COLYTON, in the hundred of that name and in the deanery of Honiton,
is a small market-town not far from the sea-coast, seven miles from Honiton, and about 153 from London.
The market was granted in or about the year 1342, to Peter de Brewose,
to be held on Wednesday within his manor of Wytteford (Whitford (fn. 1) ), together with a fair for four days at the festival of St. Peter, ad vincula. (fn. 2)
King John had before (in or about the year 1208) granted a fair at Culinton, to Thomas Basset, to be held for seven days, beginning on the
octave of St. Michael. (fn. 3) A fair at Whitford for five days, at the festival of
the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, was granted to the said Peter in 1346. (fn. 4)
There are now two market days at Colyton; Thursday and Saturday.
There was formerly a considerable market on Thursdays for corn, poultry,
vegetables, &c.; but there is now little sold, except butchers' meat, on
either day; and beef only on Thursday. The present fair days are May 1.
and October 14. for cattle, &c. There is a large cattle fair at Colyford, a
considerable village in this parish, on the first Wednesday after March 11.
The borough of Colyford (fn. 5) enjoys certain privileges, and is governed by a
mayor, annually elected, who has the profits of the fair. This village was
the birth-place of Sir Thomas Gates, Governor of Virginia, and the discoverer of Bermudas or Somers Island.
During the early part of the civil war, Colyton was held for the king by
Lord Henry Percy, who in July 1644 was dispossessed by the parliamentary
garrison at Lyme. (fn. 6)
The manor of Colyton was in the crown at the time that the survey of
Domesday was taken. King Henry II., granted it to Sir Alan de Dunstanville. His son, Walter, gave it to Sir Thomas Basset his nephew, together with that of Whitford. (fn. 7) One of the co-heiresses of Thomas Basset
brought a moiety of the manor of Colyton to Sir William Courtenay; and
in the reign of Edward II., his descendant, the Earl of Devonshire, purchased the remaining moiety of the representatives of the other co-heiress.
Whitford passed by marriage to the Sandfords, whose heiress married Foliot,
and afterwards Brewose. The manor of Whitford, with a moiety of the
hundred of Colyton, was confirmed to Peter Brewose and Joan his wife
(heiress of Sandford) in 1346. (fn. 8) This manor, which was held by the annual
render of an ounce of silk, afterward became re-united to Colyton, in the
possession of the earls of Devonshire; and having been forfeited and restored, continued in the Courtenay family till the extinction of the elder
branch, when they were divided among the co-heiresses. Sir William Pole,
when he made his collections for a history of this county, possessed the
fourth share, which belonged to the Arundells, and had been purchased by
his father. Lord Petre then possessed two-fourths, purchased of Trelawney
and the heirs of Trethurfe; and Sir John Drake the remaining fourth, by
purchase from Mohun. The late Sir John de la Pole, who had inherited
the fourth share above mentioned, purchased, in 1787, Lord Petre's two
shares, and soon afterwards the remaining fourth which had belonged to
the Drakes. The whole is now the property of his son, Sir William
Templer Pole, Bart.
Colcombe Castle was a seat of the earls of Devonshire. One of the
last earls had begun to rebuild it on a magnificent scale, but it was left
unfinished, and was in ruins when it came into the possession of Sir William
Pole. Sir William rebuilt it and made it the place of his residence; his
son Sir John, created a baronet during his father's lifetime, in 1628, then
resided at Shute, which his successors have made their chief seat. Colcombe Castle has been deserted, and is now in a state of dilapidation:
part of it has been fitted up as a farm-house.
The manor of Whitwell belonged anciently to the Lutterells; afterwards
to the earls of Devonshire. It does not appear to have been restored with
the manor of Colyton after the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter. In
Sir William Pole's time it belonged to John Willoughby, Esq., whose grandfather had purchased it of the Fryes. The late Sir John de la Pole purchased it of Sir John Trevelyan, Bart., representative of the Willoughbyes;
and it is now the property of his son, Sir William Templer Pole, Bart.
The manor of Tudhayes, or Minchenhome, is said to have belonged to
the prioress and nuns of St. Katherine at Polsloe, near Exeter. This manor
now belongs to the dean aud chapter of Exeter. The nuns of St. Katherine
had a charter of privileges for their lands in Colyton in the year 1228. (fn. 9)
The manor of Farwood, in this parish, was given by Henry Tracy, Baron
of Barnstaple, to the Abbey of Quarrer, in the Isle of Wight. After the
Reformation it was purchased by the Haydons, who possessed it in Sir
William Pole's time. At a later period, it was in the family of Davie (fn. 10)
and is now the property of Mrs. Hunt.
The manor of Gatcombe belonged anciently to the family of Hillion,
afterwards to that of Prouz (fn. 11) ; from the latter it passed by successive heirs
female to Stowford and Wise. Sir Thomas Wise sold this estate in parcels,
and it has since been divided into six tenements.
Yardbury belonged, soon after the Conquest, to the ancient family of
Bauceyn, whose heiress married Sir Richard Hiwis. From Hiwis it passed
by successive female heirs to Hawley and Coplestone. Sir William Pole
purchased this estate of the Coplestones, and sold it to William Westofer,
Esq., who died in 1622: his heiress married William Drake, Esq.,
younger son of the Drakes of Ash, whose descendant, Francis Horatio Nelson
Drake, Esq., of Wells, is the present proprietor. Yardbury, now a farm-house,
was for some generations the seat of this branch of the Drakes. Stowford
was the property and residence of a family of that name, whose heiress married
Walrond in the reign of Edward I. Sir William Pole's father purchased it
of the Walronds. At a later period it was in the Marwoods, and is now
the property of James Marwood Elton, Esq., of Green way, whose mother
was one of the co-heiresses of that family. Nore was, for several descents,
in the family of Sticklinch, from which it passed to Keleway. It was purchased of the heirs of the latter by the Poles, who had purchased also
Hedhayne, which belonged to the Frankcheneys. Both these estates belong
to Sir W. T. Pole, Bart. A large house in Colyton, which had been some
time a seat of the family of Yonge, was conveyed by the late Sir George
Yonge, to Sir John De la Pole, in exchange for lands in Tallaton. It was
some time the residence of Sir W. T. Pole: the greater part of it has
since been taken down.
