The Hole Family of
Georgeham Parish Devon
A Brief History
Published by Georgeham PCC © 2001
Made available in GENUKI/Devon by kind permission of the author and the PCC
Investigating the Hole Family of Georgeham
When getting together various items for the local church history exhibition that was held during the summer of 2000, it was noted in the list of Georgeham Parish Rectors that there were five different incumbents named Reverend Hole. Between then they held office for many years, from the late part of the 18th century to the early part of the 20th Century. Several of the church plaques bear inscriptions to some of them and their relatives.
The history project team thought it would be a good idea to work out the genealogical relationships between these gentlemen, to find out how they became to be rectors and to research about as many other members of the family as possible.
The starting point was the information in St George's Church itself. Other sources included published histories of Georgeham by both Louise Lamplugh and Harry Balflour Stevenson. These two books cover some aspects of the Hole family but are far from complete. Other sources included two internet websites: LDS Family Search and Devon Genealogies. However both are incomplete and show some inaccuracies.
The best outside sources found include Baptisms, Birth, Death and Marriage records Georgeham Baptisms from 1840 are held in Georgeham. Births deaths and marriage records were centralised by Government from 1837, a very useful surname index is held in North Devon Records Office, but many original registers for North Devon are kept in the North Devon Records Office. It also has copies of the National Census for this area and a lot of useful information on the Hole Family was found in the 1841 to 1901 censuses.
North Devon Records Office have also microfilmed copies of The North Devon Journal and these are indeed by Location, Surname and Event type for much of the last half of the 19th Century. Several interesting articles on the Hole family were founding this archive. The North Devon Records Office also holds an archive of donated Historic Documents. These are indexed according to parish and surname. Several interesting documents about the Hole family have come to light from this source.
Finally following an article in the Western Morning News about the refurbishment of St Mary's Church Croyde, and the 2001 exhibition there, members of the Hole family living in South Devon who had seen this article contacted us, A great nephew of W.H.G. Hole, the last member of the Hole family to be Georgeham's Rector, had compiled genealogical records for his family going back several centuries, and he was able to give information to fill in some of the gaps in the family tree.
Church Memorial inscriptions
Starting with the Chichester memorial on the right side of the altar in St George's Church, there is mention of Anne Hole who died in 1780, aged 29 years. This memorial was erected in memory of William Chichester, Rector of Georgeham parish from 1750 to 1770 and his wife Mary:
Mary Chichester the wife of Revd. William Chichester MA Rector of this parish
who departed this life 5th September Anno Domini 1760 aged 33
William Chichester Brother of Sir John Chichester Bart.
died 24th August 1770 aged 48
The living of St George's church had been held by the baronets of the Chichester family of Youlston for many years, and may have come to them from the Newcourt family of Pickwell Manor. One quadrant of the Newcourt coat of arms in St George's Church Pickwell Chapel bears the Chichester crest. The memorial goes on to say;
Anne Chichester one of their surviving children and wife of Thomas Hole of Barnstaple Gent. died 16th December 1780 aged 29
Early Bright Transient Chaste as Morning Dew
She sparkled was exald and went to Heaven
For years but yield us Proof of Deaths Ambition
To call his victim from fairest field
And Sheath he shafts in all the pride of life
Ann Pilcher daughter of the above Ann Hole died 2nd March 1848
Aged 70 years
To the left of the altar is another memorial:
Near this place lie interred the remains of Elizabeth second wife of Thomas Hole
A woman equally qualified by the excellence of her understanding to improve society as by the cheerfulness of her temperament to enliven and by her beauty to adorn it. But preferring the pursuit of retirement to the admiration of the world she afforded an example to her acquaintance of all that is amiable and praiseworthy in private life
She died suddenly on the 4th day of January 1814 aged 42 years leaving a disconsolate husband and six children to cherish the remembrance of her virtue and lament their loss.
The remains of the said Thomas Hole for nearly 50 years resident rector of this parish likewise Rector of Ashton and one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace of the County of Devon died 11th October 1831 the 82nd year of his age
Rev Robert Hole son of above Thomas Hole
who died January 26th Anno Domini 1843 aged 43 years
There are several brass plaques in St George's Church dedicated to various members of the Hole family. These were placed in the church soon after the restoration in the 1870's
In affectionate memory of Major William Hole who died June 15th 1859
And of Elizabeth Hole his wife who died April 24th 1877
Major hole was patron of this living and elder brother of Rev Francis Hole MAS For 35 years Rector of Georgeham
This tablet was placed by their niece Sarah Anna Fursdon
A plaque to the right of the chancel reads:
In loving memory of Thomas Hole
Patron of this benefice Born 12th May 1841 died 17th May 1889
The youngest son of Francis Hole 35 years Rector of this parish
Through his munificence and by the benefaction of a relative this church
was restored AD 1876
He also partly built the chapel of St Mary Magdalene at Croyde
Erected by his sisters Caroline Dene and Sarah Ann Fursdon
An adjacent brass plaque reads:
To the glory of God and in loving memory of Georgiana Frances Fursdon
Born 23rd May 1865 Died 29th December 1911
The beloved elder daughter of Rev Walter Fursdon of Berrynabor
and Sarah Anna Fursdon his wjfe
Grand-daughter of George Sydenham Fursdon of Fursdon Devon
and also of the Rev Francis Hole Rector of this parish
This monument was erected by her devoted mother Sarah Anna Fursdon
and her only sister Florence Caroline Fursdon
A plaque by the pulpit says:
This Pulpit erected by
Mrs Edwin Crawshay Nee Charlotte Hole
in Affectionate memory of her dear parents 1876
Her parents were Rev. Francis Hole who died in 1866 and his wife Francis who died in 1880.
In Memory of Frances Hole
wife of Rev Francis Hole Rector of this parish
By her children and friends AD 1881
There was an organ dedication service in 1881, which was reported in The North Devon Journal.
The bible in the Pickwell Chapel is inscribed as follows:
This bible was presented by Caroline Dene to Georgeham Church in remembrance of her father The Reverend Francis Hole (Rector 1831-1866) and her brothers Rev Thomas Hole and Rev Francis Hole Rectors (1869-1871)
This bible was originally given to her husband Henry Dene by
Mrs Clevland of Tapley Park North Devon as a memento of her son and his great friend Archibald Clevland a colonel (or cornet?) in the 17th Lancers who after taking part in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava was killed at Inkerman on the 5th day of November 1854.
Pickwell Chapel Screen
Restored and re-erected July 1912
By Caroline Dene and Sarah Anna Fursdon
They were both daughters of Francis and Frances Hole
Church Window dedications
Some of the stained glass windows are dedicated to Hole family members.
1. Chancel South window
To the glory of god and in memory of George Chichester who died
20th March 1872
Erected by his widow Elizabeth Chichester
2. Altar window
3. Tower window
Thomas Hole 1750-1831 -Rector 1783-1831
Thomas Hole was the first member of the family to be rector and he held this post from 1783 until his death in 1831. He was born in 1750, the third son of lawyer Robert Hole and Penelope Incledon. He studied at St Mary's Hall Oxford and Peter House Cambridge. He married Ann Chichester in 1775. She was the daughter of William Chichester who was Rector 1750-1770. Sadly she died after only five years of marriage, but they had three children, Thomas, William, and Anne. The son Thomas died in 1830, aged 57, and left no children. William died in infancy. Anne lived for 70 years and was married to a Thomas Pitcher. Both Ann Hole and Anne Pilcher feature on the Chichester Memorial to the left of the right of the altar in St George's Church.
Thomas Hole married for a second time to Elizabeth possibly after he became Rector of Georgeham as their children were born from 1795 onwards. These were William, Francis, Robert and twins Henry & Mary. There is a memorial to Thomas and Elizabeth Hole to the left of the Altar in St George's Church This also mentions Rev. Robert Hole, their third son who was a priest in Tiverton. Henry died aged 14 years.
Thomas Hole, like his father Robert was originally trained as a lawyer. He combined his Church duties at Georgeham, Sherwell and Ashton Parishes, with being chief steward of the Chichester estates at Youlston and as local magistrate. The following obituary appeared in the local press for Thomas Hole.
North Devon Journal - Wednesday 12th October 1831
Rev. Thomas Hole
On Monday last at his parsonage home at Georgeham in the 82nd year of his age, Reverend Thomas Hole Rector of Georgeham and Ashton and one of the magistrates of the county: by whose death it may be said the poor have lost a kind and liberal friend and benefactor and his family, an indulgent and benevolent parent.
