Selman of Nywenham

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. VI, (January 1910 to October 1911), pp.7-8.


George S. S. Strode

Prepared by Michael Steer

Nywenham or Newnham (since circa 1718, Old Newnham) in the parish of Plympton St Mary in Devon is a historic estate long held by the Devonshire family of Strode.] The ancient mansion house is situated 1 mile north-east of St Mary's Church, beside the Smallhanger Brook, a tributary of the Tory Brook, itself flowing into the River Plym. The house was abandoned by the Strode family in about 1700 when they built a new mansion on the site of Loughtor Manor House, about 1/3 mile to the north-east of Old Newnham. The note’s author seeks reader help in Tracing a number of early inhabitants. The article, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

3. SELMAN OF NYWENHAM. - Can any reader of Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries give me any information as to the family of "Selman" of "Nywenham, Plympton St. Mary?" In Devon Notes and Queries, vol. V, p. 19, is an extract from Prince's second volume of Worthies of Devon, in which mention is made of "Robert de Plimton" of "Newnham" or Newenham."

The facts I have so far been able to discover are: - Simon de Plimton held Shelston, Baccamoor and Holland 1303 [Feud. Aids, 345, 353.) Simon de Nywenham held the same 1346 [Feud. Aids. 388, 402.) This Simon is said by Pole to be Simon de Plimton, who took the name of Newenham from the name of his house, and to have married Cecily, d. and co-h. of John Doddiscomb of Doddiscombslegh.

John de Nywenham was living on 10th Oct. 1399, when he presented Simon (de) Nywenham to the rectory of Doddiscombslegh. (Bishop Stafford's Registers, p. 164.) John Selman and Elizabeth his wife and their children were granted a license for a private chapel or oratory at their mansion of Nywenham in Plympton St. Mary, 1st Feb. 1408-9. (Bishop Stafford's Registers, p. 280.) John Selman, of Nywenham, Lord of Odescomb, con- firmed grant to Magdalene Hospital of certain lands given by Ralph, son of Ralp de Odescomb, 7th Sep., 1425 (Exeter Corporation Deeds, No. lxxviii).

It is, I think, evident from the above, either that John Selman (de) Nywenham and John de Nywenham were either one and the same or else that they were in some way related, as they evidently held the same property.

In 1464 the property was in the Strode family, as evidenced by the will of Richard Strode, of Newenham, 1464 (this I have). The difficulty I find is that in Bishop Stafford's Registers mention is made of Simon Nywenham, 1399; Robert Nywenham, 1418; William Nywenham, 1396; also of John Selman, 1404; Walter Selman, 1418-9; Nicholas Selman, 1414 ; Richard Selman, 1404 ; also John Nywenham, 1405 ; and this seems to point to two distinct families.

I shall be very grateful for any help, or even for any hints, as to how I can further trace these individuals. The references to Bishop Stafford's Registers are those of Prebendary Hingeston-Randolph's work.

                      George S. S. Strode.