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"MUSBURY, in the vale of the Axe, 3 miles S.W. of Axminster, is a village and parish, containing 495 souls, and 2187A. 1R. 10P. of fertile land, including the hamlet of Maidenhayne and several scattered houses. Ash, now a farmhouse, was anciently the seat of the De Esse or Ash family, and afterwards of the Drakes. Sir John Drake, who was created a baronet in 1660, rebuilt the old castellated house, which had been destroyed in the civil wars. His nephew, John Churchill, the great Duke of Marlborough, was born in the old house in 1650. Ash was occupied by Sir John Pole in 1778, when the stables were burnt down. J.V. Payne, Esq., is lord of the manor of Musbury, which was anciently held by the Courtenays, and afterwards by the Drake and other families. John Gregson, John Woolcot, and Samuel Parr, Esqrs., Mr. Richd. Wills, Mr. F. Gillett, and several other freeholders, have estates in the parish. The CHURCH (St. Michael,) is an ancient fabric, with a tower and five bells, and contains several handsome monuments of the Drake family, . . . The rectory . . . is in the patronage of the Trustees of Wm. Payne, Esq., and incumbency of the Rev. Geo. Tucker, B.C.L., who has neither parsonage of glebe. . . . " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Axminster Hundred, the Archdeaconry and the Diocese of Exeter.


Churchill, Winston S. Marlborough, his life and times. London: Sphere Books (1967) 4 vols.
Skinner, A.J.P. Richard Farrant, the Puritan "rector" of Musbury. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 7:1, (1912) pp.23-24. [From Musbury PRs. See vol.7, p.74, pars 45, 46.] [Clergy, ?-1680]


MIs for this parish are included in the Incledon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.
Matthews, A.W. Ye Old Mortality. vol. 8 (1909) pp. 868-893. [MS, Society of Genealogists]
Pulman, George P.R. The Book of the Axe. Bath: Kingsmead Reprints (1969) pp. 868-893. (Reprint of 3rd edition, 1875.) [Lookups]
Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]

Church History

Musbury - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Cockerton, Henry George. Notes on the church of St. Michael's, Musbury: the Drakes of Ashe and their monument. Seaton: Exors of W.Smith (1935) [16]p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - s726.5/MUS/COC] [Raymond: Includes list of rectors and patrons.]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1622 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 1622, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1617, 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): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1614-1837, and Marriages 1614-1837. (These entries are in part from Bishops' Transcripts.)

The Deanery of Honiton: CD-ROM CD041, Exeter, Devon FHS (2013). [Axminster Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Axmouth Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1603-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Chardstock Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Colyton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1538-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Combpyne Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1757-1836, Bur: 1796-1847; Cotleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Dalwood Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Farway Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Gittisham Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1800-1837; Hawkchurch Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1838; Honiton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Honiton Ind, Bur: 1774-1837; Kilmington Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Membury Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Monkton Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1814-1842; Musbury Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Northleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Offwell Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Seaton & Beer Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1839, Bur: 1813-1837; Shute Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Southleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1756-1837, Bur: 1800-1837; Stockland Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1640-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Thorncombe Bapt: 1813-1837, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1841; Uplyme Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1838, Bur: 1813-1837; Wambrook Bapt: 1813-1904, Mar: 1754-1836; Widworthy Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1954, Bur: 1790-1837.]
Brooking-Rowe, J. (ed.) Sixth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Records. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 26 (1894), pp. 86-100. [Index] [Includes Musbury PRs]


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


Nathaniel Gundry, Justice of Common Pleas, Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset 12, 1911, pp. 129-31. [Raymond: Warren of Musbury, Devon, and Gundry of Lyme Dorset; pedigree, 17 -18th c.]
Hyde, Kenneth Peter. The genealogical history of the families of Hyde of Milborne Port of the Co. Somerset; Hyde of Nether Compton of the Co. Dorset; Hyde of Broadmayne, Upwey, Dorchester & Martinstown, all in the Co. of Dorset; Cross of Axmouth of the Co. of Devon; Dampier of Axmouth Co., Devon, and Wambrook in the County of Dorset; Jefford of Axmouth, Uplyme & Musbury, all in the County of Devon; Seward of Colyton, Musbury & Axmouth, all in the County of Devon; Sampson of Colyford & Axmouth Co., Devon; Love of Hawkchurch & Axmouth Co., Devon; Bush of Radstock County, Somerset; Pratten of Radstock County, Somerset. [East Northport? N.Y.] (1972) 85 l. geneal. tables. [LC CALL NO.: CS439.H951972]
Skinner, A.J.P. "Drake" entries from the parish registers of Musbury. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 6:4, (1910) pp.113-117, plates: ill. [From PRs, Book I, 1622-1653, newly discovered. See vol.7, p.110.]


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

Cockerton, H.G. Some recollections of village life forty years ago, by a retired country parson. Beverley: Wright & Hoggard (1939) 18p. [Westcountry Studies Library - 301.35/MUS/COC]
Cockerton, H.G. Musbury Pamplets. (1929-35) [Westcountry Studies Library]
Cockerton, H.G. Village Life 40 Years Ago, by a Retired Country Parson. (1939) [Westcountry Studies Library]
Pulman, George P.R. The Book of the Axe. Bath: Kingsmead Reprints (1969) pp. 740-752. (Reprint of 3rd edition, 1875.) [Lookups]

Land and Property

Coxhead, J.R.W. The story of Ashe House. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 83, (1951) pp.253-258.
Gundry, Nathaniel. A Few Observations Relative to a Cause, wherein William Payne, Esq. was plaintiff, and Nathaniel Gundry, Esq. defendant, Tried at Exeter, Aug. 14, 1829, By a Special Jury, Before Lord Justice Tindall, wherein a verdict was given for the Plaintiff, Bath: Printed by B. Higman, 46 St. Walcot Street, near St. Michael's (Bound with "The Observations" of Nathaniel Gundry, Esq. upon the Late Trial of Payne versus Gundry, at the Devon Lammas Assizes, 1829. Refuted by a Plain Statement, Exeter: Printed by T. Besley, Jun. Cathedral Yard) (1829) 24 pp. [Ambra Books: Concerns a dispute over the upkeep of an estate at Musbury]

Names, Personal

Musbury contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.

Probate Records

Transcript of the will of Samuel Record (1834), provided by Ros Dunning.

Transcript of the will of Amye Drake (1579), provided by Kathleen Noye.

Transcript of the will of Robert Rockett (1836), provided by Chris Salter.

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Last updated: 10 Nov 2015 - Brian Randell

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