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The Gentleman's Magazine Library, 1731-1868
English Topography Part III Derbyshire - Dorsetshire
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  • Islington
    If navigating from the indexes, go to page | 188
  • Otterton
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[Page 188]


[1793, Part II, p. 603.]
The three inclosed figures (Plate II., figs. 3, 4, 5) represent the fragments of a stone, which are laid in different parts of the body of the church of Islington, in Devonshire. There are two or three other small fragments in the same pavement, but these are most wrought. This stone, which is unlike to any taken from the neighbouring quarries, appears to me to have been meant to commemorate a more than common person, as there is no other stone of superior quality, and but one of the same quality, in the whole pavement ; and that commemorates a vicar interred in 1539. .. .

The shading is meant to signify that time has injured the surface, and rendered the lines indistinct. An explanation may throw light upon some other remnants of antiquity in the same church.

Yours, etc.,  VICARUS.    


[1830, Part I. p. 493.]
This place lies about one mile north of Tavistock. It is a barton or insulated estate, and was purchased in the reign of Elizabeth by Judge Glanvile, of Holwell House, in the adjoining parish of Whitchurch. Sir Francis Glanvile, his son, erected a seat on it (or his own residence, the greater part of which is still standing. The remains of a finely timbered park, and of the artificial terrace embankments of the garden, attest its former splendour. Prince details an affecting story relating to Francis Glanvile. In his youth he abandoned himself to a dissolute course of life, and his father, the judge, hopeless of his reformation, disinherited him in favour of his younger son John. At length, however,

" Consideration like an angel came.
And whipped the offending devil out of him."

[Page 189]

He became a sincere penitent, and an altered man. His younger brother, rejoicing at the change, invited him to a banquet at Kilworthy, where, after dinner, he told him he had yet one dish more to taste, which being brought in covered, was placed before him, and he was requested to appropriate to himself the contents. There were the title-deeds of his father's estates that the younger brother, fulfilling what he knew would have been his father's will, if he could have seen his son's altered course, thus generously gave up to him.

[1844, Part II., pp., 264-267.]
According to the particulars furnished by the historian of Devonshire worthies, Prince, John Glanvile, son of Sir John Glanvile, was born at the family seat, Holwell House, in the parish of Whitchurch, adjacent to Tavistock. The same authority informs us that Ranulph de Glanvile,* the founder of that family in England, came over with the Norman invader.

John Glanvile, the subject of this notice, was entered of the honourable society of Lincoln Inn, called to the bar, and in 1589 created Sergeant-at-Law ; in 1598, June 30th, he was constituted Justice of the Common Pleas, and probably about that time knighted. He purchased the barren or insulated demesne of Kilworthy, distant about a mile from Tavistock, where he erected a mansion-house, some traces of the importance of which are still extant. Of this place Mrs. Bray has given us an interesting sketch in her work on the " Tamar and Tavy," vol. iii., p, 305. . . .

In a long passage of the house, as well as in one of its chambers, may still be seen, Mrs. Bray informs us, a vast number of paintings on panel, representing in succession the arms, alliances, etc., of the family of Glanvile for many generations. The hall, though now but a vestige of what it once was, shows enough to indicate its former grandeur.

The gardens of Kilworthy were on a scale suited to the place. They ran along the side of an elevated piece of ground to the west of the house ; the entrance to them was through a pair of ample gates, on either supporting pier of which was lion rampant. Kilworthy had once a chapel; a dovecote, stable and other offices are near the house. A noble avenue of old beech-trees, overgrown with moss, and casting the deepest shade, formed the principal road to the mansion, " affording the passenger here and there those peeps of landscape and of the Dartmoor heights, between their trunks and branches, always so welcome to a lover of the picturesque." So far by the aid of Mrs. Bray have we been enabled to describe the mansion of the Glanviles; we now request her as an eye-witness to speak of its possessor's tomb.

" The effigy of Glanvile, lauded by Prince, is certainly a very

[Page footnote]
* See also Dugdale's "Baronage." vol. i.. p.423.

[Page 190]

superior work of art ; there is so much character about the face and head that I have no doubt it was an excellent likeness. ... The effigy is that of a corpulent man lying at full length on his side, the upper part of the body being raised, and the left arm resting on a cushion.

" The countenance and brows in particular exhibit those strong marks of intellectual superiority which ever distinguish a man of talent. As a whole his head is striking and impressive, notwithstanding the injury it has sustained, by a loss of a part of the nose; the hands have likewise been mutilated.

