Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Rashleigh Family of Devon and Cornwall

After capturing the document on the Rashleigh family I decided that I can learn more about the South Molton Pincombe family in documents of the Rashleigh family. Sometimes the routes by which I have obtained information on lines of my family have been quite circuitous. I almost appear even to myself to be off on a far away tangent but end up gleaning sufficient information to let me understand a section of my family that I couldn't have done without the extraneous information.

I also have the South Molton parish registers and when I complete North Molton I will probably begin to work on them along with Abbotts Ann which I had to set aside for the summer.

It is somewhat warm here today but the nights are lengthening noticeably now as we are into the dog days of summer. Today it is overcast and looking quite dull out. The dandelions are returning with the shorter days and I shall spend a few hours capturing them in our lawns. My gardening though is coming to a close. Thank goodness! I like to see the beauty of the plants but I do not think I am cut out for a lot of gardening. At least I recognize more weeds now as the summer advances!

 The text of the Rashleigh Family article follows in its entirety. The book is now out of copyright and amazingly this is just a short article in the Devons Notes and Queries which is up to 11 volumes now that I have discovered. Well worth looking at if you have Devon ancestry and it isn't often you find a lot of information on North Devon ancestry. Sometimes I think I am the only person in the world really looking at the Pincombe lines there. There is another researcher looking at our Rowcliffe family, no one yet for the Charley family and so it carries on back.

Devon Notes and Queries, Volume IV, Part VI, April 1907.

James G Commin Exeter (Pages 201 - 215)

117. RASHLEIGH OF DEVON. The family of Rashleigh
is, says Colonel Vivian in his Visitations of Cornwall, most
probably descended from John Bray, alias Raysshelegh, or
Rashleigh, of Barnstaple, temp. Rich. II., and Mr. Kelland,
in the Western Antiquary (iv., 176) speaks of him as the
first Rashleigh who can be traced. The pedigree, however,
is carried a generation earlier by a deed dated the first
Saturday after Michaelmas, 1390, preserved amongst the
Barnstaple records (Barnstaple Records, by J. R. Chanter
and Thomas Wainwright, ii., 186), by which Matilda, widow
of Robert Raschelegh, granted to John Bray, her younger
son, all her lands, tenements, rents and services in Barnestapol
and Nyweport episcopi.[1]; Matilda must presumably
have been the daughter and heiress of a Barnstaple property-owner,
and the reason for the mother's gift to her younger
son no doubt was that the elder had on his father's death
inherited the property at Rashleigh, in the parish of Wemworthy,
from which the family derived their name. The
christian name of the elder brother does not appear. His
descendants continued to reside at Rashleigh until after
the death of John Rashleigh, who died 14th December, 1503,
whose heiress, Ibota, married Thomas Clotworthy, of Clotworthy,
and carried the property into that family. At the
Inquisition after the death of this John Rashleigh taken at
Exeter Castle on the 18th November, 1504, before William
Legh, the escheator, and a jury consisting of Richard
Trobrygge, junior, Richard Dour, John Evannys, Walter
Stephyn, William Croker, John Dever, John Whyte, Thomas
Brogton, John Stephyn, Humphry Voysey, Richard Norlegh,
John Sowton, and Edward Richard, the jury found that
being seised of a messuage, 300 acres of land, 100 acres of
furze and heather, 20 acres of meadow, and 40 acres of
wood, in the manor of Raschelegh, and of 1 tenement, 40
acres of land and 2 acres of meadow, in Chyplegh, in his
demesne, as of fee, he on the 24th October, 1488, enfeoffed
John Hengescote, Richard Wode, Thomas Rowley, clerk,
and Robert Marshall and their heirs, who thereupon granted
the said premises to the said John Rayschelegh and Alice
his wife and the heirs of John for ever ; that the premises
in Rayschelegh were held of the Lord of Ormond in
free socage and were worth per annum 40 shillings, and
that the premises in Chyplegh were held of Peter Eggecombe,
Knight of his castle of Totton by Knight's service,
and were worth per annum 13s. 4d. ; and that Ibota Raysshelegh
was John's heir, and was of the age of two years and
more. In Vivian's Visitations of Devon Ibota, or Abbot, is
called the daughter and heir of Thomas Rashleigh, so it
would appear that John had a brother Thomas, who
predeceased him.

