A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
TAWTON (NORTH), a parish in the hundred of NORTH TAWTON with WINKLEY, county of DEVON, 7 miles (N. E.) from Oakhampton, containing 1563 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £32. 4. 7., and in the patronage of the Rev. George Hole. The church is dedicated to St. Peter. There is a place of worship for Independents. This place was anciently called Cheping Tawton, i.e., "a market town on the Taw," which river runs through the parish. Its market charter was confirmed in 1270, at which period it was a borough town, being still governed by a portreeve, elected annually at the manorial court. The market was discontinued about 1720, but cattle fairs are held on the third Tuesday in April, October 3rd, and December 18th. Here was once an extensive woollen manufacture, and there is still a spinning- mill. Ten children are educated for about £14. 14. a year, part of the produce of a messuage and lands, the gift of the Rev. Richard Hole, in 1783. There were formerly chapels at Crook-Burnell, Nichols-Nymet, and Bath-Barton, in this parish; the last is the birthplace of Henry de Bathe, a learned justiciary of the thirteenth century, he died in 1262. Henry Tozer, expelled from Exeter College for his loyalty, in 1648, was a native of this place; he was the author of "Directions for a Devotional Life," which passed through ten editions. In the neighbourhood, a small brook sometimes issues out of a large pit ten feet deep, and continues running for several days together, like that called Woobourne in Hertfordshire.