He left money in trust for the poor of Georgeham. Details of this are included on the large wooden notice on the ground floor room of the church tower behind the kitchen.
William Hole 1795-1859 - Church Patron
The eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth Hole, he was a Major in the Devon Artillery Militia. He later became a magistrate. His wife was named Elizabeth. There is a memorial to them above the vestry door of St George's Church. Their home was in Clare House, Tiverton. Patronage passed to his wife Elizabeth after he died. She died in 1877.
Francis Hole 1787-1866 - Rector 1831-1866
He was the next Rector after his father Thomas, having previously served as curate. He married Frances Spurway and they had eleven children. Nine children survived infancy, six were still alive at the time of his death and three outlived his wife Frances. Four of the daughters, Elizabeth, Caroline, Charlotte, and Sarah Anna were all married in St George's Church. Two sons, Francis and Thomas each held the office of Rector for a short period. Another son, William joined the army and was the father of the last member of the family to be rector. Francis Hole is mention on a memorial to his son Thomas situated in the chancel. The Church Organ, installed in 1881 is dedicated to his wife Frances who died in 1880 aged 83 years. She moved to Hillsborough Terrace, Ilfracombe after her husband's death. Francis & Frances Hole are buried together in North side of the churchyard.
Francis may not have been quite so benevolent as his father. There are several local press articles where he took legal actions. In 1851 he sued for damage to his cornfield by a local farmers stock, in 1857, Thomas Pedlar was prosecuted for stealing parts of oak trees from Middle Cross, which were owned by Rev. Francis Hole. Similarly John Mock was tried for stealing two roots of mangles. He also prosecuted a local farmer for using a riding wagon without reins. Francis Hole went to court on at least two occasions in 1854 and 1857 in attempts to reduce the Poor Law land taxes he had to pay.
Thomas Hole 1841-89 - Rector 1869, Patron 1877-1889
The youngest son of Francis Hole, he went to Exeter College Oxford, graduating in 1862. In 1863 he became curate in Bishops Teignton. Thomas became Rector of Georgeham in 1869, three years after the death of his father and shortly after marriage in 1868, but resigned in his first year of office. Correspondence from his aunt Elizabeth Hole, the then patron of the Church, shows displeasure at this event, suggesting that his new wife Ada, persuaded him to quit. However he retained his priest licence until 1874 and remained patron of the church until his death. He was responsible for much of the Victorian re-ordering of the church and contributed to the building costs of St Mary Magdalene Chapel in Croyde.
His sisters, Sarah-Anna, Charlotte and Caroline, also paid for some of the work in St George's Church as detailed in some of the church inscriptions. After resigning as rector, he lived in Hillsborough Terrace, Ilfracombe for several years and became honorary secretary of the local branch of the Temperance Society and president of the Liberal party there. He resigned the presidency in 1886 in protest of Mr Gladstone's proposals for Ireland. He is not listed as living in Ilfracombe or Georgeham in either the 1871 or 1881 census, but is mentioned in several editions of the County Guides for the mid 1870's. A letter to his solicitor at about that time suggests he was giving up a lease on rented property to go abroad. By the time of the 1881 census he and his family were living in Melcombe Regis in Dorset where he probably died.
Francis Hole 1824-1871 - Rector 1870-1871
He was the eldest son of Rev Francis Hole. He graduated from Magdalene Hall, Oxford in 1847, became a deacon in 1849 and a priest in 1851. In 1856 he became vicar of the parish of Broadhempston near Totnes. At the age of 46 years he followed his younger brother as rector of Georgeham, but only held office for two years before he died. He married to Mary Brooking in 1858. She died in 1874. The West Tower window is dedicated to them and they are buried in the North side of the churchyard next to his parents Francis & Frances Hole.
William Henry Hole 1827-1878
He was the second son of Rev. Francis Hole Senior. In 1856 he borrowed £700 from his father to purchase a commission as a lieutenant in the Saint Helena Regiment. This money was pledged against his share of an inheritance from his late uncle, Rev. Robert Hole's estate that was held in trust, shared with his brothers and sisters. He married Agnes Chadwick, daughter of Colonel Chadwick also of the St Helena regiment and they had three daughters and one son. William reached the rank of Captain, and later went to Australia, returning in 1867. Archived letters show that he visited Brisbane, Melbourne and Sidney. It seems he became short of money there obtaining credit from various hotels and persons he met. In one letter he offered to stay in Australia if an allowance could be arranged. The final correspondence from Australia said he had just enough to secure a steerage passage for £16 to sail on the SS. Great Britain, one of the first steam ships, from Melbourne to Liverpool, but had to borrow £5 for "necessities for the voyage", issuing another IOU note, which was forwarded by the creditor to the family solicitors in Devon. In writing to his mother he said he had become unwell in Australia and his doctor hoped the sea voyage would improve matters.
When he returned to England he took further mortgages against his property from his brother-in-law, Henry Dene, a Barnstaple Banker. Correspondence at the time spoke of his wife and children and there is no mention of them being with him in Australia. On returning he lived with his family in Coulston, South - Devon He died in 1878 in Newton Abbot.
William Henry George Francis Hole - 1859-34 Rector 1886-1913
He was the eldest son of Captain William Henry Hole and was born on St Helena about two years after his father joined the army. He studied at Pembroke College Oxford and was ordained in Truro in 1882, becoming curate in the Cornish parishes of St Teath, Camelford, 1882-84 and Lanteglos, 1884-86. In November 1886, just before becoming rector of Georgeham, he was married in St Matthew's church Bayswater, London, to Rose Elizabeth Arentina Baker-Carr, daughter of the late Rector of Lanteglos, Cornwall. A press report of the marriage mentions Mrs Hole, the Misses Hole and Mrs Presswell as guests. These are assumed to be his mother Agnes and two younger sisters Caroline and Charlotte. Mrs Presswell was his elder married sister Frances. The full press report is shown in Appendix III. Rev William Hole had a passion for hunting which was his undoing. He had a bad fall from a horse and it was thought he would die, but a London brain surgeon appeared to restore him to good order. However about a month later in church he stopped mid-sermon and went home. He was never the same again and resigned the living of Georgeham in May 1913 due to "permanent bodily infirmity." Under the 1871-1887 Incumbent's Resignation Acts, the living was transferred to the diocese of Exeter in return for a pension. The Church therefore paid subsequent rectors a salary.His wife took him and the youinger four children to Vancouver where they spent World War I. Later they returned to live in Tiverton. His wife died in 1922 and he went into residential care He died in 1934 in Tiverton, aged 75 years.
Rev. William Hole had five children, four of whom were baptized in St George's Church, but most seemed to have left the area.. The eldest child, George Francis was an RN commander in the 1914-18 war. After marrying Hilda Fisher from Tiverton, they moved to Australia. One of his daughters, Hilda married George Talbot in Uganda. His third child, Harry Carr Hole was born in 1898, was married three times. Harry had business in Kenya. He was widowed and married Margaret Esperience Bradden Douglas, also widowed, in St George's Church in 1943, but moved away soon afterwards. So ended the last link of the Hole Family with Georgeham.
The Seven Sisters of Georgeham
Reverend Francis Hole Senior and his wife Frances had 11 children, 7 of whom were daughters. All were born in Georgeham Rectory and later baptized in St George's Church. One of the daughters died in infancy, but the others all reached adulthood. Four of the sisters were married in the parish church.
She was christened on 13th December 1825. In 1849 Elizabeth married George Chichester, a lieutenant of the 49th Foot Regiment. He was a younger bother of Sir Arthur Chichester 8th Bart. of Youlston. George Chichester died in 1872 and Elizabeth paid for the north stained glassed window near the altar in St George's Church, in his memory. She was still alive in 1881 as she contributed to the church organ fund in memory of her mother
She was christened on 13th August 1828. She is listed in the 1851 census as being still single and living in Georgeham Rectory, although she also appears as staying in Ashford with a sister Elizabeth and her husband on census night. By the time of the 1881 census she was living in Plymouth and listed as married to John Triscott, an officer in the Ordnance Department who was thirteen years her junior. They had one son, John. Five older step-daughters and one stepson were living with John Triscott on census night with the surname Fox. All of these children were born in Plymouth. It is presumed that Frances married Mr Fox in the mid 1870's. Frances Triscott also contributed to the church organ fund in 181. By the time of the 1901 census Frances and John Triscott were living in Portsmouth and he was a retired Lieutenant Colonel.
