Kelly's Directory for Devonshire 1923


Transcribed by Sheila Jones

MODBURY is a small but important market town and large parish, in the Totnes division of the county, hundred of Ermington, petty sessional division of Ermington and Plympton, union and county court district of Kingsbridge, rural deanery of Plympton, archdeaconry of Plymouth and diocese of Exeter. The town is built of the slopes of a rivulet which runs into the river Erme, and consists of four streets, intersecting at right angles; it is 5 miles south-east from Ivybridge station on the South Devon section of the Great Western railway, 5 miles east from Yealmpton station from which a service of motor omnibuses run in connection with the trains for Plymouth. It is 12 miles east from Plymouth and 7½ north-west from Kingsbridge. The town is supplied with water by conduits from several springs, and has been lighted with gas since 1865. The church of St. George stands on an eminence, and is a fine embattled structure in a Gothic style of the 13th and 14th centuries, consisting of a chancel and nave, with aisles to both, transepts, south porch and a tower, re-erected in 1622, with spire 134 feet in height, and containing a clock and six bells: in the south transept are two recessed canopied arches, in one of which is placed the recumbent effigy of a knight in plate armour, possible representing Sir John Champernowne, c. 1488; within the other arch lies the mutilated effigy of a crusading knight: in the north aisle is another canopied recess of more elaborate character, containing the effigy of a lady in flowing robes, c. 1250-1310, and fragments of the effigy of another crusader; these earlier figures are assumed to represent members of the Okeston family, once the possessors of this place, or of the Prideaux family: at the back of this recess, restored by Mr. Prideaux-Brune, of Prideaux, Cornwall, is a quatrefoil window, which has been filled with the arms of the Prideaux family in stained glass: in the south aisle is a memorial window to the Ven. Archdeacon Froude: the east window is a memorial to the Rev. Nutcombe Oxenham, a former vicar: in 1858 the interior was restored and reseated and a new reredos erected, and in 1873 a new organ was erected: there are 350 sittings. The register dates from the year 1601. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £509, including 9 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of Eton College, and held since 1921 by the Rev. Matthew Graham Leadbitter B.A. of University College, Durham. The impropriate tithe rent-charge of the parish of Modbury, payable to Eton College, is commuted at £900. Near the church once stood the ancient priory of Modbury, founded by the Champernowne family as a cell to the Abbey of St. Pierre Sur Dives, in Normandy, and dedicated to St. Gregory; the revenues at the dissolution were estimated at £70. Of the mansion of the ancient family of Champernowne, small portions still exist. There is a Baptist chapel, founded in 1791, with sittings for 260 persons, and a Wesleyan chapel. The Literary and Scientific Institute, in Brownston street, founded by Richard King in 1840, is a building of stone, with Doric columns and portico, and has a good sized billiard room. The cattle market is held on the second Monday in every month, and is largely attended. The stock fair is on or immediately after the first Tuesday in May. Woollen serge was formerly manufactured here, but the trade is wholly discontinued; agricultural pursuits now form the chief employment of the inhabitants. The chief charities are one of £5 per annum for the improvement of the town, and £5 per annum to provide coal for poor people. The educational charities consist of £27 3s. 10d. per annum, being interest of £1,086 14s. 4d. 2½ per cent. Consols, £6 10s. of which goes to the vicar for religious education and the balance to trustees for school prizes &c. The principal was chiefly bequeathed by John Andrews esq. Joseph Wriford and a few others. Hill's charity of £2 8s. per annum is devoted to nursing. A subscription pack of harriers (17 couples) is kept in the town and hunts twice a week. Here in Feb. 1642 or 43, Sir Ralph Hopton and Sir Nicholas Slanning, with a force of about 2,000 men, were attacked and defeated by a body of Parliamentary troops from Plymouth, under Col. Ruthven, and a number of the leaders captured. Whympston is the property of the Plymouth Co-operative Society Limited, and is used as a holiday home. Arthur Crawley Pode esq. is lord of the borough and manor of Great Modbury. Lord Mildmay of Flete P.C. is lord of the manor of Orcherton, the manor house of which was the ancient sear of the Prideaux family. Lord Mildmay of Flete P.C. the Plymouth Co-operative Society Limited and John Andrews esq. J.P. are the principal landowners. The soil is a rich loam; sub-soil, various. The area is 5,871 acres of land, 5 of water, 16 of tidal water and 49 of foreshore; rateable value, £9,703; the population in 1911 was 1,203 in the civil and 1,326 in the ecclesiastical parish.
By Local Government Board Order 16,313, a detached part of Kingston, near Strayland Green, was added to this parish; and Penquit, Caton and Ludbrook House transferred from the parish to Ermington, March 24, 1884, for civil purposes.

Parish Clerk, Henry William Andrews.

BROWNSTON is a hamlet, 3 miles north-east. St. John's chapel of ease, erected in 1844, is a building of stone in the Gothic style, and has a gift of £20 yearly from Eton College, the patrons of the mother church: in 1870 John Andrews also left £12 10s. yearly to the curate.

LEIGH, 2 miles east-by-north, is also a hamlet in this parish.

