People and properties 1600s and before
The section on the Domesday entry is now a sub-section of Early History

                                          Ashburton Burgh Answers

'A piglet killed a child.........value of the piglet 3d'

Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre of 1238 Henry Summerson Devon and Cornwall Record Society 1985, p118            

                                   Ashburton people in Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre* of 1238

Geoffrey le Faucher, living in Ashburton tithing, was outlawed with another man for the death of John the marshal.

Ashburton was in mercy.**


William Alisande, living in Ashburton, killed William le Mazacrer and fled.

Ashburton was in mercy for not producing him.


Joel Kide, Walter le Chapman and John Barat sold wine contrary to the assize.***

All were in mercy.


Crown Pleas of the Devon Eyre of 1238 Henry Summerson Devon and Cornwall Record Society 1985, pp113, 118

*An eyre was a periodic inspection by the King or by justices of the King

** To be in mercy was to be liable for a financial penalty, or amercement, to be paid to the King.

*** An assize was a meeting of vassals (free men with obligations to a lord) with the King, and the decrees issued afterwards.  Accessed 12-10-2013



September 1418 Geoffrey Attewey, a servant born on the Bishop's manor of Ashburton, received his manumission (freedom) on Sept 2nd, signed and sealed by the Dean and Chapter on the 3rd.

William Geffrey, also born on the Bishop's manor of Ashburton, had received his manumission on June 6th.
The Register of Edmund Stafford (1395-1419), Rev F C Hingleston, London 1886, 9 index
ibid 111 index


In 1970 nos. 21-47 North Street (odd numbers only) were demolished - the area is now Cleder Place. Archaeologists examined the houses before demolition, and discovered that most were late 18th century or early 19th century. However nos. 27-29, 33 and 35 were found to be medieval. No. 35 had had sixteenth and seventeenth alterations, which left only traces of the original layout; in addition the roof had fallen in.
Only part of the roof of no. 33 survived, and the front of no.27 was collapsing.
It seemed likely that the later properties in the street replaced earlier ones that had similarly disintegrated - a 1783 lease held at the time by Ashburton Urban District Council described no. 37 as 'the old walls and ruins of a dwelling house or cottage.'

Only no.33 had kept almost all of its original medieval layout. It seemed to have been originally a single storey building; an upper storey had been added in stages during the late medieval and early post-medieval period. Two wings had been added to the rear of the property, and there was a separate building at the end of the garden.
The front of no. 33 was basically stone, with the upper storey constructed of cob, built in layers nine to ten inches thick, with straw in between. Because the building was unsafe it was not possible to investigate whether or not the stonework was original.
The roof structure, thought to be 15th century, suggested that the building originally consisted of a hall about 18 feet long and a room 12 feet 6 inches long.
At some stage part of the building became a kitchen, with a 5ft 9in fireplace with a granite lintel supported by granite corbels.
'By the nineteenth century the hall had become a shop with a display window on to the street; the kitchen was now a bakehouse with an oven in the fireplace.
The first floor room of one of the rear wings 'had clearly been designed as a best bedroom'; it had a granite fireplace, and also a garderobe*.
The other wing had possibly been a storage area - it had stone walls up to 1ft 8ins thick on the ground storey, but nineteenth century slate hung walls above.
The detached building was dated as probably 17th century. It had a 4ft wide fireplace on the ground floor with a granite lintel, and also had a smaller fireplace, with a wooden lintel, in the upper storey.

Nos. 27 and 29 had originally been one property, which was 15 feet longer than no.33. No. 29 had been renovated in the early nineteenth century, but more of the earlier structure remained in no. 27. As with no. 33, it had originally been single storey, with an upper floor added in stages in the post-medieval period. A long rear wing was dated as probably being early 16th century.
The ground storey of both 27 and 29 was basically of stone, with the upper storey of cob. The remains of the rear wing were of stone.
The archaeologists concluded that the building was a medieval hall, divided by a screen, in what was later no. 27, to form a separate room, sometime in the late 15th century or early 16th century. This screen was 6ft 3ins high, leaving a gap of 1ft 4ins to the hall ceiling - this gap was filled with studwork, lath and plaster at a later date (late 17th century was suggested). A second screen was added later.
A 5ft 5in fireplace was in the centre of the rear wall of the hall. It had a seven inch thick granite lintel suppoted by granite corbels. A winding stone staircase was by the side of the fireplace, with later wooden treads.
Two other fireplaces were in the building, one upstairs and one downstairs - both had wooden lintels.
The rear wing was thought to have been 20ft 6ins long, with a 17ft 6in extension down to the river.
Laithwaite notes that two doorways had their jambs ' hollowed out half-way up to allow some bulky object to pass through; the rear doorway of the front range being already 4ft 1in wide and that to the wing 3ft 4ins. Pack horses have been suggested'.

