"LUNDY ISLAND, though situated in the Bristol Channel, about 18 miles west of the mainland, is a detached member of Braunton Hundred. It is about three miles long and one broad, and comprises about 1800 acres. On account of the lofty rocks with which it is encompassed, it is inaccessible, except by a narrow entrance on the eastern side, where a small beach admits a secure approach, and is sheltered by a detached portion of rock called the Isle of Rats. There are on the island a farm house and a few small cottages." [From White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devon (1850)]

Peskett tentatively allocates Lundy to Hartland Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter, but states that its civil status was vague until the 20th century. The National Index of Parish Registers, Volume 8, Part 5: Devon (1999) describes it as "formerly extra-parochial, now in Hartland Deanery and served from the mainland".



Blackwell, Alfred E. Lundy bibliography. In Tenth annual report, Lundy Field Society (1956) 8p.

Langham, A.F. Lundy bibliography [1995] 3 boxes of cards. [Westcountry Studies Library - BHo sB/LUN/LAN/855]

Langham, Myrtle. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 118 (1986) pp.93-121.



Thomas Benson (1708-1772) - "[A] ship-owner and merchant who was Sheriff of Devon in 1746-7 and MP for Barnstaple between 1747 and 1754. In 1753 he fled to Portugal from British justice, having been accused of customs duty evasion and maritime insurance fraud. . . In 1747 he obtained a contract from the Government to transport convicts, and gave the usual bond to the Sheriff to ship them to Virginia or to Maryland. However he shipped them instead to Lundy where he employed them as slave labourers in building walls, etc." [Wikipedia]



MIs for this parish are included in the Devon FHS index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

Ternstrom, M. and Langham, A.F. Lundy (Beacon Hill cemetery). Devonshire monumental inscriptions, vol. 10 (1999). [SoG DE/M 25]



Ships in port at Lundy Island, in the 1881 Census, from Bob Sanders.

Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler. [Covers 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]


Church History

Blackwell, Alfred E. Lundy's Ecclesiastical History. Devonshire Assoc. Trans., vol. 92 (1960) pp. 88- 100. [Raymond: Includes MIs, lists of births, baptisms and marriages. 19-20th century, list of clergy, etc.]


Church Records

Peskett indicates that though were marriage services on Lundy in the 17th century, probably no registers were kept until after the ruined chapel was rebuilt in 1896/7. Earliest extant registers begin 1901.

Langham Collection. Box files. 24. Lundy: parish registers. (1995) [Westcountry Studies Library - BHo sxB/LUN/LAN/841]


Civil Registration

Lundy was omitted from the 1837 registration legislation - 36 births (1865-9) are recorded in PRO RG35/20, and one death in RG 35/20. (Mentioned in "Some Events Overseas", by Anthony Camp in Family Tree Magazine, July 2000.)


Description & Travel

Extract from Murray's "Handbook for Travellers in Devonshire" (1879).

The Lundy Island web pages provide photographs, and travel, accommodation and historical information.

Section on Lundy from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

Lundy, from Wikipedia.

Baker, William T. Lundy, the Mystic Isle, West Coast Series Book 2 (1971) 20p.

Chanter, John R. Lundy Island: A monograph. London: Cassell, Petter & Co. (1885?) 171p, [5] plates: ill, map.

Marshall, Robert. Puffin Island. Devon Life vol. 9 no. 72 (1972) pp.14-16; ill.

Rothwell, Peter. Lundy: An Island Sketchbook, Barnstaple, Westwell Publishers (1993) 72 pp. [ISBN 0-9521413-1-0]

Van Twisk, J.F. Lundy. Devon Life vol. 3 no. 26, (1967) pp.48-49; ill.

Williams, Michael A. The Lundy Companion: A comprehensive gazetteer of the island and its landmarks, Bideford, Lazarus Press (Old Light Press) (2001) 132 pp. [ISBN: 0-9541254-0-1]

You can see pictures of Lundy which are provided by:



Transcript of complete entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Transcript of a similar extract from an 1857 Directory with the names of two inhabitants.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



Brooks, Eric John. The family of Marisco. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 61, 1931, pp. 22-38 & 89-112. [Raymond: Of Lundy Island, Somerset and Ireland; medieval.]

Chope, R.Pearse. Celia Fiennes. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 10:1, (1918) pp.29-30. [See Chope, Early Tours, p.134. On relation to Say family.]

Langham, M. The Heaven Family of Lundy, 1836-1916. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 118, 1986 pp. 93-121.

Langham, Myrtle. A Lundy Album. Reigate: the author, 1980. [Heaven family, 19th c.]



The Westcountry Studies Library holds the large Langham Collection of material related to the history of Lundy Island. Topics covered include: Air transport; Archaeology; Castle; Civil War; Climate and cultivation; Coinage and stamps; Communications; Companies; Ecclesiastical history; Flora and fauna; Geology; Lighthouse; Manor Farm; P. & A. Campbell Lundy boats; Population and owners; Quarries; Shipwrecks.

Lundy, the Marisco's and Benson - provided by John Lerwill (archived copy).

Lundy History (archived copy), provide by Peter Robson.

Thomas Benson and Lundy Island - "The 18th century North Devon trader and smuggler who exploited Lundy Island for devious purposes" (on the Devon Perspectives website).

