Manor of Affeton

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"Affeton Castle", the gatehouse of the demolished manor house of Affeton
Affeton Castle

Affeton is a former historic manor in Devon. It was at one time also a parish with its own parish church, but was later merged into the parish of West Worlington. The manor house was almost entirely demolished in the Civil War, the only part left standing was the gatehouse, which fell into ruin. A large farmhouse known as "Affeton Barton" was soon after built over the foundations and cellars of the manor house. The ruinous gatehouse was converted in 1868-9 to a shooting box for the use of the Stucley family of Hartland Abbey and Moreton House, Bideford, and became known thereafter as "Affeton Castle".


The descent of Affeton is as follows:[1]

de Affeton[edit]

Left: Arms of de Affeton: Argent, a chevron engrailed between three fleurs-de-lys sable;[2] right: Affeton arms carved in relief on 15th century screen of the Affeton Chapel, south aisle of St Mary's Church, West Worlington

The de Affeton family are the earliest recorded holders of the manor of Affeton, from which they took their name. They held the manor from the feudal barony of Plympton, the barons of which were the Courtenay Earls of Devon and feudal barons of Okehampton.[3][a]

  • Robert de Affeton, who lived at Affeton during the reign of King Edward I (1272–1307).[4]
  • John de Affeton, son.[4]
  • Thomas de Affeton, son.[4]
  • Thomas de Affeton, son, who married Mabil Hatch, daughter of Thomas Hatch of Woolleigh[4] in the parish of Beaford, Devon, by his wife Mabell Leigh, daughter and heiress of Thomas Leigh of Leigh near Tiverton, Devon.[5]
  • Thomas de Affeton, son, who married Elizabeth Manningford, daughter and heiress of John Manyngford.[4]
  • John de Affeton of Affeton, son, who according to Pole married Jone Bratton, daughter of John Bratton, but who according to the Heraldic Visitations of Devon married Elizabeth Manningford, a daughter and co-heiress of Sir Roger Manningford of Dorset.[6] He died without male children leaving a daughter and heiress:
  • Catherine de Affeton, daughter and heiress, who married Hugh Stucley, Sheriff of Devon in 1448[6]


Arms of Stucley: Azure, three pears pendant or[7]
Motto: Bellement et Hardiment ("beautifully and bravely")

The Stucley (alias Styuecle, Stukeley, etc.) family, a junior branch of which inherited Affeton on the marriage of Hugh Stucley, Sheriff of Devon in 1448, to Catherine de Affeton, daughter and sole heiress of John de Affeton by his wife Elizabeth Manningford,[6] originated at the manor of Great Stukeley in Huntingdonshire.[8][9]

Sir John Wadham (died 1502) married, as his second wife, Elizabeth Stucley, daughter of Hugh Stucley. Their son and heir was Sir Nicholas Wadham (died 1542) of Edge, Branscombe, Devon and of Merryfield, Ilton in the county of Somerset.[10] Sir Nicholas Wadham was grandfather to Nicholas Wadham (1531-1609) who, with his wife Dorothy Wadham, co-founded Wadham College, Oxford.

The Stucley family of Affeton was almost ruined during the Civil War for its adherence to the Royalist cause, and sold much of its landholdings, amounting to several thousand acres. The Stucley family of Affeton died out in the male line on the death, unmarried and without children, of Dennis Stucley (died 1755), Sheriff of Devon in 1748. The marriage of his aunt Sarah Stucley (died 1742), to George Buck (1674–1743) of Bideford, brought Affeton to her grandson George Buck (1731–1791), who became the heir on the death of Dennis Stucley in 1755. The descent of Affeton in the Stucley family was as follows:[6]

Hugh Stucley (1398/1414 – before 1457)[edit]

