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The History of Chudleigh, Devon


THE Church * is a handsome structure, and was dedicated to St. Martin and St. Mary by Bishop Bronscombe on Nov. 6, 1259; but the architecture of the present fabric is of a later date, and at various times has been partially altered. It consists of a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, and a tower. It is built of limestone interspersed with red sandstone, and in some parts coped with granite. The south aisle is crowned with granite battlements with a bold moulding underneath of the same material; the windows on that side of the church are also of granite. In the chancel the windows are formed of red stone, and all the others of freestone. The greatest length of the edifice in the interior is 128 feet, and the greatest breadth 56 foct. The tower, 22 feet by 15, is substantially built, and finished at the top with a dwarf pointed roof. It contains six harmonious bells, and chimes (tune York), which play at nine, one, and five o'clock.

* In this Church several official acts of our Bishops were performed ; viz. the endowment of St. Probus' Vicarage, in Cornwall. “Datum et actum in Ecclia, Parochiali de Chudelegh VIII Kal Maii A.D. MCCCXII” by Bishop Walter Stapledon. Oliver's Eccl. Ant.

The church forms the subject of a deed of John, Bishop of Exeter, between the years 1186 and 1191. Bishop Grandisson, by will, dated Sept. 8, 1368, bequeathed to it "ducis campanas majores in campanili capelle mee de Chuddelegh."

In the interior many of the old pews were for a considerable number of years in a dilapidated state, and formed a most unsightly assemblage of irregular, unseemly boxes, of various heights, inclinations, and dimensions, containing with the galleries accommodation for 648 persons; its condition altogether was anything but creditable to the parishioners.

In the year 1843, however, they were fully awakened to the necessity of rendering the house of God more convenient, and more in accordance with its high and holy purposes. They proceeded to the goodly work with energy and zeal. £800 were borrowed of the Public Works Commissioners, on a mortgage of the rates, to which the Dissenters of all denominations liberally consented. The subscription lists soon swelled to a considerable amount, and the total outlay reached about £2,000.

The church was newly pewed throughout, the galleries rebuilt, the fine old screen restored, and the chancel with its fittings entirely remodelled. The principal entrance to the church, which was originally on the north side, was blocked up; and, by the uniform arrangement of the pews, the sittings were increased to 653, of which about 250 are free and unappropriated. The chief entrance to the church is now by a handsome Gothic archway in the tower.

The principal contributors to the restoration were Mrs. Parker, Mr. Parker, Mr. Williams, Mr. Yarde, the Rev. C. M. Edward Collins, and the Rev. W. H. Palk, the vicar.

Since the first edition of this work was published, considerable improvements have been made in the fabric of the church from the proceeds of the sale of the advowson, which, as will be shewn further on, was the property of the parishioners.

A recent act of parliament enabled them to dispose of their preferment. They availed themselves of its provisions, and, in 1868, sold the advowson to Ellis James Gilman, Esq., for £3750, who is the present patron.

The principal inducement to this sale was the insecure and dilapidated state of the roof of the church, which had been, on a careful survey, pronounced dangerous and unsafe. But another important element, also conducive to the disposal of the living, was the propriety of putting an end to the appointment of a vicar by the votes of the inhabitants in a popular election, which had given rise to great differences of opinion on every exercise of their privilege, and engendered feelings of animosity throughout the parish.

The sale supplied ample funds for the repairs of the church; and the trustees appointed for the purpose set about their work with energy and liberality, and accomplished their task promptly and successfully.

An entire new roof has been placed over the whole fabric; the external walls have been supported by substantial and tasteful buttresses; proper adits and drains made round the church; and the whole external masonry pointed, and where necessary restored. Few churches in the diocese present a handsomer appearance, or one more worthy of its holy object, than our parish church does now.

The trustees, notwithstanding the liberal outlay on the fabric, have set aside - as they were authorized to do by the act above referred to - £800, as a fund for the future repairs of the building, which is invested in £ 874 : 6 : 4 New 3 per Cents, in the names of four of the trustees.

The first object which attracts the eye of the spectator, on entering the building, is the splendid east window of stained glass, placed there at the sole cost of the late John Williams, Esq., in memory of his esteemed friend, the Rev. Gilbert Burrington, for fifty-five years vicar of this parish. It is of the decorated style of English architecture, and consists of five lights. The centre represents our Saviour crowned, beneath the Crucifixion. On the right are the figures of St. Peter and St. Paul; above which, in medallions, are representations of the Nativity and our Lord's Baptism; and under them the Agony in the Garden, and Christ bearing the Cross. On the left side are the figures of St. James and St. John; above are medallions uniform with the right side descriptive of our Saviour washing his disciples' feet, and the Last Supper; beneath them the Resurrection, and the Ascension. In the upper corner, on the right, is a figure of St. Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar, and on the left the figure of the Virgin Mary; who are, as before stated, the patron saints of the church. The head of the window is filled with devices emblematic of the Trinity and Crucifixion ; and at the base is the following inscription: -

In honorem Dei et in piam memoriam Gilberti Burrington LV. annos hujus parochiæ Vicarii dedicat Johannes Williams, anno sacro MDCCCXLVII.”

The side windows of the chancel are also filled with stained glass in memory of William Isaac Scott, Vice Admiral, Royal Navy; Mrs. Thomas, wife of the late Rev. Chas. A. N. Thomas; and Sir Lawrence V. Palk, Bart., of Haldon House.

The communion is a chaste work of art. The tiles and elegant tesselated floor, by Minton, and the rails are gifts of the Rev. W. H. Palk in memory of his friend and curate, the Rev. Charles Ascanius Nevill Thomas. The handsome covering for the communion table is the gift of Mrs. Parker, of Whiteway, and the dorsal hangings of the reredos of Lady Morley.

The parish church in the olden time had four stores or altars: - St. Martins, Jesus', the Blessed Virgin's, and St. Christopher's. In one of these, perhaps Jesus', was a picture of the Holy Trinity, before which John Hunt directed by his will that his body be buried. His will is dated 3rd January and was proved 8th March, 1541-2.

In reference to these stores are the following items in the accounts for 1564: -

Young Men Wardens ........... £4 : 8 : 3.
Wardens to the High Store ... £4 : 0 : 8.
Wardens of our Ladys Store . £3 : 13 : 2.

The following entries relate to matters ecclesiastical: -

1578. " Paide to Mr Clyfforde for a new byble, £1 :5:4."
" To the painter for makinge of the tenne
comanndementes, £ 1 : 4 : 4."

