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The parish of Selworthy in the county of Somerset, some notes on its history online

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Thomas, hunted them after him in a truly princely
fashion. It is said of this Sir Thomas, that his pro-
perty was so extensive, that he could ride from Holni-
cote to Killerton, more than thirty miles, without
going off his own land. The stories that have come
down of his hunting parties, sound more like extracts
from the pages of a mediaeval chronicler, than records
of ordinary west-country hunting expeditions.

It is said that when, bent on hunting, "his honour"
set off for his hunting lodge at Higher Coombe in the
parish of Dulverton, he was always accompanied by a
cavalcade of his tenants from the Holnicote estate.
By this party he was solemnly escorted next day to



266 History of Selworthy.

the wood which was to be drawn. It is further related
that some members of the cavalcade were always pre-
pared to act as a band, and that when the stag got
away, this band struck up a hunting piece, the duration
of which formed the extent of the " law " given to the
deer.

A great punch bowl is preserved at Higher Coombe,
which, in those days, was made expressly in China,
and presented, together with twelve glasses, to Sir
Thomas by the participators in his open-handed hos-
pitality. The bowl has a stag-hunt represented upon
it ; and each glass bears the figure of a stag, and the
inscription, " Prosperity to stag-hunting." A very
interesting account of these merry, roystering days is
to be found in the Hon. John Fortescue's book on
stag hunting.

The two most notable heads preserved at Holnicote
are that of a deer killed at Badgworthy in 1788, which
weighed 14 score, 14IDS. ; and that of one found at
Deane Cleave, and killed at Raleigh Mill, in 1792.
The head of this latter deer shows the extraordinary
number of eighteen points.

" His honour's " hunting days came somewhat
speedily to an end. He was taken ill on his way to
London, in May, 1794, and died there on the 17th of
that month. And good Mr. Brice, rector of Selworthy,
wrote a copy of Latin verses to his memory {vide p. 98),
which are a greater credit to the warmness of the good
parson's heart than to the elegance of his scholarship.



APPENDIX A.

Will of Charles Staynings 1693.

In the name of God Amen. I Charles Staynings of
Holnycote in the County of Somersett Esq re being of
perfect mind and memory (I bless my God for the
same) and not knowing the certaine time of my depar-
ture I doe make and appoint this my last Will and
Testament revoking and annulling all former Wills
and Testaments by me heretofore made. Impr's. I
committ my body to the dust to be decently buried by
my Executor hereafter named in my Great Grand-
father's Grave next my wife as my Trustees and
Executor shall direct and my Soul I give to the Great
God that gave him. Item. I give and bequeath unto
Robert Siderfin of Croydon in the County of Somer-
sett Esq re and Richard Troyte of Stream in the same
County Clerke and to the survivor of them and to the
Executor and Administrator of such survivor All my
messuages lands tenem ts mills and hereditam ts with the
appurten'nces lyeing within the severall p'ishes villages
or tythings of Nether Stowey and Over Stowey in the
aforesaid County of Som'sett. To have and to hold
the aforesaid messuages lands tenements mills and
hereditaments whatsoever with the appurten'nces unto
the aforesaid Robert Siderfin and Richard Troyte their
executors and assigns and to the Executor and Ad-
min 1 of the survivor of them for and during the whole
terme and time of ninety nine years fully to be com-



