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Full text of "Some account of the barony and town of Okehampton: its antiquities and institutions"

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^OiME ACCOUNT OF THE 

BARONY AND TOWN 

OF 

OKEHAMPTON: 

Its Antiquities and Institutions. 

Including the Journals kept by 

Messrs. Rattenbury and Shebbeare, 

Gents, and Burgesses, from the 21 James I., to the 

Death of William III. ; 

WITH notes 

GENEALOGICAL, DESCRIPTIVE, AND EXPLANATORY. 



Trunco non frondibus efficit umbram. — Lucan. 



EDITED AND ENLARGED FROM THE COLLECTIONS 

made by 

WILLIAM B. BRIDGES, 

The Rev. C. THOMAS and The Rev. H. G. FOTHERGILL, 

Rector of Belston. 



WIIH ADDITIONAL CHAPTERS 
EDITED BY 

W. H. K. WRIGHT, F.R. Hist. Soc, 

Borough Librarian, Plymouth. 



Tiverton : 

WILLIAM MASLANI), 31, FORE STREET, 

1889. 



/^ 



W. MASLAND, PRINTER, TIVERTON. 



The first Edition was Dedicated as follows : — 



THIS LITTLE WORK, 



EMBRACING, AS WELL THE LONG LINE OF 
HIS lordship's NOBLE ANCESTRY 



FROM THEIR FIRST SETTLEMENT IN ENGLAND, AS ALSO 

THE SURVEY OF THEIR 

PRIMITIVE HOLD AND BURGH HERE, 

HAS SOUGHT AND FOUND 

A GRACIOUS PATRON IN THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

THE EARL OF DEVON. 

WOULD IT WERE WORTHIER OF HIS CONDESCENSION ! 




PREFACE TO THE PRESENT EDITION. 

In the following pages will be found an abundance of material of a very 
interesting character, comprising almost everything that can be said 
relative to the history of the town and barony of Okehampton, yet 
hardly to be designated a "History" in the ordinaiy acceptation of that 
term. It will be noticed that the original compilers styled the work 
" Some account of the Barony and Town, &c.," but so much has been 
added to their work by successive, if not successful, hands that it might 
now be more appropriately named " Collections towards a history of 
Okehampton." The work was originally published in parts, about the 
year 1839, and printed by G. P. Hearder, of PljTiiouth, but was never 
completed, only three parts, compri.sing 112 pages being issued, and the 
views promised with each of the parts saw not the light. 

In the present work, the editor has retained the original form and 
arrangement of the book, having carefully transcnbed all the notes and 
additions made by the Rev. H. G. Fothergill and others, and revised, 
as carefully as circumstances would permit, the whole of the work, 
abstaining from alteration or modification of the text, except in a few trivial 
instances. The book is therefore intact as far as the original publication is 
concerned, but large additions have been made in the manner indicated. 

In order not to overburden the pages of the book with voluminous 
notes, all the annotations made by Mr. Fothergill have been placed at 
the end, together with other manuscript additions found attached to 
Mr. Fothergill's copy. In all these matters the editor has strictly 
followed the lines laid down by his predecessors, his duty being 
merely to unite the disjointed fragments, and to pass the work 



VI. PREFACE, 

through the press. Consequently he disclaims any responsibility for any 
tlieories advanced or opinions expressed in the work, which he well 
knows contains many statements of a doubtful character, which have 
given rise to much controversy when viewed in the light of recent 
historical research. 

The history of the present edition of this work may be briefly told. 
About four years since, a party of antiquarians and literarj' gentlemen 
visited Okehampton at the invitation of a lady, one of the owners of 
Okehampton Park, for the purpose of investigating the antiquities 
of the district on the one hand, and of estimating its resources, 
mineral and otherwise, on the other hand. During this visit a well-worn 
and profusely annotated copy of Bridge's History of Okehampton was 
handed to one of the leaders of the patty, from which information was 
from time to time derived, and a wish was very generally expressed that so 
interesting and scarce a book, with its valuable additional notes might be 
republished. Early in the present year the matter was again mooted, 
and some residents in Okehampton becoming interested in the project, 
a publisher was found, and the present editor, who chanced to be one of 
the party visiting Okehampton in 1885, was requested to undertake the 
revision of the work. This he has done, as carefully as the peculiar 
nature of the task allowed, and trusts that but few errors may be dis- 
covered, save such as were committed by the first authors, and with which 
he had no authority to interfere. It may be as well to state that from page 
116 of the present work to the end is all new matter, never before printed, 
and that the ancient charters, rentals, and other documents given on pages 
159-164 were included in the original edition, as prefatory matter. 
The list of the Archdeacons of Totnes has been carefully revised by the 
Rev. Prebendary Randolph, and the chapter relating to the Parlia- 
mentary Representatives has been re-written and considerably expanded 
by Mr. W. D. Pink. To each of these gentlemen the editor is exceedingly 
obliged. He would also offer his best thanks to Mr. W. Crossing for 
his able article on Okehampton Park, which will be found at the end of 
the volume ; also to Mr. Seth Harry, the present Mayor of Okehampton, 
and to Mr. Harry Geen for many useful hints during the progress of the 
latter portjoji of the work. Tne Index hjis been carefully compiled by Mr, 



PREFACE. vii. 

J. S. Attwood, who has made this branch of literary work his special 
study. 

With reference to the illustrations, several of them are from drawings 
made by Mr. Roscoe Gibbs, of Torquay, for the editor, and reproduced 
by Mr. Alfred Dawson, of the Typographic Etching Company, London, 
others are from photographs. Some of the smaller blocks are the pro- 
ductions of Mr. J. E. Wood, of Plymouth. The map is a reduction of 
one from the last Ordnance Sur\-ey. 

In conclusion the editor commends the work to the favourable con- 
sideration of the public, and while acknowledging its defects, expresses 
a hope that it may form the basis for a full and complete history of this 
notable old Devonshire town, the annals of which date back to a very 
early period, while its connection with the Courtenays, Earls of Devon, 
considerably enhance its interest and importance. The few details given 
of the Okehampton of to-day may be taken as fairly reliable, having 
been verified by present residents. Long may Okehampton flourish, and 
continue to improve, now that direct railway communication with the rest 
of the kingdom has placed it on a fair footing with other centres of 
population and of industrial activity. 

Plymouth, July, 1889. W. H. K. WRIGHT. 



■«ttSI!Sk^-S5ts! 



a^^ss-^^^i^e 



>:l^Va»l■li^J 



^^m?^^ 



FROM THE 

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. 

The idea of an enlarged survey of our local antiquities originated with a 
native and quondam freeman of the borough, extracts from whose 
Collectanea will a|)|)ear with due acknowledgment in the course of this 
work. The conception and birth of his little manuscript are unaffectedly 
given in his own words: — "The writer of these pages, shut out from 
intimate converse with the present, by an incurable deafness, has long 
loved to enquire into the ancient state of his birth-place, ' his own 
romantic town,' and drawn to the subject from his ancestry having held 
offices in its ever loyal coiporation (one of them having twice filled the 
civic chair) circumstances might seem to warrant his bias towards the 
pursuit. For thirty-five years he has been an assiduous, if not successful, 
gleaner of local relics." 

And yet it is due to those by whom so much has been laid on our table 
to admit that the lot was fallen to him in a soil alike beyond his means 
and capacity. He stood on hallowed ground indeed, those banks of " the 
Ock or Ockment which glides by one of the most interesting of our 
monuments of old baronial power, the proud stronghold of the De 
Redvers, the De Fortibuses, and the Courtenays — Okehampton Castle." 
[^Quarterly Review, No. Ixix, page i68.] For, as if secular grandeur 
were insufficient, there were also the monastery and its superstitious yet 
learned freres, the chantry and its night-watch over the repose of the dead 
— these to overpower the spirit that mused on them. 

The present edition dares not anticipate what opinion criticism may 
form, on his enlargement of the poor antiquary's plan, but he is free to 
confess that the result has not satisfied himself. Viewing however the 
limits assigned him, and the limited range afforded to liis reading, he has 



PREFACE. IX. 

essayed his best. From Camden and Leland, to Grose and Bro^vne 
Willis, and from Sir W. Pole and Risdon, down to Chappie and 
Polwhele and Britten, not to mention id genus omne — the tribes sacred or 
profane, by whom our local shrine has been, in whatever mood 
approached — he has taxed his research to compile a memoir of this old 
burgh and its condition in bye-gone days. To those who might cavil at the 
paucity of moral reflection exhibited in these pages, he would reply, that 
much lies limine in ipso, in the subject itself, and for the rest^there was 
no divining rod set over the soul of the licentiate Garcia. 

It remains to notice some other portions of the work, the sources 
whence they have been derived, and the channels through which they 
have reached us. 

The original \o\yn\2i\ kept by John Rattenbury, gent., and preserved in 
the town clerk's office, begins at Section XL, part I., that portion of it 
which contains the notices from 1623, the date of King James's charter, to 
1638, as printed in Section IX., part II., being from a transcript made 
by Master Richard Shebbeare, now in the possession of T. B. Luxmoore, 
Esq., deputy recorder of the borough, which opens with the following 
Memorandum : 

" That on the 20th day of September, in the 24th yeare of the raigne of 
King Charles the second, Ano. Dom., 1672, I began to copy out this 
booke by the towne booke of Record, made and written mostly by Mr. 
John Rattenbur)', and Mr. Thomas Austin, town clarkes of this towne 
and borough : all the most remarkable things have [been] as far as my 
abilities would permit me truly and indifferently copied out for the 
direction and satisfaction of myself and my posterity or ffriends who 
should come after me." 

Thus writes old Richard, attributing a merit to Mr. Town Clerk 
Austyn which his few entries might scarce claim for him ; the journal left 
by these worthies is then continued by himself to the mayoralty of 
Thomas Cunningham, 10 Giil. III., that part resumed in our General 
Appendix being from the private record above noticed, entitled by him, 
RiCHARiJ Shebbeare's Booke. It only remains, in this respect, to 
add, that R;Utenbury's manuscript was handed us, under permission of 



X. 1>REPACE. 

the present town clerk, by Mr. William Ponsford, actuary', and the tribute 
of acknowledgment is, we trust, complete. 

"In the '^ Iter Carolinum'' we read that his Majesty spent Monday, 
the 29th July, 1644, at Bow, and that he went on Tuesday, the 30th, to 
Okehampton, at Mr. Rattenbury's, whom he again honoured, on re- 
turning from Tavistock." This little critique, curious as adding to the 
consequence, while it somewhat impugns the accuracy of the good town 
clerk, has been handed to us from St. Nicholas' priory — we can only 
vouch for the correctness of our copy. 

Stewartstone, Holloway. 
December, 1836. 



PREFACE TO THE SUPPLEMENTARY 

APPENDIX. 

In an advertisement accompanying the third number of this work, the 
Proprietors, in stating that it would necessarily exceed the limits origin- 
ally assigned to it, remarked that they could have no apology except it be 
found in the curious records here given ; which, when the liberality of 
their best friends had afforded them excess, they could not omit — and 
dared not mutilate them. Ecce atitem alteriim, while the last sheets 
were passing through the press, a gentleman and burgess of this town 
(Henry Robson Colling, Esq., solicitor), has laid before us a document of 
high interest in its way — another Boohe of Master Shebbeare's ; from the 
date on the title page, 1669, it appears to be a collection of notabilia 
respecting the borough, its patrons, officers, property, &c., made by him 
before transcribing the towTi clerk's journals noticed above. 

That this collection is not without its value in the correction and 
enlargement of our Account of Okehampton will have been already seen ; 
although its principal charm, with us at least, has lain in several entries, 
expressing liere the personal complacency, in another place the civic zeal 
of the writer ; entries which his dignity as an annalist obliged him else- 
where to suppress. Richard was a genealogist and delighted in heraldry 
withal ; and the happy evidence — to be found, he tells us, " in St. Peter's 
Church, in two windows," that there was gentle blood* in his family (we 
fear though on the wife's side only), affords a blazonry for his title page, 

•.Since the above was in type we have found that the Shebbeare family bore arms ; 
vaire, on a bend argent, three mullets, with a chief argent. 



Xll. PREFACE. 

inter arma virorum, among the escutcheous of Underbill, Cary, Ouicke, 
Maynard, and others, thus " Gay (my child's great-great-grandfather) 
beareth or, a chevron between 3 escallops, azure. 

The high estimation in which Mr. Shebbeare seems to have held civic 
rank (see note at page loi) has already been glanced at : the following re- 
marks appended to a succinct list of the mayoralty down to 1675, appear 
in this record, " 8 Car., John Bremelcombe, my grandfather — 16 Michael 
Drew, my uncle — 17 William Gayer, my uncle — 22 John Shebbeare, 
my father — 24 Christopher Drew, my kinsman — 8 Car. II., Andrew 
Treeveene, my grandfather's apprentice, and my father's partner — 17 
John Gayer, grandchild to Mr. Bremelcombe, my cousin german." Now 
all this kindred and alliance must have been familiar "as household 
words " to the writer's contemporary burgesses and townsmen ; and as 
such could be recorded only under a conviction that he was handing down 
the honours of the family to posterity. 

"With this key to Master Shebbeare's prepossessions, we are not 
surprised to find him " noting a solemn sympathy," when points of such 
interest as the borough lands and feoffments are impugned : in the case 
given in our Account of Charities, (see Mervyn's award) the writer's 
Christian moderation seems to have suffered violence in the contest with 
his civic zeal. — " Mem. William Turpin, which was the primary cause of 
this (so hard an Award half obliterated) all this strife and contention 
against the mayor and burgesses, brake his necke falling downe over Mrs. 
Hutchins's staires at the sign of the Angell, &c., and Richard Bowyer, 
which was another great Incendiary, mett at last with such an enemy in 
Cornwall, who prosecuted him soe vehemently in the Lawe, that at last 
he dyed for very greife of hearte, which made good the words what 
measure ye mete, dT'c." 

To counterbalance this effusion take an extract from a charge to the 
jury at a quarter sessions, in 1655, which Mr. Shebbeare has thought 
worthy of recording ; it is given partly in short-hand, a character he some- 
times uses, and partly in words at length ; the last sentence is so 
peculiarly applicable here that it may suffice for all. " The chiefe end of 
the lawe, the whole sum and substance thereof is, that all men might live 
pious towards God, loyalle towards their Soveraigne prince (the Protector'^ 



L ; ; 



t>REFACE. Xlii 

and li\-ing towards each other." For the excellent spirit indeed in which 
the burtjher-family, whereunto Richard introduces us, had been trained, 
we have a voucher in their grandfother Bremelcombe's Petition to the 
mayor and burgesses, presented on his being sworn into the second 
company in 1623. (Vide infra.) 

We have detected little that might serve to indicate what were Mr. 
Shebbeare's opinions, either religious or political, among the divisions of 
Reuben — in the distracted times upon which he was cast. From a copy, 
however, of Mr. Justice Gidley his warrant for the apprehension of 
certain persons therein named as standing convicted of having assembled 
'* at a conventicle, or unlawful meeting under pretence of Religion ;" 
and in another place, a deposition on oath made by a butcher against one 
Dart, of gentle degree, for profaneness, we may surmise, perhaps, that he 
was of the high church party, but not blind to the profligacy the cavaliers 
indulged themselves in : if we except indeed a rather frequent adoption of 
the sacred text in one or two sessional charges, and such names as Cyrus, 
Daniel, Gideon, Hilarj', Nathaniel, and Tertullian, occurring in his lists 
of manorial and other tenantry, there is nothing to bespeak the age of 
the Puritans ; although it was while the Protectorate and themselves 
were yet on high among the people, that Richard entered on the office of 
a civic chronicler. 

Not the least abstruse among our speculations concerning him has been 
— what were his rank and calhng : for while the good haberdasher of 
hatts, his grandfather was, as himself tells us, "content to be at a fyne 
(rather than attend on juries) by reason of abundance of business of his 
own," in Mr. Shebbeare, the corporate man predominates over the 
individual in nearly the same proportion. On the whole, albeit heraldic 
bearings, and the indistinct affixture oi gent, to his name in one place, are 
startling things, we incline to believe that Master Richard followed the 
ancestral pursuit in a house still known as his in the Fore street of his 
beloved town. Of the worthy burgher's personnel, the only indication that 
has reached us is contained in his mention of a " blue garter," while 
engaged in measuring certain trees that had been felled by one Westaway, 
in the Castle-ham. 






^^M 




^^5x?=V 



INDEX. 



Aberenges, see Avianches. 

Adean, Diana, 153. 

Adeliza, Viscountess, 12, 112. 

Adersliam, 42. 

Agar-Ellis, George James Wel- 

bore, 146. 
Aincourt, Ha\vise de, 12, 16. 
Albemarle, Duke of, 103, 105 ; 

William de, 177. 
Albrett, Richard de, ii3«. 
Alford, John, ~gn., 164; Samuel, 

155- 
Althorp, Viscount, 144. 

Ancient personal names in Devon, 

46«. 
Annesley, Philippa, 88. 
Anthony Stile, 203, 205. 
Anderson, John "William, 143. 
Ap Owen, — , 68, 68;;. 
Appledore, 43, 173. 
Arms: — Avenel, i2n; Belston, 

43« ; Brewer, 42;; ; Brioniis, 

56« ; Bronescombe, ii6«; 

Bryan, 43^ ; Cadiho, 43;/ ; 

Calmady, gzn ; Coffin, 68« ; 



Courtenay, 34^ ; Fitz, 75^ ; 

Fitz Rogus, 42« ; Floir, i6« ; 

Ford Abbey, 1 14«; Hidon, 43/?; 

Kelly, 43« ; Mohun, 86« ; 

Northleigh, 103;; ; Okehamp- 

ton, 56/;, 176; Pollard, 'Jon ; 

Prouz, 57« ; Stafford, 13;; ; 

Talbot, 27«, 43« ; Welych, 

59« ; Woolfe, 43^. 
Arnold, James, 163. 
Arscott, Richard, 155, 166; 

William, 84. 
Arundell, — , 85 ; Humphrey, 63 ; 

John, Sir John, 86, g6« ; 

William Harris, 174. 
Arundell Family, 173. 
Ascelinus, 147. 
Ashburj- Tor, 205, 210, 212. 
Ashton, Sir Roger, 87. 
At Beare, John, 78^. 
At Pitt, Richard, 78;«. 
Atterbury, Attebyare, Francis, 151. 
Austyn, Thomas, 98, 100, 164. 
Avenel, Ralph, 12, 16/1 ; William, 

117;?. 
Avigo, Hugh de, 147. 



INDEX*. 



XV. 



Avranches, Aberenges, Maud or 

Matilda de, i6, 56, 159. 
Aysh, Margaret, I30«. 

B 

Bagwell, John, 123. 
Baileghe, Henry de, 162. 
Baker, George, Sir George, 151. 
Baldwin, Archdeacon Totnes, 

147 ; Earl, 12. 
Ball Meadow, 234. 
Barham, Joseph Foster, 144. 
Barnes, H. M. B., 124; Henry, 

151 ; Ralph, 151. 
Barrens, John, 163. 
Bartley, Sir John, 188. 
Barton, William, 149. 
Barton Bam Estate, 229. 
Bartons, the, 58. 
Basset, Gilbert, 147. 
Bastard, Robert C, 177. 
Bate, John, 79;; ; William, 78//. 
Bath, John, Earl of, 106. 
Battishill's House, 232. 
Batt's Meadow, 233. 
Bean's Meadow, 233. 
Beaple, Robert, 162. 
Beare, John, 78//. 
Beare or Beere-Bridge, 82, 127, 

181. 
Beaufort, Margaret, 26. 
Beaufrell, Robert, 178. 
Beaumont, Maud, ^Ott. 
Bebycombe, Robert, 165. 
Bedel, Nicholas, 79«. 
Bedford, John, Duke of, i^'n. 
Bells of Church, 82, 120, 183. 
Belstone, 73, 126, 195, 206. 
Belstone Cleave, 205, 210, 212. 
Belstone, Bellistone, Baldwin dc, 

43. '77- 



Bequests, 117, 118. 

Bernard, Archdeacon Totnes, 147. 

Bevys, Mar}-, 21. 

Bickell, John, 79//, 153, 228. 

Bideford, 11. 

Birham, i6iw. 

Black Down, 203, 205. 

Black Fen Brook, 196, 198, 204. 

Black Fen Hollow, 205. 

Black Tor, 200. 

Black lor Copse, 201. 

Blackmoor, John, 98. 

Blatchford, John, 79;;, 167. 

Blatchford's, 232. 

Blund, Richard, 148. 

Boadicea, Queen, 7, 172. 

Bodham, Thomas de, 148. 

Boghemede, Stephen, 78;/. 

Bohun, Margaret de, 22. 

Bolleghe, BoUey, Henry de, 148, 

148/? ; Thomas de, I48«. 
Bolt, Peter, 154, 165, 166. 
Bond, Charles, 229; Richard, 155 
Bonville, Lord, 27«. 
Borough Pound, 232. 
Botreaux, John, 26/1. 
Boues, Thomas de, 147. 
Bounds, 188, 194. 
Bourman, Richard, 59, 134. 
Bow, 42. 
Bowbeare, 163. 
Bowdon, — ,129; Edward, 79;/; 

Henry, 82, 83; John, 79;?; 

Katherine, 164 ; Richard, 117, 

154- 
Bower, Edmund, 165, 166, 167. 
Bowerlands, 163. 
Bowling Green, 232. 
Boyer, Richard, I55«. 
Boyne, Lewis, I55«. 



Xvi. 



INDEX. 



Braddeston, John, 78/7. 
Bradeleghe, John de, 147. 
Bradford, 42. 
Bradshaw, Henry H., 124; S., 

124. 
Brand, Thomas, 141. 
Brandon, James, Duke of, 88. 
Branscombe, George D. H., 124. 
Bratton Clovelly, 42. 
Bray, William, 228. 
Bremelcombe, Bremescombe, 

John, 81, 83, 93, 97, ioi«, 181. 
Brewer, Anthony de, 42. 
Brian, Elizabeth de, 23. 
Bridport, John de, 147. 
Brightley, 157, 163, 166, 234. 
Brightley Bridge, no, 117. 
Brightley Chapel, 117, 126. 
Brightley Priory, 1 10. 
Brioniis, AdeHza de, 16, 188; 

Baldwin de, 15, 16, 56, 173, 

190; Richard de, 12, 113, 

117", 157- 
Britons, the, 3, 170. 
Broadamoore, 117. 
Broadmoor's Land, 232. 
Broadnymet, 43. 
Brock, Grace, 152, 228, 235; 

Richard, 79;?, 152, 228, 234. 
Brock's Almshouses, 152. 
Bronescombe, Walter, 116, Ii6« 
Brown Willy, 204. 
Browne, William, 29;?. 
Bryan, Guy de, 43. 
Brydham, Hugh, 149. 
Burd, John Marsh, 229 ; WiUiam 

224. 
Burgoyne, — , 105 ; George, 106 ; 

Robert, 156. 
Bumeby, John, 149. 



Burrington, John, 107, 137. 
Butler, Thomas, 148. 

c 

Calmady, — , 121, 186; Josias, 

98, 99, io3«, 104, 136, 137; 

Launcelot, 156, 164; Shilston, 

Sir Shilston, 61/7, 92, 102 ; 

William, 79;?, 130. 
Calverley, 42. 
Camoys, Matilda, 25. 
Cann, Can, Edmund, 83 ; Edward, 

79;?, 130;/; John, 156, 164; 

Joseph, 156; Nicholas, 79« ; 

Richard, 79«, 165, 166; 

Thomas, 153, 156. 
Carew, George, 150; Sir Gawen, 

61 ; Sir Peter, 61, 6i«, 62. 
Carter, Thomas, 98, 100, loi. 
Cary, Anthony, 154; Sir George, 

104, 105, 137, i37«; John, 

154 ; Launcelot, 163 ; Robert, 

164; Wilham, 105, 106, 137. 
Cattle, Robert, 79«. 
Cattleigh, Robert de, 78«. 
Cecil, Robert, Earl of Salisbury, 

128;?. 
Chapel Ford, 73, 212. 
Chapel Lands, 72, 196, 211. 
Charde, Thomas, 189. 
Charities, 153, 228. 
Charleton, Roger de, 148 ; 

Thomas de, 148. 
Charter, 220. 
Chaterton, Edmund, 149. 
Childe of Plymstock, 29. 
Chippenham, Thomas, 149. 
Christowe, il^n, 1 16. 
Chudleigh, James, 94, 94«. 
Chulmleigh, 32, 41, 175. 
Church Bells, the, 82, 120, 183. 



INDEX. 



XVII. 



Cirton,- Glitters, iqq. 

Cissor, Robert, 58, 134. 

Civil War, the, 60. 

Clarke, Richard, 78;;. 

Cleave Tor, 210. 

Clive, Lord, 86w, 174. 

Clyst St. Man,-, 62, 66. 

Cockescumbe, William de, 178. 

Coffin, — ,68; Elias, 177, 178. 

Coke, Thomas William, 141"; 
Wenman, 141. 

Colcombe, 32, 49«, 175. 

Cole, Francis E. B., 124; Henrj', 
83 ; John, 150. 

Collumpton, William, 150. 

Common Rights, 193. 

Coningsby, George Capel, 142. 

Coode, Anne, 86. 

Coombe, James, 228. 

Cooper's Kempley, 231. 

Coote, — , 185. 

Corindon, John, 156, 164. 

Cornish, Edward, 122, 123. 

Cornwall, Richard, Earl of, 72. 

Cory, Robert, 156. 

Cosdon, 192, 195, 196, 200. 

Cotton, Edward, 150; Mary, 13; 
Wilham, 150. 

Cottle, Alexander, 156; George, 
118. 

Court Leet, &c., 155. 

.Courtenay, Edward, Sir Edward, 
12, 13, 24, 26, 30, 3i«, 33,37, 
42, 85, 86, 174; Ehzabeth, 17, 
30, 85 ; Florence, 85, 88 ; Sir 
Francis, 33/? ; Gertrude, 74 ; 
Hawise, 56, 159; Henrj', 13, 
114 ; Hugh, Sir Hugh, 12, 13, 
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 30«, 34, 
5". 78«, 79, 85;?, 86, 161 ; 



Isabella, 85, 86; John, 12, 13, 
i8«, 19,27, 42, 113, 115, 126, 
127, 158 ; Margaret, 23 ; Marj', 
18''. 57. 159, 177; Maud, 85, 
86 ; Peter, Sir Peter, 23;?, 61, 
6i«, 84, 132, 167 ; Sir Philip, 
23 ; Reginald, Sir Reginald, 
17. 57, 158, 161, 177; Robert, 

12, 17, I7«, 18, 56, 57, 79, 
ii'n, 159, 161, 177; Thomas, 

13. 26, 27, 36, 51, 115; 
William, Sir William, 12, 13, 

31, 3i«, 36, 42, 181. 
Courtenay Family, 173, 174. 
Coventr}', Sir Thomas, 131. 
Cowe, Richard, 147. 
Cowick, 176; Priory, 73^, iii, 

114, 125, 126, 190. 
Cowle, John, 78^. 
Coxe Family, 85;/. 
Coxhead, William L., 124. 
Cranmere Pool, 209. 
Crigge, John, 165, 166. 
Crispin, Gilbert, 15. 
Crockem Tor, 29;?, 175, 200. 
Crosses, 74, 180. 
Crossing, William, 236. 
Crotch, John Rowe, 229. 
Crovener Steps, 196, 200, 205. 
Crowley, John, 139. 
Cruisse, Cruewis, John, 69 ; 

Robert, 69. 
Cudmore's House, 234. 
Cunningham, Ambrose, 105, 

Thomas, 107. 
Curson, William, 175. 

D 

Danmonia, 9. 
Darcy, Thomas, 75. 
Darky Lane, 233. 



xvin. 



INDEX. 



Darley House, 2<2. 

Dartmoor, Bounds of, loi ; Hut 

Dwellings on, 3. 
Dauncy, — 247?. 
Davy, Hugh, 156. 
Davy's House, 232. 
De Redvers P'amily, 18. 
De Vere, Isabella, 19. 
Deer on Dartmoor, 207. 
Delytle, John, 79«. 
Denyall, Geoffrey, 78«. 
Despenser, Eleanor, 20. 
Devon, Adeliza, Countess of, 157; 

Catherine, Countess of, 8q ; 

Thomas, Earl of, 114. 
Devyock, Anne, 154. 
Deyman, Edmund, 166. 
Dibble, John, 138, 139. 
Dinger Plain, 199. 
Dinger Tor, 199. 
Dodmore, 162. 
Dogge, John, 82. 
Doidge's Meadow, 232. 
Dolton, 41. 
Domehay, 231. 
Domvile, Sir Compton, 145. 
Douglas, Michael, 91. 
Downall, Downhall, John, 124, 

151, 183, 218, 229 ; T., 124. 
Downe, John, 79// ; Oliver, 79^, 

I sow- 
Drake, Mary, 46 ; Roger, 78/?. 
Drewe, Christopher, 97. 99 ; 

Henry, 229 ; Michael, 91 ; 

Robert, 229 ; William, 97. 
Druids, the, 2, 3, 5, 169, 172. 
Ducking-stool, 177. 
Duffeld, Barnard, 63, 
Dufty, Bryan, 228. 
Dunally, Henry, Baron, 145. 



Dunneford, Robert de, 178. 

Dun's Coombes, 232. 

Durybole, Henry, 78/;. 

Dyer, Henry, 79«. 

Dynham, Dynant, Sir John, 29 ; 

Oliver de, 29«. 
Dyscombe, William, 126. 

E 

Earle, Alfred, 151. 

Earl's Malthouse, 232. 

East Bridge, 232. 

East Hill, 210. 

East Mil Tor, 197, 198, 205, 20G. 

East Ockment Farm, 196. 

East River, 233. 

Edye, — , 177. 

EUacott, John, 107. 

Ellis, John, 153. 

Elsworthy, Peter, 156. 

Espeke, Richard de, 42. 

Esse, Baldwin de, 43 ; John de, 

148, I48«. 
Essex, Earl of, 95, 
Estebrooke, 78//. 
Evans, William, 48«. 
Everard, Robert, 98, 136. 
Ewe, Godfrey, Count of, 15. 
Exeter, Battle near, g, 173. 
Exeter Castle, 18. 



Fair, I02«. 

Fair Place, 233. 

Fairfax, Sir Thomas, 97. 

Fatherford, 163, 213. 

Fawell, William, 150. I50«. 

Fenfield, 72/;, 180. 

Field, Mary, 153. 

Fire, 10 1. 

Fishley, Daniel, I55«, 164. 



INDEX. 



XIX. 



Fitz, John, Sir John, 75, 75/?, 

163, 209 ; Mary, 75. 
Fitz Baldwin, Richard, ib, 56, 

112, II2«, 174. 
Fitz Ede, Matilda, 17; Robert. lb 
Fitz Gilde, Robert, 148. 
¥\U John, John, 147. 
Fitz Patrick, Robert, 141. 
Fitz Ralph, Ralph, 177. 
Fitz Rogus, Simon, 42. 
Fitz Roy, Robert, 12. 
Fitz's Well, 74, 195, 208, 209. 
Fleminge, Thomas, I29«. 
Flyscombe, 163. 
Fogy Park, 232. 
Ford Abbey, 42, 70, 108, 112, 

189. 
Foresland Lodge, 200. 
Forrester, Alexander, 141. 
Fortibus, Isabella de, i8«, 188. 
Fothergill, — , 210. 
Francis, Sir William, 66, 68«. 
P'rend, John, ~gn. 
Froude, Robert Hurrell, 15 1. 
Fulford, Sir Francis. 164; John, 

149. 
Fullwood, Francis, J 50. 
Furse, — , 130^; Edmund, 163, 

196 ; Edward, 79;/ ; John, 97;;, 

William, 78^. 



Gaskin's Meadow, 233. 
Gauls, the, 2«. 

Gay, Elizabeth, 98 ; Richard, 79«. 
Gayer, Benjamin, loi, 104, 107, 

108, 122; Hester, ioi«, 164; 

John, 100, 102, 106, 107 ; 

William, 93. 
Gayer' s House, 217. 



Gear, Benjamin, 209. 

Geen, Charles, 217, 228, 236; 

Heniy, 217. 
GeoftVey, Archdeacon of Totnes, 

148 ; Prior, U7«. 
George Inn, 233. 
Gerard. Lady Charlotte, 88. 
Ghildisburghe, Peter de, 148. 
Gibbs, Mary Anne, 213. 
Gibby Lands, 233. 
Gidley, — , 105. 
Giglet Market, 102;;. 
Gilbert, Abbot of Waverley, 157. 
Githridge, — , 68. 
Glan\-ille, Francis, 165 ; John, 

80, 82, 133, 167 ; Lady, 188 ; 

Serjeant, 128. 
Glenorchy, John, Lord, 145. 
Gloube, Henry, 59, 134. 
Godolphin, Thomasin, 118. 
Gold. Matthew, 99. 
Goring, Lord, 97«. 
Graves, Thomas, Lord, 144. 
Gray, Ladj Ehzabeth, 32^. 
Great Kempley, 231. 
Grendon, John, 228. 
Grenville. SirBevil, 75; Elizabeth, 

77«; Sir Richard, 75, 76, 77, 

86«. 94, 96, 97«, 181. 
Grey, Lord, 65, 66 ; Walter de, 

147. 
Growdon, John, jgn, 80, i66 ; 

Richard, 156; Robert, 130«; 

Sarah, 164 ; William, ~gn. 
Gubbings, the, 97«. 
Gump's Pool, 103. 

H 

Hackwoods, 162. 

Hagge, Geoffrey de la, 177. 



xi. 



INDEX. 



Haldon Hill, lo. 

Hall, 86«. 

Hals, Sir Nicholas, 167. 

Halstock, Holestock, 71. 72, 163, 
179. 181, 194, 203, 205. 

Halstock Chapel, 72, 210. 

Halstock Cleave, 210. 

Halstock Comer, 19b. 

Halstock Down, 195, 205. 

Halstock Woods, 212. 

Hamlyn, Captain, 109 ; Christo- 
pher, 6i«. 

Hammett's House, 233. 

Hammond, Galinus, 78^. 

Hampson, William H., 124. 

Harris, Alfred, 228 ; Arthur, Sir 
Arthur, loi, 104, 136, 137, 
I57«, 174; Christopher. 138, 
I39> 157; Lady Cordelia, 157^; 
John, Sjn ; John Christopher, 
174; Thomas, 228; William, 
107, 138. 

Harrowgrowe, Harragroes, Harra- 
growe, Harrigro, — , 167; Ann, 
117; Richard. 79/?, 117, 153, 
163. 

Harry, Seth, 217, 228. 

Harter Ford, 197. 

Harter New Take, 196. 

Hawkeridge, Captain, 129, 130. 

Hawkey, Reginald, 156. 

Hayne, Heayne, Haynes, John, 
120; Richard, 84, 91, 96, 97. 

Hayward. — , 217. 

Heale, see Hele. 

Heavyside, Richard, 142. 

Heddon, James, 165. 

Hele, Heale,—, 188 ; Gertrude, 
I28«; John, 128, 128^ ; 



Philippa, 87 ; Sir Thomas, 

136. 
Hellier, Henry, 79«. 
Hellions, Harvey, b8n ; Sir 

William, 68. 
Hempton, William, "jSn. 
Hendy's House, 232. 
Henges-down, 9. 
Herbert, Sir William, 67/?, 68. 
Hertford, Thomas de, 148. 
Hethcote, Ralph, 149. 
Hethfield, John, 176. 
Hidon, John de, 43. 
High Wilhayes, 200, 203, 204. 
Higher Kempley, 231. 
Hill, — , lign; Nicholas, 163; 

Thomas, 96, 97. 
Hobbe, John, ySn. 
Hockin, Thomas Par, 124. 
Hockwood, 58. 
Hodge, Richard, 206. 
Hoke, Nicholas de la, 178. 
Holditch, Walter, 79;?. 
Hole, Humphrey Aram, 124 ; 

John, 164 ; Sir Thomas, loi. 
Holestock, see Halstock. 
Holland, Henry, 85;/, 143, 143/?, 

1 74 ; Joan, 23 ; Richard, 34, 

52//. 
Holley, Charles William Hunt, 

218; James Hunt, 218, 229; 

Wyndham Hunt, 219/?, 228, 

*> 7 - 
-3/ • 

Holwell, John, 115, 126. 
Homerton Hill, 202, 204. 
Honiton, 64. 
Honiton, John de, 59. 
Hope, Thomas, 146. 
Hopton, Ralph, Lord, 94, 96^. 
Horraford, — , 130. 



INDEX. 



XXI. 



Horrell, Richard, i(50, 103. 

Horsey, Joan, 87. 

Howard, Sir Charles. 75 : Lady, 

74 ; ]Mrs., 44// ; Lady ^Slary, 

164. 
Howell, King of the Comish, 

Hubba, 10, 173. 

Hugh, Archdeacon Totnes, 147. 

Hundcn, William, 149. 

Hungerland, 232. 

Hurst, — , 166; Wilham, 153, 

165. 
Hussey, — , 121 ; Jeremiah, 120, 

122 ; John, 94, lOl, 118; 

Rebecca, 120. 
Hutchings, Francis, 100. 
Huyshe, Francis, 1 1 1« ; T., 124. 

I 

Inglefield, Sir Francis, 42. 
Inwardleigh, 95. 
Irisliman's AVall, 197. 
Iron Gates, 202. 
Island of Rocks, 202. 
Isaac (Ysaac), Archdeacon of 
Totnes, 147. 

J 

Jane's House, 233. 

Jennings, George, 142. 

John, Archdeacon Totnes, 148. 

Johnson, — , 165; William, 165, 

166, 167. 
Jones, — , 131. 
Jordan, Richard, 163 ; Wilham, 

80, 82, 84, 90, 155. 
Jordan's House, 234. 
Joyle, — , 186. 

K 

JCekbeare, 121, i2i/i. 



Kelly, Nicholas, 43. 

Kelly's Corner, 196. 

Kemplty's, 231. 

Kendall, Nicholas, 151. 

Kenne, 42, ii^n. 

Kennacott, Keynecot, Robert, 

78« ; William, 80. 
Kent, John de, 147 ; Thomas, 

150. 
Killigrew, Sir Henry, 87. 
King, Lawrence, 78«. 
Kingsley, Charles, 214. 
Knight, Lawrence, I55«. 
Kyrketon, Alan, 149. 



Ladbroke, Robert, 142, 143. 
Lake, John, 156; Richard, 

156//. 
Lakedown, 186. 
Langford, Henry, 156. 
Lang's House, 231, 232. 
Lawrence, Elizabeth, 88. 
Le Gros, Peter, 17. 
Leach, Sir Simon, loO, 137, 13-S. 
Leage, William de, 177. 
Lees, ^Irs., 236. 
Legge, John, 79^. 
Lemon, William, 78;/. 
Lennard, William, 77//. 
Lethbridge, Christopher, 15b, 

164. 
Lewis, Richard, 72^. 
Ley, 231. 

Ley, Sir James, 129. 
Linsey, Earl of, 96. 
Little, Arthur, 103. 
Lloid, Owen, 149. 
Long Kempley, 231. 
Longstone, 160. 



xxu. 



INDEX. 



Longstone Hill, 202, 204. 

Lopse's Meadow, 234. 

Lougher, Robert, 1 50. 

Lower Maddaford, 234. 

Lower Westacott, 234. 

Lucy, William, 228. 

Luxmore, Luxmoore, Charles, 
174, 181, 236; John, 142, 
174, 236; Miss, 236; Thomas 
Bridgeman, 51^, 7g«. 

Luxmoore Family, 85;?. 

Lyde, George, 208. 

Lydeford, John, 149. 

Lydford, 11. 

Lydford Castle, 29. 

Lydford Law, 39, 175. 

Lymothe, William de, 177. 

Lyttelton, George, 139, 140. 

M 

Mace, the, 157. 

Mainwaring, Charlotte, 88. 

Major's Bam, 230. 

Major's House, 234. 

Mander, see Maunder. 

Manning, Thomas, 149. 

March, William, 103. 

Markes, John, ~%n. 

Martin's House, 233. 

Marwood, Dr., 187. 

Maunder, Mander, John, 155, 

163. 
Maurice, Prince, 95. 
Maxwell, J. G., 229. 
Mayne, James, 124. 
Mayor choosing day, 58«. 
Meldon, 163, 181, 194, 203, 207. 
Meldon Down, 94. 
Meldon Quarry, 202. 
Meldon Valley, 236. 



Meldon Viaduct, 203. 

Meledon, Geoffrey de, 177. 

Meoles, see ^lules. 

Mere stones, 196. 

^Nlenifield, Alexander, 164. 

Merriman, Thomas, 156. 

Mervyne, Richard, 94, 119, 120. 

Michell, Gilbert, 129. 

iMilford, William, 156. 

Milton, Damarel 42. 

Minchin, Humphrey, 141, 142. 

Mohun, — •, 85, 92, 99, I04« 
132, 167 ; Charles, 87, 88 
164, 188 ; Cordelia, 87« 
John, 13, 82, 86, 87, 88 
Reginald, 41, 86, 87, 129 
Warwick, 87, 88, 156 
William, 86, 87. 

Mohun family, 173. 

Molis, de, see Brioniis. 

Moor Brook, 205, 210, 212. 

Moore, John, 156. 

Moss, W., 108. 

Mount Ribbon, 233. 

Mowcombe, 166. 

Moyse's Land, 233. 

Muddaford Stratton, 166. 

Mules, Meoles, James, 1 24 ; 
Roger de, 177. 

Musbury, 42. 



N 



Nation, Ann, 122; Francis, 95, 

122. 
Nethecot, Thomas, 79«. 
New Bridge, 197, 198, 205, 206. 
New Inn, 231. 
Newberry, Newbury, Ruth, 164; 

Sampson, 106 ; William, 107. 



INDEX. 



xxni. 



Newcombe, Hugh, 79M ; John, 

79«, 97, 176; Peter, 156; 

Simon Peter Brendon, 220, 

228. 
Newenham Abbey, 41. 
Newton, 43. 
Nix Mead, 232. 

Norleigh, Henrj', 103, 103;/, 106 
North Lane, 233. 
Northerate, Thomas, 78^. 
Northleigh, Edward, 136 ; 

Henry, 137 ; Richard, 156, 

164. 
Northmore, — ,85;?; John, 164; 

Thomas, 107, 137, 138, 139/?; 

William, 139. 
Northwode, John, 148 ; Otho, 

148. 
Noss, William, 106. 
Noye, — , 131 ; William, 131W. 
Nymet, Roland de, 43 ; William 

de, iGi. 



Oath of Alayor, 92«. 

Ock River, 15. 

Ockment, East &= West, 192, See. 

Odune, Earl, 10. 

Oke, Roger, 83. 

Okehampton, early site of, 179; 

Antiquity of, 15; Barony of, 

12; Alayors of, 80; Provosts 
' of, 78«. 
Okehampton Castle, 44, 208, 235, 

Inscription on Chapel Wall^ 

52/;. 
Okehampton Church, 112, 116, 

190, 217. 
Okehampton Park, 69, 194. 
Oliver, George, iii«. 



I Ommanney, Sir J. M., 145W. 
I Oxenham, Simon, 92. 



Painter's Court, 230. 

Palfrey, Heniy, 100. 

Falser, John, i55«. 

Paradise, 231. 

Parker, Lewis, 94, 167 ; William, 

150. 
Parkhouse, William, 126. 
Parsons, John, 156. 
Partridge, Sir Miles, II4«. 
Passmore, Richard, 228. 
Paulet, Sir Hugh, 68. 
Payne, Nicholas, 207 ; Robert, 

79W. 
Pearce, — , 217. 
Peard, — , 132. 

Peaise, William Burd, 224, 228. 
Penbroke, Pennybroke, Walter 

de, 148, 149. 
Pennington, Robert de, 112. 
Pennybroke, see Penbroke. 
Penty Ham, 231. 
Percy, Sir Alan, 75. 
Perriman, Richard, I55«. 
Peter, Peters, Philip de, 177 ; 

Thomas, 118, 163. 
Philips, — , 188. 
Picts, the, 7, 173. 
Pigs' ground, 232. 
Pike's Mead, 232. 
Pile's Wood, 201. 
Pincerna, see Butler. 
Pinhoe, 11. 
Pink, W. D., 134. 
Pitt, Robert, 139, 139// ; Thomas, 

139, 140, 141 ; William, 140. 
Pitt family, 86^. 



XXIV, 



INDEX. 



Plague, the, 80. 

Poet's Land, 232. 

Pole, Sir John, 91. 

Pollard, Sir Amias, 105 ; Sir 

Hugh, 60 ; John, 150 ; Richard, 

70, -on. 
Pomeroy, Sir Thomas, 66. 
Pope, Nicholas, 107. 
Porter, Nicholas, 83. 
Portingale's House, 234. 
Postlade's House, 234. 
Potter, George, 156 ; Thomas, 140 
Pound, 234. 
Prest, Roger, 156. 
Prickman, John Dunning, 220. 
Prous, Sir Peter, i8«. 
Pryer, W. H. I., 228. 
Pryor, Nicholas, 104. 
Pudhanger, 163, 195, 203, 205. 
Pulser, John, 166. 
Pulser's House, 233. 
Puntyngdon, William de, 148. 
Pye, Sir Robert, 96. 
Pyke, Malachi, 78«. 

R 

Rack Park, 233. 

Ralegh, Raleghe, Henry de, T78 ; 
Walter, 62. 

Randall, ■ — , loi. 

Rathbone, James, 124. 

Rattenbuiy, — , 90, 185, 188 ; 
Edward, 107 ; Francis, 121, 
155; Hester, 123; John, 79;?, 
81, 83, 91, 97, 98, 130, 132, 153, 
165 ; Katherine, 164 ; Mary, 
121 ; Nicholas, 79/2; Peter, 79^, 
80, 82, 83, 119; Robert, loo, 
102, 104, 106, 123. 

Red, Robert, 78«. 

Red Fen Brook, 203, 204. 



Reddaway, Thomas, 83. 
Reddewan, Richard, 166. 
Redstone's House, 233. 
Reynell, Richard, 164. 
Reynold, Reynolds, Robert, 99, 

136. 
Rice, John, 155 ; Peter, 103. 
Rich, William, 109/7. 
Richard, Abbot of Brightley, 157, 

158; of Ford, 189. 
Risdon, Edwin, 79;? ; Giles, 156, 

164 ; Maud, i^ott. 
Risford, Adam, 43. 
Robartes, Lord, 95, 95/;. 
Robert, Abbot of Brightley, 158 ; 

Archdeacon of Totnes, 147. 
Roberts, Sir Henry, 130. 
Robson, Richard Bateman, 143, 

144. 
Rodney, George Bridges, 140. 
Rolle, Dennis, 84. 
Roman Road, 70. 
Romelie, Alicia de, 17;/. 
Rook, Richard, 98. 
Roole, John, 15b, 164. 
Roper, Mrs. Trevor, 236. 
Rosen Upcott, 163. 
Rouen, Robert de, 115. 
Rous, Roger le, 148. 
Row Tor, 195, 205. 
Row Tor Coombe, 197. 
Rowe, Nicholas, 120. 
Rude, John, 79;/. 
Rundell, John, 79;/. 
Russell, Lord, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 

67;/ ; Lord John, I16, 126. 

s 

St. Aubyn, Thomas, 163. 

St. James' Chapel, 81, 182, 218, 

234- 



INDEX. 



XXV. 



St. John, Agnes, 22. 

St. John's Land, i66, 234. 

St. Leger, John Hayes, 142, 143. 

St. Mar)- Clyst, see Clyst St. 

Mary. 
St. Mary's Chapel, Exeter Castle, 

St. Michael's Chapel, 210. 
St. Thomas' Church, 63. 
.Sampford Courtenay, 41, 60, 67, 

68, 126, 149. 
Sandy Ford, 192, 199, 200. 
Sap, de, sse Brioniis. 
.Saunder, John, 156. 
Sa\ile, Albany, 86//, 144, 145, 

174, 2i9«, 236; B.W., 124; 

Christopher, 145 ; Edwartl 

Bouchier, 220. 
Sajer, John, I55«- 
-Schools, 154. 
Scots, the, 7, 173. 
.Seal of Okehampton, 98. 
Seldon, John, 155/?, 186. 
.Serlo, Dean, 147. 
.Seuter, — , 188. 
.Seymour, Edward, 146. 
Seymour's House, 231. 
.Shambles, 100. 
Shebbear, 42. 
Shebbeare, — , 120, 155; John, 

50. 97, 98, 100, 104, 106, 107, 

121; Richard, 74, 79«, loi, 103, 

105, 121, 159. 
.Shebbear's, 231. 
.Shilston, Ehzabeth, 61. 
Ship-money, 91. 
Short, Widow, 164. 
.Skynner, Thomas, 151. 
Slade, William, 83. 
.Slapton, 42, 43. 



Smale, Edwin, 228 ; John, 78«. 

Smyth, John, 78«. 

Snell, George, 151. 

Soper, Richard, 186. 

Sourton, 193, 200. 

Southcot, Sir John, 106. 

Southwick, 13, 174. 

Spencer, John Charles, 144. 

Spinola, Baptiste, 65. 

Spreyton, 125. 

Spurhng day, 188. 

Squire, Thomas, 103, 106, 107. 

Stafford, Hugh, 156; Humphrey, 

13, 28 ; Thomas, 156. 
Stanhope, Cordelia, 87. 
Star Inn, 231. 
Steele, William, 149. 
Stewerson, 163. 

Sticklepath, 30^, II5«, 126, 175. 
Stondon, John, 78//. 
Stony Park, 94. 
Strada, John, 78// . 
Strange, James, 143. 
Strutt, Joseph Holden, 145. 
Swete, Lewis, 150. 
Swift, Jasper, 150. 
Sydnor, Richard, 149. 
Symington, William Weldon, 225. 
Symon's Ditch, 195, 196, 203. 
Sythaby, 163. 

T 

Talbot, Lady Anne, 26 ; William, 

43- 
Tanfeild, LawTence, 129^. 
Tanner, Thomas, 124. 
Tapper, John, 79« ; Oliver, 83. 
Tapper's House, 231. 
Tarraynt, William, 163. 
Tauton, Tawton, Tanton, Robert 

de, 58 ; Thomas de, 134. 



XXVI. 



INDEX. 



Tavemer, John, 156, 164. 
Tavistock Abbey, 11, 173. 
Taylor, William, 79«. 
Thatch, Nicholas, 78W. 
Thellusson, George W., 143; 

Peter Isaac, 143. 
Thifam, John, 149. 
Thomas, Prior of Cowick, 116. 
Thomas, Edward, 92, 135. 
Thomson, Robert Thomas White, 

225. 
Thomcombe, 42, no, 113, 113^/, 

190. 
Thrupp, Horace W.. 124. 
Tin-streaming, 198. 
Tinkcombe, Edward, 155/?. 
Tinners' Parhament, 200. 
Tipper, — , 129. 
Tiverton Castle, 49«. 
Tockbeare, John, -Sn. 
Tomson, John, 143. 
Tothill, Henry, 165, 166, 167. 
Town Hall, 219. 
Townsend, E., 228. 
Towton, 27, 174. 
Trant, William Hem7, 145, 146. 
Trees in Churchyard, 124. 
Trelawny, — , 85 ; Alneth, 89 ; 

Anne, 87; Sir Jonathan, 150; 

Walter, 89. 
Trethurffe, Elizabeth, 86; John, 

85 ; Margaret, 86. 
Trevanion, Jane, 86. 
Treweene, Andrew, 98 ; Digony, 

98. 
Trewin's House, 230. 
Tucker, — , 188 ; Robert, 78^. 
Tuckfield Meadow, 234. 
Turpin's Land, 232. 
Two Bridges, 201. 



Tyrwhit, Thomas, 143. 

u 

Uglow, Thomas, 107. 
Underdown, Henry, 'gti; Richard, 

loi ; Robert, 'jgn. 
Underbill, — , 60; G., 228. 
Underbill &" Harris, 217. 
Uplands, 212. 

V 

Vaghan, John, 83, 93, 94. 

Valetort, Johan, 42. 

Vane, Henry M., 235. 

Vaughan's House, 234. 

Veniton Bridge, 64. 

Vernon, Richard, 141, 142; 
William de, i8n, 2^n. 

Vickery, John, 123, 157^. 

Vila, Augar de, 177. 

Vivian, Vyvyan, — , 86 ; Sir 
Francis, 85^, 167 ; Sir Richard, 
84, 132, 167, 174; Sir Richard 
Rawlinson, 146 ; William, 150/2. 

Vokin's House, 230. 

Vortigern, 8, 172. 

Vyner, Robert, 140. 

w 

Wagott, Wilham, 149. 
Walter, Henry, 156. 
Ward, Bishop Seth, 100. 
Wardle, Gwyllym Lloyd, 144. 
Ware, — , 119, 120. 
Warren, John, 155. 
Watchet Hill, 206. 
Wearham, 58. 
Webber, Robert, 163. 
Webberley, Wilham, 165. 
Webbery, — , 130^ ; Henry, jgn, 
166. 



INDEX. 



xxvu. 



Webham, 233. 

Wedderburn, Alexander, 141. 

Weekes, Joan, b^; John, 104; 

Samuel, 228 ; William, 84. 
Weekes' Kempley, 231. 
Welysch, Henry, 59. 
Wembworthy, 42. 
West Bridge, 233. 
West ^Slid Row, 233. 
West JMil Tor, 195, 205. 
West Well, 232. 
Westacott, 165. 
Westcott, — , 217 : T.C., 228. 
Westlake, Stephen, ~q>t. 
Weston, Stephen, 131. 
\\'hiddon, Oliver, 150. 
\\'himple, 42. 
White, Whyte, Wyte, — , 123; 

Ann, 156 ; James Richard, 124; 

Richard, 130W. 
Whittaker, Lawrence, 92, 93, 135 
Widecombe-in-the-moor, 208. 
Wiggens, Thomas, 142. 
Wilhayes, 201. 
Wilkinson, Charles Thomas, 151. 



Willes, Catherine, 88. 

Wills, Thomas, 98W. 

Winslade, Arundcll, 68/?. 

Wintsworth, 231. 

Wise, Edmund, 99 ; Edward, Sir 

Edward, 98, 103, 136, 156; 

Thomas, 91. 
Wistman's "Wood, 201. 
Wodland, William, 155, 156. 
Wood, Thomas, 228 ; Wilham, 

224. 
Woodbur}-, 65, 67. 
Wrey, Sir Henn, 235. 
Wright, H.S., 124. 
Wynkleghe, Roger de, 147. 
Wynyard, ^lontague, 52«. 



Yendall, Christopher, loi, 104, 
106, 107 ; John, 155/?. 