It further appears that the functionaries were very slow in executing the commands issued by the Lord Bishop, for we find: -

1579. " Paide for a booke of artickelles, 1s."
" For or chargis beinge comanndide to apere
before my lorde bishope in visitacion, 3s."
" For that Defaulte was founde for lacke of the tenne comanndementes & other things in the church. 1s. 2d."
"To the sumler (sumner) that assysted us to
appeare, 1s. 2d."
"For or chargis when we broughte in our
annswers at exceter at the visitacion, 6d."
" For the fees of the courte, 1s. 4d."

On the north side of the chancel is a handsome monument, ornamented with pilasters, coats of arms, &c. On the, top are the arms of the Courtenay family, with a crescent of difference, impaling those of Shilston. Above the pilaster, on the right side, are the arms of Clifford, with a crescent charged with a mullet, impaling those of Staplehill. Above the left pilaster are the arms of Clifford, with a crescent charged with a mullet, signifying that he was the third son of the second house. Below the centre coat of arms is the following inscription: -

S:r Pierce Courtnay maried Elizabeth ye daughter of Robert Shilston, who had issue VII children. Carew, Edward, and James, sonns ; also daughters Katharine, mar to Kempthorne ; Dorothy, mar. to Cowlinge ; Anne, mar to Clifford ; and Joan, maried to Tremayne.

Then follows a Greek inscription, signifying that this monument was erected by Thomas Clifford in memory of his ancestors.

Below the Greek: -

Ecclus 4. Strive for the truth unto death, and defend justice for thy life, and the Lord God shall fighte for thee.

Beneath this inscription is the figure of a man in armour, in a kneeling posture at a desk, with a book open before him. Over his head are the arms of Courtenay painted on the wall.

Psl. 112. She hath distributed, and given to the poore, her righteousness remayneth for ever.

Beneath this inscription is the figure of a woman in a kneeling posture at a desk, with a book open before her. Over her head are the arms of Shilston painted on the wall. Beneath, on an altar-stone, is the following inscription : -

Here lieth the "body of S.r Pierce Courtney, knight, sonne to S.r Wil:m Courtney of Powdra. knight, who died Ano: Do: 1552, May 20.* Also the body of Dame Elizabeth his wife, sole daughter and heire to Robert Shilston of Bridstowe, esquire, who died the 8th No : Ano: Do: 1605.

* According to Dr. Oliver this is inaccurate, for Sir Peter Courtenay did not make his will until the 23rd day of May, that year. It was proved at Exeter before Dr. Miles Coverdale, the 19th of September following.


On a floor-stone on the south side: -

Intra Januam hanc marmoream, (here a few Greek words) dermiunt reliquice Stephani Avant, Artium Baccalaurei nuper Evccngelii apud Highweek in Hoc Agro Devon Concionatoris - Philippi Avant Vic. de Salcombe ac Gymnasiarchæ Chudliensis Filii unici, qui obiit 28 die Novemb. Anno 1696.

Below a Greek couplet -

Nato vale dilecte vale, spes magna parentis Deseris in terris me, fruerisque Deo.

On a floor-stone on the north side: -

Hic jacet corpus viri clarissimi Domini Thomæ Clifford, Baccalaurei et Theologiæ Doctoris cujus Prosapia a nobili familia Cliffordorum commitatu Cumbriæ qui obiit Septem. Anno Dñi 1634. Ætatis 64.

Aurea miraris Clifford supra astra migrasse
Et terra exosos deseruisse lows?
Define mirari: decorat quern numen Olympi

Menie pia et genio nobilitante genus.
Quern musee exornant cui mopes curare voluptas

Et Christe electis invigilare tuis,
Hie jure a lutea removetur sede, superna

Ceelicolum et datus est in regione locus.

The chancel is separated from the nave by a quaintly carved oak rood-screen, which until recently was covered up with plaster. When the old pews were removed, twenty curious paintings were discovered in the pannels at its base, representing the apostles and prophets, each having a Latin inscription. The screen has been restored and is a fine specimen of its kind.

The inscriptions * are in the following order: -

1. Petrus. Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem Creatorem cœli et terræ.

Peter. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.

2. Jeremias. Patrem invocabitis qui fecit cœlum et terram.

Jeremiah. Ye shall call me my Father who made heaven and earth.

3. Andreas. Et in Jesum Christum Filium ejus unicum Dominum nostrum.

Andrew. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord.

4. Paulus. Deus dixit ad me filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.

Paul. God has said unto me thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

5. Jacobus Major. Qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto natus ex Maria Virgine.

James the Elder. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.

6. Ysaias. Ecce Virgo concipiet et pariet filium.

Isaiah. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son.

7. Johnes Evangl. Passus sub Pontio Pilato crucifixus mortuus et sepultus.

John the Evangelist. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.

8. Zacharias. Aspicient illi eum qui crucifixerunt.

Zechariah. They shall look on Him whom they have crucified.

9. Thomas. Descendit ad inferos tertia die resurget.

Thomas. He descended into hell, and the third day he shall rise again.

10. Oseas. 0 mors ero mors tua morsus tuus ero inferus.

Hosea. 0 death I will be thy plague, 0 grave I will be thy destruction.

11. Jacobus. Ascendit ad cœlos sedet ad dexteram Patris.

Jacob. He hath ascended into heaven, and sifcteth at the right hand of God.

12. Amos. Qui adædificat in cœlo ascensionem suam.

Amos. Who builds his ascent in heaven.

13. Philipp. Inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos.

Philip. Who shall judge the quick and dead.

14. Malachii. Ascendam ad vos in judicio et ero vobis iesus.

Malachi. I will come to you in judgment and be a Saviour to you.

15. Bartholomeus. Credo in spiritum sanctum.

Bartholomew. I believe in the Holy Ghost.

16. Joel. Effundam de spiritu meo super omnem carnem.

Joel. I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.

17. Mattheus. Sanctam ecclesiam catholicam sanctorum communionem.

Matthew. The holy catholic church, the communion of saints.

18. Sophonias. Invocabunt eum omnes et servent ei.

Zephaniah. They shall call upon and shall serve him.

19. Simon. Remissionem peccatorum.

Simon. The remission of sins.

20. Mychias. Deponet dominus omnes iniquitates vestras.

Micah. The Lord shall take away all your iniquities.

* The English translation is added for the general reader. 

The screen, without doubt, anciently extended across the south aisle. By the removal of this part of it, the creed is not finished; but the addition of two pannels with the words -

" Carnis resurrectionem "
Resurrection of the body,

" Vitam æternam. Amen. "
And the life everlasting. Amen.

would render it complete. -

In 1582 the south aisle and a new porch were added to the church, according to the parish accounts. In a will made by Wm. Renel 17th April 1544 and proved at Exeter 18th July following, 30s. were bequeathed to the byldynge of the new ambulatorye (aisle) of Chudleigh Churche. This aisle is supported by eight granite pillars. Here stood formerly the altar of the Virgin Mary, before which Thomas Taylor, a Canon of Crediton Church, desired by his last will and testament to be buried. For the use of the said altar he bequeathed a silver chalice. The will, proved Dec. 15, 1452, may be seen in Bishop Lacy's register. In other wills the stores of Jesus and of St. Christopher are mentioned.

