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The Manor of Witheridge

In Saxon times Witheridge came in category of Comital lands, lands that is to say that were set apart for the maintenance of the Earl and his family. At the death of King Edward it was held by the Countess Githa, widow of Earl Godwin and mother of King Harold. After her defeat at Exeter, William took it into his own hands, for so it remained at Domesday.

1086. The King has a Manor called Wiriga, which Githa held in the time of Edward the Confessor, And it paid geld for one virgate. This can be ploughed by three ploughs. Thereof the King has 1/3 virgate and one plough in demesne, and the villains have 2/3 of that virgate and three ploughs. There the King has 3 villeins and 3 bordars, 2 serfs, 26 sheep, 12 acres of wood, 6 acres of meadow and 40 of pasture. It pays 6 pounds a year, and was worth the same when he received it. And to this manor has been added the land of two thanes who held in parage, and it paid geld in three ferlings and upon it also 3 villeins are settled paying five shillings a year to the aforesaid manor.

1196 After Domesday there is no evidence as to when the King first granted Witheridge, but in the Pipe Roll of 1196, William Brewer appears as Lord of the Hundred. There is also yet no evidence as to when William Brewer or his heirs granted to the Fitzpains to hold Witheridge under them, nor as to show how it passed to Botreauz from Chideock who was heir to Fitzpain, nor from Botreaux to Courtenay. But in each case there is a suggestion that it was as dower. Consult the late Mr Hugh R Watkin's presidential address to the Devonshire Association (D.A.T.L. p.103) and Hutchin's History of Dorset (Fitzpain entries) for the connection between Brewer and Fitzpain. Robert Fitzpain was the brother and heir of Roger de Poles whose widow was known as Alice Brewer. Watkin believed that she was a sister of the elder William Brewer. Witheridge is not in the list of Brewer property after the death of William Brewer the younger, but Feudal Aids should be consulted as to the probability of omissions in this document. Roger Fitzpain the son and heir or Robert died in 1237, and in the next year Margery, his widow paid 100 marks during the minority of Roger's heir, the fine that she made with the King for having the wardship of the lands that belonged to Roger. (Liberate Rolls).

1238 The Assize Roll of this year has two references. The Hundred of Wyrigge by a jury of XII says that Margery who was the wife of Roger son of Pain is in the wardship (donacione) of the Lord the King. Robert Marchant (Mercator) admits that he holds the hundred of Witheridge of Robert son of Roger who is in the wardship of the lord the King. And on this comes Robert son of Terri, who was seneschal of Roger son of Pain, father of the said Robert, and says that the said Roger did not hold by warrant nor by ancient tenure.

1242 The heir of Roger Fitzpaine holds in Wyring ½ and 1/10 fee of the heirs of William Briwerre, and they of the Earl of Devon of the Honour of Plympton. (Testa de Nevill, D.A.T. XXX 397) Robert Marchant was one of the jury for the hundred. The 1/10 fee would appear to be added lands of the two thanes of Domesday.

1246 Robert Fitzpain son of Roger and Margery did homage.

1248 Grant to Robert son of Pain and his heirs of free warren in his demesne lands of the manor there of Witheridge (Wirigge) of a weekly market there on a Wednesday and a yearly fair there on the vigil, the feast and the morrow of the Nativity of St John Baptist.

1255 Margery appears as patron of the rectory.

1274-5 Hundred Rolls of 3 Edw.I. Robert Fitzpain at Wyrugg has gallows, assize of bread and ale, but by what warrant the jury knows not. He has fairs but not free warren. The same presentment is made next year. These finds appear to be made without knowledge of the Charter of 1248.

1280-1 Robert Fitzpain and Roger le Marchant are summoned on a pleas of Quo Warranto for the Hundred. Roger says that he holds the Hundred of Robert for 2 marks a year Robert that he and his predecessors held the Hundred so far back as memory goes. (J.I. 1, 183.9 Edw.1) A day was given them.

1280-1 Robert Fitzpain is also summoned to answer by what warrant he has gallows assize of bread and ale and view of frank-pledge. A day is given for this also.

1281 The Assize Roll (J.I.1) has two references. The first a presentment by the jury that Robert Fitzpain claims in the manor of Whyterugg gallows, a fair, warren and market, they know not by what warrant. And the second presentment that this is the Hundred of Roger le Marchaunt which he holds of Robert Fitzpain, which Robert received without license of justice. Roger then pays twenty shillings for the Hundred by the pledge of Roger Fitzpain (or Stoodleigh) and Richard de Inwardeleigh.

1281 Roger le Marchaunt is Bailiff of the Hundred.

1276 Robert Fitzpain holds the manor of Wytheridge for ½ and 1/10 fee of Isabella, Countess of Albajara, and she of the King. (Kirby's list D.A.T. XXX 307).

