From White's Devonshire Directory of 1850

WOLBOROUGH, or Woolborough Parish, comprises only about 970 acres of land, and had 2609 inhabitants in 1841, of whom 1192 were returned as being in Newton Abbot, but the whole parish is in the town and suburbs of that improving place, as noticed below.

NEWTON-ABBOT, in Wolborough parish, is an ancient market town, picturesquely seated on the north side of the small river Lemon, near its confluence with the navigable river Teign, and near the South Devon Railway, 15 miles S. by W. of Exeter, 7 miles W. by S. of Teignmouth, 29 miles E.N.E. of Plymouth, and 187 miles W.S.W. of London. It has now about 3000 inhabitants, exclusive of its suburb of NEWTON BUSHEL, which has more than 1000 inhabitants, and forms the northern part of the town, on the opposite side of the Lemon rivulet, and in Highweek parish, and in Teignbridge Hundred, as afterwards noticed. The town has been much improved during the last ten years, and is situated in one of the most fertile and picturesque parts of Devon. A canal, about 2½ miles long, made by the father of the late Geo. Templer, Esq., connects the navigable part of the Teign, about a mile from the town, with a railway which was made at a later period, and extends about 7 miles north-west to the Haytor granite works, whence immense quantities of granite are sent down the river, to be shipped at Teignmouth for London and other places, where it is in great request for the erection of public buildings, especially bridges, quays, &c. Newton was the first town in which William, Prince of Orange, made a declaration, after landing at Brixham. (See pages 58 and 426.) A stone pedestal, with an inscription, commemorating this event, stands in the middle of Wolborough street. The Prince of Orange, before his advance to Exeter, sojourned a short time at Ford House, the manor house of Wolborough, now occupied by Hy. Cartwright, M.D. The manor of Wolborough, which includes Newton Abbot, was given to Tor Abbey by its founder, William, Lord Briwere, or Brewer. Some time after the dissolution, in the reign of James I., it was purchased by Sir Richard Reynell, whose heiress carried it in marriage to Sir Wm. Waller, the parliamentary general. The heiress of the latter married Sir Wm. Courtenay, an ancestor of the Earl of Devon, the present lord of the manor, and owner of most of the soil. Sir Richard Reynell was an eminent lawyer, and built Ford House, where he entertained Charles I. and his suite for several days, in which he and his brother Thomas received the honour of knighthood. The house remains in its original form, and is a large cemented mansion, with an extensive and well wooded lawn. Abbot Ley House, built in 1847-'8, is the pleasant seat of James King, Esq. The Rev. Richard Lane is lord of the manor of Teignweek, including Newton Bushel, in Highweek parish, which was held in the 13th and 14th centuries, by the Bushell, or Bussell family, whose heiress carried it in marriage to the Yardes, in the reign of Richard II. In 1751, it was sold by Gilbert Yarde, Esq., to Thomas Veale, Esq., from whom it passed to his nephew, Thomas Lane, Esq., father of its present owner. The lord of this manor had a grant for a market at Newton Bushel, in 146, and one for two fairs at Bradley, in 1308; but they were discontinued in the reign of Philip and Mary, when the Yarde family purchased the rights of the markets and fairs of the adjoining town of Newton Abbot. Bradley House, the ancient manor house, is now the property of the Rev. F.S. Wall, B.C.L., lord of the manor of Highweek. The Duke of Somerset, and several smaller proprietors, have estates in the two parishes. NEWTON ABBOT is said to have possessed an ancient charter, and was formerly a borough, governed by a portreeve and other officers, still appointed at the courts leet and baron. The office of the portreeve is little more than honorary; but on the night of his inauguration, he gives a good supper to the electors, who light him home to his residence at the close of the entertainment. The town gives name to a large Poor Law Union and County Court and Polling District, and has a Town Hall, (built in 1848 at the cost of about £1000,) where petty sessions are held on the last Tuesday of every month, by the magistrates of Teignbridge Division, to whom Mr. Wm. Flamank is clerk. The County Court is held monthly, in the same building, for all the 39 parishes of Newton Abbot Union. Mr. P. Pearce is the clerk, and Mr. E. Burch the high bailiff. The market, held every Wednesday, is numerously attended by the farmers, &c., of the surrounding district, and well supplied with all sorts of provisions. Here is a great market for cattle, &c., on the last Wednesday in February; and three annual fairs, held on June 24th, and the Wednesdays after September 11th and November 14th. The old market-house and shambles stood in the middle of Wolborough street, but they were removed in 1826, after the completion of the present convenient market place, built on an open space at the end of Market street. The town has many good houses and shops, especially in the new streets laid out during the last ten years. The Globe Hotel, erected a few years ago, by the Earl of Devon, at the cost of about £6000, is constructed of granite, and has a handsome portico, and a spacious and elegant Ball Room, for the accommodation of assemblies, concerts, &c. The Gas Works were constructed in 1839, at the cost of about £3000, raised in £6 shares. Woolborough Parish Church (St. James,) stands on an eminence more than half a mile south of the town, and is a large cemented structure, with a tower and four bells. The chancel has three stained glass windows, and contains a handsome monument, with recumbent effigies of Sir Richard Reynell and his lady, who died in 1633 and 1652. The living is a donative, valued at £235, with the curacy of Newton Abbot annexed to it, in the patronage of the Earl of Devon and incumbency of the Rev. Wm. C. Clark. There is no Parsonage, and only 3 roods of glebe. The tithes were commuted in 1845, for £260 per annum. Newton Abbot Chapel of Ease (St. Leonard,) was built by subscription, in 1836, when the old one was pulled down, except the tower, which contains a clock and six bells, and is left standing in the middle of Wolborough street. Highweek Parish Church (All Saints,) is in the small village of Highweek, on an eminence about a mile north of the town. It is an ancient structure, with an embattled tower and six bells. It is in the perpendicular style of the time of Henry VI., and in its window are some remnants of ancient stained glass. The benefice is a perpetual curacy, consolidated with the vicarage of King's Teignton, in the patronage of the Bishop, and incumbency of the Rev. H. Woolcombe, jun., for whom the Rev. W. Sadler, B.A., officiates. Here is 13A. 2R. 8P. of glebe, but no parsonage. The tithes of Highweek parish were commuted in 1840, the vicarial for £245, and the rectorial for £183. 10s. The Trustees of the late J. Kendrick are impropriators of the latter. Newton Bushell Chapel of Ease (Virgin Mary,) for that part of the parish of Highweek, is an old Gothic fabric, which was repaired and enlarged in 1826, and has a tower and one bell. It stands in Bridge street, and was built by Richard Yarde, Esq., in the 21st of Henry VIII. The interior has now a neat appearance, and contains a good painting of "The Nativity of our Saviour", presented by James Templer, Esq. Here is a small Baptist Chapel, rebuilt in 1820; an Independent Chapel, rebuilt in 1S;36, at the cost of £800; a Wesleyan Chapel, in Courtenay street, built in 1848, at the cost of £550, and a smaller one in Mill lane, erected many years ago. The Independent Chapel has an endowment of £38 per annum, as afterwards noticed. The town has a Literary Society, with a good library; a Mechanics' Institution, established in 1836; a well supplied News Room; and an Agricultural and Labourers' Friend Society. It has a Savings' Bank, several Provident and Friendly Societies, National and British Schools, and various Charities, belonging to the two parishes.