Now to go back to John Bray, the younger son of
Robert Raschelegh. His original surname was no doubt
that of his parents Raschelegh only, and he probably acquired
the alias of Bray from his residence. He may be identified
with the John Rasleigh who entered into a Recognisance
in the Court of the Mayor of Barnstaple, 47 Edw. III.
(B.R. ii., 49), and must have been a middle-aged man when he
in 1387 joined with other brethren of the Guild of St. Nicholas
in the grant of a tenement and garden in Barre (now
Bear) Street, Barnstaple (B.R., ii., 171). He appears to have
not long retained his mother's gift, since in 1394 Thomas
Rashleigh received from the Borough Accountant a certain
quit rent of 2s. payable in respect of the Butchers' House
or of the Guildhall at Barnstaple, which in 1390 was paid
to John, [2] the inference being that John had between the
two dates made over part at least of his property to or
for the benefit of his son Thomas. The Escheator's
Inquisition mentioned below, taken on the 29th October,
1529, confirms this inference, for there the jury found that
John Juvenell Chaplain and William Spencer being seised
of 6 messuages, 7 gardens, 4 curtilages, 1 kitchen, 1 room
with seats (selaria), 1 coal-house (domus carbonalis), 4 acres
of arable land, 3 acres of meadow, and 8 shilling-rents and
9 penny-rents (octo solidat. reddit. et novem denariat.
reddit.), in the Borough of Barnastapol, and of two tenements,
1 garden, 1 barn, 2 acres of land, 2 acres of pasture,
5 acres of meadow, and 9 shilling-rents, in Newport Bishop,
in their demesne as of fee, did by a charter dated the
Thursday next after the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, 1397,
grant to Thomas Rayshelegh, by the name of Thomas
Braye, alias Rayshelegh, and to Johan [3] his wife and the
heirs of the body of Thomas, all the premises by the
description of  "all the messuages, lands, tenements, rents,
reversions and services which we hold by the gift and
feoffment of John Braye, alias Rayshleigh, in Barnstaple
and in Newport aforesaid except one tenement in Bouteport
which we have already granted back to the same John Braye,
alias Rayshelegh."

In 1402 Thomas and several others were each fined 3d.
in the Court of the Mayor of Barnstaple for not having
complied with the order of the Court to repair the pavement
in front of their houses; and in 1411 Thomas granted
a tenement at Lycwycheton (Litchdon) to Nicholas Deghe
(B.R., i., 159; ii., 187).

An inquisition respecting the property of Thomas was
taken on the Tuesday before the feast of Pentecost, 7
Henry V., by virtue of the King's writ. The writ is badly
decayed and only a fragment remains, and the Inquisition
is also in parts illegible. The place where it was held and
the names of the Escheator and half the jury are gone. The
names left are . . . Takell, Richard Whatlok, . . . heastecote,
Andrew Paas, John Eston, Thomas Codyng and John Pree.
It was taken during the life of Thomas, for the present
tense is used; the jury say that the tenants "hold" (not
" held ") of him. Instead, too, of the common ending of an
inquisition post mortem to the effect that the aforesaid so and
so held no more lands on the day he died the inquisition
concludes thus : "and which lands and tenements I have
taken by the authority of the aforesaid mandate into the
hand of the Lord King, and the same Thomas had no
more lands or tenements on the day of the recognizance of
the. aforesaid debt or afterwards which can be appraised or
seised into the hand of the said Lord King."

The inquisition purports to have been sealed by the jury
only : they found that Thomas Rasshelegh's property consisted
of the reversions of 5 houses, held by Thomas Holman [4],
Richard Barbour, John Touker, John Myrymouth, and another
illegible, of a house and garden, tenant's name illegible, of
2 other gardens held by Margery Milward and Clement
Webber, of a close of land held by John Donnilond, and
2 meadows held by Bernard Skyber and John Goldsmyth [5],
all the foregoing property being situate in the ville of
Barnestaple and held of Mr. Rashleigh for the lives of the
tenants at certain rents. The rents of the houses are
illegible except two which were 9s. 8d. and 5s. 6d.

