, it passed by devise to his nephew, the late Lord Heathfield; and on his death, in 1813, to his sister's son, Thomas Trayton Fuller Elliot Drake, Esq., lately created a baronet, whose property and residence it now is. Nutwell House was garrisoned for the parliament, during the civil wars. (fn. n31)

The manor, or nominal manor, of Grindell, in this parish, belonged to Tor abbey: it was given by William Brewer the founder, who had purchased it of Reginald de Albemarle. This estate now belongs to the Rev. Thomas Putt of Combe. Mount Ebford, some time a seat of the Haydons, is now the property and reidence of Thomas Huckell Lee, Esq., whose family have been settled in the parish ever since the reign of Henry VIII. Higher Ebford belongs also to Mr. Lee: Lower Ebford, which belonged to the family of Trosse, is now the property and residence of Mr. Nicholas Brand. Salterton is the joint property of Lord Rolle and the Rev. Thomas Putt. The family of Putt have been possessed of their interest in it more than a century. Upper Nutwell, which belonged to the family of Heathfield, is now, by marriage, the property of Thomas Porter, Esq., of Rockbeare.

In the parish-church are some old monuments of the families of Dinham and Haydon, much damaged; and those of Philip Lempriere, Esq., of Jersey, 1787; Anna Maria, wife of Comber Beard, Esq., 1791; and Thomas Heathfield, Esq., of Upper Nutwell, 1806. The vicars choral of Exeter cathedral possess the manor of Halstow, and are appropriators of the tithes, and patrons of the perpetual curacy, which is in their peculiar jurisdiction. This estate belonged formerly to Battle abbey. (fn. n32)

Thomas Weare, in 1691, gave 4l. 10s. per annum for the education of poor children. William Holwell, M.D., in 1707, gave the sum of 50l. for the same purpose; and Isaiah Broadmead, in 1728, 120l., which was laid out in land. The whole income of the charity-school is now 46l. per annum.

On Woodbury common is an ancient entrenchment, which, when camps were formed there during the alarm of a French invasion, in 1798, and 1803, was occupied by the park of artillery.


WOODLAND, in the hundred of Haytor and in the deanery of Ipplepen, lies about three miles from Ashburton.

The manor, which appears to have been held with that of Ipplepen, was sold piecemeal by Sir John Pettus, in 1658, the manerial rights being attached to each purchase. The great tithes are appropriated to the dean and chapter of Windsor. The parishioners elect the minister, who has a stipend of 20l. per annum.

In the year 1725, William Culling gave a rent-charge of 2l. per annum, for the teaching poor children to read, and buying them Bibles.


WOODLEIGH, in the deanery of that name and in the hundred of Stanborough, lies about four miles from Kingsbridge. The villages of Hendham and Pruston are in this parish.

The manor belonged, at an early period, to the ancient family of Damarell. The widow of one of this family gave it to Henry de Rohant, her second husband, whose grand-daughter brought it to the Champernownes: it was settled on the Modbury branch, who possessed it in Sir William Pole's time. This manor is now the joint property of the Rev. Edward Edmonds, who is patron also and incumbent of the rectory. John Netherton, Esq., and the Rev. John Swete (fn. n33), Mr. Edmonds, and Mr. Netherton, possess a moiety of this estate in right of their wives, co-heiresses of Cornish, and descended from the Hurrells, who possessed the whole as early as the year 1659. The other moiety passed by bequest, in 1686, from a widow of one of the Hurrell family, to Anthony Penhay. This has since been subdivided; a part of it, being one-eighth of the manor, was purchased by the late Mr. Cornish, and has been added to the moiety above described; the remainder has passed by purchase and descent to Mr. Swete. Wood, in this parish, was the seat of a younger branch of the Fortescues. Peter Fortescue, Esq., of this branch, was created a baronet in 1666. Upon his death, (his only son having died before him,) the title, and this branch of the family, became extinct. The heiress married Fortescue of Preston. Wood is now the property and residence of John Luscombe Luscombe, Esq.

