INCLUDING PILTON PARISH, AND PART OF BISHOP'S TAWTON.
White's Devonshire Directory of 1850
BARNSTAPLE, the principal port, market-town, and borough in North Devon, gives name to an archdeaconry and deanery, to a large union, and to a county court and polling district; and is pleasantly seated on the north-east side of the navigable river Taw, where it receives the small river Yeo, and is crossed by a handsome bridge of sixteen arches, below which the stream expands into a broad tidal estuary, abounding in salmon and other fish, and flowing seven miles westward, where it mixes its waters with those of the river Torridge, in Barnstaple or Bideford Bay. It is a very ancient borough and respectable town, and is distant 40 miles N.W. of Exeter, 9 miles N.E. of Bideford, 11 miles W.N.W. of South Molton, and 192 miles W. by S. of London. The parish of Barnstaple comprises about 1096 acres of land, in the broad and fertile vale of the river Taw, which is to be traversed by a railway from Exeter, but only a few miles at each end have yet been constructed. The parish had only 3748 inhabitants in 1801, but in 1821 they had increased to 5079, in 1831 to 6840, and in 1841 to 7902. The Borough has now about 11,000 inhabitants, having been extended by the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1835, so as to include most of PILTON parish, and part of BISHOP'S TAWTON parish, the former of which has 1805 inhabitants, and 834 acres, on the north side of the town; and the latter has 1826 souls, and about 4500 acres, extending three miles southward, but including the southern suburbs of Newport, &c., in South Molton Hundred. The population return for Barnstaple parish in 1841, included 107 persons in the Union Workhouse, 17 in the Borough Gaol, and 58 in the North Devon Infirmary. Before the Norman Conquest, Barnstaple was a royal demesne; and King Athelstan is said to have constituted it a borough, and to have built a castle here, of which nothing remains but the artificial mound on which it stood, near the confluence of the two rivers. At Domesday Survey there were 40 burgesses within the borough, and nine without; and the inhabitants were exempted from serving on any expedition, or paying taxes, except at the same time as Exeter and Totnes. Judhael de Totnes, on whom the Conqueror bestowed the manor, founded a Priory here for Cluniac monks, which was valued at the dissolution at £123. 4s. 7d. per annum. The lords of the manor and honor of Barnstaple claimed a market and fair from a very early period. Risdon says Henry I. incorporated the borough, and that King John enlarged its privileges. Among the records in the Tower, are some inquisitions taken in the reign of Edward III., in consequence of a dispute between the lord of the manor and the burgesses, the latter of whom claimed various privileges, and the right of choosing a mayor, said to have been granted by King Athelstan, whose charter was lost. In the early part of the present century, Sir John Chichester sold the manor to the Corporation. Edward IV., by his charter of the 17th year of his reign, recites and confirms the charter of King John. The charter of James I. adds a high steward, recorder, &c. The borough has returned two members to Parliament since the 23rd of Edward I., and until 1832 the right of election was in the corporate body and the burgesses, numbering about 600, but by the Reform Act of that year it was extended to the occupiers of houses of the yearly value of £10 or upwards, not only in the old borough, but in the suburbs within the adjoining parishes of Pilton and Bishop's Tawton. Previous to the Municipal Act of 1835, the government of the borough was vested in the mayor, high-steward, recorder, two aldermen, and 22 common councilmen. It is now governed by a mayor, recorder, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors, and is divided into two wards. Its expenditure in 1837 amounted to £1374, being an excess of £669 above its income, which arises chiefly from rents and redeemed land tax, and tolls and dues. The town common, which comprised 108A., was enclosed under an act passed in the 26th of George III. An act for paving and improving the town, and regulating the markets and fairs, was obtained in the 53rd of George III., and another for enlarging the market places, &c., in 1821. The borough has had a commission of the peace and a court of quarter sessions granted, under the powers of the Municipal Act. The quarter and petty sessions are held at the GUILDHALL, a spacious and handsome edifice, in the Grecian style, erected in 1826, over the entrance to the butchers' market, which was built in 1812, and consists of 34 shops, extending in a double line from High street to Anchor lane, and having over them a commodious Corn-Exchange. A new fish market was erected a few years ago. The Borough Prison and Bridewell form a neat and substantial building, in the Square, erected in 1828, at the joint expense of the corporation and the parish. It has two rooms for debtors, and two day rooms and fourteen cells for felons, &c. The cost of the Guildhall, new prison, and the market improvements, was about £9000. Petty Sessions for Braunton Division are held once a fortnight, at the office of Mr. J. S. Clay, the magistrates' clerk. The County Court for all the parishes in Barnstaple Union, except Instow and Westleigh, is held at the Guildhall monthly, and Mr. L. T. Bencraft is the clerk, and Mr. H. K. Thorne high bailiff. The Recorder is judge of the Borough Court of Record, and L. T. Bencraft, registrar. The freemen are exempt from borough tolls and quay dues, and the number of electors is now about 800. The following is a list of the borough members, magistrates, corporation, and officers. Members of Parliament, the Hon. John Wm. Fortescue and Richard Bremridge, Esq.
