'The pewterer must have an iron pot to melt the metal, a ladle to take it out; and suitable moulds for making the various articles which he manufactures: he must also have a turning lathe, for the purpose of finishing those articles which require to be rounded and true...'
The book of English trades and library of useful arts, London 1818, p295

Above: The Pewterer, from The book of trades or the young British tradesman, Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, London 1835

Tin is the main constituent of pewter, and given Ashburton's association with tin it is not surprising that pewterers also worked in the town. Because tin is so soft, other metals, such as copper or lead, are mixed with it to make a suitable compound for forming into a variety of artefacts.
'In past centuries the Company laid down strict specifications for the alloy and up to the end of the eighteenth century monitored pewter manufacture throughout England.'
The Pewterers' Company has existed as a City Guild since medieval times.
Pewterers of a sufficient standard used a trade mark, called a touch mark, which often incorporated the maker's name or initials.

Pewter was used for plates, flagons, dishes, porringers -
and 'from 1300 to 1800...was as familiar as china is today'. - Accessed 14-10-2015

'Costs and expenses. For a pewter pot which was lost, to John Mey - 15d'
'16d paid William Baron and 1 pewter dish as a reward from the parish.'

William Knollynge was named as a pewterer in the 1579-80 accounts. He was paying for a pew in the church.
Churchwardens' Accounts of Ashburton, 1479-1580, Alison Hanham, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, Torquay, 1970, pp 8,104,187

In a will of 1629 John Wreaforde of Ashburton left a pewter dish to his daughter Peternell, wife of Richard Taprill.
Charles Worthy, Devonshire Wills, a Collection of Annotated Testamentary Abstracts, p161

Some pewter items mentioned in connection with Devon at the National Archives: plates, noggin, mug, chamber pot, hoggin, flaggons, saucers and pewter linings for salt cellars.

In Walter Palke's will of 5th November 1677 the inventory of the effects of the deceased mentions ten pewter dishes, 16s.
Devonshire Parishes, Charles Worthy, vol 2,Exeter and London, 1889, p327

Above: Pewter in the kitchen of Cotehele, Cornwall.
Photograph by the husband of Rachel Knowles of Regency History, to whom many thanks

During 1571-72 John Alys, pewterer, agreed to repair all the church lead for the remainder of his natural life, for the sum of 40s in hand. The contract, or covenant, was made with the 8 Men and the 'parysshe.' It is not certain that John Alys was an Ashburton resident, but it seems likely.
Churchwardens' accounts of Ashburton 1479-1580 Alison Hanham, Devon and Cornwall Record Society 1970, p170

Among the residents in Ashburton in 1599 is
William Knowling, pewterer.

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

Viewed through Accessed 15-11-2013


Ashburton pewterers recorded in H H Cotterell's Old Pewter: Its Makers and Marks, London, 1929:
Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information - extra information credited separately.

Richard Knowles, 1613

Thomas Knowles, 1631

On 22nd June 1635 Thomas Knowles married Xpiana Dyer at Ashburton.
Parish records

Thomas Knowles jnr, 1647
Of Ashburton and Bristol.
Apprenticed to John Knowles and his wife Marie.

Lawrence Langworthy, born circa 1692
Died 19th October 1739 in Newport, Rhode Island. His memorial reads: 'In memory of Lawrence Langworthy of Ashburton in the County of Devonshire. Died Oct the 19 1739 in the 47 year of his age. Also of Mary his wife of Dartmoor in the County of Devonshire, died Jany the 15 1732-33 in the 37 year of her age.'
Database of the Pewter Society

On November 29th 1714 Laurence Langworthy, apprentice of [blank] pewterer, was entered onto the roll of Exeter Freemen.
Exeter Freeman 1266-1967, Devon and Cornwall Record Society, Exeter 1973, p225, available via

Lawrence Langworthy married Mrs Mary Southcott 29th August 1718, Widecombe in the Moor
England marriages 1538-1973

An oblong pewter dish dated 1719, with two marks, touches of Lawrence Langworthy, is at the National Trust property of Arlington Court, Devon.

In 1722 the apprenticeship of John West was registered, to Lawrence Langworthy, pewterer, at Exeter.

