THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS CONCERNING CHARITIES,
CONTAINING THAT PART WHICH RELATES TO THE COUNTY OF DEVON (3 VOLS.) - 1522-1872
T. Besley, Exeter (1826-30)
Transcribed by Brian Randell
Historical background and the Source (BES)
These three volumes provide very detailed accounts of investigations into the origins, and subsequent activities, of numerous Devon charities. The accounts are organised by Hundred, and within Hundred by Parish, and in many cases indicate or imply that a given charity originated from a bequest in a will.
In some cases little information is provided in these volumes other than the amount and purpose of a bequest. However they sometimes provide extensive information, naming numerous individuals, concerning the charitable bequests, and also about how these bequests have been disbursed, any ensuing court cases concerning them, etc. (On occasion such extracts often provide useful information about the testator's family.)
DWP's editing process
An entry is provided in our index whenever the bequest was by a will, and where the testator of that will was named. When the testator's parish of residence is not given, then the name of the parish receiving the bequest is inserted here instead, in square brackets; this adjustment is then noted in the 'Reference' column. (When several parishes are involved, all are noted in the 'Reference' column but just the one that appears to be the principal one is given in the 'Place' column.)
Many charities were set up by indentures or deeds, rather than wills; such charities are not listed in this index.
Locating the source and acquiring copies
Copies of these volumes are held in the Westcountry Studies Library in Exeter (now part of the Devon Heritage Centre), the Society of Genealogists, London, and at other major reference libraries, and Vols. 1 & 2 (bound together) and Vol. 3 are available online (in Google Books).