Bickleigh (Near Tiverton)


"BICKLEIGH village, on the east bank of the river Exe, 4 miles S. of Tiverton, and 10 miles N. of Exeter, has in its parish 362 souls, and 1835 acres of land, including Chudleigh hamlet. Sir W.P. Carew is lord of the manor, and owner of a great part of the soil; and the rest belongs to Sir T.D. Acland, Dr. Troyte, and a few smaller proprietors. Bickleigh anciently belonged to a family of its own name, and passed from the Courtenays to a younger branch of the Carews. The celebrated Bampfylde Moore Carew, commonly called the King of the Beggars, was the son of the Rev. Theodore Carew, rector of Bickleigh. He was born here in 1690, and, after his extraordinary and various peregrinations and adventures, spent the last two years of his eventful life in his native village, and was buried in the church in 1758. Here also was buried Major John Gabriel Steadman, who published the History of Surinam, and died in 1797. The Church (St. Mary,) was mostly rebuilt in 1843, at the cost of about £1400. It has a tower and five bells, and contains several neat monuments of the Carew family, one of which has recumbent figures of a knight and a lady. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Hayridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Exeter. (Described in the IGI as "Bickleigh Near Exeter".)



Bampfylde Moore Carew: the early years - provided by Devon perspectives.

Carew, Bampfylde Moore. The life and adventures of Bamfylde-Moore Carew, the noted Devonshire stroller and dog-stealer; as related by himself, Exon, Printed by the Farleys (1745) [2], vi, 152 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library: s920/CAR]

Carew, Bampfylde Moore. Life and adventures of Bamfylde-Moore Carew, commonly called the King of the Beggars, London, T. Forster (1779) 246 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library: s920/CAR]

Carew, Bampfylde Moore. An apology for the life of Bampfylde-Moore Carew, The king of the beggars; or, The history of Bampfylde Moore Carew; who was the son of a gentleman near Plymouth, and ran away from his father and joined a gang of gipsies, etc. Derby: Thomas Richardson, [ca. 1840]. pp. 24: plate. [BL - 1578/863]

Carew, B.-M. The History and Curious Adventures of Bampfylde-Moore Carew, King of the Mendicants, (186-) 160 p.

Wilkinson, C. H. (Ed.). The King of the beggars: Bampfylde-Moore Carew, Oxford, Clarendon Press (1931) 307p: ill, map. [Contains Life & adventures ...; An apology ... life] [Westcountry Studies Library: s920/CAR]

Price, Thomas (comp.). The life, voyages and adventures of Bampfylde-Moore Carew, commonly called the king of the beggars, London, Pr. for J. Barker (1785?) 212 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library: s920/CAR]

Anon. The surprising adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew: King of the Beggers, Tiverton: Printed by W. Salter. Sold by Crosbys & Co. London and the Booksellers in Exeter, Taunton, Sherborne, Frome, Salisbury, Plymouth & Dock, 255 pp., illus. [Index]



MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Church of St Mary is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 8 of Devon Memorial inscriptions (DE/M23).



Transcriptions of an 1801 census, and of a local census of 1821 listing housholders and household numbers, of Bickleigh near Tiverton, by Merv Goss.

Bickleigh (Tiverton) Census - 1801, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D050). [Foreword]


Church History

Bickleigh (near Tiverton) - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

The parish church of Saint Mary, Bickleigh near Tiverton: notes on its history and principal features, Bickleigh, Bickleigh PCC (1982) 6 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library: p726.5/BIC/PAR]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1569 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1570 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1800-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 11573-1836, and Marriages 1570-1837. (These entries are based in part on Bishops' Transcripts.)

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Bampton, Bickleigh, Burlescombe, Calverleigh, Clayhanger, Culmstock, Halberton, Hockworthy, Holcombe Rogus, Huntsham, Loxbeare, Morebath, Petton Chapelry, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton St. Peter, Tiverton Cove, Uffculme, Uplowman, Washfield and Willand. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White’s Directory (1850) and Kelly’s Directory of Devonshire (1902), CD-ROM 064, Exeter, Devon FHS (2016). [Bampton Bapt: 1813-1838 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1814-1838; Bickleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1836 Bur: 1800-1837; Burlescombe Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1838 Bur: 1813-1837; Calverleigh Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1757-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Clayhanger Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1833 Bur: 1750-1852; Culmstock Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Halberton Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Hockworthy Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1759-1837 Bur: 1813-1838; Holcombe Rogus Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1844 Bur: 1813-1837; Huntsham Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1755-1836 Bur: 1750-1838; Loxbeare Bapt: 1813-1841 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1983; Morebath Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Petton Chapelry Bampton Parish Bapt: 1813-1839 Bur: 1813-1861; Sampford Peverell Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Tiverton St Peter Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Tiverton Cove Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1682-1837 Bur: 1815-1837; Uffculme Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1783-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Uplowman Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Washfield Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Willand Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837.]

Brown, Mike. 1754-1812 Burial Indexes: Bickleigh. RT66, Dartmoor Press (2000).

Brown, Mike. Heraldic and Genealogical Notes from Dartmoor Churches, Vol. 1: Bickleigh, Buckland Monachorum, Meavy, Sampford Spiney, Walkhampton. Dartmoor Press (1997)


Court Records

Register of Freeholders - Hartland & Hayridge c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D129). [Foreword]


Description & Travel

Section on Bickleigh from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

Barber, Chips. Bickleigh: a visitor's guide, Exeter, Obelisk Publications (1998) 16p: ill, maps. [ISBN: 189907371x]

Bowen, David. A Devonshire village, Devon Life, vol. 6, no. 43, (1969) pp.34-36; ill.

Elliot, John. Homes and gardens - Bickleigh Castle, Devon Life, vol. 9, no. 72, (1972) pp.22-24; ill.

You can see pictures of Bickleigh (Near Tiverton) which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Prideaux, F.B. Chudleigh and Chedderleigh, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 14, no. 5, (1927) pp.218-219. [Chedderlegh family: Chedderlegh/Chudderlegh is a manor in Bickleigh parish]



Brief history of Bickleigh Castle, from Wikipedia.

Henson, J. The Romance of Bickleigh. (1937) [Westcountry Studies Library]

Hussey, Christopher. Bickleigh Castle near Tiverton, Devon, London, Country Life (1939) [12]p: ill. [Reprinted from: Country Life, April 22 and 29, 1939] [Westcountry Studies Library: px728.81/BIC/BIC]

Reichel, O J. The hundred of Sulfretona or Hairidge in early times. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 42 (1910). [Index]

The story of Bickleigh Bridge on the Exeter and Tiverton road, [Bickleigh?], [Parish Council?] (1938) 5p: ill. p. [Westcountry Studies Library: p624.2/BIC/STO]



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS942071 (Lat/Lon: 50.853707, -3.504414), Bickleigh (Near Tiverton) which are provided by:



Howard, A.J. Lay subsidy roll: county of Devon 1524: Halberton hundred ...Bampton hundred...West Budleigh hundred...Hayridge hundred...Tiverton hundred, Typescript (1968). [D&CRS Library, Exeter: P1524]