Bovey Tracey Devon

Pronounced (buvy as in uh), Bovey Tracey is on the eastern approach to the Devon moors.

George Lambshead (c. Brixham, 4 December, 1743) married Agnes Snell in Bovey Tracey on 30th November, 1781. Agnes had been christened there on the 17th of January, 1756. Their children, George, George, Unknown, and William were all born in Bovey Tracey. Their son, Samuel, was born in Ashburton.

William Lambshead who was christened at Bovey Tracey, 1st of March, 1789, married Honour (Honora) Langworthy (c. 5 December, 1785, Modbury, Devon) on the 16th of December, 1810 - at Bovey Tracey. Their children (George, William, Sarah, Josias, Samuel, and James) were all born there as well.

Josias Lambshead (born Bovey Tracey, 27 October, 1816) married Elizabeth Manning (b. Chudleigh, 1821), in Chudleigh. None of their children were born in Bovey Tracey and this completes our Lambshead branch's connection with this lovely little village.

BOVEY-TRACEY, in the hundred of Teignbridge and in the deanery of Moreton, lies about four miles from Chudleigh, and about five from Newton Abbot.

A market at Bovey on Thursday, and a fair for three days at the festival of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, was granted to Henry Tracey in 1259. (fn. 19) There are now four cattle fairs; Easter Monday, Holy Thursday, the first Thursday in July, and the first Thursday in November. The town is governed by a bailiff and portreeve; the bailiff is elected annually at the lord's court, and the year after serving this office, he fills that of portreeve. It seems probable that the latter officer was originally called mayor: an ancient procession for perambulating the bounds of the parish or manor with a large garland of flowers, &c, similar to that at Bodmin in Cornwall, is still called the mayor's riding. This procession takes place on the Monday after the third of May, called Roodmas Day. The portreeve has, during his year of office, the profits of a piece of ground called Portreeve's park, for defraying the expenses of this procession, &c. (fn. 20)

Bovey-Tracey, being at that time the quarters of a part of Lord Wentworth's brigade, was attacked in the evening of the 9th of January, 1646, by Lieutenant-general Cromwell with a part of the parliamentary army then under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax. The greater part of the royalists who were thus dispersed escaped through the darkness of the night, a major with some other officers and about 50 men being taken prisoners. (fn. 21)

The manor, which had belonged to Earl Harold, was given by the Conqueror to Jeffery, Bishop of Constance, his lieutenant at the battle of Hastings, and was one of the five manors held by that prelate in demesne. It afterwards became parcel of the barony of Barnstaple, and passed by the same title, till the death of the last Holland, Duke of Exeter. Margaret, Countess of Richmond, had a grant of it for life in 1487. Sir Thomas Putt, Bart, died seised of this manor in 1686. (fn. 22) Some years afterwards, it was purchased of Charles Heath, Esq. by John Langdon, Esq. Mr. Langdon, who resided at Park in this parish, after the death of his only daughter, which happened in 1747, bequeathed the manor of Bovey Tracey and other estates to his brother-in-law, Sir William Courtenay, afterwards Lord Viscount Courtenay. It is now the property of the present viscount, who has also the manor of Brinley in this parish. The manor of Bovey Tracey pays a reserved rent of 58l. 15s. 10d. to those who claim under the crown. The lords of this manor had formerly the power of inflicting capital punishment. (fn. 23) Park is now the property and residence of Charles Clapp, Esq. barrister at law.

The manor of Knighton was for many generations in the Franckcheneys, whose heiress brought it to Strode; it was afterwards successively in the families of Ellyott, Dennis, and Putt. Another manor of Knighton or Knighton Heathfield (fn. 24) was in the Southcotts, who had an ancient seat in this parish called Indiho, said to have been a priory, but I find no record to confirm the tradition. The Southcotts had also the manor of Little Bovey. These manors are now the property of George Templer, Esq. of Stover House. Indiho was afterwards the seat of Sir John Stawell, K. B., and at a later period, successively of the families of Bale, Inglett, and Tuffnel. In 1772, the house was enlarged, and applied to the purposes of a manufacture of earthen ware. This manufacture is still carried on, Mr. Steer being the present proprietor. The manor of Wreyland, in this parish, is the property of Francis Daniell, Esq.

In the parish church are two monuments, without inscription, of Eveleigh and Hele: the former has the date of 1620: there is the monument also of Sir John Stawell, K.B. 1669, and Thomas Stawell, Esq. 1694.

The impropriate tithes, which belonged to the priory of Bridgewater, were sold in lots, about the year 1805, by the Rev. John Templer of Lindridge, and purchased chiefly by the landholders. The vicarage is in the gift of the crown.

There is a meeting-house in this place for the Particular Baptists, and another for the Wesleyan Methodists.

The charity school at Bovey Tracey is endowed with an income of 40l. per annum arising from lands, for which a master instructs 24 children in reading, writing, and arithmetic, but I have not been able to procure the name of the founder, or the date of the foundation.

Lambshead Family