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The Gentleman's Magazine Library, 1731-1868
English Topography Part III Derbyshire - Dorsetshire
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[Page 127]


[1849, Part I., p.194]
A portion of the ceiling in the southern aisle of St. Andrew's Church, Ashburton, having been some time in a decayed state, was taken down a short time since. On the old panels were discovered various emblematic paintings with foliage, stars, etc. About eighty years ago a handsome stone pulpit, which was elaborately carved, and a brass eagle, were sold to the parish church of Bigbury. The beautiful church, which separated the church from the chancel, together with the screens belonging to the stalls in the south transept, were broken up, part sold for a small sum, and the residue were lodged in an outhouse at the Spread Eagle Inn for several years afterwards, and at last used as wood for lighting fires. The arms of Bishop Oldham, who occupied to See of Exeter in 1507, were recently discovered in a room in Ashburton in excellent preservation ...

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[1812, Part I., pp.424, 425]
I shall thank you to insert the following Terrier in your lasting pages.

Yours, etc.,  JOHN PRING.  

" A Terrier of the Glebe and Vicarage of Awliscombe, etc., made pursuant of the orders and Directions of the Right Reverend Father in God Stephen, by divine Permission of the Lord Bishop of Oxon.

" The vicarage-house is built with mud and earthen walls and covered with thatch, containing four chambers, a kitchen, parlour, hall, and four small ground rooms, floored with earth, but not ceiled, consisting of about two bays of building ; the barn and stable adjoining consists of about two bays of building, built with mud walls and covered with thatch.

" The glebe contains, by estimation, thirty acres, the particulars whereof are as follows, viz., six fields of arable and containing sixteen acres, called by the name of Parks ; two fields containing sixteen acres called Ruftlands ; one field containing two acres, called Fishel Pit ; another containing one acre and a half, called Mouseland ; another containing three quarters of an acre adjoining to Breach Meadow, and a small plot of ground in common on with the Rev. Mr. Drake's. One meadow containing one acre and a half, called Fox hill ; another containing three quarters of an acre, called Woodcrofts. The orchard, garden, and homestall contain half an acre ; the orchard and homestall fenced with an hedge, and the garden with an earthen wall. There are some old threes remaining on the glebe fit for nothing but gates and posts, and some saplings which are but of a small value.

"The surplice fees are according to the inclination of the people, and Easter offerings are twopence for every person that is above the age of sixteen.

" The meadows belong to the Right Hon. Lord Petre are exempted from paying tithe, in lieu of which the meadow before-mentioned, called Woodcrofts, was given by his predecessors ; and the meadows belonging to Roger Tuckfield, Esq., are likewise exempted from paying tithe, in lieu of which the meadow called Foxhill, before mentioned, was given by his predecessors. The use and manner of paying tithe are as follows, viz., for every cow giving milk fourpence, for every calf fourpence, for the foal of every mare a penny, for every hogshead of cider fourpence, for every herb garden a penny, for every acre mown twopence, for every lamb fourpence, for every fleece of wool twopence, and for every pig twopence, a hearth a penny, honey and geese in kind. The utensils are as follow, viz. two common Prayer-books, a large Bible, a book of

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homilies, a surplice and hood, a font of stone, a communion table, a carpet, a white linen table-cloth and napkin, a silver bowl that weighs twelve ounces and a half without any inscription, a tin tankard, basin, and plate, a velvet cushion, a bier, a black cloth, two chests, five bells, and a clock. The church and churchyard all repaired by the churchwardens at the expense of the parish; and the chancel is repaired at the expense of the Impropriator.

" The clerk is paid at this time, by the appointment of the parish, two pounds and twelve shillings a year, and the sexton one pound and three shillings. Roger Martyn, Vicar of Awliscombe, John Fry, Thomas Shepherd, churchwardens, 1728.

" The principal inhabitants of the parish: John Fry, Gent., William Fry, John Husey, Josias Husey, Roger Bishop, William Pring, Daniel Pring, Thomas Bampfield, Daniel Pring."

[1817, Part I., pp. 492, 493.]
I send you a copy of the monumental inscriptions, etc., at Awliscombe in Devonshire, that they may be preserved when the stones, like the persons they commemorate, are to be seen no more.