Laithwaite concluded that the houses he examined were of 'relatively high quality'. He speculated that they may have been connected with the cloth industry, the occupants using the river Yeo (now Ashburn) at the bottom of the gardens. The wall at the bottom of nos. 27 and 29 had a wide opening onto the river, later filled up with blocks. Cob was used for much of the earlier building, but later stone and timber supplanted its use.

*Privy? The word does have other meanings.
Michael Laithwaite, Two Medieval Houses in Ashburton, Devon Archaeological Society Proceedings no. 29, 1971, p181ff

In the early 1900s P F S Amery wrote an article in Devon Notes and Queries about some oak panels from the 1500s, which were in a house belonging to one branch of the Prideaux family in Ashburton.
According to Amery the house passed down to the Parham family and then to a Mrs Cruse, finally being sold in 1905 after the death of her husband.
These panels had recently been removed from the house, and were now out of the county. It had been thought that the panels originated in St Andrew's Church, and had been taken out at the Reformation, although there was some dispute about this.
The panels were in a small back room in a house in West Street, very close to the parish church. The back buildings and stable were accessible from the left of the church gates; there was also a footpath under an archway that led to the same buildings. The old walled garden formed a boundary to the churchyard on the eastern end of the church.
The wainscoted room was about 14 feet square and about 8 feet high, with a canopy on the western wall.

Oak Carving at Ashburton in Tudor Days, P F S Amery, Devon Notes and Queries, undated, available to read for free from

'Inconsiderable vestiges of a chapel, which belonged to the abbot of Buckfastleigh, are still discernible in the walls of a house occupied by Mr. Parham.'

A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis (ed) 1848, pp 77-81

'W.P.S.' writing in the Exeter Flying Post in 1851, says that it is erroneous to think that the house belonged to the abbot of Buckfastleigh.

Exeter Flying Post 4 September 1851 p6 col5

The 1891 census shows an Edward and Elizabeth Cruse living in West Street. Edward is 70 and living on his own means; Elizabeth is 71.

Edward Cruse died in June 1905 and was laid to rest in the Parham vault.

Western Times 30 June 1905 p12 col5

In August 1905 Sawdye and Son sold a large amount of antique furniture, paintings and china from Paradise House in West Street, on the instructions of the representatives of the late E Cruse. The panelling is not mentioned.

Western Times 18 August 1905 p2 col1

1590 Gift and bond from Christopher Lange of Ashburton, glover to John Blundell of Ashburton, merchant March 26th, for a close of land, consideration £11.

OCLC (online computer library centre) number 434516091.

1600 Bargain and sale from Christopher Lange  of Ashburton, glover to George Crust of Ashburton June 25th.

OCLC number 430230339

1633 Lease for lives from Sir William Strode of Newnham to William Avoke of Ashburton, yeoman May 2 For close in Asburton, consideration £40

OCLC number 423392555

1637 Lease for lives from Sir George Sondes of Theowley, Kent, to Lady Helen Parkhurst, Robert Parkhurst and George Fabyan of Ashburton, yeoman. A messuage in Ashburton, consideration £80

OCLC Number: 423395615

1639 Bargain and sale from Sir Richard Strode of Newingham to Thomas Cruse of Ashburton, gent for close in Ashburton consideration £37

OCLC Number: 430230286

Whereabouts of the above documents are unknown. Reference accessed through - 23-02-2015

                                       Residents in Ashburton 1599

Items connected to Wills have now moved to a separate sub-section

In 1585 Queen Elizabeth restored to the vicars choral* of Exeter Cathedral various lands. These included a close at Stonehill, within the borough of Ashburton.
The History of Exeter, George Oliver, Exeter, 1821,p86ff
*Described in a paper by Peter Hampson as 'choristers and property dealers' - Accessed 06-10-2016

