NETHEREX, in the hundred of Hayridge and in the deanery of Cadbury, lies about five miles from Exeter.
The manor belonged to the family of Crewes, or Cruwys, in the reign
of Henry II., and in the middle of the thirteenth century was divided
among the co-heiresses of that family. At a later period, it was successively in the families of Limpany, Hurst, and Martyn. The Netherex
estate is now the property of George Peter Martyn Young, Esq., having
been bequeathed to his father by William Clifford Martyn, Esq., who
died in 1769. No manerial rights have of late been exercised. The
Berrys, of Berry Narbor, had formerly a small manor in this parish, which
was sold by them to the Bampfyldes. The family of Milford had a considerable estate in Netherex, which passed by marriage to Kett, and is
now the property of George Kett, Esq., of Brook House, in Norfolk.
Netherex is a chapel or daughter-church to Rewe. This parish has some
interest in the almshouse at Clist, founded by Henry Burrowes.
Newton St. Cyres
NEWTON ST. CYRES, in the hundred of Crediton and in the deanery of
Cadbury, lies about five miles from Exeter, and about three from Crediton.
The village of Winscot is in this parish.
There is a cattle-fair at Newton St. Cyres on the Monday before Midsummer-day.
Sir Thomas Fairfax was with his army at Newton St. Cyres on the 22d
of October, 1645. (fn. 1)
The manor was given to the prior and convent of Plympton by Robert
de Pont Arch. After the Reformation, it was, for many generations, in
moieties between the families of Quicke and Northcote. The Quickes
settled here in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The whole of the manor
is now the property of John Quicke, Esq., a moiety having been purchased of the Northcote family in 1762. Newton House is the seat of
Hayne, the old seat of the Northcotes, in this parish, belonged to the
Drewes, whose heiress married Northcote, after having resided here for
several descents. This estate is still the property of Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart., but the old mansion has been in part taken down: part of the
hall is remaining. Bidwell, in this parish, gave name to a family by
whom, after some generations, it was alienated to Roope: the co-heiresses
of Roope married two brothers of the family of Kirkham. Bidwell is
now a farm, the property of Mr. — Roberts.
The manor of Norton and the small manor of Penson, or Painstone,
belong to the dean and chapter of Exeter.
In the parish-church are monuments of the families of Northcote (fn. 2) and
Quicke (fn. 3) ; Robert Fortescue, Esq., 1663; and Boughey Okey, Esq., 1795.
Sir Stafford Northcote has the great tithes of this parish, which were
given to the priory of Plympton, and appropriated to that monastery.
Mr. Quicke is patron of the vicarage.
There was formerly a chapel at Norton, in this parish. Dr. Downman,
the poet, was a native of Newton St. Cyres.
NEWTON FERRERS, in the hundred of Ermington and in the deanery of
Plympton, lies about eight miles from Modbury, and about five and a half
from Plympton. Higher and Lower Newton, and Higher and Lower Torr,
are the principal villages in this parish.
The manor of Newton belonged to the ancient family of Ferrers, of BereFerrers. A co-heiress of Ferrers brought it to Lord St. John, of Basing,
from whom, by successive female heirs, it passed to Bonville and Copleston.
Walter Hele, Esq., of Gnaton, in this parish, purchased it of Christopher
Copleston, Esq., in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. About the beginning
of the last century, the co-heiresses of Hele married the Marquis of Carmarthen, afterwards Duke of Leeds, and the Right Honourable George
Treby. It is now in moieties between Henry Roe, Esq., now of Gnaton,
(the ancient seat of the Heles,) and William Holberton, Esq., whose ancestors
had resided, for many generations, on a patrimony of their own at High
Torr. Brownston, in this parish, another seat of the Heles, is now the
joint property of the two daughters of the late Mr. Samuel Roe, one of
whom is married to Captain Bignall of the marines.
