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Help and advice for Churches in the Deanery of Kenn 1913

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Notes 66 & 67: Churches in the Deanery of Kenn

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. v


Oswald J. Reichel & F.W.

Prepared by Michael Steer

In the Church of England and many other Anglican churches a deanery is a group of parishes forming a district within an archdeaconry. The deanery synod has a membership of all clergy who are licensed to a parish within the deanery, plus elected lay members from every parish. The Kenn Deanery consists of the parishes of Alphington, Ashcombe, Bishopsteignton, Chudleigh, Combeinteignhead, Dawlish, Dunchideock, East Ogwell, East Teignmouth, Exminster, Haccombe, Ide, Kenn, Kenton, Mamhead, Powderham, Shaldon, Shillingford St. George, Starcross, Stokeinteignhead, St. Thomas the Apostle (by Exeter), Trusham, West Ogwell and West Teignmouth. These two notes, the first of which is rather critical, relate to the 1912 history of the churches in the Deanery by Ms Beatrix F. Cresswell. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 66. "CHURCHES IN THE DEANERY OF KENN." - One does not like to be critical when a lady with so deep an interest in, and so much information respecting the churches of, this county so kindly allows that information to become available to the public. And yet I think that even Miss Cresswell will not take it amiss if I venture to point out one or two points on which she appears to have been caught napping respecting the history of Alphington Church.

Is there any foundation whatever for the statement that an earlier church than the present building belonged to Plympton priory? Neither in the foundation charter of Henry I., dating from 1123, nor in that of Henry II. between 1155 and 1162 (Oliver, Mon., 135) is there any mention of Plympton possessing the advowson of Alphington; nor yet in the list of advowsons which that priory held at the dissolution. When we first obtain authentic information respecting Alphington, both the manor and the advowson belonged to the Nevyles or Nevils. In 1241 John de Nevyle, lord of Stoke Curey, was lord of the manor of Alphington, and it is distinctly stated that it was not held as a fee (Feud. Aids, 314). On John's death in 1274 (A.D. Inq., 2 Ed. I., No. 27) the Bishop of Bangor held it in wardship for the heir who was under age (Hund. Rolls, 3 Ed. I, No. 42, p. 84). In 1279 the heir, Sir John Nevyle, had come of age and was in possession, and presented to the rectory John of Exeter (Bronescombe, 107). On his death in 1282 (A.D. Inq., 10 Ed. I., No. 22) the manor fell into the King's hand by reason of his wardship of John de Nevyle's heir "because John held estates elsewhere of the King in chief" (Feud. Aids, 315). In 1312 Sir Hugh de Nevil was lord and presented Hugh Norman to the rectory (Stapeldon, 184). He was followed by Theobald de Nevil, who was in possession in 1316 (Feud. Aids, 377). In 1349 another Sir Hugh de Nevil was lord and presented to the rectory (Grandisson, 1380). Thus for 140 years and more the Nevils held the advowson with the manor, but of this there is not a word. The manor then came to Sir Hugh Segrave, who presented to the rectory in 1381, but shortly afterwards exchanged it away to the Courtneys for Newnham Courtney in Berks (Lysons, ii., 8). In 1303 Sir Peter Courtney was lord and presented to the rectory (Stafford, 141). How, then, can it be suggested that "Philip Courtney probably acquired the advowson from the monks of St. Nicolas" ?

On looking through the list of rectors on p. 17, the suggestion involuntarily presents itself that our authoress has foreborne from referring to the published registers of the late Prebendary Hingeston-Randolph. The prebendary distinctly tells us that the name is not known of the rector who succeeded William de Staneway (Bronescombe, 107). He also gives the date of Sir John de Exonia's institution as 29 June, 1279 (ibid.), not 1280; and names as his successor Stephen de Brawoda, who was rector on 23 March, 1312 (Bytton, 412), and resigned on 5 Feb., 1318, "pursuant to the constitution of Pope John XXII. forbidding pluralities" (Stapeldon, 184). Sir Robert de Halstede was instituted on 4 March, 13 18 (ibid.), not in 1317.