" The countenance and brows in particular exhibit those strong marks of intellectual superiority which ever distinguish a man of talent. As a whole his head is striking and impressive, notwithstanding the injury it has sustained, by a loss of a part of the nose; the hands have likewise been mutilated.

" In front of the Judge, but beneath the figure, kneels in a praying attitude the effigy of Dame Glanvile."

A singular tradition is current at Tavistock that Judge Glanvile passed sentence of death on his own daughter. The tale is related on the authority of the Rev. E. Bray (Mrs. Bray's "Tamar and Tavy," vol. ii., p, 316) ...

Judge Glanvile had gained a high reputation for his knowledge of law, and equity in dispensing it, but did not long enjoy his elevation to the Bench, for he died two years after his promotion. He married a lady whose maiden name was Skerret, by whom be had seven children, particularized in the following inscription, which occupies four separate compartments on his tomb, divided as in the following paragraphs :

" Honatæ sasrum memoriæ Johannis Glanvil unius quondam Justiciarorum de Communi Banco. Qui merito factus judex summo cum labore administravit Justiciam ; Justicià conservavit Pacem; expectavit Mortem ; et Morte invenit Requiem. 27° die Julii. Ann. Dom 1600.

" Statum erat hoc monumentum, Ann. Dom. 1615. Impensis Dominæ Aliciæ Godolphin viduæ, prius uxoris ejusdem Johanis Glanvi, renuptæ vero Fransisco Godolphin militi jam etiam defuncto. Quæ peperit fidem Johanni viro et septem liberos.*

" Quorum nomina et concubia proxima tabula suo ordine continentur.

" I. Maria defuncta nupta Edwardo Estcourt Armigero postea militi. 2. Franciscus qui duxit in uxorem Elizabetham filiam Willelmi Grymes Armigeri. 3. Dionisia nupta Thomæ Polwheele Armigero. 4. Johannes qui duxit in uxorem Winifredam filiam Willelmi Burchier Armigeri. 5. Alicia defuncta innupta. 6. Johanna nupta Samson Hele. 7. Thomas. "

Anyone who attentively peruses the above inscription will be happy, we think, to come to the conclusion that the tale respecting Glanvile's daughter and Page of Plymouth is perverted by some error. The marriages of three of the Judge's daughters are specified in the inscription; no one of these was united to the name of Page, and the remaining daughter Alice died unmarried. The Judge was therefore, we conclude, never called upon to execute an office from

[Page footnote]
* This clause of the inscription appears to be much blundered. Perhaps the words engraved on the stone should have been : "et quæ pererit it eidem Johanni," etc. Viro is corrupted by a typographical error in Prince's book to Vire.

[Page 191]

which Christian propriety would have certainly exempted him had he been so unhappy as to find his child thus guilty and disgraced.

The dissolute manners of Sir Francis Glanvile, the Judge's eldest son, and the touching circumstances of his reform, have been noticed in the communication to which we have referred in our vol. for 1830, part i, p. 493, also by Prince, and very copiously and effectively by Mrs. Bray.*

His second son John became an eminent loyalist and lawyer, was knighted by King Charles the Second, appointed King's Serjeant, died in 1661, and was buried in the church of Broad Hinton in Wiltshire.†

Before we conclude this brief notice of Sir John Glanvile, we take occasion to speak of the honorary monument, or rather painting, executed in compliment to Queen Elizabeth, his royal mistress, on the wall near his tomb.‡ Some traces of this memorial were of late extant, and were observed by Mrs. Bray. The Queen was represented as lying in state under a Canopy, this inscription being subjoined§
[inscription omitted].

So dear was the memory of Elizabeth to succeeding times that the keeping of her day of accession to the crown was the practice even in our own recollection of the offices subordinate to the Court of Exchequer; the placing painted memorials of her in parish churches was a common usage after her decease; and well did this firm and accomplished ruler deserve the gratitude of the reformed Church.


[1799, Part I. p. 369.]
The inclosed bird's-eye view (Plate 1.) of the town of Kingsbridge, Devon, which appears, by the date (1586), to have been taken 213 years ago, will assuredly be worthy of preservation in your Magazine. So correctly does it seem to have been executed that, prior to the year 1796, when considerable alterations were made, it continued an almost faithful representation of the place. But at that time a spirit of improvement pervading the inhabitants, which had commenced three years before, by new paving the streets with footpaths on each side in the modern style, removing the water-conduits (placed in the middle of the street since 1611), and rebuilding many of the houses, it was resolved to destroy the Butchery (or Cheapehouse), which was done accordingly. and a new one erected on the side of the street next the church, where the new building stood.