The manor of Postlinch, or Puslinch, was given by William Ferrers, Lord
of Newton, to the family of De Postlinch, who were succeeded by the
Mohuns. The heiress of Mohun brought it to a younger son of Upton of
Trelosk, in Cornwall. Prince supposes, that Nicholas Upton, the heraldic
writer, was of that family; and it appears that there was a younger son of
this family named Nicholas, about the time that this author flourished. (fn. 4)
William Upton, Esq., who died in 1709, left two daughters, one of whom
brought this place to James Yonge, M. D., of Plymouth, a friend and correspondent of Sir Hans Sloane, and author of several works, popular in their
day. (fn. 5) Postlinch is now the property and residence of his great-grandson, the
Rev. John Yonge. Pruteston, in this parish, now called Preston, gave name
to a family whose heiress brought it to a branch of the Fortescues: it is
now the property of John Holberton, Esq. The barton of Collaton belongs
to Mr. Samuel Algar.
In the parish-church are memorials for Anthony Clifford, rector, 1685;
and Francis Hingeston, his successor, "discharged by death," 1725. There
was formerly a chapel of St. Toly (Olave) in this parish; the rector of
which had an endowment of 1l. 3s. per annum, for performing Divine service therein four times in the year. (fn. 6) Mr. Yonge is patron of the rectory.
Newton St. Petrock
NEWTON ST. PETROCK, in the hundred of Shebbear and in the deanery of
Torrington, lies about eight miles from Holsworthy, and about seven from
Shipwash. The village of West Hole is in this parish.
The manor, which had been parcel of the manor of Shebbear, was given
by King Henry I. to the priory of Bodmin. (fn. 7) After the dissolution, it was
granted to Prideaux, in whose family it continued several descents. It is
now the property of Lewis Buck, Esq., of Daddon. The barton of Lane
belongs to Thomas Burnard, Esq., of Bideford. The family of Dean had,
for several generations, a seat here: they removed from hence to Horwood.
The Rev. Dr. Lempriere is patron of the rectory.
NEWTON TRACEY, in the hundred of Fremington and in the deanery of
Barnstaple, lies about five miles from Barnstaple. The manor belonged, in
ancient times, to the family of Tracy, and passed, by successive female
heirs, to the baronial families of Martin and Audley, and to the families
of Hilary, Troutbeck, and Talbot of Grafton. I cannot learn that there
is now any lord of the manor. The barton belongs to Thomas Hogg, Esq.,
The King is patron of the rectory.
St. Nicholas, alias Ringmore
ST. NICHOLAS, alias RINGMORE, in the hundred of Wonford and in the
deanery of Kenne, lies on the banks of the Teign, opposite Teignmouth.
Shaldon is partly in this parish and partly in that of Combe in Teignhead.
The manor, which was parcel of the barony of Oakhampton, was many
years in the Carew family: it was purchased, in 1671, by Lord Treasurer
Clifford, of Thomas Carew, Esq., and is now the property of his descendant,
Hugh Lord Clifford.
The benefice, which is a donative in the gift of Lord Clifford, has been
augmented by Queen Anne's bounty: it is said to have been formerly annexed to Haccombe.
Broad Nimet, or Nymet
BROAD NIMET, or NYMET, in the hundred of North Tawton and in the
deanery of Chulmleigh, lies about eight miles from Crediton.
With the exception of Kingsbridge, this is the smallest parish in the
county, containing no more than fifty-two acres, and consisting only of
the manor barton, which in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
belonged to the family of De Brode Nymet, and is now the property of
Sir Thomas Buckler Lethbridge, Bart. There is only one house in the
Sir Thomas Lethbridge is patron of the rectory.
Nimet, or Nymet Rowland, alias Rowland's Leigh
NIMET, or NYMET ROWLAND, alias ROWLAND'S LEIGH, in the hundred of
North Tawton and in the deanery of Chulmleigh, lies about six miles from
Chulmleigh and ten from Crediton.
The manor belonged, at an early period, to Rowland de Nymet, whose
descendant, Sir Walter, was possessed of it in the reign of Henry III. It
was afterwards in the family of Wolrington, whose heirs were Hach and
Buckington. This manor has long ago been dismembered.