In the parish church, which has lately been enlarged by subscription,
(aided by the Society for enlarging and building parish churches,) are
several monuments worthy of notice: the tomb of a grand-daughter of
King Edward IV. (daughter of William, Earl of Devonshire,) has been
already described. (fn. 12) There are monuments for William Westofer, Esq.,
1622; William Drake, Esq., 1680; and several of the family of Samson. (fn. 13)
At the east end of the south aisle is a small chapel, the burial-place of the
Poles. Here lies Sir William Pole, the antiquary, whose collections for this
county have been so often quoted: the inscription on his grave-stone is
obliterated. There is a monument for his father, William Pole, Esq.,
(descended from the Poles of Poole, in the hundred of Wirrall in
Cheshire,) who died in 1587; for Anne (fn. 14) , first wife of Sir William, (one of
the co-heiresses of Sir William Periam, Chief Baron of the Exchequer,)
who died in 1605; and his son, Sir John Pole, Bart., 1628, with his
effigies in armour, and that of his wife. There is the monument also of
Sir William Pole, Bart., Master of the Household to Queen Anne, who
died in 1741. (fn. 15) On the outside of this chapel is the monument of John
Paumier, Esq., 1798.
The dean and chapter of Exeter are patrons of the vicarage, and appropriators of the great tithes, which have lately been leased in three portions.
The church is in their peculiar jurisdiction.
The vicarage-house is an ancient structure, built by Thomas Brerewood,
vicar, in 1529: the arms of Bishop Veysey, with this date, are over
the door. Over a window is this inscription "Peditatio totum, meditatio
totum;" and in the window the arms of Bishop Veysey, the initials T. B.,
and several briar-trees bound together as the device of Brerewood.
Thomas Manton, a learned divine of the seventeenth century, was some
time vicar of Colyton.
The Chantry-roll (fn. 16) of 1547 records a free chapel at Colcombe, at which
Divine service was performed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays,
founded by an Earl of Devon, and endowed with lands, then valued at
6l. 12s. 4d. per annum; a chapel of St. Edmund, in the borough of
Colyford, in which was a chantry, founded by an Earl of Devon, and
endowed with lands then valued at 8l. 3s. per annum; and a chapel within
the manor of Whitford, a mile from the parish church, in which was a
chantry, founded by the Marquis of Exeter, and endowed with lands,
then valued at 5l. 12s. 4d. per annum. An estate consisting of chantry
lands, being the whole or a part of those above mentioned, was, after the
Reformation, purchased by Erle. Sir Walter Erle sold this estate in 1616
to the Samson family, and it is now the property of their descendant,
Samuel Samson, Esq. There were formerly chapels also at Gatcombe and
Leigh in this parish. (fn. 17)
The parish registers at Colyton commence in 1538, being the date of
their first institution. The original volumes (fn. 18) have been preserved, and
they appear to have been kept with great accuracy.
The Presbyterians have had, for more than a century, a meeting-house
at this place, which has a small endowment in lands. There is a meetinghouse also for the Particular Baptists.
Some valuable estates in Colyton were given for charitable purposes,
in the reign of Henry VIII., and vested in a corporation of feoffees, called
the Chamber, or twenty men, consisting of such persons as have, or whose
fathers had, an estate in the parish. There are now only four feoffees. (fn. 19)
The trust must be filled up when they are reduced to three. The lands
were part of the forfeited estates of the Marquis of Exeter. The profits
of the tolls, at the markets and fairs, now not above 5l. per annum, and
some lands called Lovehayne and Buddlehayes, said to be now about 80l.
per annum, were purchased of the crown by Stowbridge, and given by
that family to charitable uses. An estate at Colyford, said to be about
25l. per annum, was given for the purpose of paying poor persons' rents.
Lands at Hampton, in the parish of Shute, said to produce a net rent of
about 20l. per annum, were given for the purpose of paying 5l. per annum
to a schoolmaster, the residue to be bestowed at the discretion of the
feoffees. The clear rental of the whole of the estate held in trust by the
feoffees is 148l. per annum. The feoffees now pay the schoolmaster a
salary of 30l. per annum, for which he teaches 20 boys. This school
appears to be an old establishment: the date on the school-house is 1612.
A Sunday-school was founded in 1817 by the Rev. James How, who
gave 200l., 5 per cent., towards its support.
COLYTON RALEIGH, in the hundred of East Budleigh and in the deanery
of Aylesbeare, lies about eleven miles from Honiton, and about the same
distance from Exeter. Bystock, Kingston, Stoneyford, Stoford, and
Hawkerlane, are villages in this parish.
The manor came into the possession of the Ralegh family in the reign
of Henry III., by marriage with the heiress of Chilton. It continued in
the Ralegh family till Sir Walter Ralegh's time, if not later, and was
afterwards in the Dukes. It is now the property of the Right Hon.
The Abbot of Dunkeswell had a manor in this parish, which, after the
Reformation, was in the family of Blount, and passed by sale to Petre.
This manor also belongs to Lord Rolle.