In the chancel of the parish-church is an altar-tomb to the memory of Thomas Smith, rector: it was put up before the Reformation, and was adapted for the double purpose of commemorating the deceased, and celebrating the resurrection of our Saviour at Easter, according to the ceremonies then in use. (fn. n34) There are memorials also of the Fortescues. (fn. n35)

East Worlington

EAST WORLINGTON, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, lies about eight miles from Chulmleigh.

The manor appears to have been held, at an early period, by the family of Fitzbernard; who were succeeded by Crawthorne. At a later period, it was in the Chichesters; and having been purchased by William Fellowes, Esq., with other estates of that family, in 1718, it is now the property of the Honourable Newton Fellowes, who is patron of the rectory.

In the parish-church is a memorial of John Nott, Gent., 1704; and Bridget his wife, daughter of Francis Colman, Esq., of Gornhays.

West Worlington

WEST WORLINGTON, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South Molton, lies between seven and eight miles from Chulmleigh. The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to a family, who took their name from this the place of their residence: one of the co-heiresses of this family brought it to Crawthorne; and the heiress of Crawthorne to Marwood. In or about the year 1350, it was purchased of the latter by Thomas Affeton of Affeton, or Afton (fn. n36), in this parish. The heiress of Affeton brought it to Sir Hugh Stucley, or Stewkley. It is now the property of Lewis Stucley Buck, Esq., whose great-grandmother was heiress of the last-mentioned family. Affeton, or Afton barton, was some time a seat of the Stucleys and Bucks: now a farm-house. There are some remains of the more ancient castellated mansion, which was the seat of the Affetons.

In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Thomas Stucley, Knt., who died in 1663. Mr. Buck is patron of the rectory.


YARNSCOMBE, in the hundred of Hartland and in the deanery of Barnstaple, lies between eight and nine miles from Barnstaple, and about five from Torrington.

The manor of Great Yarnscombe belonged anciently to the barons of Torrington. The Hundred Roll of Edward I. speaks of Hugh Peverell and John Hureward as lords of Yarnscombe (fn. n37), and as having power of life and death. In the reign of Henry V., the manor belonged to the family of Cockworthy, whose heiress brought it to Trevelyan. It is now the property of Lord Rolle, whose ancestor, Sir John Rolle, died seised of it in 1708. Court, which was once a seat of the Cockworthy family, and afterwards of the Trevelyans, is now a farm-house. The manor of Little Yarnscombe was anciently in the family of Salvain, and passed by successive female heirs to Fitzwarren, Davailes, or Davel (fn. n38), and Harris. It was purchased of the latter, in 1721, by Peter Wellington, Esq., grandfather of the Rev. Peter Wellington Furse, the present proprietor. A manor called Yarnscombe Hankford (no doubt from the Hankfords, who were connected with the Fitzwarrens,) was the property of John Bellew, Esq., of Stockley English, recently deceased. The manor of Way also extends into this parish.

Cogworthy, some time the property and residence of the Champneys family, now belongs to Mrs. Harding, a widow lady of Barnstaple, whose grandfather (Cottle) obtained this estate by marriage with the heiress of Champneys.

The parish-church is said to have stood formerly at a place called Chirchcombe. Risdon says that there was, in ancient times, a chapel at Little Yarnscombe, and that the families of Herward and Barry presented alternately to Great and Little Yarnscombe. The chapel spoken of by Risdon has been converted into a cottage: it is on an estate called Lower Chapple. Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, in the early part of the fourteenth century, is said to have given the church of Yarnscombe to the hospital of St. John at Exeter, for the relief of poor children; but it appears by the Originalia in the Exchequer, 18 Edw. II., that the Bishop gave it to the priory of Frithelstock.

In the parish-church is an ancient monument of the family of Cockworthy, with an imperfect date (14...); and some memorials of Trevelyan (fn. n39), Pollard (fn. n40), and Champneys. (fn. n41) Mr. Incledon, in his Church Notes, mentions Hugh Fortescue, of Weare, 1609. The impropriation is now vested in Lord Rolle. The King is patron of the vicarage.

