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"DARTMOUTH, a town of Devonshire with a spacious haven, capable of sheltering a large number of ships. It is seated on the declivity of a hill, at the mouth of the Dart; which river, rising at the foot of Dartmoor hills, (an extensive moorish tract, feeding great numbers of black cattle,) after passing Totnes, where it is navigable for small vessels, is joined by the Hareborn, seven miles above it's fall into Dartmouth haven. Dartmouth has a considerable trade with the S. parts of Europe, and to Newfoundland, as well as a share in the coasting traffic." [From: Walker's Universal Gazetteer, 1795]

A seaport and market town 30¾ miles SW of Exeter, that had 4597 inhabitants in 1831. According to Peskett, it is technically the borough of Clifton-Dartmouth-Hardness, containing the three parishes: St Clement or Townstall (technically the mother church), St Saviour (technically a chapelry of St Clement, but in practice the major parish) and St Petrox. There was a Mariners' Chapel, extant 1836, but this did not keep separate registers. Regarded as part of the South Hams area.



Archives and Libraries

Dartmouth Archives - a Dartmouth History Research Group Project. (Cemetery listings, BMDs, maps, and more.)

Dartmouth Museum web-site.


Abell, Westcott Stile. William Froude: his life and work. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 65, (1933) pp.43-76. [Naval Engineer]
Anon. Life of the Rev. John Flavel, of Dartmouth, Religious Tract Society (c1834) 72 pp.
Dickinson, Henry Winram. Thomas Newcomen, engineer, 1663-1729. Dartmouth Newcomen Association (1952) 12p.
Elliot, Colin. Some transactions of a Dartmouth privateer during the French wars at the end of the century. Exeter Papers Economic Hist. 17, (1987) pp.19-40; ill. [1780-1810]
Gardiner, Dorothy, A. John Hawley of Dartmouth. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 98, (1966) pp.173-205. [Pirate, 1350-1408]
Goddard, Dwight. A short story of Thomas Newcomen, Worcester, MA: Wyman & Gordon (1904), 7 pp. [Index]
Godfrey, Mary Eliza. My Dear Children, Devon Family Historian, vol. 98, (May 2001) pp.34-43. [Letters written in 1884 describing life in Dartmouth in the late 18th and early 19th century]
Henley, E.P. William Cumming Henley: his days and ways. Dartmouth: R.Cranford & Son (1953). [Ironmonger and artist, of Dartmouth]
Hessell, Margaret (Dunn). Charles Jones Way, Devon Family Historian, vol. 133, (2010) p.11. [Charles John Way, b. Dartmouth 1835.]
Jenkins, Rhys. Savery, Newcomen and the early history of the steam-engine. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 45, (1913) pp.343-367, 46,(1914) pp.455-477. [Engineer] [Index - part 2]
King, Linda. The Life and Times of William Veale, Master Mariner 1791-1867: "The Dartmouth Robinson Crusoe", Dartmouth History Group Research Paper 26 (1999) 44 pp. [ISBN 1 899011 16 1]
Neal, A.W. James Rendel - the forgotten Devonian. Devon Life vol. 6 no. 44 (1970) pp.30-31; ill. [Engineer, Torpoint floating bridge, 1831]
Pistono, Stephen P. Henry IV and John Hawley, privateer, 1399-1408. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 111, (1979) pp.145-163. [Privateer, 1350-1408]
Stancombe, David J. Of Green Men and Other Things, Devon Family Historian, vol. 113, (Feb 2005) pp.11. [Re George Stancome, mariner]
Watkin, Hugh R. Thomas Newcomen. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 14:6, (1927) pp.260-263, plates: ill(2). [1663-1729] [Refers to vol.12, p.179; vol.13, p.49. Four signed documents.]
Wilton, T.N.P. Sir Thomas Wilton, J.P., C.A., 1861-1929: a biography. Dartmouth History Research Group (1996) v, 36p: ill, port.
Windeatt, E. John Flavell: a notable Dartmouth puritan and his bibliography. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 43, (1911) pp.172-189. [Index]
Woodford, Cecile. Quiet flows the Dart. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 89 (1973) pp.36-37; ill. [Personal reminiscences. 1973]
Thomas Newcomen, Dartmouth's father of the steam engine. Devon Life vol. 5 no. 36, (1969) pp.37-39; ill. [1663-1729]


Ships in port at the 1881 Census, by Bob Sanders.