At Bystock is the seat of Edward Divett, Esq., which belonged formerly
to a branch of the Drakes (fn. 20) , and was in 1773 the property and residence of
William Jackson, Esq.
The dean of Exeter has the rectory and the rectorial manor of Colyton
Ralegh, and is patron of the vicarage. The ancient rectory-house, which
has the remains of a chapel, stands near the church: it is inhabited by
The Liber Regis mentions a chapel of St. Theobald in this parish, which
had been demolished.
Comb-in-Teignhead, or Comb-in-Tinhead
COMB-IN-TEIGNHEAD, or COMB-IN-TINHEAD, in the hundred of Wonford,
and in the deanery of Kenne, lies nearly three miles from Newton Abbot.
Netherton and Rocomb are villages in this parish.
The manor of Comb-in-Teignhead belonged, in the reign of Henry III.
to the family of De Albo Monasterio or Blanchminster. It was afterwards
in the Cliffords (fn. 21) , whose heiress brought it to Prideaux; and at a later
period in the Bourchiers, earls of Bath; by whose representative, Sir
Bourchier Wrey, Bart., it was sold, not many years ago, in severalties,
and is now divided between ten or twelve proprietors.
The manor of Netherton, in this parish, belongs to Henry Reynolds, Esq.
Buckland Baron belonged, in the reign of Henry II., to the family of
Baron or De Baronia, in which it continued for eight generations. It was
afterwards in the family of Folkeray, whose heiress brought it to Huckmore, or Hockmore, and the heiress of Hockmore to Gould of Sharphampark in Somersetshire. It is now the property of Lord Viscount Kilcourcy
in right of his mother, the Countess of Cavan, who was daughter and
heiress of the late Mr. Justice Gould. The remnant of the old mansion of
Buckland Baron is occupied by labourers.
In the parish church are some memorials of the family of Hockmore. (fn. 22)
In this church there was, in ancient times, a priest called Folkeray's
Stipendiary, whose duty it was to officiate on Wednesday, Friday, and
Saturday. The stipend given by Gregory Folkeray in 1547 was 4l. 13s. 4d.
Sir Bourchier Wrey is patron of the rectory. (fn. 23)
Mrs. Margaret Burgoyne, about the middle of the last century, gave
the interest of 100l., 3 per cent., for instructing poor children of this
The manor of Haccombe is chiefly in this parish. (fn. 24)
COMB MARTIN, a decayed market-town in the hundred of Braunton,
and in the deanery of Shirwell, lies on the north coast, about five miles
from Ilfracombe, and about nine from Barnstaple.
The market was granted, in or about the year 1264, to Nicholas FitzMartin, to be held on Thursday, together with a fair for four days, beginning on Whitsun-Eve. (fn. 25) In 1759 the market was held on Tuesday (fn. 26) : but
it has been discontinued beyond the memory of any person now living: a
small covered space in front of the poor-house is still called the market.
There is a fair on Whit-Monday. In 1801 the number of inhabitants in
this parish was 819, in 1811 only 732.
Westcote says, that in his time the inhabitants of Comb Martin were
chiefly employed in making shoemakers' thread, with which they furnished
the greater part of the county. Brice observes, that the lands about Comb
Martin were noted (1759) for producing the best hemp in the county, and
that in great abundance. The thread is no longer made here, nor the hemp
cultivated. The trade of Comb Martin is inconsiderable: coals are imported from Wales, and there is a small exportation of corn and bark. A
considerable quantity of lime is burnt here.
In the reign of Edward I., 337 men were brought out of Derbyshire to
work the silver mines at this place. They are said to have been at that
period very productive, and to have furnished money for the wars, in the
reign of Edward III. They were again worked with success in the reign
of Queen Elizabeth, by Sir Beavis Bulmer. About twenty years ago, an
unsuccessful attempt was made to work these mines: they were again
opened in 1817, and worked to some extent; but the produce was not
such as to reward the adventurers for their exertions, and the work has
The manor of Comb was given by William the Conqueror to Martin de
Tours, ancestor of the Lords Martin, from whom it passed by inheritance
to the Lords Audley. It was granted, with Dartington, &c., to the
Hollands, and to Margaret Countess of Richmond. After having reverted
to the crown, it was granted to the Pollards. Sir John Pollard dismembered the manor. A considerable estate, formerly the demesnes of the
manor, is called the Four Lords' Lands, is now in severalties, in consequence
of having been divided between the four daughters of R. Roberts, Esq.,
who possessed it in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The present
proprietors are G. S. Fursdon, Esq., T. D. Tregonwell, Esq., Mr. John
Pyke, and Mrs. Gill. The manor and barton-house were sold to Hancock; and having been afterwards in the Buller family, passed by
marriage to the late Admiral Watson, and are now the property of
his son Sir Charles Watson, Bart. The manor-house is occupied by a
In the parish church are memorials of the families of Hancock (fn. 27) , Ley (fn. 28) ,
and Harding. (fn. 29) The Rev. William Toms is patron and incumbent of the
Dr. Harding, the zealous advocate for popery, and opponent of Bishop
Jewell, was of the Buzzacot family, and a native of this parish. (fn. 30)
Mr. George Ley, in 1718, gave land, now let at 25l. per annum, (but
supposed to be of much greater value,) for the endowment of a free school,
and a house for the master.
COMB-PYNE, in the hundred of Axminster, and in the deanery of Honiton,
lies on the borders of Dorsetshire, about three miles from Lyme-Regis,
about four from Axminster, and about the same distance from Colyton.