She was christened on 18th February 1830. She married Henry Dene in 1855, a banker from Barnstaple and they lived in Ashford. The 1841 census lists Henry Dene, as an accountant living in Litchdon Street Barnstaple, aged 19 years. He became a trustee of Georgeham Parish. Caroline and her sister Sarah Anna paid for the 1912 restoration of the screen in front of the Pickwell chapel in St George's Church. She also donated the Bible there, dedicating it to her father and two brothers, all rectors of the parish. The bible had belonged to her husband and was given to him by Mrs Cleveland of Tapley Park, as a memento of his friend, her son, Archibald Cleveland of 17th Lancers who served in the Crimea. He had taken part in the Charge of the Light Brigade, but later died in the Battle of Inkerman in 1854. Henry Dene had died by the time of the 1881 Census, as Caroline is listed as head of the household. Caroline Dene signed the bible inscription in 1914, when she about 84 years old.
She was christened on 7th November 1831. She married Edwin Crawshay of Oaklands Park Gloucestershire in 1862. Edwin made periodic donations to the poor of Georgeham "in acknowledgment of his good fortune to be united in marriage to one of the lovely daughters of the respected rector, Rev. Francis Hole". (See Appendix II). Charlotte and Edwin paid for the new pulpit in St George's Church in the 1876 refurbishment. Both were still alive at the time of the 1881 census, Edwin Crawshay listed as being a J.P. and an iron and coal proprietor. They were living in Blaisdon, Gloucestershire and had four daughters and one son. Charlotte was not listed as one of the subscribers of the new organ installed at the end of 1881 so had possibly died.
Sarah Anna I
She was christened on 18th April 1833, but died in 1835.
Sarah Anna II
The next daughter was given the same name. She was born and baptized on 2nd March 1836. She was educated at a boarding school in Paignton. Sarah Anna married Rev. Walter Fursdon, son of George Sydenham Furs-don of Fursdon, Devon. He was Rector of St Peter's church Berrynabor, and also became a trustee of the living of St George's Church. They had two daughters, Florence and Georgiana. Florence died in 1911 and a memorial in St George's Church is dedicated to her, a similar memorial is in the church at Berrynabor. As well as sharing the cost of the Pickwell screen refurbishment with her sister Caroline, she erected brass plaques in the church in memory of her brother Rev Thomas Hole and uncle Major William Hole. Walter Fursdon died in 1876, while still Rector, aged 44 years. Sarah Anna died in 1913. The surviving daughter, Georgiana died a spinster in 1940, aged 74 years. All four members of the family are buried in St Peter's church, Berrynabor.
She was christened on 9th January 1838. Martha was still single and living in Georgeham rectory at the time of the 1861 census, then aged 23 years. At the time of the 1871 census she was living with her mother, Frances Hole, in Ilfracombe. In 1875 a contract was drawn up with other members of her family concerning property, later correspondence shows her to be living in London on £100 per year allowance, which she deemed to be insufficient, but the family would not increase it. It is believed she may have shared a house in London as a companion. She does not appear in later census for Devon and she is probably the sister whom Rev Frances hole mentioned in a letter to his solicitor as having died
1867 High Court Case - The disputed Living of Georgeham
Following the death of Rev. Francis Hole, Sir Arthur Chichester 8th Baronet and son of the 7th baronet claimed that the advowson (living) should not remain with the trustees of the Hole estate, but should revert to him. The Georgeham estates given to Thomas Hole yielded in excess of £700 per annum. A lengthy court case ensued, wherein Sir Arthur Chichester's lawyers claimed that Sir John Chichester, 6th Baronet intention was for the living to remain with the Hole family for one or two presentations only. They also doubted the legality of the 1808 deed of conveyance suggesting that it was not properly witnessed and that there were several alterations to the document. The trustees to the Georgeharn living were at this time Henry Dene and Walter Fursdon, sons-in law of the late Rev Francis Hole. It appears that they as plaintiffs brought the court case against the defendant Sir Arthur Chichester as he was blocking appointment of a new rector to the living, which had been vacant for several months.
Thomas Hole's first occupation was as a lawyer but in 1780 he took holy orders and in 1783 was presented to the living of Georgeham parish by Sir John Chichester, 5th Baronet of Youlston. The living had been with the gift of the Chichester family for many years. Thomas Hole became rector of Georgeham 13 years after the death of his father-in-law, William Chichester, who was the younger brother of Sir John and had been rector 1750-1770. Sir John Chichester died in 1784 and was succeeded by his son Sir John Chichester, 6th Baronet. Thomas Hole was a close associate of the new Baronet and even combined estate duties at Youlston where he was chief steward, with parish duties at Georgeham. Sir John Chichester wrote a deed in 1808 in which he transferred the living to Thomas Hole forever. In addition, in his will he left £5,000 to Thomas and £1,000 for the two surviving children of Thomas Hole's first marriage to Ann Chichester. Sir John Chichester died in 1818, and as he had no children, his estate passed to his brother Sir Arthur Chichester who became 7th Baronet. On the death of Rev. Thomas Hole in 1831, trustees of the living appointed Francis Hole, a son of Thomas Hole's second marriage, to the living. Francis Hole remained as rector of Georgeham until his death in 1866.
All the witnesses and parties to the 1808 deed were by now dead, but lawyers of the Hole family were able to prove that the witnesses signatures were genuine by comparing with other contemporary documents, and that he circumstances of the transfer proper. The judge ruled that Sir Arthur Chichester had no case in law and instructed the jury to find for the plaintiffs. The Trustees were therefore able to appoint the next incumbent William Loveband, who was rector until early 1869, when he moved to West Down. The youngest son of Francis Hole, Thomas, (Thomas Hole's grandson), had been ordained in 1863 and was serving as accurate at another parish. It appears that once he married, the Living of Georgeham passed on to him. A report on the court case is shown in Appendix I.
Appendix I NORTH DEVON JOURNAL 14th MARCH 1867
NISI PRUIS - WEDNESDAY (Before the Lord Chief Baron)
IMPORTANT ACTION -- CLAIM TO THE LIVING OF GEORGEHAM
HENRY DENE AND ANOTHER v. CHICHESTER, BART
The plaintiffs in the action claimed the advowson in fee of the living of Georgeham, and the defendant denied the right of the plaintiffs to the advowson.
Mr. Coleridge, Q.C., Mr. Cole, Q.C., and Mr. Lopes were counsel for the plaintiffs and the defendants were represented by Mr. Kingdon, Q.C., Mr. Pinder and Mr. Pinkett. - Attorneys for plaintiffs, Messrs. Chanter and Finch; attorney for defendant, Mr. Hooper Law.
