Search our archive


Occupiers of St. John’s House: 1310 – 1978

by Rowena Bradnam | Places, St John's Manor

A summary of the occupiers of St John’s House, Church Road, Bishopsteignton, taken from the official parish records.

St John's House

14th Century

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.

17th Century

1674          The Hearth Tax Register shows Mr Risdon, the vicar as occupant of a house with four hearths.

18th Century

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.

19th Century

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

…………………………1300       Radulphus

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

20th Century

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.