Yeo, George, 163 ; Isaac, 228, 
I 229 ; William, 224, 228. 

I Yes Tor, 194, 195, 196, 198, 200, 
i 201, 203, 204, 206. 







1^^ 


•>^(>?^"" 


1 


S 


IP 



ANTIQUITIES AND INSTITUTIONS 



OF 



OKKHAMPTON. 



SECTION I. 



Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos. — Virgil. 

Beyond the reach of records is a settled gloom, which no ingenuity can 
penetrate. — Dissertation on the Era of Ossian. 




T is a trite, but here necessary, remark, that the 

primitive inhabitants of this island maintained 

the independence of its western shores, long 

after the rest had been subdued by various 

tx invaders : a rapid glance over the state of the 

Britons followed by a yet slighter notice of the 

Roman conquest, will bring us to the reign of 

Egbert, and the site of our researches as a border district 

lying between them and the Anglo-Saxons. After that we 

shall notice some local incidents, connected with " our 

invaders the Danes," until these also in their turn gave 

way to the superior merit or features of the Normans. 

*Additional notes by theKev. II. G. Fothergill and otliers will be found 
in an Appendix at the end of the volume. — VV. II. K. W. 



2 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Our long accredited descent from "the Brut" and his 
Trojan emigrants, has now quietly vanished in the light of 
reason and common sense : the legend, which has alike 
supplied theme to the minstrel's song, and the pen of the 
chronicler, and which afforded our first Edward a plea for 
his assumed supremacy over Scotland, rests on frail grounds 
at best ; Geoffrey of Monmouth, who has preserved the 
tradition, was assailed by the bitterness of contemporary 
critics on account of it ; and yet the tale, now considered 
as a legendary romance,^' has drawn the attention of some 
antiquarians to a degree, greater perhaps than it merited ; 
others, in abandoning it, have laboured to establish notions 
equally wild and theoretical. So long since as Tacitus' day, 
it had been remarked, that the complexions of the Britons 
varied from the florid hue of the Teutonic hordes, to the 
darker tinge of Spain ; but the neighbourhood, their 
common religion and speech, all pointed to a Gallic origin. f 

The patriarchal form of government, so universally dis- 
cernible in other ancient communities, might also be traced 
in the institutions of this people, however modified in 
character by place or circumstance. The British Chieftain 
had under him two classes of dependents, the freemen, and 
the villeins or vassals ; the Order of the Druids formed the 
fourth, and at the same time most influential portion of the 
community : Cffisar considers them as the first in rank 

*Camden, in ascertaining our genuine antiquities, was obliged to 
undermine the error with modest scepticism. 

fThe learned "Whitaker, in his "Genuine History of the Britons," 
fixes the immigration of the Gauls into this island about the reign of 
Da%id and his son, (.) Solomon, a period which coincides with the 
authorities quoted by Richard of Cirencester. 

(.)i,ooo years B.C. (H.G.F.) 



>!> 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 3 

among the British nobles. " INIuch, both in war and peace, 
in government and law, in the administration of justice, and 
in domestic tranquility depended on the natural disposition, 
the talents, and the will of the Druids, who resided in the 
district and presided over its affairs.*' 

It were easy to cite from the history of this singular class, 
and, as connected with them, from the superstitions of our 
ancestors, matter that would swell the pages, rather than 
add to the intrinsic interest of this little volume. Of 
British domestic remains in this immediate neighbourhood, 
the following is from the account of a living antiquarian, in 
whose hands we may be allowed to leave the sacred circle, 
the cromlech and the cairn. 

"The huts or dwellings of the ancient inhabitants are to 
be found in every part of Dartmoor, in a state, generally 
very imperfect ; the foundation stones, and those forming 
the door jambs, being all that remains of these dwellings, 
with few exceptions. The huts are circular on the plan, the 
stones are set on their edge, and placed closely together, so 
as to form a secure foundation for the superstructure, 
whether that they were wattle, turf, stone, or other material. 
These vestiges strikingly illustrate the descriptions which 
Diodorus Siculus and Strabo, give of the habitations of the 
Britons of their times. The former describes them as poor 
cottages, constructed of wood, and covered with straw [and 
sometimes skins] ; the latter as wooden houses, circular in 
form, with lofty conical roofs. The foundation slabs above 
mentioned, generally stand from eighteen to thirty inches 
above the surface. The door-jambs in most cases higher, 

♦Drew's " History of Cornwall." 



4 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

placed nearly at right angles to the outline of the circle ; in 
a very considerable proportion of examples the door faces 
the south." 

These habitations were, in accordance with the rude state 
of such as tenanted them, a confused parcel of huts, placed, 
for the most part, in the mic'dle of a wood, its avenues being 
defended by ramparts of earth, or trees felled to clear the 
passage. Such were the dwellings of the serfs ; those of the 
higher classes were erected with more attention to the material 
of which they were composed, and with still greater care for 
the situation chosen. The chief sometimes fixed on an 
elevated knoll for his abode ; at others, and more frequently, 
on a site which so strikingly coincides with the locality the 
antiquities of which are here attempted in description, that 
we might almost fancy it drawn from the place itself. 

The chief, we are told, usually had his abode on the hill- 
side, with a group of dwellings for his serfs near the river 
below it, and a road wound along the valley between them, 
gradually ascending to a beacon which overlooked the 
whole. Thus the lord's residence constituted a kind of 
fortress, which the alarm of a scout might at any time 
garrison with his surrounding tenantry. In following him to 
such a habitation, we shall be introduced to scenes re- 
sembling those described by Ossian : in some elevated seat 
— afterwards the dais of the baronial hall — the rude couch, 
surrounded by his principal guests, who sat on the skins 
with which his floor was covered, presided over the festivity* 
of his vassals. The smoke, which escaped from an aperture 

*From the spume of their eumin, or ale, which they drank on high 
festive days only, they collected their burmen or barm : yeast is commonly 
luiown by no other name in the west of England to this day. — Drew. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. S 

left in the roof for that purpose, " rose from a hundred 
trees," blackening the rafters ; while the harp and song of 
bards woke a tale of other days : the wassail cup passed 
round ; and the chief heard with delight the glories of his 
ancestors, until morning called him forth again to his falcon 
or his hound, of which latter kind the segh-dog,* or 
southern hound — a large, slow race, now extinct — seems to 
have been a favoured attendant. 

The dress of this half savage people was, according to 
some, a flowing robe of w^oollen texture ; from others, a 
scanty hide, worn to meet the prejudices of strangers, rather 
than from any actual want. In stature, they were more tall 
than compact, their habits frugal, and their manners 
barbarous. In the cruel rites of their religious worship, the 
Britons present the same picture as other uncivilised hordes ; 
in one instance they stood alone ; a custom, as we are 
informed by Caesar, prevailed among them, which seemed 
detestable to other nations ; it was for ten or twelve men, 
brothers or intimate friends, to have their wives in common, 
a custom which seems to hare been in practice, if not also 
in its origin, exclusively British ; it was distinct from the 
marriages of the Gauls, and can find no parallel in any 
of the Western nations. In every state of society, some 
rank or order will be found to excel the rest in the arts 
of life, in knowledge and learning; and it is only by 
weighing their acquirements in the balance with other 
nations, that we learn to estimate the real progress. The 
Druids, would we accredit some fragments of their own, 

*Se{^h — the moose deer of America ; large bones, apparently of this 
species, have been lound in many parts of this countiy. 



6 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

were no mean proficients in science, as well as in morals 
and literature : from the more sensible writers of Greece 
and Rome, we gather, that their knowledge was imposture, 
and their manners rude. The people, it is ever the case, 
were in a still lower degree of civilization than their teachers, 
and to a religion and habits ill-calculated to promote their 
happiness, other causes were superadded to impair and destroy 
it. The inland country was divided into petty principalities, 
without natural or artificial means ot defence, thus offering 
a wide field to rapine and ambition: the sea coast lay in the 
possession of powerful strangers, men who had been enter- 
tained as exiles, and fostered until they became enemies. 

The warfare of the Britons was simple, for they fought 
naked, protected by a wicker shield only ; their chariots, 
with scythes projecting from the wheels, were more 
calculated to astonish the rude, than to secure a victory over 
disciplined troops, such as fifty-five years before the 
Christian era they were called to encounter in Caesar,* and 
his legionaries. 

Two expeditions made by this victorious leader tended to 
discover, rather than subjugate the southern parts of 
Britain : f he again withdrew his forces, securing to the 
Republic the glory of its last empty conquest, and leaving 
to the islanders their ancient laws and customs, and with 

*Suetonius intimated that he came over to enrich himself from the pearl 
fisheries on the coast : but the thirst of ambition is insatiable as that of 
gain. 

fPliny, iv. i6, says : — " The name of one island was Albion, the whole 
set of islands called Britannic." 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON, 7 

the exception of a tribute, more readily promised than it 
was paid, the freedom of their native wilds. For nearly a 
century from this period, Rome and her nominal subjects 
maintained a friendly intercourse, until it suffered inter- 
ruption in the reign of Claudius, when the Southern coast, 
with all the adjacent inland country, was secured by the 
conquerors, after a protracted, but ineffectual resistance. 
Their forts and colonies long overawed, without breaking 
the Britons' spirit ; and Caractacus, by his revolt, and a war of 
nine years, taught the invaders not to practice too far on 
their endurance. Thirty years of submission, however, 
made them forget the lesson ; the indignities offered 
Boadicea, "the British warrior queen"; caused another 
revolt, in which perished more than three score thousand 
Romans ; this continued until a victory gained, with immense 
slaughter by the Emperor's general, Paulinus, terminated 
the struggles, and with them the liberties of Britain. The 
Roman laws and customs, habits and arms, language and 
manners, baths and feasts, studies and bearing, were intro- 
duced, and, in some provinces, became general ; in short, 
the Britons seem, with the exception of ravages on their 
northern frontier, to have passed in security, the long and 
turbulent period which announced the decline, and sub- 
sequent fall of the empire. 

The final departure of the Romans, a.d. 448, left them 
open to a renewal of these ravages, by their enemies, the 
Picts and Scots, whose first assaults indeed might be dis- 
regarded under the more sweeping horrors of famine. This 
affliction proved transient, but it added to their previous 
weakness, already too much impaired by a general laxity 



8 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON, 

of morals ; and, as the only resource left, Vortigern,* their 
unworthy ruler, sought aid from the Saxons. f Under 
Hengist and Horsa,| these deceitful friends learned to 
despise the weakness of both parties ; the northern 
frontier, which was assigned them to defend, afforded shelter 
but to a fresh horde of assailants ; and the Britons were 
soon driven again to contend in arms, for their rights and 
property. The defeat and death of Horsa seemed at first 
to favour their righteous cause, and the successes gained 
against them by the renowned Prince Arthur long afforded 
theme for romance§ and lay ; but the short sword and close 
attack of the Pagans, for such the Saxons were, gradually 
prevailed over the missiles of the defenders. Some fled to 
found for themselves a new name and country on the opposite 
shores of Bretagne : others sought refuge among the fast- 
nesses of the West, and there, while the Saxons overran all 
the fairer portions of the island, long maintained them- 
selves in a rugged state of freedom. 

*The loves of this British Prince, and Ronix or Rowena, the daughter 
of Hengist, are immortahzed in the well-known origin of the wassail cup : 
" Leiver King, wacth heil," said the damsel; " drinke-heil," rephed 
Vortigem, and saluted the fair Saxon, who — according at least to the 
metrical version of the tale — was net slow to return the thrilling 
compliment : — 

tEbc Hung satti as tbc ftnigbt gan ftcn 

S)rinhc=bcil smilanS IRowcn 

IRowcn ^ranf? as hire list 

Bnii gave tbc Iking s^nc bim ftist. 

t" The Saxons dressed with some degree of elegance, a luxuiy unknown 
to the Britons ; the women used linen garments, trimmed and striped 
with purple ; their hair was bound in wreaths, or fell in curls on their 
shoulders, their arms were bare and their bosoms uncovered." — Lorii 
Lyttelton'' s Letters. 

JThey are called by Gildas, and from him by Bede, the sons of Woden — 
a mythology invented, as is probable, by the Welsh bards, to palliate 
their country's defeat. — Stilliiigjleet, Orig. Brit. 

§It is to be regretted that so much of romantic scandal has found its 
way into volumes of sober history. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. q 

Hooker, the antiquary, who was chamberlain of Exeter 
in Elizabeth's reign, tells us, that they called their territories 
Danmonia,*' the Country of the Vallies, and that it once 
stretched eastward, as far as the Belgse ( Firholg) or Somerset; 
a boundary that, with some partial encroachments made and 
recovered during the period of the Heptarchy,! they main- 
tained until all England became united into one kingdom 
under Egbert, a.d. 830, cir. this monarch met the Britons, 
whose territory he had overrun, and their new allies, the 
Danes, on Henges-down, and totally defeated them there. 
A curious document, yet in existence, shews the result of 
this victory ; the Britons constituted a tribe retaining the 
right of self-government as heretofore, subject, however, to 
the supremacy of the Anglo Saxon monarch : the river Exe 
formed the line of demarcation between the two races, on 
which the peaceful of both parties, notwithstanding some 
penal statutes to the exclusion of the conquered, appear to 
have tenanted Exeter in common. The energies of the 
warlike, yet learned Alfred,]: were of necessity directed 
against his formidable invaders, § but under Athelstane, 
"the lord of earls and giver of bracelets,' their subjection 
became complete : a pitched battle was fought near Exeter, 

*" William of Malmesburj', Florence of Worcester, Roger of Rouedon, 
and others stile Devonshire by name Domnoina, perhaps all from 
E)lltt nCitlt, '•''■, low valleys in British; wherein are most habitations of 
the couiitiy, as judicious Camden teaches me." — Drayton's l\i/yolbion, 
(note). 

TThe inhabitants seem to have been known by the designation of 
Defnstt'ttas, or Devnsoettas. 

:JWe may regret, but must give u]), the spurious reproof of the neat- 
herd's wife, " That he was good at eating cakes, but bad at turning them." 

§The Danish invasions, strictly speaking, did not begin until a century 
later; we know some of these piratical chiefs to have been Noi-wegians, 
and it is most probable that they chielly belonged to that nation. 



10 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

(Caeriske) probably on Haldon Hill, in which the Britons 
suffered a total defeat ;* all resistance was crushed at once, 
the territory between the Exe and the Tamar fell to the con- 
querors, and Devonshire became for ever a part of England. 
The restless northern tribes, who under the appellation of 
Norsemen, or Danes, had at first abetted only the dissensions 
of this island, became in the end, its most destructive 
invaders : they grew more particularly formidable as such, 
a short time prior to the accession of Alfred, in the begin- 
ning of whose reign they again landed, from a fleet of 
one hundred ships, and laid siege to Exeter, which city was 
at that time relieved by him in person. About the same 
period, Hubba, a chieftain, who spread devastation and 
slaughter in his course, entered the mouth of the River Taw 
in this county ; and it affords an instance of the terror these 
buccaneers of the olden day inspired, that he was said to 
carry an enchanted banner: the marauder w^as, however, 
encountered and slain by Odune, earl of Devonshire, and his 
famous standard — called Reafan, taken, — which bore the 
figure of a raven, wrougTit on it, with magical incantations 
by Hubba's three sisters. f The cool yet determined, policy 
of Alfred, enabled him to check, even when he had not 
force enough to oppose, the invaders; he taught them to 
respect the power of the English name then in its infancy ; 
and left to his successors a hard task — to stem the ever- 
swelling torrent. 

*Carew states that Athelstane imposed on Howell, King of the Cornish, 
a yearly tribute of £20 in gold, ^"300 in silver ; 25 oxen, and hunting 
hounds and hawks at discretion; but it may be doubted whether such 
person as Howell ever existed. 

tStow calls them the daughters of Lodbrok, 

" 'Tis the woof of \'ictoiy." — Grey's Fatal Sisters. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAAIPTOX. I I 

Athelstane's victory over the Danmonii had been pre- 
ceded b}' one in Northumbria,* where a tribe of this wild 
people had thrown off the allegiance they had been forced 
to acknowledge. But the swarm was dispersed only, not 
destroyed. In the 19th Ethelred, A.D. 997, the then 
important post of Lydford,f Tavistock, with its richly 
endowed Abbey, and Weeced-port — now Bideford — became 
the site of their ravages : at this last place the Danes were 
again defeated, but victory was purchased by the life of the 
earlderman Goda. Roger of Hovedon mentions a battle, 
attended with fearful slaughter, which took place at Pinhoe, 
near E.xeter ; and Sir Richard Baker, in his chronicle, gives 
a long list of enormities committed at this last place, two 
years later, when, after an obstinate defence, only terminated by 
treachery, it was sacked on the 27th of August, A.D. 1003. 
The establishment of the Danish monarchy brought a 
release from these evils, though the happy effect was in no 
small degree promoted by another cause, the invaders 
conversion to Christianity,^ the sacred influence of the 
gospel insensibly softening their rugged and unsocial 
passions : still their reign was too brief to effect much ; 
within half a century the Normans took possession of this 

realm, 

*The story of Anlaf, the minstrel here, is but anotlier edition of 
Alfred's similar exploit ; and both perhaps the mere invention of the 
gleenien. 

■ tin the reifjn of Edward the Confessor, this was a free burg;, and 
contained within the walls, as appears by the charter, one hundred and 
forty burgesses. 

J" The work — begun A.D. 596, by the preaching of St. Augustine, a 
Benedictine friar, and forty monks of that fraternity — was accomjilishcd 
without violence or compulsion ; the sword of the sjiirit was found 
sufficient for the holy purpose, and the ruins of our Saxon idolatry were 
not stained l)y the blood of one martyr." — Waddington's History of the 
Church. 



SECTION II. 

" Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player 
Who frets and struts his hour upon the stage 
And then is nothing." — Shakspere. 

Synopsis of the barony of Okehampton, and its descent, 
as given by Sir William Pole, from the records in the Tower, 
Exchequer, &c. 

I. — Line of the Shrievalty. 
Domesday. — Baldwyn, the Sheriff of Devon. 
Henry I. — Richard de Brionys, son of Baldwyn Sheriff. 
Stephen. — Adela, Lady of Okehampton, Vicecometissa, 

died 1 142. 
Ranulph Avenel,'^' baron. 
Robert Fitzroy, baron. 
Richard L — Hawvis de Aincourt widow of William 

Courtenay, baroness and Sheriff. 
Henry HL — Robert Courtenay, baron, 

John Courtenay, Knight, baron. 
William Courtenay of Musbiry Knight, his 
brother. 

Edward L — Hugh Courtenay, Knight, baron, died 20 Ed. L 

n. — Elder Line of Courtenay. 
Edward HL — Hugh Courtenay, baron and Earl, died 14 

Ed. HL 
Hugh Courtenay, baron and earl, died 51 

Ed. HL 
Hugh Lord Courtenay. ^ ^^^^ before 

Hugh son of the above. > 

Sir Edward, the earl's 2nd son. ) ^he carl. 
*Avenel of Shepewas ; Arms — three spred eglets. — Pole. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. I3 

Richard II. — Edward Counenay (the blind earl) son of 

Sir Edward, died 7 Henry V. 
Edward Lord Courtenay, Knight of the Bath. 
Henry V. — Hugh Courtenay (blind earl's 2nd son) baron 

and earl, died 10 Henry V. 
Plcnry VI. — Thomas Courtenay, baron and earl, died 

A.D. 1+58. 
Edward IV. — Thomas Courtenay, baron and earl, beheaded 

I. Edward IV. 
Henry Courtenay, baron and earl, beheaded. 

8. Edward IV. 

John Courtenay, baron and earl slain at 

Tewkesbury 10. Ed. IV. 
Charles I. — Lord John ]\Iohun, baron of Okehampton. 

Humfry Stafford, of Southwike,* created earl 

of Devonshire, and lord of Okehampton, 

9. Edward IV, and beheaded the same 
year. 

III. — Second Line of Courtenay. 

Henry VII.- — Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon, lord of 

Okehampton and Plimpton died i 

Henry 8th. 
Henry VIII. — William Courtenay, earl and baron, died 3 

Henry VIII. 
Henry Courtenay, earl and INIarquis of Exeter, 

beheaded A.D. 1538. 
]\Iary. — Edward Courtenay, restored as earl of Devon, 

lord of Okehampton and Plimpton, 

died 4. Oct. 1556. 

*Arms. — Or, a chevron gules, Tuithin a border engrailed, sable. 




SECTION III. 

" Remember the glories of Brian the brave." — Moore. 
The Barons of Okehampton. 




/.^ 



1 L G R I M of beauty, whoever thou art, that 
seekest to amuse and, may we hope, inform 
thy wanderings over this picturesque old town 
and its environs, stand with us for a few 
moments at one entrance of it, in the angle 
formed by the south abutment of the eastern 
bridge. How closely in keeping with its 
ancient structure is everything that one sees there ; or, to 
write more correctly, how time appears to have blended 
the works of man into harmony with nature! The broad 
ivy-grown wall toppling over a stream that brawls along its 
pebbly margin beneath ; the antique lattices that peep out 
from attics where slept the menials of some wealthy burgess 
of the olden day, and whence too his good old dame's 
waiting woman might have been wont to cast sly glances at 
the passengers on the bridge ; the umbrageous trees that 
screen the liver where it gushes on you as fresh from its 
fountain rock ; the pendulous old sign that creaks welcome 



HISTORY OF OK.EHAMPTON. 15 

to man and horse over the wide archway of the hostel on 
)-our left ; the suburban farm-yard, with its tenant donkey 
gazing wistfully through a wicket that opens towards the 
grateful stream ; the little chantry-tower, with its bell, and 
time embrowned pinnacles peering over the chimney-tops 
that cluster thick about it : — gentle wanderer, if thou hast 
not an eye to detect, and withal, a heart to feel, the 
romantic beauties of the spot, our researches can avail thee 
nothing ; but, if otherwise, thou mayst go on to read and 
learn as follows : — 

Okehampton, spelt in Domesday book Ockmenton, or 
the town on the Ock,* was, as we gather from this circum- 
stance, in existence prior to the Norman conquest : it is 
mentioned in that survey as having a castle, four burgesses, 
and a market. Indeed the term included in its name, — 
" hampton," which signifies a town with inhabitants, as 
a Saxon word seems to establish its claim to antiquity. 
However this may be, we find that, soon after the battle of 
Hastings, this place was conferred on one of the many 
noble adventurers who followed the Norman standard ; this 
wasf Baldwin De Brionys, surnamed De Molis, and De Sap, 
the second son of Gilbert Crispin,]: who was descended 
with the bend sinister, from Richard Duke of Normandy, and 
consequently, in no remote degree allied to the Conqueror 
himself. Baldwin was placed in command of the fortress 

*Ock, from Osc, (water) but more probably from A7vch, signifying 
vigour, liveliness. — MSS published in Chappie's General Description. 

t" P.al(lwinus vicecomes tenet dc Domino rege Ockmentum, et ibi 
sedet castcllum, et habet ibi burgenses (juatuor, el mercatum." 

^Crispin's father was Godfrey, count of Ewe, natural son of Richard, 
the Conqueror's grandfather. 



1 6 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOK. 

(Rougemont) erected at Exeter by William, after he had 
recovered that city from Githa ; and it is usual to attribute 
to him the building of Okehampton Castle. 

De Brionys was then invested with the honour and castle 
of Okehampton ; he also held the shrievalty of the county ;* 
an office made hereditary in his family, the barony, and its 
dependencies, being held in fief, immediate under the 
crown by them, on the tenure of ninety-two knights' service. 
This feudal lord was succeeded by his son, Richard 
Fitzbaldwin,f who dying without issue (2 Stephen), the 
barony and lands fell to his sister Adeliza, and, on her 
demise,^ to INIawd or Matilda, daughter of Robert 
Avranches, son of De Briony's youngest child, the lady 
Emma, by a second marriage. § 

Mawd's first husband was the lord of Aincourt ; and after 
his death she became wife to Robert Fitz Ede, natural son of 
Henry I. : two daughters were the issue of these marriages, 
the eldest, Hawise D'Aincourt, who seems to have held the 

*Hooker says that this office was liist conferred on his son: — " In this 
bishop's time (Leofiicus), Richard, a nobleman of Xormandy, the son of 
Baldwin De Brionys, and Albreda, niece to the Conqueror, was made 
baron of Okehampton, warder of the castle of Exeter, and Viscomit of 
Devon." — Catalogue of the Bishops of Exeter. 

tHe gave Floier-hayes to be holden under him and his heirs, by half a 
knight's fee ; and whenever the high lord should breakfast or eat in Exe 
island, the tenant, seemly clad, and with a napkin on his shoulder, should 
offer him drink of ^\^ne out of a silver goblet. Arms of Floir of Floir- 
hayes ; sable, a che-vron between three arivivs, argent, and sable, three 
arrows within a border, engrailed, argent. 

|She died August 24th 1142, and was buried in the chapel of Ford. 
Adeliza had appointed Ralph or Randolph Avemiel, her sister's eldest 
son, heir to the barony, but it was found, at an assize, that Richard had 
made the knights and tenants swear fealty to Maud's father, then dead. 

§This is the descent Sir W. Pole gives ; it differs from that in the 
register of Ford Abbey, which he expressly affirms to be false. 



Ml.sTokv ol'- okkHAMi'JoN. 17 

manly office of Viscount or Sheriff, and Matilda Fitz Ede ; 
they were assigned as wards to, and after bestowed in 
marriage by Ilrnry Plantagenet, on Reginald Courtenay, a 
Norman kniglit, who came over in the train of Queen 
Eleanor;* and his brother William. The elder, Rainaud or 
Reginald, f to whom Hawise brought the barony of Oke- 
hampton,:]: was Lord of Courtenay and Montargis, and had 
served in the Crusades ; he was a widower, and had given 
his daughter, Elizabeth, with an ample dowry, to Peter, the 
son of Louis le Gros, before his arrival in England : an 
evidence of his power, if not his virtue, is preserved in the 
complaint of a count of Campaigne to the French Regent, 
that he had stripped and imprisoned several merchants, after 
they had satisfied the King's duties. He had been of 
service to Henry, in procuring him his divorced queen, and 
what might have been thought of more value, his rich dowry 
of Aquitaine.§ 

On the death of Reginald Courtena}-, his son and successor 
Robert obtained his hereditary rights in the entire lordships 

*The roll of Battle Abbey mentions that the Courtenays came into 
England at the Conquest, but this does not appear from other authorities, 
and Fuller observes that the roll has been interpolated. 

tReginald's descent from the royal line of t^rance, invented by the 
monks of Ford, publisiied by Hooker, and entertained by Camden and 
Dugdale, is repugnant to time and truth : according to the clearer testi- 
mony of M. Bouchet, he was the son of Milo, the son of Joscelin, the son 
of Athon whose father was a castellan in (iatinois. 

JCleaveland lias given reasons for difTering from Sir W. Pole's Genealogy 
and Rennet's Parochial Antiquities, — where Hawise is mentioned as the 
widow of William, so?i of Reginald. 

^Everything in the power of the crown — and that j)owci was not 
light— in those days became venal : in the 11. John, Alicia de Komclie, 
\\idow f)f Robert Courtenay, sherifT of Cund)crlaiKl, |iaitl a fine of /.500, 
ten palfreys, and ten oxen, to have a reasonable dower assigTied her out of 
his lands and those of a former husband ; also that she might not be 
compelled to marry again. 

B 



1 8 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

of Okehampton, together with the Castle of Exeter and 
the charge of the whole county ; not however, until he had 
redeemed them out of the King's hands by homage, and a 
fine of twelve hundred marks. Presently after, Robert 
agreed to serve the crown for one whole year commencing 
from the octaves of St. John the Baptist, with twenty men 
at arms, some of whom were arquebusiers, — the whole to 
be maintained at his own charge. Henry III. on his acces- 
sion,* took into his own hand the Castle of Exeter 
and several others, when the lords Courtenay lost the 
title of Viscount or Sheriff, as well as the office, in which 
they could never get reinstated. Robert, who died at his 
manor house of Iwerne in the county of Dorset, July 26, 
A.D. 1242, 26 Henry HI., and was buried in the chancel of 
the church there — married into the family of Rivers, f or 
Redvers, or De Ripariis, Earls of Devon ; and on that line 
becoming extinct, J (20 Edward I.), his descendant succeeded 
to the title. 

Robert De Courtenay, (4. Henry HI.) gave the King a 
palfrey to hold a fair yearly in his manor of Okehampton, on 
the vigil and feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle. § 

*The leiger book of Okehampton states that the shrievalty continued 
with the barony, until the time of John de Courtenay (to the 16 Henry 
III., according to Chappie's MS.) ; but Sir \V. Pole gives a list, begin- 
ning with Henry's accession. 

t" Brooke, Yorke Herald, and others, write that one Sir Peter Prous, 
lord of Gidleigh, should marry Mary, the widowe of Sir Robert Courtenay, 
and daughter of William de Vernon, erle of Devon by Mabil — which I can 
hardly admyte without better proofe than theire alligacion." — Sir W. 
Pole's Collectiotis. 

JBy the death of Isabella de Fortibus, countess of Albemarle. 

$This seems to be the origin of what is called " the great market " held 
on the Saturday before Christmas day. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. tg 

John De Courtenay, who inherited his father's fief and 
honour, but never received the King's writ of summons to 
parliament ;* on doing homage, had livery of his lands 
granted him ; he copied his ancestors in their attachment to 
the monks of Ford, to which house, however, he was the last 
benefactor of his family — a matter perhaps the more excus- 
able as he proved the last who benefitted by their prayers : 
the next baron could disregard his father's confidence in 
those prayers, and the preservation, in a storm at sea,f which 
rewarded it, and what was still worse in the sight of those 
holy men, wronged their interests, and braved their malison. 
John, Lord Courtenay deceased 3rd May, 1273, and was 
buried at Ford ; he left to the abbey his body, his armour, 
the hearse that should convey him to the grave, with all its 
furniture, and a legacy of £^0 sterling : he married Isabel 
De Vere, daughter of the Earl of Oxford. 

The sum of one hundred pounds, paid for relief of his 
patrimony, (4 Edward I.,) by Lord Hugh Courtenay, then in 
his twenty-sixth year, was exacted, we are told, on account 
of his revenue being equal to an earldom. It affords a 
curious comment on the times, to find the possessor of such 
a fief enforcing against the spiritual protegees of his house 
claims for the supply of "one waggon and horse and two 
chargers, or the same number of palfreys, at his option to 

*The constitution of the upper house of parliament, especially as to the 
distinction, which originated temp. Ed. I., between barons by tenure and 
those by writ, rests in much obscurity to the present hour ; chronicle, 
record, and journal have been searched on this difficult question, without 
elucidating it. 

tSee Cleveland's extract from the register : the shipmaster's irreligion 
was, we may hope, like that of his compeer in the story of " Chaubert the 
Misanthrope." — British Essayists, 32, 15. 



lO HISTORY OF GKEkAMtTOJJ. 

be kept for him in the time of war ; also that the monks 
should take charge of a bitch-hound with her whelps to 
rear until twelve months old."* The holv men invoked the 
l^Iessed Virgin to shield them from such oppression ; they 
took a step of greater risk in leaving the service and its 
arrears, unpaid: on St. Lawrence's day 1288, Lord Hugh 
sent a train of his dependents, who drove away all their 
cattle in the grange at Westford, together with the beeves 
then at plough, to the part of Dartmoor near his castle. f 
I'his baron died 28th February, 1291, and was interred at 
Cowicke, where, almost thirty years later, the remains of his 
wife Eleanor Dispenser, were deposited near him. 

*Genealogical history of the Courtenays. 

fLord Hugh seems to have held, as two centuries later thought young 
Pierre du Tenail, (better known as the Chevalier Bayard) — that this wab <x 
wholesome proverb — ce qu\m derobe dcs iiioiiu's est pain heiioit. 



SECTION IV. 



Glor\' is like a circle in the water, 

Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself 

Till by broael spreading it disperse to nought. — Shakspe?-e. 

COURTENAY, PEARLS OF DeVOX, 
ELDER BRANCH. 



UGH Courtenay was sixteen years old when he 
came to the barony by his father's decease : (34. 
Edward I.) he was among those who received the 
honour of knighthood, with the King's eldest 
son, at the high altar in Westminster.'^' In 1307, the 
baron claimed to be steward at the enthronement of 
Stapledon, bishop of Exeter, as holding one knight's 
fee under the bishopric by that service ; and it appears by a 
composition then entered into, that his perquisites were all 
the silver dishesf of the first service, used at table. About 
this period he received a summons to parliament, held at 
Carlisle, by a writ from the crown. This lord had in 1292, 

•Barn's History of Edward III. In this earl's first smnmons to parlia- 
ment he api)ears as the last of his rank : next year he occupies the fourth 
place in ])nority, between Aiiuidel and Bohun. 

tizaacke gives the inventor)', viz., four dishes, two salt-cellars, one cup, 
one wine-pot, one spoon, and two basins. 




2 2 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

inherited the lands of the earldom, without assuming its 
honours, which gave Stapledon the lord treasurer, whose 
pique might have been excited, as well at the enthronement, 
as also by a squabble between their respective purveyors,* a 
pretence for keeping back certain county dues, his right : 
Courtenay's appeal seems to have been answered by orders 
of the King, who then lay at Newcastle, to the Sheriff 
directing that he be compelled to take the title. Earl 
Hugh, married Agnes, daughter of John, Lord St. John of 
Basinge : (ob. Sept. 1340,) and was buried at Cowicke, 14 
Edward III., leaving behind him the character of a "tough 
old soldier." 

Hugh Courtenay, third baron of Okehampton, who bore 
that name, was thirty seven years of age when he succeeded 
his father, as baron and Earl of Devon, having been born 
1 2th July 1303. Just prior to the last earl's decease. Lord 
Hugh had distinguished himself in repelling a body of 
French, who had landed, and threatened to burn the town 
of Plymouth, but were attacked and driven to sea with the 
loss of 500 men. We find him (16 Edward HL,) serving in the 
King's wars in France, with a retinue, consisting of no less 
than one banneret, twelve knights, thirty-six squires, and 
sixty archers. This lord, who had a very numerous issue by 
his Countess, Margaret de Bohun, died at Tiverton, and was 
buried in St. Peter's, Exeter, where the tombs and effigies 

*There were but three pots of fish in Exeter market ; which the Bishop's 
caterer and Sir Hugh's both insisted on purchasing ; the mayor claimed 
one basket for the citizens — it was probably a fast day — and was so soundly 
rated by Sir Hugh, on account of it, that his worship threw oiT the 
Courtenay's livery which he then wore, and it was ordered by the Council 
that no freeman should wear livery or badge for the future. Hooker, 2 Rich. 
II., the practice was forbidden by act of parliament. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON, 23 

of Earl Hugh, and the Lady Margaret,* as well as of Sir 
Philip Courtenayf their son, are to be seen to this day. The 
two next in succession, Sir Hugh Courtenay,:]: commonly 
called le Fitz, and Hugh his son, died before the Earl : 
Fitz-Courtenay is mentioned by Froissart, as having distin- 
guished himself under the Black Prince§ in Spain, where he, 
and two brothers received the honour of knighthood ; he 
received summons to Parliament (44 Edward HI.,) and died 
four days after, in his forty-eighth year. By Elizabeth de 
Brian, he had the son mentioned above, who married Joan 
Holland,|| half-sister to Richard H., and died presently after 
his father. 

*Cleaveland gives a story — without vouching for its truth — of the 
Countess Margaret acting tlie part of Pharaoh's daughter to several children, 
whom poverty was about to consign to the bulrushes, near Chumleigh. 
Her testament, bearing date 28 Jan. 1390, orders that "there should be 
no other hearse for her than plain bars to keep off the press of the people, 
and only two tapers of five pounds each, one at the head and the other at 
the feet, without torches or any other lights:" — among other bequests the 
Countess directs the disposal of a book called Arthur of Britain, her 
swans at Topsham, the furniture of her chapel, a ring with a diamond, 
and her bed of red and green, per pale. The deed is in French, the custom- 
arj' language of legal documents at that period. 

fThis is the Sir Piers Courtenay mentioned in the notes to Scott's 
Marmion : — 

"5 bear a falcon fairest of flight." 

Jit is thought that the Courtenay, instituted as a Knight of the Garter, 
at the institution of the order, 23 Ed. III., was this Sir Hugh and not the 
Eari. 

§This Prince seems to have been so called, not from his wearing black 
armour, as is generally supposed, but from a surcoat with a shield, and 
his horse in a caparison, all black, with white feathers on them, in which 
he appeared at tournaments. — Mayrick, On Ancient Armour. 

II She was again married to the Earl of St. Pawle, a French noble, who 
had been taken prisoner in the marches of Calais : — Froissart calls her 
the fairest lady in England. — Polwhcle. 



24 rilST6RY OF OKEHAMPTOK. 

Edward, son of Sir Edward Courtenay,* and grandson of 
the last earl, made proof of his full age, and on doing 
homage had livery of his lands (2 Richard II.) In 1380 this 
lord, who, on two occasions previous had distinguished 
himself in the King's navy, covenanted to serve in France, f 
with eighty men at arms, and the same number of archers ; 
the earl with five knights, and sixty-four squires to compose 
part of the body. No long time elapsed, before Edward's 
personal courage was shewn in the following manner: a French 
squire named R< ihert was posted at Folant, a strongly fortified 
house belonging to him, where he had succeeded in repelling 
several assaults ; the earl, finding his men waver, sprung on 
the dyke with the Courtenay banner in his hand, and 
upbraided them with being stayed by " such a pitiful dove- 
cote." The house was carried immediately. Next year he 
crossed the channel with five hundred spears, and as many 
archers in his train, and had the honour to escort over 
Richard's queen. But the sea appears to have been this 
earl's favourite element, as it was also the field of his fame 
and profit ; we find him (8 Richard II.,) with a peer of the 
same rank, maintaining a fleet of hired ships, in con- 
sideration of which they were to collect a stipulated tax from 



*He married the heiress of Dauney or Dannyes, of Sheviock. Carew, 
in his Survey, says, "There runneth a tale among the parishioners, how 
one of their ancestors undertook to build the church, and his wife the barn 
adjoining ; and that, on finishing the work the barn was found to cost 
three half-pence more than the church, and so it might well fall out, for it 
is a great barn and a little church." 



fOn this occasion an assessment was levied of one-thirtieth on the 
moveables of all the King's subjects. 



kiSTORY OF OKliHAMPTON. 2 5 

the merchants.''''' Nineteen thousand tuns of wine taken, 
together with other commodities in a hundred sail of i3^7- 
French and other vessels at Rochelle, evidenced the earl's 
courage and activity ; their liberality was shewn in selling 
the prize-goods in England, at a lower pricef than was 
offered abroad, and their disinterestedness in foregoing their 
own proceeds from the capture. 

Courtenay's knowledge of sea affairs may have caused his 
appointment to preside at a trial of wreckersj at Plymouth ; 
he sate another time, pro hac vice, as high steward on a case of 1 399 
conspiracy against the King's life ; and in evidence given by 
him (10 Richard II.,) "on the loyalty of his chivalry," we 
have an early instance of a peer's exemption from being put 
on his oath : Lord Edward, the affliction of whose later 
years has made him known as the blind earl, left the 
following moral of his long career, which terminated 5th 141 9. 
November, 7 Henry V.§ 

1f30c boc wbo lvc5 bcrc 

Ci5 3- tbc Ot<:iQiX>c eric ot Dcvonsbecrc 

"Wllitb Ikatc mv> wvfcll to mcc full C)crc 

lUcc l^vcD toficatbcr VoXVo. t'sve gcare 

Cbat wee spent wee baD 

ITbat wee left wee lost 

Cbat wee gave wee bave.ir 

*Two shillings per tun on wine, and sixpence per pound on merchandize : 
Rowe gives this as the first instance of tonnage and poundage. 

tA tun of ordinary wine was sold at this time for a mark, and the rest 
made but twenty shillings. — Cleaveland. 

JHe was once engaged at Topsham in trying some rioters, who had put 
the lord primate's messenger in bodily fear, and compelled him to eat the 
■wax uf the Archbishop'' s seal. 

§It appears by this Earl's will, which bears date at Tiverton, June 29, 
1419, that he directed his body to be buried at Ford Abbey. 

II Edward, the blind Earl, married Matilda, daughter of the Lord 
Camoys.— Pole. 

UThe inscription was on tlieir tomb in Tiverton churchyard, but had been 
effaced in Risdon's time : Tdbbon gives Mabel as the lady's name ; she 
was Countess to William <le Vernon, to whom Westcote ascribes the 
epitaph. 



2fi HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Hugh, second son of the last earl, succeeded him in his 
honours ; he married the Lady Anne Talbot,"^ and died 

1422. three years after his father, 16 Henry V. 

His elder brother, Sir Edward Courtenay, made a knight 

1399. of the Bath at the coronation of Henry IV, deceased a 
year before the blind earl. Sir Edward's first adventure 
seems to have been a pilgrimage to St. Jago de Compostella, 
with forty followers, in a ship called the Mary of 
Kingswear: he returned in time to be present, at the 

1415. battle of Agincourt, and subsequently engaged himself to 
serve forty days abroad, with five knights, one hundred and 
eighty-four men at arms, and four hundred archers. At 
Harfleur he was engaged with the French navy, assisted by 
a squadron of Genoese gallies and carracks, and made three 
of these last his prizes. 

Thomas Courtenay, the next earl, was eight years old at 
his father's decease ; on attaining his majority,! he married 
Margaret Beaufort, daughter of the earl of Somerset, and 
had by her, three sons and five daughters. Heavily as the 
Wars of the Roses fell on our English nobles, none felt their 
rigour more severely, or braved it more courageously in the 
Lancastrian^ cause than the earls of Devon ; three brothers 
in the house of Courtenay successively perished in the 

H53' field, or on the scafi"old. At a trial before Buckingham, the 

high steward (32 Henry VI,) this earl was acquitted by his 
♦She afterwards obtained the King's leave to marry John Botreaux, esq., 

and died i6th January, 19 Henrj' VI., 1440. The arms of Talbot are 

gules, a lyon rampant, with a border engrailed, or — Cleaveland. 

Tit was not till after a strenuous dispute, that this Earl yielded to the 

fief of Arundel the first place in the parliament of England. — GibhonU 

Digression. 

JHume, on the authority of Rennet's complete history, states, that they 

were at one time in the York interest, but Cleaveland shews this to be 

incorrect. 



HISTORY OP OKEHAMPTON. 27 

peers from the charge of treason* brought against him by 
the Duke of York, then Lord Protector, on which occasion 
the defendant obeyed precedents, and the laws of chivalry, 
by challenging his accuser to single combat. f After the 
defeat of his party at St. Alban's, Lord Courtenay retired to 1455. 
his castle in the West, but three years later we find him in 
the queen's train at Abingdon, where he died 5th February, 
36 Henry VL 

The brief annals of the line of Courtenay, under the next 
three who inherited and lost its dangerous honours, are 
written in blood. Thomas, Lord Courtenay, who was 
twenty-six years old, when his father deceased, imitated him 
in his attachment to the cause of Henry ; after a distracted 
period of three years only, was taken prisoner at Towton 
and beheaded by martial law, (i Edward IV.,) his head was 
fixed on a pole erected over one of the gates of YorK.:}: 
Five years after. Lord Henry the second brother, was 
attainted of treason before the King's justices at Sarum, ., 
March 4th, (6 Edward IV,) and beheaded the same day. 
John Courtenay, the youngest, remained proof against the 
solicitations of the York interest, and was slain fighting on 
the opposite side, on the field of Tewkesbury, I\Iay 4th, 1471. 
(1 1 Edward IV.,) and with him ended the first branch of the 

Courtenays of England. § 

*Cotton'.s Records of the Tower. 

tWe find by the rolls of parliament, that many riots and murders took 
place in Devon, 32 Henry VI.; they are said to have j^rown out of a 
quarrel between the Earl and Lord Bonville of Shute, about a brace of 
dof^'s : these nobles fouf,'ht sinj^le handed on the occasion at Clyst-heath, 
but with what event authorities differ; Lord Bonville was beheaded at 
St. Albans, ult. Henry V. Arms of Bonville — Sable, six tnolets perted 
argent, 3, 2 and I. — Pole. 

:fHume, chap. 22. 

jpolwhelc's History of Devon, vol. 2. 



SECTION V. . 




" Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade ; 

A breath can make them, as a breath hath made." — Goldsmith. 

Interval of the Forfeitures. 



N the attainder of the Earl of Devonshire and 
other lords,* which took place after Edward's 
victory at Towton, mentioned above, the 
Courtenay possessions, and among the rest 
their barony and lands of Okehampton es- 
cheated to the crown; the greater pait of 
these were conferred! with the earldom, on 
Humphrey, Lord Stafford, of Southwicke in Hampshire. 
But having joined the Earl of Pembroke at Banbury with 
five thousand archers, Stafford quarrelled with him about 
quarters, withdrew the reinforcement, and left Pembroke to 
defeat and death ; for which he was brought to the block 
three months after (g Edward IV.,) at Bridgewater. On this 
the King granted the stewardship:]: of the barony, and 
other lands of the earldom, together with the manor, 

*These attainders were all repeated on Edward's flij^ht, and tlie 
temporaiy triumph of the Lancastrians in 1470. 

t A.D. 1469 (Salmon's Chronology) 9 Edw. IV. 

:}:It may have been at this period that William of Worcester's visit 
occurred, he mentioning the castle of Okynhamptou ^.s a royal fortress. 



^is'Tokv OF OKFHAMl'rOK. 20 

borough, and castle of Lydford,* and the custody of his 
forest of Dartmoorf on Sir John Dynliam,:]: who 37 Ilcni} ,_|^^^ 
\I., Iiad done him good service in capturing the King's fleet 
at Sandwich. Other portions of the Courtenay property 
were placed in hands from which after no long time, they 
reverted to the crown, § to become again a grant and 
forfeiture in the same family ; such, in its best estate, is this 
world "and all that it inherit." 

*Bio\\ne, a scholar and poet, born at Tavistock, 1590, has given a 
facetious description of Lydford in his day : — 

" They have a castle on a hill, 
I took it for an old wind-mill ; 
Ten men less room M'ithin this cave 
Than five mice in a lantern have, 

Or fish in Peter s coble — 

One lies there for a scam of malt. 
Another for a peck of salt. 

Two sureties for a noble : 

I know none gladly there would stay. 
But rather hang* out of the wav. 
The prince a hundred pound hath sent 
To mend the leads and planchens wrent ; 
Some forty-five beyond had paid 
The debts of all who there are laid. 

•Alluding to Lydford law. 

fin this forest are three remarkable thmgs ; the first is a high rock 
called Crocken-tor, where the parliament for stannary- causes is kept, 
where is a table and seats of moor-stone hewn out of the rocks ; the 
second is Childe of Plymstock his tomb, w hich is to be seen in the moor 
where he was frozen to death ; the third is some acres of wood and trees, 
that are of a fathom about, and yet no taller than a man may touch to top 
'with his hand. — Risdon. 

JThe original name was Dynant : Oliver de D}Tiant, their Breton 
ancestor, was Lord of Hartland, teinp. William I. 

v^ After the death of Earl John, a grant was made (14 Edward IV'.) to 
Cieorge Duke of Clarence, whose fate is well known, of the manors of 
Sampford and Iwcrnc Courtenay, with other lands appertaining to the 
earldom. — Polwhele. 




SECTION VI. 

" Out upon time, who for ever will leave 

But enough of the past for the future to grieve." — Byron. 

COURTENAY, EaRLS OF DeVON, 



SECOND LINE. 



^ 

&. 




|18^±, 



N E of three peers, created just before the 
coronation of Henry VII., was Sir Edward 
» Courtenay* of Haccombe, in whom were 
renewed the honours of this noble house : 
by letters patent,f bearing date 26th 
October, i Henry VII, he became rein- 
stated in the whole of its ample possessions. 
This lord, who married Elizabeth Courtenay, 
of Molland, served under the King in 
person, on his expedition to France, and (14 Henry VII.) 
seven years afterwards, was sue cessful in raising the siege of 

*He was grandson of Sir Hugh, brother of the blind earl, by his third 
and last wife Maud Beaumont of Sherwell. — From a Genealogy of the 
Carew family, in the notes to PolwheW s History. 

tThus the earl, as may be read in Dugdale, was invested in one sentence 
"with the advowson of the chantry of Sticklepath, with free fishing in the 
river Exe, and three mills on Exe Island." 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 3 1 

Exeter,* then beset by the rebels under Perkin Warbeck.f 
not however, until he had been severely wounded : the earlj 
was assisted on this occasion by his eldest son and successor, 
Sir William Courtenay. This nobleman married the lady 
Katherine, youngest daughter of Edward IV., a connection 
that proved in an extreme degree unfortunate to himself and 
family : becoming implicated in a plot imputed to Edmund 
de la PoIe,§ Earl of Suffolk, and his wife's cousin, || the line 
of Courtenay suffered another attainder ; Lord William's 
life was spared, but he was not liberated from the tower, the 
place of his imprisonment, until the next King's accession. 
This earl died at Greenwich, 9th of June, 3 Henry VIII., of 'SOQ- 
pleurisy, a disease at that time not understood by the physicians, 
and was buried^ by a bishop, on the south side of the high 

*Wlien Exeter was held in 1470 on behalf of Henry by the lords 
Dynham and Fitzwalter, and the Duchess of Clarence, the city was 
besieged by Sir WilHam Courtenay, of Powderham, and not the Earl of 
Devon, as Isaacke, Camden, and others mention ; Sir William, who had 
married Lord Bonville's daughter, was like him a zealous Yorkist. 

tThe circumstances attendant on this adventurer's birth, and the reality 
of his pretensions continue among the problems of state, without any 
solution to the present day. — Drew's Cornwall; or read Walpole's 
Historic Doubts. 

jEdward Courtenay, Earl of Devon, died i Henry VIII. " By his 
will," says Sir Peter Ball," made 27th of May in that year, he directed 
that his son should enjoy the entailed estate, " under condition that he 
obtained the King's grace and pardon," and should be at liberty ; 
and after that, as long as he kept due allegiance to the King as his heirs :" 
he desired to be buried in the chapel of Tiverton. — Cleaveland. 

§The first of note in his family, was Michael de la Poll, an eminent 
merchant of Hull, created baronet by Edward III, to whom he had lent 
vast sums of money for the French expeditions. 

II Raise, in his parochial history of Cornwall, asserts, that the covert 
design of Flammoc's insurrection, 12 Henry VII, was to depose the 
king and set \i\) this nobleman in his stead as true heir male of the house 
of York. 

HThe King made an express order in council for his being interred in 
the quality of an earl— Lord William not being fully invested with that 
tank at his death. Pennant says he was buried in the church of the 
Black Friars, London. 



^i HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOK. 

altar in St. Paul's ; his virtues won him the esteem of his 
friends, and the respect of his enemies.* The Countess 
Katherine survived him about sixteen )'ears, and departed 

1527. this life at Tiverton, 15th November, 19 Henry Vlll.f 
Historians have remarked, that the highest ranks at this 
period, were but the most exposed to the reverses of fortune :]: 
in Henry VHI.'s time, royal favour served only as a prelude to 
disgrace. The King's cousin-german, Henry, son of the 
last earl, was created Marquis of Exeter,§ and at the inter- 
view between the monarchs of France and England where 

^ ■ the nobility of both nations vied with each other at such 
profuse expense that the place of their interview, in the vale 
of Arden, became known as the "Field of the Cloth of Gold," 
broke a lance against Francis, when the two Kings had 
challenged all comers that were gentlemen, at tilt, tourna- 
ment|| and barriers. On an order from court he was engaged 
in levying troops to suppress the rebellion in 1536, excited 
by the priests to whom the King's church reform, was 
naturally distasteful, and who persuaded the fanatics in the 

*This earl appeared as one of les chevaliers de la foret Salvigne at the 
May-games of the court (2 Henry VIII.) — on a similar occasion five years 
later that notable hero, Robin Hood, with two hundred archers, all in 
Kendal green, amused the royal train by shooting before them with 
whistling arrows. — Seymour's Suii'ey of London. 

timmediately on the earl's death his widow executed a deed of inquisi- 
tion, yet existing, to ascertain what wns due from the tenantry as aid 
purjile marier, stating that by God's grace she intended to procure her 
daughter, then thirteen years old, a good match ; but the little lady 
^Margaret was choked with a fish-bone, at Colcombe castle in this country, 
so the tenants saved their money. — Cleaveland. 

JPhihp de Comines says that he saw two dukes in a condition no better 
than that of common beggars. 

^Salmon's Chronological History gives 1525 as the date of this. 

IJMeliadus, a writer of the old romance, gives with considerable naivete 
the reason of our fair ancestors' attendance in such numbers at tourney : — ■ 
" les dames et demoiselles qu'on y amenoit, y faisoit on plus venir pour 
les marier que pour nulle autre chose." 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 33 

north to enlist under what they termed a pilgrimage of grace. 
Two years after the Marquis Ml into disgrace with a court 
where disgrace was deaili : his accusation* lay in having held 
correspondence with Reginald de la Pole,! ^ cardinal of the 
Holv Church, who had been sent legate into Flanders, and 
was known to be intriguing against Henry. For the offence 
thus imputed to him he was attainted and beheaded,! 9th 
lanuary, (31 Henry VHI.) In the same year the lady 
Gertrude, his second wife, was included in an attainder 
passed by parliament against de la Pole's mother, the 
Countess of Salisbury, and others ; she was pardoned how- 
ever, and survived the King.§ 

When Mary first arrived in the Tower after her accession, 
Edward Courtney, son of the Marquis of Exeter, who, 
without being charged with any crime, had been detained 
prisoner, ever since his father's attainder, was restored to 
liberty, and immediately admitted to her confidence and 
favour : he soon after received the title of Earl of 

*Hume and Gibbon differ on the justice of the cliarge. Cleavehind lias 
given the statements of contemporaiy writers — lord Herbert, Sanford, 
HoHngshed, Hehton, and Burnet, which do not much preponderate 
either way. 

tHe became afterwards archbishop of Canterbuiy and the pope's legate 
in this country. We may regret but must not conceal that the marquis 
was on the jury of peers who sacriliced Anne Boleyn. 

|There is a tradition preserved in Tiverton of a remarkable caution and 
warning of his fate made to him : the stoiy is given at large by Cleaveland, 
who admits that lie could not learn where the marquis was Iiuried : 
among the noble persons mentioned in Seymour's survey ot London, 
as interred in the chapel of the Augustine friars, Sir P'rancis Courtenay, 
earl of Pembroke, occurs — who was this .'' 

