This record is held by Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust)

Details of 2065M-8
Reference: 2065M-8

This additional deposit includes title deeds, leases, mortgages and marriage settlements dated from the 16th to the 18th century relating to estates in Crediton and Exeter St Thomas. It also includes correspondence, business and testamentary papers relating to the Gould and Yonge families

Date: 1544 - 1841
Held by: Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust), not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Buller family of Downes, Devon

Physical description: 4 subfonds
  • Gould family of Downes, Devon
  • Yonge family of Crediton, Devon
Administrative / biographical background:

This collection of Devon records is the eighth additional deposit of Buller family papers, and also complements the records of Buller of Shillingham in Cornwall, where the family settled in the 16th century. The Devon branch was established following the marriage in 1739 of James Buller of Morval, Downes, and Shillingham, MP for Cornwall, to Elizabeth daughter of William Gould of Downes. James Buller (1766-1827) was MP for Exeter, and his son James Wentworth (1798-1865) was MP for Exeter and subsequently for the Northern Division of Devon. The family and the records culminated in the career of Sir Redvers Henry Buller (1839-1908), including his term of office as Under Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as well as his military exploits in the China War, 1860, the Red River Expedition, 1870, the Ashanti War, 1873-4, the South African War, 1878-9, the Egyptian Expedition, 1882-4, the Sudan Expedition, 1884-5, and the Boer War, 1899-1900. 20th century records reflect the lives of Mowbray Buller and Dame Georgiana, daughter of Sir Redvers.


The family played an active role in the political life of their county, in the parishes of Crediton and St Thomas, and in the Bristol and Exeter Railway. The Bullers were related by marriage at one time or another to the Howards, Earls of Suffolk, the Howard-Molyneux-Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, the Wallops, Earls of Portsmouth, and the Watneys (the brewers). Several members of the family had distinguished careers, including the Right Revd William Buller (1735-1796), who was Bishop of Exeter from 1792 to 1796, and Ernest Wentworth Buller (born 1841), who was a noted engineer and mathematician.


The properties in and around Crediton and St Thomas, Exeter came to the Buller family through the Killigrew and Bodley families; part had been the original episcopal manor of Crediton. In the early nineteenth century, James Buller considerably extended these properties by purchase.

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