WOLBOROUGH. - The Parish Lands, &c., have been vested in trust from an early period, for the relief of the poor, and the adorning and repairing of Wolborough church and the chapel of Newton Abbot, and for other public and charitable uses in the parish. They comprise 15A. 3R. 2P., and about 24 houses and cottages, let in 1820 at rents amounting to only about £109, but now worth more than £350 per annum. Large fines were paid on the granting of the leases for 99 years, terminable on three lives. The trustees also derive 18s. a year from four small rent-charges. Out of the income about £9 per annum is distributed in linen cloth among the poor, and the rest is chiefly applied in the service of the church and chapel, New trustees of these and other charity estates of this parish were appointed by the Court of Chancery, after much litigation, in 1821. In 1610, LADY LUCY REYNELL founded an ALMSHOUSE in this parish for the reception of four poor widows of clergymen of Devonshire or the city of Exeter, to be appointed by the trustees and the owner of her capital messuage of Ford House, the latter of whom to have the casting vote. For the payment of yearly stipends of £5 to each of the four widows, and for other charitable purposes, the foundress gave a house and 29A. of land at Paignton, now let for about £63, and a house and several acres of land at Wolborough, worth about £10 per annum. About 1790, the old almshouses were taken down, and two houses were built in their stead, for the residence of two clergymen's widows, who each receive £10 per annum. The rest of the clear income is applied to charitable uses, pursuant to a decree of the Court of Chancery. In 1606, ROBERT HAYMAN gave four small almshouses for the residence of poor parishioners, and for their reparation and the relief of the poor he gave an adjoining tenement, garden, and orchard, now let for only 10s. per annum. The poor have the dividends of £100 four per cent. stock, left by John Sloman in 1789. A yearly rent-charge of £12 was left in 1777, by Aaron Tozer, to be applied as follows, viz., £4 towards the support of a young man preparing for the Independent ministry, and £8 towards the support of the minister of the Independent Chapel, in Wolborough street. In 1788, HANNAH MARIA BEARNE gave £1450 vested on mortgage, and £1000 three per cent. consols, in trust that the interest and dividends should be applied in supporting a FREE SCHOOL for the education of poor children of Highweek and Wolborough, except £30 a year to be paid to the minister of the above-named chapel, on condition that he should deliver a weekly lecture on Thursday evenings. The mortgages have been redeemed, and the property now belonging to this charity consists of £4471. 12s. 4d. three per cent. consols, yielding £134 per annum, of which about £90 is paid to the schoolmaster and mistress for teaching about 80 boys and 70 girls. A school-house was built by the trustees some years ago, and many of the children belong to the established church, as did the foundress, though five of the seven trustees appointed by her were dissenters. It is now conducted as a British School, and here is also a large National School.