268 History of Selworthy.

plete and ended. If Lewis Staynings my brother and
Grace Oram of Sellworthy in the County of Somersett
Widdow they or either of them shall soe long happen
to live nevertheless to be only lyable to the trusts and
for the uses hereafter mens'oned (that is to say) to
lease out the said pr'mises att an yearly rent and to
pay the sume of Eighty Pounds in manner and forme
following (that is to say) forty pounds p'te of the said
Eighty Pounds, I doe appointe the said Robert Siderfin
and Richard Troyte and the survivor of them of the
Executor and Admin r of such survivor to pay annu-
ally unto my brother Lewis Staynings by quarterly
paym ts during his natural life and twenty pounds other
p'te of the said Eighty Pounds, I doe appointe the said
Robert Siderfin and Richard Troyte and the survivor
of them and the Executor of such survivor to pay
annually to M rs Grace Oram before named during her
naturall life and twenty pounds residue of the said
Eighty Pounds I doe appoint the said Robert Siderfin
and Richard Troyte and the survivor of them and the
Executor of such survivor to pay annually unto my
nephew Joseph Braford of the Citty of London during
the naturall lives of my brother Lewis Staynings and
Grace Oram and the survivor of them and likewise to
pay all rates taxes and other outgoings as shall become
justly due and payable out of the aforesaid pr'm'sses
during the said trust. And it is my Will and pleasure
that the said Robert Siderfin and Richard Troyte and
the survivor of them and the Executor and Admin r
of such survivor doe annually account to my Executor
hereafter named for all such sume and sumes of money
as they shall receive and take out of the aforesaid



Appendix A. 269

messuages land tenements mills hereditam ts over and
above the said sume of Eighty Pounds or the annui-
tyes paid which said overplus I doe give and bequeath
until my said Executor. Item. I doe give and be-
queath unto my brother Lewis Staynings the house
he now lives in called the West House being part of
my Mansion House in the p'ish of Sellworthy afore-
said for the terme of his naturall life and after his
decease I give and devise the said house unto my
nephew William Martin of the City and County of
Exeter Esq r his heirs and assigns for ever. Item. I
give and devise unto my said nephew William Martin
and his heirs All that my Mansion House Messuages
Lands Tenem ts Barton Farme Mill and hereditam ts
whatsoever with their and every of their appurten'nces
lyeing and being within the severall p'ishes tythings
hamletts and villages of Sellworthy and Luccombe
in the County of Somersett. To have and to hold the
said Mansion House and all and singular the said
messuages lands tenements barton farme mill and
hereditam ts whatsoever with their and every of their
appurten'nces unto the said William Martin his heirs
and assigns for ever. Item, I give and devise unto
my said nephew William Martin and his heirs my
Mannor of Hollincote with all the Royaltys and
priveledges belonging to the same and all and singular
my messuages lands tenements and hereditaments
whatsoever with their and every of their appurten'nces
lyeing and being in the severall p'shes tythings ham-
letts and villages of Sellworthy, Luccombe, Winsford,
Exford, Porlocke and Dulverton in the aforesaid
County of Somersett. To have and to hold the afore-



270 History of Selworlhy.

said mannor messuages lands tenements and here-
ditam ts whatsoever with their and every of their
appurten'nces unto the said William Martin his heirs
and assignes for ever. Item, I give and devise unto
the aforenamed Robert Siderfin and Richard Troyte
and their heires and to the heir Executor and Admin r
of the survivor of them All my Mannor Messuages
Mills Lands Temen te and Hereditaments whatsoever
with their and every of their appurten'nces lyeing and
being in the severall p'ishes villages tythings and ham-
letts of Nether Stowey and Over Stowey in the said
County of Somersett upon this further trust (that is to
say) after the death of my brother Lewis Staynings
and Grace Oram and the survivor of them to and for
the use of my nephew Joseph Braford for the terme of
ninety nine years if he shall soe long happen to live.
And after his decease or expiration of the said terme
then in trust for such child and children as shall law-
fully be gotten by the body of the said Joseph Braford
such child or children liveing to the age of one and
twenty yeares then to such child or children and the
heirs of their body lawfully begotten and for default
of issue lawfully begotten by the said Joseph Braford
or for default of issue liveing to the age of one and
twenty yeares or for default of issue by such child or
children as shall be lawfully begotten by the said
Joseph Braford then I give and demise unto my said
nephew William Martin and his heires All my said
Mannor Mills Messuages Lands Tenem ts and here-
ditam ts whatsoever with their and every of their
appurten'nces lyeing and being in the aforesaid p'ishes
tythings hamletts and villages of Nether Stowey and