The Rev. William Radford is the present patron and incumbent of the
Nimet Tracey, alias Bow
NIMET TRACEY, alias BOW, in the hundred of North Tawton and in the
deanery of Chulmleigh, is ten miles from Oakhampton, and seven from
The manor belonged anciently to the Tracey family, and passed, by successive female heirs, through the families of Martin, Audley, Fitzwarren,
and Hankford, to the Bourchiers, earls of Bath. It is now the property
of Sir Thomas Lethbridge, Bart. The Rev. Bourchier Marshall is patron
and incumbent of the rectory. There is a charity-school in this parish,
founded, in 1684, by Mr. John Gould, and endowed with lands let at 13l.
per annum, and a house for the master, who instructs five boys, and the
same number of girls, in reading, writing, and arithmetic.
In this parish is the small decayed town of Bow, which had formerly a
market on Thursday, granted in 1258, to Henry Tracey, with a fair for three
days at the festival of St. Martin. (fn. 8) There is now a great cattle-market on
the third Thursday in March, established in 1815; and two fairs for cattle,
&c., on Ascension-day, and November 22. Sprigge mentions a skirmish at
Bow, between Sir Hardress Waller and some of the king's forces, in which
Sir Hardress was successful, and took many prisoners.
NORTHAM, in the hundred of Shebbear and in the deanery of Hertland,
lies about a mile and a half from Bideford.
A fair at Northam, to be held for two days, at the festival of the decollation of St. John the Baptist, was granted to the prior of Frampton in
1252. (fn. 9) This fair has been discontinued.
The manor of Northam was given by William the Conqueror to the
church of St. Stephens, in Caen, and confirmed in 1252, to the priory of
Frampton, in Dorsetshire, which was a cell to St. Stephens. (fn. 10) Having been
seized as part of the possessions of an alien monastery, it was given to the
college of St. Mary Ottery. Queen Elizabeth granted it, in 1564, to the
dean and chapter of Windsor, to whom the fee still belongs, together with
that of the great tithes (fn. 11) , and the advowson of the vicarage. The manor
was held under the church of Windsor, by the family of Melhuish, who sold
it to the Willetts, for 200 years, to commence from the death of William
Melhuish, Esq., in 1770; after which it is to revert to the heirs of the Rev.
Thomas Melhuish, late vicar of Witheridge. The lords of this manor had
formerly the power of capital punishment. (fn. 12)
Durrant, in this parish, some time the residence of the Melhuish family,
is now the seat of Sir Richard Goodwin Keats, G.C.B., Vice-Admiral of the
White, who purchased it, about 1810, of Mr. Husband, as devisee of Melhuish. Sir Richard has much improved and enlarged the house and grounds.
Porthill, in this parish, was built by the late Augustus Saltren Willett,
Esq., about the year 1775, and was sold by his widow to Sir Richard Keats.
It is now in the occupation of Thomas Smith, Esq. Borough, an old mansion
in this parish, belonged formerly to the Leighs, by marriage with the heiress
of Borough. The co-heiresses of Leigh married Basset and Berry. Borough
became the property of the last-mentioned family. After the death of Sir
Thomas Berry, it passed to the Downes. Borough is now the property and
seat of R. Barton, Esq., Rear-Admiral of the Red, who married the heiress
of the late Henry Downe, Esq.
In the parish-church are monuments of the families of Melhuish (fn. 13) , and
Downe (fn. 14) ; Sir Thomas Berry, 1690 (fn. 15) ; Mary, wife of Arthur Lippincot,
(daughter of Thomas Leigh,) 1594; Thomas Leigh, æt. 20, 1628; and
Thomas Hogg, Esq., of Appledore, 1786.
William Leigh, Esq., who died about the middle of the seventeenth
century, founded an almshouse for four poor widows. Mr. William Burrows gave 20l. towards its endowment. Thomas Leigh gave 2l. per annum
to the widows in this almshouse. There is no trace of this almshouse or
of its endowment.
