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In the North Devon Records Office are a number of pages of notes for the years 1714-1719 and some for the years of the 1670s and 1680s. Clues place them firmly in Witheridge, and a reference to the writer receiving rent for the Vicarage Ground confirms the author as Samuel Shebbear, Vicar of Witheridge from 1672 to 1717. His son John followed him as Vicar from 1717 to 1742 and used his father's notebook for a couple of years.

In 1673 Samuel married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Melhuish of Northam. Their son John was born in Witheridge in October 1679. He married another Melhuish of Northam, Gertrude, and it must have been their son, Sam, who went to Mr Southcombe's school in 1715. The Melhuishes were the Patrons of the Living of Witheridge from 1643 to 1793.

Entries from the Estate Book

The red cow went to bull May 23rd 1718.
Sam went to Mr Southcombe's school August 17th being Wednesday 1715.
Mr Cole of Ashbeare (Francis Cole was tenant of Essebeare).
Received March 6th 1715, 6lbs of yarn 6s 6d
For spinning 2 pounds quarter and half yarn 4d
April 14th 1716: An Account of Nich Mellishes serge (Melhuish)
For the chain 14s
For weaving 9s 4d
2lbs of wool 6s 8d
for dressing 2s

Allowed for Disbursement about Ananias Moore's house in glass, reed, mendind, Midsommer 1717. (Ananais Moore was a blacksmith and grandfather of the Hugh Moore, whose will appears elsewhere).

Received quarter rents from Christmas the butcher £1 5s, the smith 12s 6d, 1714.
Allowed May 27th 1718 to Mr Francis Cole for a hundred and a half of reed for Nich Bullhead's house.
July 3rd 1719 received from Hugh Ditchett £1 7s 6d (We learn later that Hugh was a miller. He could have given his name to today's house called Ditchetts).
1718 Expended in setting the fields 2s 5d.
18/8/1716 Received of Mr Francis Cole the sum of 26s in full for six years High rent for East Essebeare to the use of my master Andrew Davy Esq, by me James Hunt. (High rents were small sums that relieved the tenant of duties to the Lord of the Manor).
December 28th 1715 Bought of Alexander Air (Ayr?) two cheeses 25 lbs weight seven farthings a pound.
My wife and daughter went to Exon June 5th 1716 (Exeter).
James Follet for the vicaridge ground 1716 - 18 paid rent and was paid for barley and oats
March 5th 1718/19 Hugh Ditchett Miller to leave next Lady Day.
The names of those that pay me pigs and geese every Michelmas
James Pook of Knowstone a pig
John Redler
John Delbridge of Molland

(There is a page of short-term loans; such a thing was not uncommon in estate accounts. A selection):

Lent Nich Melluish 5s Oct 7th 1715 which he is to pay Nov 1st
Tom Lock's wife 5s Oct 22nd 1715
Henry Loch ten shillings, which he promised to Saturday, which will be June 16th 1716
Henry Lock half a guinea and half a crown which he is to pay in a fortnight's time
Jeffrey Lock Oct 29th 1716. The sum of twenty shillings to be paid in a fortnight's time, for which he gave me his note.
Lent by my wife to John Brownscombe August 17th 1717 £4.
Lent by my wife April 19th 1718 to the wife of old Henry Lock the miller 8s. Witness Mary Turner.

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Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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