Acquisitions on behalf of local repositories
The Friends of Devon's Archives undertakes to acquire manuscripts and related material for deposit in a local repository, where it may be freely accessed by the public. (Our acquisitions policy is available here.) Over the years we have contributed to, or purchased outright, a number of documents that are now in the public domain. Among these are the following:
- FoDA bought via Ebay four deeds which have been deposited in Devon Heritage Centre:
- Indenture dated 25 March 10 Geo I (1724). Between John Parr of Oakhampton, Clerk, & Thomas Wills of Bridford, yeoman, a messuage called Trenchford in Bridford, now in the possession of Matthew Wills, father of the said Thomas,; 99 year lease for the lives of Thomas Wills, son of the said Thomas, to commence after the expiration of the estate of Matthew Wills and the said Thomas Wills now in being. Counterpart lease.
- Indenture dated 16th September 1754. Between Arthur Tremayne of Sydenham, Esq. & John Spry of Thrushleton, yeoman, re a messuage called Thrusselball? In the parish of Thrushleton, 99 year lease for lives of William Spry aged 16, son of the said John, John Row aged 2 and grace Row aged 4, son & daughter of John Row of Lamerton, & grandchildren of said John Spry.
- Indenture dated 20th January 1776. Between Arthur Tremayne of Sydenham, Esq. & Jane Spry of Thrushleton, widow, for the Barton of Wrays in Thrushleton, formerly in occupation of William Spry, late husband of said Jane, for 99 years or lives of Jane Spry aged 6 & Grace Spry aged 8, daughters of said William & Jane Spry. The term to commence from the death of John Teasdale Spry, clerk, Rector of Coryton.
- Will of Henry Willie of Lifton, husbandman, dated 9th Oct 1644. Probate Act (Latin) dated 8 July 1646 granting administration to Joanna Wyllie [sic] daughter of said Henry Willye.
- FoDA bought a medical symptoms book compiled by a Sidmouth apothecary in 1830, which has been deposited in the Devon Heritage Centre.
- FoDA gave £2,000 to the South West Heritage Trust to help conserve the political correspondence of Henry Addington, Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister and Home Secretary between 1801 and 1822, held at the Devon Heritage Centre.
- FoDA bought via Ebay four printed items relating to Totnes
- A poster dated 9 January 1847 advertising for medical gentlemen to tender for services to attend the local poor (see illustration in the Spring 2017 newsletter).
- A poster advertising the duties payable at Totnes quay, 1830s.
- A Bridgetown, Totnes, election poster for 1832.
- A Bridgetown, Totnes, election broadside including a speech by John Russell, 1832.
- FoDA bought via Ebay thirteen manuscript items, eleven of which relate to a Churchward family probate case, as below:
- Subpoena by Arch Ct of Totnes for Robin (sic) Churchward to appear at Totnes Parish Church on Sat, 1st August 1789 and evidence that the subpoena was served [in Plymouth?]
- Subpoena by Archdeaconry Court of Totnes for Robert Churchward to appear at Totnes Parish Church on Sat, 26th Sept 1789 and evidence that the subpoena was served on 19th Sept [in Plymouth?]
- Inventory of goods & chattels of John Churchward, signed by Charity Churchward. Exhibited 12 Sept 1789.
- 15 August 1789: Interrogatories on behalf of Charity Churchward, in respect of will of John Churchward of Totnes, miller, dec'd.
- Answers of: o First Witness James Cornish of Totnes, surgeon
- Second witness Samuel Heath of Totnes blacksmith
- Third witness Thomas Salter of Totnes, innkeeper.
- Interrogatories on behalf of Robert Churchward (undated).
- Answers by Robert Churchward to Charity Churchward's Interrogatories.
- Instruction from Consistory Court of Exeter calling in the case 6th Feb 1790.
- 23 August 1790: Sentence & Final decree in favour of Charity Churchward.
- A deed indented of 1747 relating to the sale of a messuage & tenement called Holsombe in the parish of Dipford by Peter Foss of Dipford, yeoman, to Richard Cranch of Totnes, dyer.
- An Archdeaconry Court of Totnes subpoena in the cause of the probate of John Full, late of the parish of Ugborough, yeoman, deceased, & whether administration with will annexed should be granted to the widow, Grace Full.
- FoDA facilitated the deposit in Plymouth and West Devon Record Office of a manuscript list of air raids in Plymouth, Aug 1940-Apr 1941, collated by Rhoda Lane (nee Jarvis), giving dates and times; biographical details relating to Rhoda Ann Jarvis (later Lane) of Plymouth and details of her father Thomas Lane. (4111).
- Cullompton Fire Insurance Map, 1830s: Ground plan of the town and environs of Cullompton from a survey made July 1831, measured and mapped by R.P. Davey, apparently produced for insurance purposes and probably copied or added to after a fire (possibly the 'Great Fire' of 1839). Purchased in conjunction with the Devon Family History Society and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre (DHC ref ZAHS, acc D2016/130).
- Medieval deed relating to Ferers of Kingston family, 1384: Grant, John Ferers to Thomas Ferers, estates in Kingston, with handwritten and typed translations. Purchased in conjunction with the South West Heritage Trust and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre (DHC ref ZAIN, acc D2016/204).
- Deeds relating to Tunnel Estate, Exeter, 1893-1972: Conveyances and abstracts of title, relating to plots 8 and 9 of the Tunnel Estate, subsequently No 9 Mansfield Road. (DHC ref ZAIE, acc D2016/169).