Britain, Country Apprentices, 1710 - 1808, Society of Genealogists via

Southcot, the son of Mr Lawrence Langworthy and Mary was baptised on the 8th June 1720, at St Mary Major, Exeter.
Mary, the daughter of Laurance Langworthy, was baptised on the 6th February 1721, at St Olave, Exeter.
A daughter of Lar: Langworthy, pewterer, was baptised on the 12th July 1723, at St Olave, Exeter.

Parish records

A bell-metal posnet, marked by Lawrence Langworthy, Newport, dated 1730, sold at Christie's, New York, in 2012. - Accessed 29-03-2017
William Taynton, pewterer, mainly associated with Gloucestershire and Bristol, is listed as a voter in Ashburton in the 1774 Bristol poll book.


Thomas Cole married Ellinora Beere at Ashburton on 19th April 1627.
Parish records

Ten years later, in 1637, a John Bone/Bonner was searched at Ashburton,
ie representatives of the Pewterers' Company checked the quality of his wares. Bowls by Bonner were found in Thomas Cole's shop, and this is possibly the same Thomas as above.
Journal of the Pewter Society (Addnl), p56;  Journal of the Pewter Society Aut 1996, p134. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information

Chamberpots by William Bourne of Ashburton were also found in Thomas Cole's shop in 1641. William was searched at Modbury Fair that year.
Journal of the Pewter Society (Addnl), p57;  Journal of the Pewter Society Aut 1996, p134. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information                                                                    

Porringers by Lawrence Langworthy of Ashburton were also found in Thomas Cole's shop. Lawrence was searched in 1637 and 1641.
Journal of the Pewter Society (Addnl), p60;  Journal of the Pewter Society Aut 1996, p134. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information 

In 1637 Lawrence Langworthye, East streate, paid 1s to the Ashburton Poor Rate, and Lawr Langworthie, East streete, paid 9d in 1644.
Lawr Langworthye, The Eaststreete, paid 1s in 1649
Devon Parish Taxpayers 1500 - 1650, Todd Gray, vol 1, Exeter 2015, pp86, 98, 102

Various entries for Lawrence Langworthy in the Ashburton parish registers. They may not be connected to the Lawrence Langworthy above:
Maria the daughter of Laurenti Langworthy was baptised on the 29th January 1616
Thomazina the daughter of Laurenci Langworthy was baptised on the 21st October 1619
Guilielmus the son of Laurenci Langworthy was baptised on the 9th September 1623
Parish records

Lawrenci Langworthy married Jane Lang 8th September 1649, Ashburton
Jane the wife of Lawrenc Langworthy was buried 11 September 1650
Lawrenc Langworthy married Ane Pearce 4th December 1651, Ashburton
Parish records
Ane the daughter of Lawrenc Langworthy was baptised on the 26th October 1652, Ashburton
Frances the daughter of Laurence Langworthy was baptised on 9th July 1658, Ashburton
Parish records

Laurence Langworthy was buried 29th December 1680, Ashburton. John Langworthy was one of those making an affidavit [that he had been buried in wool].
Parish records


In 1641 Alexander Soper of Ashburton was searched at Modbury Fair.
Journal of the Pewter Society (Addnl), p63 Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information

In the same year Alexander Soper, possibly the same one, married Agnetia Stevens at Ashburton.
Agnis Soper, wife of Allexander, was buried 16th April 1666.
Boyd's Marriage Index
Parish records

An Allexander Soper was buried at Ashburton 11th April 1674
Parish records


                                           The Dolbeare family

In May 2015 Bonhams sold what they described as a rare semi-broad-rim pewter plate from around 1625-1635. It bore the shield of Piers Edgcumbe, of Cotehele House, Cornwall, who died in 1660. The plate had hallmarks to the front and the touchmark of Nicholas Dolbeare on the rear. Nicholas was from Ashburton, working between 1620 and 1651. The plate realised £1750 including premium.
Above: Pewter plate at Cotehele bearing the Edgcumbe shield.
For more Cotehele pewter, including broadrim plates, see below