Treason & A Fake King: The Scandalous History of Lundy Island  - a length well-illustrated blogpost by Romany Reagan: "For five years, this island in the middle of the Bristol Channel [Lundy] became a Barbary Pirate HQ, a base for raids as far afield as Iceland. The bogeyman-in-chief was the pirate Jan Janszoon. Originally Dutch, in the parlance of the time he ‘turned Turk’. To better be able to strike up and down the North European coast, he needed a base. So, sleepy Lundy Island became part of the Barbary Pirate kingdom" - quoting Sam Willis ('Invasion', BBC).

Alexander, J.J. Early owners of Torbryan Manor. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 68 (1936) pp.206-214. - contains section relevant to Lundy

Blackwell, A.E. The Charm and History of Instow (with Lundy Island) (rev. ed.) Bideford: Polypress (1959) 48p, plates: map. [Westcountry Studies Library -]B/INS/0001/BLA]

Boundy, Wyndham S. Bushell and Harman of Lundy, Bideford, Grenville (1961) 95pp.

Chanter, John Roberts. A history of Lundy Island descriptive and historical with notices. Trans. Devon. Assoc. (1871) pp.553-610: folded map

Dell, Simon. Lundy Island Through Time, Amberley Publishing (2011) 96 pp. [ISBN-10: 1445600749]

Dell, Simon. Lundy: A Landmark 50 Years. Amberley Publishing (2019) 176pp. [ISBN-13 : 978-1445653372]

Etherton, P.T. & V. Barlow. Tempestuous isle: the story of Lundy. London: Lutterworth Press (1960) 144p, plates: ill, map. [Westcountry Studies Library sB/LUN/LAN/486]

Gade, Felix W. My Life on Lundy. (1978) [ISBN 0 9506177 0 9]

Grose, F. The Isle of Lundy. (1785) [Torquay Library]

Lamplugh, Lois. Lundy: island without equal. Swimbridge: Robert Young (1993) [ii], iv, 162p, pls: ill, map. [ISBN 1898360014] [BL X.800/37019]

Langham, A. (Anthony). Lundy (2nd ed.). Newton Abbot ; North Pomfret, Vt., U.S.A. David & Charles (1984) 216 p. ill. ISBN: 0715385879.

Langham, Anthony. The Island of Lundy. Stroud: Alan Sutton (1994) x, 246p: ill, maps. [ISBN 0750906618]

Langham, Anthony and Myrtle. Lundy, Bristol Channel. Bradford: Broadacre Books (1960) 182p: map.

Langham, M. (Myrtle). A Lundy album (3rd ed.).Lundy: M.S. Langham with the Landmark Trust (1995) xi, 67 p.

Lauder, Rosemary Anne. Lundy: puffin island. Bideford: Badger Books (1984) 59p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/LUN/0001/LAU]

Lauder, Rosemary Anne. Lundy: a brief guide. [s.l.]: [s.n.] [1988?] 24p: ill, map [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/LUN/LAN/548]

Loyd, L.R.W. Lundy: Its history and natural history. London: Longmans, Green & Co. (1925) xii, 248p, plates: ill, map

Page, John Lloyd Warden. The Coasts of Devon and Lundy: Their Towns, Villages, Scenery, Antiquities and Legends, (1895) xix + 437 pp.[Index]

Rendell, Joan. Lundy Island. Bodmin: Bossiney Books (1979) 72p: ill. [ISBN 0906456304]

Steinman, G.S. Some Account of the Island of Lundy. [Edited, with a foreword, by Martin Coles Harman. With portraits.]. pp. 21. (From Collectanea Topographica and Genealogica, IV, 1836) Offset Process Co.: Nottingham, (1947). [Westcountry Studies Library - sB/LUN/0001/STE]

Thomas, John. Lundy and Thomas Benson. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 33:2, (1974) pp.59. [On shipping of convicts from Devon to America, 1742-1754.]

Thomas, John. Some notes on the administration of Lundy by Sir John Borlase Warren. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 108, (1976) pp.31-36. [Administration, 1775-1787]

Thomas, John. A history of Lundy from 1390 to 1775. Trans.Dev.Assoc. 110 (1978) 113-154pp: map.

Thomas, John. Two Lundy notes. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 34:3, (1979) pp.120-. [Holinshed's description (1586). Alleged church service of 1747.]

Thomas, Stanley. The Nightingale Scandal: The story of Thomas Benson and Lundy, Bideford, Gazette Printing Service (1959) 73 pp. [WCSL s365-163/DEV/THO]

Thomas, Stanley. The Nightingale Scandal: The story of Thomas Benson and Lundy, Bideford, Lazarus Press (Edward Gaskell Publishers) (2001) 96 pp. [ISBN: 0-9523062-3-9]



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS137439 (Lat/Lon: 51.163931, -4.665902), Lundy which are provided by:


Merchant Marine

Index to Pre-1900 North Devon and Lundy shipwrecks, by John Lerwill.

Davis, G.M. The Loss of HMS Montague, Lundy 1906. (1981) [ISBN 0 9507391 0 3]

Powick, F.M. The murder of Henry Clement and the pirates of Lundy. History 25:100 , (Mar. 1941) pp.285- 310.

The coastguard [Lundy articles] (1972-81).1 vol. [Westcountry Studies Library BHo sxB/LUN/LAN/577] [A collection of articles from the Coastguard 6:1 Jan 72, 7:1 Jan 73, 13:3-4 Jul-Oct 79, 15:2 Apr 81 relating to the period 1700-1972]


Names, Personal

A petition (c. 1647) in support of Thomas Bushell listing 61 "Inhabitants of the Counties of Devon and Cornwall, & neerest borderers upon the Island of Lundy" - many apparently from Clovelly.



The Lundy Field Society undertakes research on various aspects of Lundy.