Appendix A. 271

Over Stowey. To have and to hold all the said Man-
nor Mills Messuages Lands tenements and hereditam ts
whatsoever with their and every of their appurten'nces
unto the said William Martin his heirs and assigns for
ever. And I hereby will and authorize the said
Robert Siderfin and Richard Troyte and the survivor
of them and the Executor and Admin r of such sur-
vivor to allow and pay them and himself for such care
cost and trouble as they or either of them shall reason-
ably deserve or be at in manageing the said trusts.
Item. I give and bequeath unto the aforenamed Grace
Oram now living with me the sume of One hundred
pounds to be paid within one yeare after my decease.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my trustees Robert
Siderfin and Richard Troyte the sum of Tenn Pounds
each to be paid within three months after my decease.
Item. I give unto my servant Edward Stoate the sum
of Twenty Pounds. Item. I give unto Joane Mitchell,
Widdow, one other of my servants the sume of Five
Pounds. Item. I give unto every other of my ser-
vants as shall be liveing with me at the time of my
death the sum of forty shillings each. Item. I give
to the poore of Sellworthy Twenty Pounds to be put
in Stocke and the use thereof to be distributed yearly
and to the poore of Luccombe Five Pounds to be put
into Stocke and the use thereof to be distributed
yearly, and to the poore of Dulverton five pounds to
be put into stocke and the interest yearly to be dis-
tributed and fifty shillings to the poore of Winsford
and fifty shillings more to the poore of Exford to be
distributed at my death. Item. I give and devise
unto my nephew William Martin and his heirs All my



272 History of Selworthy.

Mannors Messuages Lands Tenan ts and Hereditam ts
whatsoever (not by me already devised within the
County of Som'sett and elsewhere). To have and to
hold the said Mannors Messuages Lands Tenan ts and
hereditam ts with their appurten'nces unto the said
William Martin his heirs and assigns for ever. Item.
After my legacies paid and funerall expenses borne I
give and bequeath all the rest of my goods and chat-
ties whatsoever unto my aforenamed nephew William
Martin whom I doe constitute appoint and make my
whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and
Testament. In Witness whereof I the said Charles
Staynings have published and declared this my last
Will and Testament this fourteenth day of February
Annoq. D'ni 1693 and in the sixth yeare of the Raigne
of King William and Queen Mary.

Cha. Staynings.

Signed sealed published and declared by Charles
Staynings Esq re to be his last Will and Testament in
the presence of us — John Galard Rect r de Sellworthy
— Elias Falvey Rect r de Oare- Edward Stoate — Will
Siderfin.

[Proved at Taunton the 4 th day of February 1700
on the Oath of William Martyn the Executor.]

NOTES.

Extract from the Will of " William Martyn of Netherex in ye
County of Devon, Esquire," date 28 Dec. 1661.
" Item. I give unto my daughter Susanna Martyn, ye summe
of five hundred pounds to be payd unto her by my executor
hereafter mentioned, when she attains to the age of twenty
and one, and shall further leave her to be better provided for
at ye good pleasure of her dear Aunt, my sister Stennings."



Appendix B. 273

APPENDIX B.

Some Papers from the Church Chest.

Cl)l0 ^n^tntUVt maide the second daie of January
in the fyve and Twenteth yeare of ye Raigne of o r
SoVaigne Ladie Elizabeth by ye grace of God Queen
of England France and Ireland defendor of the faith
te, 25ttto£me Peter Home ats Sporrier of Westlynche
w th in the Countie of Sorriset yeoman, John Stodden
of Allerford the elder w th in y e saide Countie husband-
man & John Kitner of Tyvington w th in y e said Countie
Clothier of thone ptie &rttl Edward Pyle of Browning
strete w th in y e said Countie vitler Richard Phelpes of
Selworthye w th in the said Countie Tanner Henry
Home ats Sporrier Walter Home ats Sporrier Thomas
Home ats Sporrier three of the sons of the said Peter
Home ats Sporrier John Tayler the sonne of William
Tayler deceased Edward Kitner the sonne of the said
John Kitner Edward Tirrell of Tyvington aforesaid
John Stodden y e sonne of y e said John Stodden
thelder and William Stodden y e younger of Allerford
aforesaid of thother partie. ffllitnZ&&Zt% that the
said Peter Home ats Sporrier John Stodden thelder
& John Kitner for & on dyvers consideracons them
therunto moving have geven grannted enfeoffed f
assured and by these pntf doe geve grannte enfeoffee
f assure unto ye said Edward Pile Rychard Phelpes
Henry Home ats Sporrier Walter Home ats Sporrier
Thomas Home ats Sporrier John Tayler Edward
Kitner John Stodden & William Stodden all y t one
Tehte garden & half acre of land with their appurtennce