Hugh Stucley (1398/1414 – before 1457),[11] Sheriff of Devon in 1448, who married Catherine de Affeton (died 1467), heiress of Affeton[6] also heiress of East Worlington, West Worlington, Bradford Tracy, Bridgerule, Meshaw, Stoodleigh and Thelbridge, all in Devon; of Trent and Chilton Cantelowe in Somerset; and of Preston, Halfhyde and St Mary Blanford in Dorset.[12] He was the second son of Richard Stucley (died 1441) of Trent,[6] and of Chewton Mendip both in Somerset, and of Merston in Sussex, three times Member of Parliament for Sussex, in 1415, March 1416 and 1417.[9] His mother was Elizabeth FitzRoger (1370–1414), the only child and sole heiress of John FitzRoger (died 1370/2) of Chewton in Somerset,[9] 3rd son of Sir Henry FitzRoger (died 1352) of Chewton by his wife Elizabeth de Holland (died 1387), daughter of Robert de Holland, 1st Baron Holand, by his wife Maud la Zouche, daughter of Alan la Zouche, 1st Baron la Zouche of Ashby.[13] Elizabeth FitzRoger was the widow of Sir John Bonville (c. 1371 – 1396), eldest son and heir apparent of Sir William Bonville (died 1408) of Shute in Devon.[9] Her son by her first marriage was the Devonshire magnate William Bonville, 1st Baron Bonville (c. 1393 – 1461), KG, of Shute, a staunch Yorkist during the Wars of the Roses, and chief opponent of the Lancastrian Courtenay Earls of Devon, who was executed following the Lancastrian victory at the Second Battle of St Albans by order of King Henry VI's Queen Consort, Margaret of Anjou.

Catherine de Affeton (died 1467) survived her first husband Hugh Stucley and remarried (as his second wife) William Bourchier, 9th Baron FitzWarin (1407–1470),[14] of Tawstock in Devon, jure uxoris feudal baron of Bampton in Devon, and widower of Thomasine Hankeford, 9th Baroness FitzWarin (1423–1453)[15][16] of Tawstock and Bampton. William Bourchier was the 2nd son of William Bourchier, 1st Count of Eu (1386–1420) by his wife Anne of Gloucester (1383–1438), eldest daughter of Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1355–1397) (by his wife Eleanor de Bohun), youngest child of King Edward III.

Nicholas Stucley (born 1451)[edit]

Nicholas Stucley (born 1451), eldest son and heir, who built the surviving gatehouse at Affeton. He married twice:

  • Firstly, according to the Heraldic Visitations of Devon,[17] to Thomasine Cockworthy (died 1477), daughter of John Cockworthy of Cockworthy (today Cogworthy) in the parish of Yarnscombe in Devon and widow of Robert Chudleigh (possibly of the family of Chudleigh of Ashton in Devon[b]).

But according to Sir William Pole (died 1635), he married Alice Wadham, a daughter of Sir John Wadham (1405–1476)[18] of Edge, Branscombe in Devon and of Merryfield, Ilton in Somerset.[19]

Sir Thomas Stucley (1473–1542)[edit]

Sir Thomas Stucley (1473–1542), son by his father's first wife, Sheriff of Devon in 1521.[6] He married Anne Wode, daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Wode[22] (died 1502), of Childrey in Berkshire (now in Oxfordshire), Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas from 1500 and in 1478 elected a Member of Parliament for Wallingford.

Sir Hugh Stucley (1496–1559)[edit]

Heraldic stained-glass roundel representing marriage of Sir Hugh Stucley (1496–1559) and Jane Pollard, King's Nympton Church