^The marquis's first lady was Elizabeth Gray, heiress of the viscount 
Leslie; the last mentioned above daughter to William Blount, lord 
Mountjov; she died 1558, c/'r., and was buried in the abbey of ^^■yl)urn- 
minster in Dorset, where is a plain marl)le monument erected to her 
memory, on the north side of the choir. — S/'r IT. Pule. Cleaveland. 

C 



34 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Devonshire ; and, although educated in such close confine- 
ment that he was altogether unacquainted with the world, 
he soon acquired all the accomplishments of a courtier and 
a gentleman.* But his course from that time, though brief, 
was not without its trials : the queen, wounded by him, as is 
said, upon the tenderest point, shewed herself disposed to 
listen to a charge in which the lady Elizabeth her rival, and 
half-sister, was also implicated ; and although equally 
innocent, they were committed to the Tower, and thence, 
the Princess to Woodstock, the earl to Fotheringay Castle. 
He was subsequently released through the intercession of 
Philip, but, finding himself watched by the court, he sought 
leave to travel and died soon after, at Padua, as was 
suspected, of poison, given by the imperialists : with this 
lord fell, in its second branch, the so often attainted and 
restored earldom of Devon.f It is beyond the scope of this 
work to say more than that the present earl is a lineal 
descendant of Hugh, the first Earl Courtenay, in a younger 
line of this noble house, which has been seated at 
Powderham Castle ever since the reign of Edward HI.:]: 

*Humc chap. 36. 

fThe arms of Courtenay were Or, three torteaiix, gules, to which 
tern. Edward III. was added, a label, with three points azure, but on what 
grounds is uncertain. Their plaintive motto, uhi lapsus ! quid feci ? 
has been attributed to the loss of the earldom, but it appears from a MS. 
at Powderham, that it owes its origin to the Courtenays of France, and 
the ill success of a claim made by them to the blood royal. — Polwhele's 
History of Devon, Vol. 11. 

jWe must not dismiss this portion of our subject without acknowledging 
the valuable assistance of the Rev. Richard Holland, vicar of Spreyton, 
&c., himself connected by marriage with the late viscount Courtenay. 





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APPENDIX A.— SECTION VI. 



" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 
And all that beauty, all that wealth ere gave. 
Await alike th' inevitable hour. 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave." — Gray. 




E may now make a summary estimate, in chai-acter and 
fortune of the family* who so long held the castle and 
lordship of this town. The blot on their primitive 
escutcheon is palliated, not excused, by the attested licence 
of the times ; nor will the register of Ford Abbey, and its minutely 
detailed grievances, weigh much in our appreciation of the baron Hugh : tlie 
piety, or compunction of his ancestors, had flowed in a liberal stream 
toward the Cliurch, and it is a severe but true remark, that the recipient, 
not the tlonor, proves most forgetful of a benefit. If the first earl shewed 
himself " sudden and quick in quaiTel," somewhat tenacious of his rights 
against an aspiring bishop and discontented burgheis, we may call to 
mind, that Stapledon's influence was exerted to bar those rights, and the 
citizens at one time threatened his life. 

The merits of the Courtenays were not seen in the land senice only ; 
although three brothers knighted on the same tield of battle will testify 
that they shared its dangers as well as honours. The expert tactics, 
personal bravery, and social virtues of earl Edward are beyond all 
comment ; the former have been proudly read in the annals and nobly 
emulated in the feats of " the mariners of England ;" nor do the latter rest 
on the single testimony of a suspected epitaph. Happy if the aflHiction of 
his after life had not changed his name from Xhe good, to that of the bliiidf 

*For a succinct account of the " illustrious but unfortunate line of Courtenay," 
the reader may consult Gibbon's well known degression on its origin, and condition 
in the three principal branches of Kdessa, France and lingland, at the sixty-lirst 
chapter of his lifeline ami Jail t<J titf lii'tnaii Hmpiic. 

tThe attentive reader need not be reminded of tlic proud list of real or legendary 
blind, Gidipus, Homer. Belisarius, Milton, &c. 



36 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

earl. But this is not a page of indiscriminate praise — tlie feud between 
this house and Bonville, and the yet more destructive Wars of the Roses, 
had, it may be feared, a sinister influence on the character of Earl Thomas 
L'ourtenay ; his memory is a clouded one, though, like the ruined fortress 
of his erection, its tints are mellowed by the lapse of ages ; — by a merciful 
dispensation he was spared from witnessing the premature wreck of his 
issue. 

"He putteth down one and setteth up another:" 

The scions of Courtenay, after no long interval, again budded, flourished, 
and were blasted. The house of York proved alike fatal to them in love 
as when at enmity. The services rendered Hemy VII. by his father, could 
not, in that monarch's estimation, weigh against the dangers to be appre- 
hended from Lord William Courtenay's marriage with a -white rose, and 
his viitues were put to the test, and shewn under the privations of an 
attainder and long imprisonment. The honours of a marquisate, con- 
ferred on the next Earl, were followed by a most distinguished proof of 
the King's favour towards his cousin - german, and — we may ]3erhaps 
add — of Courtenay's merit, in appointing him heir to the crown, a dangerous 
elevation, and never more so, than under the eighth Henry. Another im- 
peachment marked the King's altered mood, and the block rewarded the 
loyalty of his subject, who left a character with one stain only, that of 
having ministered to the death, on the same scaffold, of an equally guilt- 
less and yet more exalted victim. Captivity, the sword and the axe, had 
now done their worst ; the last of the Courtenays, " the beautiful the 
brave," had his hfe practised on, and taken away by the bowl of a secret 
assassin. 



APPENDIX B.— SECTION VI. 




Love laughs at locksmiths. — Co/man. 

HE tale of lord Edward Courtenay's captivity and love desen-es a 
separate notice. In the British Museum is a manuscrijit ]xi]ier, 
entitled " a releation how one Clebcr,* 1556, proclainicil the latlye 
Elizabeth, quene, and her beloved bed-fellow,t lord Edward 
r:ourtneye, Kynge," Harl. MSS. 537, 25. J As a contrast to this mad 
pretender and his proclamation, we have an indifferent Latin epitaph 
on the earl's tomb at Padua, attributing his death to a cause equally 
absurd — his wish to espouse Maiy : 

Credita causa nccis rcgni affectata cupido, 
Regin;r optatum tunc quoque connubiuni : 
Cui regni proceres non consenserc.{ 

The secret love of this queen, says Gibbon, whom he slighted, perhaps for 
the princess Elizabeth, has shed a romantic colour over the stoi-y of Lord 
Edward Courtenay. In the Duke of Bedford's collection, at A\'()burn, is 

* A little tinu' after the earl's death, otic Cleyberj- or Cleyherd gave out that he was 
tiie earl of iJevon, and with others sought to excite disturbances in Norfolk ; he was 
taken in .Suffolk andexeccted at Bury .St. Edmunds. — Elizabeth wrote to the quern 
declaring her detestation of the men and their practices. — Cleaveland. 

tWhat is meant ? 

iW.irton's Life of .Sir Thomas Pope. p. 01. 

{Two English husbands were proposed for Mary, the earl of Devon and De la Pole 
who had only taken deacon's orders ; the council objected against lord Courtenay 
th.it he was suspected of entertaining Lutheran opinions; their reasons for rejecting 
the cardinal were more politic than delicate. — Heylin, Codiviii. 



38 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

an original picture* of the earl — himself eminent for his skill in the artsf — 
by Sir Antonio Moore, with the following inscription : 

En pucr, ac insons, et adhuc jiivenilibus annis. 
Annus bis septem, carccre clausus eram: 
Mc pater his tenuit vinclis qua- filia solvit ; 
Sors mea sic tandem veritur a superis.+ 

But to present our fair readers with the love tale itself. On the 3rd 
August, 1553, the queen came to the tower, where many nobles and 
gentlemen were at that time confined ; kissing each of them, she said 
"these be my prisoners," and immediately commanded their release. 
Next day, the lord Courtenay, one of them, was created earl and marquis ;§ 
and on the 28th September, he received a further proof of royal favour in 
being installed Knight of the Bath : indeed it was thought by many that 
Mary bore no little affection towards him, from their verj' first interview, 
and the Commons appeared desirous of the match, but the young lord, 
being distantly sounded on the matter, had at once declined it. 

Maiy's evident partiality for the earl, might naturally render her courtiers 
averse to reveal the state of his feelings towards her ; and not long after, 
when he petitioned the queen's leave to travel, she advised him to marry, 
and stay at home, assuring him that no English lady, however exalted her 
rank, would subject him to a refusal of her hand. But the queen's 
condescension, in thus explaining herself,|| with as much plainness as 
maiden-guise would allow, was lost on lord Edward, who, while with ill- 
dissembled modesty he dechned the crown within his reach, solicited 
Mary's consent to his marrying the princess, her sister.1I The effect ol 

*An engraving of it appears in Lodge's Portraits 0/ lllintriuiis Penoinigin. 
tWalpole's .liifcdofca of Painting. 

tMy year of life is yet in spring, 

Though long the hours ere freedom broke ; 
And royal justice deigned to fling 

Away my yoke : 

But all in vain those captive days. 
In vain hath Alary set me free ; 
Unless it tunes my song of praise 

Great God, to Thee. 

?He seems to have preferred the former title and that by which he has become 
known. 

IIHolingshed, who gives much of this as only the gossip of the day. 

"lUirnet says, that " of the moderate share of beauty there was between them, 
Eli<iabeth had much the better of the queen, and was nineteen years younger." 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 39 

this was, not only to wean the queen of her affection for this unjjallant 
swain, but in the end to brinj^ no Httle trouble on him as well as on her 
more favoured rival, to whom the earl now " made his addresses with more 
than ordinar\- concern." ^Iar\-"s legitimation, declared not long after by an 
act of Parliament, which took no notice whatever of Elizabeth, gave her 
an opportunity of gratifying her pique with a semblance of political 
motives for the charge. 

Political events shewed tliemselves but too unfavourable to the course 
of true love here. The treaty of marriage entered into between the queen 
and Philip of Spain was so generally disliked, as to occasion an insurrec- 
tion in Kent, under the Duke of Suffolk* and Sir Thomas Wyatt :t the 
Carews and other gentlemen of Devonshire were drawn into the plot, on 
assurance of maming Lord Courtenay to the princess, and setting the 
crown on their heads. | The immediate eff'ect of this revolt was that Lord 
Edward was once more committed to the Tower, wliither he was 
conveyed by the Lord Chamberlain, and two hundred men of the guard, 
1 2th Februar)-. The lieutenant asking the cause of his committal, the earl 
answered " that he could not accuse himself." 

1 554. Previous to this, the lady Elizabeth, who then lay sick at Ashridge, 
had been brought (26th Januar}') to court, under escort of a troop of horse, 
and kept close prisoner without seeing any except the lords chamberlains. 
On the i6th March, Gardiner and others of the Council, charged her with 
being implicated in Wyatt's conspiracy, as also the insurrection in the 
west, and although the princess strenuously denied both accusations, they 
informed her, to her infinite discomfort, that it was the pleasure of the 
queen she should be consigned to the Tower. Next day, two lords, 
charged with the duty of transporting her thither by water, were, after 
much entreaty, induced to allow the princess time for addressing her sister 
in writing, personal conference being denied. When the tide next served 
it was midnight ; so fearing a rescue, the voyage was deferred until the 
following morning ;§ as the princess stepped from the barge, she said, 
" here landeth as true a subject, being prisoner, as ever landed on these 
stairs, and before thee, O God, I speak it, having no other friends but Thee 

'He was taken and beheaded on Tower Hill, 24th February, 1534, denying the 
( harges brought against him, except that one had said at his table at supper, "' that 
he would undertake with a hundred men to set the crown on Courtenay's head." 
— Cleaveland. 

tWyatt, having gained some advantage o\ er the (jueen's forces at Rochester, 
advan( ed as far as Southwark : he afterwards <rossed the Thames at Kingston and 
marched by Charing-cross to I.udgate, but finding the gates closed against him be 
made a precipitate retreat, and was taken prisoner at Temple-bar. 

iHeylin's His/oiy of t lie ReJorinatioH. 

hStb of March, 1554, Palm Sunday. 



40 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

alone."* 

On the I ith April, Wyatt was beheaded on Tower-hill : on his way to 
execution Lord Shandois, the governor, confronted him with Earl 
Courtenay in the place of his confinement, over the water-gate ; what 
actually occurred at this interview has never perhaps been known, but on 
the scaffold, Wyatt openly cleared both the earl and Elizabeth from any 
participation in his crime. Gardiner had hoped to substantiate his charges 
against the princess and her lover from what should occur at this 
interview ; and Weston, a creature of his, said aloud, on the prisoner 
making his declaration, that he had confessed otherwise before the 
council, t The general belief however inclined to Wyatt's last public 
avowal, J and that, although Lord Shandois averred that he (Wyatt) had 
exhorted Courtenay to confess the truth, and submit himself to the 
queen's mercv. 

While the lovers were in the Tower, a child belonging to one of the 
officers, was in the habit of visiting the prisoners' chambers, and carrying 
them flowers, especially the princess. The governor's suspicions led him, 
with a promise to reward the boy's answer, to ask when he had been with 
the earl Courtenay .'' He would go thither by and bye. How often with 
the lady Elizabeth ! Every day. The next question was, what the lord 
Devonshire sent to her grace. The boy cleverly evaded a direct reply by 
saying that he would go and leam "what he will give to carry to her." 

" This same is a crafty boy," said the lord Chamberlain, " how say you, 
my lord Shandois .■■" 

"I pray you, my lord," interrupted the child, " give me the figs, you 
promised me." 

"No," quoth he, " thou shall be whipt if thou come any more near the 
lady Elizabeth, or the lord Courtenay." 

"I will bring my lady and mistress more flowers," was the boy's 
rejoinder; on which his father was ordered that he should no longer be 
suffered to visit the prisoners. Next day, as the princess walked in the 
garden, the child looking through a hole in the door, called to her — 
"Mistress, I can bring you no more flowers." 

'•It is a crafty little knave," said the lord Chamberlain, ordering that 
he should be sent out of the Tower,' let me see him no more."§ 

''Fox's Martjrology. 

tSir Thomas WTiite, the lord Mayor, on being told of this, said — " Is it true? did 
Weston say so ? in truth I never took him but for a knave." 

tOne Cut, an apprentiee living in Lawrence- lane, was brought before the Star- 
chamber, and charged with saying that Wyatt had been compelled by the council 
to accuse the earl and princess. 

?Fox at supra — Prince's Worthies, — Cleaveland. 



SECTION VII. 



Hcnricus Octavus sold the lands tl\at God gave us. — Fnther Pctcn. 

I can stay with Regan, 
I, and m\- hundred knig-hts. — King Lenr. 



Lands of the Barony. 

^\ /pANORS, and Knight's fees, held by the barons 
.^1 of Okehampton, with their advowsons, patronage, 

V.^) &c., collected into one view. 

I. The manor and advowson of Sampford Courtenay. 

The account given by Sir W. Pole and Risdon of the grant of 
this manor — on its forfeiture by Henry Courtcnay's attainder — 
made to King's College, Cambridge, by Heniy VIII., seems to be 
incorrect. It appears, "by a deed enrolled in Chanceiy, 12th of 
Januan,-, 12 Eliz., that lord Bmkehiirst gYM\itd the manor, together 
with the advowson of the living there, to the queen ; to the intent 
that she should re-grant the same to the provost and scholars of 
King's College and their successors for ever. — Polwhele. 

II. The manor and advowson of Duwelton (Dolton.) 

III. The manor and advowson of Chumleigh, with Newnham, M-hich was 
divided into six portions. — Pole. 

The barons of Okehampton had a goodly jiark in this manor 
(Chumleigh) the veiy lodge whereof both afforded dwelling to men 
of good worth. These lands at last, by attainder, came to the crown, 
and were conferred on the lord Russell, earl of Bedford. — Risdon. 

Xewenham, a Cistercian abbey situate near the river Axe and at 
a short distance from Axminster, was founded by Reginald Mohun 
earl of Somerset, in honour of (Jur Lady, about the year 1246. 

The six portions (prebends) were originally i Overheighes or 
Overhayne, 2 Puelle or Puellarum, or Mayden, 3 Denyes or Dene, 
4 Buckland, 5 Penelles, 6 Netherhayne ; but it appears that, sub- 
sequently to Bishop Grandison's time, they were reduced to four by 



4i HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

uniting Denys to Puelle, and Penelles to Netherhayne.* — Oliver's 
Historic Collections. 

IV. The manor and advowson of Calverley. 

V. The manor and advowson of Kume. These also escheated to the 
crown. 

VI. The manor of AVhimpell. This, tcni. William I., was the portion 
of De Briony's wife, the lady Albreda ; it M'as conveyed by Edward 
Courtenay, the first earl, together with other property, to Sir 
Francis Inglefield, master of the rolls, and another as was supposed 
on trast ; but they kept possession for their own uses. — Pole. 

VII. The manor and advowson of Musbuny. This manor was given by 
William the Conqueror, to Baldwin, baron of Okehampton, to hold 
after seven hides, when he had taken it from Ailmer, an English- 
man (37 Heniy III.), William Courtenay and Johan Valetort, his 
wife, did release to lord John Courtenay the whole manor of 
Musbuny and Kenne, with its appurtenances. — RisJon. 

VIII. The patronage of Ford Abbey and of the prioiy of Cowicke, 
together with that of three prebendaries attached to the chapel of 
Brightley in Exeter Castle. t 

IX. The lords of Okehampton held three fees of the bishop of Exeter, 
in .Slapton, in Bowe, near Crediton, and in Adhersham, one 
knight's fee each,| but did the service of two tees only. — Pole. 

X. Bratton Clovelly, Mouncliinton, Bradford, .Shebbear, Milton- 
Damerel, and Thorncombe, — certain hides of land in these parishes 
were held by Baldwin the viscount. 

Knight's fees held under the barony Ian. Henry II. 

Antony de Brewer, of Teign-brewer§ fTeigngraceJ , and Simon Fitz- 
Rogus, of Holcombe-rogus,|| five each. Richard de Espeke of Brandford- 
Speke, and Heywood in Wembworthy, three knight's fees under 
Fitz-ede, lord of Okehampton. 

*Risdon preserves a tradition of his day respecting these prebends, that they 
were assigned, as a means of support by the countess of Exeter, to the children 
saved bj' her from drowning, — the story has been alluded to above. 

tSome account of these monasteries on the chapel in Exeter castle will be given 
at a future page. 

tOur ancient lawyers are not agreed as to the quantity of land or sum of money 
of which a knight's fee consisted; in the reign of Henry VI. it was stated at ;{^20 per 
annum. — Grose's Military Antiquities. 

\Kxm%, Argent four seniels azure, ovei aii. a chevron ingrailed gules. Heirs by 
descent, Copleston. 

WXrms, Azure, a chevron argent, betzuecn three chest-rookes, or. Heirs general, 
Blencet and Chesilden. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMtrON. 43 

Guy de Brian* five knight's fees. 

Sir Guv de Briant, or Brene, 1370 (ir., founded at Slapton, in honour 
of Our Lady, a collegiate church, with a perpetual chantry of five priests, 
and a rector, and four clerks. — Olive): 

John de Hidon of Henyoke,t held six knight's fees and a half. 

Baldwin de Belston j held three knight's fees. 

AVilliam Talbot, § and William Fitz-Cadiho,|| one each. 

Baldwin de Esse or Ash, II four. 

Nicholas Kelly, (a) held three. 

Adam Risford or de Rixford of jManaton held one knight's fee in 
Broad-nymet, Appledore and Newton. 

Broad-nvmct consists altogether of but one estate ; there is no service 
performed in its church. Appledore, a hamlet attached to Nymet Tracey 
or Bow has been in possession of Hamlyn since 161 1. — C. Hamlyn, of 
Paschoe, Esq. 

Roland de Nymet orNymeton, and Gregory Lupus, Lowe, or Wolfe,(!^) 
one each. 

*Br}an of Torbrsan, jrms, Oi\ fhrrr pills in point, nzniv. 

■tGiills, thrcr brzaiifs, a label of three, argent. Heirs general, Djnham and 
St. Clerc. 

tOr, on a benif i^iiles, three cross formers azure. 

?Talboi of Sourton ; arras, argent, a chevron bet'a<een three talbots, passant 
sable. Heir general, Kelly. 

llCadiho, of Dunsland ; arms, .Argejit, three pills in poynf, iinilev sable. — Heir 
general, Arscot. 

'Ash of Sowton, arms, Argent, i'.vo chevrons sable. 

(«)Kelly of Kelly, .Argent, a chevron bei'Lvecn three billets gules. 

((5)A\'oolfc of Kentisbury, arms, Argent, a chevron betzveen three uvlves passant 
azure. — Sir W. Pole's Collection. 



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SECTION VIII.— PART I. 

Pause, stranger, here ; and if enthusiast thou, 
Ascend this path ; and drink the noon-tide air, 
In coohiess rising from yon crisped stream 
Kissed by soft gales ; while overhead the sky 
Freckled with azure breathes of heavenly balm. 
Here view, as o'er thee steals the olden time, 
Those prostrate fragments mouldering — fresh like life 
And as thy footsteps thread the arch-ways broad, 
Darkened by self-sown foliage, clustering down 
In wild profusion, let thy fancy paint 
Their deep unutterable tale of years. 
Here Ruin mocks Ambition ; here she stands 
To show that all is vanity ! Stay then, 
And \-iew thine own ine^•itable fate ; 
Though, stranger, still thy wayward heart contemn 
Plain competence and peace, secured state.* 



OkEHAMPTON CASTLE.f 

CARCE any branch of antiquarian research has 
attracted so little attention as that which re- 
lates to military architecture: such specimens 
as now remain are nearly all of late introduc- 
tion ; but whether we may rank them with the 
improvements introduced into the west by 
the crusaders is doubtful. Alfred, however, 
seems to have been the first of our princes with whom the 

*The effusion of the local muse here quoted was contributed to tlie 
native antiquarian, by the waiter's wdow, Mrs. Howard, of Eton. 
tOkehampton Castle, built 1058. — Salmon's Chronolo-ry. 





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HISTORY OF OKKllAMl'lON. 45 

bnildinp^ of castles became an object of national policy : 
|-'.iriei.la, liis (laii,a;hter, govi-rness of .Meicia, imitating; tlir 
example of her unrivalled father, built not less than eight 
castles, to resist the incursions of the Danes. A still more 
remarkable instance of the knowledge of castle-building at 
a short period subsequent to this, may be found in the 
re-building of Exeter by Athelstane, who died in 941, 
" Urbeni illam turribus munivit," — he fortified that city with 
towers and battlements, constructed of square stones.* And 
from the few remains of the fortifications of this period we 
find, that the walls precisely answer such description. 

Still the deficiency of strong posts in the island, during 
every period of the Anglo-Saxon history, may be constantly 
observed, and it is more than probable that to this defect, 
we may attribute the defeat of Harold, since it became 
necessary that all should be risked upon the issue of a single 
battle. Conscious of this deficiency, William excelled all 
his predecessors in building castles, and greatly harassed 
his subjects with these works ;f all his earls, barons, and 
even prelates imitated his example ; as it was the first care 
of every one who received the grant of an estate from the 
crown, to build a castle upon it for his defence and 
residence. J 

In the turbulent reign of Stephen, says the writer of the 
Saxon Chronicle, every one who was able, built a castle, so 
that tlie poor peoi)le were worn out with the toil of these 

*\Villiain of Malmesbury. 

t.Matthew Paris. 

JMalmcshury tells us llial the ;,rieat (listincliou l)ctween tlic An^;lo- 
Saxon nobility, and the iMeneli or Xoniian was, that tlie latter built 
nia;,'nirieeiit and stately castles ; whereas the former consumed their 
immense Ibrluues in riot and liospitality in mean houses. 



4b 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTO??. 



buildings, and the whole kingdom was covered with castles. 
Stephen began to repent, although too late, that he had 
granted license to so many of his subjects to build castles 
within their own grounds."^' 

An art so much practised, as architecture was at this 
period, must have been much improved. That it really was 
so will appear from the following very brief description of 
the most common form and structure of a royal castle, or of 
that of a great earl, baron, or prelate of that time ; and, as 
these castles served both for residence and defence, this 
description will serve both for an account of the domestic 
and military architecture then adopted, as this two-fold 
purpose cannot well be separated. f The situation of the 
castles of the Anglo-Norman kings and barons was most 
commonly on an eminence, and near a river, a position, on 
several accounts, eligible. The whole site of the Castle 
was surrounded by a deep and broad ditch (fosse), sometimes 
filled with water, and sometimes dry before the great gate 
was an outwork (barbican or antemtiralj a strong high wall, 
with turrets on it, designed for the defence of the gate and 

*Holiiished. 

tAmong the feudal names, sometime connected with, or now extant in 
this neighbourhood, which occur on the roll of Battle Abbey, are 
those of: 



Aincourt, 


Bastard, 


Hamelin, 


St. Legere, 


Ai-undel, 


Camois, 


Lacy, 


San ford, 


Amerenges, 


Chament, 


Luny, 


Sent John, 


Bohun, 


Curtenay, 


Mowne, 


Tracey, 


Bourcher, 


Dispencere, 


Morreis' 


Talbot, 


Browne, 


De la Pole, 


Malet, 


Tirell, 


Burnell, 


Durand, 


Morton, 


\'esey, 


Baudwin, 


Dunsterville, 


Peiy, 


Valence, 


Beaumont, 


Gurnay, 


Pomeroy, 


Ward, 


Burdon, 


Giffard, 


Ridell, 


Wivell, 


Btyan, 


Hussee, 


Rous. 





HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 47 

drawbridge. On the inside of the ditch stood the walls of 

the castle about eight or ten feet thick, and between twenty 

and thirty feet high, with a parapet, and a kind of embrasures 

(crenneh) on the top. On this wall at proper distances, 

square towers, of two and three stories high, were built, 

which served for lodging some of the principal officers of 

the proprietor of the castle, and for other purposes ; and 

on the inside were erected lodgings for the common servants 

or retainers, granaries, storehouses, and other menial offices. 

On the top of this wall, and on the flat roofs of these 

buildings, stood the defenders of the castle, when it was 

besieged, and thence discharged arrows, darts, and stones, 

on the besiegers. The great gate of the castle stood in the 

course of this wall, and was strongly fortified with a tower 

on each side, and rooms over the passage, which was closed 

with thick folding-doors of oak, often plated with iron and 

with an iron portcullis or gate let down from above. Within 

this outward wall, in the largest and most perfect castles, 

was a large open space or court, (outer hayJc, or halliwii) in 

which stood commonly a church or chapel. Inside this was 

another ditch, wall, gate, and towers, inclosing the inner 

bayle, within which the chief tower (keep or donjon)^' was 

built. At one end of the great halls of castles, palaces and 

monasteries, there was a place {liais) raised a little above the 

rest of the floor, where the chief table stood, at which 

persons of the highest rank dined. Though there were 

unquestionably great variations in the structure of palaces 

*The donjon, in its proper significance, means the strongest part of a 
feudal castle ; a high square tower, with walls of tremendous thickness, 
situated in the centre of the other buildings, from which however it was 
usually detached, it contained the great hall, and principal rooms of state 
for solemn occasions, and also the prison of tlic fortress. — Sir "W. .Scott. 



48 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

and castles in this period, yet the most complete and 
macrnificent of them seem to have been constructed on the 
above plan.f 

In process of ages those ancient castles underwent very 
considerable alterations. After the age of Edward I. we find 
another kind of castle, bearing more resemblance to modern 
palaces : the first of these was that of Windsor, built by 
Edward III., who employed William of Wykeham as his 
architect. To these venerable piles succeeded the castellated 
houses ; mansions adorned with turrets and battlements, 
but utterly incapable of defence, except against a rude mob 
armed with clubs and staves, on whom the gates might be 
shut ; yet still, mansions almost quite devoid of all real 
elegance, or comfortable convenience : at the same time 
however, they discover marks of economy and good 
management, which enabled their hospitable lords to 
support their rude revels, and to keep up their state, even 
better than many of their more refined successors. After 
this kind of building, the magnificent quadrangular houses 
of Henry VIII. succeeded. Without referring to the stately 
edifices of Elizabeth's reign, it may be enough to add, that 

here ends the history of the English castle.*' 

■f Such, to give an example, was the famous castle of Bedford, as appears 
from the following account of the manner in which it was taken by 
Heniy III., A.D., 1224. 

The castle was taken by four assaults. "In the first was taken the 
barbacan ; in the second, the outer ballia ; at the third attack, the wall by 
the old tower was thrown down by the miners, where, with great danger, 
they possessed themselves of the inner ballia, through a chink ; at the 
fourth assault, the miners set fire to the tower so that the smoke burst out 
as the tower itself was cloven to that degree, as to show visibly some 
broad chinks; whereuj)on the enemy surrendered." — Matthew Paris. 

*i\IS. communication from the Rev. W. Evans, of Parkwood, to whose 
kindness we are also indebted for several notes appended to this and the 
following section. 



HISTORY OF OKFHAMPTON. 49 

Centuries have rolled away since the Courtenay banner 
last floated over the turrets of their original hold in England. 
By an act of " senseless barbarism," as Warner, in his " Walk 
through Devonshire" justly terms it, Henry VIII. (A.D. 
1539), soon after the attainder and execution of the Marquis 
of Exeter, dismantled and laid in ruins the Castle of 
Okehampton, a favoured seat of his family, although, since 
the accession to the earldom it had ceased to be their 
constant residence.* The fortress, when in its perfect state, 
" occupied the summit and declivity of a conoidal mount or 
eminence, which is now so thickly studded with trees, that, 
although the niins are of great extent and magnitude, the 
keep, and a small fragment northward, are alone perceptible 
from the high road : the mouldering turrets, and ivy-clad 
ruins of the castle appear particularly striking from their 
combination with the surrounding scenery."f 

We have seen that the Anglo-Saxons neglected military 
architecture, thus subjecting themselves to the charge of 
reckless courage or indolent neglect, although it is probable 
that the founder of Okehampton Castle may have been an 
exception to the general rule. " When the Normans," says 
a late writer,! " i'^ their two-fold pursuit of powei and self 
defence, found the remains of an ancient building on a site 
which suited them, they often added their own work :" the 
fortress we are about to examine, although many of its parts 
are in the Pointed or Norman-Gothic style, displays also 
traces of the rounded arch, commonly called Saxon. And 

*Tlic earls commonly passed the summer months here ; their place of 
winter residence was at Tiverton, and latterly Caleombe (Colcombe) castle. 

tBritton's Devonshire. 

JWho was this ? 

D 



50 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

yet the Saxon origin of this edifice, if indeed it be of such, 
rests on slight grounds ; a tradition to that effect, which 
seems to have been embodied in a metrical version by Dr. 
John Shebbeare, a physician, born at Bideford in 1709, 
though better known as a violent party writer : — the follow- 
ing fragments of it are all that have reached us. 

Aspice vmroriim moles preruptaqiie saxa 
Adhiic spirant imperiosa ininas. 

I sing of ruined domes and war's alanns, 
Of Eeras past and fatal Beauty's* harms; 
Nor shall the nnise have strung her harp in vain, 
If you with pleased attention hear her strain. 
A.D. 959. 

In early clays, when Edgar Albion swayed. 
And Ordgar's power Devonia's youth obeyed. 
Then all the dome magnificent appeared. 
Or lov'd for pleasure or for war rever'd, 
Slow sullen waters round the palace flow'd 
With burnished arms the massy fortress glowed ; 
A warlike grace the battlements had on 
The vaulted roof with figured ceiling shone ; 
There stood the font that held the holy wave, 
And there the sacred rites the altar gave ; 
Here mirth and banquets filled the spacious hall, 
■ Music to melt or elevate the soul. 

And sparkling wine that laughed out o'er the bowl ; 

Here whilst some youth, with fixed attentive eyes. 

The force of animated paint surveys, 

Where the gay piece triumphal honour shows, 

Or breathless warrior midst the battle glows ; 

Prophetic hope, his kindling bosom fires. 

To equal acts his eager soul aspires. 

Rapt with the thought, amidst the ideal war, 

He fights a Mars, or fills a future carr.f 

*The story of Edgar and the beautiful Elfrida, daughter of the earl of Devon, is 
well known ; for the local application of it here made, we believe, there is no 
authority whatever., 

tMusic, painting and poetry, were then held as necessary accomplishments to a 
refined education as they are at present. — Lord Lyttelton's Letters, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 5 I 

Now to the Park I stretch my aching eyes 
Where bluish hills and silver rocks arise, 
A thousand shades diversify the scene, 
A thousand tints enamel all the green. — 

[Here he describes the battle that occasioned the ruin of the Castle and 
then goes on to say]— 

No more such sports the peaceful valley knows. 
Along the plain the guiltless huntsman goes ; 
Now from the bush the tim' rous lev'ret flies 
Xow the fleet hounds pursue him wth their cries, 
He starts, he turns, he doubles, and he dies. 

* * * * 

O Ethelwolfe, how happy had'st thou been, 
Had thy fond eyes the fatal fiir ne'er seen ; 
Then had no treason burnt within thy breast 
No soft concerns thy master's love supprest, 
Nor treacherous tongue perfidious vows profest ; 
Still by thy sovereign hadst thou been approved, 
Still greatly honoured and still greatly loved. 

:;: * * * 

Still by the walls the constant Okement* glides, 
Weeps as it flows and laves the falling sidest. 

William of Worcester who wrote his Itinerary about the 

close of the fifteenth century, notices Okehampton Castle 

thus — 

Castrum prcnobile ^c Oftcbampton propc viUam Ofccbampton per 12 miliaria 
^c 'Cavvstohc versus oricntum ct Eiccst viam, ^luon^am llboma Curtcnav 
comitis Bcvoniac, cMflcatuiu per 'Cboinam primuin comitcm.J 

Fons fluminis de Okehampton currit sub castro (supradicto) incipit apud cremere 
in Thertmore. — W'illehn de Worcestre. 

■••From a MS. indited from memorj', which has been kindly shewn us by Thomas 
Hridfjeman I.uxmore, esqr., Deputy Recorder ot Okehampton, and a zealous guardian 
of its antiquities. — Sfet in exemplum. 

Jit is most probable that the building received large repairs only from 
that nobleman. — Grose's Antiquities. 



5t HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

On the 26 April, 1836, the writer of this paragraph in 
company with a clerical friend* spent some hours in a 
survey of this majestic ruin. We entered the castle over the 
stone fence near what remains of the barbican, f a massive 
wall about thirty feet high, where the segment of a gateway 
in the Pointed style, with a window above, is yet visible. 
From this to the entrance of the ballium we found the 
interval to be about forty-eight yards, the gate which has 
entirely disappeared being placed in a slight recess of the 
front which, as far as we were enabled to judge, had a 
spread of fifty-four feet. On the left, as in the south-east 
corner of the building, is the only portion of the roof that 
remains, it covers two small apartments:]: within what was 
probably the guard-room, and shows three rounded arches. 
Beyond these rooms, and in a line with the south wall, are 
two large and perfectly similar erections, each of two stories, 
communicating with each other above and below by very 
curious arcades or vaulted passages imbedded in the solid 
masonry of the outer wall. The basement rooms, with their 
horizontal loop-holes and the marks of iron bars that have 
been long since wrested out, point vividly to what might 

have been their former destination ; 

"The loop-hole glates where captives weep"§ — 
While in the superior range, the social hearth, the deep, but 
lofty windows, both within and without towards the river, 

*Rev. Montague Wynyard, curate oi Bilston (Belston). 

tit has been supposed that a causeway and drawbridge over the river 
once existed ; but the broken ground without the barbacan may have been 
caused by the working of a mill that once stood near it, and which appears 
in an old view of the castle ruins in possession of the Rev. Richard 
Holland. 

XT\\Q floor between them has however disappeared. 

^SUn the wall of the chapel we read a memorial of the same strain, 
although in later days : — V thicfuit captivus belli, 1809. 




7//7r 7W; v'^--:-i^i?'-if 1. Vy/<^/ZSZ. 



mr%mm 




'^f ^P!:^ "^ ^^-j^^ '^'-^ 



^y^'^s 



i:;^ 






IN THE CHAPEL, OKEHAMPTON CASTLE. 







THE PISCINA, CHAPEL, OKEHAMPTON CASTLL 









IN ST. JAMES'S CHAPEL, OKEHAMPTON. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 53 

with their shattered mullions, vestiges of their ancient 
splendour, inspire more cheerful feelings. These rooms 
were entered by a door facing westward, and which projects 
beyond the east end of the chapel. We entered the chapel,* 
not unconscious of the spot being hallowed ground, and 
with a catholic feeling that found utterance in the language 
of its formulary ; and having viewed, and remarked on, the 
fragment of what seems to have been the window of the ante- 
chapel — that is, if we may be allowed mentally to supply the 
west end and screen, of which all vestiges are now lost — we 
advanced up the choir. But why proceed ? if any among 
our readers has never seen, or having seen has not felt 
what the chastened beauty, the solemn retirement of this 
lovely ruin should inspire — words must utterly fail to suggest 
them. From all that Time has spared here, the remains of 
two elegantly arched windows, with a small, but fair propor- 
tioned niche in the massive outer wall of the Castle itself 
(it forms the south wall of the chapel) we may judge what 
it showed when in its undecayed magnificence. f 

From the chapel — passing over the debris of a wall seven 
feet thick, containing two small posterns, and evidently of a 
date anterior to the range just quitted — we ascended the 
tortuous path, which at present aflfords access to the keep.| 

This massive, but plain edifice, comprised four apart- 
ments, the lower one lighted by two loop-holes, the upper, 

*The embrasures or crennels on the parapet of the chapel are some of 
the most perfect obser\-ed by us. 

tThe vicar of Okehampton was to tind a chaplain to ser\'e here. — 
.Sir W. Pole. 

:J:The steps leading; to the keep, or rather the upper one, was where 
pursuivants, heralds, Sec, commonly made proclamation : for the anti- 
quity of this practice, see 2 Kings ix, 13. 



54 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

in the interior of which our attention was drawn as well by 
the ample hearth and window* adjoining, as also by a 
curious oratory or small chamber in the south-west corner, 
being reached by spiral stone stairs to the right of the 
entrance eastward, and which wound up to the battlements 
and tower above them. 

The northern range, although it presents a less imposing 
coup (Tceil than the parts just quitted, is not without its 
attraction in the minutiae of arrangement- which we were 
enabled to trace there. A vacancy between two parallel 
edifices seems to have afforded transverse access to the 
ballia by what might have formed the north postern : the 
buildings west of this, seen in the last stage of decay, appear 
crumbling into the impending steep of the donjon ; the 
other, or eastern wing presents a specimen of the Saxon 
style in its low door beneath, but the exquisite proportion, 
and massive, though tasteful order of the hearth, windows, 
and closet above, seem to bespeak the abode of "a lady of high 
degree." Beyond this, two larger apartments not unlike the 
last, are closed in by the dilapidated ruin of the east corner, 
with a vertical loop-hole in the fragment of the inner wall yet 
standing, that seems to have enfiladed the principal entrance.f 

*The window of the great hall seems to have been in ancient times, 
the place of deposit for their scanty library. — 

— For Eustace much had pored 
Upon a huge romantic tome, 
In the hall -window of his home. 
Imprinted at the antique dome 

Of Caxton or de Worde. — Scott's Marmion. 

tWe cannot sufficiently regret that Leland — whose minute and faithful 
researches are held in merited esteem — did not visit Okehampton castle : 
passing from Great Torrington to Launceston, he mentions Lydlord bridge 
only, and that as a place which he had never seen. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 55 

Adieu, proud, though fallen monument of baronial 
greatness ! When ambition distracts ; when the cares of 
life oppress ; when discontent harasses, or the liand of 
affliction bears heavy, it were good for a man to come here 
and read a " tale of the times of old." 




SECTION VIIL— PART II. 

But gin ye be a brugh as auld as me, 

There'll be, if that date come, I'll wad a boddle 

Some fewer whigmeleeries in your noddle. — Bums. 

Okehampton. — The Feudal Charters. 



«s^ 



' EW boroughs of equal antiquity with Okehampton 
can trace with more clearness the origin and 
progress of their liberties. We have seen that 
Baldwin* the Viscount, as he is termed in 
Domesday book, held this town on the tenure 
of knight's service : there was also a fine or 
quit-rent to the crown of four shillings yearly. 
Robert de Courtenay, in the time of Henry III., treated this 
place as a free burgh ; but the rights of the burgesses were not 
merely nominal at a date yet earlier, as appears from the 
charter itself: it proposes to confirm to them all the liberties 
and privileges they held in the time of Richard (Fitz Baldwin) 
and of Robertf the son of Reginald, Maude Abarenges his 
wife, and of Hawise,J mother of the granter. 

We are expressly told that the grant is made with 

*Arms of de Brionys — Cheque, or and azure, over all t'wo bars argent. 
The same are now borne by the town. 

tQuery, was this the Lord of Aincourt ? 

JSig. Havisia de Courtnaye — a woman standing. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 57 

the consent and concurrence of the Lady INIary/'' his wife ; 
and the print of Lord Courtenay's sealf is attested by his 
brother, Sir Reginald, another Robert of Courtneye, whose 
name does not appear in Pole's genealogy, and several more. 
The burgesses were to pay for each burgage annually at the 
Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the sum of twelve pence 
for all services and demands. 

By this charter the rights of the burgesses are established 
"in woods and in uplands, in ways and in paths, in common 
of pastures, in waters and in mills." 

They might turn their swine to feed in the Lord 
Courtenay's forest, i.e., each burgess, a sow and four pigs. 

They were to be free from all manner of toll, and are 
empowered to elect yearly their own portreeve and a beadle,:]: 
or crier, " Prepositum et Praeconem." 

The burgesses continued to enjoy these rights until 20 
Edward L, when a controversy arose between them, and Sir 
Hugh Courtenay, knight, Lord of the barony, in conse- 
quence of which their privileges became more defined. 
In a deed executed on the Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr, in 
that year, the portreeve and commonalty under their common 
seal, released to the baron their title to common of pasture in 
all his woods and wastes on the south side of the castle and in 
other parts of the manor : in return for this " the said port- 
reeve and commonaltie giving to the said Sir Hugh two 

■ *Arms of Prouz of Gidleigh, her second husband.— -.Sai/^, 3 linns ramp- 
ant, argent, (see page 18). 

\ Partie per pale, cheque the first side, the otiier plain, over all 2 bars, 
argent, (note) Sir W. Pole. 

JAmong " all other tilings appertaining to the view of frank ])le<lgc 
and full warren," over their manors held and retained by the lords of the 
barony, furcas (gallows) and tumbarel (ducking stool) are mentioned. 



58 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

tunnes of wine beforehand ;" the lord freely granted them 
common of pasture all the year round, between Wearham 
and the moor, with a road to it through the forest — now the 
park. They were to have the same rights, from the morrow 
of St. IMichael to the middle of March — in and over the 
lands called the Bartons,"^' and, lastly, each burgess should 
have, free of pannage, f one sow and four pigs, running up 
and down in Hockwood of the lord's demesne during the 
whole time of mastage ; saving to him and his heirs how- 
ever, the right of making inclosures therein. 

Eight years later occurs the first summons of burgesses to 
Parliament, by writ dated at Rose Castle, near Carlisle, co. 
Cumberland, 26 September, (28 Edward I.), and made 
returnable at Lincoln within eight days of the Feast of St. 
Hilary in the next year ; the knights and others returned to 
the Lent parliament being ordered to attend unless dead or 
prevented by illness. 

The original writ to the Sheriff of Devon, which is yet 
extant, was returned 20 January following — the burgesses 
chosen for this town being 

Robertus Cissor, and 

Thomas de Tanton or Tawton. 

No writ de expensis was at that time enrolled for the 
borough. j 

*It was ever the custom, time out of mind, whenever Michaehnas day 
did fall on a Sunday, to choose the mayor and portreeve the Monday 
following before dinner, and immediately after dinner to go and view the 
Bartons; but this year (1678) it was deferred until Tuesday, 1st October. 
The occasion of its being altered was, that counsel affirmed the worda/rom 
the moj-row of St. Michael excluded the town from this right until the 
third day. — Shebbeare's Journal. 

tPannage ; money for feeding hogs on mast in the forest. 

Jit levied two shillings per diem for the expenses of eveiy citizen and 
burgess of parliament, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 59 

Bv writ bearing date at London 1 1 October (5 Edward II.) 
and returnable at Westminster on the morrow of tiie Feast of 
St. Martin, &:c. (12 November). 

John de Honiton, and 
Henricus Welvch"^' 
were chosen and returnedf as burgesses for Okehampton. 

And again by writ dated at Westminster 26 July (7 Edward 
II.) for choosing burgesses to parliament from this town — 
the return being fixed on the Sunday next after the Feast of 
St. Matthew the Apostle (23 September) we find that 
Henry Gloube, and 
Richard Bourman 
were elected and returned as such.| 

*Welych — Azure, 6 mullets, 3, 2, i, or 

tXhe schedule is extant but not the return, at least it cannot now be 
found. 

:J;Palgrave's Parliamentary Writs. 




APPENDIX.— SECTION VIII. 

Tantiim relligio potiiit suadere malonim. — Lucretius. 




s^i=_ 



E civil warfare* of the Reformation, in one 
instance only that we can learn, approached 
D this vicinity ; — it broke out at Sampford 
^ Courtenay on Whit-Monday (4 Edward 
VI., 1549) Several edicts of this youthful 
monarch, or rather his council, following 
up the innovations on the Romish dis- 
cipline begun by his late fatherf particu- 
larly the altered form of public worship — 
excited general discontent among the lower orders ; at 
Sampford the peasantry, headed by one Underbill a tailor, 
declared to a man that they would keep to the profession 
of their forefathers ; and the minister, with a feint of 
resistance, celebrated the mass before them as well as 
the rest of the Catholic service. 

Popular exultation, and the spread of similar disturbances 
soon drew the interference of the neighbouring justices, 
who, with Sir Hugh Pollard as their foreman, sought to 

*This notice of the rebellion in Devonshire, 1549, can hardly l)e con- 
sidered digressive : the manor of Sampford Courtenay, where it originated, 
being, as has been shewn above, an appanage of the barony of Okehamp- 
ton, perhaps its most valuable one. 

tXhe alterations made tem. Henry VIII. were rather separations from 
the Pope than a reformation of religious abuses. — Lyttelton. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 6 1 

confer with the rioters. I>iit, as some of these gentlemen 
were thought to be themselves ill-affected towards the 
change, a suspicion their want of energy at the outset 
tended to confirm, the meeting rather promoted the com- 
motion than otherwise. As the state of affairs with Scotland, 
at that time, occupied the attention of government, Sir 
Peter and Sir Gawen Carew, knights, were dispatched into 
Devonshire, to aid the local authorities ; a commission in 
which the Lord Privy Seal Russel was soon after associated. 
On the arrival of the former, and Sir Piers Courtenay* who 
was then Sheriff, informing them that the populace, headed 
by those of Sampford, were in force at Crediton, it was 
determined again to attempt gentle means in order to quiet 
them. The attempt however had no better fortune than 
before : the rioters barricaded the entrance to the town, 
and although they at first made a show of conference, the 
gentlemen were denied admission, which was only effected 
by burning a barn, in which some of the malcontents had 
posted themselves.! After this, the magistrates returned to 
Exeter, leaving the people still more exasperated than 
hitherto.:]: 

*Piers Courtenay, of Ugbrooke, a younger brother of the Powderham 
family, married EHzabeth Shilston, and, by her, he came ancestor of Sir 
Shilston Calmady, of Leawood ; from him descended the late Christopher 
Hamlyn, of Paschoe, esq., to whose genealogical and other MSS. this 
little woik stands highly indebted. 

tThe council subsequently disavowed this proceeding, and when Sir 
Peter Carew shewed his authority for any such steps under the sign 
manual, Rich the chancellor confirmed the ]:)rotector's decision that it 
was insufficient as not having the king's seal attached. 

^Reports of temporal grievances contributed to fan the flame nor can : 
it be denied, but that the lower orders at that time endured many 
oppressions, and some of no ordinary severity. — Lyttelton. 



62 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Soon after the affair at Crediton, disturbances broke out 
in a fresh quarter. A gentleman, named Walter Ralegh, 
had attempted to remonstrate with a woman of St. Mary 
Clyst, near Exeter, whom he met on the highway, carrying 
a rosary of beads in her hand. The devotee took this so ill 
as to publish what he had urged on her, with so many un- 
warranted additions, that the people flew to arming them- 
selves, and put their village in a posture of defence. Mr. 
Ralegh narrowly escaped an attack made on him, but being 
assisted by a few sailors in his train, found sanctuary in a 
chapel.* Sir Peter Carew, who headed a deputation from 
the justices at Exeter to these misguided men, succeeded, 
not without a musket being levelled at him in the attempt, 
in establishing a parley with them. Accordingly three 
gentlemen were admitted within the hamlet and continued 
their eff"orts to appease the popular discontent, until night- 
fall. At last the alarm of their friends without had well niarh 
threatened their safety, by a party attempting to rescue 
them ; when they were suff"ered to return, having gained 
nothing beyond a promise of tranquility on the part of the 
populace, provided the reformation were deferred until the 
King came of age. The ill success of this conference 
caused much dissension among the magistrates, some of 
whom openly reproved their brethren of insincerity to the 
reformed cause. On the other hand the malcontents were 
not slow to profit by such a state of things, and Sir Peter 
Carew had hardly time to join Lord Russel at George- 
Nenton, in Somersetshire, when they advanced to lay siege 

*He was subseqently taken prisoner, and kept sometime in rigid con- 
finement in the tower of St. Sidwell's church in Exeter. — Hooker. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 63 

to Exeter, under the conduct of Humfry Arundel, Esq., 
governor of St. IMichael's jMount, with a motley assemblage 
of subordinates, lay and clerical,'''' many of them from the 
lowest grade of society. 

On the 2nd July, Exeter was closely invested by the rebel 
army, and soon reduced to great extremities.! It does not 
however fall within the scope of this paper to relate all that 
occurred during a close blockade of five weeks, or the 
cabals which distracted the city, in which were many not 
well inclined to the royal cause. A successful sally, | in 
wliich the citizens had captured and brought in some of the 
rebel ordnance, as bases and slings, gave rise to a quarrel 
among the most zealous. In this, as we are informed by a 
contemporary, the daughter of one Master Barnard Duffeld, 
a person in the service of Lord Russel, not only uttered 

*The character and fate of Welsh, one of the priests engaged in this 
revolt, must be given in old Hooker's own words : — " This man had many 
good things in him ; he was of no great stature, but well set and mighty 
compact ; he was a veiy good wrestler, shot well both in the long and 
cross bow, handled his firelock well, was a good woodman, and hardy, and 
such a one as would not give his head for the polling, nor his beard for the 
washing. He was hung in chains, on the steeple of St. Thomas' Church, 
of which he was \icar ; he made no confession, but took his death veiy 
patiently, and some few in respect of his good qualifications lamented his 
case." 

tThe bread soon failed, and the citizens were compelled to resort to 
puffins, and bran baked in cloths, in order to keep together ; afterwards 
they were reduced to feed on horse flesh, and soon had to regret the 
scanty supply of even this unsavoury diet. What held out longest was 
rice, fish, prunes, raisins, and wine. — Hooker. 

+The conduct of a Flemish haquebutter in one of these sallies is too 
much in Falstan"'s style to be omitted : in order to escape the blow of a 
bill-hook which threatened him, this valiant soldier made show of yielding 
himself prisoner, then shot the bill-man as he passed by, and "took his 
s|)oile." The black, or, as sometimes it is called, brown-bill, was a kind 
of hatchet, the cutting part hooked like a woodman's bill, from the back 
of which projected a spike, and another at the head. — Grose. 



64 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

many unseemly and disrespectful speeches, but struck the 
mayor in the face ! It appears that she was disappointed in 
obtaining the release of her father, imprisoned among other 
causes for using ill language also to his worship the same 
mayor. 

The rebels had by this time, after much dissension among 
themselves in drawing them up, resolved on forwarding to 
the King certain articles, these went chiefly to uphold the 
doctrine of transubstantiation ; to maintain the use of the 
Catholic liturgy, and not, as they quaintly characterised the 
reformed office, " God's service to be sett foorth as a 
Christmasse plaie :" they further insisted on the celibacy of 
the clergy, and the observance of the six articles of the late 
king. It was plain that a resort to arms must now decide 
the controversy ; yet the Crown not only issued a general 
proclamation to the rebels, offering pardon to such as within 
three days submitted themselves, but also a message* in 
express reference to their stipulations. 

While this fruitless negotiation, if it deserves such a term, 
was pending, the chief commissioner! lay at Honiton 
with few attendants, and those of doubtful fealty. Indeed 
so critical had grown his position, in absence of all aid 
from court, that he thought at one time of retreating into 
Dorsetshire ; but a timely loan, raised for him by three 
wealthy merchants of Exeter, followed by reinforcements 
from the King, put him at length in a condition to meet 
the rebels who had advanced to meet him as far as Veniton 

*It has, both in manner and expression, a remarkable accordance with 
the Book of Homilies, first pubHshed in this reign. 

tThe lords-lieutenants of counties were first instituted at tliis time. — 
Strype's Mem. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 65 

Bridge. This was soon forced, not, however without loss, 
and, although the royal troops received a partial check, being 
attacked by a fresh body of Cornish insurgents, while 
engaged in stripping the slain, the rebels were put to flight. 
Lord Russel deterred from advancing at once on Exeter by 
a false alarm,* returned to Honiton to await further rein- 
forcements : these presently joined him, consisting of a body 
of horse under the command of Lord Grey of Wilton, and 
others, and three hundred musketeers, f commanded by 
Baptiste Spinola, a noble Geonese. 

On the third of August, the royal camp then lying at 
Woodbury was attacked, but without success, by the rebels 
of Clyst : it does, however, argue much for the triumph of 
the King's troops in this skirmish in which a windmill, 
belonging to the loyalist owner of Woodbury, was destroyed, 
— that a thanksgiving sermon on the occasion, preached by 
Coverdale, the Lord Russel's chaplain,:}: was interrupted by 
the report of a renewed attack. Indeed, the reckless valour 
of the insurgents, while it drew forth its meed of well 
deserved applause from the veteran Lord Grey, kept the 
royal forces in continued apprehension ; what they wanted 
in discipline they strove to supply by the suddenness of their 
onslaught. But when this failed, we find the rebels in- 
variably retreated in disorder, of which a single instance 

* Raised, says Hooker, by one Joll, his fool. 

tForeign mercenaries were common in our armies for a long period, 
they were known as ryters, from a German word signifying horsemen, — 
also as braban^ons, coterelli, and Flemmings, and really were a set of 
freebooters of all nations ready to embrace any side for hire. — Grose. 

iJGovernment had given a commission to three preachers to attend lord 
Russel, for the purpose of convincing the people of their errors. — Moore's 
History of Devon. 