Then came the reversions of a marsh and a close of
land in the Ville of Bishops Tawton, held similarly by John
Stykk and John Ledeheade for life. Then followed 10
houses, a shop and a vault (camera), in Barnstaple, held by
Thomas Smyth, Johanna Warde, John Vynhawe, Robert
Lucas, John Souter, Johanna Colcote, Ledewic Walshman,
Alicia Shepster, Johanna Peper, John Baker, and William
Hertescote [6] at the will of the said Thomas Rasshlegh, and
worth per annum 6s. 8d. clear. If we are to judge
by the total of the annual value of the property afterwards
given, this was the aggregate value of the eleven holdings,
though it seems more likely that each house was worth the
sum named. Next 6 houses in Barnstaple are mentioned
subject to rent charges ranging from 6d. to 6s. in favour
of Mr. Rasshelegh and his heirs, the house held by the
Mayor and community of the town at the already mentioned
quit rent of 2s. being one of them, and the other owners
being John Symond, William Taillor, Johanna Merymouth,
John Wyse and Simon Burgeys. Next is mentioned a house
in Nyweport Episcopi, owned by William Colebeare, subject
to a like rent charge of 3s. 8d. ; then the reversions of a close
of land and a marsh, another close, 2 houses and another
close, all in the same ville, and held by John Rowe, Hugo
Smith, John White, and Peter Deth, of Thomas Rasshelegh for
life at rents. Next three rent-charges of 2s., 6d., and 6d.,
payable out of houses in Barnstaple, owned by John Styry,
John Deth and Adam Crokker, and 2 houses there of which
the said Thomas was seised in his demesne as of fee, worth
per annum 2s. net, and finally 7 houses in Nymet Bowe [7]
each held of Mr. Raysshelegh by knight service and payment
of a yearly rent, the rents ranging from 1s. 6d. to
6s., and the tenants' names being Richard Whitlok, Margery
Walewayn, William Grilleston, Walwin atte Beare, John
Yeo, William Burnard and John Touker. And the jury
said that all the aforesaid tenements, rents and services were
worth per annum £8 2s. 6d. net. The inquisition having
been taken during the life of Thomas says nothing about
his heir. The descent from him is, however, supplied by
the inquisition on the death of John Rayscheleygh, to which
we shall next come. We there find it stated that by reason
of the said settlement of 1397 the premises thereby given
descended to this John in fee tail as the heir of the above mentioned
Thomas, he being the son of his son, also named Thomas.

The name of Thomas Rayshleigh (the father of John) occurs
amongst the Barnstaple Records as the grantor in 1469 of 6s.
rent from a tenement outside the south gate of Barnstaple [8] ;
and the date of one of the grants of property made by
John and stated in his inquisition. The inquisition
on the death of John was taken at Barnstaple on the
29th October, 1529, before Thomas Hext, armiger, the
escheator and a jury whose names are illegible in the
Chancery copy, and not given in the Exchequer file. The
jury found the facts already stated respecting the settlement
of 1397 and the descent to John, also that his grandfather's
wife, Johan, survived her husband.

They then went on to give particulars of several charters,
12 in number, granted by the said John Rayshelegh of
premises in Barnstaple, Newport and the manor of Bishops
Tawton, the dates ranging from 1490 to 1525, one a grant
in fee on condition that the grantee should re-erect a
"bruynghouse," or "bruhouse," on the premises within
four years, a condition which was not fulfilled ; 5 grants
for a life or lives ; 5 demises for terms of years, varying
from 40 years to 80 years, and one for a term of years
determinable with lives. One of the demises, dated 1st
February, 1512-13, was to Thomas Rayshelegh, a son of
the grantor, by Cecilia his former wife, of a meadow and
marsh adjoining in Newport Episcopi, near Cowebrigge (or
Conebrigge ?), which John Andrew then held to hold to
Thomas and his assigns for the term of 40 years, "which
estate Walter Salisbery [9] now holds by livery from the said
Thomas Rayshelegh." The other grantees were Richard
Harry, waxmaker, Richard Gay [10], Johan his wife, and their
two daughter Margaret and Letitia, John Wayt and
Laurencia his wife, Robert Frenston, John Deyman, Agnes
his wife and their son Edmond, William Vanne and Isota
his wife, Alexander Merifield, Johan his wife and John
their son, Richard Haydon, "gentilman," and Agnes his
wife, Philip Comer [11], and Nicholas Willighby. Other names
of adjoining owners and tenants mentioned are The Priory
of the blessed Mary Magdalene of Barnestapol, the feoffees
of the chapel of Saint Anne, of Barnestapol, the feoffees of
Saint George of Barnestapol, Lewis Pollard, knight, lately
one of the Justices of the King's Bench, Robert Perot, of Pill, [12]
Robert Comer, senior [13], John Palmar, John Hill, John Primett,
John Copleston, of Yealmeton, Henry Freer, John Arnoll,
Richard Jacobbe, and the heirs of Boys. Streets and localities
mentioned are High strete, Joye strete, Maydyn strete Grenelane
and Whitepit lane, in Barnstaple, land and a lane both
called Pulcars, in the suburbs of Barnstaple, Rumsham, a
suburb of Newport, and Le Bondelane, in the manor of
Tawstock. The strand of the river in Barnstaple is called
" litus maris." And the Jury also said that by a charter
dated the 29th June, 1526, John Rayshelegh gave to Roger
Rayshelegh [14] clerk, certain tenements in the Borough of
Barnestapol, Newport Episcopi and the manor of Tawton
Episcopi, and to the before named Philip Comer, Richard
Gay, and Thomas Rayshelegh and Philip Rayshelegh, all
his messuages, lands, tenements, rents, reversions and
services in Barnstapol, Newport Episcopi and Tawton
Episcopi, except one garden in Barnstapol, which the said
John Rayshelegh thitherto held to hold the same to the
aforesaid Roger Philip, Richard Thomas and Philip, their
heirs and assigns for ever, with the intent to carry out the
last will of the said John Rayshelegh in manner as appeared
in the schedule to the said charter annexed as followed;
and his will was that the said Roger and his co-feoffees,
their heirs and assigns, should stand seised of the premises
to the use of the said John Rayshelegh for his life and
after his decease should stand seised of one tenement in
which the same John Rayshelegh at the time of sealing the
same charter of feoffment and schedule then dwelt with the
curtilage, and of one stable with the curtilage lying in Wilstrete
and certain other specified premises to the use of
Alice, wife of the same John Rayshelegh during her life
in lieu of dower, and that the said Alice should repair and
maintain the said tenement in which the said John Rayshelegh
then dwelt at her own expense during her life ; and
after her decease he willed that the said Roger and his cofeoffees
and their heirs should stand seised in all the
premises of the aforesaid Alice to the use of the right
heirs of the said John Rayshelegh ; and further he willed
that the said Roger and his co-feoffees and their heirs should
stand seised of all the rest of his messuages, lands, tenements,
and rents in Barnestapol, Newport Episcopi and
Tawton Episcopi, to discharge his debts, and after the
debts were paid should levy and receive the rents, issues
and profits for the marriage use of his daughters Wilmot
and Agnes, until they should have received the sum of
eight pounds to be divided equally between them ; and if
either of his daughters died before marriage the survivor to
have the whole of the said sum, and if his said daughters
should have necessity for the said money before marriage
they should have part. And he also willed that if Wilmot
and Agnes should die before they married or under the age
of fifteen years, then 20s. of the said sum of £8 should be
expended over their funeral, and another 20s. should be
paid to his daughter Agnes Munday and her children, and
20s. to his son Thomas Rayshelegh, and £5 balance of
the said £8 should be paid to a priest to pray yearly for
the salvation of the testator's soul, his wife, his father,
mother and children, and for all the souls of the dead.

