'Anciently...every suitor was obliged to appear and prosecute or defend his suit in person unless by special license of the King; and this still continues to be the rule in criminal cases. But by sundry old statutes... permission was granted to attorneys to prosecute or defend any civil suit in the absence of the parties.

To him, the repressed repair to learn by what means the oppressor is to be resisted; to him, the orphan and the friendless look, as to one who knows how to direct them to recover their property or their rights. The attorney it is to whom, as a conveyancer in preparing deeds, bonds, mortgages, marriage settlements etc., we confide the transfer and security of our monies, our goods and our estates. It is the attorney before whom we lay these documents, upon his opinion of which we buy and sell land, houses and a variety of other property depending more especially upon what is usually called the Title to their possession. By these means it is the attorney who has an opportunity of knowing the most intimate affairs of individuals in every relative situation in life,; and it is the attorney, thus invested with so much power, who has the opportunity of becoming either a blessing or a curse to the neighbourhood in which he resides.'

The book of English trades and library of useful arts, London 1818, pp6,7

John Dunning Snr.

John, the father of famous Ashburtonian John Dunning, was an attorney.

Born in 1701* he 'had settled at Ashburton....where he practised as an attorney. He had married the daughter of a Mr Henry Judsham, of Old Port, in the parish of Modbury**'

John junior 'was born on the 18th October 1731 in the house where his father resided and carried on his business, which house is still standing, and is pointed out at this day to the stranger by the townspeople of Ashburton, with no little pride and complacency.'

Lives of eminent English judges of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, William Newland Welsby, T & J W Johnson, Philadelphia 1846, p535

* Charles Worthy says he was born 1701. Charles Worthy, Devonshire Parishes, op cit. p 73

** Henry Jutsham  according to Charles Worthy, Devonshire Parishes, op cit. p 73. Marriage licence said to be 17th May 1726.

Leaving school at about age 13, Dunning became an articled clerk in his father's firm.

'Several monuments of his industry as a clerk are still to be met with in the neighbourhood of Ashburton, such, for instance, as family deeds and settlements, written throughout by his own hand, and bearing his signature as an attesting witness. Many pages also of the proceedings in the parish books are of his writing, and are signed J Dunning, junior.'

Lives of eminent English judges p536
For more on John Dunning see Famous Ashburtonians


1749 In the National Archives, ref ADM 106/1077/118, is a letter to or from John Hicks, attorney, Ashburton, detailing Amos Mallett and Prudence Webb's trial for embezzling naval stores. - Accessed 21-11-2014


Richard Harris
In 1756 John Smerdon was an apprentice to Richard Harris of Ashburton, attorney.
In 1767 Robert Brent was an apprentice to Richard Harris, gent.
1769 John Seale and in 1777 Robert Abraham were apprenticed to Richard Harris attorney.
Register of duties paid for Apprentices' Indentures 1710-1811

Richard Harris, attorney, was buried in July 1778.
Parish records
He was probably the same Richard Harris who left a charitable bequest in his will of 1778 (see the Rich and poor section of People and properties).

Above: Letter addressed to Mr Richard Harris, May 1770
From my own collection 

Mary, the daughter of John Edmonds, attorney, and Ann his wife, was baptised in May 1780
Parish records

In 1774 Thomas Soper was apprenticed as an attorney to John Edmonds of Ashburton.
In 1780 both John Rowe Southmead and Rob Abraham were apprenticed to John Edmonds.
Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures, 1710 - 1811, availabe via

A memorial on the wall of St Andrew's Church commemorates John Edmonds, who died 10th August 1808, aged 63 years. He was an attorney.
See photograph in the Ashburton and the East India Company section


The death of John Smerdon, attorney, at Ashburton, was reported in 1817. He may be the same John Smerdon who was apprenticed to Richard Harris, above.
The New Monthly Magazine, vol 7, London, January - June 1817, p461


Thomas Tucker

In 1793 Vincent Langworthy was an apprentice to Thomas Tucker of Ashburton, attorney.
Register of duties paid for Apprentices' Indentures 1710-1811

