Black Torrington


"TORRINGTON (BLACK), a parish in the hundred of BLACK TORRINGTON, county of DEVON, 5 miles (W. by N.) from Hatherleigh, containing 880 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £22. 8. 9., and in the patronage of Sir George Bampfylde, Bart. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. There is a place of worship for Baptists. The river Torridge runs through the parish." [From: A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, 1831]



Daw, Sir John E., (Ed.). John Daw 1760-1849, (1939) 68p; photos. [Westcountry Studies Library: s920/DAW]



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



Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]


Church History

Black Torrington - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1547 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Indexed transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1547, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1601, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

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

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Wesleyan Chapel, Brandis Corner: Registers for c1812-37 - see Holsworthy (PRO RG 4/1210)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1601-1837 Marriages 1547-1837. (These entries are based in part on Bishops' Transcripts.)

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Abbots Bickington, Ashwater, Black Torrington, Bradford, Bradworthy, Bridgerule, Clawton, Cookbury, Halwill, Hollacombe, Holsworthy, Luffincott, Milton Damerel, Pancrasweek, Pyworthy, Sutcombe, Tetcott, Thornbury, West Putford and Holsworthy Weslyan Burials. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Directory (1850), Kelly's Directory of Devonshire (1902) and A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis (1831), CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2014). [Abbots Bickington Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1770-1833 Bur: 1813-1837; Ashwater Bapt: 1813-1841 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Black Torrington Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Bradford Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1705-1837; Bradworthy Bapt: 1813-1838 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Bridgerule Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Clawton Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Cookbury Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1756-1837 Bur: 1813-1841; Halwill Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1843; Hollacombe Bapt: 1813-1898 Mar: 1757-1837 Bur: 1813-1852; Holsworthy Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1860 Bur: 1813-1837; Holsworthy Weslyan Bapt: 1812-1831; Luffincott Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1756-1837 Bur: 1814-1840; Milton Damerel Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1761-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Pancrasweek Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1756-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Pyworthy Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1837 Bur: 1813-1838; Sutcombe Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1800-1837; Tetcott Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1755-1836 Bur: 1813-1837; Thornbury Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1756-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; West Putford Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1838.]

Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Black Torrington, 1598-1641. Abstracts of the Existing Transcripts of the Lost Parish-Registers of Devon, 1596-1644, and short notes on the extant pre-reformation registers of all the parishes in the county, from particulars furnished by the several incumbents thereof. Vol. 1 A-Bra. Exeter: W. Pollard (1908). [Full text]


Court Records

Register of Freeholders - Axminster, Bampton & Black Torrington c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D125). [Foreword]


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Black Torrington which are provided by:



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



The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Judy Adams, who invites queries and lookup requests.

Ayre, Susan and Ayre, Derek. Just Who Are You? A Search with Unexpected Results - Part One, Devon Family Historian, vol. 165, (2018) pp.29-33. [Mary Cross/Martha Braund, b. 1837]

Ayre, Susan and Ayre, Derek. Just Who Are You? A Search with Unexpected Results - Part Two, Devon Family Historian, vol. 166, (2018) pp.7-10. [Mary Cross/Martha Braund, b. 1837]

Few, Janet. The Roots of the Tree: the Braunds of Black Torrington and Their Descendants, Braund Society (2002) 84 pp. [ISBN 978-0954045029]

Wemhof, John. James Balsdon - Black Torrington, Devonshire, Devon Family Historian, vol. 158, (2016) pp.26-32. [Details of his Army career with the Fourth or King's Own Regiment of Infantry (1799-1819)]



Matthews, Gerry. Black Torrington - The Second Millennium 1001-2000, Bideford, Lazarus Press (Edward Gaskell Publishers) (2004) 160 pp. [ISBN: 189854661-4]

Powell, Brenda. Untimely deaths in Black Torrington, Devon Family Historian, vol. 113, (Feb 2005) pp.32-36. [An analysis, based on parish registers and the 1841 and 1851 census]

Reichel, Oswald J. The hundred of Black Torrington in early times. Devonshire Association (1932) pp.187-243.

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Black Torrington, Devon. Typescript (1964) 8 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]


Land & Property

Agreement between Thomas Venton (of Bradford) and Christopher Braund (1791), transcribed by Adrian Parry.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS464057 (Lat/Lon: 50.830401, -4.182451), Black Torrington which are provided by:


Probate Records

Summary of the will of Michael Mallet (1636), provided by Mike Mallett.

Transcriptions of the wills of Lewis Hatherly (1837), John Venton (1709) and Margaret Ward (1850), provided by Sheila Howard.

Wills of Richard Page (1830), Edmund Paige (1854), and George Paige (1854), transcribed by Roy Drew.

Will of Anthony Cornish (1799), transcribed by David Davy.