"CLAWTON, a village and parish on the small river Claw, 4 miles S. by E. of Holsworthy, has 639 souls, and 5358 acres of land, mostly the property of Sir Wm. Molesworth, the lord of the manor of Affaland, formerly held by the Arscotts. The Church is an ancient fabric, with a tower and three bells, and the living is a perpetual curacy, valued at £75, in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev. Thos Melhuish, of Ashwater, who is also impropriator of the tithes, which were commuted in 1842 for £377. 18s. 9d. per annum. There is neither glebe nor parsonage. The Wesleyans and Bible Christians have chapels here. The poor have 28s. a year from several benefactions." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in the Archdeaconry of Totnes, and the Diocese of Exeter.



Harvey, H.H. History of Clawton. Paternoster Press, (1939). 94p.,plates: ill, geneal table,map; 25cm. BL YA.1987.b.2394

Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]



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

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

Harvey, H.H. St. Leonard's Church, Clawton. (1936) [Westcountry Studies Library]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1693 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1692, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1604, 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 1800-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1817-37 - see Holsworthy (PRO RG 4/1210)

The marriages from the Clawton Parish Registers (1612-1638, 1664-1682, 1697-1837) and the Christenings from the BTs ((1612-1837) have been transcribed into the IGI.

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.]

Harvey, Henry H., and Chope R. Pearse. Clawton wardens' accounts. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 13:6, (1925) pp.258-260. [See vol.14, p.67.]


Description & Travel

Section on Clawton from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Locki

You can see pictures of Clawton which are provided by:



Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.



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 Angela Wood, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs on fiche.)

Martyn, W.W. Notes on the family of Ley in Beer Ferrers. Western Antiquary 4, 1885, pp.112-24. [Raymond: Pedigree, 17-19th c., of Ley alias Kempthorne of Kempthorne in Devon, and Tonacombe, Morwenstow, Cornwall, 15-19th c.]



Index to a book on the history of Clawton (presumably Harvey), prepared by David Gilbert, Auckland, NZ.

Harvey, H.H. History of Clawton. Paternoster Press, (1939). 94p.,plates: ill, geneal table,map; 25cm. BL YA.1987.b.2394

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Clawton, Devon. Typescript (1963) 6 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX348992 (Lat/Lon: 50.768802, -4.344101), Clawton which are provided by:


Military History

Clawton War Memorial - transcribed by John Williams


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Day, W.I. Leeson. Parochial Registers of Poor Apprentices. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 22 (1942-46 pp.32-33.