The Sunter Family

In the 1750s section of the Virtual museum are images of a book inscribed by members of the Sunter and Templer families (many thanks to Janet Brown for this).
The Sunter family appear in the parish registers in the mid 1600s when a Steeven or Stephani Sunter is the father of several children.

John Sunter, the son of John, was baptised on November 29th, 1670.
Parish records

John Sunter was buried in July 1675
Parish records

John the son of John Sunter was baptised in May 1699
Parish records

A John Sunter in Ashburton appears in 1715 and in various years afterwards in the lists of Devon Freeholders transcribed on Genuki. He is a yeoman in the lists in 1719. - Accessed 08-12-2014

John Sunter snr., a wool-comber of Ashburton, received a sacrament certificate in 1721. This was to certify that he had taken Church of England Communion - something that anyone holding a position of trust had to do.
QS/21/1721/1  at The Devon Heritage Centre. - accessed 05-12-2014 - accessed 05-12-2014

Mr John Sunter snr. was buried on February 25th 1736/37
Parish records

By the mid 1700s children of a John Sunter are being baptized: John (4th July 1734), William (31st August 1736), Joseph (5th June 1741 - he died in August), Joseph (27 October 1743) and Benjamin (23rd January 1746)
John snr. died in 1769, aged 70 (see below), and was buried on October 14th.
Parish records

A John Sunter is shown as Portreeve in 1745 and 1747. In 1759 and (?)1765 a John Sunter is a maltster. - Accessed 08-12-2014
Above: 'Sacred to the memory of Mr John Sunter who departed this life October (?) ye 11th 1769 aged 70. Also Margaret his wife who departed this life January (?) 2nd 1746 aged 39.' Their son Benjamin was baptized at the end of January 1746.
Memorial on the back wall of St. Andrew's Church. My own photograph 2014

Benjamin Sunter is possibly a witness at the marriage of Humphry Beals and Phillis Jones in Ashburton in 1761.
Tim Beals' website - Accessed 08-12-2014
He appears in the Freeholders lists in 1772.

On the 7th August 1774 Mr. Benjamin Sunter is buried.
Parish records

Both William and Joseph Sunter appear in the Ashburton section of the list of Devon Freeholders from 1770, when both are described as sergemakers. In 1774 both are clothiers.

William Sunter
In September 1754 a Will Sunter is apprenticed to Saml Vicary of Crediton, Devon, clothier.
The register of duties paid for apprentices' indentures (1710 -1811)

In 1788 William Sunter, sergemaker, has property in St. Lawrences Lane insured with the Sun Fire Office
London Metropolitan Arhcives ref 
MS 11936/356/549670 - accessed 05-12-2014

In 1795 a William Sunter, magistrate, writes a letter to Robert Mackreth, MP for Ashburton, concerned about providing food for the French prisoners on parole in the town.
Ref HO 42/34/160 - accessed 05-12-2014

An article in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette in 1903 details the history of the Volunteer movement in Devon, formed as a response to the threatened invasion of Revolutionary France in 1794. According to the article, the armed association of Ashburton, formed in 1798, included William Sunter as First Lieutenant and Joseph Sunter as Ensign.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 15 Sept 1903 p3 col3

The will of William Sunter, gentleman, was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1813
PROB 11/1549/341 - accessed 05-12-2014
His brother Joseph is his sole executor, and he makes provision for his wife Mary, brother Joseph and 'dear niece Elizabeth (Joseph's daughter) upon reaching the age of 25 or the day or her marriage. He also makes bequests to the Devon and Exeter Hospital and the Lunatic Asylum near Exeter. His 'good friends' Richard Collins of Exeter, merchant, and Henry Gervis of Ashburton, surgeon, are mentioned. He also owned land/premises in Callington, Cornwall.
Details of will from Janet Brown, to whom many thanks.

His wife, Mary, died in 1822. The memorial, left, reads: 'In memory of M(rs) Mary Sunter, relict of M William Sunter sergemaker of this town. She died 11th March 1822 in the 88 year of her age. Bright example of every Christian virtue'
My own photograph 2014

In 1827 property was being sold in St Lawrence's Lane. Lot 4, drying lofts and store houses, were 'lately in the possession of William Sunter', as was Lot 5, a walled garden which adjoined the previous two lots, which was in Broxy Lane.
Exeter Flying Post 11 January 1827 p4 col4

In 1824 fourteen people were to be elected as trustees or commissioners of the Ashburton and Totnes Consolidated Turnpike. William and Joseph Sunter were two of the previous trustees.
Exeter Flying Post 11 March 1824 p1 col3

Joseph Sunter
Joseph Sunter, the son of John, was baptized at Ashburton in October 1743.
Familysearch database 1538 -1973

Joseph Sunter may have been apprenticed to John Charter, a saddler in Exeter, in August 1760.
The register of duties paid for apprentices' indentures (1710 -1811)

Joseph Sunter married Mary Froude at Holne in December 1772.
Bishops Transcripts - John Mogridge was the vicar certifying that the transcripts were a true copy of the parish register.

