COURTENAY OF POWDERHAM
This record is held by Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust)
|Title:||COURTENAY OF POWDERHAM|
Although the collections of Courtenay records in the Devon Record Office do not contain much relating to national and political events in which the Courtenay family were involved up to the mid-16th century, there are a substantial number of medieval deeds and an important secular cartulary, c.1308-1311, which document their landed power base during this period. Later estate records form the bulk of the collection and these include a valuation of the lands of the attainted Marquis of Exeter, 1539, a survey book, 1574-1640, and a fine group of 18th century surveys, maps and accounts. There are rentals, 1592-1933, letter books and correspondence, 1803-1945, accounts, ledgers and audit books, 17th century-1949, labour books, 1839-1946, manorial court rolls and books, 15th-19th centuries, leases, 16th-20th centuries, and a separate group of records relating to Irish properties. This exceptional collection of typical estate records is complemented by many other items of special interest including those relating to mining in the 19th century, the Rivers Exe and Teign and Teignmouth Harbour, 18th-20th centuries, 19th century railway development, wrecks and shipping matters, 17th-18th centuries, and parish and tithe administration, 16th-19th centuries.
TITLE DEEDS: DEVON
TITLE DEEDS: IRELAND
MORTGAGES (in chronological order)
Rent receipt counterfoil books
Maps and Plans: Main series
Maps and Plans: Series A
Maps and Plans: Series B
Wills: Courtenays, relatives and others
Public Office: English statutes and Irish statutes
|Date:||1253 - 1964|
|Held by:||Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust), not available at The National Archives|
|Physical description:||8 Sub fonds|
|Immediate source of acquisition:||
The Courtenay records have come to Devon Record Office from two sources. Collection D1508M and its additional deposits were received from Powderham Castle and the Estate Office at the castle gates, in Devon. For records received from the family's London solicitors, see collection L1508M.
|Administrative / biographical background:||
The Courtenays crossed from France to England with Eleanor, wife of Henry II, in 1152, and immediately established themselves among the most eminent families in Devon though the acquisition by marriage and descent of extensive properties in the county. The family, in the person of Hugh Courtenay, were granted the earldom of Devon in 1335. Their fortunes suffered in the Wars of the Roses with the forfeiture of the earldom, together with their estates, in 1461 and the extinguishment of the main line. However, Henry VII restored the earldom and all the former lands and honours to the next heir, Edward Courtenay of Boconnoc, in Cornwall, whose son, William, married Catherine, daughter of Edward IV. His son, Henry, a cousin of Henry VIII, created Marquis of Exeter, suffered from this relationship by attainder and execution in 1539 as a result of his opposition to Henry's dispute with the Pope over the control of the English Church, and the great estates of the elder branch of the Courtenays were lost for ever. His son was recreated earl in 1553 but died without issue. Powderham, which came to the family through marriage in the late 14th century with another eminent Devon family, the Bohuns, and was settled on a younger son of the 2nd Earl, now became the principal home of what became the main branch of the Courtenays. This family acquired a baronetcy in 1644, a viscounty in 1762, and in 1831, in the person of the 3rd Viscount, William Courtenay, the earldom of Devon was revived with him as the 9th Earl. Only the 11th Earl (1807-1888) achieved national political office, in the Poor Law Board and as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Otherwise, these Courtenays were prominent in local government and local affairs and occasionally as MPs. In 1873 the family had the third largest Devon based estate.