In the same aisle is a monument in memory of James Eastchurch: his effigy as low as the waist is fixed in a niche in the wall. He is represented in the act of praying, a velvet cushion before him ; his hair straightly combed on his forehead, a single curl round his neck, and a large ruff; a black gown, full at the sleeves, and a crimson waistcoat. Under is the following inscription: -

Memoriæ sacrum Jacobi Eastchurch parva corporis minore animi, imbecillitate, 85 feliciter complevit annos qui prolem habuit tres filios, Richardu Henr & Rober. Ut autem inter Angelos feliciorem agat . . . . apud Prœdium suum Lawell Co D . . . . . Decemb. Ao Di 1631, libentr ob ....

Blest pilgrime Eastchurch, long thou'st travell'd, and
At length with joy attain'd the Holy Land.
Thou'st left this militant and ta'en thy way
To Heaven's triumphant church to live for aye;
(As thy forefathers did) rest thou with them
For ever in the new Jerusalem.

On a floor-stone in the south aisle :-

Here lyeth the body of Giles Inglett, ye elder, of this pish, gent. who-was buried the 30th day of Octobr, Ano Dom. 1682, aged 79 years; Also here lyeth Hellen, wife of the said Giles Inglett, who was buried the 2d day of November, Ano Dom. 1676, aged 71 yeares. And also the body of Mary, wife of Giles Inglett the younger, of this pish, gent. who was buried the 28th day of January, Ano Dom. 1681, aged 86 yeares. Also the body of Giles, son of ye said Giles Inglett the younger, was buried ye 26 day of May, Anno Dom. 1693, aged 21 yeares.

On a floor-stone in the south aisle:-

Here lyeth ye body of John Balle, youngest son of Humfry Balle of Harcombe, gentleman, buried, ye 8 day of August, 1656. And also of John Balle son of ye said John buried ye 21st day of Novemb. 1661.

The son inshrined in his father's dust
Lyes here theire soules are both with God in trust.

Also the body of Sabina Balle, ye daughter of the said John Balle the elde, gent. who was buried the 26th day of January, Anno 1669.

On a mural tablet in the south aisle:-

Erected by William Francis Splatt, to the memory of his mother Elizabeth Splatt, who was born A. D. 1784, and died A. D. 1850, aged 66. For many years she resided at Northwood in this parish. Blessed with a gentle disposition, she was deservedly beloved by all who knew her, and most tenderly endeared to her ten children, six of whom survive to lament their irreparable loss:-the other four, namely, Mary Ann, aged 37 years. Elizabeth, aged 31 years. Susan, aged 27 years, and Anna Maria, aged 22 years, in the prime of life, perished with their mother, by the awful shipwreck of the "Orion" steamship on a voyage from Liverpool to Glasgow 18th June, 1850.

Four of the windows in this aisle are filled with stained glass. That at the east end represents the Transfiguration. It contains three lights; the centre having the figure of our Saviour, the right that of Moses, and the left that of Elias. On the base the figures of Peter, James, and John are vividly portrayed. This beautiful addition to the church was made by Admiral Sir David Dunn, K. C. B., in memory of Lady Dunn, whose estimable qualities were appreciated by all who knew her.

The following is the inscription:-

In pious memory of Louisa Henrietta Dunn, died, A. D. 1849.

Since the above, three other handsome windows have been added to this aisle. One to the memory of Montagu Parker, Esq., and his two sons, represents the Ascension of our Lord in the centre, and angels in the side lights- all beautifully executed in varied and harmonious colours. The second, erected to the memory of the Rev. George Moyle, M.A., head-master of the Grammar School, by his late pupils, contains the figure of our Saviour in the centre, with the archangels Michael and Gabriel on either side. The third is in remembrance of Thomas Yarde, Esq., and his son, the latter of whom died on board ship on his return from India. The centre shews the miracle of Christ walking on the sea, in the act of saving Peter from sinking; and, below, the stilling of the tempest on the lake: the right, the raising of Jairus' daughter; and the left, the raising of the widow's son.

On a floor-stone in the south transept:-

Memoriæ Sacrum Andrew Cholwich, olim hujus parochicæ generosi, qui vitæ scena pie sobrie juste peracta, et ex unico matrimonio quatuor acceptis filiis Andrea Johanne Gulielmo et Thoma decimo secundo die Septembris placide in Domino obdormivit, ætatis suæ anno quinquagesimo septimo æræ autem Xtianæ, MDCLXVII.

Defunctus videor, vivo tamen, auspice Christo ;
Mors est in mundo vivere, vita mori.
Quod cor spiravit moriens, et in ore tenebam.

In cælos iter est. Terra deinde vale.

The handsome circular granite font on a pedestal of Ogwell limestone is well worth mentioning.

On a mural tablet in the middle aisle:-

Sacred to the memory of John Williams, Esq., of this parish, who departed this life on the 23rd of December, 1869, aged 82 years. Beloved and respected by all who knew him from the sincerity and uprightness of his character. His kind and benevolent heart found its chief happiness in providing for the wants and necessities of the sick and needy. Through a long life he walked humbly with his God, and in charity with all men. He died in peaceful hope of the resurrection of eternal life through the merits and intercession of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"I know that my Redeemer liveth."

And over the inscription-
May we, like him, depart in peace.

In the north aisle, commonly called Hunt's aisle, there was formerly an old portrait painted on wood belonging to one of the Hunt family. It represented an elderly man in a kneeling posture, with a book open on a desk at his left hand, and a high crowned hat on a table at his right. In the right hand corner of the tablet was painted-

1601. Etat. 63. Da Gloria Deo.

In the left hand corner were the arms of Hunt, and above the picture the same arms carved in stone. This personage was dressed in a gown with long sleeves, guarded with velvet. Round his neck was a ruff, and depending from a ribbon was a golden badge, representing a small saw, chisel, and mallet. Tradition is silent as to the reason of the picture being placed there; and the parish register makes no mention of any of that family being buried in the year 1601.

Some years since the picture was restored at the expense of M. E. N. Parker, Esq. It was taken down lately for some reason or other, and has not been replaced. Every inquiry has been made, but no one seems to know what has become of it.

