General view of Kentisbeare Village. The Village Pub. St Mary’s.
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
General view of Kentisbeare Village
The Village Pub
The parish Church of St. Mary, Kentisbeare, Devon dates from December 9, 1259 and replaces an earlier Saxon Church. In the churchyard is a yew tree believed to be over 1,000 years old and therefore pre-dating the present church. It is quite likely that our Domesday ancestors stood by this tree and the Saxon church. Yew trees are poisonous to animals and were planted in churchyards primarily to discourage owners from allowing their larger livestock to graze there. The church has many impressive features but of most importance to the Butsons is the Anstice Gallery, named after its benefactor Mrs Anstice Wescombe who provided for it’s construction in 1632. On the front of the gallery is the following poem:
Anstice late wife of Robert Wescombe here
Built this loft in the church of Kentisbeer
For the convenient hearing of the word
And praising of the true and living lord
She also gave proffit of the same
Unto the poor in memory of her name
The donors are deceased and all we
Who now survive them their good acts do see
Wich if they should be quickly out of mind
Discourage ‘twill the piously inclined
The reason why these lines are set to view
It is because the poor shall have their due
Anstice Gallery Tablets
A Table containing ye Names of such persons who have been benefactors to ye Poor of ye Parish of Kentisbeer as followeth;
Anstice Wescombe gave ye Sum of Thirty Pounds ye Interest thereof to remain to ye use of ye poor of ye Said Parish forever
Osmond Butson gave ye Sum of Ten Pounds
Oliver Butson his Son gave Ten Pounds
John Berry gave Ten Pounds
John ? gave Ten Pounds
William Walrond gave six Pounds fifteen Shillings
Ann Hake gave forty Shillings
One Willy of Willand gave 6 Pound
John Bale gave Twenty Pounds
Agnes Heffield gave Fifty Pounds
Thomas Butson gave Forty Pounds
Henry Butson gave Ten Pounds
William Eveleigh gave Ten Pounds
William Eveleigh Junr gave 4 Pounds
Robert Merson gave Five Pounds
John Westlake gave Ten Pounds
There is Six Pounds and Ten Shillings more given for ye use of ye Poor by whom ye same was given cannot be remembered
The Sum Total given is £454-3s-4d ye Interest thereof is to be distributed by ye Church Wardens and Overseers for ye Poor of ye said Parish to such Poor as have no Monthly pay
Three Pounds of ye said Interest is to be given in Bread yearly
A Table containing ye Names of such Persons who have been Benefactors, to ye poor of ye Parish of Kentisbeer as followeth.
Robert Wescombe gave one Hundred Pounds to be laid out in Land; and for ye better improvement thereof
Anstice his wife did freely contribute fourteen Pound and with ye same did purchase Six Pounds p ann for ever to be paid out of two fields called Berry Parks being part of Pool Farm to be distributed by ye approbation of ye church wardens for ye time being, & ye heir of Bradfield for ever
Anstice Wescombe did also Erect ye Loft in ye Parish Church of Kentisbeer and gave ye Profit of ye same to ye Poor of ye said Parish for ever.
Edmond Cross gave one Hundred Pounds ye interest thereof to remain to ye use of ye Poor of this Parish for ever to be distributed yearly by ye approbation of ye Executor and Trustees of his last will and testament or five of ye most sufficient inhabitants of ye said Parish to such Poor as have no Monthly pay.
John Sanders of this Parish gave Three Pounds to be paid every year to ye Poor to be distributed Yearly upon Christmas day ye money to be paid out of and Estate called Sheppards Valey lying in ye Parish of Dunkeswell.
I believe that the Thomas Butson named as donating £40 was the Thomas christened at Uffculme on Jan 9, 1584. son of Henry c. Dec, 1549 – Uffculme and Emote Whyet, (married Jun 13, 1580 – Uffculme). The donation following his, from Henry, may be his father son or brother.
Thomas was a man of substance in his community, aged 48 in 1632. Possibly the same Thomas who signed the protestation to King Charles at St. Merryn in Cornwall 10 years later in 1642.