Church History

Watkin, Hugh R. The foundation and early history of Dartmouth and Kingswear churches. Trans.Dev.Assoc.; vol 43 (1911), pp.149-165. [Index]
Watkin, Hugh R. Dartmouth, Parochial Histories of Devonshire No 5, Devonshire Association (1935) 498 pp.
Windeatt, Edward. Vicars of Townstall and Dartmouth. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 6:5, (1911) pp.144.

Church Records

The Dartmouth Archives website, a Dartmouth History Research Group project, provides transcripts or scans of a number of sets of baptisms, marriages and burials, findable under their Archive Category: Genealogy or via their search facility.

Dartmouth churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records) other than the St Petrox, St Saviour and Townstall parish churches:

Court Records

Watkin, Hugh R. Dartmouth: Presentments of Sessions and Leet Juries in 1660-1662. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 16 (1930-31) pp.177-188.

Description and Travel

Dartmouth Tourist Information Centre web-site.

Dartmouth Directory - an excellent general web-site.

Dartmouth, from Wikipedia.

Barber, Chips. Dartmouth and Kingswear. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. [ISBN 1899073027].
Cranford, Robert. Up and down the River Dart: a descriptive sketch of the district between Dartmouth & Totnes ... from the river, Dartmouth, R. Cranford & Sons (1917) 30p: ill, folded map. [Westcountry Studies Library pB/DAR 1/1917/CRA]
George, Eric A. Dartmouth - on the English Rhine. Devon Life vol. 8 no. 64 (1971) pp.28-33; ill.
Manning-Sanders, Ruth. The River Dart, London, Westaway Books (1951) x, 150p, plates: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library B/DAR 1/1951/MAN]
A pictorial and descriptive guide to Torquay, Paignton, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Totnes and other South Devon resorts (14th ed), London, Ward, Lock & Co. (1934) xxxii, 132p, 48pls: maps. [Westcountry Studies Library B/TOR 7/1934/PIC]
Dartmouth, South Devon: Official Guide (1970). [Devon FHS Library 942.35/DAR]
Dartmouth Official Guide, (1980). [SOG Library: DE Tracts Box]


Transcription, by Dianne Young, of the description and directory listing of the entry in the Universal British Directory of 1798.

Transcriptions of the entries in Pigot & Co's Devon (1830) and White's Devonshire Directory (1850) by Terry Partridge.

Copy provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.

Emigration and Immigration

Davey, F.A., Watts, S.G. Westward Look: Devon Pioneers and Pilgrims in the New World. Town & Country Press Ltd., 42 Rectory Lane, Bracknell, Berks. (1970) 56p. ["Nicholas and Anstis Manning" [of Dartmouth] - pp.12-13]


The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.