HIGHWEEK.- The Parish Lands, &c., vested in trust for charitable uses from an early period, comprise about 8 acres and five houses, let for £34. 9s. per annum, and a house and garden occupied by paupers. There is also belonging to the trust a sum of £200 three per cent. reduced annuities, purchased with money which arose from fines and the sale of timber. There is also on the estate a small Almshouse, occupied by poor people. Most of the clear income is distributed in money and clothing among the poor, and £5 is paid yearly in aid of the National School. Gilberd's Almshouse was founded as an hospital for lepers, by John Gilberd, who endowed it, in 1538, with an adjacent close of one acre, and with a yearly rent-charge of £4, paid by the Corporation of Exeter. The almshouse has five tenements for as many inmates. The acre of land is held by the feoffees of the parish land in consideration of their repairing the almshouse and paying 12s. a year to the inmates. The poor parishioners have the following yearly sums, viz.: 20s. left by John Peter out of the tithes of Cornworthy; 2s. left by one Bickford, out of Wannell's house; and £2 from a house and garden left in 1632, by Robert Hayman, for distributions of shirts and shifts.

NEWTON ABBOT UNION comprises the 39 parishes of Abbotskerswell, Ashburton, Beckington, Bishop's Teignton, Bovey-Tracey, Buckland-in-the-Moor, Broadlhempston, Cockington, Coombinteignhead, Dawlish, King's Teignton, Hennock, Lustleigh, Moreton. Hampstead, Manaton, North Bovey, Coffinswell, Chudleigh, Denbury, East and West Ogwell, East and West Teignmouth, Haccomb, Highweek. llsington, Ipplepen, Ideford, Kingskerswell, St. Nicholas, St. Mary Church, Stokeinteignhead, Teigngrace, Trusham, Tor-Brian, Tor-Moham, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Woodland, and Wolborough. These parishes extend over an area of 184 square miles, and had 44,358 inhabitants in 1841, living in 8528 houses, besides which there were 670 empty houses and 90 building when the census was taken. Their total average annual expenditure on the poor during the three years preceding the formation of the union was £16,756. In 1838 it was £12,938, and in 1840, £15,997. The Workhouse, which has room for about 400 inmates, is pleasantly situated on the eastern side of the town, and is one of the best in England, both in external appearance and internal arrangement. The building and furnishing cost about £13,000. The various wards, yards, &c., occupy nearly two acres, and attached to it are about two acres of garden ground. There are 56 elected guardians, and the Rev. C. Wolston is chairman. Mr. John Alsop is the union clerk and superintendent registrar; the Rev. W.F. Good, chaplain; and James and Mrs. Blythe, master and matron of the Workhouse. Messrs. Matthew White, Ebenezer Metherell, and John Foaden are the relieving officers. The Union is divided into 13 medical and six registration districts. Mr. Andrew Bearne is registrar of Births and Deaths for Newton-Abbot District, and Mr. J.S. Bearne is his deputy. The Board meets every Wednesday at eleven o'clock.

Brian Randell, 5 Feb 1999