Lord High Steward of the Borough, Earl Fortescue.
BOROUGH MAGISTRATES, the Mayor, Ex-Mayor, and John May, John Marshall, Robt. Budd, Jas. Whyte, John R. Griffiths, and Geo. Harris, Esqrs.
Charity Trustees, Rev. Hy. Luxmoore and John May, Rt. Budd, J. Marshall, Wm. Avery, Jas. Marsh, John Dicker, and John Avery, Esqrs.
MAYOR, Jno. M. Fisher Esq. || RECORDER, Wm. M. Praed, Esq.
ALDERMEN, John S. Clay, Richard Thorne, and John K. Cotton, for the North Ward; and Robt. Budd, Wm. F. Latham, and W. Avery, for the South Ward.
COUNCILLORS, John W. Tatham, J. H. Toller, Wm. Avery, John Gould, G. K. Cotton, Wm. Carpenter, John Norrington, Rt. Mortimer, and J. M. Fisher, for North Ward; and Wm. Arter, sen., John Harris, J. K. Marsh, Thos. Hodge, Geo. Kingson, Wm. Parkin, Wm. Young, and Wm. Dyer, for the South Ward. TOWN CLERK, Lionel Thomas Bencraft, Esq.
CLERK OF THE PEACE, William Gribble, Esq.
Coroner and Clerk to the Borough Magistrates, Alfred Drake, Esq.
Treasurer and Inspector of Weights and Measures, Mr. John Baker.
Inspector of Weights and Measures for County, Mr. Fdk. Jones.
Gaoler, Wm. Trawin. || Superintendent of Police, Byron Aldham.
Sergeants-at-Mace, Thos. Britton and John Evans.
Beadles, Wm. Whitefield, (and crier,) and Wm. Gabriel.
The Market and Fairs of Barnstaple have for a long period been in high repute, and much resorted to. In the reign of Edward III. it claimed two weekly markets, on Wednesday and Friday, and they continued to be held till 1760. The market is now held on Friday only, and is an extensive mart for corn, and all sorts of provisions. Four great cattle markets or fairs are held on the Fridays before March 21st and April 21st, on the last Friday in July, and on the second Friday in December; but the great "Barnstaple Fair" commences on the l9th of September, and continues several days, the first for cattle, &c., the second for horses, &c., and succeeding days for sight-seeing, and all kinds of amusements. This fair is one of the largest in the county, both for business and pleasure; and on the second day a stag hunt takes place, starting on the borders of the Exmoor. The money expended at this fair in the purchase of cattle often amounts to £20,000. The cattle fairs and markets are held in Boutport street, but their removal to the Port Marshes, or some other eligible place, is in contemplation. Barnstaple was a naval port in the reign of Edward III. Besides equipping three vessels for the fleet which destroyed the Spanish Armada, it sent out several privateers, one of which returned with a prize, taken on the coast of Guinea, "having in her four chests of gold, worth £12,000," and other articles of great value. The staple trade of the town, from a very early period till the latter part of the last century, was the manufacture of woollen goods, termed duroys, tammies, serges, shalloons, baizes, flannels, plushes, &c., but this trade is now obsolete in the town, though there are several serge and blanket mills in the neighbourhood. Here are, however, several extensive wool staplers, a large lace factory, many extensive malting establishments, two paper mills, four tanneries, two potteries, an extensive ship building yard, and several stocking weavers, brush makers, ropers, &c. Since 1822, when bonded warehouses were established here, the port has had an increasing foreign trade, and it has now many highly respectable merchants, who import goods from the Baltic, France, Spain, Portugal, North America, &c. They are also extensively engaged in the coasting trade; importing coals, timber, iron, groceries, spirits, porter, freestone, &c., and exporting grain, wool, bark, leather, paper, &c. The Port of Barnstaple includes Ilfracombe, Combemartin, Linton, and all that part of the coast of Devon extending north-east from the mouth of the Taw. The Custom House is a plain building, and Rd. White, Esq., is the collector; Mr. W. A. Glent, comptroller; and Robt. Westacott, locker. The Inland Revenue Office is in Boutport street, and Jas. Johnston, Esq., is the collector; and Mr. Jph. Hancock, supervisor. The town has four commodious quays, at