The marriage of Thomas Tucker, attorney, and Miss Cooksley, both of Ashburton, was announced in 1793
The Gentleman's Magazine, 1793, p372

Andrew Tucker

'Doctor Andrew G C Tucker* was born in 1778 at Ashburton. After qualifying as a solicitor and obtaining the degree of LL.D. of St Andrews, he practised in that town and evidently from his writings was a keen naturalist and philosopher.' 
Report and transactions of the Devonshire Association, Plymouth 1900, Vol XXXII p271
Available to read freely on Accessed 22/9/2013
* Believed to be Andrew Griffin Coard Tucker
For more on the Tucker family, many of whom became solicitors, see The Tucker family under People and properties

Charles Tucker was articled as a clerk to Andrew Griffin Coard Tucker for 5 years from April 1822. If I have understood it correctly it was later agreed, in November 1823, that he should serve Robert Tucker in His Majesty's Court of King's Bench at Westminster and at any other courts where Robert Tucker practised as an attorney, solicitor or conveyancer.
UK Articles of Clerkship 1756-1874, online database from at - accessed 5-04-2021


The Tozer family

Solomon Tozer

According to Tozers website 21 year old John Chapell Tozer began as an attorney in Newton Bushell in 1785, moving to Teignmouth in 1807,a%20partner%20for%2050%20years - accessed 21-02-2021

John Chappell Tozer, baptised 1764, was the son of Solomon and Grace Tozer, who had a large number of children in the Newton Abbot area in the third quarter of the 1700s. They included Elizabeth Milford baptised in 1759, Richard Milford baptised in 1767 and Solomon baptised in 1771.
England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG 4-8) 1588-1977 - accessed 20-02-2021

Solomon Tozer jnr. was apprenticed to Edmund Batten, an attorney at Yeovil, Somerset, in 1787. This may be the Solomon Tozer who was later an attorney in Ashburton.
National Archives ref series 33 f 156, Britain Country Apprentices 1710-1808, available through - accessed 20-02-2021

Solomon Tozer, attorney at law, had an office in Ashburton in 1800.
Sherborne Mercury 14 July 1800, p1 col2

In 1801 a Solomon Tozer was Clerk and Treasurer to the trustees of the Newton Bushel Turnpike.
Exeter Flying Post 20 August 1801, p3 col4

1811 The Lord Chancellor appointed Solomon Tozer, of Ashburton, to be a Master Extraordinary in the High Court of Chancery.
Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 28 November 1811, p7 col3

In 1813 tenders for a property for sale near Launceston were to be submitted to Mr Tozer, Attorney-at-Law, Ashburton.
Royal Cornwall Gazette, 7 August 1813, p1 col2

1817 A 'substantial' property in West Street occupied by Solomon Tozer was up for sale. The house had two parlours, a drawing room, a kitchen, 7 bedrooms, a wash-house, scullery, pantries, drying lofts and a pump. This may have been a different Solomon Tozer.
Exeter Flying Post 16 Oct 1817 p1 col5  

Solomon Tozer died aged 48 in 1819, and was buried in Ashburton on 19th May. The burial record states that he was an attorney.
Parish register

In 1819 the Exeter Flying Post printed a notice regarding the estate of the late Solomon Tozer, attorney-at-law at Ashburton. Anyone with a claim on the estate was to contact Mr R M Tozer of Newton-Abbott or Mr J C Tozer of Teignmouth. 
Exeter Flying Post 3 Jun 1819 p1 col5                                

Rich. M  Tozer of Newton Abbot is named as executor in the index to Death Duty Registers.  
Index to Death Duty Registers, available through

The memorial to Solomon in Ashburton churchyard includes Elizabeth Milford Tozer, who died on 7th July 1825*, aged 66.      
*The transcription says 1820, but Elizabeth was buried on 11th July 1825
Parish records                                                            


Henry Tozer

Henry Tozer, the son of Solomon and Mary, was born in 1829 and baptised in Ashburton in January 1830. His father was a sergemaker.
Parish records

