A Topographical Dictionary of England:

Comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns,
parishes, chapelries and townships, and the islands of Guernsey, Jersey and Man.
With historical and statistical descriptions.


Samuel Lewis

In 4 Volumes, Vol. 1, London: S Lewis & Co. (1831) maps, plans, xii, 572 pp.

Bovey Tracey section, page 217

Prepared by Michael Steer

Samuel Lewis was the editor and publisher of topographical dictionaries and maps of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The aim of the texts was to give in 'a condensed form', a faithful and impartial description of each place. The firm of Samuel Lewis and Co. was based in London. Samuel Lewis the elder died in 1865. His son of the same name predeceased him in 1862. Some of the spelling in the section on Bovey, for example Teingbridge and Totness is anachronistic. This rare and much sought-after book was produced digitally from a copy in the University of Michigan Library collection and can be downloaded from Google Books. 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

Bovey Tracey, a parish in the hundred of Teingbridge, County of Devon, 4 miles (W by S), from Chudleigh, containing 1685 inhabitants. The living is a Vicarage in the archdeaconry of Totness, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £26. 2. 1, and in the patronage of the Crown.

The church, dedicated to St Thomas à Becket, contains some interesting monuments. There are places of worship for Baptists and Weslyan Methodists. A charity school in which twenty four are instructed with about £40 per annum, arising from land purchased with the aggregate amount of various benefactions.

Bovey Tracey is under the superintendence of a portreeve and bailiff, the latter of whom is chosen at the court leet of the lord of the manor, and having filled the office of bailiff, is appointed at the expiration of the period, to that of portreeve.

Here are manufacturies of earthenware on an extensive scale. Indiho, once a priory and subsequently a private mansion, was in 1772 enlarged and converted into a manufactury,

Coal is obtained in this district, but it is of an inferior quality, and is divided into two species, distinguished as stone coal and wood coal, the latter thought to be composed of a fibrous vegetable substance presenting the appearance of charred wood. Antimony is also found to an inconsiderable extent.

Bovey Heathfield is an extensive tract lying below the level of the sea, by which it is supposed to have been formerly covered. A canal extends hence to the river Teign at Newton Abbot, a distance of five miles and a half, by means of which coal, sea sand and lime are brought hither, and Bovey coal and pipe and potter's clay are conveyed away. The Stover railway also passes in the vicinity.

A market and a fair were granted to the lord of the manor in 1259; and fairs for cattle are still held on Easter Monday, Holy Thursday, and the first Thursdays in July and November.