1302 Witheridge held by Robert Fitzpain ½ fee of Plympton. (Burton's list, otherwise ½ay subsidies Aid 95/2)

1303 In the next Aid 95/3 Ralph Fitzpain appears apparently an ordinary mistake for Robert. (D and C. Rec. Soc. Photostat) One Robert Fitzpain died in 1281, his son and heir in 1315, and the son and heir of the latter, also a Robert, in 1354.

1312 William Poleyne lord of Witheridge (Hist. Comm. Mss. D.C. Exeter).

1316 William Poleyne ½ fee of Plympton (Harl. Ms, 4278, Brit. Mus)

1345 Robert Poleyne (Pole andFeudal Aids)

1354 The last Sir Robert Fitzpain died in 1354 and left a daughter and heiress, Isabel, who married Sir John Chidiok.

1354 18 Nov. Between John de Chidiok, chivaler, claimant and Roger s. of Robert Polayn, deforciant, as to the manor of Witheridge which Thomas Gambourn holds for the term of life of Emma, who was the wife of Robert Polayn. Pleas of Covenant was summoned, Roger acknowledged the manor to be the right of John and undertook for him and his heirs that the said manor which Thomas held for the life of Emma of the inheritance of Roger in the day this agreement was made, and which after Emma's death ought to revert to Roger and his heirs should then remain in its entirety to John and his heirs. To hold of the chief lord of that fee by the services which to the said manor. For this John gave to Roger 100 marks of silver. (Devon F of F 1430).

1377 John Poleyn (Feudal Aids).

1392 Order (Close Roll) to the escheator to remove the King's hand, and meddle no further in the manor of Wytherigge, and hundred there, but to deliver to Ralph, bishop of Bath and Wells etc, as the King has heard that William Botreaux, kt, the elder gave the same to the Bishop and others to hold during the life of the grantor and Elizabeth his wife, William, lord Botreaux, son of William and Elizabeth above married Elizabeth St Loe sister of the wife of John Chidiok son of John and Isabel above. Lyson:- the manor and hundred of Witheridge belonged to an early period to the family of Fitzpain under whom it was held successively by Poleyn and Marchant, the manor and hundred passed by female heirs from Fitzpayne to the lords Botereaux.

1396 William, Lord Botreaux who married Elizabeth St Loe died 25 May 1396, and in December of that year, the roll of the court of the Duchy of Lancaster held in Witheridge has this entry. "Now the whole manor of Witheridge remaining is taken in to the hands of the lord during the minority of son and heir of William Botreaux, and a precept is sent to the said heir". (D.L. L. 30 Bundle 57 No: 683 Photostat in hand). Why the word "Remaining"? Does it imply what is expected from the dower of the young heir's grandmother, Elizabeth of the 1392 Close Roll? This is the first Lancaster reference to Witheridge. Probably the Duchy succeeded to the medial lordship of the heirs of William Brewer.

1418 Charter of John Botreaux granting to William Wenard all his messuages, land etc. in the Est Horeston, West Horeston and Est Horeston, Bedyn and Hole in the parish of Wytherygge, for his life at a rent of 7s. Witnesses:- John Frye, John Horsford, John German, Robert Bakere, Robert Solle. Dated Monday after feast of S. Michael, 7 £en. V., (Exr. Cit. Lib. Dd. 45359) John Botreaux was the son of the grantor of 1392. He had married before 1409, the widow of Thomas Afton. In 1415 he made over the wardship of John Afton to his mother etc, the payment of his debts. (Pole Transcript, No. 1757).

1428 John Botreaux , Thomas Affeton and William Sharpe are the free-holders (Feudal Aids.) William, the minor heir of 1396 died in 1462 leaving a daughter and heiress, Margaret, baroness Botreaux who married Robert, Lord Hungerford, Witheridge is mentioned in the Receiver's accounts of her husband's lands in perhaps 1443 or 1459, in which year he died. His sister, Elizabeth, married Sir Philip Courtenay, and their daughter Katherine married as her third husband, Sir William Huddesfield.

1490 In the I.P.M. of Sir William Huddesfield, 20 June, 14 Hen. VII (1499) we have:- Long before his death he was seised of the undermentioned borough and hundred of Whitheridgge in fee, and being so seised by charter, 20 Oct, 6 Hen. V.II gave it to and 1499 John Byconell, Kt, John Fulford, clerk, Thomas Coterell, Esq, John Kirton, Roger Fitz, and Nicholas Prous who by virtue of that feoffment were and are still seised thereof in fee, Manor, borough and hundred worth 15/- held of the lady Elizabeth queen of England as of the honour of Marshwood by knight service. Why Marshwood? Witheridge was held of Plymton.

1499 Margaret Holcombe held the third part of two tenements in Witherigge worth ¾, held of the heirs of William Huddesfield in free socage. (Inq, P.M.) This tenement (or rather one of them) would appear to be Hele Barton in the South Quarter for Charles Holcomn held one third of Hele in 1517. (exr. Cit. Lib. Deed No: 45360-1) Katherine, daughter of Sir William Huddesfield and Katherine Courtenay, married Sir Edmund Carewe.