Sir Hugh Stucley (1496–1559), son and heir, Sheriff of Devon in 1545.[23][24] He married Jane[c] Pollard, 2nd daughter of Sir Lewis Pollard (c. 1465 – 1526), lord of the Manor of King's Nympton in Devon, Justice of the Common Pleas from 1514 to 1526[25] and Member of Parliament for Totnes, Devon, in 1491. Jane's brother was the influential Sir Richard Pollard (1505–1542), MP for Taunton (1536) and Devon (1539, 1542), of Putney, Surrey, who was an assistant of Thomas Cromwell in administering the surrender of religious houses following the Dissolution of the Monasteries and who in 1537 was granted by King Henry VIII the manor of Combe Martin in Devon[26] and in 1540 Forde Abbey. An heraldic stained-glass roundel survives in the south window of the Pollard Chapel in the south aisle of King's Nympton Church showing the arms of Stucley impaling Pollard, with quarterings of each family. The arms are as follows: baron, quarterly 1st: Azure, three pears pendant or (Stucley); 2nd: Argent, a chevron engrailed between three fleurs-de-lis sable (de Affeton[27]); 3rd: Argent, a chevron gules between three roses of the second seeded or (Manningford?); 4th: Gules, three lions rampant or (FitzRoger);[12] femme quarterly 1st & 4th: Argent, a chevron sable between three mullets gules pierced or (de Via/Way of Way, St Giles in the Wood); 2nd & 3rd: Argent, a chevron sable between three escallops gules (Pollard).

Lewes Stucley (1529–1581)[edit]

Lewes Stucley (1529–1581), eldest son and heir, Standard Bearer to Queen Elizabeth I. He married twice: firstly to Anne Hill, daughter of Sir Giles Hill and widow of Christopher Hadley, lord of the manor of Withycombe in Somerset, and secondly to Janet Powlett, daughter of ".... Powlett of Dorset".[6] His younger brother Thomas Stukley (c. 1520 – 1578), "The Lusty Stucley", also married a lady of the family of "Powlett".[6] By his first wife Anne Hill he had three sons:

  • John Stucley (1551–1611), eldest son and heir.
  • Scipio Stucley, 2nd son, Vicar of Dean Prior in Devon.
  • Hugh Stucley, 3rd son.

Affeton continued to be held by the Stucley family for many more generations.


Canting arms of Buck of Daddon (Moreton), Bideford: Per fess embattled argent and sable, three buck's attires each fixed to the scalp counterchanged[28]

Buck of Daddon[edit]

  • George Buck (1674–1743) of Daddon, Bideford, 3rd son and eventual heir of Hartwell Buck (died 1691) of Bideford. He was seven times mayor of Bideford. In 1697 he married Sara Stucley (died 1742), daughter and in her issue heiress of Dennis Stucley (1674-1742) of Affeton. The family of Buck were Bideford ship owners and merchants who from the 17th century traded with the American Colonies and owned tobacco plantations in Virginia and a saw-mill in Bideford, Maine. Bideford was the leading tobacco trading port in England. From their profits they acquired much land near Bideford and eventually by the end of the 18th century their estates almost surrounded the north side of the town from Westleigh to Northam.[23] Their arms are: Per fess embattled argent and sable three buck's attires each fixed to the scalp counterchanged. These arms are quartered with the ancient arms of Stucley by the present Stucley Baronets, with the Stucley arms in the 1st and 4th quarters of greatest honour.[29]
  • John Buck (died 1745), 3rd son and heir, who in 1729 married Judith Pawley (died 1739), sole heiress of William Pawley of Bideford

Buck of Affeton[edit]