Z. X.    

On the chancel floor:

I. "Here lieth ... of John Ha .. . of Artes, late vicar of this parish. and Elizabeth his wife, which John died the 16th day of December, anno Dom. 1637 ; and the said Elizabeth dyed the 9th day of January following".
(Ann notes that this was the monument of John Hassard, Vicar of Awliscombe (from 3 Feb 1617 to 4 Jan 1638) and his wife Elizabeth.)

2. " Here lyes ye body of Mary, wife of John Smith. of Honiton, gent. (daur of ye Revd. Mr. George Passemer and Susanna his wife), who died ye 5th of March, 1741, aged 42. Also of John Smith their son who was buried ye 6th of Feby, 1729, aged 8 mons. Also of Willm. their son, buried ye 24th of Septr. 1730, aged 6 weeks. Also of Mary their datr buried ye 18th day of Jany 1733, aged 2 years. Also of Susanna their datr buried ye 10th March, 1735. aged 10 yrs."

3. " Underneath this stone lie the remains of Mrs. Amelia Elphinstone, widow to the late John Elphinstone, esq., Captain of the British, and Admiral of the Russian Fleet, and daughter of the late John Warburton, esq. Somerset Herald at Arms. She departed this life at Tracey House in this parish, the 16th Feby., 1786, aged 50, sincerely regretted by her numerous family, who cherish with reverence and respect the memory of her virtues. Also near this place lie the remains of her grandson Henry Hartwell, who died the 11th March, 1786, aged 8 months."

On a marble slab against the chancel wall :

4. " Hic jacent Georgius Passemer cler. olim vicarius hujus Ecclesiæ qui sepelit. fuit primo die Maii, ii, anno D'ni 1695, Etiam Georgius filius ejus qui sepelit. fuit 24° die Augusti ; Anno D'ni 1695. Etiam Johannis frater ejus qui sepelit. fuit decimo die Aprilis, anno D'ni 1701. Etiam Susannah. vidua et relict, prædicti Georgii Passemer, cler. unica filia Alexandri Cheeke, Ar' Procurasoris Generalis Serenissimo' Carolo Prime necnon Carolo Secundo, nuper regilus Angliæ &c. infra Curiam suam Admiralitatis, quæ sepelit. fuit 25 die Mar, 1722."

In the church on flat stones:

5. " Here lie ye bodies of Elizabeth, ye wife of John Mallack of Axminster, marchant, and Richard their sonne, which Elizabeth died ye 7th daye of Maye, an'o Dom' 1644; and ye said Richard died ye 19th daye of ye same month."

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6. " Here lieth the body of Anne, the daughter of William Pring, and of Joane his wife, who was buried the 2d day of February, 1704. ætatis suc the 6th. "

7. " William Pring, 1708."

8. " Underneath this stone lieth the body of John Husey, who departed this life July the 25th, 1804, aged 74 years ; and his family on his right for a century and half past. Good people, do not remove this stone."

In the churchyard:

9. " Francis Pring, serge-maker, departed this life Nov. 12. 1801, aged 82."

10. Mary Pring, departed this life April 27, 1799. aged 55. Also John Pring, of Chinstone Hill, her husband ; died June 3, 1805, aged 74."

On an enclosed tomb :

11. " Sacred to the memory or Mary Anne Burges, youngest daughter of George Burges, esq., and of the Honourable Anne Wichnoure Somerville, his wife. She was born at Edinburgh on the 6th day of Decr. 1763, and died at Ashfield in this parish, on the 10th day of August, 1813."

12. " Sacred to the memory of William Pring, who departed this life July the 7th, 1807, aged 72 years. Also four of his children: Anne died June 24th, l765. William died June 9th, 1781, Jabez died May the 31st, 1782. Thomas Udy died June the 15th 1785.

There are four bells, on one of which is :

"T. Pen. 1627, John Smyth Malachie Aishforde. Wardens.
    I sound to bed — the sick repent,
    In hope of life — which breath is spent.
T. P. anno Domini 1670. I.M.. I.C. C. W."

