White's Devonshire Directory of 1850


Transcribed by Sheila Jones

(E-mail: sheila.jones[at]liverpool.ac[dot]uk)

COLYTON is a small market town, built chiefly of flint, on the western side of the small river Coly, about 3 miles north of the English Channel, 5 miles S.W. of Axminster, and 22 miles E. by N. of Exeter. Its parish increased its population from 1641 in 1801, to 2451 souls in 1841; and comprises about 8000 acres of fertile land, including the hamlets of Purlbridge, and Colyford, and many scattered houses. The parish rises boldly on the north to the hills, where the Coly and two of its tributary streams have their sources. It has a paper mill, a tannery, a brewery, a small foundry, and three corn mills, and formerly had a share of the woollen manufacture. The markets, held on Thursday and Saturday, are now of trivial consequence. Here are annaul cattle fairs on the Thursday after May 1st, and the Thursday after October 1s4th; and there is another on the Wednesday after March 11th at COLYFORD, now called a tithing, though an ancient borough with a portreeve, who is elected annually, and has the profit of the fair. Colyford was made a borough by the lord of the manor, before the reign of Edward I., and was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Gates, governor of Virginia, and discoverer of Bermuda, or Somers Island, in the reign of James I. During the early part of the civil wars, Colyton was held for the King by Lord Percy, who was driven out, in July, 1644, by the Parliamentarians from Lyme Regis. Petty Sessions are held at the Dolphin Inn, for the Axminster Division, on the first Tuesday of every month. The town has two good fire engines, and has lately been provided with several large water tanks. King John granted the town a fair, for eight days, about 1208; and the market is said to have been granted by Peter de Brewose, about 1342. Sir J.G.R. De La Pole, Bart., of Shute House, owns a great part of the parish, and is lord of the manor of Colyton, which was held by the Crown at Domesday survey, and was granted by Henry II. to Sir Alan de Dunstanville, whose son gave it to Sir Thomas Basset. It was afterwards held in shares, by the Pole, Courtenay, and other families, but the late Sir John De la Pole purchased the other shares in 1787. Sir E.M. Elton, Bart., John Sampson, Esq., Clifford Sherriff, Esq., Admiral Impey, of Coly Villa; Mr. Thos. Salter, Mr. H.D. Kingdon, Mrs. Spiller, Mr. Samuel White, and several smaller owners, have houses in the parish. Colcombe Castle, part of which is now a farm-house, was a seat of the Earls of Devon, and afterwards of the Pole family, but was dilapidated early in the 17th century. Yardbury, another ancient farm-house, was for some generations a seat of the Drakes. Colyton House is now unoccupied; but The Grove is the pleasant residence of Captain Liddon. The Church (St. Andrew,) is a fine ancient structure, in the perpendicular style, 120 feet long, with a tower in the centre, 95 feet high, containing a musical peal of six bells, and a good clock. In the chancel are several handsome monuments to the Pole and other families. One has effigies of Sir John and Lady Pole, who died in 1628. Under a fine niche, is the effigy of Margaret, daughter of the Earl of Devon, by Katherine, daughter of Edward IV. A fine stone screen, built in 1630, divides the nave and chancel. The aisles were rebuilt in 1765 and 1816. The east window was enriched with painted glass in 1829, and the west window now displays rich perpendicular tracery. The Dean and the Chapter of Exeter and appropriators of the great tithes, and patrons of the vicarage, valued in K.B. at £40. 10s. and 10d., and in 1831 at £510, with the perpetual curacies of Monkton and Shute annexed to it. The Rev. Frek. Barnes, D.D., is the incumbent, but resides at Oxford, where he is canon of Christ Church. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £372, and the rectorial for £584. 10s. Thomas Manton, a learned divine of the 17th century, was vicar here. There was anciently a free chapel at Colcombe; a chapel of St. Edmund, at Colyford; and a chapel at Whitford; the two former endowed by an Earl of Devon, and the latter by a Marquis of Exeter. There are also said to have been small chapels at Gatcombe and Leigh. Here is a Unitarian Chapel, which was built by Presbyterians about the middle of the 16th century; and Independent Chapel, erected in 1814, and enlarged in 1831; and also a Wesleyan Chapel.