11 year old Henry was with Solomon and Mary in St Lawrence Lane. Solomon, a sergemaker, had not been born in the county.
1841 census HO107, piece no. 253, folio 14, p20

In 1851 Henry was in Weston Super Mare, an unmarried 21 year old lodging in the house of Robert Jesty. An articled clerk to a solicitor, Henry had been born in Ashburton.
1851 census HO107, piece no. 1936, folio 463, p9

His parents, and brother John, were still in St Lawrence Lane in 1851. Solomon, a 57 year old farmer, was born in Compton Bishop, Somerset.
1851 census HO107, piece no 1871, folio 273, p28

Henry Tozer married Harriet Agnes Goodall in the September quarter of 1853. The marriage took place in the Axbridge registration district.

Harriet Mary Elizabeth Tozer's birth was registered in the June quarter of 1854, in Clerkenwell. Her mother's maiden surname was Goodall.

The 1861 census of Ashburton shows Henry Tozer, solicitor, living in East Street. With him is his wife Harriet A, his daughter Harriet M E, and his son Solomon.

1874. H. Tozer, solicitor, Ashburton, advertised that he would advance sums of money – £1500 and £700 is given as an example – on freehold and approved leasehold properties.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 10 July 1874 p8 col5

In 1894 the following obituary was written about Henry Tozer:

'Henry Tozer was the youngest son of Solomon Tozer, a member of an old Ashburton family, long connected with the woollen manufacture. He was educated at the Ashburton Grammar School, and entered the legal profession about forty years since, having served his articles with the late Mr Edgar, of Weston-super-mare. He took an active part in local matters, and his genial and generous nature made him a popular man. For many years he had the management of Spitchwick and Widecombe Manors, then in Chancery. For some time Mr Tozer had withdrawn from public business, and his son and survivor Mr Solomon Tozer, having entered into partnership with him, he devoted himself to his garden and other kindred pursuits.

Mr Tozer joined the Association in 1872, and the success of the meeting at Ashburton in 1876, was largely due to the active interest he took in the arrangements, and to his liberal hospitality on the occasion. He was also one of the early members of the Teign Naturalists' Field Club, having been elected in 1865.

Early in life he married Harriet Goodhall, who died in 1884 leaving a son and daughter. Early in 1893, Mr Tozer moved into his country house at Priestaford, near Ashburton, where he died suddenly on the 27th August, at the age of 64. 

Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol 26 (1894) p50

Freely available from - accessed 19-9-2014


Solomon Tozer, son of Henry and Harriet Agnes

Solomon Tozer, the son of Henry and Harriet Agnes, was baptised at Ashburton in January 1856. Henry was a solicitor.
Parish records

Solomon Tozer was 35 at the time of the 1891 census. A solicitor, he and his wife Helenna C. (possibly Helonora) lived at Priestaford house. Solomon had been born in Ashburton.
1891 census RG12, piece no. 1698, folio 5, p3

In 1896 Captain S Tozer, solicitor at Ashburton, died. He was chairman of the committee for the Constitutional Club, a retired Major of the Ashburton Company of Volunteers, a one-time churchwarden and governor of the Grammar School, and the first secretary of the Ashburton Building Company. He had also been Portreeve. 
Exeter Flying Post 15 February 1896 p3 col4

Solomon Tozer, solicitor, was buried at Ashburton in February 1896. He was 40 years old
Parish records



Joseph Gribble

Josepha Wynne Gribble, the daughter of Joseph and Josepha, was baptised in May 1800.
Parish records

In 1814 a dwelling house was to be let in Newton Abbot, as was a house in Shaldon and a cottage in Bovey Tracey. Particulars could be obtained from various people, including Mr Gribble, solicitor, Newton and Mr J Gribble, solicitor, Ashburton.
Exeter Flying Post 11 August 1814, p3 col4

1815 Documents connected with the French prisoners of war show that Joseph Gribble was agent for the prisoners.
For more on this see the Conflict section of Ashburton in peril.

