FORTESCUE OF CASTLE HILL

This record is held by Devon Heritage Centre

Details of FORTESCUE OF CASTLE HILL
Title: FORTESCUE OF CASTLE HILL
Reference: 1262M
Description:

1262M/O PUBLIC OFFICE

 

1262M/O/LD Lord Lieutenant of Devon

 

1262M/O/EP Election papers

 

1262M/O/LI Lord Lieutenant of Ireland

 

1262M/O/PP Political papers

 

1262M/O/Z Miscellaneous public office

 

1262M/E ESTATE

 

1262M/E/1-13 Devon parishes

 

1262M/E/14-19 Outcounty and Ireland

 

1262M/E/20 Rentals

 

1262M/E/21 Estate accounts

 

1262M/E/22 Maps and plans

 

1262M/E/23 Highways and turnpikes

 

1262M/E/24 Railways

 

1262M/E/25 Mining

 

1262M/E/26 Agents' papers

 

1262M/E/27 Sale catalogues

 

1262M/E/28 Honycombe Trust

 

1262M/E/29 General estate

 

1262M/E/30 Copy documents

 

1262M/M MANORIAL

 

1262M/M/1-80 Court rolls

 

1262M/M/81-115 Compoti

 

1262M/M/116-125 Presentments

 

1262M/M/126-156 Miscellaneous

 

1262M/Z MISCELLANEOUS

 

1262M/T TITLE DEEDS: DEVON

 

1262M/TC-TI TITLE DEEDS: OUTCOUNTY AND IRELAND

 

1262M/L LEASES: DEVON

 

1262M/LC-LI LEASES: OUTCOUNTY AND IRELAND

 

1262M/FA FAMILY: COMMISSIONS

 

1262M/FC FAMILY: CORRESPONDENCE AND PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD PAPERS

 

1262M/FD FAMILY: JOURNALS AND DIARIES

 

1262M/FE FAMILY: PERSONAL AND HOUSEHOLD ACCOUNTS

 

1262M/FF FAMILY: TRUST PAPERS

 

1262M/FH FAMILY: FAMILY HISTORY

 

1262M/FS FAMILY: SETTLEMENTS AND WILLS

 

1262M/FZ FAMILY: MISCELLANEOUS

 

The estates administered from Castle Hill fall into six general groups. The Castle Hill group included the Devon lands, based on a large block in Filleigh, South Molton, East and West Buckland, and Chittlehampton; and another large block in and around Wear Gifford, where the Hall was a family residence. Two less important blocks of lands lay one in the Tavistock Lamerton and Marystow area, marching with the lands of the Tremaynes of Sydenham, and the other in Georgeham and Mortehoe on the north coast. The Exmoor group covered large areas of the Forest, and the Devon parishes of Challacombe, High Bray, and Charles. It centred upon Simonsbath Lodge, another of the family seats. These lands were partly acquired from the Knight family. In Cornwall, the Fortescue estates covered the small but flourishing ports of Port Gaverne and Port Isaac, and antimony mines at Treore and Trewether. Ebrington in Gloucestershire, was one of the earliest of the family properties, first acquired by Sir John Fortescue, Lord Chancellor to King Henry VI. Its Manor House was later the seat of Viscount Ebrington. In Lincolnshire a valuable group of lands was based on Tattershall Castle. Finally, there were important Irish estates in County Waterford, with a house (Nymph Hall) and a small harbour at Dunmore.

Date: 1158 - 1951
Held by: Devon Heritage Centre, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Extent: 16 subfonds
Administrative History:

The branch of the Fortescue family chiefly represented in this collection begins with Hugh Fortescue of Filleigh (died 1719). His son Hugh (1695-1751), who became Earl Clinton in 1721 and 1st Baron Fortescue in 1746, laid the foundations of the family's political tradition and was the principal builder of the house at Castle Hill, unfortunately burned down in 1934. A later Hugh was created Viscount Ebrington and 1st Earl Fortescue in 1789 and his son Hugh, the 2nd Earl (1783-1861), became the most prominent member of the family in public and political life, nationally as well as locally. The collection contains many papers relating to his activities in the public arena as well as to the family and estate both before and after him.

 

Letters, diaries or other personal papers survive for many members of the family. In public life, Hugh Fortescue (died 1719), Theophilus Fortescue (died 1745), the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Earls and the latter's brothers, John William and Dudley Francis, were all Members of Parliament, mostly for Cornish boroughs, Barnstaple or for one of the Devon County seats. Papers relating to elections survive from 1705. Political letters survive in some quantity from 1727. The largest complete series relates to Viscount Ebrington's (later 2nd Earl) tenure of office as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 1839-1841. The Fortescues have held office in the Lieutenancy of Devon almost continuously since 1696 with several serving as Lord Lieutenant. Records of the Lieutenancy are especially full for the period from 1794-c.1830, covering, inter alia, the Napoleonic Wars, and again for 1914-1918.

 

Their estates covered property in and around Filleigh, Challacombe, High Bray, Charles, Weare Gifford, Tavistock, Lamerton, Marystowe, Georgeham and Mortehoe as well as lands in Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire and Ireland, and records of the ownership and management of these are typical for this kind of collection. Title deeds for several properties survive together from the 12th century and there is a good series of court rolls and accounts for several manors beginning in the late 13th century. Estate rentals, surveys and accounts, as well as household accounts (including those for the vice-regal establishment in Ireland, 1839-1841), from the 18th century onwards, are well represented in the collection. Items of a miscellaneous nature which are of particular interest include registers of the weather, 1851-1907, game and hunting books, family photograph albums, and a rare surviving record of the 1569 muster in Devon.

Publication Notes:
  • Accounts of the Fortescue family will be found in Lord Clermont's History of the Family of Fortescue in all its Branches, London, 1880; and in Earl Fortescue's Chronicle of Castle Hill 1454 - 1918, privately printed 1929. The latter is based largely upon the records at Castle Hill.

Subjects:
  • Ebrington, Hugh Fortescue, 1783-1861, 2nd Earl Fortescue, Lord Ebrington
  • Devon
Creator Names:
  • Fortescue family of Castle Hill, Devon
Link to NRA Record:

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