Miss Cresswell has also told us nothing about the early history of Ashcombe. May I draw her attention to a fine of 52 Hen. III. (16 Feb., 1268) between Henry de la Pomeraye and Gilbert, prior of Merton, whereby the prior restored to Henry all the land which he (the prior) held in Berry excepting the advowson and 4 acres, and Henry de la Pomeray assured to the prior (1) the advowson of Berry Pomeray with the 4 acres, (2) the manor of Canonteign, and (3) the advowsons of the churches of Ashcombe, Clyst St. George, St. Lawrence, Exeter, besides other advowsons in Somerset and Cornwall (Cornwall Fine, No. .256, in Devon and Corn. Rec. Soc.)?

                                                OSWALD J. REICHEL.

67. "CHURCHES IN THE DEANERY OF KENN": Alphington Church. - There are two very interesting shields portrayed on p. 15. The lozenge shield is quarterly, and would represent Elizabeth, the daughter of John Hurding. The blazon given is correct, but would be improved by the addition to the first and fourth quarters after "courant" of "in pale" ; and in the second and third quarters instead of "goats," of "antelopes." The first and fourth quarters are the coat of Hurding (a corruption of Harding, or perhaps vice versa), and is given in Hutchins' Dorset, vol. I., 301, along with the second and third quarters as in the text, but in his index it is classed amongst the unknown, which shows it to have been an old heiress quartering. This shield is on a monument erected in the north aisle of Long-Bridy Church by John, grandson of Henry and son of another John, who died May 16, 1677, so that very probably Elizabeth of the text was also a grand-daughter and sister of John ; it also impales there Mohun of Fleet, yet neither in Hutchins' pedigree of Mohun or in Dorset Visitation is this marriage entered. These second and third quarters are the coat of Snow, and were granted by Thomas Hawley in 1546; so it is possible that the Henry above did marry a Snow heiress, though the Bedford Visitation does not record it. The oval shield bears the correct blazon of Leach, and the impaling of MAUDIT, unnamed; and proves the marriage of George Leach, the brewer, with Rebecca Maudit according to the epitaph. The pedigree of Maudit in the Genealogist, vol. I., p. 136, says : " Rebecca, 2nd daughter (she being of Isaac Maudit, Esq., 5th son, ob. 1663, and his second wife Deborah, eldest daughter of Richard Wood, of Holsworthy) married George Leech, of the City of Exeter, and was his fourth wife, but had no issue by him." The other inscription to George Leach's daughter Margaret, though by the date she must have been by an early wife, possibly by Johanna in the epitaph above, yet with no age and three wives to look to for her mother, nothing in the pedigrees prove. Again, there is the inscription to George, son of John Gibbs (?), Esq., grandchild to the said George Leach, who died the 7 day of December, 1672. The pedigree does not continue the issue of George Leach's three marriages; so it is possible that a daughter of his married a John Gibbs; but it is singular that Rebecca's elder sister married Abraham Gibbs, and one of her sons was John, LL.D. of Oxford, whose marriage is not given, but even if he had a son George, he would not be a grandchild, but a great nephew.

Addenda et Corrigenda. - Alphington, p. 1: The charges on the shield of Turner are drawn and blazoned water bougets. The Turners always bore millrinds (inkmolines), a canting charge on the name; the shape of these is something like a bouget, but I doubt their having a cross bar on the top, if so it was an error in the carving or painting.

Ashcombe, p. 19: Two flaunches each charged with a leopard's face. I think there can be no doubt that this is the coat of Dene or Deane of Kent; but unfortunately the pedigree of Holdsworth is not ample enough to prove it.

Ashton, p. 29: Vaire azure and argent, Beauchamp of Somerset. This should be vaire argent and azure, the coat of Beauchamp of Hache or Hatch, Somerset.                  

                                                      F. W.