which vessels of 100 to 200 tons receive and discharge their cargoes; but about three miles below, in a creek of the estuary, called Fremington Pill, or Penhill, is a sort of dock, where large vessels anchor and receive and deliver cargoes. The river is navigable for barges and small craft to about three miles above the town. Queen Anne's Walk, on the west side of the principal quay, is a piazza or corridor, which formerly served as an exchange for the merchants. It is 67 feet long, and 12 broad, and has a series of stone columns supporting the roof, and a parapet, on which is a fine full-length statue of Queen Anne, in whose reign it was rebuilt. The statue is dated 1708, and was the gift of Robert Rolle, Esq. In consequence of the plague being at Exeter, the spring assizes were held at Barnstaple, in 1590, when 17 prisoners were hanged on the Castle-green. During the civil wars, Barnstaple was strongly attached to the interests of the Parliament. It was taken for the King by Prince Maurice, in September, 1643. In July following, the inhabitants rose and took possession of the town, and the Earl of Essex sent Lord Roberts and Sir Pp. Stapleton, with about 500 horse, who repulsed Digby and others sent to the relief of the royalists. The Earl of Essex then garrisoned the town, but it surrendered on honourable terms to General Goring, in September. In October, 1645, the clubmen of Devon declared for the Parliament, and killed several of the royalists at Barnstaple, where Sir A. Apsley was then governor. In March, 1646, Sir Thomas Fairfax blockaded the town, which surrendered to him on the 10th of April, after the fall of Exeter. (See pages 56 and 57.)
The town has been much improved and enlarged during the present century, and now extends about a mile in length, including its suburbs of Pilton and Newport. Many new buildings have been erected on the south and east sides of the town during the last ten years, and it has kept pace with most other towns in its public improvements, its new and fashionable residences, its modern and well stocked shops, its flag-paved streets, and its gas and water works. It has two large inns and posting-houses, many respectable taverns, and coaches and carriages daily to all parts; and a steam packet from Bristol calls at the docks weekly. The Gas Works were constructed in 1839, at the cost of £2000, raised in £10 shares. The town has three Banks, and a branch of the Exeter Savings' Bank; a handsome Theatre, built in 1831, at the cost of about £1000; and a commodious Assembly Room, erected in 1800, at the cost of about £1100, raised in £30 shares. It had two weekly newspapers, one of which, the North Devon Journal, is still published every Friday, by Mr. Wm. Avery. The Literary Institution, which occupies a large house in High Street, was established in 1845, chiefly from the munificence of W. F. Rock, Esq., of London, who is a native of the town, and subscribes £100 per annum, for the admission of 100 free members. It has a valuable library of about 3000 volumes, an interesting museum, two reading rooms, and a large lecture room, in which lectures are delivered by gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood, once a fortnight, during the winter months. J. R. Chanter, Esq., is the honorary secretary. Here is a highly talented Musical Society, and balls and concerts are frequently held in winter at the Assembly Room. Here are also a Farmers' Club, and an Horticultural Society; and the Barnstaple and North Devon Agricultural Society holds its meetings in the town. A Lodge of Freemasons meets at the Assembly Room on the first Wednesday of every month, and in the town are several Friendly Societies, and other provident institutions. The town has now a clean and handsome appearance, and the surrounding country is fertile and picturesque, affording many delightful walks and drives, commanding pleasing views, terminated on the north by the bold semicircular range of hills, on the borders of Exmoor. There are in the town and suburbs four churches, five chapels, several public schools, and various charitable institutions.