This was a year after John Mogridge married Margaret Froude in Modbury, on July 9th, 1771. 
Familysearch database 1538 -1973

It seems likely that Mary and Margaret were sisters: a Margaret was baptized in Modbury in January 1750, the daughter of John and Elizabeth.
Several Marys with parents John and Elizabeth Froude were baptized in Modbury, the last one in January 1748
Familysearch database 1538 -1973

Above: A black glass magnum mallet wine bottle, with the seal of a Jos Sunter, and the date 1771. It is not certain that this is the Joseph Sunter from Ashburton, but he would have had the resources to purchase such items.
With many thanks to Laurence Cooper of The Antique Dispensary - accessed 04-05-2023
The will of the Reverend John Mogridge, Clerk of Ashburton, dated May 1785, appointed the following as executors and trustees: his brother James Mogridge, surgeon, and William and Joseph Sunter, clothiers.
National Archives PROB 11/1135/56 - accessed 08-05-2023

Joseph appears to have a son John baptized on 11th January 1774, ( who was buried on July 4th 1775 
Parish records

The parish register records that 'the wife of Mr. Joseph Sunter' was buried on December 28th 1775
Parish records

Joseph then appears to have two marriages, the first to Ch. Warden in March 1776.
Joseph's final marriage was to Elizabeth Soper on 24th May 1784.

1780, 'John Bickham of Ashburton, by will dated 3rd October 1780, gave to William Sunter, Joseph Sunter and Thomas Widdicombe, all his goods and chattels, on trust to sell the same, and after paying his debts to lay out the surplus in land....and the income arising from the said lands to be laid out in bread to be given to the poor not having weekly pay, in the church, weekly, on a prayer day.'
Report of the Commissioners concerning charities, T. Besley 1826, vols 1-2, p150

On December 6th 1785 the register of duties paid for apprentices' indentures (1710 -1811) shows Edward Bovey as an apprentice to Jos Sunter, Sergemaker, at Ashburton.

Joseph and Elizabeth have two children baptized in Ashburton: John, 27 December 1786, and Elizabeth, 8th December 1790
Parish records

In 1792 Joseph Sunter, sergemaker, has property insured with the Sun Fire Office. The property has connections to Messrs Green and Cos, Warehouses 4 Little Winchester Street London.
London Metropolitan Arhcives ref MS 11936/384/594720 - accessed 05-12-2014

1810 Elizabeth, the wife of Mr. Joseph Sunter, was buried on January 30th.
Parish records

Right: 'Sacred to the memory of Joseph Sunter of this town who departed this life the 7 day of April 1823 aged 79. Also of Elizabeth his wife who departed this life the 17 day of January 1810 aged 57. Praises on tombs are vainly spent, man's good name the firmest monument.'
My own photograph 2014
The will of Joseph Sunter of Ashburton was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1823
PROB 11/1673/133 - accessed 05-12-2014
The bulk of his estate went to 'dear daughter Elizabeth'.
Will details from Janet Brown, to whom many thanks

The children of Joseph and Elizabeth.
John died in childhood. A memorial on the back wall of St. Andrew's Church reads: 'This stone is erected in memory of John the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Sunter of this town who died February 15th 1792 aged 5 years.'

Elizabeth Sunter married John Templer on 24th June 1818.
Parish records
In a newspaper announcement 
John is described as the son of the late James Templer, and A Rev. John Templer conducts the service.
Exeter Flying Post 25 June 1818 p4 col1

John and Elizabeth had 6 children baptized in Ashburton: Caroline Mary (1820), Emily Ann (1823), Charles James (1824 but born in 1823), Reginald William (1826), Henrietta Amelia (1826) and Marcella Elizabeth (1830, but born in 1828).

When Caroline Mary (not named) is born, the Templers are living at Alston House, nr Ashburton.
Exeter Flying Post 13 April 1820 p4 col2

By 1829 they are occupying (and about to leave) a house in East Street.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 9 May 1829 p1 col2

John became rector of Teigngrace in 1832, succeeding the previous incumbent, also John Templer.
North Devon Journal 3 May 1832 p3 col4

On the 1841 census John and Elizabeth, together with Charles and Reginald. are at Ambrook House, Ipplepen. John is described as Clerk, born outside the county.

In 1842 Ambrooke House is available to rent, It is 'now in the occupation of the Rev. John Templer.'
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 23 April 1842 p2 col6

Elizabeth died on April 1st, 1850. According to the Exeter Flying Post she died at Knowle, Newton Abbot.

Memorial in Teigngrace Church.
Exeter Flying Post 11 April 1850 p8 col6

John Templer, widower aged 62, is still at Knowles House, Highweek in 1851 with three of his children: John S Templer, Emily A Templer and Reginald W. Templer.

1851 census HO107; Piece: 1871; Folio: 640; Page: 16

John died in 1869, aged 80, at Highweek. He had been rector of Teigngrace for 37 years. His memorial in Teigngrace church says he is of Knowle.
Western Times 9 April 1869 p5 col4
Memorial in Teigngrace church.

Reginald William Templer, son of John and Elizabeth, was baptized in 1826.

Reginald William in turn had a son Reginald Gwynne Templer, born in Teignmouth in 1857.

After the parliamentary elections of 1859 there were accusations of bribery and undue influence. Candidate Mr. Astell, who carried on 'a vigorous canvass' had agents including Mr. George Caunter and Mr. H. Tozer. Reginald Templer, a solicitor of Teignmouth was also involved, there to canvass tenants of his father, the Rev.Templer, who had property in Ashburton.
Western Times 30 July 1859 p2 col3

The 1881 census shows Reginald William with his wife and six children in Teignmouth - Reginald Gwynne is amongst them.
The Reginald G who has written in the book in the Virtual museum is presumably Reginald Gwynne Templer, the great grandson of Joseph Sunter.

For more on the Templer family, including a family tree and an image of Elizabeth's memorial, see Andrew Templer's website - Accessed 12-12-2014