Coroners - Joseph Gribble, Ashburton, 1816
Exeter Itinerary and general directory, T & H Besley, Exeter 1828, p76

Arthur Maitland Gribble, the son of Joseph and Josepha, was baptised in June 1820. Joseph was an attorney.
Parish records

When parts of a phaeton belonging to Mr Thomas Cousins were stolen from a coach house in East Street, five guineas reward was offered for the conviction of the culprits. Application could be made to Mr Joseph Gribble, secretary and treasurer of the Ashburton Association for the prevention of robbery and theft. 
Exeter Flying Post 1 November 1821, p1 col4

Mr Joseph Gribble mentioned as Ashburton solicitor

London Gazette Issue 18247 13 May 1826, p1143 

On 30th October 1835 a fiat in bankruptcy was issued against Joseph Gribble of Ashburton*, scrivener. 
Western Times 15 October 1842, p1 col5
*The same person?

He lived somewhere in West Street. Later that year (1835) the property, 'late and for many years in the occupation of Mr Joseph Gribble' was up for auction at the London Inn.
Western Times 19 December 1835, p2 col3

In 1851, 76 year old Joseph Gribble, coroner and solicitor, was living in West Street. A widower, his 3 unmarried daughters and one unmarried son were living with him. The 31 year old son, Arthur M Gribble, was a dissenting minister.
1851 census HO107,  piece no. 1871, folio 314, p3                                                                  


The Abraham family.

Many members of the Abraham family were attorneys: in addition it seems certain that the Robert Abraham and Robert Abraham jnr. who ran the Ashburton Bank were Robert Abraham born 1761 and Robert baptised 1793.
See below.
See also Banks, under Banks and Businesses.

Robert Abraham married Dorothy Tozer at Woodland in May 1760. She was of Ashburton, he was of Woodland: they married by licence. 
Woodland parish records

Dorothy Abraham was buried in 1815, aged 77. She was of Gurrington.
Woodland parish records

Robert Abraham
Rob: the son of Rob: and Dorothy Abraham was born in February 1761.
Woodland parish records

Other children of the couple were Mary, born in 1762 and baptised in 1763
Another Mary baptised in 1764
Frances baptised in March 1771
Susanna baptised in January 1773
Woodland parish records

When Susannah Abraham married William Kitson in 1797, Rob. Abraham jnr., Mary Abraham and Frances Abraham were witnesses.
Woodland parish records

In 1784 Abraham Welland, in Calcutta, wrote to Sir Robert Palk that he was pleased to hear that his cousin Abraham was coming to India. 'I shall of course render him all assistance in my power'.
The South West Heritage Trust says that cousin Abraham was Thomas Abraham, born in 1769 and dying in 1818, the son of Robert Abraham of Gurrington. The Trust also says he was a cousin of Sir Robert Palk, whose mother was Frances Abraham.
South West Heritage Trust, Devon Archive catalogue, ref Z6/380 - accessed 15-02-2021

Thomas Abraham esq. of Gurrington died in India 'by the upsetting of a boat'.
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 24 September 1818, p2 col2

Thomas Abraham named his brother Robert Abraham and sister Susannah Kitson, wife of William in his will proved in 1818He also bequeathed £4000 to Jane Thomson [Abraham] (in Bengal?)
Ref PROB 11/1610/365 National Archives - accessed 14-02-2021

When Jane Thomson Abraham married in 1838, she was of Gurrington in Woodland, 'the daughter of a Gentleman'. Her father was Thomas Abraham of the East India Company Civil Service. Witnesses to the marriage, to Charles Holman Warren, a surgeon, were Robert George Abraham, William Kitson jnr. and Sarah Abraham.
A newspaper announcement of the wedding described Jane as the only child of the late Thomas Abraham of Gurrington House.
Woodland parish records
Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, 24 January 1838, p7 col4

Jane Thomson Warren, of Milverton, Somersetshire, was 33 when she was buried at Woodland in May 1840.
Parish records