E 



66 HISTORY OF OKEHAMTTON. 

will suffice to shew the extent. An important position at a 
bridge* near Clyst had been left with no other defence than 
a solitary arquebuss, and although the rebels succeeded in 
killing the first who attempted to pass, he was slain in the 
act of reloading his piece, by a bill-man, who stole on him 
unperceived from behind. 

Next morning the army was marching in three divisions 
to attack the rebels, who had entrenched themselves in the 
village of Clyst St. Mary, when Sir Thomas Pomeroy, 
knight, a captain in the insurgent forces, executed a 
stratagem which succeeded in throwing the royalists into 
disorder. Concealing himself and a drummer in the line of 
march, he beat an onset in their rear, on which Lord 
Russel, thinking he had been surrounded immediately gave 
orders for retreating ; this was done in such haste, that a 
train of waggons, laden with ammunition and treasure, was 
suffered to fall into the hands of the rebels, by whom these 
things were much wanted. The troops rallied however, and 
advanced again towards the town, during which service they 
lost Sir William Francis, f a gentleman of Somerset, who 
commanded the first division. The resistance was so great 
that no advantage could be gained over them, until the 
King's troops had fired the village, when the insurgents 
made a precipitate retreat, having lost, in slain, burnt in the 
houses, or drowned in attempting to cross the river, about a 
thousand men. In the evening, as they lay at Clyst heath, 
Lord Grey rode to a hill to reconnoitre the enemy, and 
observed, as he thought, a strong body of men marching 

*Lord Russel had offered a reward of 400 crowns to any one who 
should force the passage. 
fHis helmet was crushed into his skull by the heavy stones thrown on him. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 67 

towards the King's camp from Woodbury : the mistake was 
atttended with fatal consequences to those taken, or who had 
surrendered themselves at the windmill, and in Clyst, who 
as a matter of precaution were immediately put to death, 
" each man dispatching his prisoners." 

The following night was employed by the rebels, who in 
part broke up* from before Exeter, in fortifying a position 
on Clyst heath ; in which they made such progress, masking 
their ordnance, and taking other precautions, that it became 
necessary to use circumspection in the attempt to force them 
from it. Accordingly a body of pioneers was detached to 
level the fences of the inclosed grounds near them ; and on 
this being accomplished, the insurgents found themselves 
assaulted in flank and rear ; a short but desperate conflict, 
which few or none of these misguided men survived, decided 
the triumph of the King's cause, and raised the siege of 
Exeter. f 

While the commissioner was following up the stern con- 
sequences of the insurrection, attainting or executing such 
of the ringleaders as had fallen into his hands, and reward- 
ing his followers from the produce of the confiscations, his 
presence became requisite on the original site of the rebellion. 
The disorders of this warfare seem to have been violent 
rather than numerous, but popular frenzy raged highest at 
Sampford : this the following instance may help to evince. 

*" In their inarches they carried about a crucifix under a canopy, Mliich 
instead of an altar was set in a cart, accompanied with crosses and candle- 
■sticks, bainiers, holy bread, and holy water, both to drive away devils, 
and also to dull their enemie's swords." — Speed. 

tLord Russel was now reinforced by a thousand Welsh troops, under 
.Sir William Herbert, master of the horse ; " they came too late," Hooker 
observes, " to have any share in the fray, but were very industrious in 
pillaging the country." 



68 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

The reformed religion, the King's proceedings, as it was 
then called, had found a zealous friend in William Hellions,* 
a gentleman of that place ; his exertions and remonstrances 
excited so much the indignation of the insurgents that he 
was seized and confined in the Church house there. While 
in this place the prisoner's loyalty induced him to make a 
last appeal to them, in which his spirit seems to have led 
him beyond the bounds of prudence. The error cost him 
his life ; the malcontents became exasperated to that degree, 
that as he attempted to withdraw, one Githridge, struck 
him behind with a bill-hook ; in short, notwithstanding his 
cries for mercy, they cleft him in pieces, and in burying the 
dismembered fragments, laid them north and south. f 

The royal army, now swelled by reinforcements to eight 
thousand strong, marched to attack a line of entrenchments 
which had been thrown up at Sampford, Sir William 
Herbert being in command of the advance. The ground 
before the village, though contested with spirit, was pre- 
sently carried with trivial loss on the part of the crown ; but 
a Welsh captain, named Ap Owen,:!: and some others were 
slain in assaulting a rampart erected at the entrance of the 
village. After this, the dispirited remains of the insurgents 
effected a retreat into Somersetshire, where they were 
eittacked and routed at King's Weston, by Sir Hugh Paulet, 
the Knight ^Marshall, one of their chief captains, named 

Cofiin,§ being taken prisoner. 

*The name occurs in Domesday book, where the wife of Hervey HelHons 
is mentioned as holding lands under the crown. 

tAs being tlie body of a confirmed heretic. 

I Sir William Francis and Ap Owen were both of them buried with 
militaiy honours in Exeter Cathedral. 

§He was subsequently executed with Arundel Winslade and other 
leaders in London. Arms — Azure, a cnisule, 3 bezants. — Pole. 




THE AVENUE, OKEHAMPTON. 





SECTION IX.— PART I. 

From Neustria's coasts, 

Mctorious AVilliam tou<^lit with horn and voice 

To cheer the busy hound. — Soiiiervile. 

Okehampton Park. 



ROM the followino- original warrant of Oueen 

Katherine, 1520, sig-ned with her own hand, it 

r^T^jR^^ appears, that the parish of Okehampton was 

^. K^ not inckided with the manors and lands re- 

stored by Henry VII. — 

KatrjTie Oueene, — 

AVe will and command you, that upon the sightte hereof, 
that ye delj-ver, or cause to be delyvered, unto our tnjsty and well 
beloved ser\antt John Cruisse of Cnrsham Orcharde, (Cruwys ^lorchard) 
or to the Biynger hereof, in his name, one buck of season ; to be taken as 
of our g}-fte owte of owre parke in Ockhampton though any Restrapith, 
Commandment, had, or mad to the contraiy, that notwithstandinge. 
Gevj-n at the Manor of Shute, the loth day of Sept. in the i8th year of 
the raigne of owre Soveraigne Lord Kynge Hemy the 8th.* 

To owre trusty and ivelbeloved sai~va)it Robert Cruewis, 
Keeper of owre Parke of Okhampton ; and in his absence to 
his Deputy or Deputies. 

When the castle was demolished — this occurred 30 Henry 
VIII. — this noble and extensive close was disforested, and 
the game, at least the greater part of it, destroyed. The 
*^rom Dr. Howard's collection of letters, published 1753. 



70 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

King took this step at the suggestion of Richard Pollard,* 
Esq., then Sheriff, on whom, at the dissolution of the mon- 
asteries, he bestowed the splendid Abbey of Ford, and who 
had suggested that profit would accrue to the Crown from 
its being converted into arable and pasture lands. The 
Sheriff's scheme, however, proved abortive in all save the 
umbrage it gave to the neighbouring gentry ; they made 
heavy complaints against this encroachment on their field 
sports,! complaints which, without benefiting themselves, 
ended in diverting the King's favour from the unlucky 
projector, and we are told that he never smiled afterwards. J 
In our range over the park and its immediate environs 
we shall be led to treat of 

I. — The Roman Road and Fort. 

The marks of a raised road, skirted in many parts with 
layers of granite, appears to strengthen the hypothesis§ that 
has been advanced by a celebrated antiquary, of a Roman 
road running from Exeter to Stratton by the way of 
Holsworthy. This conjecture has been formed partly from 
the circumstance of two fortifications of very remote date 
occurring in this line, Oldrich and Bradbury ; the latter three 
miles north of Bratton Clovelly, of an oblong form, 225 feet 

*Sir Richard Pollard. — he was knighted three years later, — was the 
son of Sir Richard Pollard of King's-nymet, one of the justices of the 
common pleas. Arms — Argent, a chevron sable, between three escallops, 
gules, -with a cressant. — Pole. 

tThe great interest attached to such pursuits is shewn in that the 
7'rcatyses pcrteynying to hawkyng, hitntyng, and fyshynge, with an angle 
were among tlie first books printed in this countiy by ^^'ynlvyn de Worde in 
i486: they were composed by dame Juliana Berners, "a gentlewoman 
endued with excellent giftes both of body and minde." — Holinshed. 

jCleaveland. 

§!MSS. by Dr. Bennet, bishop of Cloyne, in Lysons' Magna Britannia. 



HLSTORV OF OKEHAMriON. 7I 

bv 1S6, with a single vallum or ditch. We meet with 
indications of such a road or trackway ascending from the 
park gate under Halstock, and again though less defined 
over the scattered clumps of holly growing on its northern 
declination opposite the Castle. On the other hand, to give 
the cautious views of a late writer on the same subject, these 
trackways " possess no characteristic which would lead us 
to assign their construction to the Roman period of British 
history ; nor have we historical evidence that any of their 
roads ran through Danmonium in a direction corresponding 
to them : but as this relic of antiquity has hitherto leceived 
so little investigation, our opinions on this subject are not 
advanced without hesitation, and require further research 
before they can be considered sufficiently established.* 
Almost over the precipice, on the eastern verge of the park 
is a mound of earth whence several other embankments 
winding round it in a circular form may be distinctly traced ; 
this has been held to indicate that a Roman camp once 
existed on the spot. 

It has been remarked by some writers, but on insufficient 
authority, that the fortifications of the Britons were con- 
structed of earth only ; in many parts of this island the 
remains of strong intrenchments of a very peculiar kind, 
situate for the most part on natural eminences,! '^^^^ com- 

*Rev. S. Rowe's Antiquarian Investigations., &c. 

tThe antiquity of hill-fortresses is apparent from huh' writ ; Samson 
dwelt on the rock of Elam, and the Israelites, in a time of invasion, 
jntrenched themselves on Mount Tabor. — Evans. 

Caesar De Bella Gallico has given the description of a lowland camp : 
Tacitus, in noticinjj the fastnesses to which the British chief Caractacus 
retreated, says, " montibus arduis, et, si qua elementer acccdi poteraiit, ii; 
modum valli saxa praestruit." 



72 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

posed of Stone materials, can be attributed to none but this 
primitive race ; they formed the posts and garrisons of the 
aborigines, the secure retreat of their wives, and the last 
resorts in case of defeat. The same strongholds which had 
been deemed necessary to defend our ancestors from 
neighbouring rapine or foreign invasion, would naturally 
become more than ever requisite to maintain in other lands 
the supremacy over a conquered people. "As the ancient 
Britons" says a late writer, " after their expulsion to Wales 
and Cornwall, made frequent attempts to regain their 
territory, the wise policy of the Romans suggested to them 
to erect such forts, — that many of them owe their origin to 
this race appears from their intrenchments, outguards and 
stations ; although it cannot be denied but that they were 
afterwards used by the Saxons, and subsequently to them by 
the piratical Danes."* 

II. — Halstock Chapel. 

About a quarter of a mile without the park wall, towards 
the south-east, in a field called Chapel Lands is the site 
where tern. Henry III. stood the chapel of St. Michael of 
Halstock. In a royal mandate for the perambulation of 
Dartmoor,! addressed to Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and 
others, the boundary is mentioned as running near the 
eastern side of this chapel. :[ From that period to the 
present, the storms of six centuries have wrought their work 

*Rev. Richard Lewis, as quoted in Chappie's Additions to Risdon's 
Survey. 

fRisdon gives a curious account of the rights of the Fengfield men who 
might enjoy on the moor " all that would do them good, except green oak 
and venison." 

:j:Ad vadum proximnm in orientali parte capellaj St. Mich, de Hallgestock, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 73 

in its destruction. Excepting the line of its foundations, 
now covered like the rest by the green s\vard, and a path 
leading to the spot from Belston, with its crossing place 
over the east Okement still called the Chapel ford, there is 
little left to point where our forefathers worshipped.'''' Two 
lonely trees moan to the blast over this fallen memorial of 
their devotion. But tread lightly as you walk there, wanderer, 
for the ground is yet holy ; and then go, commune with 
your own heart and undecayed Nature in the wild glen 
beneath. 

For the casual spectator, the spot can possess no common 
interest ; but for one who is acquainted with the local 
history of the district, who knows each " bosky bourne and 
tangled dell," its beauties are enhanced by a thousand associ- 
ations. He will muse, in the retirement of this lonely glade, 
on the fallen pomp and circumstance of the Roman creed, the 
days of the crosier and crucifix, when Superstition could 
invest the works of Nature as well as those of Art with a charm 
deep and hallowed. The broad slab crossing a brook that 
washes the park-gate as you quit it to climb the rugged path 
to the chapel ruin, seems to debar intrusion within its sacred 
precincts, a fathom below the bridge and the stream is heard, 
not seen ; now dashing over a hundred falls, now playing in 
momentary eddies under a living arcade of copse and briar, 
a seclusion where the Benedictine Brotherf of the chantry 
above might come in his black scapulary and cowl, and un- 

*Thi.s chapel, together with the church of Okeliampton, belonged to 
the priorj' of Cowicke, the patronage of which had been conferred on 
De Brionys. 

t Monks were sent to reside and officiate in the churches appropriated 
to their house, by turns or by lot, and sometimes by way of penance. 



^74 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

seen of all save heaven, perform his matin prayers and 
ablutions.* Then returning- — but fancy must not break in 
on the calmer pursuits of the antiquarian. 

III. — FiTZE Well. 

Nearly on the ritige of the park, a small spring having a 
cross of rude sculpture lying in its ooze, has obtained this 
appellation : it was a custom, until within a late period, for 
young persons to visit the spot on the morning of Easter- 
day. The cross, with an inscription denoting the care piety 
had taken of such places was common in older times ; but 
there is a tradition, though we do not vouch for its authen- 
ticity, that this cross has been removed from its position over 
Halstock chapel. f In a journal kept by Master Richard 
Shebbeare, sometime Mayor of this borough, and which 
will find notice in another place, we read, 29 Sept., 1676 — 
"There was not any water to be seen at Fitze Well, the 
summer soe hot and dry." 

IV. — Lady Ho^vARD. 

Gertrude Courtenay of Landrake — a woman eminent for 
her accomplishments and personal charms — was descended 
from the Lady Elizabeth, Lord Edward's great aunt and co- 
heiress ; she seems to have brought a portion of the baronial 

*It happened one day that the holy man went secretly on early morn- 
ing to his pool of water, and there performed his devotions and psalm-songs 
in the water with naked limbs as his custom was. There heard he 
suddenly the noise of many horsemen, and with much speed he hastened 
from the well, for he would not that his devotions should be known to any 
earthly man in his life-time, but only to the One that ruleth over all. And, 
in his way, he dropped one of his shoes, &cc. — Legend of St. Neot. 

t A remarkable statute, passed tern. Henry VIII. enacts that witchcraft, 
enchantment or sorceiy, practised in digging up, or putting down crosses, 
should be adjudged as felony, without benefit of clergy. 



HISTOkY OF OKKHA^iPTON. 75 

lands into the family of Fitz of Fitzford; it became, at least, 
the (linvn- of her daut^htcr hy Sir John Fit/.,* well known, 
though improperly so, as the Lady Howard. 

Mary Fitz, who seems to have inherited more of her 
mother's beauty than of her other good qualities, had no less 
than four husbands, having married — 

1 Sir Alan Percy, Knight. 

2 Thomas Darcy, Esq. 

3 Sir Charles Howard, brother of the Earl of Suffolk, and 
+ Sir Richard Grenville, Bart. 

This soldier of fortune, brother of the celebrated Sir 
Eeville Grenville of Stow, had served in the German wars.f 
under Prince Maurice, and was engaged in unsuccessful 
descent on the Isle of Rhee, by Villiers, Duke of 
Buckingham, through whose influence his marriage with 
Lady Howard was brought about. Although the fair widow, 
whose beauty w-as not yet on the wane even, had no great 
dower from her previous husbands, she inherited so much 
land in her own right as made her to be considered the 
richest match in the west. Her possessions, however, seem 
to have fallen short of Sir Richard's expectation, and still 
more so of the expensive style in which they lived ; — a dis- 
appointment that made him soon grow indiff"erent to the lady 
lierself. This, in a woman of her spirit, was as quickly 
resented ; their differences grew to such a height that Sir 
Richard " indulged himself in all those licences in her own 
house, which to women are most grievous," until at last 

*Sir John l*"ilz purchased the park of Okchampton. Arms. — Argent, 
a cross, engrailed beticeen twelve guttes, gules. — Browne Willis. 

tThe ol)ject of tliese were to succour the Protestants of Germany 
ayainst the Emperor and duke of Bavaria. — Lyttelton. 



y6 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Lady Grenville sought refuge with the family of her last 
husband. The loss of his wife affected Sir Richard lightly 
enough, until it was discovered, that before her marriage 
with him, she had made an absolute conveyance of her 
entire fortune to the Earl of Suffolk her late husband's 
brother, who at once entered on the property. A suit in 
Chancery instituted by Grenville being decided against 
himself, he sought a hostile meeting with Lord Suffolk, and 
failing in this, he spoke in such terms of the Earl that he 
was cited before the Star Chamber, and adjudged to pay a 
fine of six thousand pounds; he was presently after 
committed, under an execution for that amount, to the 
Fleet prison, where he continued many years. 

At the commencement of the Civil War, Sir Richard who 
had been on an expedition to Ireland after the Protestant 
massacre there, proceeded to London, to obtain some 
arrears due to him from the parliament ; deluding them 
with a hope that he would serve under Waller, as a general 
of cavalry, he joined the King at Oxford with his whole 
regiment, a disaffection which so incensed the parliament, 
that they set a price upon his head, and, some years after, 
executed his only son, who had been taken prisoner, for no 
other crime than that he was such. From Oxford Grenville 
came into the West, with a royal warrant, ordering Colonel 
Digby to reinstate him in his wife's property, that lay within 
his quarters and which, setting aside the question of right 
was sequestered on account of her adherence to the opposite 
interest.* 

*Lord Clarendon's Histoiy. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPION. 77 

IMie following inscription was placed over Sir Richard's 
g-rave at (ihent, in Flaniirrs, wIutc he dird, — 

Sir Richard Grenville, the King's (jEneral in the 

West. 

"We must not omit noticing the legendary superstition 

connected with Okehampton Park — the nightly visit to it by 

Lady Howard (Lady Grenville)*and her skeleton blood hound. 

The memory of this lady is, even now execrated by posterity, 

and a wild legend respecting her, worthy the Hartz 

Mountains, is to this day current among the elders in 

Tavistock. It avers that the coach, of which she was so 

proud, may still be seen, amid the ' glimpses of the moon.' 

rattling through the streets of that town, on its way to 

Okehampton Park, from the seat at which she died. But 

the vehicle is now a coach of bones. Human skulls supply 

the place of those balls that once ornamented the four 

corners of the roof ; and Lady Howard rides in it a pale and 

sheeted spectre, as her skeleton hound runs before her, to 

bring nightly a blade of grass from Okehampton Park to 

the gateway of Fitzford, a penance doomed to endure till 

the last blade of grass shall be plucked, when the world will 

l)e at an end.f 

*Lacly Grenville left a daughter by Sir Ricliard, named Elizabeth, 
who married Colonel William Lennard. 

tBrid.^e's MSS. 



SECTION IX.— PART II. 



This was the charter of the land. 

Old English Song. 

Le Roi et ses Ministres pent etre se feraient lire ces memoires, qui 
assurement ne sent pas ceux d'un ignorant. — Gil Bias. 

Charter of James I. 
Rattenbury's Journal. 




IGHTS not strictly authorized by the Courtenay 
grants,* in time grew prescriptive here, and 
the burgesses seem to have acted in some 
respects as a body corporate long beforef they 
obtained the royal sanction to their privileges ; in 
the 21 James I., the liberties of this place were 
formally recognized and confirmed by the Crown 
in a charter which contains the following reservation, " that 
they, the portreeve and his successors, the burgesses of the 

*Burgus de Okehamptone ; Dominus ejusdera Dominus Hugo de Cortenay 
(Sheriff's return) Madox Firtna Bittxi. 

tOkeharapton \ Nomina diversorum prepositorum burgi prcccticti ut patet 
Burgus t per antiquas chartas. 
Antedate. Johes Markes. 

II Robtus Red 15 Johes Braddeston 

I Gulmas Lemon 2 Rogerus Drake 

9 Johes, at Beare 11 Johes Strada 



Ed. IL 
Ed. in. 



24GalmusHammond 29 Johes Stondon 
Hen. IV. 3 Lawrence King pori/rcve 
Hen. V. 5 & 6 Johes Cowle 8 Johes Hobbe 

Hen. VI. I Galfues Denyall 4 Johes -Smyth 

6 Ricus, at Pitt t,;^ Henry Durybole 

Hen. VII. I & 14 Johes Este- 4 Rieus Clarke 
brooke 
6 & 17 Johes -Smale 7 & 15 Wills Bate 
10 & 2j Wills Ffurse 11 & 21 Mai Pyke 
(Continued on page t^.J 



18 Robtus de Cattleigh 

4 Steph Boghemeade 
23 Johes I'.eare de Hol- 

stocke 
40 Nicholas Thatch 



4 Robtus Tucker 

5 Robtus Keynecot 

5 Johes Tockbeare 

8 Wills Hempton 
12 Tho Northerate 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 79 

free borough of Okehampton and their successors, may have, 
hold, enjoy and use all liberties, franchises, free customs, 
&c., as heretofore, the said portreeve and free burgesses 
lawfully had used and enjoyed from the concession or con- 
firmation of Robert de Courtnaye and Hugh de Courtnaye, 
Knights, or any other lord or lords of the borough." 

This charter created a corporation with eight burgesses of 
whom one was to be mayor, and eight assistants of common 
council, a recorder, justice, and town clerk. They were 
empowered to try all felonies and misdemeanours, in short 
every offence occurring within the borough where the 
punishment should not extend to loss of life or limb. They 
might hold a court of requests for all pleas under the 
amount of thirty pounds. And also a court of pie-poudre, 

I ; Johes Bowdon 16 Ro Payne 18 Wi Taylor, jun. 

(21 & 31 H, VIII) 

19 Johes Downe 2 20 Joh Rowe 22 Jo Rattenburj- (6 

Hen. VIII). 

Hen. VIII. iThoXethecot 3, 8, 17 Mir Bedel 4 AVal Holditih 

5 Jo Rundell 7, 12, 23 Jo Ffrend 9 & 20 Ricus Gay 

10 Johes Rude 14 Hugo Xewcombe 18, 26, 35 Nichs Ratten- 

bury. 

19& 29Stephus West- 22 Edwin Risdon 24 & 34 Johes Delytle 

lake 

27 & 36 Robtus Cattle 28 & 32 Edm Ffurse ;ii & 37 Johes Newcorabe 

(2 Mary) (iiEliz) 

38 Eds Ffuse (4 Ed VI and 3 Mary) 

Thh X.\MliS OK MORK OF THK PORTRKKVES OF OkEH.\MPTON. 

Ed. VI. I Johes Bate Edrs Bowdon (4 Mar)-) 5 Johes Blatchford 

o Robert Underdown 6 Hen Webbery (19 & 28 
Eliz) 
Mary 5 Henry Hellier 9, 15, 25 Ricus Brocke 10 & 23 Henrj- Dyer 

Eliz. I Johes Legge 13 & 18 Johes Bickell 14,24, 31, 4o01iver Downe 

12 20 Johes Alford 21 & 29 Nic Can 22, 32, 38, Johes Ffurse 

16 AVi Cornew 27 & 35 Ed Caun (3 Jas.) 

26 Jo Tapper (2 Jas.) 37 & 44 Ro-Webbery 30, 3b, 43 Henry Under- 

downe 
41 John Growdon 5 & 12 AVill Growden 39 Ric Harrogrow (o & 

(4, II. 19 Jas.) ' 14 Jas.) 

James I. 1,8, i6,Jo Rattenbury 

ig & 18 Rich Caun 
9 & 17 Will Webbery 7 & 15 Will Calmady 

13 Peter Rattenbury 
Master Richard Shcbbeare's MSS. in the possesssion of Tlionias Bridgman 
Luxmore, Esq. 

(Confintied fivm page 78.^ 



8o HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

or a court of such petty chapmen as resort to fairs or 
markets. But the charter directed that no stranger shall 
exercise his handicraft or expose goods for sale except in 
time of Fair or Market, unless he be free of the borough, or 
have his licence from the Mayor for so doing. 

-r. o Nomina Majorum. 

Villa and Burg ) ■' 

1623 21 Jac. I. John Gro\vden gent, et modernus Maior. 

In this year the town prison was built, 1624. 

1624, 18 Sept. William Kennacott disfranchised by con- 
sent of the comon counsell from being a freeman for 
sundry abuses and misdemeanors against his oath and duty. 

1624, 22 Jac. I. Petrus Rattenbury chosen Maj^or 4th 
Oct , 1624. 

2 April, 1625. King Charles was here proclaimed King 
by proclamation. 

5 Sep. Scq. King Charles came to Plymouth, and stayd 
eight days, at which time John Glanville, Esq., recorder of 
this town, was commanded by the King to goe a voyage in 
warfare, as secretary to the councill of warre, viz. to Cales. 

Ano, I Car Rex I., 3rd Oct. 1625. William Jordan, gent, 
chosen Ma3'or and Portreeve of Okehampton, town and 
borough. 

This yeare there was a very great sicknesse and visitation 
of the pestilence in this towne, whereof dyed about 300 
people, most of them of the younger sort; and from Easter 
even 1626, untill after Michaelmas following, noe markett 
at all kept here save only some small quantity of victualls 
brought in weekly on the markett day by two or three butchers 
of this towne and parish ; during all which time most part of 



HISTORY OF OKF.HAMPTOX. 8 1 

the inhabitants — not being permitted to travell abroade, ex- 
cept only to the city of Kxon upon the Mayor's certificate of 
being free, etc. — continued here, and no Taxe or Rates for 
releife being had from other places — as most of the other 
townes now visited had, by the procurement and letters, of the 
Mayor, Justice, and one of the principal Burgesses. There 
was some voluntary benevolence from divers parishes brought 
in, amounting to ;^55, odd money, and some provision of 
come and victualls sent also, and the same from tyme to 
tyme by the Mayor and his appointment, distributed and 
bestowed for the releif of the poor here inhabiting, as by 
the booke of particulars thereof written out since by the 
towne clerk, may appear ; during all which time by the 
providence of Almighty God, and the great paine, and 
especial care of the Mayor and Justice, the sick people were 
from time to time releived with necessaries ; the often 
intended disorders and outrages were quickly repressed and 
appeased, and noe hurt, losse, or violent damage of any 
value done to any person, whatsoever, God bee thanked 
for it. 

Ano 2. R Car I. Johannes Rattenbury, gent, elect Mayor 
2 die Octobries, 1626. 

New Seates made and set in the chapel at the cost of the 
Corporation. 

This yeare the loft for the Organe in the Church and for 
the new Seates, these with the new Windowes in the Roughe 
were finished and the organ repayred. 

Ano 3 Car I. Johannes Bremelcombe, gent, eltus Major, 
I die Octobris. 

This yeare, from the 20th November, untill the i8th of 

F 



82 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

January, the Mayor, Officers, and Inhabitants here were 
much troubled and charged by the soldiers billeted here, 
and the charge of many sick soldiers left unpayd. 

This yeare the four bells at the Church were new cast, 
and a new fifth bell added. 

3 August 1628, \ About four o'clocke in the afternoon, 
being Sabbath day ) immediately after evening prayer 
ended att the Church of Okehampton, there being noe raine 
perceived to fall within or neare this towne, and the streets 
being then very drye, the water now called Lede, or the 
East water was suddenly risen about some v. foote at the 
Easte bridge running more violent than had been usually 
knowne and twas conceived the water did savour and smell 
of some brimstone. 

Beere bridge repayred in the middle piller at the towne 
charges. 

Ano 4 Car I. Mr. Henry Bowden chosen and sworne 
Mayor 6 Oct. 1628. 

This year the moytie of the borough of Okehampton was 
purchased of the Right honblle, John Lord Mohun, Baron 
of Okehampton, for which was payd, ;^XX. and an yearly 
rent charge of ;^VII in ffee. 

An. 5, Car I. Mr. Peter Rattenbury chosen and sworne 
Mayor of Okehampton and Portreeve 5 Oct. 1629. 

An. 6, Car I. Wm. Jordan gent, chosen and sworne Mayor 
and Portreeve 4 Oct. 1630. 

April I John Glanville, Esq.. recorder, resigned and 

1630. ) yielded up his place, and John Dogge, Esq. 
chosen recorder during the will and pleasure of the Mayor 
and burgesses. 



HISTORY OF 0KHHA:MPT0X. 83 

An. 7, Car I. Mr. Henry Cole chosen and sworne Mayor 
30 Sept. 1633. 

An. 8, 9, Car I. John Rattenbury gent, chosen and swoine 
^Nlayor i Oct. 1632. 

December. The lecture at the chapel appointed and 
begun upon the town court days, by ]Mr. Michael Porter. 

An. 9, Car I. John Vaghan gent, chosen and sworne 
Mayor 30 Sept. 1633. 

The measures of the towne and weights tryed and some 
reformed. 

An. 10, Car I. I\Ir. John Bremelcombe chosen and sworne 
Mayor 5 Oct. 1634. 

Aug. 26 seq. Thomas Reddaway comitted to prison for 
abusing the Mayor, until and after bound to his good 
behaviour ; and entered into recognizance not to play at un- 
lawful games nor to haunt any such places. 

]\Iem. That ;^30 was levied (by a speciall writt directed 
to the INIayor and Burgesses) for shipping money. 

Mr. Oliver Tapper, of Exon, Merchant, borne here, gave 
£1, which was distributed to the poore, &c. 

Ano. II, Car I. ?^Ir. Henry Bowden chosen and sworne 
Mayor 5 Oct. 1635. 

March 31, seq. Roger Oke sent to the goale at Exeter, 
for stabbing and killing William Slade, and afterwards 
executed. 

Edmund Cann the elder, for speaking slandrously against 
the government of this town, was committed and bound to 
his good behaviour. 

An. 12, Carl. Mr. Peter Rattenbury chosen and sworne 
Mayor, 3 Oct. 1636. 



84 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

November, £^0 collected for Ship money, paid to the 
Sheriffe, Dennis Rolle, Esq. of Devon. 

An. 13, Car I. JMr. William Jordan chosen and sworne 
Mayor 2 Oct. 1637. 

William Arscott abused Mr. Mayor insufferably, for which 
he was committed and bound to good behaviour, and con- 
tinued two sessions, and then made submission. 

Nov. At the Lords' Auditt, Sir Richard Vivian, Knt. 
and Peter Courtney, Esq. did question the Mayor and the 
Burgesses touching this Market and Shambles, &c. 

An. 14, Car I. Mr. Richard Hayne chosen and sworne 
INIayor, i Oct., 1638. 

The Pound within the borough made up this summer, 
and the keeping thereof granted to William Weekes for his 
life, and after him to Johan, his daughter, they dwelling 
where he, the sayd William Weekes now dwelleth, and repayr- 
ing the same, after its new made, &c. This Pound was 
made up with posts and rayles many years since. 



SECTION X. 

Nam genus et proavos et qune non fecimus ipsi 
Vix ea nostra voco. — Ovid, Metatn, 13. 

Ar.EYANCE OF THE BaRONY OF OkEHAMPTON. 



se^ 



x^ TV ^ "^^ ^""^ 




iquisition taken after the death of Lord 
rard Courtenay at Padua, his heirs were 
found to be the descendants from the four 
sisters of Edward Courtenay who had been 
created Earl of Devon in the first year of 
Henry the VII. These sisters — the Ladies 
EUzabeth, IMaude, Isabel, and Florence — had 
married Trethurffe, Arundel, IMohun and Trelawny 
respectively, into which families passed what remained of 
the once splendid possessions of Courtenay, and the latent 
claim to their baronial honors.*' 

I. — John Trcthurflfe, of Trethurffe, esq., married the lady 
Elizabeth ;f the portion of the estate inherited by her 

*After the death of the last Earl of Devon in 1556, the estates were 
di\ided among the co-heiresses. Sir Francis Vy\yan, one of the representa- 
tive of Trethurffe, possessed an eighth so late as 1743. Another eightli 
was for nearly a centurj' in the family of Xorthmore, it afterwards passed 
to the Luxmoores and from them to Hemy Holland. One fourth was 
some time in the family of Coxe. 

tin the first \isitation in 1531, the oldest book of e\idence in the 
Heralds' College, the lady Elizabeth is called, " furst dafter of Hugh 
Courtenaye." 



86 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

devolved on their two grand-daughters, co-heiresses, Eliz- 
abeth and Margaret, who married Vivian, and Edward 
Courtenay, of Landrake, esqs. 

II. — Sir John Arundell of Tolverne, married first INIaude, 
daughter of Sir Hugh Courtenay, Knight, and had by her 
two sons, who died young. 

III. — William IMohun,* of Hall.f esq., descended from 
Reginald de Mohun, younger son of John, first baron 
jNIohun of Dunster, a dignity that fell into abeyance, temp. 
Edward III., espoused the lady Isabella: their son and heir 

John ]\Iohun and Anne Coode his wife, who both died of 
the sweating sickness within twenty-four hours of each 
other, left issue eight children. The eldest, 

Reginald, — who became heir to lord Edward Courtenay in 
right of his grandmother^ — married Jane Trevanion and 
had issue 

*Arms. — Or, a Cross engrailed, Sable. 

Until the reign of Edw. III., amis were but personal de\ices, and died 
with the bearers, as may be seen from cases in this, and other noble 
families: — 30 Ed. III. cir, the office of provincial herald, was instituted, 
when they became positive, by records entered in the office of arms, and 
hereditary to names and families. — Hal's Parochial History of Cornwall. 
Descent of Mohiin. 

tThe mansion of Hall, situate in the parish of Lanteglos, juxta Fowey, 
sustained much injury during the civil war ; when it was taken by the 
royalists under Sir Richard Grenville, and garrisoned for the King. Its 
commanding situation soon gave Charles the dominion of the harbour, 
but did not place him beyond the reach of danger ; while inspecting the 
passes over the river, and the garrisons of Hall and Pemon fort, he 
narrowly escaped a shot from the enemy, which is said to have killed a 
fisherman while he was gazing on the King. — Drew's Cornwall. 

IjOkehampton castle with two-fourths of the manor became the property 
ol the Alohuns ; one by inheritance and the other by purchase. These 
were possessed by the Pitts for many years, and afterwards were pur- 
chased by Lord Clive; he also added another fourth part, if not the whole, 
which passed to the Prince of Wales (aftei-wards Geo. IV.) HoUand, and 
Albany S a vile. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 87 

Sir William Mohun, Knight, who married first Joan 
Horsey, and after her death Anne, relict of Sir John 
Trelawney : his heir 

Reginald ^Nlohun, of Boconnoc, esq. was created a baronet 
by James I. At the time of Carew's Survey, he was "a 
widower of two wifes," the first a daughter of Sir Henry 
Killigrew, the second, Philippa, daughter of John Hele, esq., 
Serjeant at law. Sir Reginald was one of the deputy 
Lieutenants of Cornwall, a justice of peace, and commanded 
six companies of local forces of one hundred men each \^' 
he was succeeded by his son. 

Barons INIohun of Okehampton. 

Sir John Alohun, second baronet of his family, was 
elevated to the peerage, by patent bearing date 15th April, 
1628, by the title of Baron ]Mohun of Okehampton. His 
lordship, who became one of the chief cavalier commanders 
in the west, and did essential service to the royal cause, f 
married Cordelia Stanhope, relict of Sir Roger Ashton, by 
whom he had issue — John, who succeeded to the title and 
estates ; Warwick, heir to his brother ; Sir Charles JMohun, 
Knight J, and three daughters. § His lordship dying in 1644, 
*These were armed with 200 pikes, 210 muskets, and igocalivers. 

tThe lord !Mohun, who had, from the time of the first motion in Corn- 
wall, forborne to join the King's parties, presented himself to his 
Majesty at Brentford, soon after the battle of Edgehill ; he was at once 
associated in a military commission with ilopton, Ashbarnham, and others, 
the Kinj^'s ofhcers in the west, not without giving some umbrage to 
stauncher royalists, and returning into Cornwall quietly raised a regiment 
of foot, although not very popular there. — Clarendon. 

JHe was slain at Dartmouth, fighting on the King's side, and was 
buried in the family vault at Boconnoc, October, 1643. 

§The eldest of these, the Hon. Cordelia Mohun, married John Harris, 
of Hayne, esq., 1644. 



88 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

his honors devolved on John, second Lord IMohun, who 
however died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother 
Warwick, third baron ; this nobleman married Catherine 
Willes, of Brember, in the county of Southampton, and 
dying in 1665, was succeeded by Charles, fourth Baron 
IMohun of Okehampton ; who espoused the Lady Philippa, 
one of the six daughters of Arthur Annesley, first Earl of 
Anglesea, at that time Lord Privy Seal, and had issue a son of 
his own name, who inherited the title on his death, some- 
time before 1682. 

Charles Mohun, fifth and last lord, was of a vehement 
and passionate temper, which led him into many excesses 
in his youth, and subjected him to be twice arraigned for 
murder, but he was on both occasions honorably acquitted. 
Having had a dispute with James, Duke of Brandon and 
Hamilton, — regarding an estate (Sandon Hall), left him 
by the Earl of Macclesfield, whose niece Lord IMohun 
had married, he challenged that nobleman, and a duel 
ensued in Hyde Park on the 15th Nov. 1712, wherein both 
the combatants were slain.* His lordship married, first, 
Charlotte the daughter of — Mainwaring, Esq., by Lady 
Charlotte Gerard, sister of Charles, Earl of IMacclesfield ; 
and secondly, Elizabeth Lawrence, widow of Colonel 
Griffeth, but had no issue, in consequence of which the 
Barony of IMohun of Okehampton, at his decease, became 
extinct. 

IV. — The Lady Florence Courtenay married John 
Trelawny of IMenheniot, Esq., by whom she had three sons, 

*Lord Mohun fell by the duke's fire, the death of Hamilton was 
attributed by some to treacherj' on the part of General Macartney, lord 
Mohun's second. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 89 

Walter, Alneth, to whom, (3 Henry VIII.), Katherine, Countess 
of Devon, daughter of Edward IV., granted the bailiwick of 
Exicon, and the west gate of the city of Exeter, for life, and 
Edward ; Alneth, and Edward died without issue, and their 
father died at Tournay, 1515.'^' 

*Gilbert's History of Cornivall. Bullae's Extinct Peerage. Collins's 
Peerage, by Sir Egeiton Biydges. 




SECTION XL— PART I. 

"Thou that with ale, or \iler hquors, 
Didst inspire Withers, Pryn and Vickars. 
And force them," etc. 

Hiidibras. 

The Civil Wars and Commonwealth. 



share borne by this town in the events of 
this disastrous period, continued to find a 
faithful chronicler in Master Rattenbury 
— faithful, as far as he goes, for this 
worthy burgess, being, as we suspect, at 
heart a royalist, appears fearful of com- 
mitting himself after the ruin of the 
royal cause. In the year of the King's 
death and those consequent on it, the re- 
cord merely notices by whom the civic chair here was filled, 
there being no other entry whatever. 

1637, Car. XIII. Mr. William Jordan chosen and sworne 
mayor, 2 Oct. 

A writ brought to Mr. Mayor for the shipping money,* 
(ship-money) £10 paid. 

*Ship-money ; seaports only were at first made liable to this impost, it 
was subsequently levied on the inland towns also. — Salmon, 




HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 9 1 

Thos. Wise, Esq., Sherriffe of this County of Devon, sent 
letters to ^Mr. IMayor of Exeter, and the mayors of all 
Other the corporations within this county, to give him a 
meeting in the town of Okehampton, the 26th of this 
October, to treat and advise touching the shippinge rate, 
and of the Lords, .... and directions thereupon, who 
met here accordingly. 

1638, Car XIV. Mr. Richard Heayne chosen and sworne 
Mayor i October. 

Jan. 16, 1639. Michael Douglas for abusing Mr. Mayor 
was imprisoned and bound to his good behaviour, and after 
upon his publique submission freed. 

A writ for the Shepe-rate* sent, proportion £\z paid in 
November 1639, but delivered in August before unto Sir 
John Pole Baronett then Sherriffe of the County of Devon. 

1639, Car XV. Johes Rattenbury, gent, elect et jurat, 
Maior 30 September. 

Dec. 29. A writt brought to the Mayor for the Shippe 
rate : proportion ;^3o, which money being for the most part 
collected, was afterwards returned to every one again. 

This year many companyes of soldyers, which came out of 
Cornwall, prest for the north against the Scotts, with the 
captaynes and officers travelling this way were lodged here, 
and passed quyetly. Special care being taken for billettingf 
of them, and a vigilant watch set during night. 

1640, Car XVI. Mr. IMichael Drew chosen and sworn 
mayor, 3 Oct. 

*Ship-iate. 

tThe Commons, 7 December, 16 Car. I., voted the imposition of ship- 
money and the billeting of soldiers to be illegal. 



92 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Jan., 1 641. This year a writt, procured by the right hon, 
lord Mohun, Baron of Okehampton, was brought to ]\Ir. 
Mayor and the burgesses and inhabitants here, for the choice 
of burgesses for the parliament, which privilege this borough 
had in ancient tymes as by the records in the Tower of 
London appeareth. 

At the election day, after the publication of INIr. Sheriffe 
of Devon, his warrant on the said writt four or five days 
before, two gentlemen, viz., Lawrence Whittaker, Esq., and 
Edward Thomas, Esq., recommended by the said Lord 
Mohun before, — the said Mr. Thomas was chosen by general 
consent, in the place, first the said Mr. Whittaker named, 
and with him Sir Shilston Calmady,*" knight, (not before 
heard of by the INIayor and burgesses here) Mr. Whittaker 
had most voyces and he and Mr. Thomas, certified by in- 
denture between the SherrifFe and the towne. Whereupon 
Sir Shilston Calmady came hither shortly after and 
endeavoured a new election, and required Mr. INIayor to 
have the Town Seal to seal another indenture which INIr. 
Mayor and the burgesses denyed him, whereupon Sir 
Shilston delivered some petition to parliament without effect. 

4 May 1 641. Symon Oxenham indited and fyned ^10, to 
the King's Majesty this year, who afterwards submitted him- 
self to the subscribed fyne. 

The Protestation! sent from parliament now taken by INIr. 
Mayor and the burgesses and assistants present and by 

*Calmady — azute, a chevero7i between three bears, pendant, or. — 
Sir W. Pole. 

tl do, in the presence of Almighty God, promise, vow and protest 
te maintain and defend, as far as lawfully I may, with my life, power and 
estate, the true reformed protestant religion, expressed in the doctrine of 
the Church of England, (&c. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMITON. f)3 

divers others and also by all or the most part of the town 
and parish of Okehampton. 

This year was some disorder committed in setting up a 
may-pole here, and some stirr touching it afterwards at the 
town sessions. 

1 64 1, Car XVII. i\Ir. William Gayer chosen and sworn 
mayor, 4th Oct. 

An order made by general consent that the roome under 
the Court house should be fitted, and employed for a roome 
to sell corn and wheat in, for some moderate toll : neglected 
by reason of the succeeding many troubles.^' 

Lawrence Whittaker, Esq., one of the burgesses for the 
parliament of this boroughe did send forty shillings to the 
poor people of this town, which was brought and distributed 
to them accordingly.! 

1642, Car XVIII. ]Mr. John Bremescombe chosen and 
sworn iMayor, 3 Oct. 

4, Oct. Mr. John Vaghan, gent, being indicted for words 

spoken, he brought a writ of certiorari out of the Crown 

office to remove it, which Mr. Vaghan's son delivered to Mr. 

Mayor in open Sessions : which indiction, was, by the 

direction of the King's Serjeant ; returne was made of the 

writt, but no effect, in that the jurors names there were 

omitted ; but by reason of the disturbances of the tymes,:}: 
*At the beginning of the contest, the whole of this country seems to 
have been in the possession of the parHamentary committee. Exeter with 
a numerous body of their partizans quartered there, was in an excellent 
state of defence ; Plymouth had been seized by the inhabitants and 
strongly fortified, and the north of Devon in particular, was remarkable 
for its state of disaffection. — Moore. 

tThe signature of the writer is attached here, J. R. 
J After the defeat of Ruthen, the roundhead general, on Bradock- 
downs, loth Jan., 1643, a treaty of peace between Devon and Cornwall 
was proposed, and ratified by a solemn oath, this act of accommodation 
was however nullified by the parliament, 19 January, 1643. 



04 tttStORY OP OKEHAMfTON. 

and Mr. Vaghan's death this year, no more (was) done in yt. 

The King's armyes and the parliament's armies* came 
severally to this town, dyvcrs times this year, and quartered 
here, to the great daimnage of the inhabitants. 

Mr. INIayor suffered very much both in his person and 
estate by some of the armies. 

March, 1643. This year the butchers sold flesh on market 
days in Lent, commonly as at other tymes. 

May, 1643. The fortification in Stony park was made by 
the direction of Major James Chudleigh, of the Parliamentary 
army. And there was a fight at Meldon Downe,f by night, 
in a great tempest of wind and rain. 

June, 1643. A weekly paie begun towards the support of 
the army for the King, rated at i pound od money for this 
town and parish in Lifton hundred. 

Sept. 23, 1643. Mr. John Hussey, Vicar of Okehanipton 
dyed. And after him Mr. Richard Mervyne, Batchelor of 
Divinity, was in the year followinge admitted and inducted. 

1643. Car XIX, Mr. Lewis Parker chosen and sworn 
Mayor 2. Oct. 

*During these troubles the royal forces were chiefly raised by the 
nobility and gentry, who adhered to the royal cause, from among their 
tenantry and defendants ; most of the miUtia, and particulaiy the train- 
bands of London, sided with the parliamentarians. — Grose's Military 
Antiquities. 

tThe night before the expiration of the treaty, Chudleigh, who was a 
major-general, marched on Lanson, with a view of surprising the royalists 
in garrison tliere ; he was met, however, by Sir Ralph Hopton, and Sir 
Richard Grenville, on a downe near Bridestowe : Clarendon, who calls it 
a night skinnish, admits that the King's party received a severe check, but 
Vicaiy notices the affair as a brilHant action, and proposes a pyramid and 
inscription in honour of the parliamentarians, one hundred and eighty 
soldiers who were engaged in it. Chudleigh was, nevertheless, obliged to 
fall back on his posts at Okington : on the i6th May he was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Stratton. 



HISTORY OF OKEhAMPTOK. 05 

The weekly pay to the army contynued, and other taxes 
and payments with free quarter which was very chargeable 
to the inhabitants here this year. And Mr. Major and the 
constables very much troubled. 

July I, 1644. Queen Mary came hither with a great many 
and stayed 2 nights. Mr. Mayor gave to the queen's 
servants of her guard £^ — which was required of him. 

July 2nd to the 19th. Prince Maurice with the King's army 
quartered here almost 3 weeks, during which tyme very 
many sheepe were plundered and killed, and eat by the 
soldiers, and the yeast hay and other provision of the in- 
habitants were spent. 

One soldier was then hanged here in the street for 
plundering a house in Inwardley.f 

July 22. The Earle of EssexJ came with the L. Roberts, § 
and the Parliament Army to a very great number, and very 
many carriages, but tarried but one night. 

*While laying here it was increased by additions from the besiegers at 
Plymouth, to 5000 foot and 2000 cavalrj'. — Clarendon. 

tAVe find the following "Memorandum" in the Register book there — 
made about the year 1763 : — 

" Francis Nation, my grandfather, was rector of Parkham, and this 
palish too till May i6th, 1702, at which time he died at Parkham and was 
buried there, aged 82, ha\-ing been rector of this paiish about 56 years; 
but was turned out for sometime in Oliver's days for his loyalty to the 
King, afterwards restored again when the King was returned." 

JPrince Maurice marched from this place to Crediton, and on the same 
day Essex removed his quarters, with an intention either to surprise the 
prince there, or to raise the siege of Plymouth. — Moore. 

^The lord Robert's field marshall to Essex his army, had given him 
the allowance of /'G per diem. — Whitelock. 

Lord Robartes of Lanhydroc, after earl of Rodnor — "was a staunch 
presbyterian, sour and cynical, just in his administration, but vicious under 
the semblance of virtue ; learned above any of his quality, but still, 
obstinate, proud and jealous, and every way intracticable." 



96 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

24. Came in Sir Robert Pye, Knight, with dyvers others 
to quarter, and towards night some skirmish was in the 
parish, and some killed which caused him and his company 
to depart suddenly that night. 

King Charles* came with many Lords and his army and 
staled one night. Mr. Mayor gave to his Maty's servants 
twenty pounds .... being required by them with much 
earnestness. 

And to the Earle of Linsey his servants £t, i is. od. 

1644. Car XX. Mr. Richard Heayne chosen and sworn 
Mayor 30 Sept. 

Sir Richard Grenville, knight and baronet, quarteredf in 
this town several times, and divers other commanders, 
officers and souldiers. 

This year the town was put to great costs for free quarter 
post-horses and convoy of letters by parliamentary souldiers 
and other such like as by Mr. Heayne's accompt may appear. 

1645. Car XXI. Mr. Thomas Hill chosen and sworn 

Mayor 6 Oct. 

This year in Oct. and Nov. Sir Richard Grenville did raise 

*The King slept at Bow the night before, where Prince Maurice, 
whose army had been reviewed by him on the 27th at Crediton, and who 
was a day's march in advance, had left httle or no provisions. Charles 
passed through Okehampton, i6th September following, on his return 
from Cornwall, after the capitulation of the parliamentary forces there 
under Essex. 

tWhile Sir Richard was here he formed several mad designs, which he 
always communicated to the prince or lords in writing ; one of these, was 
"to cut a deep trench from Barnstaple to the south sea, for the space of 
nearly forty miles, by which," he said, "he would defend the country 
west of it against all the world." He also wrote from this place to colonel 
John Arundell, governor of Pendennis, " that the prince intended to 
remove him from that command, and to confer it on the lord Hopton, 
but that he should not suffer such an ajfront to be put on Mm. — Clarendon. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 97 

barricadoes and other works and made this town a garrison 
town for a while — free quarter continued till February.* 

Sir Thomas Fairfax, Generall of the Parliamt Army was 
here 2 days and marcht thence upon Faster-day 1646. 

i\Ir. Hill dyed !Mayor this year. 

J 646. Car XXII. ]Mr. John Shebbear chosen and sworn 
Mayor, 6 Octobris. 

1647. Car XXIII. John Rattenbury chosen and sworn 
]\Iayor 30 Oct. 

Officers and souldiers quartered! ^^re part of this year. 

1648. Car XXIV. INIr. Christopher Drewe chosen and 
sworn jNIayor 2. Oct. 

1649. Mr. John Bremelcombe,:j: Mayor. 

1650. i\Ir. William Drewe, ]\Iayor 30 Sept. 

1 65 1. Mr. Richard Heayne, Mayor 6 Oct. 

1652. Mr. John Shebbear, 4 Oct. 

1653. INIr. Christopher Drew, 3 Oct. 

1654. Mr. John Newcombe, 2 Oct. 

*On the 2 1st October, 1645, lord Goring rested here on his way to 
Ta\-istock, whence he soon after returned with a fresh supply of fool, at 
which time he had between nine and ten thousand men in the both towns. 

Grenville had sent three regiments of foot, consisting of 600 veteran 
soldiers, under major-general ^lolesworth, to Okiitgton, but withdrew 
them, after the defeat of Wentworth's horse in the Southams, to Launces- 
ton, in the face of a strong remonstrance from the lords Capel and Cole- 
jiepper who lay at Exeter : posting detachments along the banks of the 
Tamar, he ordered that none of lord Goring' s men should be suffered to 
enter the country- on any pretence whatever. — Clarendon. 

TP'uller in his quaint style, describing the Giihhings, a wild race of men 
on the edge of Dartmoor, near Brentor, says, " during our civil wars no 
souldiers were quartered amongst them for fear of being quartered among 
them ; their wealth consisteth in other men's goods, as they live by steal- 
ing the sheep on the moor, and vain it is for any to search their houses, 
being a work beneath the pains of a sheriff, and above the power of 
any constable." 

JThis was the fourth time he was mayor, wlio by his trade was an 
wholesale haberdasher of hatts, and left a fayre estate to his posterity, he 
dyed 5th Sep., 1652. — Shebbeare's Note. 

G 



g8 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Oct. 3. Mr. John Rattenbury, town clerk, presented to 
Mr. Mayor a little silver scale, having Okehampton town 
arms engraven thereon, tyed with a black ribbon (as a 
legacy) to remain with him and his successors yearly while it 
lasted. 

30 November. Josias Calmady, Esq., gave a fat bullock 
to the poore people of Okehampton at the tyme of his 
marriage with Mrs. Elizabeth Gay whose contract was 
published in Okehampton Markett. 

1655. Mr. Thomas Carter, Mayor i Oct. 

Mr. John Rattenbury, one of the principall burgesses 
dyed in this year, having been towne clarke, and steward of 
the borough for above thirty years, and four tymes mayor, a 
great preserver of the Records and priviledges belonging to 
this town. 

1656. Mr. Andrew Treweene, Mayor 6 Oct. 

15 April, 1657. Thomas Austyn elected and sworn town 
clerk during his life, as by the charter.* 

1657. Mr. John Shebbear, Mayor 5 Oct. 

Mr. Digory Treweene, chosen to be schoolmaster at the 
free school of this town and borough, to teach 6 poor 
children, and to have ten pounds a year, being the gift of 
the corporation for his better encouragement. 

1658. Mr. Richard Rook, Mayor 7 Oct. 

27 Dec. John Blackmoor, Knight, Sheriff of Devon, sent 
his warrant to the mayor and burgesses of Okehampton for 
the election of two burgesses to serve in parliament. 

3 Jan., 1659. Edward Wise of Sidenham in the County 
of Devon, Esq., and Robert Everard, of Great Waltham in 
*Vice Thos. Wills, gent., dismissed for neglect of duty. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 99 

the County of Essex, Esq., were by general consent elected 
Burgesses. 