It is not known at what period the pillory was taken down, but it unfortunately happens that an awkward building, named the Butter-

[Page footnote]
* "Tamu and Tavy," vol. ii., p. 338.
† "Tamu and Tavy."
‡ See notices of Tavistock and its Abbey. Gent.'s Mag. 1830. Part I., p. 489-.
§ Prince.

[Page 192]

market, has since been raised, if not exactly on the spot, at least a very little below to the south (or west, as it is called in the view) ; and this, the owner not permitting it to be removed on any reasonable terms, remains a disgrace to one of the most pleasantly situated towns in the kingdom. which commands an extensive and delightful view, particularly of an inlet of the sea full five miles in length.

The manor formerly belonged to the abbey of Buckfast. After the Reformation it continued in the crown till 1553, when it was purchased by John Drake and Barnard Drake, and immediately thereon conveyed by them to Sir William Petre, the ancestor of the present Lord Petre. By this family it was held till 1792, when Lord Petre sold it to Mr. John Scoble, attorney and proctor, the present owner. It is but small, the whole parish being no more than thirty-two acres.

A. H.    


[1798, Part I., p.385.]
I have sent you an extract from a tour through the southern parts of Devon, made in May, 1795. It regards the church of Kingsteignton, and its worthy vicar, the Rev. Christopher Beeke to whose character, given in your Obituary, p. 176, it may serve as a collateral voucher.
        J. SWETE.

" The church or Kingsteignton is situate at the south end of the village, On a gentle eminence, overlooking the rich champaign through which the river Teign flows, whence (as well as its neighbour Bishopsteignton, and several other parishes) it has derived a part of its appellation.

" This edifice is of a handsome cast, and appears from Its architecture to be of the date of the middle Gothic, the windows having no sharp turn. and not so obtuse and bending as was their form in the later periods ; they spread a good deal, and have considerable ramifications. The internal part is plain, without modern decorations, and has little remarkable but an inscription on a stone in the chancel placed over the body of a quondam vicar. Its singularity induced me to take the following transcript :

"RICHARDUS ADLAM, hujus ecclesiæ vicarius obiit Feb. 10, 1670."

Contiguous to the churchyard are the ruins of what is supposed to have been a prebendal house. The sheaf of the parish, as well as the Vicarage, belong to the church of Salisbury, and are vested in a prebendary. The barn is yet in good order, though the mansion has been long dilapidated. Of these the inclosed is a sketch, and it is a singular circumstance that, in so small a compass, a group of buildings should be crowded together so very dissimilar as a church, a ruinous

[Page 193]

house, two barns, and a mill; taken, however, as a whole, the scene is not a little picturesque (see Plate I.)."

[1842, Part II., p.526]
In digging the new canal to the Teign from Kingsteignton, a skeleton was lately discovered with a gold clasp bracelet round the wrist.


[1801 Part I. p14.]
Mr. Chapple, of Exeter, was for many years engaged in writing the history of Devonshire. He died, and left the most unfinished. The papers collected for that purpose are very curious and ample, but they were confused and undigested. Sir Robert Palk purchased them of Chapple's daughter, and sent them to me with most liberal offers if I would undertake the work on Chapple's plan and publish a complete history of this county. I declined so arduous an undertaking for many reasons, but offered to arrange and methodize the various articles, and write a catalogue of the M. S. and a general review of their contents.

I have finished what I undertook, and the collection is now a noble deposit for the assistance of some future historian. It will be lodged in Sir Robert's library, and any antiquary or curious person may have access to it.

I intend to publish a general account of it in the Monthly Review and your Magazine, if I can get Sir Robert's leave; and I think I shall easily procure it, as he is a friend to both those publications. . . .

Mr. Lewis had been reading an ancient MS. in vellum, written in 1260, and originally belonged to the priory of Otterton. It was a Costumale, or ledger-book, of the priory, in the hand-writing of a monk who was sent hither by the abbot of St. Michael de Monte in Normandy, to which Otterton Was a cell before it was annexed to Sion, after its alienation. A fair transcript from the original is in Chapple's collection, with explanatory notes, and will greatly assist the antiquary in the history of that priory, and of its dependencies.


Ottery St. Mary.

The accompanying view of the remarkable Church of Ottery St. Mary Devonshire (see Plate 1.). is from the elegant pencil of the late William Alexander, Esq., F.S.A., whose talents and virtues you have so justly commended in vol lxxxvi., ii., pp. 279, 369.