On opening a vault in the north-east corner of Hunt's aisle, in the year 1816, a lead coffin was found shaped to the head and neck, six feet long, two feet wide at the shoulders, and gradually narrowing to eleven inches at the feet. Above were found, but removed from their original situations, the remains of a tomb constructed on the sides with freestone, and covered with a slate six feet six inches long, two feet nine inches wide, containing the following mutilated inscription :-

Here lyeth Mr. Thoms Hunte .. . . . . pish Chudleigh who died ye 29 day of Nov. Ao: D: 1602. Al . . . sonne of Thom. Hunte formerly alderman of ye citie of Exeter and anno di 1537.

Maior of ye . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tendimus huc . . . Metam pro . . . ad vivum . . . .

On the south side of the tomb was found a grey marble stone, six feet long and two feet wide, with this inscription *:-

Diormitorwm Nicholai Hunt filii natu maximi Benedicti Hunt de Hams armigeri qui obit: 16to. die Octobris: 1639. anno Ætatis suæ vicesimo secundo.

Flos Juvenum primo
periit sub flore


Triste sui post se


* It may be seen in Hunt's aisle.

Under the stone was found a lead coffin filled in with earth. On the south side was found a moorstone, four feet long and two feet six inches wide, with this inscription:—

Here resteth the body of Mary the only child of Nicholas Hunt and of Triphena his wife, daughter and one of ye coheires of Richard Reynell of Creedye, Esqr.

On a monument in the east wall of the north aisle;—

Here lyeth the body of Bennett Hunt of Hams, in this pish, esqr. who was buried ye first day of July, Anno Dom. 1643, aged 70 years. Also the body of Elizabeth Hunt, the wife of Bennett Hunt, was buried the 2d day of November, 1659. Also the body of Nicholas Hunt, son of Bennett Hunt, was buried the 19h day of October, 1639, aged 22 years. Also the body of Frances, ye wife of John Hunt of Hams, esqr. was buried the 26h day of March, 1672.

Near the above is the piscina, which was discovered hidden in the wall when the church was recently repaired.

On a floor-stone in the north aisle:—

Here lyeth Robert Estchurch of heightly, gentleman, who died the 19 day of . . . ch 15 . .

On a floor-stone in the north aisle:—

Here lyeth ye body of John Bennett, gentleman, late of Whitewaye, who was borne ye 7th of October, Ano 1573, and was buried ye 29th of November, Ano 1629.

Blessed are they that dye in the Lord.

On a floor-stone in the north aisle:-

Here lyeth the body of Thomas Amerideth* of Chudleigh . . deceased, who died the 9th day of March, ano: dm. 1616.

Mors mihi vita:

Blessed are they that dye in the Lord.

* Thomas Amerideth gave £20 the interest to be distributed yearly, on Good. Friday, among the poor of the parish. The principal sum is stated to have been deposited with Bonnet Hunt, Esq., on the security of his bond, which had been placed in the hands of John Coysh, Esq. This charity is lost. His arms on the floor-stone shew him to have been of some note.

Before finishing the description of the interior of the church, we must not forget to mention that a new organ of considerable power, by Foster and Andrews of Hull, , was recently purchased by subscription, and placed in the western gallery ; and that the church is heated by a Rummington stove, well secured. The interior is now lit with gas.

The churchyard is considerably elevated above the road, and, with the church and tower, presents a pleasing and conspicuous object. The trees which adorn the churchyard are of long standing and noble growth; and in them the rooks annually build their nests, their monotonous cawing well harmonizing with the solemnity of the place. Some of the old inhabitants of the town remember the ancient lich gateway by which the churchyard was formerly entered, as well as another entrance by a steep flight of steps immediately opposite the tower. The principal entrance is now at the north-west corner of the yard. The expenses of these various improvements were considerable, and were defrayed by the benevolence of Mrs. Parker and the late John Williams, Esq., independent of the sums raised for the repairs of the church. Among other inscriptions in the churchyard are the following.

Under the north wall of the church:—

Here lyeth the body of Robert Woolcombe, vicar of this church threescore and three years, who died the 19th day of January, 1654. And here resteth under hope of resurrection to eternal life.

Robert Woolcombe was instituted in the year 1600, and the contradiction can be best explained by it being known that he laboured as a curate to his father Benedict, and the whole of his ministry was included in the above inscription.

Near the south wall:—

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Ambrose Wilkins, who departed this life the 25th day of May, 1774, in the 86th year of his age. Master of the Grammar School in this Parish.

The dreary wild, the dreadful storm
To him were trifling cares,
Who did endure, serv'd Ashcombe cure,
For more than 50 years.

On the south side:—

Sacred to the memory of John Tothill, son of Nicholas and Ann Tothill of this parish, who died the 24th day of July, 1760.

Strangers or Friends, if learn'd or good, draw near,
For such as you this tomb demands a tear :
For lo! the dust inclosed was once endued
With every talent to be wise and good.
Learn'd, tho' untaught in all that schools cou'd teach,
That judgment could Improve, or genius reach :
Yet knew no pride, a soul above disguise,
That hothing wish'd to be but good and wise:
He liv'd a blessing on mankind bestow'd,
And died at last an offering fit for God!

The above composition is from the pen of Mr. Matthews, formerly a solicitor of this place. Mr. Tothill was a self-taught philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician of no ordinary merit. Although his talents led to no important results, yet they were highly esteemed; and his virtues were long cherished by a large circle of friends and relatives.

Among several handsome monuments in the churchyard is one to the memory of Mrs. Richards. It consists of a wrought limestone base and cap; on the cap is an oblisk of marble 6ft. high; and the whole is enclosed by massive iron rails. The inscription on a ledger of statuary marble is as follows:-

In affectionate memory of Amy, the beloved wife of John Richards, who departed this life on the 14th day of June, 1872, aged 60 years.

" Thy will be done."

Another in memory of John Williams, Esq., is a neat tomb of Cornish granite, beautifully executed, with the inscription in gilt letters on polished granite:-

Sacred to the memory of John Williams, esq., who departed this life on the 23rd of December, 1869; aged 82 years.

Close by is a fine tomb of statuary marble with a full-length cross carved on the top, in memory of the Rev. Charles and Mrs. Lyne.

The following is the inscription:—

Sacred to the memory of Harriet, the beloved wife of the Rev. Charles Lyne, M. A., Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral, who died May 2nd, 1848, aged 54 years.

" Her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her." Prov. 31c. 28v.

Also Reverend Charles Lyne, M. A., Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral and J. P. of the County of Cornwall, who died at Dawlish on the 5th of May, 1873, aged 70.

In sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Near the above tomb is a massive cross of statuary marble, resting on three steps of the same material, and surrounded by boxes containing geraniums and other flowering plants which give it a very pretty appearance; the whole is enclosed by a limestone curb with iron rails.