Barnstaple Parish Church (St. Peter and St. Paul,) is a large ancient structure, said to have been rebuilt about 1318, and enlarged and altered at subsequent periods. It has a low tower on the south side, containing six bells, and crowned by a spire. It was much damaged by lightning in 1816. The interior has sittings for about 2000 hearers, and contains many mural monuments. On each side of the chancel window are figures of Moses and Aaron, and in a room over the porch is a parochial library, founded by John Doddridge, Esq. The organ is a large and fine toned instrument, which was given by Sir George Amyard, one of the borough members, in 1764. Leland mentions four ancient chapels here, one of which (St. Nicholas's,) is now a warehouse, called the Quay-hall, and another, which had two chantries, is now the Grammar School, and was used by the French refugees till the middle of the last century. The great tithes of Barnstaple were appropriated to Malmsbury Priory, and afterwards passed with the priory estate to the Incledon family. The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £15. 8s. 9d., and in 1831 at £324, is in the patronage of Lord Wharncliffe, and incumbency of Rev. H. Luxmoore, M.A. The tithes were commuted in 1811, - the vicarial for £245, and the rectorial for £36. The latter belong to the Misses Incledon. In the parish are two handsome district churches, opened about 1845. Holy Trinity Church, at the Barbican, was built and endowed as a perpetual curacy by the Rev. John James Scott, M.A., its present patron and incumbent. It is in the perpendicular style, and was commenced in 1843, but its elegant tower, which rises to the height of 133 feet, was not completed till 1847. The west window, and the stained glass of the chancel windows, are fine specimens of modern art, and the general interior arrangements are much admired. There are about 800 sittings, one third of which are free. The pulpit is of Caen stone, and was given by Sir P. Acland. The font was given by Dr. Budd. The cost of the church was about £4000, and of the tower £1500, and the founder has endowed the benefice with £1000, and erected neat schools, at the cost of £300. The total cost of the church, burial ground, schools, endowment, &c., was about £10,000. The other new church, built about the same time, is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, and stands at the head of Bear street. It is a handsome building, with a tower, crowned by a spire, rising to the height of 115 ft. The nave and aisles are neatly fitted up with upwards of 800 free sittings. The burial ground comprises an acre, and the cost of the church was more than £3000, raised chiefly by grants, and partly by subscription. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have endowed the perpetual curacy with £150 per annum. It is in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Exeter, and the Rev. James Pycroft, M.A., is the incumbent. The church was finished in 1846.
PILTON PARISH CHURCH (St. Margarets,) stands on an eminence, near the north entrance to the town, and its parish contains 1805 souls, and 834A. 3R. 26P. of land, mostly within the borough of Barnstaple. The manor of Pilton belonged to a Benedictine Priory, which was founded here as a cell to Malmsbury Abbey, and was valued at £56. 12s. 8d. per annum at the dissolution, when it and the manor were granted to the Chichester family. The manor, after passing to the Sydenham, Northmore, and other families, was dismembered. John Whyte, Esq., owns the site of the priory, and Westaway estate, and has a handsome mansion here, called Pilton House; but a great part of the parish belongs to the Trustees of the late Lord Rolle, J. R. Griffiths, Esq., Capt. May, and several other freeholders. Upcott, about 1½ mile north of the town, is the pleasant seat of T. W. Harding, Esq., owner of Pilland estate. Raleigh House, formerly occupied as a woollen factory, and afterwards as a lace mill, was anciently the seat of the Raleigh family. Bradiford is a small hamlet in this parish. The Church is an ancient Gothic structure, with an embattled tower, and six bells. The tower was partly destroyed during the siege of 1646, and was rebuilt in 1696. In the church are many memorials of the Chichester, Incledon, Rogers, Lethbridge, and other families. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued at £108, in the patronage of Wm. Hodge, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. W. C. Hall, M.A., who has a neat modern residence, and about 20A. of glebe. The tithes, formerly belonging to the priory, have been mostly sold to the landowners. The parish has National Schools, and various Charities, as afterwards noticed.