1500 Robert Knyghteston held four messuages, 100 acres of lands, 20 of meadow, 10 of wood, 100 of furze and heath worth thirty shillings held of Edmund Carewe, Kt, as of the manor of Wytherigge by fealty only for all services (Inp. P.M.). Katherine outlived her husband , and her son, Sir William Carew of Mohun's Ottery. Her grandson, Sir George Carew, sold Witheridge in 1538.

1538 12 May, 32 Hen, VIII, 1540. Bargain and sale by John Southcott of Bovytracy gentleman, to Thomas Hacce of Aller of the moiety or Halfyndale of the manor, borough and Hundred of Weterug alias Wytherugge and all his messuages etc, fairs markets etc, in Wetherug which he and Thomas Garye and John Rugeway, purchased of Sir George Carew of Otrymohun, Knt, by indenture dated 20 Nov 30 Hen. VIII (1538) and afterwards Garye and Huggeway released the same to Southcott by deed dated 4 Jan 31 Hen. VIII. And whereas Sir George Carew stands bound to Southcote in 500 li., after that sum or any part of it received, a moiety shall be paid to Thomas Hache. (Deed enrolled in the county, Tingey).

1554 Thomas Hacce died in 1554. His son Lewis, married Elizabeth Fortescue of Filleigh. He held Witheridge, and by charter, 1 and 2 Philip and Mary (1554-5) granted the same to Sir John Chichester, Kt, Andrew Hatch and others to the use of Lewis for life, then for the use of Elizabeth his wife and reversion to Thomas her son. (Sir W. R. Drake, Devon Notes and Norelets, pp 199-200).

1605 Inq. P.M. of Thomas Melhuish. He held Downlands of Arthur Hacche as of his manor of Wetheridge.

1625 Inq, P.M. of Arthur son of Thomas Hacche and Cecilia Chichester. He held manors of Witheridge, etc.

1631 15 Sept, 7 Chas 1., Bargain and sale by Thomas Hatch of Aller, Esq., to Edward Chichester, Kt, baron of Belfast and Lord viscount of Carickfergus in Ireland of the manor of Witheridge als Witheridge with the members and with the burrouogh and hundred of Witheridge and all houses, orchards, pastures, woods, mills, fishings, waters, commons, courts, leet, views of frank pledge, faires, markets, tolls, free warrens, wards, knight's fees, wayre, estrayes, fellonsgoods, goods of felons, desse, royalties, rents, reversions, services, etc. belonging to manor, borough and hundred. (Subject to leases one estates mentioned in a schedule) (Deed enrolled, Tingey's Index).

1648 Edward Chichester died in 1648. His son Arthur on 18 Mar. 1674-5, whose daughter Mary married John St. Leger. Their son, Arthur was created Lord Doneraile. He sold the Eggesford property to William Fellowes, with a strong presumption that Witheridge was sold at the same time.

1724 William Fellowes died in 1724, and was followed as owner of Eggesford by his son Coulson of Ramsey, Hunts. Ancestor of the lords of Ramsey.

1731 Marriage settlement in 1753 of Richard Elworthy and Jane Luxton. The recital states that Coulson Fellowes granted a lease for lives dated 31 Aug. 1731 of "The messuage called Yeo, a close of land called Stodham and one other close of land called the Downe" All these said to be in the parish of Witheridge and "parcel of the manor of Witheridge otherwise Witherige".

1743 The settlement above also quotes a lease of Coulson Fellowes dated Sept. 1743, of "part or so reputed of the manor of Witheridge". (Cutcliffe family deeds, the late Mr George Cutcliffe).

1755 Chapple speaks to Coulson Fellowes as lord of the manor. (Milles Mss., Bodleian Lib.)

1769 Coulson Fellowes died in 1769, and was followed at Eggesford by his second son, Henry Arthur, who died unmarried in 1792. He was followed by Newton Wallop second son of his sister and had married the Earl of Portsmouth. Newton Wallop took the surname of Fellowes, and, near the end of his life became Earl of Portsmouth on the death of his brother, the second earl.

1808 Chief rent of Gunnhole paid to Newton Fellowes. (Deed in possession of Mr H Browning).

1850 The Hon. Newton Fellowes is now Lord of the manor. (White's Devonshire, 1850).

1906 On the death of the fourth earl, Isaac Newton Wallop, in 1906, the Witheridge property was sold, and the manor bought by Mr C.F.C. Luxmoore, whose widow now holds it.

1935 Receipt of £1 by Rosalie Maud Acworth Luxmoore of Luxmoore in the manor of Lydford and Stafford Barton Dolton, being Lady of the Manor or Witheridge in full satisfaction, discharge and extinguishment of a yearly rent of one shilling payable by Mrs S Ward, together with receipt of 11/6 being one year's rent and 10/6 cost of redemption.(Receipt now held by Mr I Kerlsake and the present (1945) owner of the property held by Mrs S Ward destroyed by fire, 1945).

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

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