1659. Mr. Christopher Drewe, ]\Iayor, 3 Oct. 

30 May, 1660. ^Matthew Gold, Esq., Sheriff of Devon, 
sent his warrant to the Mayor and commonalty of Oke- 
hampton for the election of two burgesses to serve in the 
next parliament. 

4 April. The mayor and commonalty proceeded to 
election of Burgesses, and notwithstanding the Lord 
INIohun's endeavour for Robt. Reynold, Esq., Edmund Wise, 
Esq., and Josias Calmady, Esq., were elected burgesses for 
this town and borough, and had their indentures forthwith 
sealed. 

The Lord Mohun endeavoured to have brought in the 
tenants of the Manor of Okehampton to have had voices in 
the said Election, but was withstood, and the tenants of the 
manor adjudged not capable of giving voices in election of 
burgesses within the town and borough.*' 

1 1 April. The Lord Mohun's agents get another In- 
denture for Mr. Reynold, under the hands and scales of 
some of the inhabitants of this Town here, and divers of the 
tenants, off the Manor, which afterwards came to nothing. 
And ^Vr. Wise, and Mr. Calmady contynued to sett as 
Burgesses. 

Kinge Charles the second proclaimed Kinge of England, 
Scotland, France, and Ireland. 

*The House of Commons, however, recognized their ri^'hts to vote 
within the tutvn in the ensuing year, and they continue to exercise it until 
the close of its parliamentary franchise. 




SECTION XL— PART 11. 

" jSIy capt. presented me to tlie King, saying, An't please 
your majesty, this gentleman is an old cavalier, and my 
chaplain, I kneeled downe; he gave me his hand, I kist it, 
and said, pray God blesse your majesty ! He answered, God 
blesse you boath together ! twice ; and walked along the 
gallery his woonted large pace." 

Diary of Henry Teonge, Chaplain of H.M.S. "Bristol," 1678. 

Okehampton after the Restoration. 

1660. 12 Car II. Mr. Thomas Austyn, mayor, i Oct. 

1 66 1. Mr. Richard Horrell, mayor, 30 Sept. 

1662. Mr. Francis Hutchings, mayor, 5 Oct. 

1663. Mr. Henry Palfrey, mayor, 4 Oct. 
1664 Mr. Thomas Carter, mayor, 3 Oct. 

This year Seth Ward, lord bishop of Exon was here; chil- 
dren confirmed. 

1665. ]\Ir. John Gayer, mayor, 2 Oct. 

1666. Mr. Robert Rattenbury, mayor, i Oct. 

This year the Shambles were pulled down and new built, 
with a chamber over the Shambles, which was intended for 
a place to sell wheate in, which cost the corporation a very 
considerable quantity of money. 

1667. Mr. John Shebbear, mayor, 30 Sept. 

1668. Mr. Richard Horrell, mayor, 5 Oct. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. lOI 

1669. Mr. Richard Shebbeare, mayor, 4 Oct. 

1670. 22 Car II. Mr. Richard Underdowne, mayor, 3 Oct. 

29 Oct. There happened a fire in the school house chim- 
ney, which occasioned the burning down of the school, that 
is all the thatch to a very small matter, but most of the 
timber was preserved ; it fell out on a Saturday in the after- 
noon. 

Nov. Sir Thomas Hole, Knight, one of the burgesses in 
parliament for this town and borough, dyed this yeare, and 
Arthur Harris, esq *•' chosen in his roome. 

Collected by Mr. John Hussey, and Cosinf Benjamin 
Gayer for and towards the relief of poor protestants taken 
in Turkey, the charity of the inhabitants of this town and 
parish, and there was gathered ten pounds and odd money. 

1 67 1. Mr. Thomas Carter, mayor, 2 Oct. 

13 ^lay, 1672. This day INIr. INIayor, with many of the 
inhabitants of this town, together with Mr. Hussey and Mr. 
Randall, school-master, and divers both young and old, 
viewed the bounds of Dartmoor commons, belonging to 
this parish. 

1672. 24 Car II. Mr. Christopher Yendall, mayor, 30 Sept. 
Oct. 2 1 . The manor court| held at the town Hall by leave. 

1673. Mr. Benjamin Gayer, mayor and portreeve, Oct. 

' The new elected mayor is always sworne portreeve at the 
*In July, 167 1, this gentleman was sworn as recorder of Okehampton. 
■ tThis may be a trait of burgher vanity in good master Shebbeare ; it 
appears from an after entry of his, that Gayer and eight others, himself 
included, filled the mayoralty chair here twenty-four times, and that they 
were all either the family or posterity of master John Bremelcome, their 
patriarch, who had been mayor four times. 

|This court had hitherto been held "in the first house of the middle 
row of the town land, now Mrs. Hester Gayer's as a priviledge belonging 
to the lords of the manor of Okehampton." 



102 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

borough court following, held and kept sometime in that 
week or speedily after.*' 

1674. INIr. John Gayer, mayor and portreeve, Oct. 

This yeare the town hall was new plaunched and new 
playstered. 

17 Jan., 1675. Mr. Shilston Calmady sent hither four 
bushels of wheate of the old measure, which makes seven 
of the new, to be distributed to such poor people as had 
not pay of the parish. 

1675. 27 Car II. .Air. Robert Rattenbury, mayor, 4 Oct. 

Feb. 28, 1676. Wee had our charter brought home for the 
two new fayres here.f 

*The state of this borough was singular, its constitution being partly 
feudal and partly corporate. Previous to King James' charter, the port- 
reeve, chosen at a court leet of the manor, had always made the return, 
but after that grant the mayor took on himself that office, it being 
cautiously provided by one of the first by-laws they were empowered as a 
corporation to enact, that the mayor for the time being should be presented 
to the homage, to be chosen portreeve also for the year of his mayoralty. 
This junction of offices took place in 1623, and continued, with but one 
exception, until the close of its parliamentary franchise.- — Oldfield's 
Representative Hist. 

tThe fairs began under everything but fair auspices for the worthy 
burgesses. 

March 13, 1676. On this day we held the first new fayre, but there was 
so great a snow fell as hindred people coming this and the ne.xt day, and 
the fayre was as good as nothing. But this was not all. — 

Oct. 5. ^^50 sent to London for the writt, Quod damnum, in reference 
to the two fayres and to keep out strangers. 

Dec. 14. ^50 more sent to London for the fayres. 

On the Saturday after Christmas is a great holiday fair, called a giglet 
or giglet-market, that is a wife market, at which the most rustic swain, if 
weary of his bachelorship, is priveledged with self-introduction to any 
disengaged fair one who may attract his particular fancy. — Britton's 
Devonshire, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



103 



1+ March. Henry Norleigh,* esq., elected burgessf in 
parliament for this town and borough. Vice Sir Edward 
Wise, dec. 

1676. 28 Car n. 'Sir. Richard Horrell, mayor, 2 Oct. 
Oct. 9. The duke of Albemarle's giuft of ffive pounds 

distributed this day to the sufferers by the ffire. A? above 
the tenn pounds which was given out of the county stocke, 
distributed likewise, of which money Peter Rice had ^10, 
Wm. March and others ^5. 

7 March, 1677. 300 volunteers with 9 captaines lodged 
here all night, but went hence early in the morning for 
Crediton. 

24 July. Arthur Little, an expert swimmer, attempting to 
carry Thomas Squire, a youth on his back through Gump's 
poole, was himself drowned ; but the boy preserved by one 
that came to help him. 

1677. 29 Car II. Mr. Richard Shebbeare, mayor, i Oct. 

*Northleigh, of Xorthleigh — Ermine 3 ImU/e axes sable, on a shield of 
pretence azure, a clievron, with 2,fleurs delis proper. 

tAt this election Henry Norleigh, of Pamouth, esq., had 102 voyces, 
and Mr. Josias Calmady, of Leward (Leawood), 48 ; but it stoed sqe. 
Norleigh a great summe of money, for at the election day, being 14th 
March, 1676, there was expended : — 

At the "While horse 



13 March. 



Feby. 
May. 



At the White heart (hart) 
At the King's armes . . 
At the Three Pigeons . . 
At the George 
At the Royall Oake 
At the White horse 
At the White horse 





£ s. 


d. 




. 148 







. 135 







. 27 







17 







10 







. 23 







50 







50 







^^460 






This is a true and exact account taken by me ; Richard Shebbeare, who 
was present at the election, and gave my voyce for Sqe Norleigh. 



104 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Sep. 1678. Seaven principall burgesses and assistants 
chosen into the furst and second company this year, which 
the like hath never been since it was first a corporation. 

1678. 30 Car II. INIr. Benjamin Gayer, mayor, 30 Sep. 

24 Feb., 1679. Arthur Harris, Knight, and Josias 
Cahnad}', junr., esq., elected burgesses. 

Sep. 8. Sir Arthur gave five pounds to INIr. INIayor for the 
poore. 

1679. 31 Car II. INIr. John Shebbeare, mayor, 6 Oct. 

20 Sep. 1680. Nicholas Pryor having a gun in his hand it 
went off and shot John Weekes in the flTace soe that most 
doubted of his life, ftbr which offense the weeke ffollowing 
the sayd Nicholas Pryor was sent to the goale. 

1680. 32 Car II. INIr. Robert Rattenbury, mayor,*' 4 Oct. 

25 Oct. Sir Arthur Harris, baronet, and Sir George Cary, 
knight, were elected burgesses. 

9 June, 1 68 1. Sent an address to his majesty for his 
gracious declaration, subscribed by 230 inhabitants of this 
town, by Sir George Cary, the recorder. 

1 68 1. 33 Car II. IMr. Christopher Yendall, chosen and 
sworne mayor, 3 Oct. 

Sep. 1682. An abhorrence against the association proved 

*London, June 20th, 1681. 
Mr. Mayor of Okehampton, 

I understand from my daughter Mohun, baroness dowager of Okehamp- 
ton, how kind you and your coiporation have been to my grandson, the 
lord Mohun, which is alsoe an expression of your continued honour for 
his ancestors and that ffamily, which hath ingaged me much to you, and 
shall be always in my minde when any opportunity shall offer, or you shall 
infomi me wherein I may serve that antient and loyall corporation ; and I 
could not be satisiied with myself till I had given you this assurance 
thereof, which you shall finde effectually perfoiTned by your veiy loving 
friend, — Anglesey C.P.S. 

Mr. Robert Rattenbury, Mayor, SiQ, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. I05 

to be found in the lord Shaftesbury's closets was subscribed 
by nigh two hundred hands of the inhabitants of this town 
and borough. 

1682, 34 Car II. ]Mr. Ambrose Cunningham chosen and 
sworne mayor, 2 Oct. 

31 Oct. Ordered that the charter be surrendered into the 
hands of his majesty. 

]May 22, 1683. I\Ir. INIayor delivered an instrument in 
writing under the common scale of the resignation of the 
charter unto Sir George Cary, to be conveyed to his majesty. 
The duke of Albemarle being then at Exon. 

1683, 35 Car II. Mr. Richard Shebbeare chosen mayor, 
I Oct. 

3 Sep., 1634. i\Ir. Richard Shebbeare, now sworne mayor 
of the town, borough and parish of Okehampton, by virtue 
of the new charter, which was this very day brought home, 
accompanied by Sir George Caiy, Knight, the Recorder, Sir 
Amos Pollard, Justice Gidley, Squire Burgoine, with divers 
gentlemen, magistrates and townsmen to the number of 
nigh two hundred horse and four drummers, two trumpeters, 
three weight players, bells ringing, with the trained bands, 
ffootmen and boys, &c. 

1684, 36 Car II. Mr. Benjamin Gayer chosen and sworne 
mayor of the town, borough and parish, 6 Oct. 

■ 19 Jan., 1684. William Cary, esq., broker and heir to Sir 
George Cary, was by ten vcjtes chosen recorder of this town, 
vl'c, but six of the second party ungratefully gave their 
voyces against him. 

Feb. 5. His sacred Majesty departed this life, and his 



I06 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

brother proclaimed King James the second, whom God grant 
long to live. 

March i8. Sir Symon Leach, Knight, and William Cary, 
esq., were this day elected burgesses to serve in parliament. 

1685. I Jac II. Mr. John Gayer, sworne mayor, 5 Oct. 

1686. 2 Jac. II. Mr. Robert Rattenbury, mayor, 4 Oct. 
28 Sep., 1687. Mr. Thomas Squire chosen and sworne 

principall burgesse in the room of Cosin Sampson Newbury 
dismissed. 

1687. 3 Jac II. Mr. John Shebbeare, mayor, 3 Oct. 

Jan 6, 1687. By an order from Sir John Southcot, Mr. 
Geo, Burgoine, and INIr. Wm. Noss were here to knowe the 
mindes of the members of the corporation ; that is, whether 
they were w'illing to have the penall laws against Recusants 
and dissenters repealed and the test taken off; — which all 
answered except one, that they were not willing to have 
them repeated nor the test taken off. 

Feb. 24. The right honourable John, earl of Bath, Lord 
Lieutenant of this county was here — by order (supposed) 
from his majesty to inspect this corporation — and he was 
well satisfied with the proceedings of the magistrates. 

1688. 4 Jac II. I\Ir. Christopher Yendall, mayor, i Oct. 

30 Oct. The King's proclamation for putting and restor- 
ing all corporations, to their antient priveledges was this 
day proclaimed here. 

II Jan., 1688. By vertue of a circular letter directed to 
Mr. ]\Iayor from his highneesse the prince of Orange, 
William Cary, of Chawley, esq., and Henry Norleigh, of 
Pamotith, esq., were this day chosen in the convocation of 
22 January next for this town and borough. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON, IO7 

19 Feb., 1688. This day William and I\Ian-, prince and 
princesse of Orange [were] proclaymed kinge and queen of 
England, France and Ireland, and effigies of the Pope burnt 
in this towne. 

Edward Rattenbury drowned going iiome to his house in 
a poole beyond Beare bridge. 

1689, I Gul III. ]Mr. Thomas Squire, mayor, 30 Sep. 
The commons not viewed untill Tuesday in the afternoon. 

1690, 2 Gul III. I\Ir. John Gayer, mayor, Oct. 

1691, 3 Gul III. Mr. Nicholas Pope, mayor 

1692, 4 Gul III. I\Ir. Thomas Uglow, mayor. 

1693, 5 Gul III. Mr. John Ellacott, mayor. 

1694, 6 Gul III. I\Ir. Benjamin Gayer, mayor, i Oct. 
28 Dec. Queen Mary departed this life at Kensington. 

1695, 7 Gul III. I\Ir. John Shebbeare, mayor, 30 Oct. 

I Nov. John Burrington, esq., and Mr. Thomas North- 
more were this day elected burgesses in parliament for this 
town and borough. 

1696, 8 Gul III. Mr. William Newberry, mayor, 5 Oct. 
26 Oct. This day the Lord's Justices' proclamation was 

proclaymed at the town-hall, at the Crosse and at the 

markett house wherein was signified that the King 

had concluded a peace with the French King, aud a bonfire 
made down at Beare bridsfe. 

1697, 9 Gul III. Mr. Christopher Yendall, mayor, 4 Oct. 
28 July, 1696. William Harris of Heayne, esq., and Mr. 

Thomas Northmore were this day by most voyces elected 
burgesses to serve in parliament for this town and borough. 

1698, 10 Gul. III. Mr. Thomas Cunninghamc, mayor, 
5 Oct, 



ADDITIONAL NOTES ON THIS SECTION. 



" Id cinerem, aut manes credis curare sepultos ? " — Virg. 



I. Mr. B. Gayer.* — While the philanthropy of this good burgess, as 
shewn in his collections "for the releife of poore Protestant prisoners in 
Turkey" would have been, but for those notable researches, a dead letter 
in the book of his little history, tradition has preserved an ugly report of 
his own unquiet and imprisoned spirit. What child, or eke man, and 
woman too of our town, but has, some time or other, been terrified or 
amused by the story of Gayer the revenant. On the high gable end of 
his former dwelling which abuts on an irregular triangle formed by the 
houses behind the chantrj', the gigantic initials of his name, in the Italic 
character are yet visible ; they are noticed in a metrical version of the 
legend thus : — 

" Behind the chantry mote be yred. 

The initial scroll of the burgher dead ; 

Stout of heart they esteem the A\aght 

AVho reads those letters at dead of night. 

Though the moon be glinted back the while 

From the oriel lights of the chantry aisle : 

Never pass but breathe a prayer 

For the soul's best peace on Master Gayer ; 

Ta^dio vitse quo confectus. 

Nunc ad aethera transvectus, 

Socius fuit qui sanctorum 

Coelu gaudeat angelorum ; 

Where life's troubled waters rest 

In the haven of the blest." 

II. Mr. W. Moss. — This gentleman's family was of Elmead, in the 
parish of Inwardleigh, and retained its adherance to papal doctrines, 
which indeed affords a clue to his being associated in the commission 
above noticed. The ruins of their domestic chapel might be traced there 

*Some further notes on this Okehampton worthy will be given in the 
Appendix to the preeent volume. — Editor, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 10^ 

wnthin the memon- of persons now living,* and two altar tombs in the 
Cliurcli-vanl of the same parish, point to wliere the last of tliis loiiy 
extinct race were gathered to their fathers. 

A relic of their social existence — it may be a solitary one — is pre- 
serv-ed in the collection of Capt. Hamlyni, of Scaicord, a small drinking 
hom with a silver rim, and having the family name engraved on it 
externally. — Sic transit gloria ! 

*Justice to village merit requires the acknowledgment that our more 
usual guide has, in this notice at least, been anticipated by another Browne 
Wilhs of the district, Mr. Wm. Rich, parish schoolmaster of Sheepwash. 



SECTION XII. 



" P'rom thee be far the ungentle deed 
The honours of the dead to spoil, 

Or take the sole remaining meed, 

The flower that crowns their former toil." 



Langhorne. 



Ecclesiastical Antiquities. 




I. — Brightley Priory, 



. s^ja-^ 



WE resume this portion of our subject by 
calling attention to the traces yet left of a 
religious house of the Bernardine, or as it is 
more commonly called, Cistercian order, once 
existing at Brightley Bridge, near this town : the 
spot derives additional interest from its having been 
a Mother house to the great abbey of Ford,"^' in this 
county. It is curious that so diligent an antiquary as 
Risdonf should have fallen into error as to the original site of 
this monastery, he assigns it to Chittlehampton, and a sub- 
sequent writer, has given the honour to Sampford Courtenay ; 

♦Sir AV. Dugdale's Genealogy of the Courtenays is drawn, in its earliest 
portion from a register kept by the monks of this house. 

tWcstcote, in his View of Devonshire, published in 1845, mentions 
his friend and contemporary in terms which shew the high reputation his 
researches had acquired for him. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. Ill 

but the cause of the monks' emigration, the barrenness of 
the country near them, is at variance with Risdcin's state- 
ment ; the other opinion has been retracted in a letter to us 
of much courtesy by the author himself.* 

" The hoary remains of Brightley Priory are fast sinking 
under the weight of years ; the fabric, still venerable, being 
for the most part levelled with the dust, or rudely overgrown 
with moss, and still more ignoble weed. The walls, whereon 
■were seen sainted image and idol-picture, are now 
desecrated by ivy and thorn-bush. Through aisles, that 
once echoed to the measured chaunt of praise, the blast 
howls in hoarse answer to the dashing river beneath, f and 
though summer, in her walk through "the rolling year" 
lulls both of them awhile by her sultry charm, the monks' 
complaint is justified, as well in seed time as in harvest, by 
the barren heath opposite. Where now, let the thoughtful 
wanderer question himself, are the silent cells in which — it is 
the more charitable view — the brethren kept their lonely 
vigils ? Where the choir in which they published His 
glorious Name ? Where the secret glades of their commun- 
ing and being still to ponder on His wonderful works ?"l 

The only relic time has spared is now appropriated as a 
barn, or to yet viler purposes ; but a low door, with its 
Saxon arch, yet perceptible on the north side, serves to 
indicate its former sanctities. We have said however, that 

' *Tlic Reverend George Oliver, official in the Roman Catholic com- 
munion, at St. Nicholas prioiy, in Exeter ; the mistake was corrected for 
J.ysons' Devonshire^ in the Magna Britannia, by the Rev. P'rancis Huyshe. 

tThe ruin stands on the left bank of the united Okments, immediately 
above Brightley bridge and about I5 mile N.E. from the town. 

];From Bridge's MS., indited on the spot. 



112 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

the place acquires interest from its connection with Ford 

Abbey. 

II. — Ford Abbey. 

If the original site of this celebrated house can be dubious, 
not so the manner and circumstances of its foundation. 
Richard Fitzbaldwin,*' in the second year of King Stephen ; 
as we learn from Dugdale's Monasticon, placed at Brightley, 
twelve monks, sent by Gilbert their abbot from the great 
monastery of Waverley in Surrey. The monks began their 
journey on Holy-rood day, so called from a piece of the true 
cross being recovered, we are told, from the infidels on that 
day by one of the Greek emperors. f It does not seem, 
however, to have been too propitious to these holy pilgrims, 
for five years afterwards we find them petitioning to be re- 
called from Brightley, urging in plea of their suit that the 
country about them " produced only thyme and wild night- 
shade ;" a petition the more remarkable as the houses of the 
Cistercians were all founded in solitary and uncultivated 
places. Their plea, however, was allowed, and the holy 
brethren were travelling on their way home again with 
Robert de Pennington, second prior of Brightley, at their 
head, and walking two and two, the cross borne before them, 
when the incident occurred which ended in their final 
settlement at Ford Abbey. The Viscountess Adeliza, sister 
and heiress of the above Richard, who died seized of the 
largest estate in the country, chanced to encounter the holy 
brethren as they journeyed through her manor of Thorn- 

*Richaid Fitz-baldwin died 25th June, 1137, and was buried at 
Brightley ; his remains were subsequently removed to Ford. 

tin an old song called the Collier of Croydon, youths are specially 
exhorted to go a nutting this day. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. II3 

combe.* On being told the cause of their return she set 

herself immediately to obviate it : " Far be it from me " she 

said, "that what my lord and brother hath devised for the 

honor of (iod, and the welfare of his Church should fail 

through stint of mine." And she forthwith bestowed on them 

her manor and mansion of Thorncombe: whence six years 

after they removed to St. INIary's, the splendid abbey built 

for them at Ford.f 

This abbey had once, we are told, been considered by the 

Courtenays as "the first feather in their train;" but after no 

long time the brethren became much estranged from that 

noble family. We have before glanced at these differences : 

" the profuse devotion of the first three generations was 

followed by oppression on one side, and ingratitude on the 

other : and in the sixth generation, the monks ceased to 

register the births, actions, and deaths of their patrons.":]: 

Those patrons, it must be confessed, made but indifferent 

religious, although as secular clergy they rose to merited 

distinction : friar John de Courtenay — who was chosen 

abbot of Tavistock in 1334, and greatly diminished its 

*Ricardus de Albrett, alias Brionio, baro de Okhampton, fundavit 
monaster, in loco vocato Brightelej', ct ipso mortuo, abbas et conventas 
pr?e penuria illic decesserunt, et Adelicia, Sororuipsis Ricardi, ipsos 
conspiciens demigrantes versus Waverle, unde prius venerant, eos retraxit, 
&c. — Leland's CoUcctaiiea. 

tThe manor of Tliomcombe, with Eastford and West ford, and five 
knights' fees, under the honor of Okehampton, were assigned to Ford 
Abbey. 

JThe patron of an abbey had the custody of it during a vacancy, when 
the new abbot was elected on a conge iVelire from him ; but if this 
exceeded three months, the period fixed by the canons, the collation 
lapsed to the bishop. The canons of tlie cluirch permitted the patron, 
and him only, to occupy a seat within the cliancel or choir at a time when 
that part of the buihUiig was ])artitioned ofl' from the nave, and reserved 
for the exclusive use of the clergy. — Kcnnett's Paroch. Antiq. 

H 



114 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

revenues — is described as passionately fond of field sports, 
very conceited and foppish in his dress, and a most incurable 
spendthrift. The endowments of Ford were however — 
luckily for its inmates — beyond the reach of abbot John's 
prodigality, and they continued to view in affluence and 
safety the rise and fall of their successive patrons in the 
same line, until the stormy days of the Reformation proved 
alike fatal to either ; the same fiat which consigned Henry 
Marquis Courtenay to the headsman transferred their abbey, 
and many another goodly possession of the Cistercians of 
Ford, into more secular keeping. At the dissolution of the 
religious houses, however proper might have been the con- 
version of their revenues or otherwise, we must still admire 
the levity with which they were squandered. " Cheap 
penny-worths," says old Fuller, in his quaint but expressive 
manner, " were at that time obtained out of the lands of 
the Church ;" singular instances of which — if indeed anything 
could be called singular where caprice ruled throughout — 
he has himself recorded.* 

III. — CowicKE Priory. 

Another religious house, St. Andrew's priory at Cowicke,f 
of the order of St. Benedict, had more intimate connexion 
with the town than that just noticed ; not so much as regards 
the baron's patronage — (it was founded by Thomas Earl of 
Devon, about 1450) although the first mention of Cowicke 
occurs at an inquisition taken after the death of Lord John 

*" Henry was one day playing at dice with Sir Miles Partridge, when the 
King staked Jesus' bells, that were as great and tuneable as any in Lon- 
don, and lost them at a cast ! " — Fuller. 

fArms, Three cows passant sable, collared or, eyed gules. — Oliver. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. II5 

Courtenay, there noticed as its patron — but in that it inchided 
among its endowments the appropriation of Okehampton. 
Of the following items, the former may refer to some reserva- 
tion made on the appointment a stipendiary vicar,* when the 
practice of serving the Church by one of their own order had 
been found subversive of monastic discipline. 

Taxatio Bon. Eccles. tem. Ed. I., Prior de Cowyke habet 
de portions Vicarie de Ochampton 13s. 4d. (1288, Johannes 
Hollwell). 

Bishop Grandison in his return, tem. Ed. III. states 

Prior de Cowych obtinet eccla de Ochampton, val. per 
an. 12 lib. 

This priory,f subordinate when first instituted to the great 
abbey of Bee in Normandy, was situate in the parish of St. 
Thomas by Exeter ; although the exact site is not now 
known : it has been included, incorrectly, among the alien 
religious houses suppressed, (2 Henry IV.), by the parlia- 
ment holden at Leicester, but was often seized on as such 
during the wars with France. Robert de Rouen, the last 
prior, surrendered it to Eton College, 22 Nov., 145 1, by 
deed executed in the provost's chamber there ; a measure in 
which he is supposed to have been influenced by Thomas 
Courtenay, Earl of Devon, who had been a benefactor to the 
new establishment. The donation however was subsequently 
transposed to the abbey of Tavistock, since by letters patent 

*At first tliese were wretchedly paid, and what was worse, moveable at 
jileasure : the statute (4 Henry IV., c. 12.,) while it corrected these abuses, 
provided, that no reli{,'ious (regular priest) should in any wise be made 
vicar in any church appropriated. 

tCowicke priory held the manor of Christenstowe under the barony, it 
had attached tlie chapels of Kenne and Sticklepath, but the patronage of 
these also was vested in the lords of Okehampton. 



Il6 HISIORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

from the Crown, bearing date 4 July (31 Henry VIII.) 
Cowicke and Christenstowe, with various advowsons there 
named and described as belonging to that dissolved founda- 
tion, were conferred on the Lord John Russell, and the 
Lady Anne, his wife. 

IV. — Okehampton Church. 

The parish Church of Okehampton, now standing,* appears 

to have been built by prior Thomas of Cowicke ; and was 

consecrated, to the service of God, and the honour of all 

His blessed Saints, on the last day of July, 1261, by Walter 

Bronescombe the diocesan. This prelate is mentioned as 

being remarkable for having raised himself by industry 

from a very mean parentage to the bench of bishops and to 

the episcopal throne in his native city of Exeter. Bishop 

Bronescombef left behind him, however, many proofs of a 

patrician spirit, among others, old Fuller reckons, that the 

Archangel Gabriel was indebted to him for instituting, at his 

*It was burnt down in 1842 (see additional notes in the Editorial 
Appendix.) 

tWestcote mentions a brawl between the Bishop and the Patron of 
Clist Tomison, (Bishop Clyst) where he (the Bishop) had built a 
sumptuous house, which he left to his successors, " At the funeral of one 
of his chaplains, among the results of which was that the poor friar got a 
posthumous ducking in the river, at which the Bishop was so much 
offended that he fell out with the gentleman and proceeded to ex- 
communication, but he (the Patron) at length, purchased his peace and 
quiet at the expense of the Advowson and a piece of land into the bargain, 
granted unto the Bishop and which continues in the hands of his 
successors to this day." 

But Izaacke affords grounds for doubting this scandal. 

Walter Bronescombe was Bishop of Exeter 23 years, died 22 July, 
1 28 1, and buried in his own church. His arms were — Or on a chevron 
sable, 3 cinquefoils of the first between two keys erect in chief and a 
sword in the second. Izaacke. His register shows how numerous were 
the churches he dedicated. In a single year (1268) he dedicated no less 
than 40 in Devon and Cornwall. 




o 



O 

z 
O 

I- 



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HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. II7 

proper charge, a feast day to the angel's honour. We learn 
from Sir William Pole's Collec/ions, that " the Vicar of this 
church was to find a chaplain always to serve in the chapel 
of the Castle, also in the chapel of Brightleigh, of the Lords 
(Courtenay) purchase, which is in the castle of Exeter."* 

Mr. Richard Bowden appears on the town records, as 
Vicar of this parish in 1588 (31 Elizabeth); on a perambu- 
lation of boundaries, in 1610 ; on the judge's order respecting 
the town lands ; and lastly when, thirteen years later, his 
name occurs together with that of Ann Harragrowe, his wife, 
as executor to the will of Richard Harrowgrowe, containing, 
among other bequests, 

" Item : — I give towards the reparation of the organ of 
the said church (of Okehampton) fforty shillings. 

Item : — I give to the Maior of Okehampton and his 
successors for ever, one annuity of six shillings and eight- 
pence out of my lands called Broadamoore to be bestowed 
on a preacher to preach yearly a sermon for ever in the 
church of Okehampton the second Sunday after Easter in 
the forenoon, in which I desire him to exhort to faith and 
good works, and stir up others to good works, to make 
mention of such as heretofore have given either lands or 
goods to charitable uses in this parish." 

*The chapel of our Lady within the Castle of Exeter with its four 
Prebends was granted by William Avenel to the Monastery of Plympton 
under Prior Geffry, who was elected in 11 28, but Robert Courtenay 
Vicccomes, appears to have transferred one of the Prebends, Ashclyst to 
the great Abbey of Torre. — Oliver's Collections, page 139 &c. 

The chapel stood on the south-eastern side of the Castle, and is 
su])posed to have been built by Richard, the son of Baldwin de Brioniis, 
Baron of Okehampton, and Viscount of Devon, who was first appointed 
to the office of Castellan of Exeter. 



Il8 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

At a date two years earlier (Jan., 1621) we read, "/« testa- 
viento Georgii Cottle nuper parochice St. Atidria ifi Holborne, 
London, Gent., defuncti, &"€., dfc., ut stgm'tur, viz. :" — 

" Item : — I doe give and bequeath to the parish of Oke- 
hampton where I was born, three pounds yearly to the poore, 
and ten shillings for a sermon on St. George his day in the 
forenoon, and the residue (of the interest of fifty pounds) 
to be spent upon those that shall be present at the same 
sermon either at a dinner or other meeting the same day." 

A niur.il tablet of brass in the south aisle, erected during 
this incumbency, represents a mother and three daughters 
in the attitude of prayer before an altar, with this inscription 
beneath them : — 

" Here under lyeth Thomasin Godolphin, wyfe of Thomas 
Peter, gent., who died the 9th of Sept., 1608 ; — 

She was to God and husband trewe, 
A mirror for all wyves to viewe : 
The poore, the lame, the sycke and needy. 
She did relieve most liberally ; 
She lived soe good and godly life. 
As never wronged man, maid or wyfe 
And made so good and godly ende. 
As none the same on earth may mende. 

The following letter bearing date 5th, 1631, was addressed 
to Mr. Bowden's successor (John Hussey) by Dr. Joseph 
Hall, the Diocesan ; we give it in this place, although it will 
be observed, the subject of complaint refers more particu- 
larly to the town chapel and its service : 

" Saint in Christo. I heare that (which I am soriy to hear) the 
Liturgie of the church, is much neglected in your chappie at Okehamp- 
ton, being not fully read at any time by the curate there, and not at all by 
the Lecturer, and not well frequented by the people when it is imperfectly 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOK. II9 

read, this thing you knowe to be contrarj' to the Laws and Cannons of 
the Church, and his majesty's late instractions, accounts whereof will be 
strictly called for in the Metropolitan Visitation now ensuing. I thought 
goode, thereof to lay my stricke charge upon you for the present and 
constant redresse of this neglect, desiring and charging you that your 
assistante there omytt noe part of the holy and commendable devotions, 
and to invite the people to a due frequenting and pious attendance thereof 
— whereof not doubting, I commend you to the blessing of God, and sign 
myself your loving friend and diocesan," Jos. EXON, 

Mr. John Hussey, Vicar of Okehampton. 

31 March, 1634. The Bishop again addresses INIr. Hussey 
on a complaint made by the curate here of hard measures 
from the corporation, in his sudden removal — " If they shall 
take upon them," writes Dr. Hale, "to place and remove 
curates, they must know I may not beare soe injurious an 
encroachment upon Episcopall power." The Burgesses 
make comment on this — "that albeit the Lord Bishop hath 
power to place and remove curates, yet the Corporation hath 
power to with-hold the pay if they see cause." 

The annexed draft of a petition presented in 1646 
indicates that the next Vicar, Mr. Richard Mervyne, shared 
in the vicissitudes to which his order were, at this period, so 
peculiarly exposed : — 

"To the Honourable the Standing Committee of the County of Devon 
— the humble petition of the Mayor and Burgesses and Inhabitants, — In 
all humbleness showeth — that whereas your Petitioners have been de- 
prived of a Minister for divers Sabbaths, &c., and having heard of IMr. 
"Ware, we are become humble suitors that the said Mr. Ware may &c., 
if it shall please Almighty God and stand with your good pleasure and 
favour. And your petitioners as in duty bound shall for this have great 
cause to prayse Almighty God, ever to pray for the prosperous proceed- 
ings of the high Cort of Parliament, the wished and desired place and 
truth in this kingdom and your health and happiness. 

(Signed), Peter Rattenbury, Mayor.* 
*Mr. Peter Rattenburj^ filled the office of Mayor from the death of Mr, 
Hill, to the 6th October, 1646. 



120 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Reply. At the Standing Committee of the County Devon. 

August I2th, 1646. 
Because ]Mr. Ware is unknown to the Committee, it is ordered that he 
bring a certificate of his honest conversation from his former place of 
residence to the Committee at Exon, the next Assize weeke ; and soe the 
Committee will take further consideration of the Petitioners' desire. 

(Signed), Nic : RowE. 

In 1652 however Mr. Mervyne had returned to his sacred 
duties, and we incline to a belief of this gentleman's popu- 
larity, — will it be excused us ? — from the fact that Mr. 
Shebbeare in one place denounces him as a " bitter enemy 
to the .Mayor and burgesses." 

Oct., 1654. The second and fifth bells in the tower of 
this Church were, at this time, " new cast at a very costly 
rate." 

A mural tablet in the South aisle afforded indirectly 
the only memorial, we have discovered, of the next 
Incumbent. 

"To the memory of John Haynes, Esq., a native of this 
town, born of honest and industrious parents, though of 
low and obscure condition ; first instructed as a poor scholar, 
then going to London by the benevolence of Mrs. Rebecca 
Hussey — (widow of Jeremy Hussey, once Vicar of this 
Church, and a man eminent both for his piety and learn- 
ing) — was happily recommended to the most Reverend 
Archbishop Tillotson's family as Clerk to the Secretary, 
1692, continued with Archbishop Tenison to 17 15, who had 
appointed him his Registrar of the diocese and province 
of Canterbury for life. — Born Jan. 1672 : married Feb. 1708 : 
and died February i, 17 19." 

In the spring of 1671, we learn from a portion of the 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 121 

pavement, which formerly was placed, close to the south- 
western pillar — Mr. Shebbeare was bereft of the child, 
whose descent may have been noticed in his Book of 1669. 
"Here lyeth the body of John, son of Richard Shebbeare, 
Gent. — who was buried the 25 day of April, 1671 : — 

God shewed this child unto us ; we awhile 
Rejoiced in his lovely looks and smile ; 
At length who gave him tooke ; we kiss the rod 
Syth this our little one is great with God ; 
In heaven wee had a father — now he's gone. 
In heaven wee have a father and a son." 

The father's heart was chastened— not weaned by this loss 
— from the affairs of the municipality, where after no long 
time we find himself and the Vicar of the parish again at 
issue. At the contested Election in 1676, old Richard tells 
us "that when Mr. Hussey (this was the son of the last 
Incumbent) gave his voyce for Mr. Calmady, his voyce was 
refused because he could not prove his Vicaridge to be 
within the Borough." 

There was a monument of this date in Keckbeare Aisle. 

Mary Rattenbury, widow of Francis Rattenbury of Keck- 
beare,*' gent., died 14 May, 1676. 

Two years later begins the oldest existing Register of 

Burials headed thus : — 

A true and perfect Register of all such persons (and their qualities) 
who have been buried in the jiarish of Okchampton since the ist day of 
August, 1678 in pursuance of an act of Parliament made the 15th day of 
July, 30 Car II. for burying in woolen only." 

*At Southacott in the hamlet of Keckbeare, which is attaclicd to this 
Parish, is an ancient cross of granite, licing rudely carved on one side, the 
figure of a monk, liis luinds clasped as in prayer, on the reverse, the 
crucifixion — but both are now nearly obliterated. 



122 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

On the 2nd day of July, 1701, the Incumbent himself 
appears on the record of deaths, and was succeeded by his son, 
Jeremiah Hussey, who married in 1707, Ann, widow of 
Francis Nation, Clerk, (he was the son of the old cavalier 
parson of Inwardleigh, and his curate there) mentioned 
at page 95 and was buried on the 24th March four years 
after. During his Vicarship the monument formerly seen 
in the north-east or Keckbeare Aisle to the memory of a 
gentleman often noticed in these pages was probably erected: 

"Benjamin Gayer Hujatis Gen : qui hujus Burgi 

Prsetura honorifici quater Perfunctus, 

Quinta demu vice, non ambitu suo, sed 

Bonorum omnium suffragiis ad idem 

Manus suffectus, praematma moite ex auctora- 

tus inter mortales esse desiit Maii xxi. 

^tatis anno LIV. ^rse Cristiianse MDCCI." 

The following on a vertical slab in the east wall of the 
chancel externally, but enclosed within an iron railing, 
affords at once a memoir and epitaph — by no means a trite 
one on the next Vicar : — 

" Exuvias suas, in spem. beatse resurrectionis, hie 
potissimum loci condendus legavit Eduardus 
Cornish, hujus Parochise vicarius, ne ossa sua 
priusquam extrema cinererit turba moveren- 
tur quod nescicit, ut omnes Parochianse ac 
praecipue Vicarii, successores sui bona fide 
caveant, obnexissime rogat. Ita et illi mise- 
ricordiam inveniant in ultimis ilU die. 
Obiit quarto die Martii Sepultus est sexto 
A.D., 1715." 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 1 23 

A translation by I\Ir. Whyte is attempted in the original MS., 
but as it does not convey the spirit of the epitaph, we prefer 
to append the following : 

In this chosen place the remains of Edward Cornish, Vicar of this 
Parish, are laid up in hope of a blessed resurrection. And to the end that 
none may unknowingly disturb or move his bones till turned to dust, 
all Parishioners shall make known to the succeeding Vicars, in particular, 
this earnest request, and strictly bind them in good faith to observe the 
same. Even so may mercy be found in the last day. 
Died 4 March, Buried 6th, 17 15. 

An hiatus in the Burial Register beginning 23 INIarch, 
1 715, occasions this explanatory note — 

" Omittuntur reliqui a Dno Bagwell usq : ad diem 
10 mensis Julii A.i)., 1717, quo ipse ejectus est superinducto." 

T. E. 

Timothy Edwards, clerk, succeeded the ejected Mr. John 
Bagwell ; then appears to have been John Vick'ry as Vicar 
and INIayor.* 

We give the following tradition concerning a flagon, 
given in the time of this Vicar, which composes part of the 
altar plate — (without vouching for its authenticity) — Hester 
Rattenbury supposed to be the grand-daughter of Robert 
Rattenbury, Gent, sometime Mayor of this Borough, after a 
protracted illness lay to all appearance, dead, and the friends 
had assembled to attend her body to the resting place of the 
venerable dead. But the person engaged in performing the 
last offices, remarking the want of that change which be- 
tokens actual death, thought of holding a looking-glass over 
her mouth. On its removal a hue as from breathing was 

*See additionz^l notes on the office of Mayor, 



124 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

detected on it. She was in a short time restored by bleeding, 
and in grateful testimony of her providential escape, pre- 
sented the flagon which bears her name and family arms. 
She was buried on the 14 Oct.. 1770. 

Thomas Par Hockin, Vicar, died 1790. 

Humphry Aram Hole. 

T. Huyshe, Vicar from 181 5 to 1822, when he resigned. 

Thomas Tanner, 1822, died. 

James Richard Whyte, 1834, resigned. 

Wm. L. Coxhead, 1840, resigned. 

B. W. Savile, 1841, resigned. 

S. Bradshaw, 1847, resigned. 

T. Downhall, 1850.* 

Curates. 

H. M. B. Barnes, 1835. 

Wm. L. Coxhead, 1838. 

Fran. E. B. Cole, 1842. 

f James Mules, 1847. 

John Downall, 1847. 

Horace W. Thrupp, 1850. 

Hen. H. Bradshaw, 1853. 

Wm. H. Hampson, 1854. 

James Rathborne, 1856. 

f James Mayne, 1858. 

fH. S. Wright, 1858. 

Geo. H. D. Branscombe, 1859, 

It was a custom, and is observed in many countries to 

this day, decently to plant rows of trees in the church- 

*Now the Archdeacon of Totnes (1859). See hst of Archdeacons to 
follow. 
tXhese were only curates pro tern, and not licensed. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 125 

yards, under whose flowing shade both before and after 
divine service, the people might refresh their souls by con- 
templation. If this be unreasonable to suppose, it cannot 
however be denied, but that those trees with their 
thick branches, were of great defence to places of worship, 
from the fury and rage of storms and tempests. 

We read that the Vicar of Hull once ordered his men 
to cut down one of the largest and most ornamental trees 
in the yard, and they had scarce obeyed his commands, 
when the Mayor hearing of it, committed the Vicar's two 
men to prison, for daring to commit such an action without 
advice and consent of the Bench and the Churchwardens, 
and sending the next day for the Vicar, told him — that by 
the constitution of the Church neither he nor his predeces- 
sors or any other person, had power to destroy what was 
placed there for the preservation of that venerable building ; 
after thus reasoning with him the Vicar acknowledged him- 
self wrong and craved pardon. He also consented, at his 
own expense, to plant six trees in the churchyard, which 
was done. 

There are several spreading colonnades of elm trees in 
Okehampton churchyard, planted, as we learn from Sheb- 
beare's manual, in the winter of 1685-6. 

In the Taxation Bononan Ecclcs., begun by order of Edward 
I. (a.d. 1288) and finished in 1291, are the following items 
relating to the Piiory of Cowyck : 

Prior de Cowyk obtinet de Spreyton — Val per aim C.s. 
Idem obtinet de Okehampton ^Val per ann XII lib. 



£ 


s. 


d. 


£ 


s. 


d. 


20 


o 


o 


2 


o 


o 


9 


o 


2-i 


O 


i8 


If 


8 


4 


7 


O 


i6 


5i 



126 HISTOkV OF OKfiHAMPTON. 

Bishop Veysey's Survey, taken 3 Nov., 1536, by writ of 
King Henry VIII. 

Vicaria de Okehampton — Johannes Hollwell 
Belstone — Willielmus Dyscombe 
Cantaria de Stekylpath — Williel Dyscombe 
Rectoria de Sampford Courtenay cum Capella* 
de Brightleigh (a mistake see page 1 10) 

Williel Parkhouse 4/12 i 415 2^ 

In the grant of Tavistock Abbey by K. Henry VIII. — 
4 July — 31st year of his reign, to Lord John Russell — are 
particularly mentioned : — 

Manor of Cowyk, ] Christenstowe, 
Parish Churches r Okehampton, 
of > Sprayton. 

Priory of St. Andrew, Cowic. 

The first mention of this priory, is in an inquisition taken 
after the death of John Lord Courtenay, who succeeded his 
father Robert in his honours and estates, 26 July 1242. 

Bishop Lacyf in his letter to the Barons of the Exchequer 
states that it accidentally took fire on Palm Sunday that 
year — and that its loss in buildings, moveables and cattle 
was computed at ^177 12s. 4d., a large sum in those days. 
The convent could not recover this loss, the Prior resigned 
in 1457. Henry VI. applied the revenues of this priory to 
Eton College, but thirteen years afterwards King Edward IV. 
transferred this donation to his favourite Abbey of Tavistock. 
Granted by Henry VIII. as above. 

*Probably at a place called Chapel. 

tHe filled the Episcopal chair from 1420 to 1455. 



HISTORY OP OKEHAMPtON. H"] 

John de Courtenay Abbot of Tavistock, 1334. This 
Abbot had very little of the spirit of a religious man. He 
was passionately fond of field sports, was very conceited and 
foppish in his dress and a most incurable spendthrift. 

In the T/ies. Eccks., 1770, it is mentioned : — 

First fruits f Okehampton. V. (All Saints) \\ath Okehampton ) yearly tenths 
20 o o i Chapel in the Borough Rep. B. Proc. V's Syn. / 2 o o 
iis. Vd. Proc. Vs. vV. i80;^. 

Archdeaconry of Totnes, Deanery of Okehampton. 

The church stands about a half mile from the town, upon 
a hill, commanding a good view of the Park, town, &c. 

In 16 . . Six hundred yards of cause (way) was paved this 
year leading to the church and Bear bridge, which amounted 
to the charge of ii_;^ 13s. lo^d. — Shebbeare's y^^w/v/a/. 




SUPPLEMENTARY APPENDIX. 

Memoir on the Town affairs, written in Mr. Sarjeant 
Glanville's own hand-writing and preserved in the town 
chest. — This eminent lawyer was the second son of Judge 
Glanville of Kilworthy, near Tavistock, and was at this time 
representative in Parhament for Plymouth, and speaker of 
the House of Commons: he died in 1661. See Memoir of 
his life in Prince's IVorthies of Devon. 

Okehampton Town and Borough, 
(16 Martii 1640.) 



X^ THEREAS in or about the loth year of our 
\ \ late Sovereign Lord King James, upon the 
death of John Hele, Esq., the then Portreeve 
i')?'^^ and his brethren, Governors of the said town 
and borough, being or claiming to be a Cor- 
poration by Prescription, made choice of me 
to be of counsell for them as their Recorder. 
A suit was commenced against them or some of them, in 
the Court of Wardens, on the behalf of Baron Trelawney, 
the then Kings Ma'=- Warde, concerning their markets 
and comons, touching which the Earl of Salisbury*' was the 

*Sir Robert Cecyll, ist Earl of Salisbuiy, son of the celebrated Lord 
Burghley, he died in 1612. In a perfect Survey Booke in 1665, of the 
Messuage, Lands, &c., belonging in common to the tDwn and parish of 
Okehampton, we find mention of " Gertrude Hele, dafter of John Hele, 
of Hele, in the parish of Cornwood, Gent." 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 1 29 

Lord Treasurer, and blaster of the Wardens, was petitioned 
by the defendants, who referred against to Sir James Ley, 
then Attorney of that Cort ; and after we procured tlic 
Master of the Wardes letter to the then Judges, having 
treated with the Lords of the Borough about it. It was 
referred to Gilbert ^lichell, Esq., for Mr. Trelawney and 
other the Lords, and to mee for the towne. 

Whereupon their being shortly after a meeting about it at 
Bodmyn in the presence of Sir Reynold Mohun, Mr. 
Edward Trelawney and others (long debate thereof being 
had by us) the Lords stayed their suite upon mine insisting 
that they could nott make ytt appear that more than eight 
shillings was ever paid yearly for the ffarme of the marketts. 

And other suites being brought in Chauncery touching 
Covenants and Leases of the town and parish lands of 
Okehampton unduly made and obtained, after Bills put in 
and answers returned for saving of expenses, a petition was 
drawn in the name of ]\Ir. Bowdon and others to the Lord 
Ellesmere, then Lord Chancellor, for a reference of these 
suites to the then Judges of Assizes of this county to hear 
and determine it at their coming hither. And after all 
partyes being hearde before them at several assizes, orders 
were made and agreed on in presence of most of the 
Parishioners by those'^' Judges, as thereby may appear. 

Albeit, 1 61 2. ?*Ir Tipper questioned the Market for King 
James pretending concealment, to wliom I replied, and after 
procured a stay thereof as by my letter to the townc may 
appear. And neare about that tyme Capten Hawkeridge 

*Tne signatures attached to the jud<je's order made on the 9th day of 
March, 1610, being Saturday, are Thomas Flleminge and Lawrence 
Tanfeiled. 



J 30 ttlStORY OF OKEHAMiPTON. 

(being the King's servant and set on, as I conceaved by 
some ill-affected to the towne) petitioned the King for all 
the lands of the towne and parish as concealed, and there- 
u})on procured letters from the Lords of the Councell to 
attend Sir ffrancis Bacon then his Majesty's Solicitor about ytt, 
and to shew how they held and claimed ytt. About which Mr. 
William Calmady being sent up with Mr. John Rattenbury* 
bringing with them several grants from the crownef and 
other conveyants,:!: they repayred to me, and we attended 
]\Ir. Sollicitor two or three termes, and after upon a petition 
drawne by me and presented unto him, we obteyned a dis- 
mission from attending Capten Hawkeridge pretended claim 
for the King any further. 

This being had, Capten Hawkeridge not being soe con- 
tented (expecting some composition) procured process out 
of the Exchequer in the King's attornie's name — Sir Henry 
Roberts — and served two or three of the ifeoflfees of the 
landes — which suite likewise after attending on Mr. Attorney, 
Igate of — 

*The following testimonial to this gentleman's services is rendered in a 
note attached to the Arbitrator (award made nth October, 1652;. 
"Whereas we doe finde j\Ir. John Rattenbury the elder, one of the 
Burgesses of the said towne, to be suspected and questioned by the 
plaintiffs and others, &cc. — we doe therefore think it fitt to certify all 
whom it may concern, that it doth appeare to us, he hath been one of 
the best instruments to procure and preserve many, if nott most of the 
endowments between the poore of the towne and parish, and at present 
one of the greatest helpes for the discovery of most of the particulars rela- 
ting to our present arbitration." 

t^Ir. Oliver Downe, Mr. Ffurse, Mr. Webbery, Mr. Ed. Cann and 
others, the then ffeoifees procured from Queen Elizabeth (anno 30) a 
graunt of all lands, tenements and hereditaments belonging to the town 
and parish given to superstitious uses. — Shebbeare's Boois 0/ i68g. 

:J:Maud Risdon, Rob Growdon, Walter Growden, Margaret Aysh, and 
Rich Wyte with others, gave and conveyed divers lands, some to the towne 
and some to towne and parish. — temp. Henry VIH. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. I3I 

And these and diver suites and troubles within tlic townc 
of Okehampton had continued about some ten years, in 
which time, wee (having liad tlic advize and opinion of ]\Ir. 
Justice Jones, before he was Judge, and of Mr. Noye,*' 
and others) in regard to the iNIarkett, Commons and Lands 
were soe often questioned, and the same nott soe well 
settled as desired : and for that (the) Ancient Corporation 
of Portreeve and Burgesses, or Portreeve and Commonalty, 
and the markett were doubtfully questionable in the validity 
thereof. 

It was advised and directed by me and others of Councell 
with the towne that they should petition the King for 
having a new Corporation. The petition I after drew and 
procured one of the King's servants to preferre it, and it 
being granted I took pains in preparing and planning the 
draught, and attended Sir Thomas Coventry then the King's 
Attorney about it, and gott a confirmation of the former 
Corporation and of the ancient liberties and a grant of 
such privileges as other Corporations have in point of 
government, with a Court of Record, power to keep Sessions 
and one ffare. 

In the tyme of passing this grant Mr. Horraford was 
named for the first Maior dyed, and a second petition was 
preferred to the King and Mr. Attorney General his certifi- 
cate withal, which caused the chardge to somewhat the more: 

*AVilliam Xoyc (he studied for the Law at Lincohi's Inn, and was most 
sedulous, constantly conversant with ancient writings, verifying his 
Anagram — William Xoy "I Moyl In Law." and afterwards 
became Attorney General in the unhaj^py reign ff Charles) was born in the 
parish of Buryan in Cornwall, 1577. His superior talents rendered liim 
formidable to the faction he opposed, and conscciucntly exposed him to 
party solicitations which he had not always fortitude enough to resist. — ■ 
Drew's Cornwall. 



132 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

all which was done for the ease and benefit of the towne, 
and for selling of the said landes and to prevent future suites 
and troubles and the monies bestowed therein was (as I 
conceived) for the perpetuate quiet and benefit of the whole 
town and their successours. 

And these things being thus settled, not very long after a 
newe suite for the Markett was again threatened by the 
Lord Mohun with whome (in regarde the towne of Tiverton 
holding their Markett as wee doe, had lately before that 
tyme after a long suite, and great costs upon a full tryall at 
the Assizes lost their Markett) by my advice and direction 
the towne made composition, although at a dear rate, yet 
for their quiet and good, the conve3'ance whereof I prepared 
and penned. 

And about three years last past Sir Richard Vivyan, Kt., 
and Peter Courtenay, Esq. (as was given out) entended 
another suit for the Markett for their parts and process 
taken forth, and by mediation yt being referred to counsell, 
viz., to me, and to Mr. Peard, we met at Lanceston Assizes 
and after debate had there, a meeting in London was 
appointed and to prevent troubles and danger I did advise 
a composition to be alsoe had with them, which after tooke 
effect — which purchasers of the Borough and Market were 
intended and in my opinion did intende to and tor the 
better menteynance and generall good of the towne and 
the inhabitants thereof and of their successours who have, 
and shall 'take the benefit thereof. 