And he further willed that his said son Thomas should
have £4 out of the said rents, issues and profits whenever
he should have need thereof "for his solace and consolation"
at the discretion of his feoffees ; and that Thomas Munday [15]
who married his daughter should have £4.

And he further willed that his said feoffees, in whom he
had special faith and hope, should have for their diligence
and labour 3s. 4s. for overseeing his last will. And the
will ended with an ultimate remainder to the use of the
grantor's right heirs for ever. And further the jury said
hat the said John Rayshelegh was seised of a shop, one
toft, 13 gardens, 5 acres of land, 3 acres of pasture, and two
shilling-rent in Toriton Magna, and of one acre of land in
Toriton Parva, and of 3 shilling and 2 penny-rents in Nymet
Bowe, in his demesne as of fee ; and that after his death
the said premises in Toriton Magna, Toriton Parva and
Nymet Bowe, descended to a certain John Rayshelegh,
as heir of the aforesaid John, namely as son and heir of
Robert Rayshelegh, son and heir of the aforesaid John. And
further the jury said that the aforesaid premises in the
borough of Barnestapol, were held of the Lord King
as of his castle of Barnestapol as parcel of his
duchy of Exeter, by the rent of 2¼d., and fealty
and by attendance on the Court held at the said
Castle for all services in free socage, and were worth per
annum 20s. ; and that the premises in the "Borough" of
Newport Episcopi, were held of John Bishop, of Exeter, as
of his Manor of Tawton Episcopi, by the rent of 9s. 4d.
per annum, and fealty and attendance on his court at
Newport Episcopi, twice per annum, for all services in free
socage, and were worth per annum 13s. 4d. : and that the
aforesaid close lying in Tawton Episcopi which the said
Nicholas Willighby then held were held of the Bishop by
fealty only in free socage and was worth per annum 2s. ;
and that the premises in the manor of Tawton Episcopi
which the aforesaid Richard Gay and Johan his wife then
held were held of the said Bishop by fealty and by attendance
on his Court at the aforesaid Manor in free socage
and were worth per annum 10s. ; and that certain of the
premises in Toriton Magna were held of Henry, Duke of
Richmond, by the rent of 3s. and attendance on his Court
at the Castle of Toriton Magna in free socage, and were
worth per annum 40s. ; and that the aforesaid 3 acres of
pasture in Toriton Magna were held of the same Duke of
Richmond by knight's service, and were worth per annum
2s. ; and that the aforesaid acre of land in Toriton Parva
was held of Lewis Dawele by the rent of ¾d. per annum
in free socage and were worth per annum 12s. ; and that
the aforesaid 3 shilling and 2 penny-rents in Nymet Bowe
were held of Lord Fitzwarren in free socage "and were
worth per annum in all their issues clear of deductions
nothing" ; and that the said John Rayshelegh, the father
of the said Robert, died the 12th June then last past, and
that the said John Rayshelegh, the son of the said Robert,
was his next heir and was of full age, namely, 25 years
and more.