Post, M.O., T. & T.E.D. Office - William Henry Trinick, sub-postmaster, Broad street (letters should have Devon added). Office open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; money orders 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Petty Sessions are held at the Court House, Yealmpton, Ivybridge and Plympton, on alternate Mondays at 10 a.m., bank holidays excepted. The police stations at Yealmpton, Modbury, Plympton and Ivybridge are occasional court houses.

For the names of the magistrates and places in the division, see Plympton St. Mary.


Literary and Scientific Institution, Brownston street, Alfred H. Salway, hon. sec.; John Hext, librarian.
Police Station, James Bowden, constable in charge.


Admiralty Surgeon and Certifying Factory Surgeon, Wm. H. Andrews L.R.C.P. & S.Edin. Brownston street
Assistant Overseer and Clerk to the Parish Council, Edgar Gee, 3 Church street
Medical Officers & Public Vaccinators, Kingsbridge Union, 4th District, William Henry Andrews L.R.C.P. & S.Edin Brownston street; 13th District, Henry Pode Miles L.R.C.P.Lond., M.R.C.S.Eng. 18 Church street
Registrar of Births and Deaths, Modbury Sub-District, Kingsbridge Union, William H. Trinick, 14 Broad street
Collector of Income and Land Tax for Modbury, Samuel G. Pearse, Coyton, Ermington
Town Crier, Frederick Wood, Galpin street


St. George's Church, Rev. Matthew Graham Leadbitter B.A. vicar
St. John's Chapel of Ease, Brownston
Baptist, Church street, Rev. James Edward Barnes
Wesleyan Methodist, Chapel place, New road (South Devon Mission)


A School Management Committee of six managers was formed Oct 1st, 1903
Correspondent, John S. Coleman, Church street
Attendance Officer, William Whiddon, Brownston street
Brownston (mixed), built in 1874, and enlarged for 60 children; [blank space for name left], mistress
The Green (mixed), built in 1881, for 250 children; Alfred H. Salway, master
The Green (infants), for 140 children; Mrs Salway, infants' mistress


Omnibus to Ivybridge station daily, returning on arrival of trains.
Great Western Railway Company have a motor omnibus service to Plymouth.


Edward Triggs, tues. thurs. & sat. 9 a.m. (motor)


Andrews John J.P. Traine house
Andrews William Hy. Brownston street
Barnes Rev. James Edward (Baptist), The Manse, Church street
Blackler George, sen. Church street
Choake Charles, 18 Church street
Choake Henry, Madeira vale
Coyte Frank J.P. 23 Church street
Dobell Miss, Old Traine
Green Misses, Church street
Langworthy Mrs. Church street
Leadbitter Rev. Matthew Graham B.A. (vicar), The Vicarage
Miles Henry Pode, The Green
Pearse John, Mill view, Church street
Pearse Rd. Hy. York ho, Brownston street
Pearse William F.S.I. The Green
Pitman Wm. Has. Hy. 4 Brownston street
Pode Arthur Crawley B.A. The Barracks, T.N. 7 Modbury
Robins John, Trevere, Barrack road
Rogers John, East Leigh
Rogers Miss, 22 Brownston street
Rogers Mrs. 43 Brownston street
Roper William Henry, Church street
Sambell Alfred, Poundwell house
Tiddy Mrs. Church street
Treneer Wm. Francis, Lloyds Bank ho
Triggs John, 9 Church street
Weeks Regd. Newton, 30 Church street
Wroth Mrs. Austin, Erme house, Church street