N N



274 History of Selworthy.

in Allerford w th in y e parish of Selwthye aforesaid called
or in anye sorte knowen by the name of Shelve late in
the tenure of Walter Baker deceased be it more or
lesse, and lying against the landes of John Arimdell
esquier of the Northe pte and the landes of theires of
George Harrison of the South pte and abutteth on the
Coinon high waye on bothe thother ptes f is w th in the
Tithinge of Allerford aforesaid, ^0 \&\SZ { to holde
the said Tentf garden lande & all other y e pmisses
w th all £ singuler their appurtefinces to the foresaid
Edward Pyle Rychard Phelpes Henry Home ats
Sporrier Walter Home ats Sporrier Thomas Home
ats Sporrier John Tayler Edward Kitner Edward
Tirrell John Stodden & William Stodden their heires
f assignes for ever to be holden of the Chiefe Lorde
or lordes of the fee thereof by the rents & services
thereof due and of right accustomed to be paide upon
this condicon that the foresaid Edward Pyle Rychard
Phelpes Henry Home Walter Home Thomas Home
John Tayler Edward Kitner Edward Tirrell John
Stodden f Wiftm Stodden & the survivor or survivors
of them their heirs and assignes & theires & assignes
of ye survivor of them shall yearlie for ever at the
feast of Easter content satisfie & paye to y e Church-
wardens of Selwthey then for y e tyme ther beinge f
to the fower side men of the saide pishe of Selwthey
aforesaid then also for the tyme ther being fyve
shillings of lawful Englishe money, Slntl also all fynes
issues profittes & Comodities that they y e said Edward
Pyle Rychard Phelpes Henry Home Walter Home
Thomas Home John Tayler Edward Kitner Edward
Tirrell John Stodden f Wittm Stodden or the survivor



Appendix B. 275

r

or survivors of them or theirs or assignes of the sur-
vivor of them shall or may without fraude or Covin
thereof make to this intent f purpose that they the
said Church wardens £ fower sidemen shall yearelie
for ever imploye the saide rentf issues fynes f profittes
thereof coming £ growing for & on the reparacon of
the parish churche of Selwthey aforesaid or els on the
setting fourth of soldiers to serve the Queenes Ma tie
in her warres of Irelande or els where or els for mayn-
tennance of the poore ther or for the defraying of anie
other chardge wherw the the inhabitants or pishenls of
Selwthey aforesaid are or ought in anie sorte to be
chardged with by the lawes of this Realme. #rU) the
said Edward Pyle Rychard Phelpes Henry Home ats
Sporrier Walter Home ats Sporrier Thomas Home
ats Sporier John Tayler Edward Kitner Edward
Tirrel John Stodden £ William Stodden doe for
themselves their and everie of their heires and assignes
and the survivor and survivors of them their heires
assignes covenante and grannte to f with y e saide
Peter Home John Stodden and John Kitner their
heires & assignes by these pntf that they the said
Edward Pyle Richard Phelpes Henry Home Walter
Home Thomas Home John Tayler Edward Kitner
Edward Tirrell John Stodden & William Stodden and
and the survivor or survivors of them their heires or
assignes shall and will at all tyme and tymes when &
as often as they or anie of them or y e survivor or sur-
vivors of them their heires or assignes or the survivors
or survivor of them shalbe thereunto required by y e
said Church Wardens and side men of y e said pishe
for y e time then being & then at y e time of the said



