Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for TIVERTON

TIVERTON, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Devon. The town stands on elevated ground between the rivers Exe and Loman, immediately above their confluence, at the terminus of a branch line of the Bristoland Exeter railway westward from Tiverton-Junction, and at the S end of the Tiverton and North Devon railway, 12 miles N by E of Exeter; was anciently called Two-ford-ton or Twy-ford-ton; took that name from neighbouring fords on the two neighbouring rivers; was known as Twyford so early as 872; belonged to the Crown at Domesday; was given, by Henry I., to Richard Rivers, Earl of Devon; acquired, then, a baronial castle, which was long a residence of the Earls of Devon, and is now represented by remains of towers and gateway; became a seat of the woollen trade about 1353; advanced that trade to a highly flourishing condition about 1500; witnessed a battle, in its near neighbourhood, between the King's troops and a body of insurgents in 1549; was held by the parliamentarians at the commencement of the civil wars of Charles I.; suffered forcible capture by the royalists in 1644, and storming recapture by the parliamentarians in 1645; was devastated by the plague in 1591, and by fire in 1598, 1612, and 1731; gave accommodation to the summer assizes in 1626 and in 1649, on account of the plague then raging in Exeter; was the birthplace of the theologian Rowe, who died in 1677, and of the dramatic writer Mrs. Cowley, who died in 1809; is a borough by charter of James I., and now governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors; has sent two members to parliament always since the time of James I.; had as a representative, for many years till his death, the late Viscount Palmerston; is a seat of sessions, county-courts, and a polling place; publishes a weekly newspaper; presents a well built, pleasant, and cleanly appearance; enjoys a plentiful supply of water, by means of a stream diverted to it so early as 1256; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, two chief inns, an ornamental town hall, built in 1864 at a cost of about £8,000, a small borough jail, a police station, a commodious market house, built in 1830 at a cost of about £9,000, a small corn exchange, reading and assembly rooms, a literary and scientific institution, a fine parochial church of the 15th century, considerably rebuilt in 1855, another church called St. Paul's, in the decorated English style, built in 1856, a chapel of ease, four dissenting chapels, an endowed grammar-school with £672 a year and about 12 exhibitions, two other endowed schools with £299 and £93, national and British schools, three suites of alms houses with aggregately £331 a year, other charities £408, a bridge-trust £303, and a workhouse.

A weekly market is held on Tuesday; great cattle- markets are held on the first Tuesday of Feb., April, Aug., and Dec.; stock-fairs are held on the second Tuesday after Trinity-Sunday, and on Michaelmas day; and races, in the Castle-meadows, are held on two days in Aug. The woollen trade flourished so highly about 1700 as then to employ 1,500 looms, 56 fulling-mills, and more than 700 wool-combers; and it long occasioned Tiverton to be regarded as the chief manufacturing town in the W of England; but it is now extinct. Lace-making was introduced in 1816; and it is carried on so largely in one establishment as to employ there 1,500 hands. There is also a large iron-foundry. The limits of the borough, both municipally and parliamentarily, coincide with those of the parish. The corporation revenue is about £1,930. The police force, in 1864, comprised 7 men, at an annual cost of £440. Electors, in 1833, 462; in 1863, 516. Real property in 1860, £42,220; of which £111 were in gasworks. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £3,223. Pop. in 1851, 11,144; in 1861, 10,447. Houses, 2,210.

The parish is divided into the five quarters of Town, Tidcombe, Priors, Pitt, and Clare. Acres, 1,155, 3,920, 3,185, 5,840, and 3,550. Real property, £22,289, £4,695, £4,532, £6,765, and £3,939. Pop. in 1861, 7,947, 576, 494,895, and 535. The manor was seized by the Crown after the death of the Earl of Devon, who fell in the battle of Tewkesbury; but was restored, in 1485, to the succeeding Earl. Bolham House, Collipriest, Worth, and Knights Hayes, are chief residences. The parish is in the diocese of Exeter; and is ecclesiastically distributed into the rectory of Clare Portion with Withley chapelry, the rectory of Pitts Portion with Cove chapelry, the rectory of Tidcombe Portion with Chevithorne chapelry, the vicarage of Priors Portion, and the p. curacy of St. Paul. Value of the first of these livings, £452; of the second, £675; of the third, £735;* of the fourth, £441;* of the fifth, £550.* Patrons of the first, the second, and the third, the Earl of Harrowby, Sir W. Carew, Sir R. R. Vyvyan, and the Heirs of the Rev. W. Spurway; of the fourth, King's College, Cambridge; of the fifth, Mrs. Brewin.

The sub-district is conterminate with the parish.—The district comprehends also Silverton, Cullompton, Uffculme, Washfield, and Bampton sub-districts; and comprises 106,661 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £18,191. Pop. in 1851, 33,540; in 1861, 31,305. Houses, 6,563. Marriages in 1863, 185; births, 911,-of which 55 were illegitimate; deaths, 590, of which 190 were at ages under 5 years, and 17 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,331; births, 9,664; deaths, 6,777. The places of worship, in 1851, were 43 of the Church of England, with 12,007 sittings; 11 of Independents, with 2,470 s.; 11 of Baptists, with 2,572 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 180 s.; 13 of Wesleyans, with 2,188 s.; 12 of Bible Christians, with 1,070 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 300 s.; 1 of the New Church, with 180 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 150 s. The schools were 44 public day-schools, with 3,375 scholars; 48 private day-schools, with 1,253 s.; 60 Sunday schools, with 4,498 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 6 s.-The hundred contains 4 parishes and a part. Acres, 6,049. Pop., 904. Houses, 155.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Tiverton AP/CP       Tiverton Hundred       Tiverton SubD       Tiverton RegD       Devon AncC
Place names: TIVERTON     |     TWO FORD TON     |     TWY FORD TON
Place: Tiverton

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