Manor of Loxhore
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Descent of the manor
In the Domesday Book of 1086 it was a double manor, part of the historic Shirwell Hundred and was one of the 176 landholdings in Devon held in-chief by Baldwin de Meulles, Sheriff of Devon, who held the largest fiefdom in Devon and was the first feudal baron of Okehampton. These two holdings are thought to correspond to today's division of the parish into (Higher) Loxhore, where is situated the parish church, and Lower Loxhore, two miles south in the valley bottom of a small tributary stream of the River Yeo. Prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066 the part called Lochesore was held by the Saxon Doleswif, whilst the other, called Locheshore, the entry following it, was held by Wulfward. Before 1066 both paid tax at the same sum, for 1/2 a hide, and both were valued in 1086 at 20 shillings. Wulfward's former holding contained more arable land, and 4 more villagers, but less pasture and woodland than Doleswif's. Wulfward's holding also contained 4 acres of alder-grove, the presence of which wetland-loving trees may suggest his estate was Lower Loxhore, and that Doleswif held the estate on higher ground where now stands the parish church. Baldwin de Meulles' tenant of both holdings as listed in Domesday Book was "Robert de Beaumont".
In the Domesday Book of 1086 the twin holdings of Loxhore were two of at least four manors held in Devon, but merely as a mesne lord from Baldwin de Meulles, by the Norman magnate Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, Count of Meulan (c. 1040/50-1118), to whom had been granted by William the Conqueror about 91 English manors in several counties as recompense for his service at the Battle of Hastings and in the Norman Conquest of England. His third certain Devon manor was Ashford (east of Heanton Punchardon) which, as is the case for the two manors of Loxhore, is listed in the Exon Domesday with his appellation de Bello Monte (the Latinised form of de Beaumont) specifically stated. His 4th manor of Shirwell is listed within this consecutive group as held by "Roger who also holds.." which leaves no doubt that this too refers to Roger de Beaumont. There exist many other Devon manors held by persons called "Robert" but none can be identified with certainty to Robert de Beaumont. These four manors stayed for many generations within a line of the Beaumont family thought to have descended from Robert's third son Hugh, Earl of Bedford.
Beaumont of Devon
The earliest positively identifiable descendant of the Domesday tenant Robert de Beaumont was the 13th-century Sir Richard Beaumont, whose family had long been seated at the capital estate of Youlston within their adjacent manor of Shirwell. His eldest son and heir was Philip Beaumont (died c. 1272), of Youlston, and his younger son was William Beaumont "of Sabrecot" (i.e."Sepscott"), to whom he granted the manor of Loxhore. Sepscott survives today as an estate about 3 miles south of Youlston, and 7 miles south-west of Loxhore Church, and was anciently known as Sabrecot, Shebescote et al., and this branch of the family eventually inherited Shirwell also, on the failure of the senior male line. Philip Beaumont (died c. 1272), of Youlston married Ermengard Punchardon (originally de Pont-Chardon), daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Punchardon of Heanton Punchardon in Devon. His son was Sir John Beaumont (died 1330), of Youlston, MP for Devon in 1326, who married Alice Scudamore. His son was John Beaumont who married Alice, of unknown family. His only son and heir was William Beaumont, who died without progeny leaving his sister Joan Beaumont, the wife of Sir James Chudleigh, as his heiress. She too died without progeny and the Beaumont estates, now enlarged by the addition of the Punchardon lands, passed to her cousin John Beaumont (died 1378/80), of Sepscott, grandson of William Beaumont, who had been granted Loxhore by his father Sir Richard Beaumont, and son of Richard Beaumont. John Beaumont married Joane Crawthorne (or Crawstone), the heiress of her grandfather Sir Robert Stockey, MP in 1318. He purchased the North Devon manor of Parkham. Their son was William Beaumont, Sheriff of Devon in 1399, who held the Castle and Borough of Barnstaple. He further increased the family's estates by marrying Isabel Willington, daughter of Sir John Willington of Umberleigh, and co-heiress of her brother John Willington (died 1396). Their son was Sir Thomas Beaumont (1401-1450), born at the Willington manor of Yate in Gloucestershire. He married twice, the offspring of which two marriages became successively heirs to his estates. Firstly he married Phillipa Dynham, daughter of Sir John Dynham and aunt to John Dynham, 1st Baron Dynham (died 1501)
- Thorn, Caroline & Frank, Domesday Book, Vol. 9, Devon, Morris, John, (general editor), Chichester, 1985, Part 2, (notes) 16,65
- Beaumont, Edward T., The Beaumonts in History. A.D. 850-1850. Oxford, c. 1929, p.58
- Vivian, Heralds' Visitations of Devon, 1895, p.65, in which given erroneously as Vairé azure and argent, over all two bars gules
- In Feudal Aids, I, p.361, the fee of Shebescote in the manor of Shirwell, was held from the feudal baron of Okehampton by Robert Beaupel (Thorne, Domesday Book, Devon, part 2, (notes) 16,65) (probably of the Landkey family)
- Beaumont, T., p.61
- Beaumont, T., p.62
- Pole, Sir William, Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon
- Vivian, Heralds' Visitations of Devon, 1895, p.46
- Beaumont, Edward T., The Beaumonts in History. A.D. 850-1850. Oxford, c. 1929, (privately published), Chapter 5, pp.56-63, The Devonshire Family