  • George Buck (1731–1794), eldest son and heir, JP for Devon. In 1755 he inherited the estate of Affeton and other lands from his great-uncle Dennis Stucley (died 1755), Sheriff of Devon in 1748, who died unmarried. In 1754 he married Anne Orchard (1730–1820), daughter of Paul Orchard (died 1740), MP, of Hartland Abbey, near Bideford, and sister of Paul Orchard (1739–1812) of Hartland Abbey, who died childless and bequeathed it to his other sister Charlotte Hooper Morrison of Yeo Vale House.[30][d] The Orchards had made their wealth through their involvement with the Customs and Excise in Exeter, Barnstaple and Bideford.[31] George Buck rebuilt Daddon House in about 1760,[32] which he made his residence.[31] The irregular plan indicates that some of the fabric of the older structure was retained.[32] The Buck family, which in the late 18th century lived alternately at two large houses in North Devon, namely Hartland Abbey, and Moreton House, Bideford, still on occasion visited the estate of Affeton for sporting purposes and to inspect the tenant farms, but had nowhere to stay other than to lodge with the farmer at Affeton Barton farmhouse, although the family had lived for a time at Cobley Farm on the Affeton estate.[6]
George Stucley Buck (1755–1791), of Daddon House (later called Morton House) and Affeton, Devon, dressed in military uniform. Portrait by a follower of George Romney (1734–1802)
  • George Stucley Buck (1755–1791), only son and heir. In 1780 he married Martha Keats (1753–1833), eldest daughter of Richard Keats, Master of Tiverton school, rector of Bideford and King's Nympton. He died aged 36,[30][33] thus having predeceased both his parents. His portrait painted by a follower of George Romney (1734–1802) hangs in Bideford Town Hall.
  • George Pawley Buck (1782–1805), 2nd son and heir, died aged 23 without children.[34]
  • Lewis William Buck (1784–1858), younger brother. MP for Exeter 1826-32 and for North Devon 1839-57.[35] He was educated at Blundells School in Tiverton and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He inherited Hartland Abbey under the will of his great-aunt Charlotte Hooper Morrison.[31] He thus possessed the paternal Buck estate of Daddon and other lands, the Stucley inheritance of Affeton and other lands and also Hartland Abbey and other lands. In 1808 he married Ann Robbins daughter of Thomas Robbins of Roundhams, Berkshire. Lewis is believed in 1821 to have undertaken further building work at Daddon House and to have changed the name to Moreton House. He entertained Benjamin Disraeli at Moreton House,[32] but before he became Prime Minister in 1868, thus after Lewis's death. He had a distinguished political career and it is believed that had he lived long enough to serve under Disraeli's premiership he would have been made a minister and peer, and thus the honour of a baronetcy awarded to his son was in some way a recompense.[31]

Buck (Stucley)[edit]