It has the following inscription:—

In memory of Eliza Jane Bicknell Yarde, wife of Thomas Yarde, of this parish, died October 23rd, 1854, aged 39 years. Also of Gilbert Francis their youngest child, died 29th November, 1849, aged 1 year and 8 months.

By thy Cross and Passion, good Lord deliver us.

Also the body of the above Thomas Yarde, who died Novr. 15th 1870, aged 74 years. 

The next is a massive granite tomb with this inscription :—

Sacred to the memory of Montagu Edmond Newcombe Parker, Esqre., born 22nd January, 1807. died 1st July, 1858.

"Thy will be done."

'Near the above is a very beautiful memorial stone of statuary marble enclosed with a wrought limestone curb, in memory of the Rev. George Moyle, on it is the following inscription:—

George Moyle, M. A., formerly scholar of Lincoln Coll., Oxon, died November 22nd, 1861, aged 47 years.

On the south side of the yard a tomb has lately been erected to the memory of our well respected townsman, Mr. John Prowse. It consists of a limestone base, inlaid with a portland ledger, and enclosed by a neat iron railing. It has the following inscription:—

Sacred to. the memory of John Prowse, who departed this life 17th July, 1872, aged: 56, years.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the Liber Regis- at £21 per annum; yearly tenths £2 : 2s. The vicarial tithes were commuted for £550 per annum. There is no glebe. The vicarage house has been rebuilt by the present vicar, and is situated east of the church. It is now occupied by the curate, the Rev. S. P. Macartney. Since the sale of the living the vicarage grounds have been considerably extended from purchases made by E. J. Gilman, Esq., the patron.

The patronage before the Reformation belonged to the bishops of Exeter. At the alienation of the manor, it passed to Thomas Bridges, and by purchase to the Hunt family. John Hunt, on April 19, 1683, in consideration of £ 160 taken from the parish chest, conveyed the ad-vowson of Chudleigh to certain persons, who declared by deed of the same date, that the conveyance had been made to them in trust and confidence, that within four months after the avoidance of the vicarage, they should publish on two several Sundays a notice for a meeting of the parishioners holding lands there rated at £5 per annum, and by the majority of them a vicar was to be chosen and nominated. Pursuant to these conditions, on the death of the then vicar, Rev. Edward Northmore, in October, 1687, Nicholas Battersby was instituted his successor, on the presentation of John Coysh, John Cholwich, Giles Inglett, Christopher Hellier, John Langley, and James Rennell, trustees of the said advowson.


Nicholas is the first name that I have met with : and I believe is the vicar who bequeathed in 1303, to the fabric of Exeter Cathedral vis. viiid.

John Fits Hugh occurs vicar the 29th of September, 1317.
Nicholas Coffin, instituted the 20th of June, 1337.
Thomas de Marston, the 23rd of March, 1348.
Thomas Walsh————— : he exchanged for Axminster with
Richard de Hatheleseye, 23rd of March, 1352. 

Philip Bossuyon, instituted the 14th of July, 1353: he also exchanged for the vicarage of Dunsford, with
Robert Brugge, 28th of March, 1387.
John Basyngham de Meltm————: he exchanged for Luppit with

Vincent Hille, the 22nd of January, 1402. This vicar resigning,
Ralph Colle succeeded, the 13th of January, 1422.

N. B. Colle exchanged for Lustleigh with
John Burleigh, the 21st of November, 1428.
Michael occurs vicar the 14th of February, 1449. Stephen Colyn: ————— on whose death
Edward Stephynson followed the 16th of October, 1409.

N. B. He exchanged for a prebend in St. Probus' Cornwall, with
Edward Carr,
(alias George] the 23rd of July, 1505.
Robert Weston;————on whose resignation
Ralph Holland, instituted the 18th of September, 1508.
Stephen Venrny, on Holland's resignation, the 27th of June, 1516. William Leveson,—————

N. B. King Henry VIII. in his writ to Bishop Voysey, dated the 20th of July, 1536, required of his Lordship, under a penalty of £500, a return of the value of all ecclesiastical preferments in the diocese of Exeter, with the names of every incumbent, from the 1st of January, 1535. the said valuation to be delivered in the Court of Chancery under the episcopal seal, by 3rd of November, 1536. In this valuation I read—

" Vicaria de Chudlegh, ubi Willelmus Leveson
est Vicarius, valet

John Blaston succeeded on Leveson's resignation.

George Chudleigh collated the 27th of August, 1541: he was made a Canon of Exeter Cathedral the 9th of March, 1546.

John More,————1559. In the will of Catherine Gould of Chudleigh, dated 2Ist Feb. 1559-60, she gives " unto John More, Vicar of Chudleigh, ii silver spones and xvid. in monye."

Benedict Woolcombe, the 16th of January, 1571. His will dated the 4th of October, 1599, was proved the 25th of January following. (Patroness, Christina Chudleigh.)

Robert Woolcombe, son of Benedict, the 18th of January, 1600. Patrons hâc vice William Putt, James and Thomas Eastchurch. This vicar died on the 19th of January, 1654.

Stephen Bloy, May the 10th, 1658: on whose death,

Edward Northmore succeeded the 30th of December, 1673, Patron John Hunt, Gent. Mr. Northmore died the 2nd of October, 1687.

Nicholas Battersby, the 10th of February, following, on the presentation of John Coysh, John Cholwich, Giles Inglett, Christopher Hellier, John Langley, and James Rennell, trustees of the advowson.

John Ellis, on Battersby's death, admitted the 4th of January, 1689. Presented by 6 trustees : ob. 2nd of March, 1709, æt. 63.

Nicholas Tripe, admitted the 30th of June, 1710. Patrons as before.

John Sergeant, admitted on Tripe's death, the 16th of October, 1718.

John Bayly, admitted on Sergeant's death, the 12th of June, 1736. Patrons as before.  

William Staplin, admitted on Bayly's death, 10th of September, 1751. Patrons as before.
Gilbert Burrington,
admitted on Staplin's death, 12th of June, 1752. Patrons as before: ob. 23rd of January, 1785, æt. 63. Mr. B. was of the family of Burrington of West Sandford, near Crediton. His ancestor Major John Burrington was the first man of consequence who joined William Prince of Orange on his landing at Tor Bay.

Gilbert Burrington, M. A., admitted on his father's death, 28th of June, 1785. Patrons as before. Mr. B. was of Balliol College, Oxford. He was a profound classical and biblical scholar, and published " An Arrangement of the Genealogies of the Old Testament and Apocrypha, 2 vols., 4to., 1836, by the Rev. Gilbert Burrington, M. A., Prebendary of Exeter, Rector of Woodleigh, and Vicar of Chudleigh, Devon." His fine library was sold at his death. He left some MS. collections for a history of the parish of Chudleigh.