Bonhams stated that is was possible that the plate came from a lot of 266 pewter pieces from Cotehele sold by Sotheby's on June 1st, 1956.
Source quoted on the website: 
Journal of the Pewter Society, Vol. 40, Autumn 2014, pp. 36 - 39; and Vol. 18, Autumn 2002, p. 28 for an article entitled 'The Dolbeares of Ashburton'. - Accessed 12-10-2015

In 2016 Bonhams sold another plate, or possibly the same one, describing it as a Charles 1 plain broadrim plate, circa 1630. Its diameter was 257mm, with a rim of 59mm. Bonhams noted that five lots of six identical plates were sold by Sothebys in June 1956: some plates by Nicholas Dolbeare were included in the sale.
Six plates were bought on behalf of a group of customers, mostly Pewter Society members: this particular plate became part of the Frank Holt collection. - accessed 06-04-2023
Many thanks to Jerry Parker for this information

A Nicholas Dolbeare married Claria Quint on the 29th November 1621, but there appear to have been two people with this name. A Nicholaus Dolbeare was buried 22nd March 1637 Ashburton, probably the Nicholas Dolbeare, tanner, who left a will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1638.
Parish records, PROB 11/177/246

In 1625 Nicholas Dolbeare, probably of the East streete (the list went on to a new page) paid 2s 2d to the Poor Rate of Ashburton. The next person on the list was John Dolbeare.
Nicholas Dolbeare, again probably of East streate, paid 7s in 1637.
Devon Parish Taxpayers 1500 - 1650, Todd Gray, vol 1, Exeter 2015, pp80, 87

Photographs by the husband of Rachel Knowles of Regency History, to whom many thanks


Bernard Dolbear, the son of Bernard, was baptized on the 19th August 1642
A Barnardus Dolbeare, the son of Johis, was baptized on the 7th September of the same year.
Parish records

According to Family Search, Bernadus, the son of Johannis, died on the 20th August 1643

According to the Pewter Society, Bernard Dolbeare became a pewterer, working between c1660 and c1720
Journal of the Pewter Society Aut 2002, pp27 - 29 Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information

Johnes Dolbeare, the son of Bernardi Dolbeare, was baptised 12th September 1683 (see John Dolbeare [2] below)
Parish records


1644 John Dolbeare [1], pewterer, paid 2s 3d 'for the releyffe of the poore wth in the pish of Aishberton'.
Devon Parish Taxpayers 1500 - 1650, Todd Gray, vol 1, Exeter 2015, p92

Nicholas the son of John Dolber was buried 18th August 1651 - there may be no connection
Parish records

1655 'The agreement of marriage between John Dolbeare of this pish, pewterer, and Susanna Necke also of this pish was delivered onto the register the 14 day of Novemb 1655 and published three Lords daies following.
25 Decemb 1655 The said John Dolbeare and Susanna Necke were married before Thomas Reynell esquire Justice of the Peace.'
Devon Banns Registers 1538 - 1915

Agnes the daughter of John Dolbeare pewterer was born 26th February 1657*
Parish records
* Old calendar - we would say 1658

Barnard, the son of John Dolbeare, pewterer, born 15th November 1659
Parish records

1661 Mary, the daughter of Jo. Dolbeare, pewterer, was baptized 28th November.
Parish records

1662 John and Mary, the children of John Dolbeare, pewterer, were buried on the 2nd March.
John jnr. may have been the same John who was born on the 7th October, 1656, 'the sonne of John Dolbeare, pewterer.'

Parish register

John, the son of John Dolbeare, pewterer, was baptised at Ashburton 12th May 1664.

Parish records

Are the following records for a different John Dolbeare? It is possible that the term pewterer is used on other records to distinguish the two.
1657 'The agreement of marriage between John Dolbeare sonne of John Dolbeare the elder of this pish and Alice Fursman daughter of Thomas Fursman, also of this pish, was delivered unto the register 14th day of March 1656* and published three Lords daies followinge.
26 May 1657 The said John Dolbeare the young and Alice Fursman were married before Thomas Reynell Esq., Justice of the Peace.'
Devon Banns Registers 1538 - 1915, available through
*Old calendar - we would say 1657.

