"MORTHOE; is a scattered village, five miles W.S.W. of Ilfracombe, picturesquely seated on the sea coast, where that narrow rocky promontory, called Morte Point juts out more than a mile into the Bristol Channel, between Bockham and Morte Bays, where there is a dangerous reef of rocks, on which vessels have often been wrecked. The parish contains 372 souls, and about 2500 acres of land, rising boldly from the sea cliffs, and including the hamlets of Horsborough, Shesborough, and Estacott. Earl Fortescue is lord of the manor of Over Wallacombe, and Sir J.P.B. Chichester owns that of Wallacombe-Tracy. The latter was long the seat of the ancient family of Tracy; and Sir Wm. Tracy is said to have lived here secluded from the world after his participation in the murder of Thomas a Becket. The Church (St Mary,) is an ancient structure, with a short tower and three bells. It contains the richly ornamented tomb of Wm. de Tracy, a former rector, who founded a chantry in it in 1308." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in Shebbear Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter. According to Peskett, Lee is a modern parish (1869) incorporating parts of this parish and Ilfracombe.
Parish Registers going back to 1727 are held in the Devon Record Office.
The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1750-1837 - for details see their book list.
Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):
Mr Irwin's Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1807-37 - see Barnstaple Circuit (PRO RG 4/954)
Nothing transcribed into the IGI (as of Jan 1993).
Brock, Bob and Ann. From Cradle to Grave 1900-1919, 20 years of Birth, Marriage and Death Notices Taken from the 'North Devon Journal' for the parishes of Ashford, Bittadon, Heanton Punchardon, Georgeham, Marwood, Morthoe and West Down Braunton Museum, The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, N. Devon EX33 1AA (2002?) 60p.