A writer in the Genealogist (n.s. iii., 188) says: "I have
seen a descent in the De Banco Rolls which sets out that
one Thomas Bray who lived in the time of Henry VI. was
otherwise called Rayshelegh, and that his son and heir was
great great grandfather to one John Bray, alias Raysheley,
who flourished in Devonshire in the middle of the sixteenth
century." If this is accurate (which seems doubtful) the
pedigree afforded by the inquisition of 1529 has missed a
generation which would have to be supplied between the
first two Thomases. Robert, the eldest son, and John, the
grandson, are not mentioned in the testator's will, no doubt
because the heir was otherwise provided for. To Philip,
though mentioned, no gift was made, probably for a similar
reason. Neither does the will describe Philip as a son,
though he must have been so, for Philip Rashleigh of Fowey
who founded the still flourishing Cornish family died 14th
June, 1551, [16] and cannot therefore have belonged to the same
generation as John, who died at a great age in 1529, nor
can he be identified with the Philip hereafter mentioned,
the son of Robert, for he was still alive on 4th August, 1566,
the date of the will of John, the son of Robert. So he
must fit in here as a brother of Robert, and since Colonel
Vivian says he was a second son, he would come between
Robert and Thomas. Thomas' name was naturally mentioned
among the trustees before his, because Thomas had
been previously mentioned in the will. Parson Roger may
or may not have been also the testator's son.

The name of John Rayshleigh, the testator, occurs more
than once in the Barnstaple Records (i. 189, ii., 189). The
following item in the Town accounts (B. R., ii. 110):
" 1552-3, paid to two sawyers to saw the timber which Mr.
Rayshleigh gave the town, 1s. 4d.," refers to John, the
testator's grandson. So also possibly does this entry in the
marriage register of Barnstaple, "1553, 16 Jan., Oliver
Norwood & Edyth, s'vant of John Bray [17]." This John, the
grandson, died the 8th January, 1566-7, and on the 3rd
October following an inquisition was taken at the Castle of
Exeter before Richard Strowde, armiger, the Escheator " after
the death of John Rassheley, generosus, and Alice his wife," by
the oath of William Halland, armiger, Richard Copleston,
armiger, Thomas Carye, armiger, Henry Fortescue, armiger,
Edward Ameredith, armiger, Richard Hale, armiger, George
Fo____ , John Lawman, generosus, John Wood, generosus,
John Beare, generosus, John Bastard, generosus, Michael
Moyse, generosus, Richard Esbrick, generosus, and Henry
Dyer, generosus. They said that the said John Rasshelegh
some time before and at the time of his death was seised in
his demesne as of fee of 6 messuages, 7 gardens, 4 curtilages,
1 kitchen, 1 room with seats, 1 coal-house, 4 acres of arable
land, 3 acres of meadow, and 8 shilling and 9 penny-rents in
Barnstaple ; also of 2 tenements, 1 garden, 1 barn, 2 acres of
land, 2 acres of pasture, 5 acres of meadow, and 9 shilling rents
in Newport Episcopi; and of 1 close of land and 2
closes of land and marsh in Tawton Episcopi ; and further of
12 messuages, 1 shop, 1 toft, 13 gardens, 5 acres of land, 3 acres
of pasture, and 2 shilling-rents in Torryton Magna, and of
1 acre of land in Torryton Parva; also of 3 shilling and
2 penny-rents in Nymett Bowe, and so seised, made his
testament and last will dated the 4th August, A.D. 1566,
then produced to them, and thereby, among other things,
bequeathed to Alice Rassheley his wife, the land which he
had in Barnestaple in the tenure of David - with all his land
lying by Cambridge (?Cowebridge) formerly in the tenure of
William Salsburye [18], with all the lands which William
Dawkyns [19] and John Parker then held in Newport and
Tawton Episcopi, together with the lands which he had in
Torryton Magna and Taduport to hold to the said Alice for
her life, and after her decease he bequeathed and willed
all the land which he had in the county of Devon to William
Rassheley, his brother in tail male, with successive remainders
over in tail male to Thomas Rassheley - of Southmolton,
Walter Rassheley, of Manshew (Meshaw?) and
Philip Rassheley, [20] with remainder over to the female heirs
of him the said John Rasshelegh, namely the sons of his
three sisters, Elenor Tubb,[21] Alicia Voose, and Thomasin
Harris and their heirs for ever.