  • Sir George Stucley Buck Stucley, 1st Baronet (1812–1900), son and heir, who in 1858 assumed by royal licence the name and arms of Stucley and was created a baronet in 1859. He served as MP for Barnstaple twice, but retired from politics in 1868 and later served as Sheriff of Devon.[36] He married firstly Lady Elizabeth O'Bryan, 4th daughter and co-heiress of William O'Brien, 2nd Marquess of Thomond (1765–1846), by whom he had children. He had a keen interest in family history, heraldry and his ancestors.[23] He redecorated Hartland Abbey and in 1868-9 reconstructed the ruinous Gatehouse at Affeton, the only part of the fortified manor house of the Stucleys which had been left standing since the destruction of the house during the Civil War, which he renamed "Affeton Castle" and used as a shooting lodge for the grouse shooting season[6] on Affeton Moor. He lived at Hartland Abbey from 1840 to 1870,[23] when following the death of his first wife he handed ownership of Hartland Abbey to his son Lewis. He married secondly in 1872 to Louisa Granville, daughter of Sir Beville Granville of Wellesbourne, Warwickshire.[30] He moved to Exbury House on the Solent,[36] which he rented to pursue his pastime of yacht-sailing. He died in 1900 aged 88 at Moreton House.[37]
  • Lt.-Col. Sir William Lewis Stucley, 2nd Baronet (1836–1911), eldest son by his father's first wife, died without children. He was survived by his 2nd wife Marion, who lived on at Hartland Abbey until 1932.[37]
  • Sir Edward Arthur George Stucley, 3rd Baronet (1852–1927), younger brother, died without children. In 1913 he combined three of the first floor rooms of Moreton House overlooking the gardens to create a ballroom.[38]
  • Sir Hugh Nicholas Granville Stucley, 4th Baronet (1873–1956), eldest half-brother, son of Louisa Granville. He had moved to Moreton House in 1913 and made substantial alterations.[39] Sir Hugh served as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy. He was elected to the Bideford Town Council and served as Mayor of the Borough. It was the thirty-seventh time that a member of his family had served the Borough as Mayor. He was also elected to Devon County Council in 1906 and was a county alderman in 1908. His main interests were County Finance and Education. His personal interests were fishing, shooting and landscape gardening. It was he who designed the beautiful gardens which Moreton House was formerly well known for. From 1939 to 1945 during World War II Moreton House became the temporary home of King's Mead Preparatory School, which moved from its premises in Seaford in Sussex. Sir Hugh moved to the lodge house and looked after those boys who were too young to be boarders at the school.[40]
  • Sir Dennis Frederic Bankes Stucley, 5th Baronet (1907–1983). He spent his early childhood at Pillhead, East-the-Water, Bideford, and his adolescence at Moreton House.[23] Like his father he served as mayor of Bideford. In 1947 he was given by his father the estate of Affeton, when it comprised the manor and parish of West Worlington, with the exception of the glebe land, Burridge Farm and woods in Chawleigh parish with further land in the parishes of Chulmleigh, Cheldon and Meshaw. He made substantial improvements to the tenanted farms to which he brought mains electricity and piped water supply, with "modern amenities" for every house on the estate. He installed two bathrooms in the castle (where previously there were none) and planted over 300 acres of trees and reclaimed much moorland.[23] In 1932 he married Hon. Sheila Bampfylde, daughter and (following the death of her brother in 1936) eventual sole heiress of George Wentworth Warwick Bampfylde, 4th Baron Poltimore (1882–1965) of Poltimore and North Molton and other estates in Devon and elsewhere. The 4th Baron sold off most of his English estates and moved to Rhodesia where he died in 1965. Sheila however inherited the manor of North Molton, with Court Hall (the manor house) and Court House, another large house in the village. The 5th Baronet and his wife lived partly at Court Hall, North Molton, where he followed his enthusiasm for pheasant shooting, and at Hartland Abbey, where his wife created a new garden. In 1956 he sold Moreton House.[41]
  • Sir Hugh George Copplestone Bampfylde Stucley, 6th Baronet (born 1945). In 1976 he was resident with his wife and young family in the ancient gatehouse of Affeton, which he had extended to form a nursery wing and additional bedrooms, and personally managed the farm enterprise there of 1,000 acres, which in 2002 he "managed himself down to the last nut and bolt".[23][41] The 6th Baronet's residence marked the first time a Stucley family had been raised at Affeton since the Civil War, and he added an extension housing a nursery wing and additional bedrooms.[23] He regards Affeton as the family's main seat,[41] which unlike Hartland Abbey is a private house, not open to the paying public. The heir apparent to the baronetcy is George Dennis Bampfylde Stucley (born 1970), eldest son of the 6th Baronet.


  1. ^ Affeton was not held from the barony of Okehampton as stated in Stucley, 1976
  2. ^ Robert Chudleigh is not mentioned in Chudleigh pedigree, Vivian, p.189
  3. ^ Erroneously named as Phillippa in Vivian, p.598, pedigree of Pollard, given corrected on p.721, pedigree of Stucley
  4. ^ According to Lauder, Paul Orchard left Hartland Abbey not to his sister Anne Buck, as was widely believed by modern historians, but to his other sister Charlotte Hooper Morrison, as discovered by "Sir Hugh Stucley" who found a copy of her will in the family archives at Hartland Abbey.[31]