276 History of Selworthy.

request if ther be in full life of y e feoffees before herein
mentioned but onlie fower persons or under reassure
convey and infeoffe to tenn other psons being honest
inhabitants at the time of the said request of ye saide
pishe of Selwthey and be thereunto noiated by y e
Church Wardens & side men of y e saide pishe of Sel-
wthey to have and to hold y e said Tente garden and
lande before mentioned unto the said tenn persons or
their heires so to be noiated as aforesaid And y e
same assurance or feoffem 1 to be made as aforesaid to
contayne all and everie suche covefinte Article & con-
dicon and the rente reservacon power & auctoritie &
none other then herein are contayned expressed de-
clared and sett forthe &nt> tutt^n* y 1 y e said feoffees
pties to these jmtf or anie of them shall not at any
time hereafter alyen assuer or convaye away his or
their right titell estate or interest that he hath hereby
in the said tente garden & lande, nor shall make any
lease or leases thereof other than joyntlie w th all the
feoffees then at the tyme of the said leas or leases
being in full lyfe & y l for one twoe or three lyves
joyntlie or by waye of remaynder or for one & Twentie
yeares reserving therupon the yearelie rente of fyve
shillinges to contynewe during the said leas or leases,
And at noe tyme hereafter or by anie of their actes to
determyne or extinguishe the same.

PrOuitl^ti allwayes anie thing herein contayned to
the contrarie not w th standinge y 1 if the said feoffees
pties to theise jmtf & everie of them & the survivor &
survivors of them & his or their heires doe not at all
tymes hereafter well and truely observe pforme fulfill
and keepe all and everie y e Covefints Condicons



Appendix B. 277

Articles & Agreem ts herein conteyned according to
the trewe meaninge hereof That then & from thenc-
forth it shalbe lawful to & for the said Peter Home
John Stodden & John Kitner into the said tente
garden & lande and into everie pte thereof to reenter
& the same to have againe as in their former estate
fynally the said Peter Home John Stodden & John
Kitner have constituted & appointed and by theise
presents doe constitute and appoint John Reede of
Selwthey William Stodden thelder of Allerforde to be
theire trewe and lawfull Attorneys joyntlie or severallie
to enter into the pmisses or into some parte thereof
for them & in their names, and possession & seison
thereof or of some pte thereof in the name of the whole
for them & in their names to take & have, And after
such possession & seyson thereof so taken and had
the same to delyver unto the said Edward Pyle
Rychard Phelpes Henry Home Walter Home Thomas
Home John Tayler Edward Kitner Edward Tirrell
John Stodden & William Stodden or to some or one
of them in the name of them all to have the the same
according to the effect and trewe meaninge hereof,
ratyfyinge confirminge & alowing all & what soever
their said Attomies or anie of them shall doe in or
about the premisses. 3I n tolttW00 whereof the parties
above said have hereunto interchangablie putt and sett
their handes & seales the daie fT yeare abovesaide.

Peter Home Johannis Kitner Johannis Stodden

Endorsed : — Seled and delivered in y e psence of thos
whos names are under written the xvij th daie of
Marche anno dni 1582.



278 History of Selworthy.

T.me Wiftm Fleete, rectorem de Selworthie.
John Elstone
Edward Youd
William Don
Gregorii Darche

possession & seson was taken had and delivered over
by the attornes within named according to the tener
of theise jtatf the xvij th of Marche in the yere w th in
wrytene anno dhi 1582. Gregory Taylor and Passka
his wyfe did attourne tenants to this deade the xvij th
daie of Marche in the yere w th in wryten. In the pres-
ence of us whos names are subscribed

Wiftm Fleete pson of Selworthie
Edward Rawle
Geofifrie Brudge
Andrewe Home
John Ewd

There is another Indenture of this date, precisely the
same, with exception of Endorsement. This little
estate was regularly granted out by the feoffees on
lives up to the end of the last century. On the expir-
ation of the last lease the estate was not reclaimed,
and in course of time the existing tenants obtained a
title to it. The old house at Allerford Bridge is, no
doubt, practically the same now as it was when the
above deed was executed.