And after the death of the said testator the said Alice
by virtue of the said will entered into amongst other things
all the said premises, and after her death all and singular
the premises remained and accrued to the same William
Rasshelegh in fee tail. And further the Jury said that
the premises in Barnstaple were held of John Chechester,
knight as of his Castle of Barnstapol as parcel of the
Duchy of Exeter by the rent of 2¼d., and fealty and attendance
at the Court at West . . . ., and were worth per
annum 20s., and that the premises in Newport Episcopi
were held of Francis Earl of Bedford as of his manor
of Tawton Episcopi by the rent of 9s. 4d., and fealty and
attendance at his court at Newport Episcopi twice a year,
and were worth per annum 13s. 4d. ; and that a certain
close in Tawton Episcopi was held of the said Earl of Bedford
as of his said manor by fealty and was worth per annum 2s.
and that the said two closes and marsh in Tawton Episcopi
were held of the said Earl by fealty and attendance at his
Court, and were worth per annum 10s. ; and that the premises
in Torryton Magna were held of the heirs of ______ Basset
as of his castle of Torryton Magna by a rent of 3s., and
attendance at his court at the said Castle, and were worth
per annum 40s.; and that the premises in Torryton Parva
were held of John Davelle, armiger, by the rent of ¾d. per
annum, and were worth per annum 12d.; and that the
aforesaid rents in Nymett Bowe were held of Lord Fitzwarren
and were worth per annum nothing ; and that the said
John Rassheley died the 8th January then last past, and
the said Alice died the 2nd July last past.

We next fall back upon the Barnstaple Records. There
amongst rents paid by the Bridge-wardens in 1578 appears
" Item to the heirs of Raishleigh xiid" (B.R., ii., 233).

In 1584 the above-mentioned William Rashleigh, described
as of Southmolton, gentleman, and Peter Rayshlegh, of the
same place, yeoman, who, as we shall see by the next
deed, was the eldest son of William) mortgaged lands in
Barnstaple and Bishops Tawton to John Pincombe the
younger, of Southmolton, clothier. In 1587 "William
Raishleigh, of Southmolton, and his son and heir Peter
Raishleigh granted a yearly rent of 2s. issuing out of the
Guildhall, and another of 12d., issuing out of certain
lands for the reparation of the Long Bridge"; and in the
accounts of the Collectors and Receivers of Barnstaple there
is an entry of the payment of the purchase money "Paid
to William Raishleigh and Peter Raishley, of Southmolton,
for the purchase of a yearly rent of 3s., which they received
from certain lands and tenements within the town, by Mr.
Mayor's commandment £2 13s. 4d.," and the purchase is
again referred to in the town accounts 1614-5 "the High
rent bought of the Rashleis, of Molton, 2s." (B.R., ii., 228,
129 and 134.) John Raishleigh (Peter's son) entered his
pedigree at the Visitation of London, 1634, and the following
is a copy :

(For the Armes see Devonshire.)

Peter Raishleygh, of Barstaple in Co. Devon, married Mary,
da. of Richard Westerne, of South Moulton, in Co. Devon.
Their sons:  John Raishleygh of London a 1634 and
William Raishleygh, second sonne.


In 1615, this John Raishleigh, described as of London,
merchant, gave to " the relief of the poore of the Towne of
Southmolton for ever," £100. This sum, with another £100
was on the 1st December, 1649, expended in purchasing of
Sir Hugh Pollard, Bart., the fee simple of an estate of
56 acres, called Snapdown, in the parish of Warkleigh, and
the Charity is still in existence. This information is derived
from Mr. Cock's Records of Southmolton, whence are also taken
the following notices of Mayors of that town, viz. : 1596,
Arthur (or Anthony [22]) Rasheleigh; 1615, 1624 and 1633,
Christofer Rasheleigh. In the Parish Registers of Southmolton
occur the following entries:

"January, 1601, Christopher Rashleigh maried (sic) An Pinekome, the 17."

Baptisms. -
28th November, 1602, Dorothie, the daughter of Christopher Rashley ;
26th September, 1606, Susanne, the daughter of Christopher Rashlye ;
20th May, 1611, Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Rashley;
26th May, 1621, Dorothie, the daughter of Christopher and Anne Rashlye ;
1st September, 1625, Temperance, the daughter of Mr. Christofer Rashleigh.

Burials. -
30th May, 1619, Dorothy fil., Mr. Rashley ;
18th July, 1620, Cicell, the daughter of Christopher Rashley;
20th April, 1631, Dorothy Rashly.

