The Devon Historian Volume 82, 2013

In a departure from the previous format, for Volume 82 we are publishing full abstracts of our journal articles.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 1-6.
Philippe Planel: A Tribute to Robin Stanes: Sailor, Farmer, Historian, Teacher
This article pays tribute to the late Robert Stanes, a central figure in the development of The Devon History Society. In 1941 Robin went up to Christ Church, Oxford, where his studies were interrupted by war service, and on return to Oxford he changed his subject from History to Agriculture. Before he retired from farming in the South Hams, Robin began teaching at the Extra Mural Department of Exeter University, and in the late 1960s became a full-time history teacher at Exmouth Grammar School. During this period he was involved in the formation of the Standing Conference for Devon History, subsequently The Devon History Society. Robin’s published output prodigious, and ranged from the accessible and well-illustrated description of Devon’s agricultural history that is Old Farming Days: Life on the Land in Devon and Cornwall, to the more scholarly The Husbandry of Devon and Cornwall.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 7-20.
Nicholas Grant: Athelstan and the Expulsion of the Britons from Exeter: Ethnic Cleansing or Rough Justice?
The expulsion of the ‘infected race’ of Britons from Exeter by Athelstan, king of the English, in the tenth century, is one of the most discussed episodes of early south-western English history. William of Malmesbury’s account, written some 200 years later, is re-examined. It is suggested that such an event probably did take place, but that Athelstan is more likely to have been motivated by the need to maintain law and order than racial antagonism towards the Britons.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 21-34.
John Leach: Medieval Hatherleigh
Situated on an island of warm, red, Permian sandstone, Hatherleigh was a good place to settle and a rich gift to the new Tavistock Abbey which was founded in 981. With no great happenings in its history, Hatherleigh’s story is that of generations of hardworking people seeking to put bread on the table and raise their children. This article seeks very briefly therefore to create, for the first time, a medieval outline upon which their story might one day be told.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 35-50.
John Torrance: Branscombe 1280-1340: A Medieval Landscape
The medieval manor of Branscombe belonged to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral, and reports of canons’ visitations in the early fourteenth century allow the demesne farm, manor house, free holdings and many villein holdings to be placed for the first time in the local landscape. An upper stratum of more prosperous villeins can be identified, many of whom held their land in the form of enclosed small farms in favourable valley situations. Some two-thirds of the villeins held only about seven and a half acres, largely in the form of arable strips. But the villein population was in decline by 1290 and strip fields were being enclosed by newly introduced free tenants.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 51-62.
Jeanne James: The Chapel of St David at Hamme in the Parish of Ashprington, Devon
The article aims to identify the location of the medieval chapel of St David at Hamme in Ashprington parish. It has long been identified with Painsford, Ashprington, but the medieval chapel there was dedicated to St John the Baptist. The sources are set out, followed by discussion of the possible locations of St David’s chapel using maps and a field visit. On account of the proximity of Ham Reach on the River Dart together with field names, the chapel’s most likely location is found to be near Ashprington Point. However, with no firm evidence, the question remains open for discussion.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 63-68.
Ian David Cooper: The contribution of Devon’s militia to England’s defence against the Spanish Armada
Historians have traditionally argued that during the Spanish Armada crisis the militias of the southern maritime counties coalesced to form a shadow army and marched along the south coast of England as the English and Spanish navies progressed eastward towards Calais. However, there is no evidence to corroborate this viewpoint. By utilising the Devon militia as a case study, this article presents the true function of the county militias during summer 1588.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 69-79.
Frances Billinge: Beating the Bounds of the Borough of Bovey Tracey
The ‘beating of the bounds’ is an ancient custom. It is not clear when the ritual perambulation of the boundaries of Bovey Tracey known as ‘the Mayor’s Riding’ first took place, but in 1888 the mayor described the celebrations as the six hundred and forty-first anniversary of ‘the beating of the bounds’. The continuing practise in Bovey Tracey is traced through analysis of nineteenth-century local newspaper articles, which highlight sites visited on the perambulation route. Development of the ‘beating of the bounds’ into a civic rather than a religious preoccupation from the mid-nineteenth century is demonstrated.

The Devon Historian, 82 (2013), 81-106.
Book Reviews