I find no account of the foundation of the charity-school. Thomas Melhuish and his wife, in 1702, gave a rent-charge of 1l. 10s. per annum, to the
schoolmaster, for teaching six poor children writing and arithmetic. Dame
Ann Berry, in 1716, gave 20l. to purchase a field for the school; but the
purchase was never made. Dorothy Docton, in 1737, gave a rent-charge
of 2l. for teaching six poor children; but her heirs, some time since, refused to continue the payment, and the charity has been lost. John Wood,
in 1752, gave 1l. per annum to the free-school at Northam; this also has
been discontinued and lost in like manner. Mr. Richard Cholwill, in 1687,
gave 60l. to the school, which has been laid out in the purchase of lands,
producing a rent of 5l. 10s. per annum, now enjoyed by the schoolmaster.
David Best, mason, in 1791, gave a rent-charge of 4l. per annum, and in
1806 a further rent-charge of 4l. per annum, after the death of his wife,
for the instruction of twenty poor children, fourteen at Appledore, and six
at Northam. The children under Dame Berry's foundation, and David
Best's six children, are instructed in separate small schools at Northam.
Appledore (fn. 16) , in this parish, is a small sea-coast town, which has a considerable coasting trade, and has lately been annexed to the port of Barnstaple.
There are two weekly provision markets here for the convenience of the
shipping, Wednesday and Saturday. Westcote, writing in the reign of
Charles I., says that, within the memory of persons then living, there were
only two poor houses at this place, although it then equalled many markettowns in the multiplicity of houses and inhabitants.
There is a chapel at Appledore, kept in repair by the church of Windsor;
but no service has been performed in it within the memory of any person
living. The Presbyterians had a meeting-house at Appledore, in 1715 (fn. 17) :
the congregation are now Independent Calvinists.
The Danes having landed at Appledore, with a powerful army, in 878,
laid siege to the castle of Kenwith, the garrison of which, in a successful
sally, killed their chief Hubba, and defeated his army with great slaughter.
Mr. Studley Vidal, F.S.A., in a paper communicated to the Society, in
1804, supposes that a small fortified spot, called Henniborough, or Henni
Castle, about a mile north-west of Bideford, was the site of Kenwith Castle,
the object of this memorable siege, of which Camden and Baxter had considered every vestige to have been long ago obliterated, or swallowed up by
the sea. In one important point, however, the want of water, it does not
agree with Asser's description.
On the coast, adjoining to Northam-borough, a large sandy tract of about
800 acres, is a remarkable bank of pebbles, of great height, about a mile in
length, resembling the Chesil-bank, near Weymouth.
NORTHLEIGH, in the hundred of Colyton and in the deanery of Honiton,
lies about four miles from Colyton. Triccombe, Bucknole, and Puddlebridge, are villages in this parish.
The manor belonged, anciently, to a younger branch of the Leighs of
Southleigh, and was divided among three co-heiresses, in the reign of
Henry III. Two parts passed to Bonville, and were afterwards in Lord
Petre's family. The remaining third, which had been given to the priory
of Canonleigh (fn. 18) , was afterwards in the family of Prideaux. The manor
of Northleigh, and the advowson of the rectory, were sold by Lord Petre,
to John Mountstephen How, Esq., and are now the property of his surviving brother, the Rev. Samuel How.
In the parish-church are some memorials of the Marwoods (1660 and
The Rev. James How, in 1816, gave 4l. per annum, for the endowment
of a Sunday-school, in this parish.
Nathaniel Carpenter, an eminent philosopher and mathematician, was
born, in 1588, at Northleigh. His father, John Carpenter, rector of Northleigh, was a learned divine, and author of several religious tracts, among
which was "A sorrowful Song for Sinful Souls, composed upon the
strange and wonderful Shaking of the Earth, April 6. 1586."