Barnstaple has five DlSSENTING CHAPELS. The Independents and Presbyterian congregations here were united about the middle of last century. That eminent dissenting divine, Samuel Badcock, was minister here from 1770 to 1778, but he afterwards conformed to the church, and was ordained Bishop of Ross. The present Independent chapel is a neat building, erected in 1839, at the cost of £1600, and has a stone front, in the perpendicular style. The Baptist chapel, in Boutport street, was built in 1883, at the cost of £900, but galleries have since been erected, at the additional cost of £168. The Baptists have a small chapel in Vicarage lane, erected in 1824. The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1815, and enlarged in 1839, and is a neat building, with a gallery and organ. Its total cost was about £30OO. The Plymouth Brethren have a small chapel here. In the following account of the SCHOOLS and CHARITIES of the borough of Barnstaple, it must be observed, that those vested with the Corporation are now under the management of the CHARITY TRUSTEES, appointed under the powers of the Municipal Act of 1835, and named at page 567.
The GRAMMAR SCHOOL is kept in an ancient building in the churchyard, which is repaired by the Corporation, who also allow the master the free use of a house belonging to them, though for this privilege and the undermentioned small emoluments, he is only required to teach one free scholar, who receives a classical education in common with about 30 other boys, mostly day scholars. The endowment consists of an annuity of £10, left by Richard Ferris, in 1646 and £4 a year, as the interest of £100 left by the Rev. John Wright, in 1760, and now secured on the Barnstaple turnpike. At this school were educated John Jewel, bishop of Salisbury, and his great polemical opponent, Thomas Harding, the Jesuit professor at Louvain; also Gay, the poet, and the learned Dr. Musgrave.
The BLUE COAT SCHOOLS, in the North walk, were erected in 1834, for the use of the Boys' and Girls' Charity Schools, previously held in separate buildings. They form a handsome stone building, with dwellings for the teachers, and schools for 50 boys and 30 girls, who are clothed at the expense of the charities. The Boys' School was established by subscription in 1710, and various donations of money and rent-charges have been made to it from time to time. An estate, called Francis and Bowden, at Ilfracombe, was purohased for it in 1746, at the cost of £1150, but that included £100, belonging to Penrose's Almshouses, to which the estate pays £4 a year. This estate consists of a farm of 160A., let for £90 a year. There are also belonging to it eight rent charges, producing collectively £7. 1s. 4d. per annum, and £954 three per cent. stock, yielding £28. 10s. per annum. Its total yearly income from these sources is £125 11s. 4d., which is increased by an annual collection at the church. The Girls School was founded by Alice Horwood, in 1652, for the education of 30 poor girls, who are clothed out of the above-named funds. Its endowment consists of a house and 3A. 30p. of land, at Newport, let for £15 a year. The trustees pay yearly salaries of £45 to the master, and £20 to the mistress. There are large NATIONAL SCHOOLS in Castle street, Newport, Salem street, and Pilton; and Sunday Schools are attached to the churches and chapels.
The North Devon Infirmary, at the entrance to the town from Newport, is a neat building, of which the centre was erected in 1824, when the first stone was laid by the late Earl Fortescue, the projector and principal contributor. The wings of the building were added afterwards, and the interior is now spacious and admirably adapted for the benevolent purposes to which it is appropriated. It is supported by subscriptions and donations. Earl Fortescue is patron; Drs. Britton and Budd, physicians; Messrs. Curry and Law, surgeon, Mr. Morgan, house surgeon and Mrs. Harbour, matron.
