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KNOWSTONE

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"KNOWSTONE, a pleasant village, on a bold eminence, encompassed by lofty hills, 9 miles E. by S. of South Molton, has in its parish 578 souls, and 4994 acres of land, including 1219A. of common, 219A. of moorland; the village of East Knowstone, about a mile from the church; the hamlet of Rochill; and many scattered houses, some of them among the high moorlands near the sources of the river Yeo. Sir Robert Geo. Throckmorton, Bart., is lord of the manor, and owner of the manor-house, called Knowstone Beaple, which was so called from its ancient owners, and was long a seat of the Pollards. J. Handford, Esq., Mr. Joseph Hill, and many smaller owners, have estates in the parish. The manor of Wadham belonged to Ulf at Domesday Survey, and his descendants took the name of Wadham. Shapcote was long held by a family of its own name, and they sold it about 1770 to the Handfords. Sir John Berry, an eminent naval officer in the reign of Charles II., was born here at the Vicarage. The Church (St. Peter,) is a small ancient structure, with a tower and three bells, and was repaired four years ago." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]
A parish in South Molton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.

General information:

Cemeteries

MIs for this parish are included in the NDA North Devon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.

Census

Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler, Barcott, Buckland Brewer, Bideford, Devon EX39 5LN. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]

Church History

Wilkin, Walter Harold. The vicars of Knowstone-cum-Molland, 1767-1915. Trans. Devon. Assoc. (1932) pp509-518. [Raymond: Includes notes on family of Rev. John Froude.]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1538 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 1538, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1668, 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 1740-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1538-1837 and Marriages 1539-1836. (These entries are in part from Bishops' Transcripts.)

Directories

Transcript of complete entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Gazetteers

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

Genealogy

Peskett, H.M. The Wadham family estates, Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 31, 1968-70, pp. 238-45. See also 32, 1971-73, pp. 93-94. [Raymond: 14-18th c.; of Wadham and Seaton, Devon, and Merifeld, Somerset.]
Shapcote, Dorothy. Shapcote or Shapcott family of Knowstone, Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries. 14, 1928-29, pp. 98-99 & 162-63; 15, 1928, pp. 30-37. [18th c.]

History

Rapley, Verna C. Knowstone: a brief history of the parish, a north Devon hill village. East Knowstone: V.C.Rapley [1983] 12p. [Westcountry Studies Library - pB/KNO/0001/RAP]
Worth, R.N. A History of Devonshire, With Sketches of Leading Worthies, London, Elliot Stock (1886) p.109. [Knowstone extract]
The Devonshire Domesday and Geld Inquest: Extensions, Translations, and Indices (2 vols.)., Plymouth, Devonshire Association (1884-1892) xlix + 1236 + 29 pp. [Knowstone extract]

Names, Personal

Ryall, David. Lest We Forget, War memorials around South Molton. South Molton Archive, 68pp. [ISBN 0 951236 1 4] [Provides an indexed list of names]

Probate Records

Shapcote, Dorothy. Wills of Shapcotes of Knowstone. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 15 (1928-29) pp.231-235, 257-259. [Raymond: Wills of Thomas Shapcote, 1696, Elizabeth Shapcote, 1698, and Elizabeth, widow of Philip Shapcote, 1699.]

Societies

South Molton and District Archive Local History Society web-site (archived copy) - provides details of archive holdings for the twenty-eight parishes in what used to be the South Molton Rural District, lists of publications, etc.

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Last updated: 17 Aug 2009 - Brian Randell

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