Bishops Nympton, or Nimet
BISHOPS NYMPTON, or NIMET, in the hundred of Witheredge and in the
deanery of South Molton, lies about three miles from South Molton. The
village of New-town is in this parish.
There are cattle-fairs at Bishops Nympton on the 14th of April and
the 20th of October.
The manor has belonged, from ancient time, to the bishops of Exeter.
The greater part of it is held under the bishop, by the Southcomb family.
The manor of Whitechaple, in this parish, belonged to the Peverells; and
having passed, by marriage, to Basset, was for many years one of the seats of
that ancient family. Sir Robert Basset sold it, about the year 1600. It
was afterwards, successively, in the families of Lear, Gibbins, and Short.
Mrs. Hull, who was of the last-mentioned family, sold it, between 1770
and 1780, to the father of Mr. John Sanger, the present proprietor. The
lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 19)
Grilleston, in this parish, gave name to a family, from whom this place
passed, by successive female heirs, to Valletort, or Vawtort, of Clist Lawrence, and Pollard. It now belongs to the Rev. William Thorne.
In the parish-church is a rich monument, without inscription, to one of
the Pollard family. The Bishop of Exeter is appropriator of the great
tithes and patron of the vicarage. Some small sums given to this parish by
Henry Zeal and John Burgess, for teaching poor children, have been lost.
The Rev. Thomas Baker, an eminent mathematician, author of a celebrated work called "The Geometrical Key, or the Gate of Equations unlocked," was several years vicar of this parish. He was collated to this
vicarage, said to have been "then lawfully vacant," in 1681; but Mr.
Chapple supposes, that he had been presented many years before, during
Cromwell's protectorate, and that he conformed. He was buried at Bishops
Nympton, on the 22d of May, 1689.
John Loosemore, who built the fine organ in Exeter cathedral, was a
native of Bishops Nympton: he died in 1686, and was buried in Exeter
George Nympton, or Nimet St. George
GEORGE NYMPTON, or NIMET ST. GEORGE, in the hundred and deanery
of South Molton, lies about two miles from South Molton, by which parish
it is almost entirely surrounded.
The manor was, at an early period, in the family of Nymet, or Nimet,
afterwards in that of Hache, from whom it descended, through the
Malets, to the Aclands. It is now the property of Sir Thomas Dyke
Acland, Bart., who is patron of the rectory.
Broom House, in this parish, which belonged formerly to the family of
Hale, is now the property of Mrs. Elizabeth Gay. The late possessor,
Thomas Gay, Gent., was descended from Matthew Gay, who was deprived
of the rectory of Bratton Fleming in 1645.
King's Nympton, or Nimet
KING'S NYMPTON, or NIMET, in the hundred of Witheridge and in the
deanery of South Molton, lies about four miles from Chulmleigh, and
about five from South Molton.
The manor, which was parcel of the ancient demesne of the crown,
was granted by King John to Joel de Mayne, and (having been again
vested in the crown by his rebellion) by King Henry III. to Roger le
Zouch. (fn. 20) In the reign of Edward III. it belonged to Sir Jeffrey Cornwall,
whose family continued to possess it in that of Henry V. Sir Lewis
Pollard, who was one of the justices of the Common Pleas, purchased
this manor, built a mansion here, and enclosed a park in the reign of
Henry VII. Sir Arthur Northcote, Bart., who died in 1688, purchased
King's Nympton of the Pollards. James Buller, Esq., who died in 1765,
purchased it of the Northcotes, and built the present house, called New
Place, or King's Nympton Park, now the property and occasional residence of John Buller, Esq., one of the Commissioners of Excise. The
lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 21)
The late Mrs. Melhuish had also a manor in King's Nympton (purchased of Brown), which is now the property of her niece Mrs. Byne.
In the parish-church are memorials of Robert Pollard, Esq., 1680; and
Sir Arthur Northcote, Bart., 1688. Albany Savile, Esq., is patron of
There are two charity-schools in this parish, one containing 40 boys, and
the other 20 girls, supported chiefly at the expense of J. Buller, Esq.