Yarcombe, or Yartcombe

YARCOMBE, or YARTCOMBE, in the hundred of Axminster and in the deanery of Dunkeswell, lies on the borders of Dorsetshire and Somersetshire, about seven miles from Honiton, and four from Chard in Somersetshire. The river Yarty, in a course of about four miles, divides Yarcombe from the above-mentioned counties. Marsh, on the new road of communication from London to Exeter, through Ilminster and Chard, is in this parish.

William the Conqueror gave the manor of Yarcombe to the abbot and convent of St. Michael in Normandy, who allotted it to their priory of Otterton, in this county. After the dissolution the manor, or a moiety of it, was granted to Robert Earl of Leicester, who sold it to Robert Drake, Esq., of the Ash family, by whom it was conveyed to the celebrated Sir Francis Drake, the circumnavigator, who was possessed of the other moiety by grant from the crown. It descended (with the impropriation) to the late Lord Heathfield, and is now the property of his nephew, Sir Thomas Trayton Fuller Elliot Drake, Bart., who is improving the estate, and making extensive plantations.

Shevehayne, now esteemed the manor-house, was anciently in the family of Speke, and passed, by successive sales, to Woode, Stawell, and Martyn. In this house, which is occupied occasionally by Sir T. T. F. E. Drake, is a fine portrait of Sir Francis Drake. Paynshay, formerly parcel of the manor, was, in 1260, given by the prior of Otterton to William Pyne, or Payne. It passed, by descent, to Sturton and Daubeny, by successive sales, to Smyth, Woode, and Bret. It is now the property of Sir T. T. F. E. Drake, who purchased it with the great tithes, about 1808, of Mr. Codrington, now Sir Bethel Codrington, Bart. The King is patron of the vicarage, which, before the year 1247, was endowed with a glebe of 30 acres, and certain gardens and houses. (fn. n42)

Yealmton, or Yalmeton

YEALMTON, or YALMETON, in the hundred and deanery of Plympton, lies about four miles from Plympton, and nine from Plymouth, by the old road; but across the ferry, called the Flying Bridge, between six and seven. Yealmton is described in ancient records as a borough. (fn. n43) The village of Dunston is in this parish. A great cattle-market is held at Yealmton on the fourth Wednesday in every month.

Risdon begins his account of Yealmton by saying, Here, according to tradition, the Saxon king, Ethelwold, had his palace, whose lieutenant, Lipsius, was also here interred.

The manor of Yealmton, or Yalhampton, was given by King John to Matthew Fitzherbert, Lord of Stokenham, and it passed with that manor to the earls of Huntingdon. Henry Earl of Huntingdon sold it, in or about the year 1580, to Sir John Hele. The heiress of Hele married Sir Edward Hungerford, by whom it was conveyed, in 1670, to Edmund Pollexfen, Esq., of Kitley, in this parish, and his heiress brought it to the ancestor of Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., M. P., the present proprietor. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. n44)

The Pollexfens resided at Kitley as early as the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Edmund Pollexfen, the last of the family, died in 1710. In consequence of their marriage with the heiress of Pollexfen, the Bastards removed their residence from Garston to Kitley. William Bastard, Esq., grandson of the heiress of Pollexfen, was created a baronet in 1779 (fn. n45); the creation was gazetted, but Mr. Bastard declined the intended honor. Kitley is now the seat of Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., one of the members for the county, and nephew of the late Mr. Bastard. The manors of Bowdon and Dunston belong also to Mr. Bastard. Bowdon gave name to an ancient family, from whom it passed, by successive heirs female, to Colland, Lawtram, Stone, and Copleston. A branch of the last-mentioned family resided at Bowdon for several generations. The executors of Thomas Copleston, Esq., the last of that family, sold it, in 1753, to William Bastard, Esq., above mentioned, grandfather of the present proprietor. Bowdon is now a farm-house. Mr. Bastard has also another manor of Yealmton, which had belonged to the Prideaux family.