Ann Pincombe whom Mr. Christopher Rashleigh married,
belonged to an armigerous family connected with Southmolton
and its neighbourhood, commencing in the Visitation of 1564
with " _____ Pynecombe, of Northmolton, who came thither
with the Lord Zouch about the beginninge of the raigne of
K. Henry 7th." Her youngest daughter Temperance was
presumably called after Temperance, daughter of Hugh
Pollard, and great granddaughter of Sir Lewis Pollard the
Judge, who married William Pynecombe, of Southmolton
and East Buckland, one of the Coroners of Devon ; from
which we may perhaps conclude that Anne Rashleigh was a
sister of this William, and a daughter of William Pynecombe,
of Filley and East Buckland, who married a daughter
of Snowe, of Anstey.

On 11th January, 1627-8, a License was granted in
the Diocese of Exeter for the marriage of Gregory Morrell,
of Tiverton, and Suzanna Rashley, of Southmolton.
On the 7th July, 1628, Anne Rashley was married at
Southmolton to Henrye Badcock. In or about the year
1632, Elizabeth Rashleigh married Alexander Marshall,
Rector of Loxbeare, by whom she left issue. She and
her mother, then a widow, are mentioned in his Will,
dated 16th April, 1653, and proved by her at Westminster,
in July, 1653 ; and her name appears as complainant
for herself and Hugh her infant son, in a
Chancery suit of the 11th February, following against
Zacharie Cudmore and others, in respect of the advowson
of the Church of Loxbeare. On l0th July, 1641, Thomas
Badcock married Mary Rashley, at Southmolton, and in
1646 Oliver Teppin married Katherine Rashleigh. Christopher
Rashleigh may be assumed to have been a son or
grandson of Thomas, of Southmolton, mentioned in the
inquisition of 1567, or of his brother Philip, who, with
the other inhabitants of Southmolton, gave consent to a
bye-law in 1600, and is probably the man who married the
eldest daughter of Thomas Leigh, of Southmolton, and
his wife Dorothy, née Clotworthy. Arthur Rashleigh
the mayor of Southmolton in 1596, perhaps constituted
the intermediate generation. [23] As Christopher Rashleigh
had no male issue, descendants of his daughters would
be entitled to quarter the arms of the Devonshire Rashleighs.

Sir Bernard Burke gives these arms as Ar. a
cross sa.j in chief 2 Taus of the second; and with this
Risdon and Lysons agree. There is however a coat of
arms in the east window of Exeter Cathedral, Ar. a cross
gules between 4 crescents sa., and this is said to have been the
reputed coat of the Devonshire Rashleighs. The Cornish
chough in the arms of the Cornish branch arrived, I suppose,
after the migration to Cornwall. It would be interesting
to know what the arms are on the seals of the deeds
preserved at Barnstaple.

According to Lyson's (Devon ii, 249), " The Manor of
Goodleigh being parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster and extending
into the parishes of Swimbridge, Marwood and
Ilfracombe, was sold by the Crown to the Rashleigh family,
of whom it was purchased by R. N. Incledon, Esq., the
present proprietor." [24] There is no trace of this property in
the inquisitions. What was the date of the sale by the
Crown, and to whom was it made ? One would like to know
who the wives of the Rashleighs were. The advent of the
Barnstaple, Bishops Tawton, Nymet Tracey, and Torrington
properties at different dates may furnish a clue.



[1] i.e., Newport, a suburb of Barnstaple, in the parish of BishopsTawton. Mr. Wainwright has kindly sent me a copy of a Deed of

Settlement dated Monday next after the Feast of St. Catherine, 1374, by which David John Chaplain, gave to Robert de Rayshlegh and Matilda, his wife, all his lands, tenements, rents and services in Barnestapol and Nyuport Episcopi, which he had of their gift and feoffment. To hold to the said Robert and Matilda for life with remainder to John de Rayshlegh and Johan, his wife, in fee tail, and in default of their issue to Matilda. The ultimate remainder to Matilda indicates that the settled property originally came from her.

[2] Gribble's Memorials of Barnstaple, 273 and B. R. ii., 81. TheButchers' House was apparently in some way connected with the Guildhall, perhaps under it.

[3] Johan Rayshelegh was apparently the daughter of John Colyn, of Hole, or South Hole, in the parish of Georgeham, by his wife Alice, daughter of Richard Stapiscot and Alice, daughter of Gilbert de Hole. On 30th November, 1402, a license was granted to Alice, relict of John Colyn ; also to Thomas Rayscheleigh and Joan his wife, to celebrate Divine service in their mansion of Hole in Georgeham (Hamme Sancti Georgii. Bishop Stafford's Register, and see Risdon's Survey). The wills referred to below shew Rashleighs still at Georgeham 300 years later. On 20th September, 1413, John Rayschelegh, chaplain, was licensed to serve the chapel of St. Edmund the Bishop, in the manor of Coleton, in the parish of Chumleigh.

