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"HATHERLEIGH is a small ancient market town, pleasantly situated on the banks of a rivulet, about a mile S. of the river Torridge, 8 miles N.N.W. of Okehampton, 29 miles W.N.W. of Exeter, and 16 miles S.S.E. of Bideford. Its parish contains 1882 inhabitants, and 7041 acres of land, including a moor of 430 acres; and Stapleford, Fishley, Upcott, and other scattered farms. The town suffered severely from fire some years ago, but most of the houses were soon afterwards rebuilt, and the principal street widened and much improved. A new Market House was built in 1840, at the cost of £280, and the market, now held on a Tuesday, was re-established, after being disused for more than half a century. . . . Jph. Lang Oldham, Esq., is lord of the manor of Hatherleigh, which formed part of the endowment of Tavistock Abbey, and was afterwards held by the Arscotts and Molesworths. . . . The manor of Fishley, which belonged to the same abbey, was afterwards held by the Yeo and Darke families. Harwoods, or Stone Fishley, now belongs to Mr. Wm. Pearse, of Chulmleigh. J.H. Veale, Esq., J.M. Woollcombe, Esq., W.C. Morris, Esq., and a number of smaller owners, have estates in the parish, mostly freehold and partly leasehold. . . . The Church (St. John the Baptist,) was enlarged and beautified about 16 years ago, when the Vicarage House was rebuilt by the present incumbent, the Rev. Saml. Feild, M.A. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Black Torrington Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter.


Thomas Roberts - from

Abell, E T. Note on Jasper Mayne. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 57 (1925). [d. 1672, cleric, poet and royalist]
Hillyer, Norman. A handless Hatherleigh worthy: Thomas Roberts 1771-1848, Local History, vol. 25, (1990) pp.23-25.
Lethbridge, Roper. Sir. Some Hatherleigh worthies of the seventeenth century. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 36, (1904) pp.289-301. [Index]
Martin, John M. John Pearse, a Hatherleigh poet. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:1, (1912) pp.42-43. [1815-1885]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1558 are held in the Devon Record Office - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1558, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1610, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon & Cornwall Record Society's Collection.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

The Deanery of Okehampton: An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Ashbury, Beaworthy, Belstone, Bratton Clovelly, Broadwoodkelly, Exbourne, Germansweek, Hatherleigh, Highampton, Honeychurch, Inwardleigh, Jacobstowe,Monkokehampton, Northlew, Okehampton and Sampford Courtenay. Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2011). [Ashbury Mar: 1755-1810; Beaworthy Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1758-1837, Bur: 1760-1837; Belstone Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1835, Bur: 1813-1837; Bratton Clovelly Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Broadwoodkelly Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1839, Bur: 1813-1838; Exbourne Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Germansweek Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1813-1840; Hatherleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Highampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1747-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Honeychurch Bapt: 1813-1842, Mar: 1757-1837, Bur: 1813-1842; Inwardleigh Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1790-1837; Jacobstowe Bapt: 1813-1852, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Monkokehampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1838, Bur: 1813-1837; Northlew Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Okehampton Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Okehampton Independent Chapel Bur: 1829-1837; Sampford Courtenay Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1558-1837 Marriages 1558-1837. Dissenting Church Christenings 1729-1789.
Hatherleigh parish registers. Vol. 1. 1558-1653. Vol. 2. 1771-1836. Manuscript (n.d.) [Westcountry Studies Library - ms929.3/HAT/155

Description and Travel

The Hatherleigh Visitors and Residents web-site provides tourism and historical information, etc.


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


The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Linda Garnett, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: 1841, 61, 71, 91 N. Devon Parishes census surname indices (Sneltzer); 1901 Census on fiche, PRs: Bapt 1794-1883, Marr. 1754-1837, Burials 1794-1872.)

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.

Peters, C.D. A Rouse Family in Devon [from c1100 in modbury & 1617 in Hatherleigh], (1995). [Devon FHS Library p929.2/ROU]


General historical and descriptive information, area map from 1765, details about administrative boundaries, etc., about Hatherleigh from the Devon Library's Local Studies Service.

Hillyer, N. (ed.) Hatherleigh almanac. Hatherleigh: N.Hillyer [1984] 24p. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/HAT/0001/HAT]
Lauder, R.A. Market Towns of North Devon, Bideford, Badger (1983) 60 pp.
Manaton, H. Devonshire Association Parochial Histories of Devonshire No. 6: Hatherleigh History in Brief. Exeter: Devonshire Assoc. (1951) 18p. ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/HAT/0001/MAN]
Martin, John Middleton. Pages from a Manuscript History of Hatherleigh. Trans. Devon Assoc. 38-45 (1906-13) - four articles. [Index - part 1, Index - part 4]
Martin, J.Middleton. Historical memoirs of Hatherleigh. Manuscript (19--) [Westcountry Studies Library - Formerly Ms.18]
Short, John Smale. Historical memoirs of the town and parish of Hatherleigh. Manuscript [1850?] 459p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - sxB/HAT/0001/SHO]
Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Hatherleigh, Devon. Typescript (1962) 14 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]
The story of Hatherleigh. Hatherleigh History Committee (1985) 90p. [Westcountry Studies Library - pxB/HAT/0001/STO]

Land and Property

Index of heads of Households in Devonshire: Hatherleigh, P.O. Box 339, Blackburn, Victoria, Australia 3130, Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (2000). [As recorded in Land Tax records 1780-1831]


Edye, L. Records of Hatherleigh Manor. Western Antiquary or, Devon and Cornwall note book, vol. 7 (1887) pp. 51-53, 183-185.

Names, Personal

Names from an 1822-23 edition of Pigot's Directory.

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Last updated: 16 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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