" Ottery St. Mary is a large irregular market town, deriving its name from the river Otter, and the dedication of the church to

[Page 194]

St. Mary. Edward the Confessor, or Earl Otho,* gave the manor to the Cathedral of St. Mary at Rouen, in Normandy ; but in the reign of Edward III. the Dean and Chapter, with the king's permission, sold it to Grandison, Bishop of Exeter, who founded a college in the parochial church here, 'for a warden, eight prebendaries, ten vicars, a master of music, a master of grammar, two parish priests, eight secondaries, eight choristers, and two clerks.'† At the Dissolution the endowments were valued at £338 2s. 9d.,and the site of the college was granted by Henry VIII. to Edward Earl of Hertford.‡ The chief part of the manor now belongs to Sir George Yonge.

" The situation of this town is extremely pleasant and healthy. The principal building is the church, which is very large, and has many singularities in its construction. On each side is a square tower, opening into the body of the church, and forming two transepts, as in Exeter Cathedral. The towers are furnished with pinnacles and open battlements, that on the north has also a small spire. At the north-west corner is a richly-ornamented chapel, built by Bishop Grandison, the roof of which is covered with highly-wrought fan shaped tracery. The interior of the Church is sadly neglected; many of the monuments are broken, and various parts are filled up with lumber. The altar-screen is of stone, finely carved into niches and tabernacle work, but this is partially covered with boards and painted. On the south side of the communion table are three stone seats, rising one above another. Most of the windows are narrow and lancet-shaped."

In 1811 Ottery St. Mary contained 583 houses and 2,880 inhabitants.

Yours. etc.,  S. R. N.    

[1794, Part I., p.104.)
The monument described, p. 17. by J.P. M. [see Chesterfield, Derby] is very much like two of the same complexion in the church of Ottery St Mary. Risdon and Prince, the once famous historians of Devonshire, tell us that the horizontal figures under the cupola were Knights Templars. They certainly might have been the representatives of one of the orders, though the leg be not crossed ; but, from every record on paper and information, from the situation of these emblems, and the scattered shields of Grandison, who, in some former century was Bishop of Exeter and enjoyed a tithing in and lived within a mile of Ottery St. Mary, it may reasonably be supposed that these are cenotaphs erected in honour of his father and mother. They are placed in parallel directions, and one is evidently the figure of a woman. No doubt but the arch which J.P.M. mentions covers the representatives of such as were formerly persons of distinction.

S. F.    

[Page footnote]
* "*Dugdale's "Monasticon," ii. p. I.
† Tanner's "Notilia."

[Page 195]

[1794, Part 1.,pp.224, 225.]
My notes, taken at Ottery St. Mary 1765, describe the monuments referred to by your correspondent S. F. as " under the second north arch from the organ, a heavy Gothic arch, on a freestone altar-tomb, an armed knight, his arms crossed, and sword drawn in his right hand, a double-tailed lion at his feet, and in the arch over him, roses in shields. Opposite to this a similar monument with a woman, having two dogs at her feet and two angels at her head." Risdon thus describes them, p. 32: " In the body of the church, betwixt two pillars, arched pyramid-wise, is the proportion of a man cut in stone, and cap-à-pie, with a lion couchant at his feet. Opposite hereunto, between two pillars, semblably arched, is laid the proportion of a man curiously cut in stone, some time since fairly adorned with coat-armoury ; but now defaced by time. Tradition sayeth (for neither of them have any inscription) that one of them was to the memory of William Grandison, father of the bishop; the other to the honour of Sibyl, his wife, mother to the bishop, one of the co-heirs of John Tregoze, of Castle Ewias, in Herefordshire, whom he married by the favour of the Earl of Lancaster, with whom he came into England; and under a spacious marble almost covered with brass, yet the inscription stole away, lieth one Grandison interred, a near kinsman to the aforesaid bishop" (p. 33), . . .

S. F.'s cupola is either the arch of the church, or the canopy of the monument. Knights Templars neither of the figures represent; what other orders S.F. conceives it is impossible to say, or what he means by records on paper or by emblems. The shields of Grandison are in other part of this church, which was made collegiate 1337 by Bishop Grandison, who S. F. might have easily known was Bishop of Exeter from 1327 to 1362. He should have told us where Mr. Prince mentioned these monuments, for he has not an article for Grandison. For "representatives," in the following paragraph, we must read " remains." The brass figure mentioned by Risdon lay, 1765, in the chancel, and had a mutilated inscription, without a name, for a dean and chancellor.

D. H.