[4] A Thomas Holman was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1406. 1419 and 1420.

[5] A John Goldsmith was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1426, 1428 and 1430.

[6] William Hertyscot was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1423, 1425, 1432,1436 and 1448.

[7] Nymet Tracy, or Bow, was at one time a member of the Barony of Barnstaple (see the Hundred Rolls, Edw. I., Memorials of Barnstaple, 65 and 66.

[8] In the grant he is described as son and heir of Thomas Raysshelegh, of South Hole, deceased, and annexed to the Deed is a piece of parchment with the following puzzling inscription : "Pedigree" (pes graduum) "of Thomas Raysshelegh" (i.e., the Thomas R. described as deceased), vizt- The same Thomas Raysshelegh is brother of Thomas.'(Apparently there were two brothers of the same name). " Son of John, son of John Burell and Matilda his wife." The solution may be that the pedigree should perhaps have said that John was son of Matilda Rashleigh, who secondly married John Burell.

[9] Walter Salisbury was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1530 and 1539.

[10] Richard Gay was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1533 and 1542.

[11] Philip Colmer was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1526.

[12] Risdon writes : "Pill had anciently lords so named, which place by the daughter of Michael de la Pill, in the age of King Edward the Second, came to Robert Fulk, of Halmeston, from whose co-heir married to Thomas Perot, after some successions in that tribe, Travers descended of an ancient family in Hampshire was invested therewith." He also says, "Newport, in this parish of Bishops Tawton was anciently a borough, and had a Mayor, as appeareth by a deed dated the fourth of Henry the Sixth, whereunto Thomas Perot was a testis, by the title of Mayor of Newport." As to the Mayors of Newport see Barn. Rec. ii., 177.

[13] Robert Colmer, senior, was Mayor of Barnstaple in 1509 and 1517.

[14] A Roger Rashleigh was parson at Bishops Nympton in 1536.

[15] Perhaps connected with the family of Munday which came into Cornwall from Derbyshire about this time.

[16] Visitations of Cornwall by Colonel Vivian, where he gives a full pedigree of the Cornish family.

[17] If this John Bray is not identical with John Rashleigh, then the only two individuals to whom I find the alias of Bray given are John Bray, or Rashleigh, temp. Rich. II., and his son Thomas, who in the inquisition of 1529 is stated to have been described in the Charter of 1397 as Thomas Bray, alias Rayshlegh.

[18] William Salisbury was Mayor of Barnstaple, 1558.

[19] William Dawkins was Mayor of Barnstaple, 1563 and 1574.

[20] The testator does not call Thomas, Walter and Philip his brothers unless the hiatus after Thomas Rassheley contained as it probably did the words "fratri meo," but they undoubtedly were so, as the estates given them take precedence of the gift to his nephews.

[21] The Tubbs were an armigerous family, and Elienor's marriage is mentioned in Vivian's Visitations of Cornwall, "George Tubb of Trengoffe in Warleggan married Eleanor, dau. of Robert Rasheley of Hole, co. Devon." She was buried at Warleggan, 8th June, 1591.

[22] In his list of Mayors Mr. Cock gives the name "Arthur," but on page 11 he apparently calls the same man "Anthony."

[23] The following Wills, etc., are or were at Exeter in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple. The first six are I believe missing:

1597, Nov. 10. Thomas Raishly, Nimet Regis (Kings Nympton, 4 or 5 miles from Southmolton.

1607, March 27 __________ Raishleigh, Gorgeham.

1611, June 10 __________ Raishley, Nimet Regis.

1615, August 1. Johan Rayshley, Nimet Regis (Account).

1620, March 7. James Rayshley, Georgeham.

1631, August 30. Alice Rashleigh, Southmolton.

1662, May 9. Christopher Rashley, Georgeham (Administration).

1667, August 10. Alice Rashley, Georgeham (ditto).

1674, March 5. Joan Rashley, Georgeham (Testament).

1688, March 1. Francis Rashley, Georgeham (Administration).

1688, December 7. Peter Rashley, Ilfracombe (Testament).

l695, June 7. Jane Rashley, Georgeham (ditto).

A Robert Rashleigh, of Coombe (Ilfracombe ?), married on 8th June, 1674, Joanna, daughter of Christopher Clobery, of Bradston.

[24] Lysons wrote in 1822.

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