Colyton Parish Lands, which have been vested for charitable and public uses with the feofees, or "Twenty Men of Colyton", since the time of Henry VIII., comprise 232A. 3R. 13P. of land, and nine houses, let at rents amounting to £221 per annum. This land was part of the forfeited estates of the Marquis of Exeter. The profits of the fairs and markets of Colyton belong to this trust, but are now let for only about £5 a year. All the expenses of bringing water to the town, and of repairing the shambles, &c., are paid by the feofees; and the rest of the clear income is distributed among the poor, except £30 a year paid to the master of the Free School, for instructing 20 boys in reading, writing , and arithmetic. The master has also the free use of a house and school-room, built in 1612. The dividends of £200 five per cent. stock, left by the Rev. James How, are applied towards the support of a Sunday school. For distributions in bread, the poor parishioners have a yearly rent-charge of £3, out of Rowlandsham, left by Thomas Holmes, in 1812. In the following DIRECTORY, those marked * are at Colyford, and the rest in Colyton, or where specified. The POST-OFFICE is at Mr. E.J. Tett's; and letters are despatched at 3 afternoon. via Axminster.

Cooper, George, paper maker
Cooper Rev James (Unitarian)
Cummin Mr Peter
Batsone Mr
Davy Cyrus, surveyor, Ridgeway
Dene Rev Arthur, curate, Vicarage
Edwards Thomas, brewer & maltster
Evans Brothers, tanners
Hamilton Rev Arthur Hayne, curate of Shute
Hancock Walter, solicitor
Hutchings John, hairdsr. & bookslr
Impey Admiral John, Coly Villa
Kingdon Harry Despencer, gent.
Liddon Capt. Matthew, R.N., Grove
Mayne Mrs R.
Matthews MrRs J.
Murch John, stone mason
Newman John, paper maker
Pady Rev J. (Independent)
Parris Thomas, veterinary surgeon
Pearce Geo Wm. revenue officer
Powell Capt. Geo. E., R.N., Cottage
Quick Mr Wm.
*Ralfe Mr Chas.
Richards James, cooper
Smith John, auctioneer & plumber
Snook Mr John
Northam Mrs
Spiller Mrs Sarah, Willhayne House
Stocker Capt. Thos., R.N., Ridgeway
Stocker Saml. tinner and brazier
Stokes Francis, tallow chandler
Tucker Mrs Mary
White Thos. currier and founder
White Wm. whitesmith
Atlas, Henry Seaward
Church of England, E.J. Tett
Globe, Wm. Skinner
Norwich Union, Joseph Spence
Royal Exchange, R.K. Miller
Sun, Henry D. Kingdon
Westminster, John Smith
West of England, Drower and Son
York, W.L. Gill
Braily John Dennis, Howberhayne
Dolling George, Haniford
Flood Daniel, Stowford
*Halse James
Kippy Thomas
Howe Wm.
Hutchings Wm.
Lane Robt. and Thos. Great House
Loveridge James, Colcombe
Newbery James
Newbery Wm.
Pady Thomas
Pavey Simon
Pearsey Wm.
Smith James
Salter Thomas, Gatcombe
Smith Wm.
Snell Wm.
Spiller Wm.
Underdown Jesse
Tillman Wm., Whitewell
White John, Yardbury
White John, Bonehayne
White Samuel, Road Green
Black Bear, John Smith
Dolphin Inn, Arthur Burdon
Stars, James Callender
*Swan, James North
*White Hart, George Griffin
(+ Boarding)
Langley Hy. H.
Miller Richard
Rockett Fanny
+Seaward Eliz.
+Stirling Donald Macnee (free)
+Tett Edw. John
Mills Samuel
Mitchell James
Marchant John A.
*Newbery Wm.
Salter Eli
Skinner John
Bull John
Edwardes Fras.
Strawbridge Geo.
Sweetland James
Tillman Charles
Tozer Edward
*Lake John
Richards Emnl.
*Richards James
Tillman Charles
Drower John
Facey John
Farmer James
French Wm.
Meech Joseph
Mitchell Thomas
Seaward Hy. (& parish clerk)
Snell Jacob
Sweetland James
Woram Wm.
*Boalch Jacob
Hardy Wm.
Hodge Henry
*Pady John
White George
White Robert
Hawkings George (& maltster)
Higgins Robert
Marchant John A.
Rogers Wm.H.H.
Sellers James
(+ Drapers only)
Brown John
+Drower John
Gill Wm. L.
Kittle Richard
+Smith John
+Spence Joseph
+Tucker Henry
Brown John
Miller Richd. K.
Kittle John
Skinner Wm.
Seaward Alfred
Woram Wm.
Bull John
Bussell Mary
Clegg James
Clegg Wm.
*Northcott John
Snell Samuel
Strawbridge John
Strawbridge Ths.
Gillett George
Snook Jno. Saml.
Abrahams James
Abrahams John
Crower Jno. & Son
Farmer Wm.
Woram John
West Matthew
Daniel Samuel
*Harner Wm.
*Richards Simon
*Richards S. jun
*Rowland John


To Axminster, S. Pinner, Tue. & Friday
To Exeter, W,. Copp & Philip Bull, Tue. & Fri
To Honiton, Pp. Bull, Sat

Brian Randell, 24 Aug 2002