Plympton St Maurice is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Devon.
Alternative names: Plympton Earle, Plympton Earls, Plympton Morris
Parish registers begin:
- Parish registers: 1616
- Bishop’s Transcripts: 1610
A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848
PLYMPTON, EARL’S (St. Maurice), an incorporated market-town, and a parish, having separate jurisdiction, in the union of Plympton St. Mary, locally in the hundred of Plympton, Ermington and Plympton, and S. divisions of Devon, 39 miles (S. W.) from Exeter, and 210 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 933 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from its situation near the river Plym, is noticed in Domesday book as a royal demesne, under the title of Terra Regis. It was the head of a barony, the lords of which were invested with the power of inflicting capital punishment; and had an important castle, which, soon after the Conquest, was held by Redvers or Rivers, whom Henry I., about the year 1100, created Earl of Devon, and to whom he also gave the barony. The castle and barony remained in the possession of his son Baldwin, who, embracing the party of the Empress Matilda against Stephen, was obliged to leave the kingdom; during his absence Plympton was surrendered to the king by some knights who had charge of it, but it was afterwards restored to his son, and remained for a considerable time in his family. In the reign of Henry III., Baldwin de Rivers, a descendant of the former earl of that name, made the place a free borough by charter in 1241, and invested the inhabitants with many privileges, among which were a market and a fair. In the reign of Edward III. it was constituted one of the stannary towns.
The town is small, but consists of well-built houses of respectable appearance. It is beautifully situated in a valley, about a mile to the south-east of the river Plym; and, with the orchards and trees by which it is surrounded, the castle hill and the tower of the church, forms a strikingly picturesque feature in the landscape, as seen from the London road. The market is on Friday; and fairs are held on February 25th, August 12th, and October 28th. The government, under the charter of Earl Baldwin, confirmed by Edward III. and succeeding sovereigns, is vested in a mayor, recorder, bailiff, and eight aldermen, who form the common-council. The mayor, recorder, and senior alderman are justices of the peace for the borough, which includes part of the parish of Plympton St. Mary; and the corporation hold quarterly courts of session for determining on offences not capital. The borough first sent representatives to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I., from which time, till the passing of the Reform act, it continued to return two members. The guildhall, which bears the date 1696, is a neat substantial edifice, having a piazza with granite pillars and circular arches. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £100; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The church, originally a chantry chapel appendant to Plympton St. Mary, was founded by John Brackley, in 1547, and contains some interesting monuments. There is a place of worship for Independent Calvinists. The grammar school was founded, and endowed with an estate now producing nearly £200 per annum, by Elizeus Hele; and a spacious school-house, in the old English style, supported on a piazza, was erected by Sir John Maynard, one of the founder’s trustees, in 1664. Sir Joshua Reynolds was born in the house, in 1723, and received the rudiments of his education under his father, who was master of the school. On the north side of the town are some remains of the ancient castle, occupying a quadrangular area surrounded with a fosse, and skirted on the east by a steep conical mount, on the summit of which is a small fragment of the keep.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848
Records for England
Births and Baptism Records
War and Conflict
- County: Devon
- Civil Registration District: Plympton St Mary
- Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Totnes
- Diocese: Exeter
- Rural Deanery: Plympton
- Poor Law Union: Plympton St Mary
- Hundred: Plympton
- Province: Canterbury