Mr. Cole having opened the pleadings, which were of a rather complicated nature, Mr. Coleridge addressed the Court as follows: - Gentlemen of the jury, - This is an action brought to enquire into the right to the advowson of the living of Georgeham, in the North of Devon, Mr. Henry Dene and the Rev. Walter Fursdon being the plaintiffs and Sir Arthur Chichester, Bart. and the Lord Bishop of Exeter, the defendants, The plaintiffs are trustees under the will of Thomas Hole, a clergyman who was himself incumbent of Georgeham for many years, and who, as we assert was also the owner of the advowson of the living; and the real defendant is Sir Arthur Chichester, the eighth baronet of the creation, the Bishop of the diocese being merely a party to these proceedings for the purpose of preventing a lapse in the living. The living would have lapsed after it had been vacant for six months had not the bishop been made a party to the suit, and only on that ground is he associated with the other defendant; therefore, so far as the question between the plaintiffs and defendant is concerned his lordship may be dismissed from your further consideration. The point which now arises for your consideration is whether the plaintiffs, the trustees of Thomas Hole's will, are the true patrons of the living or whether Sir Arthur Chichester is true patron. Thomas Hole, the person under whose will we claim, was in early life an attorney, and he married a niece of Sir John Chichester, the fifth baronet of the creation. In 1780 he took holy orders, and in 1783, he being the first cousin by marriage of the then baronet, was presented by Sir John Chichester to the living of Georgeham. In 1784 Sir John Chichester died, and was succeeded by his son, another Sir John Chichester, who was the sixth baronet, and he became seined under the limitation of the Chichester property of the advowson of the living of Georgeham. He was the only child of the last Sir John Chichester, and he became the owner of the whole property; it was in fact an entail male, with remaining to his heirs, and that, according to a well known rule, familiar to us lawyers though probably not so familiar to you, made him tenant in fee of the property. Well, there was a conveyance made from Sir John Chichester, sixth baronet, to Mr. Hole of the advowson under circumstances of this nature, - that he was to be tenant as long as he lived, and on his death without doubt the deed would operate as a conveyance in law of the advowson to Mr. Thomas Hole, his relatives by suffrage. The sixth baronet succeeded to the property in 1784. Thomas Hole became incumbent in 1783, having taken holy orders shortly before, and that Sir John Chichester remained in possession of the property, and was on intimate terms with Mr. Hole and Mr. Hole's family, down to the year 1808. In that year Sir John Chichester, the sixth baronet died, I believe in the month of September or October. Earlier in that year, - about May or June - he made a number of testamentary dispositions and drew out a long and elaborate will. From some accident or other - how it was I don't know - the regular will was never executed or admitted to probate; but the short testamentary dispositions were properly executed and attested and duly admitted to probate; and it will be necessary for me to call to your attention, for the purpose of this action, to one or two of them. Four of these dispositions were admitted to probate, and among other matters it will be important to draw your attention to this fact that in one of them a sum of £5,000 was bequeathed to the Rev. Thomas Hole, of Georgeham, and £1,000 to Thomas Hole, son of the Rev. Thomas Hole, and "to my servant Robert Bellringer, the sum of £700". This is signed by Sir John Chichester, on the 27th of May 1808. Then there are two other testamentary dispositions in which he makes a gift of the same: "To the Rev. Thomas Hole of Georgeham, £5,000, to Thomas Hole, son of the above, £1,000, and to Mrs. Pritchard, daughter of the said Thomas Hole, £1,000;" from which you will see the baronet makes Thomas Hole and his children the objects of his bounty, showing an amount of intimacy and affection between the members of the Hole family and the members of the Chichester family, which it is important for you to bear in mind. That was the case in May 1808. Now on the 18th of March of that year, about two months before the making of these testamentary depositions, Sir John Chichester made a grant of the advowson of the living of Georgeham, in fee, to the then incumbent, the Rev. Thomas Hole. This being a very important document in the case and not a very long one, I will read it to you. [The learned counsel read the document], It was an indenture made on the 19th March 1808, in the 48th year of the reign of George III between Sir John Chichester of Youlston, Bart., of the one part, and Thomas Hole, Georgeham, clerk of holy orders of the other; and it set forth that for divers good causes and considerations, and in consideration of 5s. of lawful money being paid by the said Thomas Hole to the said Sir John Chichester, he "bargained, sold, and conveyed to the said Thomas Hole and his heirs, and assigns for ever, all the advowson, right of patronage, and presentation to the living, together with all the glebes, tenements, donations" &c., of the living of Georgeham - you will thus see, remarked this learned counsel, that there is an actual conveyance of the living, a more simple act of possession it is impossible to conceive. [The covenant went on to say in an attestation clause that several erasures and interlineations had been made, which were separately set forth, in the presence of Robert Bellringer and John Vinson, attesting witnesses.] It is clear, Mr. Coleridge went on to say, that there were erasures in the deeds, and I am bounds to say in very important parts, for the words "heirs" and "convey" are most material words in law; and if the knowledge of the fact of the existence of the attesting clause was not at first conveyed to the mind of Sir Arthur Chichester, the defendant, I don't at all wonder that he made enquiries to see if all was right; but here is a clearly-worded attestation clause pointing out that alterations have been made, and pointing out specifically line by line and word by word the various erasures and interlineations witnessed by Jas. Vinson and Robert Bellringer. This is the deed and attestation clause on which we say that the advowson of Georgeham living passed. Now gentlemen, it is important for us to see what Sir Arthur Chichester's view of this matter at present is, though I might content myself with standing on the deed and on the deed alone. There is the deed, with attestation clause, there is the handwriting of Robert Bellringer, the confidential servant of Sir John Chichester, to whom he left £700 by an undoubted bequest, -and there is also the handwriting of James Vinson; and this being so I might put Sir Arthur Chichester to the trouble to state upon what grounds he resists the action, but it will be fairer to the honourable baronet as he has furnished me with a list of his objections to state to you what they are and how I propose to answer them. When the action was brought, Sir Arthur Chichester was manifestly anxious to see this deed, and I don't wonder that he was most desirous of seeing the title of the advowson for which he was contending; however, he was refused permission to do so, and if any fault is to be laid on anyone for that absolute refusal I think it only proper that the right person should bear this burden, therefore, I will frankly tell you that that person was myself I was consulted by the solicitors for the plaintiffs, and on my advice they strenuously objected to the production of the title deeds under any circumstances whatever; and the advice I shall always give on such matters will be "Don't show your title deeds to anyone unless you are absolutely obliged." They may be perfectly good, but you may be putting them into the hands of ingenious people, who may discover flaws which really have no existence. That Sir Arthur Chichester was extremely anxious to see this deed there is no doubt, for he made an affidavit before a Judge in Chambers to the effect that he was the defendant in the action, - that he had just cause to defend action as being the eldest son and heir-at-law of his father, - that the advowson, the subject matter of the action had for several centuries formed part of the property and estates of his ancestors, - and among other things that no children survived Mrs. Hole, the niece of Sir John Chichester. Now, I am quite sure that Sir Arthur Chichester would not depose to what was incorrect, but I shall show that he is in error on this point. For I shall prove that Mrs. Hole - who was Miss Chichester -left two children, one of whom was alive as late as 1830. In his affidavit, Sir Arthur Chichester further alleged that the deed of 1808 was made without any consideration whatever, - that it was not known or heard until after the death of Thomas Hole, in 1831, to any member of his family and that such concealment formed a very strong ground for suspicion. Now, I must pause here for a moment. Sir Arthur is here speaking of gentlemen, who, if not his equal in rank, are at least his equals in birth and position, and he actually imputes something which is exceedingly discreditable to those connected with Mr. Hole, and talks of "the long concealment" from 1808 to 1831. Look at the circumstances of the case. Thomas Hole was instituted to the living in 1783 and continued to enjoy the incumbency up to the year 1831. In 1808, his intimate friend and connection by marriage presents him with the advowson as well as the presentation. He puts the deed among the title deeds and continues to hold the living until 1831, and because he does not send a copy of the document to the Times of the day or advertise it in the Woolmer's of the day, he is spoken of as concealing his title. Gentlemen, I am perfectly at a loss to understand the meaning of this. If any one of you have an estate conveyed to you do you think it necessary when you put the deeds into your box to advertise them to the world and say, "Here they are, you may come and pick them to pieces if you like." I am certainly astonished at a person in Sir Arthur Chichester's position making such an assertion. Well, Sir Arthur went on to allege in his affidavit that the deed did not purport to be witnessed by John Williams, "who I am informed, was the solicitor and confidential friend of Sir John, but by two men whose names are unknown to me by repute or otherwise." Gentlemen, I say that Sir Arthur must entirely have believed that when he swore it, but I must also add that I think he is very badly instructed by his legal adviser, for by going to the bishop's registry he might have found an attested copy of the deed, and by going to Doctor's Commons and looking at the testamentary disposition of 1808 he might have seen that Robert Bellringer, the confidential servant was legatee.
Mr. Kingdon said it was impossible that they could have seen this at the Registry office of the Bishop, because the name was there entered as "James Bellringer.