This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

A Dartmouth Mitchelmore family, by Michael Mitchelmore

Dyson, P.L. The Sluman Family, Devon Family Historian, vol. 119, (2006) pp.6-8. [Of Dartmouth. Includes an 1833 letter about a visit of Princess (later Queen) Queen Victoria.]
Freeman, Ray. The contributions of the Holdsworth and Newman families to Dartmouth. Dartmouth: Dartmouth History Research Group. [1992] [18th-19th c.]
Freeman, Ray. The Holdsworth and Newman families in Dartmouth. Dartmouth History Research Group (1993) 7p: ill, port.
Plummer, John. Two John Jacksons from Dartmouth, Devon. New England Hist. & Gen. Reg. 144, 1990, pp. 29-38. [16-17th c.]
Sykes, John. Sikes of Dartmouth, Western Antiquary 4, 1885, p. 200. [Raymond: Pedigree, 17-18th c.]
Watkin, Hugh R. Thomas Newcomen, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 15, 1928-29, pp. 337-47. [Raymond: Includes 17-18th c. extracts from Dartmouth parish register, monumental inscriptions, etc.]
Worthy, C. Devonshire Parishes: or the antiquities, heraldry and family history of twenty-eight parishes in the archdeaconry of Totnes (2 vols), Exeter, W. Pollard (1887). [Chap. XIV, XIV: Dartmouth - William LA ZOUCH, Baron of Totnes; PERCY, Earl of Northumberland; SEALE of Mount Boon; Charles Fitz-Charles, Earl of Plymouth and Baron of Dartmouth; LEGGE, Earl of Dartmouth; HAWLEY; NEWCOMEN, including inventor of the steam engine; BOONE memorial] [Index]
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General historical and descriptive information, area map from 1765, details about administrative boundaries, etc., about Dartmouth from the Devon Library's Local Studies Service.

Dartmouth history, from Dartmouth Directory.

Bedford, Francis. Photograpic views of Dartmouth and the River Dart, Chester, Catherall & Prichard (1865) 10 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library sB/DAR 7/1865/BED]
Collinson, Don. The Chronicles of Dartmouth: An Historical Yearly Log, 1854-1954, Dartmouth, Richard Webb (2000) 296 pp. [ISBN 0953636100. m]
Freeman, Ray. The story of Warfleet. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group, 1993, 28 pp. ill., map.
Freeman, Ray. Dartmouth, a new history of the port and its people. Dartmouth: Harbour Books, 1983, 152 pp. ill.
Freeman, Ray. Dartmouth and its neighbours. Chichester: Phillimore (1990) xi,212p: ill, map.
Freeman, Ray (comp). We Remember D Day. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Freeman, Ray (comp.). A Wrens-Eye View of Wartime Dartmouth. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Freeman, Ray. The History of the Castle Hotel Dartmouth. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Freeman, Ray (comp). Memories of War. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Griffiths, Dave. River Dart Pilotage. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Hemery, Eric. Historic Dart, Newton Abbot, David & Charles (1982) 268p: ill, maps. [ISBN 0715381423] [Westcountry Studies Library B/DAR 1/1982/HEM]
Joce, T.J. The Exeter and Dartmouth Road. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 44, (1912), pp. 597-604. [Index]
Karkeek, Paul Q. Notes on the early history of Dartmouth with special reference to its commerce, shipping and seamen in the fourteenth century. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 12, (1880), pp. 572-590. [Index]
Keane, W.G. Dartmouth Cottage Hospital: A History. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Lewis, F.C. Scenery of the River Dart, being a series of thirty-five views, London, The Author (1821) 40 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library sfB/DAR 1/1821/LEW]
Newman, Dr. On the Antiquity of Dartmouth. Trans. Devon Assoc. 3 (1869). Plymouth: W Brendan & Son, pp. 130-134. [Index]
Nicholls, Laura M. The Trading Communities of Totnes and Dartmouth in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries, (1960). [DFHS Library 942.35/TOT]
Rolt, L.T.C. and Allen, J.S. The Steam Engine of Thomas Newcomen, Ashbourne, Landmark Publishing (1997) 160 pp.
Russell, Percy. Dartmouth: A History of the Port and Town. London: B.T.Batsford (1950) viii,184p, pl: ill,maps.
Smart, Ivor H. Dartmouth industry and banking: the story from 1795-1925. Dartmouth History Research Group (1995) vi, 68p: ill,map.
Smart, I.H. The Dartmouth Residences of Thomas Newcomen and his family. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Smart, I.H. The Guildhalls of Dartmouth. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Smart, I.H. The Newcomen Memorials in Dartmouth. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Smart, I.H. The Development of Dartmouth Millpond. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Smart, I.H. The Newcomen Road. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Watkin, Hugh R. Dartmouth. Vol. 1: Pre-Reformation. (Parochial histories of Devonshire ; no. 5) Exeter: Devonshire Assoc. (1935) xvi, 498p, pl: ill, maps.
Windeatt, E. Dr George Oliver on Dartmouth and its churches. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 43 (1911). [antiquary, d. 1861] [Index]