Early closing day Wednesday
Andrews & Miles, physicians and surgeons, Brownston street
Andrews & Pode, solicitors, Brownston street. Tel. No. 7 Modbury
Andrews William Henry L.R.C.P. & S.Edin., L.F.P. & S.Glas. (Andrews & Miles), surgeon and medical officer and public vaccinator, 4th district, Kingsbridge union, Brownston street
Ash William, marble mason, New road
Barratt George, farmer, Shearlangstone
Bath James, farmer, Lapthorne
Beard Sydney, blacksmith
Bickford Edward James, miller (water), Sheepham
Blackler George, jun. farmer West Leigh
Blake James, boot & shoe maker, Brownston street
Blight John, registered veterinary surgeon, The Green
Brown Francis, china and glass dealer, 11, and grocer, 12, Broad street
Burring John, boot maker, Broad street
Camp David & Sons, farmers, Widland
Cawsey Charles, draper, Brownston street
Cawsey Henry, baker, Church street
Choake Charles & Sons, woolstaplers, New road
Coleman J. & Son, agricultural implement makers
Cove Ellen (Mrs.), grocer, Church street
Cowls Emily (Miss), dressmaker, London ho, Church street
Coyte Sydney, farmer, Butland
Crocker John, farmer, Old Traine
Cuming John Charles, shopkeeper, 27 Church street
Davis Henry Treeby, farmer, Calafonia, Brownston
Davis Alfred, wheelwright, Poundwell street
Davis John, farmer, Bearscombe
Ellis Charles, farmer, Higher Spriddlescombe (postal address, Ugborough)
Ellis George, farmer, Coombe
Ellory Clarence, newsvendor, Brownston street
Fairweather Henry, farmer, Shilston
Ford John, saddler, Brownston street
Ford John, cycle agent and garage proprietor; chars-'-bancs, cycles and taxis for hire, Broad street
Fox George, farmer, Little Stoliford
Fox Henry P. dairyman, Church street
Furzland John, painter and house decorator, picture frame maker and glazier, Galpin street
Gee Edgar, clothier, 3 Church street
Gloyn John, farmer, Weeks
Great Western Hotel (Albert Hocking Newton, proprietor), adjoining motor garage B.R.T.A.; luncheons for tourists catered for; large ball-room for parties; market ordinary; stabling for 30 horses; commercial
Harris Sydney, farmer, Spriddlescombe manor
Helmer Harry H. farmer, Fancy
Hodder Philip Lakeman, farmer, Leycombe
Hooper Robert, White Hart P.H. Church street
Irish Thomas, farmer, Edmeston
Jackson Nicholas J. farmer, Glebe, Brownston
Jago Alfred, Modbury inn, Brownston street
Jenkins Richard, farm bailiff to the Duchy of Cornwall, Sheepham
Johns Frederick, baker Galpin street
Kelland John, farmer, Orcherton mills
Kennard Annie (Mrs.), apartments, 24 Brownston street
Lakeman Nicholas Frank, M.P.S. pharmaceutical chemist, Broad street
Lloyds Bank Ltd. (branch) (William Francis Treneer, manager); open daily, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; market days to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Broad street; draw on London head office, 71 Lombard st. London EC3
Luscombe Herbert, farmer, Trehele
Luscombe John, farmer, Sheepham
Luscombe John A. farmer, Chapple Brownston, Higher Brownston & Brownston
Luscombe Thomas, farmer, Little Orcherton
Luscombe Wm. Geo. farmer, Brownston & Yarnacombe
Manning Albert Ash, farmer, Lower Brownston
May Frank, tailor, Church street
May James, farmer, The Priory
May William, farmer, Sheepham
Miles Henry Pode, L.R.C.P.Lond., M.R.C.S.Eng. (Andrews & Miles), physician & surgeon, & medical officer & public vaccinatior, 13th district, Kingsbridge Union, Church street
Modbury Gas Works (William Henry Trinick, sec.)
Modbury Harriers (J. Andrews esq. Traine house, Modbury & Rev. A.T. Allin, Woolston, Loddiswell, hon. secs.)
Modbury Literary & Scientific Institution (Alfred H. Salway, hon.sec.; John Hext, librarian), Brownston street
Modbury Social Club (W.H. Trinick, hon. sec.) 31 Church street
Mortimore Alfred, builder, New road
Moysey Edward Stranger, painter, Church street
Mumford Frederick George, butcher, 34 & 35 Church street
Owens Ellen (Mrs.), Exeter inn, Church street
Pearse Alfred, shoe maker, Brownston street
Pearse John Hodder, shopkeeper, Brownston street
Pearse William & Sons, auctioneers
Perkins William J. shopkeeper, 1 Broad street
Phillips William John Purdey, farmer, Brownston street
Plynouth Co-operative Society Limited, farmers, Whympston & Stoliford & holiday home, Whympston hall
Pode Arthur Crawley B.A. solicitor & commissioner for oaths (firm, Andrews & Pode), Brownston street Tel. No. 7 Modbury
Rendle Henry, shoe maker, Church street
Richman Ronald, saddler, Brownston street
Rogers Albert Thomas, farmer, Ashridge
Rogers John, farmer, East Leigh
Rogers Leonard, farmer, Oldaport
Rogers Phillip, farmer, Croppins Combe
Rogers Richard Frank, farmer, Lower East Leigh
Savory Lewis, farmer, Stockenridge
Sherrell John & Co. farmers, Little Modbury
Steer George, carpenter, New road
Stevens William & Sons, motor garage proprietors; taxi cabs for hire; carriers to & form G.W.R. station; 14-seater char-à-banc for pleasure parties. T.N. 11 Modbury
Stevens Sidney John, shopkeeper, Broad street
Symons William, tobacconist, Broad street
Taylor Martin, farmer, Shearlangston
The Garage, Modbury (James Henry Ruse, M.T.A. proprietor), adjoining Great Western hotel, automobile engineer; official repairer to A.A., M.U., R.A.C. & B.R.T.A.; tyre stockist; spare parts; petrol installations; dealers in cars of all makes. Telegrams, "Ruse, Modbury;" T.N. 15 Modbury
Triggs Cyril, insurance agent, Church street
Triggs Edward, carrier, Church street
Trinick William Henry, printer & stationer & sub-post-master, & registrar of births & deaths, Modbury sub-district, Kingsbridge union, 14 Broad street
Wakeham Frederick, builder, Back street
Walker James Lawrence, draper, 2 Broad street
Weekes Reginald Newton, M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Lond. physician & surgeon, 30 Church street
Williams Samuel J. farmer, Great Orcherton