Mr. Coleridge continued: - It was a pity when they might have gone to the Registry for the legal advisers of Sir Arthur to have instructed him to swear in this way, which of course imputes all kinds of discreditable things to the persons who are interested in the deeds, besides saying that the witnesses to them are unknown "either by repute or otherwise". But Sir Arthur goes on to say: "I am informed and believe that the said Thomas Hole by a will dated 4th May 1823, devised it to certain trustees and that by virtue of that deed, Francis Hole was inducted to the living on the 29"' November 1831." At all events Sir Arthur Chichester was aware that a presentation was made of this very living by a Hole and not by a Chichester in 1831 because he states that on the nomination of the trustees of Thos. Hole, Francis Hole was inducted to the living of Georgeham. Sir Arthur goes on to say: "On that occasion an attested copy of the deed was used, but I can't find anyone has seen this alleged deed," and added that as the deed of 1808 contained erasures, this might invalidate the title. My learned friend said that they could not have referred to the attested copy in the Registry, but he says it was "James" and not "Robert" Bellringer, who was the witness to the deed, and therefore shows by his own confession that the defendant knew that there was an attestation clause purporting to be made in the deed which had the ensures to it, and that they knew it in 1831 when, as I shall show you, Vinson, Williams and Bellringer were still alive, and when the whole circumstances connected with this transaction, if there was a shadow of doubt about them, might have been inquired into in the presence of living witnesses, - persons who were acquainted with all the facts and could have been called before any court before which the matter was then in litigation to give a viva voce narration of the circumstances.
Well then, in 1831, they had their attention drawn to the erasures in the deed, yet they took no action but waited until 1867 when all three witnesses were dead; and they now say "We call upon you to explain all the circumstances which took place in 1808." But Sir Arthur Chichester urged further "The fact of the erasures having been made, the secrecy of the transaction, and the absence of any consideration for the alleged grant, and the other circumstances above set forth, have led me to believe that the deed as originally drawn and executed by Sir John Chichester conveyed to the said Thomas Hole the next presentation only, not the advowson in fee of Georgeham." Let us look at one point - the absence of any consideration. Why, the man who makes him a present of £7,000 a few month before might well make him a present of the living he had instituted him to a year or two previously! What the "other circumstances" alluded to by Sir Arthur are, I cannot tell "I am advised" continued the hon. Baronet, "that it is necessary in order to my being able to support the defence that I should have the alleged deed of the 19k" March 1808, produced for my inspection. I believe that the alleged deed if in existence, is in the hands of the plaintiffs." Mr. Hooper Law, the attorney for the defendant, did make an application to Messrs. Chanter and Finch, the plaintiffs' attorneys, and as I stated to you just now, acting on my advice they positively refused to allow Sir Arthur to inspect it. On 2nd February, the affidavit, to which I have been drawing your attention, was made, and the objections which Sir Arthur was instructed to make to the deed were, in substance, these: there are erasures, - I have reason to believe that the erasures have turned a demise of the next presentation into a grant of advowson in fee, - the deed was prepared secretly, - Mr. Williams, the confidential friend and attorney of Sir John Chichester, had nothing to do with it; the attesting witnesses are persons totally unknown to me, - the whole deed wears an aspect of the worse possible suspicion, - and on these grounds I seek to impeach the deed. Now I will take the objections one by one, and I will undertake - I hope to the satisfaction of Sir Arthur Chichester, and my learned friend - to show you that there is not a pretence or even a shadow of pretence for any one of them. I shall show you that the deed was actually made by Williams, that the alterations were in the handwriting of Williams (we have the original draft), - that Robert Bellringer's signature is a genuine signature, - that Vinson was another servant in the employ of Sir John Chichester, and that he and Bellringer did beyond all question attest the deed; and, further, that Williams the attorney, charged Mr. Hole in a bill in his own handwriting (which shall be produced before you) and as far as I know was paid, for this very drawing of the grant of advowson of Georgeham in 1831. And one thing more; William Scott, in whose handwriting is the engrossment of the deed, was the confidential clerk and friend of Williams, who was the solicitor of Sir John Chichester, and a relation shall be called to prove that the deed is in his handwriting from beginning to end, It appears that the deed as originally drawn was a grant of the advowson for a thousand years.
Mr. Kingdon: - The deed will speak for itself I would submit my lord, that we have nothing to do with the details of the former deed which was superseded by the one under consideration.
The Lord Chief Baron: - There is no reason Mr. Kingdon why Mr. Coleridge should not state collateral facts which he conceives necessary to explain any portion of his case.
Mr. Coleridge: - does Mr. Kingdon mean to say that after giving notice of a number of objections I am not to meet them?
The Lord Chief Baron (to Mr. Kingdon): You had better abstain from any comment until you have heard what Mr. Coleridge has to advance. If you did not impeach the deed as other than genuine, your observations would be very apposite and should receive attention, but if the genuineness of the deed be questioned on the part of the defendant, all the surrounding circumstances, - everything touching the draft preparation of the deed, any copies of signatures, or in fact anything connected with the deed, may become extremely material in the question to be submitted to the jury.
Mr. Coleridge: - Really, I never heard of such a thing in my life, - that the counsel of Sir Arthur Chichester, eighth baronet, are to come forward and make a number of objections, which I am not to be allowed to answer!
Mr. Kingdon: - We don't impeach the deed, but on the contrary, rely upon it as part of our title; therefore I think my learned friend is rather premature in his observations. All we may say is that the grant of the advowson was not in fee, but for the next presentation only.
The Lord Chief Baron: - That is impeaching the deed!
Mr. Kingdon: With great submission, my lord, I think not.
The Lord Chief Baron: - Do you mean simply the legal effect of the deed.
Mr. Kingdon: - I say that the grant is only on the next presentation, I do not impeach the deed.
Mr. Coleridge: - But Sir Arthur has impeached it in his affidavit.
The Lord Chief Baron: - All I wish to say is that it is a pity to go into such a long enquiry if the genuineness of the deed is not impeached. If you contend that it is not a legal conveyance, of course the case must proceed.
Mr. Kingdon: - After what has fallen from Mr. Coleridge, my lord, we would rather pursue our own course.
Mr. Coleridge: - I must say, my lord, I don't understand this. As to this not being the conveyance in fee of the advowson, I would first say that the erasures throughout are consistent with the demise for years - that is, the grant of the advowson for a thousand years - having been altered into a grant of the fee, but they are not consistent with the alteration of the gift of the presentation merely into a gift of the advowson; and I will tell you why' Throughout the deed the description of the subject matter of the conveyance is, in no single instance, written over by erasure. What we call the habendum - that is the time for which it is to be held - the change into fee that is written on an erasure. The original document being a grant for a thousand years wherever the word "demise" would have occurred, or the words "a thousand years", you find an alteration, but in no single instance will you find the subject matter of the conveyance - the advowson - altered. That is a very important mater for you to consider. Secondly, I have read you what Sir Arthur Chichester says about the absence of Williams as attesting witness. Now, we have here, and it shall be put before you, the original grant of the living of Georgeham: it is a "demise of the living for 1000 years". It is in the handwriting of Win. Scoff, his initials "W.S." being placed at the bottom, as I shall show you also in his handwriting. It is altered from "demise of the advowson of Georgeham for a thousand years" to grant of the advowson of Georgeham," -"demise" is changed to grant and the words "thousand years" are struck out. And more than this. I will show you that the alteration in William Scott's draft to make it correspond with the engrossing and that Mr. Williams might have the draft in the same condition in which the actual deed itself was after the alterations, were in Williams own handwriting. Now Sir Arthur says that it is a circumstance of remarkable suspicion that Williams, Sir John Chichester's confidential adviser and friend did not attest the deed, - I shall prove that he himself drew it up by his clerk, and altered it in his own handwriting. I will show you a quantity of Scott's handwriting, and independent people having nothing to do with either the Chichesters or Holes will be able to identify it; and I shall also call before you Mr. Chabot, an expert, who will give you his opinion on the matter. I shall show you that the bill for making this deed was in Mr. William's own handwriting, for it seems to have been sent to the attorney of Mr. Hole, and is in the possession of his successors. Sir John Chichester's signature shall be most clearly proved as genuine and any notions as to an erasure of the name put out of question. Robert Bell-ringer and James Vinson are both dead, but if this question had been raised in 1831 their evidence would have been available. Bellringer, as I have already said, was a confidential friend of Sir John. Now there is happily a very old lady still alive, though on the verge of the grave, a Mrs. Mary Taylor, who was a servant at Youlston in Sir John Chichester's family in 1808; and as she is over ninety years of age and too feeble to take a journey she has been examined under commission. Robert Bellringer was at this old lady's wedding, and we shall produce Robert Bellringer's attesting signature to Mrs Taylor's marriage lines. By a singular coincidence he signed the certificate and the deed both in the same year, and you will therefore, be able to judge for yourselves as to the identity of the signatures. I will read to you the depositions of Mrs. Taylor. [The learned counsel here read the document, which was of some length. In the course of the examination the old lady stated that Mr. Hole, of Georgeham, the minister of the parish, was head steward of Sir John; on which fact Mr. Coleridge remarked that the line of demarcation between secular and religious pursuits was not so well defined then. It would seem that Mr. Hole used to devote Friday and Saturday in each week to the supervision of the estate, returning to his clerical duties on the Sunday; and the learned counsel said it was a matter of curiosity to notice that the deed in question was dated on a Saturday. The old lady went on to depose that Robert Bellringer was the only manservant in the house. She was married at Sherwill, and Mr. and Mrs. Bellringer were at her wedding. Robert Bellringer gave her away, and signed the register of her marriage, On Mr. Beardon' s producing the register she said that the name pointed out to her was her signature, and she could positively swear that she saw Robert Bellringer affix his signature under her own. Bellringer was almost always with Sir John Chichester; he was very fond of him latterly.] Mr. Coleridge continued: We have had photographs taken of the register of the parish of Sherwill and you will be able to compare the signature with that on the deed. As to the other attesting witness, James Vinson, it so happens that we can produce several witnesses, who knew him, - Mr. Jones, an attorney, of Llandover, in Wales; Mr. Vinson from Moorwinstow, in Cornwall, and others, who will be able to speak to the genuineness of his signature.