All w^hich at the instance of the now Maior, Burgesses, 
and assistants of the said towne and borough of Okehamp- 
ton and especially of the said John Rattenbury's request 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 1 33 

(who from tyme to tyme hath been employed in these 
businesses and attended me about the same and other such 
like troublesome suits and business of the towne). I have 
thought good by the subscription of my name hereunto to 
certify, that the same were, and have been done and affected 
from tvme to tvme as aforesaid and for the general good of 
the said town and parish of (3kehampton respectively as I 
did and doe conceive. 

(Signed thus) Jo. Glaxvili.e. 





Parliamentary Representation of 
Okehampton. 

CCORDING to the manuscript from which 
much of the foregoing has been drawn, 
" the Borough of Okehampton returned 
members to Parliament from the 28th year of 
the reign of Edward I. to the 7th of King Edward 
II. when it discontinued doing so, until restored in 
the 16th of King Charles L, and continued to do 
so till disfranchised in the 2nd of King William IV., by the 
Reform Bill of 1832." 

The list of representatives given in the MS. having been 
submitted to Mr. W. D. Pink, of Leigh, Lancashire, that 
gentleman has very kindly revised the same, and added 
many interesting notes, with a few introductory observations. 
We therefore give the list as revised by Mr. Pink, whom we 
heartily thank for the trouble he has taken in the matter. 

Only in a general sense can it be said that Okehampton 
returned members to Parliament from 1301 to 1313. The 
fact is the Borough made two Returns within that period, viz. 
Pari, at Lincoln, Robertus Cissor, 
Jan. 1300-1. Thomas de Tanton. 
Pari, at Westminster Henricus Gloube, 
Sept. 1 313. Ricardus Bourman, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. t35 

It is of course impossible to say definitely that these were 
the only Returns made by Okehampton — but judging from the 
comparatively complete and somewhat full list of members 
that have been preserved from other Devon Boroughs, 
between the same dates it is scarcely likely that the 
Okehampton Returns would have been lost in every case. 

The fact is these smaller Boroughs frequently did their best 
to escape responding to the writ. The right to send represen- 
tatives to Parliament was not very greatly appreciated in the 
earlier stages of our Constitutional history ; and owing to 
the charges involved was often felt to be less a boon than a 
burden. 

The Parliamentary right was restored to Okehampton on 
petition presented 12 Dec. 1640. 

1640-1653. Laurence Whitacre, Esq.* The celebrated 
Edward Thomas, Esq.f Long Parliament. 
Elected 27 Jan. 1 640-1. met at 

Westminster. 

This Parliament was dissolved by Oliver Cromwell on 
the 23 April, 1653, having sat for nearly 13 years. Sub- 
sequently it resumed its sittings in ]May 1659, being then 
styled the Rump Parliament, and finally dissolved itself in 
March 1660. 

During the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell no members 

*Took the Protestation, May, 1641, and the Solemn League and Cove- 
nant, Sept., 1643, served on the final Committee of Justice against the 
King, on the 29th Dec, 1648, although was not on the Commission for the 
trial. 

tHad been previously member for Grampound and West Looe. Took 
the Protestation and the Solemn League and Covenant, but was one of the 
members secluded from Parliament in Dec., 1648, for voting that "the 
King's answer to the propositions of Ijoth Houses were a ground of 
peace." 



136 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

were returned exclusively for Okehampton, though a large 
number appear on the list for the County of Devon. 

1658-9. Robert Everard, esq. Richard Cromwell's 

Edward Wise, esq. only Parliament. 

Elected 3 Jan. 1658-9. 

1660. Edward Wise, esq. The Convention 

Josias Calmady, esq.* Parliament which 
Elected 4 April, 1660. voted the King's 

return. 
A second Indenture of the same date returned Robert 
Reynolds, esq. t)f the Middle Temple, but this was declared 
void by the House on 27 April, 1660. 
Charles II. 

1661-1678-9. Sir Thomas Hele, Bart.f Called the Pension- 
Edward Wise, esq.j ary Parliament and 
Elected 3 April, 1661. sat for 18 years. 
Arthur Harris, esq.§ 
Elected 2 Jan. 1670-1, vice Sir Thomas Hele, deceased. 
Henry Northleigh, esq.|| 
Elected i-i- March, 1676-7, vice Sir Edward Wise, deceased. 
1678-9. Josias Calmady, Junr., esq.^ 
Sir Arthur Harris, Bart. 
Elected 24 Feb., 1678-9. 

*0f Langdon, Devon, died in 1682. 

tOf Fleet CO. Devon. Had been an active Royalist in the civil war, 
died in 1670. 

iOf Mount Wise. Made K.B. at the Coronation of Charles II. in 
April 1 66 1, died in 1676. 

§0f Hayne, Created a Baronet ist Dec, 1673, died in 1686. 

l|Re-elected in 1689 and 1690, died Jan., 1693-4. 

UNephew and heir of Josias Calmady, M.P. in 1660, died in 17 14. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 1 37 

1 679- 1 68 1. Josias Calmady, Junr., esq. 

Sir Arthur Harris, Bart. 

Elected 8 Sept., 1679. 

1 68 1. Sir Arthur Harris, Bart. This Parliament met 

Sir George Carey, Knt.^' at O.xford and was 

Elected 25 Feb., 16S0-1 tlissolved 7 days 

after meeting. 
James H. 

1 685- 1 687. Sir Simon Leach, K.B.f 

William Carey, esq. J 

Elected 18 INIarch, 1 684-5 

1688-89. William Carey, esq. The Convention 

Henry Northleigh, esq. Parliament which 

Elected 11 Jan., 1688-9 voted the abdicated 

throne of James H. to 

William and Alarv 
William HI. 

1 690-1 695. William Carey, esq. 

Henry Northleigh, esq. 

Elected 26 Feb., 1689-90 

John Burrington, esq.§ 

Elected 23 Feb., 1693-4, "''^^ Northleigh deceased. 

1 695- 1 698. John Burrington, esq. The first Triennial 

Thomas Northmore, esq.|| Parliament. 

Elected i Nov., 1695. 

*Of Clovelly, knighted by Charles II., died Jan., 1685-6. 

tOf Chadleigh, made K.B. at Coronation of Charles II. in 1661, 
died July 1708. 

l(){ Clovelly. Brother and heir of Sir (rcorge Carey, was afteiAvards 
.M.P. for Launceston, from 1695 till 1710. 

^Of Hollscombe and then of Sandford, died before 1708. 

||0f Cleve, Master in Chancer}', died in July, 1713. 



138 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOls*. 

1 698- 1 700. William Harris, esq.* 

Thomas Northmore, esq. 

Elected 28 July, 1698. 

1 700- 1. William Harris, esq. 

Thomas Northmore, esq. 

Elected 9 Jan., 1 700-1. 

1701-1702. William Harris, esq. 

Thomas Northmore, esq. 

Elected 28 Nov., 1701. 
Anne. 

1 702- 1 705. Sir Simon Leach, K.B. 

Thomas Northmore, esq. 
Elected 27 July, 1702. 
1 705 -1 708. Thomas Northmore, esq. By the Scottish 

John Dibble, esq. Union, i May, 1707, 

Elected 15 May, 1705. this Parlt. became 

the first. Parlt. of 
Great Britain. 
(By a second Indenture of the same date, Sir Simon Leach 
was returned with Northmore, but this was declared void by 
the House, on 20 Dec, 1705).! 
1708-1710. John Dibble, esq,:}: 
William Harris, esq. 

Elected 12 INIay, 1708. 
Christopher Harris, esq.§ 
Elected i Dec, 1709, vice William Harris, deceased. 
*Of Hayne, died in 1709. Had been M.P. for St. Ives in 1690. 

tin 1705 in the double return between Dibble and Sir S. Leach, the 
numbers polled are said to be Dibble 124 ; Leach, 119. The other seat was 
filled without dispute by T. Northmore. 

JA timber merchant of Okehampton. 

^Of Hayne. Son of the previous member, died 1728, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



139 



1710-1713. 



i7'3-i7i5- 



George I. 
1715-1722. 



1722-1727. 



Jolin Dibble, esq. 
Christopher Harris, esq. 

Elected 12 Oct., 17 10. 
Christopher Harris, esq. 
William Northmore, Jiinr., csq.'^-' 

Elected 3 Sept., 17 13. 

Christopher Harris, esq. 
William Northmore, Junr., esq. 

Elected i Feb., 1714-15. 
Robert Pitt, esq.f 
John Crowley, esq. J 

Elected 26 March, 1722. 



George H. 
1 727-1 734. William Northmore, esq. 
Thomas Pitt, esq.§ 

Elected 21 Aug., 1727. 
1 7 34- 1 74 1. William Northmore, esq. 
Thomas Pitt, esq. 

Elected 3 May, 1734. 
George Lyttelton, esq.|| 

Elected 28 INIarch, 1735, vice Northmore, deceased. 

*Of Cleve, nephew of Thomas Northmore, M.P., died March, 1738. 

tOf Stratford, Wilts. Clerk of the Green Cloth to the Prince of Wales, 
and pre\'iously M.P. for Old Sarum and Salisbury, Father of the ist 
Earl of Chatham, died 21st May, 1727. 

JAn Alderman of London, M.P. for Oueenborough in 1727, died Jan., 
1728. 

^Eldest son of Robert Pitt, and afterwards M.P. for Old Sarum, father 
of the first Baron Camelford. He was Warden of the Stanaries to 
Frederick Prince of Wales and Steward of the Duchy of Cornwall, 
died m 1761. 

II Of Haj^ley Hall, Worcestershire. Successively Secretary to the 
Prince of Wales, 1737, one of the Commissioners of the Treasury, 1744, 
Cofferer of the Household, 1754. P.C. 1754, and Chanc. of the Exchequer 
1755. Became liftii liaroncl upon the death of liis father in Sep., 175 1, 
created Baron Lyttelton, i8lh Nov., 1756, died in 1773. 



140 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

1741-1747. Thomas Pitt, esq. 

George Lyttelton, esq. 

Elected 8 May, 1741. 

George Lyttelton, esq. 

Re-elected 4 Jan., 1744-5, after appointment as one of the 

Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. 

1747-1754. Thomas Pitt, esq. 

George Lyttelton, esq. 

Elected i July 1747. 

1 754- 1 76 1. Sir George Lyttelton, Bart. 

Robert Vyner, junior, esq.*'' 

Elected 17 April, 1754. 

Sir George Lyttelton, Bart. 

Re-elected 29 Nov., 1755, after appointment as Chancellor 

of the Exchequer. 

William Pitt, esq.t 

Elected 11 Dec, 1756, vice Lyttelton called to the Upper 

House. 

Thomas Potter, esq.j 

Elected 13 July, 1757, evV^ William Pitt, resigned. 

George Bridges Rodney, esq.§ 

Elected 24 Nov., 1759, vice Potter deceased. 

*Of Gautby near Horncastle, Lincoln, and Bidston, Cheshire. After 
wards M.P. for Lincoln and Thirsk, died July, 1799. 

tThe great Earl of Chatham. Previously M.P. for Aldborough, and 
aftenvards for Bath. 

JSon of Archbishop Potter. Successively Principal Registrar of the 
Pro\-ince of Canterbur}-, Paymaster-General of the Land Forces, Guards, 
and Garrisons of Great Britain, and one of the Vice-Treasurers of Ireland. 
Had been previously ]SLP. for St. Germans and Aylesbuiy and was a 
member of the Privy Council, died June, 1759. 

§Rear-Admiral of the Blue. Successively ALP. for Saltash, Okehamp- 
ton, Peniyn, and Westminster, Created a Baronet 21st Jan., 1764, 
K.B. 1780. Admiral of the White in 1778, and Vice-Admiral of Great 
Britain 1781, Baron Rodney 19th June, 1782 for his celebrated victory 
over the French Fleet, died May, 1792, 



HlSTOkV OP OKEHAMIMOX. I + I 

Cjcorgc in. 

lydi-iyfiS. Alexander Forrester, esci."' 
Wenmati Coke c^(\.-\ 

Eleeted 27 Marcli, 1761. 
1768-1774. Thomas Pitt, esq.+ 
Thomas Brand, esq. 

Elected 19 March, 176K. 
Hon. Richard Fitzpatrick§ 

Elected 20 Oct., 1770, vice Brand deceased. 
i-7_).-i7So. Richard Vernon, esq.|| 

Alexander Wedderburn, esq.^ 

Elected 7 Oct., 1774. 
Humphrey Minchin, esq.((z) 
Elected 11 June, 1778, T'/ce Wedderburn appointed 
Attorney (jeneral. 

*Banister at law, of Lincoln's Inn. Previously M.P. for Dunwich, and 
afleiwards for Xe\vcastle-under-l,ynie, died July- 'r^r- 

tOf Holkhani Hall, Norfolk, died in April, 1776, fatlier of the well 
known Thomas William Coke, of Holkliam, created in 1837 Earl of 
Leicester. 

JOf Boconnoc. Cornwall. Afterwards ^LP. fur Old Sarum, created 
Baron Cameltord in 1784, died in 1793. 

^Brother of the 1st Earl of LTpper Ossory and a Lieut, in the Foot 
Ciuards. He was afterwards for mi.ny years ^I.P. for Tavistock and 
Bedfordshire and was successively Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieu- 
tenant, a member of the Privy Council of Ireland, Secretary of AVar, 
and Lieut. General of the Ordnance. He died a "general officer in the 
army, in April, 1813. 

||Of Hilton, Staffordshire. I'icviously AT. P. for Tavistock and I'.ed- 
ford. and afterw.\rds for Xewcasllc-undcr-Lyme, Brother-in-law of the 2nd 
Karl (iower. \\'as Secretary to the Duke of Bedford when Lortl-Licut. 
of Ireland. 

51 Afterwards successively T-ord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and 
in 1793 Lord Chancellor, created in 1780 Baron Louj^diborough and in 
1 80 1 Earl of Rosslyn. 

(-/)()f Soberton, Hants. Clerk of the Oidnance, Lieut-Colonel of the 
llainpshiie MiUtia, died in 179C). 



142 History of okBhAmpton. 

1780-1784. Richard Vernon, esq. 

Humphrey ]\Iinchin, esq. 
Elected 12 Sept., 1780. 
(George Jennings, esq., and Richard Heavyside were 
unsuccessful candidates at this election. Jennings, peti- 
tioned against this return, but by consent of the House, 
withdrew his petition.) 

Humphrey Minchin, esq. 
Re-elected 25 April, 1783, after appointment as Clerk of 
the Ordnance. 
1784-1790. John Luxmore, esq.* 

Thomas Wiggens, esq.f 
Elected 6 April, 1784. 
This election was contested between Luxmore, Wiggens, 
Viscount Maiden and H. Minchin. The Poll as declared 
was as follows: — Luxmore, 130; Wiggens, 122; Maiden, 
104 ; Minchin, 103. The unsuccessful candidates petitioned 
and ultimately the House found the Petitioners duly elected. 
George Capel Coningsby, Viscount MaldenJ 
Humphrey Minchin, esq. 
Seated on Petition 27 April, 1785, vice Luxmore and Wiggens. 
1790-1796. John Hayes St. Leger, esq.§ 
Robert Ladbroke, esq.|| 

Elected 22 June, 1790, 

*For many years Assay Master of Tin for Duchy of Cornwall, died 
31 Jan., 1788. 

tBrother-in-law of Lord Kinnaird, died 18 Jan., 1785, before the 
decision of the Petition. 

:|:Eldest son of the 4th Earl of Essex. Succeeded as 5th Earl in 1799, 
died April, 1839. 

§Lieut-Col. in the 1st Reg. of Foot Guards, afterwards ISIajer-General, 
the friend and associate of George IV. when Prince of AVales. died in 1799. 

II Of Allicot CO. Warwick. Previously M.P. for Warwick Town, and 
afterwards for Winchilsea and Malmesbury, died July, 1814. 



HISTORY OF okehAmptox. i43 

This election was contested between Col. St. Leger, R. 
Ladbroke, John Tomson, esq., and jolm William Anderson, 
esq. Owing to some uncertainty as to the proper returning 
officer, a double poll was taken with the following result — 
Before the j\ lay or — St. Leger, i68; Ladbroke, 167: Tom- 
son, 69 ; Anderson, 68. Before the Portreeve — Tomson, 
102 ; Anderson, loi ; St. Leger, 96 ; Ladbroke, 96. All 
four candidates were returned, and ultimately on the 28 
Feb., 1 79 1, the House decided the INIayor to be the proper 
returning officer, and that Col. St. Leger and Mr. Ladbroke 
were duly elected ; the Indenture returning jMr. Tomson 
and Mr. Anderson being taken off the file. 
1 796- 1 80 2. Thomas Tyrwhit, esq,"^' The first Parliament 
Richard Bateman Robson.f of the U.K. by 
Elected 28 May, 1796. Union with Ireland 

in 1801. 
1802-1806. Henry Holland, junior, esq.* 
James Strange, esq.f 
Elected 10 July, 1802. 
(This election was contested by Holland and Strange, and 
by Geo. W. Thellusson, and Peter Isaac Thellusson. The 

*Secretaiy to the Prince of Wales, afterwards M.P. for Plymouth and 
Portarliiifjton, and Lord Warden of the Stannaries, Knighted in 1812, 
Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod from, 18 12 to 1832, died in 
Feb., 1833. 

t( )f Westbridge, Surrey, and Manchester Square, London. His name 
was originally Holland. He took the names of Bateman-Robson in Nov., 
1 79 1 on succeeding to the estate of Bateman-Robson, Solicitor, of Hart- 
ford, CO. Hunts. He was afterwards M.P. for Honiton and .Shaftesbury, 
and died in March, 1827. 

XA. Barrister of the Inner Temple, London. Son of Henry Holland, 
the architect of ('arllon House and Brighton Pavilion and probably 
brother of R. B. Robson. 

§A Banker of New Bond Street, London. 



I4f HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Poll Stood : Holland, 14+ ; Strange, 139 ; G. W. Thellusson, 
117; P. |. Tht'llusson, 112.) 

jiilin Charles Speneer, Viscount Altliorp.* 
Elected 27 April, 1804, 7-tce Strange, resigned. 
Viscount Althorp. 
Re-elected 15 Feb., 1806, after appointment as one of the 
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. 
1806-1807. Richard Bateman Robson, esq. 
Joseph Foster Barham, esq.f 
Elected i Nov. 1806. 
1 807-1 81 2. Albany Savile, esq. J 

Gwyllym Lloyd Wardle, esq.§ 
Elected 9 May, 1807. 
(Election contested by R. B. Robson the previous mem- 
ber. Poll: Wardle, 113; Savile, 96; Robson, 80.) 
1 81 2-1 81 8. Albany Savile, esq., L.L.D. 

Thomas North Lord Graves. || 

Elected 7 Oct., 181 2. 
Lord Graves. 
Re-elected 21 July, 181 3, after appointment as one of the 
Lords of the Bed Chamber. 

*Eldest son of the Earl Spencer, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1830-34 
and leader of the House of Commons during the passing of the Reform 
Bill. He afterwards sat for Northamptonshire. Succeeded his father in 
the Peerage in Nov., 1834, and died in Oct., 1845. 

tOf Trecwn, Pembrokeshire, and Great George St., Westminster. 
Previously M.P. tor Stockbridge, brother-in-law of the last Earl of Thanet, 
died in Sep., 1832. 

jOf Oalvlands, Devon, and Park Street, Westminster. Son-in-law of 
Sir Bouchier Wrey, Bart., died Feb., 1831. 

§0f Green Park Place, Bath, Colonel. The impugner of the Duke of 
York, in the House of Commons for his government as Commander 
in Chief, died 30 Nov. 1833. 

II 2nd Baron Graves in Ireland, died Feb., 1830. 



HISTORY OF OKKHAMriON. 1 45 

1818-1820, Christopher Savile, esq>' 
Albany Savile, esq., I.L.D. 

Elected I 7 June, 181 8. 
Henry Prittie Baron Dunalley.f 
Elected 11 May, 181 9, -vW' Christopher Savile, deceased. 

George IV. 

1 820- 1 826. Albany Savile, esq., LL.D. 

Henry Prittie Baron Dunalley. 

Elected 7 March, 1820. 
John Campbell, Lord Glenorchy.| 

Elected 16 June, 1820, vice Savile resigned. 
William Henry Trant, esq.§ 
Elected 2 June, 1824, vice Lord Dunalley resigned and 
elected a representative Peer for Ireland. 
1 826- 1 830. Sir Compton Domvile, Bart.|| 
Joseph Holden Strutt, esq.^ 
Elected 10 June, 1 826.(^7) 

*Of Hans Place, Chelsea. Brother of his colleague. 

t2nd Baron, Dunalley in Ireland, died in Oct. 1854. 

jEldest son of the 4th Earl (afterwards ist Marquess) of Breadalhanc. 
succeeded his father in the Peerage in 1834, ^^^^ ^o\\ 1862. 

^^Of Portland Place, Middlesex. Brother-in-law of Lord Dunallcv. 
was afterwards M.P. for Dover. 

i|Of Santry House, Dublin, ist Baronet, aftei-wards M.P. for J'lyniplon, 
<lied Feb., 1857. 

fOf Terling Place, Essex, Colonel in the Army, and Eicut-Col. nf the 
Essex Militia, jireviously M.P. for Maldon, died Feb., 1845. He married 
Charlotte (in her own right) Baroness Rayleigh. 

(//)In i82f) Sir J. M. Ommaney (ex M.I', for Barnstaple contested) 
when 135 electors polled. 



146 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

William IV. 

1830-1831. Edward Adolphus, Lord Seymour* 

Hon. George James Welbore Agar-Ellis.f 

Elected 30 July, 1830. 
Hon. George J. W. Agar-Ellis. 
Re-elected 29 Nov., 1830, after appointment as First 
Commissioner of Woods and Forests. 
1831-1832. William Henry Trant, esq. 
John Thomas Hope, esq. J 
Elected 30 April, 1831. 
Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan, Bart.§ 

Elected 14 July, 1831, vice Trant resigned. 

*Eldest son of the nth Duke of Somerset, afterwards M.P. for 
Totnes. Succeeded his father in the Peerage in 1855, ^'^"^^ '" Nov., 
1885. 

fEldest son of the 2nd Viscount CHfden. Created Baron Dover in June, 
1 83 1, died July, 1833. 

jOf Luflness, Haddingtonshire, K.B., died in April, 1835. 

^Of Trelowarren, Cornwall. 8th Baronet, afterwards M.P. for Bristol 

and Helston, died in Aug., 1879. 



A List of the Archdeacons of Totnes. 

From Oliver's Lives of the Bishops, p. 290 Appendix, and 
Hardy's Le Nez-e, revised and corrected for this Worl< 
by Prebendary Randolph. Our best thanks are due to 
Prebendary Randolph for the revision of this list which, as 
it originally stood in the ^IS., was full of errors. 



I. 

2. 

3- 
4- 
5- 
6. 

1 ' 
8. 

9- 

1 0. 

1 1 . 
1 2. 

'3- 

14. 



16. 



John de Bradelgehe, before 1140. 

Hugh de Avigo occurs in 1 143. 

Ascelinus occurs circa 1165. 

Baldwin | were witnesses to Deeds of Bishop 

Robert ) Bartholomew's, before 11 84. 

Bernard, who died 3 June, 1 190. 

John Fitz-John. 

Gilbert Basset occurs in 1206. 

Walter de Grey occurs May 10, 1207. 

John de Bridport occurs in August of the same year. 

Thomas de Boues occurs in Aug., 121 5. 

R[ichard Cowe }~\ w-as Archdeacon in izig. 

Hugh, about this time ; but no date can be assigned. 

Ysaac occurs in Dec, 1225. 

John de Kent witnessed a Deed while Serlo was Dean. 
His obit was kept, 2 December. 

Roger de Wynkleghe witnessed Bp. Brewer's confir- 
mation of Woodbury, 28 May, 1228. He became 
Dean, 1231. 



148 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

17. Thomas Pincerna {i.e. Thomas Butler), occurs in 1238, 

1242, and 1254. 

18. John died 20th February, 1257-8. 

19. Geoffrey occurs in 1262. 

20. Walter de Penbroke, collated from the Archdeaconry of 

Barum, 11 January, 1263-4. 

2 1 . Richard Blund, likewise collated from the Archdeaconry 

of Barum, i November, 1265. 

22. Thomas de Hertfort (Canon of Exeter), collated 

1 1 January, 1 270-1. 

23. Henry de Bolleghe, collated 25 December, 1275; 

resigned and was collated, in succession to John de 
Esse, to the Archdeaconry of Cornwall] (8 July, 
1284), when 

24. Thomas de Bodham was collated, on the same day. 

25. Roger le Rous occurs in 1297. 

26. Thomas de Charleton occurs in 1302. 

27. William de Puntyngdon occurs in 1303 and 1306. 

He died in 1307. 

28. Robert Fitz-Gildoe, about 13 10. He died 16 Jan. 

1325-6- 

29. Roger de Charleton. He died in office in 1338. 

30. John Northwode succeeded, 13 June in that year. 

31. Otho Northwode, collated 21 August, 1349. 

32. Peter de Ghilldisburghe occurs 24 December, 1352 

and in 1358. 

tBoth Oliver and Le Neve state that "John de Esse succeeded Hert- 
ford," and was himself succeeded by " lyioinas de Bolley ; " but Esse 
was Archdeacon of Cornii'all, and was succeeded in that Dignity 
by Henry de Bolleghe, on his lesignation of llie Archdeaconrj- of Totnt;s 
(as set forth above). 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. I49 

33. William Steele, who, in May, 1371, exchanged for the 

Living of Sampford-Courtenay, with 

34. Hugh Brydham, collated 18 May in that year. He re- 

signed in May, 1385. 

35. John Lydeford, senior, was collated immediately. His 

Will, made 12 March, 1406, was proved 13 Dec, 
1407. 

36. William Hunden, collated 21 Jan., 1407-8; exchanged 

with 

37. William Barton, who was admitted 14 May, 141 5, and 

died in office nearly 6 years after. 

38. John Thifarn, INI.D., collated 3 Nov., 142 1; on whose 

resignation, 

39. Alan Kyrketon was collated 16 July, 1433. 

40. John Burneby was collated 16 Aug., 1443, and resigned 

for the Treasurership ten years later. 

41. Thomas Manning succeeded, 4 June, 1453. 

42. Thomas Chippenham succeeded; he occurs in 1466, 

and, on his death, 

43. Owen Lloid was collated, 15 February, 1477-8. 

44. Walter Pennybroke occurs in 1479. 

45. William Wagott occurs 24 June, 1479, and 23 June, 

1480. 

46. Edmund Chaterton, collated 26 March, 1491, died 1499. 

47. Ralph Hethcote succeeded, and died early in 1499- 1500. 

48. John Fulford, collated 15 March, 1499-1 500, promoted 

to Cornwall, 18 April, 15 15, and soon after to 
Exeter, 19 June, 15 15: he died in 15 18. 

49. Richard Sydnor succeeded, and died early in 1534. 



150 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

50. George Carewe, collated 28 April, 1534; on whose 

resignation, 

51. William Collumpton| (or Fawell), last Prior of St. 

Nicholas', Exeter, and Bp. of Hippo, was collated, 
10 August, 1549. 
[52. William Fawell, who died 24 July, 1557.] 

53. John Pollard, collated 2 March, 1557-8. 

54. Thomas Kent, who died late in 1561. 

55. Robert Lougher, collated 21 February, 1 561-2. 

56. Oliver Whiddon, collated 5 June, 1568, died (and his 

\\'ill was proved) 10 Dec, 1580. 

57. John Cole, collated 24 Nov., 1580. He died three 

years after. Will proved 16 Sep., 1584. 

58. Lewis Swete, collated 12 February, 1583-4. 

59. William Parker, installed 22 Sept., 161 3, on whose 

resignation, for the Archdeaconry of Cornwall, 

60. Jasper Swift, D.D., succeeded, from the Archdeaconry 

of Cornwall, 30 Oct., 1616, died 20 Jan., 1619-20. 

61. William Cotton, collated 17 March, 1619-20, resigned. 

62. EdwardCotton, A.M., collated 10 Feb., 162 1-2; he died 

in 1647. 

63. Francis Fullwood, S.T.P., installed 31 Aug., 1660, died 

27 August, 1693. 

64. Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bart., Bishop of this See, held 

the Archdeaconry, after Fullwood, ?'« commendam, 
and resigned i May, 1694. 

+01iver calls him "William Vivyan," and both Oliver and Le Neve 
give "William Fawell" as the 52nd Archdeacon. There is some con- 
fusion here, which I hope to unravel by and by. I suspect that it was No. 
51 who "died 24 July, 1557."— F.C.H.R. 

Both I>c Neve's List and Oliver's are inaccurate. Compare the Lists in Mr. 
Randolph's Edition of the Registers of Bishops Bronescombe, Quivil, and 
Stafford (that is, of course, for as much of the groun4 4S they cover). 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. • 15! 

65. George Snell. collated 18 May, 1694; on whose death, 

(14 Jan., 1700-1), 

66. Francis Atterbury was collated 18 Jan. following, in- 

stalled by proxy 1 1 June following, resigned on his 
promotion to the See of Rochester. 

67. Nicholas Kendall, instituted on the presentation of 

Queen Anne, 28 July, 1713, died 3 INIarch, 1739-40. 
yEtatis 84. 

68. George Baker (son-in-law of Bishop Stephen Weston, 

and father of Sir Geo. Baker, Bart., M.D., late 
president of the College of Physicians), collated 26 
March, 1740, died 28th January, 1772. ^^tatis 86. 

69. Thomas Skynner, L.L.D., collated 10 March, 1772, on 

whose resignation for the Precentorship, 

70. Ralph Barnes, M.A. (son of Henry Barnes, Esq., one 

of the Secondaries of the Court of Common Pleas, 
the well-known law-reporter) was collated 16 Aug., 
1775, died 20 May, 1820. yEtatis 89. 

71. Robert Hurrell Froude, M.A., instituted 30 I\Iay, 1820, 

and died 23 Feb., 1859. ^tatis 88. 

72. John Downall, M.A., Vicar of Okehampton, was 

collated 12 March, 1859. 

73. Alfred Earle, M.A., Vicar of West Alvington, succeeded 

3rd October, 1872. Now Bishop Sufiragan of 
Marlborough, for the Diocese of London. Resigned 
in 1888, and was succeeded by 

74. Chas. Thomas Wilkinson, D.D. (Dublin), Vicar of St. 

Andrew's, Plymouth, instituted on the 20th January, 
1888. 



ADDITIONAL NOTES. 

Here follow a series of short notes and miscellaneous extracts 
more or less relating to Okehampton which are found appended 
in manuscri]it to the annotated copy of Bridge's book which we 
have been transcribing. These notes are for the most part m the 
hanilwriling of Mr. Fothergill and we present them to our 
readers almost in the same order in which he wrote them. We 
have adopted this course with them, as well as with the further 
notes which follow, in preference to burdening the pages of the 
book with numerous and voluminous foot - notes — the main 
portion of the book being therefore, to all intents and purposes, a 
reprint of the original edition. It must be understood that from 
page Ii6 of this volume appear now in print for the first 
time.— W. H. K. W. 

CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS. 

Brock's Almshouse. — Richard Brock by will dated 19th 
of March, 1588, devised to his Executors and their heirs 
for ever a messuage with the meadow attached thereunto, 
lying in the Castle road within the borough, to the intent 
that habitations, gardens, and allotments should be equally 
granted thereupon to two decayed inhabitants of Okehamp- 
ton, the preference to be made according to the merits of 
the parties and at his Executors' discretion. 

Grace Brock's Gift. — Grace Brock, 7 May, 1638, 
ordered that /^lo should be paid after her decease to the 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 153 

Mayor and Burgesses, to be employed in supporting this 
Almshouse (mentioned above) and its inhabitants placed 
therein by them, for ever. 

Gifts of Hurst, Cann and Ellis. — William Hurst 
gave four pounds to the poor of these Almshouses and 
Thomas Cann twenty shillings, which they directed should 
be expended in purchasing wood ; and John Ellis that the 
profits of ;^5 his bequest should be paid them annually. 

Harragrowf.'s Gift. — Richard Harragroe, ob. 1623, 
bequeathed to the Vicar, the Portreeve, and INIayor and 
Burgesses of Okehampton and their successors, ,1^50 10 
purcha.se an annuity of ^'5 for ever, to he bestowed towards 
the wages of a faithful and learned schoolmaster, who 
should train the youth of the Borough in the fear of God 
and good letters. Also to the Wardens and Overseers and 
their successors, ^40 towards a stock for employing the 
industrious poor of the town and parish, all except Kigbear 
hamlet. 

Bickell's Gift. — Captain John Bickell delivered and 
gave to John Rattenbury at his request, ^40 in gold to be 
expended annually in the use and service of the Poor, at his 
(Rattenbury's) discretion. 

Field's Gift. — By Indenture, i June, 1672. Mary Field 
assigned to the Vicar, Mayor, and Portreeve of Okehampton 
and their successors, lands held by her in Broadnymet and 
Nymet Tracy, alias Bow, respectively, on trust, to pay to 
Diana Adean 25 shillings yearly for her life and after the 
donor's decease to permit the said Diana, if living, or such 
persons as Mary Field might appoint by her will, in case 
she died, to dispose of the remainder a sum total of the 



t5+ HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOK. 

rents respectively to the poor. The Church tablet? lately 
removed, state that the proceeds of this bequest were dis- 
bursed weekly to the poor in bread or otherwise — Present 
value £6 6s. For a further account of the charities we refer 
our readers to the Reports of the Committee of the House 
of Commons on Charitable Bequests throughout England ; 
viz., page 208, &c. 

SCHOOLS. 

Before the year 1600, there appears to have been a 
school in this town, to which Mr. Carey was a liberal con- 
tributor. Prince observes in his Worthies of Devon, "John 
Cary, the eldest son of Robert aforesaid, married Anne, 
daughter and heir of Edmund Devick or Devyock of 
Keckbeare, in the parish of Okehampton, Esq. His pos- 
terity continued in that place for several descents ; of wliich 
race, Anthony (if it be not mistaken for Lancelot) Cary, 
Esq., gave a bountiful gift to the town of Okehampton, 
aforesaid, viz., the sum of sixty pounds, to continue in 
stock, to be employed for the better education of poor 
children in trades and occupations" (page 182.) 
The following entries are to be found in the town records. 

1620. Peter Bolt, Minister for reading prayers at the 
Chappie and teaching children of the town and Borough 

1623. Mr. Rich Bowden, Vicar, for , . . .at Chappie 
and for scholars £,\o. 

It also appears from the Corporation books, that several 
of the Rectors of Belston resided in Okehampton and were 
the masters of the Borough School (previous to the year 
lySo.) They had a house free of rent and ^15 per annum, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 155 

their duty was to instruct 6 day-scholars, free, and were 
permitted to take Boarders ; they had also to read prayers 
on Wednesdays and Fridays at the jMayor's Chapel and to 
preach at the Quarter Sessions. 

In 1647-8. It appears that the Schoolhouse, Townhall — 
Shambles, Bridges and Streets were repaired and amended, 
especially Bear-bridge. — Proceedings, Folio $^. 

COURT-LEFT. &c. 

In April 1656. I\Ir. Shebbeare introduces us to a new 
scene. The court-leet and baron of the feofTees of the 
borough, its jury and homage"^' — where Mr. Francis 
Rattcnbury is presented as son and heir - apparent of the 
late worthy Town Clerk, and bidden " to satisfy the court of 
his Releife, and to doe his ffealty, <S:c." — the next present- 
ment touches on a point of recent agitation, we believe. 

Alsoe, they present to the office of Churchwarden for the 
year to come, John Warren, who is sworne by the Mayor. 

Alsoe, they present that John Mander ; Wm. Jordan, 
Richard Bond, Wm. Wodland, John Rice and others, all in- 
habitants within the said borough, being returned and 
warned to be here at this Court to serve in the Jury for his 
Highnesse the Lord Protector as by the Bayliflf's oath 
appears, made default. Therefore a ffine is set on either for 
their neglect and contempt, as on their heads appeareth. 

Alsoe, the Jurors aforesaid upon their oath aforesaid doe 
present the defaults of Richard Arscott, Sam Alford, gent., 

*Essoigres. 

Richard Boyer, John Seklon, John Sayer, 

Edward Tinkcombe, Richard Lake, John Falser, 

Daniel Ffishley, John Yendall, Lewis Boyne 8c 

Richard ferriman, Lawrence Knight, AVm. Macey. 



156 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOK. 

Robert Burgoyne, gent., the heirs of Lancelot Calmady, 
gent., John Coryndon, gent., Alexander Cottle, gent. The 
co-heirs of Robert Cory, gent., Joseph Can, Thomas Can, 
John Can, Hugh Davy, gent., Peter Elsworthy, gent., 
Richard Growdon, Raignold Hawkey, Christopher Leth- 
bridge, John Saunder, Henry Langford, gent., Warwick, 
Lord Mohun, John Moore, Esq., John Moore, gent. The 
co-heirs of Wm. Milford, gent., Richard Northleigh, gent., 
Peter Newcombe, Roger Prest, gent., George Potter, gent., 
John Parsons, gent., John Roole, gent., Gyles Risdon, Esq., 
Hugh Stafford, gent., Thomas Stafford, Esq., the heirs of 
John Taverner, gent., Henry Walter, Esq., Edward Wise, 
Esq., Anne White, widow and William Wodland, ffree 
tenants of the said Borough that owe suite att this Court. 
And are amerced as on their heads, &c. 

At the court-leet and baron held in October following we 
are warned of a municipal dignity, that, as may be feared, 
has fallen into more than abeyance in our days — the Ale- 
tasters : presently after " came Thomas Merriman and did 
surrender into the hands of the ffeoffees, one white 
weather sheepe, which came as an estranger to his custody 
within the said Borough in the month of ffeb 1654, or hath 
hitherto remayned without owner." 

At the next court, the Jury present "that John Lake 
suffereth his nagge to depasture upon the Commons not 
being a ffreeman of the same," &c. 

The Mayor. — The office of Mayor is undoubted one of 
high antiquity. During the Saxon era cities were governed 
by Portreeves or Port-graves, a term signifying Governor of 
a Port or Harbour. After the Norman Conquest these 



r"^ 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 157 

officers were reduced, and we find the title, in the reign of 
King John, who evidently made this change in the civic 
government, by appointing one individual as chief ruler, 
with this title of Mayor — anciently written A/eeyy, and comes 
from the British min'/, i.e. custodire, or from the old English 
DiiJiti; viz., potestas. The silver maces were presented to 
the Corporation by His Grace the Duke of Bedford, on the 
14th of September, 1761* and the grace-cup by Christopher 
Harris, t Esq., iM.P., whose arms it bears ; there is no in- 
scription or date. C.H. represented the Borough from 1708 
to 1715. 

Brightley. — Richard de Brionis, son of Baldwin, by 
Albreda, niece to William the Conqueror, Ann. 11 33, began 
to build an Abbey on his estate at Brightley, which being 
finished in 11 36, he endowed it with lands, dedicated it to 
the Virgin Mary, and placed therein 12 Monks and their 
Abbot, Richard, who had been sent from the Cistercian 
Abbey of Waverly in Surrey, in consequence of application 
to Gilbert, Abbot of that House. He (Richard de B.) 
survived the completion of the Monastery only one 3'ear and 
dying was buried there — leaving his Estate, for want of 
Male issue, to Adeliza his sister, named Countess of Devon- 
shire. Here the Monks remained 5 years, when on account 
of scarcity of provisions and barrenness of soil, they resolved 

*The inscription on tliem runs thus, " The j^ft of the Most Noble John 
Duke of Bedford, &c., &c., anil unanimously elected Recorder of the 
Borough of Okehampton, in the Mayoralty of the ReverJ- Mr. John 
Vickn,-, the 14th day of September, 1761." 

tProbably it might have been given by Sir Arthur Harris, Bart, (son of 
Lady Cordelia Harris, daughter of Lord Mohun. Baron of Okehampton) 
who was M.P. about 1680. 



158 ttlStOkV OF OkEtlAMI>T0N. 

to return to Waverly in procession with their Abbot Robert, 
successor to Richard. — Grose Vol. II., page 63. 

Ford. — By an inter-marriage of Reginald Courtenay, 
temp. Henry II. ; the patronage of this Abbey came to the 
Courtenays, several were buried there. John C. was a great 
benefactor to this House. 

Clergy. — In 1427 loud complaints having been made by 
the Inferior Clergy as to the inequality of their stipends, it 
was ordained by the Superior Convocation, that each 
Bishop's family barber should shave each Priest, who had 
his orders from that Bishop without payment. — Wilking's 
Consilia. 

Monks. — The original of Monks in England may be 
dated from the first plantation of Christianity therein, that it 
is probable that some of the Druids having been converted 
from the Pagan religion, whereof they were the priests, be- 
came our first Monks, being thereunto much inclined by 
the severity of their former discipline. — Mackenzie on Royal 
Line of Scotland. 




CHARTERS, RENTALS, &c. 

Some inaccuracies and omissions occurrinj^ in our abstracts, we here 
give the transcript and copy of the libert3es and ffranchises granted of old 
time to the burgesses, &c., as made by Richard Shebbeare, in 1671. 

Zo all Cbristian people tbis present writing seeing or 
bearing TRobcrt ot Courtnege* senDctb greeting in tbe XorD 
(5oD JEverlastinge. IRnow ^e tbat 5 tbe sayC* IRobt. have given 

granted and by these my present deed confirmed with the assent and con- 
sent of Mar)- my wife and our heires to the burgesses of my ffree burghe 

of okehampton. Bll tbose tenements anD liberall eustonies 

which they had in the time of Richard the sonne of Bawdyn and of 
Robert the sonne of Reginald and of Mawde Aberenges his wife and 
Havisses of Courtncye my mother in the burghe and in the foreyne lands 
of the same. Ji)iel5ing therefore yearly of every burgage to mee and 
to my heires by tlie hands of my portrieve of the said burghe att the 
feast of St. Michael Tharchangell Xlld. and for all service and other 
demands to mee and to my heirs pertaining to them and to their heirs. 
?rO bave anD to bOlJ) of mee and of mine heires by right of inheritance 
freely, quietly, peaceably and honorably for evermore in woods and plaines 
in wayes and paths, in streets, in common of pastures, in waters, in mills 
and in all places where I and mine heires to them and to their heires 
may reasonably warrant. 

2ll60e wee have granted that the said Burgesses may yearly by their 
own j)roper Councell choose and depose a Portreive and a Beadle, and 
the same portreive may be qiute of Tallage, and the Beadle by Vld- 

•Between izi6 and 1272, see also pages 18, 56, &c. 



l6o HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

HnJ) if any plea or plaint appertayning to the Lord be commenced 
witliin the said Burghe within the same it ought to be determined, and if 
any man of those Burgei^ses make any fforfeite and is amerced for the 
same then hee to bee thereof quite and discharged for Xlld. JlnJ) if hee 
bee often times amerced by the judgement and counsell of the Burgesses 
and my Steward then he may be chartized according to the quantity of 
the trespasse. 5lnC) 'f any man take or purchase a new Burghe then he 
shall have timber to build his house by the advice of my steward and of 
my other good men in my wood of Okehampton ; fllgOC if the said 
burgesses or their children would be wedded or marry that they may soe 
doe ffreely wheresover they will ; ailj) alSOC that eveiy burgess may 
have a sowe and ffower piggs without any pannage in my wood* of 
Okehampton, alSOC that noe man shall buy any green leather or skinnes 
within the said burghe unless hee bee of the same, and for that shall pay 
noe tolls ; alSOC the portreeve shall gather the toll and hee to have for 
the same Xlld. of the said toll and alsoe shall he quit for that yeare of all 
taxes and tallage by the same voice. !Hl0OC of ware that passeth nott 
IVd. noe toll shall be asked or taken and if it passeth IVd. then to 
pay toll for a horse id., ffor every ox or other meete ^d., for five sheep id., 
for V. hogs id., for corne and garts nothing : al50C if any man buy or 
sell within the Longstone or 1 (SCtlD) must pay toll ; al60C if any man 
steale or beare away the said toll and he thereof convict shall pay for every 
ffarthing Vs. for |- Xs. and for every id. XXs. HllD alSOC if any burges 
■w ill depart from the sayd burghe that hee may sell his burgage to whom 
hee will except to houses of Religion and over that hee shall pay his 
debts and alsoe give to the Lord Xlld. and to the portreive IVd., and to 
the burghe IVd. and then freely so depart. B160C if it bappetl any of 
the sayd burgesses have fulfilled the said reward then his wife and his 
heires may peaceably receave his lands and tenements ; alSOC if any man 
desire to have the ffreedom of the sayd burghe . . . the first year hee 

must pay to the Lord IVd. and to the burghe IVd. and the second yeare 

*" I gather by this charter of the borough, that at the tyme of this graunt, and all 
tymes before, either the Lord of Okehampton had noe park within the lordship, or 
else after this graunt hee did much enlarge his parke ; for all that wood and soyle on 
the south part of the Castle and borough, wherein by the instructions hereafter 
issuing they did release their comons of pasture is now inclosed in the parke, which 
att that time, as it should seemc, lay open and in comon." — Mr. Humberstoii's 
opinion as preset'ved by Shebbeare. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. l6l 

to the Lord only IVd. the third yeare hee may take a burgage or else pay 
as it is afore specified and depart ; ailD if" any man beare away tlie debt of 
any burges the burgesses shall attack and wiihold the goods of him thai 
hath borne the burgesses debt or cattle away untill liee bee thereof 
satisfied as right may warrant them ; alSOC noe man unlesse hee bee of 
ffree condition shall maintain anj- thing in the lawe against any of mv 
sayd burgesses. 21150C 3 Will that my burgesses bee quite of all 
manner of toll through all Devonshire where 1 and my heires of right mav 
warrant them. JlH rClltS Amercements and ffines of the said Burghe 
may bee paiil to mee and my lieires by the hands of the Portrieve there. 

auD for tbis mg ©iftc ©raunt an& Confirmation the aforesaid 

Burgesses have given me XLCW markes sterling; for IknOWlCDQC of the 
same and that it may abide stable for evermore this present deed with the 
print of my scale I have made strong these men beareing witness, .Sr. 
Regnold Courtneye, "William of Nymett, Sheriffe of Devon, Robert of 
Courtnaye with many others. 

Charter of Sir Hugh Courtenay, A.D., 1291. 

■Univcrsis a^ quos prcscntcs bac tncvcniunt fl.iiuio ^c llourtnc^c, miles, pic= 
positus ct Comitatus JSuriii ^c Ohcbampton salutem in iN\o.) 

(SCiCtiS) quod cum controversiffi motx' essent inter predm. Hugoncm ex 
pie. una, prsposit. et comt. burgi de Okehampton ex altera sup. communibus 
pastune in boscis, wastis et aliis locis in mancio de Okehampton die. con- 
troversia in die. Hugonem praepoit. et comitatus conquierunt in hunc 
modum : V(5., quod pra;fati pra;posit. et comitatus per se, et hatred, vel 
assign, suas bona et CUriall voluntate sua. relaxarunt . . . clam dicto Hugoni 
civitatiis pasturam in toto Bosco dci. Hugonis sitam in australi pte. castri 
et burgi de Okehampton ubiq.; et omni tempore anni. Ct MWS. H^UtlO 
bona et mera voluntate sua dcto. pra^posit. et comit. subveniens per se et 
haered. suos concessit iisdem praeposit. et comit. et hrered. vel assign, suis 
quod habeant communem pasturam ad ... . per totum wastum 
suum inter .... terram suam arabilem de Wirham* versus austnnn 
et metas de Dartmore per tolum annuin, cum libo. et . . . . introitu 

•Birham was the name of tlic old cliunli here inontioiiLd in lliis thartcr.— 
Shebbeare's notes. 

K 



1 62 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

et exitu dc buigo prdco. per medium predict, boscum suum austialem 
]icr viam de CtoSUlOtC usq.; ad vastum prdm. Ct SilTlUltCC quod 
liaheant communem pasturam in communibus aliis suis per totum . 
dci. Hugonis de Okehampton a crastino scti. Michaelis usq.; ad medium 
mensis !Martii. JllSUpCt quod quilibet burgensis prredic. comit. habeant 
unam suem cum quatuor porcellis in bosco suo qui vocatur IbSCl^WOODS 
in Boreali pte. burgi pro tempore pannagii quiet de pannage per totum 
boscum predict, excepta pt. ilia bosci prad. quam tempore futuro dcto, 
Hugo vcl haered. sui duxerunt claudendo .... cum clausa fuit. jEt 
prffidic. Hugo et hsered. pr^dic. communem pasturam . . . . et 
pannagium procum prredic. ut prodest absq.; perturbatione diet. Hugonis 
vel ministriim suor. dicto comit. et haered. vel assign, suis usus quoscunq. 
tenenter warrantizare et defendere . . . . Et pro prsedic. communibus 
l^asturaj concedendis dederunt pra;dic. prrepoit. et comitatus diet. 
Hugoni, duo suo, duo dolia vini prSC niaillbUS. 

In cupis rei testimonium huic present! script, [turn] modo Cbirographi, 
praedic. Hugo sigillum suum quum prdcti. propositus et comtus. 
sigillum suum commune alternatim apposuerunt ; ejus testibus duo 
Henrico de Baileghe, Robto. Beaple milet. cum aliis. ©atUtll apud 
Okehampton in ftesto scti Thomo Martins Anno Regni Dni Edward 
Regis \'icesimo. 



SOME EXTRACTS 

EROM A RENTAL OE OKEHAMPTON .MAN(JR, 

I\L\DE zoTH NOV., 1593 (35 Eliz.) 

FREE TENANTS. 

Lancelott Caiy, gent., for Rosen Upcott, &c., yieldetli yearly, IVb. Vllld. 

George Yeo, Esq., for the manner of Holestock lis. IVd. 

John Fitz, Esq., for his mannor of Meldon, &c., Vs. IVd. 

Thomas St. Aubyn, Esq., and others for Bowerlands, lis. 

Edmund Ffurse, for Pudhanger alias Symon's parke, VId. 

The tenant of Stewerson for the same, XVId. 

The burgesses of Okehampton for Brightley, XVId. 

CUSTOMARY TENANTS. 

James Arnold holdetli by copy one tenement at Fatherford and yieldeth 

yearly, VIIIs. 
Edmund Ffurse holdeth likewise by copy two grist mills called the Custome 

mills and one ffulling mill Xlld., and yieldeth, Vs. Xlld. 
William Tarraynt holdeth by copy the milles called Castle mills and land 

called Bow-beare, and on Edge mill and yieldeth XXXVs. \'IIId, 
Nicholas Hill holdeth by copy likewise Knoll mill, and yieldeth, IVs. 
Jolin Maunder lioldeth yearly by copy one fi'ulling mill and yieldeth, Xlld. 
Mr. Thomas Peters for two tenements called Flyscombe and Sythaby 

yieldeth yearly, VIIIs. Vllld. 

BARTON HOLDERS. 
Richard Jordan for Jordan's Rail yieldeth by the year, IVs. 
John Barrens for a close of Barton land wlicrein the capital) inansion 

is, XIs. 
Robert AVebber for tlie Middle close, XXIIs. 
Richard Harrigro for Higher Barton, XIVs. 



164 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



John Alford, gent., for the ffeme closes and ffish pooles, IVs. Vllld. 
The same John for one parcell of land called the Ponds otherwise the 
Lower ffishe poole lying by the Castle of Okehampton, IVd. 
FREE TENANTS OF THE AFORESAID MANOR, 1 639. 
The Lady Mary Howard, Vs. IVd. 
Sir Ffrancis Ffulford, Knt., for Darnford Headware, VId. 



Extracts from a Rental of the Antient town lands made in 1654 
by Mr, Thomas Austyn, Town-Clerk. 

Computed Value in 1628. 
Mrs. Katherine Bowden, 7 acres, 00 14 08 



00 6 08 
00 15 02 



VI/ XIIIs. 
XXXs. 



IVd. 



03 06 08 
00 06 08 



XXX;^ 

IV^ Xs. 



Daniel Fishley, 
Sarah Growden, 

Mr. John Hole for St. John's lands ) o 

at Bow, 17 acres ) ^ 

Alexander Merrifield 125 acres 

John Northmore, gent., 

Mrs. Katherine Rattenbury, widow, ) m n6 

3 acres j 

COMMON LANDS OF THE TOWN AND PARISH. 

The two widow Shorts, 00 06 08 

FREE, CUSTOMARY AND CONVENTIONARY TENANTS OF THE BOROIGH 

IN 1669. 

The coheirs of Launcelott Calmady, gent. 

John Corindon, gent.. 

The coheirs of Robert Caiy, gent., 

John Can, mercer, 

Mrs. Hester Gayer, widow, 

Christopher Lethbridge, esq., 

Charles Lord Mohun, 

Ruth Newbury, widow, 

Richard Northleigh, gent., 

John Roole, Kt. of the Bath, 

Giles Risdon, esq., 

Richard Reynell, esq., in the right of his wife. 

The heirs of John Tavemer, gent., and a pound of wax, Xlld. 



VIIIs. 


Those pay 
suits of court 

VId. 






VId. 


VIIIs. 


Xd. 


VId. 


Is. 


VId. 


VId. 


Is. 


Hid. 




Is. 




VId. 


lis. 


IVd. 
Vllld. 






lid. 


VId- 


Is. 


Vllld. 




XVIIs. 


IXd. 
lid. 


VId. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 1 65 

Extracts from the Receiver'' s Book for the Borough of Oke- 
hainpton. Temp. 17 and \% years of James 1st. 

"The accompte of John Ratenbury, gent., Chappie warden and 
receiver of the Rents, See, belotiging to the ffeoffs of the Borough afore- 
said for one whole yeare, that is to say, from the ffeast of Epiphanie in 
the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred and nynteene, untill 
the same feast anno 1620." 

After mentioning the payment of rents, &c., received, he next gives an 
account of the disbursements : — 

Imprimis — paid to Mr. Peter Bolt, minister, for reading prayers at the 
Chappie, and for teaching children of the town as schollers. 

Item — paid to ^Ir. William Hurst, clerke of the parish for his allow- 
ance this yeare in attendinge at the chappie praiers. 

Will. Johnson's account for attending to the Clock. 

Paid to Henr)- Tothill, Esq., one year's annuity issuing out of the fourth 
part of the Borough lands purchased by the ffeoffees. 

Item- — paid to Edmond Bower for ringing the chappie bell. 

Item — paid to John Crigge for sweeping and keeping cleane the chappie 
and streets in the Market Place. 

Item — paid to Robert Bebycombe for amending the chappie bell whule 
and the stools in the markett, and for timber for doing it. 