Uffculme is some 3 miles to the north of Kentisbeare and for anyone who was in the farming community between Kentisbeare and Uffculme, would be a reasonable choice for baptism.
The Thomas Butson who lived at St Merryn was also a leading member of the community
During the English Civil War (1642-1651) Kentisbeare was for Cromwell and Parliament and St Merryn was for King Charles
Today, the farmyard, stables and other outbuildings have been turned into houses and the whole entity is known as Butson’s Court
We found references to the Butson name and also to the Brooke name (a medieval Butson Alias).
The inscribed tap is connected to the water course that runs through the back of the farm
On the following map, Butson’s Farm can be seen close to the village centre
St Mary’s Church
The water courses feeding the Butson farm and others around the village are very ancient. A deed dated 1339 confirms that as well as serving Kentesbeare, the water has been channelled all the way to Cullompton some 3 miles distant having already travelled some 2 ½ miles from its spring source just below Blackborough
A mill existed at Goodiford and is mentioned in Domesday. Mills need water and as no rivers flow through the area, artificial courses in the form of leats would have had to have been created
The reference to the River Ken is a fairly recent invention which belies the effort put in by our ancestors to undertake such a large project.
The next picture show part of the water course at Stoford where as well as modern culvert pipes we can see some old stonework creating banks
The lack of water flow is due to an unseasonal lack of rainfall in the month preceding the taking of this photo
Blackborough is where Radulf Buty lived and I believe he is descended from the Domesday land holder Ralf Botin (also referred to as Botu)
Before the Norman Conquest of Britain, people did not have hereditary surnames: they were known just by a personal name or nickname.
Many individuals and families have changed their names or adopted an alias at some time in the past
When communities were small each person was identifiable by a single name, but as the population increased, it gradually became necessary to identify people further - leading to names such as John the butcher, William the short, Henry from Sutton, Mary of the wood, Roger son of Richard. Over time many names became corrupted and their original meaning is now not easily seen.
After 1066, the Norman barons introduced surnames into England, and the practice gradually spread. Initially, the identifying names were changed or dropped at will, but eventually they began to stick and to get passed on. So trades, nicknames, places of origin, and fathers' names became fixed surnames There has also been an unfortunate habit amongst the English to corrupt, shorten and use diminutive forms of a name
The connection between Botin(or Botu) and Boty (or Buty) is that in 1086 Botin (or Botu) holds Blackberge and in 1200 Boty (or Buty) held Blackborough Boty (and Ponchy Down). These are one and the same place so I conclude that the names are also one and the same
This photograph was taken on the northern side of Blackborough Common and shows an early (possibly Iron Age) fortification of ditch and bank which continues for a few hundred yards around the base of the hill. Most of the area is now heavily forested with Scots Pines and managed by the Forestry Commission
The earth is noticeably dark almost black and fits well with the description “The black hill owned by Boty” which is the translation of the early name (Blakesbeares Boty) for Blackborough
An aerial view of Blackborough Common looking South
The flat top to Blackborough Common would have been ideal for grazing animals and setting up an enclosure with houses. The Western bank is naturally steep and the Northern bank is where we found the ditch and bank fortifications
The view from the top of Blackborough Common which is just short of 300 Metres above sea level. The top is heavily forested today and some 20 Metres lower than it would have been in Ralf Botins time due to extensive mining for whetstone. Much of this took place in the 18th and 19th centuries and caused the collapse of the hilltop.
The area which is flat at the top of Blackborough Common would be around 100 Acres (700 Yards by 700 Yards) which ties in with the Domesday records of Ralf’s holdings. Also the present day name Common suggests that at some time this could have been grazing land
Ponchydown is just below and adjacent to Blackborough Common
Everything we have seen and described seems to add weight to the theory that Ralf Botin is the first Butson and that the name descended through to Radulf Buty who owned Buty’s Tun (an enclosed area of land). Buty's Tun changed into Butson and still exists today through Butson’s Farm in Kentesbeare
We will never know for certain but please cousins have faith