Lyneham, in this parish, gave name to a family who possessed the manor till about the year 1340: it was afterwards, for a short time, in that of Topcliffe. In the year 1402, it belonged to John Crocker, son of John Crocker, Esq., of Hele. Sir John Crocker, of this family, was one of the knights who were attainted and outlawed by Richard III., and who accompanied the Earl of Devon to the relief of Exeter, when besieged by Perkin Warbeck, in 1497. (fn. n46) Courtenay Crocker, Esq., who died in 1740, left an only daughter, who brought Lyneham to James Bulteel, Esq., grandfather of John Bulteel, Esq., of Fleet, the present proprietor. Lyneham is now a farm-house. There was formerly a park here. Windsor, in this parish, gave name to a family who possessed the fee of this barton by the gift of William Lord Rous. One of the coheiresses of Windsor married Richard Fortescue, from whom, says Sir William Pole, descended the Fortescues of the east part of England. Afterwards Windsor became the property and residence of a younger branch of the Crockers of Lyneham, who, on removing to Bovey Tracey, sold this estate, in the reign of William III., to Dr. Blackall: it was by him bequeathed to Colonel William Scott, of Essex, and has been lately purchased of Colonel William Henry Scott, of the 3d Foot-guards, by Mr. Bastard.

Cofflete, in this parish, belonged at an early period to the family of Silveston, one of whose co-heiresses brought it to Ashleigh. It was afterwards successively in Hill and Copleston. The Coplestons possessed it for several generations. Henry Copleston sold it, about the year 1620, to Mr. Elize Stert, of whose descendants it was purchased, early in the last century, by Thomas Veale, Esq. Cofflete is now the property and residence of the Rev. Richard Lane, whose father inherited it under the will of Mr. Veale, his uncle. The barton of Pitton is partly in this parish and partly in that of Plympton St. Mary. The greater part of the old mansion, which stood in this parish, has been taken down. It was the residence of the Pitts, a co-heiress of which family, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, married William Woollcombe, Esq., of Holland. The Woollcombes resided here before their removal to Ashbury. Pitton is now a farm belonging to John Morth Woollcombe, Esq., of that place.

In the parish-church are monuments of the families of Pollexfen (fn. n47), Bastard (fn. n48), Copleston (fn. n49), Crocker (fn. n50), and Woollcombe. (fn. n51) George Woodward, M. D., 1723; Thomas Veale, Esq., with his bust in white marble, 1780; Kitty, wife of William Rosdew, Esq., daughter of John Mudge, M. D., 1789; and Thomas Perring Bulteel, (son of John Bulteel, Esq., of Fleet,) 1805. The great tithes of this parish are annexed to the prebend of King's Teignton, in the church of Sarum, called the Golden Prebend. The prebendary is patron of the vicarage. On the south side of the church are the ruins of a building, called the Palace, said, by a vague tradition, to have been a palace of the Saxon kings. It was probably an ancient residence of the prebendaries.

There is no endowed charity-school in this parish; but a school on Dr. Bell's system, in which about 65 children are educated, is supported by subscription, and there is a Sunday-school, in which are nearly 200 children.

Zeal, Zele, or Sele Monachorum

ZEAL, ZELE, or SELE MONACHORUM, in the hundred of North Tawton and in the deanery of Chulmleigh, lies about seven miles from Crediton. The villages of Tuckingmill, Loosbear, or Loxbeare, and Burston, are in this parish.

The manor was given to the abbot of Buckfastleigh by King Canute. (fn. n52) It now belongs to Henry Ley, Esq., of Trehill, near Exeter.

The manor of Loxbeare belongs to Mr. Philip Kelland; the manor of Burstone, to Mr. John Wreford. The Earl of Morley is patron of the rectory.

Weeks Hole, Esq., who died in 1768, gave the sum of 100l. for the education of poor children of this parish.