John the son of John Dolbeare the younger was baptized in September 1661
Parish records

By 1671 an Edmund Dolbeare*, pewterer, had emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts - he gave a deposition in a court case that year. It is thought he came from Ashburton, and at some stage his wife and two children, John and Joseph also arrived in Boston. John became a pewterer like his father, but also worked in brass and iron, and became extremely successful. Although Edmund's mark is unknown, John's was of three plumes, and some of his work survives. He features in Laughlin's book Pewterers in America. - Accessed 12-10-2015

*An Edmundus Dolbear, son of Thomae, was baptized at Ashburton 25th August 1633.
An Edmundus Dolbeare, son of Johnis, was baptized 16th June 1644.
Parish records
Right: Platter attributed to Edmund Dolbeare, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession number 1994.186.
It is described as a large circular platter, 3.2 x 42.9cm, with multiple reeded brim; entire surface hammered; marked ED with five stars in shield four times in line on top of rim; marked with initials E over IM on opposite side of rim, with E and M stamped in square with barbed edge, and I incuse; B scratched on underside of rim.
The platter was gifted to the museum by Daniel and Jessie lie Farber and Mr and Mrs Frederick C Dumaine.
Many thanks to Boston Museum of Fine Arts for permission to reproduce the photograph.
Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Also thanks to Robert Dolbeare for getting in touch about the object.
In 1688, in Salem, Edmund Dolbeare testified when Thomas Stacey accused Bridget Bishop of stealing brass for a mill. Thomas Stacey had asked Edmund to inform him if he was offered such an item, as it was missing, and in due course Bridget Bishop's daughter brought him a brass to sell. Stacey identified the brass as the one he had lost.
Edmund Dolbeare (Edward in the title) is described as beihg 'aged forty or thereabouts', which suggests this might be the Edmund Dolbeare baptized in 1644.
ed. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem-Village Witchcraft, A Documentary Record of Local Conflict in Colonial New England, Boston, new ed 1993, p159

The Dolbeares of Boston, by Edward Doubleday Harris Esq.
'The writer has in his possession several memorandum books and files of business papers formerly belonging to three Boston merchants, John Dolbeare, his son Benjamin, and Benjamin's son John. Among them, in the handwriting of Benjamin Dolbeare, is a copy of a letter written to John Dolbeare, ironmonger, of Ashburton, England, which throws some light on the early history of the family here. It runs as follows:
Boston, New England, 28th August 1772.
Mr Benjn Dolbeare*, at Ashburton in O. England.
Sir, I have lately been informed by one Mr Row, who lives about 20 miles from your town, that you were alive and well when he left home, and you being the only relation that I have heard anything of in England, am desirous of having a correspondence with you...

Above: John Dolbeare of Boston.
The Founders, Portraits of persons born abroad who came to the colonies in North America before the year 1701, Charles Knowles Bolton, The Boston Athenaeum, vol III, 1926, p 773.
...Therefore take this opportunity to acquaint you as far as I know, how the relationship came about, viz. my late father Mr John Dolbeare came from Ashburton into this country with my grandfather Mr Edmund Dolbeare, my grandmother and uncle Joseph, about the year 1664, my father and uncle Joseph served their times with my grandfather to the pewterers trade, in which business my father set up and added to it the ironmongery trade, both which he carried on to the year 1740...My grandmother died a few years after she came over here, and my grandfather married again...My brother James who was at Ashburton to visit his relations there in the year 1738 (when I suppose you saw him there)...he gave an account of our relations there and that there was none of ye name but were related to us...If you think it worthwhile to write to me at any time, direct to Benjamin Dolbeare, Merc. in Boston, New England, and it will come safe to hand. I wish you health and prosperity and am Yr unknown kinsman, Benjamin Dolbeare.

Memo. Ashburton is in the County of Devon, abt 20 miles from Plymouth & Exeter.
*I rec' a letter from him and his name is John, instead of Benjn.