This manor, anciently called Comb-Coffin, passed, at an early period,
by marriage, from the family of Coffin to that of Pyne: the co-heiresses
of the latter married Umphraville and Bonville. The manor became
eventually wholly vested in Bonville; and having passed to Grey Duke
of Suffolk, was forfeited by attainder. It was afterwards, for several
generations, in the family of Petre: it is now in severalties. William
Knight, Esq., has a moiety; and Mrs. Edwards of Chard, and Mr. Joshua
Cuff, a fourth each. The advowson of the rectory is divided in like
COMB-RALEGH, in the hundred of Axminster and in the deanery of
Dunkeswell, lies about a mile from Honiton.
The manor of Comb-Ralegh was anciently called Comb-Baunton, and
afterwards Comb-Matthew, from its owners of those names. Sir John
Ralegh became possessed of it before the year 1350; his daughter Alice
brought it to St. Aubyn, and the heiress of St. Aubyn to Dennis. The
daughter of Sir Gilbert Dennis brought this manor to an illegitimate son of
Lord Bonville. After this it was, for some generations, in the descendants of
Maurice Moore, Esq., who married a co-heiress of Bonville. Serjeant
Drewe purchased it of the Moores in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
This manor was, a few years ago, in moieties between the families of Drewe
and Luttrell: it is now the sole property of the Rev. James Bernard of
Shaugh, in the parish of Luppit, having been purchased by the late James
Bernard, Esq., of Crowcombe Court, in Somersetshire.
Ellis Hayes, which belonged to the family of Nott, and since to John
Blagdon, Esq., is now the property of Miss Graves, (daughter of Sir
Thomas Graves,) who resides at Woodbine-hall, in this parish. Abbotts
is the property and residence of Mrs. Drewe, widow of the Rev. Herman
In the church-yard at Comb-Ralegh is the tomb of Mr. Sheldon, the
late celebrated anatomist, with the following inscription:—"Conjugal affection raises this marble to the memory of John Sheldon, Esq., F. R. S.,
professor of anatomy in the Royal Academy. Rapidity of conception,
regulated by sound judgment and profound skill, ranked him among the
ablest practitioners of his age; nor was he less celebrated for deep
researches in philosophy, or the various acquirements of general knowledge. Simple elegance of manners and dignity of deportment, united in
a benevolent heart, endeared him to man as closely as unaffected piety
commended him to God. Died Oct. 8. 1808, aged 56 years." William
Drewe, Esq., is patron of the rectory.
COOKBURY, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of
Holsworthy, lies about five miles from Holsworthy.
The principal villages in this parish are Stapledon or Stapeldon, Cookbury, Week, and Churchtown.
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the Avenells, from
whom it passed successively to Cole and Beville. I find nothing of a later
date of the manor of Cookbury. The manor of Stapledon, in this parish,
was the property and residence of the ancient family of that name (fn. 31) , whose
heiress brought it to Hankford: from the Hankfords it passed, by successive female heirs, to Boteler Earl of Ormond, and St. Leger. It was
purchased of the St. Legers by Humphrey Speccot, Esq., in whose family it
continued several generations. A co-heiress of Speccot brought this manor
in marriage to Thomas Hele, Esq., of Babicombe, and the heiress of Hele
to Sir Jonathan Trelawney, Bart., Bishop of Exeter. The widow of Col.
Edward Trelawney, governor of Jamaica, being possessed of this manor
by her husband's devise, bequeathed it, in 1778, to her sister Mary, wife
of Daniel Stott, Esq. Mrs. Stott devised it, in 1783, to her daughter (by
her first husband, Dr. Wigan,) Mary Trelawney, the wife of the Hon. Rose
Herring May, one of his Majesty's counsel for Jamaica, (and descended
from the Mays of Mayfield in Kent,) with remainder to her seven
daughters, six of whom (now surviving and resident at Bath) are the
present proprietors. Cookbury is a daughter-church to Milton Damarell,
being included in the same presentation.
CORNWOOD, in the hundred of Ermington and in the deanery of Plympton,
lies about eight miles from Modbury, and about eleven from Plymouth.
The villages of Cross and Latten, and part of Ivybridge, are in this parish.
There are cattle-fairs at Cornwood on the first Monday in May, and the
fourth Monday in September.
The manor of Cornwood belonged, in ancient times, successively to the
families of Raddon, Britville, de Bathonia, or Bathe, and Metsted. The
Courtenays became possessed of it about the middle of the fourteenth
century, and it continued to be their property till the attainder of the
Marquis of Exeter. At a later period this manor, with the mansion of
Delamore or Dallamore, belonged to the Coles, who built Delamore-house,
and afterwards to the Belmaines, from whom it passed to Maynard. It was
purchased of the latter by George Treby, Esq., one of whose co-heiresses
brought it to Benjamin Hayes, Esq., father of Treby Hele Hays, Esq., of
Dallamore, who is the present proprietor.
Slade, in this parish, was the property and residence of a family of that
name; afterwards of the Coles, who were of Slade, from the reign of
Richard II. till the early part of the seventeenth century, when this
estate was sold to Savery. The Spurrells purchased it of Savery, and it is
now the property and residence of their representative, John Spurrell
Fardell was, in the reign of Henry III., the property of Warren FitzJoell, whose heiress brought it to Newton, and the heiress of Newton to
Ralegh of Smallridge. This was one of the principal seats of the
Raleghs, and it has been supposed (but erroneously (fn. 32) ) that the celebrated
Sir Walter Ralegh was born here. Fardell was most probably his occasional residence. It was sold by his son, Sir Carew, to Elizæus Hele, who
bequeathed it, with other estates, to charitable uses. The bequest did not
take effect, as far as related to Fardell, which was recovered by the heir at
law, and continued in the family till 1740, when it was given, by the last
heir male of this branch, to Mr. Pearce of Bigbury, by whose executors
it was sold to Sir Robert Palk, Bart. The greater part of this estate
has since been purchased by Mr. Spurrell Pode, and the remainder by Sir
John Lemon Rogers, Bart. The old mansion of the Raleghs, which
belon gs to Mr.Spurrell Pode, is occupied as a farm-house.
South Hele belonged to a branch of the family of Hele. It is now the
property of Sir John Lemon Rogers, Bart., who has the manor of Blachford
in this parish, and the barton of Wisdom, which one of his ancestors had
purchased of the Heles. John Rogers, Esq., being then of Wisdom, was
created a baronet in 1698. South Hele and Wisdom are now farm-houses.
Blachford (fn. 33) has been of late years the seat of the Rogers' family, but is at
present inhabited by the tenant of the estate, the family occasionally occupying the principal apartments.
Cholwich Town, in Cornwood, was the original seat of the Cholwich
family: it is still the property of their descendant J. B. Cholwich, Esq., of
Farrington House, near Exeter.
In the chancel of the parish church is the monument of Robert Belmaine,
Esq., of Dallamore, 1627; in the south aisle, that of Sir John Rogers, Bart.,
who died in 1745; in the north aisle, that of Benjamin Burell, Esq., a
captain in the navy of Charles I., who died in 1715, at the age of 91; and
in the north transept, that of Matthew Fortescue, Esq., 1770.
Sir John Lemon Rogers has lately purchased the great tithes of Cornwood
of the priests, vicars of the church of Exeter, under the powers of the
land-tax redemption act. The Bishop of Exeter is patron of the vicarage.
At Ivybridge, in this parish, is a chapel built by subscription, about the
year 1790. Divine service is performed in it, but it has not been consecrated.
A school-house has been lately built at Cornwood by subscription, and
has been endowed with 10l. per annum by the Rev. Duke Yonge, the present vicar. (fn. 34)
CORNWORTHY, in the hundred of Coleridge and in the deanery of Totton,
lies about four miles from Totnes, and six from Dartmouth, near the beautiful scenery of the Dart. East Cornworthy and Allats are villages in
this parish. Cornworthy is spoken of as a borough in ancient records. (fn. 35)
At this place was a priory of nuns, of the order of St. Austin, founded,
according to Risdon, by an ancestor of the Edgcumbes; according to Sir
William Pole, (which is more probable,) by the lords of Totnes. (fn. 36) Its
revenues were estimated at the time of the dissolution at 63l. The priory
estate was granted, in 1560 or 1561, to Harris and Williams: it continued,
for some generations, in the family of Harris. Of late years the priory
estate, and the impropriate tithes, have been in the Basset family. It was
sold by Lord de Dunstanville, about the year 1800, to Mr. John Holditch,
the present proprietor, in whose family it is still vested.
A manor in Cornworthy (Corneorde) was held in demesne, at the taking
of Domesday survey, by Joel de Totneis. The manor of Cornworthy, which
belonged to the Boones, was sold, after the death of Thomas Boone, Esq.,
in 1679, by the Earl and Countess of Warrington, to John Harris, Esq., of
whom it was not long after purchased by John Seale, Esq., of Mount
Boone. This was sold some years ago to — Torring, in whose family it is
still vested. The manor of East Cornworthy has long been in the family
In the parish church is a monument in memory of Sir Thomas Harris,
serjeant at law, and Dame Elizabeth his wife; the latter died in 1610.
In the south aisle is that of John Seale, Esq., of Mount Boone, 1777.
The Rev. Charles Barter, the present incumbent, is patron of the vicarage,
which is endowed with a portion of the great tithes of Abbot's Carswell.
Dame Elizabeth Harris gave by will the sum of 100l. to this parish for
charitable uses: it was laid out in land now producing about 20l. per
annum, which is appropriated to a school.
CORYTON, in the hundred of Lifton and in the deanery of Tavistock,
lies about eight miles from Tavistock, and about nine from Launceston in
Coryton was, from a very early period, the property and seat of a family
of that name, who afterwards removed into Cornwall. About the year
1600, John Coryton, Esq., sold this manor to Sir Thomas Wise, from whose
family it passed by marriage to the Tremaynes. It was sold, together with
the advowson of the rectory, by the late Arthur Tremayne, Esq., and is
now the property of William Newman, Esq. In the chancel is the following inscription in memory of a former rector:—
"This was a grateful priest: his wealth, tho' small,
He to his patron gave, who gave him all."
COTLEIGH, in the hundred of Colyton and in the deanery of Honiton,
lies about three miles from Honiton.
The manor was, in ancient times, successively in the families of Roche and
Le Jew. From the latter it passed by marriage to Yeo. The co-heiresses
of Yeo brought it in moieties to Rolle, and through the Durants to Arundell of Trerice. It now belongs to the Right Hon. Lord Clinton, who has
also the manor of Culbeer, in this parish.
Womberford belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the ancient family
of Worthiall, who sold it to Frye of Yarty. It passed from the latter by
marriage to Andrews, and is, or was lately, the property of Mrs. Ann
The Rev. William Michell is the present patron and incumbent of the
Countesbury or Countisbury
COUNTESBURY or COUNTISBURY, in the hundred and deanery of Shirwell,
lies near the north coast, on the borders of Somersetshire, two miles from
The manor of Countesbury belonged to the abbot and convent of Ford.
There is now no manor in this parish: the principal landed property belongs
to G. A. Barbor, Esq., of Fremington. The late Lord Somerville purchased a farm in this parish, near the river Lyn, and made some additions
to the house for his occasional residence; it is now the property of his son,
the present lord, but is about to be sold.
In the parish church is a tablet in memory of Sir Simon Stuart, Bart.,
of Hartley Mauduit, Hants, who died in 1816.
The church is held with that of Linton. The archdeacon of Barnstaple
has the appropriated tithes, (of which John Lock, Esq., is lessee,) and is
patron of the curacy.
CREACOMB, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South
Molton, lies about eight miles from South Molton. The barton and
advowson belonged, for many generations, to the Harris family, who sold
this estate about the year 1795. The barton is now the property of Mr.
John Comins. The advowson is vested in the Rev. John Burgess Carslake,
the present incumbent.
CREDITON (fn. 37) , in the hundred of that name and in the deanery of Kenne,
is an ancient market-town eight miles from Exeter, and 183 from London.
The market was granted in or about 1309, to Walter Stapeldon Bishop
of Exeter, to be held on Tuesday, together with two fairs, each for nine
days, at the festivals of St. Mark and of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. (fn. 38)
The market is now held on Saturday for corn by sample, provisions, &c.
It is still a considerable market, but was formerly much larger: it is said,
that seventy bullocks were sold weekly by the butchers, when the woollen
trade was at its greatest height. There are now three cattle fairs; those of
May 11. and September 21. are held in the East Town; that of August 21.
in the West Town. If the 21st should be on Friday or Saturday, the
last-mentioned fair is held on the Tuesday following. There is a great
market also for cattle on the Saturday preceding the last Wednesday in April,
esteemed one of the largest marts for bullocks in the west of England. Crediton sent burgesses to the parliament at Carlisle in the reign of Edward I. (fn. 39)
This town had been one of the principal seats of the woollen manufacture from its first introduction into the county. The serge-market was
removed from Crediton to Exeter in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The
manufacture of serges continued to be extensive till after the great fire in
1743, when fourteen or fifteen hundred serges are said to have been made
weekly. The manufacture still exists here upon a less extensive scale.
There is a manufactory of dowlas and other coarse linens at Fordton in this
parish, and a large corn-mill.
A dreadful fire broke out in the Western Town at Crediton, on Sunday the
14th of August, 1743, in the afternoon, when 460 houses were burnt down,
and sixteen persons perished in the flames. The damage, at a low estimation,
was computed at 40,000l. Another destructive fire happened on the 1st of
May, 1769. In 1801, there were 1045 houses in this parish; 4929 inhabitants; of whom 3166 were employed in trade, manufactures, and handicraft;
in 1811, 5178; when there were 730 families so employed, the total number
of families being stated at 1163.
The parish of Crediton contains eight tithings: the Borough; the towntithing; Yewford; Yewton; Woodland; Knowle; Canon-fee; and Rudge.
The principal villages are Yewford, Yewton, and Hookway, in the tithing
of Rudge: Penton, near the town, may be considered as part of its suburb.
Crediton was taken possession of in 1549 by the rebels, who fortified
themselves in some barns adjoining the town. Sir Peter and Sir Gawen
Carew having advanced with their forces to Crediton, set fire to the barns
on their refusing to surrender, and drove them out. Crediton was occasionally occupied by the royal and parliamentary forces during the civil
war. Prince Maurice's army was quartered there for a considerable time
in 1644. They retreated for a while on the approach of the Earl of Essex,
the beginning of July, but returned thither soon afterwards, and were reviewed by the king on the 27th. Sir Thomas Fairfax took possession of
Crediton on the 8th of December, 1645. He marched thither with his army
on the 10th of February, 1646, and stayed there till the 14th. (fn. 40) He was
quartered at Crediton again on the 29th of March. (fn. 41)
The manor and hundred of Crediton (fn. 42) belonged to the bishops of
Devonshire from a very early period, as parcel of their barony. Here
were the cathedral and the palace of the bishops, till Bishop Leofric, in the
year 1050, removed the see to Exeter. The manor and hundred of
Crediton continued to belong to the bishops, and the palace probably to be
their occasional residence, till the reign of Henry VIII., when Bishop
Veysey surrendered them to the crown. In the same reign the Bishop, but
with great reluctance, conveyed the park to Sir Thomas Dennis. (fn. 43) The
manor and hundred of Crediton appear to have been granted to Lord Darcye
of Chiche, and having been restored to the see together with the park,
were all conveyed by Bishop Babington in 1595 to William Killigrew,
Groom of the Chamber, with the borough, markets, fairs, the demesne of
Knolle, &c. &c. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Robert Killigrew,
Vice-Chamberlain to Anne of Denmark. (fn. 44) In 1637, the devisees of Sir
Robert Killigrew sold the park to Sir John Chichester of Hall, of whose
family it was purchased in 1673, by Mr. Stephen Toller of Exeter; from
him it passed by inheritance to Northleigh, and under the will of Mrs.
Susanna Northleigh, to the daughters of her niece, Elizabeth Tuckfield (fn. 45) , of
whom it was purchased by Mr. George Lambert Gorwyn, the present proprietor. The manor was afterwards for some descents in the family of
Strode. Samuel Strode, Esq., of Peamore, was lord of the manor and
hundred in 1790. This estate was afterwards sold to Parnell, of whom it
was purchased by Benjamin Cleave, Esq., the present proprietor. The
fee-farm rent of 146l. 8s. 3¼d. per annum, formerly payable out of this
manor to the crown, was granted by King Charles II. to Francis Lord
Stawell, Sir Charles Harbord, and others. It is now vested in Thomas
Porter, Esq., of Rockbeare, in right of his wife, whose name was Heathfield.
Downes, in the town-tithing, the seat of James Buller, Esq., was
formerly the property and residence of the Goulds, whose heiress brought
it, after the death of William Gould, Esq., in 1726, to the Bullers. Mr.
Justice Buller was born here in 1746.
Little Fulford, now called Fulford Park, many years the property and
residence of the Tuckfield family, is partly in this parish. It is now the seat
of their representative, Richard Hippisley Tuckfield, Esq., by whom the
mansion has, within a few years, been rebuilt. It was begun about 1810,
Mr. Hakewill being the architect.
Yewe, in the tithing of Yewton, was formerly held under the bishops by
the barons of Oakhampton, by the service of being stewards at their
inthronization; for which service they had all the vessels in which the
bishop was served at the first course. The barton of Yewe has been for a
considerable time in the family of Pidsley, by purchase from the
Trelawneys, and is now the property of the Rev. Simon Pidsley. Yewton
Arundell belonged, from a very early period, to the ancestors of the
Arundells of Lanherne: it was sold about the year 1600 to the ancestor
of Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., who is the present proprietor.
Tedbourne, or Venny Tedbourne, was the original residence of the
Tuckfield family, who settled at Crediton as woollen-manufacturers, and are
said to have been the first clothiers who established a foreign trade. It
is still the property of their representative, R. Hippisley Tuckfield, Esq., of
Fulford Park, who is proprietor also of the manor of Posberry, in this
tithing. Posberry had belonged, at an early period, to a family of that
name, whose heiress brought it to the Pollards.
Knowle, in the tithing of that name, was formerly parcel of the bishop's
demesne. It was lately the property of Robert Lydstone Newman,
Esq., and Henry Tuckfield, Esq., now of John Sillifant, Esq., of Combe
Lancells, in Colebrooke.
Comb, or Spencer Comb, in this tithing, belonged to Spencer, who
married the heiress of Hody in the reign of Richard II. Having passed
by marriage to Prideaux, it was sold to Sir Simon Leach in the reign of
James I., and afterwards became the property of Periam. At a later
period, it was, for several generations, in the Rowes, and is now the property
of the Rev. Mr. Spinkes, in right of his wife, who was daughter of Mr.
Parker, the late owner.
Higher Dunscombe, in the tithing of Rudge, was for many generations
a seat of the Bodleys. It was purchased of that family by the Goulds, in
the reign of James I., and is now the property of their descendant, James
Buller, Esq., of Downes, who possesses also Lower Dunscombe, purchased
by his ancestors, the Goulds, of Sir William Courteen.
The barton of Fordton was many years the seat of a younger branch of
the family of Prowze. Mrs. Honor Prowze, who died in 1773, gave it to
the Rev. William Stacey. It is now a divided property, having been
inherited by his sisters and co-heiresses.
Trowbridge, in this tithing, was the property and residence of Peter de
Trowbridge in the reign of Edward I. This barton was sold by the
Trowbridge family, about the year 1720, to Samuel Strode, Esq., whose son
conveyed it to Giles Yarde, Esq.: it now belongs to Miss Elizabeth Yarde,
one of his daughters and co-heiresses. Trowbridge-house is occupied by her
uncle, John Yarde, Esq., who is the male representative of that ancient family.
Leland, speaking of Crediton, says, "The place wher the old cathedral
church of Crideton stoode, is now occupied with buildinges of houses by
the newe churche-yarde side. The olde churche was dedicate to St. Gregory. The churche there now stonding hath no maner or token of
antiquite." It is a handsome and spacious structure of the later Gothic,
consisting of a nave and two aisles: it is probable that it had not been built
many years when Leland visited Crediton, in the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 46)
In this church is the monument of Sir William Periam, Chief Baron of
the Exchequer (fn. 47) , with his effigies, in his judge's robes; a monument for
John Tuckfield, who died in 1630, with his effigies in a ruff between two
medallions. There are other memorials for the family of Tuckfield (fn. 48) , and
for those of Prowze (fn. 49) , Shilston (fn. 50) , Mundy (fn. 51) , and Yarde. (fn. 52)
There are now no traces of a tomb of one of the bishops, nor of the
monument of Sir John Sully (fn. 53) and his lady. There is the grave-stone of
John Lyndon, Dean of the Collegiate Church, who died in 1482.
There is a parochial library in the church, in which were 1000 volumes,
but many have been lost.
The collegiate church of the Holy Cross at Crediton consisted originally
of eighteen canons or prebendaries, and eighteen vicars, which number
having been reduced, was restored by Bishop Bronscombe in the thirteenth
century. Bishop Grandisson appointed four choristers and four singing
men, or lay vicars; three of the prebendaries, being the principal dignitaries of the church, bore the titles of Precentor, Treasurer, and
Dean. The latter, who had the cure of souls, was called also perpetual
vicar. Before the Reformation, the nave is supposed to have been reserved
for the use of the parishioners, the choir having been appropriated to the
members of the college. The prebends were called De la Pole, Hempstill,
Stowford, Alre, Rigge, Woodland, Carswell, Coombe or Prustcombe, La
Crosse, Cridie, and West Sandford. (fn. 54) The prebendaries, restored by Bishop
Bronscombe, had no corps, but derived their income from other sources.
The revenues of the college amounted to 322l. per annum, at the dissolution.
The collegiate church of Crediton was dissolved by King Edward VI.,
who vested the small tithes of Crediton, Sandford, and Exminster, in twelve
governors (fn. 55) , of whom nine were to be of Crediton, and three of Sandford, to be
elective by the remainder upon every vacancy. Queen Elizabeth confirmed
King Edward's charter of incorporation to the governors, and gave them
the great tithes of the said parishes, reserving to the crown a rent of 100l.
per annum, which is now vested in Sir John Davie, Bart. The vicar, who is
elected by the governors, has 400l. per annum (fn. 56) , and a parsonage-house and
garden; the assistant minister 200l. The church of Crediton is a peculiar of
the bishop's. There is a decayed chapel at the west end of the town, dedicated to St. Lawrence, belonging formerly to an hospital, the warden of
which was appointed by the bishop. Near this chapel was a hermitage,
founded by Bishop Brewer in 1243. (fn. 57) There were formerly chapels at
Yewe, and at Yewton-Arundell. The walls of the former are still standing.