Land and Property

Adams, Maxwell. The castle, manor-house, and church of Clifton, near Dartmouth. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 32, (1900) pp.503-514. [Index]
Alexander, J.J. The Lordship of Dartmouth Borough (1335-1537). Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 19, 6 (1937) pp.247-254.
O'Neil, B H St John. Dartmouth Castle. London: H.M. Stationery Office (1934) [printed by W. Clowes and Sons, Ltd.], 19 pp. [Index]
Raleigh-Mander, C.H. Tenants Resident on the Mount Boone Estate, Dartmouth, 12th November 1873. Devon Family Historian 54 (1990) pp.245.
Russell, P & Everett, A W. The Old House known as Number Thirteen, Higher Street, Dartmouth. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 91 (1959) pp.107-11.
Slader, J.M. Dartmouth castle. Devon Life vol. 1 no. 1, (1965) pp.24-25; ill.
Smart, Ivor G. The many ancient guildhalls of Dartmouth. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 123, (1991) pp.15-40.
Sullock, J.D.C. Listing of Tenants on the Property of the Earl of Devon. Devon Family Historian, vol. 61 (1992) pp. 10-11.
Scheme for the Future Management and Regulation of the Dartmouth Charities. Dartmouth: R. Cranford and Son (1925). [Raymond: Includes a survey naming tenants in 1925.]
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Map of the area from OldeMaps (circa 1950).

Merchant Marine

Petition to the Justices of Peace (1642) from the Mayor and inhabitants of Clifton-Dartmouth-Hardnes concerning Newfoundland fishing trade problems, listing over a thousand signatories.

Dartmouth Muster Rolls (1770) - details of crew of several vessels sailing from Dartmouth to Newfoundland.

Petition of Mary Nowell (1688) concerning her son's capture by pirates, provided by Bev Edmonds.

Aylmer, Tony. Wrecks off the South Devon Coast. [Dartmouth]: Dartmouth History Research Group.
Clammer, Richard and Kittridge, Alan. Passenger Steamers of the River Dart and Kingsbridge Estuary, Twelveheads Press (2013) 27-28 pp. [ISBN-13: 978-0906294130]
Davies, Glanville J. The Joyce incident, 1785. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 33:6, (1976) pp.222-223. [Attack on L'Espiegle]
Editors. Copy of an agreement between William Newman and the officers and crew of the privateer "The Admiral Edwards" of Dartmouth. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:4-5, (1913) pp.141-148.
Gray, Todd. Fishing and the commercial world of early Stuart Dartmouth. In Tudor and Stuart Devon, (1992) pp.173-199.
Griffiths, David (comp.) A century on the river Dart: part 1, Plymouth, Westway (1986) 32 pp. [Shipping:1886-1996] [Westcountry Studies Library px387/DAR/CEN]
Griffiths, David (comp.). A century on the River Dart: part 2: a pilot's view, Plymouth, Westway (1987) 32 pp. [Shipping:1886-1996] [Westcountry Studies Library px387/DAR/CEN]
Holman, H. Wilson. The Admiral Edwards privateer, and some of her exploits. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:5, (1912) pp.148-155.[From P.R.O. Admiralty records (as vol.7, p.141, par.116).]
Horsley, John E. Shipping of the port of Dartmouth in the nineteenth century. Exeter Papers Economic Hist. 1, (1968) pp.44-55: map.
Karkeek, Paul Q. Notes on the early history of Dartmouth with special reference to its commerce, shipping and seamen in the fourteenth century. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 12, (1880), pp. 572-590. [Index]
Karkeek, Paul Q. The shipping and commerce of Dartmouth in the reign of Richard II. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 13, (1881), pp. 186-190. [Index]
Rowe, J. Brooking. This is to give notice. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 5:3, (1908) pp.79. [Reprint of recruitment poster printed in Milbrooke by J.Jordaine.]
Russell, Percy. The new quay at Dartmouth (1584-1640). Trans. Devon. Assoc. 82, (1950) pp.281-290, plate: ill.
Tugwood, R.M.S. Piracy and privateering from Dartmouth and Kingswear from 1540-1558. M.A. thesis (1953) 161p. [Westcountry Studies Library - s364.164/DAR/TUG]