Frances Abraham, second daughter of the late Robert Abraham, died at her residence at Gurrington in April 1842. She was 71.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 16 April 1842, p3 col2


The 1841 census has a Robert Abraham, aged 80, living in East Street, Ashburton. An attorney, he was born in the county. As the 1841 census uses approximate ages, Robert was born circa 1761. Relationships are not shown in 1841, but in the same household there was a Robert G Abraham, aged 20, also an attorney.1841 census HO107, piece no. 253, folio 21, p37

In 1777 Robert Abraham was apprenticed to Richard Harris attorney. Three years later a Robert Abraham was apprenticed to John Edmonds, attorney, which possibly indicates a change of master.
Register of duties paid for Apprentices' Indentures 1710-1811

The articles of clerkship, dated December 1779, show that there were 3 years (wanting 29 days') remaining.
UK Articles of Clerkship 1756-1874, online database from at - accessed 5-04-2021

1785. John Gillett was an apprentice with Robert Abraham jnr., attorney, as was Henry M. Lyde in 1789, Joseph Gribble in 1790, Jonas Ridout and John Henry Pinker in 1795 and Charles Kendall and Jas N. P. Cosserat in 1800.
Register of duties paid for Apprentices' Indentures 1710-1811

Robert Abraham married Sarah Cockey in July 1784
Parish records

They had at least 5 children, including Thomas baptised in July 1785 and Robert Abraham [jnr.]*, baptised in May 1793
Parish records
*This junior is a generation down from the one above.

Sarah Abraham of Ashburton was buried at Woodland in June 1831. She was 71
Woodland parish records
It seems likely that the month was recorded incorrectly, because Sarah, the wife of Mr Abraham, solicitor, died in July after a long illness.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 30 July 1831, p2 col5

In 1844 The Exeter and Plymouth Gazette noted that in the Register of Attornies and Solicitors several men had been practising between 59 and 64 years. The solicitor in third place for length of service was Robert Abraham of Ashburton, who was admitted in 1782.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 5 October 1844 p3 col2

He died aged 86 in 1847. The North Devon Journal reported that he was then the oldest solicitor in the county.
North Devon Journal 11 February 1847 p3 col1

Thomas Abraham
Baptised 1785, the son of Robert and Sarah (see above).
Thomas Abraham esq. of Ashburton was buried at Woodland in February 1830. He was 44.
Woodland parish records

He was a barrister: the register of admissions to the Middle Temple has Thomas Abraham, the eldest son of Robert A. of Ashburton, Devon, gent, admitted in November 1804, and called to the Bar in February 1819.
Register of Admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, vol II, 1782-1909, p422. Available through - accessed 17-02-2021
Initial information from Cefyn Grafton, to whom many thanks

In 1833 there was a court case arising from an insurance of £5000 on the life of Thomas Abraham. Mr Swete, of Oxden-Hall*, Devon, had taken out insurance on the barrister in 1827, as part of a lease agreement with Mr Laurence Palk. Some time before this, Mr Abraham had been 'under a depression of spirits' due to family circumstances, but Mr Swete, the plaintiff, asserted that at the time the insurance was taken out he was generally in excellent health. The insurers, the Globe Insurance Company, Exeter, had declined to pay out on the insurance, maintaining that Mr Abraham was 'known to be deranged.'
The jury found for the plaintiff.
Sun (London) 1 March 1833, p2 col2
*Should be Oxton House - accessed 15-02-2021

Robert George Abraham
Robert George Abraham, the son of Thomas and Mary, was baptized at Lambeth, Surrey, in May 1819
Transcription from FamilySearch England Births and Baptisms 1538-1975

In the 1841 census he was an attorney, in the household of Robert Abraham [snr.] in East Street. Robert Abraham snr. was approximately 80 years old; Robert George was approximately 20.
1841 census HO107, piece no 253, folio 21, p37

Robert George Abraham, of 21, Harp-Lane, Tower, and Ashburton, articled to Robert Abraham, Ashburton, was listed amongst those applying to be admitted as attorneys in the Court of Queen's Bench, Hilary Term 1841.
The Jurist, London, 1841, vol IV p 1042

Articled clerks who passed their examination at the Hall of the Law Society, Hilary Term 1841: Robert George Abraham, articled or assigned to Robert Abraham, Ashburton.