The DISPENSARY, in Boutport street, was established in 1832, and in connexion with it is a branch of the Royal Humane Society. Dr Bignell is the physician, Messrs. March, Hiern, and Harding, surgeons, and Mr J. C. Turner, dispenser and secretary.
SALEM ALMSHOUSES, in Salem street, for the residence of 24 poor men and women, were built in 1834, at the sole expense of Charles Roberts, Esq., of Bickington. They are neatly built of stone and comprise 12 cottages, forming three sides of a square, with a grass plot and pallisades in front. The founder, the two Misses Roberts, the Rev. J. B. Roberts, the Rev. Robert Hole, H. Gwyn, Esq., J. Sharland, Esq., and other donors gave about £1000 for the endowment, and the money was invested in the funds, and yields about 30s. per annum for each inmate.
PENROSE'S ALMSHOUSES is a large building in Litchdon street, consisting of twenty dwellings, each containing two almspeople, who have each a portion of a large garden. They are appointed from the poor parishioners, a preference being given to natives, and usually to women. The mayor for the time being nominates a person to fill the first vacancy which occurs during his year of office, and the others are supplied alternately by the two acting trustees. Each of the 40 almspeople receives 6s. per lunar month from the funds of the charity. The almshouse was founded in 1624, by John Penrose, who left property for its erection and endowment. The latter was afterwards augmented with the following benefactions, viz. £420, left by Richard Beaple, in 1641, 23A. 1R. 3P. of land in Yelland, left by Wm. Palmer, in 1653; £65 given by Richard Harris, in 1655; £100 given in 1763, by Denys Rolle and £20 left by Joan Stanbury, in 1772. The property now belonging to the charity consists of an undivided moiety of 202A. of land at Hartland, given by the founder; 23A. in Yelland; 22A. 2R. 38P. in Georgeham; two houses and 1A. 3R. 34P. in Barnstaple; £100 vested in the Barnstaple and South Molton turnpike; and £155 2s. 11d. in Old South Sea Annuities. From these sources the total annual income is upwards of £200. The yearly sum of £4 is divided among the inmates, as interest of £100 left by John Phillips, in 1734.
HORWOOD'S ALMSHOUSE, in Church lane, consists of eight dwellings of two rooms each, occupied by 16 poor people, with a small garden plot allotted to each dwelling. It was built by Thomas Horwood and his widow, who vested it in trust with the mayor and capital burgesses, and endowed it in 1674, with 7A. 3P. of land, and a house, barn, &c., at Newport, now let for £57. 18s. per annum, and a stable at Barnstaple, let for two guineas a year. There are also belonging to the charity, £114. 4s. 11d. Old South Sea Anuities. The 16 almspeople have each 5s. per lunar month, and 1s. 4½d. at Christmas; besides some small yearly allowances from other charities.
PAIGE'S ALMSHOUSES in Church lane, has rooms for eight poor persons and occupies the site of an ancient almshouse. It was built on the foundations of the old one by Eliz. Paige, who, in 1656, endowed it with £50, vested with the Corporation. It is also endowed with a yearly rent-charge of 6s. 8d., left by Wm. Canford, in 1553, and with a house and 1A. 20P. of land at Newport, left by Robert Appley, in 1594, and now let for £14 per annum. The almspeople are appointed by the mayor, and have 3s. a year each from Phillips' and Tippetts' Charities, arising as follow -- John Phillips, who was a benefactor to the Charity School and Penrose's Almshouse, in 1734, also left £40 to the inmates of Paige's Almshouse. This £40, with £24 accumulated by unapplied interest was vested in the purchase of a yearly rent charge of 50s, out of land at Maidenford. Henry G. Tippetts, in 1795, left a yearly rent charge of £3. 6s. out of Hole Ground field, to be divided in sums of 6d. each among the 66 inmates of this and the before-named almshouses.
HARRIS's ALMSHOUSE is a small dwelling adjoining the churchyard, occupied by the sexton, and supposed to have been built with £20 given by Thomas Harris in 1646.
