A summary of the occupiers of St John’s House, Church Road, Bishopsteignton, taken from the official parish records.
1310 The rector was Thomas Stapleton, a relative of the then Bishop of Exeter.
1317 The rector was Alan Harpyn.
1325 The rector was William Kaignes (Kaynes).
1348 The Bishop of Exeter altered the status of the parish from a rector’s holding to a vicar’s holding. This meant that the church house for the incumbent ceased to be a rectory and became a vicarage. The document detailed the alterations contained ‘the tenor and endowment’ of the revised situation. In part it read ‘Will and appoint that the vicar shall have his manse the houses situated on the west side of the church, previously occupied by Master Giles Harepin, together with the orchard or gardens to the said house adjoining, also the park of croft of eight acres known by the name of Satterhegh’. Note, the glebe, here called Satterhegh is the field later called Salternheigh, lying in the south of the Newton Road and separated from the vicarage and garden by Stockmeadow through which the product of the saltings at Flow Point were carried to Radway Monastery. The name Stockmeadow thus originated, probably to remind the vicar that it was not his property, since Stock means ‘of the Monastery’ and meadow is field.
From now on the occupants are mostly the incumbents of the parish.
1674 The Hearth Tax Register shows Mr Risdon, the vicar as occupant of a house with four hearths.
1746 The Vicar John Eveleigh, replies to a questionnaire from the Bishop in part, ‘I reside in my vicarage house’.
1765 In ‘The History of Devon’ By Polwhele the description of Bishopsteignton contains the note, ‘The vicarage house, very old, lies about 40 yards from the churchyard.’
1780-1800 Henry Distin is described as proprietor and occupier.
1801 The Land Tax Assessment shows John Comyns in residence as owner.
1801 Later, the house is shown as having no occupant.
1802 The Land Tax Assessment shows John Comyns was the person paying tax.
1804 The Bishop of Exeter in a document of consent allows John Comyns, Vicar of Bishopsteignton to be absent from his benefice and to dwell in his own residence because the parsonage house is ‘unfit for you’. The term is for the next two years, dated 19 April. This is probably the period when the old vicarage was replaced by the present building.
1833 The Voters’ List shows the occupant as Sir Charles Ekings, as tenant for above £50 p.a.
1852 After the death of John Comyns the residents were the incumbents in order.
According to Cleland in the 1930’s the incumbents were as follows;
2nd May 1257 William Axemue
13th Sept. 1263 Thomas Cnolle
13th Dec. 1270 John Peynton
10th Jan. 1276 Ralph Keneford
24th Dec. 1270 Gilbert Tyting
27th Dec. 1306 Thomas Hentone
8th Jan. 1310 Thomas Stapledon
3rd Jan. 1317 Alan Harpyn
12th Apr. 1325 William Kaignes
22nd Jan. 1348 John Veysey
21st Apr. 1349 John Wrey
5th Aug. 1351 William Congham
5th Jan. 1353 John Bural
12th Aug. 1360 John Atteyard
2nd July 1391 John Duffield
4th Dec. 1422 John Papejay
………………………….14– Richard Whitehorn
15th Feb. 1476 Robert Betty
23rd Aug. 1506 John Fychett
6th May 1508 Thomas Dyer
5th Aug. 1523 Oliver Smith
…………………………152- John Holywell
18th Oct. 1525 William Lewson
………………………….1528 John Burley
27th April 1531 Thomas Blythe
………………………….15– Henry Dowse
23rd Dec. 1562 Edward Burnell
6th June 1581 Thomas Gillingham
22nd Nov. 1581 Richard Washer
30th Mar. 1604 Narcissus Hele
1st Dec. 1610 William Hele
16th Feb. 1627 Francis Strode
7th Nov. 1639 Henry Westlake
18th Mar. 1661 John Risden
27th June 1684 William Risdon
9th Sept. 1685 Christopher Lock
8th Dec. 1718 John Eveleigh
24th Nov. 1757 Tilleman Hodgkinson
4th July 1763 John Comyns
4th Sept. 1765 Henry Distin
11th Dec. 1801 John Comyns
9th Sept. 1856 William Reynolds Ogle
……March 1886 Arthur Joseph Saville Ogle
12th Feb. 1913 George Yonge Comyns
30th June 1919 Evelyn Maitland Kelly
22nd Jan. 1925 James McIntyre
4th Nov. 1930 Cyrille Gordon-Biddle
1969 The Diocese moved the incumbent’s house to Moors Park and sold the ‘Old Vicarage’. The purchaser was Mr Bowen who renovated the property.
1978 The house was bought by Peter and Sally Salmon, who improved the gardens.