Bishop Osbern and his Manor of Bishops Teignton

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), pp. 255-256.



Prepared by Michael Steer

Bishop Osbern was a relative of King Edward the Confessor as well as being a royal chaplain. He was one of those present at the consecration of Westminster Abbey at Christmas 1065. He was a steward for King William I of England during his reign, as well as being a friend of the king. The story that he became William's chancellor is based entirely on a charter that modern historians have declared mostly spurious. He became Bishop of Exeter in 1072, and was consecrated at St. Paul's in London on 27 May 1072 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lanfranc. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 235. BP. OSBERN AND HIS MANOR OF BISHOPS TEIGNTON. - In Vol. XIII., Trans. Dev. Assoc., is a most interesting paper on the grant by Edward the Confessor to his "worthy chaplain" Leofric of seven manses of land at Dawlish in 1044, and a map showing the boundaries of the estate. All know that Leofric became last Bishop of Crediton and first of Exeter, that he died in 1073, and it is believed was buried in that crypt of his church which afterwards became the Episcopal wine-cellar.

Bishops Teignton adjoins the above estate on the W., and it, Domesday says, belonged to Osbern, Bishop of Exeter (1084). How and when did Bishop Osbern become possessed of this manor? Does the charter exist which gave him the title? If so, where? The Revd. Dr. Oliver says: "Perhaps it (Bishops Teignton) was part of its endowment (i.e., of the See of Exeter) by Edward the Confessor."

In 1549 Edward VI recommended Bishop Voysey "to give and grant to Sir Andrew Dudley, Knight, the manors of Bishops Teignton, Radway and West Teignmouth."