                                        Residents in Ashburton 1588

Taken from the Subsidy Rolls and described in a paper read by J S Amery in 1896, these names come from an assessment of people's land and goods,on which they had to pay an amount of money. The paper was published in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association, and is available freely through The forenames towards the end of the list are only partially visible in the scanned documents.
Thomas Fforde gen

Peter Brendon gen

Sampson Litheby gen

Gawin Seintclere gen

William Matthews

Joan Elis widow

Thomas Ffursman

Baldwin Guye

William Taylor

Alicia Windyeat

Richard Knolling

John Hannaford

John Ffurse

William Cann

William Byrte

William Ffraunces

Henry Fforde

Thomas Cole

Margery Bowcher

John Langford

Henry Hole

John Taylour

Thomas Elis

Thomasine Comiatt

Pasc Payge

Thomas Lowman

Nicholas Widecombe

John Lucye

Thomas Riche

Ed. Picke

Phelip Caunter

Roger Caunter

John Willmote

John Baron

Alexander Meacombe

William Warren

Ursula Mychell

Thomas Mitchell

Maria Cole widow

Elizabeth Ball

Elizabeth Wreyford

William Stephen

Christopher Meacombe

Thomas Aisheweeke

Ehechiel Castledon

John Tozer gent

Anna Castledon

John Castledon

Nicholas Prynne

Gabriel Harrys

Christopher Preston

John Ffurse of Brownswill

William Pattye

Leonard Myller

Bernard Dolbear

George Kollinge

John Blundell

John Ffurseman

John Caunter

John Dolbear

John Bounde

John Haley

John Hexte

William Shorte

Thomas Ogyer

Alexander Shapter

Roger Bernarde

Michaus Knolling

William Knolling

Lucae Light

William Miller

Thomas Harrys

...eorge Ffabyan

...hristopher Sherwill

...illiam Bridgeman Dolbear senior

...lter Bond

...nry Crocker

...xander Bilsford

...hard Ffurse

...n Ffrowde

...ry Whitewaie

...liam Luscombe

...mas Bound

...ilda Berrye

...n Cowche

...ry Luscombe

...istian Kelley

...anna Meacombe

...mas Tonye

...well Ffurse

...liam Kollinge

...mas Matthewe

...n Stephen

...hard Noseworthie

...lliam Noseworthie

...n Furse

...tilda Leer widow

...hard Harell

...n Wyndeate

...lliam Knollinge

...omas Denbande

...gory Meacombe

...illiam Werren

...drew Tomlyn

...omas Churchwaie Ffrinde

Transactions of the Devonshire Association vol. 28 (1896) pp. 247 ff

Viewed through Accessed 8-11-2013                       

               Rate for the relieffe of the power.

Wardens: John Roger gent and Thomas Arscott.

Overseers of the power: William Stevens, Thomas Oger, Richard Harell, George Ffabian.

Thomas Fford gent

James Woodlye gent

Peter Brendon gent

John Davis gent

Gawen Sainctler gent

Ffrancis Fforde gent

Sampson Lethebye gent

Leonard Miller

John Lucie de Priestaford

Edward Peeke

Georg Wythicombe

Thomas Ashwick

William Mathew de Somerhill

William Knowlinge de Somerhill

William Stevens

William Warryng de Ledburye

Johan Meacombe widow

Gregorie Meacombe

Roger Caunter

Richard Baren

John Robyns

Paschen Paidge

William Patye

Richard Nosworthy

Walter Band

John Wyndeat

Edward Wreyford

John Wilmett

William Nosworthy

Henry Berrye

William Stronge

Vrsula Muchell

Thomas Muchell

John Tozer gent

John Casteldon

Jane Ffurse widow

Henry Ffurse

John Ffurse de Waye

Mawd Berrye widow

Christopher Berrye

John Ffurse de Alston

Alexander Meacombe

Elizabeth Wreyford widow

Chrystofer Meacombe

William Warringe de Caten

Henry Crocker

Mary Cole widow

Julian Baren widow

Henry Whytwaie

William Luscombe

Henry Hole

John Tayler Senr

John Tayler Junr

Katheryne Ffrood widowe

Peternell Ffurse widowe

William Ffurse

Edward Ffurse

Johan Fayrmouth widow

Philip Eales

Georg Reynell

John Cooch

Richard Harell

Mrs Townesend

Thomas Tonye

Thomas Denband

Christian Kelly widow

Christofer Kelly

Ellerye Luscombe widow

William Vinch (Ffinch)

