Transcript of letters from John Courtier in 1842 and 1846 from the Stockdale Collection, F, pp. 75-9

This collection is in the library of the Devon & Exeter Institution, and consists of letters received by F.M. Stockdale (Manor Place, Walworth, London) in response to requests for information which he made to various people (towards a topographical work he proposed to write, but never did). Punctuation and use of capitals erratic, parts of some words lost in the binding.


Hayne Manor, Moretonhampstead, 17 Jan 1842


Yr. Letter of Dec. 30th should have been answered but for particular engagements from Home I will send you all the information I can of this place & neighbourhood. The Manor House of Hayne ( marginal note: Court Leat & Court Baron ) was for a long period before the year 1726 the residence of a branch of an ancient family called Nosworthy in this parish in that year the last of that Branch a male died leaving this place with many others to the other Branch of that name living at Great Sloncombe a very ancient large Estate & House. The House at Hayne from the 1726 was allowed to decay, and ultimately taken down in the year 1834 I built a House on the Estate nr. the site of the old one for my own residence. The Nosworthy's, Father & son, of Great Sloncombe held it to the year 1745 when the last male of the latter place died leaving both Estates to his sister married to John heir of the ancient Family of Southmead living at Wrey well known in all histories of Devon all the Estates continued in the Southmead Family to the year 1833 when by a bequest of the last male of that Family who died in that year I became possessed of them any other information you wish for that I can give you I will readily do so by addressing a letter postpaid (you forgot to prepay yr. last) to me shall be attended to. Most likely I shall be a subscriber to yr. Work but do not vouch for it at present.


Wray House, 21 Nov. 1846


I beg to acknowledge the Rect. of yr. Letter and intend subscribing to yr. Work. But do not pledge myself now which of the copies I will take (before seeing the work) a four or a eight guinea copy. You have been misinformed about my building a New House at Hayne. I am building a House here a few yards from the old cassellated place that I am living in for the present time the old House appears as strong as ever having stood here from the accts. we have seven hundred years and where the Southmeads resided for centurys. The New House is on a famous site has a beautiful view of the Valley the Wray River and most magnificent steep hills on each side of the Valley woods to the Top. I do not think you have been misinformed as to the beauty of the House and situation it is rarely to be equalled [.....] is the universal opinion - should [you] be in Devonshire I shall be happy to see you when you judge for yourself. John Newcombe Stevens is come to reside here (having been left a considerable property by his grandfather). He purchased and is living about a quarter of a mile from this at Hayne a small estate of about 26 acres that I sold to Him last May and where I resided before I came here I have no doubt he will subscribe to yr. work I have known Him many years and He is every inch a Gentleman. Wishing you successful I am yrs truly

J. Courtier


PS You must have perceived in the Historys of Devon that this is called the Tything of Wray and so it is called in the writings and title deeds. There is an Old Chapel here standing now with some curious old timbers about it. We use as a cellar. J.C.