Mr Kingdon: - We will not for a moment dispute that they are the actual signatures.
Mr. Coleridge: - I did mention just now one other mistake made by Sir Arthur, viz.: that Miss Chichester died without issue, but as I told you just now two of her children were alive as late as 1830. Then it is said by Sir Arthur that there was no consideration, and I would rather not say more on that subject than this, that in the legal sense of "consideration," namely that there was no money passed, Sir Arthur was quite warranted in making the statement. I desire to avoid using any objectionable expressions, and will, only add that there are reasons, which Sir Arthur will understand, why it might be very desirable that at the time the living should be given to Mr. Hole: at all events, Mr. Hole was Sir John Chichester's first cousin by marriage, and apparently his confidential and intimate friend. It is also incorrect to say that the deed has never been seen till now, because unless I am misinformed the gentleman who instructs me (Mr. Ffinch) was told by the gentleman who instructs my learned friend (Mr. Law) that the deed had been seen in 1831, and he adduced that fact as a reason why no objection should be raised to its being seen now, There is only one other matter in the defendant's case. Sir Arthur says that the conclusion of the plea that his father, Sir Arthur, "became seised of the advowson in fee subject to the grant of the next voidance thereof aforesaid," and that on the 26th of March 1839, he gave the advowson to his son, the defendant, "to have and to hold the same." Of course I would not wish to hold Sir Arthur liable for the plea on the record, but if his lawyer meant by that to lead us to the inference that his father, the late Sir Arthur had dealt with this in his will, all I can say is, they must have read some other testament, or if they wish altogether to mislead us; because I have here the will of Sir Arthur, proved in August 1842, and it is a will that deals with nothing at all specifically, except the next presentation to the living of Sherwill. My friend may say, supposing the advowson to belong to Sir Arthur Chichester's father it would pass under the grant of all his estate to the defendant, but it was an uncommonly misleading statement if it meant anything more than that. If my learned friend meant to say that there was anything in the Chichester documents relating to the advowson, it is entirely without foundation, - in the will there is no mention of it. Sir Arthur says "he bequeathed it to me by name," but there is nothing of the sort in the will. Having disposed of all the points, I will just repeat that in 1831, those erasures were perfectly well known. There was an attested copy in the bishop's registry which must have been used on the presentation of Francis Hole to the living; therefore there was the fullest notice to all concerned, and if Sir Arthur Chichester had been interested in disputing the matter he might have gone and seen the attesting copy, having had his attention drawn to the matter of the erasure, - there were living witnesses to explain it all, and he might have brought an action to recover possession.
Mr. Kingdon: - The attested copy was first seen two or three days ago. On being searched for at the Registry it could not be found.
Mr. Coleridge: - Then I am more astonished than ever at the way in which the affidavit was put before Sir Arthur to swear. If the advisers of Sir Arthur Chichester instructed him to swear that there were certain erasures referred to in the attested copy which he had never seen, all I can say is they took a liberty with the hon. Baronet which I should not like myself to take. So much then, for the case of the defendant. The case on the part of the plaintiff is shortly this. The will of Thomas Hole was made on the 4th of May 1823, and in April 1830, Thomas Hole, the son died without issue. On the 10th of October 1831, Thomas Hole, the testator and original incumbent and grantee of the advowson died, Thomas Harding, one of the trustees, having died before him. On the 4~" November 1831, Williams, the surviving trustee, presented Francis Hole, and in July 1842, Williams died without issue. On the 19th January 1843, Robert Hole died without issue. On the 8th of November 1864, new trustees were appointed by the Court of the Chancery. The learned counsel concluded: - I hope that now all these matters have been explained that Sir Arthur Chichester will not only be satisfied about the deed, but as to all the attending circumstances.
Mr. Cole then put in the deed.
Mr. Kingdon: - I suppose my learned friend will hardly dispute that Sir Arthur Chichester is heir-at-law.
Mr. Coleridge: - I have admitted it already. I have opened my case but my learned friend won't tell me what he disputes. I will admit that if the advowson did not pass by the deed it is now vested in the grantor of the deed.
The Lord Chief Baron: - I understand that the present defendant is heir-at-law to the real estate of 1808.
Mr Coleridge: - Yes my lord, the defendant is great nephew of Sir John Chichester. (To Mr. Kingdon). Will you admit that Sir John Chichester died without issue?
Mr. Kingdon: - Yes.
The Lord Chief Baron: - I must call on you, Mr. Kingdon to state what course you intend to adopt, and I do this, first for the purpose of the justice of this case being met, but, secondly, to economize the public time. I understand that you admit the genuineness of the deed, and that it was executed by the parties purporting to have attested it. If you have anything else to raise, I shall call on you at once to indicate the points at issue.
Mr. Kingdon:- I should state on behalf of Sir Arthur that he has from the first said that if the plaintiffs would produce this deed and his legal advisers were satisfied on perusal of its genuineness and that it conveyed the advowson in fee, he would at once withdraw from the contest. He had used every means in his power to obtain a sight of it, but had failed. I should now like Sir Arthur to examine it.
The Lord Chief Baron: - I will just say, if my opinion is worth anything, that under such circumstances, I think Sir Arthur Chichester was perfectly justified in desiring and requesting to be permitted to look at the deed. I am far from saying that the plaintiffs, who are trustees only, were not justified in refusing that request, but the deed being now before you I am sure there will be no objection to its being handed to Sir Arthur instantaneously that he may look over it; and in looking over it, after having heard the opening speech of Mr. Coleridge, he thinks it cannot successfully be impeached he will I am sure withdraw from further contest.
Mr. Kingdon: - That would only leave a point of law as to the construction of the deed.
The Lord Chief Baron: - Exactly; and I will either determine it here or enable either party to make an application to the court above.
[The deed was here handed to Sir Arthur, who examined it]
Mr. Kingdon: - However peculiar the deed may be, it is over 60 years old. The attesting witnesses are dead; all the erasures are distinctly set forth in the attestation clause, and I could not therefore, properly ask the jury at this lapse of time to say that it is invalid. Certainly it is a very peculiar document, and justifies a most careful examination, but on the construction of this deed I will take opinion from your lordship. I have no objection to admit that the deed is genuine reserving the point I have raised, viz, that it was only intended to convey the next presentation to the living.
Mr. Coleridge - I can't withdraw, my lord, on that ground, for you see how peculiarly my learned friend words his admission. He does not think that after such a lapse of time he could impugn the genuineness of this very suspicious deed; but it is rather hard when I have means of proving the genuineness of the signatures that this should be said.
The Lord Chief Baron thought Mr. Coleridge had better allow Mr. Kingdon to address the Court, he would then have the right of reply.
