TEIGNMOUTH, a seaport and market town in the Ashburton parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, at the mouth of the river Teign, on the English Channel, 15 m. S. by E. of Exeter, by the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 8636. Two parishes, East and West Teignmouth, form the town. It lies partly on a peninsula between the river and the sea, partly on the wooded uplands which enclose the valley and rise gradually to the high moors beneath Heytor. The Den, or Dene, forms a promenade along the sea-front, with a small lighthouse and a pier. St Michael's church in East Teignmouth was rebuilt in 1824 in Decorated style, but retains a Norman doorway and other ancient portions; of St James', in West Teignmouth, the south porch and tower are Norman. There are a theological college for Redemptorists, and a Benedictine convent, dedicated to St Scholastica. The entrance to the harbour has been improved by dredging, and the two quays accommodate vessels drawing 13 ft. at neap tides. Pipeclay and china clay, from Kingsteignton, are shipped for the Staffordshire potteries, while coal and general goods are imported. Pilchard, herrings, whiting and mackerel are taken, and salmon in the Teign. Malting, brewing and boatbuilding are also carried on. East Teignmouth was formerly called Teignmouth Regis, and West Teignmouth, Teignmouth Episcopi.
Teignmouth (Teinemue, Tengemue) possessed a church of St Michael as early as 1044, when what is now East Teignmouth was granted by Edward the Confessor to Leofric, bishop of Exeter, and an allusion to salterers in the same grant proves the existence of the salt industry at that date. Teignmouth is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey, but in 1276 what is now West Teignmouth appears as a mesne borough held by the dean and chapter of Exeter; what is now East Teignmouth continuing with the bishop, who was accused in that year of holding in his manor a market which should be held in the borough. The bishop's manor was alienated in 1550 to Sir Andrew Dudley, but West Teignmouth remained with the dean and chapter until early in the 19th century. In the middle ages Teignmouth was a flourishing port, able to furnish 7 ships and 120 mariners to the Calais expedition of 1347, and depending chiefly on the fishing and salt industries. In the early part of the 17th century the town had fallen into decay, but it speedily recovered, and in 1744 could contribute twenty vessels to the Newfoundland shipping trade. The borough was never represented in parliament, nor incorporated by charter. The Saturday market, which was held up to the 19th century, is mentioned in 1220, and was confirmed by royal charter in 1253, together with a fair at Michaelmas. Teignmouth was burned by French pirates in 1340, and was again devastated by the French on the 26th of June 1690.
Elizabeth Lambshead, born in Teignmouth in 1843, was the daughter of Josiah Lambshead and Elizabeth Manning. Her parents, Thomas Manning and Elizabeth (Unknown), were born in Bovey Tracey and Chudleigh, respectively, and none of the other (of nine) children were born in Teignmouth. It is not known why the family was there, or why her mother Elizabeth gave birth to her there, at that time. However, Elizabeth Manning's father, Thomas, had been born in West Teignmouth, so his daughter may have returned to give birth, at the home of her parents.
EAST TEIGNMOUTH, in the hundred of Exminster and deanery of Kenne, lies on the sea-coast, about eighteen miles from Exeter: it is divided from West Teignmouth by a brook called the Tame.
This town had a charter for a market on Saturday, granted to the dean and chapter of Exeter, in the year 1253; together with a fair for three days, at the festival of St. Michael. The Hundred Roll, of the reign of Edward I., states that the Bishop had held a market at Teignmouth for the last seven years, on Saturday, in his manor, but that it ought to be in the borough. The market is now held on Saturday, for provisions of all sorts. A new market-place has lately been erected by Mr. Wm. Rolfe. The fairs are the third Tuesday in January, the last Tuesday in February, and the last Tuesday in September. Westcote mentions a much-frequented fair at Teignmouth on Good-Friday. (fn. 54)
Teignmouth is much frequented as a bathing place, and has all requisite accommodation for invalids. It appears to have become fashionable, and to have increased in buildings, about the middle of the last century. (fn. 55) Teignmouth has, for more than a century, carried on a considerable trade in the Newfoundland fishery, which has been abandoned by some of the towns on the north coast. Considerable quantities of granite, pipe, and potters' clay, manganese, timber, bark, cyder, &c., are exported from this place; and coal, culm, deals, iron, &c., besides groceries and various merchandize from London, imported. Teignmouth is within the port of Exeter. A large and commodious quay has lately been constructed on the east side of the river, in this parish, by George Templer, Esq., at whose expense, a rail-road for the conveyance of granite from Haytor, has also been made. There is a considerable fishery at Teignmouth for whiting, mackerel, pilchards, soles, turbot, &c., and for salmon in the river Teign. The parish of East Teignmouth contained, in 1811, about 1100; in 1821, 1466 inhabitants.