  • n1. A record of the reign of Edward II., which grants the custody of the estates of Gilbert of Gloucester to Richard Clare, describes lands at Winkleigh, et Curia ibidem. That Curia is no doubt the Court, which was the seat of the Lethbridge family.
  • n2. Hundred Roll.
  • n3. From a corruption of this name, it is called Hollacombe Paramore.
  • n4. Rot. Cart. 45 Hen. III. No. 24.
  • n5. Cart. Rot. 34, 35 Edw. III.
  • n6. Chapple's Collections.
  • n7. I have not found any grant of a market or fair; but it appears by the Hundred Roll that there was a fair in the reign of Edward I.
  • n8. Chapple's Collections.
  • n9. Unless it fall on a Saturday or Sunday, in which case it is held on the Monday following.
  • n10. Hundred Roll.
  • n11. Son of the sister of Richard Melhuish, Esq., the last of the family, who died in 1809.
  • n12. See Pat. Rot. 27 Edward III. pt. 3.
  • n13. Called Witheridge Canington, having formerly belonged to the priory of Cannington, near Bridgwater.
  • n14. "This book, which some time belonged to the royal chapel of St. George at Windsor, and afterwards to the Hon. and Right Rev. Dr. Frederick Keppel, late Bishop of Exeter, and dean of the said chapel, of whose executors I purchased it, in 1778, I William Chapple, now of the Close of the cathedral church of St. Peter, in the city and county of Exeter aforesaid, do hereby give, and desire it may, from and after my death, be appropriated to the parish church of Witheridge, in the county of Devon and diocese of Exeter aforesaid, as some token of my regard for the place where I drew my first breath; viz. at Stukeley's Lower West-Yeo, alias New House, in that parish, on the 14th of January, O. S. 1718-9, and for that church wherein I was enlisted under the banner of the holy cross, to be preserved in the said church, for the use of the officiating vicar or curate there, on Sundays and other holidays, at the altar table, (where every part of the communion-service, according to the rubric, though this be now disregarded by many, even on sacrament days, ought always to be read,) and not elsewhere; so long as our present ecclesiastical establishment, under episcopal church government shall continue, if the book itself so long last, as it possibly may, unless any future vicar's devotion exceeding the present ordinary standard should conduce to its wearing out sooner than might otherwise happen. But however this be, my will and desire is that it be preserved from wilful damage, and its use continued there whilst so preserved, if so long legally permitted, or not expressly prohibited by the authority of superiors; after which I cannot expect any more regard will be paid to my intention in this donative than to primitive Christianity itself, or the due celebration of its most sacred eucharistical solemnities, or to any anathema threatened by the inspired writings, against sacrilegious invaders of the church's property. In testimony of this my donation hereof, which I desire may have the same force as if it were a part of my last will, and not to be considered as revoked by its omission therein have here inserted, with my own hand, this declaration of my meaning and intention, relating to the disposition and use hereof, to which I have also subscribed my name, this 22d day of July, 1781. "William Chapple."
  • n15. "This stone distinguishes no vaulted cave, A plain good man, has here as plain a grave The toys of greatness his low sphere denied; His real wants his industry supplied; His labouring hand procured his daily bread His pious care his children taught and fed. Earnest to guide their steps by virtue's rules, Plain sense supplied the learning of the schools His steady honesty, still kept its ground Unshaken, whether fortune smil'd or frown d Lover of peace, sincere, religious, just; Guiltless of fraud and faithful to his trust. Thus much his son with modesty may say; This tribute to a father's memory pay; Whose well spent life all dread of death supprest And smoothed his passage to eternal rest."
  • n16. Dorothy Hill, in 1755, gave 20l., half of which being lost, it produces only 8s. per annum. John Cockram, in 1782, gave 20l. which now produces only 10s.