Also he mentions the repairs of the chapel, and bills paid for lime, and 
pointing the Tower, &c., &c., besides 2000 shindells brought from Hath- 
erleigh for the chapel roof. 

Item — paid to James Heddon for carrjdng a letter to ffrancis Glanvill, 
Esq., at Tavistock receiving the collection for Bohemia. 

[Elizabeth the daughter of James I. was wife of Frederick V., Duke of 
Bohemia, and elected King of Bohemia, this may be the probable reason 
for this collection.] 

It appears that Richard Can was appointed Maior, and the late Mayor 
William Webberley warden for the next year. 

1620. Item — given to Mr. Johnson, a poor minister, who preached 
here, August — 5s. 

Item — paid for the high rent of the tenements, called Westacott 



1 66 HISTORY OP OKEHAMPTON. 

Mowcombe, St. John's land at Bowe, Muddaford Stratton tenement and 
Brightley. 

Item — paid for all the several high rents of the lands within the 
Borough, due at Michaelmas last, &c. Also dinners bestowed on the 
tenants and divers gents riding to the Parliament. 

Okehampton BoROUCtHE. 
The Accompie of Mr. William Wehberv, Chappie tvarde?i and 
Receiver, <sfc., e^r., from the ffeaste of the Epiphany, 1620-2 i. 

The said Accomptant rendeth allowance of all sure somes as have been 
disbursed by him since the last accompt as Chappell Warden, viz., from 
8th daie of January, 1620 until the 7th dale of January, 1621. 

Imprimis paid Peter Bolt for reading prayer and teaching the children 
(as before mentioned.) 

Item — paid to John Pulser clerke for attendance, &c. 

Item — paid to William Johnson for keeping the clocke. 

Item— paid to Edmond Bower for rynging the chappie bell evening and 
morning. 

Item — paid to John Crigge for sweeping and keeping cleane the 
chappie, &c. 

Item — paid to Edmond Deyman for attending at the chappie prayer 
part of this yeare after Mr. Hurst's death. 

Item— paid to Henry Tothill, Esq. for one year's annuity issuing 
out of the fourth part of the lands of the Borough. 

Richard Arscott was paid for 2700 shindies for the repairs of the 
chappie, and also an account for the laying of the same. 

John Growden succeeded Richard Can in being Mayor. 

Paid Richard Reddewan (prob. Reddaway) the Baylliffe. 

Received the fourth part of the profits of James fair ; also the High 
Rents of the lands held of the Lords of the Borough and Manor. 



Mr. Richard Can's ^ From the 9th day of Januarj', 1621, until the sixth 
Accompte j day of January, 1622. 

Peter Bolt continues to be reader at the chaple and also schoolmaster. 
John Pulser, clerke. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOK. 1 67 

William Johnson, keeper of the clocke. 

Edmond Bower, for ringing the chaple bell evening and morning. 

John Blatchford, for keeping cleane and sweeping the chaple and 
Market Streets, this year. 

Paid to Henry Tothill, Esq., for one year's annuity issuing out of the 
4th part of the Borough purchased of Sir Nicholas Hals, Kt. 

For candles used at the chaple this year at prayer tyme by the Clerkes 
bill. 

Paid and allowetl for the small high rents and suits of court (at 
Brightly) due for the Town lands lying out of the Borough. 

Paid Jolm Glanvill, Esq., the Town Comicell or Recorder. 

Paid to the Churchwarden lor Annuity issuing yearly out of the town- 
hall. 

Paid repairs of the chaple organ. 

For Air. Harragroes and my .... at Tavistock for the Town 
about the Snbsedys. (Subsidies.) 

Repairs of the Chaple, timber and a new door. Sec. 

Paid the expenses of the Judge of Assize, &c. 

Paid for the expenses in disregarding Lord Allyn widdow presented 
for the determining of his claymes by the Parish of Marytavy to belong to 
their church out of the Tents, of Holdiche (see the old poll deed how it 
was given, and is proved by the Parish. An art. entered with the Lord 
Bishop's Registrar.) 

For a present sent to Sir Francis Vivian, Kt., one of the Lords of the 
Bcrough. 

1640. Lord Mohun, Sir Richard Vyvyan and Sir Peter Courtenay 
held portions of the Manor. 

1643. The officers of Queen Henrietta (Charles Ists. wife) received 
jCi\ lod. od., and conveying Letters for Prince Morice 5s. to Barnstaple. 

Rifleman to Bow, 8s. The carrier for taking 30 horse laden with 
arms, Sic, into Bridestowe, Sec, 5s. P'or conveying, by Prince Morice's 
Command, packctts to Tavistock, Barnstaple and other places, 1716. 
Unto 3 horsemen sent to the Ld. Hopton, is. 6d. To P. Morice, 
Marshall for his fee u])on the discharge and freeing of Mr. Lewis Parker, 
being committed as Mayor, Sec, 13s. 4d. The King's (Charles) officers 



lf),S HISTORY OF OKF.HAMPTON. 

and servants for fees demanded at his Majesty's Court, July, 1644, /;20. 

To Prince Charles and his guard for money and dyett, £1 12s od. 

Paid to the Earl of Linsey's officers by his warrant, £t, 6s. od. 

Carriage of gunpowder to Tavistock, £1 os. od. 

To dirers sick and maymed soldiers to convey them out of the Town, 
£1 I OS. od. 

Wood delivered unto the King's garde, £1 los. od. 

Fees of the Parsevant by whom the Mayor was taken up and carried to 
Exeter in Sep., 1644, for not sending in provision for the King's Mats. 
£2 1 6s. 8d. 



A ground plan of the British, Roman, and 
Danish Camps, situated on the south-eastern 
part of Okehampton Park, taken by H. G. 
Fothergill in the year 1840. 

A. The Danish Works. 

B. The British Camp. 

C. The intermediate space between the 
British and the Roman Camp. 

D. The Praetorium. 

E. Part of the Roman Camp. 

F. The Speculum or Watch Tower. 

G. The Northern Foss or Fence. 







1 ^Mk :Cff"f ifti^«*g--«»^>**M*<^^'- ,','C^-^'W^*^^!! t^.^' 



MARGINAL NOTES BY THE RE\'. II. G. 
FOTHERGILL & OTHERS* 

PAGE I. 

Celtic. Pryd and Cai7i : the C being lost in the latter 
word, for the more easy pronunciation in the British tongue, 
and the P in the former changed into B by the Romans for 
the more gentle and pleasant sound's sake. 

Britain derives its name from the Celtic words signifying 
— Beautiful, White. By the Greeks written W^vrxvu/x, by 
the Romans Brytania, or Britannia, the latter word referring 
to . . . [word torn away.] 

All tradition ought not to be thrown overboard lightly, 
as useless and unfounded, since it must have had an origin 
or fact to base the superstructure upon, though, in the lapse 
of time, the circumstances of the case might have been 
greatly mixed with some alloy in the fancy of the Poets ; 
and imagery of others, as there are sufficient grounds to 
suppose that through Brute was not the original founder, 
he was the first invader of this Island. — H. G. F. 

PAGE 2. 

The Druids. — This class was divided into three orders : 
the first were those who performed at the sacrifices and 

*The Editor ventures no comment upon these notes which were made 
upon the margins of Mr. Fothergill's copy of Bridge's history ; they must 
stand upon their own merits, and he taken for wliat they are wortli. It 
must be left for tlie reader to discriminate between what is of liistoric value, 
apart from the merely traditional. 



1 70 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

were employed at or in the more solemn rites and mysteries 
of religion. The Druids derived their name from an old 
British word Dm or Deni, an oak. The second order were 
called Bards and composed the hymns sung at their 
religious ceremonies. Diodorus Siculus mentions their 
singing poems to the sound of an instrument not unlike a 
lyre. They also were the preservers of the memory and 
noble exploits of their heroes, and instructed the youth 
committed to the care of the Priesthood in all the branches 
of philosophy. They are supposed to have derived their 
name from the feathered songsters of the air — Birds are still 
pronounced by the peasantry of Devon — Bards.*' But more 
likely they obtained the name from the Welsh — "Bar" — a 
fury. The third order were called Vaids, Vates or Ovates, 
they devoted themselves to the study of Astronomy, Divina- 
tion, Augury, INIagic, Physic, and Natural Philosophy. 
PAGE 3. 

The Britons. — Probably known as the Cangi, who were 
shepherds ; those who worked in the mines were known as 
Danmonii. The Danmonii or Dunmonii were of Celtic 
origin and migrated here out of Gaul, in very early times. 
They were also a great mercantile tribe as the name 
denoteS; which is derived from the Phoenician words Dan, 
Dun a hill, and moina, signifying mines, i.e. — the country of 
mines. The Phoenicians began to trade with the inhabitants 
centuries before the Greeks discovered this island, about 
450 B.C. or 100 years before the Belgae arrived in Britain. 
Pytheas, the Greek philosopher, gives an account of the 

*I would advise any reader, who has it in his power, to refer to Davies' 
Celtic Researches, page 117 &c., as well as to Dr. Whittaker's works 
upon this point. — H. G. F. 



HISTORY OF OKKHAMPTOX. 171 

British Isles from his own insjtcction 839 B.C. In ihf time 
of Herodotus (445 B.C.) the Greeks were aware that all the 
tin they received from the Phoenicians came from Britain, yet 
they could then scarcely guess at our situation, but that very 
shortly afterwards a Grecian Colony settled here, may 
appear from the number of (jrcek words introduced into the 
language of the Dannionii. Athenaus, another Greek 
author, mentions that Iliero, King of Syracuse, procured 
from Britain a main-mast for his immense ship. Hiero 
died in the 94th year of his age, 225 B.C. Polybius (147 
B.C.) notices this island as being plenteously stored with tin. 

PAGE 4. 

C^sar says they used to dye themselves with woad, 
which setteth a blue colour upon them. Pomponius Mela 
(45 A.D.) acknowledges the same. Herodian (247 A.D.) 
absolutely affirms that the Britons used no garments, but 
about their waists and necks wore chains of iron, supposing 
them a goodly ornament and a proof of their wealth : their 
bare bodies they marked with sundry pictures representing 
all manner of living creatures, and some with the sun, moon 
and the planets. Pliny adds that the women, both single 
and married anointed and dyed their bodies with the juice 
of the above-mentioned herb, previous to their attending 
the solemn feasts and sacrifices. Strabo says (25 A.D.) 
they " exceeded the Gauls in stature, of which I had ocular 
'demonstration, being six inches taller than the tallest men." 
From the colouring of their bodies the epithet, " Coeruleis 
Britannis " was used by INIartial and " Viridesque Britannos " 
by Ovid. They offered human sacrifices as we are informed 
by Dion Cassius and Solinus. The practice of having their 



172 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

wives in common is confirmed by Dio Nicceus and Euscbius. 

PAGE 5. 

Druids. — There are evident traces of theii learning and 
science still remaining, in the arrangement of their places 
of worship, each stone being fixed on astronomical 
principles ; from which, no doubt, the Druids were able to 
measure any number of degrees in a circle, so as to calculate 
the right ascension or declination of a star or planet, and 
perhaps to calculate eclipses as well, and discover the nine- 
teen years intercalation by the new moons and full moons 
elliptical. Their laws forbade any commerce with strangers ; 
this will account for the little knowledge the (Greeks and 
the Romans had of their learning and science. 

"That the Druids were skilled in various learning, is 
evident from the attestation of the Greeks and Romans," 
says Polwhele, in his Historical Vinvs of Devon, page 159. 

PAGE 7. 

BoADiCEA. — At Camalodunum, i.e. Colchester, London 
and Verulam, near St. Albans, she put to the sword all the 
inhabitants, amounting to 70,000 Romans, with their British 
allies, about the year 61. 

PAGE 6. — (note TO FOOTNOTE.) 

At Rhutupae, a seaport town on the Southern coast, some 
suppose it to have been Dover, but more probably situated 
near Richborough. — H. G. F. 

PAGE 8. 

VoRTiGERN. — There is a valley in Carnarvonshire that 
bears his name where he is reported to have fled from the 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. I 73 

rase and persecution of his subjects for invilini; tlie Saxons 
into Britain. — H. G. F. 

PAGE 7. 

Scots. — Scot, in Gaelic, signifies a little or small division. 
PAGE 7. 

PiCTS. — The Picts so called from painting their bodies, 
as already mentioned. 

PAGE 10. 

HuBBA. — At Appledore, about three miles below Bide- 
ford, in Barnstaple Bay, it is said that Hubba landed and 
was discomfited and slain, with 1,200 men before Kinvith or 
Kenny Castle ; A.D. 878. 

PAGE 9. 

Exeter. — Caer, Isca — Supposed to have been built about 
the year 162 by the Romans on the site of an ancient British 
Town, and had the name of Exeancestre given it by the 
Saxons, i.e. a fort on the River Exeter. 

PAGE II. 

Tavistock Abbey. — The monastery was built 961 A.D. 

PAGE I I . 

Athelstane's Victory A.D. 929. 

PAGE 12. 

Arundell family, see Collinson's Somerset. Vol. 2, p 497 & 49. 

Vol. 3, p 26 & 509. 
Courtenay „ „ Vol. 2, pi 60. 

Baldwin de Brionys „ Vol. 2, p 454 & 36. 

Mohun Family ,, „ Vol. 2, p 7. 



174 HISTORY or OKEHAMITON. 

PAGE 13. 

SouTHWiKE. — Southwick is in the Co. of Hants. 
Tlie Barons of Okehampton had several manors in 
Somerset, Devon, and other counties. 

See ColHnson's So?nerset. VoL 2, pp. 419 and 424. 

PAGE 16. 

CouRTENAY Family. — Richard Fitz-baldwin marrying 
one of the Courtenay family it came into their possession 
and so continued till Edward IV., who seized it for their 
adherence to the House of Lancaster. Henry VH. restored 
it, but Henry VHI. again alienated it. In Queen Mary's 
reign Edward Courtenay obtained a restoration, but dying 
without issue male, it came by a female into the IVIohun 
family, and by the like failure of a male issue, one fourth of 
it came by marriage to John Christopher Harris, of Hayne, 
Esq., whose son Arthur, dying without male issue it devolved 
to the Arundells, who took the name of Harris, and the 
father of the present William Arundell Harris Arundell, or 
grandfather, sold his right. — H. G. F. 

In the reign of George HI., Lord Clive of East Indian 
notoriety, became owner of the entire manor in 1 774, which was 
lost by his son committing suicide, and came afterwards into 
the possession of the Prince of Wales (George IV.); then of 
the late Henry Holland, Esq., Architect, and afterwards 
into that of Albany Savile, Esq., of Oaklands, whose son 
has sold the Castle to Sir Richard Vivian. The Park was 
bought some years since by Charles Luxmoore, Esq., whose 
nephew the Rev. John Luxmore is the present owner. 
page 27. 

TowTON. — The battle was fought 29th March, 1461, 
being Palm Sunday. Towton is a village in the West 



HTSTO^Y or Oki=;HAMMON\ I75 

Ridinj? of Yorksliirc, about 2A miles South East of Tadcasler. 
There were 60,000 Lancastrians opposed to scarcely 50,000 
Yorkists ; 36,000 men were killed in this battle. 

PAGE 29. 

Crockern Tor. — This Tor is nearly in the centre of the 
moors, being only half a chain difllerence between the 
South and the North measurement, and about three chains 
between the West and the East. 
PAGE 39. 

LvDFORD Law. — In Prince's Worthies of Devon, under 
Browne, is a full copy of the poem, more correct than this. 

PAGE 30. 

Sticklepath. — A respectable old man of 84 (\Vm. 
Curson) informed me his grandfather told him that the 
Sticklepiith chapel bell originally belonged to that of South 
Zeal, but whether it had been stolen or sold to them he had 
forgotten. 
page 32. 

CoLCOMHE. — One of the last earls had begun to rebuild 
it on a magnificent scale, but it was left unfinished. It is 
now in a state of dilapidation, and part of it fitted as a farm- 
house. It is situated in the Parish of Colyton. — Lysons, p 1 3 1 . 
page 32. 

The Courtenays had a castle at Chulmleigh, of which 
there is now no remains ; also the park has been converted 
into tillage land, more than 200 years. It was lost on the 
attainder of Henry, Marquis of Exeter. — Lysons, p 108. 
page S3. 

By a deed dated 1417, the Vicar is bound to perform daily 
Service. This chapel, which together witli the Vicarage 



176 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

was granted and appropriated unto the Prior and Monks of 
Cowick, b}- and with the consent of Courtenay, the true 
patron thereof; the Deed refers to the endowment formerly 
granted in 1229. It appears that in 1417, in the time of 
Edmund Stafford, Bishop of Exeter, a dispute arose between 
the Prior and INIonks of Cowick with John Newcombe, the 
Vicar of Okehampton about the repairs of the chancel and 
providing of books. The latter was cited to appear before 
the Bishop at Clyst on the 3rd June, 141 7 ; to answer the 
charge of John Hethfield, the Prior's Chaplain, a Proctor, 
for neglect, when it was agreed that the Vicar should in 
future repair the chancel and provide the necessary books ; 
and in case of a visit of the Archbishop of Bishop the legal 
expenses should be paid half by each party ; that the Prior 
should remit 6/8 part of the two INIarks (an annual pension) 
due to the Prior out of the Vicarage. This was ratified and 
confirmed on the 29th April, 1417, by Ed. the Bishop. 

Then follows the Tenor of the Ordination or sentence of 
William, Bishop of Exeter (probably \Vm. Brewer) together 
with the endowment of the Vicarage. Dated at Exeter on 
the Tuesday in Passion week, 1229; and the Deed con- 
cludes with the attestation of John the Prior and the Monks 
on the one part and John Newcombe, the Vicar on the 
other, to abide by the agreement — ratified and confirmed by 
the Bishop. 

PAGE 56. — (Footnote.) 

The crest of the Town Arms is a single embattled Castle 
or Tower, Or ; which may be seen on the pulpit, the date 
of which is 1666, in the Chapel and on the Town Hall. 



HISTORY or OKKIl \M!'ION. IJ7 

PAGE 5b, &C. 

]\Ir. Edyc remarks tliat the Charier is very erroneously 
stated; he had a co])y taken carefully from an ancient one 
in London, and examinetl his with that in the Corporation 
Chest, and other old copies, and noted the diflercnt read- 
ings in various parts. Under the vellum copy from which 
he had his transcribed, was an entry of which the following 
is a translation, viz : — 

" Free Rents in Burgages of the Borough aforesaid." — " The Reeve of 
the Town or Borough of Okehampton renders to the I-ord yearly, at the 
Feast of Saint Michael only, as in free farm, or free farm of the whole 
Borough there, for the free Burgages within the Borough aforesaiil, or 
granted to them by the charter of the Lord Robert Courtenay and Mary 
his wife, as in ancient and preceding accounts charged /^n 8s. rod." 
The charter is attested by Lord Reginald de (Jourtenay ; William de 
Lymothe, Sheriff of Devon ; Robert de Courtenay ; Robert Ic Bastard ; 
William de Albamara ; Baldwin de Belliston ; Ellas Cofl'yn ; Ralph, son 
of RaljA ; Roger de Mcoles ; William de Leage ; Philip do I'etcr ; 
Angar de Vila ; Geoffrey de Meledon ; Geoffrey de la Hagge and many 
others. 

PAGE 57. 

"A castigatory for Scolds, a woman indicted for being a 
common scold, if convicted, shall be placed in a certain 
engine of correction, called ' trebucket or castigatory,' 
which, in the Sa.Kon language signifies the ' scolding stool ;' 
though now it is frequently corrupted into ' ducking-stool,' 
because the residue of the payment is, that, when she is 
placed therein, she shall be plunged in water for her 
punishment." Formerly most parishes had them, there are 
the remains of one at Belstone — standing in the centre of 
the village. 

PAGE 58. 

And for the grant ol' the free pannage of swine and 

L 



lyS HISTORY OF OKEHAMFTOX. 

exemption of Tolls, the Burgesses had given him ten marks 
sterling. 
PAGE 57. 

This waste seems to be the common beyond the Park 
gate, open to Dartmoor. 

Doles (dolea) of wine. 

PAGE 58. 

To this Charter of Sir Hugh's, the witnesses were Lord 
Henry de Raleghe, Robert Beaufrell, Knights ; Michael de 
la Hoke (or Hole), Elias Coflfyn, William de Cockescumbe, 
Roger de Dunneford, Walter Attebyare, and others ; and it 
is dated at Okehampton on Saturday, in the Feast of St. 
Thomas the IMartyr in the 20th year of King Edward 
(Edward I.) 1291. 

NOTE TO SECTION VIH.— APPENDIX. 

PAGE 68. 

Okehamptox. — Situated on the Ocrinum Jugum by the 
Rivers Ockment, was a town of some consequence in the 
time of the ancient Britons, preserving the communication 
between the Metropolis of Danmonium, and the country to 
the north of this chain of mountains. And Okehampton in 
a line with Exeter, might have been included in the 
Cantred^' of Isca — and the principal link in the great com- 
mercial chain. 

page 71. 

One hundred and eighty- five paces, facing N.W. having an 
entrance on the west ; and surrounded by a vallum, which 

*Tlie Cantied though inckiding a larger district, gave rise to the 
Hundred. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 1 79 

commences within a few paces from the southern decUvity 
of the hill, but is totally lost on the N.E., inside this barrier 
are faint traces of another, which appears to have originally 
been built of stone (as many are to be seen lying about), 
nearly one huntlred and thirty paces in length, the encamp- 
ment is protected on the S. and E. sides by the natural 
declivity of the hill, here very steep, and at present over- 
grown with underwood and furze, except where the rocks 
show a bold front to impede the progress of the traveller, 
should he attempt to ascend the hill on either of these sides. 
Tradition gives it the name of the " Danes battery." I am 
of opinion that it was originally a British stronghold — made 
use of by the Danes, who threw up the outer work for 
greater protection. The numerous traces of houses, near 
any spring of water, also of roads and enclosed patches of 
land, to be seen in the Park- — lead me to imagine that this 
was the site of the original colony, that peopled, in later 
and more civilized times, the old town, situated near the 
source of the river Okement, previous to the Norman con- 
quest, when this spot was converted into a Park, being well- 
stocked with wood. — H. G. F. 

PAGE 72. 

Halstock Chapel. — The length of the Chapel is nine 
paces by four on the inside, this is enclosed in a sort of 
court or yard thirteen paces wide by twenty-three in length, 
and at the Western end of which, there are traces of a belfry 
or vestry. The whole length of the enclosed ground is 
thirty paces. There is a spring of water (enclosed with 
stones) on the N.W. side of the chapel ; and not far 
distant. — 11, G. F. 



l8o HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

PAGE 72. — (footnote.) 

Fengfield. — i.e. Fenwell or Venwcll as the peasantry 
call them, or more properly Fen-field, a right of depasturage 
and cutting turf from the fens or swamps, free of all costs, 
except a small acknowledgment to the Duchy as Lord of 
the Manor. This privilege of cutting turf, &c., has been 
handed down, through many generations, as a reward for 
destroying the wild beasts which in early times, so much 
infested the forest of Dartmoor. — H. G. F. 
PAGE 72. 

About 50 years ago the foundation walls were perfect, 
formed of goodly stone, no doubt since taken for repairing 
hedges. 
PAGE 72. 

Most churches dedicated to the honour of St. Michael the 
Archangel, are significantly situated on elevated ground, or 
else have high towers or steeples, of which, among many 
others that might be mentioned St. Michael's Mount in 
Normandy, St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, and St. 
INIichael's in the Torr near Glastonbury arc notable in- 
tancess. — Collinson. 

PAGE 74. 

Crosses. — " The original intention of erecting crosses, 
whether in church-yard or in public roads, was to remind 
people of the meritorious Cross and Passion of our Blessed 
Lord and the duty incumbent to them to pray for the souls 
of their departed brethren. Formerly there was scarce a 
hamlet or village which had not one or more of these pious 
mementos, some of them were inscribed with the names of 
the erectors, and with admonitions to the devout pilgrim ; 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. l8l 

sermons were frequently delivered from them, and the 
knees of our religious ancestors with gladness pressed those 
steps, which the degeneracy of modern times has studiously 
contrived to unhallow and destroy." — Collinson. 

PACK 75. — (footnote.) 

After tlie attainder of the Marquis of Exeter the 
Courtenays again became (by bequest) owners of it through 
the widow of Sir Rd. ( irenville who gave it to Sir William 
Courtenay, he tlied in 1702. A descendant Ld. C. sold it 
with the INIanors of Halstock and INIeldon to Charles 
Luxmoore, Esq. 

PAGE 79. 

Pie powder court where justice is to be done between 
Buver and Seller and to redress disorders committed in 
them. 

PAGE 82. 

Beere Bridge. — Or Westbridge, over which corpses 

were carried to church. 

ADDENDA. 

NOTE TO PAGE 80. 

1623. — INIr. John Bremelcombe's Petition to the Mayor, 
Burgesses and Assistants on being sworn into the second 
company. 

Okehampton i My humble request is that there be a seniority 

Town and Bui rough. )oh%Qrye6. and the Apostle's rules in j^oinj,' one 
before another, and that there be a reverent respect had of Mr. Mayor for 
the tynie beinj^ — and that the princi])al Burgesses and assistants doe 
accompany Iiim to and from Clnirch, Sabbath day, &c. 

Further my humble request is that there may be a good and laudable 
behaviour in all the Company, that others may lake example by your good 
carriage as it was learnedly taught last Sabbath day, and to tiiis entl if 
there be any that doe miscarry themselves to the disgrace of the rest, they 
soe offending may be fined, &c. 



1 82 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

The reason why I request this, is that there be many that be apt to look 
into your carriages, and when you shall punish sin in others, they will say, 
"Physician heale thyself." — For I well know that Gentlemen of the 
Countrj' and Yeomanry will looke into your behaviour and the Towne's 
people alsoe. — 

Now the substance of all my request is that love may abound, which 
if it shall fall out otherwise and some of the company be turbulent and 
selfe- willed to the disquiet of the peace, and there be not immediately a 
reformation, &c. — then this shall be a sign of the discharging of this oath 
(then taken by him as a freeman of this borough) I will put of my cloke, 
or gown in the Hall, and goe out a stranger, as I now come in — this my 
oath or any thing therein contayned to the contrary, notwithstanding. 
Many things more 1 !iave to request you for the good of the company and 
the rest of the towne, which if I may obtain I shall be very thankful to 
you and ever remain yours to commande in all Christian duty, Sec. 

PAGE 8l. 

From the non-existence of the Deed of Consecration or 
any notice made of the Chapel of St. James the Great (July 
25) otherwise called the Corporation Chapel, we can only 
conjecture the probable date, from its style of architecture. 
The tower appears to have been built during the 13th 
century, probably in the reign of King Henry III., or that 
of Edward I., a few years after Okehampton had obtained 
its charter, making it a Borough town. The Nave of the 
Chapel has been repaired at different periods. The South 
East Window is decidedly of the Tudor style ; square with 
ornaments at the upper corners ; the others are of common 
architecture, with the exception of the east window, which 
is apparently of the same date as the tower. There is a 
handsome old pulpit bearing the Corporation Crest (see note 
page 56.) Some have supposed it to have been brought from 
the Chapel in the Castle, but I believe it was only from its 
having a Castle upon it, that led to this conjecture. The 



HISTORY OF OKEHA.Ml'TON. 183 

date on it was 1666. There are no monuments or indica- 
tions of burial within its walls, but a Piscina on the south 
side of the Communion table. The nave of the Chapel is 
lately (1862) rebuilt by subscription and gifts. The South 
Window in the chancel is the gift of Archdeacon Downall. 
There is a curious old bell in the Chapel, supposed to be 
cast about the 15th century, the following is a copy of the 

inscription around it. 

"Est michi collatum \]}5 istud nomen amatum." 

"The beloved name of Jesus was bestowed on me." 

H. G. F. 

PAGE 82. 

The first application of bells for church uses, is ascribed 
to Paulinus Bp. of Nola, a city of Campania, about 400 A.D. 
Hence, it is said, the names A^ola and Campancr were given 
them ; the one referring to the city, the other to the 
countrv. In Britain, bells were applied to church purposes 
before the conclusion of the 7th century, and they were 
therefore used from the first erection of stone edifices as 
parish churches among us. The number of bells in every 
church gave occasion to the curious and singular piece of 
architecture in the campaiiiilt or bell-tower, an addition, 
which is more susceptible of the grander beauties of 
architecture than any other part of the edifice. It was the 
constant appendage to every parish church of the Saxons, 
and in the laws of Athelstane it is actually mentioned as 
. such (A.D. 937.) 

In Popish times, bells were baptized and anointed Oleo 
Chrismatis, and blessed by the Bishop, from a belief that, 
when these ceremonies were performed, they had the power 
10 drive the devil out of the air, and prevent evil spirits 



1S4 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

from hurting or molesting the souls of Christians in their 
passage to another world ; to calm tempests ; to extinguish 
fire and to recreate even the dead. It was usual in their baptism 
to give bells the name of some Saint, and even a ritual for 
these ceremonies is contained in the Roman Pontifical. It 
appears from an old record, formerly in the possession of 
Weever, the antiquary, that the bells of the Priory of Little 
Dunmow in Essex, were. Anno 1501, new cast, and baptized 
by the following names ; — " Prima in honore Sancti 
IMichaelis Arcliangeli. Secutida in honore S. Johannis 
Evangelisti. Ttitia in honore S. Johannis Baptisti. Quarta 
in honore Assumptionis beatse INIaria. Qttinta in honore 
Sancti Trinitatis, et omnium Sanctorum. 

Weever also gives us an account of the Bells of the parish 
Church of Winnington in Bedfordshire, that had their 
names cast about the verge of every one in particular (like 
this at the chapel of Okehampton) with these rhyming 
hexameters : — 

" Nomina campanis hsec indita sunt quoque nostris, 

1 . Hoc .si<;num Petri pulsatur nomine christi. 

2. Nomen Magdalene campana sonat nielode. 

3. Sit nomen Domini benedictum semper in cum. 

4. Musa Raphaelis sonat auribus Immanuelis. 

5. Sum Rosa pulsata mundique Maria vocata." — Encyclopadia. 

At Langridge, Somerset, there are three very old bells, 
with Latin inscriptions : on the first is " Cane, Johannes 
Apte," on the second, " Resono Michaeli landem," and on 
the third — " Sit nomen Domini benedictum." — Collinson. 

There are many instances of bells being named, too 
numerous to be mentioned here. 



HISTORY OF OKKHAMPTON. 1 85 

PAGE 88. 

Charles, Lord Mohun. 
The following from a Review of Phillips's State Trials will 
throw some additional light on this nobleman's biography. 

In the trials of Lord Warwick and Lord jMohun for the murder of Mr. 
Coote (1669) we see a party, after a jiromiscuous scuffle and tilting at the 
Greyhound Tavern in the Strand, setting out in chairs in the midst of a 
dark night for Leicester Fields, where a duel immediately takes place and 
a death-wound is given : the chairmen who have scarcely had time to 
light their pipes are called to take up the dying man : one refuses at first 
for (as he states) seeing him bloody and not able to help himself, "I said, 1 
would not spoil my chaii," — and the watch being called, decline coming 
near, observing that it was not " their ward." Lord Mohun's former trial 
(for this was his second) discloses circumstances more disgraceful to him- 
self and to the manners of the time. Captain Hill had made loose 
addresses to ^Irs. Bracegirdle, the actress (a woman of character) but 
supposed himself to be thwarted in his amour by Mr. Alountford, the 
celebrated player. Hill and Mohun one night attempted in public and by 
force, to carrj- off the lady from the midst of her friends : baffled in this 
gallant enterprise, they placed themselves in the street where ]Mountford 
lived, which was in view of Mrs. Bracegirdle's windows, and with wine 
and drawn swords, walked up and down, drinking healths, till Mountford 
came home, when Hill attacked him and ran him through. Hill fled, and 
Lord Mohun was acquitted. 
PAGE 90. 

It was observed above that Mr. Rattenbury from caution 
or disgust, withdraws from public life on the decline and 
fall of the King's party: — an order published at the Borough 
Sessions on the 9th of January, 1648, just one year before 
Charles suffered, opens a short series of notes by his 
successor on the town affairs, during the earlier part of the 
Commonwealth. The Municipal revenue, we are told, had 
been much impaired by the constabulary and " other great 
disbursements in the late times of distraction," it is there- 



1 86 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

fore resolved that nothing thereafter should be paid " save 
only for Hues and Cryes, and for conveying of impotent 
persons brought hither to be sent elsewhere.". All charges 
for martial affairs being henceforth to be defrayed by a rate 
levied on the inhabitants. In 1651, the return to a quieter 
order of things may be traced, perhaps in several presenta- 
tions of tradesmen and artizans — a glover particularly for 
offences against the by-laws; and two years later the 
minute zeal of the burgesses is exhibited in a complaint 
that many housekeepers endangered the town's safety by 
building gorse-ricks too near their chimnies. At the same 
sessions, the Jury presented on oath of Richard Soper, the 
wife of one Joyle, for forestalling the market in divers 
things, as apples, herrings, plants, &c.; and not long after 
we read "that the street between Mr. Calmaday's door and 
John Seldon's door lyeth very dirty." 

There is a tradition (see page 94) that a battle or a 
skirmish took place between a party of the Royalists and 
some of the Parliamentary forces, near Okehampton, in proof 
of which canon balls and bullets have been frequently dis- 
covered in the fields, known by the name of Lakedown, 
belonging to the estate of East Lake, in the parish of Belston. 
There has also been found, two or three years since, in the 
neighbourhood of Okehampton, a medallion, formerly worn 
suspended round the neck, by either a chain or ribbon, by 
the Royalists to distinguish them from the other party, 
bearing a representation of King Charles the First on horse- 
back, riding victorious over a field of battle. And a ring 
with the arms of the Douglas family — a heart surrounded 
with Fleur de lis, one of which is broken off, and surmounted 





RING AND MEDALLION, 

(Mentioned in pp. I<S6— 187.^ 



HISTORY OF OKKHAMPTON. 1R7 

by an Earl's coronet, a part of which is also gone. They 
are now in my possession. The medallion and the ring are 
of silver gilt.— H. G. F. 

[These two relics have been engraved and will be found 
amongst the illustrations to the present volume. — W. H. K.W.] 

PAGE 94. 

The Royalists are reported to have once taken refuge at 
the house belonging to the Comb-head estate, 2i miles 
east of Okehampton, in the parish of Sampford Courtenay, 
and cut off the cock's head, lest he should, by crowing in the 
morning, discover the place of their retreat ; this house lies 
in a deep ravine near the old high road leading to 
Okehampton from Exeter, but too low to be seen from it. — 
H. G. F. 

PAGE 95. 

An old woman, who died at Belston in the year 1838, 
aged 84, informed her son-in-law, the present sexton, that 
when she was a child, she recollected hearing her grand- 
father mention, that during the civil wars, one of the parties 
seized at East Lake and carried away, a quantity of cheeses 
and loaves of bread, which were again found by their former 
owner at the top of the hill leading to Belston, and sup- 
posed to have been left there on account of the party being 
pursued by their opponents, and the cart unloaded to make 
a quicker flight, as they were scattered all over the road. — 
H. G. F. 

PAGE 97. 

An Abstract from Iter Carolinum (Collectanea Curiosa). 
The King in his marcii, with his army, toward tlie west, came on Tliurs- 
day, the 25th of July, 1644, to Jloniton, and remained at Dr. Marwood's, 



1 88 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

a physician, one night — Friday, 26th to Exeter, Bedford House, Sir John 
Hartley's, the Governor — Saturday, 27th to Crediton, Dinner, to Brad- 
ninch, Mr. Seuter's, supper — Sunday, 28th to Crediton, Mr. Tucker's 
House — Monday, 29th to Bow, Mr. PhiHps, a mean quarter — Tuesday, 
30th to Okehampton, at Mr. Rottenbury's — Wednesday, the last to Lift on 
the Parsonage House — .September, 1644, Thursday, 5th, to Tavistock, 
the Lady Glanvil's, where he remained five nights — Tuesday, loth to 
Widey, near Plymouth, Yeoman Heale's House, four nights — Saturday, 
14th, to Tavistock, the Lady Glanville's, three nights — Monday, i6th to 
Okehampton, Mr. Rottenbuiy's, one night — Tuesday, 17th to Exeter, 
Bedford's House, the Governor's, at Crediton, six nights — Monday, 23rd 
to Chard, &c.— H. G. F. 

PAGES 62-100. 

There is a custom continued to this very time of peram- 
bulating the Bounds of the Borough, called Spurling-day,* 
when quantities of apples, nuts, &c., are thrown into certain 
miry places, as they proceed, where the boys, who always 
follow, scramble for them. On somewhat a similar occasion, 
the Countess Isabella de Fortibus, by way of determining a 
controversy between the parishes of Honiton, Farway, 
Sidbury and Gittisham, about their bounds, rode up to the 
plain whereabout the parishes did meet, and in a little miry 
place threw in a ring, which she took off her finger, and 
said that that place should be the bounds of the four 
parishes, — and so it is to this day, called Ring-in-the-Mire. 

A note of the places and names of such antient bounds in 
the Common of Dartmoor, belonging to the borough and 
parish of Okehampton. 

*Most probably a corruption of the old French word Purine, which 
signifies all that space, that is severed by perambulation, from the ancient 
forest ; or it might take its origin from the verb to-pier (Chaucer) to look 
,at, or to view. — H. G. F. 



HISTORY OF OKKII AMIMON. iSq 

" Imprimis. It begins at a certain jtlace called and known 
In ilu' name of Sytnov's dUfh conur. near ahont tlu- midillc 
of ihe south-east liedge of I'lulhanger, and from thence 
south-west unto a bound stone. And from thence unto a bound 
stone on the west side of the way (standing fast by the way) 
that leadeth from the moor gate, soe called to Blackator, and 
from the said bound stone west unto another bound stone, and 
from thence to the top or highest point of Rowtor, and 
lineally from thence to the Middle Tor alias Miltor, to the 
highest part thereof; and from thence lineally to the Top or 
highest part of Eastor alias Highest Tor, and from thence 
lineally to a certain rock called or known by the name of 
High Willows,* and from thence to Fosborne Lodge, and 
from thence to Sanders Ford, the which is in the river of 
water that floweth neare the west side of a certain wood 
called Blackator's Wood." 

PAGE 1 08. 

Ford Arbey. — Was situated near Axminster at a place 
called Hartescath (or Kerebatts) in the Manor of Thorn- 
comb. It was completed in 1142, and dedicated to the 
Virgin Mary. The first Abbot (Richard) appointed 1132. 
Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, one of its Abbots went 
with King Richard I. to Palestine and there died. The last 
Abbot, Thomas Charde, alias Tibbes, surrendered the con- 
vent, 1539, and had a pension of ;^8o per annum granted 
him. 
PAGE log. 

Adeliza. — She was daughter of Baldwin de Brionis, by 

*Tliis bv nn means agrees with the I'erambulation of the Boundaries of 
DailmoorForesl, A.D., 1240, or that of 1609. — II. (i. F. 



190 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Albreda, niece to William the Conqueror. 

PAGE I 10. 

Thorncombe is a hamlet in the parish Bischaller, and 
Westford is the same, in Wellington, Somerset. 

Baldwin de Brionis had two hides of land given him by 
the Conqueror. 

Besides a large estate in the parish of Winsham in the 
County of Somerset, valued at £,iz iis. 8d. in the year 

1293- 
PAGE III. 

CowiCKE Priory. — Founded by Thomas, Earl of Devon, 
about 1450. 

PAGES I I 2- 1 13. 

Okehampton Church. — The Church was endowed in 
1229. This period closely followed the fourth Council of 
Lateran held in 121 5, previous to which no person had a 
property in tithes, but any man might consecrate his tithes 
to what church he pleased. 

The Church was partly rebuilt in 141 7, the chancel, as 
appears from a deed dated 29 of April, 141 7. 

The foundation of the new Church was laid in Nov. 1842, 
and re-opened the nth of April, 1844. 

PAGE 112. 

In digging up the foundations of the old chancel wall, a 
tombstone with the following inscription was found six feet 
below the surface — it had been used as a building stone — 
this fact proves that a church existed here previous to the 



HISTORY OV OKKHAMl'ToX. 10> 

one lately destroyed (1842.) The inscription is in Saxon 
characters, j)robably of tlu' iiih or izih century. 





a Hiojv HQ ano 






^ 


"^ 




Hic lACED ROBER 



The cross denotes that the person was an ecclesiastic. B 
might possibly refer to Brightley, of which he might have 
been a Prior or Abbot. 

j\Ioie is an old French word for ivd, damp, perhaps a 
marshy situation. 

This stone is now placed upright in the east wall of the 
new church, near the steps leading to the vestry room. It 
is a species of red granite. 




The Commons and Park of Okehampton, kv 
William Crossing, 

Author of '' Amid Devottias Alps,'' ''The Ancient Crosses of 

Dartmoor^'' etc. 



I .1 » W£ 




the old days when the perambulators of the 
bounds of the ancient Forest of Dartmoor were 
nearing the point whence they had set 
out — the huge hill of Cosdon — they reached 
the valley of the West Ockment at a place on the 
river called Sandy Ford. From here as the good 
men and true, " svvoren to enquire of the boundes 
and limitts " of the old forest, made their way eastward, they 
had on their right hand a vast stretch of wild moor, the 
brown, dreary looking ridges rolling away into the distance, 
while to the left of them were the commons belonging to 
the parish of Okehampton. Immediately within the 
boundary of these commons rose the broad shoulder of a 
lofty hill — the highest in our southern land — hiding the 
greater portion of them from their view, nor, indeed, in 
their progress over this part of the moor would these old 
jurors, from any point, following the forest bounds, behold 
the full extent of them. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 193 

Over these wastes, reaching from the West to the East 
Ockment, and northward as far as the wall of Okehampton 
Park, the commoners have enjoyed rights of pasturage from 
very early times. These rights have been mentioned in the 
section on the Feudal Charters, as well as in the Additional 
Notes on Charters and Rentals. There is also a tract of land 
to the westward of the West Ockment, formerly belonging to 
the neighbouring parish of Sourton, which now the men of 
Okehampton claim as theirs. And this falls out in this 
wise. On the bleak hill-side a stranger was once found 
lying dead, and as it was in that part of the moor reckoned 
as belonging to Sourton, the people of that parish were 
called upon to bury him. This, it is said, they refused to do, 
an action so incomprehensible that we would fain hope 
that a misunderstanding, and not a cold disregard of the 
duties which such a case demanded, was the cause of it. 
But be that as it may, the men of Okehampton, so the story 
tells us (and a similar one is related of other places) stepped 
in, and taking the body of the unfortunate stranger they gave 
it decent burial, and as a consequence now claim rights of 
common over that side of the hill where the corpse was dis- 
covered. 

The confines of the commons towards the forest are 
marked simply by natural objects, aided here and there by a 
boundary stone, in the manner usual with all the wastes 
abutting upon the great central portion of Dartmoor, which 
belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. The Park, which is 
really a part of the moor, as far as its natural features are 
concerned, is separated from the open common by the wall 
referred to — a thorough Dartmoor erection of granite 



194 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

stones, laid without mortar, though exhibiting somewhat 
more care in its construction and finish than most of the 
new-take walls of the moor. This hunting ground of the 
old barons of Okehampton extends from Meldon on the 
west to Halstock on the east, and its northern side slopes 
steeply down to the banks of the two Ockments, which on 
issuing from the gorges by which they leave the moor turn 
towards each other and meeting form a natural boundary to 
the highlands. Immediately where the confluence of the 
streams takes place, the town of Okehampton is situated. 

In the section on Okehampioti after the Restoration is an 
entry setting forth how on the 13th day of May, in the year 
1672, the Mayor with many inhabitants of the town viewed 
the bounds of the Dartmoor Commons belonging to their 
parish. This is now, and probably was then, a septennial 
custom, the last occasion on which the bounds were 
"beaten " being in the month of September, 1885. About 
ten o'clock in the forenoon a party of over one hundred 
persons on foot, together with some twenty-five horsemen, 
headed by a band of music, set out from the town for the 
commons, and after viewing the various .boundary marks the 
company repaired to the slopes of Yes Tor and partook of 
lefreshments, which had been provided, the expenses of the 
day being defrayed by subscription. Most of the perambu- 
lations of commons on the moor have some particular 
custom pertaining to them. That which was formerly 
observed when the one in question took place was the 
throwing of apples and nuts into the boggy places, as the 
bound beating proceeded, for the boys who followed to 
scramble for. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON, 1 95 

It is with the commons that we have now to do, and for 
the purpose of our examination of them we will make our 
way from the town up the steep hill-side to the Park. Soon 
after passing Fitz's Well, which will be noticed near the 
corner of an enclosure, the summit of the ridge is gained, 
when an attractive panorama richly rewards us for ' our 
climb. In front of us the sombre old moor with frowning 
heights crowned with granite piles fills the scene ; and when 
we turn to look back in the direction from which we have 
come, we shall see a vast extent of beautiful country, with 
woods and smiling fields and snug homesteads, presenting 
a contrast to the former wide in the extreme. 

Proceeding we shall have leisure to notice the moor-ward 
view. The hill to the left is Cosdon, and the range 
of fine tors which partly shuts it from our sight, is that 
above Belstone. The nearer ridge which we observe rising 
behind the farm-hou.se toward which we are making our 
way, is Halstock Down, and to the right three tors will 
be seen rising with true mountainous outline, and which 
are indeed the principal feature in the view. The one 
nearest us is Row Tor, the next West Mil Tor, and the 
furthest and loftiest is Yes Tor, one of the most important 
hills on the whole moor. 

On reaching the farm — which is called Pudhanger (now 
often Pothanger) — and passing through the yard, we shall 
enter by the gate upon the common at Halstock Down. 
Turning to the left we pass along by the wall, and in a 
short time shall reach a point where an old gully is situated 
on its further side, and which may not improbably at some 
time have been a rough track. This is Symons' Ditch, 



196 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

which name appears to be an ancient one, for it will be 
noticed in the section containing Extracts from a Rental of 
Okehai7ipton Manor, dated 1593, that Edmund Furse paid 
rent for Pudhanger alias Svmons' Park. From this spot we 
proceed to Halstock Corner, where a gate opens upon the 
field known as Chapel Lands, and turning up by the wall to 
Kelly's Corner, shall make our way, with the West Ockment 
on our left, to a fording-place on that stream called 
Crovener Steps.* 

Here the scene will present many attractions to the lover 
of the picturesque. The hill on the opposite side of the 
Ockment, which comes flowing down from the wilds to the 
south, rises like a huge barrier, its long-stretching ridge 
being crowned with the Belstone tors, a sight of which we 
were able to obtain from the Park. On its side is a stone 
circle, known as the Nine Stones (consisting, really, of 
seventeen) which the antiquary will be eager to examine, 
and from the summit of the hill a fine view of old Cosdon, 
across the valley of the Taw, is obtainable. 

Close to Crovener Steps, but on the further side of a 
tributary stream, the moor-stone wall of Harter New-take, 
belonging to East Ockment Farm is seen. This is in the 
forest, the tributary in question here forming the boundary 
between it and the commons we are perambulating. The 
name of this stream is the Black Fen, or Black-a-vain, 
Brook, having its source to the southward of Yes Tor, and 
we shall now take it for our guide. Tracing it upward we 
shall not fail to admire the numerous small cascades which 

*This, I believe, is the correct name, though I have heard it pronounced 
Cullever. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTOX. 1 97 

are formed as it pursues its turbulent course to join the 
main river. Passing Harter Ford, and the marshy spot 
known as Row Tor Combe, we shall soon find ourselves 
approaching the wilder parts of the moor. On our right 
as we ascend is Row Tor Ridge, stretching down from 
the tor of that name, and on the opposite side, some 
short distance ahead, is East Mil Tor, an interesting pile of 
rocks. 

We shall have noticed in our progress up the stream a 
partially ruined wall carried along its bank, and which is 
continued as far up the valley through which the brook runs 
as we can see. This is called the Irishman's Wall, and was 
built many years since by a son of Erin for the purpose of 
fencing off the commons from the forest. The parishioners 
of Okehampton and Belstone considering that this was an 
invasion of their rights destroyed a great portion of it, and 
rendered it useless for the purpose it was intended to serve. 

Making our way along the brink of the Black-a-vain we 
shall soon come in sight of an object which forms one of 
the boundary points of the commons, named New Bridge, 
which appellation, though correct enough at one time, is 
certainly a misnomer now. A bridge exists there, it is 
true, and though not what may be called an ancient one, is 
at the same time of such an age to be no longer entitled to 
the designation of 7itiv. It is of rough unhewn stone, and 
of the style known upon Dartmoor as a clapper bridge, the 
roadway being formed of slabs of granite laid from pier to 
pier. Its extreme length is eighteen feet, but a great deal 
of this is taken up by the thickness of the buttresses and the 
centre pier, the two water ways being only about one yard 



igS HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

each in width on the higher side of the bridge ; a truly 
accurate measurement cannot well be taken, as the buttresses 
are rather irregularly built. On its lower side the openings 
are wider. The centre pier projects about a yard up 
stream, and terminates in an angle, so as to present the less 
resistance to the water ; on the lower side this pier is four 
feet nine inches wide. The bridge is about six and a half 
feet high on the higher side, and eight feet on the lower, 
there being a drop in the bed of the river beneath it. It is 
of considerable width being no less than eighteen and a 
half feet, and the roadway over it is formed by gravel and 
soil being laid upon the covering stones ; these are about a 
foot in thickness, and on the lower side have a layer of 
smaller stones placed upon them. New Bridge is im- 
mediately under East Mil Tor, and a line drawn from that 
hill to Yes Tor would fall across the Black -a- vain Brook a 
short distance above it. Its direction is north-west and 
south-east, and at this latter end stands a boundary stone of 
the commons we are traversing. 

Hard by are rather extensive remains of tin streaming 
operations, and at one time I was under the impression that 
this bridge may have been the work of the miners, but I 
have since learnt that it owes its existence to the builder of 
the wall. If this is correct, and I am not disposed from its 
appearance to doubt it, the date of its erection will not take 
us back very far, for an old man in this quarter has told me 
that in his youth he knew those who had assisted in the 
building of this wall. 

The remains of the tin streaming referred to consist of 
heaps of stones, which the "old men" threw up in their 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 1 99 

search for the metal. These miners placed the metalliferous 
rubble they had gathered on an inclined plane, down which 
was conducted a stream of \vater, and the grit being washed 
away left the pure ore behind ; hence the name of the 
process. The valleys of Dartmoor have been worked in 
this way from the earliest times down to a comparatively 
recent period, and there is scarcely a combe of any extent 
on the whole moor, but what shows traces of the tin 
seeker's operations. 

The once busy place above the old bridge is deserted 
now, and the heather and the whortleberry cover the stone 
heaps, but in other respects the scene remains the same as 
when these old workers wended their way to it from the 
valleys below. As we turn and look down the stream we 
can see the cultivated country, and in the distance the eye 
rests upon the high land of Exmoor ; looking up stream 
only wild moor is visible. 

Our next point will be Cirtory Glitters, to which the 
common bounds run from New Bridge, a spot of no little 
interest. These clitters, or clatters, are frequent upon the 
moor, and consist of granite blocks thickly strewn in wild 
confusion on the sides of the hills. There seems to be little 
doubt that in primeval times ice w^as the important factor 
that caused these masses of granite to slide down from the 
tors, to the places where we see them now. 

Passing out into the desolate moor at Dinger Plain, 
we shall notice Dinger Tor, and then proceed on our way to 
Sandy Ford on the West Ockment. Our progress from the 
other Ockment has been made in the direction of the 
setting sun — quite opposite to that of the old peram- 



200 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

bulators of the forest boundary, who setting out from 
Cosdon first bent their steps southward and following the 
line of demarcation returned to the old hill from the west. 
On the line which we have followed from Crovener Steps 
the forest has lain on our left, all on our right hand being 
common belonging to Okehampton. 

Near where we now are is Foresland Ledge. The name 
may perhaps have been derived from one Furseland or 
Forsland, a juror for the Stannary Court of Chagford, at the 
Tinners' Parli;iment at Crockern Tor, held in the second 
year of King Henry VIII. I am of opinion that many of the 
Dartmoor place-names owe their origin to the tinners' 
presence there in days gone by. 

Having reached the bounds of the commons in this 
direction at Sandy Ford, we shall follow the West Ockment 
in its course, as that stream here separates them from those 
of Sourton, and in doing so shall be rewarded by the sight of 
one of the most charming and picturesque "bits" on the 
moor. The hills rise on each side of us to a great height, 
the peaks of High Wilhayes and Yes Tor, though not in 
sight, being on the right hand, to which, however, we shall 
defer our visit until having completed the circuit of the 
commons. The picture is almost Alpine in its features, and 
the rugged steeps completely shut in the narrow valley 
through which the stream flows over a channel partially 
filled with boulders of granite. Soon we shall come in 
view of the jutting crags of Black Tor, towering high up 
into the air above this lonely glen. As we look up at them 
from the bottom their rugged summits seem indeed to be at 
an immense height, and we shall scarcely realize that 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 201 

their actual altitude is some six hundred feet less than that of 
Wilhayes and Yes Tor, from whose flanks they spring. The 
huge rocks, grey and hoary, are piled on one another in wild 
confusion, with the heather growing about their bases, and 
clothing the slopes around them. Below the tor an oak 
wood flourishes, an object most interesting here in the wild 
upland otherwise destitute of trees — the lofty hills shelter- 
ing it from the full efi'ects of the wintry blasts, and kindly 
preserving it, that it may delight the wanderer through this 
valley. This is Black Tor Copse, and though the trees are 
smaller, is of a somewhat similar character to the more 
celebrated Wistman's Wood near Two Bridges, in the centre 
of the moor, and also to the less known Piles Wood on the 
banks of the Erme. 

Bidding this spot with its sylvan beauties a reluctant fare- 
well, we shall pursue for a short distance our course down 
the stream, when we shall come upon a scene which will fill 
us with delight. A wild, rugged glen, down which the 
river foams, the rocks in its channel in no wise restraining 
its impetuosity, but causing it to leap out a hundred 
times and form most charming cascades. Here a sheet of 
glistening spray — there a dark pool with numberless curling 
eddies ; here the waters pent up betwixt two closely 
neighbouring rocks — there spreading and gliding on to 
leap boldly out once more in a gleaming volume, to 
fall amid foam with a hollow roar into the basin beneath. 
The banks fringed with moss and nodding ferns upon 
which pearly drops are hanging, and further from the 
river's marge, patches of heather on the slopes, amid which 
is many a grey and Uchen-covercd boulder, and still, above 



202 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

all, the silent hills proudly raising their granite crests and 
shutting in this beautiful glen from the outer world. 