Mr. Kingdon then said: - May it please your lordship, - Gentlemen of the jury, - My learned friend, Mr. Coleridge, has addressed you in this case in a manner which I think he would not have done had he been properly instructed by those who sit behind him, because he has cast aspersions broadcast upon Sir Arthur Chichester's advisers, and he has led you to believe, or rather tried to induce you to believe, that they have not pursued a course which might have been expected from Sir Arthur's position; it is for this reason that I wish to address to you a few observations on the part of the defendant has taken in this case, and on the ground on which he defends this action and claims the advowson. You have heard that Sir John Chichester who is a party to this deed of conveyance died in 1808, and he was then succeeded in the title and estates by Sir Arthur Chichester, the father of the present defendant; and at the same time the Rev. Thomas Hole was incumbent of the living of Georgeham, which position he occupied until 1831 Now, my learned friend has just said that when the Rev. Thomas Hole died in that year a trustee under the will, Mr. Williams, proceeded to present his son to the rectory, and that then was the time when the late Sir Arthur Chichester ought to have disputed the title, as all the witnesses were alive. The actual state of things which existed when the Rev. Thomas Hole died in 1831, I am not able to lay before you, - Sir Arthur Chichester is dead; and the solicitor who advised him on that occasion is dead; but from information we found among the papers of the deceased we ascertained that the matter had been enquired into by Sir Arthur at that time, and that he found some deed had been executed by the late Sir John Chichester in favour of the Rev. Thomas Hole. He was advised, however, that the deed was good enough to pass the next presentation to the living, and he did not, therefore, dispute the right of the Rev. Thomas Hole to present his son Francis Hole to the living. Matters remained in that position from the year 1831 until October 1866, when the Rev. Francis Hole died, and the question was then raised whether the conveyance which had been made by Sir John Chichester was a conveyance in fee or only of the next presentation; if not in fee the trustees under the will had the right to the presentation, if in fee the advowson reverted to the present Sir Arthur Chichester. The defendant thought it right to inquire into all the circumstances attending the execution of the alleged deed, because you will recollect, gentlemen, this had been a living of great value, yielding £700 or £800, and had been in the Chichester family for centuries. Sir Arthur is told that the family living which has always passed with the property has been granted to a stranger in blood without any money consideration, and that Sir John Chichester had, in addition, given £5,000 to Mr. Hole, with £1,000 to each of his two children, and under such circumstances I think you will say he was fully justified in inquiring into the circumstances attending the grant and in subsequently instructing his solicitors to take steps for ascertaining the real character of the deed. Now, let me correct one of the errors of my learned friend, - a matter on which he has commented very severely, but for which there is no foundation. He says that the defendant might have gone to the registry of the bishop and seen what the nature of the deed was. Now it is the practice in the Bishop's registry, when a patron comes to present a clergyman to a living that he shall deposit two documents: first a copy of the deed which gives the right to the presentation, and, secondly, a short abstract of the deed. It appears that in this instance both the attested copy and the short abstract were deposited, but when Sir Arthur Chichester's advisers went to the registry the attested copy could not be found, notwithstanding a long search was made for it, - only the abstract existed, and that contained but a few lines setting forth that the conveyance of the advowson had been granted. On seeing this, of course, Sir Arthur was able to make an affidavit that the attested copy had been deposited in the registry.
Mr. Coleridge: - Read the 12th paragraph of the affidavit.
Mr. Kingdon then read the paragraph, which set forth that erasures of great importance had been made in the deed. The learned counsel then went on to say: I am much obliged to my learned friend for pointing this out, for when the abstract was deposited with the clerk of the registry he examined it, and thinking it did not give a correct description he himself put in an additional clause to show the true nature of the attestation of the deed, mentioning that several erasures had been made "in the presence of James Bellringer, and James Vinson;" so that it was not because Sir Arthur had seen the attested copy that he referred to the erasures in his affidavit but from the information contained in the abstract he was able to state the fact. Then there is another point. Mr. Coleridge says that Sir Arthur in his affidavit alleges that the deed was attested by two persons, viz., James Bellringer and James Vinson. He says that the former name is incorrect - that it should be "Robert Bellringer;" and he further says that if Sir Arthur had seen the attestation clause he would have discovered the proper name; but as I have already shown you he did not see it. My learned friend says also that we might have gone to Doctor's commons, but it would have been idle to have attempted to identify "James Bellringer" with "Robert Bellringer" On the defendants legal advisers going to the registry office and finding that the document contained several erasures, and finding also that no consideration had been paid, Sir Arthur felt it to be still more his duty to inquire into the matter, and instructed Mr. Law to apply to the plaintiffs for an inspection of the deed. Very honourably the defendant said, Let my legal advisers see the document, and if they are satisfied I will say no more about it" I certainly agree with the principle laid down by my learned friend that title deeds should not be produced as a rule, but I venture to think that when Sir Arthur came forward in the way he did it was an occasion in which that rule might have been relaxed. Every effort to obtain a sight of the deed failed, but it fortunately happened that in the course of last week the Registry Clerk, in searching for other documents, happened to find the attested copy, and we were furnished with a copy. It entirely tallies with the deed my learned friend has produced today, and it entirely confirms the views the views of Sir Arthur's legal advisers, subject to the opinion of my lord, that it only conveyed the grant of the next presentation to Robert Hole and not the advowson, and that consequently the fee reverts to Sir Arthur Chichester. - The learned counsel then addressed his lordship on the legal construction to be put on the terms of the deed, citing the well-known case of Pocock v. the Bishop of Lincoln, the case of a "perpetual advowson" in Lincolnshire, where it was held that, notwithstanding this strong language, the grant would not carry fee, and was only a life estate. In calling the attention of the court to the form of the deed, Mr. Kingdon pointed out that the words "granted and demised" were used four times in the habendum of the deed, and submitted that the true construction of that was that it was only a demise of the next presentation.
The Lord Chief Baron said he thought it was quite evident on the whole structure of the deed that they must take the word "demised" to have been introduced by mistake. It was superfluous to give any effect to it at all, inasmuch as the demise did not limit the advowson to one or more presentations. If that word was rejected altogether as having been introduced by inadvertence then the deed was perfect in itself and conveyed at once in the plainest terms the fee-simple. He could not give effect to Mr Kingdon's objection, and he felt so satisfied on the point that he should not be justified in reserving the point for the court above. Addressing the jury, his Lordship said that in the absence of information on the matter, the deed was executed under mysterious circumstances, which fully justified a searching enquiry into the facts. But now that they had the deed before them, and although there were strange circumstances connected with it, the mystery was now solved and every difficulty had bee most satisfactorily and most unanswerably explained away; under these circumstances Sir Arthur, by the advice of his counsel, had taken the course which might have been expected from a gentleman in his station, of his intelligence and of his sense of justice. The case was really undefended, and his duty was a very simple one of directing then to find a VERDICT FOR THE PLAINTIFF.
His Lordship certified for costs, and intimated that process would be delayed until the fifth day of Term.
Kindness to the poor
We have pleasure to record another instance of the liberality of E. Crawshay Esq. Of Oaklands Park Gloucestershire.
Mr Crawshay had the good fortune for some few years since to be united in marriage to one of the lovely daughters of the respected rector (Rev. Francis Hole) and he has since proved the truck of Solomon's words that "he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing." In acknowledgement of which he is accustomed to make periodic donations to the poor of Georgeham. One of these occasions recurred on Saturday last when Miss Hole had pleasing duty to distribute to each recipient: - 2lbs of beef, 'llb of tea, a loaf of bread and a 1s. money, - equal in value to 4s 2d. The kind presents were most gratefully received and blessings invoked on the heads of Mr & Mrs Crawshay and their almoner - Miss Hole.
North Devon Journal 23rd March 1865
Martha Hole, Charlotte's youngest sister who was still living in Georgeham Rectory with her parents, probably distributed the alms on behalf of her brother -in-law Edwin Crawshay.
The marriage of Rector William Henry George Francis Hole
MARRIAGE OF THE RECTOR DESIGNATE: The marriage of the Rev.W.H. G. F. Hole, of Bye Cross House, Totnes, and Rector Designate of Georgeham, North Devon, with Rose Elizabeth Arentonia. Eldest daughter of the late Rev. Robert James Baker- Carr, of Abberton Hall, Worcestershire, and Rector of Lanteglos. Camelford, granddaughter of the late Lieut-Colonel Teesdale, R.H.A., took place at St Matthew's Church Bayswater, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. W. R. Villiers, Vicar of Iford. In consequence of the recent death of the bride's father, the wedding guests consisted only of the nearest relatives and friends of the bride and bridegroom. The bridegroom was accompanied by Mr Baker-Carr, his best man. The bride (who wore her travelling dress) was attended by her three sisters, and given away by her uncle, Colonel Teesdale, C.B., V.C.
