Morchard Bishop


"MORCHARD (BISHOP'S,) a large village, 6 miles N.W. by N. of Crediton, has in its parish 7088 acres, and 1880 inhabitants, including many scattered houses and the small hamlets, &c., of Oldborough, Knightstone, Lowertown, Middlecott, Woodgate, Frost, Redhill, Leigh, and Woodlane. . . . J.H. Hippisley, Esq., is lord of the manor, which anciently belonged to the Bishops of Exeter, and afterwards passed to the Carew, Southcote, Boucher, and other families. Lady Churchill, J.C. Churchill, Esq., the Rev. C. Tucker, J. Sillifant, Esq., B.T. Radford, Esq., the Trustees of the late Rev. G. Gregory, and many smaller owners have estates in the parish. The Church (St. Mary,) is a fine antique structure, with a painted east window, and a tower containing five bells. The rectory, valued in K.B. at £36, and in 1831 at £635, is in the incumbency of the Ven. John Bartholomew, M.A., who has 63A. 3R. 5P. of glebe, and a good residence, built about 60 years ago. J.H. Hippisley, Esq., is the patron, and the tithes were commuted in 1841, for £750 per annum. Here is a small Chapel used by the Independents and Wesleyans, and another belonging to the Bible Christians. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

Also known as Morchard Episcopi. A parish in Crediton Hundred, under the Peculiar jurisdiction of the Bishop of Exeter.



Davy, Mary. A Shipwreck Survivor, Devon Family Historian, vol. 122, (2007) pp.14. [Edward Tolley, survivor of the wreck of the "John", 1855, d. Morchard Bishop, 1899]



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

A transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions for the Church of St Mary is held in the Society of Genealogist's Library, in Vol. 6 of Devon Memorial inscriptions (DE/M19).

Pope, Robert. Burials & Some Monumental Inscriptions for Morchard Bishop Churchyard & War Memorial 1606-1999. [Devon FHS Library 929.31PAR Mor]

Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]



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


Church History

Morchard Bishop - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Mills, M. & R. Stanton. Morchard Bishop: the church of St. Mary the Virgin and brief history of the village. Chulmleigh Resorce & Info Cent (1993) [8]p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/MOR/MIL]

God is with us: the story of Emmanuel Methodist Chapel, Morchard Bishop, Devon, 1846-1996. Nigel & Jacquie Galton (1996) [41]p: ill,ports. [Westcountry Studies Library - p287.1/MOR/GOD]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1660 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1660, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1606, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

Elsie Person offers lookups of Morchard Bishop Christenings, Marriages and Burials (1650-1850).

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

The members' area of the Devon FHS website makes available online images, not at present (Jan 2016) available elsewhere, of the Parish Registers covering Morchard Bishop Baptisms, Marriages and Burials: 1660-1711, Baptisms and Burials: 1776-1812, Baptisms: 1813-1839, Baptisms: 1838-1853, Baptisms: 1853-1900, Baptisms: 1900-1915, Marriages and Banns: 1754-1793, Marriages and Banns: 1793-1812, Marriages: 1813-1837, Marriages: 1837-1905, Marriages: 1905-1915, Banns: 1815-1872, Burials: 1813-1859, Burials: 1859-1915.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1807-37 - see Barnstaple Circuit, Exeter Mint (PRO RG 4/954, 1207, 1208)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1660-1850, and Marriages 1660-1850.

Cole, Jean A. Morchard Bishop, Devon - Bishops Transcripts 1606-1644. (1995) [DFHS LOC 395]

[Parish register] Contents: Christenings 1776-1839, marriages 1754-1837, burials 1776-1812. Typescript [1980] 200p. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.3/MOR/1754]

Deanery Of Cadbury - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837 And Burials 1813-1837, CD060, Exeter, Devon FHS (2014). [Brampford Speke Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1840; Cadbury Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Cadeleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1810-1837; Cheriton Fitzpaine Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Colebrooke Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Crediton Presbyterian Chapel Bur: 1826-1837; Crediton Bapt: 1813-1843 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Down St Mary Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1770-1837; Kennerleigh Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Morchard Bishop Bapt: 1813-1837 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Nether Exe Bapt: 1814-1851 Mar: 1773-1807 Bur: 1813-1856; Newton St. Cyres Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1840; Poughill Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1838 Bur: 1770-1837; Sandford Bapt: 1813-1838 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Shobrooke Bapt: 1813-1839 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Stockleigh English Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1813-1837; Stockleigh Pomeroy Bapt: 1813-1843 Mar: 1752-1837 Bur: 1813-1851; Thorverton Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1839 Bur: 1813-1837; Upton Hellions Bapt: 1813-1842 Mar: 1754-1837 Bur: 1678-1929; Upton Pyne Bapt: 1813-1840 Mar: 1754-1838 Bur: 1800-1837.]


Description & Travel

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

The Morchard Bishop Parish Council website.

Conservation Area Appraisal for Morchard Bishop - an interesting account of the area, with numerous photographs and maps.

You can see pictures of Morchard Bishop which are provided by:



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



This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Honer, Douglas E. A Moore family of Morchard Bishop: some notes. (1980) 7 leaves,plates: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - px929.2/MOO]

Wreford, George. Pedigree and sketch of the Wreford family of Clannaborough and Morchard Bishop, Devonshire. London: Vincent Brooks, Day and Son, 1888. [Raymond: Includes folded pedigrees, 17-19th c.]

Wreford, G. Records and Pedigree of the Wreford Family of Devonshire, 2nd ed.(1909) [Westcountry Studies Library, Plymouth Library]

The family of Easton, of Morchard Episcopi, Devon, and Bradford, Somerset, Western Antiquary 1886, 125-9. See also 166-7, 169-70, 250, pp. 272-3. [Medieval. ]



Sue Davey's Morchard Bishop pages provide historical information, and parish register extracts.

Bob Pope has provided Morchard Bishop Records - which describes various early records related to the parish, and includes transcriptions of the Lay Subsidy Roll (1332 and 1524), the Muster Roll (1569) a Rate Listing (1600), Protestation Oath Returns (16420, the Hearth Tax (1674), a Manor Survey (1777) and a listing of 18th Century personalities.

Morchard Bishop in the Eighteenth Century by Bob Pope, provided by the Friends of Devon Archives.

Kingaby, Jeff. The Book of Morchard Bishop: A Devonshire Heartland Parish. Halsgrove Press, Halsgrove House, Lower Moor Way, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6SS (1999) 160p. [ISBN 1841140376]



Detailed notes on the Court Rolls of the Manor of Morchard Arundell, by Penny Whicher.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS773075 (Lat/Lon: 50.853961, -3.744527), Morchard Bishop which are provided by:


Names, Personal

Morchard Bishop contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.



The Morchard Messenger, published monthly, is delivered free to virtually all of the 400 households in the parish and some are posted to various parts of the world. The Editor Keith Davies is prepared to insert brief notices (50 words maximum) to assist people tracing their ancestors.

Extracts from Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, relating to Morchard Bishop, provided by Lindsey Withers.


Probate Records

Will of Matthew Wrayford (1623) provided by John Moore.

Summaries of the wills of Mathew Wreford (1671), Matthew Wreford (1752), William Wreford (1763) and William Wreford (1798) provided by John Moore.

Will of William Challice (1863), provided by Paul Challice.

Will of Richard Gibbings (1846), provided by Ros Dunning.

Will of Gilbert Philip (1655), provided by Peter Phillips.