Wilmot Henry Palk, admitted on Burrington's death, 24th of June, 1841. Presented by the trustees. The Bishop of Exeter refused to institute Mr. Palk, on a charge of corrupt practices resorted to at the election. A Chancery suit was the consequence between the trustees and the bishop. After considerable litigation, the bishop was defeated, and obliged to admit the clerk presented by the trustees.

* Chiefly taken from Oliver's Eccl. Ant.

The Independent (formerly Presbyterian) Chapel was founded in the year 1710. There were at one time connected with it some of the most wealthy and influential inhabitants of the parish. It has several small endowments attached to it which bring in an annual sum of £20. The principal one is £17 paid yearly by Lord Clifford out of Biddlecombe estate purchased by the grandfather of the present Lord. The last of the Presbyterian ministers was the Rev. B. Peckford, a learned man and a profound Hebrew scholar. After the Fire the chapel was for some years without a settled minister, and it being difficult to obtain one from among the Presbyterians, it was thought advisible to apply to Mr. Wilson, a wealthy patron of the Independent Academy at Hoxton. He accordingly sent a popular preacher, the Rev. James Davison. On his resignation, a succession of the same denomination continuing to serve this Church, it was finally changed from Presbyterian to Independent. In the year 1830, the chapel was rebuilt on a larger scale under the direction of the Rev. J. Allen, the then pastor, and with the consent of the trustees. The chapel measures in the Interior 45 feet in length and 23 feet in breadth, and will seat about 350 persons. The present pastor is the Rev. W. Wicketts. At different periods a vestry, schoolrooms, and burial-ground have been added. The Sunday School was the first established in the town, and was once in a very nourishing state, but has ceased to exist for some time past. The chapel contains an organ, the gift of the late benevolent Mrs. Davison, to whose memory and that of her excellent partner there is a neat tablet on the north wall, with the following inscription:—

Beneath are deposited the mortal remains of James Davison, Minister of the gospel in this place; who departed this life to be with Christ, August 5th, 1841. Also of Elizabeth, his wife, who fell asleep in Jesus, March 6th, 1847.

Peace be within this sacred place,
And joy a constant guest!
With holy gifts and heavenly grace,
Be her attendants blest.

Near the pulpit is another to Mr. Petherick and his grandson:—

In this chapel are deposited the mortal remains of John Petherick, who died the 12th of June, 1836, aged 55 years. Also John P. Allen, grandson of the above, ob. 17th Jan., 1834. Æt. 5 years & 6 mo.

Cease, friendship, cease to weep !
God takes but what he gives ;
And while the relics sleep,
The immortal spirit lives.
Mourner retire, and kiss the afflictive rod,
To thee their exit calls,
Prepare to meet thy God.

By indenture, dated March 27, 1717, between James Moor, the elder, and John Delve of the one part, and Samuel Adams and fourteen others all, with but one exception, of'Chudleigh of the other part, about the year 1711, the said John Moor, the elder, John Delve (uncle of the said John Delve) since deceased, being seized of the fee simple of a plot of land and garden, formerly the land of one John Goodwin, also some land situated at the south-west part, and the land, or street, there called Woodway on the east or south-east part. They, the said James Moor, and John Delve had erected at their own cost a house, about 44 feet long and 23 feet broad, for a Meeting House for the religious worship of God. The said John Delve, the uncle, shortly before his death had bequeathed unto the said John Delve, his heirs, and assigns, for ever, his moiety of the Meeting House, but upon trust that it should continue to be used by Protestants for divine worship and not for any private use. The said James Moor, the elder, for the consideration thereafter mentioned granted to the said parties of the second part, their executors, &c., a rent charge of 25s. payable out of Chudleigh Woods, 5s. payable out of houses in Chudleigh, and 10s. out of Broomsland or Brownland fields, yearly, for 1000 years, payable quarterly, for the maintenance of a Protestant minister to officiate, preach, and pray in the said Meeting House.

The Wesleyan Chapel, situated in Mill Lane, was built in the year 1837, and will accommodate about 100 persons. It belongs to the Newton circuit, and is regularly supplied by ministers and preachers on the Conference plan.

Brookfield Chapel belonging to the Baptist denomination, was erected at the sole expense of W, Rouse, Esq. It is substantially built in the simplest style, and is lit with gas. Adjoining are a vestry, class-room, and burial-ground. The length of the building in the interior is 57 feet, and the breadth 32 feet, with accommodation for about 400 people. The pulpit and seats are constructed of a kind of wood imported from New Zealand. In front of the pulpit is the baptistery. Connected with the Chapel is a large and flourishing Sunday School. The pastor is the Rev. W. Doke, who has served the Church for the last twenty-three years.

A cemetery is being provided for the town, owing to the crowded state of the churchyard which has long exercised the minds of the parishioners. Two acres of a field near the town on the Teignmouth Road have been purchased of Lord Clifford, at a cost of £400, for this purpose.

Parish Lands, &c.

By indenture bearing date May 1, 1597, between Thomas Bridges, Esq., of the one part, and Henry Clifford, Esq., and twenty-two others, of the other part; the said Thomas Bridges, in consideration of £150, sold to the parties of the second part and their heirs, a market to be weekly kept and holden every Saturday throughout the year within the town and borough of Chudleigh and two market houses, situate in Chudleigh, and two fairs, yearly to be kept in Chudleigh, with all courts, tolls, benefits and advantages thereto belonging; and also a sporting or playing place, containing by estimation, three acres, adjoining to the churchyard of Chudleigh; and also a plot of ground, being in the old way between Chudleigh town and Broomsland gate, on the south side. The said premises should wholly, for ever, be for the better maintenance, support, and relief of the poor people of the said parish ; and for the better help, benefit, profit, and discharge of such changes and demands as should be imposed upon the common stock, treasury, and store of the said parish.

The fairs and markets are let at an annual rent of £10. They were formerly more valuable, but have declined with the trade of the town. In 1730 they were let for £70, in 1739 for £65, in 1748 for £45, in 1749 for £42. Westcote says " is as an ancient market town, frequented with great resort of neighbouring parishes every Saturday." The fairs were held on Easter Tuesday, and the third Thursday and Friday in June which was a large sheep and lamb fair; the second day was noted for the sale of scythes, reaping-hooks, and other implements of husbandry. The third fair was on the 2nd of October. That at Easter is the only one of the three which retains its importance, when there is still a considerable show of cattle in the Play Park. Some months ago a laudable effort was made to establish a monthly cattle market, and the amount of business transacted from time to time since has been very encouraging.