After the ceremony, Mrs. Baker-Carr received her friends at 75, Francis Square. Early in the afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Hole left en route for the seat of Colonel Teesdale, South Bersted, Jent. for the honeymoon. Among the company present were Sir William and Lady Onslow, Mr. Carr Lloyd, Mr. and Mrs. Beal (Thornton Hall), Mr. and Mrs. Villiers, Dr. and Mrs. Scott, Colonel Scott, the Misses Scott, Mrs. Hole, Mrs. H. J. Presswell, Mr. and Mrs. Friend, Mrs. Keates, Mr. and Mrs. Vinning, Miss Peckham, Miss Foll, Colonel Teesdale, Mr. F. W. Teesdale, and Mr. Ashley Handbury. The presents were numerous and costly, including: - Mrs. Hole, piano and handsome lamp; Miss Playfair, painted terra cotta plaques; Mrs. Halpin, lace handkerchief, Miss Foll, silver fish knives; Mr. Chas. Teesdale, grand-father clock; Mr. and Mrs. Barchard, travelling clock; Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Presswell, biscuit box and old china; Mr. and Mrs. Friend, tte a tte tea set, old china; Mr A. T. Saltren Willett, writing case; Mr. BakerCarr, Queen Anne sugar basin; Mr. Carr Lloyd, gold-mounted umbrella; Mr. T. W. Teesdale, ruby and diamond spray, Mrs. Herbert Peel, diamond brooch; Mrs. Mute, inlaid card case; Mr. and Mrs. Richards, set of silver mounted carvers; Rev. C. Shuttleworth, Cornish marble candlestick; Rev. W.K. Villiers, diamond and pearl safety pin brooch and pair of lamps; Mr. and Mrs. Vinning, china vase; Mrs. Baker-Carr, painted mirror; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Heath, gold bracelet; Miss Florence Wilford, book and old engravings; Mrs. and Miss Carr Lloyd, brass and silver pots; Miss Emily Baker-Carr, Mr. Henry and Christopher Baker-Can, jug and goblets; Mrs. Villiers, Indian silver anklet; Mrs. Heal, diamond and emerald ring; Mr. Saltren Willett, diamond brooch; Dr. and Mrs, Scott, cut glass silver mounted salad server; Sir Hubert and Lady Rapley, china painted travelling clock: Phoebe and Emily Marshall, crumb brush and tray; Rev. Edward and Mrs. Scott, silver mustard pot; Mr. Goss (head gardener at Georgeham), silver butter knife; Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Collins, oil painting by Collins of Trebarwith; Mrs. Allen Baker-Can, painted minor; Mr Ashley Handbury, Japanese embroideries; Miss Butterfield, plush photograph stand; Mr. and Mrs. Warren, toilet set for dressing table; Mr. Herbert Onslow, brass letter scales; Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Drake, pearl and onyx brooch; Mr. and Mrs. Symons, set of silver mounted carvers; the Misses Hole, crown Derby sugar basin and old china; Major Teesdale, gold curb china bracelet; Mrs. Barnes, silver mounted preserve jar; Mrs. Savory, ivory brushes; Colonel Chadwick, Indian inlaid vase and gold bracelet; Mrs Dobrie, Spanish lace mantilla; the Right Rev, the Bishop of Worcester, diamond bracelet; Colonel Teesdale, pearl pendant; Miss Sarah Tees-dale, cheque; Mrs. Savage, Hungarian plates; the Misses Skinner, Webb's glass vase; Mrs. Dent, brass mounted mirror with candlestick; Miss Teesdale, inkstand; Miss Annie Teesdale, shawl; Miss E. Teesdale, work basket; Mrs. Foll, white Dresden vase; Mrs. Arthur Deane, picture; Mrs Keale, Japanese screen; Miss Peckham, Indian inlaid box; Sir William and Lady Onslow, apostle spoons; Miss A. Davis, bracelet; Mr Stephens, flower stand; the Lanteglos Sunday School and teachers, claret jug; Henry Salturn, flowers from Lanteglos; and numerous others.
THE NORTH DEVON JOURNAL NOVEMBER 11 1886
Appendix IV Organ dedication
OPENING OF A NEW ORGAN
The opening of a new organ which has just been erected on the north side of the chancel in the parish church by Mr W.G. Vowles, of Bristol, was celebrated on Tuesday. The [proceedings commenced with a public tea in the schoolroom, of which about 350 people partook, and was followed by divine service in the church, which was crowded in every part.
The new organ has been placed in the chamber provided for it on the north side of chancel. The cost of the organ was "286, of which sum £150 was subscribed, in memory of their mother by the children of the late Mrs Hole, wife of the Re. F. Hole, formerly rector of this parish, the remainder being given by the rector (the Rev. R.B. De Wolff) and other friends. The case of the organ is of Wainscott oak with corbelled front supported by iron columns, in addition to which there is ornamental work, supporting the front pipes which are the lower notes of the great organ diapason and which are of polished metal. There are two manuals from CC to G and 56 notes. The great organ contains the following four stops: flute, stopped diapason and clarabel, dulciana and open diapason. The stops in the swell organ are oboe, gemshorn, lieblich-godact, dulciana and horn diapason. There are four coupling stops viz;- Swell to great, unison; swell to great, super-octave; great to pedals; swell to pedals. The pedal board consists of two octaves of radiating concave pedals with the same compass of bourdons and there are four composition pedals. In all there are 14 stops and 505 pipes. In front of the key board are plate glass panelled sliding doors. Over the key board carved in walnut with gilded letters is the following inscription, "In memory of Frances, wife of the Rev. Francis Hole, rector of this parish, by her children and friends. A.D. 1881." At the service in the church the clergy present were the Rev. R.B. de Wolff (the rector), the Rev. Canon Blakeney, D.D., Vicar and Rural Dean of Sheffield (who had been staying at Georgeham for some weeks), the Rev. W.G. Morcom, M.A. (Vicar of Braunton), the Rev. W.C. Loveband (Westdown), the Rev. C.W. Fowell (Barnstaple), and the Rev. Fowler (Malvern).
The Rev. W.G. Morcom read the first lesson and the Rev. Fowler the second, prayers being said by the Rector and the Rev. W.C.Loveband. The hymns used were Nos. 166, 298, 215, and 305, Revised Ancient and modern.
The sermon was preached by Canon Blakeney, who selected for his text the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, 14th chapter, 40th verse, " Let all things be done decently and in order." This command, the preacher explained, had reference to the conduct of Divine worship, of which the apostle spoke in this chapter, owing to some irregularities which had corrupted the Corinthian church. He proposed in his discourse to speak of the origins of Christian worship, of the Scriptural character of church service and its adaptation for the purpose of which it was designed. Her believed the origins of Christian worship was to be traced rather to the synagogue than to the tabernacle. In the latter they had material sacrifices, altars and sacrificing priests, but in the synagogue, which was now evangelised, the service was characterised by prayer and praise and reading and the exposition of God's word - the true characteristics of Christian worship. Speaking in reference to the character of our own worship, the rev. canon maintained that the tone of the service of the established church was truly scriptural and most charitable and was adapted for the purpose for which it was designed. The use of the liturgy was highly expedient, for in his opinion, although he did not wish to speak in disparagement of what was being done by Nonconformists, it was not wise to let public worship depend upon the frame of mind, or the ability of the pastor. As an uninspired composition the liturgy stood the very first, and he challenged a comparison between extemporary effusions heard in dissenting places of worship and the preconceived forms of the Church of England. He congratulated the parishioners of Georgeham most heartedly upon possession of the beautiful and sweet-toned instrument that had been opened that day, and remarked that there were few country churches which were so favoured. Having dwelt upon the benefits of sacred music under proper restriction, the rev. gentleman in conclusion remarked that of all instruments none seemed so adapted for the conduct of public worship as the organ. It united voices which might be discordant and unpleasant; it gave grandeur and impressiveness to the whole service, and elevated the hearts of God's dear people. Mr H.J. Edwards, Mus. Bac., presided at the organ with his usual ability, and amongst the pieces performed by him before and after the service were: an extemporaneous selection, pastorali, Merkile, Henry Stuart's voluntary in the form of an overture; Sterndale Bennett's Barcarole in FF; a movement from Mendelsshon's Reformation Symphony. - A collecytion was made at the close in aid of the Church Expenses Fund.
NORTH DEVON JOURNAL 22nd September 1881
Brian Randell, 25 Feb 2008