  1. ^ Vivian, pp. 721–3, pedigree of Stucley & Buck
  2. ^ Pole, p.467
  3. ^ Thorn, Caroline & Frank, (eds.) Domesday Book, Vol. 9, Devon, Parts 1 & 2, Phillimore Press, Chichester, 1985, Part 2 (notes) 1,3 & 21,9–12.
  4. ^ a b c d e Pole, p.438
  5. ^ Vivian, p.455, pedigree of Hatch
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Vivian, p.721
  7. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.768
  8. ^ Stucley, Lt.Commander J.H., DSC, RN, (uncle of 6th Baronet) "A Brief Note on Affeton", date unknown
  9. ^ a b c d Woodger, L.S., biography of Styuecle, Richard (died 1440/1), of Merston and Chewton Mendip, Som., published in History of Parliament: House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
  10. ^ T.G. Jackson, Wadham College Oxford; p.28, Pedigree of Wadham
  11. ^ Frederick Lewis Weis, Walter Lee Sheppard, William Ryland Beall, The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215: The Barons Named in the Magna Charta, 1215, 5th Edition, Baltimore, USA, 1999, p.114; 13 Dec 1457 administration of his estate granted to his widow [1]
  12. ^ a b Magna Charta Sureties, p.114
  13. ^ Richardson, Plantagenet Ancestry, I, 2011, p.253
  14. ^ Vivian, pp. 721; 106
  15. ^ Risdon, p.276
  16. ^ Vivian, p.106, pedigree of Bourchier
  17. ^ Vivian, p.721, printed in italic type, thus transcribed from the original manuscript, see footnote
  18. ^ Pole, p.439
  19. ^ See also, T.G. Jackson; Wadham College Oxford, p.28, Pedigree of Wadham
  20. ^ Vivian, pp. 721; 607
  21. ^ Vivian, pp. 114; 721
  22. ^ Vivian, p.721, "Sr Thomas Wood, Knt, Lord Cheefe Justice of ye Comon Pleas"
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h Stucley, 1976
  24. ^ Risdon, Sheriffs of Devon since the Conquest, p.12, Appendix 9 to 1810 edition of Risdon's Survey of Devon, "Hugh Stukeley, esq, 36 Henry VIII, i.e. regnal year 1544
  25. ^ Hoskins, W.G., A New Survey of England: Devon, London, 1959, p.337
  26. ^ Risdon, Survey of Devon (1810 edition, p.348)
  27. ^ Lysons, Magna Britannia, Vol.6: Devon, 1822, Families removed or extinct since 1620 [2]
  28. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.768, Stucley Baronets
  29. ^ Debrett's Peerage, 1968, p.769, Stucley Baronets
  30. ^ a b c Vivian, p.723
  31. ^ a b c d e Lauder, p.146
  32. ^ a b c Listed buildings text
  33. ^ Lauder, p.146, states date of death as 1794
  34. ^ "Buck, George Pawley (a minor), seated at Daddon, Bideford", as recorded by Swete, John, Names of the Noblemen and Principal Gentlemen in the County of Devon, their Seats and Parishes at the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, 1810, published in 1811 edition of Risdon, Tristram (died 1640), Survey of Devon, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions
  35. ^ Jenkins, Terry, Biography of "Buck, Lewis William (1784-1858), of Daddon House, Moreton and Hartland Abbey, nr. Bideford, Devon", published in The History of Parliament: House of Commons 1820–1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
  36. ^ a b Lauder, p.147
  37. ^ a b Lauder, p.148
  38. ^ Daily Mail online
  39. ^ Stucley Sir Dennis, bt: "History of Moreton House" "(newspaper/magazine cutting) source unknown)", quoted in listed building text
  40. ^ "KM Photos". Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  41. ^ a b c Lauder, p.149


  • Lauder, Rosemary. (2002) Devon Families, Tiverton: Halsgrove. ISBN 1-84114-140-2.
  • Pole, Sir William (died 1635). Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.) (1791) Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, London.
  • Stucley, Sir Dennis, 5th Baronet. (1976) "A Devon Parish Lost, A new Home Discovered", Presidential Address published in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, no. 108, pp. 1–11
  • Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) (1895) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter.