MAKER, partly in the hundred of East (Cornwall) and partly in that of
Roborough, Devon, in the deanery of East, and in the archdeaconry
of Cornwall. This parish is partly in Devonshire and partly in Cornwall.
The town and manor of Inceworth are in the latter county; the village of
Kingsand in Devonshire, together with the church and Mount Edgecumbe.
The church lies about two miles and a half from Plymouth Dock.
Makerton was one of the ancient manors of the Valletorts, and passed
in the same manner as Trematon to the earls and dukes of Cornwall. The
tithing of Vaultersholme, in the Cornish part of the parish, derives its
name from the family of Valletort or Vautort. (fn. 1)
Mount Edgecumbe, formerly called West Stonehouse, was the property
of an ancient family of that name, whose heiress brought it to Durnford.
Sir Piers Edgecumbe, who died in 1539, married the heiress of Durnford. His son, Sir Richard, built a castellated mansion at this place, to
which he gave the name of Mount Edgecumbe. Richard Edgecumbe, Esq.,
the immediate descendant of Sir Richard, having filled several important
public offices in the reign of George I. and II. was, in 1742, created Baron
Edgecumbe. His grandson George, the third Baron Edgecumbe, was
created Viscount Mount-Edgecumbe and Valletort in 1781, and in 1789
Earl Mount-Edgecumbe, to which titles Richard, the present Earl MountEdgecumbe, succeeded on the death of his father in 1795.
Mount Edgecumbe House was built by Sir Richard Edgecumbe, son of Sir
Piers, who became possessed of the estate by marrying the heiress of
Durnford. It is a square building, and had originally, at each corner,
circular towers; the hall, in the centre, rising above the other parts of the
building. It has, at various times, undergone considerable alterations: the
towers, which have been much enlarged, are now octagonal.
The beautiful situation of this mansion, with that of the parks, and the
fine and interesting views with which it abounds, have been frequently described. Mr. Carew, who calls it a most curious and noble mansion, says,
that its appearance from the sea so affected the Duke of Medina Sidonia,
the commander of the memorable Spanish Armada, that he determined to
reserve it for his own possession, in the partage of the kingdom, which in
hope and expectation he had already conquered. (fn. 2)
Mount Edgecumbe, which was occupied as one of the royal garrisons, to
act as a check upon Plymouth, during the civil war, was surrendered to
Colonel Hammond, on the 21st of April, 1646, being the last fortress in
Devonshire, except Salcomb, that held out for the king.
The manor of Mendinnick, in this parish, partly in Devon, and partly in
Cornwall, has been some years in the family of Clark, and is now the property of Mr. William Clark.
In the parish-church are monuments of the Edgecumbe family (fn. 3) ; that of
John Boger, Esq., 1783; and of the brave Joseph Hunt, master and commander in his majesty's navy, captain of the Unicorn, who was killed in an
engagement with the Vestal French frigate, of superior force, which surrendered to his flag about an hour before he breathed his last, January 11,
The great tithes of Maker were appropriated to the priory of Plympton.
They now belong to Earl Mount Edgecumbe, who is patron of the vicarage.
MAMHEAD, in the hundred of Exminster and in the deanery of Kenne,
lies about five miles from Chudleigh. The hamlets or small villages of
Hillhead, Whistley, and Gulliford, are in this parish.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of Mamhead was held
by Ralph de Pomerai under Baldwin the sheriff; it afterwards belonged to
the Peverells, from whom it passed by marriage to the Carews. Sir
Peter Carew sold it, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, to Giles Balle,
father of Sir Peter Balle, Recorder of Exeter, and Attorney General to
Queen Henrietta Maria, who rebuilt the manor-house. Thomas Balle,
Esq., the last of this family, died in 1749: soon after which Mamhead
was sold by his heir, Thomas Hussey Apreece, Esq., to Joseph Gascoyne
Nightingale, Esq., whose sister brought it to her husband, Wilmot
Vaughan, the first Earl of Lisburne. It now belongs to his son, John
Earl of Lisburne, who, in 1820, succeeded his late brother, Wilmot.
The obelisk of Portland stone, on Mamhead point, about 100 feet high, was
built by Thomas Balle, Esq., about the year 1742. Mamhead House, which
commands one of the most beautiful views in the south of Devon, was, in
great part, rebuilt by Wilmot, Earl of Lisburne, by whom the grounds were
laid out, and the whole place greatly improved. Some of the fine trees
were planted by Sir Peter Balle; others, by his son. The trees of the
Quercus Ilex are uncommonly fine, and are remarkable as having been the
first of the kind planted in England from acorns. The experiment was
made by Mr. Balle, about the year 1696. Several of these trees are ten
feet in circumference, at three feet from the ground; and one of them
measures thirteen feet six inches in circumference.
It seems most probable that Mamhead House was the royal garrison
spoken of by Whitelock as having been abandoned, on the approach of
Sir Thomas Fairfax with his army, in the month of January, 1646. It appears to be called Sir Peter Byme's house, by mistake for Sir Peter Balle's,
for it is spoken of as near Powderham.
Mamhead is at present occupied by the Right Honourable Sir George
Newhouse, in this parish, was some time the property and residence of
the family of Long, whose heiress brought it to the Oxenhams. On the
death of William Long Oxenham, Esq., in 1818, it became the property of
John Acland, Esq., now Sir John Palmer Acland, Bart., whose mother was
the heiress of Oxenham. The house is now occupied by the tenant of
In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Peter Balle, 1680; and that
of Mary, relict of Sir Simon Leach, K.B., and daughter of Lord Clifford,
ob. 1715. Sir Peter Balle had seventeen children by his wife, the daughter of Sir William Cook of Highnam, in Gloucestershire. His epitaph
intimates that "he had suffered the usual fate of loyalty, at the return of
Charles II.; and that, having disobliged the great favourite, he had no other
recompence for his services and losses than being restored to his former
places." The Earl of Lisburne is patron of the rectory. The parsonagehouse, a handsome mansion, and commanding a beautiful prospect, was
built by the Rev. Stephen Weston, F.S.A., when rector of this parish.
Manadon, or Manaton
MANADON, or MANATON, in the hundred of Teignbridge and in the
deanery of Moreton, lies about four miles from Moreton Hampstead, and
about eight from Ashburton. Freeland and Water are villages in this parish.
The manor belonged, at an early period, to the family of Dennis of
Blagdon, and having passed by successive marriages to Horton and Thorn,
was sold by the latter to Dymock. From Dymock it passed through the
family of Britricheston to Wivell, of whom it was purchased by Southcote. The manor of Great Manaton belongs now to the Rev. R. Lane of
Coffleet. Lord Courtenay claims manerial jurisdiction over Little Manaton.
Hountor was, in the reign of Richard the First, the property of Sir
Hugh de Hountor, and was then described as a tithing; his grandson
sold it to Langdon; it passed afterwards by successive sales to Gervis and
Dymock, and from the latter, with Great Manaton, to Southcote. It is
now the property of Mr. William French.
The parish-church was much injured by a thunder-storm, December 13.
1779. The advowson of the rectory, which passed by marriage from
Dennis to Kirkham, is now vested in the Rev. William Carwithen, the
present incumbent. The great tithes of Little Manaton are appropriated
to the church of Salisbury.
MARLBOROUGH, or, as it is usually written, MALBOROUGH, in the hundred
of Stanborough and in the deanery of Woodleigh, lies near the sea-coast,
about four miles from Kingsbridge. The principal villages in this parish
are (exclusively of Malborough) Batson, Combe, Bolberry, and Salcombe.
Malborough, in some ancient records, is called a borough.
The manor of Malborough, and seven other manors in this parish,
Salcombe, Ilton, East Sewer, Bolberry Allen, Bolberry Beauchamp,
Hope, and Collaton Prawle, belong to Lord Viscount Courtenay, who
holds a court of Admiralty for an extensive line of coast.
Ilton, on which was a castellated mansion, belonged, in the reign of
Henry II., to the Bozuns, a co-heiress of which family brought it to
Chiverston. From the last-mentioned family it came to the Courtenays, Sir
John Chiverston having settled it, in case of his death without issue, on
his father-in-law, Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devon. Mr. Nicholas Adams
has a lease of Ilton Castle under Lord Courtenay. The castellated
mansion, of which there are now but small remains, was built by Sir John
Chiverston, who had a grant from the crown for that purpose in 1335. (fn. 4)
Most of these manors came into the Courtenay family with Ilton.
Salcombe, Sewer, and the two Bolberrys, are mentioned in the inquisition after the death of Sir William Courtenay, in 1624. (fn. 5) I find no
mention of Malborough. It is evident, from the distinctive names, that
the Bolberrys had belonged to the families of Allen and Beauchamp.
