There are a distinct group of Hole records, 16th-20th century, which relate to the acquisition and management of a medium-sized but compact landed estate, together with a separate group of estate and family records of Yeo of Huish, 11th-18th century, which appears to have come into the possession of the Holes through a William Hole acting as the executor of the will of Edward Rooe Yeo, died 1782. The properties were disposed of but the records were kept together and have survived as part of this collection. Of particular interest and importance in this latter group are pre-dissolution deeds of Totnes Priory, including the foundation charter of c.1087, and the conveyances of the Priory properties to Walter Smyth, merchant of Totnes. They descended to the Yeos shortly afterwards but had been disposed of by 1620.
Hole of Parke: - The collection contains material for family and parish history, and also for study for such subjects as the ownership and purchase of land in Devon, and the relationship between real estate and business and professional interests. There are papers concerning the claim of the son of an emigrant to Rhode Island to an estate, and the accounts for building a "home farm" in 1780. There are 67 wills in the collection.
The names Daymonds, Heaths and Palmer's Rolls and Arscott's and Halfyarde's Southbrook do not appear in the deeds, but there are precedents for such usuage to identify properties of the same name.
312M/TH505-14, 749-50, 779-89 Abbotskerswell
312M/TH269-355 Abbotskerswell, Denbury, Ipplepen
312M/TH1-245, 515-654, TH761-78, 790-954 Bovey Tracey
312M/TH365-77 Bradworthy, Broadwoodwidger, Georgeham
312M/TH246-68, 655-88 Padstow in Cornwall
312M/EH44-208 Bundles re properties
312M/ZPH1-3 Bovey Tracey
Yeo of Huish: - Deeds up to about 1545 have been calendared. Deeds and papers of lesser importance after that date have been very fully listed. By special request of the owner, deeds referring to members of the Hole family, whatever their date, have also been calendared in full.
Totnes Priory deeds
Other Totnes deeds 312M/TY135-179
Miscellaneous early deeds 312M/TY180-194
Hatherleigh deeds 312M/TY196-248
Relating to other places 312M/TY251-280
Broke deeds 312M/TY281-283
Yeo deeds 312M/TY284-439
Broke family papers 312M/FY1-52
Yeo family papers 312M/FY53-290
The archives of the family of Hole, of Parke, Bovey Tracey, fall into several distinct groups.
One group were the papers of the family of Yeo of Huish. The collection is built up as follows :-
1. Totnes Priory Deeds. These were discovered in the early 20th century at Parke, Bovey Tracey, the home of the Hole family, by Mr. Robert Kitson of Hengrave, and were subsequently sorted and printed in translation by Mr. Hugh R. Watkin in 'The History of Totnes Priory and Medieval Town', Vol. I, Torquay 1914. In the following the sign 'The History of Totnes Priory and Medieval Town, Hugh R Watkin, Torquay 1914 X, p.100' refers to the number allotted to the document by Watkin, and the page of that volume on which it appears. Watkin found the original deed-box passed after the Dissolution to the purchaser of the Priory Lands. It contained 129 documents. An attempt has been made to reconstruct this group, although Watkin destroyed it in compiling a general chronological sequence. We have therefore two series: the documents evidently forming part of the Priory archives, mainly but not entirely deeds of title; and deeds (some of them related to the former series) referring to other properties in Totnes, Brixham, Broadclyst, Compton Giffard, Chagford, Dartington, Dartmouth, Huish, Kingswear, Stokeinteignhead, and Teignmouth. At the end of this series are placed the deeds conveying the Priory site to the Smyths of Totnes. The property went by descent in the female line to the Yeo's, and was gradually sold by them before 1620 (see 312M/TY396 et seq.).
2. The Hatherleigh Deeds. This is apparently an artificial group created by Watkin and numbered by him in a general chronological sequence (H1, H2 etc.). They deal with property in Hatherleigh, Ashburton, Black Torrington, Charleton, Egg Buckland, Huish, Lew Trenchard, Lifton, Okehampton (notably the manor of Halstock, held of Tavistock Abbey), and Throwleigh, etc. Some of these were the lands of the Gild or Store of Our Lady of Hatherleigh, but it has proved impossible to identify a separate series. Many of them passed through the Broke family to the Yeo's, who settled in the area covered by these properties. Their later history may partly be traced in the later title deeds, 312M/TY281-469.
3. The Broke papers. This is a compact group showing how the estate of John Broke, Mercer of London, was acquired by Leonard Yeo, a fellow merchant, partly by marrying his widow, and partly in trust for his children. The deeds relate mostly to personal property and to real property widely scattered through England.
4. The Yeo papers. These also were sorted by Watkin into a general chronological series. The papers relating to the administration of the estate, real and personal, have been separated from the title deeds, but the chronological order has been otherwise retained. The Yeo's maintained a regular descent in the male line from Leonard Yeo of Totnes and London (died 1586) through seven generations to George Yeo of the Middle Temple (died 1751), who by marrying an heiress transferred the family seat to Normanton Turvile, in Leicestershire. His heir, Edward Rooe Yeo (died 1782) was the last of the line. He left a heavily burdened estate and two natural children. William Hole of Barnstaple or of Crownley was made their guardian and executor of Yeo's will. The estate in fact was disposed of by him, together with the inheritance by Yeo in joint tenure of some of the Coffin estates at Portledge, in the parish of Alwington. It seems probable that although this Hole, ancestor of the present owner, kept all the deeds and papers, all the real property was disposed of after 1784.
The second and third groups of documents, with the exception of some isolated pieces, forms a single unit - the deeds and papers of the Holes of Parke, Bovey Tracey. Material relating to the Hole family has been listed and indexed as fully as was practicable, at the special request of the depositor.
Some groups in the deeds series were numbered, perhaps by William Hole of Barnstaple; there are endorsements by Robert Hole, and there was a general renumbering about the turn of the century. As no previous numeration covered the series, it has been renumbered. Date of conveyance (in a few cases of lease) to Hole determined the order of the groups. Several of these are complex, and in such cases each has been treated on its own merits.