The Legal Guide, Vol 5, London 1841, p237

When he married Katherine Anne Hainworth in 1853 he was a solicitor living in Ashburton. His deceased father was Thomas Abraham, barrister at law.
Crediton parish records

He died in 1908 aged 89, and was buried at Woodland
Woodland parish records

1908. The death of Robert George Abraham, solicitor, was announced. He was in his 90th year.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 28 August 1908 p16 col6

Robert Abraham jnr.
Baptised 1793, the son of Robert and Sarah. See above.

Robert Abraham [jnr.], bachelor, married Frances Cockey in October 1826
Parish records

October 1827. Robert and Frances Abraham baptized their daughter, Sarah Mary. Robert is described as a solicitor.
Ashburton baptisms 1822-1829 Devon FHS 2006

In 1830 Robert Abraham jnr., solicitor, of Ashburton, was killed in a riding accident.
Bristol Mercury 6 July 1830 p1 col4

Abraham and Kitson
William Kitson died in April 1883, at Hengrave, near Torquay. Born in April 1800, he was the second son of the Rev. W Kitson and Susan, daughter of Mr R Abraham of Gurrington, Woodland.  He was articled to his uncle Mr Abraham, an Ashburton solicitor, and passed his legal examination in 1822 - he entered into practice in Torquay the following year. He took over the management of the Palk property from Mr Abraham: 'under his supervision the little village of Torquay was ...... expanded into the city of villas with which we are all familiar.'     
He married the daughter of the vicar of Ashburton, in 1832*                                        
Torquay Times and South Devon Advertiser, 14 April 1883, p5 cols 3,4
*William Kitson jnr. married Georgiana Kitson in September 1832 in Paignton. Georgiana Kitson was baptised in Ashburton in 1810, the daughter of John Lane Kitson and his wife Georgiana.
Paignton parish records
Ashburton parish records

Robert Abraham, William Kitson jnr and Robert Geo. Abraham were clerks to the Trustees of the Ashburton Turnpike in 1846.
Western Times 27th June 1846, p1 col2

The Siege of Spitchweek.
In 1849 the Western Times reported on an event at Spitchweek, an area on the edge of the moor which was, according to the paper, a 'wild and rude' country. 'The spirit of frolicsome adventure, and ignorance or disregard of social restraints, characterise the peasantry far more than in more cultivated districts.'
The incident resulted in eight men being indicted before magistrates and a jury in October. The charge was of making 'riot, rout or unlawful assembly, and disturbing the public peace, to the terror of the Queen's subjects'.
A few years beforehand, a dispute over the ownership of the mansion and estate had been settled at the Devon Assizes in favour of a Rev. Mr. Fry. He leased the house to Mr William Kitson of Torquay, but before Mr Kitson could take possession he and Mr Abraham of Ashburton had had to forcibly eject a Mr Wotton Gliddon. They achieved this with 'twenty or thirty stout fellows', but, it was stated, they did not have sticks or offensive weapons. The door had to be broken open to eject Mr Gliddon and his companions, but Mr Abraham maintained that no unnecessary force was used, and that no-one sustained any injuries.
Mr Gliddon was popular, and regarded by many as the Lord of the Manor. 
Mr Gliddon had arrived at Spitchweek in September, with documents that he wished Mr Kitson to see, but was told to go away. The newspaper could not comment on what arrangements were then made, but in early October two hundred men met at Holne Bridge and consumed two casks of cider, distributed by Mr Gliddon. 'Stakes and blugeons' were then procured, and they proceeded to the gates of Spitchweek grounds. Sir Bouchier Wrey met them and told them to disperse, but they opened the gates and went in. Sir Bouchier, Mr R G Abraham and Mr W A Cockey, who were there for a day's shooting, positioned themselves in front of the mansion door. The inmates of the house were mainly women, and when some maids looked out of the windows they were 'insulted'; Sir Bouchier said that if any of the women were harmed he would kill the perpetrators. No constables were available - Sir Bouchier could not swear any in from the crowd because they were all on the wrong side. There were threats to break into the premises, but no damage was done, and after about two hours the crowd wandered off.
The next day Sir Bouchier invited Mr Gliddon to talk over the matter - he was not detained, and had not been seen in the district since. The eight brought before the magistrates received sentences of between 3 weeks and two months' imprisonment.
Western Times 20 October 1849, p6 col5