^1)10 3Jtt&£ntUC£ ma de the thirtieth daie of Aprill
in the fyve and Twentyeth yeare of the raigne of our
Sovaigne Ladie Elizabeth [1583] by the grace of God,



Appendix B. 279

Oueene of England France and Ireland, Defendor of
the Faithe 25ettoettt Wiftm Harte of Westlinch w*in
the Countie of Somerset, husbandman, Lewes Tayler
of Selwthey w th in y e saide Countie husbandman
George Phelpes of Selwthey aforesaid husbandman
of thone ptie &nu" George Ewde of Tyvington w th in
y e said Countie husbandman, George Sporrier ats
Home of Allerford w th in y e said Countie Dyer, Ed-
ward Rawle ais Yowd of Allerford aforesaid husband-
man, Wiftm Tayler ats Hensley of Honicote aforesaid
Carpenter, Rychard Dennise of Selwthey aforesaid,
Tanner Rofete Phelpes of Selwthey aforesaid husband-
man George Elson ats Hooper of Tyvington aforesaid
husbandman John Tayler y e younger of Honicote
aforesaid Clothier & Michaell Tayler ats Hewes of
Honicote aforesaid husbandman of the other ptie
Q3iittl£$$0tf) whereas Robert Crosse of Nettylcombe
w th in y e said Countie Yeoman was lawfully & right-
fully seized in his demesne as of fee of and in all that
messuage or mansion howse called the Church howse
scituate and beinge w th in y e parish of Selwthey afore-
said and of all and all manner of houses gardens, rentes
revsions pfitts comodities advantages & hereditam ts
whatsoever to the said messuage belonging or apptayn-
ing, Stntl so being thereof seised did by his deede
sufficient in y e Lawe and bearing date y e eight daieof
Aprill in y e fovverth yeare of y e Raigne of our sovaigne
Lord kinge Edward the sixth [1550] geve grannte bar-
gaine, sell assuer and convaye all that y e said messuage,
gardens, howses, edifices rentes revtions and all other
hereditam ts whatsoever to y e saide messuage then be-
longing or apptayninge until one Michaell Laughwell,



280 History of Selworthy.

Henry Sporier Wiftm Pyers and John Stodden & to
their heires and assignes to their owne pper use and
behoofe for ever as in and by the said dede doth and
maye appeare. £lYlb also wheras the said Michaell
Lawghwell Henry Sporrier Wirrm Pyers and John
Stodden being by force of the said assurance feoffm 1
and conveyance seised of the said messuage and other
the premisses & of everie pte thereof in their demesne
as of fee did for dyvers considercons them therunto
movinge by their dede also sufficient in y e Lawe bear-
inge date y e tenth day of Aprill in the said fowerth
yeare of the raigne of our said Sovaigne Lorde kinge
Edward y e sixthe geve grannte enfeoffe convaye and
assuer all that the said messuage called y e Chureh
howse & other the pmisses w th his apptences seituate
and beinge w th in y e said parishe of Selwthey afore-
said and all and singuler howses gardens pfittes Como-
dities hereditam ts and all other the pmisses therunto
belonging unto one Richard Ewde Edward Westcott,
John Sporrier Rychard Sporrier George Kent John
Boyse Wittm Hare Lewes Tayler George Phelpes
Geoffrey Frase and to their heires and assignes to their
owne pper use and behoofe for ever as also in & by y e
saide last recited ded dothe and maye fullie & playnlie
at large appeare ^.Ijat nowe y e said Wiftam Harte
Lewes Tayler & George Phelpes being the survivinge
feoffees named in y e last recited dede and having y e
whole estate of y e premises and also being nowe law-
fully and rightfully seised of the said messuage & other
y e premises in their demesne as of fee the reste of the


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Online LibraryFrederick HancockThe parish of Selworthy in the county of Somerset, some notes on its history → online text (page 18 of 21)