The Searle Family of Moretonhampstead
(from papers provided by one of their descendents)
Elizabeth Searle, 1771-1865, a weaver in Chagford, had five children by different fathers, of whom one was Henry Searle (1806-1885), son of John Harvey of Chagford. After apprenticeship to a farmer at Dunsford from the age of 7 (the usual fate of such children in those days), Henry spent his working life in Moretonhampstead as did some of his children and grandchildren.
In 1831 he married Eliza Croot, son of John Croot, a carpenter, and in 1845 the family had to evacuate during the disastrous fire in Cross Street. Later he became the landlord of the Dolphin Inn in Lime Street, and later again he moved to Pound Street where he set up a coal merchant's business, and was able to buy several of the cottages in Pound Street. His Will gives details of these properties at the time of his death.
Henry's eldest son, William, moved to London; the next son John Croot Searle was apprenticed as a blacksmith in Moreton , then moved to Exeter and later to Croydon. The third son Henry (1835-1881) stayed in Moreton, becoming a shoemaker in Fore Street, and he was followed in that trade by his sons Henry Samuel (1860-1900) and Charles (1865-1903).