There are ten windows in the church, one window in the chancel, one glass window, and six other ditto in the tower. There were in former days four windows in the chancel, but three of them are now walled up. There are four doors, and the principal entrance is on the south side.

Awliscombe is a parish in the hundred of Hemlock, Devon, and Archdeaconry of Exeter, two miles from Honiton, and 161 from London. It stands near the river Otter, on the Collumpton Road, and contains 86 houses, and 429 inhabitants. It is a vicarage, value £12 10s. 10d. in the patronage of the Duke of Bedford.

" This was the birthplace of Thomas Charde, the last Abbot of Ford Abbey, who founded the hospital at Honyton (as fame hath). In the reign of King Henry the Third, Roger Gifford held lands in this parish, and the Abbot of Dunkeswell had a manor here, whom Matthew Gifford, the son of Roger, impleaded for hindering him to present to that church. By the marriage of Gifford's daughter, Isabel to Mandevill, these lands came to Sir John de Stanton. " --Risdon's " Survey of Devon. " p. 40.

The Rev. Richard Vyvyan Willesford, chaplain in ordinary to the Prince Regent, is the present vicar.

Yours, etc.,  JOHN PRING.  

[Page footnote]
* Sister of the present Sir James Bland Burges, Bart., L.L.D., of Beauport, Sussex, and Knight Marshal of his Majesty's Household.

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[1748, p. 214.]
In digging a vault very lately in the parish church of Axminster in the county of Devon, were found several bones of a human body, very ponderous, which, when opened, appeared to be full of lead, particularly the thigh bone. This, so surprising a thing, has puzzled the most curious in those parts. You are, therefore, desired to give this a place in your next magazine, in order to have the sentiments of your learned readers hereon.

Yours, etc.,    J. J.    

[1792, Part II., p.881.]
The church herewith sent you (See Plate I.) is situated at Axminster, in Devonshire, 150 miles from London ; which town takes one part of its name from the river Axe, and the other from its church or minster, which was erected by King Athelstan for seven priests to pray for the departed souls of some persons buried here, among which are said to be two dukes and a bishop, with other persons of distinction, who were slain in his army when he defeated the Danes at a bloody battle in the neighbouring field, which to this day is called King's field, and their monuments are yet remaining in the church. The number of priests were afterwards changed from seven to two, for whom a portion of ground was allotted, known by the name of Priest aller. This church is a vicarage, with two daughter-churches belonging thereto at Kilmington and Membury, value £500 per annum, now in the gift of one of the prebendaries of York.

Yours, etc.,    T. P.    

[1821 Part II., p. 2.]
Some part of Axminster Church was built in the fourteenth century the west end and tower are of more recent date. There is a very fine specimen of Norman architecture in a door at the east end, and a window in the chancel contains something of Norman, probably at the decline. The altar window is very large, and the glass has lately been stained to very great perfection. There are three doors to this church, north, east, and west. The north appears to have been built in the seventeenth century. The west, which is the principal entrance, and has a very insignificant appearance, was probably built at the same time as the whole of the west end. The tower is particularly low, and contains three but very indifferent bells. The battlements are very ancient. The church is 70 feet long and 35 broad at the widest part. The pulpit is very ancient carved work. The aisles are composed of four plain arches of Norman, which support a slanting roof; the roof of the chancel is flat, and the parapet very high which surrounds it. There have been many recent improvements in this church, viz., the organ and gallery, the pews and seats for charity children ; the pulpit is seated at the west

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end and in the middle of the church. There are a variety of monuments.


[1802 Part I., p. 418.]
" In memoriam dilectissimi patris Bernardi Prince, gentl, nuper de Abby, et Mariæ Crocker, uxoris ejus 1mæ, de Lyneham, oriundæ ; Et Janæ Drake, uxoris ejus 2dæ, ex largo stemmate natæ ; hoc monumentum pietatis ergo Joh'es Prince, A.M. olim Vicarius de Totness, nunc de Berry Pomroy, dtl Bernardi et Mariæ filius, moerens posuit, 1709."


Two Devon engravings, from Dugdale's from Dugdale's Curiosities of Great Britain, are elsewhere on this website

The Town of Ashburton

Powderham Castle