BENEFACTIONS TO THE POOR :- In 1642, Richard Beaple left a clear yearly rent charge of £l7. 6s. 8d., out of Hedd estate, to the Corporation, in trust for distribution among the poor of Barnstaple, who have also about £20 a year from 7A. 29P. of land, purchased with £200 left by Ephraim Skinner, in 1677; and about £l0 from 2A. 1R. 21P. left by Richard Cornish, in 1709. The annual proceeds of these three charities are distributed among all the resident poor of the town. In 1681, Roger Jeffrey left 5s. each per annum for 12 poor housekeepers, to be raised as follows, 30s. from a yearly rent-charge out of land at Bickington, and 30s. to be paid by the Corporation, as interest of £25 vested with them. Two houses in Boutport street, left to the poor by Robert Appley, in 1594, are let on lease for only £8, but are worth above £25 a year. A legacy of £lOO, left to the poor by Adam Lugg, in l622, was laid out in the purchase of 8A. 2R. 6P. of land at Pilton, now let for £20 per annum. The poor have 40s. a year out of a house in Holland street, left by Richard Ferris, in 1622; 52s. yearly from Sir John Ackland's Charity, (see Exeter;) 20s. a year, as interest of £20, left by Hugh Horsham, in 1653, and lent to the Corporation; and 12s. a year, left by Thomas Webber, in l696, out of Yeoland's garden, at Pilton. In 1636, KATHERINE WESTLAKE left £300, to be invested for the relief of poor artificers, and £100 to be invested, and the yearly profit applied towards setting up young men newly come out of their apprenticeship. Theses sums were laid out in the purchase of £390 Old South Sea Annuities, now standing in the names of four trustees. A yearly rent charge of £6, left by GEORGE BARON in 1681, out of an estate at Brinsworthy, in Fremington, is distributed among poor weavers or their widows. In 1646, RICHARD FERRIS left two yearly rent-charges out of Middleton estate, at Parracombe, viz, £lO in aid of the Grammar School, and £20 to be applied in apprenticing poor children. In 1810, Margaret Newcommen left two annual sums of £4 each, to two dissenting schoolmistresses of Barnstaple, for teaching poor children to read. (See Bideford.) An annuity of £5, left by Mrs. MARTIN, out of Great Fisherton farm, in Bishop's Tawton, is paid to the Vicar, in consideration of his catechizing the children of the parish. He has also the dividends of £624. 6d. Old South Sea Annuities, purchased with £500 left in 1772, by JOAN STANBURY for the better support of a minister, who should read daily morning prayers at the church. In the reign of Elizabeth, there was in Barnstaple a COMPANY OF CORDWAINERS, or shoemakers, governed by a master and wardens, but it ceased to exist many years ago. The property belonging to it was conveyed to new trustees in 1787, and consists of three tenements worth about £30, but let only for about £2 per annum, subject to fines paid on the renewal of the lease. The clear income is distributed in small sums among poor shoemakers, or their widows.
PlLTON :- The Parish Lands, &c., which have been vested with feoffees from an early period for the relief of the poor parishioners, comprise eleven cottages, occupied as almshouses, and about 20 houses and tenements, several gardens, and about 22A. of land, let at low rents, amounting to only £35. 6s. 6d. per annum; but subject to large fines on the renewal of the 99 years' leases. The charity also derives £46. 10s. a year from the dividends of £1550 Old South Sea Annuities, purchased by the feoffees at various times with money received in fines on the granting of leases. The income is distributed yearly among the poor, chiefly in clothing. Some of the almshouses were rebuilt in 1849, by the Rev. Thomas Bowdler. St. Margaret's Hospital, for the reception of lepers, stood in this parish, and its site, and the land and buildings belonging to it, were sold to th feoffees of the parish lands, in 1735, for £70, on condition that they should continue to appoint, as vacancies occurred by death, a poor brother and sister of the said hospital from among the poor of Pilton, and divide among them the clear yearly rents of the property belonging to the hospital. This property now comprises 14 houses, with gardens, &c., let for only about £12 a year, in consideration of fines paid when the leases were granted. The rent and fines are divided among the two almspeople, who have no dwelling allotted them under the charity. The poor parishioners have the following yearly sums;-26s., left by Sir John Ackland, in 1616, and paid by the Corporation of Exeter; 13s., left by Edward Fairchild, in 1653, out of Lane estate, in the parish of Charles; 36s., left by Robert Incledon, in 1746, out of the Unicorn Inn; 55s., as interest of £60, left by John Rogers and John Exeter and vested with the feoffees of the parish lands, 20s., left by Thomas Harding, in 1767, out of Cladovin estate; and 26s. left by Christopher Lethbridge, out of Westaway estate; together with 10s. for repairing his monument and the church roof. The above-named Edw. Fairchild also left 16s.. for schooling poor children.
