In the late 15th or early 16th century (1486-1493 or 1504-1515) William Leche, of Ashburton, a weaver, son of William Leche, took William Hamlyn of Ashburton to court for detaining deeds relating to land in Ashburton

National Archives C 1/146/63*
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1-2014

In the late 15th or early 16th century (1486-1493 or 1504-1515) John Dolber, the elder, of Ashburton, and Leve, his wife, previously the wife of John Ferre, were in dispute with Nicholas Kyrkham and others concerning messuages and land in Ashburton inherited by Leve from John Ferre. 
National Archives C 1/131/30
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1-2014

Between 1518 -1529  John Forde of Ashburton was the defendant in a case concerning the falsification of a lease of land at South Halewill in Manaton. William Halewill and Joan, his wife had made the lease to John and Agnes Langworthy, and the case was now being brought by Robert Langworthy, husbandman, their son and heir.
John Forde is described as being 'learned in the law.'

National Archives C 1/538/53

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1-2014

Between the same dates (1518-1529) Richard Chese and Margery, his wife, claimed money and a messuage and garden in Ashburton from Richard Devell, a husbandman. This money and property had been promised by the defendant to Richard Chese and Margery when they married.

National Archives C 1/486/9
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1-2014

Between 1529 and 1532 Jane Ford, great great-granddaughter of Richard Stroite and his wife Isabel claimed a tenement, curtilage and gardens in Ashburton formerly belonging to John Stroite, father of Richard.

John Wydecomb, John Devyll, John Wyndeyate and William Noseworthy, wardens of the 'instawre' of St Andrew in Ashburton parish church, John Knolle (Knolling), its sexton and others defended the action, saying that the property now belonged to William Whyte..

National Archives C 1/634/37
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1

Between the same dates (1529-1532) John Wynter claimed that land at Furselegh should have reverted to him at the end of a lease granted by William Larstoke the elder and the younger to Thomas Elys the elder of Staverton, husbandman. The lease had instead been passed on to the sons of Thomas Elys: Roger, John and Thomas.

National Archives C 1/690/8

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1
At some time between 1556 and 1558 William, son and heir of John Dolbear had a dispute with Thomas and Margery Mathewe concerning a right of way to a messuage and land at Summerhill in Ashburton. Devon.

National Archives C 1/1421/40-46

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 7-1-2014


In 1598 Ellis Coake of Ashburton, a tanner, claimed that Leonard Miller of Ashburton and Christina Kellye, widow had withheld  bequests made to him in the wills of his parents.

National Archives C 2/Eliz/C16/13

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1-2014

In 1607 Thomas Denbalde and his son Alfred Denbalde took the following to court: James Woodley, gent, Margaret Woodley, his wife, Peter Woodley, Hugh Woodley and Edward Woodley, his sons, Thomas Male, and others.

The defendants had, they alleged, forced entry, seized cattle, damaged fences, and depastured land in Caten in the manor of Ashburton.

Records of the Star Chamber and other courts

National Archives STAC 8/124/15

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 6-1-2014


In 1617 Walter Gruite, son of Thomas Gruite, took the following to court: William Knowling, yeoman, Richard Yolland, his son-in-law, William Bickford, gent, Thomas Shapcott, gent and others.

Walter Gruite claimed that amongst other misdemeanours the defendants had diverted water from his mills at Ashburton.

Records of the Star Chamber and other courts
National Archives STAC 8/160/21

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - Accessed 10-1-2014

* All records coded C are records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions

1758 'Whereas Elizabeth, the wife of John Tapper, of Ashburton, Devon, did on Monday 12th September 1757, go off from her said husband. This is to give notice, whoever entertains her shall be prosecuted as the law directs; and if any person credits her they must expect not to be paid from JOHN TAPPER'
The General Evening Post, (London) from Saturday December 31st to Tuesday January 3rd 1758

    The item on the breach of promise action by Anna Cockey against John Smith has now moved to the Cockey family page (People and properties)     

                                                                  Affiliation Orders

An affiliation order was an order for a man to provide upkeep for an illegitimate child



1851 Newton Abbot Petty Sessions: 

William Hutchings, of Ashburton, was ordered to pay 2s a week to Mary Ann Chalk, plus costs.

The 1851 census shows 26 year old Mary Ann Chalk in the household of Elizabeth Cove in North Street. Mary Ann is Elizabeth's sister - the next entry is that of William Chalk, aged 7 months, shown as Elizabeth's nephew.
1851 census HO107, Piece 1871, Folio 323, p20

Thomas Francis was ordered to pay 2s 6d a week to Elizabeth Whiddon of Ashburton, plus costs

William Coneybear, 'an old pensioner' was ordered to pay Ann King 2s 6d a week plus costs. Both were from Ashburton.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 1 March 1851 p4 col2


1853. Elizabeth Skews claimed maintenance for her child from the father, Thomas Ireland Searle. After a 'lengthened investigation' he was ordered to pay 2s 6d per week plus £1 2s 6d costs. 

Western Times 2 July 1853 p7 col2


1874 Mary Jane Stone of Ashburton summoned Robert Lethbridge, a porter of the South Devon Railway Co., 'to show cause etc'. This was presumably an affiliation order, as Lethbridge was ordered to pay 2s per week plus costs.

The birth of a Robert Lethbridge Stone was registered in the Newton Abbot district in the March quarter of 1874

Western Times 24 April 1874 p7 col2



In 1851 Doctor Daniel Yeo, a painter and glazier of Ashburton, sought damages from a builder named Ireland, also from Ashburton. Mr. Ireland's son had been an apprentice to the painter, but had gone to America before his 'time' was up. As the father was named on the indenture, £10 was being claimed from him.

The Judge queried the plaintiff's name - was it, he asked 'Doctor Daniel Yeo ?' Mr Tucker, acting for the plaintiff, answered that it was.

Judgement on the case was reserved for the time being.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 11 October 1851 p3 col6

In 1851 Doctor Daniel Yeo is living with his wife Susan in Ashburton. Aged 39, He was born in St Germans, Cornwall.

The Cornwall OPC database shows Doctor Daniel Yeo being baptised  in St Germans in September 1811, the son of James and Susannah.




1876 At the County Court. Edgcumbe v Wilcocks. Edgcumbe and Wilcocks lived next door to each other, and Edgcumbe claimed £1 for the damage down to his plants by Wilcocks' fowls, when they got over the wall between the two properties.

Judgement was given for 2s 6d plus costs.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 17 June 1876 p4 col2


1876 also saw a bitter dispute amongst the heirs of Mr Husson, of the Globe Inn, who had died in March 1875, leaving about £5000. Mr Husson's brother, a draper, supplied the mourning, but the following year there was a dispute over who had ordered it. The draper took other members of the family to court, and the case, Husson v Husson and Langler, was heard at Newton County Court.

It appeared that the draper had taken orders for mourning clothes before the will was read and the executor named - eldest son Edward Husson. On the will being read there was 'much unpleasantness', as Edward Husson had been left the bulk of the estate, with the other family members being left a small field and £400 each.

Most of the family paid for their own mourning, but Walter Husson, a nephew of the deceased, and George Langler, married to a niece, claimed that Edward had said that he would provide the mourning clothes. In addition they claimed that the executor had determined the style of clothing worn, and was therefore responsible for the debt.

The judge described the case as 'one of the most disgusting cases he had ever heard'. The verdict was awarded to the plaintiff.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 18 August 1876 p7 col5