The dean and chapter of Exeter possessed the paramount manor of East Teignmouth from an early period till about the year 1803, when it was sold, under the powers of the land-tax redemption act, to Francis Webber, Esq. It was purchased of Mr. Webber by Lord Viscount Courtenay, who before possessed a manor held under it, called Teignmouth Courtenay, said to have been acquired by his ancestor, in the reign of Edward III.
The church was originally a chapel to Dawlish: it is now esteemed a daughter-church; the perpetual curacy being in the gift of the vicar of that parish.
There is a meeting-house of Independent Dissenters at this place.
Sir John Elwill, in 1724, gave the sum of 150l. for the instruction of four poor children of East, and eight of West Teignmouth. Captain John Colman, and Captain Thomas Colman, in 1731, gave 50l. for the education of poor children of East Teignmouth. A handsome school-room has, within these few years, been erected at West Teignmouth; in which the poor children of both parishes are educated, it being supported by a liberal voluntary subscription. There are now about 230 children in the school.
WEST TEIGNMOUTH adjoins to East Teignmouth, on the sea-coast, being in the same hundred and deanery.
West Teignmouth was, at an early period, a celebrated haven, and sent members to a council at Westminster, in the reign of Edward I. Both Camden and Risdon say that the Danes first landed in England at West Teignmouth, in 787; but it appears to have been mistaken for Tynemouth, in Northumberland, which is certainly the Tinemutha of the Saxon Chronicle. The port of Teignmouth furnished seven ships and 120 mariners for the fleet of King Edward III., with which he undertook the expedition against Calais, in 1347. (fn. 57) Teignmouth was burned by a French pirate, in 1340. (fn. 58) It is said to have experienced the same fate in Queen Anne's wars: the editors of the Magna Britannia, published in 1720, observe, that the inhabitants having procured a brief (fn. 59) , to which the public willingly contributed, were gainers by the event; their houses, which were old and mean, having been rebuilt and improved. The editors of the Magna Britannia have fallen into a mistake as to the date of the above event: it was in the year 1690 that Teignmouth was burnt by the French. In 1744, the principal inhabitants of East and West Teignmouth, and Shaldon, presented a petition to Sir William Courtenay, stating that the French had plundered and burnt the place, in the second year of William and Mary, and that they then threatened a second visit: they petition, therefore, that he would allow them to erect, at their own expense, a small battery on the beach within his manor of East Teignmouth, and that he would support their prayer to the Lords of the Admiralty for a supply of small arms, cannon, and ammunition. (fn. 60) This battery still exists. At this time, (1744,) East and West Teignmouth, with Shaldon, contained 800 houses, and at least 4000 inhabitants, and fitted out twenty ships of from 50 to 200 tons each for the Newfoundland trade.
The manor, which had belonged to the see of Exeter, was alienated, at the requisition of the crown, by Bishop Veysey, in 1549, to Sir Andrew Dudley, Knight. It was afterwards in the Cecil family. In 1614, it was purchased of William Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, by Richard Martyn, Esq.; from whose family it passed by marriage to that of Clifford, and is now the property of the Right Honourable Charles, Lord Clifford.
The parish-church is a large and handsome structure, lately erected on the site of the old church, under the powers of an act, passed in 1815, for enlarging and repairing the churches of East and West Teignmouth. In this church are, among others, the monuments of Lucy, daughter of the Honourable and Reverend Edward Townshend, Dean of Norwich, 1786; Mary, daughter of the Rev. F. H. Foote, of Charlton, in Kent, 1789; John Lucas, Esq., Captain in the East India Company's service, 1792; and Henry Chichley Michell, Esq., 1806. In the church-yard is the tomb of Elias Carter, incumbent of the benefice upwards of sixty-eight years, who died in 1766, aged 90. West Teignmouth is a daughter-church to Bishop's Teignton; and the minister, as perpetual curate, is appointed by the vicar of that parish. Previously to 1816 the two adjoining parishes had been from time immemorial served by the same curate, who was appointed alternately by the vicars of Dawlish and Bishop's Teignton.
There was formerly an hospital about a mile from the town, on the road to Dawlish, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen. It has long been destroyed: the walls of the chapel had been standing in the early part of the last century. An estate is said to have been charged with a stipend to the minister for monthly service in the chapel. Robert Hayman gave land to the poor in the Maudlin-house, but I have not been able to procure any particulars of its value.