BARNSTAPLE UNION comprises the 39 parishes of Arlington, Ashford, Atherington, Barnstaple, Berrynarbor, Brendon, Bittadon, Bishops-Tawton, Braunton, Bratton-Fleming, Challacombe, Coombmartin, Countisbury, East-Down, Fremington, Goodleigh, Georgeham, Heanton-Punchardon, Highbray, Horwood, Ilfracombe, Instow, Kentisbury, Landkey, Linton, Loxhore, Marwood, Martinhoe, Morthoe, Newton-Tracey, Parracombe, Pilton, Sherwill, Stoke Rivers, Swimbridge, Tawstock, Trentishoe, West-Down, and Westleigh, which contained, altogether, in 1841, a population of 37,452 souls, living in 7266 houses, besides which they had 603 empty houses, and 41 buildings, when the census was taken. The Union Workhouse is a large stone building, which waa erected in 1837, at the cost of £4000, including £900 paid for the land, but it has since been enlarged at the additional cost of £1500. It has room for 320 paupers, and had 220 in January, 1850. The expenditure of the union, in 1849, was £13,974. J.S. Clay, Esq, is the union clerk and superintendent registrar; the Rev. George Johnston is the chaplain; and Mr. John and Mrs. Marsh are master and matron of the Workhouse. The relieving officers are John Tinson, Wm. Vickery, and John Watts. Mr. John Barry, of Barnstaple, and Mr. W.C. Ashton, of Ilfracombe, are registrars of marriages; and Messrs. Edw. Webb, J. Tinson, W. Carpenter, W. C. Aston, J. Watts, and T. Barker, are registrars of births and deaths. The Board of Guardians meet at the Union House every Friday, at ll morning. Barnstaple Directory, including Pilton Parish, and Part of Bishop's Tawton
From the Fortescue Arms and Golden Lion.
MAILS to Tiverton 45 min. past 9 morning, and 4¼ afternoon; and to Bideford and Ilfracombe ¼ before 9 morning
To Exeter at 8½ morning daily, except Sunday
To Plymouth 8 morng. every Mon., Wed., and Fri.
To Tiverton, South Molton, &c. daily at 8 morning
To Bideford, Wm. Barwick's omnibus daily at 5 aftn. from Shipwrights' Arms, and Dart and Parish, 11 morng. from Golden Lion Tap
Bratton Fleming, Jas. Kingdon, (White Horse,) Tue. and Fri. 4 afternoonbr> Braunton, Charles Robins (Braunton Inn,) daily 6 evening
Coombmartin, James Willis, King's Arms,) Tue. and Fri. 4 afternoonbr> Ilfracombe daily, Jas. and John Dadd's omnibus from Golden Lion Tap 5 evg., and John Pugsley from Bear st. and Rd. Blackmore from Newport at 9 morning
Lynton, J. Richard's Van, (King's Arms,) Tue. and Fri. 3 afternoon
Plymouth, Pridham & Lake from Joy st. and T. King from Shipwrights' Arms, Tues. and Sat. 8 morng.
South Malton, daily, James Chapple from Golden Anchor, and Wm. Deagon from the Bell, 3 aftn
Tiverton, Thos. Avery from the Angel, Tue. and Sat. 2 afternoon
Torrington, Sml. Copp from the Angel, Mon., Wed., and Fri. 4 ½ afternoon
The Water Witch from Bristol calls in the river at Penhill Docks twice a week in summer, and once in winter
To London once a fortnight; to Bristol weekly; and to Liverpool monthly
Transcribed - Brian Randell, 17 Jul 1999