  • n17. The provision for the first visit consisted of a buck and a side of venison, sent by Mr. Reynell of Ogwell; and a buck from Mr. Pawlet of Henton. Among the fish, three dories, two mullets, two gurnets, 25 peels, two salmons, and eight pair and a half of soles. Of game and fowls, 140 partridges, seven pheasants, 61 chickens, 46 capons, ten ducks, 14 pullets, six geese, 71 turkeys, 28 pigeons, one pea-hen, two mallards, two green plovers, eight plovers, one gull, three dozen of larks, 38 rabbits, and one hare; besides mutton, veal, lamb, &c. Six artichokes were among the vegetables. The whole expence of the first entertainment was 28l. 13s. 5d. For the second entertainment, Sir Amias Pawlet gave a buck; Mr. Luff of Torre, a doe; Dr. Clifford, a hunted teage, (a doe of a year old); Mr. Beard gave a mutton, killed and dressed. The fish consisted of eight score mullets, three dozen and a half whitings, four salmons, seven peels, seven dories, 21 plaice, 26 soles, 48 lobsters, 550 pilchards, &c. &c. Among the fowls and game, 69 partridges, five pheasants, twelve pullets, 14 capons, 112 chickens, four ducks, six geese, 37 turkeys, 69 pigeons, 92 rabbits, one barnacle, one hernshaw, 12 sea-larks, 11 curlews, 21½ dozen of larks, one heath pult, two nynnets, six seapyes, one stone curlew, four teals, three pea-hens, and two gulls. Among the more substantial provisions, were six oxen and kine, five muttons, two veals and a half; besides several entries of ribs of beef, quarters of mutton, chines, tongues, a side of lamb, and a Westphalia gammon. The liquors enumerated are, two hogsheads of beer, a barrel of Canary wine, and 35 quarts of white wine. The whole expense of the second entertainment was 55l. 5s.
  • n18. Rapin's History of England.
  • n19. Mr. Incledon's Church Notes, taken about 1770, mention also Jane, daughter of Sir Richard Reynell, and wife of Sir William Waller, 1633; John Reynell, minister of Wolborough, 1698; and Thomas Reynell his son, 1699.
  • n20. Hundred Roll.
  • n21. The sum of 30l. per annum is settled on this meeting, out of the charity of Mr. and Mrs. Bearne.
  • n22. Vol. xix. (1749,) p. 411, 412.
  • n23. From the information of Capt. Thomas Lethbridge, of the navy, a grandson of Mr. John Lethbridge.
  • n24. Hamlyn, of Marshall, in this parish, 1694—1708.
  • n25. 1685—1728, Margaret, wife of Thomas Saltren, and daughter of Lutterell of Hartland Abbey, 1685.
  • n26. William Whitlock, Gent., 1723; John Whitlock, Esq., 1750.
  • n27. Dug. Mon. vol. ii. 286.
  • n28. Cart. Rot. 14 Edw. I. No. 44.
  • n29. Oliver de Dinham possessed it in the reign of Henry II. Madox's Hist. of Exchequer, p. 409.
  • n30. Hundred Roll.
  • n31. Sprigge's England's Recovery, p. 159, 160.
  • n32. See the record of Domesday.
  • n33. Mr. Swete died whilst this sheet was printing off.
  • n34. See p. 420.
  • n35. Francis Fortescue, Esq., of Wood, 1649; Peter, son of Sir Peter, 1674.
  • n36. Ralph de Pomerai held Afton in demesne at the time of the Domesday survey.
  • n37. Jernescom.
  • n38. The marriage between the heiress of John Davel, as the name was then spelt, and Arthur Harris, Esq., took place in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
  • n39. Anthony Trevelyan, Esq., 1623.
  • n40. John Pollard, Esq., of Langley, 1667; Robert Pollard, Esq., 1659; George Pollard, Esq. (no date).
  • n41. John Champneys, Esq., 1681; John Champneys, Esq., the younger, 1680.
  • n42. Chartulary of Otterton Priory, in Chapple's Collections.
  • n43. Willis's Notitia Parliamentaria.
  • n44. Hundred Roll.
  • n45. See the head of Baronets in the General History.
  • n46. Holinshed.
  • n47. Edmund Pollexfen, Esq., 1710.
  • n48. William Bastard, Esq., 1732; John Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., who represented the county of Devon in seven successive parliaments, and his brother, Edmund Bastard, Esq., who both died in 1816: the inscription for the two latter is in bronze letters on a handsome monument of white marble.
  • n49. Isabel, daughter of Henry Fortescue, and wife of — Copleston, 1580; Henry Copleston, Esq., 1650; Mary, his wife, daughter of Were, 1630.
  • n50. John Crocker, cofferer and standard-bearer to King Edward IV., 1508. He distinguished himself in suppressing Perkin Warbeck's rebellion.
  • n51. Joan, wife of William Woollcombe, 1624; John Woollcombe, Esq., of Pitton, 1650; Henry Woollcombe, Esq., of Ashbury, 1690.
  • n52. Hundred Roll, temp. Edw. I.