It is apparent...that [the letter's] writer was in error as to the date of his grandfather's coming to Boston; it was doubtless later than 1664.'
The New England historical and genealogical register, Vol 47, 1893, p24ff

John the son of Bernard Dolbeare was born 22nd August 1683 and baptized 12th September. This is possibly John [2] below.
Parish records

A plate circa 1710, sold by Bonhams in May 2010, bore the touchmark of John Dolbeare [2], Ashburton, Devon. His working dates were 1700-1713 - Accessed 12-10-2015

Various John Dolbeare marriages: John Dolbeare and Mary Winsor, both of the parish of Aishburton were married 10th February 1703
Woodland parish records
3rd December 1706 John Dolbear married Julian Western at Buckfastleigh
A John the son of John Dolbeare was buried at Buckfastleigh on December 10th 1713
Buckfastleigh Parish records
A John Dolbear married an Agnes Curtis at Ashburton in 1711
Boyd's Marriage Index 1538 - 1850

John Dolbeare, pewterer, was buried 17th May 1716
Parish records

Agnes Dolbear of Ashburton swore an oath of loyalty to King George I at St Lawrence's Chapel 24th August 1723
Devon and Exeter Oath Rolls 1723 - Accessed 5-04-2017

Agnes Dolbear, widow, was buried 3rd May 1737
A Mrs Agnes Dolbear, widow, was also buried 3rd November 1738
Parish records

According to the database of the Pewter Society, the widow of John Dolbeare [2] worked between 1713 and 1762, and died before 1772 aged 82.
Journal of the Pewter Society Aut 2002, p27 -29. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information
John D Davis, in his book Pewter at Colonial Williamsburg, says that John Dolbeare, of Ashburton, Devon (1720-1750) had a touchmark of a rose with a crown above and a palm frond to either side, and J Dolbeare written below.
John D Davis, Pewter at Colonial Williamsburg, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2003, item 76
Right and below: Mark as described above and plates believed to be by John Dolbeare
From a private collection


According to the database of the Pewter Society, Susanna Dolbeare worked between 1725 and 1762, dying unmarried circa 1770.
Journal of the Pewter Society, Aut 2002, p27 -29. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information

1768 Susanna Dolbear was granted a lease of messuages by Thomas Naylor, vicar of Ashburton
Tenements mentioned in Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives, D&C3570 P362

Mrs Susanna Dolbeare* was buried 20th April 1770
Parish records
*This does does not necessarily mean that she was married

Susanna Dolbear of Ashburton left a will proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter in 1770 - no longer available, as Exeter wills were destroyed during bombing in WW2.
Fry, E.A. (ed.) Calendar of Wills and Administrations relating to the counties of Devon and Cornwall, proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter, 1532-1800. British Record Society Index Library Vol 46 (1914)


According to the database of the Pewter Society, John Dolbeare [3] worked between 1725 and 1735, dying unmarried at aged 30 in 1735
Journal of the Pewter Society, Aut 2002, p27 -29.
In H H Cotterell's
Old Pewter: Its Makers and Marks, London, 1929. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information

A Mr John Dolbeare was buried at Ashburton 1st April 1735. No age is given in the parish register
Parish records


Three siblings, John, Bernard and Susanna, were born to a Bernard Dolbeare and his wife Sarah, in the mid 1700s.
Bernard was possilby the Bernard buried in Ashburton in 1765, and Sarah the Mrs Sarah Dolbeare, widow, who was buried in Ashburton in October 1793.
Parish records
The following seem to be likely candidates for Bernard and Sarah's children:

John Dolbeare, son of Bernard Dolbeare, was baptized 9th August 1743.
Parish records
Bernard was also the father of Bernard Dolbear, baptized 19th August 1746.
Bernard and Sarah Dolbeare were the parents of Susanna, baptized 17th December 1754
Parish records

According to the database of the Pewter Society, John was John Dolbeare [4] who worked between 1762 and 1794.
Journal of the Pewter Society, Aut 2002, p27 -29. Many thanks to Steve Custons for this information

A John Dolbeare married Joan Winsor 22nd January 1770, with Susanna Dolbeare was one of the witnesses.
On the 21st February 1774 the couple had a daughter, Susana, baptized at Ashburton.
Parish records

In 1773 there was confirmation of a lease of messuages and tenements granted by Thomas Naylor, vicar of Ashburton, to John Dolbeare, pewterer
Tenements mentioned in Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives, D&C3571 P235
See below

1780 'Consider my surprise, the next time I saw Mrs Nosworthy, she asked me whether I was not in Saunders' shop having my hair powdering, when unkle fabian was carried to his grave. This gave me the suspicion that J Dolbear carried the news, as he asked me in the shop whether I attended my unkles funeral or not, with some ernestness. This John Dolbera [sic] by trade a pewterer and brazier etc.'