By deed, bearing date July 31,1638, John Woolcombe, as the grandson and heir of William Putt, the surviving feoffee of certain messuages, lands, and tenements, in Chudleigh, to the use of the poor of the parish, granted to Hugh Clifford, Esq., and others, various messuages, viz., a tenement called the Bell House–now consisting of several houses, a house in Mill Lane, and "the House at Stair."

" The House at Stair " projected into the street at the lower entrance to Culver-street. It was destroyed in the Great Fire, and a small house was built for the lessee on the opposite side of the street, a lease being granted thereto at the annual rent of 6d. The other premises are let on leases of three lives, or 99 years. The whole amount of the parish lands ( markets excepted ) is £ 10 : 13 : 8 per annum. When the present leases expire, they are estimated to produce about £80 a year.

Sir John Ackland's Gift.

Sir John Ackland gave to this parish the annual sum of 52s. for providing, weekly, 13 penny loaves of wheaten bread, of a middle sort, commonly called Cheat bread, to be distributed every Sabbath day, immediately after morning prayer, to 13 such of the poorest sort of people of the parish, as the minister, constable, and overseers of the poor should appoint. This annuity is now received of the Church Charity Trustees of Exeter.

Clarke's Gift.

By indenture, bearing date July 15, 1706, between Thomas Clarke of Chudleigh of the one part, and Robert Wolcombe, Esq., and sixteen others, all of Chudleigh, of the other part; the said Thomas Clarke for the consideration thereinafter mentioned granted to the said parties of the second part and their heirs, a rent charge of 30s. to be issuing out of two closes of land called Reeve's Oaks and Veversbam, situate in the parish of Trusham, (parceF of a tenement called Stoning's Land) to be given away in bread to poor people of Chudleigh.

Stowell's Gift.

William Stowell gave a yearly rent charge of 10s., for ever, to be paid out of a tenement in Broadhempston. It was to be distributed at Christmas. George Cruwys was lord of the land charged, which was called Handshapps. This charity is now lost.

Soper's Gift.

John Soper gave a house, in which Walter Cumming dwelt, under the yearly rent of £1 : 6 : 8, to the poor of Chudleigh for ever. This house, near the church, was taken down many years ago, and two other tenements built thereon, which by the recent expiration of a long lease has fallen into the hands of the trustees of the parish lands.

Bloy's Gift.

Stephen Bloy, by will, bearing date June 11, 1673, gave to the poor of the parish of Chudleigh, £25 to remain as a stock. The interest, then 30s., to be applied for the poor of Chudleigh and poor Protestant wayfarers, 15s. each. This £25 was taken by the parishioners and laid out with other monies taken from the parish stock in the purchase of a house and garden belonging to Nicholas Stuckie on June 10, 1675, by Hugh Lord Clifford, and 21 others, which was afterwards converted into a workhouse; and the sum of 30s. a year to meet the charitable gift under Bloy's will was charged upon it. On the sale of the workhouse the sum of 15s. only, being the moiety payable to poor travellers, remained a charge upon the property. The old Alms Houses, which stood at the entrance of Pottery Lane and consisted of five rooms each with a wooden gallery outside, were sold by the parishioners (after the erection of the workhouse) in 1822, and were then taken down and cottages erected thereon.

Eastchurch's Gift.

Richard Eastchurch, by will bearing date March 14, 1692, gave £5 a year out of his estate of Catteshall or Catshole in the parish of Chudleigh; one half to be bestowed in Bibles and other good books to be given to the poor, the other half to be paid for the education of four poor children to read the Scriptures. This estate now belongs to Sir Lawrence Palk, Bart., and the £5 (less land-tax) is applied annually for the benefit of the National Schools in this parish. Richard Eastchurch was vicar of Moreton : ob. 1698.

Stidson's Gift.

William Stidson, Esq., who died April 13, 1818, gave by his will £100 out of his personal estate, to be invested in the name of the vicar of the parish of Chudleigh for the time being, for ever, in trust for the use and benefit of the industrious poor inhabitants of the said parish, not receiving alms, and by him, with the assistance of the churchwardens of the said parish, laid out in the purchase of bread, to be distributed half-yearly.

Willcocks's Gift.

John Willcocks gave by will £100 to be invested in Government securities, the dividend thereof to be distributed in bread, loavea of 21bs. weight each, on Easter day and Christmas day, for ever, amongst such poor persons as the- vicar and churchwardens shall think fit.

Williams's Gift.

John Williams, late of Cfaudleigh, Esquire, by his will, dated December 5, 1868, gave and bequeathed unto the vicar and churchwardens, for the time being of this parish, the sum of £1,000 upon trust, to invest the same in any Government securities, and to distribute the income arising therefrom unto such poor persons, residents within the parish, as the said vicar and churchwardens shall in their discretion think proper objects. Nevertheless that no individual object shall receive more than 10s. or less than 2s. 6d. in any one year.

The above £1,000 was invested in £1,079 : 12 : 5, 3 per Cent Consols.

Church House.

The Church House, or Parish School, was, until the establishment of Pynsent's Free School, the only educational foundation mentioned in the parish annals. It stood on the northern side of the churchyard, close to the principal entrance, and consisted of rooms for the master with a spacious schoolroom over. Reading, writing, and arithmetic were the only subjects of instruction. The building was very old and dilapidated, and on the erection of the present National Schools, this school was unnecessary. Under the authority of the Charity Commissioners the premises were sold, and purchased by John Williams, Esq., who then owned the adjoining property, now belonging to Mr. Nice and forms part of his shrubbery.

The efficiency of this school appears to have been a source of anxiety to the parishioners as the following entry in the Parish Account Book shews:–

" Att a meeting of the pishioners of Chudleigh & seaven men the first day of October, 1658.

"They, takeing into consideracon the great want of an able and paynfull schoolemaster in this pish, have this day agreed wth one mr William Pollexfen to come to keepe schoole here in Chudleigh the First Munday in the month of February next, and for and towards his encouragemt therein have prmised to give him thirteene pounds six shillings and eight pence for the first yeare, and to repayre the schoolehouse and chamber adjoyninge in convenyent manner. And likewise to procure the two chamberes the clerke enjoyes to be fitted for him. But if these two shall not be thought by the sayd mr Pollexfen to be convenyent for his case, then the pishioneres to give twenty shillings to him towards the rent of a chamber he shall procure for himselfe to his owne likeinge. The said mr Pollexfen on his pte promiseth to be very carefull and diligent in teaching those schollars shall be sent to him, and will for the consideracon aforesaid teach and instruct during this yeare in the best manner he can six poore mens children of this pish, such as the seaven men appoynted for the managemt of the affaires of this pish, or any 5 of them shall in writing under their hands nominate and appoynt.

