"MESHAW is a small village, at the foot of a declivity, nearly 6 mile S. by S.E. of South Molton, and 14 miles N.W. by W. of Tiverton. Its parish increased its population from 166 in 1831, to 305 in 1841, and comprises 1770A. 3R. 30P. of land, part of which (about 700A.) was an open moor 20 years ago, but is now enclosed and cultivated. It is a hilly district, over which a new road was cut about ten years ago. The manor was held by the Avenells, in the 13th and 14th centuries, and was afterwards in moieties. The greater share now belongs to Richard Preston, Esq., and the rest belongs to John Brown, Wm. Adams, Robert Eastmond, and a few smaller freeholders. The Church (St. John Baptist,) was mostly rebuilt in 1838, except the tower, which has four bells. It is a small structure, and contains a handsome monument to James Courtenay, who died in 1683, at Meshaw House, now occupied by a farmer. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in K.B. at £7. 4s., and in 1831 at £206, in the patronage of the Rev. W. Karslake, and incumbency of the Rev. W.H. Karslake, B.A., who has a good residence, and 83A. 3R. 39P. of glebe. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Witheridge Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.