There are meeting-houses at Crediton of the Unitarians and Independents.
The Particular Baptists have a small congregation, who meet in a licensed
dwelling-house. Micaiah Towgood, the late eminent Presbyterian divine,
who died at Exeter at a very advanced age in 1792, was minister of the
dissenting congregation at this place from 1737 to 1749: he distinguished
himself by his zealous exertions in behalf of the poor sufferers by the fire
of 1743, for whose benefit he preached a sermon, published under the
title of "Afflictions Improved." His most popular work, "A Dissenting
Gentleman's Letters," was written (1745) whilst he was minister of the
congregation at Crediton.
Crediton is said to have been the birth-place of St. Boniface, Archbishop
of Mentz, by whose influence with Ethelbald, King of Mercia, the Holy
Scriptures are said to have been read in this country in the English
language. (fn. 58)
There is an almshouse for four poor persons on Bowtonhill in Crediton,
founded by Humphry Spurway, who died in 1557, and endowed with
lands in Witheridge, leased on lives at about 10l. 10s. per annum. The
pensioners have 7½d. a week each, a gown once in three years, and some linen
yearly. John Davie, Esq., in or about the year 1620, founded an almshouse near the church-yard for four poor persons, two of Crediton, and
two of Sandford, and endowed it with 20l. per annum. The pensioners in
this house receive 1s. 6d. a week each.
The grammar-school was founded, or rather re-founded, by the charter
of King Edward VI.: it is probable that it existed under the old establishment. King Edward's charter appoints a salary of 10l. per annum to be
paid to the master out of the small tithes. Queen Elizabeth, when she
gave the great tithes to the corporation, increased the salary to 13l. 6s. 8d.
The governors now pay the master a salary of 30l. per annum: he is
accommodated with a house for the reception of borders, and allowed 5l.
per annum for each Crediton boy educated at the school. Four boys,
three of Crediton, and one of Sandford, were to be educated gratis under
Queen Elizabeth's charter, and to be called Queen Elizabeth's Scholars.
There are three exhibitions of 6l. 13s. 4d. each belonging to this school,
to be held five years, at either university.
John Tuckfield, in 1707, gave 100l. (which in 1786 produced 6l. per
annum) for educating ten poor boys. Thomas Colliton, in 1734, gave 10s.
per annum, and Mary Harris, 1783, 2l. per annum, for educating poor
children. With these funds, and the interest of 1400l., 4 per cent., the
amount of various benefactions, of which 600l. was given by a native of
Crediton, of the name of Purchase, was supported a school called the
Blue-Coat School. This school was considerably enlarged a few years ago,
and re-established upon Dr. Bell's system, being kept in a large building
erected by James Buller, Esq., at Penton, near Crediton. (fn. 59) The funds
have been aided by voluntary subscription, and a contribution of 20l. from
the funds, at the disposal of the twelve governors, the whole amounting
to about 180l. per annum.
Mr. Samuel Dunn, in 1794, gave 600l. 5 per cent. annuities, to the
twelve governors of Crediton, to be appropriated to a school in which six of
his descendants should be taught writing, navigation, the lunar method of
taking the longitude, planning and surveying, &c. The rent of certain lands,
given by some persons now unknown, for teaching poor children, and now
producing about 30l. per annum, have been appropriated to this school.
CULMSTOCK, in the hundred of Hemiock and in the deanery of Tiverton,
is a decayed market-town, near the borders of Somersetshire, 22 miles from
Exeter, and 152 from London. The market, now much declined, is held
on Friday, for butchers' meat. A new market-house had been built, not
many years ago, by the dean and chapter of Exeter. I can find no record
of the grant of the market or fairs. There are two cattle-fairs, May 21st,
and the Wednesday before September 29th. Cloth is sometimes sold at
this fair, but the clothing trade, which was formerly considerable at this
town, is now very much declined; and the place has become, in consequence, much depopulated.
Prescot, Northend, Nicholshayne, and Upcott, are the principal villages
in this parish.
In 1801, the number of inhabitants was returned at 1496; 1811, only
1345; but the town had declined in population prior to either of those
The manor of Culmstock (fn. 60) , which belonged in ancient times to the
bishops of Exeter, has long been vested in the dean and chapter; under
whom it is held on lease by the daughters of the late Rev. Thomas Culme
of Tothill, near Plymouth.
The manors of Nicholshayne and Hayle or Hale have been a considerable time in the family of Baker.
Prestcot, or Prescot, was at an early period (fn. 61) the property and residence
of a family of that name. In the reign of Henry IV. it was given by the
last heir male to William Almescombe, Esq., on condition of his taking the
name of Prestcot. After this it came to the family of Barnhouse, and from
them by successive marriages to Southcote and Ridgway. Sir George
Cary, of Cockington, purchased it of Lord Ridgway: it continued some
time in the Cary family, but has been sold in parcels, and is still a divided
Wood was for many generations the property and residence of a family
of that name. Sir William Pole speaks of it as then lately sold by George
Wood, their representative: I cannot find that any estate of this name is
The great tithes of Culmstock are vested in the dean and chapter or
Exeter, and they are patrons of the vicarage, which is in their peculiar
jurisdiction. There was formerly a chapel at Prescot in this parish. There
are meeting-houses for the Quakers, Particular Baptists, and Wesleyan
Methodists. The Baptists' meeting is at Prescot.