(Signed by)

"Andrew Cholwiche,
James Rennell,
Humphry Pinsent,
Bennett Ball,
Richard Ball,

John Langley,
John Wolcombe,
Christopher Hellyer,
John Chaplin,
Humphry Shapter."

In the year 1660 we find the following entry:–

" Humfry Shapter is likewise ordered to pay unto Mr Pollexfen schoolmaster three & forty shillings for teaching poore schollers from Lamas last unto this prsent Michaelmas now following."

Grammar School.

The Free Grammar School is the principal charity in the town, and was founded by John Pynsent, Esq., who was born and educated in Chudleigh. On a tablet in front of the old schoolhouse is the following inscription:–

John Pynsent, of Lincoln's Inn, esquire, born in this parish, hath erected this for a Free School, and endowed it with ttiirty pounds per annum for ever, 1668.

In consideration of £8 paid to “The Seven Men,” an acre of ground, taken from the Play Park, was conveyed to him; and he agreed with them " at his costs, to build a house thereupon for keeping a school, and for the habitation of a master, and to inclose the rest of the ground with a wall, for a garden and orchard."

Mr. Pynsent died, Aug. 29, 1668, before the school-house was completed; and, although he left sufficient property to defray all legacies and charitable bequests, yet so backward were his executors in fulfilling the requirements of his will that an application was made to the Court of Chancery in consequence. After a full investigation of the matter, it was decreed that the house should be completed, a master appointed, and a salary of £30 per annum paid to him, half-yearly, free from all deductions, out of Pynsent's estate at Combe, in the parish of Croydon, Surrey. The school was to be free for the. inhabitants of Chudleigh, and to be called " Pynsent's Free School." Sir Thomas Clifford was one of the trustees then appointed, their full number being eleven: the majority have power to elect a master. Mr. Pynsent directed that the schoolmaster should "be of good name and manners and teaching, and conformable to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England."

For a short time after the death of the founder, some exhibitions appear to have been attached to the school. According to the Commissioners account of this charity, he “gave £100 for apprenticing twenty poor children of Croydon and Chudleigh, and to each of them that could read, a Bible, and to five poor boys of Chudleigh £3 a piece, yearly, for five years, towards buying them books and clothes, to be taught, at the free school in Chudleigh; but he directed, that this exhibition should cease as to such of the said boys as should not diligently attend their schooling, and frequent the church every Lord's day, unless they had a lawful impediment to the contrary; and to three of the said boys that should be thought fit for the university, he gave £5 a piece, for four years, for their maintenance at the university of Cambridge."

It does not appear that there was any fund granted for the continuance of these exhibitions, nor any regulations for the future appointment of more boys to succeed the three chosen by his executors. Had Mr. Pynsent lived, there is every reason to suppose that this " Free School" would have been made a superior establishment.

From the salary, being left in money instead of land it has not augmented. The entire cessation of the exhibitions was, doubtless, also a great disadvantage to the prosperity of the foundation. No such inducement can now be held out, and the original intentions of the founder, in reference to his native place, do not appear to have met with the success he intended; for comparatively few of the children of the town, or parish, for many years past, have been educated at this " Free Grammar School." However, as a classical boarding school, it has at different periods attained considerable celebrity.

From an inscription on a stone in the chancel of the church to the memory of Philip Avant, died; Nov. 28, 1696, and described as the only son of Stephen " Gymnasiarchæ Chudliensis," it has been conjectured that the said Stephen was master of Chudleigh Grammar School.

The following are the several masters up to the present time:–

Rev. Ambrose Wilkins, elected 1750, died May 15, 1774; there is a tomb to his memory in the churchyard.
Rev. Mr. Hugo succeeded in 1770, retaining the appointment only eight months. On his resignation the
Rev. John Garrett, M. A., of St. John's Coll., Cam., was appointed. He died July 28, 1811.
Rev. W. Pulling, on Garrett's death, held the mastership until 1820, when he resigned and the
Rev. Joseph Cuming held it until 1843, when the
Rev. C. Edward Collins was elected, and resigned in 1850.
Rev. George Moyle, M. A., late scholar of Lincoln Coll., Oxford, was then master. He resigned from ill health, and was succeeded by the
Rev. James W. Inman,. who has recently resigned the appointment.

The passing of the Endowed Schools Act, and the consequent uncertainty of the continuance of the school on its original foundation, coupled with the poverty of the endowment and state of the buildings, have hitherto militated against, and deferred the appointment of another master in Mr. Inman's place.

A scheme was proposed by the late Commissioners, which was not at all acceptable to the inhabitants, and they prepared and sent up a counter scheme to the former; thus the matter remains for the present in abeyance. It is earnestly hoped, however, that the town will not long be deprived of the advantage it has so long enjoyed from the liberality of the founder, and that "Pynsent's Free School" may be re-established on a permanent and satisfactory basis, and extend its important benefits to future generations.

The National Schools are well built, and were erected in the year 1858, at a cost of upwards of £1,500. They will accommodate 333 children: 140 boys, 108 girls, 85 infants. The schools are supported by voluntary contributions.

Mrs. Rouse's Schools, on the British system, are supported by the benevolent individual whose name they bear. The schools have accommodation for 142 children: 62 boys, 40 girls, 40 infants.

Lady Clifford supports a small school for Catholics at Biddlecombe.

According to the Report of the Education Department the National and Mrs. Rouse's Schools are considered available for the district, and no additional public school accommodation appears to be needed.

Visitors to Chudleigh will find no difficulty in obtaining good lodgings. The Clifford Arms, for many years prior to the opening of the South Devon Railway kept by Mr, Petherick in the best possible style, is still open and occupied by its propietor Mr. Cartwright. Here families may obtain board and lodging on a large scale, and the apartments of this spacious house are most commodious and convenient. There are several other respectable inns, as well as many excellent shops of every description. The town has a newspaper - the Weekly Express, a reading-room well supplied with daily and other papers, and a capacious town-hall where balls, concerts, and lectures are occasionally held.

The line of the Teign Valley Railway has been laid down through the parish for some time past, and it: was anticipated that it would have been completed before this, giving the public a Station near Chudleigh Bridge. But many, and for the time insurmountable difficulties have arisen to impede the undertaking, though we learn with much pleasure that a New Act has been recently procured, and hopes are entertained that the line will soon be finished.

At present the nearest Station (Chudleigh-Road) is at Jews Bridge, about three miles off, where a conveyance from Chudleigh meets the principal trains, thus affording accommodation which is highly appreciated by the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood.

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