Andrew Bennett's memorandum book, quoted in J S Amery's Presidential address, Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Assocation, vol 56, 1925, p85

1790 Confirmation of lease by Thomas Naylor, vicar of Ashburton to John Dolbeare (it is not certain that this is the same John Dolbeare).
Tenements mentioned in Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives, D&C3573 PP603-604

1794 'At Plymouth John Dolbeare esq., formerly an eminent brazier, of Ashburton, and for some years post-master at Plymouth.
Gentleman's Magazine, vol76, p1156

John Dolbeare was buried at Charles the Martyr, Plymouth, 26th November 1794. 'Burying ground' is written beside the parish register entry.
Parish records

In his will, proved in June 1795, he describes himself as being of Plymouth, gentleman. He wished to be buried 'in as private a manner as possible' and allocated 5 shillings each to 8 poor men to carry his coffin. He names nieces Mary and Sarah Thomas - daughters of his sister Susanna Thomas* - and his daughter Susanna Parham.
His messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments were within Ashburton, Newton, Newton Abbot and Chudleigh.

*Susa Dolbeare and Jno Thomas were married at St Andrew, Plymouth, 24th December 1780
Plymouth parish records

1816 Joan Dolbear, widow aged 79, was buried June 27th
Parish records

Joan Dolbeare, widow, left a will proved July 1816, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
See below                                                                                                                *

1771 An Assignment in Trust held by the Devon Heritage Centre names Bernard Dolbeare, clothier of Crediton, as the brother of John Dolbeare, pewterer of Ashburton.
Ref 4933M/T/2  Devon Heritage Centre, - accessed 28-12-2020

In 1793 he left a will naming his 'only brother John Dolbeare of Plymouth', his mother Sarah, of Crediton, and a niece, Susanna. He left John a silver tankard, a silver watch and a suit of clothes for mourning, explaining why it was not more: 'he has given me only the same, and because he has ________[the word is possibly 'cheated'] out of £83 (I mean Thomas's money*). A codicil to the will increased John's share to £500.
One of the items that Bernard left to his mother was a close of land in Ashburton.
*Possibly John Thomas, the husband of his sister Susanna.
PROB 11/1236/206, 1793, National Archives - accessed 27-12-2020

Where the Dolbeares' workshop might have been
In 1773 Thomas Naylor, Vicar of Ashburton, had granted a lease of messuages and tenements to John Dolbeare, pewterer. This could have been a renewal of the lease.
Exeter Cathedral library and archive, item ref. D&C3571 P235 - Accessed 26-12-2015

March 1798 John Way and Henry Bowden were executors of the will of John Dolbeare [4] above. The vicar, Thomas Naylor, confirmed the lease of a cottage and tenement to the executors, for the lives of  Susanna Parham, wife of Benjamin Parham of Plymouth Dock, Benjamin Parham the younger and his wife Susanna, and Solomon Tozer of Ashburton, clothier. 

Exeter Cathedral library and archive, item ref. D&C3574 P578 - Accessed 26-12-2015 

For the family connection between the Dolbeares and the Parhams, and later between Edward Cruse and the Parham family, see below.

The 1841 census shows Benjamin Parham, an attorney at law aged about 70, living in West Street. With him is his 60 year old wife Susanna, and another Susanna aged about 30. They are the next household on from Thomas Foaden, innkeeper (ie the next household after the London Hotel).

1841 census HO107, piece no. 253, folio 21, p34

'The residence of B Parham, Esq., in West Street, has been held by his family and the Dolbeares more than 300 years...'

History, gazetteer and directory of Devonshire, William White, 1850, p463

Above: 'Dolbeares's workshop still stands behind the house west of the Wesleyan chapel.'

