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Northam (St. Margaret)

NORTHAM (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Bideford, hundred of Shebbear, Great Torrington and N. divisions of Devon, 1½ mile (N. by W.) from Bideford; containing 3578 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded by the Bristol Channel on the west, and by the navigable river Torridge on the east, includes the small sea-port of Appledore (which see), and comprises by admeasurement 2500 acres; the soil is good, and the substratum contains stone for building and for the roads. The manor of Northam was given by William the Conqueror to the church of St. Stephen's, in Caen, and confirmed in 1252 to the priory of Frampton, in Dorsetshire, which was a cell to St. Stephen's: on the suppression of alien monasteries, it was granted by the crown to the college of Ottery St. Mary. Queen Elizabeth bestowed it in the year 1564 upon the Dean and Canons of Windsor, to whom the fee still belongs. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 10.; net income, £280; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for £525, and the glebe comprises 60 acres. A chapel has been erected at Appledore. The Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans have places of worship. Here is an estate called Tomouth and Stoopehill, consisting of four small houses, an orchard, and four fields, purchased with £200 bequeathed by James Cocke in 1700, and £100 given by Elizabeth Langdon about the year 1702; it produces about £50 per annum, which are distributed by the minister and churchwardens to widows and children.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.