- Deeds relating to Holbrook Estate, Ilsington, 1831-1914: Conveyances, mortgages, transfers of mortgage and other property documents. Those dated prior to 1864 refer to lands known as Olditch and Woodwalls in Ilsington. Documents from 1864 onwards refer to the Holbrook Estate. Purchased and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre (DHC ref ZAIF, acc D2016/170).
- FoDA assisted with the rescue and deposit at Devon Heritage Centre of a crate of deeds, conveyances, agreements, correspondence and financial papers relating to paper mills in Buckfastleigh, Stoke Canon and Silverton, Devon, and Watchett, Somerset (18th-20th centuries). Including a copy of the will of W.H. Reed, the owner.
- FoDA purchased a manuscript map of fields belonging to Chambers's Tenement in the parish of Culmstock, contained in a conveyance of the same, dated 1877. This has been deposited in the Devon Heritage Centre.
- Mr Paul Luscombe, a FoDA committee member, deposited a copy and a transcription of a grant at Sorley (near Churchstow) by King Edgard in 962, from the original in Essex Record Office.
- A collection twenty-one deeds, including wills, marriage settlements and land transfers, relating to Bycott Farm in Halberton, Devon. These all date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Purchased by FoDA and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre.
- Diaries of Lewis Mills Burfitt of Ilfracombe while in a Chinese prisoner-of-war camp, 1943-45. Purchased by FoDA in conjunction with the Devon Family History Society and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre. For further details, see the press release on the SWHT website.
- Illustrated Manuscript of historical and architectural information on the churches in the Deanery of Shirwell in the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple. This impressive document comprises 2-7 pages on each of the following churches: Ashford, Berrynarbor, Bittadon, Braunton, Brendon, Challacombe, Charles, Combmartin, Countisbury, Georgeham, Goodleigh, Heanton, Highbray, Ilfracombe, Kentisbury, Lee Chapel, Loxhore, Lynton, Martinhoe, Marwood, Morthoe, Parracombe, Shirwell, Stoke Rivers, Trentishoe, West Buckland, West Down. Written in a small neat hand with drawings and watercolours of architectural details in the text and tipped in, some full page. Including drawings of features such as stained glass windows, recumbent monument figures, carved communion table rails, carved ceilings, columns, rubbings of brass inscriptions, reredros, fonts, floor plans, views of the exterior, coats of arms, etc. Purchased by FoDA and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre (accession 8757).
- FoDA joined with private donors Rachel Knowles and Richard Stephens in prchasing The Merivale Collection. Samuel Merivale (1715-1771) was a dissenting minister who came under the influence of Philip
Doddridge and spent most of his working life in Tavistock and Exeter. He married first Elizabeth
Schellaber and following her death he remarried, this time to Betsy Manning. Their son John Merivale
(1752-1831) married Ann Katenkamp (1754-1829). The only son of this marriage was John Herman
Merivale (1779-1844), lawyer and literary scholar, who married Louisa Heath. This couple were to
have six sons and six daughters, the oldest being Herman (1806-1874), followed by Charles (1808-1893), dean of Ely and historian of the Roman Empire. In the twentieth century several members of the Merivale family fought in the First World War, so the collection also includes diaries and scrapbooks detailing their experiences of the conflict. More generally, the papers also include correspondence, watercolours and sketches, poems and genealogical notes.
- FoDA arranged the deposit of two Cullompton leases, dated 1719 and 1791 (Devon Heritage Centre, accession 8266).
- Abstract of title from 1857 to fields called Northern and Southern Ridgway and closes called Wood Meadow and Buds in Heavitree. Purchased by FoDA and deposited in Devon Heritage Centre (accession 8291).
- FoDA arranged the deposit of six Quarter Session examinations, 1592-1649 (Devon Heritage Centre, accession 8406).
- FoDA paid for a set of photocopies of a seventeenth-century map of Newton Poppleford and the surrounding area (Devon Heritage Centre, accession 7683).
- The earliest known copy of the Barnstaple Town Chronicle, written by the town clerk Adam Wyatt in 1586-1608. FoDA purchased the handwritten extracts made in 1768 (North Devon Record Office, accession A316).
- FoDA arranged the deposit of a set of handwritten transcripts of the baptism register of Moretonhampstead (Devon Heritage Centre, accession 7094).
- FoDA contributed to the purchase by Plymouth and West Devon Record Office of the seven volumes of the diaries of the Victorian clergyman, Robert Mack, covering the years 1852-1868.
- Papers and records of Herbert Read Ltd (Devon Heritage Centre, accession 6854). FoDA was a joint contributor to the purchase of the collection of plans and drawings of ecclesiastical and other wood and stone work in Devon and elsewhere, including correspondence, files, worksheets and accounts, photographs and slides of restoration and new work.
- Part of a map of Crediton made in early 1743, just before a fire destroyed most of the old town. This complemented another portion of the same map that had been in Devon Heritage Centre since 1978. Purchased by FoDA in conjunction with the Crediton Area History and Museum Society.
- Papers of the Drake family of Colyton, Huntshaw and Wells (Devon Heritage Centre, accession 1700-0). FoDA was a joint contributor to the purchase of the extensive collection of deeds and leases 1606-1836, family papers 1778-1911, letters received by John Trefusis and papers, mainly parliamentary matters, 1627-1642; correspondence and papers of James Cragg junior relating to foreign affairs 1704-1720; letters received by Francis Drake relating to foreign affairs 1793-1820.