At the bottom of this gorge the stream divides, to reunite 
a little lower down, thus forming a small island, from which 
this delightful spot is well-named the Island of Rocks. 

Below it a little tributary comes tumbling down from the 
hill on the left, and it is on that part of the common on 
which this rises, the Okehampton men now claim rights on 
the Sourton side, their boundary mark there being named 
Iron Gates. 

We wander down the valley with the almost precipitous 
side of Homerton Hill on our right hand, still following the 
Ockment. On the brow of this bold eminence, far up 
above us, is a narrow path, just of sufficient width for the 
pedestrian, or for the sure-footed moorland pony, and the 
tourist with time at his command will do well to climb up 
the steep scarp to this little track in order that he may feast 
his eyes upon the picture presented from that point of 
vantage. Lower down another small tributary flows from a 
narrow side valley on our right, closed at its higher end, 
and formed by the steep slope of the hill just named on one 
side, and by Longstone Hill on the other. Passing the 
ruined buildings of Homerton Mine, and making our way 
along the foot of the hill, which by leaving the brink 
of the stream a little, and lighting on an old cart track, 
which runs out here, we shall the more easily do, we shall 
soon reach Meldon Quarry, where, on the opposite side of 
the river, is a deep excavation filled with water, forming a 
pool worthy of a visit from the passer-by. Here on the 
gide we are traversing another tributary conies dowrj froni 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 203 

the hills to swell the waters of the Ockmcnt ; this is the 
Red Fen, or Red-a-vain, Brook, which has its source near 
Yes Tor. 

From INIeldon, where on the down above the left bank of 
the river, during the Civil Wars the King's party received a 
severe check at the hands of the Parliamentarians in a fight 
by night, the park wall extends across the commons to Hal- 
stock, the extreme eastern end of it. As already stated this 
wall forms the northern boundary of the commons, and by 
following it we should be led across Black Down, and pass- 
ing Anthony Stile and Pudhanger, should reach Symons' 
Ditch where we set out.* But in order that we may 
visit some points of more than ordinary interest, we shall, 
after tarrying to observe the extremely light and graceful 
Meldon Viaduct, constructed entirely of iron, and at an 
immense height spanning the valley immediately where the 
Ockment leaves the moor, turn from that river and trace the 
Red-a-vain upwards to the hills. The two loftiest elevations 
in the South of England lie within the bounds of the 
Okehampton Commons, namely High Wilhayes — or High 
Willes, as the moormen call it — and Yes Tor, the former 
attaining an altitude of 2039 feet, and the latter one of loi-j.] 
From the point where we stand we shall have to ascend 
some 1280 feet in order to reach the summit of Yes Tor, 
which is exactly a mile-and-a-half distant in a straight lifie ; 
but as we are not gifted with the power of making such 

*For some distance to the westward of the corner of Pudhanger Fami 
the boundary of the common is marked by a row of stone posts, the 
portion of land between them and the park wall having been given up to 
the lord of the manor, in 1866. 

tThis is a surface level. Tlic Bench Mark on tlie summit of Yes Tor, 
according to the recent Ordnance Survey, is 2929.*^ feet, 



204 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

direct progress as the proverbial crow, it is needless to say 
our upward path will be much longer than this. By way of 
the valley, which we but lately passed, between Longstone 
and Homerton Hills, a good ascent from this part may be 
made, but whether we choose that or follow the Red-a-vain 
for some distance, we shall on reaching the higher ground 
above the valley come in sight of the majestic granite crown 
of the tor, and though the way be toilsome, yet is there 
abundance to reward the tourist, for every step he takes will 
enlarge the scope of the prospect. 

And on reaching the summit what a view, indeed, greets 
the beholder! The whole of the northern portion of the 
county of Devon lies mapped out at his feet, with the silver 
sea beyond. Brown Willy and the Cornish range rise 
boldly against the distant western sky, and Exmoor, with the 
hills extending into Somersetshire, bound the prospect to 
the north-east. Turning moorward a great expanse of wild 
desolation meets the eye, with many a rocky pile rising, 
grim and forbidding, on the swelling brown ridges. High 
Wilhayes somewhat blocks the view in this direction, and the 
prospect from that hill over the cultivated country is in- 
terfered with by Yes Tor, so it will be well that the tourist 
should visit both eminences. As they are not far apart, and 
on the same elevated ridge of land, to make our way from 
the tor to Wilhayes will therefore be a work of no difficulty. 

After having enjoyed the contemplation of the varied 
picture presented from these lofty heights, the visitor may 
descend the hill towards the north east, to the upper waters 
of the Red-a-vain Brook, where he will notice a stream work. 
Black-a-vain Brook, which we traced upward on setting out 



HISTORY OF OKEIIAMPTOX. 205 

from Crovener Steps, is now on our right though undiscern- 
able ; New Bridge, also, is not far distant, its position being 
marked by East Mil Tor, which is in full view on the oilier 
side of the hollow down which the stream runs. We shall, 
however, not again approach that, but turn northward to 
West INIil Tor, and on crossing the Red-a-vain shall find the 
ground to be rather boggy, but with a little care will be 
able to make our way over it easily enough, and soon reach 
the tor, which being a fine pile, will be found of sufiicicnt 
interest to repay a visit. 

Between this tor and Row Tor, which is not very far from 
it, another stream takes its rise. This is IMoor Brook, which 
has a north-easterly course, flowing, after leaving the com- 
mons, through a portion of the park, by Pudhanger and 
Halstock, and falling into the East Ockment at Belstone 
Cleave close to Ashbury Tor. 

Proceeding down the side of Mil Tor we shall strike upon 
an old green track, which, traceable here and there, runs 
out into the forest. Following this down the hill, with 
Moor Brook on our right, and on our left that part of 
the commons known as Black Down, we shall soon reach 
Anthony Stile — a gate in the park wall — passing through 
which we shall leave the commoners' wastes behind us. 

The ground near this portion of the park is occupied 
during the summer months (generally June, July, and a part 
of August) by batteries of artillery encamped here for firing 
practice, and long rows of shedding, erected as shelter for 
the horses, will be observed on the slope of the hill. 

A good deal of the firing takes place on Halstock Down, 
a fine range being afl'orded there, up the Biack-a-vain hollow. 



2o6 HlSTORV OlF OKEHAMPTON. 

which is completely commanded. Wooden "dummies" 
exhibiting the rough outline of a man are placed in rows in 
order to represent a line of soldiers — many of them some 
distance out on the forest — and at these the guns are aimed. 
All round New Bridge, under East Mil Tor, numbers of them 
may be seen, and during the continuance of the artillery 
practice, that part of the moor must be given a wide berth. 
The moor men in the neighbourhood are out early in the 
morning driving the cattle from the dangerous ground, for 
which they receive pay from the military authorities, and 
notice boards placed at the entrances to the commons warn 
visitors against going upon the moor near the ranges during 
the firing. A red flag, as a danger signal, is hoisted on Yes 
Tor, and another on Watchet Hill near Belstone, one hour 
before the practice commences, and is kept flying until its 
close. 

This gunnery practice, of course, greatly interferes with 
the rights of pasturage which the commoners possess, and 
is certainly detrimental to the pleasure of the tourist, who 
during some of the best months of the year finds himself 
warned off" a district which should be free and open for all 
to roam over without danger. 

One Sunday in the month of December, 1880, a lament- 
able accident happened to a man named Richard Hodge, a 
brother of the farmer at Pudhanger. He had set out for the 
moor, it was thought, to look for unexploded shells, and 
not having returned by the following day, search was made 
for him, and his dead body was found in a frightfully 
mutilated condition. About two hundred yards distant a 
recently exploded shell was found, together with his hat and 



HISTORY Of OKfillAMPTON. ioy 

a mutilated finger; another finger was picked up at a 
distance of one hundred yards from the projectile. Not far 
from the body was a hammer, aiul it is supposed that he 
had endeavoured to open the shell with it and caused it to 
explode. 

On the northern slope of this portion of the park, extend- 
ing from Meldon to near the station of the London and 
South Western Railway, which line runs across it, numerous 
ancient hollies and hawthorns are growing, the remains of 
the coverts which in old times sheltered the deer which the 
barons delighted to hunt. The wall which enclosed the 
park from the commons prevented these from straying on 
the open moor, so that there could never be lack of sport in 
this fine hunting ground. 

On Dartmoor itself, however, deer were formerly plentiful, 
mention being not infrequently made of them in old 
records. In the Pipe Rolls is an account of some prepara- 
tions which were made for the entertainment of Prince 
Charles, the son of James I., on his homeward voyage from 
Spain in 1623, whither he had gone with the Duke of 
Buckingham in order to see the princess to whom that 
noble was anxious he should be betrothed. One Nicholas 
Payne was appointed " to make provycon of fresh meate, 
with many other provycons incidente thereunto, for the 
dyett of the prynce his Hignes, the Spanishe ambassador, 
and sondry lordes and others at sea, aboarde eighte of the 
kinge's majesties owne shippes and two pinnaces, sente 
thether for his Hignes' transportacon from Spayne," and 
among other numerous good things provided were " Three 
stagges and fower buckes from the foreste of Dartmorc." In 



208 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

some lines on Widecombe-in-the-Moor, and the great 
thunder-storm there in 1638, attributed to the Rev. George 
Lyde, who was vicar of the parish at that time, occurs the 
following : — 

" How well that place is stored with Deers that brouze, 
Both male and female, on the tender boughs." 

But the old hunting ground of Okehampton was dis- 
parked previous to this time, for we learn that such took 
place in the 30th of King Henry VIII. 

On the brow of the hill that descends to the West Ock- 
ment, opposite the ruins of Okehampton Castle, which 
may be observed embosomed in trees on the further side of 
the stream, are a few fragments of tooled masonry lying on 
the ground, and a tradition states that a chapel once stood 
there. From this spot a fine view of the valley is presented 
and the sight of the weather-beaten walls of the castle keep, 
will bring to our mind the feudal times when the all-power- 
ful barons dwelt in the ancient stronghold. 

It is said that a subterraneous passage once extended 
from the Castle to Halstock, but it does not seem probable 
that this traditionary report has any foundation in fact. 

Proceeding eastward from the artillery ground we shall 
once more reach Fitz's Well, close to which will be observed 
the upper portion of the ancient cross, though wdth regret 
it will be seen that it lies neglected upon the ground. It 
would be well if this were to be again erected by the spring, 
or at all events, built into the hedge close by, in order to 
preserve it from possible destruction. 

An old story is told of a man who with his wife was 
once journeying from Halstock to Okehampton. and having 



HISTORY OF OKI.HA.MIMOX. 20Cf 

by some means lost their way, wandered about in the vain 
endeavour to find it. The good dame asserted that it 
was useless to contend against the spell which it was evident 
they were under the influence of, and that the only chance 
of their being freed from it was the discovery of water. 
Lighting at length upon the well on the brow of the hill, 
this was proved to be true, for the enchantment was at once 
dissolved and their way lay clear before them. I'he story 
goes that out of gratitude for their deliverance the man 
erected the cross which is now seen on the spot. It has 
also been told me in the neighbourhood that some " rich 
gentleman " called Spicer (a corruption evidently of Fitz, 
w^hich name is locally pronounced Fice or Fize) set up 
the cross. However that may be we find that a John Fitz 
held the manor of Meldon, at the west end of the park, in 
1593, and that the family was connected in some way with 
the well, (and probably with the cross, too,) we may readily 
believe. 

There is another Fitz's Well on Dartmoor, not very far 
from Princetown, on the brink of the Blackabrook, of which 
a similar story to that of the two travellers is related, 
though in this case they are plainly stated to have been 
John Fitz and his lady. The initials I.F. with the date 1568 
are carved upon the granite cover-stone of this well. 

Tales of witchery and enchantment were formerly numer- 
ous on Dartmoor, where many ancient superstitions lingered 
after they were dying out in the other parts of tlie county. 
The tradition of Binjie Gear — once Okchampton's worthy 
mayor — and his task of emptying the waters of Cranmere 
Pool is still related in the neighbourhood, though it is 

N 



210 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

needless to say the march of intellect has caused these old- 
time tales to be regarded in a different light by the majority 
of the country people from that in which they were looked 
upon formerly. Only as recently as 1885, however, an old 
woman died who was known as the Witch of Okehampton. 
She perished from cold and exposure in a wretched hovel 
in the town. 

A gate will be observed at a short distance from Fitz's 
Well, through which we shall pass, and going across East 
Hill, shall shortly reach the camp ; the opinion of Mr. 
Fothergill that it was originally of British construction, 
having had additions made to it by the Danes, being 
probably correct. We shall not omit while here to extend 
our walk to Ash bury Tor, from the summit of which a most 
charming view is presented. Far down below is Belstone 
Cleave, and between us and St. Michael's Chapel is a deep 
and narrow valley, with thickly wooded sides, known as 
Halstock Cleave, through which Moor Brook flows to 
join the Ockment. On the further side of the latter 
stream the ground rises steeply from its brink, and on the 
crest of the hill immediately opposite the tor on which we 
stand is a ridge of rocks sometimes called Cleave Tor, the 
down stretching from this up the valley to the range above 
Belstone. We shall tarry long to admire the beauties of 
this scene, and the noble panorama of richly wooded hill 
and dale which stretches northward as far as the eye can 
reach, and though other attractions await us, shall re- 
luctantly tear ourselves away from it. 

Halstock Chapel, or rather the site on which it once 
stood, is in full view, across Moor Brook but did we attempt to 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 211 

make our way direct the path would be toilsome for we 
should have to scramble through the cleave, so we shall 
retrace our steps some short distance beyond the ancient 
camp, and then turn to the left and descend the gentle slope 
of the down to a road leading to Halstock Farm. There is 
a ford on the Moor Brook, and close to it a clapper bridge, 
formed of a single stone, eleven feet in length. This will 
afford us means of crossing and we shall pass up the road to 
the farm, and making our way through the yard, shall soon 
enter the field called Chapel Lands, in which the scanty 
vestiges of the ancient sanctuary are situated. At the 
entrance to the field, and also near the farm-yard, are the 
ruined foundations, much overgrown, of enclosures and 
dwellings — the sole remains of the village of Halstock, 
which, it is said, once existed here. 

The Chapel of St. Michael formerly stood at what is now 
the upper corner of the field, but very faint indeed arc the 
traces the visitor to the site is able to distinguish. Indeed 
so scanty are the ruins of the chapel, that the traveller 
might pass by and be totally unaware that a building was 
once reared there. A few grass-grown banks scarcely raised 
above the level of the field, are all that is to be seen, and 
the destruction of this retired house of prayer is, unfor- 
tunately, only too complete. One granite stone, and one 
only, lies at the eastern end, but no vestiges of masonry are 
to be discovered. The two trees which are spoken of as 
standing near by are simply storm-stricken thorn bushes, 
and they grow from a bank of turf which runs across the 
field at the eastern end of the chapel. 

Leaving the spot with many regrets that so little has been 



V 



212 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

spared to us of this ancient edifice, we shall make for a 
gate in the lower corner of the field, from which a rugged 
path will conduct us down the side of the hill through 
Halstock Woods to the crossing-place on the East Ockment 
called Chapel Ford. Here the scene will again cause us to 
linger, and afford an additional delight to the many that 
have charmed us in our journeying around the commons 
and the park, but the better to observe its beauties we shall 
cross the river by the stepping stones, and reaching the 
open moor pause to look around. The hill-side down which 
we have come is clothed with thick wood, the masses of 
foliage contrasting charmingly with the furze-covered slope 
at the foot of which we stand. Up the valley, the Belstone 
tors that we have seen so many times during our ramble, 
close in the view, while in the opposite direction, the barrier 
of rocks already referred to as being known sometimes as 
Cleave Tor, rises boldly from the brow of the hill as if to 
guard the entrance to the Uplands. 

We wander down the valley, and soon the stream be- 
comes more rapid in its course, falling in numerous 
cascades over the rocks, which seem as though attempting 
to bar its progress. Belstone Cleave lies before us, and a 
side valley, its slopes covered with trees, opens on our left 
hand, and we see the Moor Brook hastening down it to 
augment the Ockment's waters. It is the hollow known as 
the Cleave of Halstock, which we beheld from Ashbury Tor 
lying between us and the hill of the old chapel, and looking 
up we see the rocks of the former rising above the trees that 
reach far up the steep. We pass between it and the rugged 
ridge above our right, and scramble down the Cleave, lost 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 213 

in admiration at the beauties which nature has lavished with 
so bountiful a hand upon this charming spot. 

And still down by the laughing river we pursue our way, and 
where the valley bends shall notice — affording a somewhat 
inharmonious contrast to the attractions around us — the 
Fatherford viaduct (a name often locally pronounced 
Fallaford), near which we will cross the stream, and finding 
for ourselves a path by the side of the hill, shall soon 
come in sight of the town from which we set forth, lying 
snugly in the valley. 



GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF OKEHAMPTON, 
BY W. H. K. WRIGHT. 



*»^ 




KEHAMPTON in this year of grace eighteen 
hundred and eighty-nine, differs in many re- 
spects from the quaint, historic old town, 
the annals of which have been told in the 
preceding pages. Charles Kingsley, in his 
inimitable epic "Westward Ho!" speaks of 
it as "'the ugly, dirty, and stupid town of 
Okehampton with which fallen man (by some strange 
perversity) has chosen to defile one of the loveliest sites in 
the pleasant land of Devon." Whatever may have been its 
appearance when these lines were written, its general con- 
dition now certainly merits a totally different description. Its 
streets have been recently paved at a cost of about ;^i,6oo ; 
a most perfect system of drainage was carried out two or 
three years ago at a cost of ;^2,300, it is well supplied with 
pure water from a reservoir fed by springs on the Oke- 
hampton Park estate, and its hotels and places of business 
are now lighted by electricity, although a gas company was 
formed in 1858, with a capital of ;^i,2oo, and is still 
flourishing. All these features prove that the stigma attach- 
ing to the town in Kingsley's time has been removed, and 
the place is as pleasant, clean, and enlightened as any little 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



215 



market town of its size and importance in the British isles. 
Many handsome villas have been erected in and around the 
town by the enterprise of some of the local builders, and 
the principal shops in the main street would be no dis- 
grace to many larger towns. So much for the general 
appearance of Okehampton. During the last few years the 
railway has penetrated to this moorland district, and 
Okehampton is the chief station between Exeter and 
Plymouth on the main line of the London and South 
Western Railway; the station was opened in 1872. It is also 
the Junction for the Holsworthy branch, and via Holsworthy 
to Launceston line opened in 1888. The distances in 
various directions are as follows: — London, 197^ miles; 
Plymouth, 30 miles; Exeter, 25 miles; Tavistock, 16 miles; 
Launceston, i()h miles; Holsworthy, 22 miles. About 
thirty-six trains pass through this station every day, and the 
goods traffic is also very considerable. 

The following table of distances may be useful to tourists 
and others visiting Okehampton. 

NAMES. 



DISTANCE. 

Ashbury 7 

Beaworthy 10 

Belstone 3 

Bondleigh 8 

Bratton Clovelly 10 

Bridestowe 7 

Brightley 2 

Broadwoodkelly 8 

Chagford 10 

Drewsteignton 10 

Exbourne 5 

Germansweek 10 

Gidleigh 8 

Halherleigh 7 

Highampton 11 

Honey Oliurch 6 

Iddesleigh 10 



Names distance. 

Inwardleigh 4 

Jacohstowe 5 

Meeth 11 

Monk Okehampton 8 

Meldon 3 

North Lew 8 

North Tawton 7 

Sampford Courtenay 5 

Sticklepath 4 

South Tawton 5 

Soutli Zeal 5 

Sourton 5 

Sandy Park lO 

Spreyton 8 

.Summerstown lO 

Throwleigh 7 



2l6 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

In the course of a few months the London and South 
Western Railway will open their independent line through 
Tavistock to Devonport and Plymouth, the present system 
of running powers only over the G.W.R. from Lydford 
being most inconvenient. 

The station is an exceedingly elevated one, being on 
the border of the moor, about nine hundred feet above the 
sea-level, but yet more than one thousand feet below Yes 
Tor, the highest point in its immediate vicinity. The view 
from the station is magnificent, the town, the castle, the 
church and other prominent features having for a back- 
ground a beautiful stretch of cultivated and undulating country 
as far as the coast near Bideford Bay and Bude Haven. 
The town possesses several well-appointed and com- 
fortable hotels, the most important being the White Hart, 
on the Parade. This hotel has all the accessories of 
a first-class house, is possessed of excellent stabling accom- 
modation, and does a large posting and commercial 
business. Other inns which might be mentioned are the 
Plume of Feathers, Red Lion, Fountain, George, King's 
Arms, Temperance Hotel, &c. 

The market accommodation is good, although inadequate 
to the growing requirements of the town. It was recently 
extended at a cost of ;^i,ooo. The tolls form one of the 
chief items of the corporate receipts, being let from £330. 
Saturday is the market day, and there is a great cattle 
market held on the first Saturday in each month, besides a 
cattle fair held in March every year. The town may be 
classed as a market town, but it has several factories, two 
mills and other works employing a number of hands, 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 217 

prominent amongst these being that of Mr. Henry Geen, 
contractor and cabinet-maker. His brother, Mr. Charles 
Geen is the chief builder in Okehampton, and many of 
the latest improvements in the town and district are due 
to his exertions. The introduction of the electric light, 
the erection of villa residences, the re-paving of the 
streets, the development of quarrying and other works may 
be chiefly credited to these energetic townsmen. The 
estimation in which Mr. Charles Geen is held may be 
gathered from the fact that he has been twice Mayor since 
the New Charter has been granted. Mr, Pearce and 
Mr. Seth Harry have succeeded him, both progressive men, 
and having the best interests of the town at heart. 

Okehampton possesses some fine business premises, 
notably those of Mr. Harry, and Mr. Westcott, and some new 
houses recently erected by Messrs. Underbill and Harris. 
Some of the old houses are very picturesque, and that 
known as Gayer's house in the main street has some 
excellent carved paneling. 

The parish church of All Saints is situated on a com- 
manding eminence about half a mile west of the town, but 
as it will be found fully described in the earlier portion of 
this work a few details in this general account must 
suffice. Originally built in 1261, it was rebuilt in the 
fifteenth century, was destroyed by fire (with the exception 
of the tower) in 1842 ; restored under the direction of Mr, 
Hayward, architect of Exeter, and re-opened in 1844. It is 
now an edifice of stone, in the Perpendicular style, con- 
sisting of chance], witli vestry on tlic north side, nave of 
five bays, aisles, north and south porches, and an embattled 



2l8 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

western tower, with crocketed pinnacles. The tower con- 
tains six bells, which were cast in the churchyard in 1750. 
The font is a good specimen of modern work, being 
octagonal in form and paneled ; the reredos is of Perpen- 
dicular work. The church contains several fine stained 
glass windows, all modern, three of which are in memory of 
Archdeacon Downall, who was vicar of this church up to 
the time of his death in 1872, and was very much beloved. 
The church will seat six hundred persons ; the present 
vicar is the Rev. Charles William Hunt HoUey, M.A., of 
Oriel College, Oxford; the living is valued at ^500, tithe- 
rent charge ^^281, with 230 acres of glebe and residence, 
and is in the gift of the father of the present vicar, James 
Hunt HoUey, Esq., late of Oaklands. 

Attention must also be drawn to the ancient episcopal 
chapel of St. James, which is a prominent object in the 
centre of the town. It formerly belonged to the Cor- 
poration, but is now, under the new scheme, vested in the 
hands of the Charity Trustees. This chapel consists of 
nave, and an ancient tower, containing a clock and two 
bells. The style of architecture of the tower is Early 
Perpendicular, the east window is Decorated. The nave 
was rebuilt in 1862 and has some plain windows of the 
Early English period. 

Other places of worship are — the Congregational Chapel, 
in North Street, built in 1800, and with sitting accommoda- 
tion for five hundred persons ; the Bible Christian Chapel, 
in East Street, erected in 1868, with seats for two hundred 
and fifty ; the Wesleyan Chapel, in West Street, erected in 
18^1, which has also two hundred and fifty sittings. There 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 219 

is also a new Baptist Chapel in the main street, which 
will accommodate two hundred. 

Of modern scholastic establishments, we may mention, a 
school for boys at Moorside, and for young ladies at Park 
Villas. 

There are two experienced and talented medical gentle- 
men in the town. 

The Town Hall is one of the most noticeable buildings 
in Okehampton and is situated in Fore Street, almost 
opposite the road leading from the station.* It is a plain 
building, ancient withal. On the ground floor are rooms 
used as a library and news-room in connection with the 
Literary Institution of the town, and above is a hall capable 
of holding three hundred persons, in which town-meetings 
are held, and justice is administered. Here are kept the 
insignia of this ancient corporation, the two maces and 
borough seals, described on a previous page with many 
ancient and valuable documents. The town possesses a 
loving-cup of massive silver, formerly used at Corporation 
banquets. It bears the hall-marks of 1672-3, the initials T.K. 
and a shield charged with three crescents. The mayoral 
costume is a scarlet robe trimmed with fur. It is in con- 
templation to build a new Guildhall to signalize the 
additional importance of the borough under its new charter. 

As will be found from the preceding work, the town of 

♦This building formerly belonged to and was at one time lived in by 
Mr. Albany Savile, who built the noble mansion house of Oaklands (now 
the residence ot Mr. Wyndham H. flolley;, and whose family has always 
been associated with every charitable undertaking in the Borough. 
This building has been condemned by a surveyor as unsafe for meetings, 
but in spite of the warning, Justices meetings and County Courts are 
held there. 



2 20 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Okehampton was incorporated by charters in the reigns of 
James I. (1623) and Charles II. (1684) respectively. Under 
these charters the corporation was a " close " one, that is to 
say, they themselves elected any new members or any 
vacancy occurring, a system not supportable by theory, 
but which practically worked extremely well. Mr. Simon 
Peter Brendon Newcombe was the last Mayor, Edward 
Bouchier Savile and John Dunning Prickman being the 
last Recorder and Deputy-Recorder respectively. It had 
formerly a Mayor, Recorder, Deputy-Recorder, forming the 
magistrates of the Borough, eight principal and eight 
assistant burgesses, ranking with Aldermen and Councillors 
respectively, the Recorder and Deputy-Recorder being life 
appointments. Under the Municipal Act of 1882, the 
Corporation became extinct, and application being made 
for a new charter, it was granted in 1886, the governing 
body now consisting of Mayor, four Aldermen and twelve 
Councillors. The new Charter is as follows : — 
Copy of the Charter of Incorporation of the Borough of 

Okehampton, 1885. 



VICTORIA, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom 

of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the 

Faith ; to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. 

XlXUbetCaS by the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, it 

was enacted that if on the Petition to Us of the Inhabitant 

Householders of any Town or Towns or District in England, 

or of any of those Inhabitants, praying for the grant of a 

Charter of Incorporation, We, by the advice of Our Privy 

Council, should think fit by charter to create such town. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 22 1 

towns or district, or any part thereof specified in the charter 
with or without any adjoining place a .Municipal Borough 
and to incorporate the inhabitants thereof, it should be 
lawful for Us by the charter to extend to that ^Municipal 
Borough and the Inhabitants thereof so incorporated the 
provisions of the IMunicipal Corporations Acts. 

And it was further enacted that ever)' Petition for a 
Charter under the said Act should be referred to a Com- 
mittee of the Lords of our Privy Council (in the said Act 
called the Committee of Council) and that one month at 
least before the Petition should be taken into consideration 
by the Committee of Council, notice thereof, and of the 
time when it would be so taken into consideration should 
be published in the London Gazette and otherwise in such 
manner as the Committee should direct for the purpose of 
making it known to all persons interested. 

And it was further enacted that where We by a Charter 
should extend the Municipal Corporations Acts to a 
Municipal Borough it should be lawful for Us by the 
Charter to do all or any of the following things : 

(a) To fix the number of Councillors and to fix the 

number and boundaries of the Wards (if any), and 

to assign the number of Councillors to each Ward ; 

and 

(h) To fix the years, days, and times for the retirement 

of the first Aldermen and Councillors ; and 
(c) To fix such days, times, and places, and nominate 
such persons to perform such duties and make 
such other temporary modifications of the Muni- 
cipal Corporations Acts as might appear to Us to 



Ill HlSTOKY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

be necessary or proper for making those Acts 
applicable in the case of the first constitution of a 
Municipal Borough. 
And that the years, times, and places fixed by the Charter, 
and the persons nominated therein to perform any duties, 
should as regarded the Borough named in the Charter 
be respectively substituted in the Municipal Corporations 
Acts for the years, days, times, places, officers, and persons 
therein mentioned, and the persons so nominated should 
have the like powers and be subject to the like obligations 
and penalties as the officers and persons mentioned in those 
Acts for whom they would be respectively substituted : 

And that subject to the provisions of the Charter author- 
ised thereby, the Municipal Corporations Acts should on the 
Charter coming into effect apply to the Municipal Borough 
to which they should be extended by the Charter ; and 
where the first Mayor, Aldermen, and Councillors or any of 
them, should be named in the Charter should apply as if 
they were elected under the Municipal Corporation Acts, 
and where they should not be so named should apply to 
their first election : 

And whereas certain inhabitant householders of the Local 
Government District of Okehampton did in the month of 
December, 1883, petition Us for the grant of a charter 
of incorporation : 

And whereas such petition was referred to a Committee of 
our Privy Council, and one month at least before the same 
was taken into consideration by the said Committee, notice 
thereof and of the time when the same was to be taken into 
consideration was duly published in the London Gazette 



HISTORY Of OKfeMAMWOK. 22^ 

and otherwise as directed by the Committee : 

And whereas Our Privy Council have recommended Us to 
grant this charter of incorporation ; 

Me tberefOre, as well by virtue of Our Royal Preroga- 
tive as in pursuance of and in accordance with the 
Municipal Corporations Acts, 1882, or any other Act or 
Acts and of all other powers and authorities enabling Us in 
this behalf, by and with the advice of Our Privy Council, do 
hereby grant order and declare as follows : 
(i.) The Local Government District of Okehampton within 
the limits set forth in the First Schedule to these presents 
is hereby created a Municipal Borough by the name of the 
" Borough of Okehampton." 
(2.) The inhabitants of the Borough of Okehampton within 
the limits set forth in the First Schedule to these 
presents, and their successors, shall be, and are hereby 
declared to be one body politic and corporate by the 
name of the INIayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the 
Borough of Okehampton, with perpetual succession and 
a Common Seal, and may assume armorial bearings 
(which shall be duly enrolled in the Heralds' College), 
and may take and hold any lands, tenements and heredita- 
ments which may be vested in them by any Scheme made 
under Part XL of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, 
and such other lands, tenements and hereditaments as 
well without as within the Borough as may be necessary 
for the site of the buildings and premises required for the 
official purposes of the Corporation and other the pur- 
poses of the Municipal Corporations Acts, provided that 
such other lands do not exceed in value the amount of 
;^5oo by the year. 



2 24- HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

(3.) The Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses of the said 
Borough shall have the powers, authorities, immunities, 
and priveleges usually vested by law in the mayor, alder- 
men, and burgesses of a municipal borough, and the 
provisions of the Municipal Corporations Acts shall 
extend to the said Borough, and the Inhabitants there- 
of incorporated by this charter : 
(4.) The number of councillors of the borough shall be 

twelve. 
(5.) For the purpose of making the Municipal Corporations 
Act, 1882, applicable in the case of the first constitution 
of the Borough, We do hereby, so far only as regards the 
first burgess list, first burgess roll, and first election of 
Councillors, Mayor, Aldermen, Auditors, Assessors, Town 
Clerk, and Treasurer, fix and order as follows : 
(a) The Town Hall in the Town of Okehampton shall 
be the place at which any list, notice, or document 
required to be affixed, on or near the outer door of the 
Town Hall is to be affixed ; and 

(b.) Both in relation to the matters aforesaid, and also 
in relation to any such election as aforesaid which it 
may be necessary to hold before a valid election can be 
held under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, 
WILLIAM BURD, of Okehampton, or in case of 
his death, inability, refusal, or default, WILLIAM YEO, 
of Okehampton, shall perform the duties of the Town 
Clerk and WILLIAM WOOD, of Okehampton, or 
in case of his death, inability, refusal, or default, 
WILLIAM BURD PEARSE, of Okehampton, shall 
perform the duties of the Mayor and the Assessors 



HISTORY OP OKKHAMnOX. 225 

for revising the burgess list, and the separate list of 
persons qualified to be councillors ; and LIEUTENANT 
COLONEL ROBERT THOMAS WHITE THOM- 
SON, of Jacobstowe, in the County of Devon, or in case 
of his death, inability, refusal, or default, WILLIAM 
WELDON SYMINGTON, of Belstone in the same 
County, shall perform the duties of the mayor and 
aldermen respectively as returning officer, and of the 
mayor as summoner of the first meeting of the Council, 
and of the mayor or chairman of the meeting for the 
election of the iNIayor, Aldermen, Town Clerk, and 
Treasurer, 
And the said persons shall be substituted in tlic Muni- 
cipal Corporations Act, 1882, for the said town clerk, 
mayor, assessors, aldermen, and chairman respectively, 
so far as relates to the matters aforesaid ; and 
(c.) The first election of Councillors shall take place on 
the second day of November, 1885, and the first 
meeting of the Council of the Borough shall be held 
on the ninth day of November, 1885. 
(6.) The years and days specified in the Second Schedule to 
these presents shall be the years and days for the retire- 
ment of the first Aldermen and Councillors, who shall 
retire in the manner and at the times therein designated. 
(7.) Subject to these presents and the provisions and 
directions in the second schedule thereto the provisions 
of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, shall apply to 
the determination of the qualifications of the first Bur- 
gesses the making out signing delivering inspection 
completion publication commencement and continuance 

O 



2 26 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

of the First Burgess Lists and Burgess Rolls the claims 

objections and determinations with regard to the first 

Burgess Lists or Rolls, the holding adjournments and 

decisions of the first Revision Courts the nominations 

elections and continuance in office of the first Mayor 

Aldermen Councillors Auditors and Assessors, the 

appointment and continuance in office of the first Town 

Clerk and Treasurer, the first meeting and quarterly 

meeting of the Town Council, and all matters and things 

touching and concerning the above, and the dates and 

times in the said Act mentioned shall be the dates 

and times on at during within or for which the matters 

aforesaid and the various acts and things in relation 

thereto shall take place be done be estimated or be 

calculated. 

FIRST SCHEDULE. 

Lunits of Borough. 

A radius of half-a-mile from the Cross or from the place 
where the. Cross was formerly erected and stood in the 
centre of the Town of Okehampton. 



If any Councillors in any ward or any Aldermen have 
obtained an equal number of votes, or have been elected 
without a poll, so that it cannot be determined which of 
them has the smallest number of votes, the Council of the 
Borough shall, at the first or second quarterly meeting and 
not later, by a majority of votes, or in case of an equality of 
votes by the casting vote of the Chairman, determine who 
are to go out of office at the times above specified re- 
spectively. 



HIsrOKV OF OKEHAMl'TON. 



SECOND SCHEDULE. 



227 



Persons to Retire. 


Date of Rhitrp.mkm. 


The one- third of the Councillors who are 






elected by the smallest number of votes 






shall go out of office on 


Xovcmher 1st. 


1886. 


The one -third of the Councillors who are 






elected by the next smallest number of votes 






shall go out of office on 


November ist. 


188;. 


The remaining one-third of the Councillors 






shall go out of office on 


November ist. 


1888. 


The one-half of the Aldermen who first go 






out of office shall be those who are elected 






by the smallest number of votes and shall go 






out of office on . . 


November 9th. 


1888. 


The remaining one-half of the Aldermen shall 






go out of office on . . 


November 9th. 


1891. 



3\\ MitneSS WberCOt, We have caused these Our 
Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster, 
the Twentieth day of July, in the Forty-ninth year of 
Our Reign. 

530 Martant unlict t^e (Queeh's ^i^n fflanual. 



© 



MU/R MACKENZIE. 



The main feature of which it may be pointed out was to give the 
public a voice in the election of the Corporation and to make the town 
and its governing constitution subject to the Municipal Corporation Acts. 
It may perhaps specially be pointed out that every ratepayer having paid 
his rates and lived a sufficient time in the Borough and otherwise qualified 
has the Francliise or right of voting for members of the Town Council. 



228 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

The first office bearers under the new Charter were : — 
Chas. Geen, Seth Harry, Samuel Weeks, WilHam Bray, 
T. C. Westcott, James Coombe, Richard Passmore, W. B. 
Pearse, John Grendon, Thomas Harris, W. H. Holley, G. 
Underbill, S. P. B. Newcombe, William Lucy, William Yeo, 
Isaac Yeo. 

The names of the present Corporation are as follows : — 
Aldermen, 1888-9. — Seth Harry, Mayor; Chas. Geen, Wm. 
Burd Pearse, T. C. Westcott. 

Councillors. — Wm. Bray, James Coombe, Bryan Dufty, 
Alfred Harris, W. H. Holley, R. Passmore, W. H. I. Pryer, 
Edwin Smale, Samuel Weeks, Thos. Wood, Wm. Yeo, G. 
Underbill. 

In 1873 the various charities at Okehampton were placed 
upon a new basis, being vested in Trustees appointed in 
accordance with powers granted by the Charity Com- 
missioners. The following is the " Order and Scheme of 
the Okehampton United Charities," as gathered from a 
pamphlet printed and published by E. Townshend, Fore 
Street, Okehampton (1884.) It will be noted there is a 
property qualification for electors of the Charity Trustees. 



Order &' Scheme of the Okehampton Devon, United Charities. 

Charity Commission. — In the matter of the following 
Charities at Okehampton, in the County of Devon, viz : — 
Firstly, The Borough Lands, The Ancient Town Lands, 
One INIoiety of the Common Lands, The Aims-Houses of 
Richard Brock, with the subsidiary endowment of Grace 
Brock and John Bickell's Gift ; Secondly, The Parish or 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 229 

Church Lands and the remaining Moiety of the Common 
Lands ; And Thirdly, The Barton Barn Estate. 

The Board of Charity Commissioners for England and 
Wales having considered an application in writing for the 
purposes of the following Order, made to them on the 
twentieth day of March, One thousand eight hundred and 
seventy one, in the matter of the firstly above mentioned 
Charities under the Corporate Seal of The Corporation of 
the Borough of Okehampton as the Trustees or administra- 
tors thereof, and also another application in writing made 
to them on the said twentieth day of March, One thousand 
eight hundred and seventy one, in the matter of the secondly 
above mentioned Charities under the like Corporate Seal of 
the said Corporation, and by The Venerable Archdeacon 
Downall (since deceased), Vicar of the said Parish of 
Okehampton, and by J. G. Maxwell and Charles Bond, 
Churchwardens of the same Parish, as the Trustees or 
administrators thereof. And also a further application in 
writing made to them on the eighteenth day of March, One 
thousand eight hundred and seventy one, in the matter of 
the thirdly above mentioned Charities by James Hunt 
Holley, Esquire, the said J. G. Maxwell, Esquire, Robert 
Drew, John Rowe Crotch, John Marsh Burd, Isaac Yeo, 
Charles Bond, and Henry Drew, as the Trustees or adminis- 
trators thereof. And it appearing to the said Board that the 
endowments of the said Charities respectively consist of 
the particulars mentioned in the Schedules to the Scheme 
hereby established, and that the gross annual income of the 
said Charity called The Barton Barn Estate amounts to 
Fifty Pounds and upwards, and of the said several remaining 



230 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON, 

Charities does not in the case of any of them amount to 
Fifty Pounds, and that it is for the advanta^je of the said 
several Charities that a new Scheme should be established 
for the future management and regulation of the said 
Charities in manner hereinafter mentioned, And upon 
public notice of the intention of the said Board to make the 
Order hereinafter contained having been given by the 
affixing of the same according to the direction of the said 
Board to the principal outer door of the Town Hall of 
Okehampton on the seventh day of January, One thousand 
eight hundred and seventy three, being more than one 
calendar month previously to the date hereof, And upon 
considering all suggestions and objections made to them 
with reference to the proposed Order, 2)0 bcrcb^ ©rDCr, 
that the Scheme set out in the Schedule hereto be approved 
and established as the Scheme for the future regulation of 
the said Charity. 

CHURCH AND PARISH LANDS. 

SCHEDULE I. 

A. R. P. 

Travin's or Trewin's House . . . . 005 

Jordan's, otherwise Painter's Court . . 020 

Stable in East Street and Major's Barn \ 

^ [020 

and Mead . . . . ) 

Vokins' House and Garden 

Broom Closes 

Parish Meadow 

CHIEF RENT. 
From the Old Town Hall 



4 


I 


37 


5 


2 


20 


£, 


s. 


D. 





8 






HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



231 



COI\I]\ION LANDS. 

SCHEDULE II. 









A. 


R. 


p. 


Paradise 




Land 


I 





15 


Domehay 




Do. 








26 


Shebbear's . . 
Kempley's, &c. 


:1 


House and Land 


7 





27 


New Inn, &c. 




House & Garden 








33 


Long Kempley 




Land 








Weekes Do. 




Do. 


3 


2 


3+ 


Penty Ham 

Garden, Yard, Szc. . 


:l 


Land, &c. 


I 


2 


8 


Star Inn, &c. 




House, &c. . . 





2 


39 


Great Kempley 




Land 


3 


2 


23 


Higher Do. 




Land (3 fields) 


12 


2 


9 


Cooper's Do. 




Land 


12 


I 


4 


Do. 




Do. 


6 





20 


Waste 




Do. 





3 


6 


Ley in Thornbury 




House and Land 


49 


3 


37 


Stratton, Cornwall 
(Wintsworth) 




Five Cottages . . 


5 





'3 


CHIEF RENT fi 


om 


Tavistock . . ^0 


6 


8 




BORC 


)UGH LANDS. 








S( 


:hedule hi. 


j\ 


R. 


p^ 


Seymour's 


• 


House & Shop 








2 


Lang's in West Midro\ 


V 


Do. 








I 


Tapper's 


• 


House 








2 



232 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



Davy's House near the \ 
Prison . . ) 


House and Shop 


o 





4 


Turpin's . . . . i 
Poet's .. .. i 


Land . . 


o 


2 


31 


Pike's Mead and Barn | 
on Shob Hill . . i 


House and Land 


I 


o 


9 


Hungerland on Shob Hill 


Land 





2 


9 


Fogy Park on Shob Hill 


Do. 


I 


2 


39 


Broadmoor's 


Do. 


1 1 


2 


13 


Hendy's House, &c. . . 


House, &c. . . 


o 


O 


36 


Dun's Coombe's, &c. . . 


Houses & Land 


I 


O 


15 


Nix Mead 


Land 


o 


I 


19 


Doidge's Meadow 


Do. 


5 


3 


13 


Battishall's House 


House & Garden 








18 


Blatchford's in East Street 


House 





o 


I 


Earl's Malt House, Do. 


Do. 





o 


24 


Lang's House & Garden do. 


Do. 


o 





1 1 


Pigs' Ground 


Back Kitchen. . 








Garden before Taylor's, | 
now Darley House. . ) 


Garden 








2 


Stable & Stye, formerly a * 


Now Coach House 


! 






> 
Linhay, adjoining . . ) 


and Dung Place 






Bowling Green 


Land 





2 


22 


Ware Rooms in Borough \ 
Pound . . ) 


Houses 








2 


Plot behind Pigs' Ground 


House 








Outhouse by West Well 


Do. 








Garden near East Bridge 


Do. 








Do. South side Do. . . 


Do. 




— 





HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



^53 



Garden near West Bridge House 
Do. Do. . . Do. 

Cellar Door on Parade Do. 

Waste in Fair Place . . Do. 

Wall ofHousein North Lane Do. 

Carpenter's Shop by 
East River 

Plot before Hammet's 

Porch in East Street . . 

Garden before Redstone's 

House in Fair Place . . 

Gibby Lands 



Do. 

Do. 
Do. 
Do. 
Do. 
Do. 



'3 



o 



ANCIENT TOWN LANDS. 

SCHEDULE IV. 









A. 


K. P. 


Mount Ribbon 


• • 


House 


o 


O I 


Janes 


• , 


Do. 


o 


O I 


Pulser's 


• • 


House & Garden o 


o i8 


Part of House in 
Mid Row 


West \ 


House 


• 




Martin's 


• • 


Do. 


o 


o 3 


George Inn 


• • 


House, Yard & Ham o 


24 


Moyse's Shob Hill Meadow 


Land 


5 


I 28 


Gaskin's Meadow 




Meadow 


2 


3 Ji 


Darky Lane 




Do. 


5 


20 


Rack Park 




Land 


3 


3 38 


Batts 




Meadow 


5 


3 '3 


Beans 




Do. 


2 


I 


Webham 




Do. 


I 


2 1 1 



234 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



} 



Postlade's Houses & Ham 
Portingale's House, East 

Street 
Vaughan's . . 
Major's 
Major's 
Jordan's or Cudmore' 

House, &c. 
Ball 
Lopse's 

Tuckfield Meadow . 
Brightley 
Lower Maddaford 
Lower Westacott 
One-third of St. John's 

Land in Bow 
School House, Garden 

and Ham 
St. James Chapel 
Woodhouse near Pound 



Houses & Land 

Garden 

House, &c. 

Do. 

Meadow 

House, &c. 



4 3 29 
2 I 4 



136 o o 

205 I 4 



Meadow 

Do. 

Houses, &c. . . — 

Houses & Land 10 i 36 

Houses, &c. 

Houses, &c. 

Do. 

Land 

Do. 
Do. 



208 

004 

o 2 39 
009 

o I 37 

008 



BARTON BARN ESTATE. 

SCHEDULE V. 



Allotments 
Tenants various. 



90 3 23 
Rent, ^154- 



THE ALMSHOUSE OF RICHARD BROCK. 

SCHEDULE VI. 

The Almshouse at Okehampton consisting of two Dwell- 
ings and a Plot of Ground containing la. or. 22p., part 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 235 

whereof is occupied by the Almspeople, and the remainder 
let at Rents amounting altogether to £b a year, or there- 
abouts. 

The bequest of £\o under the Will of Grace Brock 
dated 7th May, 1836, and received by the Corporation. 



Sealed, by Order of the Board, /his hveyity- first day of 
February, One thousa7id eight hundred and sn^enty three. 

HENRY M. VANE, Secretary. 



Okehampton Castle (or all that remains of it) is now the 
property of the Earl of Devon, having been purchased by 
the late Earl of Sir Henry Wrey a few years since, thus 
again becoming associated with the ancient family of 
Courtenay so connected with it in its earlier history. This 
ruin is now the chief sight of this most interesting district, 
and no visitor to the old town should fail to explore its 
romantic ruins or to moralise awhile upon its past great- 
ness and present state. It is needless, however, to enlarge 
upon its various features here, as the description given by 
earlier writers in the preceding pages will very well serve 
for the present time, the lapse of a few years having made 
no material difference in its aspect. Visitors will have no 
difficulty in gaining access to the ruins, and will be amply 
repaid for any exertions they may incur by the explora- 
tion which affords a rich treat to any one of an antiquarian 
or poetic turn, for they will be able to re-clothe the 
old walls, to restore the grand old fabric, and make the 
ancient banqueting hall resound to the mirth and music of the 



236 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

life and gaiety of feudal times, or the venerable chapel to 
resound with the chant of the choristers or the solemn notes 
of prayer. The views from the castle are very fine, and one 
can compare, while peeping out of one of the narrow slits 
for arrows which pierce the massive wall, the ancient modes 
of defence and offence, with the modern artillery now being 
experimented with on the heights immediately fronting the 
Castle. We refer, of course, to the artillery practice 
in the "Park" near Yes Tor. Okehampton Park, con- 
sists of about 1,500 acres, the joint property of Miss 
Luxmore, Mrs. Trevor Roper, and Mrs. Lees, the 
three daughters of the late Rev. John Luxmore. This 
immense tract of moorland was purchased in 1780 by 
Charles Luxmore, Esq., of Kingston-on-Thames, from 
Albany Savile, Esq. The present proprietors have leased 
eighty acres for twenty-one years to the War Department 
for artillery practice : a large force of Field and Royal H orse 
Artillery encamp here every year for several months. Per- 
manent stables have been erected. Further particulars of 
this most interesting district, its natural features and anti- 
quarian remains will be found in the article from the pen of 
Mr. William Crossing, a gentleman whose knowledge of 
Dartmoor is most extensive. 

In the Meldon Valley a valuable vein of granulite has 
recently been discovered, which is being successfully used 
in glass-making. Other minerals abound in this remarkable 
spot, a geological description of which would be desirable. 
About four years ago Mr. Charles Geen leased the quarry of 
granite at Meldon, and has since made arrangements with 
a syndicate of gentlemen to undertake its working and 



HISTORY OF OlvEHAMProN'. 237 

also of the lime quarries adjoining. The granulite is turned to 
many uses, and is quite a new material in glass-making, at 
at least, in England. Mr. Seimens, the great authority on 
such matters says it is the best specimen he has seen and 
far surpasses any he can get in Dresden or elsewhere in 
Germany. It is hoped that the development of this new 
industry with others resulting therefrom will be the means of 
adding to the prosperity of the town and district by the 
increase of remunerative labour. There is a siding at the 
Meldon viaduct for the accommodation of traffic in these 
materials. This quarry and the beautiful valley adjoining is 
becoming a great attraction to visitors. Many indications 
of the more precious metals have been traced, and some 
beautiful specimens of talc crystals and even of gems have 
been found. Arrangements are now^ in progress for opening 
the lime - kilns adjoining ; this will give additional employ- 
ment. 

The fishing in the neighbouring rivers is excellent, and 
the landowners are always pleased to grant permission to 
visitors to try their skill within their respective estates. The 
trout in the East and West Ockments, though small, are 
extremely sweet and preferred by many to the larger fish in 
wider streams. The upper waters of the Ockment and the 
Taw on the moor being free. After passing the town it 
flows through the grounds of Oaklands the residence of Mr. 
Wyndham Hunt Holley and for several miles through his 
estates. He is extremely liberal with the fishing and freely 
gives tickets to legitimate fishermen. 

The town possesses two excellent bands which perform 
frequently. Altogether it may be said that Okehampton 



238 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

has made vast strides within the last few years and there is 
no reason why, with a still further display of public spirit, 
and careful management, it may not become one of the 
leading towns in central Devon. 



HISTORY OK OKliHAMl'lON. ZjQ 

EX BONO AMICI. 

Two Rivers from one fountain i^^suing came 

Near to that Foreland Hercules did name, 

"Which by their Spring to Gemini liken'd are. 

But in their courses disagreeing far, 

Touridge no sooner gotten from his head, 

Is by a turning crooked Channel led ; 

And full of mndings thro' the dales doth wander, 

Sporting itself in many awry meander. 

Still ghding forth altho' it fleet full flow. 

Which way it bendeth lest its Noise should shew, 

Tamar comes after, and both frets and roars. 

And her unkind departure much deplores ; 

Tears in its furj', rageth Lion like, 

For the not finding her whom she doth seek. 

All discontent, and thus repudiate 

Unto the Southern Coast her course doth take. 

Whereas it findeth Pannage thro' long search. 

(And 'twas 'twixt Britts and Saxons made the March) 

Touridge that long had woo'd her loved Ock, 

WTiich for mere Haste o'ertumbleth many a rock. 

Is now impatient of so long Delay, 

And looks to meet his Ligby on the way. 

As he comes rowling out of Dartmoor Hills, 

Accompany'd with many pleasant Rills. 

At last long looked for they together met, 

Where Wedlock Band in form full sure is knit ; 

Therefore apparell'd in their best Array, 

As Bridals use upon their Nuptial-day, 

A thousand kisses pass them 'twain betwixt. 

With Courtesies more than a thousand mixt. 

There Occa doth with mutual love and heart 

Both stream and name unto her mate impart. 

And now the Pipes on eveiy side resound, 

The Water Nymphs and wanton Satyrs round 

About they dance their measures cunningly, 

And foot it on the grass as featly. 

Then sing they diil of Hercules the story 

Of whom so famous is our Promontory, 



240 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

Who vanquish'd Albion, Neptune's son, in fight 
And him in field most stoutly killed outright. 
Which done embracing 'long the Fields they tread, 
Beholding Marshes and each fniitful Mead. 
When amorously bent they Clip some Places, 
Even insulating others with Embraces ; 
And now the Bride in glory of her Fame, 
Salutes the Chiefest Town that bears her name 
Whose tower'd Castle hovering on a hill. 
Devouring Time hath thereon wrought his will. 
From whence this river glides to GifFard Wear, 
Where farther flowing Neptune doth forbear. 
At Bideford her stream with Bridge is crown'd, 
For number of her Arches much renown'd ; 
Her tilting Tides near unto Appledoor, 
Have clean swept Hubba's Trophy off" the shore, 
Which there was set Posterity might know, 
At Kenarth Castle his great Overt brow. 
Thus forcible you see are Wallowing Waves, 
They wash the dead and buried out of Graves. 
Forward still forceth by the Sandy Burrows, 
On that we term the Bar turns foaming furrows, 
Lastly pays tribute to that peaceful Bay 
Where Londey with his Guard doth Sway. 



HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 



241 






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24-2 HISTORY OF OKEHAMPTON. 

LIST OF OKEHAMPTON TOKENS. 



s ! 

^ I 

7 



Ob. — Christopher Drew, CD., 

Rev. — of Okehanipton, The Mercers' Arms. 

O. — Hester Gayer, of H.G. 

R. — Okehampton. 1652. H.G. 

O. — William Pingston, of (a Woolpack) 

R. — in Okehampton, his half-peny. W.P. 

O. — John Shebbear. Arms of the family 
R. — in Okehampton, 1667, his half-penny. 

O. — John Shebber. The Grocers' Arms. 
R. — in Okehampton. J.S. 

O. — Francis Squire of (A Roll of tobacco and a pipe) 
R. — Okehampton Mercer his half-peny. F.G.S. 

O. — Ockington, 1657, J. M. G. 

R. — half-peny, in two hnes across a field. 





No. 113 • \ 

AND 

WARDLE g I 
^ FOR EVER. S 



The above is a rough tracing of a medal ob. and rev. ; 
struck by Mr. Wardle, who was the last member for the 
Borough. 




■^^^=-^jl^^ 



THE NINE MAIDENS, NEAR OKEHAMPTON. 



L± 



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61 



THE LIBRARY 
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

Santa Barbara 



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE 
STAMPED BELOW. 




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