Country Life Vol 101, p368

Above: The entrance to St Andrew's Close. The yellow building on the left is the Methodist Chapel, which was only built in 1835.
My own photograph 2016

This would be a building, now demolished but remembered by many Ashburton residents, that stood in what is now the entrance to St Andrew's Close. 

From my own collection.

David Carpenter lived there as a boy, and remembers that the grounds of the Georgian property went down as far as the churchyard. There were stone outhouses, with pre world war II machinery in them, and double gates.
Many thanks to David

The 1871 census shows an Edward and Elizabeth Cruse living in West Street. Both are 50 years old.

They are still in the same property in the 1901 census.

1871 census RG10 piece no.2080 folio 70 p13

1901 census RG13, piece no. 2033, folio 10, p12

It is not always easy to precisely place properties on the census, but the proximity to the London Hotel suggests that this property is the one above that is now demolished.

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. 

Western Times 18 August 1905 p2 col1 

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.

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 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.

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

See People and properties, 1600s and before, for more on the panels.

The family connections

Benjamin Parham, gentleman, had married Susanna Dolbeare at Stoke Damerel on the 29th January 1793. Benjamin was of Stoke Damerel parish, and Susanna was of Charles in Plymouth parish. The bride, a minor, was married with the consent of her father, John Dolbeare, who had declared his consent in person.

Parish records

Susanna was Susana Dolbear, the daughter of John and Joan, baptized 21st February 1774 in Ashburton. A John Dolbeare had married Joan Winsor in January 1770, with a Susanna Dolbear as one of the witnesses.

The will of Joan Dolbeare, widow, proved at the PCC in July 1816, names Susanna Parham, the wife of Benjamin Parham, as her daughter. Also named are Benjamin Parham the younger, son of Benjamin and Susanna; John Dolbeare Parham, and Susanna Dolbeare Parham. Joan named a nephew, John Winsor, and her sisters Mary Sunter and Susanna Winsor.
Parish records
Will of Joan Dolbeare

In 1820 Benjamin Parham brought a case went to the Court of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, accusing the curate of Ashburton, the Rev. John Templar, of altering a pew in the nave of the church. Parham claimed that the pew belonged to the Dolbeare family. During the case it was said '[Dolbeare] was not an unfit occupant of it from his respectability; though the number of his family did not entitle him to so large a seat, for he had a wife an only one daughter. Sometime after this he removed to Plymouth with his family, and they all continued there until his death...On the death of Mr Dolbeare his widow returned to the parish and placed herself in the seat...On the death of Mrs Dolbeare in 1816 Mr Parham, who had married her only daughter and succeeded to her property, seems to have considered that he had a title to this seat...'
The court ruled that the curate must restore the pew, but also stated that in future the family were only entitled to part of the pew, not all of it. Neither party in the case were satisfied with this ruling, and it went to appeal.
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Ecclesiastical Courts, Joseph Phillimore, vol III, London 1827, p223ff and p519

A memorial inside St Andrew's Church reads as follows: This tablet records the death of Benjamin Parham esq of Claines formerly judge of the county court of Worcestershire which happened on the 16th day of August 1861, in the 68th year of his age.
Also of Mary Palk, his wife who departed this life on the 10th day of September 1849 in the 62nd year of her age.
Also of Benjamin Parham esq of this parish father of the above who died at Hawford Lodge Worcestershire, on the 24th day of July 1851 aged 82 years.
Also of Susanna his wife who died on the 30th day of May 1843 aged 70 years.
Also of Rev John Dolbear Parham son of the last named Benjamin Parham who died on the 29th day of September 1858 aged 62 years.
Also of Susanna Dolbear Parham only daughter of the last named Benjamin Parham who died on the 20th day of September 1860 aged 58 years.

1863 Mr Edward Cruse, a paymaster of Victoria (London) Docks, married Elizabeth Elston on May 12th. She was the only daughter of the late Benjamin Parham, County Court Judge for Worcester. Miss Elston was described as the illegitimate daughter of Benjamin in a dispute after his death, reported in the same newspaper a year earlier.
Western Times 22 May 1863, p6 col2
Western Times 9 August 1862, p9 col1

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

Western Times 30 June 1905 p12 col5