Above: Spitchwick Manor 
From my own collection

Abraham and Kitson are listed as attorneys in White's Directory of Devonshire, 1850
History, gazetteer and directory of Devonshire, William White, 1850 p466. Freely available on - accessed 19-02-2021


In 1845 'the lady of George Caunter Esq., solicitor', gave birth to a daughter.
Western Times 18 January 1845 p2 col6

For more on George Caunter see the Caunter family under People and properties.


1850. In addition to Abraham and Kitson, above, the following are listed as Attorneys in White's Directory:

George Caunter, East Street

William Aldridge Cockey, East Street, dep. coroner

Joseph Gribble, West Street, coroner

Robert Tucker, East Street
History, gazetteer and directory of Devonshire, William White, 1850 p466. Freely available on - accessed 19-02-2021

The 1851 census shows 76 year old Joseph Gribble as a solicitor and coroner, living in West Street.
1851 census HO107, Piece 253, Folio 21, p34

Mr W A Cockey

When Joseph Gribble died in 1852, a vacancy occurred for the post of coroner. W A Cockey, solicitor, had been deputy coroner for some time, and was a candidate for the position.
Western Times 2 October 1852, p7 col5


Solicitors in the 1861 census: Robert Tucker, Robert C Tucker, Robert G Abraham and Henry Tozer.

In 1864 R Dobell, jnr., of East Street, Ashburton, was listed as one of the correspondents of The Law Students' Examination Chronicle
The Examination Chronicle, Jan-Dec. 1864, p111

This is possibly Robert Dobell, who in the 1861 census was the 14 year old son of Robert Dobell, a solicitor's managing clerk. At the time Robert was living with his parents and 6 siblings in East Street., 1861 census RG9/1405, folio 32, p13

By 1881 thirty five* year old Robert was living in Truro with his wife Henrietta J and three children. He was a solicitor and councillor for the city.
*Might be 33
1881 census RG11, piece no. 2311, folio17, p12


Henry Mallaby Firth

See also The Firth family under Individual Families

Born in Cheshire, Henry Mallaby Firth was baptised in Wittan in 1852, the son of Frederic Hand and Mary Firth.

He was an articled attorney clerk in Lewisham in 1871. In 1875 Mr Firth, son of F A Firth of Cator Court, went into partnership with Mr G Caunter, of Ashburton.

He married Frances Caunter in Widecombe parish church in 1877. At the time of his marriage his residence was Cator Court, Widecombe. Frances was the daughter of solicitor George Caunter.

Wittan parish records

1871 census RG10, piece no 768, folio 44, p14

Western Times 5 March 1875 p8 col3

Widecombe parish records

Ledgers and account books for Caunter and Firth, solicitors, are held at the Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust), ref 1164B

In the 1891 census Henry Mallaby Firth, solicitor, is shown at The Knoll, Ashburton. Forty years old, he is living with his wife Frances, three children and three servants.

In the same census Frederic H Firth, 66 and a JP living on his own means, is living at Place House. He was also born in Cheshire.

Henry Mallaby Firth died, aged 74, in 1926. He was lord of the manor of Ashburton, a governor of the Grammar School and trustee of the church lands amongst other roles.
Western Morning News 11 March 1926, p3 col5


Other Ashburton solicitors in the 1891 census are: 3 members of the Tucker family (Robert, Robert C and Robert E), Robert G Abraham and Solomon Toyer*
* Should be Tozer