Military History

Palfrey, Ian. The Royalist war effort revisited: Edward Semour and the Royalist garrison at Dartmouth, 1643-44. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 123, (1991) pp.41-56.
Porter, Stephen. The weather and the capture of Dartmouth in 1646. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 34:6, (1980) pp.245-247.
Smith, Joan. Veale, Sage and Onions, Devon Family Historian, no. 149, (2014) pp.5-7. [Theodore Veale (b. Dartmouth 1892), Thomas Sage (b. Tiverton 1881) and George Onions (b. 1883 Staffordshire, served in the Devonshire Regiment) all V.C. medallists.]
Windeatt, Edward. The fitting-out of two vessels against the Spanish Armada at Dartmouth.Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 12, (1880), pp. 312-321. [Includes the names and ratings for two Dartmouth Armada ships] [Index]

Names, Personal

Names from an 1822-23 edition of Pigot's Directory.
Watkin, Hugh R. Press-gang in South Devon in 1623. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 14:4, (1926) pp.175-179. [From Dartmouth archives. List of men taken, discharges, exchanges.]
Dartmouth Vaccination Register - 1875, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D044). [Foreword]
Dartmouth Vaccination Register - 1876, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D045). [Foreword]
Dartmouth Vaccination Register - 1901, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D151). [Foreword]


Dartmouth Chronicle - regional electronic journal.

Politics and Government

Alexander, J.J. Dartmouth as a Paliamentary Borough. Trans. Devon Assoc. 43 (1911) pp.350-370, 61 (1929) pp.217-218. [Index]
Windeatt, Edward. The Borough of Clifton-Dartmouth-Hardness and its Mayors and Mayoralities. Trans. Devon Assoc. 43 (1911) pp.120-148, 44 (1912) pp.649-676, 45 (1913) pp.223-246, 46 (1914) pp.411-427. [Indexes to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4]

Probate Records

Transcription of the will of William Newman, Merchant of Dartmouth, 1822, by Kathryn Barnett.

Transcription of the will of William Newman, of South Town Dartmouth, 1867, from Newfoundland's Grand Banks Genealogy Site.

Wills of Robert Follet (1591), John Reeve (1596), Elizabeth Thickins (1601), Robert Grindall (1613), Pascho Jago (1649), Walter Jago (1689), Jane Jago (1692), Charles Stocker (1694), William Mumford (1694), George Dottin (1702), Sarah Dottin (1719), Joseph Bulley (1732), Walter Jago (1736), William French (1747), Fleet Arnold (1750), Arthur Perry (1763), George Stancombe (1763), Elizabeth Chope (1765), Marcella Cowell (1783), John Nosworthy (1784), Mary Ougier (1808), Reuben Phillips (1829), Lucy Lampen (1837), William Pearce (1843), Dorothea Haddock (1843), Tabitha Elliott (1844), Hannah Venning (1846), John Bartlett (1849) and Sarah Prideaux (1849), transcribed by Ros Dunning.

Public Records

Riley, Henry Thomas. The Manuscripts of the Corporation of Dartmouth. Historical Records Commission, 5th Report. (1876) pp.597-606.


The Dartmouth History Research Group's website aims to "ensure that copies of documents and family records from Dartmouth residents, businesses and public services such as The Town Council are recorded for use by future generations".

The Dartmouth and Kingswear Society website.


Kowaleski, M. The 1377 Dartmouth Poll Tax. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 35, 8 (1985) pp.286-295.
Nicholls, L.M. The Lay Subsidy of 1523 (Dartmouth and Totnes). (Reprinted from the University of Birmingham Historical journal, 9. No. 2) (1964)
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Last updated: 17 Oct 2015 - Brian Randell

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