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Whitford History


Extracts from research by Phillipa Morris History Graduate and former resident of Whitford

Full document and sources of information held at Pump Farm Whitford.

The Manor of Whitford was well and truly established by the Doomsday survey of 1086, and had formally been held by Earl Leofin.

Before 1066, it paid tax for 5 hides land for 16 ploughs.In Lordship 1 plough 2 slaves 1 hide 14 villagers and 3 smallholders with 12ploughs and 4 hides.A mill paying 5shillings meadow 27acres pasture 3 furlong. Woodland 5 furlongs, 1 cob, 6 cattle 23 sheep £11 weighed and assayed. The mill being Eritcombe.

It was another century before Shute was carved out of the forest

1168 It was still held by the King and was listed as a Manor requiring to contribute.

1199 It was granted to Thomas Basset

1285 Thomas de Saundford held the Manor of Whitford by the service of one ounce of silk

1346 Peter Brewys (Kings Yeoman)    held Whitford and Whitford was made a borough, when a fair at Whitford for 5 days at the festival of Assumption of the Virgin Mary was granted

1356 It came into the possession of the Courtney family at Colcombe (Colyton)

1418-1440 Britain was at war with France and there was the War of Roses with the Courtney family supporting the Lancasters and the Bonville family now at Shute supporting the Yorks.

1454 The Courtneys and Bonvilles were bitter enemies it was an uncomfortable time for Whitford as their manor was divided between the two of them. These two rival families almost wiped each other out in the wars, leaving the Bonville heir a 1 year old girl Cecily

In the peace of Henry 7th reign both houses prospered and Countess Katherine of Colcombe and Cecily Bonville   were both Granddaughters of John Gaunt. Cecily expanded Shute house and was a generous benefactor of East Devon Churches.

Cecily married Thomas Grey Marquis of Dorset and her Great Granddaughter was Lady Jane Grey (Queen of 9 days

1524 A Chantry at Whitford was founded by the Lord Marquis of Exeter,( son of Katherine Courtney)

1535 A Courtney attempted to gain the hand of Princess Elizabeth, and his land at Colyton was forfeited to the crown, although a relative retained some of the manor of Whitford and the merchants of Colyton (Feoffes) bought Colyton

1539 The monasteries were dissolved by Henry 8th

1550The Courtney and Bonville families fell out over ownership of Lexhayne mill

1553 Chapel and Chantries were suppressed by order of Edward 6th as he thought them superstitious.

1554 The land at Shute and Whitford Manors were forfeit to the Crown after the disgrace of the lady Jane Grey.

The land of Shute and Whitford Manors were purchased in stages by Edward Petre and his decendants, and then were bought by the Pole family.

In 1939 the Estate  was sold and the house given to the National Trust.