Matford, Alphington

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Matford (alias Matford Dinham) is an historic estate in the parish of Alphington, near Exeter, Devon. It should not be confused with Matford in the parish of Heavitree, almost immediately opposite on the other side of the River Exe.[1]

Descent[edit]

The descent of the estate of Matford-Dinham was as follows:

Dinham[edit]

Matford-Dinham was formerly a seat of the Dynham family,[2] whose main seats were Nutwell and Hartland, on the south and north coasts of Devon respectively.

Hurding[edit]

Matford was later held by the Hurding family. The heiress of the family was Margery Hurding, who married Richard Northleigh.[3] A mural monument survives in the south aisle of Alphington Church to Elizabeth Hurding (died 1 April 1680) daughter of John Hurding.[4]

Northleigh[edit]

Arms of Northleigh of Northleigh in the parish of Inwardleigh, Devon: Argent, a chevron sable between three roses gules[5]
  • Richard Northleigh of Northleigh in the parish of Inwardleigh, near Okehampton, Devon, where the family had long been established, married Margery Hurding, heiress of Matford, by whom he had two sons: Raymond Northleigh, the eldest son, who inherited Northleigh, and continued the senior family line there, and Robert Northleigh, 2nd son, who was the founder of the branch of the family seated at Matford.[6]
  • Robert Northleigh (2nd son), who married Johanna Woode, daughter of John Woode of Harston,[7] in the parish of Brixton.[8]
  • George Northleigh (d.1585) (son) who in 1583 married Alice Hockmore (d.1604), daughter of Gregory Hockmore (d.1571)[9] of Buckland Baron, in the parish of Combe-in-Teignhead (formerly in Stoke-in Teignhead)[10] by his wife Alice Cruce (d.1613), whose monument survives in Combe-in-Teignhead Church,[11] a daughter and co-heiress of William Cruce.[12]
  • Robert Northleigh (1582-1639) (son), who married Johanna Tothill, one of the two daughters and co-heiresses of Henry Tothill (d.1641) of Peamore, Exminster,[13] Sheriff of Devon in 1623.[14] A memorial tablet dated 1639 in memory of Master Robert Northleigh of Matford Dinham, survives in Alphington Church.[15] The Devon historian Tristram Risdon (d.1640), in his Survey of Devon, reported Matford to be "the mansion of a branch of the name of Norley, who married a co-heir of Tothill",[16]
  • Henry I Northleigh (1612-1675) (son), who in 1639 at Wolborough married Lettice Yard, a daughter of Edward Yard (1583-1612), lord of the manor of Churston Ferrers, Devon. His ledger stone survives in the floor of Alphington Church.[17]
  • Henry II Northleigh (1643-1694) (son) of Peamore House, thrice MP for Okehampton.[18] he married Susanna Sparke, who survived him and remarried to his cousin Edward Yard (d.1735) of Churston Ferrers (great-nephew of Lettice Yard), MP for Totnes in 1695 .[19] Henry's white marble mural monument survives in the north aisle of Alphington Church. At about this time the Northleighs abandoned Matford for nearby Peamore, after which it fell into ruin. In 1799 the Devon topographer Rev. John Swete (d.1821) visited the area and noted in his journal that the ancient mansion of Matford Dinham "a century ago of respectability among the mansions in the neighbourhood, is now on the verge of ruin and desolation, by an anticlimax it has pass'd from the hands of the gentleman to those of the farmer and is now become the habitation of a family or two of labourers, dilapidated and overspred with huge volumes of ivy, it will perhaps soon become untenantable".[20]
  • Stephen Northleigh (c.1692-?1731) (son), of Peamore, MP for Totnes 1713 - 1722, who married Margaret Davie, a daughter and co-heiress of Sir William Davie, 4th Baronet (1662-1707) of Creedy House in the parish of Sandford, Devon. He left no male progeny. His eldest daughter and eventual sole-heiress was Mary Northleigh who in 1739 married John Hippisley-Coxe (1715-1769), builder of the grand Somerset mansion Ston Easton Park. Their 3rd son was Henry Hippisley Coxe (1748-1795) of Ston Easton Park, Somerset, MP for Somerset (1792-5),[21] who sold Matford to Sir Lawrence Vaughan Palk, 3rd Baronet (1793–1860) of Haldon House, Kenn, near Exeter.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Confusion noted by Worthy, Charles, History of the suburbs of Exeter, p.183 of text in the Lysons brothers' work Magna Britannia with Matford in the parish of Heavitree, almost immediately opposite on the other side of the river, at one time the seat of Sir George Smith
  2. ^ Gray, Todd & Rowe, Margery (Eds.), Travels in Georgian Devon: The Illustrated Journals of The Reverend John Swete, 1789-1800, 4 vols., Tiverton, 1999, Vol.4, pp.160-1
  3. ^ Vivian, p.584, pedigree of Northleigh
  4. ^ http://www.alphington.org.uk/page42.html
  5. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.584
  6. ^ Vivian, p.584, pedigree of Northleigh
  7. ^ Vivian, p.584, pedigree of Northleigh
  8. ^ Risdon, pp.194-5; Pole, Sir William (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, Sir John-William de la Pole (ed.), London, 1791, p.325
  9. ^ Vivian, 1895, p.472, pedigree of Hockmore
  10. ^ Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.142
  11. ^ Vivian, p.472, pedigree of Hockmore of Buckland Baron, denoted by "MI"; Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004, p.283
  12. ^ Vivian, p.584, pedigree of Northleigh; p.472, pedigree of Hockmore of Buckland Baron
  13. ^ Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.584, pedigree of Northleigh of Northleigh; p.729, pedigree of Tothill of Peamore
  14. ^ Risdon, 1810 edition, list of Sheriffs; Inscription on monument to daughter Grace Tothill in Exminster Church
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.118
  17. ^ Kirkpatrick, Rowena, description of monuments in Alphington Church
  18. ^ http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1660-1690/member/northleigh-henry-1643-94
  19. ^ Vivian, 1895, p.831, pedigree of Yard
  20. ^ Gray, Todd & Rowe, Margery (Eds.), Travels in Georgian Devon: The Illustrated Journals of The Reverend John Swete, 1789-1800, 4 vols., Tiverton, 1999, Vol.4, pp.160-1
  21. ^ Aspinall, Arthur, biography of Coxe, Henry Hippisley (1748-95), of Ston Easton, Somerset, published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, Thorne, R., (ed.), 1986
  22. ^ Worthy, Charles, History of the suburbs of Exeter, p.183