The manor of Badeston, or Batson, belonged at an early period to a
family of that name, a co-heiress of which brought it to Davels; from
the latter it passed by marriage to Harris. It is now, by purchase, the
property of Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq., M. P.
The manor of Alston is the property, and Alston House the residence,
of Abraham Hawkins, Esq.
Le Yard, in this parish, was the property and original residence of the
family of Yard, or At-Yard. On their removal to Bradley, they sold this
estate to the Dyers. In 1765, on the failure of male issue in that family,
it passed to Samuel Savery, Esq., in right of his great-great-grandmother,
who was a Dyer. On Mr. Savery's death, in 1790, it passed under his will
to his daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Gillard.
Snape is the property of Peter Ilbert, Esq. by inheritance from his
uncle, Lieutenant-Colonel Ilbert. Moult was, in 1792, the property and
residence of Samuel Strode, Esq., now of William Jackson, Esq.
The parish-church is situated on high ground, and has rather a lofty
spire. The only monument in it of note is that of James Francis Kelly,
Esq., lieutenant, R. N., who was shipwrecked off this coast, September 3.
1802. (fn. 6)
Malborough is a daughter-church to West Allington. A portion of
tithes in this parish, called Merrydole, belongs to the Rev. Roope Ilbert
of Bowringsleigh, and another portion called Paul, or Pol, to Lord
Robert Dyer, Esq., of Yard, who died in 1730, gave a house, with a
garden, &c., to this parish for the residence of a schoolmaster, to whom the
feoffees of the parish make an allowance of 3l. per annum, out of lands
given for charitable uses.
Salcombe, a fishing-town in this parish, has a chapel, built originally in
1401. This chapel had been gone to decay beyond the memory of any
person living, when it was begun to be rebuilt in 1801, through the exertions, and chiefly at the expense, of John Yates, Esq., of Woodville (fn. 7) , in
this chapelry. Queen Anne's bounty has been obtained for the chapel,
the perpetual curate of which is nominated by the vicar of West Allington.
There are three shipwrights' yards at Salcombe. A fair is held at this
place at Whitsuntide for trinkets, sweetmeats, &c. &c.
In the parish of Malborough are the remains of an ancient castle,
which, in the seventeenth century, was called the Bulwark. It was
repaired at the commencement of the civil war, at the expense of above
3000l., and Sir Edmund Fortescue was appointed governor for the King.
After having sustained two other sieges, (probably of no long duration,)
it was summoned by General Fairfax on the 23d of January, 1645 (fn. 8) , and
after a long siege, of nearly four months, surrendered on honourable terms
to Colonel Weldon, the governor of Plymouth, the governor and lieutenant-governor being allowed to march with their soldiers to the house of
the former, at Fallopit. Mr. Hawkins, in his History of Kingsbridge,
speaks of the surrender as having happened on the 7th of May: Whitelock says, the 1st of June; and Vicars, the parliamentary chronicler, the
3d of June.
MARLDON, in the hundred of Haytor and in the deanery of Ipplepen,
lies about five miles from Newton Abbot, and about six from Totnes.
The village of Compton is in this parish.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of Compton (Contone)
was held by Stephen, under Joel de Totnais: in the reign of Henry II.
it was the property and seat of Sir Maurice de Pole. In the succeeding
reign, Alice de Pole gave it to Peter, who took the name of Compton.
After seven descents one of the co-heiresses of Compton brought
Compton Castle and estate to the Gilberts. It was purchased of the
latter, not many years ago, by the Templers; and the estate having been
sold about 1808 in parcels, the old castellated mansion, now a farm-house,
was purchased by Mr. John Bishop, the present proprietor.
The manor of Stantor, in this parish, belonged to the family of Cary,
and, having passed by sale to the Mallocks, is now the property of the
Rev. Roger Mallock, of Cockington. The manor of Aptor belonged to
the Trists of Bowden, of whom it was purchased by the Baker family
about the year 1799, and is now the property of Sir Frederick Baker, Bart.
In the parish-church are memorials of the families of Gilbert (fn. 9) , Cary (fn. 10) ,
Peter (fn. 11) , Eastleigh (fn. 12) , and of Nicholas Adams Bartlett, Esq., of Ludbrook,
MARTINHOE, in the hundred and deanery of Shirwell, lies about 10 or
11 miles from Ilfracombe. The villages of Slaten, Slade, and Kimmacot,
are in this parish.
The manor belonged, at an early period, to the St. Albyns: after
passing through several families, it is now the property of George Courtenay, Esq., who is patron of the rectory.
Croscombe, in this parish, was the property and residence of a younger
branch of the Berrys, who, after residing there for several generations,
sold it to the Chichesters. This estate now belongs to George Acland
In the parish-church is a memorial of Margaret, daughter of Hugh
Wichalse, and wife of Richard Blackmore, ob. 1683.
MARWOOD, in the hundred of Braunton and in the deanery of Shirwell,
lies about three miles from Barnstaple. The villages of Prixford, or
Prixworthy, Mudford, and King's Heanton, are in this parish. A fair at
Marwood for three days, at the festival of St. Michael, was granted to
William Martin, in 1293. (fn. 13)
Church Marwood was in the family of the Lords Martyn, or Martin,
from whom it passed to the Lords Audley, and descended to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath. A part of this parish is within the manor of Braunton
Abbots: the remainder is freehold property, for the most part belonging
to George Ley, Esq. of Lee House.
West Marwood, or Westcote, belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to
the Marwoods, who continued to possess it till the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when one of the co-heiresses brought it to the Chichesters of Hall,
in which family it still remains. Westcote was originally the residence of
the Westcote family, ancestors of the Lytteltons of Worcestershire, and
of the Westcotes of Raddon: Thomas Westcote, the antiquary, was of
the latter branch. Thomas Westcote, the head of the family, in the early
part of the fifteenth century married the heiress of Lyttelton of Frankly,
in Worcestershire, and removed hither. He took the name of Littleton, or
Lyttelton, and was father of Sir Thomas Littleton, the learned judge, who,
by some of his biographers, is said to have been born at Westcote.
Marwood, some time a seat of the Mervin family, is now, by inheritance, the property of Charles Cutcliffe, Esq., and is occupied by the
Rev. William Mules.
Whitfield, in this parish, was the seat of a branch of the Bastard family,
which took the name of Whitfield. They were succeeded by the Garlands, who were possessed of it in Risdon's time. John Garland, Esq.,
the last of the family, sold it about 1704 to the Parminters. It now
belongs to George Ley, Esq., in whose family it has been nearly fifty
years. The rectory is in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge,
by purchase from Sir Bourchier Wrey, Bart. Mr. Harding, who was
presented in 1714, was rector for 68 years, dying in 1782.
In the parish-church is a monument for William Parminter, Esq.,
Inquisitor-general for the South-Sea Company, in Terra Firma, who died
in Panama, 1737; Mary, daughter of Parminter, and wife of George
Ley, Esq., 1726; and the families of Garland (fn. 14) , Mervin (fn. 15) , Chichester (fn. 16) ,
and Hartnoll. (fn. 17)
In the church-yard are some memorials for the family of Ley. (fn. 18) There
was formerly a chapel at Westcote barton. The Liber Regis speaks of the
chapels of Westcote and Whiteford, in this parish, both in ruins.
The Rev. Richard Harding gave by will, in 1782, the sum of 250l., with
which was purchased 389l. 15s., 3 per cent. consols, three-fifths of the interest of which is appropriated to the purpose of a school for poor children.
William Westacott, labourer in husbandry, who died in 1814, having, by
his industry and saving habits, accumulated a fortune of 700l. left 100l.,
3 per cents., to this school.
Mary Ansleigh, or Mariansleigh
MARY ANSLEIGH, or MARIANSLEIGH (fn. 19) , in the hundred of Witheridge and
in the deanery of South Molton, lies about four miles from South Molton.
The village of Alswear, is in this parish.
Risdon speaks of this place as having been at an early period in the Weinards, and afterwards in the Pollards. The manor is now the property of Sir
John Davie, Bart.: it was purchased, in 1579, of Robert Dyllon, Esq., of
Chymwell, by Mr. John Davy, of Exeter, together with the rectory and
The great tithes are vested in the corporation of Exeter, as trustees of
John Davy, Esq., who, by his deed, in 1599, directed that the minister
should enjoy all the profits, subject to the payment of 16l. 10s. per annum
to the almshouse founded by him in Exeter.
MARY CHURCH, in the hundred of Haytor and in the deanery of Ipplepen,
lies near the sea-coast, about two miles from Torquay, and about five from
Newton Abbot. The village of Babicomb is in this parish.
At the time of the Domesday survey, the manor of St. Mary Church was
held under Earl Moreton, by Richard, ancestor, it is probable, of Robert
de St. Mary Church, who possessed the manor in the reign of Henry II.:
his heiress married de Rotomago. It was afterwards in the Lords Audley,
and passed from them, by female heirs, to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath.
From the latter it passed, by sale, to the Fords of Bagtor. It is now the
property of George Cary, of Tor Abbey, whose family purchased it of
The manor of Comb Pafford, in this parish, belonging to Sir Lawrence
Vaughan Palk, Bart., was purchased by his father of John Savery, Esq., to
whom it had been conveyed by the dean and chapter of Exeter, under the
powers of the land-tax redemption-act.
The manor, or reputed manor, of Edginswell, belonged to the Southcotes. In 1773, a moiety of it was purchased of John Henry Southcote,
Esq., by the father of the Rev. Aaron Neck, the present proprietor, who
resides in the manor-house; the other moiety was purchased by Mr. Richard
Codnor, and now belongs to his three grand-daughters, minors.
The manor of Colleton Sheephay, or Shiphay, was purchased, in 1742,
of Sir John Lear, of Lindridge, by William Kitson, Esq.: it is now the property and residence of his grandson, the Rev. William Kitson.
The barton of Babicombe was formerly a seat of the Heles, with whose
heiress it passed to Trelawney: having passed with Stapeldon and other
estates to the daughters of the Honourable Rose Herring May, it was sold
by them to the Right Honourable Lord Clifford, who is the present proprietor.
Cadwell, built by the late Sir Thomas Louis, Bart., is now the seat of his
son, Sir John Louis, Bart. Hampton House, built by the late R. H. Anguin, Esq., is now the property and residence of Thomas Wilson France, Esq.
In the parish-church is the tomb of Margaret, wife of John Hobrine,
1526. The dean and chapter of Exeter are appropriators of the great
tithes and patrons of the vicarage, which is in their peculiar jurisdiction.
Mary Stowe, or Maristow
MARY STOWE, or MARISTOW, in the hundred of Lifton and in the deanery
of Tavistock, lies about seven miles from Tavistock. The small villages of
Cholwell and Dipford-town, are in this parish.
The manor belonged, at an early period, to the family of Hampton, afterwards to the Trenchards. No manor is now known by that name; but the
Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne, who is descended from the Trenchards,
possesses the manor of Raddon Allerford, in this parish, as well as that
of Sydenham, both of which he inherited under the will of the late Arthur
Sydenham gave name to a family who possessed it in the reign of
Henry III., and who were succeeded by that of Mauris. In the reign of
Henry IV., it was the property and residence of John Wise, Esq. The
heiress of Wise brought it to the Tremaynes. Sydenham House, which
occupies three sides of a quadrangle, was erected by Sir Thomas Wise,
created K. B. at the coronation of James I., and was, as Risdon describes
it, beautified with buildings of such height, that the very foundations were
ready to reel under the burden. The hall appears to have been fitted up
in 1658. In this old mansion are some portraits of the family of Wise, &c.
Sydenham House, having been a garrison of the king's, was taken by
Colonel Holbourn, for the parliament, in the month of January, 1645. (fn. 20)
In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Thomas Wise, above mentioned, supported by Corinthian columns. There are memorials also for
the Lady Mary, daughter of Edward Viscount Carrickfergus, married, 1. to
Thomas Wise, Esq.; 2. to John Harris, Esq.; and, 3. to Sir Henry Cary;
ob. 1657; St. John, only son of Edward Wise, Esq., 16.. 8; and Zenobia, wife
of Robert Stafford, Esq., 1608. Mr. Tremayne is patron of the benefice;
which is a vicarage endowed with a portion of the great tithes accruing on
the south side of the river Lyd. Mr. Tremayne continues a benefaction
of 10l. per annum, long given by the family, for the education of twentyfive children.
MEAVY, in the hundred of Roborough and in the deanery of Tamerton,
lies between six and seven miles from Tavistock. Loveton and Brisworthy
are small villages in this parish.
The manor (fn. 21) belonged, at the time of the Domesday survey, to Robert
Bastard; afterwards, to the family of Meavy. Sir William Strode was lord
of the manor, and had a seat here in 1630. It is now the property of Sir
Masseh Manasseh Lopes, Bart., having been purchased by him, in 1808, of
Hugh Malet, Esq., in whose family it had been for many years.
The manor of Good-a-Meavy, anciently called God Mewy, which belonged formerly to the family of Pomeroy, is now the property of Joseph Scobell, Esq. The manors of Callisham and Durance belong to T. T. Fuller
Elliott Drake, Esq.
The king is patron of the rectory.
Meeth, or Methe
MEETH, or METHE, in the hundred of Shebbear and in the deanery of
Torrington, lies about four miles from Hatherleigh, and about eight from
Meeth belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the Giffards; and afterwards to the family of Dennis, whose heiress brought it to Giffard of Yeo.
It now belongs to Richard Preston, Esq., M.P. The manor of Fryes Hele
(erroneously called Hele Prior) belonged to the Fryes, whose heiress
brought it to the Parkers, of North Molton, ancestors of the Earl of
Morley, who is the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are memorials of the family of Ley. (fn. 22)
The Crockers had an estate also in this parish called Hele, which was
their residence before they removed to Lyneham. The Rev. J. Lempriere,
D. D., is the patron and present incumbent of the rectory.
MEMBURY, in the hundred of Axminster, and in the deanery of Honiton,
lies on the borders of Dorsetshire, about three miles and a half from Axminster. The villages, or hamlets, of East Membury, Longbridge, and
North Membury, are in this parish.
There is a cattle fair at this place on the 10th of August.
At the time of the Domesday survey, William Chievre, or Capra, held the
manor of Membury (Manburia) in demesne. King Henry I. granted the
manors of East and West Membury to Robert de Chandos, who gave
West Membury to a priory which he had founded at Goldcliffe, in Monmouthshire. This priory was made a cell to the abbey of Bec, in
Normandy; the estates of which having been confiscated, as belonging to
an alien monastery, the manor of Membury was, in 1474, given to the
dean and chapter of Windsor (fn. 23) , to which it still belongs. East Membury
belonged, in the reign of Edward II., to the Heles, from whom it descended
to Franceis, of Comb Flory, and was by that family sold to Hurde. It was
afterwards in the Petres, and is now the property of the Right Honourable
Yarty, in this parish, gave name to a family whose heiress, in the reign of
Henry IV., brought it to Frye. It is now the property of the Right Hon.
Lord King, whose great uncle, John Lord King, married the heiress of
Robert Frye, Esq., who died in January, 1725–6. Yarty is now inhabited
as a farm-house.
West Waters, in this parish, was the property and residence of the
family of De la Water, whose heiress brought it to Hele, and the heiress of
Hele to Perry: it continued in the last-mentioned family for six descents.
The co-heiresses of the last heir male sold it to Frye. Having since passed
with Yarty, it is now a farm belonging to Lord King.
The barton of Chaldanger, (now called Challenger,) belonged to a family
of that name; afterwards to the Bonvilles. After the attainder of the
Duke of Suffolk, it was granted to Petre. It is now the property of Mr.
B. C. Tucker, solicitor, of Chard.
In the parish-church is the monument of Sir Shilston Calmady, who is
said to have been killed at the siege of Ford House, February 3. 1645–6.
There are some memorials of the family of Frye of Yarty. (fn. 24) The cemetery
at Membury was consecrated in 1316. (fn. 25)
MERTON, in the hundred of Shebbear, and in the deanery of Torrington,
lies about seven miles from Hatherleigh, and about five from Torrington.
The villages of Smithacott and Little Potheridge are in this parish.
The manor of Merton, which had belonged to Earl Harold, was one of
the numerous estates, given by the Conqueror to Geoffry, Bishop of
Constance; and this was one of the five manors held in demesne by that
prelate, who was Chief Justiciary of England, and had been the Conqueror's
Lieut.-General at the battle of Hastings. (fn. 26) Merton gave name to an
equestrian family, who possessed the manor from the reign of Henry II.
till that of Edward III., when the heiress brought it to the Stawells. It
was afterwards in the Rolles, and has passed, by descent, to the Right
Honourable Lord Clinton.
The manor of Potheridge, in this parish, belonged, for many descents,
to the ancient family of Le Moyne, or Monk. The celebrated General
Monk, being the representative of this family, was, for his good services
in bringing about the restoration, created Duke of Albemarle, in 1660.
He rebuilt the mansion of his ancestors at Potheridge, which was his
principal country-seat. The title and the family became extinct, in 1687,
by the death of his only son Christopher, Duke of Albemarle; his duchess
survived him many years, dying in 1734. The manor of Potheridge now
belongs to Lord Rolle. The lords of this manor had formerly the power
of capital punishment. (fn. 27)
The greater part of Potheridge House, which appears to have been
finished in 1672, was pulled down after the Duchess's death, in 1734. (fn. 28) The
remainder has been fitted up as a farm-house. The chapel, which was of
Grecian architecture, was in a ruinous state in 1770, and has since been
taken down, except part of the western wall. The magnificent stables are
Mention is made, in Chapple's Collections, that a modus of 3l. per annum
was paid out of the barton of Potheridge to the rector, who had formerly
been entitled to a dinner every Sunday, and the keep of his grey mare;
but that these emoluments had been long withholden.
Speccot was, in the reign of Henry II., the property of Fitz-Bernard,
whose posterity took the name of Speccot, and possessed this estate for
many generations. The co-heiresses of the last of the family sold it in
1661 to the Fortescues, from whom it passed, by sale, also to the Rolles.
It was purchased of Lord Rolle's father by Richard Stevens, Esq., great
uncle of Thomas Stevens, Esq., of Winscot, who is the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are memorials of the family of Yeo. (fn. 29) Lord Rolle
is patron of the rectory.
MESHAW, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery of South
Molton, lies about six miles from South Molton.
The manor, which had belonged to the Avenells during the thirteenth
and part of the fourteenth century, was afterwards in moieties between
Fleming and Furneaux: it is now a divided property, the greater share
of which belongs to Richard Preston, Esq., M.P.
In the parish-church is the monument of James Courtenay, Esq., of
Meshaw House; buried at Molland, in 1683. The Rev. William Tanner
is patron and incumbent of the rectory. The advowson belonged, formerly,
to the priory of Cornworthy.
MILTON-ABBOTS, in the hundred and deanery of Tavistock, lies on the
road from Tavistock to Launceston, about six miles from each. Foghanger
and Quither are villages in this parish.
The manor was given, together with the barton of Leigh, to the abbot
and convent of Tavistock, by its founder, Ordulph. After the dissolution,
it was granted to John Lord Russell, ancestor of his Grace the Duke of
Bedford, who is the present proprietor. The manor of Week Dabernon
was given to the monastery of Tavistock by John Dabernon, of Bradford,
in 1353; that of West Liditon (fn. 30) , (partly in this parish,) by Odo le Arcedekne, in 1288; both these, together with the manor of Foghanger, passed
to the Russell family, and are the property of the Duke of Bedford, who
has built a spacious mansion, in the cottage style, in a beautiful situation, at Inneslegh, now called Endsleigh, where he occasionally resides.
The abbot of Tavistock had a park at Inneslegh, in the reign of Richard II. (fn. 31)
Leigh is said to have been one of the country residences of the abbots.
The manor of Ford, which had been in the family of Spooner, and the
manor of Chillaton, belonged to the late John Phillips Carpenter, Esq., of
Mount Tavy. Chillaton is now the property of his widow; Ford, of his son,
John Carpenter, Esq. Mrs. Carpenter possesses also the barton of Combe.
Edgecomb, or Edgecumbe, in this parish, gave name to the ancient family
of Edgecumbe, a younger branch of which has been ennobled, and is represented by Earl Mount Edgecumbe. Richard Edgecumbe, Esq., the representative of the elder branch, which has been settled here ever since the
reign of Henry III., still possesses, and resides at Edgecumbe.
In the parish-church are several memorials of the families of Edgecumbe (fn. 32)
and Doidge. (fn. 33) The Duke of Bedford is patron of the vicarage, which is
endowed with the great tithes.
Thomas Rundle, Bishop of Derry, is said to have been born at Milton
Abbots, about the year 1686. His name does not occur in the register.
MILTON-DAMARELL, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the
deanery of Holsworthy, lies about six miles from Holsworthy. Whitbeare,
East and West Wonford, are villages in this parish.
The manor belonged, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to Robert
de Albemarle, ancestor of the Damarells, of whom it was purchased, in the
reign of Edward II., by Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire. After this, it was
held under the Courtenays, by the Stapeldons, and their successors, the
Hankfords. It is now held under Lord Courtenay, by Earl Stanhope.
A Sunday school for about 100 children is supported by subscription.
SOUTH MILTON, in the hundred of Stanborough and in the deanery of
Woodleigh, lies about three miles from Kingsbridge. The village of Upton
is in this parish.
At an early period, the manor belonged to the family of Mohun, from
which it passed, by marriage, to Carew. Sir James Bagg purchased it of
the Carews: it was afterwards in the family of Moore; and is now the property of Walter Prideaux, Esq. Mr. Prideaux became possessed of it by
marriage with the daughter of Thomas Trist, Esq., who purchased it of Sir
William Molesworth, Bart.
Horsewell House, formerly a seat of the Roopes, is now the property and
residence of Peter Ilbert, Esq., representative of the Roopes.
Holwell, in this parish, is the seat of the Rev. H. A. Gilbert, whose
ancestors have resided there for many generations.
In the parish-church are monuments of the family of Roope. (fn. 34) The
dean and chapter of Salisbury are appropriators of the great tithes of South
Milton, which is a daughter-church to West Allington.
MODBURY, in the hundred of Ermington and in the deanery of Plympton, is a market-town, fourteen and a half miles from Plymouth, twenty-five
from Exeter, and two hundred and eight from London.
Modbury sent members to parliament in the reign of Edward I. I find
no record of the grant of the market. It is held on Thursday for corn,
butchers' meat, and other provisions. There were formerly two fairs, at
the festival of St. George and St. James. The former only is now kept
up, and held on the fourth of May, if it fall on a Tuesday or Wednesday;
otherwise, on the Tuesday following. It is a great fair for cattle, clothes,
and other merchandize. There is a great market for cattle on the second
Tuesday in every month. The principal villages in this parish are Brownston, Leigh, Caton, Penquit, and part of Ludbrook.
The number of inhabitants in the town and parish of Modbury was, in
1801, 1813; in 1811, 1890; according to the returns made to Parliament
at those periods.
In the month of December, 1642, Modbury Castle, then held by its
owner, Mr. Champernowne, was taken by a party of the parliamentary garrison at Plymouth; and he himself, with Sir Edmund Fortescue, the sheriff,
Captain Peter Fortescue, Sir Edmund Seymour, his son, then knight of the
shire, Mr. Pomeroy, and others, were taken prisoners. (fn. 35) In the month of
February following, Sir Nicholas Slanning, who had entrenched himself at
Modbury, with two thousand men, was defeated by the Devonshire clubmen. (fn. 36)
The manor of Modbury belonged to the Valletorts, barons of Harberton.
Roger Valletort conveyed it to Sir Alexander de Okeston, who had married
Joan, widow of Ralph de Valletort, supposed to have been a concubine
of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and King of the Romans. They had issue,
Sir John de Okeston, who died without issue, having, by the command of
King Edward II., conveyed Modbury, and other lands, formerly given
to his father by Roger de Valletort, to Sir Richard Champernowne. This
Sir Richard was son of Richard Champernowne, by Joan, daughter of the
above-mentioned Joan, whom Edmund Earl of Cornwall, in a deed, bearing
date 12 Edward I., calls sister. Richard Champernowne, the father, was a
younger son of Sir Henry Champernowne, of Clist Champernowne. The
manor of Modbury continued in the Champernownes for many generations.
Sir Arthur Champernowne, who died at Modbury in the reign of James I.,
was an eminent commander in Ireland, under the Earl of Essex, by whom
he was knighted in 1599. In the year 1700, Arthur Champernowne, Esq.,
the last of this branch, sold the manor and borough to Nicholas Trist, Esq.,
of Bowden. In 1803, this estate was purchased of one of the co-heiresses
of Trist, by Henry Legassicke, Esq., the present proprietor. Richard
Champernowne had a licence for castellating his mansion at Modbury in
1334. (fn. 37) The remains of the castle were purchased of Arthur Champernowne, Esq., of Mr. Henry Legassicke, who, at the earnest request of
Mrs. Sarah Champernowne, in 1698, conveyed its site to her; but it
appears that, in 1705, she sold what remained of the old castle for the
materials. A small part of the mansion, however, yet remains, said to have
been a dining-room, now converted into a stable and hay-loft. (fn. 38)
In the reign of King Stephen, a priory was founded at Modbury, by an
ancestor of the Champernownes, as a cell to the abbey of St. Peter sur
Dive, in Normandy. This priory, with its lands, having been seised by the
crown, as belonging to an alien monastery, was first granted, by King
Henry VI., to Tavistock abbey; but afterwards was made part of the endowment of Eton College, to which the manor, of Priory still belongs, together with the manor of Penquit and Upton. Modbury priory was held
some time under Eton College, by the Champernownes; and it was, in 1630,
the seat of a younger brother of that family. The lease has been for
several years vested in the family of Rhodes.
The manor of Orchardton, or Orcherton, at the time of the Domesday
survey, was held under Earl Moreton by Regináld de Valletort: it
belonged, in the reign of King John, to Jordan de la Warr; in the succeeding reign it was the property and seat of a younger branch of the
Prideaux family. After continuing at Orcherton for thirteen descents, the
last of this branch sold it to Sir John Hele, sergeant-at-law. Having since
passed with the Fleet estate, it is now the property of John Bulteel, Esq.
The old mansion is occupied as a farm-house.
The manor of Shilveston, or Shilston, was held in demesne at the time
of the Domesday survey by Osbern de Salceid. In the reign of Henry III.
it was in a family who took their name from this, the place of their residence. From them it passed, by marriage, to Ashleigh. In the fourteenth
century it belonged to the family of Goneton, from whom it passed,
either by purchase or alliance, to Robert Hill, made one of the justices
of the Common Pleas in 1408. Judge Hill's posterity continued here for
eight generations, after which the manor of Shilston was purchased by
Christopher Savery, Esq., ancestor of Christopher Savery, Esq., of South
Efford, the present proprietor, who possesses also the manor of Spriddlescombe in this parish. Shilston House was rebuilt about the year 1813;
Spriddlescombe is now a farm-house.
The manor of Wimpston, or Wymston, was granted by King John to
John Fortescue in 1209, and appears to have been the first residence of
that ancient and noble family in the county. It was alienated, not long
before the year 1600, and in 1620 was in the family of Trobridge. It
was afterwards successively in the families of Champernowne and Ourry.
Paul Treby Treby, Esq., (some time Ourry,) sold it to W. L. Prettyjohn,
Esq., who has built a new house on the estate, and is the present proprietor.
The manor of Leigh Durant, in this parish, belonged, in the reign of
Henry III., to the family of De Leigh. After five descents, the heiress
of this family married Revell. The co-heiresses of Revell married Hurst,
Hill, and Fountayne. Two parts of this estate became vested in Hurst,
and passed to Martyn; the other third passed from Hill to Rouse. The
manor of Leigh Durant now belongs to Mrs. Ann Fortye.
The manor of South Ludbrook, belonging to the Rev. N. A. Bartlett,
is partly in this parish, and partly in Ermington: the manor of North
Ludbrook is partly in this parish and partly in that of Ugborough.
The manor of Brownston, or Bromston, belonged formerly to the
Valletorts, and was given by Reginald de Valletort to Ralph de Morville,
whose son Adam conveyed it to the abbot and convent of Buckfastleigh.
After the dissolution of that monastery, it was granted to Sir Thomas
Dennis of Holcombe, whose grandson dismembered it, and sold the
royalties to the several tenants. The manor of Boyshele belonged to the
ancient family of De Bosco or Boys, whose heiress brought it to Speccot.
Sir John Speccot was possessed of it in the reign of Charles I. No estate
in Modbury is now known by this name. I suspect it to be the same
which, by the name of the manor of Modbury, passed by successive
female heirs from Speccot to Hals and Trelawney, and, under the same
title as Stapeldon (fn. 39) , is now vested in the daughters of the late Honourable
Rose Herring May, of the island of Jamaica.
The manor of Edmerston belonged, at an early period, to a family to
whom it gave name: after five descents the heiress of Edmerston married
Rous, whose descendants continued to possess Edmerston, and to reside
there, for many generations. William Rous, Esq., was the possessor when
Sir William Pole made his collections, about 1630. It seems not long
afterwards to have passed to the family of Noseworthy: in 1684 Edward
Noseworthy, Esq., mortgaged it to Sir John Maynard, sergeant-at-law, by
whom it was probably foreclosed. In 1703, Henry Earl of Suffolk, who
married the sergeant's widow, joined with that lady in selling it to Mr. John
Ford, of Kingsbridge; of whom it was purchased by Mr. Robert Froude,
great-grandfather of the Rev. Robert Hurrel Froude, archdeacon of
Totnes, who is the present proprietor. Mr. Froude possesses also the
adjoining manor of Gutsford, which has passed by the same title.
Little Modbury was, in the reign of Henry III., the seat of Sir Ralph
Rous. After five descents, the heiress of this branch brought Little
Modbury to Dymock. By virtue of an entail, it passed to Bonville, and
became vested in the crown by the attainder of the Duke of Suffolk. It
was purchased of the crown by Challons, and passed, by sale, to Hele.
There is no estate of any consequence now at Little Modbury, which is
divided into small farms.
The barton of Old Port is said to have taken its name from an old fort
which stood on the river Erme. In the reign of Henry III. it belonged
to the family of De la Port, one of the co-heiresses of which, after a few
descents, brought it to Heanton, and the heiress of Heanton to Somaster.
The last-mentioned family continued to possess it for several descents.
Sir Samuel Somaster sold it, in or about the reign of James I., to Sir
Warwick Hele. Old Port is now a farm belonging to Lord Ashburton.
The barton of Yarnacombe belonged to the Harts for many generations.
Samuel Hart, Esq., the last of that family, sold it to William Mackworth
Praed, Esq., the present proprietor, who possesses also the barton of West
Leigh. Risdon says that East and West Leigh formerly belonged to the
family of Challons, and that their estate was called Leigh Challons. He
tells us that Hardwinus, son of the Earl of Challons, married the heiress
of De la Leigh; that there were divers knights of the Challons family,
and that Henry Challons, one of their descendants, made a voyage for
the discovery of Virginia, and New England, in which he was taken by the
Spaniards and inhumanly treated. The heiress of Challons married into
the St. Aubyn family. The greater part of East and West Leigh is now
divided into small farms.
Trewin, now called Trayne, or Traine, gave name to a family who
possessed it for several descents. John Terry possessed it in the reign of
Henry IV. After this the family of Scoos, who owned Colemore also in
this parish, possessed and resided at Trayne for several generations.
About the middle of the sixteenth century the heiress of Scoos brought
it to the Swetes. Adrian Swete, Esq., the last of this family, died in
1755, having bequeathed all his estates to his mother, Mrs. Esther Swete,
who died in 1771, having devised them to her relation the Rev. John
Tripe of Ashburton, (now of Oxton,) who took the name of Swete, and is
the present proprietor.
In the parish-church are monuments of Mr. Oliver Hill, 1573 (fn. 40) ; John,
son of John Swete, Esq., of Traine, 1690; and Garnet Loving, captain
of the 13th regiment of foot, 1801. There are also some ancient mutilated monuments, which probably were for the Champernowne family.
Two-thirds of the great tithes are appropriated to Eton College; and
the vicarage is endowed with one-third, with the exception that the
College have the whole of the great tithes of Penquit, and the vicar the
whole of those of West Leigh. The vicarage is in the gift of the college.
The Independent Calvinists, Baptists, Quakers, and Wesleyan Methodists, have meeting-houses at Modbury.
Dr. William Battie, an eminent physician and medical writer of the
last century, was son of Edward Battie, vicar of Modbury, and was
born at this place in 1704.
A charity-school was founded at Modbury in the year 1731, by a contribution of the principal inhabitants: a fund of 260l. was then raised,
from the interest of which 12l. per annum is given by the treasurer
Christopher Savery, Esq., to a schoolmaster for teaching 12 boys reading,
writing, and arithmetic.
MOLLAND, in the hundred and deanery of South Molton, lies about 6½
miles from South Molton.
The manor of Molland Bottreaux, which had been Earl Harold's (fn. 41) ,
belonged to the baronial family of Bottreaux from nearly the time of the
Conquest till the reign of Henry VI.: the heiress of Bottreaux having
married Hungerford, it passed with a daughter of Lord Hungerford to
Sir Philip Courtenay, a younger son of Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham, whose posterity possessed and resided at Molland till the extinction
of this branch by the death of John Courtenay, Esq., in 1732: his
sisters and co-heirs married Chichester and Paston; and a daughter of
the latter brought this estate to the Throkmortons. It is now the property
of Charles Courtenay, Esq., a younger brother of Sir George Throkmorton (fn. 42) , Bart. The Bottreaux family had a mansion and park here. The
manor-house is now inhabited by the tenant of the farm. The lords of
this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 43)
Molland Sarazen, or Molland Champeaux, belonged successively to the
families of Sarazen and Champeaux. The latter were succeeded by
Lutterell. In Sir William Pole's time it had been five or six descents in
the family of Columb. It is now the property of Mr. Courtenay. The
manor-house, now called Molland Champion, is occupied by a farmer.
In the parish-church are memorials for the family of Courtenay (fn. 44) , and a
tablet for Daniel Berry, the sequestered minister of Molland, who died
in 1654, put up in 1664 by his youngest son, Sir John Berry, the eminent
naval officer. The church of Molland was given by William de Bottreaux
to Hartland abbey. The great tithes were given by the widow of the
last Mr. Courtenay to endow a lectureship at Molland. The benefice is
united to Knoweston. The Rev. John Froude is lessee of the advowson
under the Courtenays.
Mr. Thomas Clarke, in 1776, gave 4l. per annum for teaching poor
children of this parish, and a benefaction for books.
NORTH MOLTON, in the hundred and deanery of South Molton, lies
about 2½ miles from South Molton. North and South Radworthy, North
and South Heasley, Ben Twitchen, Hunston, Walscott, Upcott, and
Flitton, are villages in this parish.
A market at this place on Thursdays, and a fair for three days at the
festival of All Saints, were granted to Roger le Zouch in the year 1270. (fn. 45)
There are now two cattle-fairs, the Tuesday after May 11. and November 12.
The manor having been parcel of the demesne of the crown was settled
on Editha, consort of Edward the Confessor: it was given by King John
to Roger le Zouch. A co-heiress of Zouch brought it to St. Maur, and a
co-heiress of the latter to Bampfylde. It is now the property of Sir C. W.
Bampfylde, Bart. The Bampfyldes had formerly a seat at North Molton.
Court House (fn. 46) is now inhabited by a bailiff. Sir C. Bampfylde possesses
also part of the manor of South Radworthy, which belonged to the
ancient family of De Rotomago, and at a later period to the Sydenhams. (fn. 47)
The remainder of this manor belongs to the Earl of Morley, who possesses also the manors of Hunston and Flitton, together with the rectorial
In the parish-church is a monument of one of the Bampfylde family,
and a memorial for John Burgess, Esq., of Upcott in this parish, 1758,
(he married a co-heiress of Escott of Somersetshire).
The church of North Molton, with a manor annexed, was given by
Alan le Zouch, in or about 1313, to the monastery of Lilleshull, in
Shropshire. It is probable that the Parker family, who have resided from
a very early period at North Molton, were, before the Reformation, tenants
to that monastery. The Earl of Morley is impropriator and patron of the
vicarage. An old mansion called Court is kept by his Lordship in his own
hands, but not inhabited.
There were formerly chapels at South Radworthy, Holywell, and Ben
Twitchen; the latter had, in 1772, been converted into a dwelling-house.
In 1715 the Presbyterians had a meeting-house at North Molton. (fn. 48)
One of the Parker family founded an alms-house at this place for six
poor persons, and endowed it with a rent-charge of 5l. 4s. per annum.
SOUTH MOLTON, in the hundred and deanery of that name, lies on
the road from London to Barnstaple, 10 miles from Barnstaple, and 181
A market at this place, to be held on Sunday, and a fair for five days
at the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, were granted to
Nicholas Fitz Martin in 1357. (fn. 49) There is now a considerable market for
corn, provisions, &c., on Saturday; and there are small markets for
butchers' meat only on Tuesday and Thursday. The fair days are the
Wednesday before June 22.; and the Wednesday after August 26., for
horses and cattle. There are great markets on the Saturday after February
13., and March 25.; before April 23., August 1., October 10., and
The chief manufactures at this place were formerly serges, shalloons,
and felts (fn. 50) : coarse woollen cloths are made here for the East Indies and
About the year 1747 the population of this town was estimated at 2500,
about 1773 at 2100. The number of inhabitants, according to the census
of 1801, was 2753; in 1811, 2739.
South Molton sent burgesses to parliament once in the reign of
Edward I. (fn. 51)
The town of South Molton was incorporated in 1590, and the charter
was renewed by King Charles II. in 1684. The corporation consists of a
mayor, recorder, town-clerk, and 18 capital burgesses.
The manor of South Molton was part of the ancient demesne of the
crown. In the reign of Edward I. it was held by Lord Martin, under the
Earl of Gloucester, by the service of finding a bow with three arrows to
attend the Earl when he should hunt in Gower. It was afterwards in the
Lords Audley (fn. 52) , and passed to the crown under an entail in default of
male issue. It was some time, by royal grant, in the Hollands, dukes of
Exeter. (fn. 53) Margaret Countess of Richmond had a grant of it for life in
1487. Queen Elizabeth granted the manor to Thomas Whitmore, who
conveyed it to Hugh Squier. In 1700 it was purchased by the corporation of the executors of Mr. William Squier, subject to the life-interest
of Hugh Squier, Esq., who died in 1710. The lord of this manor had
formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 54)
The manor, or reputed manor, of Freynston, in this parish, belongs to
the Rev. Richard Bryan, whose family have possessed it for several generations: the lands have been dismembered.
Hache, in this parish, belonged to a family of that name, whose heiress
married Worlington in the reign of Henry III.: the grand-daughter of
Worlington married Atwater, who took the name of Hache. His posterity continued to possess it and reside here for many generations till
the death of the last heir male, about the middle of the last century,
or somewhat earlier; it was then purchased by the Acland family, and
is now the property of Sir T. D. Acland, Bart.
North Aller, or Aure, belonged to the family of Aller, or Aure, whose
heiress married Hache in the reign of Edward III. After the death of John
Hache, in 1731, it was purchased by the Fortescue family, and is now
the property of Earl Fortescue. In the reign of Henry III. Clotworthy
belonged to the family of Furlong, which about that time assumed the
name of Clotworthy, and continued to possess it for many generations.
It is now, by inheritance, the property of the Rev. Henry Hawkins Tremayne. Bremridge, in this parish, which belonged anciently to the Tracies,
was the seat of Sir John Dodderidge, the judge, and was built about 1622.
Having passed, under his will, to his brother, it descended by female
heirs to Crossing and Blundell, and is now, by purchase, the property of
In the parish-church at South Molton are monuments of Humphrey
Shobrooke, 1642; several children of John Hache, Esq. (1682—1713);
John Cruse, first master of the school, 1691; John Molford, Esq., 1692;
Peter Pierce, of Molland, 1713; Hannah, wife of Thomas Nott, of
Irishcombe, and daughter of Thomas Deane, 1718; Thomas Nott, 1735;
John Hutchinson (fn. 55) , Gent., 1728; Richard Bawden, 1746; and his two
wives, Joan, daughter of Arthur Pollard, 1709; Elizabeth, daughter of
Peter Pierce, 1745; and the family of Karslake; Henry Karslake, Sarah
his wife, and their two sons, "were destroyed by fire in their own house (fn. 56) ,"
at South Molton, January 30, 1749.
About two miles from South Molton, at a place called Honiton barton,
belonging to the Rev. Lewis Southcomb, is a chapel called Trinity
chapel, built, and very handsomely decorated, in 1730, on the site of an
ancient chapel, by his grandfather the Rev. Lewis Southcomb, at the
expense of above 500l. It is floored with black and white marble, and
fitted up with cedar and mahogany, with an organ, &c. Over the altarpiece is a picture of our Saviour baptized by John the Baptist. Choir
service was performed here in the lifetime of the founder, who had daily
prayers in it for his family. He endowed it with 40l. per annum, and
directed that it should never be made a sinecure; that the stipend should
be paid every Lord's day; and that if service was ever omitted, the stipend
of that day should go to the repairs of the chapel. There is now only
monthly service in it. The founder, and his father of the same name,
were both buried in this chapel.
The church of South Molton, was given by King Henry VIII., in 1547,
to the dean and chapter of Windsor, in exchange for the manor of Iver,
in Buckinghamshire, &c. The tithes are now appropriated to the dean and
chapter, who are patrons of the curacy.
In the parish register occurs the following instance of longevity: —
William Lake (fn. 57) , aged 104 years; buried September 2. 1754.
In 1715, the Independents and Baptists had congregations at South
Molton. (fn. 58) There is now a meeting-house of the Independent Calvinists,
and another of the Wesleyan Methodists. Samuel Badcock, already mentioned, was born at South Molton, in 1749, and was some time pastor of
the independent congregation at this place, before he conformed to the
Establishment. The late Mr. Lavington was also some time pastor of the
Hugh Squier, the last of that family, in his lifetime built and endowed
a school at this place, appropriating the sum of 50l. per annum for its support; of which, 20l. was given to a grammar master, and 20l. to a master
for teaching writing and arithmetic. By his will, bearing date 1709, he
somewhat altered the endowment, and gave the rectory of Northam, held
under the church of Windsor, and the tenement of Upcot, in Swimbridge,
to the corporation of South Molton, charged with 40l. per annum for the
school; which is thus allotted: 25l. per annum to the master, (one only
being mentioned,) 5l. to the trustees, 3l. for two annual dinners, and the
remaining 7l., for the repairs of the school-house, or the highway between
that and Molebridge; the residue of the profits of the estate, to be thus appropriated: one half to the mayor of South Molton, for his expences
during his mayoralty, and the other half for repairing highways in and
near the town of South Molton. The late Judge Buller and Mr. Badcock
received their education at South Molton school.
A charity-school was instituted at South Molton by subscription, in the
year 1711, originally for thirty boys. In 1714, it was extended to ten girls.
There are now thirty-five boys and fifteen girls, who are clothed and educated; the boys, in reading, writing, and arithmetic; the girls, in reading,
sewing, &c. Various benefactions (fn. 59) have been given to this school, which
has now a stock of about 1800l. five per cents., besides subscriptions and
collections at annual sermons.
MONKLEIGH, in the hundred of Shebbear and in the deanery of Hertland,
lies about four miles from Bideford, and about two and a half from Torrington.
This parish was called Monkleigh, as having belonged to the priory of
Montacute, in Somersetshire, to which the manor of Leigh, in Devonshire,
was given by William, Earl Moreton, its founder, in the reign of Henry I.
After the Reformation, it came to the family of Coffin; and is now the property of the Rev. John Pine Coffin.
Annery, in this parish, was the seat of the Stapledons, whose heiress
brought the manor to Hankford. Sir William Hankford, Lord Chief Justice
of the King's Bench, resided here; and dying in 1422, was buried in Monkleigh church, where is a monument to his memory, the inscription of which
was visible when Westcote wrote his survey, in the reign of Charles I.
Sir William Hankford, who had been appointed one of the Barons of the
Exchequer, in 1398, is said to have been the judge who committed Prince
Henry, for striking him a blow on the bench; but traditions related as such,
even by the most respectable historians, are not much to be relied on; some
have ascribed the honor of this transaction to Sir John Hody, who was not
on the bench till many years afterwards. Sir William Hankford, was made
Chief Justice by King Henry V., soon after his accession, and re-appointed
to that high office by his successor; a few months after which he died.
A strange story is told relating to the Chief Justice, which, probably, is
wholly without foundation. It is said, that he was so overwhelmed by the
troubles of the times, that he wished for death; but not choosing to die by
his own hands, he devised this extraordinary scheme to hasten his end.
Sending for the keeper of his park at Annery, he scolded him for not
being more vigilant, and gave him strict orders to shoot any man whom
he should meet with in the park at night, if he refused to answer, or to give
a satisfactory account of himself. Having given this charge, he walked
out in his park the same night, it being then very dark, and met, as he
intended, his certain destruction. So much is this tradition, as told by
different writers, at variance with the real history of this learned judge, that
Westcote relates it, as having happened about the time of the accession of
Henry IV.; Risdon tells it as the consequence of his fear of having offended
Henry V., as above related, when Prince; and Holinshed, as having happened in 1470, during the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster,
nearly fifty years after Sir William Hankford's death, which, it may be
observed, really happened when the kingdom was in perfect tranquillity.
One of the co-heiresses of Sir Richard Hankford, grandson of the Chief
Justice, married Boteler, Earl of Ormond, one of whose co-heiresses brought
Annery to Sir James St. Leger. Sir James St. Leger, the grandson, sold
it to Tristram Arscott, whose descendant, of the same name, died seised of
the capital messuage of Annery, and the manor of Half Annery, in 1621.
The heiress of this branch of Arscott married Johnson. Annery was afterwards in the Prusts: it has of late passed through various hands, and is
now the property of William Tardrew, Esq. The old mansion of Annery is
said to have been famous for a long gallery, in which thirty beds might be
placed on each side, in alcoves, so as not to be seen (fn. 60) : this gallery was
taken down about 1800. The house has been modernized by Mr. Tardrew.
In the parish-church are monuments of the families of Coffin (fn. 61) , Prust (fn. 62) ,
Andrew (fn. 63) , and Saltren. (fn. 64) Mr. Incledon's notes mention also memorials of
James St. Leger, Esq., 1509; and Henry Hastings, Esq., 1627. Miss Saltren,
of Petticombe, is impropriator of the great tithes, which had belonged to
the priory of Montacute, in Somersetshire; this estate was purchased by
her ancestors, the Saltrens of Petticombe, in 1646; Miss Saltren has the
perpetual advowson of the vicarage also, which was purchased by her
family in 1700.
MONKTON, in the hundred of Colyton and in the deanery of Honiton, lies
three miles from Honiton.
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to Thomas Marcey; in
the following reign, the relict of Sir William Bonville had one moiety.
The Mohuns were afterwards possessed of the whole; and it descended from
them by successive female heirs to Carew and Southcote. In 1773, it
belonged to Mr. Hall of Bristol, and is now the property of Christopher
Flood, Esq., who purchased of Hall. In the parish-church is a memorial of
Thomas Southcote, Esq., of Mohuns Ottery, 1699. Monkton is a daughter-church to Colyton, and in the same patronage.
MORCHARD BISHOP'S, in the hundred of Crediton and in the deanery of
Cadbury, lies about six miles and a half from Crediton, and about seven
from Chulmleigh. The villages of Middlecote, Frost, Oldborough, and
Knightstone, are in this parish.
There is a cattle-fair at Bishop's Morchard, on the first Monday after
The manor belonged, from ancient times, to the bishops of Exeter. It
is probable, that it was alienated, with other manors of the see, in the reign
of Henry VIII., or that of Edward VI. Sir Peter Carew conveyed it to
Southcote, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In Risdon's time it belonged
to Boucher, of London. It is now the property of R. H. Tuckfield, Esq.
Rolston and Week belong to John Quick, Esq., of Newton St. Cyres.
Easton gave name to a family who possessed it for many generations: it is
now the property of John Hann, Esq., in whose family it has been for a
Mr. Tuckfield is patron of the rectory, to which a manor is annexed.
Thomasine Tucker, in 1733, gave a rent-charge of 10l. per annum to
this parish for teaching sixteen children.
CRUWYS MORCHARD, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the deanery
of South Molton, lies about seven miles from Tiverton, and about nine from
Crediton. The villages of Cotton and Way are in this parish.
The manor had long been in the ancient family of Cruwys, at least as
early as the reign of King John, soon after which it acquired the name of
Cruwys Morchard. It is now the property and residence of Mrs. Sharland,
one of the co-heiresses of Dr. Henry Shortrudge Cruwys, the last of the
family, who died in 1804. The lord of this manor had formerly the power
of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 65)
The parish-church, which had been built in 1529, was much injured by
lightning in 1689: it was repaired, and the upper part of the tower rebuilt
in 1702. There is a memorial in the church for Robert Averay, Esq., of
Hookers, in this parish, who died in 1745. Mrs. Sharland, and Mrs. Melhuish, daughter of Dr. Cruwys, are patrons of the rectory, with alternate
right of presentation. Robert Gay, in 1725, gave a rent-charge of 1l. 15s. 4d.
per annum to this parish, one half of which was for the purpose of teaching
MOREBATH, in the hundred of Bampton and in the deanery of Tiverton,
lies about two miles from Bampton, and nine from Tiverton. The small
village of Exebridge is partly in this parish, and partly in that of Brushfield, in Somersetshire.
There is a cattle-fair at this place on the Monday after the 24th of August.
The manor of Morebath was in the crown at the time of taking the
Domesday survey: Warin de Bassingbourn gave it to the abbey of Berlinch or Barlynch. (fn. 66) After the Reformation it was granted, with other
possessions of that monastery to Sir John Wallop, by whose family it was
sold, in 1658, to Thomas Bere, Esq., of Huntsham. It is now the property of his descendant Montagu Baker Bere, Esq. The old manor-house
is dilapidated. The late Mr. Bere fitted up a farm-house, for his occasional
residence, in the cottage style: it is now occupied by a farmer. The
Rev. John Bere built a house on an estate called West Timewell, now
inhabited by his widow. Ashdown, in this parish, was the property and
residence of the Sayers, a co-heiress of which family having married Davy
Bere, Esq., it is now the property of Montagu Baker Bere, Esq. Burston
was, about 1700, the residence of Sir John Thorold, who became possessed
of it by marriage with Chamberlain: it is now a farm belonging to Mr.
Lowdell of Leatherhead, in Surrey.
In the parish-church are some small remains of a window of Barlynch
abbey, given to the parish by John Dysse in 1537: there are monuments
in this church of Nicholas Sayer, Esq., 1733, (his daughter married Bere);
Davy Bere, Esq., 1774; Anne, wife of Montagu Bere Baker Bere, Esq.,
1802; Thomas Frederick Musgrave, Esq., (of a younger branch of the
Edenhall family,) 1780; he married a co-heiress of Bere; Robert Pearse,
Mr. John Brook, of Ashdown, in 1688, gave the sum of 100l. for building
an almshouse for two poor persons, and a school-house over it, and charged
his estate with 12s. a month for the almshouse, and 10l. per annum to the
schoolmaster for the parishes of Morebath in Devon, and Skillgate in
Somersetshire; he directed also that a gown of the value of 1l. should be
given to each of the poor persons once in five years, and appropriated 4l.
per annum for repairs, and the expenses of the trustees.
Moreleigh, or Morley
MORELEIGH, or MORLEY, in the hundred of Stanborough and in the
deanery of Woodleigh, lies about six miles from the several towns of
Totnes, Dartmouth, Modbury, and Kingsbridge.
A market at this place on Tuesday, and a fair for two days at the
festival of St. Mary Magdalen, were granted to Martin Fishacre in 1315. (fn. 67)
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of De
Morley, afterwards to that of Fissacre, or Fishacre, the co-heiresses of
which brought it in moieties to Ufflete and Maynard. Ufflete's moiety
passed by marriage to Walrond; Maynard's moiety by marriage to
Holway, and by sale to Champernowne. At a later period, this manor
belonged to the family of Shapleigh. John Shapleigh, Esq., sold it, about
the year 1778, to John Seale, Esq., of Mount Boone, of whom it was
purchased by Lord Boringdon. When the present Lord Boringdon was
advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1815, he took the title of Morley
from this place. The barton of Place, which was for many years the
residence of the Shapleighs, now belongs to the Rev. John Swete, of
In the parish-church is a memorial for one of the Shapleigh family,
1656. The Earl of Morley is patron of the rectory.
Stanborough, the site of an ancient fort, in this parish, gives name to
MORETON HAMPSTEAD (fn. 68) , a market-town, in the hundred of Teignbridge
and in the deanery of Moreton, is 12 miles from Exeter, and 185 from
A market on Saturday at this place, and two fairs, each for six days,
at the festival of St. Andrew and St. Margaret, were granted, in 1335, to
Hugh de Courtenay. (fn. 69) The market is still held on Saturday for corn and
various provisions. There are two cattle-fairs, the third Thursday in July,
and the last Thursday in November, and there is a great market for cattle
on the Saturday before Whitsun-week. There was formerly a considerable
manufacture of serges at this place, which has long since very much
The number of inhabitants in the town and parish of Moreton
Hampstead, in 1801, was 1768; in 1811, 1653, according to the returns
made to parliament at those periods. The villages of Daccombe (or
Dockham) and Houghton are in this parish.
Sir Thomas Fairfax was at Moreton with his army on the 8th of January,
1646. (fn. 70)
The manor of Moreton, to which belonged the third penny of the
hundred of Teignbridge, was in the crown at the time of taking the
Domesday survey. In the reign of Edward I. it belonged to the Earl of
Ulster, who held it by the render of a sparrow-hawk. It was afterwards
in the Courtenay family, some of whom had formerly a seat here. It is
still the property of Lord Viscount Courtenay, who is patron of the
rectory. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting
capital punishment. (fn. 71)
The manor of Daccombe, in this parish, held under the dean and
chapter of Canterbury by the Rev. George Gregory, of Dunsford, has the
custom of free bench, and the lord of the manor is obliged to keep a
cucking-stool for the punishment of scolding women. Wray, in this
parish, was successively in the families of Chiverstone, Abbot, Wray,
Laford, and Corslet; the heiress of the last mentioned family brought it
to the Southmeads, who have possessed it for several generations. This
barton, and the manor of High Hayne, are now the property of John
Rowe Southmead, Esq. Moor-barton belongs to Sir L. V. Palk, Bart.
In the parish-church is a monument of the Rev. James Fynes, alias
Clinton, 38 years rector, 1774.
There are meeting-houses of the Unitarians, (formerly Presbyterians,)
Particular Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, and Independent Calvinists, at
Moreton Hampstead. The congregations of Presbyterians and Baptists
existed in 1715. (fn. 72) Micaiah Towgood, the late eminent Presbyterian
divine, was pastor of the congregation at Moreton Hampstead from 1722
The sum of 10l. per annum was allotted, by Sir John Maynard, out of
the estates given for charitable uses by Elize Hele, for the support of a
charity-school at this place. It has no other endowment.
MORTHOE, in the hundred of Braunton and in the deanery of Shirwell,
lies about four miles from Ilfracombe, on the north coast. Horsborough,
Shesborough, and Eastacott, are villages in this parish.
The manor, at the time of the Domesday survey, was held by Aluric
under Ralph de Limesi, the Conqueror's nephew. At an early period, it
was in the family of Bray, afterwards in that of De Lancelles. It now
belongs to John Palmer Chichester, Esq., of Arlington.
Wollacombe Tracy, in this parish, was the property and residence of
the ancient family of Tracy. Sir William Tracy is said to have lived
secluded from the world here after the murder of Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, and the tomb of William de Tracy in Morthoe church
is erroneously said to have been his. The heiress of Sir William married
Courtenay, who took the name of Tracy. This branch ended in females
after a few descents. The manor of Wollacombe Tracy was afterwards in
the family of Stowford, who conveyed it to Fitzwarren. It was in the
Chichester family as early as the year 1620 (fn. 73) , and is now the property of
John Palmer Chichester, Esq.
Over Wollacombe, in this parish, seems to have been mistaken by
Risdon and his late editor for a place of the same name in Roborough,
which was the ancient property and residence of the Wollacombe family.
This manor of Over Wollacombe is the property of Earl Fortescue, whose
ancestor, Hugh Boscawen, Esq., purchased it of Humphrey Courtenay,
Esq., in 1706.
In the parish-church is the tomb of William de Tracy, rector of
Morthoe, who died in 1322 (fn. 74) : this has been erroneously attributed to
Sir William de Tracy as before mentioned. William de Tracy, the rector,
founded a chantry in the parish-church of Morthoe, in the year 1308 (fn. 75) ,
and endowed it with lands in Morthoe and West Downe, valued, in 1547,
at 5l. 12s. per annum. In this church is also the monument of Mary, wife
of Mr. T. Newell, of Eastacott, daughter of John Cutcliffe, Esq., of
Damage, 1700. The dean and chapter of Exeter are appropriators of the
great tithes, and patrons of the vicarage. A school, on the Madras
system, in which about 70 children are instructed on Sundays and Wednesdays, is supported by the curate.
MUSBURY, in the hundred of Axminster and in the deanery of Honiton,
lies about nine miles from Honiton, and about two from Colyton.
The manor of Musbury belonged, in the reign of William the Conqueror, to Baldwin de Sap, or de Brioniis, from whom it passed, by successive female heirs, to the Courtenays, by the same title as the castle of
Exeter. After the attainder of the Marquis of Exeter, it was given to
Sir Edward North, who sold it to John Drake, Esq., of Ash. This place
gave name to the family of De Esse, or Ash, who possessed it, by gift of
the Courtenays, at an early period. Henry de Esse gave it to Julian, wife
of John Orwey. It was afterwards successively in the families of Street
and Hampton, in consequence of marriages with the co-heiresses of Orwey.
A co-heiress of Hampton brought it to Billet, whose heiress married
Drake, and afterwards Frankcheyney. The Drakes eventually became
possessed of this place, which continued to be their chief seat for many
generations. Sir Bernard Drake, born at Ash, became an eminent military character in the reign of Queen Elizabeth: he died in 1585, of a pestilential fever caught at the assizes at Exeter. Sir John Drake, his greatgrandson, was created a baronet in 1660; he rebuilt the old mansion at
Ash, which had been demolished in the civil wars. The title became
extinct on the death of Sir William Drake, the sixth baronet, in 1733:
his widow survived till 1782. The manor of Musbury is now vested in
the trustees of George Tucker, a minor, having been purchased by his
grandfather of Captain William Peer Williams, (now admiral of the Red,)
nephew of Lady Drake. Ash is occupied as a farm-house, and belongs
to Mrs. Gatcomb, of Shovel-house, near North Petherton, in Somersetshire. This house is celebrated as having been the birth-place of John
Churchill, the great Duke of Marlborough: he was born on Midsummerday, 1650, his mother being then on a visit to her father, Sir John Drake.
Ash was many years the residence of the last Lady Drake. In 1778,
being then in the occupation of Sir John Pole, the stables were burned
down, and 13 coach-horses and hunters perished in the flames: the
dwelling-house was not much injured.
The manor of Ford belonged to the family of De la Ford, from whom
it passed, by successive female heirs, to Bonville and Pole. It is now the
property of Sir William Templer Pole, Bart. The manor of Little Musbury belongs to John Hallett, Esq., of Stedcomb, in Axmouth.
In the parish-church are monuments of the family of Drake (fn. 76) , and that
of Nathaniel Gundry, one of the justices of the Common Pleas, who
died at Launceston, of the jail-fever, in 1754. The patronage of the
rectory is held with the manor of Musbury.