A Topographical Dictionary of England
Samuel Lewis (1831)
Transcript copyright Mel Lockie (Sep 2016)
OTTERTON, a parish in the eastern division of the hundred of BUDLEIGH, county of DEVON, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Sidmouth, containing 1071 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Exeter, rated in the king's books at £22, and in the patronage of Lord Rolle. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. There was formerly a chapel at Hederland. The river Otter runs through the parish. Fairs are held on the Wednesday in Easter week and October 11th. Here was an Alien priory of Black monks, founded in the reign of the Conqueror, and subordinate to the abbey of St. Michael in Pericula Maris, in Normandy; at the suppression, in the 1st of Edward IV., its revenue was estimated at £87. 10. 4., and its possessions were given to the monastery of Sion. The prior enjoyed the singular rights of first choice in the fish-market, of appropriating to himself the half of every dolphin brought thither, and of claiming every porpoise at the price of "twelve pence, and a loaf to each sailor, and two to the master."