James Preston

Thomas Leeman

Andrewe Browne

Richard Miller

Henry Fford

Thomas Rich

Thomas Hale

John Hext

Adam Jaxon

Henry Heithfield

Ralfe Bullocke

Richard Grym

Henry Luscombe

Robert Typpett

Bauden Gaye

Nicholas Cater

Christofer Ffrinch

Thomas Adiscote

John Ffursman

John Bound

Nicholas Knowlinge

John Dolber Jnr

William Brigeman

Christofer Lange

Roger Denband

Henry Denband

Thomas Gotham

Philip Caunter widow

Christofer Shirwill

Philip Bicham

Edward Balle

Davy Reene

Richard Knowling

Christofer Preston

Barnibe Hals

John Halye

William Byrt

Bernard Dolbear

Thomas Hanaford

Alexander Shapter

Christofer Whitewaye

Robert Bound

Nicholas Pryne

Ezechiell Casteldon

William Caun

Henrye Dolber

John Ffrend Senr

John Ffrend Jnr

Thomas Ffursman

William Ffursman

Mathew Adam

Nicholas Ffursman

Georg Knowling

William Knowling pewterer

John Pryme

John Hale

Thomas Oger

William Tolchard

William Miller

John Langworthye

William Shorte

George Cruse

William Tailer

Richard Christofer

Lawrence Ffrinde

Bartholomew Aishridge

Georg Ffabian

William Mathew Snr

John Dolbear Snr

Thomas Harris

John Blundle

John Tucker

Gregorye Collings

Lawrence Abraham

John Quinte

Christofer Caunter

John Caunter

Thomas Leere

Thomas Eales

John Tooker cutler

Bartholomew Ashwick

John Wreyford

John Woolcote


Transactions of the Devonshire Association vol. 28 (1896)pp. 253 ff

Viewed through Accessed 15-11-2013


'The XXII day of January 1612 These persons followinge for absentyne themselves from the Church on that Sabbath daye all the tyme of divine service have payd each of them XIId a piece as followeth toward the Reliefe of the Poore
John Ball   William Ffurse   Henry Paddon   John Hall'

Edward Windeatt, Early Nonconformity in Ashburton, Transactions of the Devonshire Association vol. 28,1896, p229

1663 List of those supporting the petition of Richard Tailor, worstedcomber, for a pension after the 'late unhappy warrs' - they are likely to be Ashburton residents
Devon Heritage Centre ref QS/128/3/1
See also Conflict, under Ashburton in Peril
Jos. Vowell
W. Seymour
Hugh Woodley
Nicholas Harris
William Forde
Samuel Dyer
Richard Knoweling
John Martin
John Dolbeare
William Courtenay Collwell
William Bogan
Joshua Bowden, vicar of Ashburton

Thomas Kelley, constable
Peter Guade, constable
John Suscombe, constable
Henry Furneaux, constable
William Soper, churchwarden
Alfride Denbauld, churchwarden
Samuel Tidball, schoolmaster
Humphrey Stronge
Sa_son Bound
Humphrey Ogier
Robert Caunter
                                 Leases of Tenements mentioned in the Exeter Cathedral archive

1636 Mr Townsend granted new lease of tenement at Chewly in Ashburton (also spelt Chevely and Chuleigh)

D&C3557 P13
1660 Jo. Short purchased a tenement formerly in the possession of Richard Knowlies
D&C3559 P1A
1661 Richard Knowling granted lease of a tenement, provided he pay back rent of £7 to Widow Short
D&C3559 PP115-117
1663 Confirmation of lease by George Prowse, vicar of Ashburton, to Thomas Kelly
D&C3559 PP386-387
1668 Richard Knowling granted lease of tenement
D&C3560 P43
1675 Richard Knowling granted new lease of tenement
D&C3560 PP326-327
1689 Confirmation of lease to Richard Knowling D&C3562 PP158-159
1696 Confirmation of grant by John Bastard, vicar of Ashburton, to Richard Knowling of messuage and tenements D&C3563 P30

1696 Richard Knowling granted lease of tenement D&C356328-29 - Accessed 17-2-2016